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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Apr-2011
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Titano Accordion Company


Easter - Worldwide
Editor's Note
BREAKING NEWS - Dr. Jacob C. Neupauer Passes Away - Philadelphia
BREAKING NEWS! - Tony Dannon Passes Away - Michigan
Daniel Desiderio Conducts Accordion Pops Orchestra in Last Concert
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Music with Kevin Friedrich and Friends, Dargaville - New Zealand
Dr. Robert Young McMahan:Composer, Professor, and Accordionist
Roland Remembers Benny Layton
Stephen Dominko to Perform at 2011 ACCORDIONS NOW!
Chris Gorton to Perform at 2011 New England Music Festival

Voci Armoniche

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

AAA Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Event: A Great Success
Virtuoso Accordionist Horace Lazzari
2011 AAA Seminar in July
Big Squeeze Competition Pays Tribute to Late Conjunto Masters
Bob LaBua – “Getting Back to the Accordion”
The ACCORDIONS NOW! 2011 Festival Lineup is here!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Roland Corporation USA Announces 2011 V-Accordion Festival!
WMAS features Dominic Karcic and Ray Oreggia
Sy Kushner Presents "New Jewish Music"
Dr. William Schimmel's Upcoming Performances
Long Island Accordion Alliance Meets on April 5
Accordionist Lou LeBrun to Perform in Texas

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

New and Updated Sites




Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Easter - Worldwide

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

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

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita DavidsonWith sadness, we report the untimely passing of Benny Layton, Tony Garza, and Tony Dannon who passed away on April 12, 2011. Now Dr. Jacob C. Neupauer has passed away.

What joy and happiness their music brought to all of us. We will always remember them. Think of how inspirational they were to so many people in the world.

Can we also strive in our lives for excellence not just in music but in our relationships with others. Music is truly a bonding experience.

Let's use our music in the same ways that Benny, Tony G., Tony D. and Dr.Neupauer did……to make the world a better place.

Titano Accordion Company

BREAKING NEWS - Dr. Jacob C. Neupauer Passes Away - Philadelphia

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Jacob C. NeupauerDr. Jacob C. NeupauerDr William Schimmel, accordionist, composer, author, lecturer and philosopher has written:

"My Mentor and friend, Dr. Jacob C. Neupauer, passed away on Thursday 14 April 2011 after a long illness. He was a leading pioneer in the development of the accordion and was a master teacher.

He was the founder of The Neupauer Conservatory, The Philadelphia Accordion Orchestra and was on the advisory board of the American Accordionists' Association.

He will be greatly missed by the Accordion community and the Music community at large."

This is the third accordionist to die this week. Alex Smith in the DC area, Tony Dannon and now Jacob Neupauer.

Dr Neupauer's funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, April 19 at Holly Trinity Church at 10 am - 4456 Main St - WhiteHall/Egypt Pa 18052 - no flowers during Lent

Further information will appear online here as received.
Neupauer Ballroom Orchestra logo

Voci Armoniche

BREAKING NEWS! - Tony Dannon Passes Away - Michigan

by Rita Barnea
Tony Dannon and Joe Cerrito
Tony DannonTony Dannon passed away on the 12th April 2011 evening. Tony Dannon was at his nephew's house where he has been living and its reported that he went very peacefully but unexpectedly! Everyone is very saddened by his passing. A great legend!

Tony Dannon will be laid out at:
Bagnasco-Calcaterra Funeral Home
15 Mile & Schoenherr
Sterling Hts, Michigan
Friday April 15-16, 2011

The Holy Funeral Mass will be on Sunday April 17, 10 am at St Paul Tarsus in Clinton Twp, Michigan. The funeral will be on Monday April 17, 10am at St Paul Tarsus Church.

Aaron Caruso will handle the musical service.

Messages of condolence may be sent to Tony Dannon's nephew, Joe Recchia, Email:


Tony Dannon as described on his website approx. 4 years ago.

Tony Dannon began teaching in the early 1950s and opened a studio on the East Side of Detroit. Later he moved to Dearborn and joined forces with Ollie Petrini.

Tony and Ollie built up the "Modern Accordion Studio" school to 1,000 students a week winning numerous important awards, which remained active until 1982.

Tony began clubdating in and around Detroit and did some TV spots with Soupy Sales, Michigan Barn Dance, Tom Tom matinee as well as radio. Shortly thereafter he went to New York, made some recordings with his wife Lillian and her sisters"The DeMara Sisters" and with Tony Matolla.

He played in Carnegie Hall which he considers the highlight of his career. Acclaimed as a jazz performer, Tony also wrote two books with Art Van Damme and others that were published by Deiro, now available from Deffner Music Publications.

On the 5th September 1997 it was reported on the Weekly News:
Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

Jazz accordionist and all-time great musician and teacher Tony Dannon is being honoured by the Michigan Accordion Society on Sunday, October 5th at a Tribute Dinner in Warren, Michigan. Society President Steve Stolarik said "We want to honour Tony for his monumental accordion accomplishments.

Members of the accordion community are welcome to join us at this wonderful event." The celebration in Dannon's honour will include dinner and an accordion show, priced at US$25 at the Arriva Restorante, Twelve Mile Road, between Mound and Van Dyke.

Due to Dannon's great popularity, the event promises to be a sellout and advance ticket purchases are recommended. For information, telephone: + 1 248-853 1500 and ask about the Tony Dannon Tribute Dinner and Show.
On the 10 October 1997 it was reported on the Weekly News:
Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

In tribute to musician, educator, composer Tony Dannon, the Michigan Accordion Society organized a delightful dinner-show in Rochester, Michigan on October 5th. Nearly 500 accordion enthusiasts and Dannon admirers assembled to laud the noted jazz accordionist. In his years as co-director of the Modern Accordion Studio with Ollie Petrini, Dannon managed to turn the state into an accordion mecca, producing hundreds of superb players and contest winners. Tribute performers included accordionists Art Van Damme, Peter Soave, Joe Cerrito, Ray Battani, John Schollak, Lana Gore and Mady Dessimoulie.

Performers were backed by Dan Maslanka on drums and Ralph Armstrong on bass. The event was orchestrated by MAS President Steve Stolaruk and his hard-working board of directors.

A Papal proclamation blessing Dannon was received from the Vatican. American Accordionists' Association President Faithe Deffner presented a tribute plaque, as did the Accordion Teachers Associations of Massachusetts and Rhode Island where Dannon frequently performed and judged at festivals.

Congratulatory messages arrived from admirers throughout the US and there were speeches by former students, colleagues and family.
A link to the Michigan Accordion website photo gallery for pictures of the above reported event.

These pictures bring back many fond memories of a wonderful night of music and fellowship. I was working with Faithe Deffner in New York at the time and flew with her to this event. Seated with so many important and talented accordionists who were there to honor all that Tony Dannon had done with the accordion, was a great testament to the respect that Tony Dannon had earned in the music field during his illustrious career. I was honored to be a part of this special evening and also enjoy the amazing music. Super memories. RIP Tony Dannon. Harley Jones, founder, Accordions Worldwide.
CD Review is online

Accordion Jazz Chords

Daniel Desiderio Conducts Accordion Pops Orchestra in Last Concert

by Rita Barnea
Daniel DesiderioAccordionist/conductor Daniel J. Desiderio, who is retiring, conducts his final concert, "A Memorial Tribute to Charles Nunzio (1912-2010), with the Accordion Pops Orchestra for the benefit of the Alzheimer's Association on May 1st. The orchestra is honored to dedicate this concert to the late Charles Nunzio, world famous accordionist, teacher, composer, and arranger who passed away in October 2010 at the age of 97.

World renowned jazz artist, Eddie Monteiro, who studied with Charles Nunzio, will be the featured performer. Alfred Terzo will become the new conductor of the APO.

Daniel J. Desiderio is one of the country’s foremost accordionists. Well known in the accordion field for his compositions and arrangements, Mr. Desiderio has recorded on the Ampco and Cormark labels. He has performed in concerts throughout Europe and America, appearing at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Copenhagen’s Radio House, Munich’s Congress Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, Philadelphia's Academy of Music and Kimmel Center, and the White House.

Mr. Desiderio began his formal musical training at the age of 9 under the late Arnold Crowe of Philadelphia and later Pietro Deiro, Sr, the "Daddy of the Accordion." He also studied arranging and composition with Dr. William Happich of the University of Pennsylvania. He began his concert career at age 17.

 During his four year military service, he was featured soloist with the Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, performing around the world under the direction of Col. George S. Howard.

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Accordionists' Association, one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Accordion Teachers Association, and a member of the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey which has become the MAMTG.

In addition to serving as conductor of the Accordion Pops Orchestra, Mr. Desiderio continues to perform in concerts and private affairs in the Philadelphia area. He also operates a music studio in Media, Pennsylvania where he teaches accordion and piano students.

The origin of the APA 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.

The largest professional accordion orchestra of its kind on the East Coast, the group consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments. In addition, the orchestra often accompanies guest soloists including pianists and vocal artists.

Most of the twenty-five plus members of the orchestra are professional musicians or teachers. Many are soloists in their own right. The orchestra performs a repertoire of light classical, Broadway, big band and popular music. It has entertained audiences at concert halls, county fairs, festivals, schools, and playhouses at many locations primarily in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The May 1st concert takes place at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton, NJ.Lunch/1 PM. Concert/3 PM at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, NJ. The donation is $48.00 which includes luncheon and concert.

Reservations are still being taken up to April 16th for the May 1st event.

The APO will present a concert on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 3:00 PM at the Shannondell at Valley Forge, PA.

For further information about the concerts and the Accordion Pops Orchestra CD: Rosemarie Cavanaugh 732-257-8198
APO with Daniel Desiderio


Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Paul PasqualiNewsletter cover, Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion FestivalI am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Paul Betken & Jerry Cigler are newly added to a great line up of stars (list below) with lots of great seats still available! Want to hop a plane to come and enjoy this exciting festival?

Newsletter (picture right) with full information: 2018LVACnews.pdf
Picture left: Event organizer Paul Pasquali

The lineup starts with visionary accordionist Cory Pesaturo and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of the legendary Prof. Joan Sommers.

You can register online at or contact Paul Pasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email:
Footer Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival

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

Music with Kevin Friedrich and Friends, Dargaville - New Zealand

by Harley Jones
Kevin FriedrichPicture left: Kevin Friedrich smiles as he receives a standing ovation.

For the 4th time, the concert "Music with Kevin Friedrich and Friends" was held in Dargaville, New Zealand at the Lighthouse Function Center. For a full report of the concert, with photos and background information: Dargaville2011

This picturesque Center overlooking the town and river, was sold out with quite a few people being turned away. Dargaville was Kevin Friedrich's home town before he moved to the USA at 18 years of age, to go to UMKC University studying accordion to gain his degree majoring in accordion.

Kevin has remained living in the USA since then excepting studying in Europe for a period and has been a long time member of the AAA and ATG Boards and internationally, has just recently retired as CIA President.

Kevin Friedrich returns to New Zealand annually to make this fundraising concert for the Dargaville museum where there is a permanent historical accordion display titled 'Accordion Gems - A Master Collection of Accordions Through Time'. This display was initiated and developed by Kevin over recent years.

Local performers were part of the program which included the first performance on the brand new piano at the Center. Proceeds from last years and this years concerts had purchased the beautiful new piano, which is something that the entire community can enjoy.

The second half of the concert was devoted to accordion, opening with Ben Emmett’s Accordions (BEA) Reunion Ensemble in honor of Ben and Doreen Emmett’s role as founding members of the New Zealand Accordion Association, which is celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.

The concert continued with Kevin performing a very popular solo program of novelty pieces, entertainment works, a few classical selections plus a medley featuring Kevin with dancers, pianist Nolene Osbaldiston and flautist Pippa Howes. The concert closed with three duos by Kevin with internationally popular accordionist Lionel Reekie.

After the concert was an Open Jam Session and Sing-A-Long and two other accordionists, well known in the USA, Harley and Maurice Jones joined others to make an enjoyable jam session.

For a full report of the concert, with photos and background information: Dargaville2011

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Dr. Robert Young McMahan:Composer, Professor, and Accordionist

by Rita Barnea
American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Executive Board member, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, is a versatile musician who composes not only for the accordion but many other instruments. A graduate of The Peabody Institute of Music and St. John’s College, he is a composer, noted classical accordionist, and published music researcher. 

On April 4th,2011 the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet performs Robert Young McMahan's
"Three Sets for Saxophone Quartet (2010)":
I. Set 1:  Moderato / Agitato
II. Break and Brief Walk to Set 2:  Moderato, casual, loose
III. Set 2:  Allegretto marziale

Members of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet are:
Jordan P. Smith - soprano saxophone
Aaron Patterson - alto saxophone
Daniel Kochersberger - tenor saxophone
Jay Rattman - baritone saxophone

The composition was commissioned by Saxophonist Jordan Smith for the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet.The world premiere of the composition was on Feb.3, 2011 at The College of New Jersey by the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet.

The concert takes place on April 4, 2011 at 8 pm at Rutgers University, Nicholas Music Center, New Brunswick, NJ. It will be a diverse recital program of works by Larsen, Downes, Chance, Decruck, and more
Featuring: soprano vocalist, Rachel Hall; timpanist, Uijoung Ryu; and the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet.

Dr McMahan said, "I always find it deeply gratifying when a former student asks me to write a piece for him or her, especially when that person has survived my courses in music theory and ear training at The College of New Jersey and is still on speaking terms with me! (Theory teachers everywhere will understand this statement.)

This is the case with my present offering.  Having never written for saxophone, Jordan Smith suddenly remedied that situation for me last year by asking me to write for not one saxophone, but four of them, for the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet’s appearance in fall 2010 at TCNJ’s weekly lunch time  “Brown-bag” series.  The entire program was a great success and certainly a triumphant return by Jordan to his alma mater.   I feel particularly honored that he has decided to give it a second performance at this, Doctorate Degree recital, at Rutgers University."

Jordan P. Smith is a New York-based saxophonist and conductor. His teachers have included Dr. Paul Cohen, Dr. John Sampen and Kathleen Mitchell, as well as Dr. William Silvester for conducting.

He has concertized extensively throughout the United States and internationally in Greece as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician, and has recently performed multiple times with the New World Symphony, The MSM Orchestra, the Brooklyn College Orchestra, and the French Woods Orchestra. Jordan was winner of the 2006-2007 TCNJ Concerto Competition, later performing Tomasi's Ballade for Saxophone and Orchestra with The College of New Jersey Orchestra.

Recent performance venues have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Yamaha Concert Hall in New York City, St. Peters Citigroup Center in New York City, the Professional Children’s School, Yale University, Eisenhower Hall at West Point, and the 2011 International Saxophone Symposium.

Jordan P. Smith is currently a D.M.A. candidate at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, where he studies with Dr. Paul Cohen. He holds an M.M. degree in Saxophone Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a B.M. in Music Education from The College of New Jersey. He is the interim adjunct Professor of Saxophone at William Patterson University, the conductor for the saxophone choir and saxophone ensemble of Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey, and saxophone faculty for the Mason Gross School of the Arts Extension Division.

Dr. McMahan is Professor of Music at The College of New Jersey where he is also Area Coordinator of Music Theory, Composition, Ear Training, and Classical Accordion.

Prior to his appointment at TCNJ, Dr. McMahan taught Music Theory and related subjects at Towson University, Morgan State University, College of Notre Dame, Essex Community College, and the Peabody Preparatory School (of the Peabody Institute) where he was Head of the Theory Department and developed its curriculum. He also taught Classical Accordion at the Peabody Preparatory School and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Dr. McMahan studied composition with Robert Hall Lewis, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, and Stefan Grove at the Peabody Institute. He received honors in composition there and awards in composition from the Annapolis Fine Arts Composers’ Competition and Contemporary Recording Society.

In addition, he has received a number of Meet the Composer grants since 1996. Dr. McMahan is a recognized authority on the American composer, Carl Ruggles, and has published articles in American Music, Sonneck Society Bulletin, New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and New Grove Dictionary of Music. He is presently working on a book on the life and works of Ruggles.

Dr. McMahan’s primary instrument is classical accordion, and he has tirelessly promoted the instrument in serious contemporary music throughout his career. He has been commissioned to write works for the accordion by various individuals and organizations, including the American Accordionists’ Association and the New York State Council on the Arts. He has recorded on the CRS and Orion labels and is published by Ernest Deffner Music.

During his years in the Baltimore area, Dr. McMahan was accordionist for the Baltimore Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Washington Ballet and American Ballet Orchestras (at the Kennedy Center), and for other cultural and performing organizations.

He has performed under such notable conductors as Julius Rudel, Rob Fisher, Sarah Caldwell, Sergiu Comissiona, Gunther Schuller, Frederik Prausnitz, Murry Sidlin, bandleader Les Elgart, Leon Botstein, Leon Fleisher, and Peter Schickele, and with Sting, Georgia Brown, Maureen McGovern, Alvin Epstein, Boyd Gaines, and Theodore Bikel. Besides his numerous published articles,

Dr. McMahan has been featured in articles by others in Keyboard Magazine, The Music Connoisseur, High Fidelity, Who’s Who in American Composers: Classical, and several other highly regarded publications.

Dr. McMahan serves as a reader and table leader at the annual examinations readings of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program for Music Theory and had been a reader for the Graduate Record Examination in Music Theory prior to its discontinuance.

For further information:
Dr. Robert Young McMahon

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

Roland Remembers Benny Layton

by Steve Albini, Roland Corporation U.S.
Benny LaytonRoland U.S. Announces the Sudden Passing of a Team Member, Los Angeles, CA, March 30, 2011 — Roland Corporation U.S. is extremely saddened to announce the passing of Benigno “Benny” Layton, a valued member of its V-Accordion® team, in a tragic motorcycle accident near San Antonio, Texas. He was 60. Benny is survived by his wife Irma and his four children: Benny Jr., Paul, Armando, and Janice.

A lifelong accordion player and music enthusiast, Benny came to work with Roland in 2010 as a V-Accordion product specialist after a career of devoted public service in his local Texas communities of Edcouch and Elsa, where he was regarded among residents with their highest respect and admiration.
In his community, Benny served as a music educator, a municipal court judge, and as president of the Edcouch-Elsa school board. Over the years, he taught hundreds of students, and his impact on their lives has been immeasurable. In 1990, Benny instituted a school conjunto music program in order to preserve and pass on the traditional music he grew up with. In 2000, this program became part of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Benny was also highly respected in Texas’ Tejano music community. In May of this year, he will be inducted into the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame during the Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio.
“Benny was a fine musician, but even more, he was a great person,” said Chris Halon, Director of Product Management for Roland U.S. “He and his group were a highlight of our Roland exhibit at the 2011 Winter NAMM Show. Benny was truly an amazing man and he will be so dearly missed.”
The Layton family has asked for privacy during this difficult time.

Steven Albini
V-Accordion Product Manager
Roland Corporation U.S.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Stephen Dominko to Perform at 2011 ACCORDIONS NOW!

by Rita Barnea
Stephen DominkoStephen Dominko will perform at the 4th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! 2011 Festival on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at the Nashua Courtyard Marriott Nashua, New Hampshire.

He will present a Lecture-Demonstration on Technique & Style on Saturday morning.

Stephen P. Dominko’s life of music was set in motion when he was just five years old. While listening to a recording of Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival” he ran from the room crying. When his parents asked him what was wrong, he told them, “The music is too beautiful to listen to.”

At that time, the accordion was a popular instrument. Hee began taking lessons with Rudolf Molinaro. When Stephen was 10, he was a guest on the Sam Levenson Television Show. Immediately following that appearance, his concert career began. Remarkably by age 13, Stephen Dominko was the youngest US Open Champion in history.

Stephen played his first of two concerts at New York’s Carnegie Hall at age 14, his second at age 18. During this same period, he was competing at the international level representing the United States, becoming the youngest-ever World Champion at 17.

Upon auditioning for the Mannes College of Music, Stephen placed as a sophomore. He studied with John Goldmark, majoring in music theory and analysis.

In 1966, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic staged international auditions to find six of the world’s most talented young musicians. After a series of auditions, Stephen and five others were chosen. They performed on The Bell Telephone Hour from Lincoln Center. Stephen who performed the "Chopin F Minor Concerto", was the only accordionist ever to play with The New York Philharmonic.

Recording, concerts, TV and radio performances followed. The young Dominko delighted his audiences with his fiery and expressive style.

Since 1985 Stephen Dominko has been composing. He has also studied yoga and meditation. His experience as a VNA Hospice volunteer, combined with his spiritual practices, has largely inspired his compositions. He continues to compose from his home in Washington, New Hampshire. He teaches piano, accordion and composition to a select number of advanced pupils.

For more information:
Suzanne Welch -
Donna Maria Regis -
Co-Founders, ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival

TO REGISTER: 1.800.328.5227

Titano Accordion Company

Chris Gorton to Perform at 2011 New England Music Festival

by Rita Barnea
Chris GortonChris Gorton will be a featured guest artist performing at the 2011 New England Music Festival which will be held from April 8-10 at the Boston Marriott in Newton, Massachusetts. He will perform in the Ballroom on Sunday, April 10 at 1:30 PM. Chris is the winner of the 2010 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival.

On Sunday, March 27, Chris was a featured performer at the 9th Annual Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fun Event at the Magnanini Winery in NY. Chris presented a challenging and varied program which included:
"La Valse a Margaux" by Richard Galliano
"Flambee Montalbanaise" by Gus Visuer
"Four" by Miles Davis
"Chiquilin de Bachin" and "Oblivion" by Astor Piazzolla
"Winter" by Vivaldi
He was very enthusiastically received by over 175 attendees.

Chris Gorton, from Providence RI.,has been playing the accordion since the age of seven, taking lessons from Bob Paolo, at Paolo music in Johnston Rhode Island. He began competing at seven years old, winning first place for 2 years. He continued to compete and won the New England Championship for three consecutive years, making him the first person in the history of the competition to do so. In 2001 and 2003 Chris traveled to the American Accordionists Association competitions and won the United States Championship for classical accordion. He was also the New England jazz Accordion Champion from 2000-2003, as well as the United States Jazz Accordion Champion for 2001 and 2003.

In 2003 Chris received an invitation to the Coupe Mondiale (World Cup) accordion competition representing the United States in Sturovo, Slovakia/Estergom, Hungary. He also participated in the World Cup again in 2007, representing the USA in Washington D.C in the classical music division.

In September 2010, Chris won the US Roland Digital Accordion Competition in LA. receiving a new Roland FR7x digital accordion, and the privilege to represent RolandUS at the International Competition held in Rome Italy, October 2010.

He is now an official Artist for Roland Corporation. He has also played Vivaldi’s “Winter” with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Dr. Emilian Bedea), and won the AAA Carrozza Scholarship Category (2010)

Chris is a graduate of Classical High school in Providence, RI. In 2007 he received his Associates in Science in Business from the Community College of Rhode Island. He is currently in his senior year at Rhode Island College, working toward a Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems with a minor in music. His future plans include earning an advanced degree in music theory/composition.

In July 2011, Chris plans to enter the Carrozza Competition at the AAA Festival in Charleston. He will also be a guest artist at the Roland Competition in July 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

For further information :

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

AAA Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Event: A Great Success

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Joe Ciccone and Carmen CarrozzaCarmen Carrozza's 90th birthday was celebrated when the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) presented the 9th annual ‘Afternoon of Music, Food, and Fun’ at the Magnanini Farm Winery in Wallkill, NY on Sunday March 27th, to benefit the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund for the advancement of promising young accordionists. Click for a photo report: Carrozza2011

Over 175 attendees were treated to a wonderful afternoon of varied virtuoso accordion performances, wonderful camaraderie, and delicious foods. Carmen was surprised with a special SANO accordion cake created by Judy Sehnel. AAA Board member, Lenny Feldmann, was the master of ceremonies introducing the fabulous performances by: Bob and Anita Siarkowski: Mario Tacca who provided a moving tribute in memory of Dr Sal Febbraio: The Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca Show; Music for dancing presented by Frank Carozza, Frank Toscano and Ray Oreggia; Guest Artist: Beverly Roberts Curnow: 2010 Winner of the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship, Chris Gorton; Emilio Magnotta; Father and Son Duo, Fabio and Fabio; Duets by Emilio Magnotta and Mario Tacca; The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra conducted by AAA President Linda Soley Reed. Members included: Jeanine Cariri, Vince Cuminotto, Bob Czarnecki, Dorothy Gondek, Gerry Hertel, Mary Mascolo, Dennis Maxfield, Marilyn O"Neil, Art Peil, Zita Rossi, Judy Sehnal, Bob Vitale, and Hasmik Zamgochian. Concluding the event was the traditional group performance of "Jolly Caballero" conducted by Maestro Carmen Carrozza.

Carmen Carrozza, born in Calabria, Italy, on July 20th 1921, emigrated to the USA with his family when he was nine years old, settling in Chappaqua, Westchester, NY, where Carmen began studying music, becoming proficient on the violin, piano and accordion.

In 1937, Carmen Carrozza graduated from the Pietro Deiro Accordion Conservatory in Greenwich Village, NYC, where he was awarded the highest honors and a gold medal for his performance. He furthered his studies at the New York Academy of Music. Carrozza’s professional debut took place in 1947 at the Philadelphia Academy of Music, and he went on to appear at major concert halls throughout the USA, Canada and Europe.

Carrozza was the first accordionist to perform as featured soloist with major symphony orchestras, including The Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, under Arthur Fiedler, premiering Paul Creston’s ‘Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra’, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Cincinnati Orchestra, Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, and the US Navy Band.

Carrozza considers solo concerts in Town Hall, New York City, as one of the high points in his career, premiering original accordion works - a milestone in the history of the accordion.

Throughout the years Carrozza has received numerous awards and honorees from many different organizations, associations and clubs. Carrozza is a Past President and an active governing board member of the AAA. He continues to promote the accordion through educational workshops at schools, universities and private music studios.

Carrozza currently resides in the town of Thornwood in Westchester, NY, with his wife Jean and has two grown children and two grandchildren.

Much has been written about the unique artistry of concert accordionist, composer, arranger and educator Carmen Carrozza, but one critic summed up he proclaimed, “the violin has its Pagannini, the piano its Chopin – the accordion its Carrozza” - So be it!

Click for a photo report: Carrozza2011

For further information about Carmen or the AAA Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund, email:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Virtuoso Accordionist Horace Lazzari

by Rita Barnea
Top: Horace Lazzari, Jeanette Lazzari & Rita Davidson Lower: Rita Davidson and Joe PetosaI would like to share the chain of events which led to my recent great honor and pleasure of meeting accordionist Horace Lazzari in Walla, Walla Washington where he lives with his lovely wife, Jeanette (picture right top with Rita Davidson).

I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Petosa Accordions, generously sponsoring half of the airfare. Thank you Joe Petosa (picture lower right with Rita Davidson).

Readers are asked to check back here after 21st April to see a full report of this visit along with lots of historical information and photographs.

I met Horace as a result of my research concerning my former accordion teacher, Eugene Ettore. I was working on the creation of a memorial website for him and investigating the performances of his "Manhattan Concerto". How many were there" Where and when did they take place? Because of the trust and generosity of Eugene Ettore's daughter, Carol Asimou, my home is filled with his music, manuscripts, photos, scrapbooks, etc. In August of 2010 when looking through a scrapbook, I came across a newspaper article, concert program and letter written to Eugene Ettore by Horace Lazzari describing his performance of the "Manhattan Concerto" with the Walla, Walla Symphony Orchestra in April 1961. I immediately realized that this was a significant find!.

I decided at that very moment to call Horace. After a brief internet search, I found the phone number, called , and was very happy to "meet" Horace and Jeanette over the phone. It was amazing to learn that he performed the "Manhattan Concerto" fifty years ago and here I was, performing it with an orchestra (Roxborough Symphony Orchestra in Philadelphia) fifty years later! We also discovered that we play the same model of accordion, the Petosa AM 1100 and gave our performances of the "Manhattan Concerto" on the same instrument! What a coincidence! Speaking with Horace and Jeanette on the phone, we became instant friends and I was invited to Walla, Walla, Washington to meet them.

In October 2010, I combined a trip to Walla, Walla with a visit to Joe Petosa at the Petosa Accordion Company. Leaving NJ where I live, two plane flights later, I was met at the airport by Horace and Jeanette. I do not think they would mind my saying that they are both a very lively and energetic 86 year old couple. Jeanette had said to me before I left NJ. "Rita, I hope you do not mind that when we pick you up at the airport, we must go straight to Horace's gig at an Octoberfest Party, a gig he has had for more than 8 years! ".

We went to the home where the party was taking place. Horace spent the next 3 and half hours, playing nonstop for over 60 people at an outdoor party! His playing was amazing, a vast repertoire of light classics, ethnic and popular music.! He shared with me that he still enjoys practicing. His flawless techniques in performing his program accurately, clearly demonstrated his talent and dedication to practice. "There is no substitute for daily practice", Horace says.

Horace Jeanette, and I spent a fabulous weekend of sharing music, listening to recordings, talking about his performance of the "Manhattan Concerto", and, of course, playing the accordion! Horace's talented former student, Jim Rice, an award winning accordionist, came over for dinner and the time passed quickly. I was fortunate to be trusted with many of Horace's photos and programs,soon to be online on

Horace is truly an inspiration not only to accordionists but all musicians! He and his lively wife, Jeanette, can show you how to live a life filled with music and friends, staying youthful and healthy. No doubt that playing the accordion keeps one young and in good shape! They extended another invitation to me and I look forward to visiting them again very soon.

There is so much that can be said about Horace and his musical accomplishments. Born on October 17, 1924 in Fort William ( Now Thunder Bay) Ontario, Canada, Horace was known as Canada's "Boy Wonder of the Accordion" by the age of nine. Lazzari has musical memories which go back to age 3 when his father, also an accordionist, introduced him to the instrument. "I have been playing my accordion for audiences ever since I can remember, " he said. He also studied with a piano teacher, Patrick Shaw, and also with Fiori Baldovin, the son of an accordion maker in Fort Williams.

During his early years, he toured and performed throughout the eastern province of Canada. On one of these tours he had the exciting experience of accompanying Kate Smith during a show. Before moving to Vancouver, B.C., he pursued his theoretical studies at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. As he grew up, Horace performed in theaters almost every week during the days when vaudeville was a part of motion picture house programs. He usually occupied the top place on the bill. He was described as "The Boy Wonder of the Accordion" and the "Canadian Elks Greatest".

Horace won a radio contest and $25.00 in prize money in Ontario in 1939. He later went on to greater fame as first place talent winner in a Horace Heidt show in Yakima in 1949.

Horace moved to Vancouver where he studied the accordion in depth with Alf Carlson, an outstanding accordion teacher who was highly recognized as an outstanding educator throughout Canada. and his friend, Leonard Wilson, Fellow of the Trinity College of Music on the faculty of the University of British Columbia. During these years, Horace gave concerts throughout the northwest and California becoming well known as a concert accordionist. He also toured briefly with the Canadian armed forces with a group of 5 entertainers performing at bases.

Horace met his wife, Jeanette, in Vancouver and were married on his birthday, Oct. 17, 1949. Horace and Jeanetter eventually moved to Walla, Walla, Washington, a college town, which had climatic conditions to meet his needs, becoming a well known resident of the community. In 1961, Lazzari who had been concertizing throughout the Northwest, was asked to perform an accordion solo with the Walla Walla and Mid-Columbia Symphony Orchestras, a first for both organizations.

Horace premiered the Pacific Northwest performance of the "Manhattan Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra"(1951) by Eugene Ettore with both orchestras. He achieved one of his goals which was to perform with a symphony. The Walla, Walla Symphony Orchestra conducted by William H. Bailey was the oldest continuous symphony west of the Mississippi. He also performed with the Mid-Columbia Symphony Orchestra of the Tri-Cities.

Horace also has been a guest artist with the local symphony playing on their Pops concert programs, Chamber concert series, and Young People's Concerts.
Horace appeared on many programs with other accordionists including Chuck Berger, Murl Sanders, Joe Morelli, and Ken Olendorf. He is a member of the American Accordionists Association and the Accordion Teachers Guild. He was also president of the Walla Walla Music Teachers Association.

His strong interest in the financial world made him a natural choice for treasurer of the Walla Walla Symphony Society, a position he held for many years. His wife, Jeanette, was executive director. She is also one of her husband's biggest fans. She said. " With his accordion, he can make people sing, cry, dance, be happy or sad or even pray. Horace Lazzari continues to be an inspiration to everyone he meets.

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

2011 AAA Seminar in July

by Rita Barnea
AAA Masterclass logo
Dr. William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel, moderator/curator, will direct the 2011 American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Seminars : Walton the imperial: Crowned!. The master classes are at 3 pm. The concerts take place at 7 pm. All events will be at the the Tenri Cultural institute, 43a West 13 St. – between 5 and 6 Ave, New York.

It will be a weekend of master classes, which includes afternoon workshops, discussions and informal performances as well as full length evening concerts of a more formal nature.

Accordion philosopher, Dr. William Schimmel will be the guide for the entire weekend supplying commentary, giving interviews as well as lecturing and performing himself. The weekend will cover literally every aspect of the accordion and its various dimensions – classical, jazz, ethnic, avant garde and world music

Anyone interested in performing at one of the afternoon masterclasses – to receive advice, encouragement and constructive criticism from the participants, the audience and Dr. Schimmel may contact him at 212-876-0827 – the same number for all reservations concerning the entire weekend events. the Tenri Cultural institute, 43a West 13 St. – between 5 and 6 Ave, New York.

The master class on July 29, 2011 will include:
The accordion in ordinary life
Twelve ordinary notes
The non narrative life
The accordion and FDR
More is better
Simplicity born of an inner complexity
The art of disappointment
Turn your garbage heap into a pop art statement

The Master class on July 30, 2011 will include:
Performing for the homeless
Tea and tango
The tango and shopping
Glasgow – the tokyo of the north/tokyo of tea rooms
The art of boredom
The 400 club
The tango and how to dance it
The house of the ordinary/ordinary people

More information will appear in future USA news.
$20 per master class, $40 per day
$25 per concert, $110 entire weekend

For reservations: 212- 876-0827
For more information:

Titano Accordion Company

Big Squeeze Competition Pays Tribute to Late Conjunto Masters

by Sheree Scarborough
Tony Garza, Benny LaytonTexas Folklife and Conjunto Heritage Taller to host Auditions, Conjunto Performance and Memorial to BENNY LAYTON (picture lower) and TONY GARZA (picture top) during First Friday at Gallista Gallery
Austin, Texas – Texas Folklife and Conjunto Heritage Taller announce that for the second consecutive year the annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians is being presented in San Antonio. The Big Squeeze will come to San Antonio on Friday, April 1, hosted by Conjunto Heritage Taller and Gallista Gallery.

Given the recent passing of two accordion maestros Benny Layton of Edcouch and Tony Garza of Poteet, the organizations will use the event as an opportunity to pay tribute to men who made a significant contribution to the Conjunto music community. Both men died last weekend. Layton (60) died in a motorcycle accident near San Antonio and Garza (73) died of natural causes in San Antonio.

"What a shock and what a tragic loss,” said Juan Tejeda, Conjunto Music Instructor at Palo Alto College and founder/director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Tejano Conjunto Festival.  “Benny Layton was a gentleman and an outstanding button accordionist, musician, and educator.

He created and developed a pioneering Conjunto music program for high school students in the Edcouch-La Joya Independent School District where he taught for almost 30 years until his retirement in 2009. During these 30 years he taught and influenced hundreds of young musicians, many who are now performing professionally with some of the biggest names in Conjunto/Tejano music, such as Bobby Pulido, Dezeo, Elida Reyna, Ruben Vela, Albert Zamora, and many others. He died too young, and he will be missed, but his musical impact and legacy will live forever."

Layton was the instructor of the 2009 Big Squeeze Champion, Heriberto Rodriguez of Edcouch.  He was featured in The Big Squeeze film as well as Accordion Dreams, both directed by Hector Galán. 

Clips of Layton in these films will be featured in the evening’s program and the public is invited to bring their own videos of Layton and Garza to share.  The public will also be invited to share their stories and memories which will be videotaped and given to the surviving family members.

The evening will also include a tribute to Tony Garza, father of David Lee, Adam, and Richard Garza of the legendary Tejano music band David Lee Garza y Los Musicales.  Garza began playing Conjunto music at a young age and passed on his passion to his sons, whom he taught, mentored, and managed for over 30 years. 

Through Los Musicales, Garza helped establish one of the most influential bands in Tejano music history; it launched many Tejano music stars such as Ram Herrera, Emilio Navaira, Jay Perez and Marcos Orozco.

The tribute and auditions will be held as part of a free, public program at Gallista Gallery, and held in conjunction with First Friday featuring downtown San Antonio’s vibrant art scene. The evening’s program begins at 7:00 p.m. with the auditions. Contestants are asked to arrive by 6:00.

Following the auditions, a Conjunto jam session and tribute will be held and house band Conjunto El Trio will perform. 
The Big Squeeze contest is open to Texas accordionists 21 years of age and younger. All genres of accordion-based music are encouraged to audition, including Cajun; German, Czech, and Polish polka; Tejano, Conjunto and Norteño; Western; and Zydeco.

Contestants will be judged by a panel of esteemed music professionals on song interpretation, technical skill, originality, execution, and stage presence. Contestants may register on-site or in advance by calling Texas Folklife at (512) 441-9255 or by visiting
Semifinalists selected by audition or mailed entries will be hosted in Austin to take part in the semifinals held on April 30 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

At that time, up to four finalists will be selected and awarded $300 each as well as having their hotel stay paid in Houston to compete before a large, enthusiastic audience of accordion fans at the Accordion Kings & Queens Festival on June 4.

Last year’s crowd numbered over 6,000. The Big Squeeze 2011 grand-prize-winner will be selected at the concert by the panel of judges with help from the audience. The grand-prize-winner will receive a prize package valued at $4500, including a $1000 cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion and recording time at the historic Hacienda Records in Corpus Christi, as well as promotional support from SugarHill Records, Hohner, Inc., Hacienda Records and Texas Folklife, and other professional opportunities.            
The Big Squeeze is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the Houston Endowment, the Still Water Foundation, the Austin Latino Music Association, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Additional support is provided by regional businesses including Hohner, Inc., SugarHill Recording Studios, Hacienda Records, Embassy Suites Hotel, Sign Effects and FlashBang Agency in Austin.
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For more than 25 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities and explored their importance in contemporary society.

Called “one of the state’s true cultural treasures” by the Austin American-Statesman, Texas Folklife provides accessible, joyful arts experiences.
Located in SoCo just south of downtown Austin, Texas Folklife can be found next door to the Continental Club, at 1317 South Congress Avenue. For more information contact (512) 441-9255, or visit
Conjunto Heritage Taller is dedicated to the preservation, instruction, and perpetuation of traditional conjunto music played with the accordion and bajo sexto. It was created to provide instruction on these instruments and to seek venues for performance., (210) 212-8560
Gallista Gallery
(210) 212-8606

Media information:
Sheree Scarborough / (512) 922-5483 /
Big Squeeze information:
Cristina Balli, Program Director / (512) 441-9255 /

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Bob LaBua – “Getting Back to the Accordion”

by Bob LaBua Dominic Karcic
Bob LaBuaBob LaBua began taking accordion lessons at age of nine at Joe Delea Music Studio in Jamaica, Queens. His first accordion was on a twelve bass Hohner.

“After two years, my father drove me into the city on a sunny Sunday morning to audition for Joe Biviano at the Biviano School of Music on West 48th Street in Manhattan. I took lessons there for four years under the auspices of Victor Leone primarily but at times Tony Mecca substituted for him. In my first year I graduated from a sixty bass Galenti to my first one-hundred and twenty bass Mussi accordion.”

“I eventually asked Mr. Leone if I could study popular songs like the ones I heard on the radio. He told me ʻno!ʼ If you play the accordion pieces that I teach, youʼll be able to play anything.”

Bob eventually teamed up with some of his friends that played instruments and formed a little combo playing at local dances and Christmas parties. Bob married his sweetheart Regina in 1959 and began raising a family of four children. Needless to say there was not much time for the accordion. He very seldom played except at special family parties. In 1996 Regina surprised him with a new accordion - "a magnificent one-hundred and twenty bass Bell” (with a beautiful musette tuning) from Aldo Meccacini.“

“Unfortunately, for the following thirteen years, this gem of an accordion sat most of the time in the case, in the closet, only played a few times a year. I did not play much but my love for music and the accordion never left me.”

“Last September, I had the pleasure to discover the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) at a local restaurant in Commack, NY. I was so greatly overwhelmed by the talent in that room. I said to my wife that is how the accordion should be played. The accordionists that I heard at subsequent meetings inspired me and reignited my desire to get back to playing.

I thank all the virtuosos that have contributed to my renewed interest and the great personal enjoyment and satisfaction that I now get from my beloved accordion."
The rest is history. At the March meeting of Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) at La Villini Restaurant (East Northport, NY) Bob brought his beautiful Bell and played four selections flawlessly. His performance was greeted with tremendous applause.

Welcome back Bob LaBua and keep on squeezing. Bravo! Bravo!


The ACCORDIONS NOW! 2011 Festival Lineup is here!

by Rita Barnea
The 4th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival will be held from Friday to Saturday, August 12-13 at its new location, the Nashua Courtyard Marriott, Nashua, New Hampshire.

Lots of Accordions, Lots of Music, Lots of Fun!! Artists & Presenters [in alphabetical order] :  ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, Rita Davidson, Stephen Dominko, Fabio & Fabio, Sam Falcetti, Lynda Fish, Tony Lovello, Gary Morin, Donna Maria Regis, Jerry Tramontozzi, Arthur Welch, Other Performers To Be Announced  .

Tony Lovello
The one of a kind, razzling, dazzling "Living Legend". He is 78 years old and going strong. He has an amazing amount of physical energy, musical talent, and great personality. Come and hear for yourself why Tony is called "the entertainers' entertainer", "the king of the bellow shake," and, as the National Accordion Association has anointed him, "the living legend of the accordion world."  Tony Lovello is truly one of a kind.

Rita Davidson    
Eugene Ettore [1921-1985]: 
A 90th Anniversary Appreciation of His Life and Music
Rita Davidson, virtuoso accordionist, educator, editor, and curator, honors her late, esteemed teacher -- the noted composer Eugene Ettore [1921-1985] on the 90th anniversary of his birth. Rita will perform Ettore's works in the Gala Concert Saturday evening and give a workshop Saturday morning on his life and music.

Stephen Dominko………… see the article here in the April news.

Fabio & Fabio
Four Generations:  Continuing A Family Tradition 
Fabio Lucarelli III says in the liner notes on the "Fabio & Fabio" CD: "I believe my father and grandfather...both accomplished accordionists [who] entertained as father and son, are looking their tradition of father and son continues...with Fabio IV..."

Sam Falcetti 
Secrets of Accordion Fingering
Sam Falcetti is back by popular request! Last year Sam taught how to memorize a song in five minutes.  This year he tackles the often thorny topic of correct fingering. If you've ever "run out of fingers" in the middle of a passage, you need this workshop. Sam will help you avoid fingering problems by teaching you how to choose the correct finger every time. 

Arthur Welch
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Do-It-Yourself Accordion Repairs
By popular demand! Arthur Welch will answer your questions on accordion repair.
If you have ever tried to fix your own accordion, this is the workshop for you. If you think you would like to try to do your own repairs, this is the workshop for you.This is your chance to see what it is all about and to avoid the pitfalls of do-it-yourself accordion repairs. 

Come to ACCORDIONS NOW1 2011 and celebrate our favorite instrument with friends old and new. Remember the motto: LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN !!!

For further information: Suzanne Welch
Donna Maria Regis
Co-Founders of ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival

Future events

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Roland Corporation USA Announces 2011 V-Accordion Festival!

by Steve Albini, Roland Corporation U.S.
Roland V-Acccordion Festival banner
ATG logoThe Roland US 2011 V-Accordion Festival information is now online. The 2011 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival finals will be on July 29, 2011 during the 71st Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival in Orlando, Florida at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel, 5445 Forbes Place, Orlando, Florida.

There will be three competition categories:
Senior (age 18 and older),
Junior (age 17 and younger)
Diatonic (age 18 and older).

Performances will feature Italian accordion artist Sergio Scappini, seven-time diatonic accordion champion Danilo Di Paolonicola, 2010 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival winner Chris Gorton, father and son artists Alex and Peter Chudolij, Grammy nominee Alex Meixner, and Steve Albini of Roland U.S.

Attend the many interesting workshops and master classes.

Please consider entering the competition. For competition rules and entry form visit:

Contact Information:
Virginia Harmon
, Festival Coordinator, 
Phone: (323) 890-3776
Steven Albini, V-Accordion Product Manager, Roland Corporation U.S. Phone: 323.890.3700  x 2353 Email:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

WMAS features Dominic Karcic and Ray Oreggia

by Rita Barnea
Tickets are still available for April 18, 2011 when the
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society presents its Italian Night Dinner Dance featuring Dominic Karcic & Ray Oreggia on Saturday, April 16, 2011, 6-9 PM at Marco Polo Restaurant (703-281-3922) , 245 Maple Avenue W. (Rte. 123), Vienna, VA 22180. Admission: $30 WMAS members, $39 for non-members.

You can listen and danced to the beautiful accordion sounds and melodies of Borgo Val di Taro (Parma) and other regions of Italy, as well as a wide variety of dance music performed by this delightful, well-known accordion duet team. Dominic and Ray specialize in festive Valtaro musette accordion music with waltzes, polkas, tangos, mazurkas and merengues. It is great dance music especially for people who love ballroom dancing. There is a delicious menu planned.

Originally from Astoria, NY, Dominic Karcic attended New York College of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and continued his education at the City University of New York (CCNY) where he received his Masters Degree in Music.

Dominic was a public school music teacher for thirty-two years focusing on vocal and instrumental instruction in the Long Island towns of Valley Stream, Freeport, and Baldwin. He has always played professionally in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today.

His love for the Valtaro Musette music was instilled in him through his years of study with noted accordionist Peter Spagnoli.

In recent years he has been involved in the preservation and documentation of this musical style. He collaborated in writing a biographical article on the life and career of accordionist John “Scudlein” Brugnoli (founder of the Valtaro Musette Orchestra) which was published in the Gazzetta di Parma (Parma, Italy). He has continued writing articles about Valtaro Musette music and several have been published in the Borgo Val di Taro web-site.

AAA Board member Dominic Karcic, is working on a project hoping to make documentary film on the history and origin of Valtaro Musette music in New York City. He is looking for any pictures or film / video that people might have of accordionist, John “Scudlein” Brugnoli, or his partner, accordionist Pete “Filomena” Delgrosso, and also any of the other Valtaro accordionists: Emilio Chiesa, Gelso Pellegrini, Hugo Nati, Aldo Bruschi, Pete Spagnoli etc.

The mission of WMAS (pronounced Wah-mass) is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the national capital region meeting on the third Sunday every month at 4:00 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia.

AAA Board member Ray Oreggia specializes in traditional Italian Valtaro music and frequently performs with Dominic at accordion conventions, restaurants, concerts, etc. As an expert on the great jazz legend Art Van Damme, Ray presents workshops at accordion conventions.

Join Dominic and Ray on Italian night!!

Contact Peter DiGiovanni at 703-242-2160

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

Sy Kushner Presents "New Jewish Music"

by Rita Barnea
Sy KushnerOn April 3, 2011, accordionist Sy Kushner will present a program of music form his new CD…."from my soul" "New Jewish Music" at City Winery, 155 Varick Street, between and Vandam Streets, NYC.

Musicians joining him in the program include:Aaron Kushner on alto sax, Marty Confurius on bass and Larry Eagle on drums and percussion.

Marty Confurius has performed and recorded with Sy for over 13 years and has recorded on all 3 of Sy’s New Jewish Music albums as well as his KlezSqueeze album. Marty has been involved in the klezmer scene since its revival. He was Andy Statman”s bass player for years. He also plays and records with many of the top klezmer bands.

Larry Eagle is currently Andy Statman’s drummer. He recently recorded and toured with Bruce Springstein promoting the Pete Seeger-Sessions album. He played at the Klez Kush and Son sold out concerts at Tonic club accompanying  Sy, his son as well as Marty.

Aaron Kushner was a member of the Klezminors, the top teenage klezmer band in the country 12 years ago, performing for thousands at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. Since then he has recorded on all three of Sy’s New Jewish Music album as well as doing the art design on Journeys and Arise CDs

There will be $10.00 Music Charge for both Sets at 10:50 AM and 12:10 PM. Doors open at 10:00 AM. As Sy limits his public appearances, this is a rare opportunity to see him perform live.

For concert information: 212- 608-0555 x 173.
For information about Sy Kushner and his music:

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

Dr. William Schimmel's Upcoming Performances

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelAmerican Accordionists' Association (AAA) Board Member, Dr. William Schimmel has a busy performance season including the following dates:

On April 11, he will perform with the New York Philharmonic.
On April 6, 9 13 and 16 he will perform in Wozzeck with the Metropolitan Opera – New York.
On April 15, he will perform Chaya Czernowin's Die Kruezung for Accordion, Saxophone and Bass at Miller Theatre – Columbia University – New York.
On April 23, he will perform his own Variation on The Tennessee Waltz at a memorial service for visual artist Laurie Ourlicht at Westbeth – New York.
On April 24, he will perform with singer/storyteller Ulla Soukko in a concert at the 80th Street Residence in New York.

On May 19, he will record “Spiral Jetty” by Anthony Cornicello for Accordion , Violin and Cello with members of the Modernworks ensemble – New York
On June 4, he will perform Jorge Martin's “Ropa Vierda for Accordion, Cello and Percussion” along with his arrangement of :”La Fiesta” by Chick Corea with members of Close Encounters with Music. The concert will take place at Ozawa Hall – Tanglewood – Lenox, Mass.
On June 5 and 26, he will perform the music of Edith Piaf with singer Gay Marshall at Feinsteins – New York

On June 14, he will be the featured artists on a program titled “The World Accordion to William Schimmel”. He will perform his own compositions and arrangements for Accordion and assorted instruments. The concert is part of the Cape May Music Festival – Cape May, New Jersey.
On July 29, 30 and 31, he will present his yearly AAA Accordion Seminars at the Tenri Cultural Institute, New York.

William Schimmel is one of the principal architects in the resurgence of the accordion, the revival of the Tango in America, and the philosophy of "Musical Reality" (composition with pre-existing music). He holds Bachelor of Music, Master of Science and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School, along with a diploma from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music in performance/composition.

He performs music in many genres, has commissioned and premiered hundreds of new works, has written a number of books and articles and has made numerous recordings and videos. His music has been featured in a number of films and television shows.

Dr. Schimmel received a Composers' Citation from The American Accordionists' Association in honor of his composition, "The Spring Street Ritual", which was the test piece for the 1979 Coupe Mondiale World Competition. He received The Confederations Internationale Association Merit Award for his contributions as a composer, performer and philosopher on the international accordion scene.

He received a Merit Award from the American Accordionists' Association for his contributions spanning fifty years plus the "Accordionist of the Year" Award in 1988. He received the Keyboard magazine readers' poll award in 1992 as "Best Accordionist".

He has performed with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S, many different chamber groups, as well as with rock, jazz, and avant-garde groups. In addition, he has appeared on numerous radio programs as a guest performer and commentator, and now hosts his own internet radio show, The Old In and Out, on WS Accordion Radio. He is Artist in Residence of The American Accordionist's where he also serves as Distinguished Lecturer in Residence and member of the Governing Board.

For further information:,

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

Long Island Accordion Alliance Meets on April 5

by Rita Barnea
Once again La Villini Restaurant of East Northport, NY is sponsoring the next meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7 PM. The address is 288 Larkfield Road.

If you play the accordion, please bring your instrument and play for the group. This is open to anybody that plays the accordion no matter what your level of capability (beginner, intermediate, amateur or professional). Everyone is welcome to participate!

The purpose is to get accordionists together to share their love for playing the “best musical instrument in the world.” We all can learn from each other no matter what our abilities are. Please come!

People who love to just listen to accordion music are most cordially invited to attend. Come join us! It is a fun evening. Bring your friends.

Have a great meal, enjoy the music and have some fun! Reservations are recommended. (631) 261 6344
You can also e-mail your reservation to Frank Catania at: If you are coming to perform please notify me at: or 631.864.4428

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Accordionist Lou LeBrun to Perform in Texas

by Rita Barnea
Lou Lebrun
Accordionist, dancer, singer, entertainer Lou LeBrun will be the featured artist at the Mid-Cities Accordion Association meeting on Sunday, April 10 from 2 to 4PM at the Hurst Recreation Center, 700 Mary Drive, Hurst, Texas.

Those who have seen and heard Lou know that she not only has wonderful musical skills, she also brings excitement and personality to her performances. Her musical pizazz delights audiences with a program featuring everything from ragtime to classical. One of her specialties is rag-time music. Shall we mention that she is 80 years young?

Lou currently makes her home in Springfield,Missouri and is coming to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to be the guest artist.

You are also invited to bring your accordion for the open microphone time. Refreshments will be served and there will be plenty of time for friendly conversations. The Dallas/Forth Worth Mid-Cities Accordion Association meets on the third Sunday of each month from 2:00 - 4: PM. An "open microphone" time is provided at every meeting.

For additional information please contact John Martin at 817-282-7449 or

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