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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2015
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Cory Pesaturo To Perform with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
The Accordion is Instrumental to Emilio and Gloria Estefan
Guy Klucevsek to Perform for the Brooklyn Accordion Club
More Concert Dates for Michael Bridge
A Candlelight Christmas Concert with Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca
Joan Grauman CD "Accordion Potpourri" Released, Washington DC - USA
Connecticut Accordion Association Orchestra in Holiday Concert
Steven Hobert Quartet to Perform in Minneapolis on December 1
Geir Draugsvoll (Denmark) US Premiere of "Fachwerk" by Sofia Gubaidulina
Dallas/Prieto Accordion Master Classes in Philadelphia

Voci Armoniche

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

Books About the Accordion Written by Rob Howard
World War II Accordion Donated to New England Accordion Museum
Michigan Accordion Society Christmas Party on December 8
Juha and Janne Silfverberg perform at Kansas City Gala - USA
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society Presents Holiday Concert
Jeff Lisenby and ‘Intersection’, Nashville - USA
Video: 28th annual Polka Hall of Fame Awards
National Accordion Symphony Orchestra with Gene Van, Conductor
Joseph Natoli Performs at Carrefour in Montmagny, Quebec
Ludovic Beier Concert at The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC
Rene Sevieri to Perform for the San Francisco Accordion Club
Outstanding Performance by Accordion Virtuosi of Russia - USA
Amy Jo Sawyer Performs with Orchestra, Illinois - USA
Peter and Mady Soave Concert, Mions – France
Grandma, Dancing Dog and Accordion Rock It!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

List of Accordion Festivals for 2016
AAA Seminars in New York City: NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Alex Meixner December and 2016 Shows

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

New and Updated Sites

Site Update: Gary Dahl Newly Engraved 'Indifference' - USA
Milwaukee Accordion Club Website Updates - USA



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
National Editor Rita BarneaWishing you all a happy holiday season! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!

In the December USA news, you will read about the many new accordion activities happening this winter and beyond.

Are you looking for gift ideas? Try the AWW website: where you will find CD's, books, DVD's and more all featuring talented accordionists. What better way to give a fantastic and sure to please gift while also showing your support for the dedication, talent and hard work demonstrated by so many talented accordionists all over the world.

Also please remember… you do not have to leave the comfort of your home! Search the site, listen to samples, click and send! It is that easy!

With this publication, I am entering my eighth year as USA National Editor. Time passes quickly when having fun!

Why not give yourself or someone the gift of accordion lessons? You can find a teacher in your area or even have Skype lessons!

The AWW website can provide you with all the information that you require to enjoy the accordion.

As always, I can be reached at

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

Cory Pesaturo To Perform with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Cory PesaturoVideo: Published on Aug 6, 2015. Business Rockstars has World Accordion Champion and Revolutionary Cory Pesaturo on the show! As usual, Pink Floyd's Scott Page brings the artist on. Thanks all to Ken Rutkowski.

Cory Pesaturo will perform with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Veteran's Memorial Hall in Providence on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 7:30 PM..  Cory has played with him many times in private settings and known him since 2010. The program is entitled "Big Band Holidays".

Get into the swing of the season with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, America’s preeminent jazz orchestra features 15 of the finest musicians working today. They’ll ring in the season with "Big Band Holidays", a night of swinging holiday favorites, New Orleans inflections and jazzy good cheer featuring the vocal stylings of special guest Denzal Sinclaire.

This is JALC’s fourth year in partnership with FirstWorks to educate young musicians across Rhode Island and keep America’s great big band tradition alive and swinging.

Cory is the youngest accordionist to perform with the Wynton Marsalis and JALC. (Jazz At Lincoln Center). For tickets call: 401-421-2787.

Cory's yearly Jazz Concert in RI will be December 12, 2015 at Chan's Jazz Concert in Woonsocket, RI, where drumming legend Bob Guillotti, abssist Marty Ballou, and Berklee Global Jazz Institute saxophonist Edmar Colon will play.This will be Cory's 11th Jazz concert at Chan's. 

In the photo: Jon Batiste, American Idle finalist Elise Testone, Cory Pesaturo and Wynton Marsalis.  

World Digital Accordion Champion (Coupe Mondiale) and World Acoustic Accordion Champion (Primus Ikaalinen) Cory Pesaturo (C Pez) is a graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA,

He developed his own electric accordion, and already has made the first ever skinned accordion that includes a symmetric midi lighting system attached to the keys. Pesaturo's extensive resumé includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on 4 different occasions, starting at age 12. On one of those occasions, he became the youngest person ever to perform at a State Dinner, performing with the Marine Strolling Strings for the President of Hungary. He has since performed at 7 other events for the Clintons and continues to keep in touch as proved by his 14 letters from the First family.

Because of this, Cory is featured in Mrs. Clinton’s book “An Invitation to the White House", which describes the State Diner performance. He has played every year at the prestigious Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert since he was 12, which is a deep connection to his Italian roots.

Cory has performed in 5 different continents, from Italy, to Canada, to New Zealand, to Japan and Tunisia, and regularly travels 75,000-100,000 miles a year. He has judged accordion competitions in the US, Canada, and Ireland, and has judged music competitions in general. Pesaturo currently gives masterclasses on both Music Theory and Accordion, and has taught at Harvard University, Brown University, UNC Ashville, Berklee College of Music, MIT and the New England Conservatory.

WALTHAM Temple Beth Israel will host Di Bostoner Klezmer for “A Musical Hanukkah First Light” on December 6, 2015 from 4-6:PM at 25 Harvard St. Di Bostoner Klezmer will usher in the first night of the eight-day festival of Hanukkah. The program, which includes a menorah lighting and refreshments, features Dena Ressler on clarinet, Cory Pesaturo on accordion, and Mark Hamilton on trombone. The program is open to all. Tickets cost $12 per adult; $5 per child. Payment is at the door. For information:

Photo down: Cory Pesaturo with Johnny Depp on David Letterman show in February 2014.

For further information:
Cory Pesaturo on David Letterman

Titano Accordion Company

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

Voci Armoniche

The Accordion is Instrumental to Emilio and Gloria Estefan

by Rita Barnea
Emilio plays the accordion
Emilio and Gloria EstefanDid you know that Emilio Estefan started his musical career by playing the accordion? I found this out when reading the Wall Street Journal the other day. Click on the link to read the full article from the Wall Street Journal.

Gloria Estefan first met Emilio when he was playing the accordion in a wedding band and was mesmerized. The rest is history! Emilio says that the accordion is his most treasured item, even today!

Gloria Estefan, 58, and Emilio Estefan, 62, have won 26 Grammy Awards. On Nov. 24, 2015 they were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” is based on their lives. The attached interview tells you the whole story. Click on link: Estefan.pdf

Photo Credits:
Emilio plays the accordion for his mother, Carmen, in Cuba.
Photo: Estefan Enterprises, Inc.

Emilio and Gloria Estefan at their home on Star Island, Mami.
Photo: Omar Cruz

Accordion Jazz Chords

Guy Klucevsek to Perform for the Brooklyn Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekYou are invited for a very special evening with Guy Klucevsek, "one of the world's most versatile and highly-respected accordionists". This event is the Brooklyn Accordion Club's End of the Year meeting for 2015 on Thursday, December 3rd - 7pm to 9pm at 61 Local.

Guy's presentation is "Unusual and Unorthodox Techniques for Accordion".
Admission: $3-$5 (Suggested. Pay what you can!)
MC: Sy Kushner

Guy said," I will demonstrate some of the techniques I use in my composing/playing, e.g. quick alternating between hands, various kinds of tremolos, and playing two independent oices on the keyboard. There will be an open mic from 7-8:PM followed by my workshop."

Contact Brooklyn Accordion Club if you would like to play on the open mic:

From Guy's website: "Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Brave Combo, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Rahim al Haj, Robin Holcomb, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relâche, Zeitgeist, and John Zorn.

He is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to "America's finest artists."
He has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn.

Performances include the Ten Days on the Island Festival (Tasmania), the Adelaide Festival (Australia), the Berlin Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival/USA, BAM Next Wave Festival, Cotati Accordion Festival, San Antonio International Accordion Festival, Vienna International Accordion Festival, and the children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
His 1987 project, Polka From the Fringe, a collection of commissioned polkas by Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Bobby Previte, Carl Finch, et. al., toured around the world and was released on 2 cds on the eva label, and were named “best recordings 1992” on WNYC-FM’s “New Sounds” program.

 In 1996, he founded Accordion Tribe, an international ensemble of composer/accordionists Otto Lechner (Austria), Maria Kalanemi (Finland), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia) and himself. They toured internationally from 1996-2009, are the subjects of Stefan Schwietert’s award-winning documentary film, Accordion Tribe: Music Travels, and released 3 CDs on the Intuition (Germany) label.

His music theatre scores include “Chinoiserie” and “Obon” with Ping Chong and Company, “Hard Coal,” with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, “Industrious Angels” for Laurie McCants, “Cirque Lili” for French circus artist Jérôme Thomas, which has been performed over 250 times world wide, always with live music, and his own piece, “Squeeze Play,” an evening of collaborations with Dan Hurlin, David Dorfman and Dan Froot, Claire Porter, and Mary Ellen Childs. He and Dan Hurlin were awarded, jointly, a BESSIE for, “The Heart of the Andes,” which has played the Henson International Puppetry Festival, The Barbican Center in London, and the Ten Days on the Island Festival, Tasmania.

Klucevsek has released over 20 recordings as soloist/leader on Tzadik, Winter & Winter, innova, Starkland, Review, Intuition, CRI, and XI. Stereo Review cited his Starkland recording, Transylvanian Software, as a recording of special merit" (1995). He can also be heard on John Williams’s orchestral scores for the Steven Spielberg films, “The Terminal,” "Munich," “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and “The Adventures of Tin-Tin,” and on A. R. Rahman’s score for “People Like Us.”

The Brooklyn Accordion Club is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

For more info on Guy:


More Concert Dates for Michael Bridge

by Rita Barnea
Michael BridgePublished on Nov 23, 2015
‪Brahms: "Rondo alla Zingarese" ‬
Armed with accordion and clarinet, Double-Double Duo uniquely fuses classical showpieces with rock, jazz and world music. 
This piece was released on Double-Double's "Rock Bach" album in November, 2015.

Kornel Wolak - clarinet

Michael Bridge - accordion

Michael Bridge continues to maintain an amazing and varied schedule of performances. His career is soaring. From his website:

Michael Bridge has performed in China, Croatia, Italy, France, the U.K., and across the USA and Canada. He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at age 17 and performs classical, contemporary classical, folk, jazz, rock and pop music on acoustic accordion, digital accordion, and piano.
Bridge is a graduate student in classical accordion performance at the University of Toronto, studying with Professor Joseph Macerollo. His former teachers include Beverley Fess (accordion), Donna Holoboff (piano), and composers Timothy Janz and Robert Rosen (theory, history and composition).

Bridge won the University of Toronto Concerto Competition (2015), the Calgary Stampede Talent Search (2013), and is a two-time Canadian Digital Accordion Champion (2013, 2011). He placed 2nd at the Digital Accordion World Championships (2013) and 4th at the Junior Acoustic World Accordion Championships (2011).

Michael has collaborated with both Quartetto Gelato and Bellows and Brass (as a substitute member), the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra (Nov. ’15), the Ontario Philharmonic, the I.C.O.T. Orchestra, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra (date TBA), the Euphonia Chamber Orchestra, Soundstreams, Fawn Opera, Barrie Concerts (Oct. ’15), TEDx Talks, The Chopin Society, the Royal Conservatory of Music contemporary music ensemble, Ladom Ensemble, The Collective, the Alex Meixner Band, the Crystal Plamondon Band, The Lizzy Hoyt Band, the Doll Sisters, Joseph Johnson (cello), Joseph Macerollo (accordion), Kornel Wolak and Peter Stoll (clarinet), Ivana Santilli, Melanie Conly, Maeve Palmer and Conrad Siebert (voice), Larnell Lewis, Dan Barton and Norm Bergeron (percussion), Marek Majewski and Michael Savona (classical guitar), and Alicia Baker, Cory Pessaturo and Mario Pedone (accordion). ! Along with Dr. Kornel Wolak (clarinet and piano),

Bridge is a founding member of DOUBLE-DOUBLE DUO – a high-energy and technologically advanced show with upcoming performances from Ecuador to Poland. Bridge has been a full-time member of Ladom Ensemble since 2014 – an acoustic Iranian-Serbian-Classical quartet based out of Toronto. ! Bridge has adjudicated accordion competitions in the USA and Canada, and has given masterclasses in Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Alberta.

His performance schedule includes:

December 6, 2015 - Hybridity Ensemble in Toronto
   Trinity Presbyterian Church York Mills - 2pm, Toronto ON

December 16, 2015 - Université de Montréal
   Graduating Recital of Samuella Archer, clarinet
   Performing Norbert Palej: Quay Quodlibet for clarinet and accordion

February 2, 2016 - University of Toronto Vocal Cabaret
   Directed by Prof. Wendy Nielsen
   Hosted by The Tranzac Club, Toronto ON

February 4, 2016 - University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra
   Paul Creston Accordion Concerto
   Winner of the U of T Concerto Competition
   MacMillan Theatre, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, 7:30pm

February 10, 2016 - Soundstreams presents “Squeezebox” 
       Prof. Joseph Macerollo and Michael Bridge, Canada (accordion)
       Hector del Curto, Argentina (bandoneon)
       Gamin, Korea (saengwang)
    Featuring a world premiere by Anna Pigdorona.
    Trinity St. Paul’s Centre - Toronto ON

February 28, 2016 - University of Toronto
   Doctoral Composition Recital of Joshua Denenburg

March 11-13, 2016 - Dallas TX
   National Accordion Society Convention
   Concert and Masterclass

March 29, 2016 - University of Toronto
   Michael Murphy, percussion  &  Michael Bridge, accordion
   Four new works by U of T composers
   Tuesdays @ Noon Series, Walter Hall

April 16, 2016 - University of Toronto
   Master’s Recital of Alice Kim, cello
   Piazzolla: Le grand tango

May 7, 2016 - “Celebrating 50 Years of Teaching"
   Honouring Berverley Fess, Michael’s former accordion teacher.
   Okotoks United Church, Okotoks AB

May 20, 2016 - Master’s Recital at the University of Toronto
   Michael’s First Master’s Rectial
   Walter Hall, 7:30pm

May 26 - June 6, 2016 - Ladom Ensemble Maritime Tour
   Details TBA

June 17, 2016 - Poznan, Poland
   DOUBLE-DOUBLE DUO in concert.

June 22-24, 2016 - Wrocław, Poland
   International Conference on Multiculturalism in Central Europe,
   with Prof. Guillaume Tardiff, from the University of Alberta.

July 1, 2016 - Villerupt, France
   Festival International de l’Accordéon en Lorraine

July 2, 2016 - Guénange, France
   Festival International de l’Accordéon en Lorraine

July 3, 2016 - Homécourt, France
   Festival International de l’Accordéon en Lorraine
Major Venues History:

Boston Symphony Hall – Boston MA
Shanghai Normal University – Shanghai, China
Parco della musica – Rome, Italy
Via Rail "The Canadian" Cross-Canada Train
National Theatre – Varazdin, Croatia
Tour of northern France - Homécourt, Guénange and Villerupt
Green Room Theatre – Cheltenham, U.K.
Glenn Gould Studio – Toronto, ON
Lobero Theatre – Santa Barbara, CA
Victoria Conservatory of Music – Victoria B.C.
Reagent Theatre – Oshawa, ON
Calgary Stampede Parade – Calgary, AB
Calgary Blues Fest – Calgary, AB
Other performances in California, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C., Florida, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

For further information:

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

A Candlelight Christmas Concert with Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca

by Rita Barnea
Christmas concert
Mary Mancini and Mario TaccaAccordionist Mario Tacca and soprano Mary Mancini will present a Candlelight Christmas Concert on Friday, December 11, 2015 at 7:PM at the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, New York.

The program includes many of your favorite Christmas songs and carols and other works by Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi.

Mary and Mario were honored by the American Accordion Musicological Society (AAMS)
for their long-standing support of the AAMS and the accordion world. An honor banquet took place during this year's AAMS Festival March 27-29, 2015.

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

Internationally acclaimed vocal artist Mary Mancini has been featured in the New York Times, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, and the Journal News and has performed in a variety of venues around the world. Able to sing in eight different languages, Mary draws from a deep repertory reservoir. She is adept at pop, show tunes, operatic arias, and sacred music and has received worldwide acclaim. 

Le Republicain Lorrain, in Alsace-Lorraine, France, writes that the “purity of her voice, the ease with which she interpreted the most difficult pieces showed that she is a great artist.”  The Spring City Evening News in Kunming, China, writes that “audiences were greatly impressed by Mary Mancini’s singing ability…Through her music, we see her heart is smiling.”

Mary has headlined numerous concert halls and festivals in North America, Europe, and China. She has performed at the Garden State Arts Center, Resorts International Casino Hotel, Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in CT.
Mary, with Mario Tacca completed two concert tours of China. As guests of the China Ministry of Culture, they toured five cities in three weeks and performed with three symphony orchestras. 

Prices are: Adults- $17, Seniors-$15, Under 17-$7. Please join them after the concert for light refreshments.

For more information:
Call Assumption Rectory 914-737-2071 or
GOIA Productions 914-737-8872

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Joan Grauman CD "Accordion Potpourri" Released, Washington DC - USA

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Potpourri CD by Joan Grauman
30 second sound clips:
2. In Walked Wolfie
4. Svadba Makedonska
7. French Fried
Joan GraumanOver the years, Joan Grauman has been recorded often for documentary films, live concerts, accompanying other artists' CDs. Just recently, Joan decided to record her own CD "Accordion Potpourri". Joan's aim was to pick simple and beautiful melodies that sound so good on the accordion.

The CD project has been a family affair with Joan doing the artwork for the CD cover, son-in-law Don as audio engineer, daughter Emily accompanying Joan on percussion for two of the tracks, and husband Dan doing layout.

Joan Grauman, by the age of 22, had a degree in piano performance and music education, and was the director of the Columbia International Folk Dancers. She then learnt the accordion accompanying Balkan/Gypsy band, BAMCO for 18 years, and also performed in Klezmer and Bavarian groups.

Since 2004, Joan has been the Vice-President and music director of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) and the director of its performing group, the Potomac Accordion Ensemble. She is on the Governing Board of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and is its Historian.

The cost of the CD is $15 for orders from the US, Canada and Mexico or $19 for orders from all other countries. All proceeds from the sale of the CDs will go to support the youth orchestra and ensemble activities sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association.

Further information to purchase is at:

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

Connecticut Accordion Association Orchestra in Holiday Concert

by Rita Barnea
CAA Banner
The Connecticut Accordion Association Orchestra proudly presents its annual Holiday Concert, "Seasonal Melodies and More" on December 12, 2015.. This event will feature a group of 20 accordionists, conducted by Linda Soley Reed, Vice-President of the American Accordionists Association. This group has performed in and out of state, and includes some of the finest musicians in the accordion world. Come, listen, and be charmed by this beautiful instrument!

It will be held at the Blackstone Library, 758 Main Street, Branford, CT on Saturday, December 12, 2015, at 2:PM. The public is welcome. Donations accepted.

The Connecticut Accordion Association is dedicated to the promotion of the accordion through all music genres and all variations of accordion instruments! We welcome musicians who play all types of accordions....piano accordion, diatonic, chromatic button and more. We invite accordionists at all levels, and people who may not play the accordion, but love to listen.

Goals of the organization are:

* To promote public interest in the accordion through public awareness.

* To hold monthly meetings, workshops, conventions, concerts and other activities throughout the state of CT.

* To act as a resource to provide referrals in accordion instruction, repair, sales and/or trade, sheet music, accessories, etc.

* To network with fellow associations throughout the USA in an effort to provide unity within the accordion world.

For more information, or to RSVP, call Marilyn O'Neil at (203) 272-1202.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Steven Hobert Quartet to Perform in Minneapolis on December 1

by Rita Barnea
Steven Hobert with Lulu's Playground
The Steven Hobert Quartet will perform on December 1,2015 at Crooner's Lounge in Minneapolis. He will be joined by Brian Gallagher on reeds, Yohannes Tona on bass and Peter Hennig on drums.

From his website: "Steven Hobert describes himself as a soul who plays, sings and dances while exploring life’s mysteries. His genre-blending piano, accordion and vocal music has been described as “delightful, innovative and viscerally inspiring” that “dazzles audiences with sincerity and playfulness to open up hearts and fire imaginations.”  

Based out of Minneapolis, he tours as a soloist, leads the world beat-driven ensemble FireFlyForest, performs with the chamber-jazz ensemble Lulu’s Playground (accordion, trumpet, guitar and cello), and works as a free-lance producer, composer and instrumentalist for countless shows with vocalists and ensembles doing jazz, klezmer, sacred music, Americana, classical, rock and Latin American music.

Steven grew up in a musical family of seven and took to the piano right when he started at the age of ten.  He practiced vigorously and joyously into the night each day until his parents would demand he stop so the family could sleep.  By the age of twelve he was composing pieces – most notably, “The Grand Procession” – a full concert band piece which he wrote out and conducted for the 6th grade Lakeside School Band concert in Hartland, WI. Steven Hobert continued to expand his musical palette through his studies at the University Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  

He graduated in 2006 with a bachelors in Music – Liberal Arts, and went on the road for a year in 2008 throughout the U.S., Canada and Japan as the pianist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  He has guested with a number of symphony orchestras including Calgary, Detroit & Buffalo, performed as a soloist in the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival and been featured on Minnesota Public Radio as a member of the Adam Meckler Orchestra.

Recent commissions include the scoring and foley creation for the film “Know Your Rights” in 2014 (United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants), scoring and performing for the live radio drama broadcast of “Jazz Noir” on KBEM in Minneapolis in 2015.  He appeared playing the accordion in the feature film “Public Domain” (directed by Patrick Coyle).

Steven’s most recent release is the piano-driven album “Ocean Eyes,” –  a journey interweaving flowing improvisations, classical and folk melodies, jazz harmonies and hip-shaking grooves – featuring percussionist  Marc Anderson (performed with Steve Tibbets and Greg Brown) and Tony Axtell (Prairie Home Companion and Prince)

Currently Steven leads FireFly Forest, plays accordion in Lulu's Playground and piano with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, works in duo with saxophonist/flautist James Kellerman and guitarist Dean Magrw, and generally works as a freelance musician and teacher of piano, accordion and woodwinds."

Lulu's Playground consists of a unique instrumentation including trumpet, cello, accordion, and guitar.The band was started by four old friends who go back to their school days at Lawrence University Music Conservatory. They've played together in jazz groups, salsa bands, orchestras, improvisation classes, and hallway jam sessions, and now they've joined forces in a unique band.

Crooners Lounge is located at 6161 Highway 65 in Fridley, just north of I-694 and about 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis.

For further information on Lulu's Playground:
For further information on Steven Hobert:

Titano Accordion Company

Geir Draugsvoll (Denmark) US Premiere of "Fachwerk" by Sofia Gubaidulina

by Rita Barnea
SofiaGeirConcert accordionist Geir Draugsvoll, Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, will make the US premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s accordion concerto “Fachwerk” with the Berkeley Symphony on December 3, 2015.

Hear Geir performing this concerto written especially for accordion by one of the world’s most esteemed living composers. Fachwerk (2009) was written by Gubaidulina for accordion, percussion and string orchestra.

The Fachwerk concerto is also available on CD performed by Friedrich Lips, available online at catalog: CD027

The program is entitled: "MYSTICAL | Gabrieli, Gubaidulina, Mussorgsky"

Zellerbach Hall Series
7:00 pm – Pre-concert talk in the main hall (free to all ticket holders)
8:00 pm – Concert begins
December 3, 2015, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, California

Travel back to the 16th century with Gabrieli’s magnificent works for brass. Experience Gubaidulina’s staggering array of sounds and textures. Imagine the paintings transformed through Mussorgsky’s sumptuous score.

Joana Carneiro, conductor
Geir Draugsvoll, bayan
Berkeley Symphony

Gabrieli: Canzon septimi et octavi toni
Sonata pian e forte
Gubaidulina: Fachwerk - Geir Draugsvoll, bayan (U.S. Premiere)
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Geir Draugsvoll is considered to be one of the important musicians promoting classical accordion. The last decade, he has caused headlines like “Breaking Borders”, “Breathtaking”, “Masterful” and “Musical Sensation”. With a repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart, Grieg and Stravinsky to contemporary classics like Gubaidulina, Hosokawa, Berio, Nørgaard and Piazzolla, he has performed all over Europe, and also toured China and Japan. Born in 1967, Geir Draugsvoll is Norwegian, but now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sofia Gubaidulina is famous for unusually orchestrated compositions encompassing themes of mystical spiritualism,electronic music and heavy percussion. She was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931.After instruction in piano and composition at the Kazan Conservatory, she studied composition with Nikolai Peiko atthe Moscow Conservatory, pursuing graduate studies thereunder Vissarion Shebalin. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany,outside Hamburg.

For further information:

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

Dallas/Prieto Accordion Master Classes in Philadelphia

by Rita Barnea
Dallas Vietty and  Victor Prieto
Victor Prieto and Dallas Vietty presented a successful well attended workshop in Philadelphia in November 2015. Dallas Vietty commented, "A historic moment for the new accordion culture in the US. Here I am with Victor Prieto and most of the attendees from our workshop on contemporary accordion styles and techniques. We covered so much ground: accompaniment, chord voicings, tango, swing, new musette style, bellows techniques, chord approaches, theory, harmony. This is the dawn of a new day for accordionists in the US."

On January 23, 2016 at 10:AM and January 24, 2016 at 5:PM, Victor Prieto and Dallas Vietty will present another workshop at Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia where they will change your concept and approach to the accordion promising fun, deep learning and exposure to new techniques, skills, and approaches. As a prerequisite, you should have at least one year of accordion playing experience.

The following topics will be covered:
The workshop is going to revolves around three major areas:

1. Contemporary Harmony: sounds and approaches to play the music of the last 40 years, and beyond.

2. Contemporary Techniques of the Accordion: how to apply these sounds to rhythms, melodies, soloing, comping.

3. Ensemble Playing: experience, learn techniques and approaches, and get feedback on playing with an ensemble.

The workshop will be customized to the attendees, so depending on who attends they will address various genres of interest, for example: folk, tango, jazz, pop, rock, funk, swing, gypsy jazz, Galacian, Flamenco, to name a few.

Photo of Dallas Vietty and Victor Prieto with attendees

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

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

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Books About the Accordion Written by Rob Howard

by Rita Barnea
Rob Howard Editor Rob Howard has written several fascinating books on the accordion. Any of them would be a wonderful holiday gift this year for an accordion lover.

Rob has written six books about the accordion. He is presently working on another book, "Accordion Anthology" which is a successor to all the previous books. The project is ongoing and he hopes to release it sometime in 2016.

Rob Howard began playing the accordion in 1968 while doing teacher training at Christ's College, Liverpool. He has also played other instruments, including piano, guitar, harmonica, English concertina, and the bodhran.

He plays in the Stockport Accordion Band, does wartime sing-alongs at the Stockport Air Raid Shelters, ceilidhs with the band Fiddlesticks, and a variety solo gigs requiring an accordion.

He has previously played for Irish and Polish dancing teams, in a folk group, in a Bavarian Band, held a residency in an Italian restaurant, and appeared in the stage version of the BBC TV comedy show 'Allo Allo'.

His books include: "Accordion, A Pictorial History", "An A to Z of the Accordion" Volumes 1-4, and "Vintage Accordions".

From "'Accordion: A Pictorial History' tells the story of the accordion, from its origins in the early 1800s up to the present day. The book is fully illustrated throughout with over 300 color photographs, each with information, plus several articles.

The articles include: What’s in a name?; Busson – first of the great accordion builders; Significant developments in the 19th Century; Concertinas; Pietro Frosini, Guido and Pietro Deiro – the Big Three of their era; The 1930s – The era of the accordion bands begins; The 1940s – Revisiting the Uniform keyboard; Italy, Hohner, and East Germany – the post-war era; Syd Lewis…and the end of an era (written by Steve Roxton); Recent Times; Helmi Harrington’s ‘A World of Accordions’ museum. 

Most of the pictures come from the huge Ken Hopkins collection in Northern Ireland, with others contributed by The Accordion Shop, Ron Bennett, Gary Blair, Tony Compton, Colin Ensor, Edwin Erickson (Canada), Skyler Fell (USA), Jean Hanger, Helmi Harrington (USA), Reza Hasani (Iran), Caroline Hunt, Roy Magna, Gordon Pattullo, Danielle Pauly (France), Barry Smith, Heather Smith, Bernard Wrigley, Alan Young, etc. 

This book is a sequel to "Vintage Accordions (2011)" and is similar in format, but adds much new information, and has different articles and photographs. "Accordion: A Pictorial History" is a high quality production, A4 sized hardback, and makes an ideal present for any accordion enthusiast!"

You can read more about each of the books by visiting the website and clicking on the photo of the book.

For information on ordering:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

World War II Accordion Donated to New England Accordion Museum

by Rita Barnea
Paul Ramunni
Paul Ramunni, Director and Founder of the New England Accordion Museum in Connecticut shares this important contribution to his museum made during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season. The accordion holds a special place for everyone. No other instrument can replace its uniqueness as revealed in the following:

"Three days ago, a fellow (Stan) donated an accordion to our museum. It belonged to his father, a Navy Vet from WW II. He was a machine gunner on one of the landing crafts that brought the soldiers to shore at Omaha beach on D Day. Stan described, in great detail, the events of that fateful day and how his dad tried to desperately give our soldiers fire cover as they attempted to exit the landing craft.

Before his dad passed a few years ago, he saw the movie "Saving Private Ryan" and especially the scene of the D-Day invasion.He commented on how realistic and historically correct that scene was portrayed in the movie. While in his landing craft, he watched as the gate was dropped and how the incoming fire from the onshore enemy positions decimated the troops in the craft.
With wave after wave of soldiers, he did his best to give them cover but many of the men in the rear of the boat couldn't clear the craft because of the pile up of bodies of their dead comrades. The landing craft had to be taken back to the mother ship and unloaded before more troops could be carried to shore. The men on the boat had to watch this process .....and pray.

Of all things, his dad had his accordion on that boat. He brought it along with him as they fought their way through to Germany. He did this because he knew how important it would be to give the troops some encouragement for the job they had to do.
He then volunteered for a tour of duty in the Pacific and was at Okinawa and Iwo Jima. His job there was, once again, to give our troops fire cover as they stormed those beaches. All of this with that same accordion by his side so he could play for the troops and encourage them whenever and wherever. Stan said the captain of his ship would ask his dad to play each night over the intercom system on-board the ship. It would help the troops get their rest. Amazingly, the accordion made it through all of that unscathed. He himself collected 3 purple hearts for his wounds, but in every case always returned to the fight.

We now have that accordion in our collection. More importantly, we have this story to tell about how this brave soldier served his country and us. As I listened to Stan give me the details of these events, I could only feel a strong sense of thankfulness. I wanted to pass this along  to all of you today as we give thanks for all that we have. This is what what we do here at the museum. We collect the accordions to display, but
more importantly, we collect the stories of how the people that played them served their country and the people they encountered in their daily lives. 

From all of us here at "The New England Accordion Museum," have a wonderfully blessed and thankful day."

One of the main priorities of the New England Accordion Museum is to keep the spirit of the accordion and its influence alive. The New England accordion Museum exists to display vintage and modern accordions for the general public’s enjoyment and edification.

Our goal is to find and save any and all old accordions and memorabilia so that people interested in this instrument, especially children, will learn to play and enjoy what many people have experienced over the last 200 years with accordions. Contact us today for any additional information about the New England Accordion Museum.

Paul Ramunni, Director
The New England Accordion Museum

The New England Accordion Museum

Titano Accordion Company

Michigan Accordion Society Christmas Party on December 8

by Rita Barnea
MAS Poster
The Michigan Accordion Society invites all to their annual Christmas Party featuring accordionist Michael Schaeffer. The event takes place on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 6:30 PM at Crispelli's Bakery and Pizzeria in Bekley, Michigan. There will also be a raffle, open mic, great food and cash bar.

Michael Schaeffer is an accordion player based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He specializes in playing Italian, French, and tango music, along with his own original compositions.

Michael grew up in Marshall, Michigan. Throughout his youth, he practiced piano and created artwork – both creative outlets he deeply enjoyed. He studied painting at Kendall College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he still lives today. Michael has continued doing what he loves by maintaining careers in painting and music.

Michael had played piano for fifteen years before he ever picked up an accordion. He began playing the accordion in 2001, inspired by a dream in which he was playing a bellowed instrument in a dark room.

Though he specializes in Italian, French, and tango, he maintains an impressive repertoire of various styles, including polka, klezmer, Hungarian, and gypsy music including original compositions. Michael has built his reputation by sharing his music at restaurants and private events, partnering with other musicians for a variety of projects, and teaching accordion to students of all ages. He recently began pursuing a new passion in his accordion career: accordion sales and repairs.

Michael's artwork has been exhibited at LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids since 1995. LaFontsee Galleries has a long history of being voted "Best Art Gallery" in Grand Rapids by readers of On-the-Town and Grand Rapids Magazine. A selection of Michael's work can be also viewed on his art website.

For more information: Toni Recchia 586-530-1546

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Juha and Janne Silfverberg perform at Kansas City Gala - USA

by Kevin Friedrich
Juha Silfverberg, Janne Silfverberg
Kansas City based Finnish accordionist Juha Silfverberg (accordion), along with his son Janne (trombone) were guest artists performing traditional Finnish Folk Music at the Gala VIP opening of the new exhibit 'Dark Days, Bright Nights: Contemporary Paintings from Finland' at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City.

‘Dark Days, Bright Nights: Contemporary Paintings from Finland’ gathers together and investigates the inspirations, methods, and practice of Finnish painters. ‘Dark Days, Bright Nights’ presents 43 works of art - stylistically disparate and often visually dazzling - from 13 artists ranging from the post-WWII generation to those who have come of age squarely in the 21st Century.

The 13 artists represented in ‘Dark Days, Bright Nights’ were all born in Finland, and now work in locations including the city and countryside of Finland as well as Berlin, New York City, and Stockholm. Artists include Jani Hänninen, Heikki Marila, Marika Mäkelä, Jarmo Mäkilä, Rauha Mäkilä, Reima Nevalainen, Leena Nio, Vesa-Pekka Rannikko, Mari Rantanen, Mari Sunna, Nanna Susi, Sirpa Särkijärvi, and Anna Tuori.

The artists selected represent a wide range of experiences and painting styles, but are connected by the Kemper Museum’s philosophical focus on investigating the history of the gesture in painting and in creating a conceptual and art historic bridge from the 20th to the 21st Century in both exhibition program and the Permanent Collection.

Born into a musical family in Helsinki, Finland, Juha began his accordion studies at the age of seven with Lasse Pihlajamaa, a pioneer in the accordion field. Playing the Finnish C System button accordion, he was both Finnish National Accordion Champion and Scandinavian Accordion Champion, earning the right to represent Finland when the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships were held in Helsinki.

Later, he moved to the United States to study accordion performance at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Juha performs regularly in a variety of musical settings from Cajun to Tango ensembles, from private parties to large corporate and community events.

Juha's son Janne's passion for all things musical started at age seven. First it was the accordion, then at age 10, the trombone which later led to his B.M. in trombone performance at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, graduating in 2010. Janne also performs with the Kansas City based accordion ensemble Vivant, of which his mother and Juha's wife Julie Silfverberg is one of the featured accordionists.

The exhibition featuring 41 two-dimensional paintings, a sculptural installation, and a projected video installation and will run until February 21st 2016 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City.

Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society Presents Holiday Concert

by Rita Barnea
WMAS poster
You are all invited to joined the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society for their annual Holiday Concert and Potluck Dinner sponsored by WMAS on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 4:PM at the:
Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church
3435 Sleepy Hollow Road
Falls Church, Virginia 22044.

Chuck Silio will be the greeter. Ken Kunec will emcee. Joan Grauman will conduct the WMAS Accordion Orchestra.

Hear the beautiful sounds of the accordion orchestra, small groups, soloists, and sing-alongs followed by a delicious meal.

The cost is a donation of $7. Children under 12 and members are free.

For more information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Jeff Lisenby and ‘Intersection’, Nashville - USA

by Kevin Friedrich
Jeff Lisenby
Jeff Lisenby was the featured accordion soloist with a new experimental chamber ensemble in Nashville called ‘Intersection’. They performed an accordion concerto entitled ‘True Love’ by Pulitzer prize winner Julia Wolfe, and Tina Tallon's ‘Pneuma Mekhanes’, in Nashville at the Musicians' Hall of Fame & Museum on October 29th. The program called ‘Sea Of Tonality’ was conducted by Kelly Corcoran, a past associate conductor of the Nashville Symphony.

The accordion part on the Wolfe score featured abundant bellows shakes, multiple pages of glissandi and some very difficult poly-rhythmic and technical passages while the Tallon work featured long passages of rhythmically-challenging amplified air button and some very technically difficult note passages. Jeff reported that both pieces utilized the accordion very well, and both of the composers were in attendance at the event, which ended with a standing ovation.

Jeff Lisenby has music directed, arranged, and performed in the Broadway version of ‘RING OF FIRE’, played keyboards on the Cast album, and was in many subsequent versions of the show, as well as on the Today Show and was nominated for an Ovation Award in 2012 as the show's musical director.

He has played keyboards and accordion with the touring shows of ‘Wicked’, ‘City Of Angels’, and ‘Jersey Boys’, and has accompanied Brenda Lee, Pavarotti, Chip Esten, Blake Shelton, Mel Tormé, Dolly Parton, Lee Greenwood, and Donna Summer. He has also been blessed to get to play in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Ryman Auditorium.

Jeff has won silver and bronze medals for the U.S. at the CIA Coupe Mondiale representing the ATG, and currently works with the singers on cruise ship production shows, so he gets to travel all over the world doing what he loves. Jeff also teaches adjunct in the School of Music at Belmont University, and plays keyboards on many Nashville recordings, including the Grammy-winning CD, ‘Songs from the Neighborhood - the music of Mister Rogers’, and his own ‘A Spy in Tortuga’ (jazz accordion with a band) and ‘Walkin’ The Winter Wonderland’ (solo piano holiday music).

Pictured left to right are composer Tina Tallon, conductor Kelly Corcoran and composer Julia Wolfe with Jeff Lisenby, and Kelly Corcoran conducting Julie Wolfe's work 'True Love'.
Jeff Lisenby

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Video: 28th annual Polka Hall of Fame Awards

by Rita Barnea
Denis Novato headlined the 28th annual Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show, on Nov. 28 in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Cleveland.

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

National Accordion Symphony Orchestra with Gene Van, Conductor

by Rita Barnea
Gene Van Conducts the National Accordion Symphony
Click to play:
1: Bugler's Holiday by Leroy Anderson
2: Symphony #34 by W A Mozart
3: Bring Him Home from Les Miserables by A L Weber
ATG Orchestra membersThe National Accordion Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presented “You’ll Never Walk Alone — A Tribute to America’s Veterans” in November 2015. Directed by Gene Van, the National Accordion Symphony Orchestra and Chorus featured 50 musicians from 15 states including many from northern Indiana. The concert was well attended and enjoyed by all.

The program included a wide variety of musical selections from various genres and features local vocalists Anne Fuchs, Delshawn Taylor, John Krouse and the St. Thomas of the Apostle Adult Choir. There were special appearances by the Boys and Girls Club Choir of St. Joseph County and Miller’s Vets Color Guard.

Profits benefited the Kernan’s Heroes homeless veterans program at Life Treatment Centers in South Bend. This event was not only designed to raise funds to assist veterans in the community, but it also brought attention to an ongoing and long term challenge that exists i our communities and across the nationd- the need to care for and provide much needed services to our veterans.

Participants included: Donna Anderson Ray, Joyce VanVooren Schultz, Rebecca Ratliff, Lou LeBrun, Amy Jo Sawyer, Esther Lanting and Michele Boddicker Scheffler, Kenneth Baert, Jane Christison, Delshawn Taylor, Heidi King, Anne Fuchs, Joseph Natoli, Jessica Faltot, Gail Campanella, Kami Gunroe, Tom Zielinski and many others.

Side photo: ATG group: Front Row (L to R): Lou LeBrun, Donna Dee Ray, Gene Van, Gail Campanella, Esther Lanting, Amy Jo Sawyer
Standing (L to R): Joe Natoli, Michelle Scheffler, Kenn Baert

Up photo: National Accordion Orchestra and color guard November 13, 2015 conducted by Gene Van.

Down photo: National Accordion Symphony Orchestra
Front Row (L to R): Joyce Schultz, Jane Christison, Mary Ann Van, Gene Van, Rebecca Ratliff, Esther Lanting, Madalynn Neu
Middle Row (L to R): Jessica Faltot, Gail Campanella, Lou LeBrun, Sharon Fox, Peggy Trafford, Larry Miller, Joe Natoli, Donna Dee Ray, Amy Jo Sawyer
Back Row (L to R): Heidi King, Kami Gunnoe, Tom Zielinski, Richard Romiti, Michelle Scheffler, Jim Bolero, John Neu, Kenn Baert

For further information:
Gene Van Orchestra 11/15

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

Joseph Natoli Performs at Carrefour in Montmagny, Quebec

by Rita Barnea

Joe NatoliJoseph Natoli performed on Septemer 5-6, 2015 for the first time at the well-known annual international accordion and diatonic festival in Montmagny Quebec Canada called the “Carrefour Mondiale de L’Accordeon.”

Joseph was introduced to the event by his friend, John Lettieri from Toronto Canada who, along with Natoli, had studied at the University Of Toronto with renowned Canadian accordionist Joseph Macerollo. Mr. Lettieri also performed at Carrefour with Mr. Natoli and has performed at this event for the last seven years.

This wonderful festival attracts free reed players from all over the globe and is hosted in the quiet, beautiful, and unassuming town of Montmagny, where the music festival is also accompanied by outside vendor flea markets, great food, and great accordion camaraderie. Aside from the accordion performers at Carrefour, there were also some incredible diatonic players, and of special note was a diatonic and cello duo from Belgium with Didier Laloy and Kathy Adam. They perform all original material, all of which is extremely technical, creative, and musical.

The format of Carrefour includes free outside concerts provided by the artists on the first day and if people like what they heard, they can opt to attend paid indoor concerts for the artists of their choosing. Natoli performed a diverse program of classical, light classical, and jazz works and also included the Canadian premier of his latest work written for the Roland V-Accordion called “Epic Cinematic Soundtrack” which was enthusiastically received.

While performing at Carrefour, Natoli also performed in the outside tent for vendor Keith Anderson who was representing his own music store business in Toronto. Keith sells Roland V-accordions as well as Beltuna and other top rate acoustic instruments.

After leaving Carrefour, Natoli came back to Toronto with his wife JoAnn and spent the rest of the week there while preparing to perform two more concerts, one an annual event organized by Keith Anderson’s Music Store and another private concert at the home of Joseph and Fran Macerollo, where many accomplished accordionists attended, including Alexander Sevastien as well as doctoral and masters accordion students and the University Of Toronto.

Joseph Natoli lives in Northeast Ohio with his wife, JoAnn, and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven. Joe started his studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio, and won the 1972 AAA US Virtuoso Accordion Championship under Mr. Bisilia’s tutelage, while placing first runner-up several months later in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition in Caracas, Venezuela.

More recently, Joe won the grand prize for the first Roland US V-Accordion competition held in Los Angeles, California, in 2008. Joe’s education includes Bachelor and Master of Music degrees (1976, 1977) in music theory and composition from the University of Toronto Faculty Of Music in Toronto, Canada, where he was the first student accepted there to use the free bass accordion as an applied major instrument, studying with world-renowned Canadian accordionist, Joseph Macerollo.

Joe Natoli has written many original pieces in all musical styles and genres for standard and free bass accordion, some of which are performed regularly throughout Europe, Canada, and the US. Some of Joe’s recent compositions include “Toccata #2” (free bass accordion solo), “Tarantella Fuoco” (for accordion solo or duet), “Epic Cinematic Soundtrack” (for Roland digital FR8X accordion), “Shimmer” (for accordion orchestra), and “Four Likes” (free bass accordion solo).

Some of Joe’s most recent recordings include an all-acoustic accordion CD entitled “Omaggio,” which is dedicated to the many musical influences in his life from various composers, musical friends and family members. Joe has also released an all-digital Roland V-Accordion CD entitled, “Waltz for Ron,” which contains a bevy of original compositions and arrangements of classical, light classical, ethnic and jazz pieces fully exploiting the orchestral possibilities of the Roland virtual accordion. “Waltz For Ron” is not only the title of the CD, but the title track of one of the CD’s compositions dedicated to the memory of the late Ron Lankford, who is very much responsible for the success of the V-Accordion in the US.

In addition to his music degrees, Joe also attended Youngstown State for a Computer Science degree and has an MBA from Franklin University. Joe has been working in the Information Technology industry since 1984, working for General Motors, Delphi Packard, EDS, JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance, and PNC Bank. Joe and his wife JoAnn have three adult daughters and one granddaughter.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Ludovic Beier Concert at The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC

by Rob Howard
Ludovic Beier
Review by Robert Michael Oliver, DC Metro Arts

Dorado Schmitt and the Django Festival All-Stars last week performed at The Kennedy Center, featuring the accordion/violin duo Ludovic Beier and Pierre Blanchard. With Dorado Schmitt on lead guitar the show began with Schmitt’s composition ‘Miro Django’.

He was accompanied by Doudou Cuillerier on rhythm guitar and Xavier Nikq on bass, and immediately a gypsy soul filled the auditorium. Soon Ludovic Beier and Pierre Blanchard came on stage, and when they did words took a holiday.

Ludovic Beier’s accordion created sounds that reinvent the instrument. During one of his original compositions, ‘Sad and Beautiful’, he played the accordina, a small hybrid of an instrument somewhere between the accordion and the harmonica, and the piece’s title could not be more appropriate.

The sheer delight of the 80 minutes this concert lasted won’t fade easily with time. For an encore these six fabulous musicians from France gave the audience a moment of silence, remembering the horrors of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Rene Sevieri to Perform for the San Francisco Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
Rene SevieriAccordionist Rene Sevieri will perform for the San Francisco Accordion Club on December 20, 2015 at 2:PM at the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco.

Rene Sevieri’s singing and accordion playing are deeply rooted in his Italian heritage, but his music repertoire has been influenced by many bands and styles over the years.

Rene started accordion lessons at the age of 8 with Michele Corino in San Francisco and by age 12 he played his first professional gig. In 1997 he quit playing professionally to focus on his flourishing business, but was able to semi-retire two years ago and once again play accordion on a regular basis. 

Rene has recorded a CD, "Canzoni di Babbo" and you can listen to selections on his YouTube channel:

The San Francisco Accordion Club is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization whose purpose is to enhance, promote and stimulate an appreciation for the accordion within the membership and throughout the general public.

For further information:

Outstanding Performance by Accordion Virtuosi of Russia - USA

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
The Accordion Virtuosi of Russia, an energetic and incredibly talented group of young musicians, is once again touring the United States. If they are performing in your area, make it a point to go see them!

The ensemble, consisting of 35 young accordionists, percussionists, string players and a pianist from St. Petersburg, Russia, performed at the beautiful Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC on November 8. The audience, many from the local accordion and Russian communities, was mesmerized as these amazing teenagers and young adults performed two 45-minute segments of classical, contemporary, folk and rock music -- totally without sheet music.

Their musical selection, consisting of music by J. Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Joplin, Bernstein, Copeland, traditional Russian folk tunes and more, could not have been more perfect. The audience was on its feet cheering for this happy, delightful group until they sat down and played for us again.

Founded in 1943 by Prof. Pavel Smirnov, the ensemble was invited, within its first six months, to record on the state radio. Since its inception, Accordion Virtuosi of Russia has been led by three generations of the Smirnov family: first by its founder Pavel Smirnov, and now by his sons Yuri and Vladimir, as well as his grandson, Yaroslav.

They have performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world including the Gewandhaus, Verona’s Arena, Olympia Hall in Paris, and the Great Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg.

Kudos to the Smirnov family for the fantastic work preparing these gifted young people to perform with such skill and total joy!

Amy Jo Sawyer Performs with Orchestra, Illinois - USA

by Rob Howard
Kathleen McFarland, Victoria Voumard, Amy Jo Sawyer.
Amy Jo Sawyer performed on accordion early November with the Edwardsville High School String Orchestra, based in Madison County, Illinois. Works performed were ‘Por Una Cabeza’, composed by Carlos Gardel, and ‘Libertango’ by Astor Piazzola.

Sawyer also was scheduled to perform with an ‘American Accordion Orchestra’ in South Bend, Indiana, the following week.

From left, Concertmistress Kathleen McFarland, Orchestra MD and Conductor Victoria Voumard; and accordionist Amy Jo Sawyer.

Amy Jo Sawyer, taught by Anthony Galla-Rini, has performed and recorded for many years, and has served as President of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International.

Peter and Mady Soave Concert, Mions – France

by Rob Howard
Peter and Mady SoavePeter and Mady Soave perform in concert on Saturday November 14th, 8.30pm at the church in Mions, near Lyon in the Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France. Their program includes music by JS Bach, Piazzolla, Gershwin and Romero.

Voci Armoniche

Grandma, Dancing Dog and Accordion Rock It!

by Rita Barnea
Nathan, the little Chinese Crested pup is in great form dancing to grandma demonstrating her accordion abilities!

Best of all, Nathan's signature dance skills aren't just fun to watch — they're helping to raise awareness about other pups like him. He's been serving as a a spokesdog of sorts for the group Bald Is Beautiful dog rescue, putting the spotlight on these unique pets' playful side.

Before his adoption, he had lived in many homes ending up in Bald is beautiful Dog Rescue. His video appeared on The Ellen Show!

Bald Is Beautiful Hairless and Small Breed Rescue, Inc. is a national 501c3 non profit organization, an independent rescue whose members- all volunteers-  have over 40 years of combined experience in the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs in need. 

Keep on dancing to the accordion, Nathan!!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

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List of Accordion Festivals for 2016

by Rita Barnea
Are you wondering what accordion festivals are planned for 2016? If you click on the "Yellow Pages Events" which is on the top of the right column of the December news, you will see the following list of upcoming accordion events for 2016. You will read more about the festivals in future USA news publications. Now you can already plan for your attendance at these wonderful accordion events. Websites and contact information are included:

Event name: Kokkola Winter Accordion, Kokkolan Talviharmonikkary,   Category: Concert, Festival
Date: 14-Feb-2016 - 21-Feb-2016   Place: Various Venues a on website, Kokkola, 67100, Finland

Event name: NAO Northern Ireland Area Festival   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival
Date: 20-Feb-2016 - 20-Feb-2016   Place: , , , Ireland, Northern
E-mail:   Web site:

Event name: 2016 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention   Category:
Date: 10-Mar-2016 - 12-Mar-2016   Place: Southfork Hotel 1600 North Central Expressway, Plano, TX 75074, USA
E-mail:    Web site:

Event name: CIA Winter Congress   Category: Other
Date: 18-Mar-2016 - 20-Mar-2016   Place: , Calabria, , Italy
E-mail:   Web site:

Event name: AAA Lifetime Achievement Award, Mario Tacca   Category:
Date: 17-Apr-2016 - 17-Apr-2016   Place: Colonial Terrace in Cortlandt Manor,, NY, 10567, USA
E-mail:    Web site:

Event name: NAO UK CHAMPIONSHIPS & FESTIVAL 2016   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival
Date: 22-Apr-2016 - 24-Apr-2016   Place: THE ADELPHI HOTEL,, LIVERPOOL, AA, England
E-mail:   Web site:

Event name: 12th European Accordion Music Festival, Innsbruck 2016 Category: Competition, Concert, Other
Date: 05-May-2016 - 08-May-2016   Place: Kongresshaus, Rennweg 3, Innsbruck, A-6020, Austria

Event name: 2016 South Pacific & NZ Accordion Championships & Festival Category: Competition, Concert, Festival   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival
Date: 04-Jun-2016 - 05-Jun-2016   Place: Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Silver Rd, Epsom, Auckland, , New Zealand, Auckland, , New Zealand
E-mail:  Web site:

Event name: 2016 Australian International Accordion Championships, Sydney, Australia   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival
Date: 11-Jun-2016 - 12-Jun-2016   Place: Venue to be announced, Sydney, , Australia
E-mail:    Web site:

Event name: Annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration Category: Concert, Festival, Workshop
Date: 16-Jun-2016 - 21-Jun-2016   Place: Leavenworth, Washington, 98826, USA

Event name: AAA Competition and Festival   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival
Date: 06-Jul-2016 - 10-Jul-2016   Place: Adams Mark Hotel in Buffalo, New York., Buffalo, NY 14202, USA
E-mail:   Web site:

Event name: The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International Festival   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival, Seminar
Date: 20-Jul-2016 - 23-Jul-2016   Place: Lisle, Chicago, IL, USA
E-mail:   Web site:

Event name: 69th Coupe Mondiale 2016 World Accordion Championships   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival
Date: 11-Sep-2016 - 17-Sep-2016   Place: , Rostov-On-Don, , Russia
E-mail:    Web site:

Event name: Trophée Mondial de l'Accordéon 2015   Category:
Date: 27-Sep-2016 - 01-Oct-2016   Place: , Portimão, Algarve,, , Portugal
E-mail:    Web site:

Event name: CIA Winter Congress   Category:
Date: 02-Dec-2016 - 04-Dec-2016   Place: , Neuenbürg, , Germany
E-mail:    Web site:

Event name: 2017 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention   Category:
Date: 09-Mar-2017 - 11-Mar-2017   Place: Southfork Hotel 1600 North Central Expressway, Plano, TX 75074, USA
E-mail:    Web site:

Event name: 2017 South Pacific & NZ Accordion Championships & Festival Category: Competition, Concert, Festival   Category: Competition, Concert, Festival
Date: 03-Jun-2017 - 04-Jun-2017   Place: Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Silver Rd,, Epsom, Auckland,, , New Zealand
E-mail:    Web site:


AAA Seminars in New York City: NO PLACE LIKE HOME

by William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelThere’s no place like home - wherever that may
be: the home you left - the home you came to -
the home you adopted - the home away from
home - wherever it may be - THERE’S NO PLACE

Join us for our 22nd smash year:
Home Sweet Home -
Heimat Klinger, Ne Casa Su Casa, etc, etc, etc -

Dr Schimmel will once again be your guide
a maze a concepts, sounds, feelings, tastes and
pieces - all by way of the accordion.

The Accordion had a wave of popularity in the 1950’s.
Why did to go the other way?
There were three agendas during that time:
1 What was actually going on
2 Where young people were headed
3 Where the Accordion community wanted
to take it

If you were from an ethnic community SOMEWHERE
UP NORTH - all of this is a non-issue.

If you lived in the mainstream of 50’s popular
postwar culture, it became an issue. In this
realm we were Americans first, Eisenhower
Americans. Wear an Accordion and your roots
show. Perfectly fine today, but not back in the









no place like home

the seminars

the american accordionists’ assn
master class and concert series

our 22nd smash year

dr. william schimmel, moderator/

july 29, 30, 31, 2016

Master Classes 3 pm
Concerts 7 pm
Master classes $25
Concerts $30
Full day - master class/concert $50
Entire weekend $125

reservations and info:
212 - 876 - 0827

Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street
New York, NY

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Alex Meixner December and 2016 Shows

by Rita Barnea
Alex Meixner
Alex MeixnerAlex Meixner, Grammy nominated musician and producer continues to maintain a very busy performance schedule. His lively show is unique and entertaining.

From Alex Meixner's website: Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 50 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.

Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world.

His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004. Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December, 2007.

Currently based in Palm City, FL, Alex is performing as a solo artist and with numerous touring ensembles.  His solo programs- “Fascinating Rhythms of the World” focus on the fusion of Slavic folk music and Jazz, but also include the inflections of folk, pop and classical styles from Latin America, Africa and other sections of Europe. This music is the basis for a series of multi-cultural music education seminars and performances which are currently available through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts “Artists in Education” program.

Alex also leads The Alex Meixner Band in performances throughout North America. Whether you are looking for sure fire crowd pleasing family entertainment, something for the senior audience, classy jazz for a reception or a unique party band- Alex Meixner will work tirelessly to provide the perfect mix for your event.

When Alex is not performing with all of these groups, he is devoted to bringing music to students through educational clinics, as well as his private teaching. 

His future performances include:
December 3
Baltimore, MD
Creative Alliance

December 4
Matamoras, PA
The Best Western
w/John Stevens

December 5
Lindenhurst, NY
The Village Lanterne

December 6
Nazareth, PA
Holy Family Club

December 7-8
Paterson, NJ
Bavarian Christmas

December 8
Bethlehem, PA
Sands Casino
Molten Lounge
(Alex's Birthday!)

December 9
Fleetwood, PA
Evergreen Club

December 10
Asbury Park, NJ
Asbury Festhalle &

December 11
Altoona, PA
Unter Uns

December 12
Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Maennerchor

December 20 & 24
Palm City, FL
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Trumpet Soloist

Photo Credit: Mikie Farias

More details and upcoming shows at
Polkafest at Sea with the Jodie Mikula Orchestra and Special Guests: Alex Meixner Band & The Dujka BrothersSeven Days of Sailing
November 13, 2016 from Galveston, Texas
Western Caribbean: Roatan, Belize, Cozumel

For further information on Alex:
Polka Fest at Sea with Alex Meixner

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

New and Updated Sites

Titano Accordion Company

Site Update: Gary Dahl Newly Engraved 'Indifference' - USA

by Gary Dahl
Gary DahlIndifferencePopular arranger Gary Dahl announces the newly engraved "Indifference" Cat. No: DH0076, a popular work by Columbo & Murena that has been recorded by so many different performers.

This arrangement by Gary Dahl has been popular too and is available online at: DH0076

Voci Armoniche

Milwaukee Accordion Club Website Updates - USA

by Sherry Huiras, Milwaukee Accordion Club
Milwaukee Accordion Club
The Milwaukee Accordion Club upcoming programs/meetings for the coming months.

Monday - December 13, 2015
Featured Program: MAC Annual Christmas Party

Monday - January 25, 2016
Featured Program: Open Mic Night - ‘MAC Members in the Spotlight’

Monday - February 22, 2016
Featured Program: Sweetheart Dance
There is nothing sweeter than a Sweetheart dance! A Sweetheart Dance says romance, flowers and DANCING!!

Monday - March 28, 2016
Featured Program: Entertainment as yet to be determined and announced

Full details on the website: Milwaukee Accordion Club (MAC)
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