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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2010
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Titano Accordion Company


Bring Joy and Peace with Your Accordion Music!!
Have You Joined the Free USA Fan Club to Receive Latest Updates?
Happy Xmas from Editor Rita Davidson and Accordions Worldwide Staff
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Guy Klucevsek receives United States Artist Fellowship Award
Milton Delugg, Accordionist, Is 92
The Accordion is Featured in Hit Song, "Stereo Love"
Stas Venglevski to Perform with Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
Peter Soave Presents USA Premiere of Bandoneon Concerto
Joan Cochran Sommers: Awarded 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award
Passing of Dr. Salvatore Febbraio, Mount Vernon
A New V-Accordion Star is Born: Christopher Gorton, Winner of the 2010 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival
Mario Pedone Presents Concert in Texas
Valtaro Accordionist, Dominic Karcic, To Create New Documentary
Michael Bridge: Accomplished Young Accordionist
Aldo J. DeRossi: 1917-2010

Voci Armoniche

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

The Fascinating Career of Joseph Soprani
Long Island Accordion Alliance Attracts "Sell Out" Crowd
Aldo DeRossi
Lydia Kaminska Plays Bandoneon with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra
Accordionaires Orchestra Presents Concert in November

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra in December Concert
Corrado Rojac plays at Harvard University, Massachusetts
AAA 17th Annual Master Class and Concerts in July
Bob Goldberg, accordionist in "Hudson to China", Dec. 15

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

CD Reviews

Sy Kushner Releases New CD



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Bring Joy and Peace with Your Accordion Music!!

by Rita Barnea
Merry Xmas and Happy New Year - Roberto Mangosi graphicWe 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 joy 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 lift the spirits of 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 say to you all: Do 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

Have You Joined the Free USA Fan Club to Receive Latest Updates?

by Rita Barnea
USA Fan Club Logo
The Accordion USA News has started the USA Fan Club which is online and available to everyone.

The USA Fan Club is being sponsored by who are offering one eSheet solo music (able to be sent to you by email) free of charge to all who join. You can select from any of the 1,400 plus eSheet solo titles online provided it costs less that US$12/Euro 9 at

To join our new USA Fan Club you only need to click: USA Fan Club and fill in your name and email address. There is no password or other sign-up questions or requirements. It is very simple and quick. The USA Fan Club will be used to inform you by email of important Breaking News so that you are immediately "in the know".

This is especially important since the Accordion USA News is a monthly news release. There are new articles added frequently during the month which you will want to read. We will also inform you of new videos and recording tracks as they become available too.

If you have news items such as concerts, festivals, conventions, etc. to add during the month, please send the information to Rita Davidson, Accordion USA News Editor at or phone: 201-675-4861

Click USA Fan Club - Make sure you join today! Tell your friends about it!

Titano Accordion Company

Happy Xmas from Editor Rita Davidson and Accordions Worldwide Staff

by Rita Barnea
Xmas Card messageHappy Xmas from USA News Editor Rita Davidson and Accordions Worldwide Staff - cartoons by Roberto Mangosi

Voci Armoniche

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

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

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

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

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

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

Accordion Jazz Chords

Guy Klucevsek receives United States Artist Fellowship Award

by Rita Barnea
Guy Klucevsek at Lincoln Center
Accordionist and composer, Guy Klucevsek, has been awarded a $50,000 United States Artist Fellowship grant. These unrestricted grants are awarded to "artists of all career stages who demonstrate artistic excellence, unique artistic vision, and significant contributions to their fields." 

This year's 52 USA Fellows represent some of the most innovative and diverse creative talents in the country. They include cutting-edge experimenters and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, film and media, music, theater arts, and visual arts.

Chosen for the caliber and impact of their work, the USA Fellows for 2010 hail from 18 states and Puerto Rico, range in age from 32 to 71, and represent some of the most innovative and diverse creative talents in the country.

This marks the fifth year of the USA Fellows program and brings the total that USA has invested in living artists to $12.5 million since 2006!

Guy performed "Chez Sechelles" composed by the fiddler, Michael Doucet on December 7,2010 at the "Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center" program. It was broadcast online live and viewed across the USA. The group Guy performed with was made up of previous United States Artists Fellows and Guy as the most recent awardee.
Members of the band were:
Cyro Baptista, USA Walker Fellow, Music (percussion)
Michael Doucet, USA Collins Fellow, Music (fiddle)
Guy Klucevsek, USA Collins Fellow, Music (accordion)
Wu Man, USA Broad Fellow, Music (pipa)
Evan Ziporyn, USA Walker Fellow, Music (clarinet, bass clarinet)

United States Artists (USA's) mission is to invest in America's finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society.

Supporting outstanding artistic talent has been realized by the USA Fellows program over the past 5 years. By the end of 2009, 213 artists had been named USA Fellows, each receiving a grant of $50,000, for a total of direct investment in artists equalling $10,000,000.

USA's investment funded new dances, poetry, films, theatrical productions, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, and more. Worldwide audiences of all ages have encountered these stimulating new works in galleries, on stages, in print, and online.

USA has actively examined strategies to invest in more artists and increase awareness of artists in America beyond the successful USA Fellows program. These efforts led to the creation of USA Projects, where the aim is to:
Foster community:
•Build a social networking environment to facilitate conversation, community, and commitment
•Become the place to look for "what's happening near you" in the arts
Facilitate philanthropy:
•Enable easy online contributions for accomplished artists' projects
•Establish a free online location for accomplished artists to showcase past work, current projects, and future plans
•Create opportunities for accomplished artists to connect directly with donors
•Support opportunities for community, corporate, and foundational engagement
Champion advocacy:
•Create an opportunity to improve the "96/27 Gap" found in the appreciation of art versus artists
•Cultivate a place to do "spot surveys" on issues impacting the arts/artists with links to arts advocacy opportunities

USA Projects is an act of optimistic belief in our nation and its outstanding artists. We still have much to learn, and hope you will engage, explore, and join us to help build a more creative future.

Selection Process
To become a USA Fellow, one must be nominated. Each year nominations are made by a different anonymous group of arts leaders, critics, scholars, and artists chosen by USA. Nominators do not know one another; their identities remain confidential.

Nominators are asked to submit names of artists they believe show an extraordinary commitment to their craft. Artists at any stage of career development may be nominated. To be considered for fellowships, artists must be 21 years of age or older and U.S. citizens or legal residents in any U.S. state. A legal resident is any individual who has the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the U.S. as an immigrant in accordance with the U.S. immigration laws. Artists must have the following:

•Expert artistic skills
•Artistic education or training (formal or informal)
•A history of deriving income from those skills
•A history of active engagement in creating artwork and presenting it to the public

Artist Applications
Nominated artists are notified of their nominations and encouraged to apply. Artists are required to fill out a simple online application and submit work samples.

Peer Panel Review 
Discipline-specific peer panels composed of leading artists and art experts meet to select the program finalists. The USA Board of Directors approves the final recommendations.

The USA Fellows and the peer panelists who selected them are announced annually at an awards celebration.

GUY KLUCEVSEK has created a unique repertoire for accordion through his own composing and by commissioning over 50 works from composers including John Zorn, Aaron Jay Kernis, Lois V Vierk, Fred Frith, Alvin Lucier, Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague and Somei Satoh.

His music/theatre pieces include  Squeezeplay -- collaborations with Mary Ellen Childs, David Dorfman and Dan Froot, Dan Hurlin, Victoria Marks and Claire Porter -- which The Village Voice called "delicious";  Hard Coal, with The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, and   Chinoiserie, with Ping Chong and Company,which was featured on the 1995 Next Wave Festival at BAM.

Solo performances include the 1998 Adelaide Festival in Australia, the Berlin Jazz Festival, New Music America, Serious Fun! at Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival/USA, Bang on a Can, and the children’s television show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

He has also performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Robin Holcomb, the Kronos Quartet, Pauline Oliveros, Bobby Previte, Relâche and John Zorn.

He was a member of Dave Douglas's band, Charms of the Night Sky, since it's inception, and recorded three albums with the group.

In 1987, Klucevsek commissioned Polka From the Fringe, a collection of 32 post-modern two-steps by such composers as Carl Finch, Fred Frith, Christian Marclay and Elliott Sharp, which he presented at the 1988 Next Wave Festival, and has performed around the world with his group, Ain’t Nothin’ But A Polka Band.

In 1996, Klucevsek formed The Accordion Tribe, an international line-up of composer/accordionists Maria Kalaniemi (Finland), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia), Otto Lechner (Austria), and Klucevsek (USA).

Following a highly successful, 18-concert, 3-week European tour, Intuition (Germany) released Accordion Tribe,a CD made up of live recordings from the tour.
Klucevsek has released over 20 recordings as soloist/leader, including  Polka Dots & Laser Beams and  Who Stole the Polka?,< which were chosen as the best recordings of 1992 by John Schaefer on the nationally-syndicated radio program New Sounds, and  Transylvanian Softwear, which was cited as a 1995 Recording of Special Merit in Stereo Review. He can also be heard on the compilations  Planet Squeezebox on Ellipsis Arts and  <Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach on Tzadik.

Congratulations to Guy Klucevsek!

For further information:,


Milton Delugg, Accordionist, Is 92

by Rita Barnea
Milton DeluggMilton DeLugg, born December 2, 1918 in Los Angeles, California is an American composer, arranger, and accordionist.

A talented accordionist, Milton appeared in short Soundies musicals and occasional movies such as 1949's Jolson Sings Again. He quickly became a successful arranger and composer. His clients ranged from the American Junior Miss Pageant to Jackie Wilson. He was a musician on such radio programs as The Abe Burrows Show. One of his best-known tunes is an arrangement of the song "The Happy Wanderer", and his brassy polka "Hoop Dee Doo" became a game-show staple.

Milton Delugg is also the musical director for the TV coverage of the annual Macy's Day Parade which he has done for many years.

Milton Delugg is also the composer of "Hooray for Santy Claus", the catchy theme song for the low-budget motion picture Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. He also composed "Roller Coaster" - recorded by Henri Rene Orchestra on RCA Victor. It was used as the opening and closing theme of "Masquerade Party" which was a popular quiz show in the early 1950s.

He is also known for serving as the bandleader for the infamous game show The Gong Show. After attending UCLA, he travelled to New York City to study under Tibor Serly; in 1938, DeLugg joined the Matty Malneck Orchestra as an accordionist, and following a stay with the Army Air Corps during World War II, he formed his own group.

Freelance television and radio projects yielded themes for everything from The Fred Allen Show to What's My Line? to the Junior Miss pageant; a prolific composer, DeLugg also authored songs including "Hoop Dee Do," "The Happy Wanderer," "Just Another Polka" and "Orange Colored Sky."

In 1964, he composed the score to the cult classic “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”, and following the 1966 departure of Skitch Henderson assumed bandleading duties on NBC's The Tonight Show, only to be replaced a few months later by Doc Severinsen. He appeared on Chuck Barris' 1970s favorite The Gong Show, where he and his group were dubbed "Milton Delugg and the Band with a Thug."

In addition to composing music for a number of children's records released through RCA and Golden Books, in 1967 DeLugg also issued the solo album Accordion My Way--Ole! an NBC late-night television program which has been considered a forerunner to The Tonight Show.

He often played a song he co-wrote, titled, "Orange Colored Sky", which was best remembered as a hit for Nat King Cole. In 1950, DeLugg was also orchestra conductor for the short-lived Abe Burrows' Almanac.His other popular-song and instrumental compositions include "Shanghai", "Sailor Boys Have Talk to Me in English", "My Lady Loves to Dance", "Be My Life's Companion", "Wrong Wrong Wrong", "Roller Coaster" ("What's My Line" theme), "The Little White Horse", "The Big Beat", "Honolulu", and "Gee I'm Glad I Married You".

Milton said, " I was under contract to King Records and they wanted an accordion album- 6 sides. On it was "Hoop-De-Doo" and "Roller Coaster" which was the theme for "What's My Line" for twenty years. It put my kids through school."

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

The Accordion is Featured in Hit Song, "Stereo Love"

by Rita Barnea
Edward Maya"Stereo Love" is the hit song created by Edward Maya in collaboration with composer Eldar Mansurov from Azerbaijan and the Russian DJ Vika Jigulina. Not only known as the single that promoted Edward Maya all over the world, but also the single that Romania is proud of, because it is the only Romanian song that has more than 75 million views on Youtube in less than 12 months.

It also revolutionized the club zone quickly becoming the hymn of all the parties and clubs. It is important to mention that "Stereo Love" also made it to Billboard top five, as a result of the tremendous number of shows Edward Maya presented in countries where Romanian music was still unknown: Brazil, Senegal, Dubai, Albania and other countries.

"Stereo Love" features the sound of the accordion throughout the song. It is a song that has helped to bring the accordion to the forefront as a popular, accessible, enjoyable, and cool instrument. It presently has had over 82,000,000 hits on Youtube.

In the summer of 2009, Maya launched his first song as an artist, "Stereo Love", reaching number 2 in the Romanian singles charts. Later that year, "Stereo Love", became a hit in clubs all over the world.The incredible success of ”Stereo Love” was followed by Maya's concerts worldwide, the song reaching the pop charts in Greece, Dubai, Russia, France, Albania, Lebanon, Armenia, Portugal, Poland, The Netherlands, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Turkey, etc. "Stereo Love" is the longest song in the history of European top Hot 100, accumulating 52 weeks and becoming a real hit in clubbing places all over the world.

Eduard Marian Ilie (born June 29, 1986) is better known by his stage name Edward Maya. He a singer-songwriter,and record producer. Edward Maya is a whole musical package (producer, performer, composer, musician) of Romania.

He has worked with Romanian artists including Akcent, Costi Ionita, Vika Jigulina, Cassa Loco, Studio One, Dj Rynno, Dj Sava, Marius Nedelcu, BlaxyGirls, and Imba .In 2008 he produced the album “Fara Lacrimi” that helped relaunch the band Akcent, with songs like “Stay with me”, “That’s my name” and “Lover’s cry” that are successful in Europe.The year 2009 brought a surprise on the Romanian musical market, the first song “Stereo Love” signed by Edward Maya as a producer and artist

Edward Maya is a 23-year-old student from Bucharest and currently one of the hottest rising pop-dance artists on the continent growing in popularity in the UK.His musical career started when he was 19, writing a song for the Eurovision Song Contest. It came in fourth. But Edward's musical talent goes back much further.

"I've studied piano and composition since I was five. Now I'm in my final year at school in Bucharest studying composition and film music," he says speaking from his office.

Edward Maya runs his own business and label as well as studying and having an international concert schedule."I've got a studio here in the office. I do concerts most weekends but I prefer to stay in the studio making beats."

"Stereo Love", has an accordion infused dance track and is a world wide big dance hit "Usually I'm playing in the orchestra," he admits. "Listening to a lot of classical music like Chopin."

"But in my free time I'm in the clubs and listening to that music. I combine them both".

It gives his music a unique edge and it's not just drum machines and synthesizers in his studio.

"I know how to play five instruments - piano, bassoon, accordion, flute and some old instruments like the douk, so my music is a combination between old oriental music and modern electronic music."

In 2010, Maya released his follow-up single, "This Is My Life," as well as his first album, called "Stereo Love". To help maintain control of his career and provide opportunities for other artists, Maya has formed his own record label, Mayavin Records.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Stas Venglevski to Perform with Tacoma Symphony Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Stas VenglevskiStas Venglevski and guest artist, soprano Jessica Robins Milanese, will perform with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra at the PantagesTheater on Saturday December 4 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, Dec. 5 at 2:30 PM . The conductor is Harvey Felder.

The 80-plus professional musicians of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra impact thousands of people beyond the walls of the Broadway Center through their work as teachers, mentors, clinicians, ensemble and chamber performers, and soloists. The TSO is not just an orchestra, but a vital community resource.

His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought "Stas"  Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former  Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the bayan. A two-time first prize winner of bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he  received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed  Russian bayanist, Friedrich Lips.

In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

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

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

Stas is a regular participant of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education Program (ACE);  has done television commercials and performed in theater productions;  produced numerous recordings including transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite for bayan as well as one of original compositions.  He has published several books of original compositions.

Stas also performs as a member of the A Sta_Sera Duo where he combines talents with accordionist, John Simkus, known primarily for his smooth jazz renditions. Their musical partnership has resulted in a unique repertoire and as a duo they have toured the United States and Europe extensively and collaborated on a CD of original compositions, Seasonings.

Stas demonstrates his versatility performing regularly with his Irish friends Leahy's Luck. 

Stas is past President of the prestigious Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) which was established in 1940 with the purpose of  furthering the progress ofthe accordion by improving teaching standards, music, and all phases of music education. The ATG is a member of the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) International  Music Council (IMC-NESCO) which holds an annual competition and festival in various cities around the United States.

The brilliant artistry and musical virtuosity of Stas afford an expanded dimension in music and an innovative musical adventure to the audience.

For tickets: 253-591-5894 or 800-291-7593

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

Peter Soave Presents USA Premiere of Bandoneon Concerto

by Rita Barnea
Peter SoaveOn November 8, 2010, renowned musician and long time Pigini Accordions artist Peter Soave, gave the USA Premier of Duilio Dobrin's "Concerto for Bandoneon" in Dallas, Texas.

Argentine-born composer, Dr. Duilio Dobrin, Chair of Music Theory and Composition at BTWHSPVA, recorded his concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra, “Of All Things Lost”, with an ensemble comprised of Dallas Symphony Orchestra strings and the renowned art magnet’s top string players, on November 8, 2010, at the Winspear Opera House, Nancy Hamon Hall.

International bandoneon virtuoso Peter Soave, was the soloist. This performance was made possible through a grant from the Esping Foundation.

Dr. Dobrin joined Dallas ISD after serving 8 years as Resident Conductor of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, at the helm of which he conducted over 500 performances of nearly every major work in the orchestral repertoire. A postdoctoral graduate of Yale University, Dobrin studied under Otto Werner-Mueller. His other mentors include Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood Music Festival, and the legendary Sergiu Celibidache alongside the Munich Philharmonic. Dr. Dobrin has also served on the faculties of The University of Oklahoma and University of Bridgeport.

Recognized worldwide as the foremost master of the bandoneon and concert accordion, Peter Soave has established himself as one of the leading soloists of his generation. The hallmark of his performances is his unique combination of commanding stage presence and the excitement of his vibrant virtuosity.

Of Italian descent, Peter Soave's earliest memories are of music played on an accordion. By age three, he was certain of his life's work. He began music studies at five, and quickly gravitated towards classical music. At sixteen, he entered international competitions and swept first place four times, confirming his reputation as a virtuoso of the highest order: Grand Prix in Neu Isenberg, West Germany; Klingenthal Wettbewerb in East Germany; Coupe Mondiale in Folkstone, England; and the Trophée Mondiale in Arrezano, Italy.

In 1987, Peter Soave was the inaugural recipient of "Voce d'Oro," the international award honoring those who have given prominence to the accordion in the world of modern music. Deeply inspired by the music of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla, Mr. Soave's impassioned musicianship motivated him to include the characteristic bandoneon in his performances.

Mr. Soave's engagements include performances as a soloist and with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout North and South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Russia. He has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony, Flint Symphony, San Salvador Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Lubbock Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Walla Walla Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Williamsport Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho and The Zagreb Soloists.

Mr. Soave collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, Neeme Jarvi, Thomas Wilkins, Robert Spano, Leone Mageira, Hermann Michael, Duilio Dobrin, and Guillermo Figueroa. For the only North America appearance in 1999 of the "Three Tenors," Soave performed as the featured bandoneonist. He has also appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America."

In 2007, Soave premiered Astor Piazzolla's oratorio "El Pueblo Joven", written for symphony orchestra, voice recitative, soprano, bandoneon, choir, and percussion, with the Radio Romania Chamber Orchestra, Romania.

Mr. Soave has had numerous compositions written for him by the Venezuela's foremost composer, Aldemaro Romero: "Piazzollana-Homage à Piazzolla" for bandoneon and full orchestra; "Suite de Castelfidardo" for bandoneon and string orchestra; "Soavecito" for accordion and string orchestra; and "Tango Furioso" for bandoneon and string quartet. Romero's "Five Paleontological Mysteries," for accordion and string quartet, received its American premiere in Detroit in February 2008 and its European premiere in Italy in July 2008.

Mr. Soave's discography includes a solo album "Pride and Passion," "Five Tango Sensations" with The Rucner String Quartet, a double CD "Undertango 2," and "Peter Soave & Symphony Orchestra," featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla and Carmine Coppola. His recording awards include the Detroit Music Award for Best Classical Recording in 2001 and Best Classical Instrumentalist in 2003.

Eager to harmonize nature and music, Soave founded the Peter Soave Music Academy in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy in 2010, welcoming music lovers to convene and share.

Mr. Soave plays a "Mythos #002" concert accordion and an "Adrian #001" bandoneon, made by Pigini in Italy.
His 2011 USA concert schedule includes:
February 27:West Bloomfield Library
West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
Original music & transcriptions

March 5: Kerrytown Concert House
Ann Arbor, USA
Peter Soave & Friends!
March 6:Michigan Accordion Society
Original music & transcriptions
Matrch 11 & 12: Grand Rapids Symphony
Grand Rapids, USA
Double Concerto for Bandoneon & Guitar by Astor Piazzolla
March 13: Solo & duo w/ Mady Soave
Scotville, USA
Original music & transcriptions
March 19: w/ Carpe Diem String Quartet
Eau Claire, USA
Music of Astor Piazzolla

For more information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Joan Cochran Sommers: Awarded 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award

by Rita Barnea
Paul Pasquali and Joan Cochran Sommers
Joan Cochran Sommers was presented with the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Las Vegas Accordion Convention by Paul Pasquali, organizer of the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention in November 2010.

She received this prestigious award for her distinguished contributions to music education, accordion music, and culture. This is the third year that Joan returned to conduct the Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra. Her dedicated work and spirit were apparent in the outstanding musical performance.

Professor Sommers has made numerous contributions to the advancement of the accordion. She established the only college-level accordion training program in the U.S. in Kansas City, at the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music in 1961.

During Joan’s career she designed and taught courses in accordion orchestra, arranging, chamber music, literature, and accordion history, while giving private lessons. She quickly became a full Professor and in 1988 was appointed Assistant Dean.

Additionally, she has taught and adjudicated in many countries and has held elective and appointed offices in both national and international accordion organizations. She has now retired from UMKC but continues to teach, something she loves.

Joan is a talented arranger for the accordion orchestra and says it is constantly in her mind, making it difficult for her to just listen to music as background. When she listens, she hears and analyzes the specific sounds, the techniques used, and the form of the composition. Joan was featured at the Thursday Gala Concert conducting the Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra.

Titano Accordion Company

Passing of Dr. Salvatore Febbraio, Mount Vernon

by Colin Gustafson
Dr. Sal FebbraioPhoto above: Salvatore Febbraio with AAA President Linda Solely Reed

Salvatore Febbraio, a Mount Vernon native who founded and ran a music school in his hometown for more than 50 years, died Saturday, November 27, 2010 at his home on Parkway East. He was 75.

In 1956, he founded the Febbraio School of Music of Westchester in Mount Vernon, offering instrument, vocal and theory lessons to about a dozen children in a small building on North High Street. The school moved to its current location on Locust Street in 1960. Today it has more than 200 students and a staff of about 15.

He continued to serve as director until his death.

"It was something he loved," said his younger son, Gregg Febbraio, 49, an attorney who lives in
Greenwich, Conn.

Febbraio began playing music at age 5. As a teenager, he gained fame for his talents as an accordionist, after appearing on TV and radio talent contests, such as "The Ted Steele Show." His professional musical career picked up momentum after he appeared as a pianist on the television show "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" in 1954.

It was after that performance that Febbraio, then 19, met his future wife, Antoinette, then 16. They married two years later. Passing up offers to tour the country with big-name acts, such as trumpeter Louis Prima, Febbraio settled in Mount Vernon to start a family and founded the music school.

Though he favored accordion and piano, he played — and taught — everything from the organ, to
drums, bass and guitar, in addition to teaching music theory.

He was also a sought-after vocal coach, despite his lack of singing talent, one of his sons said.

"He was an early day Prince," said his elder son, Guy Febbraio, 52, a musician who lives in Mount
Vernon. "He couldn't even sing, but he could teach singing."

Febbraio studied music and education at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, before receiving a doctoral degree in music from New York University. His more noteworthy performances as an accordionist include a concert he did with students at the 1964 New York World's Fair in Queens and a 1965 reunion party for West Point's class of 1915, where he performed for former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, family members said. He was also the administrator of the external degree program of Trinity College of Music of London, New York Centre in the United States.

Dr. Febbraio is listed in the “International Who’s Who in Music” published in Cambridge, England, and “Who’s Who in Classical Music.” He was a published composer and served as consultant to the New York State Education Department for Collegiate Academic Review and as an adjudicator in national, regional and international music competitions.

He was an active member of the Doctorate Association of New York Educators, Music educators’ National Conference Research Fellow, Musicians Association Local 38 and a longtime member of the Governing Board of the American Accordionists' Association.

His former students have performed on the concert stage, Broadway and throughout the world, and remarkably for six presidents- Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Bush.

In addition to his wife and son, Febbraio is survived by another son, Guy Anthony Febbraio, and three grandchildren, Nicole, 25, Monique, 21, and Gregg, 14.

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

A New V-Accordion Star is Born: Christopher Gorton, Winner of the 2010 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival

by Dan Krisher
Christopher GortonOn September 18, 2010, Roland U.S. hosted a competition of America’s most talented accordionists at the 3rd Annual V-Accordion® Festival. Taking home top honors in the Adult Division that evening was Christopher Gorton of Providence, Rhode Island.

An accordion player of 18 years, Christopher began studying at the age of seven. He’s participated in many competitions since, including the prestigious Coupe Mondiale festival in 2003, and he won the U.S. Accordion Championship in the classical music category in both 2002 and 2003.

As the U.S. V-Accordion Festival winner in September, Christopher went on to represent the United States at the 4th Annual V-Accordion Festival in Rome, Italy, in October 2010, where he competed with the finest accordionists from around the globe. While he didn’t win at that event, he made many new friends and got to perform for an enthusiastic audience of over 1000 at the festival’s evening gala.

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Christopher shortly after his return from Europe. We discussed his background and how he uses the V-Accordion, and he shared his thoughts about winning the U.S. V-Accordion Festival and competing on the world stage in Italy.

When did you start playing the accordion?

I first started taking lessons when I was seven years old. They passed out a flyer in school that asked, “Do you want to learn how to play music?” I thought it was something like the piano or the violin, but when I got there, it was the accordion. I started playing it, and I started competing in the local competitions, and I did pretty well. That’s what made me have an early interest in it. After that, I kept on competing and getting better and better.

Did you start on a piano or button accordion?

I’ve always played the regular piano accordion right up until the time of the Roland competition in L.A. Before that, I never played an electronic accordion.

How do you compare playing the V-Accordion with the experience of playing the acoustic accordion?

I’ve always played the acoustic accordion, so that’s kind of special to me. But the Roland won me over because I was very impressed with all the things you can do with it. It makes it a lot more interesting. With the regular accordion, no matter [what you do], it always sounds like a regular accordion.

With the Roland, you can make it sound like so many different things. It’s so versatile, and there’s so much you can do with it. You can play drum tracks with it, and it’s really cool. I go back and play some of the songs I’ve played so long on the standard accordion, and I take a new look at them. I can approach them in a new and interesting way with the digital accordion because of the orchestration that you can use with it. It makes it a lot more fun, a lot more interesting.

Can you give me some examples of songs where that’s occurred?

I did two pieces by Astor Piazzolla at the competition in Italy. The original arrangements were for a regular accordion. But when Piazzolla did them with his band, he had a guitar, a violin, and his bandoneón, of course. Basically, at the end of the first half and the end of the song, I made it sound like a mini band instead of just an accordion playing. And on the jazz song I played, I walked the bass. It sounds nice on a regular accordion, but on the V-Accordion you can use a fretless or acoustic bass, and it actually sounds like a bass player. It’s really cool.

How did you become involved with the U.S. V-Accordion Festival?

I heard a demonstration that [jazz accordionist and Roland clinician] Don McMahon gave in Boston back in April, and he talked about the V-Accordion and the competition. That was the first time I heard the V-Accordion in person; I’d heard about it before, but that was the first time I actually saw it and heard it live. After that, I thought it would be cool. The [dealer] said they’d loan me a V-Accordion for a month [to check it out]. And when I got it, I was very impressed.

You got involved in the contest through Falcetti Music, correct?

Yeah. Sam Falcetti. I had talked about entering it. I competed in the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) competition. It was in July in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and I did well over there—I won. Linda Reed, the president of the organization, told me I should really go for the Roland festival because I probably had a good shot to win. So I said, “Hey, I’ll give it a shot. What’s the worst that’ll happen?”

And you won.

Yeah. And I won! [Laughs.] It’s fun, because I really enjoy competing. But there was some stiff competition there. In these nationwide competitions, it’s a gamble. You could be going up against anybody. These people are good. There are a lot of good accordion players out there.

What did you play at the U.S. contest?

I played four songs: the first was a jazz piece by Miles Davis called “Four,” arranged for the accordion by my teacher, Bob Paolo. The second two were Astor Piazzolla pieces that I arranged. The last piece was a medley of popular Latin songs: “Tico Tico,” “La Muchacha de Fuego,” and “Brazil.”

How did you feel when you won?

It was awesome! I jumped in the air. I was so excited. It was fantastic because it was suspenseful; there were five contestants, and when they announced second place, you didn’t know who was first. It was great. And then after that, I knew I was going to be going off to Italy, and I would have a brand new FR-7x V-Accordion to practice on, so it was a lot of fun. It was fantastic.

After you won the U.S. contest, the pressure was on to represent the U.S. at the international V-Accordion Festival in Rome. What did you do to prepare?

I knew it was on. I knew I had to represent us well and play well. So, I was practicing like crazy. I was practicing six, seven, eight hours a day. Just practicing, practicing, practicing, working on the presentation, my delivery, the notes, all of that stuff. I was just trying to make it perfect, so I could play as well as I possibly could in Italy. Unfortunately, I didn’t win.

What did you choose to play for the international competition?

For the first round, it was the same songs I played at the U.S. finals. For the second round, I played the first movement from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” That was the one I played for the show over there. That was something else. The whole show they had over there, that was insane. I was so excited to play, and I was nervous. They had this huge auditorium, and there were over 1000 people there. I never played in front of that many people before. It was on national TV in Italy, and they had the radio station broadcasting it. It was online, and there were tons of people there…it was crazy. With a few hundred people, I won’t get too rattled, but at over 1000, that was the biggest audience I’d ever played for.

It sounds like it was fun, but intense at the same time.

Yeah, it was really intense, because there were so many good players there—the best from all over the world. You’re trying to represent the United States and there’s a lot riding on it. You practice all this time, fly all the way over to Italy, and have so many hours and hours of preparation that go into a five- or 10-minute performance over there. The pressure’s on to really get it right. It’s pretty nerve-wracking, especially the second round, when I was onstage at the big show. There were 14 contestants, and I was number 12, so I had to sit and wait the whole show. It was torturous until after I got done playing, and then it was okay.

You got to meet and be exposed to a lot of players from all over the world that use the V-Accordion.

Yes. Fortunately, just about everybody spoke English, which was nice, so we could all talk together. They’re really good, and they take it a lot more seriously than we do in the United States with the accordion. They put a lot more time and effort into it, and they all play really well. They love American jazz, too. The first thing they ask is, “Are you from America? Do you play jazz?”

How has your experience playing the V-Accordion broadened your perception of the accordion in general? Has it opened you up to new ways of playing or approaching the accordion?

Yeah. Definitely. It presents a different way to approach my music. [First], you have to learn songs like you would on a normal accordion. That’s how I do it; I get everything down, and then I apply all the sounds and stuff. But when I apply the sounds, I actually change my playing technique and try to mimic the instrument that I’m using. And the way I arrange things has changed. Now, when I’m starting to arrange my new songs with the V-Accordion’s orchestration, I can do a whole lot more with it. I can make it sound a lot fuller; there are a lot more little things I can add. I can really make it a lot more exciting.

What words of advice do you have for players that might want to enter the next U.S. V-Accordion Festival competition?

I would say make sure you have some avant-garde classical pieces to play for Europe, because that’s what they’re looking for. And have some nice regular stuff to play here in the U.S. The judging is a little different [in Europe]; they’re looking for different things. But be prepared, because if you win in the United States, you’re going to have a whole lot of work ahead of you, and things are going to start getting pretty hectic. Don’t enter if you’re not prepared to take it all the way.

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Mario Pedone Presents Concert in Texas

by Rita Barnea
Mario PedoneMario Pedone will present a concert on Sunday, December 5th at the Mid-Cities Accordion Association's Christmas meeting.

Mario is an internationally known performer, teacher, and recording artist. He recently returned from concert tours that took him to Canada and China. His  vast musical range  includes, but is not limited to Classical,Latin,  European, and American  Standards.

Mario Pedone was born on October 5, 1951 in Valenzano, a small town near Bari in Southern, Italy. In an effort to improve the family's financial situation they immigrated to Valencia, Venezuela in 1959. Mario's older brother Ludovico had begun to study the accordion and Mario was always watching him hoping one day that he also would play this wonderful Instrument. He persistently begged his father to let him start accordion lessons too and eventually succeeded.

His first teacher was Franco Cupertino, Mario devoted at least 4 to 5 hours per day practicing the accordion. After a 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.

OnMarch 24, 1972, Mario graduated as a Concertista from the School Academia de Acordeon Smith, directed by Roberto Ruscitti. 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.

After graduation 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 in search for a better future, 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 where he has arranged and recorded hundreds of tunes including many of his own compositions..

He has performed on TV Channel 22 in Houston, TX, Las Vegas Accordion Convention, Salt Lake Accordion Club in Utah, Accordion by the Sea Festival in Victoria, BC Canada, Performance in Montreal Canada, Accordion Club in Natick Massachusetts , Viking Hull in Massachusetts, Accordion Connection in Concorde, NH, Ageless Dreamer in Dover, NH, Accordion Festival in Kimberley BC Canada, Calgary AB Canada and 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.

The concert will be on Sunday, December 5th from 2-4 PM at the Hurst Recreation Center, 700 Mary Drive,Hurst, Texas.The Hurst Recreation Center is easy to find, just a few blocks from Airport Freeway or Loop 820.

For more information please contact John Martin at or call 817-282-7449.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Valtaro Accordionist, Dominic Karcic, To Create New Documentary

by Rita Barnea
Dominic KarcicAAA Board member, Dominic Karcic, is beginning a unique project hoping to make a documentary film on the history and origin of Valtaro Musette music in New York City. 

He is looking for any pictures or film / video that people might have of accordionist, John “Scudlein” Brugnoli, or his partner, accordionist Pete “Filomena” Delgrosso, and also any of the other Valtaro accordionists: Emilio Chiesa, Gelso Pellegrini, Hugo Nati, Aldo Bruschi, Pete Spagnoli etc. 
Please forward his request to anyone that you might know that would have such pictures, film etc. 
You may contact Dominic Karcic (Commack, NY – USA) at or (631 864 4428) 
Sto per dare inizio a un progetto che prevede la realizzazione di un documentario sulla storia e le origini della musica Valtaro Musette nella città di New York. Mi farebbe piacere ricevere foto/filmati/immagini del fisarmonicista John “Scudlein” Brugnoli o del suo compagno fisarmonicista Pete “Filomena” Delgrosso e anche gli l'altri Valtaro musette fisarmonicisti Emilio Chiesa, Gelso Pellegrini, Hugo Nati, Aldo Bruschi, Pete Spagnoli etc. 
Potete contattarmi al seguente indirizzo mail: o al numero 631 864 4428 
Dominic is very appreciative of any assistance that can be offered.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Michael Bridge: Accomplished Young Accordionist

by Rita Barnea
Michael BridgeMichael Bridge is a seventeen-year old accordionist, pianist, and composer from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Michael began piano lessons at age four and piano accordion lessons at age seven. His wonderful, long-time teachers are Beverley Fess (accordion) and Donna Holoboff (piano). Michael has one year of high school remaining but plans to study music at university.

Michael completed his grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music piano exam in June of 2010 and will take his grade 10 RCM bayan (free bass chromatic accordion) exam in 2011. He has completed advanced RCM theoretical studies in harmony, history, counterpoint, and analysis under the direction of Robert Rosen and Timothy Janz.

At the age of fourteen, Michael released the first CD of his own original compositions entitled "My Stuff." He has also published a book of sheet music to match this CD. His second CD of original works, "Sharon's Song," was released in October 2009 in Las Vegas, USA.

In August 2008, Michael attended the International Music Accordion Camp in Italy conducted by Peter Soave and Mady Soave and their colleague Jean-Louis Noton. It was a fabulous week of workshops and camaraderie. At this camp, he began his study of a new, more complex instrument, the bayan.

Michael won the Open Championships in 2008 at the Edmonton and Kimberley competitions and also won the Virtuoso Championship at the Calgary Festival. In 2009, he was invited to perform at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in June. In early July, he represented Canada in France performing in three cities as part of a touring group of international artists.

He appeared in concert and taught workshops at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention where he performed in November 2010.

As a pianist, Michael was chosen to perform in a Master Class during the Honens International Piano Competition which took place in Calgary in October 2009 (this performance can be viewed on the Videos page).

On June 8, 2010 Michael was given the honor to perform "Czardas" (by Monti) at the Boston Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He received this invitation from a national public radio show called "From The Top" which promotes classical music in pre-collegiate aged musicians. This event was part of the 10th anniversary gala for the wildly popular radio show which was broadcast in September 2010.

Michael is a gifted and engaging young musician who is determined to raise the profile of the accordion and bayan for the next generation. He is passionate about classical music but also performs as a one-man band playing popular, dance or jazz tunes.

His December 2010 performances are:
December 18 - Dreamview Village Calgary

December 12 - Austrian Canadian Club
December 8 - Strathcona Horizon Village

December 5 - Greater Forest Lawn Pancake Breakfast

For further

Titano Accordion Company

Aldo J. DeRossi: 1917-2010

by Rita Barnea
Aldo J. DeRossiAldo J. DeRossi, 93, of Fairhaven died Tuesday November 30, 2010 at home. He was the husband of Ida M. (Pires) DeRossi; they had been married for 65 years.

Born in Springfield, the son of the late Emil and Julia (Laurenti) DeRossi, he moved to New Bedford at the age of three. He lived in New Bedford for most of his life before moving to Fairhaven.

Aldo took up playing the accordion in his teens and became an accomplished performer, composer, and teacher. In 1939, he opened DeRossi Accordion School in Downtown New Bedford. The school was expanded to include other instruments in the 1970s.

Over the years, thousands of DeRossi Music School students performed and competed in state and national competitions, winning their first national title in 1949 in New York City. This was followed by over 200 national and state band and solo championships.

Over the years, Mr. DeRossi's students performed at a variety of venues which included Carnegie Hall, Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., the New York World's Fair, and the American Accordionists' Association National Championship held at the Springfield Civic Center where they achieved the only "perfect" score ever given to a band in any national accordion competition.

In addition to being a successful accordion teacher, Mr. DeRossi was also a noted composer. He composed over ten original compositions, many of which have been used as required competition pieces in states across the country. These include "Trickling Keys" which sold over a million copies and the "Whaling City Concerto" which he composed in 1992 in honor of the City of New Bedford.

In addition to playing, composing, and teaching, Mr. DeRossi was the founder of the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts, an organization that is still very active today and which sponsors the annual New England Music Competiton and Festival. He received a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the American Accordionists' Association (AAA), and had been honored by placement in the World of Accordions Hall of Fame in Superior, Wisconsin.

He is survived by his wife; two sons, Steven A. DeRossi and his wife Catherine, and Barry J. DeRossi and his wife Judy; five grandchildren, Dr. Scott S. DeRossi and his wife Dr. Katherine Ciarrocca, Attorney Gina L. DeRossi and her husband Attorney Darren I. Goldberg, Kim Walecka and her husband Dr. Kevin Walecka, Todd M. DeRossi, and Jennifer daCosta and her husband Jason daCosta; five great-grandchildren, Noah Goldberg, Sofia and Evie DeRossi, and Benjamin and Lucas daCosta; and a niece, Joan Axtell Anderson.

He was the brother of the late Teresa Axtell.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Thursday from 4-7 PM at the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford. Funeral Services and burial in Riverside Cemetery will be private.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church Building Fund, 186 Cross Rd., Dartmouth, MA 02747. For directions and guestbook, please visit

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

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

The Fascinating Career of Joseph Soprani

by Rita Barnea
Joseph SopraniJoe Soprani is a noted accordionist, educator, arranger-composer whose reputation among professionals places him in the first ranks of contemporary accordionist. He has dominated the accordion scene in Philadelphia for over forty years playing in major concert halls, theatres, TV Shows and Hotels. A number of his arrangements are available from eSheet.

Joe Soprani holds the distinction of being the only accordionist in the history of the Philadelphia Orchestra to appear as a featured soloist under Eugene Ormandy.

 While accordion soloist with the USAF Band in Washington, DC under Col. George S. Howard, he won the "The Air Force Roger", the most prestigious entertainment award in the US Air Force. 

He also was the first accordion soloist with the PA Army National Guard Band "The Adjutant General's Own" for over eight years. 

On five occasions, Soprani appeared with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and also performed for President Eisenhower at the White House. 

To add to his impressive list of credentials, Soprani was invited to arrange the opening selection for Rock star Jon Bon Jovi's 1996 world tour and has also written the official song for the International Rotary Club. 

In addition to performing in Broadway shows such as "Fiddler on the Roof", "Zorba", "Cabaret" and "Erma la Duce", he has performed in world premieres of "Frida", a musical that called for a virtuoso accordionist and "Another Kind of Hero", a musical which featured Soprani on stage for an entire scene.

Joe Soprani, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and won the Arthur Godfrey Show, appeared with TV Star Nell Carter in a "Colors of Freedom" Production at the Convention Center in Philadelphia in 1995. He also appeared with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops playing a special arrangement by Nero with Soprano Evelyn de LaRosa.

In November of 1997, Soprani became the first accordionist to perform in "La Traviata" by Verdi presented by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.  Klaus Arp, the opera conductor from Germany, decided to use the accordion in the small ensemble on stage during "La Banda" sections. 

On five occasions, Joe Soprani appeared with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and  has performed for President Eisenhower at the White House.  To add to his impressive list of credentials, Soprani was invited to arrange the opening selection for Rock star Jon Bon Jovi's 1996 world tour and has also written the official song for the International Rotary Club.

Soprani, who is the in-house accordionist on the Don Giovanni Show, can be heard regularly on the Big Talkers.

Joe Soprani, who performed with Russell Watson on Good Morning America, continues to promote the accordion as a serious instrument at various clubs and organizations. His workshops at schools and colleges where he demonstrates his skills as performer and arranger to young composers and arrangers have been well received. Programs are being planned by his newly formed Concert Trio (Accordion, Piano and String Bass) and Italian Folk Trio (Accordion, Mandolin and Guitar.)

Phone/Fax: +1 (610) 353-9752


The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Long Island Accordion Alliance Attracts "Sell Out" Crowd

by Dominic Karcic
Four months ago (August 2010) a group of amateur and professional accordionists gathered at a restaurant for the first time in Commack, NY for an informal “get together and jam session.” The inaugural attendance of accordionists and accordion music lovers was very encouraging. Subsequent monthly meetings resulted in an even greater audience of attendees.

Hearing about the success of these events J&R Steakhouse (Stony Brook, NY) invited the ensemble of accordionists to put together a program for its establishment. J&R had never sponsored a live musical event before and the LIAA also had never participated in a “formal event.”

Well, the rest is history. On Tuesday night, Nov. 9th, 2010, J&R Steakhouse was deluged with an overflow crowd of guests to witness the very first formal performance by the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA). A crowd of one-hundred and twenty enthusiastic guests filled the room, enjoyed a great meal, sang and were serenaded by a varied and diverse program of music and musicians.

The accordionists included on the program were Joe Campo, Benjamin Cicale, John Custie, Phil Franzese, Dominic Karcic, Ray Oreggia, Phil Prete, Franco Ruggiero and vocalist Adrienne Autovino. The guests also witnessed the debut professional performance of ten year old Benjamin Cicale (Calverton, NY). Three noted accordionists who came as guests but also performed at the end of the program included Manny Corallo, Emilio Magnotta and Frank Toscano.

The Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) has scheduled its next open meeting for Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at:La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY, Phone:631 261 6344 or

If you play the accordion please bring your instrument and play a “song or two.” This is open to anybody that plays the accordion no matter what your level of capability. Everyone is welcome to participate or just come to listen! Have a great meal, enjoy the music and have a blast. Reservations are highly recommended.

If you intend to perform please notify at: or 631.864.4428

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

Aldo DeRossi

by Donna Maria Regis
Aldo DeRossiThis is the article which appeared in the 3rd Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! 2010 Souvenir Program & Festival Schedule, August 6-7, 2010:

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2010 Featured Composer ALDO DeROSSI

Aldo John DeRossi, composer, arranger, performer, conductor, and music educator, was born to Emil and Julia [Laurenti] DeRossi on February 3, 1917 in Springfield, Massachusetts. His family moved to the New Bedford area, where Aldo attended public school in Dartmouth and New Bedford. His father was a very accomplished accordionist and became Aldo’s first teacher.

Aldo began formal study with Frank Gaviani, Sr. in 1936. In 1938 he launched the DeRossi Accordion School (now DeRossi Music) and joined the American Accordionists’ Association [A.A.A.] where he later served on the Board of Governors.

With one leg permanently damaged by a youthful bicycle accident, Aldo’s disability disqualified him from active service in the military. However, he provided entertainment for U.S. Armed Forces from 1940 to1945 through the United Services Organization (USO).

1945 was a fortuitous year for Aldo. He married Ida Margaret Pires, whose sparkling personality, unceasing dedication, hard work and sense of humor proved invaluable to his achieving a hugely successful career. While Aldo concentrated primarily on the musical aspects, Ida managed the studio office and most of the business side. She also served as mistress of ceremonies at their many concerts and festivals. Their sons, Steven and Barry, also musical, were born in 1946 and 1948, respectively.

In 1949, Aldo entered the A.A.A. championships in New York City for the first time and won first place with a 10-member junior band performing Pietro Deiro’s Trieste Overture. Aldo’s March of the Accordionaires, published the following year, and performed today, is dedicated to this award-winning group.

In 1953, the DeRossi School became the first accordion studio ever to win first place at the A.A.A. national competition in the senior, intermediate, and junior band categories – all in the same year.

According to Helmi Harrington, Ph.D., curator of A World of Accordions Museum [Superior, WI], Aldo DeRossi’s “lifetime of significant accomplishments in the accordion industry,” including the unsurpassed record of his students’ winning more than 4000 awards at local, state, and national competitions, “were decisive factors in his selection as a museum honoree.”

To return to Aldo’s impressive timeline, he conducted his symphonic accordion ensemble at Town Hall, Philadelphia in 1949, and again in 1954 at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In 1958, he served as president of the Music Teachers Association of Greater New Bedford and until 1965 was chairman of the city’s annual Music Week Festival. He founded the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts in 1964 and the following year conducted his orchestra in the United States Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.

During the U.S. Bicentennial, 1976, Aldo conducted his accordion show band at the A.A.A. U.S. championship competition in Constitution Hall, Washington, DC, achieving what he considers his proudest career accomplishment – a perfect score.

In 1992, Aldo’s Whaling City Concerto was published by Ernest Deffner Publications. Today’s performance by his former student, Roger Allen, of all three movements of the work marks the world premiere of the piece in its entirety.

Named to the Advisory Board of the American Accordionists’ Association in 1997, Aldo was granted a place of honor in the World of Accordions Museum in 2002. The exhibit includes a handsome photo representing the three generations of DeRossi accordionists – father Emil, Aldo, and sons Steven and Barry.

On July 14, 2004, Aldo DeRossi was presented with the American Accordionists’ Association Outstanding Achievement Award for lifelong dedication to the accordion.

Music of Aldo DeRossi performed at ACCORDIONS NOW! 2010 [from the Souvenir Program & Festival Schedule]:

1:00 - 2:20 p.m. Daytime Concerts…Ballroom

A Tribute to Aldo DeRossi and His Original Music...Roger Allen

Whaling City Concerto [World Premiere Performance]
Dedicated to the rich history of the Whaling City – New Bedford, Massachusetts

I. Molto Allegro – con fuoco
II. Andante Maestoso
III. Molto Allegro – con fuoco

Trickling Keys, Novelty

4:15 - 5:20 p.m. Late Afternoon Concert...Ballroom

Performances by New Hampshire Accordion Association Small Ensemble Members Lynda Fish, Dorean Kimball, Phil Minichiello, Steve Pszenny, and Donna Maria Regis

Quintet arrangements performed by Lynda, Dorean, Phil, Steve, and Donna Maria

Two Portuguese Fados...Medley arr. Regis based on unpublished manuscripts of Aldo DeRossi

Fizeste Mal...Canelhas
Coimbra [April in Portugal]...Ferrão

Solos performed by Donna Maria:

Dark Eyes (with Modern Variations)...Russian Folk Song arr. DeRossi

“Star” Medley based on a DeRossi concert arrangement...
Stairway to the Stars, Stars Fell on Alabama, Stardust

Duet performed by Lynda & Donna Maria:

Chestnut Street Polka...DeRossi original solo, Regis duet arrangement

Orchestated Works performed by ACCORDIONS NOW! 2010 Festival Orchestra
Donna Maria Regis, Conductor

DeRossi March Medley...DeRossi original solos, Regis ensemble arrangement
March of the Accordionaires...dedicated to the National AAA Champions 1949
The Touchdown

For further information:

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

Lydia Kaminska Plays Bandoneon with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra

by Jay Landers
This is perhaps the first time – ever – and certainly during the 10-year tenure of Music Director Karen Lynne Deal, that a “free reed” instrument has fronted the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. That was the case when Lidia Kaminska traveled to Springfield, IL, to present two concerts of the Piazzolla “Double Concerto for Guitar and Bandoneon” with fellow soloist Jason Vieaux on November 12 and 13.

The symphony’s program booklet included a “Concert Season Welcome” from Maestra Deal, which mentioned “With talent abounding this season, I know you will want to share the artistry of Roberto Plano, Lidia Kaminska, Soovin Kim and others.” The performances in Bloomington and Springfield were entitled “Fiery Fun”, and the orchestra and soloists made good on their promise!

The evening opened with Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from “The Firebird” ballet and closed with Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia” Suite from the ballet, Op. 8a. The rhythms, accents (at times the timpani had audience members jumping in their seats) and melodies were engrossing and memorable, and they provided the perfect Prelude and Postlude for what occurred in-between.

Lidia and Jason had not collaborated musically prior to their joint appearance with the Illinois Symphony. This being their first collaboration, it was their musical artistry and symbiotic relationship that made their presentation of the “Double Concerto” totally relaxed, playful (often exchanging smiles following certain passages) and electrifying with their combined senses of rhythm and melody. The blending of sound was superb. This piece is written for chamber orchestra, so the bandoneon and guitar do not have to compete with an entire stage full of musicians. There was just a bit of sound enhancement for the guitar and there were no issues with being able to hear the bandoneon.

The two remaining orchestral pieces on the program included Piazzolla’s “Oblivion”, which featured the symphony’s principal oboe as soloist, Orion Rapp. Jacob Gade’s “Jealousy” opened the second half of the program. It’s been used in over 100 films and was “discovered” by Arthur Fiedler, not long after he began his 50-year reign as the Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Once he had it scored for orchestra and included it in his Pops concerts, its popularity demanded that it should be part of the orchestra’s very first recording session. Consequently, it was the first-ever recording of this melody.

Jason Vieaux, Head of the Guitar Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, recently joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music along with respected guitarist David Starobin. The Curtis Institute will be inaugurating its guitar department in the Fall, 2011. Jason’s an active recording artist, too. He joined Lidia in the second half of the concert with an improvisational tour de force of “Café 1930” from Piazzolla’s “History of the Tango”. Each performer had offered a brief solo, and then presented this piece as a duet, which they apparently put together on Thursday, November 11, when they arrived in Springfield for the orchestra rehearsal. They also presented it on WILL-FM, public radio from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, on the midday series “Live and Local” on Friday, November 12. The entire concert will be broadcast on WUIS-FM, public radio from the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

It should be mentioned that Trevor Orthmann, Executive Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, was in orchestra management in the Philadelphia are before arriving in Springfield in his present position one year ago. He knew first-hand of the popularity and talent that Lidia Kaminska created and offered to audiences. Classical music and tango enthusiasts alike, not to mention those of us in the accordion community, owe a debt of gratitude to Trevor for bringing Lidia to Central Illinois.

Lidia Kaminska is a native of Poland and holds multiple degrees in music, including a Master’s from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, and is the only person in the U.S. to receive a Doctorate in Accordion Performance from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, under the direction of Joan Cochran Sommers. She plays the chromatic accordion, an exquisite Zero Sette, and taught herself to play the bandoneon, a model crafted by Victoria, in 2007.

Many audience members, especially in the “Concert Comments” dialogue between Lidia, Jason and Karen Lynne Deal and the early arrivals among the audience members which preceded the evening’s performance, expressed that the bandoneon sent them to reference sources to find out about the instrument. The symphony’s program notes state “…a type of button-accordion, or concertina, developed in Germany about 1840, which became the principal solo instrument connected with the tango in Argentina at the beginning of the 20th century.” Lidia mentioned the German origin of the instrument, and credited Heinrich Band, with giving the instrument its name “bandoneon”. According to Henry Doktorski’s “A Short History of the Free-Reed Instruments in Classical Music”, several individuals over the period 1835-1850, have been credited with inventing it and/or advertised its availability. And, there was a variety of button-board systems.

Lidia admits that having played the chromatic accordion for over 20 years prepared her for the chromatic bandoneon, but the button-board is extremely complicated and is a “mirror” of her accordion. When you watch her play, her fingers are working feverishly all over the button boards of the treble and bass with big reaches in order to hit the notes. There is a “diatonic” bandoneon, which changes the note depending on the direction of the bellows.

Here are some other considerations for the traditional accordionist, if you’re contemplating taking up the bandoneon. The accordionist pulls and pushes the bellows with the left hand/arm. The bandoneon player uses both hands. That takes a lot of getting use to. There are no registers on the bandoneon. There are three octaves in both the treble and bass. It appeared that different size buttons tell the player the octave of that button. While many performers are seated on stools with the bandoneon resting on their leg, Lidia chooses to stand. She places her left foot on a low piano bench and rests the instrument on her left leg.

Lidia Kaminska makes her home in Philadelphia. She’s part of an “emerging artist” network called Astral Artists. She’s on a mission “to rehabilitate the accordion’s reputation with classical music audiences.” Most of her orchestral appearances are with the bandoneon. This year she toured for four months (April thru July) with Cirque du Soleil (and previously toured with them in October and November, 2009), and that was with her accordion. She performed George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony this past April. These are just the tip of the busy performing schedule Lidia manages to maintain.

You can read about and contact Lidia at or .

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

Accordionaires Orchestra Presents Concert in November

by Rita Barnea
The Accordionaires Orchestra conducted by Janet Hane presented a standing room only concert on November 16, 2010 at Victorio's Ristorante in Hollywood, CA. It was a "Pops" concert featuring 20 plus accordions with percussion instruments and guitarist. The announcer was Bob Molinari.

The Accordionaires Orchestra is the largest of its kind on the West coast. Janet has devoted her expertise and valuable time to the group which was very enthusiastically received. Their performance was flawless and the audience was especially attentive despite the fact that many had to stand due to the large crowd in attendance.

Among the selections offered: "Lustspiel Overture", "Manha de Carnival", "Chappell Evergreens", "TV Valse", "Mexican Carnival", "It's Swing Time", "Just Another Polka", "Henry Mancini in Concert", "Dalida Forever No. 1", and "The Great Waldo Pepper March".

The Accordionaires, based in Los Angele, Ca., was founded in 1996 by former members of FOTA (Friends of the Accordion). In 2001 Carl Hane became director and Janet Hane joined the ensemble. When Carl Hane passed away in 2004, Pat Striplin temporarily took the baton until Janet became director later that year.

Janet Hane is an accordion performer, teacher and conductor of the Accordionaires. Currently residing in Westlake Village, CA., Janet is nationally known for her mastery and command of the piano accordion.

For further info:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Future events

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra in December Concert

by Rita Barnea
Westmont Philharmonia Accordion OrchestraThe Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra (WPAO) will perform its annual Winter Concert at 2:00 PM Saturday, December 4, 2010. This concert is sponsored by and will be held in the William G. Rohrer Library on MacArthur Blvd, Haddon Township, NJ 08108. The Publicity Chairman is Raymond E. Haines.

Music of Gershwin, Templeton, Bach and Handel will be contrasted with music of various ethnic cultures.

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 reeds and registers, along with the concert accordionists performing individual parts, much like a symphony orchestra.

The Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra (WPAO) is a serious ensemble of musicians formed in 1960 by Stanley Darrow and Roman Pawlowski. In 1976 and 1992 Mayor William G. Rohrer recognized the WPAO as the community orchestra of Haddon Township, New Jersey.
This ensemble has added significantly to the musical culture of Haddon Township.

For additional details about this concert, please call 856-854-2752 (Haddon Township Library) or 856-854-6628 (Acme Accordion School). For more information about the orchestra:

Corrado Rojac plays at Harvard University, Massachusetts

by Francesca Pigini, Pigini Accordion Factory
Corrado RojacThe concert season of the Harvard New Music Group, based at Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, featured Italian accordionist Corrado Rojac, a teacher at the Conservatory G. Tartini, Trieste, in a lecture and recital.

The lecture, held in the Davison room, was about accordion repertoire, with a special focus on contemporary music, and its interpretation. His performance included examples, such as ‘Triptych’ by Alessandro Solbiati and the ‘De Profundis’ by Sofia Gubajdulina. Corrado Rojac met some students who are interested in writing for accordion.

Corrado Rojac will return to Harvard to perform in April 2011, this time in the John Knowles Paine Concert Hall.

For further information email:

AAA 17th Annual Master Class and Concerts in July

by William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelWelcome to our 17th year! A weekend of bloody aristocracy!

Imperial accordions, Royal Models, Excelsior, Victoria, Titano, Monarch, Noble, The Emperor- to name a few!

King of Downtown squeezers, Queen Ida, The New Accordion Queen, King of Ragtime, The First, The Magus, Pee Wee King, Polka King, The Madonna of the Accordion, The Queen of Country, The Accordion Kings-Titles! Titles! Accordion Culture is a Regal Affair. Accordion Royalty! A title for everyone! Everyone wears a crown for the entire weekend!

But only one can wear the Imperial Crown- William Walton! What does he have to do with accordion culture? He did not write for the accordion, well, he wrote a viola concerto- close enough! A work entitled Facade- Accordionists love vaudeville, smoke and mirrors- close enough! And Belshassar’s Feast!

The Royal Weekend will include:



JULY 29, 30 AND 31 2011


Bob Goldberg, accordionist in "Hudson to China", Dec. 15

by Rita Barnea
Bob GoldbergAccordionist, Bob Goldberg performs all his original music for the program, "Hudson to China" which will be presented on Wednesday, December 15th at 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM at Dixon Place: 161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington & Delancey. Tickets are $12. The show is one hour.

"Hudson to China" is a spectacle with projections, puppetry, theatre, and live-music. It parallels three different beings seeking a way to China: the Statue of Henry Hudson that stands in the Bronx; a young man, Harry, whodreams of success by literally conquering what he fears: China & its economy; and Hua, a Chinese immigrant, who longs for home.

On the journey the voyagers and the audience, lose their way, finding it just to lose it again, echoing Henry Hudson's voyages and our own lives, searching for the mythical Orient.

The program was co-created by Renee Philippi and Carlo Adinolfi. Stage Manager, Assistant Director, Lighting Designer: Casey McLain.Performers: Carlo Adinolfi, Bob Goldberg, Akiko Hiroshima, and Jordan Swisher.

Bob Goldberg will sing and play the accordion and percussion instruments. Bob Goldberg is a composer, performer and music educator, born in New York, and based in Brooklyn since the 1980's. He has studied piano, composition and electronic music, and performs mainly on the accordion. Bob has directed large accordion ensembles at Green-wood Cemetery ("Angels and Accordions"), led occasional marching bands (Art Parade 2007), and created site-specific pieces in subway stations ("Music for Subways").

He has composed scores for films ("The Bentfootes"; "A Girl's Best Friend"), collaborated with dancers and choreographers, including Elise Long; Jessica Nicoll and Barry Oreck, Kriota Willberg, and Martha Bowers, and written and produced jingles and songs for Nickelodeon and Disney Channel ("The Book of Pooh").
Support for Hudson to China comes from: a commission by the Hudson Opera House with funds from the New York State Council for the Arts as well as Concrete Temple Theatre's support from NYSCA and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in addition to a Jim Henson Foundation Project Grant.

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

CD Reviews

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Sy Kushner Releases New CD

by Rita Barnea
...from my soul...Sy Kushner's New CD…from my soul… marks the third CD release of a series of original Jewish music by Sy Kushner. Along with music influenced by traditional Israeli, Chassidic, and klezmer music, there is a square dance-influenced tune with klezmer influences (Hoy Down), a Middle Eastern influenced tune (Terkush) and a klezmer version of Happy Birthday (Happy Bulgarday). There is also a piece composed in tribute to Israeli folk dance giant of the ‘60’s, Fred Berk, who was instrumental in teaching and choreographing a generation of people at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

The CD closes with a 10 minute suite of variations on Hatikvah, the Israel National Anthem. Departing from the traditional clarinet centered klezmer album, this CD features Sy on accordion backed by some of New York’s finest klezmer musicians. ...from my soul... is also available in Book Form, so you can play your own instrument along with the CD. I highly recommend that you add this excellent CD to your collection.

The musicians on the CD are: Aaron Alexander(Drums), Jeremy Brown(Violin), Marty Confuruis(Electric and Strig Bass), Richard Khuzami(Dumbek, Riq, Bendir), Sy Kushner(Accordion), his son, Aaron Kushner(Alto Sax), Ken Maltz( Tenor sax), Tod Schwartz(Trumpet), Mark Sganga(Acoustic Guitars), George Zorko(Trombone)

Nulite Music Inc., formerly Kush Publications Inc., has been dedicated to the dissemination of classic klezmer melodies through books and recordings for over a decade. With the release of the Klezmer Music Fakebook Volume One and Volume Two for C and Bb instruments, many musicians have access to previously unpublished klezmer music. In addition, the release of the CD, KlezSqueeze! The Sy Kushner Jewish Music Ensemble, recreated the music and sound of the early 1900’s klezmer ensemble, and features , tsimbl (hammered dulcimer) and string bass.

In 2008, Nulite Music released the first of an ongoing project of Sy’s original works - Arise! New Jewish Music by Sy Kushner , and the books, Arise! Volume One for C and for Bb instruments, which contain the music on the CD. This was followed by “Journeys”, New Jewish Music by Sy Kushner, Vol. 2, and the books, “Journeys” Volume. 2, for C and Bb instruments which contain the music on the CD.

It has been over 40 years since Sy Kushner, along with Ben Hulkower and Jordan Penkower, released “The New Jewish Sound-The Mark 3 Orchestra and Singers Volume One”. It was to become the seminal opus-an album that was to influence the course of Jewish music for years to come.

Combining New World Jewish melodies with an Old World klezmer beat, Sy, Musical Director and accordionist of the group, used the accordion, alto sax, string bass, clarinet, trombone and drums in a manner not previously heard in Jewish music. Each instrument had an equal voice in the ensemble sound while the solo quality of each instrument was also highlighted.

In the field of Jewish music, Sy became known as the leading accordionist and innovator of his time. With the Mark 3, Sy concertized extensively, selling out venues such as Brooklyn College’s Whitman Hall and performing for thousands at the Shriners’ Hall in Los Angeles. The Mark 3 travelled extensively for NCSY (National Conference of Synagogue Youth), playing concerts at conventions around the country.

Sy was also the staff accordionist at the Pineview Hotel where he honed his craft during the day performing for guests. 

Also during this time, Sy, as a member of the Accordion Symphony Society of New York, performed in Town Hall and in the Singer Bowl at the World’s Fair in New York.

A student of Classical Accordion with Joseph Biviano, Sy, with the help of the American Accordionists’ Association, was responsible for getting commissioned works for the accordion in many college music libraries as well as The New York Public Library. He also gave workshops on klezmer accordion at accordion conventions and meetings. 

Always exploring and searching for new sounds, Sy was one of the first to introduce rock style into Jewish music. In the late sixties, he utilized electronic organ, electric guitar, electric bass, drums and alto sax, again creating a new ensemble sound in Jewish music. 

Many years passed. The accordion fell into disfavor as the guitar and electronic keyboards grew in popularity. During this time, Sy was busy playing weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other parties, mainly on electronic keyboards.

Then, in part attributable to Paul Simon’s Graceland album, there was a renewed interest in the accordion and in world folk music. Klezmer music became popular. Sy saw this as an opportunity to return to his first musical love, the instrument that connected him to his culture. In 1996 Sy released KlezSqueeze!, an album of early klezmer music featuring the accordion, tsimbl(hammered dulcimer) and string bass. During this period of time Sy transcribed The Klezmer Fake Book, Vol. One and Volume Two.

Sy grew up in the Bronx in a house full of Jewish music. His father was a drummer and lover of cantorial music as well as klezmer music. While growing up listening to the old 78s, Sy’s father also took him to “gigs” where he played the accordion, maracas and sang Hatikvah. Finally, when Sy turned 13 he ventured out to do his first professional gig. His uncle Sam, a gabai(sexton) at the Young Israel of Manhattan, hired Sy to perform for a synagogue function. The featured artist that night was an unknown singer-guitarist by the name of Shlomo Carlebach. The year was 1956.

Sy realized the importance of passing on tradition. Just like his father before him, Sy took his son, Aaron, with him on gigs to listen, watch, and eventually sit in with the band. Aaron went on to become a member of the Klezminors, the most popular teen klezmer band in the country. On Oct. 31, 1999, in front of a packed house at the Tonic Club in Manhattan, Sy’s band and the Klezminors performed separately, then together. Billed as, “The Klezmer Legacy: Two Generations in Harmony,” the passing on of a tradition was realized. Sy and Aaron went on to perform at another sold out performance at the Tonic billed as “Klezmer, Kushner and Son.” Aaron can also be heard on Sy’s Arise and Journeys albums. He also designed the CD covers for those albums as well as created the artwork for the “KlezSqueeze!” album.

After a lifetime of performing music composed by other people, Sy decided to devote himself to composing and recording his own works. He has composed over 200 melodies and has embarked on a project to record and share many of them with the world. His first CD of his compostions, Arise! , was released in 2008. The response was very enthusiastic and supportive. “Journeys”, released in Sept. 2009, is the second CD of music composed by Sy. 

I highly recommend that you add this excellent CD to your collection. It will be a wonderful gift for Hanukah, Christmas, birthday or any other special occasion. Put it on your Ipod and you can take Sy Kushner's music wherever you go!

For further information: or 914-949-0327
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