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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Aug-2021
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Mary Simon is 30th Governor General of Canada and an Accordionist!
Pennsylvania Accordionist Garrett Tatano is Voted Polka Star of Tomorrow
2021 Not Just Oompah! Accordion Concert & Workshop Featuring Joseph Natoli
Julian Labro in Summer Concerts
2021 Virtual AAA Master Class & Concert Series Online Now with Dr. William Schimmel
New Location of The New England Accordion Connection & Museum Co.
Find Your Post-Pandemic Musical Opportunities! National Accordion Association, Inc.
Paul Betken Demonstrates the Use of the Accordion in Pop Music
Summer Update on Sam Reider

Voci Armoniche

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

2021 AAA Virtual Competition Results
The Accordion World Loses Another Great: August “Gus” Greyhosky, age 94
2021 World Cup on the Accordion Virtual Polka Championship
Bachtopus Releases “Six of One (Half Dozen of the Other)” by Bob Goldberg
2021 Stowe Tango Music Festival with Hector Del Curto
Mario Tacca Entertains at Magnanini Winery
The Alex Meixner Band on Tour
2021 40th Annual Celebrations - Milwaukee Irish Fest
Accordion Player Entertains a Herd of Walruses in the Arctic Ocean
Accordionists Perform at DAS Fest in Wisconsin

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Children's Corner

Performance by Francesca and Julianna Busso

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

Future events

2021 IDEAS Symposium 4.0 is Virtual Oct. 29 - Nov.7
Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat Includes 6 Talented Young Artists
2021 Cotati Accordion Festival on September 25 and 26
Polka Hall of Fame 17th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival
Live Northeast Squeeze-In September 10-12 in Pennsylvania
2021 Carrefour Mondial de L’Accordeon in Canada



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rita BarneaAugust is a great and encouraging month for the accordion. Virtual events are still part of our lives but there are many more live happenings that are available in your area including concerts, festivals, opening of an accordion museum, and more! Finally we can meet with accordion friends and be a part of the lively accordion scene!

Be sure to check out the Futures Section also! There are many events planned for this fall and winter.

Send comments/ideas to

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

Mary Simon is 30th Governor General of Canada and an Accordionist!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Mary SimonCanadian Press reporters, Emma Tranter and Chris Reynolds presented a news item, recently on Mary Simon, the first Indigenous leader to be chosen as the new Governor General of Canada, the 30th Governor General of Canada. She is an accordion player! Not only is she the first Indigenous Governor-General, she is the first accordion player to become one!

According to the Winnipeg Free Press report, Okalik Eegeesiak, Simon’s friend and fellow Inuk leader, said she knows Simon as a humble and professional leader, but also as “a lot of fun.” Eegeesiak remembers once, at an event in Ottawa, Simon picked up her accordion and started to play for the crowd. “She”s just that type of person. She’ll just get into it and play an accordion at some event,” Eegeesiak said.“That’s one of the fun memories I have. Well, everything is fun around her.”

Excerpts from the website: Mary Simon is an advocate for Inuit rights and culture in Canada. She has represented the Inuit to the Canadian government and the United Nations, including work that led to the Inuit people’s inclusion in the Constitution in 1982.

Born in Kangisualuujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec), Mary moved with her to Kuujjuaq, where she attended a federal day school. Mary’s father was an Englishman and a fur trader with the Hudson’s Bay Company and her mother was an Inuk. After Mary completed the sixth grade, she was homeschooled by her father.

In the 1970s, Mary worked for the CBC’s Northern Service. Seeking an opportunity to express her personal and political views more openly, she left to work with the Northern Quebec Inuit Association (NQIA) which is dedicated to supporting Inuit rights and interests in Nunavik. After the signing of the 1975 land claims agreement, the NQIA was renamed the Makivik Corporation. Eventually becoming president of the Makivik, Mary was involved in the implementation of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

She has worked with the Inuit Circumpolar Council and the Arctic Council. She was also Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs and Canadian Ambassador to Denmark.

Beginning in 2006, Mary served two terms as the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), which focuses on the advancement of Inuit rights, where she advocated for more attention to health and education issues among youth in the North. She has acted as chairperson for the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation and until 2014 Mary was the chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education.

Among many other distinctions, Mary is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Governor General's Northern Medal, Recipient of the National Order of Québec, the Gold Order of Greenland, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gold Order of the Canadian Geographical Society and the Symons Medal. She has been inducted into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame. She is a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Mary said, "Respect each other. Doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re an Inuk, a First Nations, Métis, French Canadian, English Canadian, or somebody from another country. Respect each other, each other’s culture, each other’s identity, and accommodate the differences. It’s a big world.”

Titano Accordion Company

Pennsylvania Accordionist Garrett Tatano is Voted Polka Star of Tomorrow

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Garrett Tatano
Polka boysAccordionist Garrett Tatano of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was voted Polka Star of Tomorrow at a musical competition hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 18, 2021. Three hundred polka music fans cast ballots for four entertainers at SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, near Cleveland.

Tatano received a plaque and will be featured at the 57th Annual Thanksgiving Polka Weekend, sponsored by the Polka Hall of Fame. Tatano competed as the lead accordionist with his own orchestra, including Vincent Filipelli, Anthony Popovski, Logan Watson and Phil Yan III. Tatano also performs with Jack Tady’s Pittsburgh-based band.

All four of the polka contenders are under 25. The three other musicians were Joshua Kay and TJ Likovic, both Cleveland accordionists, and drummer RJ Zolka from Youngstown, Ohio. All four will perform with their bands on the main stage at the Thanksgiving Polka Weekend at the Holiday Inn Cleveland South, in Independence, Ohio, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 26, 27 and 28, 2021..

The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame celebrates the style of American dance music that emerged from the city's Slovenian neighborhoods and became a national sensation with America’s Polka King Frank Yankovic in the decades after World War II.

The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11 to 4, at 605 East 222nd Street in Euclid, Ohio, in the city’s historic former city hall. For more information on Polka Hall of Fame events, check their website or call (216) 621- FAME.

Photo: Four polka musicians competed for the title of Polka Star of Tomorrow at an event hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 18, 2021. From left: Cleveland accordionist TJ Likovic, Youngstown drummer RJ Zolka, accordionist Garrett Tatano of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland accordionist Joshua Kay. Tatano was voted in as the polka musician of the future at SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. All four musicians will appear at the Polka Hall of Fame’s Thanksgiving Polka Weekend, November 26, 27 and 28. 

Photo: Garrett Tatano of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was voted Polka Star of Tomorrow at an event hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame at SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, on Sunday, July 18, 2021.

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

2021 Not Just Oompah! Accordion Concert & Workshop Featuring Joseph Natoli

by Shirley Johnson and Laura J. Niland, Co-founders of NJO
Joe NatoliIt’s time for more summer fun with Not Just Oompah! featuring Joseph Natoli, who will present a two-day workshop on “Music Composition” and a special online Concert as well.

The 2021 Zoom Workshops are scheduled for:
Monday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 24 from 7:00 - 9:30 PM Central Time each night.
Cost: $70 includes all workshop materials delivered by email and a free concert admission.

The Natoli Concert will be held on ZOOM and will feature a variety of music from Joe’s creative collection.
Sunday, August 22 from 3:00 - 4:PM Central Time & is free to those taking the workshop.
Additional Concert tickets are $25 to view the concert only.
Registration is required to view the concert.

The NJO workshop will focus on Composing Music and will also include these topics:
1.Critical Elements in Composition & Arranging,
2.Alternative Stradella Chord Voicings with examples,
3.Using Accordion Registers Effectively (How to Orchestrate Possibilities Beyond That Master Switch)
4.How to Play Musically which is more than just notes to consider. Joe will lead you through the process of composing and arranging so that you can find your creative ninja!

Joseph Natoli is a master musician, performer, arranger, composer, and teacher. He is a past President of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) and in addition to his many projects, he is the co-founder and co-director of IDEAS (International Digital Accordion Society). Joe’s education includes a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Toronto (Canada) Faculty of Music. Although he started his musical career mostly as a performer, he has always been interested in composition, and in recent years his focus is more on his compositional craft.

Natoli has written many original pieces in all musical styles and genres for standard and free bass accordion, all of which are available by inquiries to , including his latest pieces: "Children’s Suite" for accordion solo; "Smooth" (a Latin jazz piece for solo or accordion quintet); 2018 commission for the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) 80th anniversary entitled "Sonata in F Major (in the Classical Style)"; and another 2019 AAA commission for 2 accordions, cello and percussion called "Child’s Play". Joe has numerous recordings in both all-acoustic accordion and all-digital accordion. His CDs are available on his JANPress website. Joe continues to compose new pieces daily, enjoying the creative process.

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting workshop presentation. Explore your own creative talents and have fun learning with Joe Natoli. Joe will help you through the process of writing your own compositions with a few surprises along the way.

Join us for the NJO summer fun at the “Music Composition” Workshop with Joseph Natoli.

Again, the Zoom concert is Sunday afternoon, August 22. Be sure to register for the concert if you are not attending the workshop.

For more details, registration, and payment visit the website:

For more information please contact:
Shirley Johnson, co-founder NJO
Laura J. Niland, cofounder, NJO

Accordion Jazz Chords

Julian Labro in Summer Concerts

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Julian Labro
Video: "Rosetta" (Earl Hines)
Jazz accordion master Art Van Damme would have celebrated his 100th birthday on April 9, 2020. Julian shares, “Here is a video with his signature quintet sound and trademark riffs. I am grateful to colleagues and friends Christian Tamburr, Olli Soikkeli, Eduardo Belo and Richie Barshay for their awesome musical contribution to this #quarantine quintet!"

Heralded as “the next accordion star,” Julien Labro has established himself as an important accordion and bandoneón player in both the classical and jazz genres. Deemed to be “a triple threat: brilliant technician, poetic melodist and cunning arranger,” his artistry, virtuosity, and creativity as a musician, composer and arranger have earned him international acclaim and he continues to astonish audiences worldwide.

Picking up the accordion at nine years old, French-born Labro’s earliest influence was traditional folk music and the melodic, lyrical quality of the French chanson. After graduating from the Marseille Conservatory and sweeping first prize in many international accordion competitions, Labro moved to the United States to further pursue his musical dream.

Equipped with advanced degrees in classical music, jazz studies, and composition, Labro draws from his diverse background and eclectic musical influences in his search for new themes and untried concepts, evolving and developing his ideas into new projects. Labro has worked with numerous symphonies, chamber ensembles and collaborators around the world. His albums and busy performance schedule is a testament of his musical journey.

Future live USA performances include:

Date Artist City Venue Country
08/14/21 Berks Jazz Festival (Django Reinhardt program w/ the Reading Pops Orchestra): Reading, PA Berks Jazz Festival

08/19/21 Julien Labro & the Django Collective: Vail, CO Vail Jazz Festival

09/04/21 Maria Schneider Orchestra: Washington, (D.C.) DC JazzFest

11/06/21 That’s Not Tango—Astor Piazzolla, A Life in Music: Amarillo, TX Chamber Music Amarillo


2021 Virtual AAA Master Class & Concert Series Online Now with Dr. William Schimmel

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
AAA Logo
The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) is presenting a 2021 Master Class & Concert Series with Dr. William Schimmel, moderator and curator, from July 30th to August 1st, 2021. This event will be held online the same as the very successful 2020 event. Entitled "The Twilight Time" (The magical place from light to darkness), the AAA Master Class and Concert Series will feature daily masterclasses from 3:PM to 4:PM and concerts from 4:PM to 5:PM.

Welcome to our 27th Year and like last year, the master classes and concerts will be virtual.

The topics will include:
A new AAA commissioned work
51 ways to go - oom pah
Playing the Accordion for babies
The use of the Accordion for Special needs adults
Sea Shanties
The accordion in confined space
The Accordion and Alcohol - including Happy Hour
The Accordion and no Alcohol - Coffee and Culture
New exciting videos
The accordion and the “chi”
The resonance of the accordion when absent
Which/What - Which accordion for what purpose
Unusual accordions and accordion replacements and how to use them
Art Songs, Indie Songs and new takes on Rapture Hymns and Psychedeliia

And Twilight Time:
The short list of featured participants will include:
Micki Goodman, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Paul Stein, Will Holshouser, Dr. Denise Koncelik,
Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Michael Schimmel, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, John Foti, Jeanne Velonis, Bachtopus, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, Mary Spencer Knapp, Charita Paramikatorn, Sarah Starpoli, Miwa Gemini, Jennie Muoio, Erica Marie Mancini, Carl Riehl, Doug Makofka, Bob Goldberg, David Stoler, Benjamin Ickies, Corn Mo, Brian Dewan, Mike’s Place (Mike, Edith, Keith, Tony, Brian, Micki), Ted Nash, The Yorkvillians, Melissa Elledge, Rachel Quirbach, Rachel Swaner, Elaine Yau, Peter Flint, Robert Duncan, Mayumi Mayaoka, Dan Cooper, Michio Suzuki, John Ferraro, Dave Soldier, David First, Peter Jarvis, Linda Reed, Raymond Storms, Natasia Thweatt, Gene Pritsker, Quentin Tice, Milica Paranosic, Elliott Sharp and others to be announced. - and Dr. Schimmel (the long list on the downloadable flyer may contain some past participants)

The Zoom links will be provided shortly before the event

$110 for entire weekend - $25 per individual master class or concert - $40 per day (includes Master Class and Concert)

Download the AAA Masterclass flier for a full list of participants and reservation information:
Online reservations:

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

New Location of The New England Accordion Connection & Museum Co.

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Paul RamunniAccordion Stories from the HeartPaul Ramunni is proud to announce the new location of his New England Accordion Connection and Museum Co. Paul extends an invitation: “Hi Everyone......Thank you for all of your supporting comments. We've been open at our new location for over 10 days now and something amazing has been happening. At least 200 people have come through our doors, most of whom I never met before.

In every case, within 10 minutes we have all become friends. All it took was a little fun music, a great location, a brewery next door and a ton of interesting accordions on display. The jukebox has been cranking, I have been entertaining folks on the accordion and we have all been rediscovering how to have fun and enjoy each others' company. It's the power of music and the historic power of the accordion. We are open 7 days a week as long as people keep's definitely worth the trip from anywhere!!!”

Call if you want to visit:
Paul Ramunni
75 Main street
Canaan Union Railroad Station
Canaan, Connecticut, 06018

The New England Accordion Connection & Museum Co.recently opened in the historic Canaan Union Depot railroad station alongside the railroad museum and Great Falls Brewing Co. The
large room holds hundreds of accordions from floor to ceiling.

How exactly did the oldest operating Union Station in the United States come to house one of the country’s rare galleries dedicated to keeping alive the beauty and excitement of the accordion. As Ramunni recalls, it began 12 years ago while vacationing in Vermont with his wife, Marcia. Something suddenly prompted a strong desire to start playing accordion again. It had been years, though, since he had last played, and he no longer had an instrument. Locating a local Vermont collector, they stopped in.

Among the dozens of accordions, Ramunni noticed several small concertina-style pieces, all old and rusted, many with missing pieces. His enquiry revealed that these had been the instruments of prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. Ramunni was deeply moved. Suddenly, he saw the pieces as conduits of history, wondering, “What else has happened to these accordions? Where have they been?” Paul has written a fascinating book, "Accordion Stories from the Heart” which is available on Amazon.

I read the book. It was an emotional following of people’s lives and relationships with their accordions. It really makes a perfect gift for any accordion aficionado or music lover. “Accordion Stories From The Heart” provides a wealth of stunning photos and loving insights into the exceptional, and sometimes tear-evoking stories involving many featured accordions from around the world. In his book, Mr. Ramunni tenderly describes the extraordinary people who played and listened to this beautiful musical instrument over the past two centuries.  

The 143-page hard-covered “Accordion Stories From The Heart” fills the reader’s heart with warm and fascinating accordion-related stories. The book features more than 70 photos of spectacularly decorated hand-built accordions of multiple colors and ivory-like keyboards. They originate from many countries around the world and date back as far as 1829.

As Paul’s intense interest in collecting accordions began, they unearthed instruments at tag sales, barns and antique shops finding that each had a unique story. “It just got ahold of us,” says Ramunni. “There’s value here, there’s history. It’s not just an object like a hammer or a saw; it’s a relationship.” As the instruments, and their stories, flowed in, the New England Accordion Connection & Museum Co. was born. The Ramunnis ran it from a building at their Cannan home, often taking exhibits on the road to senior centers, libraries, historical societies and other groups. Additionally they hosted concerts.

Recently Paul moved to Lakeville and found out that the perfect place was available…the historic Union Depot in North Canaan, CT. “This space was a miracle,” says Ramunni. Soon their collection of more than 500 accordions had a new home.  

The NEAM collection follows the development of accordions from around 1900 through the height of their popularity in the 1950’s and today’s instruments. It includes button, piano and even digital accordions. Among their vintage treasures are a rare 1829 ‘Flutina’, Art Deco wonders of the 1920's and 1930's and Lawrence Welk’s first accordion. Visitors should be sure to look for the spectacular instrument that once belonged to Barbara O’Connell, who entertained over 300,000 troops during WWII, many of them mere hours away from deploying to the front lines. 

In addition to the very impressive display, the Ramunnis offer accordion sales, servicing, repair, lessons and sheet music. They will happily organize a “Traveling Museum” to play and display pieces and tell their stories. “We’d love to go into schools,” noted Marcia Ramunni, “once that’s allowed again.” 

For Paul, he Accordion Museum is a labor of love. Paul adds, “We want to do something that makes people happy and shows folks that we can enjoy one another. The accordion is an old way of doing that, but effective. I put it on and play for you and all of a sudden there’s a friendship.”   

Be sure to schedule a visit to the New England Accordion Connectionand Museum Co. very soon!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Find Your Post-Pandemic Musical Opportunities! National Accordion Association, Inc.

by Sharon Seaton, Ed.D.
Dr. Sharon SeatonNAA LogoThis weeks challenge is the beginning of an informal research project designed to gather new ideas for promoting the accordion.

Weekly Challenge 24:
Post-Pandemic Musical Opportunities
(This is a faith statement related to always moving forward)

Background to Weekly Challenge #24:
Starting in January 2021, Norman and Sharon decided to break from personal normal routines by finding new restaurants and visiting different events than we usually visit. The primary purpose of the changes is to observe the organizational operations of these restaurants and events to determine if accordion music is a good option for the various establishments. The Seatons are also walking in new areas in our city, nearby communities, and even in neighboring states. One trend that we have discovered is a movement toward stronger family units, especially in younger families with small children.

Opportunities in Mexican Restaurants?
We have noticed that during the early evening hours, young families dine at Mexican restaurants. Due to the labor shortage, the service is slow, and the young ones easily get restless. If an accordionist could be playing soothing music intermingled with music for young children, the mood of the restaurant would change immediately. This is one idea that can become an accordion movement.

Directions for Week 24:
This week I am challenging USA and Canadian accordionists to spend some time studying areas and activities that are outside of your normal activities. Collect and assemble your opinions as related to accordion music.

Encourage your musical buddy (established in last week’s Challenge) to complete his/her evaluation of musical opportunities. The buddy is to also collect and assemble findings.
At the end of Week 24, discuss and document your findings with the selected buddy. In the weeks to come, NAA officials will develop an efficient method for collecting and distributing the findings to the Accordion Community.

Accordionists are a stubborn bunch:
Believe me, our beloved Accordion Community is not dying out. True, the pandemic caused us to “stub our toe,” but it will not stop our momentum. Our research will enable us to start an accordion movement for improvement.

For further information:
Sharon Seaton, NAA Director
605 FM 740 North
Forney, TX 75126

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

Paul Betken Demonstrates the Use of the Accordion in Pop Music

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Paul BetkenVideo: Use of the accordion in pop music

Accordionist Paul Betken shares, “In response to a recent thread on the use of the accordion in pop music, here is my example of the way the accordion can be creatively utilized with other popular instruments in a group atmosphere. This type of pop arrangement is something you may not expect to hear on our instrument. The photos are added to bring you along on the journey.” Selections include: “Imagine” by John Lennon and “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell

Originally from Chicago, Paul Betken studied with Leon Sash and performed in the Chicago-land metro area for over 30 years. Now, residing in Phoenix, AZ for the last 17 years, he enjoys casual engagements and jam sessions all around town. Subject to the adversity of the pandemic conditions imposed on entertainment activities in general, Paul has kept active performing at local music venues, recording, and writing composition books. In the last 10 yrs., he has appeared in duet format with the re-known accordionist, Jerry Cigler, at numerous concerts in Las Vegas, NV and Dallas, TX.

Paul’s past concert appearances include the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018; Florida Smash, Southeast Accordion Association, Orlando, Florida, November, 2012; Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati, CA, August, 2015; Cotati Accordion Scholarship Concert, Redwood Café, Cotati, CA, August, 2015, 2017 and 2018; National Accordion Association Convention Concert, Dallas, 2014; 2015; 2018 and 2019; 78th ATG Festival, Lisle, Illinois, 2017. He participated in the Mesa Accordion Event 2012, 2013, and 2014; 1st Runner-up, Senior Division, Roland Accordion Festival Competition (2012); the “Jazz Series” at Sacred Grounds, Phoenix, AZ, “A Tribute to Leon Sash” July 2012; the Opa Life Cafe Jazz Series, Tempe, Arizona, 2016 to present and THE NASH, Phoenix, Arizona, November 4, 2018.

Paul has played in concert for many accordion organizations including the North Hollywood, CA Accordion Club, July 2012; Silicon Valley Accordion Club, San Jose, CA, January, 2015, the Chicago Accordion Club, Elmhurst, Illinois, July, 2017, Napa Valley Accordion Assn, 2019, and the Arizona Accordion Club.

Paul has given numerous national accordion workshops at national events including the National Accordion Association Convention, Dallas, 2014 through 2019; Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, Las Vegas, NV, June, 2015; 2018; ATG Festival, Lisle, Illinois 2017; and at the Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati, California, August 2017. He is a judge for the Cotati Festival Youth Scholarship Fund (2019 and 2021).

Paul has published music books for jazz accordion instruction, “Jazz Accordion Arrangements” with CD, Paul Betken Productions, © 2017; “Jazz Accordion Arrangements” with CD, 2nd Edition, © 2019, Paul Betken Productions. His CD releases consist of “Paul’s Turn – Jazz Accordion,” Paul Betken Productions, © 2014 which achieved international recognition and “Beyond My Comfort Zone- Eclectic Jazz Accordion” Paul Betken Productions, © 2018 as featured on WKKC, Kirkland Community College radio, the Midwest’s pre-eminent jazz radio station. Both CD’s are available for purchase at the CD Baby Store.

Scheduled Activities and Concerts:
Cotati Accordion Festival: September 26, 2021
Cotati Accordion Festival Scholarship Fund: September 24, 2021
Concert for the Accordion Club of the Redwoods: September 27, 2021

I thoroughly enjoyed Paul’s sensitive style, great technique and choice of music. Added to the performance were the meaningful photos including John Lennon, Frank Marocco.and Bob Moloznik from Oceana, CA.

For more information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Summer Update on Sam Reider

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sam Reider and the Human Hands

Sam ReiderVideo 1: Sam Reider and the Human Hands play "Trio Sonata: I. Reel" by Sam Reider, 2019
Dominick Leslie - mandolin
Duncan Wickel - violin
Recorded live to tape at The Creamery Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Video 2: Sam Reider and the Human Hands play "Del Boca Vista"by Sam Reider, 2019
Eddie Barbash - alto saxophone
Alex Hargreaves - violin
Dominick Leslie - mandolin
Roy Williams - guitar
Dave Speranza - bass
Recorded live to tape at The Creamery Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Accordionist/musician Sam Reider shares, “I’m excited to announce that I’ll be back out in the world with my band for some upcoming concerts on the East and West Coasts this fall. See the calendar below for schedule and ticketing information. For the last few months I have been busy composing and practicing new music. Next week I’ll be recording and performing live at a wonderful new space near Monterey, California. I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on! If you live in New York City, I’ll be playing at my two old favorite haunts, Barbes and Rockwood Music Hall, in early September. I’ll send out a reminder email with further details as we get closer. On September 11th, the Human Hands will be giving a special outdoor concert at Magazzino Italian Art, a stunning museum in Cold Spring, NY. Seating is limited so get your tickets soon—this is not one to be missed! Hope to see you all soon!”

Excerpts from his website: Following the release of their critically-acclaimed record Too Hot to Sleep (2018), Sam and the Human Hands have appeared at major festivals and venues throughout the US and the UK and performed live on the BBC. Irresistible melodies, fiery improvisation and otherworldly sounds collide in what Songlines Magazine has dubbed "mash-up of the the Klezmatics, Quintette du Hot Club de France and the Punch Brothers.” Too Hot To Sleep features Eddie Barbash (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jon Batiste and Stay Human), Alex Hargreaves (Turtle Island Quaret, Live From Here, Sarah Jarosz), Dominick Leslie (Hawktail, Ricky Skaggs Band, Deadly Gentlemen), Roy Williams (Stephane Wrembel), Grant Gordy (David Grisman Quintet) and Dave Speranza.

Reider grew up in San Francisco, the son of a musical theatre composer and klezmer musician. He began performing at a young age, and was interviewed on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on NPR when he graduated high school. At Columbia University, he fell in love with American folk music.

While writing his senior thesis comparing the songwriting of Woody Guthrie and Ira Gershwin, Sam began studying bluegrass and old-time, transcribing the fiddle melodies for the accordion and learning to sing the songs. This set him off on a journey that has taken him from back porches and dive bars to concert halls and major festivals in practically every state in the country.

Representing the U.S. Department of State as a musical ambassador, Sam has travelled to China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Estonia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, carrying his accordion on his back everywhere he goes and collaborating at with international artists. Sounds and stories from these travels frequently serve as the inspiration for Reider’s compositions, which together form an ongoing musical travelogue. As a side-man, collaborator and recording artist, Reider has worked with artists including Sierra Hull, Jorge Glem, Phoebe Hunt, Courtney Hartman, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, T-Pain, David Amram, Nellie McKay Ranger Doug, the Brother Brothers and more.

A passionate educator, Reider leads ongoing performances for public school students throughout the New York City area in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has designed curricula and taught courses at the Stanford Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz, and other private institutions around the country.

Upcoming 2021 Concerts:

August 5th | Sand City, CA - Sandbox *Solo concert*

September 2nd | Brooklyn, NY - Barbes

September 8th | New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3

September 11th | Coldspring, NY - Magazzino Italian Art

September 12th | West Whately, MA - Watermelon Wednesdays

September 18th | Bishop, CA - Millpond Music Festival

December 5th | Chester, CT - Robbie Collomore Series
Sam is currently accepting new students for the fall. He teach piano, accordion, and composition/music theory. Lessons are mostly online, but if you are in the SF Bay Area, he will be making available a limited number of in-person slots. More details soon. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Sam if you have questions.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

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

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

2021 AAA Virtual Competition Results

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Header and Tokarski Musical Arts Fund
Mary and Frank TokarskiCaroline Lammers, Juniorette Honors category winner Alexander Lammers, Junior Honors category winnerEven though the 2021 AAA Festival had to be cancelled, Mary Tokarski took on the heartfelt, arduous task of seeing to it that our accordionists, young and old, would have an opportunity to compete virtually. Thanks to immense assistance from computer guru Mike Silvia, the competition was a success!

There were rules for selections to be played for Standard elementary and Intermediate categories, for Open Juniorette through adult categories, and for Ethnic, Pop, Jazz, Honors and Entertainment categories. Here are the results from the competition: 2021AAAResults.pdf

Photos Right:
Caroline Lammers, Juniorette Honors category winner
Alexander Lammers, Junior Honors category winner

Thank you to all who participated! We hope to see everyone back competing in person at the AAA 2022 Festival in Pennsylvania, July 13-17! Janice Lavoie, 1st place winner of the Adult Honors Category, said it well. “I was very excited to enter the Adult Honors category when it was offered this year. It was reminiscent of my teen years, when I had to play test and choice pieces for my state championship. I found it more nerve-wracking having to submit a video as opposed to playing in front of a judge. I truly miss live performance, and look forward to when I am able to participate live again!”

This year’s prize money was generously donated by The Mary and Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund. This fund, managed by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (Connecticut) was established in 2018. It was created by former AAA President Mary Tokarski to honor her late husband Frank, who lovingly supported her music through the decades, and for her to give young people the ability to “experience the enrichment and the joy that comes from making music.”

North Haven High School students and American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) members can apply for a scholarship or for funds to attend music conferences or competitions, “whatever they feel is going to improve their musical quality or skill.” The AAA thanks you, Mary, for this beautiful, ongoing legacy!

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

The Accordion World Loses Another Great: August “Gus” Greyhosky, age 94

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Lynn Ewing, Gus and Sharon Greyhosky, Joan Grauman
Gus Greyhosky and Sharon Walters GreyhoskyOn Thursday, July 15, 2021, the accordion world lost another one of its greats, August “Gus” Greyhosky. Gus lived all of his 94 years with passion, hard work, tremendous good humor, and an endless, joyous desire to learn new things, which he happily shared with others. I last spoke with Gus and his wife of almost 18 years, accordionist Sharon Walters Greyhosky, a few weeks before he died. Gus was laughing, making plans, and speaking of his new musical challenges: learning the “Locrian minor scale” and the “Coltrain Changes”. Thankfully Gus did not suffer long, and he passed away with his son Gary and his beloved wife Sharon by his side.

Born to Lithuanian parents in southwestern Pennsylvania, Gus spent his youth in Cokesburg, PA, a mining town, where “the accordion ruled”. Although he had no formal music training and did not read music in his youth, Gus played the accordion since about the age of five, and played well. Gus was drafted into the US Army at the end of WWII. His Russian language skills took him to Berlin where he worked as an interpreter. Upon returning to the US, he got a degree at Penn State, then went to flight school where he trained to fly fixed-winged airplanes and helicopters. Gus re-enlisted in the Army, and was sent to Vietnam as a combat pilot. On his first mission in his helicopter, Gus was shot down. Bruised and banged up, he got back up, refused a Purple Heart, refused to be sent home, received a new helicopter and flew combat missions for another 18 months. Gus had two tours in Vietnam, and remained with the Army a total of 28 years. He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1976.

Upon retirement, Gus moved his family to Carlisle, PA, and he began to work for the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, a job he enjoyed until his second retirement in 1990. I never knew anyone like Gus, and I say this lovingly and with awe. Although he suffered several losses of loved ones through the years, Gus remained energetic, warm and totally positive. It seemed like there was nothing Gus couldn’t accomplish, although he never boasted about ANY of his accomplishments! A beautiful quote from Maya Angelou describes Gus so well: “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

A new life with his new wife in San Francisco Stay tuned for one of the sweetest stories I have ever heard: how Gus and his wife Sharon met at an accordion festival! First, a little background info: Gus never studied music, yet he loved music and he loved tinkering with his accordion. After retiring, he had more time for his accordion and for his lifelong passion: learning new things. At this point, his son Gary, an accomplished percussionist, was majoring in music. Gus began reading Gary’s music theory and classical music books. In Gary’s words, “He would ask me questions that I couldn’t answer, he was such a quick learner!”

Now for the “love story”: In the summer of 2003, Gus decided to attend his first accordion event: the AAA Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Well-known Maryland accordionist “Mama” Stella Allison convinced her good friend Sharon Walters to fly east from San Francisco, California to join her at this festival. When they arrived at the festival’s banquet, Stella said to Sharon, “Why don’t you sit next to this gentleman while I chat with my old friend.” Sharon was hesitant, “But, I don’t know him, Stella!” Stella assured her, “You’ll be fine! I’ll join you soon.” In Stella’s words, “I spoke with my friend for about twenty minutes and, when I turned around, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Sharon and Gus were holding hands!!” Gus and Sharon were married in Carlisle, PA that November, with Mama Stella as Matron of Honor. The newlyweds settled in Sharon’s home in San Francisco. Gus was quickly embraced by the San Francisco Accordion Club and the couple began attending accordion festivals and camps together in California and Oregon.

By 2004, I was Stella Allison’s duet partner, and we were performing all over the country together. Thankfully, I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting Gus and Sharon in Oregon in 2005 and we remained very close friends from then on. The Greyhoskys helped me annually with the Frank Marocco Accordion Event (our international accordion orchestra camp that was held annually in Mesa, Arizona). We also traveled together, and visited each other’s homes often. Did I mention that Gus, who skillfully taught himself to read music notation when he was 78, played in our camp orchestra each year, and played very well?!

Gus never, ever let age stop him. One more quote from Maya Angelou that describes Gus: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Another terrific attribute was his sense of humor. Gus always had us laughing. He referred to himself as “Sharon’s Trophy Husband” and teased Sharon and her duet partner, the late Lynn Ewing, for being “paper-trained” — amusingly expressing his frustration with learning to read music. Sharon asked me to make him a “Trophy Husband” tee shirt for his birthday one year. I made the shirt, along with “paper-trained” shirts for Sharon and Lynn (see photo in this article). The Greyhoskys had to stop attending accordion events and club meetings in recent years as Sharon’s health began to fail. When the San Francisco Accordion Club started meeting on Zoom in 2020, Gus joined in and was a delightful addition to the monthly meetings! It warms my heart as I read words sent to me from the attendees of these meetings who never met Gus in person. They were in awe of his musical knowledge, his thoughtfulness and his endless enthusiasm, as was I. He was a wonderful friend to me and to so many others. He will be sadly missed.

I will end with portions of a lovely quote from accordionist Paul Betken who met Gus at one of our Frank Marocco Accordion Events: “Augie (Gus) was one of my most impressive accordion friends. He was a big man with big rational ideas. He always seemed to have a metaphysical command in our conversations because of his unique life experiences — I found myself rather in deference to him in a very good way. I can’t put my finger on it, but he was just a very loving, thoughtful, polite and interesting person….. Make no mistake about it, Augie was a very excellent accordionist…. He enjoyed all genres of of music and he was always exploring the old and the new of playing. His technique was wonderful along with his musical expression……. I am just happy that I had the opportunity to cross paths with him in life.”

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

2021 World Cup on the Accordion Virtual Polka Championship

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
World Cup
Button AccordionThe Button Akordion Rocks Club is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the 2021 World Cup on the Accordion Virtual Polka Championship on August 1 2021. You can watch the 2021 World Cup @ 2:PM EDT. The program should be about 1.5 hours. The competition will be streamed and we have an embed video box above, where you can view the competition.

Button Akordion Rocks Club is a cultural organization that organizes musical events such as accordion competitions, exhibitions, seminars and concert performances. The Button Akordion Rocks Club is a not for profit organization registered in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Their primary mission is to encourage an interest in and appreciation for button accordion music, by organizing the following types of activities and events: - Arranging for competitions, exhibitions and concert performances involving the button accordion - Granting prizes and awards of achievements at button accordion events - Bringing together in a social setting musicians and music lovers who have an interest and curiosity about the potential of the button accordion - Encouraging youth in general to appreciate, embrace, develop mastery, and discover their own unique creative expression  through music.

The Button Akordion Rocks Club holds a bi-annual accordion championship in Ontario, Canada. Their goal is to spark a revival in the accordion as a cool instrument again hoping to motivate the younger generation to proudly pick up and strap on the accordion like their parents and grandparents did before them, with the goal of increasing and surpassing the level of popularity the accordion enjoyed in North America in years gone by. 

Experts from the website: We want to encourage the new generation of accordion musicians to discover their unique musical talents, explore creative new interpretations, and basically exercise the age-old prerogative of each new generation to leave their unique stamp, separate and distinct from their predecessors. In order to achieve these goals it is necessary to offer opportunities and settings for musicians to sharpen and perfect their skills to international standards of competition.

One of the most effective ways to improve a skill is by regularly testing oneself against one’s peers. If one aspires to reach the highest potential, the fastest way is to compete with the best in your field. For example, to improve their game, athletes are encouraged to compete with opponents that are equal to or better than them. This is true in any arena, whether it be music, sports, chess, scientific discovery, literature, dramatic arts, etc. Many fields offer prestigious awards to their highest achievers. Competitions serve the dual purpose of offering their participants opportunities to realize their maximum potential, while at the same time advancing the particular field of endeavor towards new and unexplored summits.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Bachtopus Releases “Six of One (Half Dozen of the Other)” by Bob Goldberg

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video: “Six of One (Half Dozen of the Other)”

Bachtopus is excited to release their seventh commission from their 2020 Composers Commissioning Fund. The composition was written by composer and accordionist Bob Goldberg for Bachtopus. Bob shares, “I am thrilled to share this brand new release by my friends at Bachtopus - "six of one (half dozen of the other)", which they commissioned, I wrote for them, and they recorded. A lot of time went into this and I hope you enjoy the fruits of this collaboration! Thanks to Mayumi, Jeanne, Peter and Rob and to the Brooklyn Arts Council. This piece started as a modal improvisation that was performed at a community garden on the 1st of June, 2008. The title, referring to the date, was given by the composer rather spontaneously. In this video, we interpreted the title rather literally as a reminder of how chance can qualitatively alter a person's life.” The composition was recorded at their respective homes during quarantine. Audio mixing and video editing by Rob Duncan.

Excerpts from the website: Bachtopus is a contemporary accordion ensemble from New York City that performs music by living composers and Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble was borne out of a fruitful musical duet between Robert Duncan and Mayumi Miyaoka, who partnered during the Winter of 2011. Denise Koncelik and Peter Flint, who were members of the Brooklyn Accordion Club, joined the duet to play Bach’s organ music, which is well suited to the accordion.

The group soon shifted focus to become one of the few accordion ensembles in the United States that plays new music. Having established a large repertoire in just a few years, Bachtopus seeks to play more original compositions, commissioned works, and contemporary music that is interesting, accessible, and grounded in traditional folk music.

The ensemble has performed for diverse audiences, and previous performance highlights include: Make Music New York, Bach in the Subways, The New Museum, Accordions Around the World, and the American Accordion Association Seminars. Bachtopus performs music by and is inspired by Accordion Tribe, Motion Trio, the Kronos Quartet, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Stas Venglevski, the Bang On a Can All-Stars, and Jacques Cousteau. The group features original compositions by Peter Flint and Sy Kushner, and arrangements by Robert Duncan and Denise Koncelik.

Robert Duncan, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the City University of New York and received a BA in Music Humanities at the University of California at San Diego. He is the founder and director of Bachtopus.

Peter Flint has degrees in electronic music, history, and composition from Oberlin College and Conservatory and New England Conservatory. He has studied accordion with Walter Kuehr, William Schimmel, and Rob Curto, Conrad Cummings, Michael Gandolfi, Scott Wheeler, and Lee Hyla. He is deeply interested in Afro-Cuban music and recently had an orchestral composition performed in Havana, Cuba by the Camerata Romeu.He is on the board of directors at the Third Street Music School Settlement.

Denise Koncelik, DMA, is a freelance musician and arranger with degrees in music theory/composition, pedagogy, and performance, and taught at Midwestern State University and Texas Woman’s University. Dr. Koncelik played piccolo/3rd flute and jazz piano with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra for 13 seasons, and has performed at Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub and le poisson rouge. She is co-director of the New York Flute Club Ensemble Program, a member of the Chelsea Musica, and plays bass accordion in NYC’s Main Squeeze Orchestra.

Mayumi Miyaoka, is an Academic Librarian/Archivist by day, and accordionist by night. She is the founder/organizer of Brooklyn Accordion Club, and is the compiler/editor of a self-published magazine, SqueeZine! – Chronicles of Accordionists. Mayumi studied with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at ACME Accordion School in NJ, and with Dr. William Schimmel in NYC.

Jeanne Velonis is a classical recording engineer and the newest member of Bachtopus. Initially self-taught, she has studied accordion with Leah Barkan and Mary Tokarski.

The Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble’s 2020 Composer Commissioning Fund is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
• Brooklyn Arts Council
• New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
#brooklynartscouncil, #bkartscouncil, #BACGrants, or #BACgrantee

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

2021 Stowe Tango Music Festival with Hector Del Curto

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Stowe Tango LogoHector Del CurtoThe 2021 Stowe Tango Music Festival will be held in Stowe, Vermont, USA from August 19th to 22nd, organized by Artistic Director, Hector Del Curto. This year’s event will feature live in-person events at Palais de Glace on August 21st, as well as online events including the premieres of tango documentaries produced by The Argentine Tango Society on August 19th, 20th and 22, 2021.

Born into a family of bandoneon players, Mr. Del Curto was introduced to the world of Tango and bandoneon by his grandfather, Héctor Cristobal. By the age of 17, he had won the title "Best Bandoneon Player Under 25" in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese, the "Last Giant of Tango." In 1999, Mr. Del Curto received the Golden Note Award from the Italian–American Network in recognition of his artistic achievements. As a music director, he directed the spectacular show "Forever Tango" on Broadway and founded the Eternal Tango Orchestra, a ten piece ensemble. Since the Lincoln Center début in 2003, the Eternal Tango Orchestra (now the Hector Del Curto Tango Orchestra) returned to Lincoln Center for three more engagements and performed at other various venues including the Skirball Center for Performing Arts.

Schedule for August 21st live events as follows:

1:30 to 2:30 PM: “Why Does It Sound So Good?" Musicality Workshop by Hector Del Curto

2:30 to 3:30 PM: “Sequence in Milonguero style and salon style” Dance Workshop by Aldo & Paula

3:30 to 4:30 PM: “Structure of Milonga Traspie Sequences” Dance Workshop by Aldo & Paula

7:30 to 8:15 PM Festival Concert by Hector Del Curto Tango Quintet – Hector Del Curto, Gustavo Casenave, Sami Merdinian, Jisoo Ok, Pedro Giraudo, Santiago Del Curto & special guest clarinettist Eric Abramovitz

8:15 PM to 12:AM Festival Milonga with Live Music by the Quintet and guests including the musicians of the Bandoneon Workshop and DJ by John Coppens

For details email:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Mario Tacca Entertains at Magnanini Winery

by Rita Barnea
Mario TaccaVideo: Accordionist Mario Tacca Plays "Russian Fantasia" Arr. Tacca
Hallandale Symphonic Pops Orchestra
Peter P. Fuchs, Conductor
February 6, 2018 Hollywood, Florida

Accordionist Mario Tacca will be the featured performer at the Magnanini Winery & Italian Restaurant in Wallkill, New York on August 1st, 2021 at 1:PM.

Mario Tacca, on the Board of Directors of the AAA, was born in Italy. During his childhood, his family moved to the Alsace Lorraine region of France where he began his musical studies. This is where his love and intense desire to play the accordion began. He loved the sound! He would pick up the accordion and imitate some of the songs his mother used to sing. The desire and love never diminished, despite having to walk three miles weekly to his teacher with his instrument strapped to his back!

While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions. He went on to become a world champion, winning the World Cup of Italy, the Grand Prix of Paris, the US National Competition and the International Accordion competition held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Mario Tacca dazzles audiences across the US and around the world with his outstanding virtuosity and his exciting interpretations of international music, the classics and pop.

Mario has recently been seen on MTV in a commercial for a pilot Italian Food program. Also, he was seen on the Food Network in a commercial for “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” His latest recording, “Journey Through the Classics” features great melodies from the Classic Repertoire.

Attendees can spend “a glorious afternoon enjoying the mesmerizing playing of the maestro himself! Don't forget to bring your dancing shoes!”

For further information:


The Alex Meixner Band on Tour

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Alex Meixner
If you are one of Alex's Patrons or were thinking about joining the growing list of people that like to support his musical journey then everyone that is an active member at by August 1, 2021 will receive a free digital copy of the Alex Meixner album being released on August 13, 2021. If you sign up by August 1, 2021 at the $10 per month or higher tier, you will receive a CD copy of the album!In addition to this offer, depending on your membership tier, you'll receive other behind-the-scenes access, discounts, a monthly membership Zoom performance and more! 

Alex Meixner is one of the most dynamic accordionists on the scene today. Meixner has performed around the world, notably at American festivals like The National Folk Festival and Central Park SummerStage, as well as at uncountable community celebrations and accordion-centric events.

His virtuosic yet delightfully quirky style has made him a sought-after collaborator (he worked alongside Jack Black in the 2017 Sundance pick The Polka King), spokesperson (Hormel and Ford have used his music and performance to promote their products) and educator. As a recording artist, he has worked with renowned avant garde accordionist/ composer Guy Klucevsek, popular Irish entertainer Seamus Kennedy, Texas indie rockers The Krayolas. His recording “Polka FreakOut” with Brave Combo’s Bubba Hernandez won him a GRAMMY nomination.

Alex has performed on over 50 albums, including 17 as a leader or soloist. His performance with his Father on Canadian Polka King, Walter Ostanek’s, “Music and Friends” won a Grammy Award. His album “Polka Freak Out”, a collaboration with Bubba Hernandez, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007. He has also recorded with a vast number of diverse artists as a soloist or sideman including avant-garde accordionist/composer Guy Klucevsek, Grammy winner Brave Combo, TexMex Rock icon The Krayolas and Irish entertainer Seamus Kennedy.

Alex Meixner 2021 Upcoming Shows & Info

Please contact the venue for the latest updates on masks & other local health restrictions that may be in place.
* August 8 - OCALA, Florida***
GAC Club of Marion County - Trio
* August 13, 14, 15 - Elkhorn WISCONSIN
* September 3, 4 5 - Cleveland, OHIO
Cleveland Oktoberfest
* September 17, 18, 19 - Duluth, MINNESOTA
Duluth Oktoberfestival
* September 22-25 - FORT WORTH, TEXAS
Fort Worth Oktoberfest
* October 1 - Reading, PA: 
Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest
* October 2 - Clark, NJ: 
Deutscher Club Oktoberfest
* October 3 - Franklin Square, NY: 
Plattduetsche Park Restaurant & Biergarten
* October 7 - West Palm Beach FL: 
Clematis By Night Music Series
With Jan Lewan
* October 8 & 9 - Lake Worth FL: The German American Club of the Palm Beaches
* October 11 THRU 17 - Helen, Georgia: Helen Oktoberfest
* November 4 - The Woodlands, Texas: *
Dosey Doe Breakfast, BBQ & Whiskey Bar
Alex Solo (or possibly a duo or trio, we'll see...)
* November 5-11 - New Braunfels, Texas:Wurstfest

For more information:

2021 40th Annual Celebrations - Milwaukee Irish Fest

by Christine Johnstone
Milwaukee2021 is the 40th anniversary of the Milwaukee Irish Fest, which will be held at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, from August 20 to 22, 2021. This year's theme is "Celebrating the Spirit of Irish America."

This year’s event will include live concerts, lessons & classes, displays on Celtic art, history, genealogy, Gaelic language and more, Irish-inspired cuisine, a Sunday morning Irish breakfast plus much more.

The event will also feature an online Irish themed program which will include musical performances and cultural talks recorded straight from Ireland.

Those who worked on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic will be honored at a special ceremony during the Irish Fest. They will receive free admission on August 21st, from 2:PM to 3.30PM.

The Frontline Workers Recognition Ceremony will begin at 3.45PM at the Miller Lite Stage. Special commemorative coins will be given out at the gate ticket windows, while supplies last. Organisers are extremely thankful for our frontline workers and their service!

For details email:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Accordion Player Entertains a Herd of Walruses in the Arctic Ocean

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Walrus accordion
Walrus audienceVideo: Walruses are mesmerized by accordionist in the middle of the Arctic

You can’t make these things up! An accordionist performed a Russian Waltz while sitting on the side of his sailboat. A group of walruses gathered near the boat, barking and moving up and down to the music. They were entranced by the accordion music! This unusual event was recorded near the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in Arctic Ocean north of Russia.

Accordionist Alexander Bogdanov sat on the edge of his boat in the middle of the freezing ocean in the Arctic Circle playing “ Eugen Doga's Waltz”, originally produced for the 1970s Soviet film “My Sweet and Tender Beast”

Walruses are huge fans of singing, making sounds like clicks and bells while underwater. As he finishes, his friends laugh and applaud the bizarre scene, and they begin to sail off from the spot where the creatures had gathered.

Accordions are popular with all kinds of species!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Accordionists Perform at DAS Fest in Wisconsin

by Christine Johnstone
DASThe annual DAS Fest will be held at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Wisconsin, USA from August 13th to 15th, 2021.

The event includes a variety of concerts, demonstrations, folk dancing, Dachshund racing and much more.

Accordion performers include:
• Alex Meixner Band (picture below) – daily performances from 7pm on Friday & Saturday and from 3pm on Sunday.
• Alpensterne – daily performances from 3:PM on Friday & Saturday and 11:30 AM on Sunday
• Alpine Blast from 11.30am on Saturday
• Bolzen Beer Band from 8:PM on Saturday
• Copper Box (picture above left) from 3.30PM on Saturday
• The Chardon Polka Band (picture above right) from 7.30PM on Friday
• The Happy Players from 3:PM on Saturday and Sunday

For details email:

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

Children's Corner

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

Performance by Francesca and Julianna Busso

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video of Francesca and Julianna Busso performing Palmer-Hughes' "Sailing” in July 2021.

They performed this duet for the 2021 AAA virtual competition and won the GOLD medal in the Open-Juniorette Duet Category and SILVER in the Open-Juniorette Category.

Francesca and Julianna really enjoy playing the accordion!

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

2021 IDEAS Symposium 4.0 is Virtual Oct. 29 - Nov.7

by Joseph Natoli
The International Digital Electronic Accordion Society (IDEAS) is announcing its 2021 Symposium 4.0 to be held Oct 29 – Nov 7, 2021, completely virtually once again because of the ever-advancing Covid Delta variant. However, the quality and scope of this year’s symposium promises to be every bit as engaging and educational as the 2020 virtual symposium with a mesmerizing line-up of world-renowned digital accordion faculty and artists, which just keeps getting better year after year.

Also just like last year, all concerts and workshops will be recorded and archived so that the entirety of the Symposium will be available throughout the year for continued learning and reference. Last year’s IDEAS Symposium produced 103 hours of recorded video, all available online at anytime for symposium attendees to reference whenever they choose to. Also having every event, concert, and workshop on video is like being able to attend the Symposium live for people who could not attend during the official time because of scheduling conflicts. Many people paid their complete registration knowing that they would have this material available for later use. So if there is a silver lining to the Covid problem, this technology capability is certainly that.

Registration will open up soon and will be announced on the “GR8 IDEAS” Facebook group when it does.

This year IDEAS is proud to have with us a great representation of the Concerto digital accordion family, with Paul Pasquali as developer and owner of the instrument with his Accordions International Company located in Salt Lake City Utah. Accordions International homepage There will be workshops and performances on the Concerto DA-300 and DA-265 instruments from multiple Concerto artists. So you won’t want to miss this. There is also a new “Concerto Corner” which Concerto and other digital accordionists will find very interesting (see accompany screen shot of the web page).

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat Includes 6 Talented Young Artists

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Houston Retreat
Stas VenglevskiThe Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat is pleased to announce the inclusion of six talented young artists. There will be 34 orchestra members at the 2022 retreat which takes place on January 13-16, 2022 under the direction of conductor Stas Venglevski. The accordionists include Ashley Frye (VA), Charlotte Peck (WI), Lorelei Peck (WI), and Sonora Sherman (VA). Also included are Ellina Musatov (VA) on violin and Gabrielle Peck (WI) on cello.

Stas Venglevski and the Houston Accordion Orchestra will present a spectacular collage of European Music at the Kemah Boardwalk Inn January 13-16, 2022. Additional artists include Gail Campanella, Ali Haghshenas, and Daniel Hartnett.

The event includes:
3 full days of orchestra rehearsals
Master Classes with Stas
Concert of original music composed by the orchestra members
Open Mic and jam sessions eery night
Final public concert

The retreat will feature the music of Russia, France, Italy, Moldova, Finland, Azerbaijan and the World Premiere of a new orchestral Overture by Stas Venglevski.

Bonus selection includes “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Freddie Mercury performed by the orchestra.

More info in future publications.
For further information:
Houston Retreat

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

2021 Cotati Accordion Festival on September 25 and 26

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Cotati PosterThe 2021 Cotati Accordion Festival will be live in September! The 30th Annual Nonprofit, Multi-cultural, internationally renowned Cotati Accordion Festival will take place this September 25th and 26, 2021 in La Plaza Park in downtown Cotati, Ca.

This year's theme was to celebrate the 30th Annual milestone by riding the wave of the new "Roaring 20's". However, because of the stress and suffering so many have had to endure the last two years, we are merely centering on "bringing joy back to our lives".

The two day multi-generational event will feature a vast array of old favorites from virtuosos like Cory Pesaturo to the creativity of a Sourdough Slim, and new main stage surprises like Sergei Teleshev and his daughter Maria to the likes of Junk Parlor, Hernandez Hideaway and Nathan and Jessie. The event will be following Sonoma County guidelines while having as normal an event as possible, including the multiple stages, vendors, food, beer and wine.

Tickets are limited, get them now online! They will also soon be available at all four Oliver's Markets, The Next Record Store, Tall Toad Music and People's Music.

Tickets are on sale: $21.00 for a one-day ticket at the gate $29.00 for a two-day ticket at the gate. This year there is an early bird special: If you buy your ticket by July 4, 2021: $17.00 for a one-day ticket, a savings of $4.00 $25.00 for a two-day ticket, a savings of $4.00 If you buy your ticket by August 15th: $18.00 for a one-day ticket, a savings of $3.00 $26.00 for a two-day ticket, a savings of $3.00 If you buy your ticket by September 25th: $19.00 for a one-day ticket, if you buy your ticket in advance of the event. $27.00 for a two-day ticket.

For more information call Scott Goree at 707 479-5481
C.A.F. hotline 707 664-0444
By mail at C.A.F, 29 Mission Drive, Petaluma, ca., 94952.

Polka Hall of Fame 17th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sausage Festival
The Polka Hall of Fame Slovenian Sausage Festival returns on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 from 12:PM EDT to 9:PM EDT at SNPJ Farm, Kirtland, Ohio.

Enjoy nine hours of music and munching. Your host, the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, welcomes you back for the country’s tastiest polka celebration.

Dance from noon to 9:PM with ten polka orchestras and entertainers, featuring Polka Hall of Fame legends. Sample Slovenian smoked sausages from each maker and then vote for your favorite. Bring your banjo or accordion and jam along with music-makers from coast to coast. Nationality dishes, desserts and refreshments served all day.

Get ready to get back on the dance floor with the orchestras of Polka Hall of Famers Frank Stanger, Eddie Rodick and Kathy Hlad. Your polka favorites include Frank Moravcik, Anthony Culkar, the Fairport Jammers, Ray Kovac, Patty C and the Guys, plus an All-Star Band. Check in for updates to the music schedule.

Tickets are $10 each in advance and $12 at the gate. Food and beverages extra. 18 and under free.

Order your Slovenian Sausage Festival tickets and tee-shirts from the Polka Hall of Fame. Phone (216) 261-FAME, toll-free (866) 66-POLKA, or drop a line at Proceeds benefit the Polka Museum, open Wednesdays and Fridays, 11:AM to 4:PM, 605 East 222nd Street, Euclid, Ohio.

The Slovenian Sausage Festival takes place at SNPJ Farm, 10946 Heath Road in Kirtland, Ohio, off Chardon Road (Route 6), three miles east of Route 306 and six miles west of Route 44.

Live Northeast Squeeze-In September 10-12 in Pennsylvania

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
NESI logo
NE Squeeze-INThe Northeast Squeeze-In is an annual gathering of free-reed players in the heart of the Berkshires. NESI 2021 is going to be a live event and registration is now open!

September 10-12, 2021
Limited camping and RV sites are available, and nearby motels are still options.
Registration & Attendance email:

Location: Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), Dingmans Ferry, PA. This site is a national park. That means its hiking trails and the lobby portion of the admin building are open to the public between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. They have had no problems in the past arising from the limited public access and private events that have exclusive use of the rest of the facilities.

Vaccination: Full vaccination at least 3 weeks  before the event (by August 19) will be required of all attendees. A copy of your vaccination card must be submitted with your registration form.

NESI is a non-profit, laid-back, weekend gathering of free-reed players and their partners welcoming beginners and advanced alike to play, sing, and dance together. Assemble with friends old and new in a comfortable, rustic setting with many places for workshops, sessions, and spontaneous jams. Hobnob with other squeezebox aficionados and explore an assortment of instruments for sale and swap.

2021 Carrefour Mondial de L’Accordeon in Canada

by Christine Johnstone
CarrefourCarrefourThe 2021 Carrefour Mondial de L’Accordeon, 32nd edition, will be held from 3rd to 5th September, 2021 in Montmagny, Quebec, Canada.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions preventing much overseas travel, the 2021 event will feature 100% Canadian accordionists who will entertain on indoor and outdoor stages. Musical styles range from Jazz, traditional and classical.

Color Program: 2021Carrefour.pdf
Printable timetable: 2021CarrefourTimetable.pdf

Organizing team are: Kathéry Couillard (Administrative Director), Raynald Ouellet (Artistic Director), Raphaël Plante-Hétu (Project Manager), Lyne Joncas (Administrative and Accounting Technician), Julie Rousseau (Secretary-treasurer).
Administrators: Sarah Bernier, Rémi Biron, Johanne Cyr, Patrick Morency, Isabelle Rancourt, Yann Texier, Yves Gendreau (Councelor, Montmagny City).
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