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


Editor's Note
Grayson Masefield Standing Ovations, NAA Texas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eugene, Ashland and Spokane
The Accordion Family! 2018 National Accordion Convention Musical Accomplishments - Texas
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Joey Miskulin Inducted Into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville – Texas
Would You Like to Participate in World Accordion Day on May 6th?
IDEAS (International Digital Electronic Accordion Society)
80 Years of AAA Logos and Promotional Materials
25th Anniversary, Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration (LIAC)
Mary Tokarski to Perform with Fairfield University Theatre
Memorial Concert for Alexander Sevastian on April 11
Joey Miskulin to headline World Accordion Day at AWAM in Superior, WI - USA
The 2018 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Finals and Concert on April 21
Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts 56th Annual Festival
Ludovic Beier to Perform with Django Festival Allstars at Carnegie Hall on May 1

Voci Armoniche

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

Obituary: John Patrick Bonica, Oregon - USA
Nathan Chapeton Performs at Carnegie Hall
11th Annual Kevin Friedrich and Friends Dargaville Museum Concert - New Zealand
Joseph Natoli Adds Two New Publications to His Free Bass Method Books
Remembering Gary Dahl
Don Gerundo to Perform for LIAA on April 3
New England Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra Concert on April 8
Accordionist Ivan Filiipchyk in Concert on April 15
Progression Ensemble in 2018 USA Tour
Jacques Pellarin, Composer/Accordionist, in “April in Paris” Tour in in USA
Thoughts on Alexander Sevastian and the 2018 NAA Convention

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Julien Labro in Spring Events
AAA 80th Anniversary Festival July 11-15 in Virginia
V International Jazz Accordion/Modern Harmony Master Classes in Spain with Victor Prieto 
Not Just Oom-PAH! Accordion Workshop and Concert June 16-17, 2018 Austin, TX
AAA Master Class and Concert Series: 2018 Accordion Seminars
2018 Cotati Festival August 18-19 in California
Houston Zydeco Festival, Texas - USA
Bob Goldberg Workshop @ Brooklyn Accordion Club - New York
Ken and Mary ‘Turbo Accordions Express` Concert - Tennessee
Rybak Europe Tours from September 10-23, 2018

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

New and Updated Sites

AAA Website Update - Newsletters online updated



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Editor Rita BarneaThe 2018 April USA news contains amazing information on festivals, concerts, special honors for accordionists, future events and more.

Be sure to research the news to help you make future plans for your concert choices and vacation accordion destinations. What are you doing on World Accordion Day on May 6th?

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

Grayson Masefield Standing Ovations, NAA Texas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eugene, Ashland and Spokane

by Rob Howard
Grayson Masefield poster concert
Grayson MasefieldVirtuoso accordionist Grayson Masefield, from New Zealand, has just completed his March tour of the United States performing at the NAA Convention in NAA Texas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eugene, Ashland and in Spokane.

The highly accomplished Grayson Masefield is one the world’s most successful competition players in recent times, winning the CIA Coupe Mondiale classical & entertainment categories, the Primus Ikaalinen International Competition (Finland), the Roland International V-Accordion Competition (Rome, Italy), and the CMA Trophee Mondial classical & entertainment categories.

He went to France for seminars and tuition with Frédéric Deschamps, and to the HEMU (University of Music Lausanne), Switzerland with Stéphane Chapuis to achieve BA and MA.

Each concert on the tour included transcriptions, original classical accordion works and virtuoso works. He received a standing ovation at every performance.

He delivered a two hour masterclasses in Texas demonstrating accordion techniques and giving lessons to volunteers. He also taught private lessons in Spokane and gave a lecture on dealing with stage anxiety and pre-performance nerves.

He has performed in many countries, including France, Spain, Germany, UK, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy, USA, Canada, Russia, Lithuania, Portugal, China, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, and Finland.

For concert/masterclass or teaching (skype) inquiries please contact Grayson at:

Titano Accordion Company

The Accordion Family! 2018 National Accordion Convention Musical Accomplishments - Texas

by Rita Barnea
NAA Header
Norman Seaton & Gary BlairGary Blair wrote:
"This year’s line-up of artistes for the NAA convention was top drawer! Held in the Hyatt regency in Richardson, Texas, it starred Grayson Masefield (New Zealand), Gary Blair (Scotland) and from the USA, Cory Pesaturo, Gabe Hall Rodriguez, Jamie Maschler, Debra Peters and a host of other top accordionists.

We had workshops, demonstrations, concerts, jam sessions and even a Friday night dance party. A great turn out of participants, guests and friends, made for a terrific weekend of accordion fun."

Post-Convention News Release by NAA President Norman Seaton (picture right): 2018 will be known as a Banner Year for musicality and the accordion.

Given the latest technologies in our digital accordion world, the 2018 National Accordion Convention (NAA) was systematically divided into two primary training areas (digitally-enhanced and traditional workshops) where conventioneers freely attended either session based on personal desires, presentation topics, and/or presenter’s expertise.

By design, the two training areas were compatible, not competitive. For example, musical expression (bellow actions, keyboard articulation, etc.) has similarities on all accordions. The friendly transparency between the training sessions influenced the atmosphere of the entire convention. We are now “family members” related by our beloved musical instrument also known as “The Accordion!”

Situated next to the two primary training areas was a semi-private area assigned for personalized sessions (digital-enhanced and/or traditional training). Coordinators for these areas were Ian Fries and Sharon Seaton; with both coordinators assuring that conventioneers used those areas often.

National Accordion Association officials and Convention Team members are proud of the fact that 2018 conventioneers displayed and enjoyed a high level of enjoyment as we continue to move forward.

All the 2018 Convention Team members have indicated an interest in serving the same positions for 2018. Picture below of some Board members and/or Coordinators.

More pictures: 2018NAA including reports on the convention by Laura Niland and Debra Peters
Some of the NAA Board

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

Joey Miskulin Inducted Into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville – Texas

by Rob Howard
Hall of Fame
Joey MiskulinJoey Miskulin is the first accordionist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (picture above), and the ceremony will take place in Nashville on April 14th. This honour is in recognition of the exceptionally prolific contribution he has made to the recording industry, having played on hundreds of albums with many of country and popular music’s best known names over many years.

Since the 1970s, Joey Miskulin has recorded with the likes of Paul McCartney, U2, John Denver, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Williams, Ricky Van Shelton, Emmylou Harris, Frankie Yankovic, Garth Brooks, to name but some.

Also a singer, arranger, and producer, Joey Miskulin is well known for performing country music as ‘Joey the Cowpolka King’ with the band Riders in the Sky and polkas with Frankie Yankovic, but his versatility extends into jazz, evidenced by his album, ‘The Other Side of the Fence’.

Also in 1990 for his ground breaking ‘Accordion Styles and Techniques’ video/DVD, which was the first video of its kind. Miskulin’s production credits include ‘Toy Story’ for Disney/Pixar, and recently in Shanghai, China, where he spent two weeks working with the Walt Disney Company.


Would You Like to Participate in World Accordion Day on May 6th?

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

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

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

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

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

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

IDEAS (International Digital Electronic Accordion Society)

by Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway
Mike Soloway an Joseph Natoli
JOE NATOLI (right) and MICHAEL SOLOWAY (left) are very excited to announce the creation of a new accordion organization called IDEAS, which stands for International Digital Electronic Accordion Society, the product of a year's work and planning together.

IDEAS was formed for people who own, play and love their digital/electronic accordion(s) and who have not only a deep curiosity, but a passion to explore everything associated with their digital instrument(s). It is also open to those who may have considered the “idea” (pun intended) of a digital instrument and want to explore and participate first before committing. For these onlookers, it just may evolve into something so exciting that it would be too much fun to pass up!

Digital players are aware that there is technology and method required beyond just playing technique on these instruments to be able to fully realize one’s music/art and the real potential of such an amazing tool. However, until now, there have been few places to go where digital enthusiasts can feel at home to explore, grow, or share musical goals.

Enter IDEAS, whose mission it is to provide a global forum for DIGITAL ACCORDION in all its forms, makes, and models, including the wealth of peripheral equipment and devices used by digital accordionists.

We have already created a Facebook group (just search for “GR8 IDEAS”) which not only enables all discussions and activities related to digital accordion, but also encourages discussions and engagement on what will be our annual Symposium – a super gathering of the best digital accordion enthusiasts, performers, and teachers in the world; applying all their collective knowledge to be shared in an organized and highly effective way. The Symposium will also go under the acronym of IDEAS (International Digital Electronic Accordion Symposium). We have already developed much of the faculty – those who love to teach, along with some of the world’s finest players of these instruments, recording and sound engineers /producers, even medical/chiropractic therapists to help us all enjoy our instruments properly and safely for many years to come. The faculty will be a synergistic group, meeting and planning the very best and effective ways to maximize the educational potential and experience of the entire group as well as the Symposium.

Our first Symposium is planned for Oct 24 – 27, 2018, and will be an incredible educational and knowledge sharing musical retreat for 4 full days where nearly every waking hour will be focused on the requirements of the digital accordionist. Our first event will be held at the spectacular Avalon Inn in Warren, Ohio (, situated on a beautiful golf course campus with nothing but wonderful scenery around you. There are patio bars, exceptional jazz piano entertainment nightly, 5-star dining, golfing (in season), indoor tennis, racquetball, recreation center, huge state-of-the-art exercise facility, health spas, Olympic size swimming pool, exceptional rooms and suites, spacious meeting rooms, and outstanding ballroom & concert facilities.

During this retreat, attendees will have the ability to choose to attend a variety of in-depth workshops from two to four hours – depending on your individually determined needs and expectations. There will be private lessons and groups available providing meaningful information on how to really get the most out of your digital instrument, no matter what variety you play. Topics will include programming, orchestration, recording techniques, developing digital orchestras, using digital accordions commercially with success, knowledgably exploring digital effects, equalization techniques, creating music scores directly into notation software via MIDI, sessions with an accomplished organist applied toward organ sound edits, and many more topics as the new faculty is empowered to develop and dream with us. There will also be the daily concerts with some of the world’s best digital performers and the Avalon Inn is very supportive of our playing and performing improvisationally within the facility.

If you do not want to come alone, the Avalon Inn & Resort is a wonderful facility for everyone, with all types of amenities. Significant others will have the ability to go to spa treatments, pedicures, manicures, and cruise the extended Avalon group of resorts with all of their included facilities and dining establishments within 20 miles on freely provided shuttles. As their advertising indicates, “There is never a need to leave the Avalon Inn once you are there.” Additionally, we are currently negotiating for one of our days to include a trip to the nearby Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for anyone interested.

We hope all digital accordion players will feel like our IDEAS Society, the IDEAS Symposium, and the IDEAS Facebook Page are their musical home – whoever and wherever you are!

Join this group. Become a member of the new IDEAS family. Embrace your instrument and the wonderful world of people who can share that with you. Reserve October 24-27, 2018 in your schedule where we can all study, learn, play, and celebrate together.

Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

80 Years of AAA Logos and Promotional Materials

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Logo
Joan GraumanRita Barnea, Editor USA News: This is the 4th article in the series by AAA Historian Joan Grauman (picture right) in cooperation with the USA News, to help promote the 80th AAA Anniversary Celebration. An article is planned each month containing a segment of the history of the AAA, from its creation on March 9th, 1938 through to 2018. Thank you very much to Joan Grauman for these articles.

March 2018 Article: “Beverly Roberts Curnow – Former Accordion Queen and World Accordion Champion still bringing joy with her beloved instrument! (Women in the AAA Through the Decades)” at: Beverly Roberts Curnow.

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

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


April 2018 Article: 80 Years of AAA Logos and Promotional Materials

A fascinating review of AAA logos and promotional materials from 1938 to now
by Joan Grauman

During the very first meeting in March, 1938 of the new organization, the American Accordionists' Association (AAA), the founders had many goals that they hoped to realize during the organization’s first year. An AAA logo and promotion were among the goals ........

Read the full article by Joan Grauman at: 80 Years of AAA Logos

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

25th Anniversary, Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration (LIAC)

by Rita Barnea
Poster: Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration (LIAC)
25th Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration2018 is the 25th Anniversary of the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration (LIAC) sponsored by the Northwest Accordion Society. The event is held in picturesque Leavenworth, June 21 - 24 and featuring (alphabetical order): Michael Bridge, Gruce Gassman, Cory Pesaturo, Murl Sanders along with competitions open to international and national competitors, workshops and even free accordion lessons.

The competitions include categories for Classical, Old Time, Diatonic instruments, Bands, Duets, as well as a range of categories for amateurs only, from children to 19-45 and 46 plus. A total of $5,525 prize money is being offered.

Rules and entry information at: 2018LIAC-Rules.pdf
Entry closing date: 08 June 2018

So book your calendar to visit beautiful Leavenworth, 21-24 June for a fun event with lots of excellent music of all styles.

For further information, visit the website: Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Mary Tokarski to Perform with Fairfield University Theatre

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiAccordionist, Mary Tokarski, will perform with the Theatre Fairfield, Fairfield University’s resident production company when they close the 2017-2018 season with Fred Alley and James Valcq’s musical, “The Spitfire Grill,” based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff.

The musical will be performed in the Wien Black Box Theatre at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, Wednesday, Apr. 11 through Saturday, Apr. 14 at 8:00 p.m., with 2:PM. matinees on Saturday, Apr. 14 and Sunday, Apr. 15., 2018 Tickets are now on sale at the Quick Center Box Office and cost $15 general admission, $5 for all students and $6 for seniors. Call the Box Office at (203)-254-4010) or buy tickets online at

The musical follows the story of a woman, Percy, who has recently been released from prison. She decides to move to middle-of-nowhere Gilead, Wisconsin because of an ad she found in a travel book containing a beautiful picture of the fall trees' “colors of paradise.” She begins to work at the Spitfire Grill, the only restaurant in town, where she meets the other characters in the show, including the strong-willed and wise restaurant owner, Hannah; the town gossip, Effy; and Percy's parole officer, Joe, who cannot seem to understand why Percy chose to come to Gilead.

At the heart of this musical is a story about discovering the unique beauty of small-town life, the heart-warming quirkiness of the people that make the town what it is, and how, although it comes with its ups and downs, home truly is where the heart is. Director Tom Schwans, an unabashed lover of “The Spitfire Grill,” believes: "We often don't see the beauty of the things right in front of us. We take it for granted and reject its worth. Until, one day, something reminds us how fortunate we are." “The New York Times” described “Spitfire” as "a soul of theatrical resourcefulness. A compelling story that flows with grace and carries the rush of anticipation. The story moves, the characters have many dimensions and their transformations are plausible and moving. The musical is freeing. It is penetrated by honesty and it glows."

Concert accordionist, Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestras and String Quartets. Orchestras include Prince George’s Philharmonic in Largo, Maryland; the Moravian Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Auckland Symphony (New Zealand), The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra (Massachusetts), the Waterbury Symphony (Connecticut), the Bronxville Pops Orchestra (New York), and The Hamden Symphony Orchestra (Connecticut). She’s toured mainland China with the Mantovani Orchestra, performing both in the orchestra and as a soloist, performed with the Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center Orchestra in the full sound track for “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”, complete with the film, appeared with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) in Gertrude Stein & Virgil Thomson’s Opera, “Four Saints In Three Acts” at Jordan Hall on the New England Conservatory campus in Boston, MA, at the Westport Country Playhouse (CT) production of “Sing For Your Shakespeare”, in the Community Theater of Woodbury show “The Spitfire Grill”, and in April of 2018, appearing as a featured instrumentalist for “The Spitfire Grill” at the Wien Black Box Theatre at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the Fairfield University campus.

Mary has released three solo CDs, “Music with Mary . . . with my friends!” - “Music with Mary . . . for my friends!” – “Have Yourself A Mary Merry Christmas” – all have received international acclaim.

In collaboration with Karen Malan-Uribe and Joan Geller Grauman, Mary narrates and performs the music for the book “An Accordion! What Is That?” The recently re-released book was written as an early childhood reader, with many text features not often found in books for children of this age . . . as well as introducing the accordion to the “next generation” of musicians!

Mary has performed internationally in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Scotland and Switzerland -- as well as extensively here in the United States.

For 35 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. Along with teaching piano and accordion at her home in Northford, Connecticut, Mary travels extensively presenting Workshops and Master Classes on musical excellence, coaching privately, and as a sought-after adjudicator for national and international juries.

She also served for many years 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 President of The American Accordionists Association (AAA) and is a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG). Both organizations are members of the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes, as well as IMC-UNESCO.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Memorial Concert for Alexander Sevastian on April 11

by Rita Barnea
Alexander SebastianAccordionist Alexander Sevastian, a wonderful musician and an extraordinary person, died unexpectedly on February 16, 2018, during his tour in Mexico with Quartetto Gelato.The world has lost a wonderful musician.

Excerpts from his website: Sebastian was a renowned artist (accordion, piano, bandoneon), who won four International Accordion Competitions: the Oslofjord in Norway (1998), The Cup of the North in Russia (2000), the Anthony Galla-Rini Accordion Competition in the U.S.A. (2001) and The Coupe Mondiale in the U.S.A. (2007). Born in Minsk, Belarus, he attended the Glinka Musical College (Minsk), and pursued advanced studies at the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters in Performance degree in 2002, studying with renowned performer and pedagogue, Friedrich Lips.

Alexander Sevastian began his professional career in Moscow in 1996, performing with the Russian Radio Orchestra, which he toured with as a soloist throughout Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Highlights of his career include appearances in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Glinka Capella Hall (St.Petersburg), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Minato Mirai Hall (Yokohama), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), Jack Singer Hall (Calgary) and Metropolitan Museum (New York). Recent solo engagements include recitals in Mexico, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, U.S.A. and Canada as well as appearances with many North American symphony orchestras.

Sevastian and his family moved to Canada in April 2001. After joining Quartetto Gelato in 2002, he completed the Advanced Certificate in Performance program at the University of Toronto where he studied with Joseph Macerollo.

In April of 2008, Sevastian made his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Peter Oundjian, playing the Malcolm Forsyth Accordion Concerto at the New Creations Festival, which he then performed with the orchestra on their 2009 tour of Eastern Canada. Alex is survived by his wife Anya, their children Vladimir and Maria, his brother Vitali and his mother Nadya.

Show One Productions is planning a concert to honor his memory and to raise money for his family. Please attend on April 11, at 8-11:PM at the
Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Performers include
* Peter De Sotto and Liza McLellan Quartetto Gelato,
* Julian Milkis,
* Sophie Milman,
* Alexander Luminsky,
* Gennady Grebenchuk,
* Victor Khomenko and Alexei Severinets,
* Inga Filippova-Williams and Yevgeniya Yasmanovich,
* Children’s choir “Ladushki.”

All proceeds from the concert will go to Alexander Sevastian’s family.

Show One Productions is a full service production company presenting concerts with high-profile classical musicians, opera stars, and orchestras, as well as great dance and theatre companies. Formed in 2004 by Svetlana Dvoretskaia, Show One continues its brand of excellence, presenting in Canada’s most prestigious concert halls.

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

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

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

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

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

Joey is extolled nationally as accordionist, arranger, spontaneous improviser, studio musician, pedagogue and unequalled entertainer. In a music career spanning more than four decades, Joey has collaborated with a range of artists including Paul McCartney, John Denver, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Williams, Ricky Van Shelton, Emmylou Harris, Frankie Yankovic, Garth Brooks and many others.

Museum Curator Helmi Harrington, Ph. D. recounts in a personal note "I’ve known Joey for over 25 years and consider him one of the most accomplished and kindest gentlemen in the accordion world."

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

A World of Accordions Museum Curator Helmi Harrington is offering complimentary e-Newsletter mailings to those who would like to be kept up to date on this and other events held at the Museum. Send your e-mail to Helmi Harrington at:

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

For all other information, please visit

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

The 2018 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Finals and Concert on April 21

by Sheree Scarborough
The 2018 Big Squeeze
The 2018 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Finals and Free Concert will be held at the Bullock Museum on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Grand Prize Winners will be selected in the following updated four categories: 

Polka Grand Prize (Age 25 and under)
Cajun & Zydeco Grand Prize (Age 21 and under)
Anthony Ortiz, Jr. Conjunto Grand Prize (Ages 18-21)
Conjunto (Ages 17 and under)

Texas Folklife is thrilled to announce the 2018 Big Squeeze Statewide Accordion Contest Finals and Concert will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The event is free and open to the public and will be held inside on the first floor under the Grand Rotunda.

Up to twelve finalists, three from each category, will be selected in early April by a panel of judges, and will perform at the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Finals and Concert before a panel of judges and the public, accompanied by Austin Music Hall of Fame’s Conjunto Los Pinkys. (A press release will be issued to announce the finalists.) The free afternoon concert will feature performances by Grammy-nominated musician, producer, and polka ambassador Alex Meixner, and Los Fresnos High School’s Conjunto Halcón, founded and directed by Texas Folklife’s first Big Squeeze Champ Juan Longoria Jr.
In addition, there will be a Big Squeeze Brunch and After Party and Accordion Workshop (with Grammy-nominated Alex Meixner) held on Sunday, April 22, from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Texas Folklife Gallery. The event is free for Big Squeeze 2018 finalists and their families and for Texas Folklife members (members contact Texas Folklife for promo code). For all others admission is $10:

Proceeds will benefit Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze program. Parking for the event is available in Texas Folklife's gravel driveway, on street immediately in front of building, and Asterra Properties (located next door). Overflow parking available at Recycled Reads (5335 Burnet Rd). Please use spaces in the back or on the south side of the Recycled Reads building.

This is the 12th year for the Big Squeeze program that supports up-and-coming Texas youth accordionists. The contest is one of the ways in which Texas Folklife carries out its mission to preserve and present Texas’s diverse cultural heritage. The contest recruits players in all genres of the Lone Star State’s accordion-based music, including German, Czech, and Polish polka; Creole, Cajun, and zydeco; conjunto, norteño, and Tejano.

Since 2007 Texas Folklife has built a reputation as a champion of Texas accordion music genres through the Big Squeeze program, and has supported over 230 young, talented players from dozens of Texas towns and cities in their efforts to carry on these vital community-based accordion music traditions.

This year, Texas Folklife held 9 Big Squeeze talent showcases that were free and open to the public, held in communities throughout the state, and featured music by established accordion artists as well as the young accordion contestants. The showcases were held in Ennis, Dallas, Houston, Nederland/Groves, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Los Fresnos, and Palmview.

Those who were not able to attend a showcase were able to mail or e-mail their entries to Texas Folklife. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available online at

During the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Finals and Concert, four Final Grand Prize Winners will be selected from the twelve finalists and from Texas traditional accordion music genres: polka, Cajun, zydeco, and conjunto. The polka genre includes German, Czech, and Polish polka traditions. Cajun & Zydeco will include zydeco, Creole and Cajun musical traditions. And conjunto will include conjunto, norteño and Tejano.

For the 2018 program, Texas Folklife implemented some changes that we hope will encourage more statewide youth participation. The Conjunto Category has been split into two age categories (one for ages 17 and under, and one for ages 18-21) and the Polka Category has been extended to ages 25 and under. There are no changes in the Cajun & Zydeco Category. The Conjunto grand prize category for ages 18-21 is named in loving memory of Anthony Ortiz, Jr., a former Big Squeeze finalist, virtuosic young professional accordionist, and member of the Texas Folklife family who passed away in 2017.

The four Big Squeeze 2018 Grand Prize Winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a Hohner accordion, cash prize, performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities. Additionally, the Grand Prize Winners will perform onstage with legendary Texas musicians at Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens Concert, held at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on June 2.
Big Squeeze Program Director Alysha Hernández led the Big Squeeze Program again this year. Hernández brings a decade of experience in communications, film, and live event production. She is a native Texan, born in San Antonio and has spent much of her life in the Rio Grande Valley.
Piper Lemoine and Brenda Martinez of Rancho Alegre Radio will serve as masters of ceremonies at the event this year.The Big Squeeze still has opportunities for individuals and organizations to become sponsors of the program. There is information on the website on how to become a Big Squeeze Sponsor at: or please contact us by phone at 512-441-9255.

“The Big Squeeze is one of the programs that gives the most joy to those of us at Texas Folklife,” said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “It is such an honor and a privilege to meet these young players throughout the state who are doing the work of helping to keep the roots music of their communities alive. In addition, we get to work with committed partners who are helping us in our mission to foster the continuation of traditional Texas music. One of those partners who has been with us for many years is the Bullock Texas State History Museum. We are grateful to be hosted at the museum once again and look forward to an afternoon of amazing music by our special lineup of accordion stars as well as the music of the Big Squeeze finalists and the countdown to the crowning of 2018’s Big Squeeze Champs. Please join us—but be sure to wear your dancing shoes or boots—and help us celebrate all things accordion!”
The Big Squeeze is supported by the board and members of Texas Folklife, Hohner, Inc., Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival, Texas Polka News, El Norteño Foods, Alamo Music Center, and by grants from H-E-B, The Texas Music Office, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, and the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. Regional community and venue partners include Hacienda Records, Cajun Sounds Internet Radio,, Conjunto Heritage Taller, McDonald Public Library in Corpus Christi, Dallas Public Library Pleasant Grove Branch, Café 4212, Multicultural Education & Counseling through the Arts, Larry’s French Market & Cajun Restaurant, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Los Fresnos High School, La Joya Independent School District, Muñoz Snapshots, Nuestra Musica Monthly, Central Texas Accordion Association, Motorblade Postering Service, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

About Texas Folklife:Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State, and is designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as the Folk & Traditional Arts organization for the state.  Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.
Texas Folklife Gallery
T 512-441-9255

Media inquiries:
Sheree Scarborough 512-922-5483/

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts 56th Annual Festival

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

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

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

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

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

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Ludovic Beier to Perform with Django Festival Allstars at Carnegie Hall on May 1

by Rita Barnea
Ludovic Beier
Ludovic BeierThe Django Festival Allstars celebrate the guitar legend with performances of his most popular works as well as original music by the band, inspired by Ellington, Armstrong, and partner Stephane Grappelli. The evening also celebrates a symbolic ‘passing of the family torch’ from Dorado to sons Samson and Amati, known as the gypsy family Dorado Schmitt & Sons. The musicians will be joined by special guest, internationally-known vocalist Melody Gardot. Ludovic Beier is the accordionist with the group. The concert takes place on May 1, 2018 at 8:PM

The spirit of a certain celebrated Gypsy guitarist may have reason to be drifting around New York’s Carnegie Hall on May 1, when the Django Festival Allstars take the Perelman Stage for a concert, “Forever Django: Passing the Family Torch,” in support of their upcoming album, Attitude Manouche. The concert is being presented by Pat Philips-Stratta, the actor Leonardo DiCaprio and his father, the writer and performance artist George DiCaprio.

Led by the father-sons guitar team of Dorado, Samson and Amati Schmitt, and specializing in the Gypsy-jazz style popularized in the 1930s by Django Reinhardt, the Allstars will welcome two special guests for this performance: clarinetist Ken Peplowski and singer Melody Gardot. The program will feature both original compositions and material closely associated with Reinhardt.For 19 years running, the Django Festival has been a regular event at Midtown Manhattan’s Birdland club.

Last year, its Allstars went on a 16-date North American tour that preceded the festival. The Allstars have in years past made room for artists such as vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, clarinetist Anat Cohen and Django’s guitar-playing grandson David. The lineup for the Carnegie show includes accordionist Ludovic Beier, violinist Pierre Blanchard, rhythm guitarists DouDou Cuillerier and Francko.

Excerpts from Ludovic Beier website: Born in 1978, Ludovic Beier learned the accordion from his father and benefited from being part of a musical family. He was brought up in the French tradition of the instrument and developed his jazz accordion skills. He has a spirited, adventurous style which strays into all kinds of byways.He performs on the French and European scene with some of the top players of the Django/Swing Jazz style including Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmitt, Florin Niculescu.

Along with his virtuoso playing, Ludovic composes and arranges, and has his own band, Ludovic Beier Quartet, to perform his "cool and latin" French jazz. He has an impressive technique and also a great dose of lyricism with a band that keeps him at full stretch.

Besides performing in Europe at top festivals and clubs, he appeared in the States with the Django Reinhardt Project, performing at Birdland (NYC) with guests such as Paquito D'Rivera, at Lincoln Center with Joe Lovano, at Yoshis (CA) with David Sanchez, and last summer at the Montreal International Jazz Festival with Angelo Debarre and James Carter where he brought the house down. He also had the honor to perform at Carnegie Hall with Toots Thielemans among a prestigious line up including Herbie Hancock, Ivan Lins and Eliane Elias.

For tickets contact the Carnegie Hall Box Office: 212-247-7800

Titano Accordion Company

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

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Obituary: John Patrick Bonica, Oregon - USA

by Harley Jones
John Bonica (PT CMP NZRP)Play Your Accordion Without Pain book coverMarch 17, 1942 – March 20, 2018

John Bonica , PT CMP NZRP (New Zealand and USA), suffered a heart attack and heart failure with no prior discernible symptoms. He had just retired from his practice after 55 years and he and his wife Ellen had nearly finished winding the business down when John unexpectedly and most sadly passed away.

Born in New Zealand in 1942 of Italian parents, John Bonica grew up in a family of accordion players, and taught himself to play the instrument by ear. He learned to play Chopin’s ‘Minute Waltz’ by listening to a recording by Charles Magnante, but then also learned to read music so he could enter competitions. He won the New Zealand Championship several years in the duet, trio and quartet sections. He won second place at the New Zealand Open Championship in 1978 in the solo division.

In 1963 he graduated with a degree in manual physical therapy, a branch of physical medicine specializing in spinal and extremity trauma, and then practised for 17 years in New Zealand. His practical and theoretical knowledge led to the publication of his book 'Play Your Accordion Without Pain', available catalog: bonica00

John Bonica , L.P.T., N.Z.R.P., emigrated to the USA in 1980 to teach spinal specialists and continue his practice of spinal therapy. He founded the Pacific Spinal and Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Clinic, a subsidiary of Rockwood Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Clinic, P.C., located in Portland, Oregon, USA.

He has recorded four CDs of Italian and European folk music utilizing a MIDI orchestra ensemble. Other activities include writing and publishing (he was editor and publisher for the US published ‘Accordion World’ magazine from 1989 until 1994), sailing and photography.

Nathan Chapeton Performs at Carnegie Hall

by Mary Tokarski
Nathan Chapeton and Mary Tokarski
Accordionist Nathan Chapeton was among participants from around the globe (all over the United States and internationally from Russia, Ukraine, China and Canada) at the February 25, 2018 First Honors Recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The competition and award recitals are sponsored by the Elite International Music Competition. The organization is a New Jersey nonprofit corporation that encourages young artists to pursue their studies in music, showcases their talent and musical potential. The corporation was founded by Alla Lovel, MM, MA, and is comprised of a group of dedicated and highly skilled experienced professional musicians, inspired by the power of music and dedicated to the discovery and development of talented musicians.

Amazing music abounded from the evening’s talented performers – cellists and violinists performing some of the world’s most loved classical repertoire with piano accompaniment; the amazing pianists, representing all of the world’s greatest piano works by Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven, Khachaturian and so much more.

The audience was appreciative across the board, but were a bit surprised when Nathan was presented on stage with an accordion! However, heads nodded, bodies swayed and smiles graced the audience faces, and Nathan’s performance of Alexander Tcherepnin’s “Partita” created a spontaneous burst of applause that exceeded all the other performers in both dynamic and length!

This young accordionist is a veteran of American Accordionists’ Association competitions, and has earned the privilege of representing AAA at the Coupe Mondiale several times now. He hopes to qualify and compete in the Junior Coupe Mondiale Category this September as the Coupe travels to Lithuania.

His plans for the future include teaching the accordion and piano, improving his composition skills (he took first place in the 2017 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition), and ultimately wants to bring the accordion to the youth of the United States. He loves performing as a soloist, appearing as a guest artist at events all over the East Coast, but also loves performing with his friends on other instruments as well (right now, organ and saxophone)– and making the arrangements to boot!

Best of luck in all you do, Nathan!

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

11th Annual Kevin Friedrich and Friends Dargaville Museum Concert - New Zealand

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Kevin Friedrich, Christchurch Accordion Orchestra
PosterPicture above: Kevin Friedrich, below Christchurch Accordion Orchestra.

The Lighthouse Function Center in Dargaville, New Zealand was filled to capacity for the 11th Annual Afternoon of Music with Kevin Friedrich and Friends, a variety Show featuring accordionists and entertainers from throughout New Zealand. The show called 'A Touch of Kiwi' featured a variety of music, including quite a few items of New Zealand interest.

The Christchurch Accordion Orchestra under the direction of David Thorne opened the show performing a selection of items including classical and film music as well as the popular 'Invercargill March' by renowned composer Alex Lithgow, a piece he wrote in celebration of New Zealand's southern most city.

Other entertainers included Chris Davidson (vocalist), The Rivertown Singers and Take 6 (vocal ensembles), Frank Lunberg and Colin Rapana (trumpets), Heather Mitchell-Gladstone, QSM (vocals and accordion), Purotu, Xena, Maiadean and Atawhai Martin (cellos and violins), Alexandra Reekie (vocals and piano), Roslyn Gilmour and Dennise Brownlie as the popular New Zealand duo the Topp Twins, Maurice Jones (piano) Lionel Reekie (accordion and vocals) and Alanah Jones (vocalist), The Dargaville Primary School Kapa Haka Group under the direction of Shelley Friedrich, Alison Worthington and Harley Jones (accordion duo) and Ken Cashin who prepared a multimedia presentation showcasing years of iconic New Zealanders and Kiwi-ana.

The concert host Kevin Friedrich performed a variety of accordion works including the seldom heard Whangarei March, an original Suite of four pieces called Rehutai which he wrote for the unique Kauri diatonic accordion, the premiere of the accordion and piano work Song of the Far North by renowned New Zealand composer Gary Daverne and the magnificent work Cinderella by Alexey Arkhipovskiy, (arr. A. Poeluev) which he performed with 11 year old Alina Reekie dancing the story of Cinderella.

A community fundraiser for the Dargaville Museum, the home of Kevin's permanent exhibition 'Accordion Gems, A Master Collection of Accordions Through Time', the 12th Annual concert will be held on March 31st, 2019.

Picture below, audience and Kevin Friedrich with the unique Kauri Accordion
Picture report at: 2018Dargaville
Audience, Kevin Friedrich

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

Joseph Natoli Adds Two New Publications to His Free Bass Method Books

by Joseph Natoli, ATG President
New BookNew Bayan BookJoseph Natoli, President of the ATG, and lifelong free bass performer and enthusiast has added two new publications to his list of method books. These are two new free bass method books which seem to fill a void, since the question is frequently posed to him about available free bass methods. Most people and prospective students continually provide Joe feedback that they simply cannot find adequate free bass books on the market, because previous methods are out of print and/or impossible to purchase.

Therefore to add to his already existing Adult Accordion Method Book (a market which also had not previously existed), Joe has developed the following two method book titles:

1. Quick & Easy Into to Chromatic Free Bass
2. Quick & Easy Into to Bayan Free Bass

Both are full of the basics with major scale exercises & fingerings for both systems, chromatic scale exercises, arpeggio exercises, and block chord triad exercises. This is meant to be an intro book that gives people (who are already musicians but want to explore free bass) a quick and easy approach to do so. Free bass patterns and graphic layouts are also provided for both types of free bass systems.  The method book ends with multiple original compositions by Joe that are incrementally challenging through the end of the book.

Joe can be contacted for these books to be sent via snail mail or electronically online through

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

Remembering Gary Dahl

by Toby Hanson
Gary DahlOn December 1, 2017 the accordion world lost one of its luminaries, Gary Dahl.  Gary passed quietly at home in his sleep. During his lifetime he created a legacy of musical excellence.

Gary was born September 26, 1937 in Kent, Washington. He grew up in West Seattle and attended West Seattle High School where he was an outstanding baseball player. He pitched for his high school team as well as the local American Legion team. He liked to tell the story about how he was learning to throw an off-speed pitch and decided to try it out against future major leaguer and hall of famer Ron Santo. Santo hit a home run off Gary which influenced Gary’s decision to give up on that particular pitch. 

Gary was also an accomplished charter pilot, flight instructor, fisherman, served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and was a passionate fan of his alma mater the University of Washington, as well as the Seahawks and Mariners.  Gary was a loving father and husband and was especially proud of his daughter Leesa and her professional music career.

If that were all Gary had done in his life, that would have been enough for most people. However, Gary was more than just a soldier, pilot, or athlete.  He was an accordionist, arranger, and educator of the highest regard.  He studied accordion with Joe Spano at his studio in Burien and eventually went on to work for Joe as a technician and teacher. Gary led a highly popular band from 1960 to 1985 in the Seattle area, frequently booking engagements lasting more than a year.  He was a regular performer at some of Seattle’s top clubs.  His students were frequent competitors in accordion competitions in the Northwest. 

In the 1990s, after several years away from the teaching studio, he got back into teaching and, to compliment his educational work, he began writing accordion arrangements, eventually publishing his books and collections with Mel Bay and Santorella Publishing. 

Gary was also an early adopter of Internet technology, teaching lessons via the Internet and selling individual arrangements and collections on various websites.

I first came to Gary to take accordion lessons in the mid-90s while I was in college.  Early on Gary recognized my potential and soon scheduled me for the last lesson of the day on Saturdays which allowed him to spend extra time with me, sometimes as much as three hours. 

He also kept a conductor’s baton on his music stand and, when I didn’t play a passage correctly, he would smack the back of my hand with it!  That may have been a deterrent to learning for a lot of people but I took it as a challenge.  Needless to say, I was always very well-prepared for my lessons with Gary so I could avoid the wrath of his baton.
During the course of my lessons with Gary I had the chance to learn many of his arrangements and try out his instructional materials before they went to publication. When I learned his chord course it was still hand-written, with his notes in the margins.  Later, the book would be published by Mel Bay for use by students worldwide.  I got the rare privilege of having a front-row seat to Gary’s musical genius as I watched him refine his teaching materials and arrangements, all of which I now use as an accordion teacher.

After I concluded my accordion study with Gary we became very close friends.  I would spend hours over at his house showing him how to do various things with his computer or fixing some mistake he had made with his email. We talked on the phone at great length about everything that came to mind—sports, music, politics, and, of course, the accordion. 

Gary had a well-deserved reputation in his later years for being cantankerous and quick to criticize his fellow accordionists. Those who didn’t know him that well never understood that, although he could be harsh at times, his critiques were always motivated by his burning passion to present the accordion at its absolute best at all times. 

Gary played out professionally during the least popular years of the accordion and always had to battle the public stigma of the accordion. He endured years of jokes about monkeys, tin cups, and bubble machines.  All of those years of challenges gave Gary an unrelenting drive to demonstrate the accordion at its best at all times. He preferred that players who weren’t ready to play out in public hone their craft until they were able to present the accordion in a professional manner.

Gary Dahl left all of us with a monumental legacy of musical arrangements, instructional materials, recordings, and well-trained accordionists.  For me, though, Gary was more than just a giant of the accordion world; he was a friend, mentor, and someone that I will dearly miss. Rest well, Gary; you’ve earned it.

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

Don Gerundo to Perform for LIAA on April 3

by Rita Barnea
La Villini Restaurant of East Northport, NY is sponsoring the next meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 6:PM. The featured guest artists will be accordionist Don Gerundo.

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.

For further information:
 Place: La Villini Restaurant
          288 Larkfield Road.
          East Northport, NY 11731
          631 – 261 – 6344
Reservations are recommended.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

New England Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra Concert on April 8

by Peggy Falcetti
NE Digital Accordion Orchestra
The New England Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra presents a unique concept of the Roland Digital Accordion. On Sunday April 8, 2018 at 3:PM, the Festival Division of the New England Music Festival will take place at the Newton Marriott Hotel in Newton, Ma. The New England Digital Accordion Orchestra under the baton of Sam Falcetti will be performing at approximately 3:30 PM in the Grand Ballroom.

They will open with a Scottish & Irish Medley transforming the orchestra into a bagpipe band which will be followed by medleys of Beatles and James Bond selections. The orchestra will close with their arrangement of "God Bless America".

If you haven’t heard this orchestra live you will be amazed by their performance.

For more information about the Festival weekend April 6th thru April 8th visit the website: There is no charge to view any of the competition and group categories.

For more information:
Peggy Falcetti, Contest Chairperson

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Accordionist Ivan Filiipchyk in Concert on April 15

by Rita Barnea
Ivan Filipchyk
Accordionist Ivan Filipchyk will present music by J.S.Bach in addition to his own original piano compositions on Sunday, April 15, 2018, at 8:PM at the South Oxford Space, The Great Room, 138 S. Oxford St., 11217, Brooklyn, NY. Admission is free.

Ivan Filipchyk (born 1991), is a New York-based artist and musician. He graduated from Russian Gnesiny Academy of music in Moscow with a Master's degree in music. He acquired his music foundation in Belarus and Russia, countries with rich musical history, traditions and well-established education in music and arts. As a musician (accordion, piano) he takes part in various competitions and gives recitals performing (as a soloist and participant of an ensemble) on stages of some European countries, Russia, Japan, USA and Canada.

For further information:
Ivan Filipchyk
Mobile: 917-443-2190

Progression Ensemble in 2018 USA Tour

by Rocco Jerry
The Progression Ensemble
In their 2018 tour, The Progression Ensemble will premiere six new works written for them by composers Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Christopher Cook, Eric Despard Michael Dilthey and Bjorn Bolstad Skjelbred. Experiential Media Artist and EMPAC faculty member, Shawn Lawson, will live code real time computer graphics for all the works at Spectrum and Time and Space Limited. This multimedia event takes advantage of all the video possibilites that these venues offer.

Works to be premiered:
Gene Pritsker - “If Her Waters Flow Not in Perpetual Progression” (2017)
Dan Cooper - work not yet titled (2018) Christopher Cook - “Spectrum” (2018) Eric Despard - “Space Moving In - Space Moving Out” (2018)
Michael Dilthey - “Trio” (2017) Bjorn Bolstad Skjelbred - “The Thin Line” (2017) Norwegian Composer Bjorn Bolstad Skjelbred will be flying in from Oslo to attend and speak at the first five performances.

2018 Tour Schedule:
7:PM Friday April 20, Time and Space Limited, 434 Columbia Street, Hudson, NY
11:AM Saturday April 21, Troy Public Library, 100 Second Street, Troy, NY 2 PM Saturday April 21, Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 7 PM Saturday April 21, Our Lady of Grace Church, 73 Midline Road, Ballston Lake, NY
6:PM Sunday April 22, Spectrum, 70 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn Composers Concordance “Art of Sound Festival”
5:PM Sunday June 10, Shapeshifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn
5 PM Sunday October 13, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, 1701 Main Street, Peekskill
Travel funding has been provided by Music Norway, Norwegian Society of Composers and Southern Vermont College.

The Progression Ensemble consists of Accordionist Rocco Anthony Jerry, Guitarist Eric Despard and Cellist Michael Gilbert Ronstadt. The group specializes in contemporary classical music and is focused on presenting to the public the newest music by leading composers.

Further information at: 2018Progression.pdf
Progression Ensemble

Jacques Pellarin, Composer/Accordionist, in “April in Paris” Tour in in USA

by Rita Barnea
Jacque and Corinne Pellarin
Accordionist Jacques Pellarin and Vocalist Corinne Pellarin are back in Philadelphia at the start of their 6th US East- Coast Tour! They are looking forward to meeting all their friends at their performances. Be sure to attend "April in Paris" with JAC & CO at A la Maison French Bistro Restaurant to celebrate with beautiful eternal French songs !

Excerpts from online news Mainline Today: The Champs-Élysées might be thousands of miles away, but France will feel much closer this spring at Ardmore’s A la Maison Bistro. The eatery again welcomes accomplished French musical duo Jacques and Corinne Pellarin for its “April in Paris” celebration. 

Born in Chambéry and trained as an accordion player, Jacques is now widely considered a virtuoso. Over the course of his three-decade career, he’s been a composer and a producer whose credits include multiple albums and world tours. He joins his wife, Corinne, a chanson singer, to create authentic French café music.

Together, they’re known as Jac & Co, and their stripped-back performances evoke both the rustic French countryside and smoky Parisian brasseries. Their range of mastery and dynamic interaction on stage recalls the likes of Édith Piaf, Francis Lemarque and other great French performers of the past. 

This April marks the sixth year the pair will perform at A la Maison, where patrons are no strangers to an authentic musical experience. The restaurant hosts various artists throughout the year. Miller believes performances like these add an extra dimension to the dining experience. “[Music] lends a warmth and entertaining spirit to the dining room,”

Jac & Co performs two to three days a week throughout the month of April at 353 Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (484) 412-8009.

Additional Performances on their USA Tour  – April/ May 2018:
13.05.18 : French restaurant  » Le Pot au feu » – Providence – Rhode – Island
12.05.18 : French restaurant  » Le Pot au feu » – Providence – Rhode – Island
11.05.18 : French restaurant  » Le Pot au feu » – Providence – Rhode – Island
29.04.18 :  Paris Bistro Jazz cafe – Philadelphia, PA
27.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA
24.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA
20.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA
17.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA
13.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA
12.04.18 :  French festival event in Somers point – New Jersey
10.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA
08.04.18 :  Paris Bistro Jazz cafe – Philadelphia, PA
06.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA
03.04.18 :  A la Maison French restaurant – Philadelphia, PA

For further information:

Thoughts on Alexander Sevastian and the 2018 NAA Convention

by Emmanuel Gasser
Emmanuel Gasser
Early in the morning on February 17, 2018 as I checked my emails, I was informed by my friend, Sergei Toropov that my beloved teacher Alexander Sevastian had died in Mexico. I was extremely shocked, sad and completely heart broken. I miss him very much and cry a lot because of that. Alex has given me so much... I really didn't know what to do anymore. I just refused to believe it...

I have often been thinking in the past few days, if Sasha knew that he had some heart or health problems. During or after lessons, he used to say to me:"Practice hard Emmanuel, you must replace me when I am tired and need to rest. You can play anything and learn fast." I always practiced hard, but never thought that he would just fall asleep like he did. I rather thought that he was teasing me and keeps performing for another 50 years.

I thought that with Alexander's passing every door has closed for me, as an accordionist establishing a career. I just gave up all hope. I caught a flu and became seriously ill. In the next few days I received many encouraging comments, phone calls and emails from fans, accordionist and friends from all over the world. All these encouraging and kind words gave me new strength to start to heal, but I was still devastated by this big hurt. Several facebook friends suggested that I join them at the NAA Convention.

I decided to attend the National Accordion Association's 2018 Convention which was a fun filled event for young and old. It started out in the afternoon of Wednesday March 7th with a jamming session and reception. Unfortunately, I could not be there because I did not arrive in Dallas until 3:00pm. When I did arrive and got settled in at the hotel, I put my accordion back together. I always take my accordion apart and bring it in two pieces as carry-on luggage on the plane, so it does not get damaged.

When I finally made my way to the ballroom, accordion music already filled the hallway! And a familiar tune it was, too! It was “Heidi's Waltz” by my friend Gary Blair. The first session of the Band Camp practices had already started. There were four accordion orchestras. Although the members of every group were mostly the same people, the music was extremely diverse. A number of my friends and myself were in all four of them. We practiced on Wednesday evening, Thursday morning and afternoon. After practicing during the whole day in the band camp, I entertained the attendees of the convention at the Hyatt restaurant during suppertime.

On Thursday evening we already had our “Band Camp Concert”, the orchestras played in the following order. First there was the “Fun Band” directed by Dick Albreski, which played a collection of old favorites, among them “The Danube Waves”, where Albreski had the solo part and played with the Fun Band for the first time. Then there was Gary Blair's accordion band, which played some of his beautiful original pieces. His merry music never fails to put a smile on the audiences faces. Gordon Kohl also conducted an orchestra. He chose two beautiful, inspirational selections, “Chariots of Fire” and “You Raise Me Up”. Last but definitively not least, there was Elena Fainshtein's orchestra with two brilliant Russian pieces.

After this “Band Camp Concert”, there came the “Double Circle of Champions”, that became the highlight of my experience at this Convention. I was not aware of the fact that I was going to perform there, until earlier in the afternoon of the same day. I did not really know what it was either because I had no time to study the schedule. I was to pay a tribute to my teacher, Alexander Sevastian, who died only 18 days prior to this convention. That was actually why I decided to travel to Dallas, to try to cheer myself up, have a good time and try to overcome the grief and shock of this tragic loss.

Before going on stage, I was preparing myself mentally, just as Alex had thought me. I rehearsed a little speech I would make about the Alex's life, career and who he was as a friend and mentor. I was struggling not to cry. Jessica Faltot played selections in memory of Gary Dahl. Joe Natoli played in memory of Ron Lankford and Stephen Dominko. Cory Pesaturo played in memory of Tony Lovello and Tony Dannon. Grayson Masefield played in memory of Astor Piazzolla.

When Jessica Faltot (MC) and Joe Natoli went up on stage to announce me I could not hold back anymore, I can't remember what they said, but something they said made me lose it. I wiped the tears away, walked on stage, set up and wanted to do my little speech but could not ... I took a deep breath and simply announced the first piece, which I was going to perform; Prelude & Fugue in G minor WTC 1 by J.S. Bach.

As I was playing I was extremely nervous, I closed my eyes from time to time and imagined a familiar environment. I imagined the living room, where I most often had the lessons with Alex, with him sitting on the couch and “conducting” how I should play. When the piece was finished, I was pulled back to reality, I again wanted to do my little speech, but again, could not. So, announcing the second piece, my original composition “Tango Frio”. I started talking a little about Alex, but again I started losing my voice, so I figured I might as well just play. While playing I tried to concentrate on the music and the familiar environment but many memories about Alex flashed through my mind. How he always supported and encouraged me. How he told me right before I had to perform for the most demanding competition, “Emmanuel, I don't care about the results of this competition, I will always believe in you”, moments from his funeral, what people had said there, but especially how his young family, his Mama and brother is left devastated.

The piece over and the audience applauding; I realized, Alex was probably there in spirit listening or maybe even conducting. “Emmanuel, I am proud of you!” echoed in my mind, just as he used to say after I performed really well. He was a man of few words, but when he did speak, he was direct and sincere. The extensive knowledge, talent and love, he had, is lost. It broke my heart anew knowing I can not talk with him anymore. Physically, I walked of the stage but deep inside I collapsed.

Many people came up to me that evening to congratulate my performance and express how much they enjoyed it. Interestingly, most of them also said something along the lines of “Don't ever give up the accordion”. I am still wondering why so many of them said it so directly. Did they know that I was seriously thinking of giving up my career as a concert accordionist?

There were a few more tributes paid that evening and there were jam sessions after that. I would have loved to attend these events but lacked the energy because I was overcome with emotions. The next day, Friday, was filled with wonderful, informative workshops. Both in the Ballroom and the Digital Suite, guest artists shared their talent and knowledge. Topics ranged from performance techniques, to studio recording, to Tango Nuevo ,to Jazz and much more.

The Friday evening entertainment consisted of a “Dance Party” in the Ballroom, a “Digital-only Concert” in the Digital Suite and the “Ballarini Bistro” in the the Spurs Room. I spent a little time at all three of them but mostly at the “Ballarini Bistro” because I played there. It was an open mic event and a few of my new friends I made at the convention, played there, too.

Saturday had many well-attended workshops, too, but my favourite event of the day was the “NAA Youth Show”. Dick Albreski directed the Youth Orchestra with 11 participants, aging 18 and under. Students (and teachers) in the orchestra included: Asher Elliott, Laz Elliott, Anna Rockford, Alex Rockford, Matthew Medley ( Dick Albreski) ; Hannah Swiney, Gabriel Andrade ( Greg Klugewicz); and Peter Dresser, Elijah Clements, Timothy Regheta ( Elena Fainshtein), and Julia Naizer ( taught by her father). The orchestra selections were alternated with solos by each young member of the group.

The talents of every one of them was a joy to see. The level of playing ranged from beginners, who had started only a few weeks ago, to more advanced such as “Olive Blossoms” by Pietro Frosini. This youth show is an excellent way of introducing young talents to the accordion world and the public. It is also very important that they feel as a part of the accordion world, because they are the future of our existing accordion clubs and associations.

Saturday evening started with a banquet, accompanied by strolling musicians. I am glad that I was not one of the strolling accordionists, what a fine dinner I would have missed! The Banquet was followed by the convention's famous “Conga Line” which ended in an impromtu jam session in the hallway. This Conga Line serves to get all the conventioneers out of the Ballroom; to change from banquet setting, to concert seating.

The Gala Concert started with a duo performance, courtesy of Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodriguez. They played Brazilian, tango nuevo and forro music. They were followed by Grayson Masefield, who played some wonderful Classical transcriptions from pieces by J.S. Bach, Domenico Scarlatti and W.A. Mozart. Next up was the ever-entertaining duo of Kim & Dan Christian. They paid a tribute to Tony Lovello, by playing their rendition of “Malaguena”, among other brilliant duets. Lastly it was time for the MC of the evening, Cory Pesaturo, to perform. He played a few of his favourite Jazz pieces and a Tony Lovello version of “Malaguena”. After his solo performance, Cory invited Jamie Maschler, Gabe Hall-Rodriguez, Grayson Masefield, Gary Blair and myself to join him in playing “Indifference”. And for the grand finale, we had Rebecca Huck and Debra Peters join as well to play the “Tennessee Waltz” and “Waltzing Across Texas”.

After the fantastic wrap-up of the Gala Concert, there were jamming sessions. I joined the one in the Ballroom, that lasted until about 2:30am. The versatility of musical styles there was very impressing; from polkas, to rock music, from ragtime to hymns and Balkan music to Swiss-style yodelling.

All in all, this convention was just what I needed to cheer me up. Of course, there is nothing that can patch up the hole in my life, caused by Alexander's passing, but it gave me some ground to stand on. Now I can build myself up again because I feel motivated to continue establishing a career as a concert accordionist and composer. I could feel that the people from the accordion world would like me to be a part of them and continue to share my talent with many audiences. I appreciate that very much.

So, to finish this article, I would like to thank each and everyone, that has supported me in any way in this time of hardship. I cannot express my gratitude enough in words but I want you all to know, that I will keep going because of your support. But of course most of all, in honour of my dearest friend and loving mentor, Alexander Sevastian, who will always have a special place in my heart.

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

Future events

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Julien Labro in Spring Events

by Rita Barnea
Julien Labro
Accordionist Julien Labro is presenting many concerts this spring. The UBS Atrium Series continues its 15th season of free mid-day music on Wednesday, April 4 at 12:30 PM at The Atrium, 1000 Harbor Boulevard in the Lincoln Harbor section of Weehawken. It will be an afternoon of well-known French music. Julien Labro has established himself as one of the top accordion, accordina, and bandoneón players in the classical and jazz worlds.

Excerpts from his website: After graduating from the Marseille Conservatory of Music, Labro began winning international competitions and then moved to the U.S. for further studies. He has shared the stage and/or recorded with many distinguished artists, including João Donato, Cassandra Wilson, Miguel Zenón, James Carter, and Tommy Emmanuel.

Labro has played for audiences throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He has also been enlisted as an arranger and/or soloist by the Spektral Quartet, Curtis On Tour, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and many more. His artistry, virtuosity, and creativity as a musician, composer, and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to impress audiences worldwide.

For this concert, Julien and his band of world-class musicians will play fresh jazz-inspired takes on French songs by Michelle Legrand, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour, and Gabriel Fauré, plus a few of his own original compositions. Julien will be joined by keyboard player Mike Eckroth, bassist Edward Perez, and drummer Richie Barshay. This will be the debut of this program in the New York Metropolitan area. The series is sponsored, in part, by the Hudson Reporter newspapers.

On Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7:30 PM there will be a performance of “A Night of Gypsy Jazz” with the The Hot Club of Reading with special guest accordion virtuoso Julien Labro. The location is the WCR Center for the Arts / Reading,PA.Tickets: $25 (General Admission)

Excerpts from Berks Jazz Fest website: Gypsy Jazz is the term used to describe the music pioneered by the legendary original Hot Club of France Quintet, which was led by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli. Django and Grappelli were attempting to do their own version of American Hot Jazz, as played by stars like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. They used acoustic guitars, bass and violin, rather than horns and drums. Grappelli and Django added some French and Gypsy flavor and created a blend of music that is quite popular and accessible.

The Hot Club of Reading consists of Josh Taylor on guitar; Chris Heslop on sax; Ken Gehret on violin, accordion and guitar; Trey LaRue on bass and Josiah Taylor on guitar. The group focuses on early hot jazz stylings made popular by Reinhardt, Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet.

Each member is featured as a soloist and the music is swing based. Julien Labro has established himself as one of the foremost accordion and bandoneón players in both the classical and jazz genres. Deemed to be a triple threat: brilliant technician, poetic melodist and cunning arranger, his artistry, virtuosity and creativity as a musician, composer and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to astonish audiences worldwide.

As a musician and artist, Labro is constantly evolving. Equipped with advanced degrees in classical music, jazz studies, and composition, Labro draws from his diverse academic background and eclectic musical influences as he searches for new themes and untried concepts, transforming and developing his creative ideas into new projects. Labro has collaborated with numerous professional symphonies and chamber ensembles, often playing the dual roles of solo artist as well as composer/arranger.

For ticket information:
Phone: 610-898-1930

The Julien Labro Quartet also will perform at the prestigious Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, one of the biggest keyboard festival in the country, on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:00 PM, Dalton Center Recital Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. It will be the first time that they will have an accordion/bandoneon. The program will include the first half with chamber music and the second half jazz with Julien and his quartet.

In 1989, trustees of the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation of Kalamazoo, Michigan, announced plans to honor the memory of Irving S. Gilmore, a local businessman and philanthropist, by creating some of the most unique and significant awards for pianists anywhere in the world and a biennial piano festival to celebrate keyboard music.

The mission of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival is to promote and develop world-class keyboard musical experiences that inspire present and future artists and audiences which is accomplished by:
* Identifying exceptional keyboard artists through a noncompetitive process and then providing significant support to enhance their careers
* Presenting world-class music festivals featuring the finest international keyboard artists
* Providing an outstanding keyboard educational program
* Supporting the creation of keyboard music

Julien Labro’s future performances include:
Date Artist City Venue
04/04/18 Julien Labro & The Chanson Experiment, Weehawken, NJ, UBS Atrium Series
04/12/18 HC of Reading feat. Julien Labro Reading, PA, Berks Jazz Festival
04/20/18 Julien Labro Quartet, New York City, NY, Minton’s Playhouse
04/25/18 Julien Labro/Gregg Kallor Duo, Kalamazoo, MI, Gilmore Festival Opening Gala
04/27/18 Julien Labro Quartet, Kalamazoo, MI, Gilmore Keyboard Festival
1st half: Chamber music w/ pianist Gregg Kallor 2nd half: Jazz w/ Gregg Kallor (p), Ed Perez (b.) & Richie Barshay (d.) Concert will be Livestream @
05/05/18 Julien Labro & String Quartet, Boston, MA, Harvard Musical Association
Labro will be joined by the Arneis Quartet
05/13/18 Emilio Solla Chamber Trio, New York, NY, Mezzrow Jazz club
06/08/18 Jason Vieaux/Julien Labro Duo, Cleveland, OH, Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival

For further information:

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

AAA 80th Anniversary Festival July 11-15 in Virginia

by Mary Tokarski
AAA Festival Flyer


V International Jazz Accordion/Modern Harmony Master Classes in Spain with Victor Prieto 

by Rita Barnea
Jazz Workshop in Spain
The Registration for The International Jazz Accordion Master Classes City of Ourense, July 14-15, 2018 is officially open. Once again Ourense City (Spain) will become the center of Jazz - World Music Accordion world Wide.

It will be an unforgettable musical and fun experience for all the attendees. If you have any question please write to the organizers:
or contact by phone: 34-665-629-110. (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese are spoken)

Registration and Dates:
-The registration is open.
-The master class will be held on 14th -15th of July and will take place at Centro Cuntural Marcos Varcarcel (Ourense, Spain)

Group and Schedules:
-The group will have a maximum of 8 students. Once the 8 spots are filled more students will not be accepted. Students will be admitted by order of registration.
-The Master Class will last for 10 hours distributed as follows: 3 hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon each day.
-The classes will run from 10:30 to 13:30 and 15:30 to 17:30. The lunch break will be from 13:30 to 15:30.
-The Master Class will be entirely in English translated into Spanish as needed.

Jam sessions:
July 14th during the night, there will be an open Jam session at the best Jazz Club of the city "Cafe Cultural Auriense", so all the participants can play with other instruments, experiment, socialize and have a great time performing in front of an audience.
The Master Classes:
-Please watch this video from previous Master Classes. During the Master Class we will work on the following subjects:
-Rhythm section (bass and drums) both days.
-Improvisation: in different styles and understanding scales. (Pop, rock, bolero) not only in jazz.
-Comping: How to form chords, close position, open position, Upper structures.
Poly-Chords: "Chord Approach on both hands.".
-Styles ,How to frase and comp: Jazz, blues, Brazilian, traditional tango, new Tango and other styles of modern harmony.
-How to work and what to do in a recording studio when you get only chord changes.
-Watch videos and analyze them. How the accordion interacts with other instruments depending of the instrumentation of the groups. (Duo, Trio, Solo, singer, piano)
- A book with Material will be given to each student for further studies and review (to take home with you).
-Practice and perform with a rhythm section (bass and drums). So everyone can apply all the information that we have gone over.
-How to use the registers and voices of the accordion to orchestrate and and have a bigger variety of colors and sounds.

For further
or contact the organizers at: Phone 34-665-629-110.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Not Just Oom-PAH! Accordion Workshop and Concert June 16-17, 2018 Austin, TX

by Rita Barnea
Shirley Johnson and Laura Niland are proud to announce the exciting new summer “Not Just Oom-PAH! Accordion Workshop and Concert”. This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department and Texas Folklife Resources.

The presenters and topics are: Ginny Mac ( Gypsy Jazz), Jan Flemming (South Ameri-can rhythms), Shirley Johnson(Eastern European styles), MarioPedone (Eclectic World Music and play along), with additional instruction on YouTube Video production.

In addition, Nick Ballarini will be there with accordion and accessories on display. Workshops will begin on June 16 all day and continue on June 17 at Texas Folklife Resources, 1708 Houston ST, Austin, TX .

The Father’s Day concert on June 17, 2018 from 3-5 pm at Trinity United Methodist Church, 4001 Speedway, Austin, TX will feature: Ginny Mac, Mario Pedone and Jan Flem- ming with Grupo Massa. Cost for the workshop is $150 for accordionist ( includes meals on Saturday and all materials and one concert ticket), $60 for non-accordionist (meals and concert ticket). Concert is $10 donation. Additionally, there is a scholarship available to a deserving applicant under age 18.

All Workshop Sessions will be held at Texas Folklife Resources 1708 Houston Street, Austin, TX. 78756 
The Concert will be held on Sunday, 3 – 5:PM at Trinity United Methodist Church 4001 Speedway, Austin, TX. 78751 

Details for the artists bios, scholarship application and Registration information & payment for the workshop and concert ticket purchase is online at

Limited seating available. Register Early!

Shirley Johnson: or
Laura J. Niland:

Download brochure: 2018Oom-Pah.pdf

ARE YOU 18 years old or younger? If so, one lucky young accordionist will be offered a workshop scholarship!

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

AAA Master Class and Concert Series: 2018 Accordion Seminars

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
AAA Seminars July 27-29 in NYCAmerican Accordionists' Association Master Class and Concert Series
William Schimmel, moderator and curator presents:
"Thinking inside the Box our 24th Smash Year"

Download form and information on the AAA site at:

July 27, 28, 29, 2018 at the Tenri Cultural Institute
43a west 13th street between 5th & 6th avenues

Master Classes at 3:PM
concerts at 7:PM
$25.00 per master class
$30.00 per concert
$50.00 per day, includes master class and concert
$135.00 per entire weekend

Performers, presenters, master class topics and concerts will be announced as the program is finalised.

Participants will include:
micki goodman, paul stein, dr. robert young mc mahan, will holshouser, doug makofka, brian dewan, yoichi fukui, gene pritsker, melissa elledge, mark nathanson, benjamin ickies, godfrey nelson, lorraine nelson wolf, dragica banic curcic, peter flint, erica marie mancini, dave soldier, mayumimiyaoka, dan cooper, the yorkvillians, rachel swaner, the main squeeze orchestra, bachtopus, milica paranosic, machael dames, peter jarvis, david stoler, david first, mary spencer knapp, dr. hugo goldernzweig, lee mc clure, ken laufer, john foti, kathleen tipton, marni rice, bob goldberg, corn mo, rachid eladouni, carl reihl, linda reed, rita barnea, dr.denise koncelick, alicia svigals, elizabeth brown, ted nash, jeanne velonis,cecylia barczk, devon tipp, sydknee, michiyo suzuki, robert duncan, miwa gemini, jenny cho, elliott sharp, jennie muoio, elanie yau, charita patamikakam and many others, a few surprise guests, and dr. schimmel.

For reservations and information:
or Phone: 212-876-0827.

Titano Accordion Company

2018 Cotati Festival August 18-19 in California

by Rita Barnea
2018 Cotati
Aug 18/19, 2018 are the dates for the annual Cotati Accordion Festival in California. The mission of The Cotati Accordion Festival, a non-profit organization established in 1991, is to promote the love of the accordion and to support local youth service organizations. To date, they have contributed in excess of $320,000 to the youth of their community.

Participants include: Honorary Director Paul Rogers, Netta Skog (Finland), Gabe Hall-Rodriguez, Stas Venglevski, Joan Sommers with Stas, Debra Peters, Zydeco Flames, Sourdough Slim,Culann's Hounds with Renée de la Prade, Those Darn Accordions (TDA), Cory Pesaturo, the Mad Maggies, Accordion Apocalypse Stage, Hernandez Hideaway, Michael Zampiceni, Matthias Matzke (Germany), The Great Morgani, Future Accordion Stars, Golden State Accordion Band, Steve Balich Jr. Polka Band, Jim Gilman, MotorDude Zydeco, Mark St. Mary T-Luke and the Tight Suits and the GRAND FINALE!

More acts will be added as they are confirmed.

For further information: Cotati Accordion Festival, P.O. Box 809, Cotati, CA 94931
Phone 707-664-0444 • Fax 707-585-2920

Voci Armoniche

Houston Zydeco Festival, Texas - USA

by Rob Howard
Houston Zydeco FestivalThe Houston Zydeco Festival on Saturday April 7th, 1pm until 10pm, is an annual one day festival showcasing Zydeco music from Texas and Louisiana, filled with amazing music, tasty food and great fun. There will be a variety of food vendors selling creole dishes, BBQ and crawfish.

The festival venue is the Bayou Event Center, 9401 Knight Road, Houston, TX 77045.

The bands guest list includes Lil Nate & The Zydeco Big Tymers, Brian Jack & The Zydeco Gamblers, Keyun & The Zydeco Masters, Ruben Moreno & Zydeco Re-Evolution, Lil Jabb & The Zydeco Soldiers, and the festival DJ is Jack Frost.

For further information email:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Bob Goldberg Workshop @ Brooklyn Accordion Club - New York

by Rob Howard
Bob GoldbergOn Sunday April 8th, 2-3.50pm, Brooklyn Accordion Club presents an afternoon workshop with Bob Goldberg. Admission is $5.

The workshop looks at the different uses of drones, and ways of playing them. This is a participatory workshop, so please bring your accordions.

Bob Goldberg, from Brooklyn, is a composer, mulita-instrumentalist and teacher. He studied the piano and electronic music, and took up the accordion. He currently leads the Famous Accordion Orchestra.

Brooklyn Accordion Club now meets at the Great Room at the LuEsther T. Mertz South Oxford Space/A.R.T., 138 South Oxford Street (between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street), Brooklyn, NY 11 217.

For further information email:


Ken and Mary ‘Turbo Accordions Express` Concert - Tennessee

by Rob Howard
Ken and Mary ‘Turbo Accordions Express`The accordion duo Ken and Mary ‘Turbo Accordions Express` perform at the `Windows on the World` Symposium `WOW`, Tennessee Technological University, 1 William L. Jones Dr, Cookeville, TN, on Saturday April 14th, at 12noon.

For further information email:

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

Rybak Europe Tours from September 10-23, 2018

by Rita Barnea
Chris Rybak
Chris and Edita Rybak invite all to join them for an amazing European Tour from September 10-23, 2018 to the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Italy and Mediterranean Cruise featuring fun, parties, and great accordion music. More information in future USA news publications.

Four spots are still available for their April 8-22, 2018 tour.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

New and Updated Sites

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

AAA Website Update - Newsletters online updated

by Harley Jones
AAA site header
American Accordionists' Association - A number of site updates including AAA Commission works, 2018 competition rules and regulations, Newsletters online update, New Festival poster are all online at:
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