Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Accordions & Valpo

Valparaiso has a hidden love affaire with the accordion sound. Most of its folk bands have used this sound.... from peruvian waltz, tropical latin music to chilean cuecas...The accordion sound is there most of the time. Most of the earlier accordions arrived first to Valparaiso, and from there to other cities in the country to be sold by local companies such as Kirsinger. The last two accordion makers in the country have lived in this area. Hohner, the main accordion making company in the world has its top notch diatonic bottom melodeon model (photo above) named after the port, and is Valparaiso the only town in South America who has had for over 60 something years an accordion orchestra with the exclusive right to bear this name as Orquesta de acordeones Hohner de Valparaiso...
Most of its members started in this orchestra decades ago, and through its history they have received honours from the city, state and they have accomplished tours through Chile and Europe. The heart of this group is Helga Nessius de Junge, who has been their director for 60 years.. An amazing example of musical life for all who like myself had had the honour to know them playing their wonderful music.