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


Editor's Note
Editor's Note
DAILY REPORTS: AAA 80th Anniversary Festival, Washington - USA
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Report: ATG 78th Anniversary Festival in Lisle, IL - USA
Video: AAA Promotional Kennedy Center Concert by Grayson Masefield - Washington DC
Nathan Chapeton To Represent the USA at 2018 Coupe Mondiale - Lithuania
Video: Joseph Natoli 80th Anniversary AAA Commission, Sonata in FM - USA
Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Dinner on September 9
CPez Academy Online Video Masterclasses Available Now
Meet Accordionist Jesse Shiroma and Streetlight Cadence (SLC)
28th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival on August 18-19 in California
11 year old Yaxeni and Ricardo Rivera Perform on “Little Big Shots”
Accordionist Teija Niku in USA Tour: Debuts “AMERIIKAN LAULU”
Passing of Accordionist Ponty Bone (1939-2018)
"Accordions Around the World" in Bryant Park, NYC, in August and September

Voci Armoniche

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

Documenting the Fascinating History of the AAA
Announcement of New Website for ATG
International Summit at A World of Accordions Museum, Superior - WI
Workshop by Rita Barnea: The Life and Music of Eugene Ettore
Cody McSherry to Perform at Steelton Button Box Bash
Julien Labro Performs at Newport Jazz Festival
Festival of Russian Music in Philadelphia
Klezmerfest: Oktopus & The Debaucherauntes on August 11

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Long Island Accordion Alliance Features Fabio Lucarelli on September 5
Vancouver Accordion Events in August and September
William Schimmel in Composers Concordance Concerts 2018-2019
Accordion Noir Festival Dance Party September 15

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

New and Updated Sites

Updated Site: SqueezinArt – USA



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Editor Rita BarneaThe Server was hacked twice and we apologize to our readers for being offline the past 3 days. The server needed fully cleaning and then to be reloaded which is a large job as the site is very very large with so many pictures, text and videos from the past 19 years of news.

Now all is back in place and we look forward to continuing our free monthly service read by so many in the accordion world.

Read the August USA news which contains numerous, detailed and fascinating informative reports including videos of concerts and workshops held at the various accordion festivals such as AAA and ATG and more!

Also, there are new, exciting young performers which are included in this months news! Check them out!

Over the next few months, we will continue to present videos of the performers who participated in the summer accordion festivals. It is so very inspiring to see their enthusiasm and expertise.

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

Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rita Davidson BarneaWe at AWW hope that you and your family are continuing to be safe and healthy during this world health crisis. It is most unfortunate that the spread of Covid-19 has led to the postponement or cancellation of many international and national accordion events.

We ask organizers/musicians to please keep us informed so we can keep our readers informed. In the August news, you will learn about many online events, both past, present and future. There are links for you to gain easy access to online Zoom accordion happenings.

Please remember that most professional musicians are dependent on their live concerts and tours for their livelihood. If possible, you might consider sending them a donation to reward them for their great efforts in bringing you beautiful online accordion music. We are hopeful that soon we will be able to publicize more live concerts.

In the meantime, while home, consider using the time to practice, compose, perform socially distant, take Skype or FaceTime lessons. Send correspondence to

Titano Accordion Company

DAILY REPORTS: AAA 80th Anniversary Festival, Washington - USA

by Harley Jones
AAA Festival Flyer
The outstanding line-up of festival guest artists are included in the Daily Reports with the 80th Anniversary Festival featuring a multitude of concerts, workshops, activities, and a trade show.

AAA 80th Anniversary Festival Daily Reports of pictures and videos at: 2018AAA80th
AAA Festival Workshops

Voci Armoniche

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Paul PasqualiNewsletter cover, Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion FestivalI am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Paul Betken & Jerry Cigler are newly added to a great line up of stars (list below) with lots of great seats still available! Want to hop a plane to come and enjoy this exciting festival?

Newsletter (picture right) with full information: 2018LVACnews.pdf
Picture left: Event organizer Paul Pasquali

The lineup starts with visionary accordionist Cory Pesaturo and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of the legendary Prof. Joan Sommers.

You can register online at or contact Paul Pasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email:
Footer Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival

Accordion Jazz Chords

Report: ATG 78th Anniversary Festival in Lisle, IL - USA

by Kevin Friedrich
New website launch
The 78th annual Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival was held from July 25 - 28 in Lisle (Chicago), Illinois. Featuring competitions, concerts, workshops, a Gala Banquet, Exhibits and social functions, the well attended event showcased a diverse array of musical genres and events.

Featured guest artists included Matthias Matzke (Germany), Leonie Kratz (vocalist, Germany), Cory Pesaturo, Mike Alongi, Stas Venglevski who performed solo and in duo with Joan C. Sommers, Donna Dee and Dennis Ray and Petar Maric (Serbia). In addition to the performances, workshops were presented by Joan Cochran Sommers, Cory Pesaturo, Mattias Matzke, Mike Alongi, Helmi Harrington, Murl Allen Sanders, Nick Ballarini and Gordon Kohl.

The ATG Festival featured several groups formed specifically for the festival including the Mixed Ensemble directed by Murl Allen Sanders, The Original Music Ensemble directed by Joan C. Sommers, The President's Quintet and the ATG Festival Orchestra under the direction of Joan C. Sommers which received a standing ovation for their performance of works by Smith, Halvorsen, Bernstein, Foster & Sager and Ellington.

The ATG officially launched its new updated website created by ATG 1st Vice President Kenn Baert. Using state of the art technology including phone responsiveness, the site contains information about the ATG, a members only area and information on upcoming festivals such as the 79th Annual Festival to be held in Denver, CO from July 23-27, 2019 and the ATG 80th Anniversary celebration to be held in Los Angeles in August, 2020.

For more information about the ATG and upcoming events, please visit
Joan Sommers & Stas Venglevski


Video: AAA Promotional Kennedy Center Concert by Grayson Masefield - Washington DC

by Rita Barnea
AAA Header
Video: Kennedy Center Millenium Stage Concert by Grayson Masefield, Introduction by AAA Historian Joan Grauman, © 2018 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Grayson MasefieldMulti World Champion winner Grayson Masefield was sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) to perform at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage and promote the 80th Anniversary Festival of the AAA which started two days after this concert.

The concert was to demonstrate the musical capabilities of the modern accordion showcasing Baroque to original works by composers Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Angelis, Hermosa to modern styles like Nuevo Tango.

Above is the Kennedy Center video of the concert which ended with two standing ovations by the large audience to finish off a most successful concert promoting the AAA 80th Anniversary Festival starting two days later in Washington DC.

Link to the AAA 80th Anniversary Festival Daily Reports: 2018AAA80th

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

Nathan Chapeton To Represent the USA at 2018 Coupe Mondiale - Lithuania

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Nathan ChaperonVideos at: 2018AAA80th (11th July).
Video 1: “Sonata in Fm K386” by Scarlatti
Video 2: “4th mvt, Zolatariev Sonata”
Video 3: “Tango pour Janet” composed by Nathan Chapeton.

17 year old Nathan Chapeton from Middletown, Connecticut is the winner in two prestigious categories at the 2018 AAA Festival held July 11-15, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Nathan is the winner of the 2018 Junior Coupe Mondiale category. He will represent the USA at the  2018 71st Coupe Mondiale to be held from September 24-30, 2018 in Kaunas, Lithuania hosted by the Lithuanian National Accordionist's Union. His performance is in Videos 1 and 2 above.

Nathan is also the winner of the Elsie Bennett Junior Composition Competition. You can hear him performing his composition in Video 3 above.

Accordionist Nathan Chapeton was among participants from around the globe (all over the United States and internationally from Russia, Ukraine, China and Canada) at the February 25, 2018 First Honors Recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He performed Alexander Tcherepnin’s “Partita”.

Nathan Chapeton is a young musician who became interested in playing the accordion at the age of eight when he heard his teacher, Mary Tokarski perform in concert. He has attended multiple music festivals sponsored by the American Accordionists’ Association and the Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild where he captured the Virtuoso Category prize twice so far! 

Mr. Chapeton has appeared as a guest artist in many local musical organizations including the Long Island Accordion Alliance, the Brooklyn Accordion Club, and as a frequent performer at Connecticut Accordion Association events. Nathan has earned the privilege of representing the United States-AAA at the Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championships) three times so far and this September he will be entering for the fourth time.

At the Coupe Mondiale in Austria (2014) and Russia (2016) he was among excellent accordionists and musicians from around the world. His plan now includes learning baroque and classical music and to compete in more rigorous categories at the competition.

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

Nathan was a member of the Jazz Ensemble at Middletown High playing his accordion, piano, and other miscellaneous keyboard instruments. His interest in jazz was sparked when he was part of the Youth Involvement Program jazz ensemble at an American Accordionists’ Association festival, with other young accordionists and instrumentalists. In 2017  Nathan auditioned for the honor to perform with the New Haven Symphony when his school, Middletown High School (Connecticut) Goes to the Symphony on May 22, 2017 and the Hamden Symphony Orchestra (Connecticut) on April 30, 2017. He was selected by BOTH to be a guest performer for their concerto concerts.

Nathan was graduated this June from Middletown, Connecticut High School and will be attending Central Connecticut State University in the fall to study music.

Nathan’s music teacher, AAA President Mary Tokarski said, “Nathan is quite a talented musician . . . born to be an accordionist!  He always amazes me with his ability to absorb and execute even the most difficult things with ease, and his recent accomplishments make me very proud.  I look forward to a future of more incredible achievements from him.”
AWW congratulates Nathan and wishes him success at the 2018 Coupe Mondiale!

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Video: Joseph Natoli 80th Anniversary AAA Commission, Sonata in FM - USA

by Harley Jones
AAA Header
Joseph Natoli"Sonata In F Major (In the Classical Style)" is a commission from the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) in celebration of their 80th anniversary year in 2018.

Composer Joseph Natoli writes:

"I could not be more flattered or more proud to create this piece for them. This is the second piece I have written in the style of the classical masters (like Mozart & Haydn) and shows what a sonata may have sounded like from one of these two composers if they had a fine concert accordion like those that we have available today.

This piece is dedicated to the memory of Gene Van, a dear friend of mine who passed away 28 May 2018."

Link to the AAA 80th Anniversary Festival Daily Reports of pictures and videos: 2018AAA80th

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

Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Dinner on September 9

by Rita Barnea
Carmen Carrozza flyer
Carmen CarrozzaThe Annual Carrozza Scholarship Dinner takes place on Sunday, September 9, 2018:
Famee Furlane of NA Club
2010 127th Street
College Point, NY 11356

Cocktail Hour: 12 noon – 1PM with entertainment by Don Gerundo
Dinner and Dancing: 1:00 – 3:PM with entertainment by accordionist Mario Tacca. vocalist Mary Mancini,
Phil Battiston, Drummer

Concert: 3:PM featuring Serbian accordion virtuoso, Petar Maric

$65 per person: includes Antipasto • Pasta • Salad • Filet Mignon & Shrimp • Potato and Vegetable • Dessert & Coffee. Two bottles of wine for each table included!

Download flyer: 2018 Carrozza Flyer

Send Reservations by 9/1/18 to:
Dr. Joseph Ciccone
2 Gramatan Avenue, Suite 206
Mt Vernon, NY 10550.

Cell: 914-224-1241

For more information on Carmen Carrozza:

Excerpts from an article featured in the March 2008 US National Accordion News:

The first celebration event of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) 70th Anniversary year was the 2008 Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Foundation Fundraiser which raises money For the advancement of young promising Accordionists and the commissioning of new works for the Accordion."

The Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund was founded in the spring of 2002 at the suggestion of and through a generous donation from the American Accordionist`s Association (AAA) Presidential Advisor, Steve Stolaruk. Mr. Stolaruk presented his generous gift at a special AAA Lifetime Achievement Award banquet honoring the world renown Concert Accordionist Carmen Carrozza, which took place in New York on March 17, 2002. This was the first Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the AAA.

The purpose of the fund is to grant a music scholarship each year to a deserving young contestant who participate in the Piano Accordion division - Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Solo at the annual AAA competition.The contestants must play one of any chosen AAA contemporary commissioned works, or any other contemporary composition written for the accordion and receive a score of 95 or above in order to be considered for a Scholarship Award.

The first place winner will receive a scholarship. Maestro Carrozza is particularly celebrated for his brilliant world premieres of the early AAA commissioned works in the 1950's and 1960's and suggested this policy. Scholarship winners are then invited to perform in a special concert of serious contemporary music for the accordion at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in Manhattan.

This is a very special opportunity for young accordionist to gain exposure and gives them the experience of performing along side great artists such as Carmen Carrozza, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Dr. William Schimmel, Beverly Roberts Curnow, and many others.”

Christopher Gorton won first place in the Piano Accordion Virtuoso division of the 2003 AAA Festival competition in Philadelphia. In addition to this competition success, Christopher was the first recipient of the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship and was featured at the (CUNY) concert where he performed Paul Creston's "Prelude and Dance", the first commissioned work presented by the AAA.

The AAA holds an annual fund raiser event to benefit The Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund. The event features many artists who have donated their time and talents for this worthy cause, such as Carmen Carrozza , Mario Tacca, Dominic Karcic, Frank Toscano, Frank Carrozza, Ray Oreggio, Danny Desiderio, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Lenny Feldmann, Tony Dannon, Linda Soley Reed, Kevin Friedrich, Mary Mancini (International Vocal Artist) and many others.

Carmen Carrozza holds an important place in the history of the accordion. His legacy is ongoing and Carmen Carrozza continues to inspire future generations of accordionists.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

CPez Academy Online Video Masterclasses Available Now

by Rita Barnea
Teaching Advertisement
CPez Academy logoVideo 1: Promo of CPez Academy

On August 1, 2018 Cory Pesaturo launched CPez Academy, an online subscription based video masterclass which will meet twice a month.  Cory says he has been pushed to do this for many years by various players of various levels and is finally setting aside time to create it. It will be based on giving detailed information for how he improvises, thinks of music theory, plays what he hears, what he analyzes when listening, etc.

This will be for all players (accordion or not) who are of all levels except early beginner, and is also for, as Cory put it "Players who can kick my butt at playing, but need to improve their ability to improvise / create on the spot".  The masterclasses will be interactive, and additionally archived so you will never miss one.  There will also be additional information constantly posted on all music subjects so it is a continued source of knowledge.  

For more information click on his Facebook link:

In July, Cory played Festa Italiana, a huge Italian festival in Milwaukee where he had his own show, the Columbus Italian Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and the ATG Festival where he judged and performed. Cory also performed with the  Carabinieri orchestra in Rome, Italy along with other concerts throughout Italy after performing again for the RedBull Formula 1 team at the Austrian Grand Prix.  A Cory Pesaturo Thing: He woke up at 5 in the morning, drove 1000km from Graz, Austria to the rehearsal in Rome, had only a ten minute rehearsal with the orchestra and then played with them improvised versions of “The Carnival of Venice” and “Libertango” among other selections.  The crowd and orchestra loved his performance.

In August on the way to the Cotati Festival, Cory will perform at Google Headquarters for the second time, where he did a Google Talk last year (similar to a TED Talk).  Cory said, “I feel very honored that my flamed accordion is featured on the Cotati poster. I look forward to performing for the amazing Cotati crowd.”

Another Cory Record!: Three Dublin Performances in 5 Days!
1. Dublin, Ireland 
2. Classical Concert in Dublin, New Hampshire 
3. Italian Festival in Dublin, Ohio


Titano Accordion Company

Meet Accordionist Jesse Shiroma and Streetlight Cadence (SLC)

by Rita Barnea
Streetlight Cadence
Video 1:

Video 2:
Video 1: “I Like You”
Video 2: “Thinking of You”

Have you heard Jesse Shiroma and Streetlight Cadence? They are a new upcoming group with a unique sound and a new TV show. Streetlight Cadence met in college and their name comes from playing on the streets during First Friday Art Night.

Jesse Shiroma, accordionist for Streetlight Cadence shares: “I have been incredibly lucky to do something I love as a career. After a year of blood, sweat, and tears I am elated to announce that we have taken our craft one step beyond music and into the realm of television with our new series "Will Play For Food". Our first season spans 13 episodes and follows our journey across the country and world as an independent band. In each locale we show up in we have to apply our craft and wits to earn enough money to eat and experience the location not as tourists, but as travelers, hungry to learn (and taste!) what makes that particular place unique.

The series will air on KFVE every Wednesday during primetime with reruns on the weekend. This is more than just a call to jubilation though. We are looking for businesses to partner with that are interested in featuring themselves within this episode via commercial time. Whether small boutiques or major entities, I warmly welcome all my entrepreneurial friends to reach out to me if they are interested. We have varying packages of time available and are happy to send a complete electronic document breaking down the show and commercial process.”

Jesse shares his interesting background: “I was born and raised in Hawai'i where the accordion is a very rare instrument. I don't exaggerate when I say there are probably around 3 actual accordionists in the entire state...myself included haha! 

I studied piano as a child but as a young adult I was swept up by the sound of the accordion that I heard on a folk recording. It was simply magical and you can only imagine the look on my parents faces when I said I wanted to play an instrument none of us had tried much less even seen in real life. My parents are strong supporters of the arts though and coordinated with my grandparents in Redding, California to bring an old, out-of-tune, garage sale special, Hohner with them on their next visit to the islands. 

I was hooked at first squeeze and couldn't put it down. I was self-taught for the longest time but was fortunate to receive tutelage from the late Sylvia Marie Barber in California as well as Ralf Brendle in Trossingen, Germany where I worked for Hohner for a year as an accordion repair/maintenance apprentice. 

Piano was always an exercise for me that required poking and prodding for me to actually practice but I could spend hours with the accordion exploring it's incredible potential and cultural stylings. My father would always joke in that he thought it strange I never considered the ukulele or Hawaiian slack key guitar before the accordion.

I started our band Streetlight Cadence with my good friend Jonathon Franklin on violin and Daniel Duncan on guitar as a means to pay for grocery money during college by playing on the sidewalks of Waikiki every night after classes. It turns out if you play together everyday for several hours each day you actually get better! Over time this fun hobby exploded into a full-time career that has us touring as a quartet across the US as well as international destinations such as Japan, The Bahamas, and beyond. I am definitely blessed and humbled to be doing something I love with some of my best friends.”

TV Show "Will Play For Food" : “As a wacky quartet of musicians we have always found a way to forge ahead on our own steam without management, agents, or otherwise. We believe anything is possible and the resulting adventures and audience response has led us to the creation of our brand new television series "Will Play For Food" (WPFF) that will be airing on KFVE every Wednesday at 7 starting September 26, 2018. 

The show is a synthesis of The Monkees and Parts Unknown with an emphasis on music, culture, and adventure! It follows us on our travels across the globe and in each city we visit we must use our musical aptitude to earn a meal whether through street performing, walking into restaurants and trading music for food, or other countless creative means to survive as an independent band on the road.

We strive to go beyond the tropes of a rock'n'roll band simply having a good time as we specifically search out venues of culture significance to each area and share unique and engaging stories from the places we visit as told from the locals we meet.

This is more than just a call to jubilation though. We are looking for businesses to partner with that are interested in featuring themselves within this episode via commercial time. Whether small boutiques or major entities, I warmly welcome all my entrepreneurial friends to reach out to me if they are interested. We have varying packages of time available and are happy to send a complete electronic document breaking down the show and commercial process.”

Excerpts from their website: Streetlight Cadence is a four member vocal and instrumental group comprised of Jonathon Franklin (violin), Brian Webb (cello), Jesse Shiroma (accordion and percussion), and Chaz Umamoto (guitar). Often labeled as alternative folk pop, the band draws inspiration from many genres. They perform both originals and covers ranging from pop to classical and have been described as a synthesis between Mumford & Sons and The Killers.

Founded under the streetlights of Waikiki, Streetlight Cadence started as a hopeful dream of earning a few dollars to pay for groceries. Now, it has grown into a musical family. From the streets to the stage, the band continues to thrive through friends, fans, a passion for music, and a bit of wild luck.

Awards include being winners of The Republik's Bacardi Oakheart Iron Battle of the Bands 2013, winners of the 2014 Honolulu Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands, and being 13th place global finalists in the 2014 Global Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands.

Streetlight Cadence is a folk pop sensation. Jonathon, Jesse and Brian began as street performers in 2010 in Honolulu, HI, playing for tourists while earning grocery money as college students. The founding members always had a strong desire to stand out from other music groups. Their classical instruments, family-friendly brand and storytelling-songwriting style attracts all audiences, making Streetlight Cadence a group enjoyed by people of all ages. The band can be described as fun-loving, energetic and demonstrate an enormous love
for music and friendship in their live performances.
After winning two successive Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Alternative Album of the Year and a handful of Battle of the Band competitions, Streetlight Cadence decided it was time to leave Hawai'i for the mainland to pursue more opportunities in the industry. Now based out of Los Angeles, Streetlight Cadence continues to thrive in any environment as a top corporate band to destination weddings and traditional live concerts from sidewalks to stadiums.

Streetlight Cadence (SLC) is a new, young, enthusiastic and full of talent which ncludes 4 friends, an independent Pop-Rock band that has performed from sidewalks to stadiums and back again. SLC said, “With an accordion, violin, cello, drums, and a whole ton of drive and willingness to learn we have turned what was a fun way to make grocery money in to a means to create music for everyone on an international scale. From Japan to the Bahamas and all across the United States, we make it our mission to raise people’s spirits and connect with them through lyric and arrangement. We’re not afraid to touch any genre ranging from radio-friendly pop to rock and even the classical realm as we put our years to tutelage to use. We hope you join us on this adventure into the musical unknown not only as fans but as friends who can reach out to us anytime!”

August 2018 Show Schedule:
Fri. 10/8 Margaritaville at Universal Studios Hollywood 7PM-10PM
Tues. 14/8 Downtown Disney Courtyard 530PM-9PM
Tues. 21/8 Downtown Disney MainStage 6PM-10PM
Thurs. 23/8 Universal Studios CityWalk 6PM-9PM
Sun. 26/8 Downtown Disney MainStage 6PM-10PM
Wed. 29/8 Universal Studios CityWalk 6PM-9PM

For further information:
Booking Inquiries:
Press Inquiries:
General Inquiries:

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

28th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival on August 18-19 in California

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Festival 2018
The 28th Annual Nonprofit Cotati Accordion Festival takes place on August 18 and 19, 2018 in La Plaza Park in downtown Cotati. Be sure to attend for non stop accordion entertainment.

The line up according to Honorary Director Paul Rogers includes:
Netta Skog (Finland)
Gabe Hall-Rodriguez
Stas Venglevski
Debra Peters
Zydeco Flames
Sourdough Slim
Culann's Hounds with Renée de la Prade
Those Darn Accordions (TDA)
Cory Pesaturo
The Mad Maggies
Accordion Apocalypse Stage
Hernandez Hideaway
Michael Zampiceni
Matthias Matzke (Germany)
The Great Morgani
Two Gypsy Kisses
Future Accordion Stars
Golden State Accordion Band
Steve Balich Jr. Polka Band
Jim Gilman
MotorDude Zydeco
Mark St. Mary
T-Luke and the Tight Suits
Simone Baron
Oddjob Ensemble
The Traveling Spectacular
Thee Hobo Gobbelins
Karla Mi Lugo
Bellow Shakes
Kalei Yamanoha
Nathan & Jesse
JD Limelight
Creosote with Jamie Maschler
The Wild Catahoulas
Tom Torriglia Band

More acts will be added as they are confirmed.T-shirts and posters are available for sale. If you new interested, please write to:

Scott Goree shares, “The Cotati Accordion Festival has been called the “Woodstock of the Accordion World.” We believe the festival has become a seminal event bringing  so many diverse people together in the accordion arena. While we will be featuring international virtuosos Cory Pesaturo, Stas Venglevski, Matthias Matzke Netta Skog, and Jamie Maschler, we also have polka bands, zydeco dance parties, a student program, the jam tent, indie bands, 70 vendors, a Grand Finale,  and much more.

We attempt to make the festival a multi-cultural event that can bring people to the park that might not have been aware of how great Cory Pesaturo and Stas Venglevski are; how Finland produces so many great female accordionists;  and how international players are so interested in coming to play in Cotati, California. 5,000 people a year come to the Cotati Accordion Festival and experience a vast array of uses for the accordion. Plus, we are able to donate the profits each year to local youth groups to the tune of $20,000.00 a year plus.”

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 they have contributed just under $500,000 to the youth of the community.

Tickets are $17.00 advance for one-day and $27.00 advance for two-day and are available online at, by calling 888-559-2576, or by mailing to C.A.F, P.O.Box 809, Cotati, Ca., 94931.
For any questions, please call Scott at 707-479-5481

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

11 year old Yaxeni and Ricardo Rivera Perform on “Little Big Shots”

by Rita Barnea
Yaxeni and Ricardo
Yaxeni and Ricardo Rivera, the 11 and 8 year old siblings making up “Los Luzeros de Rioverde” are currently based in Houston, Texas. They appeared on the well know TV show, “Little Big Shots”, with Steve Harvey on July 12, 2018.

The band is named after Rioverde in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, where the childrens father, Ricardo, was born (the kids were born Texans). Yaxeni plays the accordion and her brother, Ricardo, plays the guitar.

You can see the video above. They are quite amazing and we look forward to hearing more about their future performances.

For further information:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Accordionist Teija Niku in USA Tour: Debuts “AMERIIKAN LAULU”

by Rita Barnea
Teija and Sara

Aallotar's Music is an exploration of one tradition from two perspectives. Violinist/vocalist Sara Pajunen – Finnish-American – and accordionist/vocalist Teija Niku – a Finn – use their common musical heritage as a starting point for original “chamber-folk.” Together they create new sounds that reflect their differing contemporary cultures and shared roots. Excerpts from their website:

Since its formation in fall 2013 Aallotar has made numerous appearances in the US and performed at leading European festivals such as the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival (Finland) and Sounds of the North (Gdańsk, Poland). Their lithe instrumentals and beautiful vocal harmonies in both Finnish and English demonstrate how gracefully traditional and modern folk music can speak together. With their second album ‘Ameriikan laulu’ (Nordic Notes 2018), the ensemble’s distinctive sound is even more adventurous, elegant and profound.
Sara Pajunen – Finnish-American – and Teija Niku – a Finn – use their common musical heritage as a starting point for original “chamber-folk.” Together they create new sounds that reflect their differing contemporary cultures and shared roots.
One could say the duo AALLOTAR began already in the early 1900s, when Niku’s and Pajunen’s families lived in neighboring regions of Finland. But while Pajunen's ancestors crossed the Atlantic during 'Amerikan kuume' (American fever), Niku's ancestors stayed in Finland. This separation is the impetus for the music of Aallotar. How does tradition morph in an environment of assimilation - or in the same environment over 100 years’ time? How do two cultures grown apart add variation and depth to collaboration and artistic expression?

Niku (accordion/vocals) spent her Finnish childhood playing folk music on accordion and later received a masters degree from the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department. Minnesota-born Pajunen (violin/vocals) studied classical music as her main focus, but also played Finnish folk music with a children's group that toured United States, Europe and Australia. Sara has earned classical music degrees in both the United States and Finland and currently studies in the Contemporary Improvisation department at New England Conservatory.

Aallotar released its debut album ‘In Transit’ (And Say We Did) in 2014 and their second album ‘Ameriikan laulu’ on June 15, 2018 (Nordic Notes). Since its formation in fall 2013, Aallotar has toured the United States seven times, including shows at Lotus Festival, the Cedar Cultural Center, Old Town School of Folk Music, and various Scandinavian related events.

In 2015 Aallotar represented Finland at Folkelarm showcase festival in Oslo and the summer after they performed at all notable folk music festivals in Finland as well as Sounds of the North festival in Poland. In 2016 Aallotar was invited to the cross-genre project ‘Beethoven and Banjos’ in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Decoda Ensemble from Carnegie Hall (New York), to create a unique program of Finnish folk and classical music.

Aallotar continues to explore the differences and similarities of Finland and Finnish America through their music, taking inspiration from tradition while pushing at boundaries.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Passing of Accordionist Ponty Bone (1939-2018)

by Rita Barnea
Ponty BoneVideo: Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones

Excerpts from articles by Raoul Hernandez and Peter Blackstock about Ponty Bone, nicknamed Mr. South Austin: Ponty Bone, age 78, one of Texas’ best-known accordion players for decades and a key member of the Joe Ely Band during the 1970s and ’80s, died July 13, 2018 after an extended struggle with a rare neurodegenerative disease.

Born Harry DePonta Bone on Oct. 9, 1939, young Ponty began taking accordion lessons at age 5 in San Antonio.  After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1957, he headed to Lubbock to study architecture and art at Texas Tech University. In 1962 he married Sarah Wade of Lubbock; they had twins, Rachel and Samara, in 1964.

Austin’s accordion king has put the squeeze on mortality and departed for the cantina of another realm. The 78-year-old Southsider, who had been ill several years, is still best remembered as a charter member of the so-called Lubbock Mafia. Attending Texas Tech, he emerged from the Panhandle in Joe Ely’s band, which once went mano-a-mano with the Clash.

A breezy virtuoso blowing through the Lone Star state, from San Antonio to Lubbock and finally landing locally in 1980, Deponta Bone long remained second only to Flaco Jimenez as Austin’s first-call accordionist. Inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2009, his fluidity across genres – Cajun, conjunto, blues, rock – represented Texas roots music for decades. His choice of instruments tied to his unusual name, as it turns out.

“Certainly, the choice of instrument was interesting to me because it had a weird name and I had already undergone all this childhood trauma about my name,” Bone told the Chronicle in 1998.

In 1964, Bone met Jimmie Dale Gilmore at a party, presaging Bone’s long association with some of Lubbock’s most renowned musicians. Bone and his family moved to Phoenix in 1965 and started a band there called New Moan Hey, but they also kept in touch with Gilmore and his pals Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, who’d stop in Phoenix to visit en route to California in the late 1960s.

Bone and his family moved back to Texas in 1971, settling in Slaton just southeast of Lubbock. He almost ended up in Austin then; in an interview with Chris Oglesby on the Virtual Lubbock website, Bone said he almost joined blues band the Storm with Jimmie Vaughan and Lewis Cowdrey, but got a surveying job in Lubbock and decided to stay.

The house in Slaton became a hot jam-session hub for Lubbock musicians. “We used to go over to his house and bring our friends and play music all night,” Ely recalled on Friday. Bone also began to play regularly at Lubbock’s famed Cotton Club with Tommy Hancock’s Supernatural Family Band. When Ely got a record deal with MCA a few years later, he asked Bone to join his band. Bone played on Ely’s first four solo records and toured the world with him; journal entries on Bone’s website provide significant detail about the shows they played during those years.

Bone’s playing was a key part of the Ely Band’s sound. “When the guitars were too heavy, Ponty would just lighten it up with an accordion run,” Ely said. “He was the effervescence of the band; he had that sparkle on top, like when you pour a Topo Chico into a tall glass.”

Bone moved to Austin with the Ely Band in 1980. He debuted his own outfit, Ponty Bone & the Squeezetones, at the Aus-Tex Lounge in 1982, and that became his primary focus after he departed Ely’s band in 1983. The Squeezetones released a handful of albums, played Austin clubs regularly, and toured both regionally and internationally.

Bone continued to perform and record with countless Texas artists over the next couple of decades. Well-versed in Tex-Mex music from his San Antonio upbringing, he was also quite versatile in other accordion styles. “He had an incredible backlog of musical knowledge,” said guitarist R.C. Banks, his longtime friend and frequent collaborator.

“He knew all those old German dance songs,” said Ely, whose 1970s archival album “Full Circle,” due out next month, includes Bone’s playing on songs such as “Joe’s Cryin’ Schottische,” based on a traditional European dance form. Singer-songwriter Christine Albert recruited Bone to play French music with her in the late 1980s, leading to his appearance on her 1992 “Texafrance” album. “Ponty always added soul and character and gave us a little counterpoint,” Albert said. “What I really remember and cherish was his personal support; he always made me feel like I was on the right track.”

Bone had heart surgery in 2015, and in 2016 he was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, a debilitating condition akin to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He attended his induction into the West Texas Walk of Fame in 2016; last year, Austin venue Antone’s held a fundraiser to help with his medical expenses.

Survivors include daughters Rachel Bone, Samara Bone and Leah Derton, all of Austin; stepson Josh Bone; and five grandchildren: John, Jessie and Janie Scott; Sharee Bone; and Lexie Derton. A memorial service is being planned, family members said Friday.

photo by John Carric

Titano Accordion Company

"Accordions Around the World" in Bryant Park, NYC, in August and September

by Rita Barnea
Bryant Park photoBryant Park Corporation has announced the schedule for its newly-renamed summer performing arts series Bryant Park Picnics. At each Picnic, Bryant Park provides over 200 blankets to borrow, and Hester Street Fair curates local food vendors. Beer and wine are available for purchase, and the grass is dotted with jugglers and supersized games.

Grab a blanket, get comfortable, and enjoy the show! All Picnics events are free and open to the public. No tickets, no lines. Come as you are and leave when you please. Hester Street Fair selects acclaimed local food vendors. Beer and wine is also available for purchase. Enjoy lawn games including corn hole, juggling, giant Jenga, hula hoops, and more.

Accordions Around the World - A musical journey representing cultures from all over the globe each week, culminating in the Accordion Festival. Curated by Ariana Hellerman. Accordions Around the World is a five-week series that brings dozens of accordionists, as well as bandoneón, bayan, concertina, and harmonium-players of different musical genres, to perform at Bryant Park. Audiences have a chance to experience the range of the accordion.

The series culminates on a Friday with the Accordion Festival, which showcases five bands, each featuring an accordion, playing music from a range of different cultures.

Performers include:
Wednesday, August 15, 5:30pm - 7:30pm - Bryant Park Lawn; Phil Passantino (Cajun + Zydeco), Maestro Tito Castro (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Foncho Castellar (Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato), Gregory Grene (Irish Rock), Eduardo de Carvalho (Brazilian Forró), Christina Crowder (Klezmer & Moldavian Folk), Jenny Luna (Balkan + Turkish), Susan Hwang (Blues + Soul), Jody Kruskal (Concertina: Old Americana), Dmitry Sokolovsky (Retro, Samba, Musette + Jazz), Nathan Koci (American and English Folk Tunes), and Barry Adler (German + Austrian)

Wednesday, August 22, 5:30pm - 7:30pm - Bryant Park Lawn. John Sherman (Cajun, Appalachian + Blues), Tinta Roja (Argentine Bandoneón + Guitar), El Toro de la Sierra (Mexican Norteño), Dan Gurney (Traditional Irish), Felipe Hostins (Northeast Brazilian), Ben Rosenblum (Jazz + Klezmer), The Bumper Crop Boys (Blues and Country), Yuri Lemeshev (World, Classical + Jazz), Sam Reider (American Roots), Erica Mancini (Jazz, Blues + Country), Mario Tacca (French Musette + Waltz), more artists TBA

Wednesday, August 29, 5:30pm - 7:30pm - Bryant Park Lawn. Kenny Margolis (Zydeco + Blues), David Hodges (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Harold Rodriguez (Colombian Vallenato), Annmarie Acosta (Williams Traditional Irish), Rob Curto (Brazilian Bluegrass), Ed Goldberg & the Odessa Klezmer Band (Eastern European Klezmer), Peter Stan + Peter Stan (Balkan), George Saenz (Music from Texas-Mexico Border), Smörgåsbandet (Scandinavian), Earl Ball (Polka, French + Tango), Mindra Sahadeo (Harmonium: South Asian), and Rachelle Garniez (Genre-fluid story-songs)

Wednesday, September 5, 5:30pm - 7:30pm - Bryant Park Lawn. Laren Droll (Cajun + Zydeco), Laura Vilche (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Nain, Acordeonista de los M-1 (Mexican Norteño), Cordeone (Portuguese Fado), Ilya Shneyveys (Traditional + Original Klezmer), Eva Salina and Peter Stan (Vintage Balkan Roma Ballads), Melissa Elledge (Pop + Rock), Albert Behar (French Musette + Gypsy Jazz), Alan Morrow (Waltzes, Tango + Blues), and Papa Bavarian (German Oktoberfest), more artists TBA

Wednesday, September 12, 5:30pm - 7:30pm - Bryant Park Lawn. Julie Winterbottom (Cajun Music from Louisiana), Javier Sánchez (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Sadys Rodrigo Espitia (Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato), Patty Furlong (Traditional Irish), Vitor Gonçalves (Brazilian Choro + Forró), Shoko Nagai (Japanese + Jewish), Papa Joe De Clemente (Italian + American Standards), Will Holshouser (Jazz + Folk), Ismail Butera (Ancient Mediterranean), Ryan O'Donnell + Friends (Ukrainian), Maestro (Electronic Balkan), and Guillermo Vaisman (Coastal Argentine Chamamé)

Accordion Festival - September 14, 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Bryant Park Stage. Shashmaqam (Bukharan Jewish music and and Central Asian dance), Rimel (Norteño from Northern Mexico), Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Pizzica tarantata from Puglia, Italy), Shilpa Ray (Indie rock with the harmonium), and more TBA

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

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


Documenting the Fascinating History of the AAA

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Logo
Joan Grumman AAA HistorianI became the AAA Historian six months before the association’s 70th anniversary in 2008. It came as a shock to me when I was told that there had never been an official historian prior to myself and that there were no files, no organized photographs, no documents – nothing that was readily accessible to me.

I had to start from scratch. I was totally determined to come up with a reasonable 70 year presentation for the July festival, so I turned to my wonderful mentor, Faithe Deffner.

“I will help you”, said Faithe, and she certainly did!

Read the very interesting article "Documenting the Fascinating History of the AAA" with many historical pictures by AAA Historian Joan Grauman at: FascinatingHistory

Announcement of New Website for ATG

by Rita Barnea
ATG new home page
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) is proud to announce the opening of its brand new website:   Note that if you go to the old site, it will redirect you to the new one. 

New ATG website administrator, Kenn Baert, President Joe Natoli and the ATG Executive Board contribute: “Many thanks to Kevin Friedrich for nearly 25 years of maintaining the previous ATG website! It was just one of the numerous hats that Kevin wears for the ATG as well as the CIA (Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes).”
The new website offers the following exciting new features for ATG Members:
1)  Every ATG member, who is also a teacher, will now be offered their own teacher web page on the site. The list of teachers can be found here:  (You can also get there from the main menu under "ATG Info").  Simply send all of your information to  for your own teacher page.

2)  A new "Members Only" area has been created.  Currently, this area contains some free sheet music and an archive of past ATG bulletins.  To access this area, you will need an ATG Logon ID.  You can obtain one by starting here:                 Simply submit your request and I will approve it if you are a current ATG Member.
We hope to be adding additional music and features to the members only area in the future.

3) Please check out the new pages for the ATG Hall of Fame Inductees:

4) The 2019 ATG Festival will be held in Denver, CO.  Festival hotel information can be found at:

5) There is a new online store on the site.    

6) There is a NEWS page where will be be posting messages to our memberships.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

International Summit at A World of Accordions Museum, Superior - WI

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
AWAM Board members and international guests
A World of Accordions Museum located in Superior, Wisconsin hosted an International Summit to showcase the Museum holdings during a recent event organized by curator Helmi Harrington, Ph. D.

The International conference included three Executive members of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) Kevin Friedrich - Ambassador (USA), Harley Jones - Public Relations Manger (New Zealand) and Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif - Vice President (Austria) as well as Heather Masefield - Executive Officer of the New Zealand Accordion Association.

The Summit was supported by the new Superior, WI, Mayor Jim Paine as well as 6th District Councilor Tylor Elm, the Director of Marketing and Social Media Nikky Farmakes as well as other guests from the Visitors and Convention Bureau and local Universities, the Museum Board of Directors and guests.

After an official welcome and remarks by CIA World Accordion Museum Alliance Director Kevin Friedrich, speakers included Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif, Harley Jones, Heather Masefield, Helmi Harrington, Ph. D., Mayor Jim Paine and Museum Repair Technician student David Beer. The guests were given a guided tour of the Museum holdings before concluding with a meet and greet reception.

Museum Curator Helmi Harrington presented an overview of Museum activities and holdings including the 1300 instruments on display, more than one million pieces of sheet music, reference books and recordings, featured Concert Series guest artists such as renowned classical Russian accordionists Friedrich Lips and Viatcheslav Semionov to popular Grammy Award winning Joey Miskulin, the exciting World Accordion Day and Willard Palmer festivals, the Musical Estates of dignitaries such as Willard Palmer, Ernest Deffner, Pietro Diero, Charles Magnante and others entrusted to the Museum, the new online resources such as sales and Educational items, the new Fundraising Campaign 'Superior Vision' and the unique Repair Technician school.

A World of Accordions Museum is a member of the newly established World Accordion Museum Alliance under the auspices of the CIA which aims to coordinate the efforts of Accordion Museums and collectors around the world to ensure that the historical culture of the accordion is protected for all to enjoy.

For more information about the Museum, please visit
Harley Jones, Mayor Jim Paine, Heather Masefield, Tylor Elm, Helmi Harrington, Kevin Friedrich, Herber Scheibenreif

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Workshop by Rita Barnea: The Life and Music of Eugene Ettore

by Harley Jones
Editor Rita Barnea
Video: “Rhapsodie Espagnol” composed by Eugene Ettore and performed by USA News Editor Rita Barnea.

Rita writes: I am posting the link to the Eugene Ettore website internationally -
Eugene Ettore to educate all about a unique, versatile and talented individual who made great contributions to the accordion world and musical world in general. I encourage you to visit his page.

“Rhapsody Espagnol” is composed for Free Bass accordion solo. I perform it on Stradella Bass. There is also an orchestral accompaniment for “Rhapsodie Espagnol” created by Gary Daverne.

If you are interested in learning the music of Eugene Ettore, please contact me at and I will provide you with the music and also recordings free of charge. Eugene Ettore also wrote a six book accordion method with supplemental studies which can be made available.

I was extremely fortunate to be his student. He prepared me for my long career as a music teacher in the public schools. Eugene Ettore inspired all of his students with an approach which included discipline, encouragement, and kindness. Those of you who had a music teacher as a guiding light in their lives will understand the importance of having a teacher/mentor. The lifelong benefits and influence branch out into so many other areas of life.

Eugene Ettore was well known as a fabulous composer for the accordion. He performed as both soloist and in the duet team, “Concert Duo” with Carmen Carrozza, his great friend. As a Renaissance man, Eugene Ettore also played the French Horn, and wrote method books for the accordion and French Horn. He was an artist, inventor, rebuilder of pianos and Braille transcriber etc. He was President of the AAA (American Accordionists’ Association) three times!

You can see more of my performances of his music in future publications or you can see them all on Youtube.Thank you to Dean Ratzin for filming.

For more information:

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

Cody McSherry to Perform at Steelton Button Box Bash

by Pat McSherry
Steelton BB
On Labor Day weekend, the St. Lawrence Club in Steelton, Pennsylvania is hosting the first annual Steelton Button Box Bash! The event will feature continuous music with performances by nationally- and regionally-known performers.

The performers include Ron Pivovar who hails from western Pennsylvania. Ron is a well-known performer, composer for the diatonic accordion, and the organizer of the National Button Accordion Festival held each year in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Ron has produced the 10 CD “Otter Creek” series of button accordion recordings. In 2011 and 2015 Ron was a member of the Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show Band. In 2009 Ron was a member of “Polka Party 2009”, a group of American musicians that performed in Holland.

Also performing is William Hayes of Staunton, Virginia. William played backup for the Statler Brothers, and is a regular performer with the River City Radio Hour and the Shenandoah Jamboree at the Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, VA. He also plays with the “Peoples Polka Party,” and the Richard Williams Trio. His range of styles includes a variety of genres from ragtime and country to rockabilly, pop and polka.

David Bey will also take the stage. David, from North Carolina, is a favorite of many at the National Button Accordion Festival and is known as a powerhouse player. He jokingly refers to himself as the only button box player in the state of North Carolina.

Cody McSherry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania will also be taking the stage. At the age of fifteen Cody is already a master of the button accordion, and has won the Diatonic Open competition at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration for the last two years. Cody will just be finishing his run of twenty shows in Servant Stage’s production of “I’ll Fly Away,” a stage production that featured Cody on both button and piano accordion. Many people will know Cody from his involvement at the annual American Accordionists Association festival and the Accordion Pops Orchestra

Joining Pivovar, Hayes, Bey and McSherry will be Jeff Dermes of Steelton, Pennsylvania. Jeff is the leader of the “Happy Slovenes” band, and is well-known through out the region.

The event will be held on Saturday, September 1, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, and Sunday, September 2 from Noon to 3:00 PM at the St. Lawrence Club. The club is located at 13 Highland St, Steelton, Pennsylvania. The cost is $10 per person on Saturday, and $5 on Sunday. Food will be available on-site, with the kitchen opening 30 minutes prior to the opening of the event each day.

For the last half hour of each day button accordion players are invited to bring their instruments and take part in a grand jam!

For more information, contact the St. Lawrence Club at 717-939-4788 or visit the club’s Facebook site.

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

Julien Labro Performs at Newport Jazz Festival

by Rita Barnea
JulienAccordionist Julien Labro will perform at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival on August 4, 2018 at Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island 02840.

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

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

Future performances include:
08/04/18: Julien Labro & Diego Figueiredo, Newport, RI, Newport Jazz Festival
08/05/18 - 08/08/18: Julien Labro/Jason Vieux Duo, Damariscotta, ME, Salt Bay Chamber Festival
08/20/18 - 08/23/18: Julien Labro South American Project, Daejeon, Korea Daejeon Chamber Music Festival
09/09/18: Emilio Solla Tango Jazz Orchestra New York, NY, Birdland
09/14/18: NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band feat. Paquito D’Rivera,Jersey City, NJ,Jazz on the Pier

For further information:

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

Festival of Russian Music in Philadelphia

by Rita Barnea
Peter DiGiovanniThe Balalaika and Domra Association of America (BDAA) presented their Russian Festival Concert at Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 N Broad St, Philadelphia on Saturday July 21,2018. The concert brought together musicians from around the world performing Russian, Eastern European and Gypsy folk music, song and dance, and was the culmination of the BDAA’s 40th annual convention which took place in King of Prussia, PA, July 15th-22, 2018.

The performance featured virtuoso of the balalaika, Elina Karokhina, and virtuoso of the domra, Peter Omelchenko, performing in duos, ensembles and with an 80-piece Russian folk orchestra, featuring two accordionists, conducted by David Cooper. The highlight of the concert will be the 80 person BDAA Russian Folk Orchestra directed by David Cooper. The concert also included appearances by ensembles from across the United States and virtuoso soloists on the balalaika and domra instruments from Russia and Ukraine.

During this week, Russian Folk musicians from all over the world convened in Valley Forge to participate in workshops consisting of musical instruction, performance, folk dancing, folk chorus, mini-concerts and cultural/language activities that vulminsyrf in the Russian festival concert on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at Temple Performing Arts Center. The highlight of the concert was the 80 person BDAA Russian Folk Orchestra directed by David Cooper. The concert also included appearances by ensembles from across the United States and virtuoso soloists on the balalaika and domra instruments from Russia and Ukraine.

Peter DiGiovanni is one of the accordionists for the group. Originally from New York, now living in Oakton, VA., Peter has been playing piano since a small child, and accordion for the past 25 years. Affiliated with the Washington Balalaika Society, Russkiye Musikanti, the Metropolitan Washington Accordion Society of which he is President, the Maryland Accordion Club, and the American Accordion Association. He has performed numerous times at parties and celebrations, grand openings, public and private concerts, and music clubs and festivals. Knows hundreds of songs by ear, covering music for all seasons and a wide range of genres, and is equally comfortable sitting or strolling, playing solo or accompanying singers, or jamming with other musicians. Instruction is available for students of all ages, either at his home in Oakton or at the student's home, and emphasizes ear training as well as traditional methods. For more information:

Excerpts from the BDAA Website: The Balalaika and Domra Association of America (BDAA) was formed in 1978 by three musicians interested in the study and performance of Russian and Eastern European music on the traditional folk instruments of Russia -- the balalaika, domra, bayan (Russian accordion) and related folk wind and folk percussion instruments. In its nearly 40 years of existence the Association has grown to an international membership of over 400, with connections to many orchestras and ensembles worldwide. The common bond is music, and a desire to learn more about it in the company of others with similar interests.

For further information on BDAA:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Klezmerfest: Oktopus & The Debaucherauntes on August 11

by Rita Barnea
Klezmer Group
Klezmerfest: Octopus and the Debaucherauntes hosted by The Debaucherauntes and Caravan World Rhythms Events takes place on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 8:PM PM at The Wise Hall & Lounge, 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V5L 2E2.

Join them for this festive evening of Klezmer-infused music and you will be whisked away on a vibrant journey, following the trail of the klezmorim across Europe, then eastward to the moving sands and sounds of the Maghreb, and as far east as the Urals, where its soulful renditions of the oral traditions of the Balkans echo the tears of the dispossessed. Dancing is encouraged!!

Excerpts rom the Klezmerfest FB Page: About the group, Octopus: The instrumental creature known as Oktopus extends its creative tentacles across the landscape of East European music with an effervescent concoction of new and reinvented elements of the repertoire. The band’s exuberant harmony of bows, keys, valves and mouths strikes a chord in music lovers’ hearts, bringing pure joy to audiences in quest of memorable evenings, festive occasions and other momentous celebrations.

The group was founded in 2010 by Gabriel Paquin-Buki, who from, the outset, has signed dozens of arrangements from the traditional repertoire, as well as from classical, pop and Québécois music and who, more recently, has contributed, along with violinist Vanessa Marcoux, new compositions to the group’s repertoire. To see Oktopus perform live, whether in a concert hall, in a park, on a street corner or in a hot-air balloon, will transport you, transform you, entrance you, and enhance your desire to dance on and on.

Seattle-based Klezmer fusion band The Debaucherauntes is known for their tilt-a-whirl tempos, neo-vaudvillian-esque tinged stage presence, powerhouse vocals, blistering solos, and earworm melodies ranging from hearbreaking to dance candy. Inspired by a diverse range of influences, from whiskey-soaked throaty circus ballads to triphop, folk punk, and electroswing, audiences leave with tired feet and a full heart.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Future events

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Long Island Accordion Alliance Features Fabio Lucarelli on September 5

by Rita Barnea
LIAA logo
FabioLa Villini Restaurant of East Northport, NY is sponsoring the next meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) on Wednesday, September 5, 2018. at 6:PM. The featured guest artist will be accordionist Fabio Lucarelli. LIAA is now in their 8th year of celebrating the accordion on Long Island, New York. You can see them on Facebook and Youtube.

In the Lucarelli family, there are four generations of accordionists, all with the same name! The first Fabio began performing on the accordion professionally during the days of Vaudeville. Fabio, Sr. was a self taught musician and entertained with the clarinet and accordion. He founded Fabio's Accordion School in Derby, CT.

Many years later, his son, Fabio Jr., used his lunch box to pretend he was playing an accordion. At the age of seven, his father began to teach him. Later, they became known as Fabio & Fabio and he also gave accordion lessons. With his accordion, Fabio was sent to the front lines in Korea, where it saved his life. Fabio performed for the troops and officer clubs with Eddie Fisher. After the service, Fabio Jr. continued playing with Bob Kay’s Orchestra and formed the Fabio Trio in the early 60’s touring from Florida to Greenland.

The accordion was always an integral part of the Lucarelli family life. Fabio 3rd at the age of three, was given the accordion by his grandfather in 1957. Those days were known as the Golden Age of Accordion. Fabio practiced while his father was on the road, joining him when the Trio was on their East Coast tour. They continued performing as a Father/Son duet calling themselves Fabio & Fabio.

Fabio 3rd continued his accordion career performing in many venues and became a regular on the WICC Italian House Party in Bridgeport, CT. Fabio 4th was inspired by the recordings of his grandfather taking lessons from the great jazz artist, Dominic Mecca, of Waterbury, CT. During elementary school, he was the first and only accordionist in the Salem School Band!

Eventually he was introduced by his father on WICC radio and they were the 3rd generation of Fabio & Fabio, performing many of the arrangements passed down to them by their grandfather. They also recorded several CD's which are available. An amazing accordion family!

LIAA events are held at:      
La Villini Restaurant
288 Larkfield Road.
East Northport, NY 11731

Reservations are recommended.
Phone: 631-261-6344

Vancouver Accordion Events in August and September

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Noir
The Vancouver Squeezebox Circle meets from 8-10 pm the first Thursday of every month including August 2, 2018, at Spartacus Books (3378 Findlay Street).   There, people show and tell about their accordions, answer questions from new players and the squeezebox-curious, and play music together!

Additional accordion events happening in Vancouver area:
1. The Spillionaires at the SE corner of John "Trout Lake" Hendry Park this Sat Aug 4th from 2-5:PM; Alison Jenkins squeezing in the cast of "Once" at the Arts Club on Granville Island through Sun Aug 5th; Klezmerfest with Seattle's Debaucherantes
2. Sat. Aug.11 at the WISE Hall, competing with Something About Reptiles at the Backstage Lounge.  (Also that day, an accordion festival in Chemainus, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the Georgia Strait.) 
3. You can hear Ana Bon-bon Thurs Aug 16th at the grand opening extravaganza for Burcu's Angels Code B
4. August 26 the Gram Partisans play at the Wooden Boat Festival on Granville Island.

The Port Townsend Deep Squeeze runs for three days, two of which offer free programming from Fri Aug 31st through Sun Sept 2nd.  Acts include The Vickie Townsend Band, The Alternators, Tangoheart, The Pickled Herring Band, The Mudbugs, Zodiko 1 Nightaz and Those Darn Accordions!

11th annual Accordion Noir Festival takes place on Wed Sept 12, 2018 with a festival edition of Accordion Noir Radio and a side-stage at the Main Street Farmer's Market, takes a detour the following night at the opening of the "Echoes and Ripples" exhibition of music-themed visual art at Creative Coworkers featuring the works of Accordion Noir Fest poster designers Elin Jonsson and Mister Fire-Man, accompanied by music from Rowan Lipkovits, Katheryn Petersen, and the Legion of Flying Monkeys Horn Orchestra... then kicks off in earnest with the festival's official opening night Friday Sept 14th at the WISE Hall (home to the following three days of programming) featuring festival headliners Jason Webley (Washington), Amy Denio (Washington), and of course Geoff Berner, with the Secret Emchy Society (California) opening.  

Excerpts from Accordion Noir FB Page: “Roaring out of the gate with a slate of festival luminary deep cuts from Accordion Noir's distant past, rediscover why you fell in love with the bent, circus-like sounds of noir accordion all over again!

Singer/author Geoff Berner, klezmer rebel and the patron Saint of the Accordion Noir movement has been involved in just about every year's edition of our festival, showing an entire generation of accordion punks that another, less bubbly, world is possible. Legendary busker-king Jason Webley returns to our festival for the first time since its second installment, prepared to howl like a werewolf biting Tom Waits, spin yarns like a Russian sailor and break your heart like a forgotten dream.

"Unclassifiable" avant-garde composer Amy Denio, the only performer we've hosted to have worked with KMFDM, Chuck D AND Pauline Oliveros, is back at the Accordion Noir Festival at long last... as we've finally just about recovered from her appearance at our inaugural year back in 2008.

Inspired by 1920s cabaret music, murder ballads and Leonard Cohen, opener Emchy has been keeping the squeeze dark and alt for over a decade through her projects (list heavily abbreviated) Rhubarb Whiskey, Vagabondage and the Oakland Wine Drinkers Union, Local 88.

Saturday night is the dance party, with sets by Tsunami Pinata (Washington), Dogtooth & Nail (Oregon), the Argyle Embargo, and East Van's own Polka Time!  Sunday is still being desperately reshuffled to work around some late-breaking cancellations from very distinguished guests, but closing night will feature a set by local folkies Illiteratty and the fest being closed down by Wendy McNeill (the minimalist gothic accordion muse from Alberta, via France, Sweden and Spain) ... plus a couple of surprise guests!”

For further information:

William Schimmel in Composers Concordance Concerts 2018-2019

by Rita Barnea
Composers Condordance
Dr. William SchimmelComposers Concordance's 2018 - 2019 season site is now live! Twenty exciting concerts are planned, including their 8th Annual CompCord Festival: 'Animals.' Here below is a partial list of amazing composers and performers included this season.

Dr. William Schimmel will participate in some of these events. More information to follow in later publications.

2018 - 2019 Season Concerts:
September: Chorus 72 -  @ William Paterson University 
November: - Around the World - @ The DiMenna Center
Estonian Connections -Venue TBA
December: - All About Russia - @ Goddard Riverside - Bernie Wohl Center
January: - Tick Tock - @ National Opera Center
Brass Motion - @ The DiMenna Center 
March: - CompCord Big Band - Venue TBA  
Silent Film Night - @ Goddard Riverside - Bernie Wohl Center 
CompCord Ensemble @ NWEAMO - @ San Diego State University School of Music and Dance
April: - Eclectic Bands - Venue TBA 
Jarvis @ 60! Birthday Concert - Venue TBA 
May: - 8th Annual CompCord Festival: 'Animals' -
i. Mostly Mutts' Art @ St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
ii. 10th Annual Comp-Play-Comp Marathon - 'Animal Theme' @ DROM NYC
iii. Remix of the Animals @ Bar Thalia - Symphony Space
iv. Entertaining Science - Venue TBA
v. Animal Gallery @ Estonian House
June : - The Progression Ensemble with Sean Satin & Jay Kauffman Duo - @ Kostabi World Uptown

Composers and performers:(those already confirmed, not the final list):
Aaron Alter, Adam Holzman, Alon Nechushtan, Amir Khosrowpour, Angela Babin, Ann Warren, Anton Rovner, Anton Vishio, Arkady Leytush, Arthur Kampela, Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred, Bruce Arnold, Carlos José Castro Mora, Carlton Holmes, Carlton Wilkinson, Carolyn Steinberg, Charles Coleman, Christopher Vassiliades, CompCord Big Band, CompCord Chorus, CompCord Ensemble, CompCord String Orchestra Cristian Amigo, Dan Cooper, Daniel Palkowski, Daniel Schnyder, Dave Soldier, David Morneau, David Rozenblatt, David Saperstein, David See, David Taylor, Debra Kaye, Delila Gutman, Denise Stillwell, Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, Dina Pruzhansky, Dorian Wallace, Duke Bojadzijev, Eleanor Cory, Eugene McBride, Faye-Ellen Silverman, Franz Hackl, Gene Pritsker, Geoffrey Burleson, Gerson Galante, Ginka Mizuki, Gloria Coates, Greg Baker, Hajnal Pivnick, Hans Rotman, Heather Green, HI5, Jane Getter, Jasna Popovic, Jay Rodriguez, Jennifer DeVore, Jessica Wells, Jinhee Han, Joe Deninzon, John Clark, John Link, Jonathan Shanes, Jordi Barceló, Joseph Martin Waters, Joseph Pehrson, Joseph Waters, Juri Reinvere, Kathleen Supové, Kathy Halvorson, Katie Scheele, Kinga Augustyn, Kristjan Järvi, Lara St. John, Laurence Goldman, Luciano Berio, Luigi Porto, Luis Andrei Cobo, Lukas Ligeti, Lynn Bechtold, Maarika Järvi, Machiko Ozawa, Mark Kostabi, Mark Snyder, Martin Kuuskman, Masatora Goya, Matt Herskowitz, Max Pollak, Melanie Mitrano, Michael Villmow, Milica Paranosic, Mioi Takeda, Monika Mattiesen, Olga Terlitsky, Oriol Cruixent, Otto Luening, P. Kellach Waddle, Patrick Grant, Payton MacDonald, Peter Fabrizio, Peter Jarvis, Peter Melnick, Rainer Gross, Ralph Schutti, Randall Woolf, Richard Sussman, Rocco Jerry, Roger Tréfousse, Scott Hoefling, Sean Satin & Jay Kaufmann Duo, Sebastian Pritsker, Seth Boustead, Shanan Estreicher, Sophie Dunér, Sound Liberation, Stefan Zeniuk, Svjetlana Bukvich, The Freud Brothers, The Progression Ensemble, The Yorkvillians, Threeds, Tuulikki Bartosik, Vasilije Mokranjac, Velizar Iordanov, William Schimmel, Zach Seely, & Zentripetal Duo.

Accordion Noir Festival Dance Party September 15

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Noir Dance Party
Rowan Lipkovits contributes: Accordion Noir Fest XI: Dance party with Polka Time! and friends in keeping with a venerable Accordion Noir Festival tradition, Saturday night, September 15, 2018 at 8:PM will officially be building to a raging dance party, featuring four bands from very different walks with at least one free-reed in common. The location is The Wise Hall & Lounge Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Tsunami Piñata hails from the wilds of Washington's Pacific Northwest, echoing the geographical collision of the forests meeting the coast with the sound of the banjo meeting the accordion, playing from a consciously and conspicuously varied repertoire of world musics.

Portland, Oregon's Dogtooth & Nail exemplify one more of the varied textures of Cascadian accordion-banjo duos, with driving bluesy political folk tunes about environmentalism, feminism, anti-capitalism and creating change.

Queercoastal indie folk-rock with an intersectional angle, The Argyle Embargo is working toward a more inclusive and equitable world with authentic storytelling, progressive pop sensibilities... and an accordion.

Cultural trends come and go in cycles, and we have good news: nearly 60 years after the polka craze was driven deep underground into thrift store record bins, the odometer has somehow ticked over and suddenly Polka Time! is the hottest dance ticket in town. There's no point in arguing, just shut up and bring your dancing shoes.

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

New and Updated Sites

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Updated Site: SqueezinArt – USA

by Harley Jones
SqueezinArt, home of unique gifts for accordionists and accordion enthusiasts, now has a downloadable price list and colorful catalogues in PDF format:

SqueezinArt will be exhibiting at the American Accordionists’ Association’s 80th anniversary Festival in Alexandria, Virginia, July 11-15. New items, such as the accordion trivet (picture below) made of Corian®, as well as a variety of t-shirts, pins, and many other gift items will be available for purchase.
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