Karen Tweed and Karen Street Accordion-sing-alongs May 12th and May 13th 2018

Karen Tweed and Karen Street

Time to sing with the two Karens!

Don’t forget that WORLD ACCORDION DAY is on the horizon in May and to celebrate, the two Karens – Karen Street and Karen Tweed have 2 x TIME TO SING! days – one in CAMBRIDGE and one in KNUTSFORD:

Saturday May 12th : CAMBRIDGE Barhill Church, Hanover Close, Barhill, Cambridge CB23 8EH

10am -1pm : Workshop/rehearsal (for participating accordionists)

2pm – 4pm : Concert and sing-a-long with performances by Karen Street & Karen Tweed, Dawn Loombe and guests. Concert tickets £5

Accordionists wishing to participate and play need to register (fee is £12 and includes the concert) – for more details call/text: 01954 780772 / 07415 456307 or email:


Music will be sent out in advance and all standards are welcome.

Sunday May 13th : KNUTSFORD Marthall Village Hall, Sandlebridge Lane, Knutsford WA16 7SB

11am -1pm : Workshop/rehearsal (for participating accordionists)

2pm – 5pm : Concert and sing-a-long with performances by Karen Street & Karen Tweed, Pearl Fawcett-Adriano, Barry Graham, Helen Rich, Mike Richards and Paul Hobbs. Concert tickets £3

Accordionists wishing to participate and play need to register (fee is £12 and includes the concert) – for more details call: Steve Hughes 01782 787935
or email:


Music will be sent out in advance and all standards are welcome.

Cárismatico – a new Tango ensemble with Karen Street on Accordion – Mini Tour Autumn 2018

Cárismatico Tango Ensemble

Karen Street in new Tango Ensemble

Cárismatico, a new and exciting tango ensemble with Karen Street on accordion have three performances in the autumn. All will feature the mesmerising voice of Argentina’s finest and most significant tango vocalist Martin Alvarado. 

Wednesday 1 November 2017


Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside Arts

5.30pm – 6.30pm Dance Workshop

7.30pm Performance

Box Office 0115 846 7777


Title of show: Tango de Amor

The concert will also feature dancers Miriam Orcutt & Dante Culcuy, guest artists in milongas and festivals across the world and finalists in the World Tango Championships, Buenos Aires.

Tuesday 7 November

Thursday 9 November 2017


The Pheasantry

152 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4UT

This will feature Martin Alvarado

Friday 10 November 2017

Wells, Somerset

Cedars Hall, Wells Cathedral School

Title of show: Tango de Amor

The concert will also feature dancers Miriam Orcutt & Dante Culcuy, guest artists in milongas and festivals across the world and finalists in the World Tango Championships, Buenos Aires.


UKAAT Workshop February 7th 2016 – A great success

UKAAT 1st Workshop morning session audience

Accordion teachers, students, professionals, composers and UKAAT supporters packed into the Henry Wood Room for UKAAT’s first workshop on February 7th 2016 at the Royal Academy of Music. The day kicked off with a presentation by Romano Viazzani (UKAAT President) outlining what UKAAT’s aims are and what they have been doing since their initial meeting three years ago along with their hopes for the future.











This was followed by a talk and workshop given by Prof. Owen Murray and Romano Viazzani on teaching basic skills to students. Ideas on all manner of basic skill teaching from posture and confidence in performance to finer points such as articulation and bellow skills were covered with participation from the workshop-goers.  A video clip was also shown to demonstrate the  freedom that comes with good posture. Some exercises were put forward to help improve certain aspects of playing as well as some ideas for chord combinations on standard “Stradella” bass. After a mid morning break the workshop continued explaining how free bass works and its ever increasing importance in the world of Music.  Several systems were explained with Prof. Owen Murray drawing comparisons between the C Griff System Free bass system and the mirror image of the C System Right-hand button-board.  Then Vice President Ian Watson spoke on the B griff System and it’s relationship to the right-hand B-griff button-board. Various diagrams and technical exercise fingerings were made exclusively available to attendees for download.

Basic Skills Workshop










The end of the morning session was rounded off with a short concert by the tremendous students of the Royal Academy of Music’s accordion department. Ben de Sousa and Soprano Elly Broomfield kicked off with an impactful Haydn’s Benedictus from “Little Organ Mass” and Music for a while by Henry Purcell.  Then Inigo Mikeleiz-Berrade played a beautiful and authentically Spanish, Albeniz’s Cordoba followed by Franck Angelis’s Study on Chuiquilin de Bachin. More chamber music followed next with Iosif Purits supporting Cecilia Bignall on cello for J.S Bach’s Sonata for viola de gamba and harpsichord and Manuel de Falla’s Suite Populaire Espagnole. As if almost to underline the topic of dynamic-shaping and articulation covered in the earlier workshop, this performance was an object lesson in how the accordion’s left-hand can ably support a cello to the point of almost believing there was another cello playing with this duo, so well crafted was Purits’s control of the lines played on his free bass. A very mauture performance of Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in A major and Zolotaryov’s Sonata No.3 followed and was so appreciated by the cheering audience that brought Bartosz Glowacki back on for a curtain call.  Finally, a blistering performance of Rodion Schedrin’s short piece Toccata by Iosif Purits.

After a pause for lunch, Roland Williams gave a brief talk on a recent book he and Owen Murray translated and compiled about the life of Toralf Tollefsen (available form this site) and some wonderful archive recording of Tollefsen was heard music to the audience’s delight.



Karen Street

Karen Street

Karen Street -First participants play









Once the initial shyness wore off the accordions were donned by the workshop participants for the very enjoyable and informative workshop given by Karen Street on her rather unique way of playing jazz using almost exclusive free bass. Attendees found the similarity between the way Ms Street plays and the jazz voicings pianists use in their left-hand, particularly stimulating.  Then Simone Zanchini and Karen Street combined to get everyone improvising.  The RAM students who had played earlier also joined in and gave jazz a try too which was very pleasing to see.  Karen Street then gave us a wonderful performance of her solo playing so the audience could fully experience what her sound is really like which was much appreciated by the audience and Mr Zanchini alike.



Karen Street - More and more

Karen Street - More and more and... Simone Zanchini










Finally, Simone Zanchini gave a talk on his approach to improvising, what his influences were and some of the jazz accordion greats he had the fortune to play and record with.  He also gave us an insight into his idea of sound and the acoustic experiments and innovation he has incorporated into his accordion.  He talked of the importance of confidence in delivery and sound projection when improvising and the inevitable practise that goes into learning the “coding” of the different styles and genres of music he calls upon during his improvisations some of which he owes to his classical training at Pesaro conservatoire under Sergio Scappini.  He rounded off with a jaw-dropping 30-minute improvisation incorporating many of the jazz styles he had spoken about during his talk.


Karen Street and Simone Zanchini

Simone Zanchini

Simone Zanchini








Happily, all the feedback about the event was very positive indeed and it was felt that generally there is a need for this type of workshop and that they should happen more often.

Simone Zanchini

Simone Zanchini

Top Jazz accordionist Simone Zanchini at UKAAT workshop

Simone Zanchini

UKAAT (United Kingdom Association of Accordion Teachers) are very lucky to have secured the contribution of top Jazz accordionist Simone Zanchini at their first ever accordion teachers’ workshop to be held at the Royal Academy of Music on February 7th 2016.  Zanchini made an incredible impact on UK audiences when he played at the London Accordion Festival in 2001 along with the saxophone ensemble Hallo Mr. Sax.  It was here that Zanchini first delighted the late great Frank Marocco which led to a wonderful collaborative album called Be-Bop Buffet.

Considered one of the most interesting and innovative accordion player on the international scene, his research moves between the boundaries of contemporary music, acoustic and electronic sound experimentation, mixing together experiences and super-refined influences issuing in an absolutely personal approach to improvisation materials. Eclectic musician, performs an intense concert activity with groups of diverse musical backgrounds (improvisation, contemporary music, jazz, classical). Graduated with honors in classical accordion at the Conservatory G. Rossini in Pesaro, under Maestro Sergio Scappini.

He has performed in several Festivals in Italy (Clusone Jazz, Umbria Jazz, Tivoli Jazz, Jazz in the Time-Berchidda, Sant’Anna Arresi, Barga Jazz, Mara Jazz, Jazz-in’it, Ravenna Festival, Rossini Opera Festival, Siena Jazz, Roccella Jonica etc.) and in the mainly international Festivals (France, Austria, Germany, England, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Spain, England, Norway, Russia, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Venezuela, Japan, etc.).

He has collaborated with many internationally renowned musicians from different musical backgrounds such as: Thomas Clausen, Gianluigi Trovesi, Javier Girotto, Marco Tamburini, Massimo Manzi, Tamara Obrovac, Krunoslav Levacic, Vasko Atanasovski, Paul Fresu, Antonello Salis, Han Bennink, Art Van Damme, Bruno Tommaso, Ettore Fioravanti, Mario Marzi, Michele Rabbia, Andrea Dulbecco, Giovanni Tommaso, Gabriele Mirabassi, Frank Marocco, Bill Evans, Adam Nussbaum, Jim Black. Since 1999 he also collaborates with the Soloists of the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala in Milanand has toured regularly with this ensemble.

Aside from musical performances and reasearch, Zanchini also leads accordion’s workshops and collective impro.

His collaboration with Marocco Be-bop Buffet came in 2006 (Wide Sound) and was a model of Bebop language expressed through the accordion. In 2009 Better Alone…! (Silta Records) a solo project where prove all tone colours of his instrument through the use of a particular midi accordion, live electronics and laptop, in the same year he published also Fuga per Art Jazz 5et (DodiciLune Records), the unique tribute work of Zanchini, a tribute to his great Master and one of the greatest exponents of the jazz accordion: Art Van Damme.

In 2010 he published a new Project with Ratko Zjaca (guitar), Martin Gjakonovski (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums): The Way We Talk (In + Out Records).

In May 2012 the latest Zanchini project was released: MY ACCORDION’S CONCEPT (Silta Records) a project built up on radical improvisation with the acoustic accordion and live electronics, a brave attempt to subvert the common code of expression through the accordion. In December 2012 he recorded a new album with the ZZ Quartet (Zjaca, Zanchini, Nussbaum, Gjakonovski).

His workshop will help and encourage teachers towards teaching the basis of jazz improvisation.  Accordion teachers are often asked to teach jazz to students and a UKAAT survey showed this to be one of the most popular areas that teachers wanted to extend their skills in. The workshop will help teachers give their students the best possible start towards this.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their accordions as much can be learned through trying things out without fear of being judged.

The jazz theme will be extended further with an insight into Jazz using free bass by the UK’s own Karen Street. No need to be a member to attend.  All accordion teachers and accordionists welcome.  Please see link to purchase ticket below.

(See also general information on the 7th February)

Click here for tickets

UKAAT – Accordion teachers’ workshop – Royal Academy of Music – 7th February 2016


UKAAT (United Kingdom Association of Accordion Teachers) are proud to announce their first workshop for accordion teachers. After an initial meeting over 2 years ago of 40 teachers from all over the UK those present were surveyed and asked what they would most like to explore as part of their own professional development as accordion teachers.  This first workshop will try to cover a number of the most voted-for subjects in an all-day event at The Royal Academy of Music, London.  It is hoped that this event will prove popular enough with teachers to enable UKAAT to cover its costs and make enough money to hold similar events in the future in different parts of the country as originally intended.  UKAAT is starting this, its launch event, with zero funds in the kitty but with a lot of good will from its executive committee.  It is hoped that all those who registered their email addresses with the UKAAT secretary and on the UKAAT Facebook page will do their best to attend the event.  For little more than the cost of the average one hour accordion lesson UKAAT are offering all that is listed below including a special guest jazz workshop and concert by Simone Zanchini.  The workshop day will run between 10am and 7pm and a more detail programme of events will be finalised nearer the date.  In the meantime please book your ticket as soon as possible as there are limited places. Please feel free to bring along your accordion.


Royal Academy of Music, London


Sunday February 7th 2016. 10.00 till 19.00

Skills and Topics covered:

(With contributions by Prof. Owen Murray, Romano Viazzani and Ian Watson)

Owen Murray
Owen Murray
ian watson
Ian Watson
Romano Viazzani & David Vaughan
Romano Viazzani





Teaching basic skills to your student

Teaching Free Bass and de-mystifying other button systems

Jazz Workshop with Simone Zanchini

Simone Zanchini
Simone Zanchini





Jazz Workshop with Karen Street

Karen Street
Karen Street






Short Concerts given by:

The students of the Royal Academy of Music

Simone Zanchini

Ticket Price:


Accordionist Karen Street’s Ensemble Streetworks launch new album – Unfurled

Unfurled-CD-Karen Street

Karen Street is a musician who always commands the greatest of respect.  She is an immensely able and talented accordionist, always tasteful and imaginative and whose music is always relevant to life.  She is one of the few accordionists who predominately use free bass in jazz.

Streetworks, her ensemble, have just released their latest album entitled Unfurled.  It is a in her own words contemplative album and reflects her time of life. Youth and excitement is far away, there is a sense of loss with children moving away, parents dying or succumbing to dementia, a sadness which is very present at the moment but which will I hope take more of a back seat as time passes, indicated in the more optimistic tracks.

She aims to communicate with an audience on an emotional level rather than achieving any wow factor. She is very comfortable with the people she plays with and performs at her best.

“I think I have found in the players in STREETWORKS a great sound and good level of communication. I think jazz mirrors your personality – I can be very shy but with moments of recklessness, sounds like a title for the next album! I think I also have a lot of anger against the injustices of the world and I would dearly like to find a way of expressing this through my music.” says Karen

She is as ever, absolutely right. Good music is always relevant and reflective of life and the world in which we live in today has plenty to reflect on.  So you can take this album as a purely entertainment album but scratch a bit deeper and there is lots of substance and depth to the music that goes beyond its technical or harmonic aspects.  The album is receiving rave reviews and deserves to do well. Here are a few to help press “Buy Now”




CD review by Jon Turney – http://www.londonjazznews.com/2015/03/cd-review-streetworks-unfurled.html

A top-class instrumental foursome playing continental jazz with ethnic influences. Accordion player Karen Street’s fluid arrangements create a set full of quirky charm.

The Musician summer 2015


Peter Bacon – thejazzbreakfast.com

Streetworks – Unfurled ATKS1501

Streetworks is a drummer-less quartet from the South-West led by accordionist Karen Street with Andy Tweed on various saxophones, Mike Outram on guitar and Will Harris on bass.

Originally from Burton-on-Trent, Karen was a champion accordionist at an early age and has brought her virtuoso technique on the instrument to high-standard projects from folk to jazz to contemporary classical.

This band plays all original compositions in a lyrical modern jazz style which, inevitably given the connotations the listener brings to the lead instrument, has folk overtones, but also adds some tango spice too.

The title track, which opens the album, is something of a laying out of the stall, a perky piece introduced by solo accordion and featuring solos from Tweed on soprano and Street on accordion which illustrate how they improvise jazz with very few of the cliches normally associated with the genre. Outram and Harris lock in well in strong support.

Dancer has the swirl of the skirt about it and a little tango heat, or rather warmth: these are English players, after all, and so more restrained than their Argentine counterparts. Ode shows the harmonic riches that Street can summon from the keys and air of her instrument, and Tantrum has a folk dance feel which then opens out harmonically with a classy solo from Outram, ending up in the disruptive, discordant behaviour – especially from Tweed – of its title before order is finally restored. No.255 is a gorgeous reworking of a hymn tune.

All four are fine improvisers and have generous solo space, but it is the leader’s writing and arrangements together with the group sound and the highly sensitive interaction between the players that adds a whole bowl of cherries on the top of this already juicy West Country summer pudding in sound.