Gary was invited by Former World Champion, Roman Jbanov to perform at the 30th “Ivan Malanin Accordion Festival” which celebrates the birthday of the famous late Siberian Composer. Gary was delighted to have been invited as one of his accordion hero’s (and now good friend!) Emy Dragoi was also on the bill. The other guests were “Trio Lopes” from Portugal (a highly Entertaining brother act) and Artur Blasco from Catalonia who is an expert on Traditional music of the area.
Unfortunately this recent trip didn’t start off too well and when Gary arrived at Glasgow Airport the Check in lady was not going to allow him to carry his Accordion onto the Plane! He then had to explain (and plead) with her that it was too fragile to go in the hold. Only after showing her a few newspaper articles about the trip and how he would have to tell the press that the trip was cancelled due to her, she relented.
Gary and Emy were asked to judge at several of the competitions during the festival and were stunned at the high standard of the playing! A 10 year old girl and a blind Boy blew them both away with their musicality and technique. Both were consequently invited to play at Emy and Gary’s concert on the closing night (which was a resounding success!). It was as a direct result of seeing the blind boy play that Gary was inspired to try and help the lad. Please see our previous story on this subject. Readers may be interested to know although a lot more is needed the total has now reached £1465 on the crowd funding appeal website.
Having arrived back at the airport at 4-30pm Gary headed straight out again to the Mauchline Accordion Club in Ayrshire to conduct ” the Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra”. They were very well received and many of the audience members commented on what a great variety of programme was played…then it was home for some well earned sleep!
We suspect Gary is one of, if not the busiest accordion player in the UK. If you have a story about your accordion work then let us know!