This weekend San Antonio might just hold the record for the most accordions in a concentrated amount of space. It’s time for the International Accordion Festival!
Based in San Antonio, the International Accordion Festival has earned a reputation for innovative programming, featuring international performers, and a commitment to cultural education.
The accordion is at the root of numerous multicultural music traditions throughout the world, many of which have found their way to the U.S.
San Antonio is considered the birthplace for Tejano conjunto music. Conjunto draws on European and Latin American influences and rhythms. It has assimilated quickly into American music culture. Because of this, San Antonio seems like the perfect place to house the Accordion Festival.
In the past ten years, the International Accordion Festival has presented: 159 ensembles, representing over 39 distinct genres (Russian, Texas Czech, French Canadian, Indian, Klezmer, Basque, Vallenato, Irish, Merengue Tipico Ripiao, Conjunto, Tango, Cajun, German Polka, Klezmer and Eastern Europe, Bulgarian Wedding Music, Zydeco, Western Swing, Slovenian, Breton, Croatian, Nuclear Polka, Italian, Argentine Chamame, Brazilian Forro, Albanian, Middle Eastern, Texas Ecletic, Czech Republic, Third Coast, Azebaijani, Cape Verdean, Quebecois, Creole, Canary Islands, Alternative, Chicken Scratch, Bulgarian Roma, Panamian Pindin and Parisian Musette and many more), 85 workshops, demonstrations, panels, lectures, and open mics.
The International Accordion Festival is held in La Villita, located downtown on the Riverwalk. Featuring four stages, two of the stages are reserved for nearly non-stop music playing.
The Juarez Plaza Stage
features demonstrations and workshops geared at promoting exchanges among musical traditions and between artists and audiences. Performances on this stage include Louisiana Cajun: Then and Now;
African Roots: Louisiana Creole Meets Cape Verdean Funaná; Polka Dancing with Bohemian Dutchmen; and Fiddling Around the Accordion, among others. The remaining stage is Bolivar Hall; Performances such as Improvising Around the Accordion and Accordion Shakedown: Musical Crossovers and Experimentations are held in Bolivar Hall to engage students, clubs and other performers in a coffee house atmosphere.
Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole is a band you can’t miss. Cedric has received four Grammy nominations for his Cajun influence sound.
Originally From Austin, Bluesqueezebox has a great gypsy punk feel. The band plays on Friday night as well as Saturday afternoon, and is worth checking out.
The International Accordion Festival is held from Oct. 7-9. All money raised at the festival is reinvested into the festival in order to guarantee a free accordion festival for years to come.