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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Apr-2012
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Titano Accordion Company


What Will You Do On World Accordion Day?
Eddie Monteiro is Accordionist in Broadway's "Evita"
Broadcast of Frank Marocco Memorial Service
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Polka Entertainer of the Year, Alex Meixner Presents Accordion Workshops
The Music of Eugene Ettore Performed by Rita Davidson is Released
Frank Marocco Memorial Concert in May
Accordion Pops Orchestra to Perform on April 29th in NJ
2012 American Accordionists' Association Youth Program
Alexander Sevastian, Julien Labro, Dwayne Dopsie To Perform in Illinois
Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini to Perform for LIAA
Mary Tokarski's Concert Schedule

Voci Armoniche

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

2012 National Accordion Association (NAA) Report
2012 MAMTG Virtuoso Champion is Albert Manginelli - Whippany, NJ
Frank Petrilli, Frank Marocco Protege, to Perform in Concerts
New CD Released by Zev Zions
Accordion Night School, Part 2
The Accordion Kings Present Concert and New CD
Mario Pedone in Concerts
Austin Troutt Plays the Accordion in College Play
Dr. Schimmell's Performances, New CD, and The Seminars

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Concert and V-Accordion Festival Competition Auditions
Don Gerundo Performs for Connecticut Accordion Association
Bruce Gassman, Featured Artist at 2012 Accordion Heroes
AAA Festival in Baltimore from July 11-15th
5th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival in August in NH

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

CD Reviews

Zevy Zions Has Channeled the Essence of Genuine Accordion Classics



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

What Will You Do On World Accordion Day?

by Rita Barnea
World Accordion Day LogoThe Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) is pleased to announce May 6, 2012 as the fourth annual celebration of World Accordion Day. On May 6th, the anniversary of the day the accordion was patented in 1829, the CIA will coordinate an annual world wide celebration, in a unified global crusade to promote the diversity of the accordion and the outstanding artists that play it.

World Accordion Day is a unique global opportunity to promote public awareness of the accordion, an instrument without boundaries, one that spans all cultures and musical genres. From a solo performance to a Concerto with a 100 piece Symphony Orchestra, from a Duet or Trio to a 40 piece Accordion Orchestra, from the majestic sounds of the handmade acoustic reeds to the latest in Digital Technology, from newly commissioned original works to dazzling transcriptions of the classics, from Classical to Jazz, from Ethnic to Pop, from the pit orchestra in a Broadway Show to the background music in a TV Commercial, from Tchaikovsky to Gubaidulina, from the tiny diatonic nstruments to the multi octave concert models, from the shelves of a Museum to center stage at Carnegie Hall, from Private Music Studios to the most esteemed and respected Conservatories in the world, there is no limit to where one might find the accordion, or have the opportunity to enjoy the variety of ways in which it is utilized.

The CIA’s fourth World Accordion Day will be held on 6th May 2012, the 183th birthday of the accordion. All accordionists from around the world are invited to join this celebration, while paying homage to the accordion. This International event will serve as an exciting means to bring everyone together in a unified effort to promote public awareness of the accordion and its many capabilities.

We invite you to join us on, or around May 6th to celebrate the accordion by scheduling, attending, performing or promoting a concert featuring the accordion. You can list your accordion event on the website for all to see. Visit now to see what has already been planned for May 6th.

This year, the CIA will take embark on a new adventure to celebrate World Accordion Day with a live streaming 24 Hour Celebration of the Accordion, similar to the TV coverage of New Years Eve, whereby celebrations are viewed on an ongoing basis as the time zones elapse around the world (i.e. beginning in New Zealand +12GMT then traveling west across the world through Asia and Europe finishing in the Americas -8GMT).

For the 2012 World Accordion Day, each CIA member is invited to submit either a 'live event' via technology such as streaming video and Skype etc... at a pre-scheduled time, or, you may pre-record your contribution. This will provide viewers from around the world the opportunity to see another side of the accordion and promote your countries accordion activities. It would also be greatly appreciated if traditional or modern/popular accordion music from your country could be included in some way.

The production will be available for viewing live throughout the day with 24 separate hours of archived video coverage which will be available for viewing anytime after the event. World Accordion Day event is not exclusive to just CIA members and many people in the accordion world will be invited to participate.

For further information about the 24 hour streaming video, contact Grayson Masefield. Please visit the World Accordion Day website for more information. We look forward to celebrating this event with you! Remember, you do not have to be a professional to participate in World Accordion Day! Everyone is invited to be a part of it.

For inquiries, please contact: Harley Jones - CIA Public Relations Manager e-mail:

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

Eddie Monteiro is Accordionist in Broadway's "Evita"

by Rita Barnea
Eddie MonteiroWell known Jazz artist Eddie Monteiro is playing accordion and synthesizer in the Broadway show "EVITA" The show is currently running at the Marquis Theatre in NYC until December 30, 2012. Widely known for his superbly entertaining style, Eddie Monteiro has over thirty years of musical performance in classical music, jazz, dance, theater and cabaret.  Monteiro also is the youngest honoree ever elected to the American Accordionists’ Association Hall of Fame in 1994.

Eddie Monteiro has performed at Jazz Festivals throughout the world. National performances include the JVC Jazz Festival and the Toyota Jazz Festival in New York City, Salishan Jazz Festival and the Centrum Jazz Festival both in Washington. Internationally Eddie was a guest at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Jakarta Jazz Festival in Indonesia, Sea Jazz Festival in Helsinki, the Norwegian National Accordion Competition, Sweden's Annual Accordion Festival in Ransatter and in January of 2000 Eddie closed the Jazz In El Tambo Festival in Punta del Esta, Uruguay performing with Paquito D'Rivera, Leny Andrade, John Patitucci and Benny Golson.

He has conducted workshops and seminars at the Manhattan School of Music, Kansas City Jazz Workshop, Artists in Jazz at Pace University, Topeka Jazz Workshop and a Harmony & Improvisation Clinic in Norway. His numerous recordings include Double Standards, The Real Thing, A Perfect Match (with Nancy Marano featuring Gerry Mulligan, Roger Kellaway and Claudio Roditi), Under Paris Skies (with Karen Akers), A Walk on the Wilde Side (with Ronny Whyte), Jazz Influence and  Arkadia Jazz All Stars: Thank You John! (a tribute to John Coltrane) and was featured on the album with the vocal group ‘String Of Pearls’. His work has also included numerous jingles for Colgate-Palmolive, Budweiser, General Motors, Folonari Wines, General Foods a soundtrack recording with Marvin Hamlisch and an appearance on film ‘Mortal Thoughts’ with Bruce Willis.

A graduate of NYU with a B.S. in Music Education, Eddie studied accordion with Charles Nunzio, (one of the founding members of the American Accordionists’ Association), piano with Madame Olga Van Till and advanced harmony studies with Marty Holmes.  He presently is a music teacher and choral director at Ann Street School (New Jersey) and is also Musical Director at Matawan-Aberdeen High School Summer Theater and vocal director for Matawan Avenue Middle School’s Spring musicals - conducting, coaching and accompanying students on productions of numerous Broadway plays. 'The Trio' a CD recorded with Joe Cocuzzo (drums) and Lenny Argese (guitar) was the most recent release in 2006 when the group was performing weekly at the Retreat Lounge at the Short Hills  Hilton (NJ)

Eddie is a member of the AAA Governing Board and is a Certified Teacher Member of AAA as well as a member of Music Educators' National Conference, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Technology Institute for Music Educators, National Education Association, Jazz Educators Association the Sommelier Institute and is an Amateur Radio General Class Operator.

Titano Accordion Company

Broadcast of Frank Marocco Memorial Service

by Rita Barnea
Frank MaroccoThe memorial Service for Frank was held on
Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 11:00am (PST) at
Northridge United Methodist Church
9650 Reseda Blvd.
Northridge, CA 91324

Correspondence to the family address:

Anne Marocco
7063 Whitaker Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91406

To hear the broadcast, please copy and paste this link into your browser:

Voci Armoniche

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

Accordion Jazz Chords

Polka Entertainer of the Year, Alex Meixner Presents Accordion Workshops

by Rita Barnea
Alex MeixnerAlex Meixner was recently awarded Polka Entertainer of the Year by the 24/7 Polka organization. His CD, "Three Ring Circus" was awarded first place as Contemporary recording of the year. Alex said, "It feels great to receive recognition for the hard work. All of the cast of the circus (recorded and live!) are proud of what we do and look forward to continuing to entertain y’all all year!"

The Heritage Arts Productions, Inc. presents accordionist Alex Meixner in three workshops at the Houston Accordion Performers Studio on Monday, April 2 from !0:30 AM to 8:30 PM. on 1547 S. Richey St. Pasadena, TX. (Southwest Houston).The fees are $40 for each workshop or $60 for 2 or more. Current students under age 18 are $20 for session 3. 
Please call to pre-register - space is limited. 281-780-8656 or Shelia Lee: 281-788-6667. Enjoy 3 meals - 3 workshops and meet a wonderful Polka Accordionist!

The following workshops are offered to both piano keyboard and chromatic accordion players:

Session #1

10:00 to 10:30 Brunch - Meet & Greet Alex 
10:30 - 12:20 - Polka basics - simple stylings - How to play solo and accompaniment in band settings in different Polka styles - including but not limited to- Czech, American-Slovenian, Oberkrainer, German, Polish, and more.

Session #2 

12:30 - Lunch break 

1:00 - 3:00 - Waltz (Schottische & other dances) - simple stylings - Depending on the skill and desire of the participants, Alex will discuss repertoire in a variety of ethnic folk styles, ideas for ornamentation and arranging.

Session #3

Diatonic & Bajo Players and those interested in Tex/Mex style music 

5:30 - 6:00 Dinner - Meet & Greet Alex

6:00 - 7:50 Learn the similarities and differences of the Austrian folk styles and Conjunto styles as they have developed and evolved in Texas and in the Indian rhythms indigenous to Mexico.
8:PM Concert

Shelia Lee and Mark Ropel are the owners of Houston Accordion Performers.They both have played the accordion since childhood and studied with Bill Palmer, Galla Rini, and other legendary accordionists.They both had the benefit of taking lessons through an accordion studio that offered mulitple opportunities for them to gain performance experience both as soloists and with professional bands. Shelia and Mark in cooperation with Heritage Arts Productions, present live Internet instruction weekly. For further information:

Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 50 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.

Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world. His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004.
Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December, 2007.

Currently based in Palm City, FL, Alex is performing as a solo artist and with numerous touring ensembles.  His solo programs- “Fascinating Rhythms of the World” focus on the fusion of Slavic folk music and Jazz, but also include the inflections of folk, pop and classical styles from Latin America, Africa and other sections of Europe. This music is the basis for a series of multi-cultural music education seminars and performances which are currently available through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts “Artists in Education” program.

Alex also leads The Alex Meixner Band in performances throughout North America. When Alex is not performing with all of these groups, he is devoted to bringing music to students through educational clinics, as well as his private teaching.

Future performances include:
April 1, 2012: 
Seaton (Temple), TX at Tom Sefcik Hall
April 3, 2012: Master class/mini concert for HSPVA( High School for the arts)
Pasadena, TX at Heritage Arts Productions
April 20, 2012: 
Hoboken, NJ at Pilsener Haus
April 21, 2012: 
Jersey City, NJ at Zeppelin Hall
April 22, 2012: 
Bridgeville, PA at Prime Time Polkas 15th Anniversary Extravaganza
April 25 & 26, 2012: 
Manistee, MI at Little River Casino-Resort
April 27, 2012:Wisconsin Dells, WI at The New Wisconsin Dells Polka Fest

For further information:


The Music of Eugene Ettore Performed by Rita Davidson is Released

by Harley Jones
Rita DavidsonA new eTracks Rita Davidson Album titled "The Music of Eugene Ettore" has been released. This coincides with the 90th anniversary of the birth of Eugene Ettore (1921-1985).

Rita Davidson writes: “For the first time, the music of Eugene Ettore is available worldwide to accordionists. As you listen to these virtuoso selections, you will realize the great value and musical contribution that he made to accordion repertoire.”

Eugene Ettore, former president of the American Accordionists' Association, wrote over 300 compositions at all levels including works for solo, duet, ensembles, band, and orchestra. In addition to being an accordionist, he was a professional French Horn player, having played in many symphony orchestras.

His great involvement in symphonic music is reflected in his virtuoso compositions which not only showcase the capabilities of the accordion but also have a distinctly orchestral flavor. His unique compositions challenge the musicianship and technique of the performer while they provide a musical treat for all to hear.

Rita Davidson is preparing further recordings which will include: The Manhattan Concerto (3 movements), Springtime Caprice, Prelude and Scherzo, Accordion Miniatures, Five O'Clock Rush, Spanish Holiday.

Rita Davidson is seeking information, photos, etc. for the Eugene Ettore historical website. Please email her:

Click Rita Davidson Album to read the tracks list and hear sound samples.

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

Frank Marocco Memorial Concert in May

by Rita Barnea
More details to follow in the May news.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Accordion Pops Orchestra to Perform on April 29th in NJ

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Pops Orchestra
The Accordion Pops Orchestra under the direction of Al Terzo will present a concert to benefit the Bergenfield Ambulance Corps. on Sunday April 29, 2012 at 2:PM at Bergenfield High School, 80 S. Prospect Ave., Bergenfield, NJ.

On Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 2:PM, the APO will present a concert to thank their generous practice hall hosts at the Imperial Music Center, 48 Appleby Avenue, South River, NJ.

On Saturday March 31, 2012, they performed at the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild/ American Accordion Musicological Society
2012 Competition and Festival featuring guest artists Beverly Curnow, Mary Tokarski, Lenny Feldmann, and Albert Manginelli.

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.

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. 

The new conductor is Al Terzo, 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 is 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.

E-mail: if you are interested in engaging the orchestra for a performance, would like more information on an upcoming concert, or might be interested in joining the orchestra.

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

2012 American Accordionists' Association Youth Program

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
AAA Logo
The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) is pleased to invite you to register for participation in its Youth Jazz Ensemble, which will perform during the 2012 Annual Competition and Festival at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, MD, from July 11-15, 2012. The AAA has been in existence since 1938 and enjoys a long, rich history of promoting the accordion and assisting in the development of many fine accordion musicians.

This is the second year an invitation is extended to a select group of young musicians who play instruments other than accordion to participate in the annual festival. This unique musical jazz ensemble will consist of a combination of young, highly skilled accordionists, along with other young, jazz instrumentalists ages 13-25. Participants will be included based on the recommendation of their teacher, the particular instrument they play, the amount and types of musical experiences they've had to date, and their willingness and availability to participate fully in this ensemble.

This experience will involve a day and a half of rehearsal which will culminate in a performance for an audience of several hundred festival participants, the general public and the media. During this time, participates will become part of a world largely unexplored by young non-accordionist musicians. You may have heard accordion music before. You may even recognize it, since it's becoming more popular with young people again. But this will be different, and you will be part of making that new and different sound!!

This will likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you! The conductor, Eddie Monteiro, is one of the finest jazz accordionists in the world. He has performed with Bobby Rosengarden, Skitch Henderson, Peter Duchin, Ray Bloch, Michael Lavin and Marty Ames. Eddie has served as a Product Specialist for the Roland Corporation, promoting a line of the latest digital Accordions. Eddie currently occupies the accordion "chair" in the Broadway production of "Evita." Above all, Eddie is a fun guy, a brilliant musician and teacher who will bring your talents to new heights.

Don Gerundo has arranged the pieces for this year's ensemble. Don is an active accordionist and pianist performing in the New York metropolitan area. He has performed and accompanied Lenny Welch (hit record “Since I Fell For You”), as well as Joe Piscopo, and has performed at Swing 46 in New York City, White Plains Theatre for the Arts, Coney Island Park and other large venues. Don is also an experienced user of Finale (music notation software) and has used it since 1992 almost from its inception. He uses it to create arrangements, generate materials for students, create transcriptions as well as composition. See more info about Don in another article in this issue.

Also included in this year's program is a workshop on improvisation, delivered by Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, US Accordion Virtuoso Champion and veteran of last year's Youth Jazz Ensemble.

Since non-accordion participants in this ensemble are guest artists, there will be no charge for participation. Simply fill out the attached registration form and return it to Marilyn O'Neil, and Marilyn will contact you by phone or e-mail. Once your registration process is complete, music will be sent to you so you can be ready to rehearse with the ensemble on Friday, July 13, and deliver a performance on Saturday, July 14.

Please note that if you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must provide permission for you to participate in this event, and you need to be available both days to participate. There is no cost for scheduled meals and any other festival related activity, such as workshops, during these 2 days. We do not provide overnight accommodations or transportation to and from the festival site.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Alexander Sevastian, Julien Labro, Dwayne Dopsie To Perform in Illinois

by Rita Barnea
The Big Squeeze
On April 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM, The Big Squeeze takes place at Northwestern University's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, in Evanston, Illinois. The concert will feature accordionists including Julien Labro performing jazz with alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, and tango (on bandoneón) supported by the Spektral String Quartet (featuring Aurelien Fort Pederzoli and J. Austin Wulliman, violin; Doyle Ambrust, viola; Russell Rolen, cello); Jimmy Keane of Chicago performing Celtic music with support from guitarist Dennis Cahill; and Alexander Sevastian performing classical music. Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers featuring Shelton Sonnier, guitar; Dion Pierre, bass; Kevin Minor, drums; Paul Lafleur, washboard will close out the evening with a bang.

This one-time-only gathering of celebrated accordion and bandoneón virtuosi from around the world will dazzle you with classical, Celtic, jazz, tango, South American, and zydeco mastery. Tickets are $16 for the general public and $10 for students.

A free Accordion Demonstration and Lecture will also be offered on Friday, April 6 at 4:30 PM at Regenstein Recital Hall. Master accordionists featuring Julien Labro (jazz and South American), Alexander Sevastian (classical), Jimmy Keane (Celtic), and Dwayne Dopsie (zydeco) guide the audience through a variety of genres in this demonstration and lecture. The 202-seat Regenstein Recital Hall is located directly south of Pick-Staiger in the Arts Circle. The main entrance is the southern door on the west side of the building. Wheelchair accessible seats are available in the uppermost row of the auditorium. Free parking is available after 4 PM on weekdays, as well as all day on weekends, in the parking garage just south of the hall.

For further information: or
phone: 847.467.4000

Titano Accordion Company

Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini to Perform for LIAA

by Rita Barnea
Mario Tacca and Mary ManciniInternationally acclaimed guest artists, accordionist Mario Tacca and soprano Mary Mancini will entertain at the Long Island Accordion Alliance meeting (LIAA) on Tuesday, April 3rd, at 7 PM. The concert takes place at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY. Phone: 631-261- 6344 for reservations.

Mario Tacca was born in 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 weekly to his teacher with his instrument strapped to his back!

While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions. 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 Tacca dazzles audiences across the US and around the world with his unmatched virtuosity on the accordion and his exciting interpretations of international music, the classics and pop.

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.

Mary, with Mario Tacca, has 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.

Future performances:
Apr 8, 1 PM: Mario, Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY       Apr 14 7PM: Mario  Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY       Apr 15 2PM: Mario  Valtarese Dinner-Dance, Maestro’s, Bronx NY, For reservations, call  718-792-8844  
Apr 22: Mary & Mario, Carrozza Scholarship Dinner, Villa Barone, Mahopac, NY                       
Apr 28 7PM: Mario, Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY       Apr 29: Mario; German Club, The Manor
May 5 7PM: Mario; Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY       May 6 1PM: Mary & Mario; Magnanini Winery, Walkill,    May 12 7PM: Mario; Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY       May 13 1PM:Mary & Mario;Magnanini Winery, Walkill,      May 19 7PM: Mario; Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY    

Mario has 11 music compositions available at Mario Tacca.
For further information:

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

Mary Tokarski's Concert Schedule

by Rita Barnea
Mary Tokarski and Vesna MehinovicConcert accordionist Mary Tokarski continues to bring her wonderful and varied programs to USA audiences everywhere.

Her performance schedule includes:
April 22, 2012
The Annual AAA Carrozza Scholarship event - this year at the beautiful Villa Barone in Mahopac, NY. See for details and reservations.

April 23 at 5:00 PM & April 24 at 3:00 PM - Youngstown University Seminar and Composition Conference
April 25 - 7:00 PM -- Music with Mary Concert at Sts. Peter & Paul Church, 421 Covington Street, Youngstown, Ohio
May 1st - 7:00 PM - "Music with Mary" at A World of Accordions Museum, 1401 Belknap Street, Superior, Wisconsin. 

June 5, 2012 - 
Mary appears at the Long Island Accordion Alliance meeting 7:00 p.m. at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731. Tel. 631-261-6344 - see you there - we will have FUN!

June 10, 2012
 - "In Concert" and as a soloist with the Accordion Pops Orchestra - 2:00 p.m. at the Imperial Music Center Concert Hall, 48 Appleby Avenue, South River, NJ - Tickets $10 at the door.

June 23, 2012 - 
Concert presented by the Calgary Accordion Association of Canada.Time, place,ticket info TBA

July 13-14, 2012 - 
AAA Festival in Baltimore, MD - Mary will perform Richard Galliano's Opale Concerto (2 & 3 movements) as soloist with the Festival Orchestra, Stas Venglevski conducting. Also during the Festival, Mary and Stas will perform his composition "Sentimental Souvenir", which was dedicated to Mary! 

July 29 - August 4, 2012 and August 5-11, 2012 - 
Peter Soave Music Academy in Sauris, Italy - Mary will conduct classes, workshops and lessons, as well as Concerts featuring Mary with Peter, Mady and other guests.

September 24-27, 2012 - 
Las Vegas Accordion Convention at the Gold Coast Hotel in exciting Las Vegas! See you there.

The April 23/24 Youngstown University event is a seminar for Composition and Music Theory students. Mary's goal is to introduce them to the accordion as a means of composition, and give them some insight into how this could be done by understanding the basics of the accordion's construction and range levels. The course:
"Music is the “International Language”. Learn about the accordion’s unique qualities, and how it complements the various genres of this language  -- capturing the hearts of audiences around the world.  We will take a look into the history of the accordion and the cultures that embrace its alluring qualities.  It would be hard to name one country in which the accordion did not play a significant role in its music tradition.  Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Ives, Hindemith and countless others have used the instrument in their works.  A genuinely beautiful and expressive instrument – haunted with misconceptions and stereotypes – truly misunderstood!' Mary Tokarski will bring enlightening information to young composition students preparing them to become future composers for the accordion.

Concert Accordionist, Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra and as a member of The 'K' Trio. For 20 years Mary served as Director of Music Education at Tokarski Music Center in North Haven, Connecticut, where she taught piano and accordion, as well as conducted the choral & ensemble programs, and supervised the pre-school programs. Mary currently teaches piano and accordion at her home in Northford, Connecticut.

She also serves as a Music Educator in the North Haven Department of Education's Early Childhood Development Program at Green Acres Elementary School.

Currently, Mary serves as a Board of Director with both The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) which are the two national member organizations of the Confederation Interntaionale des Accordeonistes, (IMC-UNESCO).

For more information:
Phone: 203-484-5095


Mary has 5 CD's available at: Mary  Tokarski CD's

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

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

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

2012 National Accordion Association (NAA) Report

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
NAA Logo
NAAThe 2012 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention held its 25th Anniversary Festival at the Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas,Texas on March 14-17, 2012. NAA President, Norman Seaton, started the event with the 2012 National Musical Achievement Awards to individuals for their work with the NAA. Award picture right.

Awards went to:
Dr. James Bezdek for Advancement of the Accordion in Higher Education,
Dick Albreski for Youth Activities and Organizational Contributions,
Nick Ballarini for Lifetime Dedication to the Accordion as Musician, Instructor and Distributor,
Carl Finch of Brave Combo for Establishing New Musical Horizons Featuring the Accordion,
Gordon Kohl for Lifetime Journey with the Accordion, as Musician, Instructor and Distributor,
Dr. Daniel Kott for Commitment to Youth Programs Featuring Traditional Music and Dress,
Bill and Louise Kucera for Preservation of Accordion-driven Polka Music, and
Joe Petosa & Petosa Accordions for Organizational Support and Quest for Perfection.

Congratulations to these individuals for their work in promoting the accordion. Many thanks go to the NAA Convention Planning Team led by Norman Seaton (photo right), Greg Klugiewicz, Nick Ballarini, Sharon Seaton (photo right), Louise Kucera, Judy Dillard, Chett Warzusen, Nancy Bernstein and Tom Faulkner for their work in making the 25th Annual NAA Convention was one of the most successful NAA conventions ever.

A detailed report of the 2012 NAA Convention by Laura Niland is on the NAA website.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

2012 MAMTG Virtuoso Champion is Albert Manginelli - Whippany, NJ

by Rita Barnea
Albert ManginelliOn Saturday evening, March 31st, the American Accordion Musicological Society, in conjunction with the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild, has announced the 2012 MAMTG Virtuoso Champion.

Albert Manginelli (15 years old) has been studying with Daniel Desiderio since he was 12 years of age.

Albert won first place in the American Accordion Musicological Society’s Accordion Virtuoso Competition, second place in the Carmen Carrozza Piano Accordion Scholarship Competition, and numerous first place finishes in other competitions sponsored by the American Accordion Association and Mid-Atlantic Music Teacher’s Guild. He also plays piano and organ.

Albert says: "I enjoy the challenges of playing the classical repertoire, but I am equally fond of other styles such as popular, jazz, and ethnic."

Titano Accordion Company

Frank Petrilli, Frank Marocco Protege, to Perform in Concerts

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Frank Marocco and Frank Petrilli
Frank PetriliIt is my pleasure to write this article about one of our closest friends, Frank Petrilli. It is hard to imagine that someone in his 50's, who had put down the accordion for 25 years, is suddenly becoming an internationally known jazz accordionist! This spring, Frank will be performing, judging and giving workshops at the Kiev Accordion Festival in Ukraine, giving concerts and recording a CD in Castelfidardo, Italy, then returning to the states where he will be a featured performer at the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) Festival in Baltimore, Maryland in July.

As Dan and I were planning our first Frank Marocco Accordion Event in 2006, we received a call from Frank Petrilli, who found our camp online. He told us that he had played and performed on accordion in his youth, had taken up the saxophone as an adult, loved Latin jazz and had recently returned to the accordion. We really enjoyed speaking with him. After he expressed interest, not only in attending the camp but in also studying accordion with Frank Marocco, my husband, Dan, called Frank Marocco and strongly encouraged him to take on this new student. “I don’t teach anymore. I haven’t taught in years…”, Frank M. protested, but we both urged him to “give this guy a try”. The rest is history. Not only did this student/teacher relationship work out, they also became the best of friends. Frank Marocco always told us that Frank Petrilli was the “son he never had”. He enjoyed teaching Frank so much that he soon took on several more, very fortunate students.

Frank Petrilli’s love of the accordion began at birth. His father played and loved the accordion and, by the age of 7, young Frank had started accordion lessons. At age 10, he found a teacher who played the Cordovox professionally. This man’s approach was very different and he had the young boy playing from lead sheets instantly. The two hit it off and Frank not only studied with this man but, by the age of 15, he was subbing for him on the Cordovox at club gigs. He performed solo and with the Frank Petrilli Trio through high school and college.

In his late twenties, as the owner of a large and very demanding contracting business, with a wife and 2 young sons, Frank put the accordion “in the closet”. At 30 years old, he had the desire to learn to play the saxophone. “I walked into a music studio and started taking lessons with David Crozier, who is now one of my closest friends”, said Frank. Eventually, he was good enough to start playing his saxophone with Crozier in various bands. Twenty years later, in 2006, while playing keyboards and saxophone exclusively, an old friend approached Frank. “My friend wanted to start a Latin jazz group and he needed an accordionist. He did a lot of composing and I loved the music and the players. He got me to start playing the accordion again.”

Soon thereafter, Frank Petrilli was studying with Frank Marocco who, much to his delight and surprise, lived only 10 minutes from him. Within one week of the initial phone call, “I was sitting next to one of my idols and the best jazz accordionist in the US without a doubt, and it was a surreal experience.” From that moment on, “We tried to play every Saturday for a two-hour lesson when we were both in town.” These lessons/jam sessions continued until 2 months before Frank Marocco’s death on March 3.

Each year, the Frank Marocco Accordion Event (FMAE) attendees were treated to delightful performances by “Frank and Frank”. Their jazz duets were one of the major highlights at the event annually. Other wonderful musical friendships blossomed at that camp for Frank Petrilli. He is now performing at accordion clubs and festivals with the Arizona-based Ocotrillo (Wes Anderson, Sean Brogan and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues), a trio of gifted young musicians who came together to perform and study at FMAE, and he has befriended Frank Marocco’s agent, Elke Ahrenholz, from Victoria Accordions in Castelfidardo, Italy, who participates in the FMAE annually in Arizona. Impressed with Frank Petrilli’s musical gifts, Elke has scheduled him to take the place of Frank Marocco at the festival in Ukraine and has put together a memorial concert for Frank Marocco, that will feature Frank Petrilli, in Castelfidardo.

“I can’t express how blessed and grateful I am to have become friends with and a student of Frank Marocco. He was the most giving of teachers and wanted me to absorb all of his musical magic that I possibly could. I was one of the most fortunate accordionists on the planet,” says the always appreciative and unassuming Frank Petrilli.

You can hear Frank playing a few impromptu duets with jazz great, Eddie Monteiro, at last year’s AAA Festival in Charleston, South Carolina on YouTube.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

New CD Released by Zev Zions

by Rita Barnea
Accordionist Zev Zions will be performing and offering his new CD as part of the “EAST VILLAGE KLEZMER SERIES” on April 11, 2012 at 8:00 PM. The concert takes place at 325 E. Sixth Street, New York, NY.

Zev Zions was a student of the great performer and teacher, Charles Nunzio who, turn, was a student of the legendary Pietro Frosini. Zev began music lessons at the age of four, having started with the piano. His mother loved the accordion, so she bought him a used, smaller sized instrument. Zevy sutdied with Charles Nunzio for eight years. Emphasis on technique, expression and overall musicianship was covered over that period of time. Zevy considers himself lucky to have studied with Mr. Nunzio

Zev has released several solo albums: "Olive Blossoms", "Dizzy Accordion", "William Tell" and his new CD, "Bolero Fantasia".

For more information about CD's and performances: contact Zevy at
There is a review of Zev's new CD in this issue.


Accordion Night School, Part 2

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William Schimmel and Benjamin IckiesAccordionist Benjamin Ickies presents the second Accordion Night School on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 7 PM at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleeker Street, New York, NY. The evening features Dr. William Schimmel and Corn Mo with special appearance by John Presnell.

The topic of the evening will be "The One Man Band". As the accordion gallops back into the mainstream, more bands from all genres are using it to give their music that special "edge". When the drummer and bassist cannot rehearse or the guitarist has another gig, the modern accordionist is independent, able to stand on his own.

The panel discussion and demonstrations will delve into the world of accompaniment without the band. The evening will cover important topics including self-accompaniment, backing up a singer or soloist, the different techniques involved,etc. There will be performances and a time for Q&A with Dr. William Schimmel, Corn Mo, and Benjamin Ickies.

Bay Area native Benjamin Ickies moved to New York to study accordion with William Schimmel in lieu of college. As a result of Dr. Schimmel's tutelage in rock, tango and cabaret, Ickies now directs several music ensembles in NYC and performs in many more. As a bandleader, he conducts the Symphonic Rock and, This Ambitious Orchestra, co-produces the quarterly glam rock series Oh! You Pretty Things and on Tuesdays can be seen at the Griffin running the band for the cabaret Cafe Panache.

Admission is $15 advance/$20 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 PM. The event begins at 7 PM. Following will be Guitar Night School at 8 PM with John Campilongo and Spencer Katzman.

For more information:

The Accordion Kings Present Concert and New CD

by Rita Barnea
CD Cover of The Accordion Kings, Volume TwoOn March 4th, I had the great pleasure of attending a concert presented by The Accordion Kings at the Dix HIlls Performing Arts Center, Dix Hills, New York. The sold out performance was enthusiastically received by the accordion loving audience.

Members of the group included accordion greats Angelo Di Pippo, Frank Toscano, and Manny Corallo. Accompanying them were Chris Burger (Bass), James Chirillo (Guitar), and Clint De Ganon (Drums). Their nimble technique and sensitive interpretations dazzled the audience. Not only was the music easy to listen to and enjoy but it was further enhanced by the witty remarks and banter of Angelo, Frank, and Manny. It was a relaxed and comfortable feeling as if they were entertaining each of us in our own living room.

Before the concert, during intermission, and after the concert, all three of them graciously greeted the audience, having their photos taken with their fans and giving autographs. The day marked the release of their new CD, "The Amazing Accordion Kings, Volume Two". On the program, they performed many of the selections on the CD including: "La Comparsa", "Turkish March", "Godfather Medley", "Por Una Cabeza", "Accordiana", "Felicidade", "L'Indifference", "Leibesfreud", "La Migliavacca", and "Mountain Dew". Frank, Manny, and Angelo arranged the selections for the trio. The audience gave them a standing ovation and were rewarded with two encores.

I highly recommend that you attend a future Accordion Kings Concert and add their new CD of international favorites to your accordion CD collection.

For further information about concerts and the CD:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Mario Pedone in Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Mario PedoneMario Pedone has several concerts planned for the spring season. He will perform for the Arizona Accordion Club on April 16 from 2-5:PM. Admission for workshops is $25. The concert will take place at St. Stephen’s Church Hall, 8141 North 16th Street, Phoenix AZ. 

Mario performs at Federico's Supper Club in Vancouver, BC. on Wednesday, May 4th at 9 PM for an exclusive one night engagement. Dinner is at 7 PM. For reservations: 604-251-3473.

Mario Pedone is from Valenzano a small town near Bari, in Southern Italy. In an effort to improve the family's financial situation the Pedone's immigrated to Valencia, Venezuela in 1959.

He studied with Professor Roberto Ruscitti, a renowned classical Accordionist. In 1972 Mario graduated as a "Concertista" from the school "Academia de Acordeon Smith". In 1976 Mario graduated with a degree of "Professor of accordion" (the US equivalent of a PhD) from the same school. After graduation Mario founded his own accordion school, Academia de Acordeon Latina, where he had over 125 students. Most of his former students are now playing professionally. Mario was also member and co-founder of the Orquesta Latina together with famous Spanish singer Esteban Abarca and performed all over Venezuela.

In 1981, Mario moved to Sugar Land, Texas. He continues to perform professionally in many countries and is currently performing on the keyboard on weekends at The Old Heidelberg, a local German Restaurant in Houston accompanied by singer Liberty Palileo.
Mario has his own recording studio in Sugar Land where he has arranged and recorded hundreds of tunes including many of his own compositions. His musical range includes, but is not limited to Classical, Latin, European, and American Standards. He also produces CD's for other musicians.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Austin Troutt Plays the Accordion in College Play

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Donna Massey and Austin Troutt18 year-old college freshman, Austin Troutt, has been studying the piano accordion with Donna Douglas Massey for the past five years. He decided to audition for a part in the play “The Servant of Two Masters” at his school, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. During the callbacks, the director learned that Austin plays the accordion and she asked if he could play during the show. Austin was thrilled. “I had been hoping to get a worthwhile part in the play, and through the accordion, I was able to secure a fulfilling role for myself.” The play takes place in Venice, Italy, so Austin played Italian folk music as well as “sound effects” on his accordion.

Austin says that he absolutely loves playing the accordion. “It is an incredibly flexible instrument when it comes to different music genres. It can play country, folk, orchestral, jazz – it is a wonderful instrument to play,” says Austin.

Donna says that “Austin is a pleasure to work with; he has a great ear for music, and he is also an honors student. It was a joy for me to see Austin having so much fun promoting the accordion in a college play. He has another play coming up, where he will again be featured on the accordion.”

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Dr. Schimmell's Performances, New CD, and The Seminars

by Rita Barnea
Dr. SchimmelOn March 26, Dr William. Schimmel performed with the New York Philharmonic in an evening devoted to the music of Frank Loesser. Dr. Schimmel accompanied the famous bass-baritone Bryn Terfel. On March 28, Dr. Schimmel performed with The Orchestra of St. Luke's in a concert sponsored by Cartoon Network at Roseland in New York. The orchestra performed live to a montage of famous cartoons shown on a giant screen.

Dr. Schimmel has released a new CD: "Tenrimix" – actually a 23 minute EP containing three pieces for 12 bass accordion, sho and violin – remixed with dance beats by dj bSchive (Dr. Schimmel). The pieces unite gagaku (Japanese ceremonial music) with classical, country, blues, bluegrass, dubstep, hiphop and more. The pieces were concieved by Dr. Schimmel, 12 bass accordion in collaboration with Yoichi Okui, sho and Mami Okada, violin. The titles are: ga ga tchaikovky ku: ga ga mendelsohn/saintsaens ku and Tenri Blues. It is on the IPS/STUDIO MUSE label. For more info

On April 4, Dr. Schimmel will join Benjamin Ickies, Corn Mo and John Presnell in another Accordion Night School at Le Poisson Rouge in New York

Dr. Schimmel is the moderator and curator of the American Accordionists‘ Association Master Class and Concert Series, the 18th year of Seminars, taking place July 27, 28, 29 – 2012 – and it's at the Tenri Cultural Institue, 43A West 13th Street. Save the dates. More information in May's news.

For further information:

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

Future events

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

Concert and V-Accordion Festival Competition Auditions

by Rita Barnea
Steve Albini and Tatiana SemichasnayaUS will present two V-Accordion events at at Southern Nevada Music, 350 N. Stephanie Rd., Henderson, NV 89014.

On April 13 at 3:PM, Roland U.S. V-Accordion product Manager, Steve Albini and Roland Artist Tatiana Semichasnaya will present a V-Accordion Clinic. On Saturday April 14 at 1:PM Steve and Tatiana will present a concert. There will also be time for video auditions for the Roland V-Accordion Festival. The Roland U.S.V-Accordion Festival finals will be held on Sept. 29 in Los Angeles, CA. For information regarding the Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival please visit:

Steve Albini is a multi-instrumentalist and singer. His performances of Italian music fused with jazz and world rhythms have brought him international acclaim. He has enchanted audiences throughout the United States and Italy with a blend of musical virtuosity and artistic passion. Steve’s live performances span Italian, world, jazz and Latin American genres.

As a studio musician, he is often called upon by artists, composers, and producers to add his touch to their projects. Steve also has a background in retail music sales. Steve resides in Northern California with his family. Steve joined Roland Corporation U.S. in June 2001 and is currently the V-Accordion Product Manager.

Originally from Moscow, Russia, Tatiana currently performs as an accordionist in the Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show KA. Tatiana is a former student of the Gnesin Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia) 1992–1997 where she studied with world-renowned accordionist and professor Friedrich Lips. She also studied at the Queens Conservatory of Music (Netherlands, Holland) in 1999.

Tatiana has competed in and won first place in numerous competitions including, champion of VI Competition in Cherepovets, Russia, in 1991; first place at the Russia National Competition in Astrakhan, Russia, in 1994; champion of the IVth International Festival in Daugapils, Latvia, in 1995; first place at the International Competition “Astor Piazzolla” (Castelfidardo, Italy) in 1995; winner “Best of Russia” in Jakarta International (Jakarta, Indonesia) in 1997; winner of competition in Singapore in Duo “Golden Girls”; winner of International Children Festival “Musical Spring” (Russia) in 1999, and many more. She has performed at the Kremlin in Moscow and throughout the world.

In July 2011, Tatiana was a finalist in the Roland U.S. V-Accordion® Festival competition. Since December 2011, Tatiana has been a Roland V-Accordion Artist and Product Specialist. Recently, Tatiana introduced and premiered the new Roland FR-1X V-Accordion at the 2012 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Don Gerundo Performs for Connecticut Accordion Association

by Rita Barnea
Don GerundoAccordionist Don Gerundo and Dave Hirschman (guitar) will be guest artists at the next meeting of the Connecticut Accordion Association (CAA) on Sunday, April 29 at 5:PM at East Street Eatery at Farmingbury Hills Golf Course, 141 East St. Wolcott.  Call Marilyn to RSVP. 203-272-1202.

Don Gerundo is an active accordionist and pianist who performs in the New York metropolitan area. He is a versatile keyboardist who plays various styles ranging from popular American Standards from the American Songbook, Jazz and Rock N Roll. He has worked with the Bensen-Scott Big Band, an 18 piece Jazz Band, with a Rockabilly small group as well as society combos and Top 40 groups. He has performed and accompanied Lenny Welch (hit record “Since I Fell For You”), Joe Piscopo  and has performed at Swing 46 in New York City, White Plains Theatre for the Arts, Coney Island Park and other large venues.
Don starting playing the accordion at age 10 and studied with Tony Mecca (a native from Waterbury CT) in his teen years. Tony introduced him to popular and Jazz music working with him on harmony, theory, chords and improvisation. During this time he started to perform club dates with some of the local leaders in the New York metropolitan area as well as working at resorts in the New York Catskill area . This “On the job” training helped hone his jazz skills as well as build his repertoire.

Later he  also studied with Adolph Sandole one of the well-known Sandole brothers, was a  music educator and jazz artists from Philadelphia. The Adolph’s brother, Dennis, was recognized as the mentor and teacher for famous jazz artists such as John Coltrane and Pat Martino James Moody, Michael Brecker, as well as guitarists Jim Hall and Pat Martino. 
Don continued to perform during his college years attending Ithaca College where he joined the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha as the first accordionist to be offered an invitation in that chapter. For the last several years Don has focused on the Free Bass Accordion and exploring its use in the Pop and Jazz Idioms by utilizing its flexibility in chord voicings, bass lines and general accompaniment.
Don is also an experienced user of Finale (music notation software) and has used it since 1992 almost from its inception. He uses it to create arrangements, generate materials for students, create transcriptions as well as composition. Many colleagues consult with Don as a resource to seek guidance using Finale as well as troubleshooting technical issues. Don is the musical arranger for the Youth Jazz Program to be held at the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore, Maryland July 11-15.

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Bruce Gassman, Featured Artist at 2012 Accordion Heroes

by Rita Barnea
Bruce GassmanThe 2012 Accordion Heroes Event takes place June 20-23 in Fredericksburg, Virginia at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House. Bruce Gassman is one of the featured artists and educators at this time.

New Jersey resident, Bruce Gassman, began studying the accordion at age nine. In 2007 Bruce returned to the accordion after 15 years and says he was uncertain how the music he grew up with would be accepted on the accordion. As he says, that was music from the 60’s, and now he is in his 60’s  -- the time is right!  In two short years his playing has made him nationally known.  

Since his debut appearance in Las Vegas last year, he has performed in 2010 at the AAA Festival in Hershey, PA, the ATG 70th Anniversary Celebration in Santa Clara, CA, as well as the National Accordion Convention held in Dallas, TX.  Bruce has just completed his 2011 year-long  tour from Florida to Idaho. 
Bruce Gassman released his first solo CD, ‘Classic Rock Accordion 2.  When asked about the music, Bruce said; “This is the music I grew up with and love to listen to and play, and it appears that the timing is right for a child of the 60’s, in his 60’s, playing 60’s music!!! I wanted to capture the same feel and emotion of a live performance, even though it was recorded in a studio. So there are no tricks and no overdubs; just two hands and one accordion.”

If you are into Rock n' Roll, be there and see how this 60's Rock musician brings the accordion alive.

For further information:

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

AAA Festival in Baltimore from July 11-15th

by Rita Barnea
Manny Bobenreith and the US Army Strolling Strings
The American Accordionists' Association presents the 2012 AAA Festival from July 11-15th, 2012 at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The AAA Festival will present another great event! New this year is the Junior Festival Orchestra under the direction of Mary Tokarski. This event is designed for those young people who are not quite ready to participate in the Festival Orchestra or who have never had the experience of performing with other accordionists. Mary has selected some fun pieces and rehearsals will be scheduled to avoid competition schedule conflicts. Interested participants should contact Mary at

Another new addition is the “Finale” workshop which will be a hands-on workshop with the basics of learning this music writing program. AAA member, Don Gerundo, will conduct the workshop with support materials supplied by the people at Finale.

Back by popular demand will be the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble with select young musicians from the Baltimore school system partnered with ambitious young accordionists. Both the Junior Festival Orchestra and the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Awards Concert on Saturday afternoon, July 14th. If you want to participate in this great (and fun) program, contact Marilyn O’Neil ( All of these events are included in the registration.

The Festival will also see the return of the Digital Entertainment category so be sure to visit for updated events including PDF files for downloading all Festival application forms.

Thursday night will feature an Italian Cabaret night. Enjoy a delicious Italian dinner while being entertained by wonderful accordion music by the Potomac Ensemble conducted by Joan Grauman. Enjoy singer, Soprano Joy Bechtler, Tenor Joe McKesson, and Dr. Robert Young McMahan as well as accordionists playing and singing your favorite Italian songs!

Friday evening performers include the Busso Trio (comprised of Frank; Frank, Jr.; and Christina) and Tatiana Semichastnaya. Virtuoso accordionist Stas Venglevski will be the Guest Artist and Guest Conductor of the Festival Orchestra. He delights all with his friendly and humorous manner, educating and entertaining at the same time. Truly a unique experience you will want to see and hear.

This year the Festival Orchestra features Mary Tokarski as soloist. Vladimir Mollov and Mary Tokarski will also be featured as “two soloists”. Dr. Robert Young McMahan will be joined by prominent classical saxophonist Dr. Paul Cohen in a performance of McMahan’s new composition for accordion and saxophone.

Vladimir Mollov, virtuoso accordionist, will perform solos and also duets with his wife, renowned violinist, Annie Mollova. Gabe Hall-Rodrigues and Frank Petrilli will perform solos and duets at concerts during the Festival. Please refer to the San Francisco Accordion Club article in the January issue for their biographies. Other performers and workshop presenters include: Cody McSherry, Amanda and Michael Parziale, Joe Zale, Linda Warren, and Manny Bobenrieth with the United States Army Strings and more!

Plan this summer around the festival's exciting days of Workshops, Exhibits, Cabaret, Luncheon Concert, Gala Concert, and Festival Orchestras. The event will be held at the Sheraton City Center in Baltimore. It is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and in walking distance of the famous Baltimore Inner Harbor, National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and numerous other attractions.

Please refer to the AAA Website and the USA news for updates on the festival. For further

5th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival in August in NH

by Rita Barnea
Tony Lovello and Christopher GortonThe fifth annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival, co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC, will be held August 17-18, 2012 at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott in Nashua, New Hampshire. You won't want to miss a minute of this high-spirited weekend filled with warm friendship and terrific music. 

Enjoy it all -- concerts, workshops, lively reunions with your accordion friends old and new, displays of the latest instruments (try them!), festive meals, cocktail reception with strolling accordion entertainment, guest artist photo ops and CD signings, plus much more…

BRING YOUR ACCORDION!  You will have more opportunities than ever to be part of the musical action – Open Mike Night, Jam Sessions, the ever-popular AN! Festival Orchestra conducted by Donna Maria Regis [register by July 20], and – NEW THIS YEAR! – Play Along Groups [no rehearsal].

A trio of 2012 milestones – Frank Sinatra’s centennial, Tony Lovello’s 80th birthday, and the 5th year of the ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival and AN! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] – will be celebrated in a unique musical combination.

ANFO's 5th annual concert will feature the world premiere of a wonderful new TONY LOVELLO arrangement written especially for the 5th ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival by the soon-to-be octogenarian [Tony will turn 80 December 17] to honor FRANK SINATRA's centennial [December 12].
You can be part of this special, once-in-a-lifetime event – Register for ANFO by July 20.

Friday night’s schedule includes: Open Mike, a concert by Brent Buswell, an informal Jam Session, and casual reunions of accordion friends. Saturday’s concert lineup boasts Tony Lovello, Christopher Gorton, Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra, Donna Maria Regis, the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, and others to be announced soon. Gary Morin will stroll and take requests at the cocktail reception.

In addition to entertainment, ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festivals encourage and offer musical education. At ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012, interesting, informative sessions will be presented on Saturday morning, August 18, by Sam Falcetti, Christopher Gorton, and the accordion-piano duo Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra.

Take advantage of the Early Bird Special through April 30, 2012: All-Events PACKAGE admission (Saturday luncheon buffet and gala dinner are included) is only $99.00. Age 12 & under, $59.00.

HOTEL: Special rate $91 per room [+ tax] through July 27. Call Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211 or Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100. Mention "ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Courtyard Nashua." 

For more information: ACCORDIONS NOW! (603) 216-9582

CD Reviews

Zevy Zions Has Channeled the Essence of Genuine Accordion Classics

by Jay Landers
CD CoverI’m going to speak personally with you. Does the following sound familiar? You’ve grown up with your accordion. It’s the 1950’s and 60’s. The accordion is the 4th most popular instrument among amateur musicians. Accordionists are still prevalent in dance combos, solo restaurant venues, on TV and radio. Your accordion instruction has included an occasional arrangement, transcription or original work by these familiar names: Pietro Deiro, Pietro Frosini, Charles Nunzio (and there are many others). When I was taking lessons between 1958 and 1968, my standouts were Deiro’s transcription of Monti’s “Czardas” and Frosini’s “Carnival of Venice” (and “The Gay Picador”). Did I ever hear a recording of any of their music, much less performed by the composer? NO. That just wasn’t part of the culture of my accordion instruction. I did have a recording of Daniel Desiderio’s definitive performance of Eugene Ettore’s “Accordion Miniatures”. I subsequently learned that piece and won the championship in the senior division of my accordion school in 1966. That school was Central Conservatory of Music in Louisville, KY, one school among five that taught the accordion as the primary instrument to hundreds of students per week. So, “no recordings for me”, and this went on for decades until 2002.

Do you know how that feels? Is this you? Yes. You empathize with this. I never heard a Charles Magnante recording until 1998, when I was befriended by someone who had been a teacher during the “Golden Age of the Accordion” in America, approximately the 1930’s to the mid-1960’s. I’d never heard of John Molinari, “the West Coast Magnante”, and then I heard his recordings, too. I’d heard Anthony Galla-Rini in Louisville, but no recordings until much later. I’d seen Palmer and Hughes in Chicago in 1962 at the American Guild of Music competition at the Morrison Hotel, but no recordings.

It’s 2012. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first full decade of recorded accordion music. I owe it all to some incredible contacts and networking with some very generous and informative people devoted to the accordion’s unique culture. The Internet has helped immensely. I attended a couple of ATG conventions. And, then there is a person like no other – Zevy Zions!

Right in the middle of so many recordings of contemporary accordion projects that focus on the tango, jazz, the classics and a variety of other genres, there is a talented and dedicated artist who has produced a series of four (4) CD’s of recordings devoted to “classics exclusive to the accordion”, as well as Klezmer delights. This project is a tour de force that offers up dozens of pieces of music in modern transcriptions and state of the art studio quality. Plus, the accordions used include a Borsini “Lars Ek Nostalgic” LMMM non-chambered and a Beltuna “Balkan Star” LMMH – both dry tuned.

With this New Year comes “Bolero Fantasia”. The composer of the title piece, written in 1942, was the late Charles Nunzio – 1912-2010. This fourth volume of accordion classics is a tribute and dedication to Nunzio, with whom Zevy studied. There are twelve (12) tracks on this CD and the titles include:

“Pietro’s Return” – Pietro Deiro – composed in 1913 and adapted by other instruments besides the accordion. Zions is spot-on with his tempo and the single bass note scales in the left hand while deftly playing block chords in the right.

“Happy Thoughts” – Pietro Frosini – faithful to the composer’s 1929 recording, Zevy conveys the singular beauty of this waltz while gracefully covering the entire range of the keyboard.

“Bubbles” – Frosini – the quintessential “novelty piece” that offers the player an “etude” in omni-directional triplets and syncopations, and the listener will want to emulate Zions’ approach.

“Accordion Swan” – Camille Saint-Saens most recognizable melody from “Carnival of the Animals” – Zevy’s accordion IS the cello in all of its long legato lines.

“Bolero Fantasia” – Charles Nunzio – Zions’ steady left-hand pattern is the perfect rhythmic complement to the intricate Fantasy melody on the keyboard.

“Accordionmania” – Frosini – Zevy states that it’s all about being manic with the accordion, and you’ll agree when you hear his interpretation – all in good taste, of course.

“Klezmer Suite # 4” – (traditional, but an homage to clarinetist Paul Pincus who was a proponent of Klezmer music, as well a popular Broadway pit musician) – Zions’ free-rhythm improvisations are super and this piece is a total delight.

“Vision of Love” – Carlos Curtis, arr. Frosini – Zevy’s immaculate sustained notes and arpeggios serve to reinforce the unmistakable character of the accordion.

“Brave Matador” – Frosini – the accordion can interpret a Paso-Doble as well as any instrument. This is one of my personal favorites.

“Klezmer Walk” – (traditional, but with identifications to various Yiddisher Orchestra’s between 1915 and 1927) – Zevy has connected the accordion with this music on all four CD’s in the series and it’s as valuable as any ethnic stamp on the instrument regarding Celtic, Conjunto, Cajun or any other genre.

“Haydn’s Serenade” – actually now attributed to a Haydn contemporary Roman Hoffsteter – it’s found among Hayden’s string quartets and Zevy has done a marvelous job with his editing in this reduction for the accordion.

“Russian Fantasie” – Frosini – Zions’ demonstrates his ability to master the arpeggios and bellows shakes that are the hallmark of works in Frosini’s “Master Series”.

Is this music relevant? What do these marches, novelty tunes, classical transcriptions and Klezmer selections offer us today? Why spend time listening or perhaps learning to play them? They’re an integral part of the accordion’s music history. They offer a performing challenge to any player. They help you develop a variety of techniques in both hands. They offer the accordion plenty of opportunities to be regarded as a legitimate instrument capable of “multiple musical personalities”, which prove it can be compelling, sonorous and completely listenable.

This new CD may be obtained through or by contacting Zevy directly at
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