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Canadian Artists from Diverse Backgrounds

Many accordionists from diverse backgrounds have settled in Canada, expanding the musical horizons of their host country. The Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon has had the great pleasure of hosting Joaquin Diaz, Sasha Luminsky and Marin Nasturica. All three artists enchanted audiences eager for musical discovery by sharing their vast musical repertoires.

Joaquin Diaz

Colour photograph of Joaquin Diaz holding his diatonic accordion as he plays outdoors on a lovely sunny day.

Joaquin Diaz at the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon in 1994

An accordionist known for his flamboyant style, Joaquin Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic. After playing in the streets as a child, he travelled to Santo Domingo to perform in high-end hotels as a teen. In 1979, he had the opportunity to perform with a national folk dance troupe at the Pan American Games. He immigrated to Quebec in 1990. Playing traditional Dominican music, he quickly found a place on the Montreal scene, while also performing across Quebec and beyond. Joaquin Diaz introduces audiences to all the original sounds associated with his sunny style of music. As listeners allow themselves to be carried away by the rhythmic beats of the merengue or the salsa, they become immersed into a world of celebration.

Joaquin Diaz, Cebollin y Ajo- To know more

Colour photograph of Martin Van De Ven and Alex Sasha Luminsky.

Martin Van Der Ven and Alex Sasha Luminsky at the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon in 1998

Alex Sasha Luminsky

Alex Sasha Luminsky is an accordionist with Ukrainian roots. He spent his childhood in Moldova, where he started studying music in Bender. He played the tuba while serving in the Soviet army, and finished his studies as a conductor at Russia’s State Institute of Art & Culture in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1985. He immigrated to Canada in 1992 and immediately began performing with the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band and the Chutzpah Band, taking the opportunity to play the traditional Eastern European music of his childhood. He played the festival in 1998, sharing his knowledge of his native region’s music.

Marin Nasturica

Originally from Romania and now living in Quebec, accordionist Marin Nasturica began appearing on Romanian television at the age of 10. He learned to play the “squeezebox” from his teachers Gicu Cofler and Costel Stingacio, and had the opportunity to perform for presidents Richard Nixon and Charles de Gaulle.

Marin Nasturica— (captions available in both FR and EN) View the video with a description

After travelling around the world, he decided to settle in Canada in order to achieve his dream of playing with a symphony orchestra. This dream became a reality in 1986, when he performed with Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain. In addition to classical training, Marin Nasturica has a strong background in jazz, having recorded several jazz albums. He played at the inaugural Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon in 1989.