Accordion USA
home articles organizations
Search on site


Yellow Pages Events

U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2009
Previous News | Past News Index | Next News

Titano Accordion Company


Editor’s Note
Bringing Joy and Peace through Music......Your Music!!!!!
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
US Concert Tour Scheduled for Coupe Mondiale Winner Grayson Masefield
Gentle Giant of the Accordion World: Dr. Carmelo Pino
Lidia Kaminska: In Concert on December 8th in NYC
Xmas Gift Suggestions for Family and Friends
Frank Busso, Jr. Performs on the Pentagon TV Channel in December

Voci Armoniche

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

2009 International Roland V-Accordion Festival
2009 “Accordion Renaissance” marking the 69th Anniversary of the ATG: A Great Success!
A Magical Sunday Afternoon of 'Virtual' Accordion Music
Teaching & Technology (Married at Last)
Ludovic Beier Demonstrates Roland FR-7x Accordion in NJ
Meet Gabe Rodrigues.....Using the Accordion in Music Therapy
2010 ATG Festival Takes Place in San Francisco in July
Alicia Baker……….Represents the USA at the International V-Accordion Festival in Rome
The Accordion Pops Orchestra Presents a Delightful Afternoon Concert

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Holiday Shows
Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra Presents 50th Winter Concert on December 5
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society: Annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 13
Mario Pedone in December Concerts
American Accordionists’ Association Master Class and Concert Series – 2010 Seminars: “Don’t Like Opera!?” Welcome to Our Sixteenth Smash Year!

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



Editor’s Note

by Rita Barnea
I can’t believe that it has been one year since I became the Editor of the USA News. It was an interesting, fun, informative, musical, full of responsibility year……. more fascinating than I ever could have imagined!

With this edition, my second year begins……. I hope to continue improving my skills as Editor with YOUR input and welcome from all of you………. your stories, musical events, thoughts, etc.

Please email them to or call me: 201-675-4861.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy and musical holiday season full of peace, joy, happiness……. and of course…………lots of accordion music!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Bringing Joy and Peace through Music......Your Music!!!!!

by Rita Barnea
We all have times in our lives when we feel down. The tragic and horrible news we read about every day is enough to cause us to feel sad and helpless.

So, how can we,as musicians, bring happiness and uplift the spirits of people in our lives? One of the world's greatest philosophers, John Stuart Mill, who had possibly the highest IQ on the planet, felt that happiness is not found by searching for it.

Happiness is a by product of a life that focuses not just on oneself but mostly on other people and pursuits. He said, "Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their happiness: On the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit..... Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way."

How does this relate to all of us as musicians? I feel that during this holiday season and, really, any time of the year, we can bring about joy and happiness to everyone through our music... playing our accordions for all kinds of people.

Now, you might say, "How can I make someone happy through music? I am only a beginner. I am not a good player. I can't memorize songs. I feel too self conscious. etc. I am not as good as so and so.

You should not feel that way. Feel confident, grateful for your abilities, and share your music!

Learn some holiday songs, patriotic songs, show songs, ethnic songs, popular songs....... pick up your music stand and just go! Where should you go? Call a local senior citizens home, hospital, your child's or grandchild's school. Bring your accordion to your friends or relatives holiday gathering.

You will be very surprised at how much you will be appreciated. Don't worry if you are a beginner or think you are not that good of a musician. People will appreciate you and your music!

William Danforth, the founder of Ralston Purina, found a wonderful way to expess these ideas. He said,"Catch a passion for helping others and a richer life will come back to you!"

I believe that music exists in our world to bring peace and happiness to everyone. Let's make this holiday season a more joyous and happy time by sharing our music and playing our accordions for everybody!

Happy Holidays!!!! Rita Davidson - Editor, USA News

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

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

Titano Accordion Company

US Concert Tour Scheduled for Coupe Mondiale Winner Grayson Masefield

by Rita Barnea
Grayson MasefieldYoung New Zealand accordionist Grayson Masefield won the 62nd Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships held in New Zealand in August, the first time a New Zealander has ever won this International competition.

Another first is that Grayson not only won the Coupe Mondiale, but also took first prize in the International Competition for Virtuoso Entertainment Music. The only other accordionist to have taken both titles is French accordionist Jérôme Richard who did so in separate years.

This milestone achievement by Grayson Masefield highlighted his extraordinary and diverse ability, while affording him double world titles won in front of his home country audience.

Grayson's most recent success was winning the 2009 3rd Roland International V-Accordion Festival and Competition, November 19th to 20th, in Rome, Italy.

Plans are underway to schedule a concert tour for Grayson in the US from mid-April to mid-May, 2010. A number of concert dates are still available.

The following dates are already taken:
Sunday, April 11, 2010 -Accordion Teachers Association of MA (ATAM), Boston
Sunday, April 25, 2010 - Connecticut Accordion Association, Connecticut
Saturday, May 1, 2010 - Concert, Silver Spring, MD sponsored by Dan & Joan Grauman
Sunday, May 2, 2010- Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Dinner, New York

To arrange concert dates, please contact concert organizer, Faithe Deffner via e-mail: or the AAA office at

Voci Armoniche

Gentle Giant of the Accordion World: Dr. Carmelo Pino

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Dr. Carmelo PinoJoan Grauman, AAA Historian has written a tribute to her treasured friend and accordion teacher,
Dr. Carmelo Pino. Please click on the link Carmelo Pino to read this article which includes contributions by Stella Allison, Tomasczek Bednarek, Manny Bobenrieth, Faithe Deffner, Dr. Helmi Harrington, and Joan Singer.

Joan would like to extend special thanks to two people: Carmelo’s wife, Ellen Pino, for providing personal photos, documents, and memorabilia, and Lou Coppola for sharing his photos of AAA events spanning several decades. Carmelo Pino

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Lidia Kaminska: In Concert on December 8th in NYC

by Rita Barnea
Lidia KaminskaLidia Kaminska will present a solo recital on accordion and bandoneon on Tuesday, December 8th at 2:00 PM at the Merkin Concert Hall which is located on
W. 67th street between Broadway and Amsterdam. This concert is part of the Tuesday Matinee Concert Series.

Lidia will perform works by J.S.Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, Isaac Albeniz, Aram Khachaturian, Niccolo Paganini, Sofia Gubaidulina, Vladislav Zolotarev and Felix Mendelssohn.

A winner of Astral Artists’ 2007 National Auditions, accordionist Lidia Kaminska has performed extensively in both the U.S. and Europe. Astral has presented her in recital, and features her on its series in February 2010 season. Ms. Kaminska’s chamber music, concerto, and solo performances explore the complex and expressive range of the accordion as a classical instrument, and her repertoire includes a broad range of classical, contemporary, and avant-garde music. Lidia Kaminska is the recipient of 2009 Career Advancement Award from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.

Lidia conceived her first album, “Breaking Boundaries”, as part of her mission to change the perception of the accordion from parlor entertainment to a serious classical instrument; Philadelphia Magazine claims “she transforms the accordion into a massive force – more pipe organ than squeezebox – and burns through [classical repertoire] with virtuosic speed and technique.”

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Ms. Kaminska received First Prize in the 2002 Accordion Teachers Guild International Competition in Orlando, Florida, the Special Prize in New York City’s International Tango Music Competition, with the Argentine tango ensemble Tango Lorca, and recently received Second Prize at the 2007 Coupe Mondiale International Competition for Ensemble Music. She has researched and performed the works of Astor Piazzolla extensively.

Also possessing a special interest in new music, Ms.Kaminska has premièred works by Julia Alford Fowler and Paul Rudy, and has appeared with the contemporary music ensembles New Ear and Musica Nova. She has also performed with both the Owen/Cox Dance Group and at the world première of BalletX; she went on to collaborate with Mathew Neenan of BalletX, and with dancer/choreographer Jorge Laico, for Pennsylvania Dance Theatre.

Discounted tickets are available for AAA members and guests. The cost is $12.00. If you are interested please contact AAA President, Linda Reed, at or 203-335-2045 . The tickets will be held at the Box Office. For additional information, call the Box Office at 212-501-3330.


Xmas Gift Suggestions for Family and Friends

by Harley Jones
There are new additions to the exciting Christmas Gift ideas at: 2009 Xmas Gift Ideas.

These ideas have been compiled to hopefully attract your Xmas gift money to be spent with accordion artistes, composers, arrangers and businesses.

Please support the accordion industry and choose from over 1,550 eSheet pieces, 277 CD/DVD’s, 800 printed works and numerous books (text) to choose from. 2009 Xmas Gift Ideas

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

Frank Busso, Jr. Performs on the Pentagon TV Channel in December

by Rita Barnea
Technical Sargeant Frank Busso Jr.“The Grill Sergeants,” a Pentagon Channel original program, is a weekly, half-hour cooking show featuring some of the military's top chefs as they guide viewers through step-by-step menu preparation. The recently-launched third season includes music from the Air Force Strolling Strings Trio, with Frank Busso, Jr. on accordion, Alex Dean on violin, and Bill Hones on bass.

Originally from Staten Island, New York, Frank Busso, Jr. became the accordionist with The United States Air Force Strings in 2005. Sergeant Busso attended Boston University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2001. He studied accordion with Frank Busso Sr. at the Staten Island Music School in New York. Prior to joining the Air Force, Sergeant Busso was an instructor and arranger with the Boston University Athletic Bands. He was also an instructor at the Staten Island Music School, where his students earned many regional and national titles in competition.

As a competitive accordionist, Sergeant Busso received numerous regional titles from the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey, including the organization's virtuoso championship in 1995. He also earned multiple national titles from the American Accordionists' Association in classical, popular, and ethnic competitions. Since 2001, Sergeant Busso has performed in concert as a member of The Busso Trio at numerous summer festivals hosted by the American Accordionists' Association and the ATG.

Sergeant Busso's military awards and decorations include the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

The Air Force Strings is one of the most diverse and flexible units of The United States Air Force Band. This wide-ranging flexibility allows the ensemble to musically respond to the requirements of almost any occasion and provide an enjoyable experience for everyone. A key element of its mission is to entertain audiences at high-level protocol events in a formation known as the Strolling Strings. On other occasions it performs as The United States Air Force String Orchestra, presenting the standard works of the classical repertoire for strings. The ensemble often joins forces with members of The United States Air Force Concert Band, Singing Sergeants and Airmen of Note, to form The United States Air Force Chamber, Symphony and Jazz Orchestras. Additionally, members of The Air Force Strings appear regularly as soloists, and in duo, trio and string quartet ensembles, to present chamber concert performances, and provide quality entertainment and ambient music for official protocol functions.

The United States Air Force Strings is comprised of 22 world-class musicians. Each of these outstanding performers has studied and perfected their craft at leading colleges, universities and music conservatories around the world. Their studies successfully prepared them to excel during an intensive and competitive audition process, which led to their selection for membership in The United States Air Force Band. A performance by The United States Air Force Strings reflects a combination of immense collective musical experience with the boundless dedication to perfection. The Strolling Strings have hundreds of songs in their repertoire, all memorized, and a full-time arranger. Members’ tenures range from two and a half years to 27 years.

Episodes can be seen on the Pentagon Channel television station or viewed in their entirety online:
As of December 1, 2009, three episodes are available for viewing:
•German Cuisine:
•Italian Cuisine:
•Mexican Cuisine:
Online episodes are best viewed using Internet Explorer.

Frank Busso, Jr. is the Director of the Busso Music School in Alexandria, VA. He also serves as the Vice President of Sales and Education for Ernest Deffner, Inc., which manufactures Titano Accordions and PANcordion, is the North American distributor for Pigini Accordions, and distributes the Roland V-Accordion. Ernest Deffner, Inc. offers full-service accordion repair & tuning services, as well as pickup/MIDI installations, and its Ernest Deffner Publications catalog includes thousands of titles of sheet music & method books for accordion, plus recordings featuring the accordion. The firm also maintains a full catalog of accordion parts, tools, and accessories.

For further information: tel:703-941-9300 and

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

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

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

2009 International Roland V-Accordion Festival

by Cory Pesaturo
2009 International Roland V-Accordion Festival
Cory Pesaturo, Roland DemonstratorLudovic Beier and Cory Pesaturo: Well, what can be said except - What a Festival! Not just for the parties and sponsors involved, but the entire accordion world at large. In our world wide quest to improve the sometimes lowly stigma surrounding the accordion, no event could have helped that very quest more.

Because of the amount of contestants competing, the Roland competition had to be split up into 2 sessions. The first, a 10 minute performance on Friday, taking place in a beautiful room at the Grand Ritz Hotel in Rome for which the judges, family of the competitors, and a few others involved with the competition could watch.

The second part was a 5 minute performance by each competitor in front of 1,300 spectators, distinguished guests, and live TV at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica. Note: the auditorium held 1,300 seats.

This sell out is largely due to Roland’s fantastic promotion of the event: Full page articles in the newspapers for weeks, large ads in magazines, billboards you couldn’t miss all around Rome, and others of which I don’t even know about.

Roland means business when they say “We are serious about the accordion”, and the founder of Roland, Ikutaro Kakehashi, made sure everyone knew this matter intently, with a 3 minute video appearance at the beginning of the second competition and show.

As the audience was now ready for a night of modern accordion, it was my task to open the show. In what some now call as classic “Cory style” after the Coupe Mondiale and other appearances, I went up with simply a framework of ideas, and let the rest happen in the moment.

The only element I had predetermined, was to start with an Italian favorite “Anema E Core” with all traditional accordion patches to bring the audience in first, so as the competitors could then take them to where ever they wanted: and did they ever!

In total, every performer gave something different, in terms of genre, feel, tempo, emotion, rhythm, and use of the features existing in the Roland V-Accordion. Because there isn’t enough space to talk about every performers most memorable part, I can tell you they all were fantastic in their own way.

Whether Canada’s Alexander Sevastian’s power and ferocity but incredible handling of the accordion, or Brazil’s Orimar Hess Junior, who had the double hand on bass feature that captured everyone’s eyes and ears, or Grayson Masefield‘s Coupe Mondiale piece which he turned upside down, inside out, to the 5th dimension and back which also included audience participation, or China’s Xiaonan Xu’s absolutely incredible technique and use of the accordion, to Swedan’s Lisa Eriksson’s completely gorgeous songs that she had composed herself.

Although some will call it a bias opinion coming from me, as I am known to be outspoken on how I dislike certain aspects of competitions because of issues concerning musicianship, I really do feel that this should be more of a concert rather than a competition, and there have been many thumbs up from different sources.

I believe, that most of the people in the audience forgot this was a “competition” by the 3rd contestant: because it truly was a concert showing off some of the finest accordionists from all over the globe, playing an incredibly diverse amount of music.

And isn’t that why we love the instrument, because we know how unbelievably diverse it can be and this festival forcefully pointed out that fact to a mass audience.

No audience member could help but be struck by the playing abilities and the amazing sounds that can come from a Roland V-Accordion, especially in the hands of these players.

Moreover, all the competitors got along with each other so very well, and all appreciated what the others had to offer, and furthermore, were exchanging music and ideas with each other by the end of the first day alone. It was truly a beautiful sight, even if few were able to see this.

We are all in this together, and through festivals like the one I just attended and with the correct direction, the accordion will be a cool, hip, and highly appreciated instrument by every genre of person in every sector of the world.

In the photo you will see my favorite part of the trip - me and Ludovic doing an hour and a half hour impromptu duo from Techno to Classical to tunes we were making up on the spot and somehow complimenting each other. A future Duo concert, I can foresee in the future.

P.S. - And to my close buddy Grayson Masefield – Congratulations……….Again!! A Big Thanks to all the people who made this event a great success, especially Ludvic Beier for all the compositions that tied everything together so well. Marco Cinaglia for the dancers, and the head quartet of Akira Hanechi and Luigi Bruti, Sara Rossetti and Alessandra Curzi.

For further information:

A full report, results and lots of photos of the 3rd Roland International V-Accordion Festival and Competition, November 19th to 20th, is online at: 2009 Rome Festival.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

2009 “Accordion Renaissance” marking the 69th Anniversary of the ATG: A Great Success!

by Dee Langley
Dee Langley and Skeets LangleyOur 2009 event, ‘Accordion Renaissance’ marked the 69th anniversary of the ATG (Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International) festivals. What a celebration we had at the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America! It was a rewarding event full of friends, new and old from around the United States and Canada.

“Accordion Renaissance” opened Thursday evening with Orkestar Bez Ime, one of the leading Balkan Dance Bands in the USA. Their repertoire included music from Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Hungary, Greece and other Balkan and Eastern European countries. The stage was outfitted with light columns and sound system for their unique and energetic performance.

The six-member group used the accordion as the backbone of the ensemble to provide a cohesive and rich musical experience presenting a rare American experience into the land of odd and complex meters including 7/8, 13/8 and 22/16. Instrumentation included violin, clarinet, accordion (me, Dee Langley), guitar/mandolin, double bass, vocals and hand percussion.

The ATG Friday banquet entertainment was provided by Dan Turpening who left us feeling all warm and cozy to begin the Friday night concert. The atmosphere turned sizzling as former National Champion Jeff Lisenby took the stage with his vocalist Abby Burke. A favorite moment from their performance was a song Abby sang specifically for ATG Board member, Norman Seaton. Oh my! Norman became famous for the rest of the weekend - I think he stopped blushing by Sunday.

The Friday night concert was well rounded with performances by Canadian favorite, John Scaffeo, ATG Executive Secretary, Joanna Arnold Darrow, and Roland guest artist, Don McMahon.

One event holds brightest in my memory - our Gala Banquet and Concert on Saturday night with featured performers CIA World Champions Alexander Savastien (2007) and “Skeets” Langley (1963) and the ATG Festival Orchestra under the baton of James Touchi-Peters.

Also performing on that concert was my own classical trio, Wild Hollow (free bass accordion, violin and clarinet), and soloist Amy Jo Sawyer. Altogether a most remarkable and memorable musical evening!

“Skeets” performed during our candlelight gourmet Gala Banquet with a quartet that included accordion, clarinet, violin and double bass, their performance described as “breathtaking” and “ethereal”, certainly one the ATG can be proud of hosting.

On the concert that followed Alexander left no doubt why he was the 2007 Coupe Mondiale World Champion. He amazed the audiences with his vibrant technique and with his very warm and friendly stage presence. At the end of the evening both champions joined ATG members and guests in the ATG Hospitality Suite where they talked about their memories of winning the Coupe Mondiale.

Another prominent guest at the ATG Hospitality Suite that evening was ATG Festival Orchestra guest conductor James Touchi-Peters, Conductor Emeritus of the Minnesota Philharmonic. As a Symphony Conductor, this was Mr. Touchi-Peters’ first foray into the world of the accordion orchestra; his rehearsals were fun and informative and we saw a very special glimpse into the world of other instruments through his tutelage. After the concert James declared our “Rhapsody in Blue” was the finest he had conducted, he was very proud.

In addition to exceptional concerts, the ATG hosted workshops that included topics and demonstrations by Dr. Helmi Harrington, Musik Garten (Joanna Arnold Darrow), Orkestar Bez Ime, Alexander Savastien, Don McMahon, Michelle Boddicker Scheffler, Jeff Lisenby, Stan Darrow, and Dan Newton.

There were two ongoing events throughout the weekend; one was the documentation of interviews with accordion teachers who serve on the Board of Directors regarding Accordion Pedagogy by the ATG. The other event were interviews by Dr. Marion Jacobson, an ethnomusicologist and accordion lover, who was gathering information from attendees regarding her ”cultural biography” of the piano accordion in America. The University of Illinois Press will publish Dr. Jacobson’s book.

A visit to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota would not be complete without an experience with the Mississippi River. The ATG Sunday sightseeing took us to the Science Museum of Minnesota to view the artifacts from the sunken RMS Titanic, enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the SMM Exhibits Shop and then relax during a sunset dinner cruise down the Mighty Mississippi River on a Riverboat. What a fantastic end to a fantastic festival!

Lastly, there are no words that can express the depth of my gratitude to the many volunteers, including Donna Connor, Randy McPeck, Russ Hammond, Anne Gibertson-Seeling, the ATG Officers and ATG Board of Directors, for donating time, services and the support that made this 69th annual ATG event such a success. Thank You!

Titano Accordion Company

A Magical Sunday Afternoon of 'Virtual' Accordion Music

by Lenny Feldmann
Eddie MonteiroOn October 11, almost 100 accordionists and accordion enthusiasts were mesmerized as they watched and listened to accordion music performed on a brand new "V" ('V' for Virtual) Roland FR7x electronic accordion producing sounds from an extended String Bass solo (played entirely on the right hand keyboard) to a full drum set (including cymbals) performed on the left hand buttons and... everything in between... fantastic Hammond Organs... Strings... Vibes... Saxes.... Scat Singers... a multitudfe of different accordions... and so much more!

This was the first such event in the Greater New York City area, featuring a unique program of live V-Accordion musical performances by special guests including Roland V-Accordion Clinicians - Jazz Great Eddie Monteiro and the 2009 Coupe Mondiale International Digital Accordion Competition Champion Cory Pesaturo, as well as US National V-Accordion Festival Junior Division finalist Peter Chudolij, a surprise appearance by Frank Toscano (of THE ACCORDION KINGS fame) playing a duet with Eddie Monteiro, and Bruce Gassman (a featured performer at the 2009 Las Vegas International Accordion Festival) trying out this new instrument "cold-turkey" and entertaining the attendees with some unique classic rock arrangements.

This wonderful concert and demonstration was sponsored by Music Magic USA. and the Roland Corporation. Alex Chudolij (owner of Music Magic USA ) moderated the afternoon's events and was ably assisted by his lovely wife, Lillianna, who was the "hostess with the mostest" and provided all attendees with tasty (and plentiful) refreshments during the afternoon break. Near the end of the afternoon, they had a drawing for door prizes donated by Roland (Cube Amp - several sets of Roland Earphones) and the great Ralph Stricker donated a copy of his Jazz Accordion and Improvisation Book as one of the prizes.

For further info: or 1-888-887-0975

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

Teaching & Technology (Married at Last)

by Joseph Natoli, ATG President
Joseph NatoliThe frequent and perennial challenge for would-be accordion students (especially those living in remote non-urban areas) has been the ability to find a reputable and accomplished accordion teacher close enough for a short drive to a weekly lesson. There is the often familiar scenario where a great teacher is two to three hours away, and an especially promising student along with their supportive family members find themselves driving this distance on a regular basis for that coveted time with a teacher who they feel can have the greatest impact on his/her musical education. There are stories of students and families even moving their entire household hours away just to be closer to the teacher with whom they want to study the most. Enter technology to solve that problem.

Twenty to 30 years ago, we only dreamed of the capabilities afforded us currently by the internet and faster networks. It was clear to many even 25 years ago that one day, teaching and entire degrees could be accomplished via the internet, which has now become a reality with MBA and other degree programs emerging online weekly. For the most part however, these degree programs have been asynchronous, meaning that there has not been the capability from home to have real-time online communication and class instruction via video conferencing. Now with home internet connectivity becoming faster than ever before, that real-time instruction capability is not only a possibility, but a distinct reality.

Joseph Natoli, 1972 AAA US Virtuoso champion, 1972 Coupe Mondiale 1st Runner Up, 2008 Roland US Digital Accordion champion, and active Roland clinician has found a way to teach students anywhere in the world who want to study with him, using this available technology. Since current laptop and desktop computers typically come equipped with a web cam and microphone, and since most people currently have high-speed internet access, Joe has been successfully using a free online video conferencing tool to teach students anywhere on the planet via web cam.

Joe indicates that in spite of this available technology, he has observed people around the country frequently requesting information in various online accordion newsgroups for teacher suggestions in geographical areas closer to them. What they do not realize is that distance is no longer a limiting factor! Anyone can study with any teacher around the globe, as long as they have these basic inexpensive web conferencing tools. This approach is most often flawless and provides real-time access to both teacher and student as if in they are in the same teaching studio together, but in the comfort and safety of home. With today’s escalating gas and car maintenance prices, that is not such a bad idea right?

Lessons do not have to be limited to just instrumental performance either. Joe is very successfully teaching all of the following disciplines with this approach:

•Acoustic accordion performance
•Reedless/electronic accordion performance
•Music composition & arranging
•MIDI based keyboards
•MIDI sound module usage in live or recorded performance
•MIDI orchestration and arranging
•Computer based music publishing using music notation software
•Home recording and production techniques

Joe indicates that his remote students are very satisfied with this arrangement and people who live hundreds and even thousands of miles away are studying with him quite successfully using this method. “Since we can see each other perfectly on our computer monitors, I can observe the student playing with absolute clarity in terms of accordion position, hand position, bellows articulation, and all visual along with aural cues to provide first rate, real-time instruction. Neither I nor the student ever feel any diminished capability in any way as a result of using this approach.”

Payment for lessons is even made easier with technology. Thanks to PayPal and other electronic payment companies, the student can safely and efficiently make sure the payment is made electronically before the lesson, with no late payments caused by delayed “snail mail.” That completes the final piece of the puzzle in the marriage of teaching and technology.

Joe is currently accepting a limited number of additional students into his schedule. For inquiries about lesson time availability, please contact Joe at

Additionally, Joe invites everyone to visit his accordion music publishing web site (JANPress Publications), in operation since 1997 at and he also invites you to listen to his recent performances posted on YouTube at Search on the following three words “joseph natoli accordion” to view a complete listing of all of Joe’s currently available videos on YouTube (with more to be added soon). Joe has also just completed Volume 1 of his intended 3 volume “Adult Accordion Method” with included CD, available from JANPress Publication.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Ludovic Beier Demonstrates Roland FR-7x Accordion in NJ

by Rita Barnea
Alex and LudovicI was fortunate to be in the audience for the special concert event, “Variety, Virtuosity and the V-Accordion” featuring France’s Ludovic Beier on Sunday, Nov. 8th in Totowa, NJ. presented by Music Magic USA and Roland US. Over 75 people attended this wonderful and informative concert.

Ludovic Beier presented an International Musical Program. The entire Roland V-Accordion line was on display including the NEW FR-7x as well as accessories and Roland Amps. Cory Pesaturo, appearing on a DVD, opened the program, welcoming all with several solos, to the event.

Alex and Lillianna Chudolij, owners of Music Magic USA, warmly hosted the afternoon, inviting spectators to try out the new Roland accordion. Alex, an accomplished accordionist himself, also delightfully entertained all with the new FR-7x. At the end of the program, several Roland items were raffled off courtesy of Bob Duncan, Roland District Sales Manager, contributing to the success of this event.

Ludovic began the program with a French Musette and traveled the world musically in all genres demonstrating the versatility of the FR-7x. He clearly explained all aspects of the instrument and graciously answered all questions.

The second half of the program was an amazing concert program presented by Ludovic. The selections ranged from international songs, to show tunes, to classical. His improvisations were entertaining, brilliant, and delighted all!

Born in 1978, Ludovic Beier learned the accordion from his father and benefits from being part of a musical family. He was brought up in the French tradition of the instrument and turned to jazz a few years ago. He has a spirited, adventurous style which strays into all kinds of byways and is playing on the French and European scene with some of the top players of the Django/Swing Jazz style including Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmitt, Florin Niculescu. He was one of the featured performers at the Roland V-Accordion Festival in Italy on November 20th.

Roland can perfectly reproduce the accordion sounds by using Roland's unique digital technology, "Physical Behavior Modeling", which does not alter the way essential components, such as the bellows, are used. Air is still pumped by the bellows in a totally authentic way, but activates a high-definition pressure sensor, instead of reeds. Roland thus designed an innovative accordion without disrupting either its traditional nature or the musical technique required to play it.

As mentioned above, the accordion is not a standardized musical instrument; there are different types of accordion for different musical genres and also for different countries. The V-Accordion can faithfully reproduce all the various models of traditional accordion, including their different tuning features. Consequently, you can change a V-Accordion immediately from an Italian accordion into a French musette, a jazz accordion or a bandoneon. This means that an accordionist who plays different musical genres or wants to explore new sound frontiers doesn't need several acoustic accordions - just one V-Accordion. Thanks to its remarkable flexibility, the V-Accordion can also be configured in many different ways and also provides easy access to various free-bass systems.

The next time a Roland accordion event is in your area, I highly recommend that you be there to experience the magic of the Roland FR-7x accordion!

For further info: or 1-888-887-0975

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Meet Gabe Rodrigues.....Using the Accordion in Music Therapy

by Rita Barnea
Gabe RodriguesGabe Rodrigues is an Arizona native and an ASU Music Therapy student who will graduate in May 2010. Although only 22 years old, Gabe is very focused on developing the use of the accordion in music therapy and very involved in playing the accordion. Gabe comes from a very musical family: His mother plays piano and guitar, his father is very into Brazilian music, his brother and sister both play the piano and sing. All through his childhood, he was exposed to all kinds of music.

Gabe has been using the accordion in his student music therapy practices for the past two years. Gabe has had the opportunity to use the accordion as a useful therapy tool by using the unique nature of the instrument to draw people in and form personal connections which is an important aspect of music therapy. In order for therapy to take place, the client must first be comfortable with the therapist and in many ways using the accordion has helped to break the ice for a variety of client populations including: Older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, older and younger adults in the hospital with cancer, teens attending a school for at-risk youth, an adult with severe brain damage, refugee children, and teenagers and children with autism. Gabe is also a local piano instructor and uses the accordion frequently in lessons which has inspired some of his students to begin taking beginning accordion lessons.

The accordion, in many ways, allows Gabe to stand out among many other student therapists by allowing him to utilize a new instrument capable of catching people’s attention not just in sound but also with its visual appeal and complex physical system of playing. Most adults comment that the accordion reminds them of their parents, relative, or loved one who played. This allows Gabe to use the music as a way to reminisce which for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be difficult. Most teenagers and young children have never even seen an accordion in person or heard it played and because of this the accordion has some kind of exotic appeal to adolescents. This is especially helpful for keeping the attention of children with short-attention span and concentration. Gabe benefits from many of the therapeutic potentials of the accordion but also is very fortunate because of its practicality for traveling music therapists.

Being a student therapist, Gabe has witnessed many facilities that have little to no music instruments or resources. Therefore the more portable an instrument the better and although the accordion is heavy it is much more portable than a full sized piano or even an electric keyboard.

In general, the accordion has been successful for a wide variety of music therapy settings and has benefitted him greatly in connecting with a diverse array of people both young and old. Gabe hope’s to continue studying at ASU after graduating for accordion performance and plans to continue using his accordion in music therapy practices as well as local performance groups. Gabe currently plays with the ASU Dixie devils which have helped him pay tuition for his music therapy degree. He has also performed with the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band, and other local bands including Som Brasil (Brazilian traditional music group), Another Day (reggae-rock band), the Bad Cactus Brass Band. Gabe currently studies with Ilmar Kuljus.

It is an interesting chain of events that brings Gabe to the accordion world. Last year, Gabe came to watch his friends, Wes Anderson, who plays percussion and Sean Brogan, who plays bass for the Frank Morocco Accordion Event Orchestra. He saw an accordion orchestra for the first time and introduced himself to Joan Grauman. Gabe was a piano and music therapy major, a jazz pianist, and was teaching himself to play accordion. Joan introduced him to Dan Grauman and Frank Morocco. Frank was so impressed with Gabe that he invited him to participate in the event gratis. Joan then introduced Gabe to Ilmar Kuljus who was so impressed with Gabe that he offered to teach him gratis. Ilmar Kuljus was the teacher of the last US AAA accordion champion, Sam Thomas, and Patricia Bartell, who continues to take top honors in contests all over the world.

This year, Gabe will play with the Frank Morocco Accordion Event Orchestra and also present a workshop on Music Therapy. Gabe is enjoying his accordion so much that every Friday he plays in a jazz group at ASU. The other musicians enjoy performing with him.

Since practice rooms are not always available, Gabe brings his accordion outside to practice. He always draws a crowd of students. The ASU students say, “The accordion is so cool.” Gabe says he is happy to play the accordion. Gabe Rodrigues……….the new, cool generation of accordionists.

For further information: or 480-227-2862

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

2010 ATG Festival Takes Place in San Francisco in July

by Rita Barnea
ATG Banner
The ATG "70th Anniversary Galla-Rini Celebration" will be held in San Francisco, California on July 21-25, 2010. This special anniversary festival will feature the Anthony Galla-Rini International Competition for Classical Accordion, which offers almost $10,000 in prize money.

CIA Delegate and Past ATG President, Joan Sommers, has graciously offered to be the contact person for this competition. Please contact her via email for rules and more information.

This will be the first time the ATG holds a festival in California. Already tremendous enthusiasm and response for the festival is happening. Mark your calendars now and start putting a little extra away for shopping on Fisherman’s Wharf, and sightseeing to Alcatraz and Chinatown. For a special flare join us in a concert at Great America Amusement park with World-Class performers.

The ATG "70th Anniversary Galla-Rini Celebration" will be a grand way to celebrate seven decades of ATG history and commitment to excellence within the world-wide accordion community.

Mark your calendars and we hope to see you for this fabulous event in San Francisco, California, USA July 21-25, 2010!

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Alicia Baker……….Represents the USA at the International V-Accordion Festival in Rome

by Rita Barnea
Alicia BakerAlicia Baker has been playing the accordion for 12 years, the piano for 14 years and singing for 16 years. She is currently 18 years old and attending Oregon State University to pursue a degree in music education. With the piano, Alicia has been accompanying both choirs and soloists since middle school. With her voice, she placed 2nd in the soprano division at districts both her junior and senior of high school, as well as 4th place at the State competition her senior year.

So far, Alicia has had the most success with the accordion. After discovering the instrument at age 6, she has taken multiple first places, as well as the championship at the International accordion competition in Kimberley, Canada (KIOTAC). She has also placed 1st in multiple divisions at the Leavenworth International Accordion Competition. Most recently, Alicia competed in the National V-Roland Accordion Festival in Los Angeles, and won the privilege of representing the USA at the International V-Accordion Roland festival and competition which took place on November 20 in Rome, Italy.

Alicia has recorded several CD's of accordion music which are available to purchase. On-line purchasing is not yet available; however, these may be purchased by contacting Alicia at

Music is clearly her main passion, but she has plenty of other activities she loves to do, including playing soccer, tennis, and dance, as well as baking and performing musical theater. She can’t wait to see where the future takes her!

A full report, results and lots of photos of the 3rd Roland International V-Accordion Festival and Competition, November 19th to 20th, is online at: 2009 Rome Festival.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

The Accordion Pops Orchestra Presents a Delightful Afternoon Concert

by Rita Barnea
Daniel Desiderio and Rodolfo Veneziano
Daniel Desiderio and Albert ManginelliOn November 15, I attended a wonderful concert with an exciting and varied program performed by the Accordion Pops Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Desiderio at theTrinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

This concert was a benefit for Project Child. The purpose of Project Child is to provide humanitarian relief to the forgotten children with special needs in the orphanages, streets and hospitals of the Dominican Republic .

The Accordion Pops Orchestras' roots can be traced to 1970, when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey. In 1980 the orchestra members took a leave of absence, but four years later the membership was reorganized under the direction of the late Eugene Ettore of Livingston, New Jersey.

In 1985, Daniel Desiderio was invited to act as a guest conductor of the orchestra and a few years later the A.T.A. of NJ appointed him as conductor in residence. The name of the orchestra was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra and its membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island.

The only professional accordion orchestra of its kind on the East Coast, the group consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments. In addition, the orchestra often accompanies guest soloists such as pianists, tenors, etc.

Most of the twenty-five plus members of the orchestra are professional musicians or teachers. Many are soloists in their own right. The orchestra performs a repertoire of light classical, Broadway, big band and popular music.

It has entertained audiences at concert halls, county fairs, festivals, schools, and playhouses at many locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The APO performed selections whose accompaniments and arrangements were written by Daniel Desiderio including “Bagatelle Overture”, "Manha de Carnaval”, “Cabaret", "Moulin Rouge Medley”, “Carmen”, "Malaga" (Paso-doble), and “Yankee Doodle Rag” by Eugene Ettore arranged by Al Terzo.

Tenor soloist, Rodolfo Veneziano, thrilled the audience with his renditions of Italian opera favorites such as "La Donna e’ Mobile” by Giuseppe Verdi,” E Lucevan Le Stella” by Giacomo Puccini ,” Nessun Dorma”," O Sole Mio" and more.

Albert Manginelli, 13 year old accordion soloist and student of Daniel Desiderio, played “Scherzo” by John Gart with great precision and feeling. The concert concluded with the "Sound of Music Overture", and the "Radetzky March".

Their next concert, "Concert to Benefit the ALS Hope Foundation",will be on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 7:30 PM at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 260 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA. I highly recommend that you plan to go!

For further information:


Future events

Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Holiday Shows

by Rita Barnea
Mario Tacca and Mary ManciniMary Mancini, soprano, and Mario Tacca accordion /piano will perform in a Candlelight Christmas Concert with the Victor Lionti String Quartet on Friday, December 18, 2008 at 7:00pm at the Church of the Assumption, Msgr. Ansbro Way (First Street), Peekskill, NY

It will be an evening of glorious music by candlelight followed by light refreshments. The price for tickets is: Adults - $15, Seniors - $13, Under 17 - $7 .Tickets will be sold after all the Masses on weekends of Dec. 5 & 6 and Dec. 12 & 13. For more info: 914-737-2071

On Sunday, December 20, 2009, Mary Mancini will perform in a Christmas show. Mary Mancini’s Christmas Show is a true Holiday experience. She brings both her command of International music and Sacred music together. With her powers ofexpression and brilliant colorful tones, she brings to life a unique repertoire of Christmas Music. In addition, there will be a bonus performance by world renowned accordionist, Mario Tacca and trumpetist, Christopher Melito.

The show will take place at 4:00 pm at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 80 Saratoga Avenue, So. Glens Falls, NY. The price for tickets is: Adults $12,
Seniors $10, Under 12 – Free. For info: 518-792-5859

Mario Tacca 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 unmatched virtuosity on the accordion and his exciting interpretations of international music, the classics and pop.

Mary Mancini has achieved national and international acclaim for her vocal versatility and command of all styles of music. Her repertoire includes eight languages.

Whether performing our National Anthem for the NY Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers or captivating audiences in concert halls and theaters across the US, Canada, Europe and China, Mary Mancini consistently brings audiences to their feet with her musical interpretations of: international favorites, Broadway tunes, opera, the classics, and pop. In addition, her inspiring renditions from the Sacred music repertoire have touched the hearts of people around the world.
She has been called "the woman with the golden voice." Her growing list of achievements, honors and awards include recognition from: The International Festival of the Arts (Canada), The Chinese Government, The American Song Festival, The American Cancer Society, Guardia Lombardi Society, Circolo da Vinci Society, Westchester Community College - Il Club Italiano, and recently the Lifetime Award for Achievement in the Arts presented by the Order of Sons of Italy in America, NYS Grand Lodge Foundation.

December Shows schedule for Mary and Mario:
1 The Brownstone, Paterson, NJ 11:30am- 3:30pm
3 The Brownstone, Paterson, NJ 11:30am-3:30pm
4 The Brownstone, Paterson, NJ 11:30am-3:30pm
5 Mario, at the Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY 7-11pm
9 Mary & Mario, The Brownstone, Paterson, NJ 11:30am-3:30pm
10 Mary & Mario, The Brownstone, Paterson, NJ 11:30am-3:30pm
12 Mario, Magnanini Winery, Walkill, NY 7-11pm
13 Mary & Mario, Magnanini Winery Christmas Show 1-5pm
18 Mary & Mario, Concert at Assumption Church, Peekskill, NY 7:30pm
20 Mary & Mario, St. Michael the Archangel Church, So. Glens Falls, NY 4pm
31 Mary & Mario, Magnanini Winery New Year's Eve Show 9pm-1am

For info: or

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra Presents 50th Winter Concert on December 5

by Rita Barnea
Stanley DarrowThe Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra (WPAO) announces its annual Winter Concert at 1:30 PM Saturday, December 5, 2009. The concert will be held in the William G. Rohrer Library on MacArthur Blvd., Haddon Township, NJ. The concert is open to the public and free of charge. Donations will be graciously accepted. All proceeds of the concert will be directed toward the Concert Fund, which helps the orchestra to perform free cultural concerts for residents of the South Jersey area.

The WPAO is privileged to have as Director-Conductor, Mr. Stanley Darrow, an internationally known classical accordionist. He has made a career of demonstrating the accordion's vast potential as a serious musical instrument of concert stature.

Mr. Darrow keeps abreast of the field through regular concert study tours in Europe including the famous State Accordion College in Trossingen, Germany. His lectures and recitals have taken him from Rowan University in New Jersey to the Pilzen and Prague Conservatories. He is a board member of the Accordion Teachers Guild, a founding member of the American Accordion Musicological Society, and the director of the Acme Accordion School, in Westmont, New Jersey.

The orchestra's repertoire is diverse. The WPAO is an accordion ensemble that is devoted to performing music of great masters as well as ethnic, original, and popular compositions. The ensemble achieves a symphonic sound by the use of multiple-reed registers and accordionists performing individual parts, much like a symphony orchestra. In 1976 and 1992, the orchestra was recognized as a serious ensemble that has added to the cultural aspect of the community of Haddon Township.

Compositions being performed in this program include a medley of songs by Mancini, an ethnic historical composition (“Indian Love Call”), an opera selection from Verdi (“The Force of Destiny”), and an energetic piece by Count Basie (“Jumpin’ at the Woodside”).

For additional details: please call 856-854-6628 or

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society: Annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 13

by Rita Barnea
WMAS Holiday Concert
WMAS LogoOn Sunday, December 13, at 4:00 PM, the Annual Holiday Concert and Potluck Dinner of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society will take place at the Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, Virginia. There will be soloists, duets, and many of the members will join the ensemble for Christmas songs and a sing along. It will be a great time for all. Joan Grauman will conduct the Potomac Accordion Ensemble and the orchestra in a program of holiday selections.

The mission of WMAS is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the national capital region. The organization meets on the second or third Sunday every month at 4:00 PM at the Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia.

For further information: WMAS President Karen Denice :

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

Mario Pedone in December Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Mario PedoneMario Pedone was born on October 5, 1951 in Valenzano a small town near Bari in Southern, Italy. His first teacher was Franco Cupertino. Mario devoted at least 4 to 5 hours per day practicing the accordion. After few years Professor Miguel Casas Auge from Spain and Founder of the Valencia Accordion Club and also conductor of the Valencia Symphony Orquesta assumed Mario's accordion education. He was followed by Professor Roberto Ruscitti, a renowned classical accordionist who took care of his education for the next 7 years.

Mario graduated as a Concertista from the School Academia de Acordeon Smith, directed by Roberto Ruscitti and in March 1974 he earned a Cum Laude diploma in accordion from the same school. On April 30, 1976 he graduated with a degree of Professor of Accordion he founded his own accordion school, Academia Latina de Acordeon, where he had over 125 students. Most of his former students are now playing professionally.

Mario was a member of the Valencia Accordion Club and Co-founder of the Orquesta Latina Together with famous Spanish singer Esteban Abarca. The Orquesta Latina Performed all over Venezuela. Also has won numerous championships with both accordion and organ. In 1981, Mario moved to Sugar Land, Texas USA with his wife, Marbella and children. He has performed professionally in many countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Sweden, Italy, and Canada. Mario has his own recording studio in Sugar Land,TX were he has arranged and recorded hundreds of tunes including many of his own compositions. His musical range includes, but is not limited to Classical, Latin, European, American Standards. He also produces CDs, background music for other musicians and singers.

In 2002 and 2003 Mario was invited to perform in the famous Accordion Festival celebrated in Ransäter, Sweden. One of Mario’s compositions, “Bergen’s Polka” is well known in the Scandinavian Countries. Other performances include: San Antonio Accordion Club in Texas, special performance sponsor by Jack Stankus in Austin, TX,Convention in Dallas, TX, TV Channel 22 in Houston, TX, Performance in Montreal Canada, Viking Hull in Massachusetts, Accordion Connection in Concorde, NH, Accordion Festival in Kimberley BC Canada, Calgary AB Canada and performance with the Houston Symphony.

On December 14, 2003 Mario founded the Fort Bend County Accordion Club, In December 2004 the Club sponsored the first great accordion concert in Sugar Land, TX featuring:Frank Marocco Anatoly Yegorov, Mario Pedone and Singer Liberty Palileo, Presently,Mario holds the Position of President of Houston Accordion Club.

Mario’s 2009 December performance dates are:

12/3………The Carriage Institution in Conroe Texas.
12/4…….. Performing at ZIN Houston Texas
12/5……... Performing at ZIN Houston Texas
12/6……... Performing at Baptist Church in Houston Texas
12/8……….Performing at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Rosenberg, Texas
Duo with Fort Bend County Sheriff Mr.Milton Wright.
12/11……. Performing at ZIN in Houston Texas
12/12……..Performing at ZIN in Houston Texas
12/13……..Performing in Wedding Chappel in Galveston Texas
12/18…… Performing in the anual Fort Bend Sheriff Dept.
Duo with Fort Bend County Sheriff Mr Milton Wright
12/19……. Performing at ZIN in Houston Texas
12/26……..Performing in Evelyn Diaz Christmas Party Daytime.
12/26……...Performing at ZIN in Houston Texas
12/27………Performing in the Rotary Club Houston, Texas
12/30…….. Performing in Jorge and Clara End of the year party.
12/31………Performing at ZIN for the New Years Eve.

for further information:

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

American Accordionists’ Association Master Class and Concert Series – 2010 Seminars: “Don’t Like Opera!?” Welcome to Our Sixteenth Smash Year!

by Dr. William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelMusings by Dr. Schimmel: Accordion Philosopher and Artist in Residence

Dr. William Schimmel is the moderator/curator of the 2010 Seminars sponsored by the AAA on July 30, 31 and August 1 – 2010 at The Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, 43A West 13th St. between 5th and 6th Aves. The Master Classes take place at 3 PM. The Concerts are at 7 PM. The fee is $20 per Master Class , $25 per Concert, or $40 per day – includes Master Class and Concert. $110 for entire weekend.

First Opera experience: The Philadelphia Accordion Orchestra and The Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company conducted by Dr. Jacob C. Neupauer – LA TRAVIATA – selections – electrifying – heightened Reality. I loved it. I attended a performance of a full length staged opera later that year – hated every moment – flimsy orchestrations – no accordions - over the top singing – and loooooooooooong!

Vincent Persichetti was one of the first composers asked by the AAA to compose an accordion piece on commission – He declined stating: DON’T LIKE OPERA!

Walked into a restaurant in Turin, Italy – in the back room was a party – complete with glitter cat masks and a drunken painter named Molinari sketching the event. I walked over to a sparkling red accordion and played the Drinking Song from La Traviata – everyone joined in on cue. I left shortly afterwards. I went back the next night – I could not find the restaurant – Yes, I’m pretty sure it happened.

Took a late night walk one evening in Williamsburg. I forget which Williamsburg – Virginia or Brooklyn?! As I approached a dark street I could see an old Rollo-plane ride staring at me. It was shut down for the night. It was some sort of block party, carnival or amusement park. In the distance I could see a shadowed figure strutting back and forth. Somehow, I wasn’t afraid. As I approached, He said he was a MUMMER. He was wearing an accordion but there was no sound. It’s my costume, he said – my accordion, that is. He fanned it out and in – expanding and contracting.

With the accordion, there’s no need for words, lyrics or voices for that matter. All one needs is Franz Von Suppe and an audience of one – YOU!

And now, the highlights of the weekend:
What better way to show the accordion’s Built in Ironic (in your face) Duality than with a performance of “Jesus G. Faust” and “Tango Mephisto” featuring King of Ragtime, Dr. Mark Birnbaum. Dr. Robert Young McMahan will take us through the history of the accordion concerto, which in reality, are more like mini-operas. He will also premiere his new yearly 12 tone work, composed for the occasion. the occasion. “Watchman/Newsman” is a short opera by Yours Truly - about a vicious murder and even more hideous punishment by beheading, hanging, gassing, electrocution, injection, cremation and urination of the ashes.Jimmy Breslin interviewed a gravedigger at the funeral of John F. Kennedy. Aside from the obvious Hamlet reference, the gravedigger is a perfect metaphor for the accordionist – gigging while digging. A new work entitled “Brezlin”, tells the story.

“La Traviaida” – an attempt to combine the two Verdi classics and to get to the essence in about 10 minutes. The accordion is the perfect force for compression of time, space and visual/sound drama. We’ll also do “Carmen” in about 4 – all of it. We’ll also do “L’odour d’espirt”, a fifty second reality on a Kurt Cobain masterpiece.

Seems like dark stuff: Anything light? Actually yes – and some of it funny. Paul Stein’s Political Satire stings, bites and at times even burns – and always laugh out loud funny. “The Tunnel of Light and Love”, a new interactive video work by the eminent choreographer,director and video artist Micki Goodman will explore the notion of nature, love and rebirth in a pastoral visual elegy – not operatic, but certainly dramatic and life affirming.“St. Mathew the Mummer” – St. Mathew’s Passion retold in a Mardi-Gras Style – in strutting upbeat tempos. Jazz Accordion great Will Holshouser will pull you in with his non-dramatic subtlety and elegance.“Opera Josephine” – a short opera about Josephine Baker through the eyes of The Pointer Sisters – devised from a segment of “Within the Context of No Context” by George W.S. Trow. Lee Mc Clure’s digital flute will dramatize any accordion moment. “Beyond Words” – a reality on Haydn and Gubaidulina, taking the notion of “Seven Words” to new heights – dedicated to the mummer, Joseph A. Ferko, who died seconds after accepting an award for 50 years of mummer service. His Seven Last Words were: “I hope to march fifty more years.”

Humorist, Ken Laufer, making us see and “Stars, Stripes, Scars and Scrapes Forever”. “Taking Stock – A series of Realities on Stockhausen” – including“Telemix”, which includes a rap on “Surfer Bird” by the “Trashmen”. A Visual and Sound installation: “Juilliard 1960’s to Early 70’s” showing present day realities and recreations on this famous school’s most Avant Garde period- through the eyes of an accordionist who was there to experience it: CIRCLES become SQUARES, NONO becomes YES/YES, ECLAT becomes ÉCLAIR, PITHOPRAKTA becomes PITHOKRAPTA and PATIENCE becomes LACK OF IT.

Concert Virtuoso Mary Tokarski – knowing the difference between Monteverdi and Montovani. “Missa Tantra” – showing the sensual side of the liturgical dimension. Godfrey Nelson and Lorraine Nelson Wolf – new age at its highest peak. Actress Kathleen Tipton charming us with penetrating words and gestures.
“Moritat Von Mackey Messian” – uniting Brecht, Weill and Bobby Darin as Mystics. Benjamin Ickies, the punk accordionist in your face – famous, infamous and just a dot.

“Sho West” – a work for (Japanese) sho, accordion and violin, uniting “Gagaku” with the great western violin concertos as well as Hillbilly ramblings – with Mr. and Ms. Fukui on Sho and Violin. Rock Artist John Foti – a jersey shore vibe – more Springsteen than Sopranos.“Expenses” – a work about life, death and taxes. Performance Artist Brian Dewan – the funniest person alive – and the nicest. “Kage/Urotrasho/Pera” - one big, long, continuous melody, a nonopera, uniting whitetrash and eurotrash cultures. Drone Artist David First plays a drone – an opera emerges.
“A First Avenue Opera”: An Opera designed just for you – with you playing the leading role - by simply walking – with or without an accordion. Sing Arias if you wish – make some up. Create your own walking tempos – speed up, slow down – the ultimate fitness experience. Find your personal Holy Grail. Post Bop artist Art Bailey performing quint – converter jazz in a new and exciting way. A.A.A. commissioned works to be announced. Cristina Speligene, solving design issues through the accordion. Marni Rice, Chansons/ edge/ grace. Doug and Diane Makofka – accordion/violin/ Von Knorr/Persichetti/ Shostakovich/beyond. Carl Riehl – the Riehl deal – when it comes to Glass and Satie. Ingrid Kvale – from Norway/ a singular sight and sound. Dr. Rocco Jerry – specializing in quintets – every part himself. Michael Century – a minimalist with heart and soul. Maverick Pianist Gary Klein, a rogue years before Palin. Martina Li – from China/maximalist/likes everything. Dr. Ronald Sarno – a writer/ bent toward Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and Limbo. Dave Soldier/ composer/ fights the good fight to the end. Famous Argentine pianist, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig – Todo Tango/Brahms/ Chopin/Ginastera/Lanza and WS. Dramatic direction for entire weekend - Micki Goodman

For reservations: 212-876-0827 or or Those wishing to “take the hot seat” should reserve early.
© 2024 Accordion USA. All rights reserved. To comment on these pages, e-mail the webmaster.