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Accordion music offers brighter future to Nunavik teen

May 13, 2011

[We should try to get this young-man, or others from the Nunavut tradition, to play at our Accordion Noir festival one of these years. — Bruce ]

NUNATSIAQ NEWS: Nunavik May 11, 2011 – 10:58 pm

Accordion music offers brighter future to Nunavik teen

“It’s a real passion”


Elijah Annanack, a 15-year-old accordion player from Kangiqsualujjuaq, will travel to Germany to visit the factory where his instrument was first made. (PHOTO BY PASCAL POULIN)

Elijah Annanack managed to keep his talent a secret for awhile.

But more than a year ago, his teacher noticed the Kangiqsualujjuaq student using a search engine on a school computer to look up the words “Hohner”: Hohner is a German maker of musical instruments and Annanack liked to look at their accordions.

The teacher, Carrie Powers, then asked Annanack if he hoped to buy one.

Powers said she was “surprised” when the 15-year-old brought in a Hohner accordion and played it in her classroom.

“I couldn’t believe how good he was,” said Powers, who has taught at Ulluriaq School since 2007. “And he taught himself to play.”

A self-trained musician, Annanack can play a reel on his accordion with confidence, showing a love for the rhythm and movement of the traditional Irish and Scottish tunes many Inuit musicians play today.

Get the rest of this cool story:

More on the Inuit accordion tradition up North (awesome journal article, nice guy):

Inuit Accordion Music – A Better Kept Secret, by Jim Hiscott
Bulletin de musique folklorique canadienne 34.1/2 (2000)

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