A Roland is Born in Acquaviva Picena
a brief overview of my visit to the Roland Headquarters in Italy - July 7, 2008
by Kevin Friedrich
Acquaviva Picena, Italy
roland factory
During my recent visit to the Roland Headquarters in Europe where I met with top Roland officials including the President of Roland Europe and the heads of the V-Accordion and Marketing divisions, I was able to visit the Roland production line from beginning to end, for this exciting new family of instruments.

Located in Acquaviva Picena, Italy, about 45 minutes south of the accordion capital of Castelfidardo, this Roland plant is the only place in the world where the Roland accordions are produced. Nestled in amongst the small mountains, adjacent to the sea on the spectacular Italian Adriatic coastline, the Roland Headquarters spans the equivalent of approximately five city blocks.

With an ever expanding family of instruments, the Roland instrument commercial production began in 2004 with the first instrument, the dream of Luigi Bruti, a top level Roland employee, and also an accordionist at heart, who worked hard for many years to see the dream of a digital accordion produced by Roland realized. The instrument developed quickly, and today great strides are being taken by Roland to promote the popularity of the accordion, with a highly successful pilot program "Roland Schools" where the instruments are taught in the public school system.
Production Begins
The frames gradually take shape as they are assembled and painted in the three distinctive Roland colors
The button keys are attached to the keyboard frame
The Roland instrument takes shape
Extreme Testing
Strict quality control is enforced. Here the testing subjects
the electronics to the equivalent of one million key strokes
Above left: The instruments are baked to almost 60 degrees C, and frozen to -30 degrees C. In addition they are subjected to approximately 90% humidity for three days! This ensures the Roland will be playable anywhere from the Antarctic or North Pole to the Equator and everywhere in between!

Above right: the electronics are also subjected to computer testing to make sure all systems are functioning correctly.
The Roland family
The Early Days
Roland V-Accordion

mock up for speaker box trail

September 2002
Roland V-Accordion

working sample with rough wooden cabinet

February 2003
Roland V-Accordion

working sample with wooden celluloid cabinet

March 2003
Roland V-Accordion

working sample with plastic cabinet

September 2003
The man behind Roland, Mr. Kakehashi, pictured with the new Roland instrument
The Roland display at the Museo Internazionale della Fisarmonica (Accordion Museum)
in Castelfidardo, Italy
The Roland Team
The Roland Engineering Development Team

pictured from left to right are: Guest Harley Jones (Accordions Worldwide Director and CIA Public Relations Manager), Guest Kevin Friedrich (CIA President), Marco Cinaglia (Marketing Division), Marco Latini , Diego Ferraivolo, Luigi Ferrari, Roberto Gaetani, Tonino Sanguigni, Paolo Biagiola, Daniele Verdecchia, Enrico Coló, Luigi Bruti (Director V-Accordion and Marketing Divisions) and Akira Hanechi (President of Roland Europe)
Kevin Friedrich (CIA President), Akira Hanechi (President of Roland Europe), Luigi Bruti (Director V-Accordion and Marketing Divisions), Marco Cinaglia (Marketing Division) and Harley Jones (Accordions Worldwide Director and CIA Public Relations Manager)
The Future
The United States will see its first Roland V-Accordion Festival Competition in September, to be held In conjunction with the 2nd Roland International V-Accordion Festival in Italy. The US Competition will be held Saturday, September 20, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA at Roland USA Headquarters. The lucky winner will win a trip to Rome, Italy to perform in the 2nd Roland International Accordion Festival held in November 7 & 8, 2008.

As the pilot program of Roland in the Schools develops, so does a wonderful method book and other support materials.

While at the Roland headquarters, we were able to be the first to enjoy a preview of the newest member of the Roland family which will be unveiled at the Salon de la Musique et du Son from the 12 - 15 September 2008 in Paris at the Paris Expo.

.... stay tuned for this exciting addition to the Roland family!