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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Mar-2018
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Titano Accordion Company


SAD NEWS: Stanley Darrow Passes Away
Editor's Note
New American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Website
Passing of Alexander Sevastian (1976-2018)
Joey Miskulin to headline World Accordion Day at AWAM in Superior, WI
Grayson Masefield Concert and Workshop in Spokane - USA
May 6th is World Accordion Day! What Are You Doing to Celebrate?
Accordion Yellow Pages/Events - Cyberspace
Michael Bridge has Two New Albums
Historic Guido Deiro Accordion Gifted to Cory Pesaturo by Deiro Jr.
ATAM Celebrates 56th New England Music Festival
Sergei Teleshev with Classic Klezmer Trio Release New CD

Gary Dahl eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server system

Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.

Women in the AAA through the Decades - Beverly Roberts Curnow
Kim and Dan Christian Perform at NAA
Video: In Memorium, Alexander Sevastian (1976 - 2018) - Canada
Emilio Magnotta Presents Workshop at Brooklyn Accordion Club
Debra Peters Will Perform at NAA Convention
Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Concert
Cody McSherry: Balkan Accordionist
Seattle Accordion Social on March 12
International Cabaret Night with Mark Stillman and Francine Roche
St. Patrick’s Day “Seisin” Hosted by CAA on March 25

Over 2,100 titles of eSheet music, sent to you by email, secure server bank online payment

Future events

2018 Toronto International Accordion Festival
Al Terzo Conducts Accordion Pops Orchestra in May
AAA Seminars July 27-29 in NYC
25th Anniversary of Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 21-24
Tango For Musicians at Reed College, Portland, Oregon June 17-24

The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by famous accordion repairer and tuner Thierry Benetoux


James O'Brien eSheet music, emailed to you, secure bank server

SAD NEWS: Stanley Darrow Passes Away

by Rita Barnea
Joanna and Stanley Darrow
Stanley DarrowWell known teacher and performer Stanley Darrow, an owner of Acme Accordion School, Haddon, New Jersey, long time ATG Board member, passed away on the evening of 13th March.

Picture above: Joanna and Stanley Darrow. News Editor Rob Howard writes:

"Stanley Darrow, one of America’s most devoted accordion luminaries, passed away on March 13th at the age of 83.

Stanley Darrow, from Camden, New Jersey, began playing the accordion at the age of 16. “My grandfather, who didn’t play himself, encouraged me and thought I would enjoy it,” he said. He studied at New York City College of Music, Combs College, PA, Neupauer Conservatory of Music, PA, and the Hohner Konservatorium in Trossigen, Germany, and enjoyed a lifetime of playing the accordion in concerts and teaching legions of children and adults at his studio.

In 1952 he founded the long established Acme Accordion School, Westmont, New Jersey, where thousands of children and adults of all ages studied the accordion with Stanley Darrow and Joanna Arnold.

Stanley Darrow was a member of the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey, the American Accordionists' Association (AAA), and was an active board member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG), and the American Accordion Musicological Society.

With his interest in contemporary accordion music, he was one of the earliest to release an all contemporary LP of all original accordion music in 1965.

He was founder-director of the Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra (1960), the Delaware Accordion Club, and also organized the annual King of Prussia festivals in Philadelphia, involving many accordionists, and was very well liked and respected by all who knew him.

Funeral arrangements:  visitation Friday, March 23rd from 7 to 9 PM at Jackson Funeral Home, 308 Haddon Ave., Haddon Township, NJ, and on Saturday from 10 to 11 AM, where his funeral service will follow at 11 AM. Interment Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill, NJ."

In lieu of flowers, contributions in the memory of Stanley may be made to American Accordion Musicological Society, 322 Haddon Avenue, Westmont, NJ 08108 or The Angels Community Outreach, 334 S. Broadway, Pitman, NJ 08071 or at

Picture below, Stanley Darow, Co-Director of the Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra and to his left, Joanna Arnold Darrow Co-Director.
Stanley Darrow, Westmont

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Editor Rita BarneaWelcome to the March 2018 USA news filled with articles and videos of the latest happenings in the accordion world. This month features reports on festivals, workshops, concerts, new CD’s, accordion personalities and more.

As always, please send comments and ideas for articles and your World Accordion Day events and articles to .


New American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Website

by Rita Barnea
AAA site header
AAA 80th Festival posterThe AAA website is an important informational resource for the AAA members and its many accordion interested viewers.

A substantial site design upgrade has now been completed to make a fresh, clean and contemporary site designed to very professionally present the AAA and the acccordion to the world.

The site features the latest coding standards and responsive designs suitable for all sizes of mobile phones, tablets through to wide screen monitors.

The site navigation has been updated and simplified for easy viewing and promotion of AAA events and projects. A Search function has been added to every page of the site, which will enable a user to find information based on keywords.

All pages of the site have been revamped and the proud AAA history is being expanded considerably in the build up to the 80th Anniversary Festival this July.

Please look for the latest information about the upcoming AAA 80th Anniversary Festival (poster right) and the 2018 AAA Masterclass and Concert Series on the new site.

The AAA would like to thank AAA Second Vice President Linda Soley Reed, AAA Historian Joan Grauman, Dan Grauman, and AWW Founder Harley Jones for all their work in completing this major project.

For further information, please email the AAA Office at

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Passing of Alexander Sevastian (1976-2018)

by Rob Howard
Alexander SevastianThe accordion world was shocked to learn of the sudden and untimely death on Friday February 16th of Alexander Sevastian, at the age of 41, who suffered a fatal heart attack in Ajijic, Mexico, a few hours before he was due to give a concert with the Quartetto Gelato.

Alexander Sevastian was born on October 2nd 1976 in Minsk, Belarus. He started playing the accordion at the age of seven. He studied at the Glinka Musical College in Minsk, the Gnessin Institute in Moscow in the class of Professor Friedrich Lips. In May 2002 he completed his post-graduate course in Moscow with Friedrich Lips, and also completed an Advanced Certificate in Performance program from the University of Toronto (class of Professor Joseph Macerollo).

In 1996 - 2001 he was a member of the Russian TV and Radio Orchestra, recording many TV and radio performances. He won various competitions, most notably the CIA Coupe Mondiale in Washington DC in 2007.

From April 2001, Alexander lived in Toronto, Canada. He joined the Toronto Woodwinds, an ensemble that was awarded the first prize at ‘The Golden Accordion International Competition’ in New York in December 2001. In September 2002 Alexander formed ‘Quartetto Gelato’, with whom he toured Canada and the USA.

He performed solo concerts in 30 Russian cities as well as concerts in Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Serbia, Portugal, Italy and Japan. He has given several premiere performances, including the works of Berinsky, Bronner, Korolchuk, Zelenski and Khondo. He also performed as solpist with orchestras such as the Hamilton Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, as well with orchestras in Victoria, Quebec City, Kelowna, Kamloops, Windsor, Edmonton, Charleston, Mississauga, Sioux City, and Nanaimo.

Alexander Sevastian was a much loved musician, a great ambassador for the accordion, and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Anna, a 14 year old son Vladimir and 4 year old daughter Maria.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Joey Miskulin to headline World Accordion Day at AWAM in Superior, WI

by Kevin Friedrich VP - A World of Accordions Museum
World Accordion Day, Willard Palmer FestivalA World of Accordions Museum in Superior, WI is excited to announce that renowned accordionist Joseph (Joey) M. Miskulin (picture right) from Nashville, TN, will headline the weekend's events for the annual Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival and World Accordion Day hosted at A World of Accordions Museum in Superior, WI on May 5 and 6, 2018.

To acknowledge the importance of the weekend's events, Superior's Mayor Jim Paine is proclaiming May 5, as Dr. Willard A. Palmer Day, and also proclaiming May 6, as World Accordion Day.

Joey is the first accordionist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His April 14, induction into the '"Nashville Cats” is the highest accolade given to a very select few recording session musicians. The award ceremony highlights the hundreds of albums he recorded with some of music's greatest names that to date result in over 100 million sold.

Joey is extolled nationally as accordionist, arranger, spontaneous improviser, studio musician, pedagogue and unequalled entertainer. In a music career spanning more than four decades, Joey has collaborated with a range of artists including Paul McCartney, John Denver, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Williams, Ricky Van Shelton, Emmylou Harris, Frankie Yankovic, Garth Brooks and many others. Although principally known as a superb performer, his talents extend to many production credits that include Disney/Pixar in Toy Story, and recently in Shanghai, China, where he spent two weeks working with the Walt Disney Company.

Miskulin toured the United States with Frankie Yankovic as his featured accordionist for six years, writing and arranging songs between performances. In the 1990s he joined Riders In The Sky, and with them is billed as "Joey the Cowpolka King" This wholesome Western style group brings smiles, laughter, and excellent musicianship to every audience.

Museum Curator Helmi Harrington, Ph. D. recounts in a personal note "I’ve known Joey for over 25 years and consider him one of the most accomplished and kindest gentlemen in the accordion world. Despite being supremely lauded in multiple categories, Joey remains a modest celebrity who redirects praise to include larger matters. As he says: “Being the first accordion player ever chosen humbles me, but is certainly a validation of our instrument, and our fellow players as musicians.”

In addition to Joey, the Palmer and World Accordion Day event will showcase the talents of and include the support of Carolyn Carver, Kevin Friedrich, Tracey Gibbens, Dee Langley, Dr. Michael Middleton, Willard A. Palmer III, John Scaffeo and Stanislav (Stas) Venglevski.

A World of Accordions Museum Curator Helmi Harrington is offering complimentary e-Newsletter mailings to those who would like to be kept up to date on this and other events held at the Museum. If you are interested in receiving the e-Newsletter which profiles the latest happenings and historical information on instruments, simply send your e-mail to Helmi Harrington at: and you will be added to the mailing list.

A World of Accordions Museum will live stream select parts of their World Accordion Day Festival on May 6, 2018. Included in the live stream will be the popular seminar on the History of the Accordion as narrated and presented by Helmi Harrington, Ph. D. You can access this coverage via the CIA World Accordion Day page.

For all other information, please visit

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

Grayson Masefield Concert and Workshop in Spokane - USA

by Patricia Bartell
Grayson Masefield poster concert
Grayson Masefield is performing at the "Able to Play Music Academy" in Spokane on the 23rd March, a concert advertised as "Classical and contemporary music by a master of the accordion."

On the 24th March, there will be a Masterclass Workshop, also at the "Able to Play Music Academy", 418E Pacific Ave, Spokane.

For further information, phone: (509) 998 5422

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

May 6th is World Accordion Day! What Are You Doing to Celebrate?

by Harley Jones
WAD LogoWhat are you doing for World Accordion Day to promote the accordion in your country? World Accordion day is on May 6th, which is the day the accordion was patented in 1829.

World Accordion Day was started in 2009 by the CIA and has been very successful, generating a lot of positive publicity for the accordion. A key part of this event is the World Accordion Day website.

Every association, group, orchestra, performer and teacher, is asked to actively support this event by encouraging national and local accordion activities to happen in their country on this day or the weekend either side of Accordion Day if that should be more convenient.

Everyone can register their World Accordion Day activity on the website and send a report of their event after, for that website.

No event is too big or too small. ALL accordion events celebrating World Accordion Day are welcome. This is a CIA promotion for the accordion in which every accordion enthusiast can participate and help bring our accordion world together as well as strongly promote the accordion.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Accordion Yellow Pages/Events - Cyberspace

by Rita Barnea
Yellow Pages Logo
All concert, competition and festival organizers are reminded to list their Future Events in our yellow pages website. Its free to list and you can do it yourself. You can also change and update your listing yourself as further information becomes available.

The accordion yellow pages Future Events calendar displays at the top right hand side of the Monthly News of in all 7 languages plus other popular sites such as the Weekly News and the Diatonic News.

Huge numbers of readers every year view the accordion yellow pages Future Events, so all accordion event organizers are urged to take full advantage of this free service to keep the accordion community informed.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Michael Bridge has Two New Albums

by Rita Barnea
Bridge CD
Michael BridgeTrioIt's New Album Time for Michael Bridge! Michael says, “It's New Album Time! My two most exciting pieces of news are that my trio's album, "Tales from the Dinarides" is now available for purchase and download, and I am about to launch my new solo album, “Overture”, upcoming in April.

"Tales from the Dinarides Folk Tales from Central Europe" Click here to preview on iTunes:

      Michael Bridge, accordion & piano
      Guillaume Tardif, violin
      Kornel Wolak, clarinet

We begin with two of Brahms' Hungarian Dances (Nos. 1 & 5), followed by the title track, written for us by Montreal-based composer Airat Ichmouratov, and generously commissioned with funds from the University of Alberta.

For the next tracks, Smetana's "Die Moldau" and Chopin's "Mazurka in Bb major," you may be surprised to hear me playing on piano instead, a rare event! We turn up heat with Lutosławski's "Five Dance Preludes", one of my favorite pieces to perform, and finish with a wild and furiously fast rendition of Brahms' "Rondo all Zingarese".

In other news, I’m writing to you from Victoria, BC, where I’m spending a week at UVic playing concerts on Vancouver Island, working with a few students, and practicing new repertoire with my duo. Coming up next, I am looking forward to tour of Atlantic Canada in March with Ladom Ensemble, with concerts in Moncton, Halifax, Mahone Bay, Antigonish, Pictou, and a hop over to Labrador for a show in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

I hope everyone is staying warm and positive!”

How to purchase "Tales from the Dinarides"
1. Please respond to this email for mail orders. We'll be happy to help you!
2. Download from iTunes - click here:

Future performances:
March 9, 2018 - Moncton NB
   Ladom Ensemble Atlantic Tour
   First Church of the Nazerene, 7:30 PM

March 10, 2018 - Halifax NS
   Ladom Ensemble Atlantic Tour
   Lilian Piercy Concert Hall (Conservatory of Music), 7:30 PM

March 11, 2018 - Mahone Bay NS
   Ladom Ensemble Atlantic Tour
   Cecilia’s Retreat, 4:30 PM

March 15, 2018 - Happy Valley-Goose Bay NL
   Ladom Ensemble Atlantic Tour
   Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre, 8:PM

March 17, 2018 - Antigonish NS
   Ladom Ensemble Atlantic Tour
   Immaculata Hall, St.FX, 8:PM

March 18, 2018 - Pictou NS
   Ladom Ensemble Atlantic Tour
   deCoste Centre, 7:PM

April 28, 2018 - Yoga Centre Toronto
   Double-Double Duo
   Fundraiser performance + Q & A
   Toronto ON

May 18, 2018 - Michael solo with Classical Context
   Heron Park Baptist Church, Scarborough
   Toronto ON

May 19, 2018 - Michael solo with Classical Context
   Canadian Music Centre
   Toronto ON

May 23, 2018 - Ladom Ensemble in Sarnia
   Sarnia, ON

June 2, 2018 - Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra
   Double-Double Duo
   Isabel Bader Theatre, University of Toronto, 7:30pm

June 6 and 7, 2018 - Soundstreams
   World Premiere of new work by James Rolfe (Title TBA)
   accordion and vocal quartet
   Staging by John Hess
   Crow’s Theatre , 7:30 PM
   Toronto ON

June 21-24, 2018 - Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration
  Performer and Jury Member
  Leavenworth, WA


Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Historic Guido Deiro Accordion Gifted to Cory Pesaturo by Deiro Jr.

by Rita Barnea
Cory with Guido Deiro Accordion
Cory PesaturoCory Pesaturo recently played on Liberace’s piano, Dick Contino’s accordion, and Guido Deiro’s accordion! That is amazing but not surprising for him because Cory Pesaturo travels and performs throughout the accordion/musical world creating musical happenings wherever he goes.

Cory explains, “Maybe the GREATEST HONOR of my Life. "My Father spent his life introducing & revolutionizing this instrument to the USA in 1909. You are the man leading this quest now. My father would want you to have this." said Count Guido Robert Deiro, who has gifted me the instrument which the Father of the Piano Accordion Guido Deiro played from 1936-1940. This in front of important historical figures of Las Vegas. There's so much to this story.”

Cory has been named as the "Concert Master" for the Saturday evening Concert on March 10, 2018 at the NAA Convention in Texas. He and Tom Jordan (Sound man and Ballroom coordinator) will share the MC job.

Cory will perform and offer workshops at the 31st Annual NAA Convention in Texas March 7-10, 2018:
* Workshop 1: Cory Does Lovello! "The musical techniques of Tony Lovello that details the many unique techniques Tony used as I went over in this video"
* Demonstration: Thursday, 4:30 PM Digital Studio

* Workshop 2: Authenticity of Styles:
"Just because you know a Frank Marocco arrangement does not mean you know a lick about Jazz. Just because you play Nunzio's version of “Under Paris Skies” does not mean you know anything about French music. Playing a style takes years to understand, let alone master. I will take you through 10+ genres, and dive into the details of each, using just one simple song as an example all the way through. The song will transform in groove, ornaments, tempo, key, touch, feel, and many other aspects as it is put through the paces of each genre. By the end, you will have an idea of how to identify certain details in a style, apply them to your playing, and hence, make yourself sound more authentic."

* Cory Pesaturo Concerts:
* Includes Electric Concerts OR an Acoustic concert as many have been asking me for the past year. This all depends on what the crowd would want from me. I'm extremely flexible as long as I can have fun.

Cory Pesaturo is an American musician from Cumberland, Rhode Island. Pesaturo is an accordion player, who also plays the piano, clarinet, and saxophone. He began playing at the age of nine, and in 2002, became the youngest person to win the National Accordion Championship.

He most recently won the 2011 Primus Ikaalinen World Championship and was the first ever American contestant. Additionally, Pesaturo won the Coupe Mondiale World Digital Accordion Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, and became the first American to win a World Accordion Championship since Peter Soave 25 years earlier. In June 2009, he won the Leavenworth International Championship, and International Jazz Championship.

Pesaturo performed in 5 different continents during 2009; some countries included Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Tunisia and Japan. Cory is one of only four accordionists in history to win a World Championship on both acoustic and electronic accordion, and also won a world championship in jazz.

The right photo is Cory Pesaturo and one of his modern electric accordions. This particular accordion has a full vinyl skin, and midi-sequenced LED's in the grill connected to the keys in a symmetric pattern. He was accepted on the accordion at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. where he studied Contemporary Improvisation and a variety of music styles, including Italian and French folk music, Bulgarian and Jewish music, Classical music and Jazz. He became the second person to major in and graduate as an accordionist at the New England Conservatory.

Photo above: Cory with Guido Deiro's accordion

For further information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

ATAM Celebrates 56th New England Music Festival

by Peggy Falcetti
Peggy FalcettiThe Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts , ATAM, will sponsor and celebrate their 56th New England Music Festival at the Boston Newton Marriott in Newton, MA. on April 6-8, 2018.

This year the Festival celebrate their 41st year at the Newton Marriott along with Peggy Falcetti celebrating her 41st year as chairperson.

The 3 day event includes music students from Connecticut, Massachusetts,New Hampshire and Rhode Island participating in accordion, bass guitar, drum, guitar, piano, violin and vocal categories. Students may compete in various solo, duet, ensemble, band, orchestra and battle of the band categories. Contestants who participate do so regardless of their ability, experience, or level. Over $5000.00 in cash awards and scholarships will be given out.

The Festival averages more than 2500 entries. All events are free and open to the public.

President , Jay Latulippe from NH, is happy to announce that the ATAM will recognize Kevin Friedrich, Internationally famous accordionist, concert artist, educator and adjudicator. The award will be presented at the Saturday evening annual awards banquet. This is a well deserved honor.

For further information:

Jon Hammond CD's for Sale

Sergei Teleshev with Classic Klezmer Trio Release New CD

by Rita Barnea
Classic Klezmer Trio
The Classic Klezmer Trio has recently released their new CD. The musicians in the group are: Sergei Teleshev , accordionist ,Semmy Stahlhammer, violin and Isabel Blommé, cellist.

Excerpts from their website: The Classic Klezmer Trio is a captivating ensemble, steeped heavily in the tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of eastern Europe, and saturated with extensive musical training. Professional musicianship brings to life a beautiful repertoire of dance and folk tunes, as well as display pieces, that make this trio a true delight.

The current incarnation (consisting of Semmy Stahlhammer on violin, Isabel Blomme on cello, and Sergei Teleshev on accordion) is a continuation of what began in the Lublin-area of Poland, circa 1910 - The Original Stahlhammer Klezmer Band.

The musical ethos of The Classic Klezmer Trio is masterfully brushed by means of rich generational heritage and intimate understanding of each piece's context and intent, all supported with exquisite technical facility. Soundscapes vary, ranging from deep wells of soul-effacing sorrow protracted through strains of harmonic minor . . . means of delineating an eastern tradition and experience, interwoven within the musical substance of the west . . . to rapturous refrain.

The Classic Klezmer Trio makes an immediate and seamless connection with the listener. Emotions, and their connection to experience, are spun from each piece. Audiences will be quick to realize, that far more than an exhibition, they are participating in a celebration of life.

Semmy Stahlhammer (violinist) is First Concertmaster of the Stockholm Royal Opera, and a faculty member of the Stockholm Royal Music College. He has been the Artistic Director of the San Giovanni Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy; of Chamber Music at Grand Hotel; and, Chamber Music in the Parks, Stockholm, Sweden. He studied at Julliard and is a graduate of Curtis Institute of Music and Kent State University. In addition to The Stahlhammer Klezmer Classic Band, he appears as a solo artist on numerous recordings.

Isabel Blomme, (cellist) is a graduate of Edsberg's Musikinstitut and the Stockholm Royal Music College. She has performed in an array of settings . . . from TV and radio, to various international music festivals. In 2003, she was cellist of the Blomme String Quartet, and afterwards, (2003 - 2009) the Indra String Quartet. She has been performing with The Stahlhammer Klezmer Classic Band since 2009.

Sergei Teleshev (accordionist) was classically trained at the Academy of Music in Voronezh, Russia. Sergei Teleshev has won many regional and international accordion competitions. Most recently, he garnered gold in the United States V-Accordion Competition and represented the U.S.A. in the 7th Roland International V-Accordion Festival, in Rome. He collaborates with many internationally recognized artists, ensembles, and orchestras. Being accordion player of Trio Voronezh and Valinor Quartet, he collaborates with many internationally recognized artists, ensembles, and orchestras (including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, Halie Loren, and many others...), composing and arranging music, participates in recording projects of different genres.

Sergei has been a jury member at International accordion competitions in Russia, Canada and the USA. Recently, he won the National V-Accordion Competition. As the U.S. champion, Sergei represented the United States at the 7th Roland International V-Accordion Festival, in Rome, Italy where he received a special prize for most online votes on the festival’s webcast. Sergei is providing online accordion lessons and educational school programs for all ages.

For further information on ordering the CD:

Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Women in the AAA through the Decades - Beverly Roberts Curnow

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Logo
Joan GraumanRita Barnea, Editor USA News: This is the third article in the series by AAA Historian Joan Grauman (picture right) in cooperation with the USA News, to help promote the 80th AAA Anniversary Celebration. An article is planned each month containing a segment of the history of the AAA, from its creation on March 9th, 1938 through to 2018. Thank you very much to Joan Grauman for these articles.

February 2018 Article: "Joseph Biviano and Charles Magnante – A Lifetime Commitment to the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA)" at: Biviano-Magnante

January 2018 Article "What Events Led to the Formation of the American Accordionists' Association?" at:


March 2018 Article: Women in the AAA through the Decades
Beverly Roberts Curnow – Accordion Queen and World Accordion Champion still bringing joy with her beloved instrument!
by Joan Grauman

During the first few decades of the AAA, it was still very much “a man’s world” in society. Yet, and very fortunately for the rise of the accordion in the USA, the AAA welcomed several women no longer with us but never forgotten, who were respected leaders, teachers, composers, performers and music publishers.

These women remained dedicated to the AAA their entire lives: Maddalena Belfiore Greco, Addie Cere, Theresa Costello, Elsie Bennett and Faithe Deffner. I will be featuring these extraordinary women as part of the AAA archival exhibit at our 80th anniversary festival this coming July in Alexandria, Virginia. Hope to see all of you there!!

Read the full article by Joan Grauman at: Beverly Roberts Curnow

Over 2,100 titles of eSheet music, sent to you by email, secure server bank online payment

Kim and Dan Christian Perform at NAA

by Rita Barnea
Kim and Dan Christian
Kim and Dan Christian from Colorado will present a workshop at the 2018 NAA Convention in Texas. Kim has won many prestigious awards in her career, including the 1983 AAA National Championship and C.I.A. Coupe Mondiale Honorary Bronze Medal Winner 1984.  She has been teaching for Young Musicians of America (Y.M.A.) for 30 years and is responsible for educating hundreds of people in the art of music. 

Dan is a four time winner of the Rocky Mountain Accordion Virtuoso category and is a winner of the Prestigious Anthony Galla-Rini Trophy.  He has been teaching private music lessons for 34 years and has developed a reputation throughout the United States for directing outstanding Virtuoso Orchestras.

Kim and Dan first met at age 5, while taking accordion lessons from Kim's father, Mike Aman. Literally they’ve grown up together performing and teaching the accordion and have established themselves as among the premier accordionists in the world. Their unique ability to play together with exact precision is unparalleled. They have excellent technique and mastery of the accordion. Their performances are charged with vibrant energy and a passion and love that create an experience that will be cherished.

Excerpts from their website:
* Workshop at the NAA: Spice Up Your Arrangements
* They will teach you how to add rhythm patterns, chords, glissando, turns - all kinds of things to spice up even the most basic arrangement. Bring a piece of music with you, and they will show you how. This is a valuable skill to learn due to the small amount of music that is available for accordionists.
* Demonstration: Friday, 10:00 am. Ballroom.

* Kim and Dan's concerts provide a performance beyond the boundaries of what people realize the accordion can do. The concert will touch just about every style of music imaginable and will be synchronized perfectly with this energetic, dynamic couple.

* In 2017 with vibrant energy and passion, Dan and Kim performed, adjudicated and judged at the Leavenworth International Accordion Festival, The Edmonton, Alberta Accordion Extravaganza, and The Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. Both Dan and Kim have taught music lessons for over 35 years, educating hundreds of people in the art of music.

Several of their students have received full music scholarships to the Lamont School of Music at Denver University. They have both directed many award winning accordion orchestras, ranging from beginner to virtuoso, including the National Champion Accordion Orchestra.

* Dan and Kim have performed extensively throughout the US, with engagements in Canada and as far away as Beijing, China at the Beijing Philharmonic Hall. Performances also include a 2 year run of their own production entitled “Music Makes the World Go Round” in Branson, Missouri. While in Branson, Dan and Kim experienced performing on the same stage with Bobby Vinton, Andy Williams and Les Brown, among other great entertainers. They continue to play over 200 gigs a year and thoroughly enjoy each and every performance.

* Dan is Director of the US National Champion Accordion Orchestra with record of 1st Place wins across the country, Esteemed arranger and transcriber of music for accordion orchestra, duet and solo including works by Tschaikovsky, Dvorak, Saint Saens, Schubert and many others, Spotlighted solo accordionist for the premier run of 'La Curandera", the first opera to highlight the accordion as the principal instrument, Arranger for the music for the Christian duo's original Branson production "Music Makes the World Go Round," Accordion teacher and educator for over 40 years.

* US National Champion (AAA), Honorary bronze medal winner World Champion (Coupe Mondiale), AFNA Virtuoso Solo Champion, 2 Time RMAS Virtuoso Champion, Accordion Major at Loretto Heights College Denver, CO., Director of many accordion orchestras from beginner to virtuoso with extremely successful winning record, Producer and Manager for "Music Makes the World Go Round," the Christian duo's original Accordion Show based in Branson, Mo., Accordion teacher and educator for over 35 years.

For further information:

The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by famous accordion repairer and tuner Thierry Benetoux

Video: In Memorium, Alexander Sevastian (1976 - 2018) - Canada

by Harley Jones

Thank you to Dan Grauman for providing the video from the 2016 American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival, "An Evening with the Stars" presenting Quartetto Gelato, led by accordionist Alexander Sevastian.

Recorded at the Tralf Music Hall, Buffalo, New York on July 8th, 2016.

Gary Dahl eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server system

Emilio Magnotta Presents Workshop at Brooklyn Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
Emilio Mangosta
BACThe Brooklyn Accordion Club on Sunday, March 4, 2018, 2-4:PM presents "Repair Presentation/Performance" by Emilio Magnotta of Emilio Accordions.

Emilio is an accordionist who specializes in Italian, Folk, American Standards and light classical music. He began playing the accordion when he was 5 years old. A friend of his mother gave him an accordion to play with. From the moment the accordion was placed in his hands, a passion awoke in Emilio to play it.

He studied the accordion under the accomplished accordion player, Cliff Scholl, who was a student of Pietro Frosini. Mr. Scholl wrote accordion books and conducted concerts including ones at Carnegie Hall. Under the instruction of Cliff Scholl, Emilio’s passion for the accordion grew.

Emilio continues to be inspired by the great accordion players before him. His greatest idols and influences have been the works of Carmen Carrozza, Pietro Frosini, Charlie Magnante and Pietro Deiro. Emilio continues to perfect his skills in the hopes to one day be considered as great as his idols. Emilio shares his love of the accordion and music as he entertains audiences in many different venues such as private parties, corporate functions and outdoor festivals. Emilio also repairs and sells accordions of all brands and sizes.

Emilio’s workshop takes place at the new BAC meeting site at Great Room at the LuEsther T. Mertz South Oxford Space/A.R.T. New York 138 South Oxford Street (Between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street)nBrooklyn, NY 11217. The Great Room is fully air-conditioned, wheelchair accessible (ADA compliant), has a grand piano, stage (!), and is conveniently located only a few blocks away from Atlantic Terminal in the heart of beautiful historic Fort Greene neighborhood accessible by all trains: B, C, D, G, N, R, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5, and the LIRR. 

For further information on BAC:
For further information on Emilio Magnotta:

Debra Peters Will Perform at NAA Convention

by Rita Barnea
Debra Peters
Video 1: Fat Tuesday: Debra’s debut with Michael Perrons Chansons et Soûlards Subbing for Matt Rogers.
Video by Lori Navjar

Austin Accordionist Debra Peters will perform at the NAA Convention in Texas, March 7-10, 2018.  This year, Debra is organizing a Mardi Gras Flash Mob Set at the convention. An accordion flash mob? What is that?

Debra explains, “Throughout the weekend,  I will gather those who want to join in… and we will parade down the hallways.  What makes it a FLASH MOB… is not too much planning and it can happen whenever we have a down moment! Tom Visentin will march with his drum and rub board. The other fun stuff we are doing that is not on the website: Accordionist Charly Crittiden from Little Rock, Arkansas…. a few years ago… came up with an idea to play through the P&H Polka Book in its entirety. Bring along you P&H Polka Book and join the group as they play through it! All are welcome!”

Debra’s Workshop: Accompanying Vocalists and Texas Roots
* Debra Peters (with Carol Garrison) will break it all down to the basics of how to accompany vocalists with accordions. This Texas Roots Music workshop will zero in on singing the correct lead notes and accompanying them with the correct harmony notes! We have chosen the most popular accordion polka melody (with lyrics) of all time! It’s a big surprise we’re waiting for! Digging deep into the details of a perfect Melody. Memorizing this particular songs Chord Progression is a must for EVERY musician. This is an Interactive session (50% presentation and 50% conventioneers playing accordions!

* Hands-on: Friday, 11:00 am. Ballroom
( Friday @ 11am)  is about 2 accordions.  One Digital.  One Acoustic.   How we can arrange to play together without both playing the same things. Also… huge focus this year on SINGING and playing an accordion, and what it takes to find the  HARMONY VOCAL. 

Debra has entertained with her group, Debra Peters and the Love Saints, for over twenty years in the Texas area, appearing frequently at The Broken Spoke” in Austin, Texas as well as gigs all over the world. She is a dedicated teacher of accordion, piano and voice and has produced excellent DVD’s containing valuable information on various aspects of accordion performance. Her CD’s and DVD’s are available on her website.

For further information:

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Concert

by Rita Barnea

Mario TaccaAccordionist Mario Tacca and vocalist Mary Mancini recently returned from their successful concert tour in Florida where they performed with the Hallandale Symphonic Pops Orchestra under the direction of Peter P. Fuchs (picture below with Mary and Mario).

Mario Tacca was born in the beautiful village of Assergi, Italy. During his childhood, his family moved to the Alsace Lorraine region of France where he began his musical studies.  This is where his love and intense desire to play the accordion began. He loved the sound! He would pick up the accordion and imitate some of the songs his mother used to sing. The desire and love never diminished, despite having to walk three miles to and from his weekly lessons with his instrument strapped to his back!

He received his musical education in Italy, France and the U.S. While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions. He returned to Italy and graduated from the Anzaghi Conservatory of Music in Milan. He went on to become a world champion, winning the World Cup of Italy, the Grand Prix of Paris, the US National Competition and the International Accordion competition held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Mario has been dazzling audiences across the U.S. and around the world for more than five decades. His unmatched virtuosity on the accordion and his exciting interpretations of international music, from the classics to pop, bring audiences to their feet!

Together with Mary Mancini, his wife of 40 years and an Internationally Acclaimed Vocal Artist, Mario has headlined numerous concert halls and festivals in North America, Europe and China. Some of the venues he has performed at include the Garden State Arts Center, Resorts International Casino Hotel, the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and the Gold Coast in Las Vegas. Among his many accomplishments, Mario has twice been the guest of the Chinese Minister of Culture. Along with Mary, he toured several cities in China, and performed with several symphony orchestras in many prestigious venues including the Golden Opera House in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province. Others highlights from the tours include a performance at the True Color Supper Club in the booming city of Shenzhen, and performing the famous “Radetzky March” with 100 children on stage.

Mario has been featured in several television commercials and programs. They include a pilot Italian Food program for MTV; “Throw Down with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network; “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel; and “Lidia’s Italy” on PBS. Mario has served two terms as Second Vice President for the American Accordionists’ Association. During the past 25 years, Mario and Mary produced many “Accordion Spectacular” shows in concert halls and theaters in the tri-state area. These shows have featured world renowned accordionists, including the legendary Dick Contino.

In April 2009, Mario’s beautiful home region of Abruzzi, Italy experienced a catastrophic earthquake. In response, Mario and Mary gathered their friends from the entertainment world and produced a benefit show at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, NY, which to date has raised over $30,000. The American Accordionists’ Association was instrumental in supporting this endeavor, making sure that all funds raised were distributed to needy families. In the fall of 2009, Mario and Mary completed a weeklong concert tour in Italy. While in Rome, they met with a representative from the U.S. Embassy to discuss their efforts. Afterwards, they travelled to Abruzzi to meet with the recipients of the fundraiser. In Mario’s hometown of Assergi, Mary and Mario surprised the people of the village with a concert at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, National Laboratory of Gran Sasso Mountain.

Mario has performed for accordion clubs in the U.S. and Canada, notably in Milwaukee, WI; Chicago, IL; Grapevine, TX; Orlando, FL; The Long Island Accordion Alliance; and Tempe, AZ; and in Montmagny, Quebec. The Journal News calls Mario “one of the pre-eminent Accordion Virtuosi in the world” and the New York Times writes that he makes the instrument “sound like a gift from heaven.” Mario and Mary have also been featured in a cover story in the Westchester Business Journal as an outstanding and unique husband-and-wife duo who have shared their musical gifts and molded their careers over a span of 40 years.

In addition to performing, Mario owns and operates Tacca Music School and Recording Studio in Cortlandt Manor, NY. He maintains a full time position as organist at Assumption Church in Peekskill, NY. He is a composer, lecturer and arranger, and has several CD’s, books and compositions to his credit. He is an educator of the highest level, possessing the passion and desire to pass on the knowledge of music, the accordion, and all the experiences that life has brought to him because of his God-given talent. His determination to share all of this brings him love and respect from his students of all ages.

On a personal note, he was recently inducted into the 3rd degree of the Knights of Columbus, Peekskill Chapter 462. His hobbies include reading, crossword puzzles, taking long walks, and biking. Mario is the proud father of three children - Jeffrey, Daniel, and Nina. He relishes the precious moments, as time allows, that he spends with his seven grandchildren - Kate, Julia, Jackson, Adam, Nino, Marco, and Dominic!

Internationally acclaimed vocal artist Mary Mancini has been featured in the New York Times, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, and the Journal News and has performed in a variety of venues around the world. Able to sing in eight different languages, Mary draws from a deep repertory reservoir. She is adept at pop, show tunes, operatic arias, and sacred music and has received worldwide acclaim. Le Republicain Lorrain, in Alsace-Lorraine, France, writes that the “purity of her voice, the ease with which she interpreted the most difficult pieces showed that she is a great artist.” The Spring City Evening News in Kunming, China, writes that “audiences were greatly impressed by Mary Mancini’s singing ability…Through her music, we see her heart is smiling.”

Mary has headlined numerous concert halls and festivals in North America, Europe, and China. She has performed at the Garden State Arts Center, Resorts International Casino Hotel, Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in CT. As a dynamic and popular performing duo, they have completed two concert tours of China. As guests of the China Ministry of Culture, they toured five cities in three weeks and performed with three symphony orchestras. Joining them on their tour was highly acclaimed Chinese tenor, Douglas Song. In addition to performing with the Symphony Orchestras, some of the most memorable moments included a performance held at the 1600 seat True Color Jazz Supper Club in the booming city of Shenzhen and in the 3500 seat Golden Opera House. In addition to their busy performance schedule, Mary and Mario have recorded 10 CD's between them. For further information:

One photo is Mary & Mario with Peter Fuchs, the conductor with the Hallandale Pops Orchestra.  The other photo is of Mary and Mario with David Winograd, bassist, and Susie Hayes, Entertainment Director from their performance at the Highland Beach Library.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Long Island Accordion Alliance
La Villini Restaurant
286 Larkfield Rd, East Northport, NY 11731
(631) 261-6344
Both Mary and Mario will perform.

Mon., Tues., Wed., March 19, 20, 21, 2018
Feast of St. Joseph Italian Luncheon Show
The Brownstone
Patterson, NJ
For reservations, call 1-800-831-9801
Both Mary and Mario will perform.

Saturday, March 24, 2018
Mary and Mario will perform at the Ossining Elks Lodge.
For reservations, call 917-488-7189
Mary Mancini, Peter P. Fuchs and Mario Tacca

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Cody McSherry: Balkan Accordionist

by Pat McSherry

Video 1: Cody McSherry, age 14, performs "Slovenia" on accordion at the Mardi Gras celebration held at Prince of Peace Church in Steelton, Pennsylvania. "Slovenia" was composed by Slavko and Wilco Avsenik. Cody is a member of Kolo Club Marian.

Video 2: Group performing a Croatian dance (Cody is one of the dancers).
Kolo Club Marian perform a set of dances from Slavonia, Croatia in February, 2018. Kolo Club Marian is associated with Prince of Peace Church in Steelton, Pennsylvania, USA.

“Let’s get one of those genetic tests done, because I know I must have ancestry from the Balkans in me somewhere,“ says Cody McSherry. The 14 year-old is thrilled with his new role as the accordionist for Kolo Club Marian, a group that works to keep the customs of Balkan music and dance – focusing mainly on Croatia – alive.

Kolo Club Marian was started in 1954 and calls the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Steelton, Pa home. “Kolo” refers to the circle dances common in Croatia. “Marian” comes from the fact that the club was formed in the Catholic church’s “Marian Year” of 1954. The group is headed by Rick Vukmanic who has grown up with the Croatian customs and who not only serves as the choreographer and dance instructor, but is an expert on all things Croatian, and a great educator.

Cody is thrilled with the complexity of the Balkan music with its unusual meters, such as 7/8 and 15/16, and intensive ornamentation. In many cases, the music is written. However, the written music does not convey the true feeling, ornamentation and manner in which the music is played, all of which must be learned through tradition.

With Kolo Club Marian, Cody dances with the group when the music is being provided by stringed instrumentation such as the tambura, and when the accordion is needed, Cody provides the music for the group.
In February, Kolo Club Marian held its annual Mardi Gras celebration. The group performed dances of the Slavonia region of Croatia. Afterwards, Cody was asked to perform on accordion and button accordion.

In the past, Cody has won awards at the annual American Accordionists Association’s festivals and also at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration. Cody fronts his own German band – Polterabend (“Noisy Night”) - performs with the Bavarian Barons German band and is a member of the Accordion Pops Orchestra.

Cody has also introduced the accordion to his high school jazz and concert bands. Cody has a strong desire to eventually join the Greater Pittsburgh Tamburitzans and attend Duquesne University.

Larry Malmberg eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server

Seattle Accordion Social on March 12

by Rita Barnea
The Seattle Accordion Social takes place on March 12, 2018 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. The Seattle Accordion Socials meet on the 2nd Monday of each month, 7:30-9:30 PM . No meetings in July and August. All Socials, are located at the West Seattle Senior Center (WSSC), 4217 SW Oregon St., Seattle, WA, 98116. WSSC

Donation $5.00 includes coffee and cookies.
Northwest Accordion Socials are open to all accordion players from students to professionals, their friends, families and to anyone who enjoys music. If you would like to play your accordion at future socials please contact John Giuliani at 425-255-2121, Birgit Ages at 206-947-8393, or Bonnie Birch at 206-622-4786 (backup).
Future 2018 meetings feature:
March 12: Folk Voice Band and John Marovich
April 9: Andy Mirkovich. Lee Wright, Olga Kargopoltseva, David Miles
May 14: NW Accordionaires
June 11: Mark Myking, Nordic Reflections, Einar Tapio

Here is your chance to perform at a social. All accordionists (any age and level) are invited to play 1 or 2 pieces. — Sign up at social or call.
Contacts: John Giuliani 425-255-2121, Birgit Ages 206-947-8393 or Bonnie Birch 206-622-4786 (backup)

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

International Cabaret Night with Mark Stillman and Francine Roche

by Rita Barnea
On Thursday March 1st 2018, accordionist Mark Stillman and vocalist Francine Roche will perform at Honey from 7:30 to 9:PM performing European Dance Music, Latin, Swing and Music from Around the World. There is a $5 cover charge.The Honey Lounge is downstairs from Ginger Hop (formerly The Times)   205 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Phone : 612 - 746 - 0306
                                                                                                                       Mark Stillman is a Minnesota-based musician who specializes in international music. He studied at the University of Minnesota and found his beginnings as a classical percussionist while performing with the University of Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis Civic Orchestra, and the Bloomington Symphony.

Mark later came into his own as a freelance accordionist who specializes in ethnic music, playing various types of traditional European and American music. Francine Roche is from Montreal, Canada and has performed for many years around the Twin Cities, including the New French Cafe, L'hotel Sofitel and The Loring Cafe Bar. She brings an authentic interpretation to her songs, specializing in the music of Edith Piaf.

Mark Stillman was the recipient of the 2011 NEAF Lifetime Achievement Award honoring him for his constant and positive impact within the free-reed community. As a result of his reputation as specialist in ethnic music, he was asked to be a guest soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orhcestra, the Milwaukee Symphony and many other groups. Mark’s music often helps create the proper mood at art openings such as the Chagall and Monet exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Mark was also asked to create an international flavor by performing at receptions for former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Presidemt George W. Bush, former First Lady Hillary Clinton,and for Cirque du Soleil. He was also featured in beer commercials that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago.

Mark your calendars. They will be back at Honey again on Thursday April 5th and May 3rd 2018. All performances are   7:30 PM to 9 PM.

For further information:

St. Patrick’s Day “Seisin” Hosted by CAA on March 25

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
CAA Logo
Michael ClarkeThe Connecticut Accordion Association will hold a St. Patrick’s Day Program on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 1:PM at The Waverly Tavern, 286 Maple Ave., Cheshire, CT 06410

The program will feature host/accordionist Michael Clarke along with vocalist, Kathy Mrazik.

In Irish circles, a “seisiún” is defined as a gathering of Irish traditional performers for the purpose of celebrating their common interest in the music.  A participatory event set in a relaxed, informal setting, a seisiún is simply a collaborative, collective sharing of talent and song. The objective in a seisiún is not to provide music, song and stories for an audience of passive listeners.  I

It should be noted that although what are referred to as “punters” (non-playing attendees) often come for the express purpose of listening, the seisiún most of all for the musicians, singers and storytellers themselves. Simply put, a seisiún is an experience that is shared, not a performance that is bought and sold.

Michael Clarke started playing the piano accordion at the age of six, before he had any say in the matter. His late mother, Rosemary, who came from the County Donegal in Ireland, loved the “squeeze box.  Rosemary herself played the piano accordion, as she said, “until I got married, and that was that!”  

Mr. Clarke realized early on that he, too, loved the accordion, and has since performed regularly on three continents.  Mr. Clarke is founding member of Celtic Cross, a celtic-rock band formed in the 1980s in the New York metropolitan area, Mr. Clarke ushered in the tri-state’s homage to the "Celtic Tiger” movement by writing and performing on Celtic Cross' popular first album, entitled Part the First.

Mr. Clarke has recorded with Tommy Mulvihill, John Nolan, Kitty Kelly, Susan McGrath and Eileen Crowley, and has performed with Paddy Noonan, Dermot O’Brien, the Saw Doctors, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Michael “Jesse" Owens, the Wolfe Tones, the Commitments, the Jamie Kelly Band and the Andy Cooney Band.  Currently, Mr. Clarke regularly performs live an eclectic mix of Irish and 1980s music with the two piece band, McBueller.

For the meeting please bring an instrument of any kind! Bring your voice! Share an Irish tune, song or story! 
Admission is $5.00 CAA members, $10.00 all others, under 16 years have free admission.

Please RSVP by March 23 to Marilyn at 203-272-1202.

For further information:

Gary Dahl eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server system

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2018 Toronto International Accordion Festival

by Harley Jones
Poster, 2018 Toronto International Accordion FestivalThe 2018 Toronto International Accordion Festival will be held at the Infinite Concert Hall in Toronto from 16 - 25 July 2018.

The event is hosted by the Classical Accordion Society of Canada Inc. (President Joseph Macerollo O.C.), undertaken by the Toronto "Infinite Strings" and Artistic Director is Yicheng Chris Gao, 2009 Coupe Mondiale laureate and graduate of Sichuan Conservatory of Music and University of Toronto.

As well as festival concerts, the event also includes competitions for:
1. Childrens Solo (Born after September 1, 2009)
2. Juvenile Solo (Born between September 1, 2003 and August 31, 2006), standard bass and free bass categories.
3. Youth Solo (Born between September 1, 2000 and August 31, 2003), standard bass and free bass categories.
4. Adult Solo (Born before August 31, 2000),
Adult Group A (For accordionists of a non-performance direction)
Adult Group B (For concert soloists)
5. Category Ensemble
6. Category Chamber Music
7. Category Light Music
8. General Performance

Closing date for entries: 10 May 2018
Download the rules and entry forms in English and Chinese languages at:
Joseph Macerollo, Yicheng Chris Gao

The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by famous accordion repairer and tuner Thierry Benetoux

Al Terzo Conducts Accordion Pops Orchestra in May

by Rita Barnea
The Accordion Pops Orchestra under the direction of Al Terzo present Sunday Afternoon with The Accordion Pops Orchestra on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 3:PM. Donation $10.00 (at the door) at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center, 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. APO will feature guest artists Cody McSherry, Klajdi Cerriko, and Andrea Maurer.

The APO presents “A Concert of Hope” at the Temple University Learning Center Auditorium, 580 Meetinghouse Road, Ambler, PA 19002 on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 3:PM. Donation $15.00 (at the door) This is going to be a fantastic concert!  The orchestra will play a wide variety of compositions from Broadway to country western with some Beatles and classical music thrown in for good measure!  

Featured guest artists are two-time United States accordion champion Mary Tokarski, our own Klajdi Cerriko on accordion, flute virtuoso Andrea Maurer, and young accordion artist Cody McSherry.

All proceeds are for the benefit of the ALS Hope Foundation.

The Accordion Pops Orchestra, established in 1970, has members in N.J, PA, Delaware, New York, and Connecticut. They rehearse once a month on a Sunday afternoon.The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970, when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey.  Over the next ten years it performed at various community functions throughout the state under the direction of its first conductor, Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.

In 1980 the orchestra members took a leave of absence, but four years later the membership was reorganized under the direction of the late Eugene Ettore of Livingston, New Jersey.  In 1985, Daniel Desiderio was invited to act as a guest conductor of the orchestra and a few years later the A.T.A. of NJ appointed him as conductor in residence.  The name of the orchestra was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra and its membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island.  Maestro Desiderio retired as conductor in May 2011 and turned over the baton to Al Terzo.

Al Terzo is a teacher, arranger, and conductor who has been with the orchestra since its inception in 1970.  He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and National Association of Music Educators.  Mr. Terzo serves on the governing board of the American Accordionists Association and is a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild.  He his an accomplished accordionist who has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark's Symphony Hall.  Currently Mr. Terzo teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.
ApO May 20

James O'Brien eSheet music, emailed to you, secure bank server

AAA Seminars July 27-29 in NYC

by Rita Barnea
AAA Seminars July 27-29 in NYC

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

25th Anniversary of Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 21-24

by Rita Barnea
From the NWAS website: The Northwest Accordion Society sponsors the 25th Anniversary Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration. Mark your calendar for June 21 - 24, 2018. It will be a very special event with surprise guests. More information in future publications. Excerpts are from the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration website.

2018 LIAC Workshop Presenters include:  
Murl Allen Sanders:
Murl Allen Sanders is a musician, composer, teacher and recording artist who is active in the Seattle area music scene and across the United States, Canada,England, Brazil and Japan. Murl has worked with such diverse artists as Chuck Berry, Etta James, Il Divo, Glenn Yarbrough, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Modern Orchestra, accordion virtuosi Frank Marocco, Chico Chagas, Stas Venglevski, Alex Meixner, Gary Blair and Cory Pesaturo, among many others.

Murl teaches piano and accordion privately and is also adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts and Shoreline Community College in Seattle. He has received two grants from The Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to compose“She Blows Hot and Cold” for chorus and symphony orchestra which premiered May 2, 2010 and a grant to compose his “Accordion Concerto #2” which premiered in 2007 with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers.

His “Accordion Concerto #1”, a commission from Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, premiered in 2003. Murl received a 2010 and 2009 ASCAP plus award for his concert compositions from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.Recent appearances include: Seattle Symphony “Music Beyond Borders” Concert 2017, International Festival Da Sanfona, Juazeiro, Brazil 2016, Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival, Chicago 2017, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Chico Chagas
Bruce Gassman:
Bruce’s extensive accordion background began at age 9. He performed his first Senior Recital at age 11 and at the age of 13 he competed and won the National Boy's Club of America Music Scholarship Award. For the next 4 years he studied with Maestro Joseph Biviano of New York City. In 1962, at the age of 15, Bruce became the youngest member of the Accordion Symphony Society of NY, and at his first concert in December of that year; they performed at Town Hall featuring the immortal Charles Magnante.

While in college, and playing rock & roll, he toured the Mid-West with the Escorts, Doc & the MD's and The Broadway Clique. Once back East, playing Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes piano, Jersey Shore rock scene experience involved performances at many area night clubs, he jammed with stars such as the late B.B. King and future stars including Bruce Springsteen Returning to his accordion roots in 1974, he formed The Bruce Gassman Orchestra and for the next 18 years Bruce performed at more than 2,500 private parties. In 1992 he stopped playing to focus on his family and his real estate career.

After a 15 year sabbatical, he started the come-back. Bruce joined Dan Desiderio and the Accordion Pops Orchestra; and then in 2008 became the first accordionist ever to perform with Holiday Express, a group of more than 100 professional musicians and 1,500 volunteers who, from Thanksgiving till Christmas, bring the gift of human kindness to those less fortunate
Since 2009, Bruce has presented workshops, conducted and been a featured performer at numerous accordion clubs, conventions and festivals. 

Michael Bridge:
Concert-accordionist Michael Bridge is internationally renowned for his warm, engaging stage-presence and outstanding musical versatility. Named one of Canada’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30” by CBC, his repertoire – baroque & classical masterworks, world folk music, jazz standards, and digital accordion – smashes all accordion stereotypes.

He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at 17, and has performed on four continents, now playing over 100 concerts per year. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in accordion performance from the University of Toronto, where he his now pursuing his doctorate with Joseph Macerollo. He was awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award, and is a winner of the University of Toronto Concerto Competition and the Calgary Stampede Talent Search.

A believer in the critical nature of developing new music for accordion, he has commissioned and/or premiered over 50 chamber and solo works. He has adjudicated accordion competitions and taught master classes across the USA and Canada and is passionate about advancing accordion pedagogy for the next generation.
Cory Pesaturo (“C Pez”)
Cory Pesaturo is one the forefront of the accordion world, pushing the boundaries on multiple fronts of what is possible with the accordion. The only person to ever win a World Championship on Acoustic, Digital And Jazz Accordion, and is the only recent graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.

Pesaturo is also a Guinness World Record Holder, as RedBull® flew him to Austria to break the Marathon Accordion Record in 2017, in which Cory played the accordion over 32 hours. Accordions most famous legend, Dick Contino, said when Cory was only 15, “Of all the accordionists I’ve seen over the years, Cory is the one to pass the torch to, the only one who has all the tools to bring the accordion back to its former glory.”  Cory’s main contribution is his visionary thinking of how the accordion should be used, played, taught, and presented in modern music. Pesaturo is additionally developing his own electric accordion.

Pesaturo's extensive resumé includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on 4 different occasions, starting at age 12, and 8 other appearances for the Clintons since 2000, along with 14 letters from the first family.   Some TV appearances include the Late Show with David Letterman playing with Johnny Depp, the Columbus parade in NYC, and nationally televised programs in New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Tunisia, France, and Finland.

Pesaturo is also heavily involved and respected with the weather and motor sports worlds as well. From 2005 to 2006, he composed the Official list of records set by the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and also wrote the lists for the 2007 and 2008 Seasons as well.
 Jim & Shirley O’Brien:
Jim and Shirley are accordionists who spend their winters in Tucson, Arizona and their summers in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho when not traveling in their motor home to festivals such as Leavenworth.  Jim founded the Accordion Club of Tucson (ACT) in 1998 while he was a Professor in the School of Music at the University of Arizona. Shirley was a Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and began playing the accordion several years ago. 

Jim has developed an educational website about accordion history and technology. ( Two years ago, the O’Briens totally changed their style of musical performance with the purchase of Roland V accordions. Jim has created over 50 backing tracks in his home studio and they now entertain as “Polka Express” a big band in a box! 
Kory Tideman and Max Kyllonen:
Kory and Max will present many important details about the workings and playing of the buttonbox accordion. Both have many years of experience on their instruments. Kory performs regularly with the Happy Hans Band. Max performs regularly in Andreas Keller Restaurant. Even if you don’t play the buttonbox accordion, come to this workshop to expand your understanding of the accordion. All accordionists will benefit by having some knowledge of accordions other than the ones they play.

For further information:


Tango For Musicians at Reed College, Portland, Oregon June 17-24

by Rita Barnea
Tango for musicians
Tango for Musicians at Reed College in Portland, Oregon presents a weeklong workshop providing the tools needed to play, arrange, compose, and teach tango music (including bandoneon). Their 6th workshop will take place in Portland, Oregon from June 17-24, 2018. Note that after this summer, Tango for Musicians will become a biennial event. Your next opportunity to participate won't be until June 2020, so don't miss your chance to join them this year!

Tango for Musicians is an important North American tango workshop that attracts participants throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and beyond who are eager to learn, explore, and experiment with tango music in deep and meaningful ways. Emphasizing technique and creativity, history and the present, the prestigious artistic faculty comes directly from Buenos Aires and are dedicated to opening the mysteries of tango music for players of any instrument in a welcoming, supportive, and professional environment.

WHAT IS TANGO FOR MUSICIANS AT REED COLLEGE? From their website: “We are the official North American affiliate of the Buenos Aires-based tango education workshop Tango Para Músicos. Tango For Musicians at Reed College combines the experience and expertise of the Tango Para Músicos team with the uncompromising commitment to educational excellence and student achievement that defines Reed College, one of the United States’ most elite liberal arts colleges. You can expect personalized attention from our artistic faculty, world-class facilities for all educational activities, and an institutional environment that is absolutely focused on the mission—and pleasure—of learning tango music together.”

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