Describing Norway’s Stian Carstensen as an accordionist is a bit like calling Yehudi Menuhin a fiddle player.
He plays the button-accordion for sure, but he does so much more than that.
A multi-instrumentalist who is also a highly accomplished guitarist and flautist, Carstensen is an entertainer and musical mad-scientist whose combination of humour and virtuosity have earned him the description “the Norwegian Frank Zappa.”
Band leader of the legendary ‘Farmers Market’, a madcap outfit whose repertoire includes Balkan folk music, jazz standards and popular music, Stian Carstensen’s speed, dexterity, and fiery playing can leave the listener flabbergasted, and prompted one critic to question whether there was any piece in any style that this remarkable musical polymath couldn’t play.
In concert, foot tapping, head nodding, laughter, and open-mouthed wonder are commonplace. Carstensen is a performer widely regarded as amongst the best accordionists in the world, and is something of a national treasure in his native land.
“The press release says that he is amongst the best musicians in Europe. It is wrong. He is among the best in the world.” – BBC World Music Review