2018-09-16: Accordion Noir Fest XI – Wrap party!

I know, I know — every day is a party with an accordion in the house. But the time eventually comes for this free-reed celebration to leave the crowds of hundreds and move to the kitchen, to delight no more than a dozen or so family members and neighbours at a time. Happily, that time will not yet be quite upon us until the 17th! In the meantime, we reconvene with old friends and new for one last time to bring our spirits gently back down to the real world after two days in the accordion heavens, preparing ourselves emotionally for another twelve months of having to settle for weekly radio updates, monthly get-togethers and such meagre local accordion concerts as are produced by other organizations.  In the meantime, let’s go out on a high note!


Illiteratty ( are a wild crew of metafolk musicians who have gone out into the wide world of music and returned to make delicious sonic stew with only the very best ingredients they have found in every other genre they encountered. (With such a selective and severe mandate, it’s no surprise that the accordion has floated to the top!)

A Cavalcade of Salmon Avalanche: Over the past six years, the tireless Katheryn Petersen ( has done everything for this festival except play music — which was really burying the lede, since as VCC’s first graduate in accordion studies, she has a mighty backlog of magnificent musical wisdoms just lying in wait for the opportunity to drop on us! We felt that flipping that equation on its head would be a more fair way to go about things this year, acknowledging and celebrating her long contributions to our festival by devoting a healthy slice of stage time to her and her selection of choice musical collaborators, from Teapot in the Tuba to Lindy Gray.

You will no doubt remember Basilissa ( from their set at this summer’s Accordion Noir stage at Car-Free Main Street — or if not there, surely their stint at the Jazz festival left an impression! Either way, we are thrilled to once again have an opportunity to share with you the bittersweet fado-infused musical stylings of this Portuguese ensemble.

From Alberta to France to Sweden to Spain and now back to BC again, the peregrinations of Wendy McNeill ( mirror in a way the travels of the accordion itself, picking up strange and delightful new tricks and inflections with every new territory it passed through. She has a new album you may not have heard yet, “Hunger Made You Brave”, and hopefully this festival appearance will set that omission straight.

All three nights of the 11th Annual Accordion Noir Festival take place at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac St. at Victoria, Vancouver, BC V5L 2E2). Doors open at 8 pm. Admission is $20 at the door or you can purchase advance tickets online, as indicated below:



2018-09-15: Accordion Noir Fest XI – Dance party!

In keeping with a venerable Accordion Noir Festival tradition, Saturday night will officially be building to a raging dance party, featuring four bands from very different walks with at least one free-reed thing in common.


Tsunami Piñata ( hails from the wilds of Washington’s Pacific Northwest, echoing the geographical collision of the forests meeting the coast with the sound of the banjo meeting the accordion, playing from a consciously and conspicuously varied repertoire of world musics.

Portland, Oregon’s Dogtooth & Nail ( exemplify one more of the varied textures of Cascadian accordion-banjo duos, with driving bluesy political folk tunes about environmentalism, feminism, anti-capitalism and creating change.

Queercoastal indie folk-rock with an intersectional angle, The Argyle Embargo ( is working toward a more inclusive and equitable world with authentic storytelling, progressive pop sensibilities… and an accordion.

Cultural trends come and go in cycles, and we have good news: nearly 60 years after the polka craze was driven deep underground into thrift store record bins, the odometer has somehow ticked over and suddenly Polka Time! ( is the hottest dance ticket in town. There’s no point in arguing, just shut up and bring your dancing shoes.

All three nights of the 11th Annual Accordion Noir Festival take place at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac St. at Victoria, Vancouver, BC V5L 2E2). Doors open at 8 pm. Admission is $20 at the door or you can purchase advance tickets online, as indicated below:

2018-09-14: Accordion Noir Festival 11 Opening Night — the Classics! with Geoff Berner, Jason Webley, Amy Denio and Cindy Emch

They said it couldn’t be done, but we mounted an alt-accordion festival anyway.  And then… we kept on re-mounting it every year.  Here we are at year eleven, revisiting the well at our opening night to pay homage to some of the great artists whose momentum helped to squeeze us this far over the past decade:


Roaring out of the gate with a slate of festival luminary deep cuts from Accordion Noir’s distant past, rediscover why you fell in love with the bent, circus-like sounds of noir accordion all over again!

Singer/author Geoff Berner (, klezmer rebel and the patron Saint of the Accordion Noir movement has been involved in just about every year’s edition of our festival, showing an entire generation of accordion punks that another, less bubbly, world is possible.

Legendary busker-king Jason Webley ( returns to our festival for the first time since its second instalment, prepared to howl like a werewolf biting Tom Waits, spin yarns like a Russian sailor and break your heart like a forgotten dream.

“Unclassifiable” avant-garde composer Amy Denio (, the only performer we’ve hosted to have worked with KMFDM, Chuck D AND Pauline Oliveros, is back at the Accordion Noir Festival at long last… as we’ve finally just about recovered from her appearance at our inaugural year back in 2008.

Inspired by 1920s cabaret music, murder ballads and Leonard Cohen, opener Emchy ( has been keeping the squeeze dark and alt for over a decade through her projects (list heavily abbreviated) Rhubarb Whiskey, Vagabondage and the Oakland Wine Drinkers Union, Local 88.

All three nights of the 11th Annual Accordion Noir Festival take place at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac St. at Victoria, Vancouver, BC V5L 2E2). Doors open at 8 pm. Admission is $20 at the door or you can purchase advance tickets online, as indicated below:


September 12-16, 2018: the 11th annual Accordion Noir Festival

Greetings!  You have somehow found your way to our old website.  This is better than it sounds, because in the meantime, like some strange tropical flower, our new website has since sprouted, bloomed into a glorious bilingual blossom, and then withered away, all without leaving a trace here.  But this is just to tell you all, old friends and new visitors inspired by our stages at the Car-Free Main Street Festival and our other regular projects, that despite having temporarily disappeared from the web during an administrative changeover, we are back in the saddle and committed to providing the world with the grandest little alt-accordion festival this side of Cotati.

So set those dates aside — September 12-16, 2018, especially the weekend.  We’ll be bringing old friends and new back to bring accordion music — moody, melancholic and monstrous at times — to the people, at farmers’ markets, in the streets, at art openings, and specifically to the WISE Hall at 1882 Adanac Street (at Victoria Drive.)  The founding luminary and patron saint of the Accordion Noir empire, Geoff Berner, will be headlining, bringing along with him busker-king Jason Webley, Frankenstein of the Monsters of Accordion, last seen on our stage headlining the second year of our festival.

That is only the icing on the cake.  We have so much cake to tell you about, and we have only been waiting to wrap up the business with our Car-Free Main stage to set about finalizing its recipe.  With that now behind us, we look forward to sharing regular announcements here about the improbable acts we look forward to astounding you with in September and beyond.  And if you just can’t bear the idea that we might share updates here without your being first to find out, please feel free to subscribe to our monthly e-mail list or follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).  We’re boldly plunging forward!


Noir Potion #9, the love tonic that cures accordion haters, will be available for a limited run at the upcoming festival, Sept 8-11, 2016. It can be applied as a perfume or imbided as a drink and promises to not only rid you of any residual doubts about your relationship to the squeezbox but futher promises to transport you into a squeezenotic love trance of intensely pleasurable proportions. We can’t give away all of our secrets just yet, but here is a sample of one of the spicy ingredients in this year’s mix.

Pinata Protest 2San Antonio based Piñata Protest is hailed by NPR ALT Latino as “brilliant” and “mind blowing”, and by the LA Times as “festively energetic”. This bilingual band brings shredding lead accordion to a mix of old school punk rock and traditional Latin border music which they have christened mojano punk.

More announcements soon.



Accordion Noir Society Annual General Meeting
February 13th, 4:00-5:30pm
Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay Street, Vancouver
Artistic Director’s Report
Presentation of the 2015-2016 Financials
Election of Board of Directors
Proposal of bylaw addendum to allow board to vote by email on time sensitive issues
Proposal for adoption of a youth engagement safety policy
Proposal for a clarified new member process and policy
If you wish to attend this meeting and/or add any items for the agenda please make advance contact with Katheryn at


_DSC4547The 9th Annual Accordion Noir Festival is slated for Sept 8-11, 2016. We encourage artists and community members to contact us about their work or favorite artists.

We are currently fundraising for headliner artist travel for the 2016 Festival at the Accordion Noir Aeroplan Charitable Points Pooling Account. We are looking to bring a few very special artists from overseas this coming year and need your help. Just so you know, until Feb. 28th, 2016 there is a very generous points welcome offer available through TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. The card has no annual fee for the first year and you stand to gain 20,000 points. That would give you more than enough to keep some for yourself, make a healthy donation to our Pooling account and become a rock start VIP guest at our next festival. For more information contact Katheryn at