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FOR ALL INFORMATION AND BROCHURES FOR THE NW FESTIVAL IN BLACKPOOL31

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(Hernani - Gipuzkoa. 1967- XII - 17). Energy and great activity in a variety of fields characterise the career of this eclectic and innovative Basque musician. His introduction to music came via Basque songs, melodies and dances with his early training on "txistu" (basque traditional small three-holed fipple flute), and shortly afterwards on accordion. Later he was to make his own the contrasting world of contemporary accordion and avant-garde music at the Higher Conservatory of San Sebastian with Mikel Bikondoa, where he won the final-year prize. He took part in several international competitions in Europe and undertook further study at Le Thor in France. His first commercial recordings of jazz accordion, clearly influenced by the French accordionist Richard Galliano, were made in 1988 - LEHENENGO GELTOKIAN and 1991 - KOLLAGE. He set up "HAT" (Hernani Accordion Group), which between 1987 and 1991 performed a repertoire of classical chamber music and also recorded LIBERTANGO - In Memoriam (1991) as a tribute to Astor Piazzolla. Since 1985 he has combined his work as teacher at the Hernani Music School with a great number of collaborations with singers and musicians (Noa, Dulce Pontes, Alasdair Fraser & Skyedance, Paco Ibañez, Balen Lpz. de Munain, Javier Alvarez, Alberto Iglesias, Suso Saiz, Jorge Drexler, Txomin Artola, Amaia Zubiria, Oskorri, Kepa Junkera, Joseba Tapia, Xabier Lete, Imanol, Anje Duhalde, Diego Vasallo, L.E. Aute, Bingen Mendizabal, Joan Valent, Pasion Vega, Antton Valverde, Xabier Euzkitze, Andoni Egaña, Mikel Laboa, etc..) both in the Basque Country and at national level, in addition to composing and performing music for many plays and television programmes. In the area of traditional music he has had two parallel careers: with ALBOKA, the traditional folk group with whom he has played over a hundred live concerts and made four records (Alboka 1995, Bi beso lur - 1998, Lorius - 2001 and Lau Anaiak - 2004); and with Juan Mari Beltran (EGURRAREN ORPOTIK DATOR... in 1993 and BETI TTUN-TTUN in 1998), in the field of musical experiment and recycling in a studio context in collaboration with producer-guitarist Suso Saiz, another of the artists who have left their mark on his artistic life. In 1997 he recorded QUARTET live and ELEKTRO PSYCHODELIC FILM MUSIC REMIX (2000) with Suso. Since LIBERTANGO, Joxan has also continued to produce works combining visual images with words and music: AMETSAREN BIDEA (1994), METROPOLIS (1995) and SUPERNOVA (2000) led to GOAZEN LAGUN (1996), his, and the Basque Country's, first multimedia work combining CD audio and CD-Rom. This latter project led him to create AZTARNA, a record label devoted to issuing works by Basque artists in CD audio + CD-Rom format.

Kurt Larsen, born 1941, began playing the accordion in 1950. After a few years with "ordinary" accordion music, the interest in jazz took over, and already in the 1950'es he was out playing dance and popular music in the local dance halls together with experienced dance musicians. From the end of the 1960'es to the mid 70'es, Larsen worked as a school teacher. In this context, the accordion was an extremely useful tool. It was during those years that he began composing music for children's songs most of which were based on lyrics written by his wife with whom he also performed a lot of Balkan music. In the mid 1980'es, Larsen decided to become a full-time musician on the accordion. He has worked in a variety of contexts such as theatre, radio and TV, as a studio musician, composer, and accompanist of singers and actors. Finally, in 1992 jazz took over again, and from then on Larsen have played numeruos, concerts partly with his own groups partly as a member of other bands including concerts with Dino Saluzzi and Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Quique Senesi (guitar), Pablo Siegler (piano), and other great musicians. CD's: "Nuages" (1992) quartet - "51" (1994) quartet/quintet - "Danish Evergreens" (1996) solo - "La Musette á la Kurt Larsen" (1997) trio/duo/solo - "Vintersol" (1997) solo - "Vals med mere" (2002) trio - "Poeta" (2004) - solo/duo/trio/quartet/quintet (First recording with Victoria Poeta).

Martin Wagner ...plays the Accordion since he was 9 years old. For five years he took accordion lessons, then he began to improvise. The next five years In the age of 18 he played with the experimental rockband "TKTSSS...", a band with the strange instrumentation bassoon, oboe, accordion, tuba, drums, keyboard and Ria Hamilton on vocals. Later he recorded and performed with varios groups, jewish songs, french chansons and folk from all over the world. With the klezmer-quartett "Colalaila" he gave over 500 concert's, in Germany and on Festivals in Israel, Scotland, Italy, the Netherlands and other european countries. With Colalaila he recorded 3 CD's and they were part in serveral TV-Shows. Since 2000 he's a regular member in the band of the Kabarettist(?) Konrad Beikircher, the next (third) recording whith him is planned in 2005 with the new program "Una festa sui prati". Martin Wagner is frequently asked to play accordion in studio for TV-spots for advertisement or promotion, recorded some tracks for audiobooks (with Ulrich Tukur, Konrad Beikircher) because of his ability to find the matching mood, as guest musican (with Helmut Eisel) or for incidental music. His actual program is a duo with Irith Gabriely - Queen of Klezmer - a multistyle music between classic, klezmer and jazz.

Mika Väyrynen ...was born October 7th, 1967 in Helsinki, Finland. He studied at the Tampere Conservatory, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and the Gustave Charpentier Conservatory in Paris, France (in the class of Prof. Max Bonnay.) He completed a Master's degree in 1992 and went on to complete his doctoral degree in 1997. Mika Väyrynen has won a total of eight prizes in International Competitions, including first prize in the Confédération Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) Coupe Mondiale in Luzerne, Switzerland in 1989. Mr. Väyrynen has also served as adjudicator in competitions like the CIA Coupe Mondiale, Beijing Accordion

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