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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Aug-2016
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Just In: Michael Bridge is First Accordionist on List of 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30
Joseph Natoli Premiers His Latest Composition, “Kinetic Tango”, at 76th Annual ATG
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Guy Klucevsek to Perform His New AAA Commissioned Composition in New York City
Michael Bridge and the Ladom Ensemble
Rita Barnea Interviews WQXR Instrument Drive Project Manager Kathleen Drohan
Emmanuel Gasser Wins 1st Prize in AAA Elsie Bennett Composition Competition in Buffalo
Nathan Chapeton to Represent the USA at the 2016 Coupe Mondiale in Russia
Billy McComiskey’s AFC Fellowship Award, Washington DC
Lauren Brody and Alicia Svigals in Klezmer Music Concerts
17th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
Accordionist Cody McSherry is a Finalist in Lancaster's Got Talent– Please vote!

Voci Armoniche

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

Joe Cerrito, Consummate Musician and Extraordinary Educator
Eddie Monteiro on Faculty of Peter Soave Music Academy in Italy
The Stars Come Out at the 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo
Petosa Sponsored Workshops, First by Grayson Masefield
Murl Allen Sanders in World Premier of "Fantasia for Santoor and Accordion"
August and September Presentations of "Accordions Rising"
Outreach to Youth in Buffalo
Mary Tokarski on Faculty of Peter Soave Music Academy in Italy
Victoria International Accordion Festival July 26-31, 2016
Bryant Park, NYC, Features "Accordions Around the World"
Youth Involvement Program, 2016: What a Find!
Video: Ginny Mac and Her Brother Glenn McLaughlin at AAA Festival
Workshops at 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo
Mad Maggies to Perform at Cotati Festival
Passing of Bud Hyrczyk
Quartetto Gelato Performed at the AAA Festival, Buffalo
Those Darn Accordions (TDA) on East Coast/Mid-West Tour
Cotati Festival 2016: August 20-21 in California
LIAA Features Smorgasbandet on August 3
Polka King Walter Ostanek wins $1M Lottery - Canada
Dominic Karcic to Perform for Long Island Accordion Alliance
The Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra Featured at Swiss Fair in Whittier, CA

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Frank Petrilli To Be Featured Artist for the SFAC on September 18
9th Annual Accordion Noir Festival in Canada Sept. 8-11
Peter Dranga To Perform for Michigan Accordion Society on September 17

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita BarneaWelcome to the August USA news! Each month there is more and more to report on accordion happenings throughout the North American continent.

This month features accordionists premiering new compositions, festival prize winners, concerts, new groups,conventions, films, festival reports, future events, and always including important and entertaining videos. Send comments/ideas to Editor Rita Barnea at

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Just In: Michael Bridge is First Accordionist on List of 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30

by Rita Barnea
Michael BridgeCBC Radio Canada is pleased to present the 2016 edition of their annual list of Canada's emerging classical music talent.

Yearly since 2013, they have been polling conservatories, music competitions and professional training programs from coast to coast, and creating a who's who of the nation’s next classical music stars.

Something new this year: all of the young musicians being celebrated are newcomers to the 30-under-30 list.

Twenty three year old Michael Bridge from Canada is the first accordionist ever to be on the "30 under 30" list. Excerpts from the CBC website: "Music is not a job, it's a lifestyle." says Michael Bridge. He dedicates all his waking hours to performing, teaching and studying his instrument, and it's paying off.

In May he received an Emerging Artist Award from the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Last season, he performed as soloist with the Ontario Philharmonic String Quartet, the Lethbridge Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Soundstreams.

Michael also toured Ecuador, Poland, France and Canada with Double Double Duo, the group he co-founded with clarinettist Kornel Wolak. Bridge was the subject of a radio documentary on CBC Radio One's The Sunday Edition. Through all of that, he gave the world premiere of 15 new works. Upcoming in 2016-17, Michael will complete his master's degree in accordion performance at U of T and play music by Astor Piazzolla and William Bridges with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra.

AWW (Accordions Worldwide) Publications congratulates Michael and wishes him continued successes!

For further information:

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

Joseph Natoli Premiers His Latest Composition, “Kinetic Tango”, at 76th Annual ATG

by Rita Barnea
Accordionist and composer Joseph Natoli is making important contributions to the accordion repertoire which is continually increasing thanks to his dedication and talent. If you are fortunate enough to hear him perform and have the opportunity to speak with him, you will immediately realize that he is not only a gifted person but also very gracious and modest about his talents.

What some people do not know about Joseph Natoli is that besides being a performer, he has also been actively composing serious works for free bass accordion and other instruments since the age of 19. That was the year when he wrote his Toccata #1 in 1973 which has since been performed all over Europe and was even used to capture a 1st runner up title by Werner Glutsch in the Coupe Mondiale before he later won that competition. Joe performed this work himself at the 1975 International Accordion Symposium in Toronto Canada. More recently Michael Bridge performed the Toccata #1 earlier this year in his Master’s recital at the University of Toronto.

Joe has composed other large works in multiples styles that include accordion. His Prism/Rebirth is an expansive 30-minute contemporary work for accordion and chamber ensemble with a large battery of percussion for which he received a substantial Ohio Arts Council grant in 1978. Joe later composed Toccata #2 in 2008 which has been performed and world premiered in Toronto Canada by John Lettieri.

In addition to accordion works, Joe has written for every type of instrumentation including Symphony Orchestra (Penumbra), Flute & Percussion (Wind Playing Love Songs), large chamber ensembles (Angelita), electronic compositions (Moonlight Sonata, Piano Extensions, Variables in A Minor, Journey, Passage) and Roland digital accordion (Epic Cinematic Soundtrack – world premiered at the 2015 AAA and ATG festivals). Joe is often a self-described musical chameleon in that he thoroughly enjoys composing music in every style, as he has multiple Baroque-type Inventions In C & F to his credit, as well as a “Sonata In the Classical Style” (both for accordion), as well as waltzes (Jeu d’Esprit) and tarantellas (Tarantella Fuoco).

This year for the 2016 ATG Festival, Joe composed and world-premiered a new work written in the last three weeks called “Kinetic Tango” (the recording of which is included here). The driving rhythms of this contemporary sounding tango explain the reason for the word kinetic in the title, as the piece is in constant motion from beginning to end.

Following is a sampling of the works Joe has written for accordion:
Composition Instrumentation Year
Toccata #1 Free bass accordion 1973
Prism/Rebirth Flt, Clr, Vln, Vla, Acc, Perc 1978
Sonata In D (In the Classical Style) Stradella accordion 2004
Invention in C Free bass accordion 2008
Invention in F Free bass accordion 2008
Toccata #2 Free bass accordion 2008
Waltz For Ron Stradella accordion 2009
Tarantella Fuoco Stradella accordion 2012
Accordion Extensions Roland FR7X 2013
Innocence Roland FR7X/8X 2013
Nostalgique Accordion Quintet 2013
Epic Cinematic Soundtrack Roland FR8X 2014
Four Likes Free bass accordion 2015
Kinetic Tango Free bass accordion 2016

Any of Joe’s works are available through JANPress Publications by writing to request them at:

Titano Accordion Company

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

Voci Armoniche

Guy Klucevsek to Perform His New AAA Commissioned Composition in New York City

by Rita Barnea
Guy KluvsevsekAccordionist Guy Klucevsek will perform his entire AAA commissioned suite, “Three Tributes,” including “Ballad of Faithe,” on September 18, 2016 at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane Street NY, Elmhurst, Queens, Phone: 
(718) 803-9602. It will be part of Victor Prieto’s “New York International Accordion Jazz Festival.”

Guy Klucevsek began playing accordion in 1952, after he saw Dick Contino on television. Since that time, he has performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Alan Bern, Brave Combo, Anthony Braxton, Jason Robert Brown, Charles Busch, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Alex Meixner, Natalie Merchant, John Williams, and John Zorn.

A composer as well as a performer, his music reverberates with sounds of the ballroom, the beer garden and the concert hall, fusing elements of regional accordion styles with jazz and avant-garde music. Performances include Ten Days on the Island (Tasmania), the Adelaide Festival (Australia), the Berlin Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival/USA, BAM Next Wave Festival,  international accordion festivals in Vienna, Cotati (CA), and San Antonio, and the children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”.

His group “Accordion Tribe” (1996-2006) toured internationally, released 3 cds, and were the subjects of Stefan Schwietert’s award-winning documentary film, “Accordion Tribe:  Music Travels”. Klucevsek has released 23 recordings as leader/co-leader. He is the recipient of a 2010 United States Arts Collins Fellowship, awarded to “America’s finest artists”.

Guy will also present a concert on Oct. 1, 2016 at 9:PM, at Spectrum, NYC, as part of John King's "Born Into Flames" series. The concert will celebrate the release of his latest composer recording on the Starkland label, "Teetering on the Verge of Normalcy," and will feature Todd Reynolds, violin, Kamala Sankaram, voice, Phillip Bush, piano, and Guy on accordion.

For more information on Guy Klucevsek:

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Michael Bridge and the Ladom Ensemble

by Rita Barnea
Ladom Ensemble
Michael BridgeVideo: ‪Ladom Ensemble Promo Video‬

Canadian accordionist Michael Bridge performed as part of the Ladom Ensemble which includes: Pouya Hamidi, co-founder, composer, and pianist; Marie-Cristine P. St-Jacques: cello; 
Michael Bridge: accordion; Adam Campbell: hand percussion.

The Ladom Ensemble is an acoustic quartet performing a fusion of world and classical music. Excerpts from their website: The group gathered at the University of Toronto’s music program as individuals from Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Quebec, and earlier still – Iran. The Canadian spread of the group reaches even further across the world as their all-original repertoire incorporates inspirations from Argentinian jazz/classical tango, Serbian folk dance, and Persian classical dulcimer, amongst others.

Ladom doesn’t pretend to represent any one tradition, but rather expresses a more authentically Canadian fusion. Ladom has a musical identity combined from many sources and reflects a beautiful new world with a Western classical toolset.

Excerpts from Michael Bridge's website: Two-time Canadian accordion champion and winner of the University of Toronto Concerto Competition, Michael Bridge uniquely fuses classical, pop-rock, jazz and world music. He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at age 17, and has performed in China, Ecuador, Croatia, Italy, Poland, France, the U.K., and across North-America, now giving over 100 concerts per year. In 2013, he placed 2nd at the world digital accordion championships.

With over thirty commissions and world premieres to his credit, Michael continues to actively promote new, multi-instrumental works involving accordion. His accordion-clarinet duo, Double-Double Duo, released its debut CD “Rock Bach” in fall 2015 and toured Poland and France this summer. His Iranian-Serbian classical tango quartet, Ladom Ensemble, will tour the maritimes in summer 2016. He is a captivating young musician— boldly redefining the sound and image of his traditional instrument.

The next performance of the Ladom Ensemble will be on September 9, 2016 at Cafe Pamenar in Toronto, Canada. Additional performances by Michael Bridge:
August 20-21, 2016 - Cotati CA, USA
   Cotati Accordion Festival - solo performances
September 9, 2016 - Ladom Ensemble in Toronto
   Cafe Pamenar, 8:PM in Toronto, ON
September 29-30, 2016 - University of Western Ontario
   DOUBLE-DOUBLE DUO: Artists in residence.
   Concert and masterclasses with students in London, ON
October 16, 2016 - Burlington Performing Arts Centre
   DOUBLE-DOUBLE DUO in Burlington, ON

For further information:


Rita Barnea Interviews WQXR Instrument Drive Project Manager Kathleen Drohan

by Rita Barnea
Rita Barnea and Kathleen Drohan
I met with WQXR Instrument Drive Project Manager Kathleen Drohan on July 13, 2016 at the WQXR Studio in New York City. The WQXR Musical Instrument Drive collects, repairs, and redistributes musical instruments to New York City Public School music programs.

It was a delightful and informative afternoon in which Kathleen took me on an extensive tour of the facilities. I was amazed to see the elaborate sound studios and offices of WQXR.

Kathleen and I discussed the accordions that were donated to the WQXR Instrument Drive. She explained that in order for the instruments to be distributed, the organization requesting them must be a New York city based non profit school/organization.

Are you a community music program in the NYC area looking to receive instruments from the WQXR Instrument Drive? Or have questions?


In future publications, I will write about ongoing meetings with Kathleen and include details about the distribution of the accordions. Photo by Dr. Leslie Strong

For further information on the program:

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

Emmanuel Gasser Wins 1st Prize in AAA Elsie Bennett Composition Competition in Buffalo

by Rita Barnea
Emmanuel GasserVideo: "Spring Blizzard" performed by the composer, Emmanuel Gasser

Emmanuel Gasser from Ontario,Canada won 1st Prize in the Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association held at the 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo, New York, July 6-10, 2016. The general purpose of the composition competition is to add to the solo concert repertoire of the acoustic accordion.

Emmanuel shares his thoughts on his great accomplishment: "Winning 1st prize with my first free bass composition "Spring Blizzard" means A LOT to me. It is very encouraging that I, as a young composer, can write a piece that gets appreciated by the judges of the competition and the audience.

All the compliments that I have received regarding this composition have encouraged me even more to develop my skills as a composer. My wish is to strike anyone with musical sensitivity with my compositions."

Emmanuel's description of his composition: “Spring Blizzard” is in Scherzo form with a fast first part in F minor written for freebass that invokes the feel of a snowstorm with glowing technical passages. The second part is introduced with a cadenza that serves both as divider and connector that resolves to a more hopeful and positive waltz theme written for stradella representing Spring. 

An embellished version of the "Spring" theme follows. The first half of this variation although being in 3/4 has a march-like feel, that is metaphorical for the strength of life that overpowers the dead of Winter. The second half of the "Spring" variation, written for free bass, is dreamy and "twitter-pated".

The listener is ready for a happy-ending but Old Man Winter wishes to show himself one more time and sneaks into the scene with another modulating cadenza followed by the animated, blizzardy first theme and concluded with a virtuosic Coda."

Award winning accordionist, Emmanuel Gasser, nineteen years old, lives on a beautiful dairy farm in St. Charles, Ontario, Canada. He is recognized one of the top accordionists in North America winning numerous trophies and awards in many North American and International competitions, as well as representing Canada at the Coupe Mondiale, Klingenthal Germany, IAC Reinach Switzerland and FIF Castelfidardo.

Emmanuel has been playing accordion with since he was ten years old and practices 3 to 8 hours a day. His musical talents have been nourished and developed by the assistance of several world renowned accordionists.

He is currently studying privately with the great accordion virtuoso Alexander Sevastian based in Toronto, Canada. Emmanuel has also completed various internet and survey courses on Classical Music and Music History with Prof. Robert Greenberg (San Francisco Consevervatory of Music) and on Classical Composition with Prof. Peter Edwards (University of Singapore).

Despite being young in years, Emmanuel has exceptional musical maturity, having recorded 3 CD's and composed over 40 original pieces. In the future Emmanuel hopes to develop a career as composer and performer; performing solo, with bands, ensembles and orchestras.

Sheet music for Spring Blizzard is for sale at $9.00 order at:
For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Nathan Chapeton to Represent the USA at the 2016 Coupe Mondiale in Russia

by Rita Barnea
Nathan Chapeton
Video 1:
Video 2:
Nathan Chapeton and Mary TokarskiVideo 1: Nathan Chapeton performs "Concerto in E" by Pietro Deiro on accordion on May 11, 2015 during "Middletown High School Goes To The Symphony." Accompanied by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra at the Bushnell Center for the Arts in Hartford, CT.

Video 2: "Partita" by Alexander Tcherepnin"
Dinner Award of "Carmen Carroza Scholarship" at Double Tree Hotel, Tarrytown New York. An accordion student of Mary Tokarski, Nathan won the $3,000.00 dollars prize on "the Junior Division" 2015.

A student of Mary Tokarski for seven years, Nathan Chapeton is a young accordionist that performs and competes locally. He was chosen to represent the United States{AAA} this September 2016 in Rostov-Don, Russia, competing with the best players around the world in the Coupe Mondiale. Nathan has won the Virtuoso Championship at the Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild for the third time.

Nathan Chapeton was inspired to play music at the age of eight after hearing his teacher, AAA President Mary Tokarski, play the accordion. Currently he performs with the jazz ensemble at Middleown High School in Conncecticut. In addition to the accordion he plays the electric bass, piano, and now is studying the upright bass.

He has attended many music festivals such as MAMTG where he won first place in the virtuoso solo division. Not only does he perform as a soloist but he also collaborates with other young musicians and plays contemporary music, tangos and concert compositions.

Recently, Nathan performed for the show "Around the World" with his longtime duet partner, Tor Stumo. He has performed at the AAA with other accordionists and musicians during which his interest in jazz was sparked.

Along with his teacher, Mary Tokarski, Nathan has been a guest performer at many concerts including performances in Long Island, New York, and Connecticut. He has represented the USA in the Coupe Mondiale in Salzburg Austria and regularly competes.

Nathan plans to major in music in college. His plans for the future include introducing the accordion to young people around the United States through performances and workshops on the qualities of the accordion and its music.

Mary Tokarski, Nathan' s teacher said, "Nathan is a pleasure to work with.  A truly gifted young man who is totally consumed in everything musical. 
His abilities are quite "special", and his goal in life is to bring the accordion to young people, and become a driving force behind the accordion movement in the United States."

Our sincerest congratulations to Nathan on his excellent performance, representing not
only the USA with pride, but also serving as a wonderful ambassador for young accordionists from around the world. We hope that this will be the beginning of a long and illustrious career both in music and with the accordion, and that he is able to continue his competition work on an international level.

You can visit
and follow the links to the video library, then select Nathan's cate-
gory: Junior Intl. Comp. for Virtuoso
Go for it, Nathan!'

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

Billy McComiskey’s AFC Fellowship Award, Washington DC

by Rob Howard
Bill SchimmelVideo: To celebrate the AFC’s 40-year connection with Billy McComiskey, he was invited to headline a concert on June 28th featuring his sons Patrick, Sean, and Mikey, his nieces Catriona and Angela Fee, and his friends Myron Bretholz and Josh Dukes. Presented as part of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center’s Homegrown: The Music of America series. Kennedy Center, Published: Jun 28, 2016.

The American Folklife Center has congratulated Billy McComiskey, one of the USA’s top button accordion players in Irish traditional music, for winning a 2016 National Heritage Fellowship award. The Fellowship is in recognition for a lifetime of excellence in a traditional art form, and is the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts in the United States.

Billy McComiskey, from New York, has long been widely regarded as one of the leading Irish traditional musicians. His fame and music have been the subject of a doctoral dissertation, which is soon to be published as a book.

Billy’s award is special for the AFC as he is among the people who have been associated with the Center for all 40 years of its existence. On January 2nd 1976, President Ford signed into law the American Folklife Preservation Act, which the Congress had previously passed. It established the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress with the mission to preserve and present American folklife. One of the first things the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Daniel Boorstin, did was to throw a party to celebrate the new Center, involving many leading Irish musicians, including a group called The Irish Tradition, featuring Billy McComiskey.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Lauren Brody and Alicia Svigals in Klezmer Music Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Lauren BrodyAccordionist/vocalist Lauren Brody and Violinist/vocalist/composer Alicia Svigals will perform a program of Yiddish songs old and new and of euphoric klezmer fiddle music, in their first concert reunion since the days of their 1990's all-women band Mikveh.

The first program takes place at the YIVO Institute or Jewish Research, 15 West 16th Street, New York City on August 3, 2016 at 7:PM. Admission is $15 and YIVO members and alumni: $10.

The second program is presented by Tompkins Corners Cultural Center . It takes place at the Tompkins Corner Cultural Center, 729 Peekskill Hollow Road, Putnam Valley, NY. on August 20, 2016 7:30 PM Admission is $15

Excerpts from the event website: "Alicia Svigals is the worlds leading klezmer fiddler, a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics - whom she co-led for seventeen years - and a long-time resident of Putnam Valley. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, PBS Great Performances, NPRs Prairie Home Companion, Weekend Edition and New Sounds, and on the soundtrack for The L-Word.

She has played with and composed for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, the late poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and many others.

Lauren Brody is an accordionist, singer, researcher and piano tuner/technician from New York. She is a pioneer of the klezmer revival in the United States and a founding member of the groundbreaking band "Kapelye", formed in 1979. She has toured extensively, recorded and appeared on film with Kapelye, with the all-female ensemble “Mikveh” and she plays regularly with many other musicians in the klezmer world.

Lauren has had a similarly pivotal role in the Balkan music scene in the United States, both as a teacher and as a performer. She has taught regularly at both the EEFC’s Balkan Music and Dance Workshops and at Klezkamp. As a vocalist and keyboard player, she toured and recorded with the “Yuri Yunakov Ensemble” and the “Ivan Milev Balkan Folk Band”.

Lauren is a Fulbright scholar, and her research endeavors are realized in two groundbreaking reissues of 78 rpm recordings of Bulgarian Folk Music: “Song of the Crooked Dance” (1998, Yazoo Records) and “Outsinging the Nightingale” (2010, JSP Records). She is currently involved in her own solo project “Lauren Brody’s Accordion Bytes.

For information:

Titano Accordion Company

17th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

by Paul Pasquali Event Organizer
LVIAC 2016
LVIACVegas Nights – Celebrate with the Stars!

The 17th Annual 2016 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention will be August 8-11, 2016 at the Gold Coast Hotel located at 4000 West Flamingo Blvd., in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we celebrate the classic Las Vegas theme bringing you four nights and three full days of the finest accordion entertainment Las Vegas Style!

From the Monday opening night “Welcome to Las Vegas Concert” to the “Grand Finale Concert” Thursday night featuring the International Accordion Orchestra with Las Vegas Mass Choir under the direction of Professor Joan Sommers. You will find at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention - entertainment and dining at its BEST!

This year’s featured artists will include the legendary Joey Miskulin, 2007 Coupe Mondiale Champion Alexander Sevastian, Honorary Conductor Mario Pedone, virtuoso duet accordionists Kim and Dan Christian, educator and world traveling artist Mary Tokarski, and MORE.

Additional artists and clinicians will include Mike Zampiceni, Gordon Kohl, Steve & Michael Trucco, Nancy Leonard, Pete Barbutti, and independent filmmaker Roberta Cantow, at this years event!

Registration fee for the event includes 7 superb Las Vegas banquet meals with concerts plus over 40 workshops and master classes taught by top experts. SPECIAL PRICING for Accordions Worldwide readers. We will extend the Early Bird pricing with a savings of between $25 and $40 per registration (depending on registration option). Simply let us know you read this article on Accordions Worldwide. Registration form with discount: 2016Vegas.pdf

Special group room rates are only $34/$42 (Deluxe/Premium) per room Sunday thru Thursday nights (weekend nights slightly higher) and special lowered resort fee of only $9.99 with group block (resort fee off block $14.99) a night per room – but you must use group code ACCORD6 to get these lowest guaranteed rates. Rates valid until the block fills or until July 8, 2016. The Gold Coast has cautioned that the hotel will fill rapidly this year.

Recommended stays -- check in before 3pm Monday, August 8 and check out Friday morning, August 12, 2016.

Why Las Vegas – we invite you to compare total pricing between other events. The total price with hotel room, airfare and event fee will be lower and you will experience why so many registrants return year after year and say the best place to be is Las Vegas!

See our website for complete pricing options, or contact the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention at +1 801-486-1695 for personal assistance – and simply mention you read this article on Accordions Worldwide and we will deduct $25 off Option 1, $30 off Option 2, or $40 off Option 3. OR if you register online simply type Accordions Worldwide in the comment field and we will adjust your pricing. We would love to have our Accordions Worldwide readers join us and experience why the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention is such a wonderful event!

Registration form with discount: 2016Vegas.pdf
Phone: +1 801-486-1695

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

Accordionist Cody McSherry is a Finalist in Lancaster's Got Talent– Please vote!

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Cody McSherry
Cody McSherry, age 13, is moving on to the final round of Lancaster's Got Talent.  Cody will be playing his piano accordion and competing against nine vocalists. The finalists will perform live at the Lancaster Newspapers studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at 7:PM on Friday, August 5, 2016. The performances will be livestreamed via the Lancaster Online website: 

The public is invited to vote online for their choice during the livestream, and the winner of the voting will receive $250.  Three studio judges will also select a winner for the grand prize of $750. You can view videos of the finalists via the website link. 

Please consider watching the livestream broadcast at 7 p.m. on August 5th and voting for Cody!

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

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

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Joe Cerrito, Consummate Musician and Extraordinary Educator

by Harley Jones
Joe CerritoA new article written by Joan Grauman (AAA Historian) titled "Joe Cerrito, Consummate Musician and Extraordinary Educator" has been published at:

This exceptional article details the extensive musical career of Joe Cerrito with many historic pictures and quotes from family and former students.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Eddie Monteiro on Faculty of Peter Soave Music Academy in Italy

by Rita Barnea
Eddie Monteiro
Video: Jazzkat Amplifiers Presents Lenny Argese,guitar, with Eddie Monteiro and Rich DeRosa on drums playing "Secret Love" at Trumpets in Montclair NJ. Lenny is playuing the TomKat. 10/9/08

Eddie Monteiro is an accordion pedagogue at the Peter Soave Music Academy being held in Sauris, Italy from July 24-August 7, 2016. Accordionists from around the world are attending for lessons and workshops with distinguished artists, and participate in ensemble and orchestra rehearsals, culminating in concerts for the townspeople of the area.

The artists will also perform in numerous combinations throughout the event, with morning concerts in the local places of worship, and appearances at local trattorias and concert venues in the area.

Eddie Monteiro (New Jersey,USA), of Portuguese descent, is one of the most unique jazz accordionists of all time. He has over 30 years of musical performances in classical, jazz, dance, theater, cabaret and choral ensembles. His harmonic skills are mind boggling and his talent is colossal.

Eddie is also the youngest honoree elected to American Accordionists’ Association Hall of Fame, November 1994. Member of Bobb Rosengarden, Skitch Henderson, Peter Duchin, Ray Bloch, Michael Lanin and Marty Ames, orchestras from 1971 to present, performing in the New York Metropolitan area and worldwide.

Eddie has been a featured member of pit orchestras on stage in the Broadway revival performance of "Carnival" and "Evita" and recording of radio and television jingles for Sesame Street, General Foods, Colgate Palmolive, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Bennigan’s Restaurants, Pontiac and more.

Lead artist of innumerable society bands performing throughout the world at social events, political gatherings and corporation conventions. Eddie serves currently as the Music Teacher, Choral Director, Vocal and Instrumental Music Director for the Ann Street Elementary School.

Eddie will be joined by Ralf Bethke, Nicolas Couvet, Dr. Duilio Dobrin, Eddie Monteiro, Dr. Véronique Moret, Annie Mougel, Marco Quarantotto, Viatcheslav Semionov, Prof. Dennis Tini, Mary Tokarski, Stas Venglevski and Alexander Skliarov,

Pete said, "PSMA generously offers a rich musical experience that plunges each participant into the depths of musical artistry. This summer session includes workshops, intensive coaching, master classes, chamber music, and rehearsals culminating in concerts where participants and professionals will be playing side by side.

"The exquisite picturesque setting for PSMA is Sauris, this tiny alpine village nestled in the Dolomite mountains of Italy, bordering Austria. My wife, Madeleine, and I have worked passionately to realize this project and create a multifaceted program and environment to equip instrumentalists from around the world with the knowledge and skills they need to perform music."

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

The Stars Come Out at the 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
AAA 2016 Festival
Ginny Mac, Glenn McLaughlin,Cory PesaturoVideo: Grayson Masefield, Part 1 of his Evening With the Stars performance.

Pictures above: 1. Busso Show Band: (l to r) Frank Busso, Sr., Christina Busso Lammers, Alexander Lammers, Michael Parziale, Max Hoffman, Pat Saylor, Frank Busso, Jr.
2. AAA archival display.

From start to finish, this year’s AAA Festival (July 6th - 10th) was glorious in every way imaginable! The sky was a bright blue over Buffalo, New York, and the accordionists and the press happily poured into the Adams Mark Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Great, well-attended workshops by Alexander Sevastian (picture left) and SGM Manny Bobenrieth kicked off the festivities, followed by a lovely “Meet and Greet”, where many of our talented young accordionists played for us.

A new feature for this year’s event was a nightly “After Hours Club”. Our festival’s featured young performers, Grayson Masefield, Ginny Mac and Cory Pesaturo took turns hosting these evening parties where all of the participants could sign up to play. It was delightful to have a relaxed setting where we could hear the many talented attendees play their favorite pieces. We were treated to the beautiful sounds of 13-year old Cody McSherry’s Austrian diatonic accordion (the Steirische Harmonika), as well as duets and impromptu jazz groups – a huge success and lots of fun for all!

Kudos go to all of the workshop presenters who did a great job sharing their vast knowledge with the many participants who attended the workshops. In between activities, participants visited the Exhibit Room which was filled with new accordions, straps, sheet music, childrens’ books, gifts for accordionists and the large AAA Archival display.

The Thursday luncheon concert and the amazing Friday night concert at the nearby Tralf Music Hall featured our gifted young headliners: the world accordion champions Grayson Masefield, Alexander Sevastian and Cory Pesaturo, plus Ginny Mac and her brother Glenn McLaughlin.(photo left} At The Tralf, we were also treated to the world premiere of the AAA’s commissioned composition, “Three Tributes”, by Guy Klucevsek – what a beautiful and moving piece!

The evening at the Tralf also included a fun-filled performance by mezzo-soprano Dr. Nora Sirbaugh accompanied by accordionist Dr. Robert Young McMahan, and ended with a rousing, delightful concert by the highly acclaimed “Quartetto Gelato”. Lynn Ewing flew in from California and Beverly Fess from Canada for the festival. Each remarked at The Tralf, “It was worth it all just to be here tonight!” I think we all felt that way. For me, that evening was pure “Accordion Heaven”!

The Saturday afternoon Awards Concert featured excellent performances by the Busso Music School Senior Ensemble and Show Band (under the direction of Frank Busso, Jr.), plus the AAA Youth Orchestra (directed by AAA President Mary Tokarski) and the Youth Jazz Ensemble (directed by saxophonist Mitch Guido). Will Comer took 1st place in the Junior category and Emmanuel Gasser took 1st place in the Open Category of the Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition and played their wonderful winning selections for us. 2016AAAResults.pdf

This year’s Festival Orchestra conductor was Frank Busso, Sr. Frank did a stellar job preparing and conducting the group with minimal rehearsal time! The beautiful music of the Festival Orchestra filled the air at our Saturday night banquet, followed by a surprise unrehearsed performance by Ginny Mac, Glenn McLaughlin, Cory Pesaturo and Mitch Guido, accompanied by percussionist Steve Leotta. SGM Manny Bobenrieth was our spirited emcee for all of our concerts. A good time was had by all!

Pictures below: Impromptu Band, Festival Banquet
Standing ovation for first half performers at The Tralf Music Hall: (l to r) Glenn McLaughlin, Manny Bobenrieth (emcee), Ginny Mac, Guy Klucevsek, Dr. Robert McMahan, Dr. Nora Sirbaugh, Grayson Masefield, Cory Pesaturo
AAA Festival 2016

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Petosa Sponsored Workshops, First by Grayson Masefield

by Rita Barnea
Joey and Joe PetosaPetosa Accordions is celebrating its 95th year, now a fourth generation family-owned business. As part of the celebration, Petosa Accordions are presenting a number of workshops. Picture left: Joey and Joe Petosa.

The first of these workshops called 'Accordion Effects' was by international virtuoso Grayson Masefield and 'Tips and Tricks' with renowned accordionist Gary Blair following.

These interactive and video recorded workshops are the beginning of many to come, with scheduled upcoming artists like Dan Newton, Murl Allen Sanders and Bratislav Manasijevic.

Joey Petosa writes: "Petosa Accordions, as one of the few original accordion companies still in existence, is working harder than ever to expand, promote and help evolve the accordion to meet the demands of today's artists - while continuing its legacy of quality and service."

"As part of 95th celebration, Petosa Accordions is implementing a new online experience at, crafting new compact & lightweight accordion models for all levels, and is presenting new and exciting cultural & social networks for accordion."

For further information:


Murl Allen Sanders in World Premier of "Fantasia for Santoor and Accordion"

by Rita Barnea
Murl Allen SandersA fascinating concert, Celebrate Asia, was held in January 2016. This was the eighth year of this series. The concert was organized due to the desire of Seattle's classical music supporters, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to hear non-Western music performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jindong Cai.

The accordion and santoor were featured in "Fantasia for Santoor and Accordion" by composer and bassoonist, Alireza Motevaseli. The composition received its world premiere performance during the concert featuring santoor player Anjali Joshi and accordionist Murl Allen Sanders. It was also a unique moment since it was the first time that Iranian music was performed in the Celebrate Asia concerts.

What is a santoor? A santoor is a trapezoidal string instrument consisting of generally walnut and about 70 to more than 100 metal strings in sets of three to five. Its metallic sounds are created by hitting the sets of strings with two wooden sticks.

Accordionist Murl Allen Sanders is a musician, composer, teacher and recording artist who has been active in the Seattle area music scene and across the United States, Canada, England, Brazil and Japan.

Murl teaches piano and accordion privately and is also adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts and Shoreline Community College in Seattle. He had a grant to compose his “Accordion Concerto #2” which premiered in 2007 with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers.

His “Accordion Concerto #1”, a commission from Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, premiered in 2003. Murl received a 2010 and 2009 ASCAP plus award for his concert compositions from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

August and September Presentations of "Accordions Rising"

by Rita Barnea
Accordions Rising Logo
Roberta Cantow"Accordions Rising" is a documentary feature film about the resurgence of interest in accordion music over the last 30-40 years. Though many continue to see the accordion as the stodgy instrument of a bygone era – and accordion jokes abound — it is time to set the record straight!

“Accordions Rising is the most exhaustive and fair representation of the accordion in all its facets—popular, ethnic, jazz, contemporary classical, avant garde– I have encountered thus far in film. Thank you for this lovely exposé. It covered all the bases of the accordion’s strange and wonderful world and truly needed to be done.”

Quote by Robert Young McMahan, DMA /composer and contemporary classical accordionist / Prof. of Music Theory, Composition, and Accordion, The College of New Jersey / Officer of the American Accordionists’ Association and Chair of its Composers Commissioning Committee.

As of the first week in August, the Purchase Page for the film will be available on the website: Roberta Cantow will present her film, "Accordions Rising" at the 2016 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 2:45 PM in the Ballroom. She will also host a workshop each day of the convention to answer questions, discuss the film and show highlights not in the film itself.

Roberta will present the film at the 2016 Cotati International Accordion Festival on Saturday August 21, 2016 at 2:30 PM and 5:PM and Sunday, August 22 at 2:30 PM. 

There will also be a presentation of Highlights from the film at the 2016 Accordion Noir Festival in Vancouver on Sunday, Sept.11, 2016 at a daytime "community accordion" focused day.The exact schedule of the film showing hasn't been released yet, but it will be sometime between 2 and 4:PM.

The full film will be shown at the Squeezeox Cirle in Vancouver on September 15, 2016 in the evening, sometime between 7 and 8:PM. Both events are free admission, and both are being held at Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay Street, Vancouver (near Commercial & 18th).

The Accordion Noir Festival webpage (

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Outreach to Youth in Buffalo

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
Will ComerOn Thursday, July 7, 2016 amidst the excitement of AAA's “Buffalo Squeeze-Fest” just beginning, a small group of AAA Board Members including Frank Busso, Sr., Don Gerundo and myself accompanied young jazz accordionist Will Comer to Kenmore East High School in Buffalo.

We went to watch Will perform for a group of appreciative participants of a summer music camp run by Kenmore East's beloved band director, Phil Aguglia. Phil, (who is also the Chairman of the Board of Music is Art in Buffalo), provided the AAA with students from Kenmore East to embellish the Youth Involvement Program's jazz ensemble directed this year at festival by Mitch Guido. Eager to introduce the accordion to his students, this Grammy nominated music teacher jumped at the chance to have Will Comer perform for his summer camp students.

And perform he did! This was an impromptu performance by Will, who will be entering Rutger's University this fall to study jazz. He is also the winner of the 2016 Elsie Bennett Junior Composition Competition. Will charmed the audience with his easy going, energetic and engaging style. After an introduction to the accordion for the young crowd of high schoolers, explaining how the instrument works and demonstrating its unique properties, Will soloed for the crowd. He played several jazz standards, among them: “Love,” “Take Ten,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” and “Bye, Bye Blackbird.” He also played “Can't Help Falling In Love With You.” He performed a classical accordion piece: “Remembering A Legend,” written in memory of Charles Magnante by AAA board member Bill Schimmel. In between, Will took questions from the audience about the instrument.

Once the students recognized that the accordion could stand alone as a vehicle of entertainment, it was Phil Aguglia who surprised all of us by bringing out several of his students on sax, trumpet, bass and drums respectively. They played several jazzy/bluesy pieces together and Will quickly rose to the challenge of “backing” them on accordion. The audience watched Will demonstrate that the instrument can blend beautifully with others in a jazz ensemble format. The silent “communication” between the young players was evident, and they delivered a nice “on the spot” performance.

The AAA's Youth Programming Committee chaired by Don Gerundo that includes Dallas Vietty and myself, has discovered the power of directly reaching out to youth on “their turf.” This effort can only happen when school personnel are willing to step outside the norm and provide a unique opportunity for their students and when the accordion world can deliver fine performances by young people on accordion.

This effort has already taken off successfully in Pennsylvania with Dallas Vietty delivering workshops to high schoolers there. Other outreach efforts are under consideration for New York and Connecticut.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that as the song goes..... the beat goes on....

So proud of you, Will!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Mary Tokarski on Faculty of Peter Soave Music Academy in Italy

by Rita Barnea
Peter Soave Academy
Mari TokarskiConcert accordionist Mary Tokarski will return for her fifth year as an educator for the Peter Soave Music Academy being held in Sauris (Northern Italy, Dolomite Mountains). Sauris is a little piece of “heaven on earth” . . . rolling mountains, greenery, picturesque villages, and impeccably maintained homes decorated with great imagination and the use of nature’s best!

From July 24 to August 7, Sauris will buzz with accordion activity – workshops, master classes, private lessons, and concerts featuring some of the world’s finest accordionists. Peter and Mady Soave lead the list of instructors and artists. Mary will be joined by Professor Viatcheslav Semionov, Alexander Skliarov, Eddie Monteiro, Stas Venglevski, and Dr. Duilio Dobrin.

Accordionists from around the world will attend to cherish lessons and workshops with these artists, and participate in ensemble and orchestra rehearsals, culminating in concerts for the townspeople of the area. The artists will also perform in numerous combinations throughout the event, with 7:00 a.m. concerts in the local places of worship, and appearances at local trattorias and concert venues in the area.

August 5, 2016 will be a special concert in a neighboring town to Sauris, where Prof. Semionov and Mary will each share their solo concerts along with a “first time ever” duet – performing a piece by Shaliev called "Snowstorm" (aka "Russian Winter").

Marys' performance will include works by Bizet, Vincent Youmans, Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Tcherepnin’s “Partita” Mary will also present the European premiere of “Ballad of Faithe” which is the 2nd movement (dedicated to Faithe Deffner) of Guy Klucevsek’s new AAA Commissioned work called “Three Tributes”. Article and video above of the world premiere of Three Tributes.

Guy recently commented to editor Rita Barnea: “I’m delighted that Mary was inspired enough by the piece to want to play it.” Mary is sure that audiences are going to love it.

Mary Tokarski is an outstanding artist and dynamic educator who has performed around the world. Since 2014, she has been the President of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA).

For further information:

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

Victoria International Accordion Festival July 26-31, 2016

by Rita Barnea
Victoria 2016
winnerwinnerVideo: "Libertango" - Piazzolla, accordions Grayson Masefield, Jelena Milojevic & Tian Jianan. Published on Jul 30, 2016 from the concert, "The Night of the Champions"
10th Victoria International Accordion Festival 2016. The players had one brief rehearsal for their improvised version of Libertango!

The 10th Annual Victoria International Accordion Festival was especially enjoyable with high-powered musicians from Victoria and around the world. In the previous nine years, the Victoria International Accordion Festival has established itself as one of the most recognized accordion festivals in North America.

Probably the greatest achievement was hosting the 66th Coupe Mondiale, the world’s largest accordion event, back in 2013 as the part of the 7th Victoria Accordion Festival, when hundreds of accordionists from all over the world showcased their talents for thousands in the audience.

Ensemble Concertino, Trio Voronezh, Frank Marocco, Quartetto Gelatto, Alexander Sevastian, Renzo Ruggieri, Ludovic Beier, Grayson Masefield, Jelena Milojevic, World Accordion Orchestra are just some of the names who thrilled the audience in Victoria in the last decade.

This year’s celebratory festival welcomed back the world’s greatest accordionists of our young generation, Grayson Masefield from New Zealand and Jianan Tian from China. They were joined by Jelena Milojevic, the Artistic Director of the Festival, who herself is considered one of the foremost classical accordionists of today. These three amazing performers together have won over 50 highest international prizes in their careers and their concert was a night to remember. See video above.

The ensemble Los Del Mapocho from Chile came to Victoria  for the first time presenting Chilean traditional music. The BC Accordion Orchestra, Maureen Jarosh Accordion Ensemble, Victoria Accordion Club Band, Bucan Bucan, Mary Ross-Klektau and many other local groups contributed to the celebration.

The BC Accordion Society, a non-profit society, was founded in early 2010 in the beautiful city of Victoria B.C. Their mission is to promote the beauty of this wonderful instrument through concerts, workshops, master classes and competitions. In 2010, the Society took over the responsibility for Victoria Accordion Festival, establishing at the same time an international accordion competition, for the first time in this part of Canada. The society also created the BC Accordion Orchestra, a unique ensemble of its kind.

One of their most important achievement so far, has been establishing the accordion program at Camosun College in Victoria where students can study accordion and obtain an official degree.

Jelena Milojevic shared: "The 10th Victoria International Accordion Festival has been another success. From July 26-31, the audience in beautiful Victoria BC had a chance to hear some of the world's best accordion soloists, such as Grayson Masefield, Jianan Tian and Jelena Milojevic, along with several orchestras and ensembles (Los Del Mapocho, BC Accordion Orchestra, Calgary Accordion ensemble etc.), who all made this festival a great celebration of accordion music. 

The Victoria International Accordion Competition attracted contestants from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, and gave us two wonderful surprises this year: super talented 13-year old Orla Scott, who won two categories, under 14 and under 18 years old and a big surprise from Chile, Joaquin Munoz Donoso, who also won two categories, both Classical and Open without the age limit. 

The festival concluded with the Accordion Parade and the big concert at the Cameron Bandshell at the Beacon Hill Park."

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

Bryant Park, NYC, Features "Accordions Around the World"

by Rita Barnea
Accordions Around the World
"Accordions Around the World" is a weekly series featuring over 75 accordionists as well as bandoneon/bayan/concertina/harmonium-players of different musical genres performing in various locations around Bryant Park in New York City. Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The series, produced with Ariana's List, represents many cultures and genres, offering audiences the chance to experience the often overlooked or little-known instrument.

"No one else has hosted as diverse a range of events this summer as Bryant Park, but [Accordion Band Festival] might be the most eclectic" - Metro New York, on last year's festival.

Remaining performances are: August 3rd, 6pm/8pm – Albert Behar (Gypsy Jazz + Valse Musettes), Ariel Iud (bandoneon, Argentine Tango), Rob Curto (Brazilian Bluegrass), Lacey Anderson (Indie), Phil Racz (Classical + Brazilian), Shoko Nagai (Japanese + Jewish)

August 10th, 6pm/8pm – Maestro Tito Castro (bandoneon, Argentine Tango), Melissa Elledge (Pop + Rock), Jenny Luna (Balkan + Turkish), Jaroslaw Palylyk and Walt Syzonenko (Ukrainian Folk), Vitor Gonçalves (Brazilian Choro + Forro), Sadys Rodrigo Espitia (Columbian Cumbia + Vallenato)

August 17th, 6pm/8pm – Yumbell Donato (Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato), Suzanne Davenport (French Musette), Tony Kovatch (French Musette + Gypsy Jazz), Mary Spencer Knapp (Cabaret, Soul + Pop), Jody Kruskal (concertina, Old Americana), Niall O’Leary (Irish Traditional)

August 24th, 6pm/8pm – Christina Crowder (Klezmer), Gregory Grene (Irish Rock), Alma Mia (Colombian Vallenato), Mario Tacca (French Musette + Waltz), Yuri Lemeshev – (World, Classical + Jazz), Brooke Watkins (French Musette + Standards)

August 31st, 5pm/10pm - Bands: Silver City Bound (American Roots), Baryna Balalaika Trio (Russian), Pistolera (Latin Alt Party), Golem (Klezmer Punk), Fidelina Pascual (Dominican Perico Ripiao), Brooklyn Qawwali Party (Pakistani inspired Party Punk); Soloists: Ismail Butera with Natalia Perlaza – Epyllion (Music of the Mediterranean), Gregory Grene (Celtic Roots Rock), Albert Behar (Gypsy Jazz + Waltz), Eva Salina & Peter Stan (Music from the Balkans), and Gregorio Uribe (Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato)

For further information email:
Bryant Park

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

Youth Involvement Program, 2016: What a Find!

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
Youth Jazz Orchestra 2016 AAA Festival. Video by Joan Grauman

Each year, months in advance, I start researching the host city where our festival is being held, hoping to hit the magic phone number that leads me to the person who will listen and respond to a very unusual request.

From Charleston to Baltimore, to New York City to Tarrytown, to Alexandria, I followed countless leads (warm and cold) that I thought were “the one.” Promises are made. Promises are broken. You play WHAT??? Accordion?? Accordion JAZZ? They stifle a snicker and never call back.

Then along comes Buffalo. As usual, I started my search in November. Phone call after phone call got me nowhere. Even the warm leads went cold! I was ready to consult a Ouija board hoping the spirits would provide an answer.

One day at work, waiting for my next client, I suddenly looked at the phone. It took one call. Well, actually 2, but I didn't realize that they both led me to the same man. Call it synchronicity, pure luck, or the prayer I said to St. Anthony, but that one phone call got me to the person I needed.

Now tell me, folks, what are the chances that the SAME MAN, Mr. Phil Aguglia, would be band director of one of the most progressive high school music programs around AND Chairman of the Board of Music Is Art, an equally progressive non profit organization “dedicated to exploring and reshaping music's cultural, social and educational impact” on the Buffalo community?n

Aguglia was a semifinalist for the 2015 Grammy Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. His mission as a high school educator and band director is to excite, engage and challenge his students by teaching music via a 6 level program that encourages the student to essentially design his/her own curriculum.

He teaches musical concepts over and above the usual. He then provides students with opportunities to put their learning to practice in solo, duet, and ensemble opportunities along with band. The activities include all kinds of music and introduce the students to every facet of a possible career in the music industry. And I mean every single one.

As Chairman of the Board of Music is Art, an organization founded by one of the members of the Goo Goo Dolls, (Buffalo native Robby Takac), Phil leads a working board of folks that provide numerous programs that include festivals, battle of the bands, educational opportunities, scholarship funds, concert series and more. He blends kids with opportunities for them to take music to new heights and really find themselves. Oh, and he also has his own baton making business.....and plays the trumpet.

Was I surprised when this progressive, kid oriented educator/genius told me he had 3 accordions at Kenmore East High and he already had a Zydeco accordionist come to demonstrate the instrument? Surprised?? I was BLOWN AWAY! No having to defend the benefits of our instrument to this man!!!

Phil sifted through his roster of students at both locations and provided a full compliment to the accordion section of this year's Youth Involvement Program. He then asked if we could provide a young accordionist to come demonstrate our instrument at his summer music camp at Kenmore East High. I immediately engaged Will Comer for the job. Will is a student of Sandy Zera of Fairfield CT., a member of the Connecticut Accordion Association's Orchestra.... and winner of the Junior Division of the Elsie Bennett Composition Competition.

What do his students have to say about their beloved teacher, Phil Aguglia?

Gillian Scozzaro is a 16 year old student at Kenmore East. She will be playing alto sax for our program. She describes Mr. A. as a guy who does a lot both in and out of school. “He's always got a cup of coffee in his hand.” He gets kids involved in humanitarian projects as well as music.

Her older brother, Elliot, a 2010 graduate of Kenmore East who is now completing a Master's program in music, credits Mr. A. with providing him with a foundation for a career in music. “He's the hardest working person I've ever met; puts kids in front of everything, even himself.”

Matt Geary, age 14, will be playing stand up bass in our program this year. He states “I've become a much better musician because of Mr. A. he makes it fun. He's a teacher I'll always remember.”

The rest of the participants recruited by Mr. Aguglia include 16 year old Emily Walter on tenor sax, Robert Wolfe, 15, on bari sax, Jacob Vitko, 16, on trombone, Brittany Hoffman, 16, on trumpet, and Trevor Balbierz on drum set. Both Trevor and Matt played drums and bass respectively for this year's Youth Festival Orchestra. All of these kids were eager to join us, clearly influenced by the energy that pours out of their teacher.

They joined an accordion section that included Rachel Quirbach, Will Comer, Liam Mc Cool, Nathan Chapeton, Tony Klettner, Joseph Klettner, Christoph Tremble, Cody Mc Sherry and Emmanuel Gasser.

The ensemble was conducted by former Youth Involvement Program Participant Mitchell Guido, a 2015 graduate of Queen's College and the Aaron Copland School of Music, where he studied both Classical and Jazz composition and performance. Mitch arranged the 2 pieces that the ensemble performed. They were “Nica's Dream” and “Rainbow Connection.”

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Video: Ginny Mac and Her Brother Glenn McLaughlin at AAA Festival

by Harley Jones
Ginny Mac and her brother Glenn McLaughlin performing at the AAA Festival Tralf Music Hall concert. Video courtesy of Dan Grauman.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Workshops at 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo

by Lynn Ewing
AAA Logo
During the festival, each of the featured performers presented a workshop, and every one of them was worthwhile.

Alex Sevastian’s workshop was entitled “Developing a career as a professional accordion player in North America”, and he offered some intriguing insights into the process of the “Showcases”  which are an integral step in career establishment.  Alex emphasized that each element in your presentation must be of top quality in order to make a positive impression on concert presenters and agents. Advice from someone who has succeeded!

Manny Bobenrieth presented a workshop of National Interest, as he is retiring as the accordionist for the US Army Band.  To obtain info about this once in a life time opportunity, go to  Another great resource on the web page is a series of free “play along”  tracks, under “Watch and Listen”, called, Blues+ You.  Materials include complete arrangements with score and individual parts as PDF files, as well as mp3 files in a variety of configurations to play along with. Manny spoke with tremendous pride and satisfaction of his career as “THE” US Army Accordionist.  The website is a treasure trove of wonderful listening and viewing!

Grayson Masefield, championship accordionist, and first ever winner of BOTH the Virtuoso Entertainment and the Classical Category, presented a workshop on Building a Piece of Music. Among the many teaching points, he included several elements of interest to all accordionists – Do NOT lift the bass keyboard into an inverted V – this is an extra motion which interrupts the flow of air to the reeds.  Twist the wrist up and down the bass keyboard rather than sliding the entire hand. Note what the bellows pressure does to the compression of the keyboard.  The Body and bellows follow the phrase – you have to move with the sound. You are building new reflexes in the body when you practice by isolating, repeating, going slow and setting your fingering. Muscle memory must be both conscious and unconscious.

Rachel Quirbach presented a workshop which uses the accordion in Music Therapy.  Music therapy is the use of music to achieve non musical goals, such as enhanced communication, social skills, etc.  It is used with mental illnesses such as autism spectrum, behavior and mood disorders, aggression, Genetic disorders geriatrics, infants, and  rehabilitation for abuse victims, PTSD victims, trauma sufferers and the  incarcerated population. She played a fascinating video called “How playing an instrument affects your brain” – a Ted-ed session by Anita Collins. Click on the link  for a heartening look at how valuable playing your accordion can be to  the most precious part of you – your brain!  

Ginny Mac’s workshop was “Accordions in Jams and Bands”.  Her main point was  LISTEN!  We want to create a musical experience that is enjoyable for everyone, where everyone has a time to shine. Take cues from what is happening around you  - horn lines, fills, rhythm. The accordion is a chameleon – it can be used as a string section, horn section, an orchestra, a bassist, a rhythm instrument – you don’t have to do all of these things at once!  Be mindful of the accordions natural volume, and play WITH others, not AGAINST them.  It’s like a conversation – it’s not a monologue where you are talking all the time!  She suggests googling “Standard jazz licks” for some improvising ideas.

Cory Pesaturo’s workshop, “Authenticy of style” was an amazing experience of listening to a simple song – “Mary had a Little Lamb” played with the important elements of many different genres/  The details of the genre are what makes the difference – and Cory demonstrated this exquisitely.  He mentioned scales, keys, meter, ornaments, rhythm patterns, and chord changes as “What makes  (for example) Klezmer music  sound like Klezmer music?” Some of the examples other than Klezmer were French music, jazz , Italian, Techno, Tony Lovello,  Bossa Nova, Dick Contino,  Country Swing, Gospel, and Tango. What an interesting workshop this was!

Dr. Robert Young McMahan, with help from Dr. Albert Schlisserman  presented  “ A Sampling of Once Popular Accordionists of the past, and an Examination of their music.”.  These included Hugo Herrmann, Bernhard Molique, , Michael Prati, Frederic Tedesco , and more well-known masters Frosini,  Eugene Ettore, Anthony Galla-Rini, and Joe Biviano. He not only showed a number of these performers on video, but sent around a great deal of their sheet music. Then we were treated to some live music  by Robert and Al, including” Allegro for two Accordions” by Gene Von Hallberg, “The Rooster, by Joe Biviano, and  Fantasia Waltz by Prati.

Guy Klucevsek’s workshop  “Unusual and Unorthodox Techniques for Accordion” explored developing interesting bass lines, the use of theme and variations, incorporating unusual ornamentations and contrapuntal lines in the right hand.  Guy discussed each point and then demonstrated by playing his compositions that made use of these approaches.  A valuable insight into this composer’s genius. (Contributed by Beverley Fess).

Beverley said, "This was my first time to attend AAA and it was a fantastic experience.  It was very encouraging to see and hear all the young people that attended. The workshops were informative and very professionally presented. The artists were outstanding and the ultimate was the concert at the Tralf."

Photo Down:Manny Bobenrieth, Mary Tokarski, Lynn Ewing, Joan Grauman, Beverley Fess
Manny Bobenreith, AAA President Mary Tokarski, SFAC President Lynn Ewing, AAA Historian Joan Grauman, Beverley Fess

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Mad Maggies to Perform at Cotati Festival

by Rita Barnea
Mad Maggies
Video: Mad Maggies in Performance

The Mad Maggies will be part of the 2016 Cotati Accordion Festival. Maggie Martin is the festival's honorary director who leads Sunday's all hands on deck Silver Jubilee Grand Finale. On Friday, August 19, 2016 at 4:20 PM they will performa a festival "kick-off" show at Lagunitas Brewing Company's Beer Sanctuary in Petaluma, CA.

On Saturday, August 20, 2016, 4:30 PM the Mad Maggies will be wearing pink celebrating accordions, music, and summer at the Cotati Festival. On Sunday, August 21, 5:30 PM Maggie will direct the grand finale.

Summer schedule:
August 19 Friday – Lagunitas Beer Sanctuary, Petaluma, CA
August 20-21 – Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati, CA.
August 27 Saturday – Armando’s, Martinez, CA.
September 2-4 – the first annual PT Deep Squeeze – Port Townsend accordion festival – a fundraiser for the PT Food Bank, Port Townsend, WA

September 2 Friday – the Pourhouse – 21+ no cover

September 3 Saturday – the Pourhouse – 21+ no cover
September 4 Sunday – the Pope Marine Plaza – all ages, free, out of doors

The Mad Maggies group includes:
Johny Blood: Tuba
Ray Fernandez: Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Soprano Sax
Ian Luke: Drums
Tim Sarter: Electric and upright bass guitar
Gdub: Guitars
Maggie Martin: Vocals, accordion

Maggie Martin founded the band in 2004. The band plays all types of music from folkrock, Cajun/Zydeco/ R&B, swing, and polka and more. Their recent album "Still Standing" was selected as a "Best of 2014" by Pual Liberatore at the Marin IJ.

The Mad Maggies have recorded several CD's.
For further information:

Passing of Bud Hyrczyk

by Rita Barnea
BudAWW is sorry to report the passing of the versatile polka musician Bud Hyrczyk. From the news report by Jeff Himler: From his native Yukon to California and Europe, Bud Hyrczyk's music got people dancing.

A skilled player of keyboard instruments and the button box accordion from an early age, he was known for Slovenian-style polka music while leading the Yukon Button Box Club and in his recent solo recordings. Known as “Bud” since childhood, Lotsie J. Hyrczyk Jr., 67, of Russell Springs, Ky., died Friday, July 22, 2016, in Baptist Health Louisville after experiencing organ failure.

According to younger brother, Mike, of Yukon in South Huntingdon, Mr. Hyrczyk picked up a love of Slovenian music from their grandparents and was playing professionally with Greensburg-area musicians in his mid-teens.

As a young adult, Mr. Hyrczyk started a family band, Bud Hyrczyk and the Sounds of Time, that included his brother on strings.
“Mostly we were booked for weddings because of the ethnicity of the music,” Mike Hyrczyk said. “My brother was always very sociable onstage or offstage. He kept the good times going. He knew how to reach a crowd.”

In the early 1980s, Mr. Hyrczyk founded and directed the Yukon Button Box Club, whose eight members included his uncle and fellow accordionist Don Leskosek of West Newton. According to Leskosek, “The rest of us just played by ear, but Bud played by the notes. We were one of the best bands around because we had a good director.”

Tours took the band to Michigan and California, and even to Slovenia and Switzerland. Leskosek recalled one of their most popular numbers was “Toot, Toot, Tootsie,” an old Al Jolson song that his nephew recast as a polka.

Also an able singer, Mr. Hyrczyk went on to write, arrange and record original music. His latest album, “Livin' The Dream,” won a top award last year on a polka webcasting site. Mr. Hyrczyk's music is featured on the soundtracks of two recently produced independent films, “1/1” and “Dig Two Graves,” that were written or co-written by son Jeremy Phillips of Los Angeles.

Retired as a financial planner for Prudential Insurance Company of America, Mr. Hyrczyk was a member of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame. A Corvette enthusiast, he loved to cook Italian dishes.

In addition to his brother, Mike, survivors include his wife, Sandra; four children, Amy Busch and her husband, Regis, of Jeannette; Jeremy Phillips and wife, Jen, of Los Angeles; Jennifer Bloom and husband, Corby, of Texas; and Sabrina Barnett and husband, Mark, of Russell Springs; and six grandchildren. A memorial service was held on July 30, 2016 Saturday at the Harrold Zion Lutheran Church, Greensburg. Interment was private. Bernard Funeral Home, 367 Main St., Russell Springs, was in charge of arrangements.

Quartetto Gelato Performed at the AAA Festival, Buffalo

by Rita Barnea
Quartetto Gelato
Video: Quartetto Gelato at AAA 2016 Festival in Buffalo
Video courtesy of Dan Grauman

The highly acclaimed “Quartetto Gelato” performed at the AAA Festival Tralf Music Hall concert. Quartetto Gelato is a Canadian new classical quartet of Peter DeSotto (tenor, violin, mandolin), Alexander Sevastian (accordion, piano), Liza McLellan (cello, bass), Colin Maier (oboe, clarinet), who are based in Toronto,

With a performance repertoire that circles the globe including classical masterworks, operatic arias, the sizzling energy of tangos, gypsy and folk songs, the group's theatrical stage presence and relaxed humor establishes an intimate rapport with audiences worldwide.

Alexander Sevastian is the accordionist for Quartetto Gelato which he joined in 2002. Alex (accordion, piano, bandoneon) has won four International Accordion Competitions including 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).

Alex 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. Alex also was a very active recitalist and chamber musician.
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 several symphony orchestras.

Those Darn Accordions (TDA) on East Coast/Mid-West Tour

by Rob Howard
TDA Those Darn Accordions
Those Darn Accordions (TDA) are performing at venues on the US East Coast and Mid-West in early August.

August 2nd – Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio
August 3rd – Melody Inn, Indianapolis, Indiana
August 4th – Kenosha PB & Jams Concert Series, Kenosha, Wisconsin
August 5th – Shank Hall, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
August 6th – FitzGerald’s, Berwyn, Illinois

Those Darn Accordions, commonly abbreviated as TDA, are an American accordion band from San Francisco, California, originally formed in 1989 by Linda "Big Lou" Seekins. Boasting several accordionists whose numbers have fluctuated over the years and rounded out by a bassist and a drummer, Those Darn Accordions play a multi-genre mix of rock, pop and polka originals, characterized by the unusual use of effects and distortion on their accordions and the humorous lyrics of current frontman Paul Rogers. TDA also performs an extensive repertoire of covers, ranging from traditional accordion standards and polkas to hard rock, funk and new wave songs.

For further information email:

Voci Armoniche

Cotati Festival 2016: August 20-21 in California

by Rita Barnea
Cotati 2016
The 26th annual Cotati Accordion Festival, scheduled for Aug. 20-21, will feature a country and western theme this year.

The Doo-Wah Riders, Sourdough Slim, The Vivants, and Debra Peters and the Love Saints will be bringing their western sounds to the stage, along with virtuosos from Croatia, China, Finland and Canada.

Tickets are still available on line at, at all Oliver's Markets, People's Music and The Last Record Store at $17 in advance, $27 for both days, and $19 for a single day at the gate.

The festival includes a jam tent, a Polka tent, the Zydeco Dance Party, the Student Stage, the alternative Accordion Apocalypse Stage, along with more than 70 vendors, food, beer and wine.

Call (707) 664-0444, 1-888-559-2576, email at

The Cotati Accordion Festival is a nonprofit that has donated thousands of dollars to local causes since its inception 26 years ago.
Cotati Benefit

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

LIAA Features Smorgasbandet on August 3

by Rita Barnea
The next meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) sponsored by La Villini Restaurant is on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 6:PM. The restaurant is located on 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY. Phone: 631-261-6344.

This event will mark the sixth year of the LIAA "celebrating the accordion on Long Island". Come and enjoy the festive music of the Long Island Accordion Alliance and August's featured guest artists, the Scandinavian group “Smorgasbandet.”

Smorgasbandet is a lively accordion band based on Long Island performing in the Tri State area. They customize personal Sing-A-Longs, Audience Participation with Songs and Dances playing Waltzes, Schottishes, Swing music, Cha-Chas, Cajun & Polkas.

Members of the band: Jeanne Eriksson Andersen (Accordion, Dance, Emcee, Vocals); Wayne Söderlund (Accordion, Vocals); Chad Widman (Drums, Vocals, Media); Walter Eriksson Jr. (Nyckelharpa & Guitar); Ingrid Olsson (Special Guest Singer)
For further information:

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

Polka King Walter Ostanek wins $1M Lottery - Canada

by Harley Jones
Walter OstanekVideo of Walter Ostanek

"Polka King" and triple Grammy winner Walter Ostanek found out during a break between musical sets at Marineland, Niagara Falls on Tuesday, that he had won the $1-million grand prize in the London Dream Lottery, a fundraiser for local hospitals.

The Polka King now has the riches to suit his royal nickname!

A friend who works the PA system at the amusement park heard the winner’s name on the radio and told Ostanek. ‘Walter, how does it feel to be a millionaire?' Ostanek recalled.

But 81-year-old Walter Ostanek isn’t letting his new found money get in the way of his music at Marineland, where he has entertained visitors for three decades.

In the last 35 years, he’s hosted his own TV and radio shows in Welland, St. Catharines, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo, recorded more than 20 albums and played across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Ostanek won three Grammy awards (1992, 1993 and 1994). “He loves what he does, and he won’t change his lifestyle” said his longtime friend and keyboardist in the Ostanek band, Wayne Malton.

His big win gives him comfort knowing he’ll always be able to afford a nursing home for his wife, who is living with dementia. Ostanek plans to continue playing seven days a week at Marineland for as long as he is healthy and the park wants him.


Dominic Karcic to Perform for Long Island Accordion Alliance

by Rita Barnea
Dominic and CherylAccordionist Dominic Karcic and vocalist Cheryl Spielman will entertain with their program, "From Broadway to the Met…plus" on August 24, 2016 at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY at 6:PM.

Come hear the music from the American Song Book, Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, Opera, Operetta and more. Reservations are recommended.

Contact: Frank 631-261-6344

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther


by Anita Siarkowsi
AnitaIn conjunction with “Music at the Exchange” in downtown Waterbury on August 4, 2016, Plantsville, Connecticut resident, Anita Siarkowski will provide live accordion entertainment. It will be déjà vu for the Brass City native, considering the venue is in front of The Connecticut Store at 140 Bank Street, more commonly known as previously Howland Hughes Department Store.

In the late 50s and early 60s, Anita literally lived right around the corner from there in a 6 room apartment with her parents. Anita’s entire life revolved around that area back then, being within walking distance from school, church, movies, stores, restaurants, and accordion lessons….

From age 9 through 17, Anita studied accordion with Charlie Leogrande and Dom Mecca of Waterbury. She met her husband, Bob Siarkowski, through the accordion, at band rehearsal for a recital. A high school senior at the time, Anita graduated, then went on to St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing and became a registered nurse.

The couple married in 1962, entertained as an accordion duet at their own wedding in 1962, for their 50th anniversary guests in 2012, plus countless venues over the years - including several, international accordion festivals in Montmagny, Quebec, Canada. Come September 15, 2016, the Sarkowskis will be married 54 years.

Bob studied accordion lessons with Joe Gurka of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania from age 7 through 16, when he moved with his family to Southington, Connecticut, continuing to study accordion with Joe Biviano and Tony Mecca. Bob played in a band from age 15, taught accordion from the age of 16, opened his own accordion studio in Plantsville, CT at age 18 - right out of high school. Bob had his own band for many years, continuing to give private lessons on all keyboard instruments at his own studio, Bob’s Music Center in Plantsville, Connecticut until today. While Bob owned and operated Southington Organ and Piano, Anita managed multiple teachers at the studio and taught keyboard instruments.

The accordion always was, and continues to be a huge part of Anita’s life. A.k.a. “The Accordion Chameleon”, Anita’s claim to fame is her theme-oriented presentation, repertoire, costumes, spontaneity and sense of humor. She entertains at a variety of venues including convalescent homes, assisted living facilities, retirement complexes, church functions, community events, and private parties.

Anita’s audiences never know what she’s going to do, say, or play, - or how she will come dressed, based on the theme or occasion…… Cupid or Queen of Hearts for Valentines’ Day, leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day, spring chicken, old fashioned bathing suit, train engineer, voluptuous nurse (Thera “P”), Mrs. Pilgrim, Mrs. Santa, Angel, Elf, or Patriotic, Hawaiian, Italian, Mexican for Cinqo De Maio, Fraulein for Octoberfest, Polish Folk Costume, French Maid, etc.!

Otherwise motionless and speechless healthcare facility residents respond to Anita’s spirited performances - as reflected in their smiles, laughter, singing, hand clapping, toe tapping . Their participation is proof that laughter is the best medicine. ‘And that accordion music is therapeutic! Ergo, Anita’s stage name as a hilarious visiting nurse, “Thera Peutic” (Thera “P” for short)! Anita is in the process of documenting her extensive collection of humorous experiences from the accordion world, nursing profession, and life in general.

For now, Anita’s focusing on her upcoming sentimental journey on August 4, 2016 navigating through her Waterbury roots via stories of yesteryear, with suitable songs to segue as she takes her audience on “A Stroll Down Memory Lane”!

For further information: I-Phone: 860-877-7870

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

The Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra Featured at Swiss Fair in Whittier, CA

by Karen Lee, ATG 2nd Vice-President
Accordionaires Orchestra
An enthusiastic audience turned out on Sunday afternoon, July 31, 2016 to hear The Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra play a concert in the banquet hall at the annual Swiss Fair, in Swiss Park, Whittier, California.

The program began with Bizet’s “Farandole” and concluded an hour and a half later with Ployhar’s patriotic medley, “Americana,” as arranged for accordion orchestra by Dan Desiderio. Also featured on the diverse program were accordion soloist Gail Campanella, playing “Vivo,” tenor Ara Kocharyantsa singing “O Sole Mio, and accordion soloist Tommy Xing playing “Under Paris Skies.”

Among the other pieces performed by the group were “All that Jazz;” three Polkas (including a world premiere of an arrangement of “Liechtensteiner Polka” arranged by orchestra member Ruth Judkowitz; a medley of Strauss waltzes; and pop standards, “Saturday Night in the Park” and “Wipeout.” This is the fourth time the Orchestra has been asked to perform at the Swiss Fair, and in anticipation, the audience had filled most of the available seats over an hour before the concert began.

”The Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra is based in North Hollywood and performs under the baton of Janet Hane. The orchestra has over twenty accordionists (including an electronic accordion and a bass accordion), a bass guitarist, a trombone player, and a drummer. This combination gives the group a unique sound that has been widely appreciated by audiences throughout the southland, including at the Ronald Reagan Library, and with the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra, and in Santa Barbara. Many members of the orchestra are professional or semi-professional musicians, and several teach accordion.

Anyone wishing to become a member of the orchestra can contact the conductor: Janet Hane:

Photo of group during sound check by B. Velker

Titano Accordion Company

Future events

Voci Armoniche

Frank Petrilli To Be Featured Artist for the SFAC on September 18

by Rita Barnea
Frank Petrilli
Video: Performing “Speak Low” Frank Petrilli Quartet with the great guitarist John Chiodini at the ATG 75th Anniversary Festival on July 25, 2015.

Frank Petrilli from Los Angeles will perform for the SFAC on September 18, 2016 at 2:PM.

Frank started to play the accordion at age 7 and by 16 he was performing professionally. In 2006, Frank began intensive study with the great jazz accordionist Frank Marocco. They developed a close friendship and Frank Petrilli became Frank Marocco's protégé. This association ended far too soon at Frank Marocco's untimely death in March of 2012.

In May of that same year, Frank had the distinction of being invited to play in the stead of the late Frank Marocco, who was originally scheduled as the featured performer at the Accofestival 2012 accordion competition in Kiev.

Frank was also on the panel of judges for the jazz portion of the competition. Immediately following, he performed at the Frank Marocco Memorial Concert held in Castelfidardo, Italy. If you are a fan of the TV series Mad Men you may have caught Frank in a cameo appearance as a strolling accordionist in October 2011.

On his debut CD Totally Frank you will definitely hear the influence of Frank Marocco, but Frank Petrilli plays his own style that includes more focus on Latin grooves. Pat Sentator, booking agent and artistic director of the Vibrato Jazz Club in Los Angeles had this to say about Frank: "Like his mentor, Petrilli gives new life to the accordion with impeccable phrasing and a smooth, fluid style. "

The concert will take place at:
Oyster Point Yacht Club
911 Marina Blvd.
South San Francisco, California

The San Francisco Accordion Club is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization whose purpose is to enhance, promote and stimulate an appreciation for the accordion within the membership and throughout the general public.

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

9th Annual Accordion Noir Festival in Canada Sept. 8-11

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Noir
Accordion NoirThe 9th Annual Accordion Noir Festival will be held from September 8-11, 2016, 2016 in Vancouver, BC.

Thursday Sept 8, 2016, “Kissing Everything in Sight” Lanalou’s Rock n Roll Eatery (all ages welcome), doors 7:30. Tickets $10 at the door only, no online or advance sales. Featuring Magic in the Woods (Pemberton), Breaking Boundaries (Columbia/Vancouver), Kael Vincent (standing on top of things), Battle of the Buskers (Artists TBA) and the intoxicating Alexa Fraser (The Plodes) as emcee and bon vivant.

The September 9, 2016 program, "Love Potion Cabaret" takes place at 8:30 PM at the York Theatre, Accordion Noir presents an intoxicating elixir of world class artists. Headliners Nefertiti in the Kitchen (Rennes) channel the bite of Kurt Weill and the dreaminess of Radiohead with their eccentric multi-lingual cabaret. Patrick Farrell and Ben Holmes (Brooklyn) premier “The Conqueror Worm”, a suite of music, visuals and text based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe.

Jet Black Pearl (Belgium) delivers a masterful mix of accordion, vocals, beatboxing, looping and flute. Duo Finelli (San Fransisco), combines acrobatics, clowning with Tex-Mex flavored squeezebox, and local composer Nathan Shubert premiers a new work for accordion and sheng with Tim Chan.

The September 10, 2016 program, "Move the Mess Around" Dance Party takes place at 8:30 PM at The Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver, BC. Accordion Noir presents a dance party mixer of epic proportions. Pinata Protest (San Antonio) brings shredding lead accordion to a mix of old school punk rock and traditional Latin border music.

Local squeezebox superstar Jack Garton with his roots roller-coaster band the Demon Squadron celebrate the release of their new album “Move the Mess Around”. Featured square dance, button box rocker Gunther Kablutsiak (Arviat) teams up with local Metis dance troupe V’ni Dansi. Duo Finelli brings accordion clowning and acrobatics to a new level and Dirty Grace limbers everyone up with cheeky and soulful songs from the heart.

Sunday Sept 11th, “Accordion Crimes” Spartacus Books (all ages), 2-6pm. Admission by donation. This community afternoon event includes our Youth Incentives Showcase, an extended performance of the new work for sheng and accordion with composer Nathan Shubert and sheng artist Tim Chan, the Squeezebox Circle Orchestra with special guests, a highlight reel screening for “Accordions Rising” by Roberta Cantow (San Diego), a comedy repair workshop by Melodona (Montreal) and cameo performances by visiting festival artists.

**Note: Sept 15th at 7pm there will be a feature length screening of “Accordions Rising” at Spartacus Books.

For ticket and information call: 604-251-1363


Peter Dranga To Perform for Michigan Accordion Society on September 17

by Rita Barnea
Peter DrangaVideo: Peter Dranga Performances medley

Michigan Accordion Society President Joe Recchia invites all:"As we continue to celebrate our 20th year anniversary, the Michigan Accordion Society is working very hard to bring great accordion performers to Michigan. This time, we are very pleased and excited to present Accordionist Peter Dragna from Russia.  

Peter is an extremely talented Entertainer, Singer and Accordionist. This is a very special appearance as Peters shows are high energy and very exciting! Please do not miss this opportunity to see a brilliant performer as you will see by his promo video. See video above."  Peter will perform only one concert in Michigan and will be in town for one night only on Sept 17, 2016. The show starts at 8:00 PM.

Dranga was born in 1984 to a family of musicians. Under the influence of his father, Dranga began to play accordion. In 1990 he was accepted to the Richter music school.In 1996, Dranga won VI Moscow Open Competition of accordionists and in October the same year he won the International Competition of accordionists in Castelfidardo, Italy. In 1997, Dranga participated in the13th International Music Festival in St. Petersburg.

In 1998, he performed at the International Music Festival in Beijing, China, and won the International Competition of accordionists in Asturias, Spain. In 1999 he was named Laureate at the VII Moscow Open Music Competition and began his concert career organised by Russian Cultural Foundation. He graduated from high school and enrolled in Gnesin Academy of Music. Peter is a versatile performer and is very involved in theatre work, charity performances, solo and band performances all over the world.

To order your tickets on line or call the Bergman Center in Bloomfield Township, MI at 248-661-1900.  MAS members will receive a $5.00 ticket discount! This concert is expected to sell out so please get your tickets early!
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