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


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Wallace Accordion Festival: August 11-14 in Idaho
22nd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival: August 18-19
Joan C. Sommers to Conduct the World Accordion Orchestra in Italy
Kimberley International Old Time Championships and Festival - Canada
Cory Pesaturo's North American Appearances
Passing of Ralph Stricker
Kimmo Pohjonen Presents USA Premiere of "Accordion Wrestling"
ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 on August 17-18 in New Hampshire
Henry Doktorski to Perform in Kurt Weill Opera
New Book: PLAYING WELL: Prevention and Biomechanics of Musician Injuries.

Voci Armoniche

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

Report on the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore
Report on the 2012 ATG Competition and Festival
Visit the New England Accordion Museum
Jullien Labro Performs with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Rock Accordionist Bruce Gassman
Sesame Street and Zydeco - USA
Accordions and Fuel Efficiency, Hyundai TV Ad
The Mahones - Across the USA, 2012! Tour - USA
Gator Beat to Perform at Cotati Festival

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

13th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
Guy Klucevsek in New York City Performances
Tony Lovello and Walter Kasprzyk at Smoky Mountain Accordion Fest
12th Annual Florida SMASH: November 9-11th in Orlando
Long Island Accordion Alliance Second Anniversary

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Editor Rita DavidsonAugust is an amazing accordion month. You will read about a new book, a TV ad, and "Accordion Wrestling" .....…… what is that?

You will see the detailed reports about the AAA and ATG festivals held in July. Do not worry! There are more accordion festivals ahead in August, September and on into the fall season.

Joan C. Sommers will conduct the World Accordion Orchestra VI at the 65th Coupe Mondiale in Italy at the end of August.

Plus many more events for you to read about, attend, and enjoy.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

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

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

Wallace Accordion Festival: August 11-14 in Idaho

by Rita Barnea
Tango Volcado with Accordionist Patricia Bartell
Wallace Festival LogoMichael BridgeInternational award-winning musician Michael Bridge will be featured in concert to kick off the 2nd Annual Historic Wallace Accordion Festival scheduled August 10-12 in the North Idaho mining town. The concert takes place at 7 PM Friday, August 10, at the Wallace Elks Lodge. It will also feature Patricia Bartell’s Tango Volcado - an ensemble of accordion, bass, piano and violin - and an opening act by the Portatos, a youth accordion band from Spokane. Tickets are $15 for adult general seating, $20 for premier seating, and $10 for children ages 7-16. Children 6 and under admitted free.

Events on Saturday, August 11, will start with a 9 AM Accordion Celebration Parade (see photo of 2011 Parade) through downtown Wallace. The parade will be followed by workshops by Bridge, Bartell and other professionals, music in the gazebo, and a street party that includes entertainment, food vendors and a beer garden featuring local microbrews.

Among those performing at the street party will be Johnny Vukonich, a one-man all inclusive band, and Aaron Seeman, an “over the top” comedic accordionist best known as Duckmandu.Back by popular demand will be polka lessons by a local dance instructor. The Festival will conclude with a Sunday farewell breakfast served by the local Cub Scout pack.

Canadian musician Michael Bridge is one of the most versatile performers of today, expertly blending the works of great composers like Bach and Haydn with old time polkas and waltzes, French musette, jazz standards, and pop hits from the Beetles to present day. Although only 18, he has performed throughout the world. As the 2011 National Roland Digital Accordion Champion, he traveled to Italy last October to represent Canada on the international stage where he placed fourth in a field of 14 national champions. He also competed last fall in Shanghai, China in the CIA Junior World Championships, where he came in fourth out of champions from 21 countries.

As part of his appearance in Wallace, Michael will present two workshops. “Jamming and Improvisation” will teach the fundamentals of improvising an accompaniment as well as creating one’s own melodies. “Practical Technique and Special Effects” will give tips and tricks on using one’s technique to avoid mistakes in performance. Admission to an individual workshop is $15, or $25 for the entire day’s workshops. The entire workshop schedule will be announced in early July.

For more information: or jandmfeiler@suddenlink.netor
Phone for the Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce: 208 753-7151.

Photo of Tango Volcado. The accordionist is Patricia Bartell
Wallace Festival Accordion Parade

Titano Accordion Company

22nd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival: August 18-19

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Festival Poster 2012
The 22nd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival features the legendary Dick Contino. "The Accordion Man" will perform on the main stage both Saturday and Sunday, August 18th and 19th, 2012 in La Plaza Park in Cotati, California from 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM both days.

The Cotati Accordion Festival is a non-profit organization established in 1991 
to promote the love of the accordion and to support local youth service organizations. The Cotati Accordion Festival, benefitting local youth groups, is a non-stop multi-cultural extravaganza of accordion music! Food, crafts, beer & wine, polka dancing, jam session tent, and more!

The CAF partners with a five youth organizations in the Cotati/Rohnert Park Community. These groups provide the festival with the people power to 
keep the festival running smoothly. Their duties range from set up to clean up, security, staffing the gates, organizing the raffle, handling money for beer and wine sales, etc. They are: Cotati/Rohnert Park Ed Foundation;Penngrove PTA; Cotati/Rohnert Park Co-Op Nursery;Boy Scout Trrop #4; Thomas Page Elementary School.

The Cotati Festival features an amazing array of accordionists and groups including:
Saturday, August 18th: The Golden State Accordion Club Band, Steve Albini (Sponsored by Roland}, THAT Damned Band, The Sansa and Shiri Show, Big Lou's Dance Party, The Great Morgani, Chervona, Alicia Baker (Sponsored by Roland), Dick Contino, Copper Box, Amber Lee Baker, BlackEyed Dempseys, Polkacide, Jim Gilman, Chuck Berger, Steve Balch Sr. Polka Band, The Wild Cathoulas.

Sunday, August 19th: The Golden State Accordion Club Band, Future Accordion Stars, KAZAMOZe, Peter Robuffo, The Accordion Babes Showcase, The Great Morgani, the Mad Maggies, Tatiana Semichastnaya (Roland), Dick Contino, Santiago Jimenz & Chris Rybak (Roland), Circus Finelli, The Sansa and Shiri Show, Gator Beat, MotorDude Zydeco, Dance Lessons by Ted Sherrod, Jim Gilman, Chuck Berger, Steve Balich Sr. Polka Band, The Wild Catahoulas.

For further information:
TICKET HOTLINE - (888)559-2576
Cotati Accordion Festival - (707) 664-0444

Voci Armoniche

Joan C. Sommers to Conduct the World Accordion Orchestra in Italy

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
“Giancarlo Menotti” Theatre, Spoleto, Italy
Joan C. Sommers, Conductor WAO VIFollowing the very successful inaugural World Accordion Orchestra debut performance at the USA AAA/ATG hosted Coupe Mondiale 2007 under the Musical Direction of Joan C. Sommers, the magnificent staging of the CiA World Accordion Orchestra {WAO) II in Scotland in 2008, WAO III in Auckland, New Zealand, WAO IV in Varazdin, Croatia, WAO V in Shanghai, China, the CIA is delighted to announce that World Accordion Orchestra VI will be held during the 65th Coupe Mondiale in Spoleto, Italy at the Gala CIA Concert on August 24, 2012. The 2012 venue is the stunning “Giancarlo Menotti” Theatre (picture above).

The World Accordion Orchestra VI, made up from members of the CIA Excecutive and Music Committees, CIA member nation delegates and fellow orchestra members of groups from Germany to Brazil, will perform two pieces: "Paragon March" by Galla-Rini and "Selections from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" by John Williams, arr. by Joan Cochran Sommers.

The "Paragon March" is a 1947 original work by the renowned accordionist, one of the founding members of AAA and former CIA Vice President Anthony Galla-Rini, while the magnificent blockbuster arrangement by current CIA Vice President Joan Cochran Sommers of "Selections from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" is a large symphonic one and includes the main themes from the motion picture with various reprises of the "Flying" Theme and the "Bike Race".

Joan C. Sommers has held positions in several music organizations, including the Accoridonists & Teachers Guild International (ATG) and the Confedration Internationale des Accordeonistes ( CIA-IMC-UNESCO). She continues to adjudicate, coach soloists, prepare accordion orchestra arrangements, and conduct accordion orchestras regularly, and currently proudly serves as a CIA Vice President.

Accordion Jazz Chords

Kimberley International Old Time Championships and Festival - Canada

by Rita Barnea

Video above: AMI's Bob Short visits beautiful Kimberly BC for the Kimberly International Old Time Accordion Championships and gets to take in all the sights and sounds. Video below that is the KIOTAC Happy Hands Open winner Alicia Baker performing

Artist lineup included:
Monday July 9th, Concert - Cowboy Bob, Dance - The Softones
Tuesday July 10th, Concert Mario Pedone, Dance - Edwin Erickson & Tight Squeeze
Wednesday July 11th, Concert Cory Pesaturo, Concert Kerry Christensen, Concert - Alex Meixner Band
Thursday July 12th, Dance - Best of the Platzl, Friday July 13th, Concert- Baker Bridge Duet, Dance - Austin Kawa Band
Saturday July 14th, KIOTAC Massed Band, Awards and Presentations, Family Dance - Alex Meixner Band

Full results at: 2012Kimberley


Cory Pesaturo's North American Appearances

by Rita Barnea
Cory PesaturoCory Pesaturo and his music is everywhere these days including TV. In early June he played at various events for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada. His playing and compositions are used for Formula 1 races on SPEED TV and FOX's national broadcasts.

He recently completed a three and half week tour that began in Los Angeles in early July where he performed for a special Jazz Dinner for the Los Angeles Accoridon Club and at "Grand Performances" in Downtown Los Angeles for over 2.000 people with Drummer Ralf Penland who has performed with artists such as Herbie Hancock and Frank Sinatra. The, Cory went to Kimberley, BC, Canada for his fourth appearance with polka superstar and close friend, Alex Meixner. He then went to Calgary with young talent Michael Bridge to perform and record. On July 23rd Cory performed at the Chicago Accordion Club and jammed with local contemporary musicians in downtown Chicago.

Cory performs in Monterey, California at various events for Pebble Beach Concours Week from August 14-20 ranging from Ferrari to Hagerty, private events and the concours themselves.

Cory will continue his collaborations with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Details to follow in future articles.

Cory will also play the National Anthem at Fenway Park in Boston (no date set yet} to further market the CD he performed on for the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park. 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Boston Red Sox’s famous Fenway Park.The baseball team has put together a festive and fun album of songs recorded by current and former players, along with the help of some notable guest musicians. Cory Pesaturo is the accordionist on this unique CD! You can read more details about it in the May 2012 news.

For further information:

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

Passing of Ralph Stricker

by Rob Howard
Ralph StirickerRalph StrickerAccordion teacher and professional player Ralph Stricker, from North Brunswick, New Jersey, died on July 20th, aged 81. He had been in very poor health for some considerable time, though was actively teaching until recently.

Ralph Stricker studied with various accordion teachers in the 1940s, and studied harmony and theory with Alfred D' Auberge 1949-1950. He showed an early aptitude for playing jazz, which shaped his later playing career.

From 1950 Stricker ran his own accordion studio, and by 1956 had 300 students enrolled. He taught privately 1956-1960, then from 1960-1968 ran the East Brunswick Academy of Music, with an enrollment of 600 students attending weekly.

Stricker’s professional playing career included playing with the Airlane Trio and the Johnny Ray band as well as his own combos, working top supper and nightclubs in New Jersey, New York, and Florida. He also played with Zoot Simms, Andy Fitzgerald, Vic Juris, Harry Leahy, Charlie Ventura, Buddy Deppenschmidt, and Glen Davis.

Ralph Stricker will be remembered by many for his tutor book ‘Jazz Theory and Improvisation Studies for Accordion’, a detailed and comprehensive exposition of how to build a technique enabling accordionist to play jazz.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Kimmo Pohjonen Presents USA Premiere of "Accordion Wrestling"

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Wrestling? What is that? You can find out what it means if you go to see accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen giving the USA Premiere of "Accordion Wrestling" in his first New York appearance with Helsinki Nelson. It will happen on August 3rd and 4th, 2012 at 8:30 PM at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors concert on the Damrosch Park Stage. The stage is next to the Metropolitan Opera House.

"Accordion Wrestling" was originally created for the Turku Cltural Capital of Europe Program in 2011. The event is sponsored by SofTrek Corporation and made possible in part by the Consulate General of Finland, The Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Music (LUSES), The Finnish Performing Music Promotion Centre ESEK, Finn Spark, Inc. and Finlandia Foundation National.

Kimmo Pohjonen, a Finnish accordionist, is a highly respected "accordion adventurer" who is composing, playing and performing accordion music in revolutionary new ways. He has recorded and performed with many projects and groups worldwide plus has composed music for films, dance and theatre.

Pohjonen has released eight albums, the latest of which is Uniko with Samuli Kosminen and Kronos Quartet, released February 2011.The previous album was 2008's Quiver by the trio KTU, featuring Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn (King Crimson). His Earth Machine Music project, featuring live collaboration with farmers and their machines, toured UK and Australia.

Pohjonen also performs in the trio K Cube with Finnish drummer Sami Kuoppamäki and guitarist Timo Kämäräinen. Pohjonen and French drummer Eric Echampard perform as a 100% improvisational duo. Pohjonen also performs with Kluster featuring sampling maestros Juuso Hannukainen or Samuli Kosminen.

Most recent projects include "Accordion Wrestling" with ten Finnish wrestlers and the Iron Lung project with visual artist / conceptualist Ville Walo. Kimmo Pohjonen and Helsinki Nelson. "Accordion Wrestling" is a music, sport, dance, theatre, performance art revival of wrestling and accordion tradition from the 1920s-1960s. "Accordion Wrestling" toured Finland in 2010, Hamburg in 2011 and to UK, Amsterdam and NYC in 2012. The choreographer is Ari Numminen. Kimmo Pohjonen's solo show continues to tour regularly. In 2012 Pohjonen took the show to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore.

The event is free. No tickets are required.

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

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 on August 17-18 in New Hampshire

by Rita Barnea
ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival is proud and delighted to announce that Paul Ramunni and the New England Accordion Museum, which opened October 2011 in Canaan, CT, have been added to the roster and will be a special part of the festival’s fifth annual celebration August 17-18 at the beautiful Courtyard Nashua [NH]. A remarkable exhibit of instruments and accordion-related memorabilia from the new museum's large and ever-growing collection will be on display for festival attendees to appreciate. 
"Boxes Full of Stories" – During Saturday's festive luncheon, Paul Ramunni, the museum's founder and director, will share anecdotes – some amusing, others poignant and touching – about his experiences while building the unusual collection. You will not want to miss this exhibit or Paul's presentation – both fascinating!

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012's roster is outstanding: Tony Lovello [concert], Christopher Gorton [concert and master class], Brent Buswell[concert], Jeremiah McLane & pianist Annemieke Spoelstra [concert and lecture-demonstration], the fortieth-anniversary [40th !!] Lowell Accordion Orchestra conducted by Donna Michael in a program featuring the premiere of an original rock 'n roll arrangement by 16-year-old orchestra member Rachel Quirbach, Dan Mackowiak co-ordinating the first ACCORDIONS NOW! Just-for-Fun Play-Along (No Rehearsal) Ensemble, Nancy Leonard [musical welcome to lunch], Sam Falcetti [workshop], Donna Maria Regis [solo concert and conducting] the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] in the world premiere of Tony Lovello’s musical tribute to Frank Sinatra, Carmen Vitanza [strolling at the cocktail reception], Paul Ramunni [special lunch-time presentation], the New England Accordion Museum [exhibit]. Vendors will also be on hand offering professional advice and displaying the latest instruments to try/buy.

SPECIAL OFFER: To encourage broader public interest in the accordion, ACCORDIONS NOW! is offering a special 2-for-1 Friday Night Only admission called “Twenty for Two,” inspired by the classic Vincent Youmans song. For $20, two people can attend all of Friday evening’s events: the always-popular Open Mike Cabaret, the Brent Buswell Concert, and the Night Owls Jam. Refreshments purchased in the Courtyard Café may be brought into the cabaret to enjoy while listening to the performers.

FREE GIFT of MUSIC: Every paid registrant for ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 will receive all of the music for the festival’s first ever – first annual? – Just-for-Fun Play-Along [no rehearsal] Session. Participation is optional, of course, but why not join the fun?!?

Play-Along Coordinator Dan Mackowiak has skillfully arranged the music on two levels. "Less experienced players may be more comfortable with the Level One version. More experienced players will find the Level Two version more interesting, since it includes a harmony line and a few more complicated passages.” Players are free to choose whatever level fits them best, and to switch between levels. Level Two players similarly may choose between the melody and harmony lines.

"The objective,” says Dan, “is to get players of all skill levels to make music together -- and to share in the thrill of doing so.  It's guaranteed to be a fun event, so please consider participating." With such an inviting opportunity, why not bring your accordion to "BE PART of IT from the START of IT!"? Another classic song comes to mind: "This could be the start of something big!"

DEADLINE: Register no later than 11:59 PM EDT Monday, August 13. The hotel caterer must have an accurate, final headcount for the Festive Luncheon and Gala Banquet. Don't be left out – Sign Up Today!

More information: ACCORDIONS NOW! Telephone (603) 216-9582 or Email

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Henry Doktorski to Perform in Kurt Weill Opera

by Rita Barnea
Henry DoktorskiAccordionist Henry Doktorski will play in the orchestra for 9 performances of Kurt Weill's opera ‘Lost in the Stars’ at the Glimmerglass Music Festival, at the Alice Busch Opera Theater, Otesgo Lake, New York State. The festival runs from July 14th to August 24th.

Performance dates are:
22nd July 2012
28th July 2012
3rd August 2012 at 7:30 PM
7th August 2012 at 1:30 PM
11th August 2012 at 8:PM
16th August 2012 at 7:30 PM
18th August 2012 at 1:30 PM
20th August 2012 at 1:30 PM
25th August 2012 at 1:30 PM
Check times close to the concert date as some might be matinee performances.

Presented by Cape Town Opera, "Lost in the Stars’" is the story of a South African priest's spiritual crisis, based on ‘Cry, the Beloved Country’, the classic novel by Alan Paton, and starring 2012 Glimmerglass Artist in Residence Eric Owens.

Henry Doktorski is an accomplished accordionist, teacher and writer. Doktorski was featured as accordion soloist in six compact discs:
▪ "A Classical Christmas" with the Pittsburgh Chamber Orchestra (Alanna Records, 1993),
▪ "Music by George Gershwin" with the Duquesne Chamber Players (Alanna Records, 1998—This CD was part of a tribute for the 100th anniversary of Gershwin's birth)
▪"Vaudeville Accordion Classics: The Complete Works of Guido Deiro" (2003 solo album, Bridge Records),
▪"Classical Accordion Recital" (2005 solo album, The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.),
▪"Celebrated Polkas by Pietro Deiro" (2006 solo album, The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.),
▪"Ave Maria: Hymns to Mary" (2007 solo album, The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.).

Doktorski also played accordion with Itzhak Perlman and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Williams on the 1997 Sony Classical Records CD (SK 63005) Cinema Serenade which appeared on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart for 92 weeks, where it reached number one.

Doktorski has had articles and letters printed in diverse publications ranging from the scholarly journal. "Music Theory—Explorations and Applications" to" Rolling Stone"; from the new-age journal, ""Uzubuh to the Danish accordion magazine "Harmonikacentret"; from "The Pittsburgh Catholic" and many more.

He has written over 130 reviews as well as dozens of articles which can be read on The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. website. His pioneering research work, "The Classical Squeezebox—A Short History of the Accordion in Classical Music" was published by the British international journal Musical Performance. His book, "The Brothers Deiro and Their Accordions", was the first published biography of those two early accordion pioneers: Guido Deiro and Pietro Deiro. His "How To Play Diatonic Button Accordion Method Book" & CD was published by Santorella Publications.

Doktorski has written CD booklet notes for Bridge Records and Archeophone Records. His "Complete Works of Guido Deiro" printed music anthology was published by Mel Bay Publications in 2008.[.

Doktorski is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the academic honor society in the field of music, and is a member of the advisory and editorial board for The Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. His composition "Serenade for oboe and harp" was recorded by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members oboist James Gorton and harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen, on Boston Records CD.

Today Doktorski serves as organist for Grace Lutheran Church in Rochester, Pennsylvania (he was awarded the title of Colleague by the American Guild of Organists), conductor for the Alcoa Singers of Pittsburgh, and also as a chess instructor and tournament director for Silver Knights Chess.

For further information on the Glimmerglass Festival: email:

Katherine Kozak, Glimmerglass' Principal Coach and Accompanist for Lost in the Stars, spoke at length about the accordion in Kurt Weill's opera. Click see her quote

Titano Accordion Company

New Book: PLAYING WELL: Prevention and Biomechanics of Musician Injuries.

by Rita Barnea
Lynda GriffithLynda Griffith, Doctor of Physical Therapy, is a specialist in the biomechanics of orthopedic injury to musicians, dancers and athletes, player of accordion, concertina and bandoneon and certified instrument repair technician. 

She has written and illustrated a new book, "PLAYING WELL" which is a detailed reference for: Musicians, players, parents and teachers of accordion, concertina and bandoneon with regard to injury, injury prevention and performance, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors and other practitioners who treat injured musicians and would have academic or professional interest in knowing about players of accordion, concertina and bandoneon.

"PLAYING WELL" will give the player, teacher, parent and practitioner common ground to facilitate communication and understanding. Lynda said, "Members of a symphony orchestra, who are also physicians, mathematicians, physicists or engineers, sometimes blend their science and music interests. A similar coupling occurs in this unique book because I combine my knowledge of and expertise in playing, constructing and repairing instruments in the accordion family with my professional training and practice in orthopedic physical and manual therapy, clinical kinesiology and biomechanics, athletic training and exercise sciences."

Lynda Griffith has 30 years experience in private practice as a physical therapist specializing in manual treatment and biomechanic analysis of orthopedic injuries to musicians, dancers and athletes. She currently has a private practice in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Lynda began her career as an Athletic Trainer, certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association and was certified as a strength and conditioning coach by the National Association of Speed and Explosion.
She has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Simmons College in Boston, did post-graduate training in physical therapy at Childrens' Hospital of Los Angeles and has a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology from the University of Washington. In addition she studied music with accordion as her primary instrument at University of Wisconsin-Superior. She is also a graduate of Accordion-Concertina Repair Technicians' School in Superior WI.

Lynda launched the book at the ATG Festival last week. The book selling for $60 was well received and is now available online from the author. Contact her at:

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Report on the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Don Gerundo and the Youth Jazz EnsembleThe 74th AAA Festival, held at the Sheraton City Center, Baltimore, Maryland, from July 11-15, was a successful event, enjoyed by many accordionists and accordion enthusiasts from all over the world. The AAA Festival enjoyed extensive TV, radio, and newspaper coverage before and during the weekend.

A page of photos is online: 2012_AAAPhotos

Congratulations to the Winners of the following categories:
Albert Manginelli - 1st place US Virtuoso Solo
Quinn Collins - 2nd place US Virtuoso Solo

Chris Gorton - 2nd place US Piano Accordion Competition
Quinn Collins - 3rd place US Piano Accordion Competition

Rachel Quirbach - 1st place Maddalena Belfiore Entertainment Category for Female Accordionists

Christopher Gorton - 1st place Digital Accordion Competition

Unique to accordion festivals, the second Youth Involvement Program was held, conducted by Don Gerundo. It featured young accordionists between the ages of 13 and 25, paired with young Baltimore musicians who played saxophone, trombone and bass. The jazz ensemble performed at the Saturday Awards Concert (picture left).

The AAA Festival featured many accordionists performing solos, in combos, with other instruments, and with singers. The event was a true display of the great versatility of the accordion.

The festival coordinators were Linda Soley Reed, AAA President;Frank Busso Sr., AAA 1st Vice President and Public Relations/Festival Coordinator; Mary Tokarski, 2012 AAA Contest Chariman and Junior Festival Orchestra conductor; and Marilyn O'Neil Youth Involvement Program Coordinator. Their excellent organizational efforts resulting in an event enjoyed by all, that sets the stage for the 75th AAA Festival to be held in New York City August 14-18, 2013.

Performers during the AAA Festival included: Cody McSherry, Michael and Amanda Parziale, Robert and Rocio Ford, The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra conducted by Linda Soley Reed, Joy Bechter, Joe McKesson, Dr.Robert Young McMahan, Joe Zale, Vladimir Mollov, Annie Mollova, Dallas Vietty, Ben West, William Trigg, Tatiana Semichastnaya, Steve Albini, Stas Venglevski, Dick Morarity, Mary Tokarski , Manny Bobenrieth, John Simkus, and Emily Geller.

Performing ensembles included: The Potomac Ensemble, Busso Festival Orchestra, The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra conducted by Linda Soley Reed, Alamo Angels Festival Orchestra, Junior Festival Orchestra, and the AAA 2012 Festival Orchestra conducted by Stas Venglevski.

Attendees at the Saturday Night Gala Banquet heard the Festival Orchestra and the United States Army Strolling Strings (picture below) under the direction of Sergeant Major Manny Bobenreith (accordion) featuring vocalists from The United States Army Band.

Workshop Presenters included: Mary Tokarski, Linda Warren, Don Gerundo, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Mary Kathryn Archuleta, Paul Ramunni, Dr. Marion Jacobsen, Dallas Vietty and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues.

The large exhibition room gave festival attendees the opportunity to hear and see a variety of accordions, music and gift items including:
Accordions USA (Alex and Lillianna Chudolij), Alessandrini, Deffner Music Publications (Frank Busso Jr), Music Magic USA (Alex and Lillianna Chudolij), Ottavianelli Accordions Factory, Pancordion (Frank Busso Jr), Pigini (Frank Busso Jr), Roland (Music Magic USA, Steve Albini, Tatiana Semichastnaya), Scandalli (Music Magic USA), Titano (Frank Busso Jr), Victoria Accordions (Elke Ahrenholz), SqueezinArt (Joan and Dan Grauman), The New England Accordion Museum (Paul Ramunni), Petosa Accordions (Tony Lovello), Giulietti, Brandoni and Paolo Soprani (Music Magic USA).

Judges of the competitions included: Beverly Roberts Curnow, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Al Terzo,Manny Bobenrieth,Don Gerundo, Frank Busso, Jr., Frank Busso, Sam Falcetti, and Rita Davidson.

It was wonderful to see the camaraderie among accordionists of all ages, especially the connections made by the young accordionists with the young Baltimore musicians. Many of them said that as a result of being involved in the AAA Festivals, they intend to learn the accordion!

A page of photos is online: 2012_AAAPhotos

For further details on the 2012 AAA Festival and the 2013 AAA Festival in NYC, August 14-18th, 2013 email:
Manny Bobenrieth and the US Army Strolling Strings

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Report on the 2012 ATG Competition and Festival

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
ATG people
Photos above: Top - 5 year old Nathan Troxell, Chinese Ensemble, Joan Sommers and Stas Venglevski, Soundscape Trio musicians: Madalynn and John Neu and Larry Miller from Denver, Colorado

The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) celebrated its 72nd Anniversary Competition and Festival in grand style in Lisle (Chicago), Illinois from July 25-29, 2012.
Attracting guests from as far a field as China, Canada, Austria and across the USA, the competition featured competitions, concerts, workshops, meetings, a trade show, the ATG Festival Orchestra and many social functions.
The late Frank Marocco was to have been the featured guest artist, however after his untimely passing away, the festival shifted its theme to pay tribute to this legendary Jazz accordionist.  Emmanuel Gasser (Canada) won the ATG Competition in Honor of Frank Marocco, while Board of Director Amy Jo Sawyer premiered her new composition ‘Three for Frank’ in his honor, and the ATG Festival Orchestra performed an outstanding new arrangement ‘Tribute to Frank’, a compilation of Frank Marocco compositions, arranged for accordion orchestra by a long time friend and work associate in the Los Angeles Music industry, ATG First Vice President Liz Finch. Numerous other tributes were given to Frank, and the ATG continued with its original plan to induct Frank Marocco into the ATG Accordion Hall of Fame, which will now be awarded posthumously.
Guest artists included CIA Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Champion Alexander Sevastian (Canada), who received multiple standing ovations for his outstanding concert, Stas Venglevski (Milwaukee, WI), a popular performer throughout the USA, who delighted the audience by inviting Joan C. Sommers to join him for two of his pieces, one a comedy routine and the other a beautiful haunting Waltz.  Jazz accordionist Jeff Lisenby (Nashville, TN) was joined by several Chicago musicians and guest vocalist Alicia Baker for a performance of popular US TV/Show themes presented in Jazz style, Alicia Baker (Roland artist from OR) who gave a breathtaking performance highlight the Roland accordion and including vocal selections.
In addition, the concerts featured Dr. Marko Petričić (Indiana University), The UMKC Accordion Chamber Ensemble (Joan C. Sommers, Joyce Davis, Betty Jo Simon, Ron Barrow and Kevin Friedrich from Kansas City, MO), the Gene Van Accordion Orchestra (from South Bend, IN, conducted by Gene Van), Betty Jo Simon (Midi Accordionist), Soundscape Trio (Madalynn and John Neu and Larry Miller from Denver, Colorado).
Workshops were presented on a variety of themes including Work as a Session Musician (Jeff Lisenby), Using your computer to Notate your Music (Liz Finch), Transcribing Organ Music for the Accordion (Dr. Marko Petričić), Life as  a Concert Accordionist (Alexander Sevastian), The ATG Syllabus (Joan C. Sommers), Transcribing Piano Works for Accordion (Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif), Supplemental Music for Young Children and Teenagers (Gordon Kohl), Working with the Roland (Alicia Baker), Playing Well - Prevention and Biomechanics of Musician Injuries (Dr. Lynda Griffith).
The ATG was pleased to welcome several performers from neighboring accordion clubs and associations, including Esther Lanting and Heidi King (cello), Dick Tappan and Chuck Oprian, Rebecca Ratliff and Jessican Faltot Duo and Wilanna Vogel (Peoria Accordion Club, Tony Hermanek and Jerry Cigler (Chicago Accordion Club) Edward Smollen and  Bruno Muras Representing the Polish American Accordion Association of Chicago and  Donna Dee Ray, Gordon Kohl, both newly appointed members of the ATG Board of Directors.
One of the highlights of the festival is the annual ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra. This year was no exception, with the exciting addition of ANIMA, a renowned Youth Choir from Chicago joining the Festival Orchestra for a moving performance of Let There Be Peace on Earth conducted by ANIMA Musical Director Emily Ellsworth. One of the world’s leading pedagogues in choral music, her choirs have performed all over the world. ANIMA means breath, life, soul, spirit and mind and reflects the Choir's mission to transform young lives through excellence in music education and choral singing. A world class youth choral organization, founded in 1964, their collaboration with the ATG Festival Orchestra added an exciting dimension for members who had the rare opportunity to work with both the choir and director Emily Ellsworth.  Joan C. Sommers and Gene Van also directed the ATG Festival Orchestra.
The competitions featured a diverse array of winners from 5 year old Nathan Troxell who won the Standard Solo division, through to Bojan Cubra (Serbia) who won the ATG US Open Solo Championship. Emmanuel Gasser (Canada) who won numerous solo divisions including the ATG US Junior Solo Championship and the ATG Competition in memory of Frank Marocco and the Tanjing Angels Arts School Ensemble and the Tanjing Chamber Ensemble won the International Mixed Instrument Ensemble divisions.
The ATG will return to Chicago next summer to celebrate its 73rd Anniversary Competition and Festival with details to be announced very soon.

Photos below: UMKC Chamber Group (Joan C. Sommers, Joyce Davis, Betty Jo Simon, Ron Barrow and Kevin Friedrich), Alexander Sevastian, Gene Van Accordion Orchestra conducted by Gene Van, Jeff Lisenby was joined by several Chicago musicians.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Visit the New England Accordion Museum

by Rita Barnea
Paul Ramunni, NE Accordion Museum Director
Paul Ramunni, founder and director of the New England Accordion Museum, brought a fascinating collection of photographs, music, and vintage accordions to the AAA Festival in Baltimore July 11-15th. All were mesmerized by the personal and unique stories surrounding each accordion.

Paul not only collects and preserves accordions, but he also collects the stories which surround each one. He began this venture about three years ago. After forty two years of not playing his accordion, he woke up one morning with the desire to play the accordion again. He happened to be in Vermont at the time, was referred to someone who had accordions and bought one. On this day, his life took an amazing turn inspiring the passion to acquire accordions! He visited tag sales, pawn shops, garage sales. Paul and his wife decided to set up a museum in their garage.

In October 2011, they opened the New England Accordion Museum in Canaan, Connecticut. Paul presently owns over 200 accordions and memorabilia. It is open by appointment only. If you would like to see the accordions and hear the amazing stories that go with them, call 860-833-1374 or email: for a tour. Paul is always looking to acquire interesting accordions either by donation or purchase. While in Baltimore, he actually bought three accordions from people who brought them to his workshop!

One very fortunate development occurred when Paul met Jack and Kathy White, the owners of the now closed Cleveland Accordion Museum. Since they were in the process of closing their museum, Paul was able to move many of them to the New England Accordion Museum.

Paul said, "I have learned that what is most interesting about this project doesn not involve the accordions themselves. Rather, it is about the people and the stories I have been gathering from the folks I meet."

Paul will exhibit his accordion museum display and present his Workshop at the 2012 ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival in New Hampshire on August 17-18th. See article in this August issue.

Be sure to visit the New England Accordion Museum or contact Paul to make arrangements for him to present a workshop and display of his many interesting and well preserved accordions.

Titano Accordion Company

Jullien Labro Performs with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Julien LabroBrazilian jazz was performed on Friday evening, July 13th, by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carolyn Kuan at their third annual weekend of outdoor concerts at the Edsel and Eleanore Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores serendagin audiences as the sun set over Lake Sain Clair.

The program included Julien Labro, a graduate of Wayne State University and co-leader of the Django Reinhardt-inspired Hot Club of Detroit. Also performing were Brazilian-born singer-guitarist Paulinho Garcia and Polish jazz vocalist Grazyna Auguscik in a program of songs by the celebrated Antonio Carlos Jobim. Julien and Garcia are longtime collaborators on the music of Brazil.

Julien said, ""On the page, it can look very easy, but it's actually difficult to play, to get the style right. The simple things are sometimes the hardest to accomplish." The Bossa Nova themed evening of Brazilan music featured many favorites including "The Girl From Ipanema" and Piazzolla's "Adios Nonino".

Julien Labro, known in both the classical and jazz worlds. has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, performing in France, Italy, Slovenia, Andorra, Portugal, Germany, Croatia, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Stateside, he has been a guest artist with numerous symphonies and chamber ensembles including the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, A Far Cry chamber orchestra, the Grosse Pointe Symphony, the Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony and the Michigan Pops Orchestra.

Labro also performed at the International Finnish Accordion Festival, and the International Las Vegas Accordion Convention, where he was featured with accordion legends Dick Contino and Art Van Damme. With a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies and in Music Composition, Labro has performed at numerous jazz venues and festivals. His performance with the “Hot Club of Detroit” garnered numerous critical acclaims and prizes like “Best Jazz Traditional Group” at the Detroit Music Awards 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011.

Julien Labro is featured on Grammy-award winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson's "Another Country".Labro is an arranger for several professional ensembles including the Ensemble Vivant of Toronto, the conductorless Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry and Curtis On Tour from the Curtis Institute of Music faculty of Philadelphia.

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season. The DSO offers a performance schedule that includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts and festivals. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music.

For more information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Rock Accordionist Bruce Gassman

by Rita Barnea
Bruce GassmanBruce Gassman is an integral part of the Jersey Shore, the area that has produced Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny and many many others. When asked, Bruce commented, "I truly enjoying playing the music I grew up with and love for a whole new audience.I have seen a whole new appreciation for the accordion here at the Jersey Shore." Bruce continues to generously donate his musical talents to many charitable organizations.

Accordionist Bruce Gassman will perform in the NY/NJ area in the next few weeks including August 4th, Saturday evening at 7:30 PM at Zachary's in West Long Branch, New Jersey. It will be an evening of great music with Stormin' Norman Seldin, Phil Rizzo, and Pam McCoy.

Bruce has been an important part of the Holiday Express Benefits for many years.
He will appear at the 2012 Holiday Express Sunset Benefit Clambake Sunday, September 23 at 5:PM on the beach at McLoone's Pier House, One Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ. There will be an open bar and lavish buffet including lobster, filet and raw bar. Entertainment by the many talented musicians of the Holiday Express Band. Attire is casual so attendees can ditch the tuxedos, ball gowns, and heels for shorts, sun dresses and sandals.

Bruce will participate in the Holiday Express Concert on December 13, 2012 at the Count Basie Theatre. Red Bank, NJ. Tickets to the general public go on sale August 10, 2012. Contact the box office for more info.

Founded in 1993 by Tim McLoone, Holiday Express is a grass roots, non-sectarian, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is comprised of more than 1,300 volunteers – including 80+ professional musicians – Holiday Express delivers music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to adults and children who are physically and mentally disabled, living with AIDS or homeless, as well as the isolated elderly and others in need.

During the past months, Bruce has maintained a busy schedule. Some of his performances included: Special guest solo performer at the 16th annual Twilight Concert in Rumson, NJ to benefit the Aids Resource Foundation for Children; soloist during the Asbury Park Restaurant Week;Holiday Express for the Metheny Special School Prom. Bruce recently was a special guest at the live taping of The Big Joe Henry Variety Show at Mcloone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.

Bruce was the first accordion soloist to perform at the Wonder Bar for Light of Day Foundation. In its 11th year, the 23 Light of Day Foundation shows, which are held in 13 countries in Europe, Canada & the United States, raises money for funding research into possible cures and improved treatments and support for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and related illnesses. And of course, Bruce is already counting the days till next November and his 5th season with Holiday Express.

Bruce has also played for the Pay It Forward Benefit. Founded in 2000 by Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of the Pay it Forward novel), the Pay It Forward Foundation is a non-profit organization that leads a worldwide movement committed to inspiring, recognizing, and celebrating the kindness and gratitude of individuals who simply choose to pay it forward.

Bruce traveled throughout the Tri-State area last winter bringing more than 50 "interactive private parties" to clients who might otherwise be overlooked during the holiday season. The events included a rock 'n' roll band, costumed characters, choreographed parodies, crafts, games, food, good cheer, gifts and lots of hugs! Among the many places that Bruce entertained were: Mt. Carmel Guild, St. Joseph's School for the Blind, Catholic Charities-Partners in Recovery, Woodbine Developmental Center, Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, Red Bank Town Lighting, Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy High School, Trinity Soup Kitchen, and many more. There was also an additional public performance at the magnificent NJ Performing Arts Center in Newark.

Bruce Gassman has traveled all over the USA, presenting workshops, performing and conducting at accordion concerts and festivals. In 2011, his events included the National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention in Dallas; MAMTG/AAMS in North Jersey; the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) in Orlando; the Historic Wallace, Idaho Accordion Festival and the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention.

Bruce's new CD will be released later this month -
"Classic Rock Accordion 2 Bruce" Vol. II

Thank you to Bruce Gassman who enjoys sharing his unique accordion skills with so many less fortunate people during the holiday season and at other times. He definitely brings many moments of happiness, peace and joy. He is a great example of how we can share our musical talents.

Photo of Bruce Gassman by John Posada

For further info:

Sesame Street and Zydeco - USA

by Harley Jones
This just published video of Zydeco by the very famous childrens TV Show Sesame Street is pure FUN. So Enjoy!!

They even included an education text.

Zydeco is a form of uniquely American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of "la la" Creole music. As of 2012, the rural Creoles of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas continue to sing in Louisiana Creole French.

Zydeco combines elements of an older American musical style that began in the late 1700s, Cajun music, a style that consists of French fiddle tunes, Irish Celtic fiddle tunes, German button accordion, Latin rhythms, and Appalachian styles. Zydeco music was born as a blend of Cajun music and two other "new" American music styles, blues and rhythm and blues.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Accordions and Fuel Efficiency, Hyundai TV Ad

by Rita Barnea
If accordions can have a month, so can fuel efficiency says the latest Hyundai USA TV advertisement.

The complete text of the commercial is: "If accordions can get a month, fuel efficiency should too. There seems to be a day or month devoted to just about everything. Except fuel efficiency. Hyundai thinks little things, like improving your MPG, can help make a big difference. That's why Hyundai wants to get fuel efficiency in the national spotlight by making August 'National Fuel Efficiency Month'."

The advertising world gives well deserved recognition to the importance of the accordion!

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

The Mahones - Across the USA, 2012! Tour - USA

by Harley Jones
Kate McConnellA just released video of tour snippets from The Mahones 2012 American tour which includes quite a bit of their accordionist Kate McConnell, picture left.

Led by Irish-Paddy Punk Pioneer/Singer/Guitarist and Songwriter Finny McConnell with Dominic "The Bomb' Whelan (Drums/Vocals), Katie 'KaBoom' McConnell (Accordian/Vocals), Nick O'Liver (Bass/Vocals), Michael O'Grady (Tin Whistle/Vocals), Sean Winter (Banjo/Mandolin/Harmonic/Vocals) and a revolving line-up of fantastic musicians, this Irish gang of rockers have played at many major concerts and festivals in Europe, and North America...

The Mahones have released many CDs including: Draggin' The Days, Rise Again, The Hellfire Club Sessions, Here Comes Lucky, Paint The Town Red - The Best Of, Live At The Horseshoe, Take No Prisoners, The Irish Punk Collection, Whiskey Devils - A Tribute To The Mahones and The Black Irish Album).The Black Irish.

Over the years, The Mahones' music has appeared in several places other than their previously mentioned CDs. The Mahones' song "Paint The Town Red 2010" is featured (and announced!) in the climactic final fight scene of "The Fighter", starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams. This unbelievable movie has been nominated for 7 Academy Awards and 6 Golden Globes! The Mahones also performed The Pogues Christmas classic "Fairytale of New York" on CBC's The Hour's 2007 Christmas special, and co-wrote and recorded the title track for the Hollywood Pictures movie "Celtic Pride" (Wally High/The Mahones) featuring Damon Wayans, Daniel Stern, and Dan Akroyd which was composed specifically for the film. The song 100 Bucks was showcased in the movie " Dog Park ", featuring Natasha Henstridge, Luke Wilson, Janeane Garofalo, as well as Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney from Kids in the Hall. The Mahones also made a special St. Patrick's day appearance to sing the Canadian and American national anthems at the Air Canada Center for the Toronto Raptors.

The Mahones have headlined and made main stage headline appearances at many major festivals internationally, listed below. The Rock For People Festival (Prague Czech Republic), With Full Force Rock Festival (Roitzschjora, Germany), Dour Festival (Dour, Belguim), Zwarte Cross Festival (Lichtenvoorde, Holland), Renaissance Festival (Las Vegas USA), Strummercamp Festival with Billy Bragg (Manchester, England), The Festival Interceltique (Lorient, France- the biggest in Europe), Brintaal Celtic Folk Festival (Valstagna, Italy), Am Bach Festival (St. Wendel/Saar, Germany) E & L Rocknacht Festival (Alsfeld, Germany), Sklab Festival (Trbovlje, Slovenia), Viva Le Punk Festival (Callac, France) Irlanda In Festa 09 Festival (Bolongna, Italy), Minneapolis Irish Fair (Minnesota, USA), Disneyland St. Patricks Day Festival (Paris, France), Potsdam Celtic Rock Festival (Potsdam, Germany), Big Irish Night Festival (Amsterdam, Holland), The Toronto Festival of Beer in Fort York (Toronto, Canada), Jena Celtic Festival (Jena, Germany), Koeinpop Festival plus many more.

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

Gator Beat to Perform at Cotati Festival

by Rita Barnea
Gator BeatThe six member Cajon/Zydeco and New Orleans R&B band, Gator Beat, will perform at the 2012 Cotati Accordion Festival. The group has an unusual history. While its members are from all parts of the world, they were brought together by Richie Domingue, a Lousiana native, who started the band in California 20 years ago.

As a historian, deeply in love with his culture, he took great pains to uncover the masters and assemble a complete library of this music tradition. From this, he passed on a rich understanding of the form. In addition, he was a prolific songwriter. Following his passing in 2005, the group inherited a rich body of original material. They were also major creating contributor.The band attracted top talent to continue its evolution and as of today, have emulsified into an incredible, magical combination.

The band members consist of: Bruce Gordon (accordion and keyboards), Beau Bradbury (Drums), David Scott ( Saxophone, pennywhistle, percussion), Willard Blackwell (vocals, washboard), Randy Quan (guitar), and Linda Hutchinson (bass)

After growing up in Washington DC in the sixties, Bruce Gordon, accordionist and keyboards, studied jazz at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, earning a degree in music. He made his way to the Bay Area, in search of Zydeco musicians after hearing Clifton Chenier and Queen Ida’s music. Inspired by the unique sound, he founded the Zydeco Flames and participated in their success for fifteen years. His vast experience on piano adds Louisiana funk, blues, and Mardi Gras mainstays to the Gator Beat sound.

Gator Beat will perform on Sunday, August 19th, 6:20 to 7:20 PM. at La Plaza Park 60 West Cotati Cotati, California.

Their performance schedule also includes:
8/16 at 8:30 PM Josephine County Fair, Grants Pass, OR
8/17 at 3:30 PM Josephine County Fair, Grands Pass, OR
8/24 at 6 PM Pacheco Plaza Novatao, Novato, CA
8/25 at 5 PM Party on the River, Seabbie's Restaurant, Sacramento, CA
9/7 Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival, Penticton, BC
10/12 Medford Jazz Jubilee, Medford, Oregon

Gator Beat recently released a new CD, "Stompin' at the Bal de Maison".

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

13th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

by Rita Barnea
2012 Las Vegas Accordion Convention Poster
The 13th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention will be held on September 24-27, 2012 at the Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Many prominent accordionists will be featured during the event including:Dick Contino, Jeff Lisenby, Stas Venglevski, Mary Tokarski, The Accordion Kings, Amy Jo Sawyer, Peter & Mady Soave, Mario Pedone, Gordon Kohl, Gina Brannelli, Liz Finch, Pete Barbutti plus The Fifth Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra directed by Professor Joan Cochran Sommers.

Key Benefits of Attending the Convention
1.Join the fun and make new friends from all over the World.
2.See the latest in new accordions with factory exhibits.
3.Hotel accommodations are very inexpensive.
4.Be inspired by some of the finest.
5.Learn from the masters.

You can participate in the Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra and perform at the Grand Finale of the event.

The Accordion Club Frosini Award will be presented. Does your club or organization have some success stories to tell? Has anyone joined your club and taken up playing the accordion because of your club’s activities? Your Club Could WIN This Year’s Frosini Award First, you’ll need to describe on paper, exactly what your group did to promote the accordion in the year 2011-—up to the present time—and what the response was, including success stories about people who have joined your club and now play the accordion because of your efforts. Be as specific and as complete as you can. Fliers, programs or supporting articles and information from newspapers, magazines, or the net will all make your case more effectively, so send them all!. Second, your club must be registered to be eligible to win. You’ll want to register anyway, because registration provides great visibility for your club. Space for your literature will be provided at the Convention, plus recognition in our Souvenir Program. So complete your Club Registration Form and submit it today along with the description of your club’s promotional activities. Third, email or mail your entry with supporting documentation no later than August 31, 2012.
Mail to: 
The Frosini Awards, 1760 South 450 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84115.
Entries & documents will be at the Convention Setpember 24, 2012. Late registrations can be hand-delivered up through Noon Tuesday September 25th at the Convention. Entries will be adjudicated by an independent committee.

This year’s Frosini Award-winning club will be able to offer 25 of their members a $40.00 rebate off the 2013 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention registration fee! This can be a great tool to increase your club’s membership! Maximum savings of $1,000.00 per club per year!

Fill in the club registration form online and mail your supporting documentation to the Las Vegas Accordion Convention. Please remember to include the contact person’s name, and the name of the attending member or representative!

Rooms at the Gold Coast are available from only $29/night (Sun-Thurs) when you mention LVAC.

For further information: USA: 800-472-1695
Outside USA: +01 801-486-1695

Online registration and payment is now available at the website: Las Vegas Accordion Convention

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Guy Klucevsek in New York City Performances

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekAccordionist Guy Klucevsek has several performances scheduled in New York City. On August 20 at 7:30 PM, Guy will sit in with Brave Combo, performing several of the tunes they recorded together on his latest CD, "The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour" (Innova Music) at Joe's Pub. The Public Theatre, 425 Lafayette Street, NY, NY . On September 22nd, 3 PM Guy will present his "Solo Concert" at The Painting Center 
547 West 27th Street, Suite 500
New York, NY. 
(212) 343-1060

Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Brave Combo, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Rahim al Haj, Robin Holcomb, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relâche, Zeitgeist, and John Zorn.

Guy Klucevsk is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to "America's finest artists."

He has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn.

Performances include the Ten Days on the Island Festival (Tasmania), the Adelaide Festival (Australia), the Berlin Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival/USA, BAM Next Wave Festival, Cotati Accordion Festival, San Antonio International Accordion Festival, Vienna International Accordion Festival, and the children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

His 1987 project, Polka From the Fringe, a collection of commissioned polkas by Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Bobby Previte, Carl Finch, et. al., toured around the world and was released on 2 cds on the eva label, and were named “best recordings 1992” on WNYC-FM’s “New Sounds” program.

 In 1996, he founded Accordion Tribe, an international ensemble of composer/accordionists Otto Lechner (Austria), Maria Kalanemi (Finland), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia) and himself. They toured internationally from 1996-2009, are the subjects of Stefan Schwietert’s award-winning documentary film, Accordion Tribe: Music Travels, and released 3 cds on the Intuition (Germany) label.

His music theatre scores include “Chinoiserie” and “Obon” with Ping Chong and Company, “Hard Coal,” with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, “Industrious Angels” for Laurie McCants, “Cirque Lili” for French circus artist Jérôme Thomas, which has been performed over 250 times world wide, always with live music, and his own piece, “Squeeze Play,” an evening of collaborations with Dan Hurlin, David Dorfman and Dan Froot, Claire Porter, and Mary Ellen Childs. He and Dan Hurlin were awarded, jointly, a BESSIE for, “The Heart of the Andes,” which has played the Henson International Puppetry Festival, The Barbican Center in London, and the Ten Days on the Island Festival, Tasmania.

Klucevsek has released over 20 recordings as soloist/leader on Tzadik, Winter & Winter, innova, Starkland, Review, Intuition, CRI, and XI. Stereo Review cited his Starkland recording, Transylvanian Software, as a recording of special merit" (1995). He can also be heard on John Williams’s orchestral scores for the Steven Spielberg films, “The Terminal,” "Munich," “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and “The Adventures of Tin-Tin,” and on A. R. Rahman’s score for “People Like Us.”

For further information:,

Tony Lovello and Walter Kasprzyk at Smoky Mountain Accordion Fest

by Rita Barnea
Smoky Mountain Festival
Walter Kasprzyk and Tony LovelloThe Carolina Accordion Association announces the Smoky Mountain Accordion Fest featuring Tony Lovello and Walter Kasprzyk. The second annual Smoky Mountain Accordion Fest will be held Saturday, September 15, 2012 at the Maggie Valley Club,1819 Country Club Drive , Maggie Valley, NC.
The schedule for the day is:
2 PM – 5:00 PM : `Anyone can play' time. Please register prior to Septemver 1, 2012.
5:00 – 6:30 PM : Break. Food & beverages available for purchase at the `Pin High Bar and Grille'.
6:30 PM : Concert featuring Tony Lovello and Walter Kasprzyk

The fest will begin at 2 PM and showcase local accordionists from Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The evening concert will feature the Liberace of the accordion, Tony Lovello, and Walter Kasprzyk of the “K Trio” fame.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy accordion music and meet these great artists in a unique mountain setting. 

Tickets for the event are $20.00. Tickets will
not be sent but held for you at the event. The Maggie Valley Club & Resort is a golf community located in beautiful Western North Carolina, Maggie Valley is cradled between the majestic Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountain ranges at 3,020 feet above sea level.  Surrounded by thousands of acres of old-growth forests, this unique corner of North Carolina is an outdoor enthusiast's wonderland.

For more information, contact Joe Zalewski at (828)734-2975 or email  Maggie Valley Club information: 800-438-3861

12th Annual Florida SMASH: November 9-11th in Orlando

by Rita Barnea
Florida Accordion Association logoPresident of the Florida Accordion Association, Karen Adam Kasprzyk, is pleased to announce the 12th Annual Florida Smash which takes place November 9-11, 2012 at the Holiday Inn, Orlando Airport.

This will be a very special event honoring the 80th birthday of Tony Lovello, well known as the Liberace of the Accordion! Be there for this special occasion!

Featured performers include: Joe Cerrito, Vladimir Mollov, John Lobosco, Donna Regis, Michael Jude Ward-Bergeman. There will be dealer desplays, Friday night Cafe Accordeon, 2012 Accordion Orchestra and much more. Paul Betken, of Tempe, AZ, will present a tribute to Leon Sash.

Founded in September 2000, the Florida Accordion Association is dedicated to the promotion of the accordion through all music genres and all variations of accordion instruments. Having grown to over 350 plus members, they represent all types of accordion instruments including piano accordion, datonic, chromatic button accordion and bandoneon. The FAA also encompasses all types of musical genres such as ethnic, jazz and classical to name a few, on all playing levels. 

There will be more details in the September news.
For further information email: FLACCASSOC@BELLSOUTH.NET
Phone: 850-936-8722

Long Island Accordion Alliance Second Anniversary

by Rita Barnea
Long Island Accordion Alliance Logo
Connie ShakalisDominic KarcicThe next "get together'' of the "Long Island Accordion Alliance" (LIAA), which will be celebrating its “second anniversary,” is on Tuesday, August 7th - 7PM at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731 (631.261.6344).

The featured guest artist for the evening is vocalist Connie Shakalis who will perform music by Victor Herbert, Giacomo Puccini, Richard Rodgers, George M. Cohan, and Lerner and Loewe. Ms. Shakalis will be accompanied by accordionist Dominic Karcic.

Connie Shakalis is an award-winning vocalist from Huntington Station, NY. She has sung in many of the top cabarets in New York City as well as performing 20 lead roles in musicals throughout the U.S. She has performed with Van Johnson, Edie Adams, and Robert Morse (who currently appears as the ad agency boss on the popular TV series “Mad Men.”

She is a soloist with the "Music on the Sound" opera series in Port Jefferson, NY, and with the “Long Island Accordion Alliance” at La Villini Restaurant in East Northport, NY.Her program on August 7th will feature a wide range of songs from opera, operetta, Broadway musicals and ethnic folk melodies.

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

Dominic was a public school music teacher for thirty-two years focusing on vocal and instrumental instruction in the Long Island towns of Valley Stream, Freeport, and Baldwin. He has always played professionally in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today. His love for the Valtaro Musette music was instilled in him through his years of study with noted accordionist Peter Spagnoli.

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

AAA Board member Dominic Karcic, is working on a project hoping to make documentary film on the history and origin of Valtaro Musette music in New York City. He is looking for any pictures or film / video that people might have of accordionist, John “Scudlein” Brugnoli, or his pa

It will be a great evening of accordion music and song! There will be plenty of accordion music, great food, singing, fun and maybe some additional surprise guest artists showing up to perform. Reservations are recommended.

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