Talent from near and far puts the squeeze on Vancouver at this year’s Accordion Noir Festival

Russian band Iva Nova

Russian ethno-rock quartet Iva Nova plays this year’s Accordion Noir Festival in Vancouver.

In the not-your-baba’s-accordion-festival department, the Accordion Noir Festival is back with more fun-filled squeezebox adventures.

This year’s lineup includes talent from as far away as Finland Russia, as well as an accordion fixer from Montreal. The event takes place Sept. 7-10 at various venues around town, with the four evenings arranged by theme. These include Accordion Drink-o-Bingo (Sept. 7), Accordion Alchemy parts I & II (Sept. 8), Accordion Community Day (Sept. 9, the same night as an album release party from local accordion sensation Geoff Berner), and Underdog Instrument Grudge Match: The Millennial Edition (Sept. 10).

Here’s some more of what to expect.

Ana Bon-Bon (Accordion Drink-o-Bingo, Sept. 7, Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave.)—The Vancouver performer mixes blues, country, show-tunes, and more. She also draws on vaudeville, ’50s Hollywood, depression-era music, spirituals, and Western swing. Besides the Accordion Noir Festival, Ana hosts the weekly Sundays for Sinners jams at the Princeton Pub.

Also on the Accordion Drink-o-Bingo bill: Grayson Walker (Victoria), Shelder the Electric Clam Fish (Halifax), The Committee Clowns, and Something About Reptiles.

Antti Paalanen (Accordion Alchemy Part I, Sept. 8, St James Anglican Church, 303 E. Cordova)—From Kokkola, Finland, Antti Paalanen combines a deep knowledge of Finnish folk music with throat singing and accordion set against a modern techno beat. In performance, Paalanen takes on an alter ego, “a volcanic man who raves at his accordion, kicks at the floor and snorts like a raging bull.” Nor is he just another pretty face; according to his bio, “Antti Paalanen’s artistically oriented doctoral thesis of 2015 focused on revolutionary instrument-based writing techniques for bisonoric accordion, his particular accordion of choice.”

Finnish accordion player Antti Paalanen performs at this year’s Accordion Noir Festival. Photo by Jyrki Kallio.

Also on the Accordion Alchemy Part I bill: Douglas Schmidt (Ho Chi Minh City), Giorgio Magnanensi, and East Van Phonograph Company.

Iva Nova (Accordion Alchemy Part II, Sept. 8, Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave.)—From St Petersburg, Russia, Iva Nova describes their mixture of Slavic, electronic and rock influences as “ethno-extreme.” The all-female group has honed its unusual sound through 15 years of European touring. In that time Iva Nova has built a loyal following. Their songs have been described as “politically relevant yet mischievous.”

Also on the Accordion Alchemy Part II bill: Balkan Schmalkan, DJ Lykaire (Lafayette, Illinois)

For more a complete schedule and ticket info, visit accordionnoirfest.com.

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