May 6-7, 2022
Directed by Walter Martella and Karina Inkster
A project of the Powell River Academy of Music
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Walter Martella and Karina Inkster are excited to bring you Powell River's first annual Accordion Fest!
Featuring two days of diverse events, you do not want to miss our celebration of one of the world's most misunderstood instruments.
Including a concert performance by one of the world's foremost accordionists, workshops for beginners and advanced players alike, and a wide range of musical genres for our audiences to enjoy, mark your calendars for May 6-7, 2022!
Purchase a weekend pass, or buy tickets to individual events. See our full events listing below.
FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2022
7pm Act One: Walter and Karina perform Piazzolla and Galliano pieces; Jessica and Karina perform Yann Tiersen pieces from the Amélie film soundtrack.
8pm Act Two: Jelena Milojevic performs her main concert of solo accordion pieces.
Venue: James Hall at the Powell River Academy of Music
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2022
Led by Walter and Karina, this by-donation workshop introduces accordion-curious folks of any (or no) musical background to the instrument. Got an old accordion languishing in your storage closet? Wondering what the heck the left-hand buttons are for? We’ll demystify the world’s most misunderstood instrument. Attendees can bring their own accordions, use one of ours, or sit in without playing.
Venue: Powell River Academy of Music
Led by internationally renowned classical accordionist Jelena Milojević, this session will feature performances by accordion amateurs and semi-professionals (e.g. UVic School of Music students). Jelena will offer critiques, insights, and suggestions, providing a learning opportunity for both performers and observers.
Venue: Powell River Academy of Music
ACCORDION KITCHEN PARTY
Two main sets showcasing multicultural accordion music, performed by Walter Martella's band. Walter and Karina will also perform a selection of Astor Piazzolla pieces, and Karina with bandmate Jessica Colasanto will perform music by Yann Tiersen from the Amélie soundtrack. We’ll have guest musicians rotating through the main band. A fun and inclusive event, featuring dancing, beverages, and [maybe] lederhosen.
Venue: Royal Canadian Legion
Jelena Milojevic is one of the world's foremost accordion performers. She studied both in Croatia and Serbia and ultimately received her Master’s Degree in Accordion Performance and Education, in one of the most recognized accordion centres in the world, Music Academy (FILUM) in Kragujevac, Serbia, where she is now completing her Doctoral Degree in accordion performance.
As a versatile musician with an extensive performing history, she has played numerous concerts in Europe, North America and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician and a soloist with various orchestras. She performed in some of the most prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Berlin Philharmonie.
She is the winner of some of the most prestigious international accordion competitions, such as the CMA World Trophy, International Accordion Competition in Castelfidardo, Italy, International Accordion competition in Pula, Croatia, Roland V-Accordion Competition etc. Her performances have been acclaimed as “an explosion of cosmic sensuality” and she has been praised for her “brilliant virtuosity.”
Jelena Milojevic has a successful collaboration with internationally recognized composers, such as Ana Sokolovic, Chris Jarrett, Douglas Schmidt, Farangis Nurulla-Khoja etc, and performs and records new music with the Vancouver Symphony, Berlin Symphony, Aventa Ensemble, Turning Point Ensemble, Emily Carr String Quartet, UVic Chorus and Orchestra etc.
She released three CD's and is being frequently featured at the TV and radio stations in Europe and North America. She has worked with acclaimed conductors, such as Bramwell Tovey, Bill Linwood, Leslie Dala, Giorgio Magnanensi, Clyde Mitchel, Yu Xuefeng, Symeon Ioannidis, Owen Underhill, Adam Jonathan Con, and Ajtony Csaba.
As an educator, Jelena has been contributing greatly to the accordion development in Canada by organizing International Accordion Festival, hosting major accordion events; Coupe Mondiale de l'Accordéon (2013) and World Accordion Trophy (2018), inviting numerous international accordion artists to Victoria and by pioneering the acceptance of the accordion at the Vancouver Community College, Camosun College and University of Victoria.
With more than 20 years of teaching experience, her students have won numerous prizes at various international competitions, have played with symphony orchestras and developed successful performing careers.
She is the Artistic Director of the World Accordion and Tango Festival in Victoria and a frequent adjudicator at the biggest international accordion competitions.
Conductor and Music Director of the Powell River Academy of Music (PRAM), Walter is an accomplished pianist, accordionist, and trumpeter. He earned a Diploma in Jazz Trumpet from Malaspina College (VIU), a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Victoria, and attended the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Conducting became a significant part of Walter's life and career when he returned to Powell River to study at PRAM under Don James. He has participated in the British Columbia Choral Federation's conducting program and has collaborated with world-renowned conductors. He has led noteworthy works like Holst's Rig Veda for choir and harp, the Messiah, Schubert's Mass in G, and Vivaldi's Gloria. He conducts the Academy Chamber Choir, Chor Musica Men's Choir and the Powell River Chorus as well as currently maintaining a full private teaching schedule.
Walter is a strong believer in the power of music as an important part of community, and has been an adjudicator for instrumental and choral festivals throughout British Columbia. He has recorded five jazz CDs, performed provincially with many well-known musicians in multiple genres, and continues to be in demand all along the West Coast as a trumpet soloist and jazz pianist.
Walter Martella and Karina Inkster play Libertango by Astor Piazzolla.
Karina is a fitness and nutrition coach, author of 4 books, magazine writer, and host of the No-B.S. Vegan podcast. Founder of the K.I. Healthy Living Academy, she and her online coaching team work with vegan clients all over the world. Karina holds a Master's degree in Gerontology, specializing in health and aging.
What does all this have to do with music? Well, nothing. When she's not working (or working out), Karina attempts to make time for her musical pursuits. She started taking piano lessons at the age of 5, has been playing Australian didgeridoo for over 2 decades, and picked up the accordion in 2013. She's been studying accordion with Walter Martella since 2018 after moving from Vancouver to Powell River.