Hello out there,
I hope that you're surviving this wet and turbulent weather. I've been quite busy (I don't know why I always think that the start of the year will be anything else) and I've been listening to some great music from Denmark and Scandinavia (Kristine Heeboll's fiddle CDs, Dreamers Circus, 'Old Man's Kitchen' by Peter Rosendal and Duolog who are Jens Krogholt (double bass) & Torben Sminge (trumpet). See
. . . plus the lovely guitarist / singer Morten Alfred Hoirup has been getting me to tune in to


a 24-hour radio show now live which highlights (but not exclusively) the best in Danish and Scandinavian music.
I've also fallen completely in love with the CD 'ALMA' by the Fado singer Carminho, driving everyone within a 10 mile radius completely crackers with my very wonky renditions of her melodies - and the arrangements are sooooo beautiful and romantic. My dear friend and photographer who is based in Ingolstadt, Christian Wurm, introduced me to her music last summer. Maybe I've been getting into tango too much after Michael Burns sent me a Carlos Gardel package but I really love the heart-on-her-sleeve singing which I seem to hear so little of these days on our islands. . .
What with Carminho and Roberta Flack, I have been in musical heaven last weekend.
And congratulations to Sally Barker for her brilliant performance on 'The Voice'
January was, for me, mostly about moving. I'm still on the Isle of Wight but am delighted to be now based at East Dene in Bonchurch (which is a stone's throw from Ventnor), currently as Artist in Residence. This has helped a number of ideas to begin to take seed, including a very curious project involving several of my favourite contemporary art and craftists, such as Clare Satow whose work includes hand printed (and beautifully designed) tea towels (which you'll find a limited edition of on my website soon). Here's a snippet of her textiles:


She is based in the North East and I'm discussing collaborative ideas with her and others such as Penny Walford (whose work you may have seen here last autumn), John Neilson (calligrapher and stone carver), Mark Hickman (luthier and singer/guitarist) and Paul Sivell (tree carver). Quite a chimaera!
I'm really honoured to now be involved with East Dene on a packed programme of ideas, the first of which is that I'm hosting a talk on the History of the Accordion :
A bellow's-breath-tour-guide-accordion-to KT on Saturday 1st March at 7pm in the Coach House at East Dene, followed by A Creative Accordion Day there on Sunday 2nd March from 10.30am - 5pm.
They are open to everyone, (all accordion systems) whether you are looking to improve on all aspects of your playing or just curious about the instrument.
On the Sunday, bring a recording device, a pen / pencil and notepaper (and an accordion if you have one) plus a music stand.
Sunday's schedule is as follows:
10.30am Registration and welcome
10.45am - 12 noon :
Session 1 - The Accordion : Why? Looking at better practising / playing and performance techniques.
12 Noon - 12.15pm : Coffee
12.15pm - 1.30pm :
Session 2 : TANGO!. . .style, performance and getting started.
1.30pm - 2.15pm : Lunch
2.15pm - 3.30pm :
Session 3 : Irish and Scottish folk music - what's the stylistic differences and how do you play them?
3.30pm : Tea
3.45pm - 5pm : Session 4 : A Eurostar hop around the musics of Central France, Paris Mussette and Brittany.
Creative Accordion Day Places are £30 for the day (including lunch) or half day places are £20 (lunch excluded).
Tickets for the 'Bellow's-breath-tour-accordion-to KT' are £5.
You will be able to book online by Friday at www.karentweed.com or sooner by emailing me:
Tel : 07522 606871
Bed and breakfast accommodation on site is also available from East Dene by calling Julie on 01983 852374 / julie@eastdene-iw.co.uk


I'm also re-starting my monthly teaching days at Droitwich from Thursday 13th and Friday 14th February. This is the only planned 1:1 regular teaching I shall be doing this year, unless you can come for a lesson on the Isle of Wight. Otherwise, I'm doing skype lessons. For more details see :
I hope you all enjoyed Burns Night, the anniversary of the patenting of the Piano Accordion and anything else you have been celebrating; I have been interested in reading about the healthy effects that seaweed has :
and Sue B sent me this video which made me grin :
This July, I've been asked to be a tutor at the Meitheal Summer School in Ireland and also to lead the orchestral suite. I'm writing / arranging a piece called 'The Caroline Suite' dedicated to the late Caroline Fegan (nee Judge) who died in November. Meitheal's director is Garry Shannon (a great flute player) who, along with Ernestine Healy and a very hardworking crew have created one of Europe's finest workshop weeks for young people.
See http://www.tradweek.com/
for more details.
 There is also a commemorative concert-ceili-traditional session for Caroline on Friday 25th April featuring Four Men & A Dog, Sioda, Alana Henderson, Oscail, Colmcilles Ceili Band and The Allset Ceili Band.
It starts at 7.30pm at the Miller Suite, Canal Court Hotel in Newry. All proceeds to the South Area Hospice.
Tickets are £10 from Cormac Fegan +44 28 3085 1213 / +44 77348 78413.
Facebook : Carolineconcert
Should be a fantastic night!
I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Nic Zuppardi who made the original designs for my latest website (www.karentweed.com), Thomas McElvogue who has been carefully installing the updates and Andrew Rothery who began and maintains my teaching website (www.learningaccordion.com).
Their constant support, kindness, patience and superb work over the last year has been truly amazing.
I'd also like to thank Jim Soars and Bernie Dennis for all their help with PR and can't recommend their services enough.
If you'd like to contact them, their details are:
Nic Zuppardi (website design) niczuppardi@gmail.com
Bernie Dennis (PR) bernie@naturalvoice.net
Jim Soars (PR)  james@jameshsoars.com
VFringe (Ventnor Fringe) is already starting programming and I've been told that there are plans afoot to bring Rod Clements down for a concert and a slide guitar workshop as part of the festivities on 13/14th August. If you are interested in the workshop check out
for what Rod's workshops entail and for more information about this event, please email Vic King :
Lastly, I am delighted to announce that so far, I've raised £126.83 for Lisa Warburton and £23.88 for KissyPuppy  - more Brading ceilidhs and fundraising events are in the pipeline. Many sincere thanks to all who are helping to make things happen in this neck of the woods!
Have a fabulous February,
KT dates:
SAT 1ST MARCH : A bellow's-breath-tour-guide-accordion-to Karen Tweed at 7pm in the Coach House at EAST DENE, BONCHURCH, NR VENTNOR. ISLE OF WIGHT PO38 1RQ
Tickets : £5 and are available from 07522 606871.
10.30am - 5.30pm
Places are £30 for the day (including lunch) or half day places are £20 (lunch excluded).
You can book online at www.karentweed.com or by emailing me:
Tel : 07522 606871
Bed and breakfast accommodation is available from East Dene by calling Julie on 01983 852374 / julie@eastdene-iw.co.uk
THURS 10TH – FRI 11TH  APRIL :  KAREN TWEED TEACHING IN DROITWICH http://www.allnatt.co.uk/east_dene.htm
1. Ian Bascombe of ULFM Radio would like to hear from any musicians / bands who would like to get their CD on his awaard-winning radio show in Ireland.
Contact :  ianbascombe@gmail.com
2. The Arts Barge Project up in York that I played for some years ago sent an update recently to Lorraine, my agent. A great and very worthwhile project - do look them up :
From: Christian Topman <cjtopman@icloud.com>
.. . . Just writing back to ask after Karen Tweed.  You may remember in 2011 organising for Karen to play on Yorks rented Arts Barge as part of a pilot project - the performance and workshop was fantastic and is remembered as one of the great nights of the project.  We all would be delighted to welcome Karen back to York one day.
The Arts Barge Project has moved on so much. We have purchased a barge, repaired and painted the hull.  We are now in the process of planning the mooring structures as well as the conversion and fit out.  The barge will house a 120 capacity venue amongst other things. Lots of energy is being put into ensuring the venue sounds fantastic - both in terms of designing for quality acoustics  and sound reinforcement technology.  We will be up and running spring 2015.
Thanks again for the update, please keep them coming.
Please send our love and best wishes to the fantastic KT!
Best wishes
Christian Topman
3. From Anne Watson at Traditional Music Making in Dursley :
Online Booking is now available for workshops / events.
Visit www.traditionalmusicmaking.org.uk
<http://www.traditionalmusicmaking.org.uk> for more information.
Anne Watson
Traditional Music Making
8 Jubilee Road
GL11 4ES
01453 519243
07766 447804
4. Daoiri Farrell runs a session every Friday night at 9.30pm in Sheary's, 1 Bangor Drive, Dublin, Ireland. Daoiri's a great singer / musician and the session is well worth a visit.
5. There is also a new Folk evening starting at the Hideaway Cafe in Shanklin, Isle of Wight on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. They are planning to start at 8pm and there is parking in St Boniface Cliff Rd, just off Arthurs Hill.
6. Ian Storror of JAZZatA (Bristol) has a fantastic schedule of events and was involved in helping to raise over £4,000 for Maggie Boyle at the Music For Maggie concert in Bristol on 17th January. Many thanks to everyone who made this event possible. For those of you who don't know Maggie, here is her message. We all wish her a speedy recovery :
A Message from Maggie
Dear Friends,
I write to say something about my health. I had to drop out of my November & December bookings, undergoing an operation on 5th November (for bowel cancer).
I wish to head off any alarm or upset about my condition by saying that I will be hopefully gigging as usual in 2014, while also working to restore my erstwhile perfect health!
I am happy, unbelievably well-supported by my family & friends, and as positive as you can imagine.
I will be very busy getting better, so please understand that I won’t be able to respond to all messages.
Looking forward to seeing you along the road soon.
Maggie xx
JazzATA Schedule:
Tues 25 Feb: Jarrod Dickenson (USA) ~ Acoustic/Americana
Sun 6 April: Jean Toussaint Quartet ~ Jazz
Sun 11 May: Frank Harrison Trio ~ Jazz
For full details on all upcoming gigs go to Jazz@ the Albert website at http://jazzata.com/
Ian Storror
Personal; 07766 741 417
e-mail:    storror.albertjazz@talk21.com<mailto:storror.albertjazz@talk2
7. The Horsley Dance calendar:
8. From Romano Viazzani :
This year's Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival will be the twelfth to include an Accordion Section, and since the first in 2003 the number of Accordion entries has fluctuated between 21 and 45.  However many, or however few, our "Accordion day" is always great fun and feels like one big party - everyone seems to know one another, or if they don't at the beginning they soon do, so most people come for the duration and listen to everyone else's performances (instead of just staying for their own, which happens a lot of the time in other sections of the Festival).
The Festival will be in June 2014, with the Accordion classes taking place on Sunday 15 June.  The Adjudicator will be Owen Murray, the well-known Professor of Accordions at the Royal Academy of Music and a very popular adjudicator.  Classes range from beginners up to Grade 8 - solos, duets, small groups and orchestras, all of whom can perform own choice pieces, Scottish/Irish Traditional, Jazz, Musette, Polka/Tango and own composition, and there are "entertainment" and non-competitive classes - so something for everybody.
Although the competitive element is played down there are two cups - one for the most outstanding solo or duet performance, and one for the highest mark gained in a performance by three or more players.  If you haven't entered our Festival (it has a reputation of being one of the friendliest festivals in the south east) before - or of course if you have - do please come next year!  The Syllabus and entry form will be available on the Festival's website www.sevenoaksthreeartsfestival.co.uk  or email candmholgate@btopenworld.com or telephone 01732 454448.
Also, the final instalment of my interview with Martynas Levickis is now on the strumenti e musica website http://www.strumentiemusica.com/en/accordion-en/martynas-levickis-n-1-in-the-classical-hit-parade-uk-2nd-part-2/
9. And from the London Irish Music scene. . .
 'Echoes of Erin' annual London Concert
8 p.m. Saturday 22nd February 2014
Haringey Irish Centre, Pretoria Rd., Tottenham, N17 8DX.
Come and see some of the stars of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann –
the equivalent of the World Championships of traditional Irish music, song and dance -
that took place in Derry in August.
The concert will be the last night of the week-long annual rousing Comhaltas tour of Britain.
The energy of these young performers from all four Provinces of Ireland will be enough to power London for the evening, no matter who wins England vs Ireland in the rugby that afternoon.
Tickets: Adults: £10; Under 18s and students: £5; Family: £30.
From: Pat Connolly 07957 364 516; Thomas Beaumont 07896 903 647; James McDonald at james.mcdonald.comhaltas@gmail.com
Cheques payable to ‘London & Southern Regional Board CCE’ please
Tuesday 25th February
Kris Drever & Éamonn Coyne
Bush Hall 310 Uxbridge Rd.
Venue phone: 020 8222 6955
For more details: www.eamonncoyne.com www.krisdrever.com
Friday 28th February
Paddy Keenan in concert at the London Irish Centre
More info to follow at www.londonirishcentre.org
Wednesday 2nd April 2014
Tim Edey in concert
The Green Note, Parkway, Camden Town NW1
Details here: http://www.greennote.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2296
17th May at The London Irish Centre in Camden Town : The Gaelic Voices Festival is now in its third year of celebrating the creativity and vibrancy of Gaelic languages and culture.
The festival invites singers and musicians from Scotland and Ireland to London each year
and is one of the rare opportunities for London audiences to hear the best of Gaelic song.
This year’s festival will be on the 17th of May in the London Irish Centre in Camden town and artists will include:
Iarla Ó Lionárd & Steve Cooney (Ireland) and Alasdair Roberts & Gillebride MacMillan (Scotland)
They will perform in a concert at 5pm and there will be masterclasses in singing and guitar accompaniment earlier in the afternoon.
Tickets for all events will be available soon from the London Irish Centre website, but in the meantime
The Gaelic Voices Festival is inviting you to do some singing yourself!
Details of the Gaelic Voices Singing competition are available on the poster and on the festival's Facebook page,
There's a category for singing Irish and Scottish songs in English and a category for singing any song
(including modern songs or new translations) in Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
Winners of each will get £100 and will be invited to perform at this year's festival.
But we really hope to hear lots of new voices so please get singing and upload your videos to the Facebook page
and spread the word to any other singers you know
TG4 series FÉILTE visits London for a feast of festive Irish music and song Watch the programme on RTE Player here:
Featuring CrossHarbour, The Long Notes, Noel Griffin and family and more …
10. From: Robert Huxtable
Subject: Fiddle Workshop
Hello All.
Tom Leary will be running a Fiddle Workshop on the Island on Saturday 15th March. The fee will be £25 and there will be an opportunity for some One-to-One tuition at the end.
Please pass the word and let me know if you are interested.
email : bobhuxtable@btinternet.com