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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Aug-2017
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Unprecedented $100,000 Prize Awarded in Chamber Competition
Cory Pesaturo Plans to Break the Guiness World Record for Longest Accordion Playing
Las Vegas International Accordion Convention in October
Sergei Teleshev and East-West International Project Win Gold in Victoria
Conjunto Accordionist Nick Villarreal Passes Away at 66
Zydeco Accordionist Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys
Dallas Vietty in August Performances
2017 Cotati Festival August 19 and 20 in California
Maine Fiddle Camp Features Accordion Instruction
Carrefour Mondial de L'Accordeon Festival Aug.31-Sept. 4

Voci Armoniche

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

American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival 2017 Hits Many High Notes
Accordions Around the World in New York
Michigan Accordion Society Press Release 7/26/17
Dr. William Morse – World renowned conductor/jazz pianist returns to the instrument of his youth!
Papa Joe's Missions Trip to Nicaragua
Musicians Support Ponty Bone Concert at Antone's - USA
Guy Klucevsek and Cody McSherry – A Heartwarming Story of Coincidences
Cody McSherry Wins 2017 Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Competition
Golden State Accordion Club Band to Perform at Cotati Festival
Free Concert Scholarship Fundraiser Before Cotati Festival for Student Accordionists
Trifilio Tango Trio at Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) - USA
The Steve Balich Polka Band to Perform at Cotati Festival

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

10th Annual Accordion Noir Festival Sept. 7-10
Northeast Squeeze-In September 22-24
Michigan Accordion Society to Present Peter Dranga from Russia
Annual NAAC Member Meeting 2017 in October
Stas Venglevski Fall Concerts 2017

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita BarneaAugust is another amazingly versatile accordion month. Planning your fall activities? In this issue, read about upcoming festivals on the North American continent. This month features interesting accordion personalities, ensembles, videos, music festivals, articles on young performers, competition results and more.

Cory Pesaturo plans to break the Guiness World Record for Longest Accordion Playing.Sergei Teleshev wins Gold in Victoria Festival. AAA Festival Reports, Russian Renaissance wins the world's largest cash competition prize and more.

Please continue to send your ideas/comments to me at

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

Unprecedented $100,000 Prize Awarded in Chamber Competition

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
Video 1: Russian Renaissance 1st, 2016 Coupe Mondiale winners
Video 2: Avido Duo Promotion Video
M-Prize logoVideo 1: Russian Renaissance 1st, 2016 Coupe Mondiale winners

Video 2: Avido Duo Promotion Video

The 2016 CIA Coupe Mondiale Champions in the International Competition for Chamber Music, 'Russian Renaissance' have won the world's largest cash competition prize, winning the 2nd M-Prize organized by the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance. Accordionist Aleksandr Tarasov was joined by fellow musicians Ivan Kuznetsov (balalaika), Anastasia Zakharova (domra) and Ivan Vinogradov (Contrabass balalaika).

The quartet of Russian Renaissance captivated the audience and jury on Thursday, May 4, inside Hill Auditorium to capture the second M-Prize chamber music competition. At $100,000, it is the largest chamber music prize in the world. In addition to their cash prize, they also will receive important performance opportunities as well as being invited to teach at the school of music, theatre and dance at the University of Michigan during their 2017-18 School year.

Aside from the unprecedented prize money, the M-Prize Competition is renowned for the breadth of music that is welcomed as part of the competition. In addition to the traditional winds and strings categories in both senior and junior divisions, the main Category is an open category: a musical catch-all for ensembles that don’t fit cleanly into the more customary instrumental combinations.

Coming out firing behind a ferocious interplay between the strings of a balalaika, performed by Ivan Kuznetsov, and domra from Anastasia Zakharova, Russian Renaissance executed their program with speed and precision, garnering loud applause following their 25-minute performance. Russian Renaissance competed for the $100,000 grand prize with Senior Strings division winner, the Argus Quartet and Senior Winds division winner the Donald Sinta Quartet.

The ensemble, Russian Renaissance, debuted in October 2015, performing with world-renowned director Emir Kusturica, two-time laureate of the Cannes Film Festival and the No Smoking Orchestra. In Russia, the ensemble has performed in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and Gnesins' Academy Concert Hall in Moscow; Yota Space concert hub in St. Petersburg; and the Youth Theatre in Rostov-on-Don. In Serbia, they have performed in the National Theatre of Uzice and the Concert Hall of the Russian House in Belgrade. The group describes their style as bringing together tradition and modernity, in unique crossover and fusion styles.

The M-Prize competition, hosted by UM's School of Music, Theatre and Dance, received attention during its inaugural running last spring for its format and large cash prize offerings, with the Calidore String Quartet taking home the $100,000 Grand Prize.

The International Jury included former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Rodney Friend, Juilliard String Quartet cellist Astrid Schween, Swiss saxophonist Lars Mlekusch, renowned flautist Carol Wincenc, multi-genre cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and Grammy Award-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw.

Complimenting the grand prize, three $20,000 prizes are awarded to winners of three different categories of strings, winds and open competition, as well as junior strings and winds categories for ages 18 and under.

In addition to the accordion being represented in the winning ensemble, the accordion was also featured in the 3rd place ensemble 'Avido Duo' comprising Alvaro Collao Leon (sax) and Djordje Davidovic (accordion). Djordje was the winner of the CIA Junior Coupe Mondiale in Spoletto, Italy in 2012.

Next year's M-Prize 2018 Competition will be held from May 3-6, 2018. For more information and competition guidelines, please visit:

Titano Accordion Company

Cory Pesaturo Plans to Break the Guiness World Record for Longest Accordion Playing

by Rita Barnea
Cory Pesaturo
Beginning Video:
A report of the event every few hours will be here: CoryWR
A report of the event every few hours will be here: CoryWR

Video 1: Cory Pesaturo Highlights - Revolutionizing the Accordion - "CPEZ"

Cory Pesaturo has won many world accordion championships. Now he is on to his next world champion quest: a World Record. Cory, sponsored by RedBull will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Longest Accordion Playing on August 4, 2017.

The longest marathon playing accordion lasted 31 hours 25 minutes and was achieved by Anssi Laitinen (Finland) at Koljonvirta Camping Area, Iisalmi, Finland from 31 July 31 to August 1,2010. Anssi played 536 different songs throughout the attempt.

But, this record will not stand for long. Cory will attempt to play for 33-36 hours! And we do not doubt that he can do this! RedBull is video taping the entire event in Graz, Austria and must have a new witness present with Cory every four hours, but never the same witnesses.

They will be writing down each song that Cory plays so that Guinness can clarify this with the simultaneous video. He is allowed a 30 second break between songs and a 5 minute break every hour. Surely, he will have endless supply of Red Bull! Cory will start the clock on Friday morning, August 4th and will perform on an accordion sent to him by Scandalli who will also be a sponsor. Additionally, Dallara, arguably the most important chassis builder in motorsports history, will be sending Cory some attire to wear at times as the 2 have a relationship through Cory's Racing hobby.

Excerpts from the Guiness website: Guinness World Records documents and holds records for record-breaking WORLD achievements. World records are a serious business and to ensure we maintain the high standards we have strict policies governing what makes a world record.

What is a 'world' record? All Guinness World Records must also fulfill some key criteria including:
Measurable - Is it the fastest / longest / heaviest / most?
Breakable - Can the record be broken or repeated by someone else? All our record titles must be open to being challenged.
Standardizable - Can the record title be done universally? For example, it cannot be related to something restricted to a region.
Verifiable - Can the claim be proven? For example, a claim such as ‘the man who never drank water’, can never be verified unless the man spent his whole life from birth under surveillance by a witness.
One Variable – We can verify the Largest painting but would not consider the largest painting by the most people.
Universal - The proposal must be something, or about something that is known to the world’s majority. It cannot be too specific / regional.

Additional August Upcoming Events:
Mashpee, MA Italian Festival
August 11th, 2017/ 5:30pm
Mashpee, MA US
Cory's 6th time playing the Mashpee Italian Night of La Tavola. Again, with Italian Tenor Aaron Caruso.

Boggies with Leah Zeger
August 15th, 2017/ 7:30
Westlake (LA) , CA US
Cory and violinist Leah Zeger will perform a show at Boggies in Westlake, CA (LA).

2017 Cotati Accordion Festival
August 19th, 2017 to August 20th, 2017
Cotati, CA US
Cory will perform at the Cotati Festival for the 6th Time!

RedBull ® Music Festival in Spielberg
August 24th, 2017 to August 28th, 2022
Spielberg , AT
Cory will create a Special Trio for this Major Event at the Formula 1 Race Track in Austria.

Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert
August 26th, 2017/ 12pm
Stonington , CT US
Cory will perform at the Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert for about the 15th Time. More than any event in his career. 4000 people attend.

A report of the event every few hours will be here: CoryWR

Voci Armoniche

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention in October

by Rita Barnea
LVIAC header
Grayson Masefield, Corey Pesaturo,Joan Sommers, Mary TokarskiThe lineup for the 18th annual Las Vegas Int. Accordion Convention (LVAC) starts with visionary accordionist and friend to all, Cory Pesaturo, and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of Professor Joan Sommers.

Event organizer Paul Pasquali writes: "By popular demand we are back to the fall – a great time of the year to come to Las Vegas to hear a superb list of star performers.

Now is the time to register for the 18th Annual Las Vegas Int. Accordion Convention and save with early registration.
Details at: 2017LVAC-Reg.pdf
Read the latest newsletter: 2017LV-News.pdf

Oh what a fun time we will have come October 23-26, 2017 – we have lots of great music so please accept my invitation to come join the best accordion FUN & entertainment event ever in Las Vegas!"

Website: LVAC
Las Vegas International Accordion performers

Accordion Jazz Chords

Sergei Teleshev and East-West International Project Win Gold in Victoria

by Rita Barnea
East-West International Project
Video 1: East West International Project Promo

The East-West International Project won the GOLD at the July 2017 International Accordion Competition in Victoria, Canada. Founded in 2016 by artistic director and accordion virtuoso Sergei Teleshev, the East-West International Project brings together musicians with different musical backgrounds and traditions for a unique sound. The group features Sergei Teleshev on accordion, Sean Peterson on bass and vocalists Galina Kaluzhina and Viktoriya Hewitt.

From different parts of the world, each member’s instrumental and vocal contribution derives from unique traditions, musical backgrounds, and talents. Exemplified throughout a variety of styles, such as classical/ jazz/ tango/ folk/ pop, these nuances are emoted beautifully and with finesse.

Galina Light and Viktoria Hewitt, are part of the Juliana & PAVA, a vocal ensemble performing ancient Russian folk songs. Galina is from Kyrgyzstan, a country that borders Kazakhstan and China, and Viktoria is from Riazan, Russia. They both presently live in Seattle, Washington.

Sean Peterson is a bassist and composer based in Eugene, Oregon. He performs in genres including Jazz, Baroque, Funk, Gypsy-grass, and Salsa. He composed, recorded and mixed his debut CD for jazz sextet, “Let It Show,” which was released in June of 2015. He performs regularly with Halie Loren, Laura Kemp, Tony Glausi, Torrey Newhart, Oregon Bach Collegium, Carl Woideck, and Michael Radliff, among others. Previously he has performed with Eleven Eyes, Taarka, Beta Collide, The Oregon Composers’ Big Band, and The Harry James Orchestra, among others. Sean does it for the love.

Classically trained at the Academy of Music in Voronezh, Russia, Sergei Teleshev has won many regional and international accordion competitions. As the accordion player of Trio Voronezh and Valinor Quartet, he collaborates with many internationally recognized artists, ensembles, and orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, Halie Loren, and many others. In 2013 he won the National V-Accordion Competition. As the U.S. champion, Sergei represented the United States at the 7th Roland International V-Accordion Festival, in Rome, Italy, where he received a special prize for most online votes on the festival’s webcast.

In July, Sergei Teleshev won in two categories in Victoria, Open Solo and Ensemble with East-West International Project.

For further information:


Conjunto Accordionist Nick Villarreal Passes Away at 66

by Rita Barnea

Nick VillarrealVideo 1: Nick Villareal performs El Mayor Live in Fresno - 2012
Video 2: Nick Villarreal - La I Gotta Go / La Not To

Conjunto and Tejano accordionist Nick Villarreal, known to many as Nicky Snick, passed away on Sunday (July 30). He was 66 years old.

Villarreal was hospitalized on July 29 after suffering a cardiac arrest and was in critical, but stable condition on life support in the ICU, according to reports. He was taken off life support late Sunday and passed away. He had suffered with diabetes for many years.

Villarreal was part of the musical Zimmerle family and learned to play the accordion at the age of 5 by his grandfather James Zimmerle. He eventually started his own conjunto with his brothers Roger, David, and cousin, David Zimmerle, and recorded his first 45 on Toby Torres’ recording label.

Nick then recorded under San Antonio-based Joey Records. The Tejano Music Awards noted Villarreal as a "true Conjunto icon" on Facebook.

“Nicky Snick” is known for his unmistakable, easy-going goofy cumbias and he credits the many conversations he had with his mother, María Luis Zimmerle-Villarreal, as inspiration for many of his greatest hits. Some of those hits include “Kool-Aid con Hielo,” “La ‘Not to Worry, ‘” and “La ‘I Gotta Go.'”

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

Zydeco Accordionist Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys

by Rita Barnea
Jeffery BroussardVideo 1: Jeffery Broussard & The Creote Cowboys 1/31/2016 Anchorage Folk Festival

If you are in the mood for Creole/Zydeco music, try listening to Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys. Excerpts from his website including upcoming performances in the USA are listed in this article. I had the great pleasure of hearing him perform with his band. Great to listen to and dancing will happen! I am going to upstate NY at the end of August to meet him and hear him perform. I also plan to interview him. Jeffery Broussard is truly an amazing person, both as a musician and a person who triumphed over many hardships in his life and succeeded in becoming a renowned Zydeco artist.

"Jeffery Broussard has long been respected as one of the greatest accordion players to ever grace our beautiful Creole culture and for that matter the world.” Don Cravins, Sr., Mayor of Opelousas, LA, Zydeco Capital of the World.

One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffery Broussard continues to be one of the genre’s most dynamic performers. He has continually been an innovator, beginning his career with traditional Creole Zydeco music playing drums in his father’s band, Delton Broussard & The Lawtell Playboys, then moving on to develop the nouveau Zydeco sound in Zydeco Force, now returning to the more traditional Zydeco sound with his own band, Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys.

Jeffery Broussard was born in Lafayette, LA on March 10, 1967 to Ethel and Delton Broussard. He is the youngest of 11 children, having 5 brothers and 5 sisters, who all agree that Jeffery was the most spoiled! The family lived in Frilot Cove, LA a rural community northwest of Opelousas, on a farm where his father was a sharecropper. Jeffery grew up fishing in the bayous, riding horses across the fields with his friends, and most of all working hard.

Jeffery’s music career started very early in life, similar to many other famous Zydeco musicians. At the age of 8 he started playing drums in his father’s band, the renowned Delton Broussard & The Lawtell Playboys. After seventh grade, Jeffery left school in order to farm full time to help his parents make ends meet. Jeffery spent long days digging and sorting potatoes.

Whenever he could, Jeffery would sneak in to the house and get his daddy’s accordion down from the closet where it was stored and would teach himself how to play. Each time he would put the accordion up, he would set it on the shelf slightly different. His dad suspected that someone was playing his accordion, but never reprimanded Jeffery for it. When Jeffery was thirteen, his father left sharecropping to work for an oil company and two years later tragedy struck the family when Jeffery’s mother died of cancer.

During his teen years, Jeffery played drums in his oldest brother Clinton’s band, Clinton Broussard & The Zydeco Machines. Clinton plays the old Clifton Chenier-style triple-note accordion. It was in this band that Jeffery played the accordion in public for the first time. His brother would let him play a few songs from time to time, but he was too shy to speak on stage, let alone sing. It wasn’t until he joined the band Zydeco Force that he began singing.

It’s quite possible that without the struggle and hard times that Jeffery has experienced in life, he could not sing and play with the emotion, the soul, he expresses. He has range seldom seen in Zydeco - from traditional songs from the old masters to originals, singlenote and triple-note accordion to fiddle.

Whether he is playing a festival stage in front of thousands of dancers, a small theater of seated patrons, giving an interview, teaching a lesson or playing at a trailride, his warmth, love of the music, and talent shine. Jeffery Broussard is well, the real deal. Dedicated to preserving and promoting the Creole culture and traditional Zydeco music, Jeffery plays with passion and commitment to carry on his daddy’s legacy.

His band members include D'Jalma Garnier, III - Bass Guitar & Fiddle; Paul Lavan, Drums; Bernard Vonte Johnson, Rubboard

His upcoming 2017 USA performances include:
LA, Breaux Bridge; Aug 12, Dance, Zydeco Breakfast
Buck & Johnny's, 100 Berard St, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517 Large Dance Floor, No Smoking 8:00AM to 12:00PM Info: (337) 442-6630

MD, Baltimore, Aug. 25, Dance at Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224-3900, 8:00PM Info: (410) 276-1651

PA, Conshohocken, Aug. 26 Dance Party, Dance Lesson, Zydeco Dance Party! Allons Danser, TK Club, 500 E Hector St, (at Apple St), Conshohocken, PA 19428-1921, Large Vinyl Tile Dance Floor, No Smoking, 7:30PM, Dance lesson 7:30PM, $20 at the door. $10 for students with valid ID. Dance lesson included in price. New dancers welcome. No partners necessary.

NY, Nelson, Aug. 27. The Nelson Odeon, 4035 Nelson Rd, Cazenovia, Nelson, NY 13035-8406 6:00PM to 9:30PM
Info: (315) 655-9193

NY, Marlboro, Aug. 28 Live At The Falcon, 1348 Route 9W, Marlboro, NY 12542-5430, Wood Dance Floor
8:00PM to 10:00PM, Info: (845) 236-7970

CT, New Haven, Aug. 29, Cafe Nine, 250 State St, New Haven, CT 06510-3117 Event Hours 9:00PM to 11:00PM
Info: 203-789-8281

RI, Charlestown Sepdt. 1-3, Dates confirmed, more bands tba
Rhythm and Roots Festival, Ninigret Park, 4900 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI 02813-1818 Outdoors with tent, Plywood Dance Floor. Annual event. Many other blues and roots performers. Info: (888) 855-6940

LA, Breaux Bridge, Sept. 16. Dance, Zydeco Breakfast
Buck & Johnny's, 100 Berard St, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517 , Large Dance Floor, No Smoking, 8:00AM to 12:00PM
Info: (337) 442-6630

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Dallas Vietty in August Performances

by Rita Barnea
August Performances
Accordionist Dallas Vietty has a busy schedule in August. Attending one of his performances is highly recommended! Excerpts from his website: Award-winning accordionist and educator Dallas Vietty is one of the most in-demand young accordionists performing jazz and swing in the United States today. Dallas’ unique style comes from his background in the American jazz tradition, as well as deep study and immersion in the European swing tradition of Django Reinhardt (Gypsy Jazz) and the French musette and jazz accordionists.

His groups have performed at some of the top U.S. festivals: Djangology NYC, TEDx Philly, Djangoary Festival, to name a few. As a sideman his performances have taken him to legendary venues such as The Iridium Jazz Club NYC, BB King’s Time Square, The Highline Ballroom NYC,the Philadelphia Kimmel Center Verizon Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center in May 2016.

Dallas is President and Director of the NAAC (North American Accordion Collaborative) which is a non-profit organization that helps accordionists of varied interests by identifying their specific needs and by building opportunities to meet those needs. Dallas Vietty is a Philadelphia based American jazz accordionist specializing in the Parisian swing-waltz style of Musette and Gypsy Jazz.

Dallas has studied jazz and arranging at California State University Northridge and accordion performance with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at Acme Accordion School. As a soloist he performs widely, and won first place in the Free Bass category at the American Accordionist Musicological Society Festival in 2011. As a band leader, his groups have performed at Musikfest 2012, Djangoary Festival 2011 and 2012, Djangofolies Festival 2012, Djangology Festival 2012, TEDxPhilly 2010, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and many other concerts around the country.

As an educator he taught at the famous Django music camp, Django in June, led workshops at the American Accordionist Association Conference, has a busy private studio and is a pioneer in online education through his learning website He has an extensive knowledge of Musette and Gypsy Jazz for the piano accordion.

He currently leads Musette Project, a contemporary take on the modernist waltz compositions of the mid-century Parisian accordionists, and Hot Bijouxx, an early 20th century inspired hot swing group.

Dallas’ featured show this month is Miles Griffith and Dallas Vietty Quartet at Musikfest on August 12th 8-10 PM. Dallas said. "Miles Griffith is a world class jazz vocalist. He was the lead on Wynton Marsalis' Pulitzer Prize winning record 'Blood on the Fields' and performs and and records with the biggest names in jazz. He is earthy and creative, wild and inventive and filled with life and love and swing! I'm very lucky to have this opportunity to work with him at Musikfest on August 12th, 8-10 PM”.

August performances include:
Thu 8/3 5-7p: Hot Bijouxx | Downtown Allentown Summer Concert Series Allentown, PA
Fri 8/4 6:30-9:30p: Dallas Vietty and Mike Lorenz | Deanna's Lamberville, NJ
Sun 8/6 1-4p: Dallas Vietty w/Some Like it Hot Club | Bobolink Dairy Milford, NJ
Wed 8/9 5-9p: Musette Project | Hotel Bethlehem Platz for Musikfest Bethlehem, PA
Sat 8/12 8-10p: Miles Griffith and Dallas Vietty Quartet | Jazz and Cabaret Stage for Musikfest Bethlehem, PA
Wed 8/16: Dallas Vietty w/Arpeggios | Beach Creek Wildwood, NJ
8/17 6-9p: Musette Project | Beer Garden at Longwood Gardens, Kennet Square, PA

For further information:

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

2017 Cotati Festival August 19 and 20 in California

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Poster
The 27th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival takes place on August 19 & 20, 2017, Saturday & Sunday, 9:30 AM to 8:PM each day. Please call 707-664-0444 for questions about event information. Customer Service: 1-888-559-2576

The Cotati Accordion Festival is a yearly event. The venue is open under the shade trees of La Plaza Park in Cotati, CA. If you plan to stay for the whole day, bring your own comfortable, short-backed folding lawn chair. A shuttle will be provided from Park and Ride at the corner of Highway 116 and Old Redwood Highway on St. Joseph Way. Handicap parking is available at 102-104 W. Cotati Ave. (kitty cornered from the Korean Baptist Church) and in front of the Korean Baptist Church at 81 West Cotati Ave. Annual attendance reaches 2,000-3,000 a day.

The Honorary Director this year is Marjorie Konrad. Performers include: AlpenBand California, Amy Jo Sawyer, Big Lou's Dance Party, Cory Pesaturo, En Canto with Jamie Maschler, Future Accordion Stars 2017, Gail Campanella, Ginny Mac, Gordon Kohl, Jim Gilman, La Familia Peña-Govea, Lizeth Olivo, Ljubinka Kulisic - Serbia, Mark St. Mary, MotorDude Zydeco, Oddjob Ensemble, Royal Jelly Jive, Squeezy Peezy, T-Luke and the Tight Suits, The Golden State Accordion Club Band, The Great Morgani, The Mad Maggies and a free accordion jazz 101 workshop by Paul Betken.

Events happening in and around Cotati the day before the festival:
Friday, August 18, 2017 events include Scholarship Fundraiser to benefit future accordion stars. It will be held at the Redwood Cafe in downtown Cotati at 6:PM.

Mission Statement: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. To date we have contributed in excess of $320,000 to the youth of our community.

For more information, contact Sheri Mignano at Event 2 features the Mad Maggies, Event 3 is the CAF kickoff in front of Oivers’ Markets; Event 4 is the After Hours Party at Volpi’s in Petaluma,CA.

The Cotati Accordion Festival has something for all types of accordion aficionados. Make sure to include Cotati in your summer plans.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Maine Fiddle Camp Features Accordion Instruction

by Rita Barnea
Maine Fiddle Camp Logo
Julie ValmontThe Maine Fiddle Camp presents Accordion Courses during their August event taking place from August 6-11, The sessions include August week I - Aug 6-11, 2017 and August week II - Aug 13-18, 2017.

The Maine Fiddle Camp is a multi-generational, lakeside, weekend (June) or week-long (June & August) music camp for all ages and levels of ability. Families welcome. Dance music in Scots-Irish, French Canadian, Canadian Maritime & Scandinavian traditions as they’ve evolved in Maine. Learn by ear, learn to play in an ensemble. Staff of scores of traditional musicians giving fiddle, piano, guitar, mandolin, banjo, cello, accordion, ukulele, flute and pennywhistle, mountain dulcimer, harmonica, bass and other classes and workshops with performances, jams, singing, dancing, and swimming.

Maine Fiddle Camp is about playing music and learning tunes, and being able to play and enjoy those tunes with other people whatever your level of experience or ability. Before camp, each camper receives access to the year’s collection of tunes that are posted on Tunes page on their Web site. The collection includes a variety of tunes chosen by MFC staff members and played by them in the audio files (downloadable mp3 format). Also included are sheet music of the tunes in pdf format. Learning some or all of these tunes is a great way for campers to expand their repertoire. It also assures that when you arrive at camp there will be at least some tunes that you will know in common.

You do not have to be a fiddle player in order to participate. Accordions have been a part of Maine Fiddle Camp since the very beginning, but as Camp has expanded, so have the opportunities to learn accordion. As in the past, this year, they have top teachers on piano accordion for both August weeks. Sylvia Miskoe, from NH, will again be on staff for the first August week, August 6-11, and Jeremiah McLane, from VT, will be on staff once again for the second week, August 13-18. The June session included Sabin Jacques from Quebec, Jim Joseph and Junior Stevens from Maine who taught button accordion in several styles including Cajun, Irish, Quebecois and New England.

The accordion staff includes:
August Week I (August 6-11)
Sylvia Miskoe: A new Hampshire native, Sylvia has been playing her accordion since college where she began playing for square and contra dancing. Today she plays for contra dancing but also Scottish and English Country Dance. Sylvia was one of the founders of the Strathspey & Reel Society of New Hampshire, a group devoted to learning about and playing Scottish music, open to all ages and abilities and was their music director for 7 years. She says the one thing better than sitting on stage and playing for dancing is helping others learn how to play for dancing.

Julie Vallimont: She performs nationwide on piano and accordion with the bands Buddy System and Nor’easter and other collaborations. She plays for contra, English, and French dancing. A former classical pianist and organist, she fell in love with traditional music and dance, and since then has gone on to perform at numerous festivals and music camps. Drawing on teaching skills developed over fifteen years as a natural science educator, Julie enjoys teaching and leading workshops.

August Week II (August 13-18) Accordion Instructors
Jeremiah McLane: The music of composer, accordionist, and pianist Jeremiah McLane is a unique blend of Franco-American, Celtic, jazz, and roots influenced music. In 1980 Jeremiah started studying Celtic music and began playing the accordion, influenced largely by the Bothy Band and Dedanann. He studied with Chicago accordionist Jimmy Keane and Cape Breton pianist Doug McPhee. In the early 1990s he helped start two bands with strong traditional New England roots: The Clayfoot Strutters and Nightingale, both of which are active today. In 2003 he formed Le Bon Vent, a sextet specializing in Breton and French music. He has recorded nine CDs with these and other musicians.

For further information:
Doug Protsik
116 Pleasant Cove Drive
Woolwich ME, 04579

Maine Fiddle Camp is held at
219 Trotting Park Rd.
Montville, ME 04941

Maine Fiddle Camp is a 501(c)(3) organization, donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS rules.

Titano Accordion Company

Carrefour Mondial de L'Accordeon Festival Aug.31-Sept. 4

by Rita Barnea
CarrefourThe Carrefour Mondial de l’Accordeon Festival takes place from August 31 to September 4, 2017 in Montmagny, Quebec. About 34 miles east-northeast of Quebec City, Montmagny is a proudly French-speaking town that is over 300 years old and has 11,885 residents.

From August 30 through September 3, the population swells to more than 50,000, most of them intent on hearing some of the finest accordionists in the world.

Quote from a TripAdvisor contributor, "If you love accordion music (or even if you hate it), this place is an adventure. The Carrefour Mondial brings accordionists from all over the globe, and it seems as if every man, woman, and child in Montmagny plays some version of a squeezebox. We camped out, dined where we could (the locals provide their hearty version of baked beans), line danced, and heard the accordion stretched to its ultimate performance abilities. It was so much fun. Highly recommended.”

2017 performing artists include:
Renzo Ruggieri, Roman Jbanov et Marie-Noëlle Cros, Trio Martin Bellemare, Alexandre Boivin Caron, Antoine Pigeon-Bourque, Marie-Brousseau et Guillaume Turcotte, Georges Camitsis, Duo Montanaro-Cavez, Club Carrefour, Sébastien Clermont, Vladimir Denissenkov, Francine Desjardins, Keven Desrosiers, Joaquin Diaz, Dina Swing, Serge Duchesne et Luciano Testani, Samuel Garcia et Mario Cimenti, Sabin Jacques et Rachel Aucoin, Alexandre Juan, Diamik, Duo Silb, Bernard Lafargue, Jean-Claude Laudat et Jean-Yves Dubanton, Réjean, Lizotte, Tipsy 3, TokaTaNoka, Jesse Mea et R. Bourgeois, Gaston Nolet et Michel Béchard, Patrick Nolet, Denis Pépin, Cati Plana et Pau Puig, Valérie Plante, Gorkata, Loïc Primeau-Vinetti, Vildà Tapia eta Leturia, Simon Thoumire et Mark Maguire, Timi Turmel et Erin Leahy, Paolo Vani and Gerry Virone.

For further information:

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival 2017 Hits Many High Notes

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Video 1:

Video 2:
Picture 1 above: (l to r), Cody McSherry (winner of the Junior Division of the Carmen Carrozza Memorial Competition), Emmanuel Gasser (winner of the Open Division of the Carmen Carrozza Memorial Competiton), and Nathan Chapeton (US representative to the Coupe Mondiale) having fun while jamming.
Picture 2 above: AAA Youth Jazz Ensemble conducted by Mitch Guido.
Picture 3 above: AAA Youth Orchestra conducted by Mary Tokarski.

Video 1: AAA Festival Orchestra conducted by Dr. William Morse performs Ritual Fire Dance by Manuel de Falla
Video 2: AAA Festival Orchestra performs Suite No. 3 in DM by J. S. Bach

Situated just outside of Princeton, New Jersey’s historic area, the Westin Forrestal Village came alive last week with the sound of accordion music. New instruments were tried, new friendships were made, new techniques were learned, old memories were shared, and old friends had the opportunity to create more great memories together. The emphasis was on the youth, and the young musicians did not disappoint – quite the contrary.

Along with our annual Youth Orchestra and Youth Jazz Ensemble, our young accordionists were the entertainers for our annual Luncheon Concert. These kids delighted the attendees with solos, duos and trios. The concert’s emcee was one of our very promising young accordionists, Rachel Quirbach.

Wonderful, informative, well-attended workshops were given by our guest artists and by some of our regular contributors. The Friday Gala Concert was an exciting mix of rock, folk, ethnic, jazz and classical music featuring Will Holshouser, Dallas Vietty, Jamie Maschler, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Bruce Gassman and Eddie Monteiro – a terrific mix! This year’s festival orchestra conductor was the totally delightful Dr. William Morse, Principal Conductor of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra in Denver, Colorado. His beautiful arrangements and infectious warmth brought out the best in all of the participants (look for my article on Dr. Morse in the August issue of Accordion USA).

The new nightly After Hours Club was a wonderful highlight with many of the attendees signing up each evening to play – sometimes with the whole room singing along. Many thanks to our AAA Board members plus our stellar performers and workshop leaders who worked tirelessly to make this year’s festival a huge success!

Please join us in Alexandria, Virginia, July 11-15, 2018 when the AAA celebrates its 80th anniversary!

Picture below: (l to r) Eddie Monteiro, Joe Natoli, Dr. William Morse (AAA Festival Orchestra conductor), Joan Grauman (AAA Historian), Guy Klucevsek, Will Holshouser, Dallas Vietty, Jamie Machler, Evan McPherson, and Mary Tokarski (AAA President); Seated in front, Linda Soley Reed (AAA 2nd Vice President).

Photos by Lou Coppola
AAA group photo

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Accordions Around the World in New York

by Kevin Friedrich
Mario Tacca, Board of Director for the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) was one of the many featured artists performing in heart of New York City as part of the annual Accordions Around the World celebration.

Performing in the shadows of the New York City skyscrapers, the July 12th celebration included artists on Concertina, Bandoneon, Accordion, and Harmonium performing a variety of styles from Cajun, Tex Mex, Folk and Jazz, to Indian Chant, French Musette and more.

Pictured in the collage above are a sampling of the many artists including Rachelle Garniez, Dick LaVine (Concertina), Vitor Goncalves, Laura Vilche (Bandoneon), Eddie Van Tuba, John Sherman, Kenny Margolis, Albert Behar, Melissa Elledge, Mindra Sahadeo, Smörgåsbandet, Gregory Grene and Sadys Rodrigo Espitia.

'Accordions Around the World’, a four-week series of free music involving over 100 accordionists and players of free reed instruments, representing different musical genres culminates on Friday July 21st from 5.00 - 10.00 PM with an ‘Accordion Festival’ hosted by New York-based accordionist Rachelle Garniez, and featuring the Bil Afrah Project, Zlatni Balkan Zvuk, Osnelda (Brazil), Gregorio Uribe (Colombia), and more!

The series opened when producer Ariana Hellerman, a New York arts consultant hosted "The Great Accordion Rendezvous, a "Make Music New York Mass Appeal and Celebration of the NYC Accordion Community" on June 21st.

Picture below: Internationally acclaimed vocalist Mary Mancini and husband accordionist Mario Tacca are pictured with event coordinator Ariana Hellerman.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Michigan Accordion Society Press Release 7/26/17

by Joseph Recchia, Michigan Accordion Society President
MAS Winners
MAS WinnerMichigan Accordion Society Press release 7/26/17 “Michigan Accordion Society..a Financial Donation Machine”

One of The Michigan Accordion Society (MAS) 501c3 missions has been generating significant financial donations and delivering these donations within the accordion community. In 2016 during their 20th year celebration MAS issued nearly $10,000.00 in financial donations and scholarships to help youth Accordionists programs not only at their home base in Michigan but also Nationwide.

Organizations who have benefited from MAS in 2016 have been;
The National Accordion Association (NAA),
The American Accordionists' Association (AAA)
Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG),
all who have received a total of $6,000.00 in funding for various youth Accordion Programs. In addition in 2016, MAS issued another $3,500.00 in Accordion youth music scholarships in Michigan and has also developed a wonderful Accordion Donation program that provides good used accordions to students in need.

This past June 20th and and July 18th of 2017 MAS issued another $3,500.00 in scholarships awards to 7 very talented and cheerful Michigan Accordion students. The past and present scholarships were made possible through the “Tony Dannon Music Student Scholarship Fund” which MAS developed and manages.

Youth Accordion Students who benefited from this year’s scholarship nights were: Andrew Biondo, Matthew Chen, Jessica Fligger , Stevan Krstevski, Lukas Stacharski, Piper Teasdale & Lukasz Wendtz. Students ranged in age from 7 years to 17 years old.

Each student received a $500.00 Scholarship to be used for future accordion lessons. Proceeds were paid directly to their instructors, Pavel Vasliv from the Music Authority School of Music in Dearborn Heights, MI., Yakov Todoromovich private instructor from Troy, MI & Mike Zawojsky Private Instructor from Washington Township, MI.

Vincent Volpone from Canton, MI was also present at the event as one of the featured Accordion soloist. He volunteered his time to share his talent with the other students. Vincent is a past 2016 MAS Scholarship award recipient who benefited from the MAS Scholarship program and this summer he is heading to France to continue his accordion studies with his grandfather who is a well-respected accordionist.

Joe Recchia, MAS president who hosted the event stated, “It is so great to see these kids, their parents and instructors work together to prepare for this event. It’s one of our most memorable events of the year and would not be possible without the support of the parents, teachers and enduring admiration these kids have for the instrument.

We need to remember these children are the future of the accordion and we need to continue to help support them! Joe Recchia also mentioned “A very special shout out and big thanks to our MAS Officers and Board members; Angela Beaumont, Bob Berta, Tony Latona, John Gabalis, Dave Passalaqua & Antonella Recchia who not only help to support this great annual event but continue to help insure we raise the needed funding so we can continue our scholarship program for years to come”

MAS is currently working on a major Scholarship fundraiser event which is planned for November of 2017 the event will host a Dick Contino and Burt Holiday Tribute at the famous Detroit Andiamo’s Celebrity Showroom. Featured will be three time world accordion champion Cory Pesaturo from Rhode Island along with Pete Contino, Pete Barbuitti and Joe Cario from Las Vegas Nevada as well as world famous trumpeter Mr. Johnny Trudell along with many other local entertainers. MAS will provide more details of this event very soon.

For more information on the Michigan Accordion Society Scholarship program and upcoming events, please visit their website at

Photo 1 – Michigan Scholarship Winner’s from left to right: Lukas Stacharski, Matthew Chen, Lukasz Wendtz, Andrew Biondo & Jessica Fligger receiving their Scholarship Awards from MAS president Joe Recchia

Photo 2- Photo 1 – Former Scholarship Winner Vincent Volpone from Canton, MI performs for MAS

Photo 3 – Michigan Scholarship Winner Piper Teasdale & Stevan Krstevski receiving their Scholarship Awards from MAS president Joe Recchia
MAS Winners

Titano Accordion Company

Dr. William Morse – World renowned conductor/jazz pianist returns to the instrument of his youth!

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Dr. Morse and members
Dr. MorseThe 2017 American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) Festival that was held in Princeton, New Jersey, from July 12 to 16,2017 brought us delightful moments and surprises – and the festival orchestra experience was no exception! The orchestra members were totally delighted with our guest conductor, Dr. William Morse, Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra in Golden, Colorado.

The piano accordion was the first musical instrument Dr. Morse studied and, lucky for all of us, he has returned to the accordion in recent years. Although he had never arranged orchestral music for accordion, the arrangements he prepared for our festival orchestra were absolutely exquisite and beautifully balanced for four accordion parts plus bass. We loved playing under the baton of this warm and gracious man, and the audience was dazzled – what a long, heartfelt standing ovation we received!

Dr. Morse also presented an excellent, well-prepared workshop on “Getting Around Stradella”. His handouts included several exercises on technique and on expanding one’s knowledge of the accordion’s harmonic possibilities.

Dr. William (Bill) Morse was born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio. When he was six years old, his parents took him to a dance where a band was playing. There were two accordionists and one was the Grammy Award-winning polka king, Frankie Yankovic! Young Bill was fascinated by the accordions. The musicians invited him to sit on the stage where he remained all evening, mesmerized, while his parents danced.

Bill could hardly wait to begin his accordion lessons. By the age of seven, he was studying the accordion with Karl Kolinski, and remained his student through high school. During this time, Bill was also a serious student of several other instruments including piano and percussion. He had no doubt that a career in music would be in his future.

Bill received his bachelor’s degree in piano and percussion from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, his master’s degree in orchestral conducting, also from Oberlin, and his doctorate in orchestral conducting from the University of Arizona. He also studied for a year at the Mozarteum Academy of Music in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Morse is a retired Professor of Music from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado, where he conducted their symphony orchestra, taught advanced conducting, orchestration, jazz piano and music theory.

He is also Conductor Emeritus of the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra in Evergreen, Colorado and has had highly successful guest conducting tours in Russia, China, England, as well as the United States. As a renowned jazz pianist, Dr. Morse has performed all over the US with the Queen City Jazz Band, the William Morse Trio and has accompanied such greats as Wynton Marsalis, Billy Taylor and Doc Severinson.

In recent years, Dr. Morse “had a calling” to return to his roots and the accordion. He became close friends with Robert Davine, Professor of Accordion at Denver University, and was inspired and encouraged. After conducting several concerti for Mr. Davine, Dr. Morse decided to take up the accordion again in the early 2000s. He purchased a lovely used Titano Emperor from Faithe Deffner, had it tuned to A440 for use in orchestras, and since then it has been a “serious labor of love” in his musical endeavors. He has soloed on accordion with the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, Jefferson Symphony Orchestra, Concord Orchestra (Massachusetts), and the Mahlerfest Orchestra (Boulder, Colorado) and looks forward to many more years with his “new found old love – the accordion.”

I am thrilled to report that Dr. Morse plans to join the AAA next year as we celebrate the organization’s 80th birthday – but this time, he will sit with us in the orchestra under the baton of Professor Joan Cochran Sommers!

I was extremely touched when Dr. Morse said to me, “I am so delighted and honored to be part of this festival.” The AAA is so very honored and delighted that you have become a part of our organization, Dr. William Morse!!

(Note: Two video selections from the 2017 AAA Festival Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. William Morse, can be found in my article (included in Accordion USA News, August edition): “American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) Festival 2017 Hits Many High Notes”)

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Papa Joe's Missions Trip to Nicaragua

by Joe De Clemente
In November 2016, I started to plan an entirely new adventure which was to go on a Missionary Outreach Trip with my church in July 2017 to Nicaragua to minister to some young girls who had been rescued from human trafficking & abuse. The missions organization sponsoring this trip was FORWARD EDGE who was assisting us and their safe house was called VILLA ESPERANZA (Village of Hope).

Obviously bringing the accordion became one of my first objectives, since I also play Gospel Music. My first task was to find people whom I knew who were willing to support my missions trip. Approximately 13 people chipped in and provided the financial support I needed. I asked many others to keep me in their prayers since there were also some risks involved due to living conditions and social environment. The Villa was surrounded by a 12 foot cement wall and guarded by 2 armed men and 3 watchdogs.

I purchased an "Excalibur Travel-Mate Accordion Case" and started working on the preparations to go. From November 2016 thru July 2017 I started to make all the arrangements to travel to Nicaragua with 17 other people from my church; Living Hope Christian Church. Our departure date was scheduled for Saturday, July 22nd and we planned to return on the following Saturday, July 29th.

On Saturday morning, 07/22/17, I took my last hot shower until I was to return and then flew down to Nicaragua for the one week stay.

On Sunday, 07/23, I woke up at 5:15 am to a rooster crowing. I ended up taking a cold shower with the light out because we lost power for a while. They do not have hot water down there. We always had Rice & Beams for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner mixed with other basic foods. Also, there was no air conditioning at the Villa.

Monday 07/24, we traveled to a local school to do some work. First we had a time to play with the young kids. We played soccer and frisbee. After the fun time we started to work, really work. We painted the interiors of their classrooms and the exterior of the building. The weather was hot and humid. That day I drank about five 20 oz bottles of water.

That night after dinner, the young girls who were residents there joined us for some social time. As they entered I began playing some Spanish music for them on the accordion. They danced and sang along. Another great moment of the day.

On Tuesday 07/25 morning after Breakfast we had a time of worship. Paul and Steve play the guitar and I played the accordion. Again it was a great time together to worship the Lord in music and song. Mornings were spent with some teenagers and afternoons were spent with some younger kids from a local school. During the evening time we got to know the young girls who were resident at the Villa.

When the older came I had the opportunity to play and sing "Amazing Grace" with my accordion. The younger kids loved the "Chicken Dance". They all called me "Papa Yo".

Although I only knew very little Spanish, I was able to use a Cell Phone Translator App to communicate with the kids. I grew to love these kids like they were my own. When they left, the tears came flowing from everyone of us. I wanted to take them home with me. The rear window of the bus had a number of kids in tears.

My time is Managua, Nicaragua was a truly blessed time. I met kids who had very little but appreciated all that we did for them. The accordion was used as the best way for me to bond with kids.

"Papa Joe" De Clemente
Aka: "Papa Yo"

For further information:

Musicians Support Ponty Bone Concert at Antone's - USA

by Harley Jones
Ponty Bone Benefit Concert
Excerpts from an article by Spectrum News, Austin written by Victoria Maranan.

If you've been keeping track of Texas music since the 70's, you may have noticed something missing: musician Ponty Bone's accordion has been silent for a few years.

On Sunday, the who's who of Texas music got together in Downtown Austin to celebrate Bone, one of Texas' accordion kings.

"This is really a family and friends event when you get these people together,” said Bone’s friend, Bob Zink. "He's a genuine, warm, affectionate and great person. But I'm an accordion nut, he just happens to be part of the accordion clan."

While he has dazzled audiences nationwide and overseas, he didn't take up the stage.

Bone has been dealing with health issues in the past few years. Aside from having open heart surgery in 2015, he's also been battling a rare neurological disorder called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, or PSP.

It damages the person's ability to see, speak, move and swallow while staying mentally active. There is no cure.

"It's kind of one of those things where it's like you have good days and bad days. I see him a lot, though, so I see a lot of good days," said his granddaughter, Jessie Scott.
When the music stops, so does income.

"The musicians didn't get the deck of cards everybody else did as far as healthcare and availability and the ends meet to provide for a lot of necessities. So, it's very unfortunate,"said Zink.

But Ponty's family, friends and fans were not willing to let that happen. Sunday’s event was also a fundraiser.

"For him, this is more than just the money. I know he wants to see all these people. So, it's sad because I don't think he'll be able to express his gratitude,” said Scott. “So, I just want people to know who came out and made time to know that it's huge to him."

The Ponty Bone page has raised over $10,000.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Guy Klucevsek and Cody McSherry – A Heartwarming Story of Coincidences

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Cody Plays for Guy
CodyAs a believer in miracles, I am so pleased to be able to share this beautiful story – one that I witnessed from start to finish (or, perhaps I should say, “a new beginning”?!).

I will start with the young, brilliant accordionist Cody McSherry, then just 12 years old, asking me to teach him Balkan meters and harmonies. He was fascinated by a workshop I had given on the topic and he wanted to learn more. So, the week that Cody turned 13, he and his parents came to stay at our house and I prepared lesson materials and a CD for him. I demonstrated simple 7/8 tunes and described the mathematics and accenting of the asymmetrical Balkan meters. It is difficult for most people to grasp the actual “feel” of these meters. This takes time – for most people – but not for Cody (and this is an understatement!!).

Cody learned and mastered 7/8 meter, with proper accents, learned the melodies and harmonies I provided, played the pieces flawlessly…. in about ten minutes. OK, let’s move on to 5/8 meter. Now 9/8. Cody was so excited and he wanted to learn more. “These are difficult,” I warned as I introduced 11/16 and 15/16 meters. He mastered these with delight and precision and we moved on to Bulgarian ornamentation and how to create the hauntingly lovely harmonies.

How many days did this take, you ask? All of this took less than ONE HOUR!! I was as excited as Cody was, plus totally shocked, as I was watching this lovable, gifted child’s mind process things I didn’t imagine possible in such a short amount of time!

Now let’s move on three weeks from that fateful week at our house. We and the McSherry family are at the 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo, New York. Celebrated composer and accordionist Guy Klucevsek is on stage premiering his beautiful AAA commissioned work, “Three Tributes”, honoring three people in the accordion world who had recently passed away: Evan Harlan, Faithe Deffner and Walter Kuehr. The first of the three is “Evan-essence”. This piece begins in 9/8 meter and I look over at Cody, who is on the edge of his seat listening with delight. The meters change, the harmonies are gorgeous – a terrific piece! At the end of the concert, Cody runs to me, beaming. “Joan!! Guy’s first piece was in 9/8, then 7/8, then 5/8.” He was absolutely right, and he could hardly wait to learn to play Guy’s exciting composition.

Now it’s 2017, Cody has just turned 14 years old, and we and the McSherrys are at the AAA Festival in Princeton, New Jersey. Cody expressed sadness that Guy Klucevsek was not there as Cody was going to compete in the Carmen Carrozza Memorial Competition, Junior Division, and play “Evan-essence” as one of his selections (Cody is a student of AAA President Mary Tokarski). Cody played beautifully and took first place in the competition. Later that evening, we all gathered in the ballroom for the Gala Concert. The McSherrys asked me to sit in the back of the room with them since my husband Dan was videotaping. Suddenly I noticed that Guy and Jan Klucevsek were sitting directly in front of us! “Guy Klucevsek is here, Cody!” Cody jumped up, I introduced them to each other, and Cody asked Guy if he could get his accordion and play “Evan-essence” for him after the concert. Guy was noticeably moved and delighted! I couldn’t help but wonder, “What if Guy sat in the front, or the other side of the room?” Throughout the concert, I thought of how small moments of time can create such enormous changes in one’s life.

Cody played for Guy and Dan videotaped it. (Article photos by Dan Grauman.) It was pure joy for Guy and for the small group of us watching this special moment!

Guy’s words expressed to me in an email, a few days later, said it all: “I celebrated my 70th birthday earlier this year, [and Cody is just 14]. I love that my music can reach across the generations! This was one of the most unexpected and beautiful moments of my life. To see such an enthusiastic, joyful, not to mention technically brilliant, performance of my piece by someone so young and talented, in a private performance for me and a small group of rapt family members and mutual friends, was a great honor and a rare privilege! It has long been my desire to have other accordionists play my music, and to see that happen by someone so young and gifted was the dream of a lifetime.”

Cody’s mother, Dianna McSherry said, “Having the opportunity to play the piece for Guy was the absolute highlight of the weekend for Cody – even more important than winning the competition!”
Cody is already working on other compositions by Guy and I feel that a wonderful, lifelong friendship will result from this magical moment in time!

The very important “moments” that led to this event kept running through my mind as I prepared to write this article. I was inspired to write a poem for these two kind, appreciative and brilliant musicians:

A Moment in Time – for Guy Klucevsek and Cody McSherry
By Joan Grauman

A moment in time
Something totally new
Magical musical meters
So exciting for you.

An urge, a spark, a thought
That moment when it’s taught
Joy in knowing that what you hear
Suddenly seems so very clear.

A moment in time
A song so sweet
Made that much sweeter
By someone you meet.

A moment in time
That’s all it can take
And, oh what a difference
That moment can make!

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

Cody McSherry Wins 2017 Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Competition

by Rita Barnea
CodyCody McSherry, age 14, competed and won in the 2017 Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Competition, Junior Division. He was truly honored and thrilled to be recogized for his effort. His performance included four pieces performed on piano accordion. The pieces were "Pioneer Concerto" (Eugene Ettore); "Parisian Musette" (Carmen Carrozza); "Evan-essence" (Guy Klucevsek); and "Magic Fingers" (Charles Camilleri).

Cody would like to thank the family of the great Carmen Carrozza, the American Accordionists Association, and his accordion teacher, AAA President Mary Tokarski.

Cody is the youngest member of the NJ based Accordion Pops Orchestra, and has his own band, “Polterabend.” In addition to performing on the piano and diatonic accordion, Cody also plays the theater and pipe organ, and performs in various stage productions as an actor. (See July USA news for more info on Cody)

For further information:

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

Golden State Accordion Club Band to Perform at Cotati Festival

by Rita Barnea
From the Cotati Festival website: The Golden State Accordion Club Band has been pleasing audiences with its European style music for many years. The group is sponsored by the Golden State Accordion Club and features a variety of accordions including Button Box, Piano and Chromatic instruments.

Responding to audience demands, the band performs polka and waltz music of various European styles. The band prides itself on the ability to get the toes tapping, the hands clapping and the dance floor flowing.

The Golden State Accordion Club was formed in l991 and is a very active organization determined to promote the accordion family and perpetuate the enjoyment this instrument gives to all. The club is comprised of three chapters which meet each month at the following locations; Vacaville, Humboldt County (Loleta) and Sacramento.

The club is very proud of its scholarship and accordion loaner programs, which offers financial support and instrument availability to young players. The past year the club awarded 15 scholarships to youngsters ranging in age from 8 to 16. To date they have awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships.

Just for fun, you are invited to bring your accordion or other musical instruments and join others in wild, raucous, noisy playing in the jam tent here at Cotati.

For more information contact Carole at 707-864-2359

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

Free Concert Scholarship Fundraiser Before Cotati Festival for Student Accordionists

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Festival Scholarship Fundraiser
On Friday, August 18, 2017 at 6:PM. there will be a free concert scholarship fundraiser with all proceeds going to benefit future accordion stars. It will be held at the Redwood Cafe in downtown Cotati.

For more information, contact Sheri Mignano at

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Trifilio Tango Trio at Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) - USA

by Dan Grauman
Video 1: Milongacha by Emmanuel Trifilio
Video 2: Una Noche en la Habana by Emmanuel Trifilio
Trifilio TangoThe Trifilio Tango Trio dazzled an audience of 120 at the July meeting of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS).

The Trio, consisting of Devree Lewis (cello) and Argentinians Emmanuel Trifilio (bandoneon), and Cristian Perez (Guitar) performed some of Emmanuel Trifilio’s original compositions, such as Milongacha, Una Noche en la Habana and La Holy Milonga, as well as “old standards”, such as Libertango.

The Washington based Trifilio Tango Trio got several standing ovations and sold out of the CDs that they brought with them, something that rarely happens.

The size of the audience was a pleasant surprise, especially for a beautiful summer afternoon.

For further information or to make a booking Phone: 424-235-5673 or email:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

The Steve Balich Polka Band to Perform at Cotati Festival

by Rita Barnea
The Steve Balich Polka BandPerforming all 27 Years at the Festival!

Excerpts from the Cotati Website: Steve Balich Jr. has been playing music throughout the Bay Area and North Bay for 40 years. He joined with his father Steve Balich Sr. and they formed the Steve Balich Sr. Polka Band. Steve Sr., along with Clifton Buck-Kauffman and our own Jim Boggio was one of the originators of the festival who pioneered this event in 1991.

Over the past 26 years they have played different venues, cruises, and polka festivals throughout California and Nevada and recorded three CD’s, The Golden Years, Steve Balich Plays All Italian Volume I and Volume II.

For the last 25 years they have been the featured band in the Polka Tent at the Cotati Accordion Festival. In 2014 Steve Sr. retired and Steve Jr. is carrying on the tradition of The Steve Balich Band, playing a variety of music, with band members Art Wood (trumpet/trombone), Lindy Mantova (accordion),and Scott Von Heim (drum/vocals).

For further information:
Phone: (707) 889-4908

Future events

10th Annual Accordion Noir Festival Sept. 7-10

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Noir Festival 2017 Logo
Video 1: Here is a five minute montage of mainstage performances at the Accordion Noir Festival in 2016. The festival hosted brilliant accordion artists from BC and all over the globe, brought together audience and community from old to young, and supported the creation of new works and collaborative explorations.

Canada’s Only Alternative Accordion Festival Takes Place in Vancouver September 7th-10th, 2017

Excerpts from the Accordion Noir Press Release: The Accordion Noir Festival has announced its headlining acts for this year’s festival, taking place September 7-10, 2017 at various venues in Vancouver. Celebrating its tenth anniversary as Canada’s only festival of alternative accordion music,this year’s special anniversary edition of Accordion Noir presents a pantheon of international and local accordion talent, including the North American debuts of Finnish accordion shaman Antti Paalanen and all-female Russian ethno-rock quartet Iva Nova, the Canadian debut of Accordion DJ Lykaire from Louisiana, as well as the launch party for Geoff Berner’s latest album, Canadiana Grotesquica.

The 2017 festival main-stage dates, Sept 7-10, 2017 have been expanded outward with the official addition of a host of side-stage events including workshops, free outdoor public performances, salon events and socials running from Sept 3-14, 2017.

The Festival line up includes:
Thursday, September 7: The festival opens with the first Vancouver iteration of Drink-o-Bingoby notorious accordionist and raconteur Grayson Walker of Hearse (Victoria, BC).

Friday, September 8: The accordion takes on mythic proportions with a hypnotic solo performance by headliner Antti Paalanen (Finland) at St. James Anglican Church. Paalanen has become one of Europe’s most sought after accordion performers, transporting audiences to primal Finnish landscapes through his signature combination of virtuosic technique and inspired electronics. A new commission by composer Giorgio Magnanensi rounds out the night, featuring electronics by Magnanensi and bandoneon by Douglas Schmidt, a standout performer/composer who has appeared with symphony orchestras across the world. The after-party features an electronica/accordion set from boundary-breaking Accordion DJ Lykaire (Lafayette, Louisiana).

Saturday, September 9: Iva Nova (Russia) is a multilingual band who describes their mixture of Slavic, electronic and rock influences as ‘ethno-extreme’. Hailing from St. Petersburg, this all-female group of consummate musicians has honed their unusual sound through fourteen years of European touring, building a loyal following with their politically relevant yet mischievous songs. Caught between rural restlessness and urban insanity, Iva Nova’s music offers Canadian audiences a taste of Russia’s bubbling alternative scene. Saturday at the festival also sees the return of hometown accordion legend Geoff Berner with Canadiana Grotesquica, the ‘whiskey rabbi’s’ latest release with Coax Records. Performances at the Russian Hall.

Sunday, September 10: The festival wraps with a revival of the fan favorite Underdog Instrument Grudge Match. Initially conceived as a comedic battle between the musically maligned, this year’s edition shakes things up by embedding the accordion into trendy ‘hipster’ genres including Team Trad, Team Musical Theatre and Team Silicon Valley North. Featuring a stellar cast of Vancouver musicians who trash-talk as well as they play, the Grudge Match aims to be a stirring argument for accordion supremacy and a very good time.

The Accordion Noir Society acknowledges the financial and in kind support of the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, BC Arts Council, Coop Radio, Russian Federation of Canadians, Spartacus Books, Tempo Trend Music Store, and the outstanding contributions of many individuals who help make the festival happen each year.


WHERE: Russian Hall (Strathcona), St James Anglican Church
WHEN: September 7-10, 2017
TICKETS: Starting July 1st online through Brown Paper Tickets

Northeast Squeeze-In September 22-24

by Rita Barnea
The Northeast Squeeze-In will be held from September 22-24, 2017. The Northeast Squeeze-In is a non-profit laid-back weekend gathering of players and their partners. No one is paid. People are just in it for the legendary fun. They play...and dance...and jam...and have a blowout Saturday night. Beginners and the talented advanced alike are welcomed

The Northeast Squeeze-In happens every fall at Camp Chimney Corners (748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA,) in the Berkshires. Meet friends old and new in a comfortable, low-key setting with many places for workshops and spontaneous squeezings. Hobnob with (other!) free-reed aficionados and behold an assortment of squeezeboxes and their paraphernalia for sale, swap & hagglement. To help you plan long term, the tentative future NESI date is September 21-23, 2018.

The Squeeze-In is held at Chimney Corners, a fabulously well appointed year round camp and conference center in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, 30 minutes from the Lee exit off the Mass Pike and close to Tanglewood, the summer home of the BSO.

NESI is a relaxing retreat from daily life and a day-into-night opportunity to learn new tunes, improve your skills, share what you know, sing, dance, and play with an eclectic bunch of friendly musicians. It’s not a music festival. It’s not an instructional (though there are a ton of free-form workshops) weekend. It’s just a lot of fun, run entirely by volunteers, and organized as a not-for-profit event by musicians like you.

If you are looking for it on a map, you want to find Becket, Massachusetts, just off the western end of the Mass Pike. The actual venue is Chimney Corners YMCA Camp, which becomes the Berkshire Outdoor Center when the summer camp season ends. It is used during the rest of the year by school groups, for corporate retreats, and for affinity gatherings such as NESI.

If your partner likes music, there is a lot to listen to, and some non-players decide to take up an instrument after a weekend of free-reed saturation. There are lovely wooded trails for walking on the extensive Berkshire Outdoor Center grounds, a large pond with canoes and kayaks available, a wood-fired sauna, shopping in nearby Lee and Lenox as well as in a large outlet center on Route 20 at the exit from the MA Turnpike, and lots of places to curl up with a book (to say nothing of a cozy library...with fireplace...stuffed with Nancy Drew and Lassie of SunnyBrook Farms novels...real comfort reading). The cabin/camping area has tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts. The Saturday night concert and contra dance are fun for just about everyone.

For more information:
Registration & Attendance :
General Information:

Voci Armoniche

Michigan Accordion Society to Present Peter Dranga from Russia

by Rita Barnea
Video 1:
Video 2:
Peter DrangaVideo 1: “Bad” by Peter Dranga
Video 2: “Vivaldi"- Strom VGTRK

MAS President Joe Recchia says, "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 Dranga 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 above. Peter will perform only one concert in Michigan and will be in town for one night only on Sept 17, 2017. The show starts at 8:00 PM.

Please 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, please get your tickets early!

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Annual NAAC Member Meeting 2017 in October

by Rita Barnea
Dallas ViettyPresident of NAAC Dallas Vietty invites all to the Annual NAAC Member Meeting on October 15, 2017. This meeting will be held online through a streaming or video conferencing software to be named.

Every year on the third Sunday of October, the NAAC holds its annual member meeting. The meeting is open for attendance by any and all members of NAAC. Members will vote on pertinent topics. Members will be given notice prior to the meeting via email.

Location: Online through streaming/conferencing software

Date: October 15, 2017

Time: 6:30 PM Eastern Time

Location: Video or chat conference software to be announced.

Exact details are subject to change.

The North American Accordion Collaborative is a non-profit organization that helps accordionists of varied interests by identifying their specific needs and by building opportunities to meet those needs.

For further information:

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Stas Venglevski Fall Concerts 2017

by Rita Barnea
Stas VenglevskiVideo 1: Stas Venglevski & Tatyana Krasnobaeva perform "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" by Camille Saint-Saens, on March 5, 2017 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Milwaukee, WI. Presented by Accordion XXI, artistry on a global scale. Bayan virtuoso, Stas Venglevski, blends his talent with Tatyana Krasnobaeva, cimbalom (dulcimer).

Bayanist, accordionist and composer Stas Venglevski will perform on October 22, 2017 6:30 PM at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 5315 Main St., Houston, Texas. He will also be a featured guest artist and clinician at the 18th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention in Las Vegas October 23-26, 2017.

Excerpts from his website: His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

Stas is an Accordionist, a Musician, an Arranger, an Entertainer and a Teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show.

Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts.He is also former president of the ATG.

Stas has many wonderful CD’s and musical compositions including solos, duets, and ensembles available for purchase. Contact him at his email address.

For further information on the Houston concert:
For more information on Stas:
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