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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2016
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
"Know The People" Accordion Industry Interviews - AWW
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Cory Pesaturo is Part of the Grammys!
New ATG YouTube Channel
Vocalist Lina Orfanos Performs at Metropolitan Accompanied by Accordionist Gary Schreiner
Free Postage, Super Value Christmas Gifts Books
“Accordions Rising”....... Now Streaming!
Klezmatics 30th Anniversary Party on December 1 at Town Hall, NYC
Acclarion in Concert at Art House in Detroit, Michigan
Sanfona Summit Debut at Barbés in Brooklyn, NY
Accordion Babes 2017 Calendar is Available Now!
Announcing – Second Printing of “An Accordion! What Is That?”
Accordionist Mario Tacca and Vocalist Mary Mancini in Christmas Concert
Murl Allen Sanders to Perform in Seattle on December 11
Henry Doktorski's "Classical Accordion Recital" CD is Available

Voci Armoniche

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

Linda Soley-Reed Conducts CAA Orchestra in December
AAA Looks Ahead to 2017 . . .
Ludovic Beier in the Django Reinhardt Festival at Birdland NYC
Guy Klucevsek Performs with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra
AAA Valtaro Celebration… A Huge Success
2016 Honors Accordion Orchestra Cruise with Conductor Stas Venglevski
2016 Accordion Noir Festival World Premieres and Innovators
"Squeezers of Brooklyn Accordion Club" Card Set is Available
San Francisco Accordion Club Features Accordion Circle
Gary Dahl Releases Polka eBook and Christmas Carols eBook
Angela Falcetti to Perform for National Italian Club

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

The Red Lantern Accordionist: AAA's 23rd Year Master Class and Concert Series
Alexander Sevastian, Bayan Mix, Quartetto Gelato Performances in 2017
Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano to be Guest Artists for LIAA
Accordion Cowboy Chris Rybak: Holiday Programs and 2017 Valentine Cruise
Accordion Pops Orchestra Concert in May 2017

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Welcome to the last USA news publication of 2016! In 2017, you will see an expanded version of the news with more articles, videos, stories, and information. There is so much happening in the accordion world!

It is hard to believe that with this publication, I am beginning my 9th year as National Editor! Over the years I have produced 96 publications and almost 2500 articles. Time flies when you are having fun, as the saying goes. And as the years goes by, I enjoy my position even more.

I have been very fortunate to work with the AWW Editor and Founder, the amazing Harley Jones! Where in the world is he? Always traveling and participating in accordion events all over the globe but never to busy to assist and guide me with publication questions. I have learned so much from him and continue to learn from him. I also want to thank former National Editor Kevin Friedrich for his encouragement and support.

Most importantly I want to thank you, the readers, for helping to make one of the most popular accordion sites (along with the other AWW publications) on this planet!

In 2015, there were 1.26 million page hits on this site!

I would like to encourage you all to continue participation in the accordion world! What is the accordion world? You know what it is. It is a network, a special bonding, an instant friendship, a musical bonding, a sharing of feelings and ideas about the wonderful world of the accordion. I like to present the accordion at all levels of accomplishment from beginner to professional. All are worthy of recognition for the great effort involved in learning the instrument.

Please read the AWW publications especially the USA news. I welcome you all to continue sending me your ideas and comments. I like to present an eclectic, well rounded concept of what the accordion can do. By reading the USA news, you can learn of events, concerts, festivals, performers on the North American continent. With our featured videos, you can actually hear and see the performers.

Did you know that there are new outreach programs being formed to encourage young people to play the accordion and it is working! WQXR Radio recently had an instrument drive and received over 100 accordions which are in the process of being distributed!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season. Be sure to check out the great accordion gifts that are mentioned in this issue.

A very special thank you to my fiancé, Dr. Leslie Strong! He always encourages my accordion activities and enjoys attending accordion events with me! I greatly appreciate his understanding and enthusiasm!

Rita Barnea

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

"Know The People" Accordion Industry Interviews - AWW

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Accordions Worldwide (AWW) starts on Friday, December 2, 2014 to publish "Know The People" accordion industry interviews in English.

These interviews focus on the lives of people in the accordion industry, how they became involved, how they trained, their beginning and learning experiences, what inspires them, what they like best, personal interests and their future hopes.

This is a series that will run for some months as we seek to give our readers a close insight into the lives of people in the accordion industry.

Read the first "Know The People" accordion industry interview here in the weekly news, on Friday, December 2, 2014.

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


by Rita Barnea

Pauline OliverosVideo 1:Pauline Oliveros improvising.
Video 2:TED Talk by Pauline Oliver’s: Sounds carry intelligence. If you are too narrow in your awareness of sounds, you are likely to be disconnected from your environment. Ears do not listen to sounds; the brain does. Listening is a lifetime practice that depends on accumulated experiences with sound; it can be focused to detail or open to the entire field of sound. Octogenarian composer and sound art pioneer Pauline Oliveros describes the sound experiment that led her to found an institute related to Deep Listening, and develop it as a theory relevant to music, psychology, and our collective quality of life.

Pauline Oliveros, an accomplished American composer, accordionist, and experimental music pioneer passed away on November 25, 2016 at the age of 84.

Excerpt from Wickpedia: Pauline Oliveros was a central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic art music. She was a founding member of the San Francisco Tape Music Center in the 1960s, and served as its director. She taught music at Mills College, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Oliver’s wrote five books formulated new music theories and investigated new ways to focus attention on music including her concepts of "Deep Listening" and "Sonic Awareness".

Born in 1932, Oliveros was a multi-instrumentalist who later became a composer and performer. She was also a noted author and philosopher writing five books: Sounding the Margins: Collected Writings 1992–2009, Initiation Dream, Software for People, The Roots of the Moment, and Deep Listening: A Composer's Sound Practice.

In the early ‘60s, Oliveros was an integral member of the San Francisco Tape Music Center. In the late ‘80s, she coined the term “Deep Listening,” and later went on to found the Deep Listening Institute (now the Center For Deep Listening).

From a very young age Oliveros was interested in the sound field around her and started to learn to play music as early as kindergarten. Oliveros learned to play the accordion at nine years of age from her mother because of its popularity in the 1940s as a relatively lucrative instrument.She later learned the tuba and French horn for grade school and college music.

Pauline Oliveros performed in "Bang on a Can” on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the Jewish Museum in New York City, one of her last performances."Take Me (I'm Yours)" is on view through February 5, 2017,

The concert featured Oliveros performing 'The Sound of Meditation' on V-Accordion, an instrument that produces both accordion and orchestral sounds.The concert also blurred the boundary between the performer and the audience by asking the listener to participate in the making of music.

Since the 1960s Pauline Oliveros influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. In the 1950s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets in San Francisco.

She was the recipient of the John Cage award for 2012 from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, and served as Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. She was interested in finding new sounds and in finding new uses for old ones - her primary instrument was the accordion, perhaps an unexpected visitor to the musical cutting edge.

Pauline was the founder of "Deep Listening," which she described as a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one's own thoughts as well as musical sounds. "Deep Listening is my life practice," she explained, simply. Oliver’s was the founder of the Center For Deep Listening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, formerly the Pauline Oliveros Foundation.

Oliveros’ album Accordion and Voice (1982) and her Stuart Dempster and Panatois collaboration Deep Listening (1989) are considered landmark ambient records.

Tom Service’s profile of Oliveros was published in 2012 and is a superb introduction to her music. He cautioned that the deep listening concept is nothing about soft-focused meditation. “Her deep listening encompasses the whole world, it doesn’t separate you from it; the noise of politics, identity and representation is part of what she hears.” One of her works, a 1971 “sonic meditation” called Native, contains the instruction: “Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.”

At the time of her death, she was the Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. A distinguished explorer of sound, she shared thoughts on deep listening, tape improv, and teaching with Pitchfork in 2011. “I feel that students always learn more from each other than they do from their professor,” she said. “They learn by doing.”

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

Cory Pesaturo is Part of the Grammys!

by Rita Barnea
Cory Pesaturo Academy letter
Accordionist Cory Pesaturo just received the special honor of being voted a Grammy Voting Member of The Recording Academy/Grammy’s.

The Recording Academy (formerly the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences or NARAS) is a U.S. organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals. The Recording Academy is headquartered in Santa Monica. Neil Portnow is the current president of The Academy.

The Recording Academy, which began in 1957, is known for its Grammy Awards. In 1997, the Recording Academy launched The Latin Recording Academy, which produces the Latin Grammy Awards. Michael Greene was the founder and the first President of the Latin Grammys.

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. Cory is the only person to ever win World Championships on Acoustic Accordion, Digital Accordion, and Jazz.

Here are the musical events that Cory participated in October and November:

United States Formula 1 Race for RedBull.

Brought in to be honored and perform at the annual NIAF Convention in Washington DC.

Performed at Phoenix Accordion Club.

At Hillary Clinton HQ, Cory was going to perform, alongside Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, but nobody performed as she lost.

Recorded for Band in a Box, which will eventually be able to create Cory Pesaturo solos on your computer over songs that you create which never existed.

Cory will perform in the group, Tzibeles, a Jewish music ensemble, on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 8:PM at Common Fence Music, k933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, RI. The other musicians in the group are Fishel Bressler on clarinet and Rohan Gregory on violin.

For further information:
Cory Pesaturo

Accordion Jazz Chords

New ATG YouTube Channel

by Joseph Natoli, ATG President
The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) would like to announce the release of their new YouTube Channel. You can get to the channel by doing a search in YouTube for “Accordionists and Teachers Guild.” One of the links that should appear from that search will look like the graphic above.

If you click on that ATG logo you will be brought directly to the new channel. However, if you click on the “Subscribe” button first, that will ensure that you will be notified for any new videos or future updates to the channel.

Additionally, once you are in the ATG Channel, there is an introductory video that tells you more about the channel and what we have planned for it (see the circled video link below). You may want to watch that first before the other videos that are already out there.

We hope you enjoy this new effort from the ATG, and keep watching for new videos to be added as well as some innovative ways to get more exposure for the accordion worldwide.


Vocalist Lina Orfanos Performs at Metropolitan Accompanied by Accordionist Gary Schreiner

by Rita Barnea
Lina Orfanos

Gary SchreinerVideo 1: Lina Orfanos sings Rogers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine”
Lina Orfanos sings from a deep place in her heart. With Gary Schreiner on accordion, Spiros Exaras on guitar, Richie Morales on drums, and John Benitez on a bass solo that proves that love exists. Metropolitan Room,NYC December 13, 2015.

Video 2: July 29, 2010 - "85 Years - Mikis Theodorakis." Lina Orfanos sings "Song of Songs" at the birhtday celebration for the famed composer Mikis Theodorakis at Lycabettus Hill, Athens, Greece. Performing with the Popular Orchestra of Mikis Theodorakis, Lina joins other famed artist including Dionysis Savvopoulos, Loukianos Kiliadonis, Nena Venetsanou, Vasilis Lekkas, and Dimitris Basis for an unforgetable night of song.

Vocalist Lina Orfanos will perform at the Metropolitan Room, 34 W 22nd Street, New York, New York on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 9:PM. Tickets are $25. She will be accompanied by accordionist/pianist Gary Schreiner. (See article in the January 2017 USA news issue about Gary Schreiner.) Phone number for the Metropolitan Room: 212-206-0440

From the website: "Orfanos is a true vocalist. She has a full-bodied, ladylike, fluid soprano…..the 'bel canto songstress of cabaret' because of her legato lines and pretty sound. She is a find. She is akin to Ella in the sugary texture of her sound, which is the essence of both Orfanos' and Fitzgerald's vocal personalities. A gorgeous vocal instrument... Her ethereal sound and her exquisite attention to detail had me dancing in my seat and tearing up at the same time... A highly stylized jazz singer with one of the best bands I have ever heard... She sings from her soul" - New York Cabaret Today.

Lina’s bio, excerpts from her website: Lyric soprano Lina Orfanos was born in New York City where she grew up immersed in the sonorous cultures of the classical, ethnic, popular, and theater musical worlds of the city. As a child she performed with the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus and appeared in eight different operas singing in French, Italian, German, and Russian. In adolescence, she studied cabaret and musical theater at the Herbert Bergoff School in Greenwich Village and performed with the Montclair Operetta Club appearing in Evita and Kismet.

In addition, she performed with the Montclair High School Madrigals and the Jazz Ensemble. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music degree with a specialty in vocal studies from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. She performed with the Westminster Symphonic Choir at Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall.

Lina made her solo debut in 2001 for the World Languages Program of the Donnell Library Center in Manhattan performing selections from the Theodorakis song cycles "Epiphania", "The Mauthausen Cantata", and "The Ballad of the Dead Brother". She made numerous appearances in the next few years in various New York City concert, civic, and cabaret venues. Her debut CD Greek Songs for Romantics and Realists: The Songs of Manos Hadzidakis and Mikis Theodorakis was released in 2004 by One Soul Records and has received high praise from music lovers on both sides of the Atlantic. The internationally famed singer Maria Farantouri says that Lina has a "remarkably beautiful voice." The legendary Mikis Theodorakis considers her an "artistic singer with solid technique, a beautiful voice with lyricism, sensitivity, and interpretive perfection."

In 2004, Lina formed the Poetica Ensemble in order to interpret her favorite Greek blues, folk and art song cycles. The Poetica Ensemble is composed of enormously talented musicians under the direction of Spiros Exaras. While their repertoire focuses on a wide range of musical styles, they particularly excel at interpreting songs based on the poetry of Manolis Anagnostakis, Brendan Behan, Paul Eluard, Odysseus Elytis, Nikos Gatsos, Federico Garcia Lorca, Yannis Ritsos, and George Seferis. In addition, they have been responsible for the North American premieres of Theodorakis' French songs, his cycles Lirikotera and Beatrice on Zero Street, as well as a number of his sublime arias from the operas Electra and Antigone. Although best known as an interpreter of Greek music, Lina also enjoys singing the American songbook and particularly jazz standards.

She was a special guest for the Hellenic Music Foundation Concert "Unforgettable Greek Melodies" at the Hellenic Cultural Center of the Archdiocese of New York and the Saint Peter's Church, Citigroup Center. In the spring of 2006, she appeared with other singers at the thrilling Contemporary Greek Music Festival held at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts – New York University.

Lina sang for the first time in Greece in June 2006 where she was invited to perform at the Cultural Center of the northwest city of Ioannina and the Anagnostiki Recital Hall of the Ionian island of Kerkyra. Her concerts included the songs of Bernstein, Gershwin, Hadzidakis, and Theodorakis. Her impeccable craft, rich, deep colorings, and emotional presence dazzled audiences. By special invitation, Lina was coached by Mikis Theodorakis at his home in Athens. He expressed delight and pleasure at her emergence as an exciting vocal talent especially well-suited for his lyrical song cycles. “With Lina,” he asserts, “my songs have a new beginning.”

In recent summers, Lina has been a special guest star with the Mikis Theodorakis Orchestra performing with major stars such as Dimitris Basis, Yiannis Bezos, Marios Frangoulis, Maria Farantouri, Glykeria, Loukianos Kiliadonis, Lakis Lazopoulos, Zulfu Livaneli, Mary Linda, Manolis Mitsias, Dionysos Savvopouluos and Nena Venetsanou. She has also given an imaginative “Songs of the Cinema” recital in Tel Aviv, Israel followed by a college tour in Greece. In the United States, she has recently performed with her band The Poetica Ensemble in such venues as Blance M. Touhill Performing Arts Center of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Flushing Town Hall, Joes’ Pub at the Public Theater, the Montclair Art Museum, and the Onassis Cultural Center.

Every Greek generation needs a rich, sensual and strong female voice. In Lina Orfanos we have such a vocalist. She sings with passion and deep musical insight, and she is not self-conscious. The lengendary Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is in awe of Lina's "artistry and and interpretative perfection." . Lina was born to sing and she does so in many languages and with a nuanced understanding of not only Greek melodic lines, but English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish.”

Lina’s 2015 CD, “Essentially Ella” is a gorgeous and soulful vocal instrument and a fabulous New York City jazz crew in a homage to Lady Ella. It is available on

Lina said in her album notes: "Listening to myself as a young girl listening to Lady Ella I knew that she would someday be my Muse for the great American songbook. So after recordings of art songs in Greek, Spanish and Hebrew, it seemed only fitting that I turn to my native language and to the phenomenal joy of singing that Ella Fitzgerald brought to her art. She was simply the best of all of the great female singers.

I get a thrill from her vocal phrasing every time I listen to her recordings. This album is dedicated to The First Lady of Song and to the wonderful New York jazz musicians who helped with this homage – John Benitez, Charles Blenzig, Richie Morales, Essiet Okon Essiet, Gary Schreiner and to the amazing Spiros Exaras. Essentially, we have been after the rhythms, the aliveness, within Ella Fitzerald and songs she sang. We’ve connected these rhythms with our own feel for the words and the music."

Be sure to make reservations to hear Lina's amazing voice.

For reservations call the Metropolitan Room: 212-206-0440

For further information on Lina Orfanos:

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

Free Postage, Super Value Christmas Gifts Books

Benetoux books
Merry Christmas logoAccordion Christmas Gift ideas for friends and family at: 2016Christmas Ideas

Free Postage until 28th December ONLY make the following books SUPER value for a Christmas Gift.

Free Postage Special: The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux (catalog benetouxen00). A quality book about accordion repairs, tuning etc. that is very popular indeed. In English and French. Comprendre et Reparer Votre Accordeon (catalog benetouxfr00).

Free Postage Special: Sounding Out The Accordion by Thierry Benetoux (catalog bthierryen). A very quality book that cares of the sounding and tuning up your accordion. In English and French. L’Accordeon & SA Diversite Sonore (catalog bthierryfr).

New eBooks (sent to you by email) that are interesting.
NEW - Catalog: rrenzo401 - 10 Approaches to Jazz Improvisation eBook by Renzo Ruggieri
NEW - Catalog: ek203 - The Shortcut to Playing and the Bellows - Technique for The Accordion by Lars Ek
Play the Accordion Without Pain by John Bonica

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

Please support accordion artistry and choose from over 2,347 eSheet pieces, 300 plus CD/DVD’s, 1,903 eTracks recordings, 833 plus printed works and numerous books (text) to choose from. 2016Christmas Ideas
book covers

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

“Accordions Rising”....... Now Streaming!

by Rita Barnea
Accordions Rising
A Music Documentary

Thanks to the support of the accordion community and beyond, Roberta was successful in finding a distributor who will be getting the film onto the streaming and VOD platforms in addition to future cable channels. As a result, "Accordions Rising", has a new Facebook making it easier to find on Facebook - That is where future news of the new streaming and VOD options will be posted. Full information on:

Right now, it is on Amazon and can be seen for free with Amazon Prime and on Instant Amazon for $2.99. Roberta is again asking (pleading) for your support by watching, rating and providing even a one word comment. The rating of the film is needed (50-100 of them) to move the music documentary to "Recommended by Amazon," which means she might have a chance of recouping the out of pocket costs of the film. Beyond that, her film contains a strong message: that the accordion is alive and well. Supporting Roberta's film supports accordionists and the accordion in general and spreads the word of accordion popularity and versatility.

Audience Comments - "A love letter to the accordion"
"An affectionate and enthusiastic portrait of an under appreciated instrument"
"Who knew?"

Please take a moment to support Roberta and her film.
Here's the link to Amazon in the US:

Here is the Amazon link that works for the UK.:

Also, don't forget all the accordion aficonados on your gift giving list and just think what a perfect gift the DVD disk, Blu Ray disk, Accordions Rising T shirt or poster can be!
Use Promo Code 20OFF for 20% Discount.

To contact Roberta:

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

Klezmatics 30th Anniversary Party on December 1 at Town Hall, NYC

by Rita Barnea

Lorin SklambergVideo 1: The Klezmatics: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert. Set list:
"Gilad and Ziv's Sirba" (Lorin Sklamberg)
"Holy Ground" (Frank London; lyrics by Woody Guthrie)
"Zol shoyn kumen di geule" (Shmerke Kaczerginsky; arranged by Frank London)

Video 2: Ravenna Festival

The Klezmatics will celebrate their 30th Anniversary and CD Release Party at NYC’s Town Hall on December 1, 2016 at 8:PM. Their CD release " Apikorsim/Heretics” is available from your favorite music outlet and on sale at all their concerts. In the course of over twenty years and nine albums they have stubbornly continued making music that is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable.

Having heard them perform many times, I highly recommend that you attend one of their concerts and purchase their CD's. Lorin Sklamberg, accordionist and vocalist, always demonstrates his passion for the genre.

Excerpts from an article “The Klezmatics Bio" by Jeff Tamarin: Since their emergence more than 25 years ago, the Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically and musically interesting recordings, inspired future generations, created a large body of work that is enduring, and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Often called a “Jewish roots band,” the Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.

They have performed in more than 20 countries and released 10 albums to date—most recently the two-CD Live at Town Hall, recorded in their home base of New York and released in celebration of the band’s silver anniversary. On their Grammy-winning 2006 album Wonder Wheel, the Klezmatics set a dozen previously unsung Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, widening their stylistic base by largely diverging from klezmer. They have also recently served as the subject of a feature-length documentary film, The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground.

During their quarter-century existence the Klezmatics have collaborated with such brilliant artists as violinist Itzhak Perlman, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Israeli vocal icon Chava Alberstein, plus many other prominent artists working within multiple genres.

Today, with three original members—Lorin Sklamberg (lead vocals, accordion, guitar, piano), Frank London (trumpet, keyboards, vocals) and Paul Morrissett (bass, tsimbl, vocals)—still on board, alongside longtime members Matt Darriau (kaval, clarinet, saxophone, vocals) and Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals), the Klezmatics are without a doubt the most successful proponents of klezmer music in the world.

The Klezmatics’ music is rooted in but is not a strictly traditional variety of the klezmer genre. Rather it is a comfortable hybrid that appeals equally to those with no previous exposure to the music and those already familiar with it.

“Klezmer,” says London, “is the unique sound of East European Jewishness. It has the power to evoke a feeling of other-worldliness, of being there and then, of nostalgia for a time and place that we never knew.”

Although tradition is at the core of what they do, since the beginning the Klezmatics have adapted to the artistic sensibilities of a contemporary world. “Klezmer has everything you want, ethnically, and yet it’s so intertwined with American culture,” says Morrissett. “We want to make sure that we are part of a living tradition, and living traditions change; they don’t stay in a pickled form.”

The Klezmatics are very much of the modern world. Says London, “By putting forth a consistent and coherent political and aesthetic Yiddish/klezmer music that embraces our political values—supporting gay rights, workers’ rights, human rights, universal religious and spiritual values expressed through particular art forms—and eschewing the aspects of Yiddish/Jewish culture that are nostalgic, tacky, kitschy, nationalistic and misogynistic, we have shown a way for people to embrace Yiddish culture on their own terms as a living, breathing part of our world and its political and aesthetic landscape.”

“People are quite detached from their Jewish roots,” says Gutkin. “The Klezmatics fill an incredible void.”

Formed in New York in 1986, the Klezmatics quickly built a devoted following that expanded outward once word spread about this exotic new band that was bringing klezmer back from the abyss. For some fans, the group’s appeal went beyond the music itself. “People have a need for something to hold onto,” says Gutkin. “They want to be part of something.”

Throughout the years a wide range of lyrical ideas has inhabited the Klezmatics’ songs, ranging from contemporary issues of global import facing each of us to matters of intimate love, and from leftist politics to age-old Jewish mysticism. “From early on,” says Sklamberg, “even before we made a conscious effort to make the music our own, we decided that if we sang songs, they would be ones we believed in.”

Live at Town Hall, the newest Klezmatics release, captures the group’s March 5, 2006 20th anniversary concert at the New York venue. Recorded in conjunction with the On Holy Grounddocumentary, the set features a cross-section of music from throughout the Klezmatics’ history, and includes a lengthy list of special guests, among them previous members David Krakauer and Margot Leverett, who had never recorded with the band until this gig. The repertoire draws from the group’s earliest days and material as recent as the Guthrie adaptations.

Says London, “We wanted to celebrate being together for so many years with everyone who has been part of our family.”

The Klezmatics have always been as much about community as music. Says Sklamberg, “The energy and support we received from the local community fueled the band, rather than it being a particular sensibility. At the very least it allowed us the freedom to be us.”

A quarter-century after their formation, the Klezmatics remain committed to their music and to the close relationship they share with their fans. “In 1986,” says Sklamberg, “I never imagined that preserving, disseminating and helping to redefine Yiddish music would become my life’s work. “I certainly don’t think we sound like anyone else.”

Indeed, they don’t. Never have and—should the Klezmatics (hopefully) last another 25 years—it’s a safe guess that no one else ever will!

It all started for the Klezmatics in 1985, with an advertisement for klezmer musicians placed in New York’s Village Voice by a San Francisco clarinetist named Rob Chavez. Frank London was among those answering the ad, and he brought in Lorin Sklamberg, whom London had known only as a Balkan accordionist, not as a singer with an interest in Jewish music.

Lorin Sklamburg can be heard on some 50 CDs, and also composes and performs for film, dance, stage and circus, produces recordings, and teaches and lectures from London and Paris to Kiev and St. Petersburg. By day he works as the Sound Archivist for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The Klezmatics have collaborated with the following musicians and musical groups:
Classical icon Itzhak Perlman
American folk singer Arlo Guthrie
Israeli singer Chava Alberstein
Israeli singer Ehud Banai
Kosher Gospel African-American Jewish singer Joshua Nelson
Jazz singer/organist Kathryn Farmer
Avant-garde jazz keyboardist/vocalist Amina Claudine Myers
Singer-guitarist Raul MidÃ

The Klezmatics, 30th Anniversary Celebration performances:
December 1 @ 8:00 pm
The Town Hall,
123 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036 United States

December 16 @ 7:30 pm MIM Music Theater,
4725 E. Mayo Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85050 United States
MIM Music Theater

December 18 @ 7:30 pm
Stroum Jewish Community Center – Mercer Island Campus,
3801 East Mercer Way
Mercer Island, WA 98040 United States

December 19 @ 8:00 pm
The Pico Union Project,
1153 Valencia Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

December 21 @ 8:00 pm
Freight & Salvage,
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704 United States

December 22 @ 8:00 pm
Segerstrom Center for the Arts,
600 Town Center Drive,
Costa Mesa, , CA 92626 United States

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Acclarion in Concert at Art House in Detroit, Michigan

by Rita Barnea
The Art House of Detroit presents Acclarion on December 3, 2016 at 5:PM at Art House, 59 Alfred Street, Detroit, Michigan.Tickets are $35.

Video 1: Acclarion
Rebecca Sajo-Carovillano, clarinet
David Carovillano, accordion
Performed during October 26, 2016 Brownbag Concert at Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal), Cleveland, Ohio. Sponsored by Music and Art at Trinity

From their FB page: This dynamic duo from Canada will pull you into the magic of music for accordion and clarinet. An unusual combination you say? Well, yes, but the results will shatter your expectations.

Accordionist David Carovillano and clarinetist Becky Sajo-Carovillano have charmed audiences with their unique arrangements of classical masterpieces, sultry tangos, popular folk tunes and original compositions.

Acclarion will take you on a musical tour through Europe mixed with the spontaneous, humorous banter only a husband and wife team can create. Guaranteed to leave a smile on your face!

Featuring music by: Piazzolla, Vaughan-Williams, Morricone, Mozart (imagine a violin sonata played with the beautiful blend of accordion & clarinet! It works!) and more.

A perfect way to begin your Saturday evening Complimentary refreshments will be provided.Cost: $35.00 U.S. per person
Advance registration is required.

Doors open at 4:30 PM
Concert begins promptly at 5:00 PM
Late-comers cannot be accommodated.

Art House is in historic Brush Park at 59 Alfred Street, Detroit
Concert will take place on the third floor
Art House is a historic residence and is not ADA accessible.

Contact the Art House for tickets: or 313-832-2322

For more info on Acclarion:

Titano Accordion Company

Sanfona Summit Debut at Barbés in Brooklyn, NY

by Rita Barnea
Sanfona Summit
Come to Barbés in NYC on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 10:PM
for the debut performance of Sanfona Summit, an accordion trio featuring Vitor Gonçalves, Felipe Hostins and Rob Curto. Excerpts from their FB page:

Vitor Gonçalves is a pianist, accordionist, composer and arranger from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After a illustrious career as an in demand musician in Brazil, playing with such icons as Hermeto Pascoal, Maria Bethânia, Itiberê Zwarg, and many others, he made the move to New York City, where he currently resides.

Since arriving here in 2012, he has garnered much acclaim and built a star lighted resume, including features in NPR’s Jazz Night in America, hosted by Christian McBride and The New York Times. A frequent resident on the stages of Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Jazz Standard, and the Jazz Gallery, he leads his own quartet, co-leads the groups SanfoNYa Brasileira and Regional de NY, and collaborates with figures in the New York scene such as Anat Cohen, Vinícius Cantuária, Anthony Wilson, Cyro Baptista, and others.

He also has played in Jazz Festivals and venues around the world, such as Newport Jazz, Jazz à Vienne, Umbria Jazz Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and the Coliseum in Lisbon, Portugal.

Felipe Hostins -Since his arrival in New York City from Blumenau, Santa Catarina Brazil, Felipe Hostins has had great success and worked extensively with artists such as Cyro Baptista, Richard Bona, Forró in the Dark, Eliano Braz, Davi Vieira, Lilana Araújo and many others. He has become an integral part of the NYC music scene participating in events such as Arian Hellerman's Accordions Around the World in Bryant Park and Brazilian day in Philadelphia.

Rob Curto - Rob Curto (Accordion/Piano/Composer) is widely regarded as the foremost ambassador of Brazilian Forró, in the United States. An early devotee of American swing music, jazz piano, rock and blues, he has combined these influences with his mastery of the Brazilian counterparts forró, choro and samba to produce stunning new results. He has performed extensively in Brazil, completely absorbing and interpreting the country’s musical traditions.

From 2004 to 2011, Rob toured extensively with Grammy Award winning Mexican-American singer Lila Downs, and brilliant Klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, and other world music luminaries. Rob’s band Matuto has been selected as Cultural Ambassadors by the US State Department and most recently toured in Malta, Kuwait,Oman and Spain. In the spring of 2015 they taught songwriting in NYC schools through Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program.

Barbes is located on 376 9th St in Brooklyn, New York.
Call (347) 422-0248

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

Accordion Babes 2017 Calendar is Available Now!

by Rita Barnea
2017 Accordion Babes Calendar
The 2017 Accordion Babes calendar has arrived! Brighten your new year with the sights and sounds of the phenomenally talented, fun, sensual, often underground, and always entertaining Accordion Babes! Accordion Babes are pro-level women musicians who are out there proving that the accordion is sexy.

The calendar is a wonderful holiday gift idea. The 2017 calendar includes a compilation music CD with original songs performed by all the women of the Babes Calendar including:

Ms. January : Skyler Fell
Ms February : Madame T
Ms. March : Shiri Goldsmith
Ms. April : Luz Gaxiola
Ms. May : Sarah Savoy
Ms. June : Renee de la Prade
Ms. July : Adriana
Ms. August : Shawna Olivia
Ms. September : Judy Mitchell
Ms. October : Cicada
Ms. November : Tara Linda
Ms. December: Natasha Enquist
Cover : Susan Hwang

The calendar is $20 and domestic shipping is $5.

On Saturday December 10, 2016 at 8:PM the Accordion Babes Cabaret Revue takes place at the Rhythmix Cutural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave, Alameda, California 94501. Accordionists performing include Renee de la Prade, Skyler Fell, The Hobo Gobbelins, Jet Black Pearl, and Tara Linda. The 2017 Accordion Babes Calendar & Album will be available at this event.

To order 2017 calendars:

Accordion BabesThe Accordion Babes Revue takes place on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 8-11:PM at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda, CA. The cost is $25/advance, $30/day of show. All seating is General Admission. Tickets are non-refundable. For information:, (510) 865-5060.

Excerpts from their website: The Accordion Babes are BACK for a night of squeezebox whimsy featuring Women of the famous Accordion Babes Pinup Calendar. After a short hiatus traveling states and Provinces, evading authorities, accepting marriage proposals and touring the world—all with accordions in tow. This special show features several “babes” in celebration of the 2017 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar/CD—now in its 8th year with new musical releases!

Join them for an evening of seriously fun musical diversity, where the accordion rules the night while crossing musical landscapes as varied as French border towns, Tex-Mex cafes, Absinthe parlors, and Cajun and Rock dance halls. Featuring 4 acts, and 5 Accordionistas, come see how the accordion has evolved in the arms of these seriously talented female-fronted bands.

The accordionists include Tara Linda, Jet Black Pearl, Skylar Fell and Renee De La Prada. Accordionists performing include Renee de la Prade, Skyler Fell, The Hobo Gobbelins, Jet Black Pearl, and Tara Linda. Next year’s Accordion Babes Calendar and Album will be available then.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Announcing – Second Printing of “An Accordion! What Is That?”

by Rita Barnea
If you missed this engaging and popular accordion book for young readers the first time around, here is your chance to “spread the word” and get it into the hands of children everywhere! Available by email from:

Author Karen Malan-Uribe, Illustrator Joan Geller Grauman, and Accordionist/Narrator Mary Tokarski announce the second printing and re-release of their book “An Accordion! What Is That?”

The book will be ready for distribution within the next few weeks, just in time for Christmas! Books can be pre-ordered, and they will be shipped as soon as they are completed, which means you should have them in time for Christmas giving.

Three good friends and fellow accordionists combined their special talents to create a delightful children’s book about their favorite instrument entitled, “An Accordion! What Is That? Looking at the accordion inside and out”. The book includes a CD with narration and music.

Karen Malan-Uribe, award-winning author of children’s books, is the author. Celebrated artist, AAA Board member and AAA Historian, Joan Geller Grauman, illustrated the book and created its mascot, an animated honeybee named, “Buzz Treble”. The CD includes a wonderful narration of the book, as well as music beautifully performed by world renowned accordionist, Mary Tokarski.

In the words of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Former President, Linda Soley Reed: “What a delightful early reader! Yet, it is comprehensive for the older child as well. It is definitely a unique approach to teaching, not only the workings and complexities of the accordion, but the music as well. The accompanying CD and illustrations are a treasure. This book should be included in every school’s required curriculum.”

The book is intended as an early reader, but it includes music and material that can be appreciated by older children, as well as adults.

Books can be pre-ordered at $17.95 each (PLUS a shipping charge of $4.00 for up to 4 books to one address in the US). Orders of 10 or more books to a single address will receive a 20% discount.

Contact Mary Tokarski at for all orders, and for information on additional shipping charges or for orders outside the US.

Spread the word about the accordion to all your grandchildren and all the young people you know! It is a gift that will give joy for years to come! "An Accordion! What Is That?"
Back page

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Accordionist Mario Tacca and Vocalist Mary Mancini in Christmas Concert

by Rita Barnea
Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini
Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca invite all, "A reminder that our traditional candlelight Christmas concert will be held Friday evening December 9, 2016 at Assumption Church in Peekskill, NY!

We hope you will plan to take an evening out of your busy schedule to come and listen to the sounds of Christmas. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Assumption Rectory, 131 Union Avenue, Peekskill, NY. They are also available at the door the night of the concert.

Wishing you the joy and peace of this beautiful Christmas season. Hope to see you on December 9."

Mary Mancini, Soprano and Mario Tacca on accordion and piano perform with the Victor Lionti String Quartet, Randy Smith on percussion and Lew Scott on bass.

Enjoy your favorite Christmas songs and carols, Excerpts rom “The Messiah” and other works by Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldo and more!

Join the musicians after the concert for light refreshments.

Tickets are $17/Adults, $15/Seniors, $7/Under 17

For tickets call:
Assumption Rectory at 914-737-2071
GIOIA Productions at 914-737-8872

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Murl Allen Sanders to Perform in Seattle on December 11

by Rita Barnea
Murl Allen SandersAccordionist Murl Allen Sanders will perform a solo concert on Sunday December 11th, 12:PM until 2:PM, at the Pacific Place Shopping Center, 600 Pine St, Seattle, WA. His program is called Zydeco Holiday Songs

Excerpts from his website: Murl Allen Sanders, musician, composer, teacher and recording artist, has been active in the Seattle area music scene and across the United States, Canada, England, Brazil and Japan. Murl has worked with such diverse artists as Chuck Berry, Etta James, Il Divo, Glenn Yarbrough, Brazilian accordion virtuoso Chico Chagas, virtuoso accordionists Stas  Venglevski and Gary Blair, Leroy Bell, Peter Duchin, Alarm Will Sound, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Cascade Symphony, Everett Philarmonic, Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, The Von Trapp Children, Theodore Bikel, Leslie Gore, Barbara Lamb, Susan Pascal, Warren Rand, Pearl Django, Michael Tomlinson and Kelly Harland, among many others.

Murl teaches piano and accordion privately and is adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts and Shoreline Community College. He has received two grants from The Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to compose “She Blows Hot and Cold” and a grant to compose his “Accordion Concerto #2” which premiered in 2007 with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers. His “Accordion Concerto #1” premiered in 2003. Murl received a 2010 and 2009 ASCAP plus awards.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Henry Doktorski's "Classical Accordion Recital" CD is Available

by Rita Barnea
Classical Accordion RecitalHenry Doktorski’s CD “Classical Accordion Recital" which includes thirty compositions is now available on,on the Apple Streaming App and digital downloads on iTunes. It is a wonderful holiday gift displaying the versatility of the accordion. Order it now to receive it before Christmas.

Classical music on accordion! Tasteful. Artistic. Sophisticated. Not what you might expect. Includes original compositions for converter/free-bass accordion and transcriptions of works by Handel, Bach, Bartok, Gershwin, PIazzolla and others.

Henry Doktorski is an important American concert accordionist. He has performed on accordion with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, violinists Gil Shaham and Itzhak Perlman during concerts and recording sessions with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under conductors Lorin Maazel, John Williams, Mariss Jansons, Julius Rudel, David Del Tredici and Howard Shore.

Doktorski is featured as accordion soloist on six compact discs:
1."A Classical Christmas with the Pittsburgh Chamber Orchestra"
2.."Music by George Gershwin with the Duquesne Chamber Players"—This CD was part of a tribute for the 100th anniversary of Gershwin's birth
3."Vaudeville Accordion Classics: The Complete Works of Guido Deiro"
4."Classical Accordion Recital" The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.
5."Celebrated Polkas by Pietro Deiro" The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.
6."Ave Maria: Hymns to Mary" The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.

Excerpts from the "Classical Accordion Recital" liner notes:
"Classical Accordion Recital" presents stylistically diverse transcriptions and original works for accordion spanning a historical time frame from the mid-eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Many tracks were recorded by WQED-FM producer Paul Johnston at the Welker Room in the Laughlin Music Center at Chatham College in Pittsburgh and were broadcast on radio. Other tracks were recorded by Tom Haas at the recital hall of Duquesne University’s School of Music. No double-tracking was used while recording this album: all selections were played in real-time with a converter/free-bass accordion.

Transcriptions include a partita (published in 1731) for harpsichord by the great Baroque organist and composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), and a charming six-movement Suite for a Musical Clock (1738) by Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759). Both works display the versatility of the free-bass accordion, in which both right and left hands are melodically independent and equal.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856), a German pianist, composer, and Romantic intellectual, wrote piano pieces, songs and choral works, chamber music, concertos, and orchestral works. His Träumerei (from Kinderscenen), written for piano in 1838, portray his adult reminiscences of childhood. The tonal quality of my Victoria accordion is similar to the sound of a fine European harmonium, which was greatly admired during Schumann’s day.

"Hungarian Dance No. 5" is a show-stopping tour de force performed with vigor and passion. This arrangement for stradella accordion is by Anthony Galla-Rini.

Émile Waldteufel (1837-1915) was a composer, performer and conductor of dance music for Parisian aristocracy; in 1865 he was appointed court pianist to the Empress Eugénie and performed at Court functions not only in Paris but also in Biarritz and Compiègne. From 1867 the Waldteufel orchestra played at Napoleon III’s magnificent Court balls at the Tuileries. He is best known today for his Skaters Waltz. This arrangement of" Dolores Waltz" (composed by Waldteufel in 1880) is by Guido Deiro.

Louis F. Muir’s (1884-1950) ragtime hit "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" was composed in collaboration with lyricist L. Wolfe Gilbert. The song was sung by Al Jolson and published in 1913. This arrangement for accordion is by Guido Deiro.

Béla Bartók (1881-1945), the great Hungarian composer, was one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century. His lifetime passion was studying the folk music of his native land and neighboring lands. During his lifetime Bartók collected and classified more than 14,000 folk melodies of Hungarian, Slovak, Rumanian, Croatian, Turkish, Bulgarian, and North African origin. His" Rumanian Folk Dances" (1915) were originally composed for piano.

"Joc cu bite" (Dance with sticks) comes from Mezoszabad, Transylvania. Brâul (Sash dance) refers to a cloth belt worn by men or women and is from Egres, the district of Torontal. "Poarga Româneasca" (Rumanian Polka), a children’s dance/game, and "Maruntel" (Quick dance) hail from the Beleyes district of Bihar on the border between Hungary and Transylvania.

George Gershwin’s (1898-1937) "Three Preludes" were originally written for piano in 1926, but transcribe superbly for the concert accordion. Gershwin was no stranger to the accordion, as his publisher in 1931 gave the great jazz accordionist Cornell Smelser permission to play Rhapsody In Blue on the radio. This was no small honor; at that time only the organist Jesse Crawford and Gershwin himself were permitted to play it. I am also familiar with Gershwin’s music, having recorded Rhapsody In Blue along with ten other Gershwin pieces for Alanna Records. Free-bass is used only in the second movement of Three Preludes.

The American composer, Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000)—who wrote about 400 works, including ten operas, sixty-three symphonies (best known are "Mysterious Mountain", "And God Created Whales", and "Mount St. Helens Symphony"), a hundred choral works, plus dozens of vocal, chamber and instrumental pieces,—wrote several pieces for accordion." Suite for Accordion" (1959) consists of three short movements. The Solene movement is like a chant, almost Gregorian at times, with a bit of dissonance in the introduction and bridge. The Presto is quasi-Baroque and mostly in a natural minor scale. The Allegro Vivo seems to intentionally evoke a bagpipe with a hint of Middle Eastern quarter tones.

Hovhaness once composed a little piece for Doktorski titled Hymn. In a letter dated February 26, 1990, he wrote, “I improvised a hymn for you in 7/4 time—a sacred rhythm—three beats for heaven plus four beats for earth, as you are a religious man.”

The African-American composer William Grant Still (1895-1978) was a classical composer and oboist whose works were influenced by the blues and jazz. "Lilt" was commissioned by the American Accordionists Association in 1966. Still was quoted as describing his accordion piece as a “jaunty, good-humored little tune with an easy, infectious rhythm.”

Stanley Darrow (b. 1930) is a well-known accordionist, teacher, and historian. His Acme Accordion Studio in Westmont, New Jersey, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2002. In 1975 Stanley co-composed "Meteor Shower" with his then-twelve-year old son David (b. 1963). The piece is written in graphic notation and is “an impression of sparse meteor showers and the different sounds one would hear when listening to meteors coming in contact with such items as roof tops, a river, meadows, automobiles, etc.”

Willard A. Palmer (1917-1996), accordionist, educator and author, was best known to accordionists for co-authoring the Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course. He was also internationally-known as an expert on Baroque ornamentation and keyboard pedagogy. Chorale on “Old Hundredth” was originally written for piano in 1977 and features a left-hand ostinato.

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), Argentinean by birth, is famous for his tangos, which were inspired by both classical music and jazz. He wrote over 750 compositions, including concerti, operas, film and theater scores, and made over seventy records. His ballad "Oblivion" was written for the 1984 Marco Bellocchio film Enrico IV and was nominated for a Grammy Award for best instrumental composition in 1995.

In addition to being an accordionist, Doktorski is also a composer. He studied with David Stock and Joseph Wilcox Jenkins at Duquesne University where he received a Master of Music degree in 1997. His Rondo Polska (2002) is a light-hearted and humorous polka in rondo form.

For more information on Henry and ordering the CD:
Call: 412-600-5083

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

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


Linda Soley-Reed Conducts CAA Orchestra in December

by Rita Barnea
Linda Soley-ReedThe Connecticut Accordion Association presents their annual winter concert on December 10, 2016 at 2:PM at the Blackstone Memorial Library on 758 Main St., Branford, Ct.This concert replaces the November and December meetings of the Connecticut Accordion Association.

The CAA orchestra will be led by Conductor Linda Soley-Reed.This concert will feature an accordion orchestra consisting of over 20 performers. The group has performed in and out of state, and includes some of the finest musicians in the accordion world.

Linda has been conductor of the CAA orchestra since the orchestra began, which was shortly after the CAA was born in April of 2004.

Linda has been instrumental in "growing" this orchestra. The first concert at Seven Angels Theater in Waterbury in February of 2005. The orchestra was warmly welcomed by the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in 2006 at it's first concert of the season. Several members performed with the Symphony, an ensemble of performed alone and the entire orchestra entertained post concert.

The CAA orchestra concertized regularly in Connecticut as well as at various AAA related functions and at AAA festivals over the last 12 years. The holiday concert at the Blackstone Library in Branford, CT is consistently well attended.

The orchestra is made up of some 25 accordionists, most of them seasoned musicians. Young accordionists are being added to the mix which is very exciting.

CAA President Marilyn O’Neil said, "Linda has helped all of us grow musically, choosing pieces that are challenging as well as appealing to varied audiences, including classical pieces, jazz, show tunes and the ever favorite ethnic tunes. We have all grown musically under her direction and encouragement.

But what we all love most about Linda is her sense of humor, her sheer endurance despite many challenges and especially her commitment to the accordion world. To say she'll be missed is an understatement, but she surely has done her job in Connecticut."

Immediately following the concert, Connecticut Accordion Association will hold their annual holiday party on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 4:30PM. The party will be at Pompeo’s Restaurant
485 West Main St., Branford, CT
(203) 488-3384

The buffet dinner includes Italian bread, stuffed breads, salad, pasta, rolled eggplant, sausage & peppers, chicken, roast beef, potatoes, vegetables
dessert, coffee/tea. Tickets:
Adults: $25.00
Children (3-12yrs.): $12.00

RSVP and prepay by December 4, 2016 to Marilyn O'Neil
(203) 272-1202. Note: This concert replaces the November and December meetings of the Connecticut Accordion Association.

Mail checks made payable to CAA and mail to:
Marilyn O'Neil
1025 Marion Rd.
Cheshire, CT 06410

AAA Looks Ahead to 2017 . . .

by Mary Tokarski
AAA Logo
2016 comes to a close very soon - I am absolutely amazed at how quickly this year has passed. So many great things are happening for the accordion at AAA. We have worked together to bring our amazing instrument to the young people of America, and we are thankful to each and every one of our members and performers who are out there letting the general public hear our great music.

Events for 2017 are exciting:

April 30th, 2017 - the AAA will host the Carrozza Scholarship Fund Raiser at the Villa Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac, New York. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear our upcoming young artists perform . . . Nathan Chapeton and Cody McSherry (winners of the Carrozza Scholarship Competition in 2015) along with Will Comer (one of our Bennett Composition Competition winners for 2016), Carmen Carrozza’s grandniece Gia Ciccone, and lots of our “seasoned” performers too!

The Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition is proud to announce that this year’s prize for the Open Division will be $500. Rules and regulations are on the AAA website. Tell everyone about it.

Plans for the 2017 SqueezeFest in Princeton, New Jersey are well under way too. The competition will include special categories for our young participants, special “Fast Track” events for young and seasoned alike, workshops par excellence, and concerts not to be missed. The Carrozza Scholarship Competition will be a highlight of the festival. Check out the AAA website at for music requirements and plan to attend. Rules and regulations for all categories will be posted shortly, along with hotel and registration details.

It is exciting to see our organization grow, and to draw great ideas from people in all walks of life who are accordionists, or just love and support the accordion. We have YOU to thank for our growth . . . remember, the association lives only through its membership . . . great members equal a great organization!

The AAA Youth Promotion Program is quickly gaining momentum, and the students involved have had a great time, and have given us terrific feedback. We continue to have instruments donated by individuals, and even a major donation from the WQXR radio station in New York City. The programs are scheduled to continue throughout this school year, and great strides have been made by the Connecticut Accordion Association’s Marilyn O’Neil in receiving a major grant to promote the accordion in the Waterbury area. Information will be documented, and the “how to’s” for the grant writing process and the youth promotion pilot programs will be forthcoming, so we can ALL bring the accordion to our local elementary and high school students!

We are making a difference – thanks for your help!

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Ludovic Beier in the Django Reinhardt Festival at Birdland NYC

by Rita Barnea
Ludovic Beier at Birdland
Ludovic BeierThe 2016 Django Reinhardt NY Festival featuring Gypsy Guitar Legend Dorado Schmitt with Amati Schmitt, accordionist Ludovic Beier, violinist Pierre Blanchard, rhythm guitarist Francko Mehrstein and bassist Xavier Niki and guests provided a very enjoyable and special program which my fiancé, Dr. Leslie Strong, and I were fortunate to attend on November 15, 2016.. He is an enthusiastic aficionado of jazz and raved about the performances.

Concert Producer Pat Philips of Strata Philips Productions introduced the evening thanking Air France for their sponsorship.

The 17th Django Reinhardt Festival carried on the legacy of legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, with original music keeping it fresh, exciting, cutting-edge! .…along with some old favorites.. the music, Hot Jazz, 'swinging and romantic' has exploded across the US and it all started at Birdland in 2000, with the launching of the Festival with tours now twice a year at prestigious standing ovations: Kennedy Center, Disney Hall in LA, SF Jazz, to name a few.

Accordionist Ludovic Beier with his charming and warm personality introduced the songs and instrumentalists. It was very obvious that they all enjoyed performing and sharing their unique talents with the sold out enthusiastic audience. Each displayed their virtuosic technique and sensitive interpretations as they passed the melodies from one to the other.

Included in the program was “Caravan”, “How High the Moon” with Jorge Continentino on saxophone followed by “Tico-Tico” with Jorge on flute. It was tasteful and a soothing blend with the other instruments. A wonderful rendition of “Chocolate” with Jorge on wooden flute was also part of the program.

It was a beautiful and sharing moment to hear "Sad and Beautiful” composed by Dorado Schmitt in the dressing room of Birdland in 2003 for his wife featuring Ludovic Beier on accordina. Dorado’s lovely wife was in the audience, obviously proud of both her husband and son, Amati.

Dorado Schmitt, a legendary Manouche gypsy guitarist from the Strasbourg region of France, a Django look- alike with pencil thin mustache, returned to Birdland to adoring fans. Schmitt started coming to the US in 2002 and is now a star attraction at major festivals as well as at Birdland.

Dorado was joined by his son, Amati Schmitt, a brilliant guitarist at 20 years old, plus other talented musicians appearing regularly as part of the Festival: Virtuoso accordionist/accordina player Ludovic Beier, Pierre Blanchard on Violin, Francko Mmehrstein on rhythm guitar, and Xavier Niki on Bass. The special guest at the program o November 15, 2016 was Jorge Continentino on flute and saxophone. The Festival was produced by Pat Philips Strata originally founded by Ettore Stratta and Pat Philips.

Ludovic and the group are presently on a cross country tour after NY Birdland to The Dakota in Minn., SF Jazz, The Athenaeum in San Diego, Mizner in Boca Raton Florida, and ending at the Faena in Miami before they return to France.

Birdland, located on 315 West 44th Street, NYC is an exciting and very comfortable venue. The dinner, drinks, and appetizers were delicious and reasonable. All seats provided an excellent view of the stage. The sound system was superb. (Not too loud). All the people who work there were very accommodating and friendly. Parking was convenient and inexpensive. We are looking forward to going there again in the near future.

For further information on Birdland:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Guy Klucevsek Performs with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekOn November 15, 2016 the Greenwich Symphony, for the first time in the history of the orchestra’s Young People’s concerts, devoted an entire concert to soloists. Special guest accordionist, Guy Klucevsek, demonstrated his virtuosic skills on the accordion with his piece “Ratatatatouille” for accordion and orchestra.

Additional compositions included the Mozart "Horn Concerto" played by the orchestra's principal horn player; the cool sounds of the “Concerto for Vibraphone and Clarinet,” a composition by composer Max Simoncic, the conductor’s father. The principal cellist played a beautiful “Rondo" by Dvořák. Ten year-old Carlotta Maestri from Italy played the "Haydn Piano Concerto".

Tara Simoncic is the associate conductor of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra. Tara Simoncic has enjoyed working as the Greenwich Symphony’s Associate Conductor since 2011 and is thrilled to embark upon her fourth season as the Music Director of the Greenwich Symphony’s Young People’s Concerts, which bring classical music to thousands of students in the Greenwich area each year. Comfortable in all genres, Ms. Simoncic frequently works with symphony, opera, and ballet companies in the U.S. and abroad.

Guy’s future performances include:
Feb. 25, 2017, 6 PM: Staten Island: Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Concert in Celebration of Guy's 70th birthday, with Todd Reynolds, violin, Kamala Sankaram, accordion and voice, and Guy on accordion, playing his compositions.

March 17, 2017: Brooklyn, NY: Roulette
Music of Robin Holcomb

May 11, 2017, 8:PM
Brooklyn, NY: Roulette
Debut of Guy's new group, the Bellows Brigade, with accordionists Will Holshouser, Nathan Koci (doubling bass accordion), and Kamala Sankaram (doubling voice). Compositions by all members of the group, and the premiere of a piece by David Mahler.

For further information:

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

AAA Valtaro Celebration… A Huge Success

by Rita Barnea
AAA President Mary TokarskiThe AAA presented their annual Valtaro Celebration held at the Magnanini Farm Winery in Walkill, NY on November 26, 2016. It was a huge success. Over 150 people were treated to non stop accordion music of all types, dancing, and a delicious dinner. It was great to see accordion friends and make new ones.

Welcome and introductions were presented by AAA President Mary Tokarski and Mario Tacca as Master of Ceremonies. Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini, singing in many languages, entertained with music from around the world.

The program included outstanding accordionists and musicians with Anita and Bob Siarkowski entertaining, as always, for the cocktail hour and dressed in their unique festive matching holiday attire.

Dance music was provided by Emilio Magnotta, Domenic Karcic, Ray Oreggia, Frank Toscano, Mary Tokarski, Jim Baldwini (Guitar). Eddie Monteiro and Frank Toscano entertained with wonderful jazzy improvised duets.The percussionist was Ricci Saracino and Phil Battiston.

Dr. Joseph Ciccone, Dr. Bruce Naylor, Bruce Nielsen, and Fred Schwinger also played for dancing.

Photo left: Dr. Joseph Ciccone, Frank Toscano, Eddie Monteiro, Emilio Magnotta, Rita Barnea.

A special highlight was the performance of Dr. Joseph Ciccone’s young daughters, Gia, and Reagen, who performed several wonderful solos. They were both poised, played beautifully, and were well prepared by their music teacher, Mario Tacca. Photo right: President Mary Tokarski, Reagen, Gia, and Dr. Joseph Ciccone.

A special thank you to all the performing Artists for donating their time and talents toward this fundraising effort.

Down photo: Ray Oreggia, Mario Tacca, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Ricci Saracino, Dominic Karcic
Ray Oreggia, Mario Tacca, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Ricci Saracino, Dominic Karcic

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

2016 Honors Accordion Orchestra Cruise with Conductor Stas Venglevski

by Shelia Lee
Stas VengleskiWhat an event!!! We had 35 people on board with us, and 22 accordionist and one cello player that came together from all over the US and Canada to rehearse and perform 2 fantastic concerts. The section leaders formed a Chamber Accordion Orchestra and performed in Houston on the day we returned.

Under the direction of Stas Venglevski, the rehearsals were intensive but FUN!! Stas had distributed 10 selections for the orchestra to rehearse and all proved to be fantastic and great audience pleasers!!! EVEN the Pasadena - that he kept avoiding until the last rehearsal - and we VOTED to include it - and then we still ran out of songs for the Cruise Concert - we had many standing ovations!!!!

The unique quality of this Honors Accordion Orchestra cruise - was that the rehearsals were constructed to instruct as well and encourage all level players. In fact - there were sectional rehearsals, Chamber Orchestra rehearsals, and full orchestra rehearsals - all on the AT SEA days - leaving our Port days - to enjoy the sites. AND all this culminated in a concert for the PUBLIC - not just for a cloistered accordion group. There were actually 2 concerts - in public venues - one on-board the ship as well as a venue in Houston.

To add to the fun - was the jamming we did after dinner - in the foyers of the ship. We were able to do our OWN advertising for the final concert on the final day of the cruise - every time we were rolling our accordions all over the ship and our jam sessions!

Shelia Lee and Megumi Hada were the organizers of the cruise.

For further information:
Cruise concert

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

2016 Accordion Noir Festival World Premieres and Innovators

by Rita Barnea
Each year the Accordion Noir Society commissions local artists to create new works and presents premieres by visiting artists. Their belief is that alternative accordion arts is an exciting emerging art-form worth fighting for.

The video above is of the 2016 Festival “New Works” Highlights
The organization welcomes feedback. Please send comments and suggestions to

The 2016 Accordion Noir Festival presented alternative accordion world premiers and innovators at the York Theatre on Sept 9, 2016. "The Conqueror Worm" was a 30 minute multimedia creation by Patrick Farrell and Ben Holmes of New York which featured animated illustrations by Natalie C. Sousa. "Paleomagnetism", composed by Nathan Shubert, was a minimalist work for sheng and accordion in a five piece ensemble.

It was commissioned by the festival to explore the timbral and expressive space between two very different instruments belonging to the same family, free-reed aerophones, the sheng far pre-dating the accordion by several thousand years. The other creative innovators who were presented at this same event are Jet Black Pearl (Amsterdam, Portland), Nefertiti in the Kitchen (Rennes) and Duo Finelli (Seattle, San Francisco).

The Accordion Noir Society is a volunteer run organization that promotes multi-genre, non-competitive accordion, and free-reed music and arts for artistic growth and community building. The organization is interested in music that speaks to people's hearts, advances the artistic community, and promotes social and cultural diversity. Annually they feature a weekly radio program, monthly community circle, extensive online resources, and a Festival.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

"Squeezers of Brooklyn Accordion Club" Card Set is Available

by Rita Barnea
Squeezers Poster BAC
Looking for a perfect gift for your squeezer friends/family member? "Squeezers of Brooklyn Accordion Club" will be a perfect stocking stuffer!

Pick up your set(s) at the Brooklyn Accordion Club December meeting with a special guest on Sunday, December 11, 2016 or email for mail-in order!

Ships globally. $10 per set. Pioneers include: Peter Flint, Liora Codor, Denise Koncelik, Robert Duncan, Matthew Fass, Phillip Racz, Patrice Escandon and Ivan Filipchyk at 61 Local.

The December 11 BAC meeting will be held at 61 Local at 61 Bergen Street at Smith Street in Brooklyn, New York.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

San Francisco Accordion Club Features Accordion Circle

by Rita Barnea
The San Francisco Accordion Club is featuring their new Accordion Circle format for the second time on December 18, 2016 at 2:PM.

It is a wonderful idea to enable accordionists at all levels to gain confidence in their playing. From the SFAA website:"One of the intentions in exploring this new format is for the club to support its members on their own journeys' as accordionists and performers. Any person or group who has prepared a piece they would like to play (or sing) in front of an audience is encouraged to do so - no arrangements need to be made ahead of time.

If you aren't quite ready yet, but would like to make sure there is a spot for you at a future meeting, you may contact Mike Zampiceni at eclecticguy@comcast.netand he will hold a spot open for you.

The Accordion Circle meetings are also a time to share information and experiences. If there is a topic you would like to know more about, or would like to share knowledge you feel would be helpful for the rest of the group let Mike know."

Professional talent will perform on the odd months of the year. The even months are for all accordionists to perform.

All of the SFAA programs are open to the public. The address is:
911 Marina Blvd.
South San Francisco

For further information:

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Gary Dahl Releases Polka eBook and Christmas Carols eBook

by Gary Dahl
Polka Collection by Gary DahlTraditional Christmas Carols eBook by Gary DahlCollection #10 Catalog: DH10-eB Only US$18.50 or Euro equivalent.

Two newly released great value eBooks, that are emailed to you.

Gary Dahl writes: "The goal for the Polka eBook is to provide favorite popular polkas in varying degrees of difficulty. Clarinet, Achtung Los and Beer Barrel polkas represent professional stylings and are designed for spectacular sounding performances.

All of the arrangements are entertaining and playable for the intermediate player while providing valuable material for the professional accordionist. The selections use both 4/4 and 2/4 time signatures for traditional presentation and all of the polkas are to be played with similar tempo and interpretation.

The Polka and the Accordion are inseparable. Every accordionist must by popular demand, have a reasonably extensive polka repertoire. This eBook will provide hours of enjoyment and entertainment for the accordion student, recreational player and professional accordionist."

Traditional Christmas Carols eBook, Collection #9 Catalog: DH09-eB Only US$18.50 or Euro equivalent.

Gary Dahl writes: "21 Famous Traditional Christmas Carols - great value. Every year more than 400 million people celebrate Christmas around the world. The great tradition of singing and playing Christmas hymns and carols is celebrated in almost every country, no matter which language is spoken in the home. It is a common musical bond, and one that creates our most cherished memories.

Within this edition you will find original arrangements of the best-loved Christmas songs, spanning four centuries of musical development. Enjoy performing and sharing these impressive-sounding new arrangements with your family and friends, and create your own Christmas traditions with the accordion."

Angela Falcetti to Perform for National Italian Club

by Sam and Peggy Falcetti
Angela FalcettiThe Unico Italian Club of Springfield, Mass. has hired 11 year old
Angela Falcetti for the 2nd year to provide entertainment during
their annual Christmas Party dinner on December 14, 2016.

Angela started on the accordion at 6 years of age and has won several trophies for her participation in both regional , (New England Music Festival in Boston), and national, (American Accordion Association in N.Y.)

Angela started on an acoustic accordion and switched to a Roland Digital Accordion two years ago. She loves to sing and play and has no fear of introducing her own program and handling the entire process of entertaining her audience. Her first gig was at 9 years old when she was hired and performed a Christmas Concert at a local Senior Center.

Her teacher and grandfather, Sam Falcetti, was apprehensive about sending her out to perform by herself so he played a few duets with her, but of course she was the hit of the party.

Angela plays all genres of music from Broadway to Pop to Polka and Jazz. She has just recently found a new love: Jazz, Scat Singing and Improvising. She loves to participate in talent shows, frequently plays at her school, has performed in “The Lion King Jr." and “The Little Mermaid” has been taking dance lessons for 6 years.

She also recorded a half hour session on her Roland Digital Accordion for Public TV which appeared on National News.

Future events

The Red Lantern Accordionist: AAA's 23rd Year Master Class and Concert Series

by William Schimmel
AAA Logo
Dr. William SchimmelAccordion Culture is based on Contests. Championship Contests - much like sports.

Who comes in First of course is the Champion - whether its the World Champion, The U.S.

Champion or the Whatever Champion.

Sometimes the term, Champeen, is used.

There are those who come in Second and Third - they get trophies - but they are not Champions - or Champeens.

What about last place?

Ever watch a marathon? - and the final runner still running while practically every one has gone home or partying? He or She just wants to make it to the end - to run the course - personal best and proud to be a part of it - as St. Paul says - “I fought the good fight. I have kept the Faith”.

that’s the red lantern winner - last place - a last place winner

We have Red Lantern Accordionists - The backbone of the industry - in it for the long

haul - signed up for the whole ride - putting other’s interests first - working for the betterment of

the culture.

We dedicate this weekend to the Red Lantern Accordionist - may his or her light shine bright!!

Are you crying yet?

OK - We got the maudlin s*** out of the way - now let’s get down to the real deal of it.

the red lantern accordionist doesn’t think too much about making a difference.

He or She already has - by constantly showing up and working.

The Red Lantern Accordionist doesn’t think too much about His or Her relevance.

Too busy helping others - including those who think they are.

The Red Lantern Accordionist is not concerned about making history every time

He or She takes a breath or makes an excrement - much too busy in the mere doing of their art,

and trying to improve it - and yours as well.

The Red Lantern Accordionist can be a bit cynical at times - He or She knows a little too much - been around a bit - knows that their days are numbered and wants to make the most of them - some quietly - some with a vengeance.

Red Lantern Accordionists never quite know whether they have won or lost the good fight - even at the end - and neither did St. Paul - or Don Quixote - or any warrior worth mentioning.

He or She has totally obliterated themselves - understands the value of the Third Banana - is tempered like steel - has been through the fire - and came out it wounded, vulnerable and stronger than an ox - a work horse - a mule.

Red Lantern Accordionists are kind - happy and a bit sad - and not to be f***** with.

There Is No Logical Reason To Become A Red Lantern Accordionist

Red Lantern Accordionists Are Called

By who?

Don’t Quite Know


they feel the call

of a different winning

of hard labor

of doing hard time

for no reason

other than to do it

as best as they can

because they can

if you are one of them

this is your time

your weekend

others are welcome too

as long as you bring your checkbook

but the focus will be - Red Lantern

shine away - champeen!


Don’t be a pollyanna! Avoid bouncy bouncy bounce!!


American Accordionists’ Association Master Class and Concert Series

Dr. William Schimmel - moderator and curator

The red lantern accordionist

Our 23rd smash year

July 28, 29, 30, 2017 at the Tenri Cultural Institute

43a West 13th Street - between 5 and 6 Aves

Master Classes at 3:PM - ending at 5:PM

Concerts at 7:PM - ending at 9:PM

$25.per Master Class...$30. per concert
$50. per day - includes Master Class and concert
$135. per entire weekend

Reservations and information - 212 876 0827 -

Voci Armoniche

Alexander Sevastian, Bayan Mix, Quartetto Gelato Performances in 2017

by Rita Barnea
Alexander Sevastian Poster

2017 will be a very busy year for Alexander Sevastian. The Voice Afire pocket Opera-Cabaret presents Tango Dreams/Serenity featuring Alexander Sebastian who will perform at Symphony Space on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 3:30 PM. Tickets are $20. For Seniors, students, and children, the price is $15. Day of show tickets are $25

The concert includes World Champion accordionist Alex Sevastian and world-renowned clarinetist Julian Milkis, as well as the Voice Afire Strings. This multi-media concert moves from turbulence to serenity in music by composers Ray Luedeke and Giya Kancheli. Ray Luedeke's Tango Dreams for accordion, clarinet, and string trio will include sultry tango visuals. Miniatures for accordion and clarinet are derived from famed, Georgian composer Giya Kancheli's music for theater and cinema.

From Alexander's website: Alexander Sevastian is a winner of the prestigious Coupe Mondiale International Accordion Competition in 2007 in Washington, DC. He is also a winner of three other competitions such as The Oslofjord (Norway 1998), Cup of the North (Russia 2000), Antony Galla-Rini (USA 2001).

A native of Minsk, Belarus where he finished the Glinka College (class of Miron Boula) Alexander went to Moscow to study with famous Friedrich Lips. While he was a student, Mr. Sevastian joined a Russian TV folk instrument orchestra and with a great support from the conductor Nikolai Nekrasov he became a featured soloist.

After graduating from the Gnessin Academy of Music and getting a Master Degree in performance, Alexander moved to Toronto, Canada. Soon after he got an Advanced Certificate in Performance from the University of Toronto (class of Joseph Macerollo) and joined famous ensemble Quartetto Gelato. With this group Alexander has toured every province in Canada and almost every state in the USA. They will perform at the 2016 AAAFestival in Buffalo, New York taking place from July 6-10, 2016.

After his triumphal victory at the Coupe Mondiale in 2007 Alexander 's solo career began to thrive. He has had several solo tours of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Prairies. He was invited to perform recitals at several prestigious festivals in Vancouver, Victoria, Mont-Treblant, Montmagny, Las-Vegas, Stresa (Italy), Kraguevac (Serbia), Castelo Branco (Portugal), Samara (Russia).
Alexander was featured soloist with several leading North America symphony orchestras, including The Toronto Symphony with a very successful debut in 2008.

Alexander became a Canadian citizen in 2005. He is married and lives in Thornhill, Ontario with his wife Anna and son Vova.

Photos by Vladimir Kevorkov.

For further information:
Quartetto Gelato

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano to be Guest Artists for LIAA

by Rita Barnea
Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano
La Villini Restaurant of East Northport, NY is sponsoring the next meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 6:PM. The featured guest artists will be Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano.

Born and raised in New York, Frank came from an Italian family who valued the idea of music being played in the house constantly. Without a choice from his father, Frank took lessons on the Accordion under the direction of Emilio Chiesa and never dreamed that it would became the passion of his life!

“Emilio provided me with a solid classical foundation, for which I am forever grateful. I was very fortunate to have such a great teacher who he himself is also a Virtuoso Accordionist.” As Frank continued through the years practicing, he mastered the instrument and it was only natural for him to become a professional musician. He wanted more though...more music... and so he learned, studied jazz and mastered the art of playing the Piano (taught himself) and at the age of twenty-one opened the Frank Toscano Music School.
Now some fifty years later the school continues to flourish with young and not so young talent. Still teaching everyday, his undying passion for music and performing never seems to subside.

Frank has performed live with and for many artists including Michail Baryshnikov and Aidan Quinn and can also be heard on many recordings of other artists... too numerous to mention. Frank performed for Steve Schirripa and the entire Soprano’s Cast. He has also had the pleasure of performing with Joe Piscoppo and Vocalist Debra Toscano. Frank has performed many steady engagements at many prominent clubs in the Tri-State area such as the Playboy Club, North Hempstead Country Club, Rockland Country Club and many more.

Frank arranged, conducted and performed on his two great CD’s. “Accordion To Frank”, a solo CD which embraces the flavor of Traditional styled music laced with a hint of Modern Jazz paying homage to his Accordion heritage. The second CD entitled “The Amazing Accordion Kings” was performed with two other great Accordionists, Angelo DiPippo and Manny Corallo. This latest CD was arranged, conducted, produced & performed by these three phenomenal artists and contains a compilation of Opera to Jazz.

Composer, arranger and music editor Manny Corallo started at age four playing the drums and soon switched to the accordion. Manny took lessons from his father’s accordion teacher – Frank Toscano! As Manny says, it was at first a father son-bonding thing to both play the accordion. But soon Manny had a lifelong love affair with music. At age 13 he also began piano lessons with Frank and has gone on to compose and arrange music, first for commercials, and then he began arranging for various artists. Manny then had a chance to score a children’s cartoon, which led him to scoring music for the movie Pokemon. Manny has gone on to score and arrange music for many projects including recordings and live productions.

Manny attributes his success to a great music education from Frank Toscano and is very proud of his musical relationship with Frank and Angelo Di Pippo as the Accordion Kings. Check out Manny’s arranging workshop and performance with the Accordion Kings!Manny Corallo, member of the "Amazing Accordion Kings" has recorded a CD, "It's An Accordion Christmas". It is an amazing CD of big band, swing, and traditional orchestral arrangements with the accordion as the lead instrument.

Manny said,“Frank is an incredible jazz accordionist and pianist, and a great friend too.” he said. ”He provided me with the solid musical foundation that I rely on today, and I always thank Frank for giving me that.” Manny met another great musician, Angelo DiPippo. “Angelo is another incredible jazz accordionist and is an accomplished and well known arranger and conductor.”

This festive CD, dedicated to his parents, was arranged and produced by Manny who played a Giulietti Supermodel accordion for the recording. Other musicians accompanying Manny on the CD are: Tony Drago (drums), David Finck (bass), Bob Mann (guitar), Richie Rodriguez (percussion), Ron Fox (trumpet), Rob Susman (trombone), Matt Cowan (saxophone), Belinda Whitney, Carol Pool, Cenovia Cummins (violins). Photos of Manny by Tanya Henigman.

Manny returned to CW Post College to get his Bachelors degree in Music Education, and continued his arranging projects. Manny had regarded himself as an arranger for so long that it never occurred to him to try to compose music. He got a chance to score a TV commercial then realizing he truly loves to score music. Manny soon after arranged a Gospel album at this time, for Wayne E.N. Ireland-Cleghorne entitled “God’s Love” recorded at Sonic Sound.

“What a thrill for me, hearing the choir. To do something different, it was exciting to work on.” Around this time, Manny worked on many different projects playing accordion on various ethnic albums. But the desire to score was growing within him. Manny had the opportunity to score “Mr. Men & Little Miss” a children's cartoon, and the producer was so happy with the job that Manny did, that the next project that came along was to be given to Manny was “Pokemon” leading to Pokemon’s motion pictures and many more projects including the animated television series "Tama & Friends", "Kirby Right back at ya", "Fighting Foodons", "Shaman King", "Sonic X" and others.

If you play the accordion, please bring your instrument and play a “song or two.” Everyone is welcome to participate!

People who love to just listen to accordion music are most cordially invited to attend. Come join us! It is a fun evening. Bring your friends. Reservations are recommended.

Check out LIAA on Facebook:

Place: La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road,East Northport, NY 11731
Phone: 631 – 261 – 6344
You can also e-mail your reservation to Frank

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

Accordion Cowboy Chris Rybak: Holiday Programs and 2017 Valentine Cruise

by Rita Barnea
Cruise poseter
Chris RybakTexas Accordion Cowboy Chris Rybak will entertain in the following shows: Tomball German Christmas Market on December 9 - 11, 2016 and it is one of the best German Festival in the USA! Check them out on or Free admission, free parking, free shuttle, 4 music stages, carnival, almost 200 vendors and so much more!

Excerpts from his website: Chris Rybak is one of the most popular accordion entertainers in Texas and can be found performing on the national and international level throughout the year. Chris's show utilizes his talents on the accordion, along with keyboards, a trumpet and vocals. Chris Rybak Band plays a variety of music including Country & Western, Polka, Cajun & Zydeco, Tex-Mex, Folk, Rock & Roll and other styles.

Rybak has charmed countless audiences of all ages, opinions and musical tastes, as he plays over 150 dates a year that include everything from the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio, the German Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Labor Day's Czech West Fest in Central Texas, Oktoberfests in Lousianna, Oklahoma and other states, NAMM Shows in Austin, TX, Nashville, TN and Anaheim, CA, and the Texas Renaissance Fest in Plantersville (near Houston), just to name a few.

He has taken his music multiple times to Europe, including touring the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia (the homeland of his wife Edita). Chris played on several cruise ships going to Alaska and Caribbean.

With influences on his music as varied as that of Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, Flaco Jimenez, Myron Floren, Floyd Cramer, and George Strait, it's no wonder that he is capturing the hearts of thousands of people all around the world.

Five more cabins are available on the Valentine Polka Cruise which is going to Cozumel Mexico, Belize and Mahogany Bay on February 12 - 19, 2017. Bring your spouse, a friend or family member and join this fun cruise with Polka Parties and so much more! Over 100 people going already!

For more info: or
Edita at or 512-963-6660.


Accordion Pops Orchestra Concert in May 2017

by Rita Barnea
Al TerzoThe Accordion Pops Orchestra conducted by Alfred Terzo announces their future performance to take place on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 3:PM at the:
East Brunswick Community Arts Center
721 Cranbury Road
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Conductor since 2011, Al Terzo is a teacher, arranger, and conductor who has been with the orchestra since its inception in 1970. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and National Association of Music Educators. Mr. Terzo serves on the governing board of the American Accordionists Association and is a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He his an accomplished accordionist who has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark's Symphony Hall. Currently Mr. Terzo teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.

A CD/DVD Boxed Sets of their performances would be a wonderful holiday gift. Volume 1”The Newest Sound and Sight” and Volume 2: “Pop goes the Weasel”. The price is $25 each, both for $40 plus $5 shipping fee. The orchestra is also available for performances and you are welcome to contact them if you are interested in joining the orchestra.

Selections from the first CD include: "Bagatelle Overture", "Manha de Carnaval", "The Juggler", "Mancini in Concert","La Moticieletta (Motorcycle Polka)", "Drummer's Delight", "Tiger Rag", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Conflict--An Overture on Civil War Themes" and "Radetzky March". You can see the orchestra on YouTube:

Details of the orchestra's 2017 spring concert will be included in the USA news as they become available. In the meantime, mark your calendars!

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