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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2017
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Gary Dahl Passes Away (1937 - 2017), Puyallup - WA
Stephen Dominko Passes Away
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Dwayne Dopsie is Nominated for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards
Passing of Horace Lazzari (1924 - 2017), Walla Walla
Video: Joe Cerrito, Alex Dilan and Michelle Giglio Perform - Florida
Michael Bridge Performs With Niagara Symphony Orchestra
A Candlelight Christmas Concert with Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini
Hanzhi Wang and Ivan Filipchyk in NYC Concert on December 30
Hanzhi Wang is First Accordionist to Receive 2017 Young Artists Award
Dr.William Schimmel Announces the 2018 Accordion Seminars: “Thinking Inside the Box"
Cory Pesaturo Recent Performances, Honorary Member Emeritus in Michigan
AJ Castillo: Latin Musician on the Rise
The Klezmatics Winter Schedule
Julien Labro Performs in USA Tour
Gene Pritsker's Accordion Compositions in Concert
National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Announces 2018 “President’s Innovation Award” Winner Vincent Demor

Voci Armoniche

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

"Accordions Rising" News: Streaming on all Platforms.
Christmas Sheet Music Available Online
Happy Holidays from the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) - USA
Brooklyn Accordion Club in Holiday Concert on December 3rd
SqueezinArt New Website Now Online - USA
Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra in Winter Concert
Connecticut Accordion Association Holiday Concert
"Daddy Squeeze" in Winter Performances
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society Concert
Free Postage, Super Value Christmas Gifts Books by Benetoux
Cody McSherry Performs in Christmas Musical Production – USA

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

2018 National Accordion Association (NAA): Invitation to Register
Accordion Cowboy Chris Rybak: Holiday Programs and European Tour
Frank Toscano and Manny Corallo to Perform for Long Island Accordion Alliance
Annual NAAC Member Meeting 2017
Ron Borelli and San Francisco Accordion Club Events

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

New and Updated Sites

Accordion Russia News Change of Format - Russia



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Christmas 2017
Rita and LeslieWelcome to the last USA news publication of 2017! In 2018, you will see an expanded version of the news with even 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 10th year as National Editor! Over the years I have produced 108 publications and almost 3000 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 too 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 2016, there were 1.27 million page views 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.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season. Be sure to check out the great accordion gifts that are mentioned in this issue. The holidays are quickly approaching! So much shopping to do. But wait, the holidays are much more than frenzied buying sprees!

It is time to think about others who are less fortunate. You can be generous with whatever musical talents you possess. What about sharing your holiday songs by playing for a senior center, hospital, or family gathering?

As those of us who have played for people already know… everyone enjoys music and marvels at HOW DO YOU DO THAT? on the accordion? The buttons, the keys, the bellows…. adults and children are always fascinated with the accordion. Playing the accordion is both pleasing to the ear and captivating to the eye. It is never boring!

So, why not be brave and go out there and play whatever you know for someone who doesn't know the accordion!

And…… since you are still going to go shopping anyway…….. please consider supporting the many accordion artists, composers, and writers…… who have created many wonderful musical gifts that you can consider giving as presents. They are inexpensive and you will be giving a gift that is entertaining, educational and, at the same time, supportive of our fellow musicians. Gift ideas include accordion related DVD’s, CD’s, tickets to an accordion event, a new accordion, etc.

Don't forget that while you are making time for shopping, put aside some time for practicing and sharing your music.

As always, send your comments/ideas to me at

Make sure you read the 2018 January USA news for a comprehensive list and description of upcoming festivals, concerts, and more!

Happy Holidays to you and your family from everyone at Accordions Worldwide!(AWW)

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

Rita Barnea

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

Gary Dahl Passes Away (1937 - 2017), Puyallup - WA

by Harley Jones
Gary DahlOne of America's best known accordion arrangers with more than a dozen books currently in publication by Mel Bay plus 10 popular eBooks and over 200 solo arrangements selling online, has passed away on the 2nd December.

Gary Dahl was a well known teacher, virtuoso accordionist as well as a composer, arranger and recording artist.

His daughter, professional musician Leesa Dahl, wrote: "My daddy, the great Gary Dahl passed away peacefully yet unexpectedly at home in Puyallup, WA early this morning. He had just made it to 80, though he always promised me he'd live to at least 120.

He had a big personality and was a passionate "stage mom" in my early years, having been my first piano teacher. He was a veteran, a pilot, a jazz virtuoso, arranger, renowned pedagogue, loved the Mariners and Seahawks, and most importantly loved my sweet mother and me.

There are no words to describe the incredible influence he had on me as a musician. I'm still in complete shock, but when I'm home for Christmas I will be playing his arrangements of carols and I hope he will he listening."

Further information will be added when it comes to hand.

Titano Accordion Company

Stephen Dominko Passes Away

by Rita Barnea
Stephen DominkoOn Sunday 10th December Stephen Dominko passed away. Stephen Dominko had performed on the Lawrence Welk Show and as part of Leonard Bernstein’s Young Persons’ concerts.

He won the USA Championship and in 1964 went on to represent the USA at the Coupe Mondiale in Toronto Canada, which he won 1st place. 2nd was William Cosby USA.

Further information will be listed here as it comes to hand.

Recent article

Voci Armoniche

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

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

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

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

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

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

Accordion Jazz Chords

Dwayne Dopsie is Nominated for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards

by Rita Barnea
Dwayne Dopsie
Video 1:

Dwayne Dopsie has been nominated for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.

On November 28, 2017, Dwayne Dopsie said, "Today I’m overly excited to announce I’m nominated for a Grammy award for 2018! This is something I’ve worked hard for a long time !”

The nominees for the Best Regional Roots Music Album:
Top Of The Mountain — Dwayne Dopsie And The Zydeco Hellraisers
Ho’okena 3.0 — Ho’okena
Kalenda — Lost Bayou Ramblers
Miyo Kekisepa, Make A Stand [Live] — Northern Cree
Pua Kiele — Josh Tatofi

Excerpts from his website: “America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne Dopsie plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music. This singer/songwriter and accordionist has performed all over the world since debuting his band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, at age 19.

Dwayne, born March 3, 1979 in Lafayette, Louisiana, was the last of eight children. Dwayne attributes his musical ablilities to his father, Rockin' Dopise, Sr., a pioneer of Zydeco music. As a small child, Dwayne was interested in the washboard, but quickly realized he had incredible talent with an accordion.

He has played the accordion since age seven and states, "This is my calling - Zydeco music is in my blood and it is my heart and soul." As a tribute to his late father, the most influential person in his life, Dwayne plans to record an album of his Dad's greatest Zydeco hits.

Dwayne Dopsie and his Hellraisers have performed in 20 different countries and in hundreds of cities Bcause of the energy and power of the music they play, he has been nominated for a Grammy award in 2007, and also nominated for the last 7 years for best accordion and artist from Off Beat Magazine Awards . September 2016, He was on "Louisiana Rising" with Harry Connick Jr and Randy Jackson, performing their song for the flood victims called "Rollercoaster" which is one of the songs on their new cd, soon to be released in 2017 .

"Dwayne takes the instruments and traditions of zydeco to new levels infusing blues, soul and funk with a driving rub-board rhythm. The Zydeco Hellraisers’ sound is relentless, pulsating and funky, easily appealing to fans of all genres.” – Toledo City Paper

"He has no competition in his genres, he's the Jimmy Hendrix of the accordion"- Rolling Stone magazine

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers future performances include:

Friday, December 1 @ 8:00 PM Silver Slipper Casino Stage Bar, Bay St-Louis, MS 39520
Saturday, December 2 @ 8:00 PM Silver Slipper Casino Stage Bar, Bay St-Louis, MS 39520
Saturday, December 9 @ 7:00 PM Private event Philadelphia, PA
Friday, December 22 @ 10:15 PM D.B.A New Orleans, LA 70116
Sunday, January 28, 2018 @ 3:00 PM 16th Annual Gumbo Fest Shell Factory & Nature Park (outdoor stage), Fort Myers, FL 33903
Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 6:00 PM 2300* Fire & Ice Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium, Corning, NY 14830
Friday, February 23, 2018 Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival Boquete, Panama
Saturday, February 24, 2018 Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival Boquete, Panama
Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 9:00 PM Mudbug Madness Festival Festival Plaza, Shreveport, LA 71101
Friday, July 27, 2018 The Volunteer Fireman's Memorial Bandshell City Park, Reading, PA
Saturday, July 28, 2018 @ 9:00 PM Big Bend Blues Festival Riverside Amphitheatre, Pomeroy, OH

The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at a new time: 7:30–11 p.m. ET and 4:30–8 p.m. PT.

For further information:
Lucy Bertrand


Passing of Horace Lazzari (1924 - 2017), Walla Walla

by Rita Barnea
Horace Lazzari, Walla Walla Symphony Orchestra, 1961
Horace LazzariPictures above: 1. Horace Lazzari Performs Manhattan Concerto with the Walla Walla Symphony Orchestra, April 1961. 2. Horace Lazzari with students.

Accordionist Horace Lazzari 93, passed away on Nov. 11, 2017, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center. Born on October 17, 1924 in Fort William (Now Thunder Bay) Ontario, Canada, Horace was known as Canada's "Boy Wonder of the Accordion" by the age of nine.

Lazzari has musical memories which go back to age 3 when his father, also an accordionist, introduced him to the instrument. "I have been playing my accordion for audiences ever since I can remember" he said. He also studied with a piano teacher, Patrick Shaw, and also with Fiori Baldovin, the son of an accordion maker in Fort Williams.

During his early years, he toured and performed throughout the eastern province of Canada. On one of these tours, he had the exciting experience of accompanying Kate Smith during a show. Before moving to Vancouver, B.C., he pursued his theoretical studies at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. As he grew up, Horace performed in theaters almost every week during the days when vaudeville was a part of motion picture house programs. He usually occupied the top place on the bill. He was described as "The Boy Wonder of the Accordion" and the "Canadian Elks Greatest".

Horace won a radio contest and $25 in prize money in Ontario in 1939. He later went on to greater fame as first place talent winner in a Horace Heidt show in Yakima in 1949.

Horace moved to Vancouver where he studied the accordion in depth with Alf Carlson, an outstanding accordion teacher who was highly recognized as an outstanding educator throughout Canada. and his friend, Leonard Wilson, Fellow of the Trinity College of Music on the faculty of the University of British Columbia.

During these years, Horace gave concerts throughout the northwest and California becoming well known as a concert accordionist. He also toured briefly with the Canadian armed forces with a group of 5 entertainers performing at bases.

Horace met his wife, Jeanette, in Vancouver and were married on his birthday, Oct. 17, 1949. Horace and Jeanette eventually moved to Walla, Walla, Washington, a college town, which had climatic conditions to meet his needs, becoming a well known resident of the community.

In 1961, Lazzari who had been concertizing throughout the Northwest, was asked to perform an accordion solo with the Walla Walla and Mid-Columbia Symphony Orchestras, a first for both organizations.

Horace premiered the Pacific Northwest performance of the "Manhattan Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra" by Eugene Ettore in 1961 with both orchestras. He achieved one of his goals which was to perform with a symphony. The Walla, Walla Symphony Orchestra conducted by William H. Bailey was the oldest continuous symphony west of the Mississippi. He also performed with the Mid-Columbia Symphony Orchestra of the Tri-Cities.

Horace also has been a guest artist with the local symphony playing on their Pops concert programs, Chamber concert series, and Young People's Concerts.

Horace appeared on many programs with other accordionists including Chuck Berger, Murl Sanders, Joe Morelli, and Ken Olendorf. He was also president of the Walla Walla Music Teachers Association and Treasurer of the Walla Walla Symphony Society for many years.

His wife, Jeanette, was executive director and also one of her husband's biggest fans. She said. "With his accordion, he could make people sing, cry, dance be happy or sad or even pray. Horace Lazzari was an inspiration to everyone he met."

Please send condolences to his wife, Jeanette Lazzari at:

For further information and photos at: Horace Lazzari
Picture below, Horace and Jeanette Lazzari, 2011.
Horace and Jeanette Lazzari, 2011.

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

Video: Joe Cerrito, Alex Dilan and Michelle Giglio Perform - Florida

by Harley Jones
Joe CerritoOn the 17th December, Joe Cerrito (accordion), Alex Dilan (organist) and Michelle Giglio (soprano) performed the beautiful Ave Maria composed by Giulio Caccini, to the great pleasure of the audience at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Sarasota, Florida.

These three superb musicians have made a beautiful arrangement of this famous work. Enjoy this lovely music over the Christmas season.

Thank you to Dan Grauman for supplying the video.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Michael Bridge Performs With Niagara Symphony Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Michael Bridge with Niagara SO
Michael BridgeOn November 26, 2017. Michael Bridge performed with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Argento's Valentino Dances.The Niagara Symphony Orchestra provides professional musical performances and educational opportunities which enrich and entertain communities throughout the Niagara Peninsula.

Excerpts from his website: Concert-accordionist Michael Bridge, one of CBC’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, is internationally renowned for his commanding stage-presence and versatility. He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops and tours frequently in Europe and the Americas, giving over 100 concerts per year. He received the Lieutenant Governor’s Emerging Artist medal (Alberta), and won the Canadian Digital Accordion Championships and the University of Toronto Concerto Competition, where he studies accordion performance. Michael continually performs new music and has premiered over 30 works. He has been profiled by CBC Radio, CTV and the Toronto Star, boldly redefining the sound and image of his traditional instrument.

Michael’s upcoming performances include:
January 15, 2018 - Toronto ON
Solo performance for the Royal Canadian College of Organists

January 24, 2018 - CMC Presents: New Works for Accordion
Solo performance of eight new works written for the accordion
In collaboration with I.C.O.T.
Canadian Music Centre
Toronto ON, 5:30 PM

February 3, 2018 - Queen’s University
Double-Double Duo
Kingston ON, 7:30 PM

February 24, 2018 - Tofino B.C.
Double-Double Duo
Clayquot Sound Theatre, 7:30 PM

For further information:

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

A Candlelight Christmas Concert with Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini

by Rita Barnea
Candlelight Christmas
Video: Mario Tacca Performs How Great Thou Art
Ave Maria
Video 1: Mario Tacca performing "How Great Thou Art" at the Carmen Carrozza Memorial Award Competition, Oct 2 - 4, 2015 Tarrytown, NY

Video 2: Mary Mancini performing with the Camerata Chamber Players at Westchester Community College, 4/2/2017. "Ave Maria" for Soprano and Strings - Dalmazio Santini. Victor Lionti conducting.

“A Candlelight Christmas Concert” will be presented on Friday, December 15, 2017 at 7:PM at the Church of the Assumption, 1st Street, Peekskill, NY.

Accordionist/pianist Mari Tacca and vocalist Mary Mancini will perform your favorite Christmas songs and carols. The Victo Lionti String Quartet with Lew Scott on bass and Phil Battiston on drums will also entertain.

Mary Macini, vocal director, is proud to present the Assumption Youth Spirit Singers in their first public performance.

For further information, see flyer.
Call the Assumption Rectory at 914-737-2071 or GIOIA Productions 914-737-8872

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Hanzhi Wang and Ivan Filipchyk in NYC Concert on December 30

by Rita Barnea
Ivan Filiipchyk and Hangzhi Wang
Video above: Hanzhi Wang and Ivan Filipchyk perform Adagio of the Little Prince and a Rose from The Little Prince ballet composed by E Glebov.

Winter Tales" will take you on a musical journey to the "winter-land" with the magic of a fairy tale. The fantastical “Nutcracker", "The Little Match Girl", the festive “Petrushka" and more stories will come to life on December 30, 2017 7-10:PM at the Marc A. Scorca hall at The National Opera Center (Address: 330 7th Avenue, New York, NY, 10001).

The program of the concert will include well-known pieces by E. Grieg, P. Tchaikovsky, I. Stravinsky in addition to original accordion music.

Don't miss this unique concert program, prepared by Hanzhi Wang, an uprising bright star of classical music and one of the most promising young classical accordionists today, and Ivan Filipchyk, a New York-based musician and artist.

Ivan Filipchyk, 26 years old, was born in Belarus, small country in the center of Europe. He began to study music and visual arts at the local school in his hometown. Thereafter he continued his music education in college, majoring as an accordionist. After the graduation from Gnesin Academy of music in Moscow, in 2015 he moved to USA, New York. Read Hangzhi Wang's bio in another article in this publication.

During the period of studying in Russia, Ivan became a laureate of several local and international music performance competitions. He performed (as a soloist and in ensemble) in Minsk, Moscow, Osaka, New York, Salzburg. Repertoire Ivan has varies from Baroque music to original pieces by contemporary composers. In addition to being a musician, he is also an accomplished artist.

Tickets are $15 and are available at

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Hanzhi Wang is First Accordionist to Receive 2017 Young Artists Award

by Rita Barnea
Video: Passing 3, in concert in Italy, composed by Martin Lohse
Hanzhi Wang and William SchimmelOn November 11, 2017 four 1st prizes were awarded at the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, in New York City.

The 2017 1st prize winners are:

18 year old American VC Young Artist, cellist Zlatomir Fung
22 year old South Korean pianist Do-Hyun Kim
26 year old Chinese accordionist Hanzhi Wang, picture right with Dr William Schimmel
Ensemble: Omer String Quartet

All 4 winners will be invited to join the Young Concert Artists’ roster – granting access to a minimum of 3 years management services, career engagements, publicity and career guidance – plus coveted recital debuts in New York City and at the Washington DC Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This is the first time in the history of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions that an accordionist was chosen. This year’s jury comprised: YCA Founder Susan Wadsworth (Chair), violinists Lynn Chang and Benny Kim, violist Scott Nickrenz, cellist Fred Sherry, accordionist Dr. William Schimmel, trumpeter Gerard Schwarz – and pianists Anne-Marie McDermott and Jerome Lowenthal.

The Young Concert Artists International Auditions differ from a competition, as there are no rankings, and any number of winners can be selected – with each candidate competing against a standard of excellence, not each other. Young Concert Artists alumni include: Pinchas Zukerman, Ida Kavafian, Emanuel Ax and Murray Perahia – and VC Artists Paul Huang, Bella Hristova, Benjamin Beilman, Ray Chen, Stephen Waarts and Soo-Been Lee.

Hanzhi said, “It is such a great honor being one of the winner in the 2017 Young Concert Artists in New York! Congrats to the Omer String Quartet, Zlatomir Fung, Do-Hyun Kim! I'm very excited to be the first accordionist to join the Young Concert Artists big family! I am grateful to everybody in the way who supported and encouraged me! I am joining YCA artist management in New York and I will look so much forward to collaborate with my YCA families in future projects."

Hanzhi Wang, born in 1990, is considered one of the young stars of the new generation of classical accordionists. Despite her young age, she achieved great success, performing around the world as soloist and as chamber musician. She is often described as “full of mastery”, “technically impeccable” and “great stage presence”, features added to the innovative musical experience of which she is exponent.

She has received numerous awards since the age of 18 as the “Beijing International Accordion Competition” in China and the “klingenthal International accordion competition” in Germany. She won the Arrasate International Competition in Spain in 2013, and the Prize of Class at the International Accordion Prize of Castelfidardo in 2015.

In addition to the several tours, she appeared also many times on TV programs. With her unique performances, Hanzhi Wang has become very popular among modern composers. Many of them have dedicated to her works, such as Danish dancer Martin Lohse and British James Black.

Noted for inspiring the young accordion generation, Hanzhi has presented lectures and excellent master classes in 7th International Summer Campus at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Tianjin Music Conservatory of China, Music College of Capital Normal University of China. She was also invited as jury member at the 6th International Digital Accordion Competition of Rome and the International Accordion Festival in Alcobaça, Portugal and the 41st International Castelfidardo Accordion music festival in Italy. Hanzhi was invited to be a visiting scholar in the Manhattan School of Music in United States and has presented concerts for new music introduction and performance.

In 2017 she will release her solo-cd, with works by Danish composers. The CD is called “In the path of H.C. Andersen”, and takes the listener in to the heritage of Danish adventures.

Young Concert Artists is a non-profit organization founded by Susan Wadsworth in 1961, dedicated to discovering and launching the careers of exceptional, but unknown, young musicians from all over the world. The organization is dedicated to discovering and developing the careers of extraordinary classical musicians.

Winners of the Auditions are selected by a jury of distinguished musicians. The sole criteria are exceptional musicianship, virtuosity, and individuality. The musicians compete against a standard of excellence – not each other. There is no limit to the number of First Prize Winners each year, and the Jury has the right to select none if none qualify.

First Prize Winners, of which there can be any number, join the roster of Young Concert Artists, which provides management services, including the booking of concert engagements throughout the United States, publicity, promotional materials and career guidance for three or more years.First Prize Winners are presented in recitals in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York and Washington, D.C.

Photo by Brian D. Bumby

For more information on Hanzhi Wang:

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

Dr.William Schimmel Announces the 2018 Accordion Seminars: “Thinking Inside the Box"

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
The Red Lantern AccordionistThe AAA Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars) will take place on July 27, 28 and 29, 2018 at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street, in New York City. Master classes are at 3:PM. Concerts at 7:PM. Dr. Schimmel will be the moderator and curator.

The 2018 Seminars will cover a wide range of topics and will focus greatly on new methods of teaching - Earteach, Eyeteach and Duplex learning, as well as the study of various method books that have disappeared on the market. The aim is to re-discover some of the rich tradition and culture that may have been lost or discarded. There will also be an Accordio/Dalcrose segment using Movement and Eurythmics. Also, A Seminar on What it takes to survive as as a New York Accordionist - appliable to any career planning anywhere.

On November 3,2017, Dr. Schimmel premiered his "Green Jackets for Accordion and Baroque Flute" at Congregation Kol Ami. Denise Koncelik performed on Baroque Flute. On November 5, his “Bactoblues" was performed by Bactopus - at St Peter’s Church. On November 14, he was soloist with the New York University Orchestra in a performance of "The Forest" by David Byrne (of The Talking Heads fame).

On November 22, he gave a full length concert at the historic Century Club, an exclusive club that dates back to the early to mid 19th century, that has formed a community of artists, writers and amateurs for the purpose of stimulating robust discussion. Dr. Schimmel performed selections from his CD, "The Theater of the Accordion" and other selections as well a talks between the selections.

On November 11, he had the honor of serving on the distinguished panel of jurors in the Young Concert Artists’ Competition. Hanzhi Wang was among the four winners. She is the first accordionist in the YCA history to win in the competition.

Dr. Wlliam Schimmel is a virtuoso accordionist, author, philosopher and composer. He is one of the principle architects in the tango revival in America, the resurgence of the accordion and the philosophy of Musical Reality (composition with pre-existing music).

He received his diploma from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music and his BM, MS and DMA degrees from the Juilliard School. He has taught at the Juilliard School , Brooklyn College CUNY, Upsala College, New School University, Neupauer Conservatory (dean) and has lectured on accordion related subjects at Princeton , Columbia , Brandeis, University of Missouri , Duke University, Manhattan School of Music, the Graduate Center CUNY, Santa Clara University, The Janacek Conservatory in Ostrava, Czech Republic and at Microsoft.

Dr.Schimmel has performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra in America (and the Kirov ) including a longstanding relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as many chamber music groups in New York including Ensemble Sospeso and the Odeon Jazz Ensemble. Pop star colleagues range from Sting to Tom Waits, who has made the legendary statement: “Bill Schimmel doesn't play the accordion, he is the accordion”.

He is founder of the Tango Project, which, in addition to his hit recordings with them, has appeared with Al Pacino in the film: Scent of a Woman, for which Pacino won an Oscar. The Tango Project also won the Stereo Review Album of the Year Award, received a Grammy nomination and rose to number I on the Billboard Classical Charts. He can be heard in other films including True Lies, Kun Dun and many others including films that he both scored and performed and a series of films for the Nature Conservancy which have won numerous prizes in documentary categories.

He is an authority of the music of Kurt Weill, having recorded all of Weill's music that employs the accordion.He is a prolific composer with many commissions from concert music to Broadway and off-Broadway. He has written countless accordion pieces for himself and others including a test piece for the Coupe Mondiale, the accordions' most prestigious world competition. His “Portrait No I” for orchestra was conducted by the late Leopold Stockowski.

Dr. Schimmel's theatre works in collaboration with Micki Goodman have made accordion history.He heads the Neupauer Conservatory Order of the Shield program, a private studies program for gifted students on a graduate and post graduate level. he conducts a successful three day master class and concert series sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association (where he is distinguished lecturer in residence).

The Confederations International of Accordionists have awarded Dr. Schimmel the distinguished merit award for the AAA Master Class and Concert Series as well as his contribution to the international accordion scene. He received the American Accordionists' Association Distinguished Service Award for Fifty Years of Accordion activity and his work as Lecturer in Residence. He is listed in Who's Who in America and Great Minds of the 21st Century.

Dr. Schimmel, and his wife, choreographer, director, filmmaker Micki Goodman co-founded and co- directs the Institute for Private Studies, a pluralistic think-tank. They have a 29 year old son, Michael, an accordionist and visual artist---and a Special Olympics gold medal winner.

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Cory Pesaturo Recent Performances, Honorary Member Emeritus in Michigan

by Rita Barnea
Cory PesaturoPicture above: - Cory Pesaturo received a Lifetime Membership Emeritus from the Michigan Accordion Society, presented by Joe Recchia, President of the Michigan Accordion Society. Cory is quite possibly the youngest ever recipient.

At the Las Vegas Convention, Cory performed a concert on Guido Deiro's earliest surviving accordion (picture right), a 1929 Custom Guerrini which was purchased by Guido's son, Count Robert Guido Deiro Jr.

(Some further information to hand: There is an older accordion at "A World of Accordions Museum" Superior, WI, which Henry Doktorski helped arrange to place there. He even performed a concert on it.

The two historic accordions played by Guido and Pietro, built by the Guerrini Company in San Francisco in 1926 and 1917 respectively, were donated to A World of Accordions Museum by Guido’s son, Count Guido Roberto Deiro [in collaboration with Dr. Allan A. Atlas, curator of the Deiro Archive at the Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York], and Pietro’s granddaughter, Sandra Deiro Cattani. How wonderful that these historic instruments have been kept as an important part of our history and also kept in playing order.)

Cory played pieces to commemorate important accordionists throughout his life, including Charlie Nunzio, Tony Dannon, Tommy Gumina, and even had his dad perform a song with him! It was the first time they had ever played together publicly, and moreover, was the first time his father had seen him perform a concert outside of New England; just making for an even more special evening.

Of course tunes by Dick Contino were performed, and Dick's wife, Judy, came to see the concert. Cory ended the show with a version of Tony Lovello's Malaguena.

Furthermore, Guido Deiro Jr. and Judy had strangely never met until this night, even though they always lived fairly close to each other, and the fact that Guido Diero taught Dick Contino at times in the 1940's, and of course, Guido and Dick were two very famous accordionists in our USA accordion history.

- Museum of Fine Arts in Boston performance on historic accordions we are gathering for the museums collection.

- Played the Boston TED Event (same TED that I did my TED Talk for).

- Met with the accordionists of the 2 very popular bands in the US that use accordion: Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly, and Johnny Kongos of The Kongos.

Upcoming Performances include:

- Concerts in Montreal with Sergiu Popa throughout the week of December 4-8, 2017/.

- Concert with Mari Black on Violin in Milton, MA at the First Parish Church for the Milton Music Series on December 2nd.

- Jazz Concert at the Sahara Jazz Club on December 12, 2017.

For further information:

Picture below: A humorous "red hat" fun part of the Las Vegas Festival.
Cory Pesaturo in Las Vegas

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

AJ Castillo: Latin Musician on the Rise

by Joanna Carver, M.S.J. Public Affairs Specialist The University of Texas at San Antonio
AJ Castillo(Nov. 29, 2017) -- Meet AJ Castillo ’08. He’s a Latin musician who’s applying what he learned about business at UTSA (graduated in 2008) to his creative pursuits.

Born in Austin, Castillo grew up in music venues. His father and uncle were part of a Tejano band, and Castillo started attending their shows when he was five years old.

“I fell in love with the music and the culture, and the way people experienced music,” he said. “I knew even then I wanted to be on stage and make people dance to my music.”

Castillo began playing the accordion when he was nine years old and continued developing his skill into high school. As a high school student, he became serious about pursuing a professional music career and played in several different bands. He wasn’t certain about attending college but was persuaded by his teachers that it could benefit his music career.

“I heard a lot of great things about UTSA from my teachers,” Castillo said. “I was excited to come to a diverse campus that was growing and expanding.”
He chose to study business management, knowing that as a young musician he could use those skills to further his career. Castillo credits his course work at UTSA with teaching him to work with people from different backgrounds with different points-of-view. He also learned how to handle the pressures of a career and how to manage his time.

“It was the best experience of my life,” he said. “Whenever I meet my younger fans, I always tell them, ‘Go to college. It’ll be the best time of your life.’ It was the best time of mine. I learned how to be responsible and to survive on my own. Those are valuable skills.”

As a student at UTSA, Castillo began working with an award-winning San Antonio-based producer, Gilbert Velasquez, who had previously worked with Selena among many others. Castillo worked as a studio musician and also helped to arrange songs. He soon became anxious to work on his own music, especially in a city where Tejano music is so influential.

“I wanted to reach a younger audience with my music and broaden interest in the accordion,” he said. “I started to craft my own style.”
Castillo graduated from UTSA in 2008 and has since performed at venues across the United States and gained a loyal, ever-growing fan base. Just two years after he graduated, Castillo won Best New Male Artist at the Tejano Music Awards. He’s become known for his custom accordions and enthusiastic live performances.

Since 2009, Castillo has released five albums and two DVDs, with a new album due in early 2018. This year he collaborated with musician Juan Treviño on the song “Siempre Es Así,” which won a Latin Grammy for Best Regional Song earlier this month.

“There are a lot of challenges that go along with being an independent artist,” Castillo said. “When I was at UTSA, I learned how to work in different avenues. People think they’re going to be musicians, but it’s about more than the music. You have to work with people, promote your work and make certain your work is coming off exactly right. My time at UTSA prepared me for that.”

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

The Klezmatics Winter Schedule

by Rita Barnea
The Klezmatics
The Klezmatics have a busy holiday season. Excerpt from the Klezmatics website: The Klezmatics are globally-renowned world music superstars — and the only klezmer band to win a Grammy award. The Klezmatics emerged out of the vibrant cultural scene of New York City’s East Village in 1986 with klezmer steeped in Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality, while incorporating contemporary themes such as human rights and anti-fundamentalism and eclectic musical influences including Arab, African, Latin and Balkan rhythms, jazz and punk.

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.

Jeff Tamarin says, "Since their emergence more than 30 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 11 albums to date—most recently the album Apikorsim (Heretics), produced by Danny Blume (who helped the band win a Grammy in 2006) and the first of the band’s albums to feature only the 6 members. 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 third-of-a-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 members of the band include Richie Barsha, Lorin Sklamberg, Paul Morrissett, Frank London, Lisa Gutkin and Matt Darriau.

Lorin Sklamberg is one of the lead vocals also performing on accordion, guitar, and piano. The legendary music critic Robert Christgau has described Lorin Sklamberg’s voice as “transcendent, ethereal and sensual,” while a writer for Folkworld gushed that the Klezmatics’ frontman “brings tears into my eyes with his fabulous way of singing.” Since he co-founded the legendary klezmer group in 1986, Lorin Sklamberg has been on the receiving end of countless tributes of that nature—his crystalline, expressive vocalizing never fails to have an emotional impact on all within its range.

Sklamberg, who says he “sang before he spoke” and taught himself to play guitar, piano and autoharp, has been involved in the world of Jewish music since he was 15 years old, when he co-founded a band, Rimonim, with three Hebrew school classmates at his conservative shul in Alhambra, California. After being introduced to klezmer, Lorin began to seek out songs within the genre, but it wasn’t until after he moved to New York in the early ’80s that he was able to incorporate klezmer into the music he performed.

Prior to that move, Lorin attended two California universities and dabbled in Early Music, opera, American folk and pop and Balkan and East European musics, in addition to dancing and singing in four semi-professional ethnic song and dance ensembles. He studied voice, guitar, accordion and oud and served as the cantor at USC’s Hillel House and Los Angeles’ gay and lesbian synagogue, Beth Chayim Chadashim.

The Klezmatics winter schedule includes:

The Klezmatics – Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah
December 13 @ 7:PM
MIM Music Theater, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85050 United States
Musical Instrument Museum

December 14 @ 7:30 PM
StanfordLive – Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen Street
Stanford, CA 94305 United States

December 16 @ 8:PM
CSUN – Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8448 United States

December 21 @ 7:30 PM
The South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way
South Orange, NJ 07079 United States

Titano Accordion Company

Julien Labro Performs in USA Tour

by Rita Barnea
Julien Labro
New York based Julien Labro is known as an accomplished accordionist, musician, and composer. Excerpts from his website: Heralded as “the next accordion star” by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, Julien Labro has established himself as one of the foremost accordion and bandoneón players in both the classical and jazz genres.

Deemed to be “a triple threat: brilliant technician, poetic melodist and cunning arranger,” his artistry, virtuosity, and creativity as a musician, composer and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to astonish audiences worldwide.

Picking up the accordion at 9, French-born Labro was influenced early on by traditional folk music and the melodic, lyrical quality of the French chanson. Upon discovering the music of jazz legends, he quickly became inspired by the originality, freedom, creativity, and the endless possibilities in their musical language.
After graduating from the Marseille Conservatory of Music, Labro began winning international awards, taking first prize in the Coupe Mondiale in 1996 and the Castelfidardo Competitions in 1997.

After sweeping first place in the Marcel Azzola, Jo Privat and Medard Ferrero competitions in 1995 and 1998, respectively, Labro moved to the United States, where he further pursued his musical dream.

As a musician and artist, Labro is constantly evolving. Equipped with advanced degrees in classical music, jazz studies, and composition, Labro draws from his diverse academic background and eclectic musical influences as he searches for new themes and untried concepts, transforming and developing his creative ideas into new projects.

Piazzolla, a major influence and the reason Labro picked up the bandoneón, is also the title of his album with classical guitarist and Grammy-award winner Jason Vieaux and A Far Cry chamber orchestra. Other releases include Grammy-award winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson’s Another Country and critically acclaimed Hot Club of Detroit’s Junction.

Labro’s musical journey has taken him all across North America, Europe, the Middle East and South America. He has performed and collaborated with groups and artists such as Hot Club of Detroit, Brazilian pianist João Donato, Argentinean Grammy winning composer and pianist Fernando Otero, big-band leader Maria Schneider, vocalist Cassandra Wilson and Kiran Ahluwalia, clarinetist Anat Cohen, Lebanese oud master Marcel Khalife, saxophonists Miguel Zenón, James Carter, Chris Cheek, Jon Irabagon and Victor Goines, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, composers Du Yun and Avner Dorman, harmonica extraordinaire Howard Levy, percussionist Jamey Haddad, bandoneónist Daniel Binelli, and guitarists Howard Alden, Larry Coryell, Frank Vignola, Tommy Emmanuel, and John and Bucky Pizzarelli.

His past performances include venues such as Dizzy’s, Birdland, SFJAZZ, Blue Note, Yoshi's, The Green Mill, and Sculler's, and festivals such as Newport Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Festival, NYC Winter Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Jazz Salt Lake City, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Caramoor Music Festival, SF Performances, Phillips Collection, Fontana Chamber Arts Summer Festival, Soave Guitar Festival (IT), Quebec City Summer Festival (CA), Inchad International Cultural Festival in Constantine (AL), Byblos International Music Festival (LB), Beiteddine Art Festival (LB), Al-Qurain Culture Festival (Kuwait), Daejeon Chamber Music Festival (ROK) and many more.

Winter performances include:
12/01/17 Julien Labro/Olli Soikkeli Quartet New York City, NY, Cornelia Street Cafe

12/03/17 Julien Labro/Olli Soikkeli Quartet Great Neck, NY Great Neck Library

12/05/17 Julien Labro/Jon Irabagon Brooklyn, NY The Drawing Room

12/15/17 Hot Club of Detroit feat. James Carter Detroit, MI Cliff Bell’s

12/19/17 Emilio Solla & La Inestable de Brooklyn, NY Minton’s Playhouse

01/14/18 Julien Labro/Jason Vieaux Duo Washington, DC The Phillips Collection

01/15/18 Julien Labro/Jason Vieaux Duo White Marsh, VA Arts @ Abingdon

For further information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Gene Pritsker's Accordion Compositions in Concert

by Rita Barnea
GENE PRITSKERSeveral of composer Gene Pritsker’s compositions, which include the accordion, will be performed in December on the East Coast.

Gene Pritsker is a very prolific composer for various types of instrumental ensembles. He has composed many compositions for and including the accordion. He Gene Pritsker (born 1971) is a Russian-born composer, guitarist, rapper and record producer living in New York City. He moved to the United States with his family in 1979 and lived in Sheapshead Bay Brooklyn.

He attended the Manhattan School of Music from 1990 to 1994 where he studied composition with Giampaolo Bracali. While attending Manhattan School of Music he co-founded the Absolute Ensemble with Kristjan Järvi and formed Sound Liberation, which has released cd's on Col-legno, Composers Concordance Records and Innova Recordings. Gene's music has been performed by the Adelaide Symphony, MDR Symphony Orchestra, Athens Camarata, Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic. He worked closely with the Austrian-American jazz keyboardist and composer Joe Zawinul and has orchestrated Hollywood movies.

His compositions are published by Falls House Press, Gold Branch Music, Periferia Sheet Music and Calabrese Brothers Music, LLC.His compositions and performances can be heard on Col Legno, Enja Records, Eutrepe, Wergo, Innova Recordings, Composers' Concordance Records, and Capstone Records labels. He is a member of Broadcast Music, Inc..

From the website of Gene Pritsker: Composer/guitarist/rapper/Di.J. Gene Pritsker has written over six hundred compositions, including chamber operas, orchestral and chamber works, electro-acoustic music and songs for hip-hop and rock ensembles. All of his compositions employ an eclectic spectrum of styles and are influenced by his studies of various musical cultures.

Composer/guitarist/rapper/Di.J. Gene Pritsker has written over five hundred seventy compositions, including chamber operas, orchestral and chamber works, electro-acoustic music and songs for hip-hop and rock ensembles. All of his compositions employ an eclectic spectrum of styles and are influenced by his studies of various musical cultures.

He is the founder and leader of Sound Liberation; an eclectic hip hop-chamber-jazz-rock-etc. ensemble who have released cd's on Col-legno, Composers Concordance and Innova Records. He is also the co-director of Composers' Concordance, a new music presenting organization with a 30 year history of producing concert in NYC. Other organization he is associate with include the Grammy nominated Absolute Ensemble, which he co founded in 1993 with Kristjan Jarvi and has been a composer in residence and guitarist with ever since.

Gene's music has been performed all over the world at various festivals and by many ensembles and performers, including the The Adelaide Symphony, MDR Symphony, The Athens Camerata, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Brooklyn, Shanghai and Berlin Philharmonics, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, Orchester des Pfalztheaters, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Anhaltische Philharmonie as well as such soloists as Anne Akiko Meyers, Lara St. John, Sarah Chang, Kathleen Supové, Martin Kuuskmann and Simone Dinnerstein. He worked closely with jazz fusion legend Joe Zawinul and has orchestrated major Hollywood movies, including 'Cloud Atlas', for which he wrote additional music and composed his ''Cloud Atlas Symphony’.

The New York Times described him as "...audacious...multitalented." Joseph Pehrson, writing in The Music Connoisseur, described Pritsker as "dissolving the artificial boundaries between high brow, low brow, classical, popular musics and elevates the idea that if it's done well it is great music, regardless of the style or genre". Raul d'Gama Rose writes in All About Jazz: "Barring the obvious exceptions, much of 21st century composition appears to be thinning in significance, but this might be about to change. Gene Pritsker is one of a very spare handful of composers effecting this change."

Organizations he is associated with include: Co-director of Composers Concordance & Composers Concordance Records, co-founder/guitarist of Absolute Ensemble and artist-in residence at the Austrian Outreach Festival. Gene Pritsker's music is published by: Falls House Press, Gold Branch Music, Periferia Sheet Music & Calabrese Brothers music. Recorded on: Col Legno, Enja, Eutrepe, Wergo, Innova , Composers' Concordance Records, SONY Classical, and Capstone record labels.

December 2017 performances include:
Rocco Jerry performs ‘Stressor’ for solo accordion and ‘Curves’ for accordion and Samplestra, at the Troy Library, in Troy NY.

Rocco Jerry performs ‘Stressor’ for solo accordion and ‘Curves’ for accordion and Samplestra, at Time and Space limited, in Hudson, NY

Sophie Dunér Meets Mark Kostabi & Gene Pritsker at Kostabi World Uptown. The songs 'In Hours', 'Immortality', 'Renascence' and 'Funeral Blues' for voice, guitar and Di.J. are performed. Also with: Sean Satin, Juecheng Chen.

'Revealed Knowledge' for sop. sax, sitar, guitar and perc. premiered as part of Composers Concordance ‘All About India’ concert.
With: Payton MacDonald, Lukas Ligeti, Edmundo Ramirez, Daniel Schnyder, Dan Cooper, Milica Paranosic.

Performing Clap and 'Cold Wisdom Waiting II" at Connecticut College with Peter Jarvis and John Clark as part of the New Music Chamber Ensemble concert at Evans Hall

12/14 & 17
Performing with Absolute Ensemble at the Russian Embassies in NYC and Washington.

The Other Elements Trio & Operatic Electric perform at The Delancey. Premiere of the trio 'Elements', as well as performances of 'SLI #6' and 'Dowland Meditations Electronic' With: Keith LeBlanc, Juecheng Chen, Mark Kostabi, Laurence Goldman

For further information:


National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Announces 2018 “President’s Innovation Award” Winner Vincent Demor

by NAMM News Release
Vincent DemurThe Board of Directors of the 2018 National Association of Music Merchants, (NAMM), has awarded Vincent Demor, a music student at St. Petersburg College, in St. Petersburg, Florida, the NAMM's "President's Innovation Award."

Demor was selected for this award from entries of college music students throughout the nation. The criteria for selection best exemplifies their commitment to the music industry and has displayed a strong aptitude for business leadership and innovation in the music products industry.

As a recipient of this prestigious award, Demor is invited to attend the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA., 25-28 January 2018. Demor will be representing St. Petersburg College while attending seminars, roundtable discussions and receptions by the NAMM Foundation and hosted by The College Music Society. Sessions will focus on personal professional development and afford valuable opportunities to explore careers in the music industry.

Demor is currently attending St. Petersburg College, in St. Petersburg Florida and is studying the Music Industry / Recording Arts (MIRA) curriculum with a major in Accordion Performance.

The NAMM event is the largest, premier music products trade show in the U.S. and has a global reach. It is an industry trend setter in unveiling cutting-edge technologies; creating household product names; showcasing emerging brands; and uniting every segment - large and small- in the music products industry. It will showcase over 1,800 exhibits. In addition, NAMM also strives to identify and recognize outstanding college music industry students like Demor, and help prepare them to be future leaders in the music industry.

For further information:

Born in Pittsburgh, PA on 22 April 1997, Vincent presently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. From the ages of five to thirteen years old, Vince’s musical studies were concentrated on the cello and piano at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. When he was seven, he started lessons on the accordion. Vince’s first performance on the accordion was at the Bulgarian Social Hall in West Homestead, PA.

In 2009 he moved from Pittsburgh, PA to Spartanburg, SC. His accordion instruction resumed under the tutelage of an accordion polka master, and also with - a multi national award-wining accordionist. His mentor was a national acclaimed master accordionist - Bill Cosby.

He played the cello in both his high school orchestra and the Carolina Youth Symphony Orchestra at Furman University. In 2010, he achieved the cello first chair position in the South Carolina All-State Orchestra. In 2011, he decided to focus his musical studies on the accordion.

In 2012, at the age of fifteen, Vincent joined The Foothills Oompah Band, as their accordionist and played with them for 4 years. With the band he played at every major Oktoberfest in the Carolina’s and Georgia. Hundreds of people throughout the Carolinas, Georgia and Pennsylvania have danced to, and been entertained by the music of Vince playing the accordion in the Oompah Band.

When not with the band he plays as a solo accordion performer. He has performed at numerous German and Italian restaurants, private parties, city festive events, farmers’ markets and cultural centers. He has volunteered in the community to play the accordion at hospitals and senior nursing facilities.

During the summer of 2014 he toured with the Alex Meixner Polka Band through out Pennsylvania. Vince is a member of the Southeast Accordion Association and a charter member of Accordion Heroes.

He is currently enrolled at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, FL. His curriculum is Music Industry / Recording Arts with a major in Accordion Performance. He plays solo gigs in South Florida and is in a band, "The King Guys," out of Orlando, FL. He plays the accordion for Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival in Tampa, FL. He continues perform at senior retirement facilities, city festivals, private and corporate parties. Recently he performed at Disney’s Four Season Resort in Orlando, FL.

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

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

"Accordions Rising" News: Streaming on all Platforms.

by Rita Barnea
Accordions Rising
Accordions RisingAccordions RisingVideo: Trailer for “Accordions Rising”

Here is the link to the film streaming on Amazon: Amazon: Free or $2.99 - - If you watch on Amazon, your rating and review will help the film get on the "Recommended" list.

The Blu Ray version is also available in these on-line stores: Barnes and Noble, Best Buy and Amazon.

"Accordions Rising" memorabilia make great gifts for all the accordion lovers in your life. Available, along with DVDs, from the

“Accordions Rising”….Looks at the past, Presents the present and Considers the future.
ACCORDIONS RISING, the music documentary

The film has received the following awards:

Global Accolade Competition – Award of Merit, November, 2015

Bare Bones International Music and Film Festival – Best Movie Poster, April, 2016

Indie Film Fest, August, 2016 – Award of Merit

Roberta Cantow was recognized with her first grant from The American Film Institute while still a graduate film student at NYU. Through the years, The New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and others provided grants for the completion of 4 film works. She received a NY Area Emmy for her film, Clotheslines, about the symbolic and artistic role of laundry in women’s lives, as well as many other awards and presentations. Her films and videos have garnered several Best of Category Citations in film festivals around the country as well as an Award of Excellence for Dreamtime, in 2008 and Awards of Merit for Not a Still Life, and Accordions Rising, all in the documentary category, from the Accolade Competition.

Her work has been exhibited in many of the venues for independents, including a presentation in the Cineprobe Series of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Her four 16mm films were selected for archival preservation by the Donnell Media Center, New York City, in 2001. All of her work will be housed in the Sophia Smith Women’s History Collection of Smith College (in perpetuity). Roberta is not currently working on a new film, but she is actively engaged as Project Coordinator with the Berkeley-based StoryCenter, through a funded initiative to bring digital storytelling to Palomar College where she teachers and to make it a campus wide phenomenon.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Christmas Sheet Music Available Online

by Harley Jones
Christmas picturesWant to learn some Christmas music for the Christmas season? There is a lot of different titles below and FREE with every order is a copy of the Gary Dahl arrangement of 'Angels We Have Heard on High'.

eSheet Music Christmas Books and Collections (sent by email)

Gary Dahl - Traditional Christmas Carols eBook, Collection #9 of 21 Christmas arrangements (Solo). View samples Catalog: DH09-eB

Gary Dahl - Xmas Special Package (4 pieces) (Solo) Catalog: DHxmaspac
James O'Brien Christmas choice of 12 pieces 50% discount (Solo) Catalog: obriensxmas12p
James O'Brien Christmas grade 4-5 pieces 40% discount (Solo) Catalog: obriensxmas5gr
James O'Brien Christmas grade 6 pieces 40% discount (Solo) Catalog: obriensxmas6gr
James O'Brien Christmas grade 7 pieces 40% discount (Solo) Catalog: obriensxmas7gr
James O'Brien Christmas pieces 50% discount (Duet) Catalog: obriensxmas-duo
James O'Brien All Christmas solos 50% discount (Solo) Catalog: obriensxmas-solos

Charnwood Publishing Printed Sheet Music (sent by post)

10 Christmas Carols (Solo) Catalog: M015A
Titles are: Good King Wenceslas, Holy Night, Silent Night, While Shepherds Watched, I saw Three Ships, O Come, all ye Faithful, Away in a Manger, Hark, The Herald Angels Sing, The First Nowell, Once in Royal David’s City, The Holly and the Ivy.

Busking as an Art Vol 5 Xmas Carol (Solo) Catalog: M305
Titles are: Good King Wenceslas, The First Nowell, I saw Three Ships, Once in Royal David’s City, Hark, The Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, Holy Night, The Holly and the Ivy, We Three Kings, While Shepherds Watched, Away in a Manger, Good Christian Men Rejoice, O Come, all ye Faithful.

Christmas Bells (Solo) Catalog: M662
Jingle Bells (Variations) (Solo) Catalog: M332
Ten Christmas Carols (Solo) Catalog: M015

eSheet Music Individual Christmas titles (Solo or Duet) - sent by email

Angels From the Realms of Glory (Orchestra) jay4401
Angels We Have Heard On High (Duet) obriensxmas196
As Lately We Watched (Duet) obriensxmas197
Away in a Manger (Duet) obriensxmas198
Carol of the Bells (Duet) obriensxmas199
Christmas (Solo) hs241
Christmas Medley (Joulusikerma) from Finland (Duet) faies5005
Christmas Song (Solo) DH0123a
Christmas Tree (Solo) hs176
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus obriensxmas200
Deck The Halls (Duet) obriensxmas189
Ding Dong! Merrily On High (Duet) obriensxmas190
Frosty The Snowman (Solo) DH0213
Go, Tell It On the Mountain (Solo and Duet) obriensxmas191
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Duet) obriensxmas192
Good Christian Men, Rejoice (Duet) obriensxmas193
Good King Wenceslas (Duet) obriensxmas194
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Solo) mfa7080
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Duet) obriensxmas201
Here We Come A-Caroling (Duet) obriensxmas202
Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Duet) obriensxmas203
I Saw Three Ships (Duet) obriensxmas204
I Wonder As I Wander (Duet) obriensxmas205
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear (Duet) obriensxmas206
Jingle Bells (Solo) hs169
Jingle Bells (Duet) obriensxmas207
Little Christmas Tree (Solo) hs125
Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming (Duet) obriensxmas208
O Christmas Tree (Duet) obriensxmas209
O Come, All Ye Faithful (Duet) obriensxmas210
O Come, All Ye Faithful (Solo) mfa7057
O Come, O Come Immanuel (Duet) obriensxmas212
O Little Town of Bethlehem (Duet) obriensxmas212
Olde Tyme Christmas (Solo) gm10
Once in Royal David's City (Duet) obriensxmas213
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Solo) DH0223
Silent Night (Solo) mfa7079
Silent Night (Duet) obriensxmas214
Silent Night (Solo) DH0183
Silent Night (Solo) OY604
Silver Bells (Solo) DH0044
Silver Bells (Solo) naa160
The Boar's Head (Duet) obriensxmas215
The Christmas Song (Solo) DH0123
The First Noel (Duet) obriensxmas216
The First Noel (Easy Version) (Solo) naa175
The Friendly Beasts (Duet) obriensxmas217
The Holly and the Ivy (Duet) obriensxmas218
Vilia (Solo) mfa7002
White Christmas Song (Solo) DH0121

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

Happy Holidays from the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) - USA

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
Happy Holidays
Christmas GreetingsAs we near the holidays and prepare for the 80th anniversary celebration of the AAA, I find myself reflecting on the immense changes that the accordion has witnessed in our country through the decades.

Many of those changes affected the accordion and its popularity, yet some things have remained the same through the 80 years.

Each month in 2018, I will write an article sharing lesser known stories and amazing journeys of the AAA, the accordion itself, the players, the music, and the list goes on.

We hope to see all of you in Alexandria, Virginia, July 11-15, 2018, when the AAA celebrates this exciting milestone!!

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

Brooklyn Accordion Club in Holiday Concert on December 3rd

by Rita Barnea
BACThe Brooklyn Accordion Club presents their Holiday Concert Program on Sunday, Dec 3, 2017 from 3:30 to 5:30 PM at 61 Local (61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY. It is open to Public Admission: $10.00 ($5.00 for the concert participants).Cash only. Light refreshments will be served.

The program MC’d by Blythe Bonnaffons includes the following performers: Tony Simulinas, John DiPinto, Barry Polinsky (Harmonica), Robert Duncan and Mayumi Miyaoka (Tentacles of Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble), “Papa” Joe De Clemente and Orquesta de Cabeceo Tango Ensemble.

Ivan Filipchik will be the special guest accordionist. He is a New York based musician and artist, graduate from Gnessin Russian Academy of Music. He acquired his background in Belarus and Russia, countries with rich musical history traditions and well establish education in music and arts. Ivan took part in various competitions and gave recitals performing on stages of some European countries, Russiam Japan, USA and Canada. His repertoire varies from Baroque music to contemporary compositions.

The Brooklyn Accordion Club “Mega” Ensemble directed by conductor Denise Koncelik will play Sing-along Holiday Tunes including “Jingle Bells”, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Hanukkah Dreydl”, “Silent Night” and “Feliz Navidad”.

Founded in 2013, The Brooklyn Accordion Club aims to build a community of accordion players of all levels and admirers in the heart of Brooklyn.This is a very special and fun filled way to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season.

For further information:

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

SqueezinArt New Website Now Online - USA

by Harley Jones
SqueezinArt header
Dan & Joan GraumanSqueezinArt is back on the internet after an absence of several years. SqueezinArt began in 1994 supplying accordion related holiday gifts and clothing.

SqueezinArt principals are both accordionists (Joan - professional, Dan - amateur, picture right) who love the accordion and the friends they meet. Joan, a noted artist is also an AAA Board member and the AAA Historian.

From a first catalog in 1994 of one page and five items, there is now a large catalog of accordion related "SqueezinArt" on the new site, complete with excellent pictures of each item.

View the popular SqueezinArt t-shirts and so many other accordion related gift ideas, on their new website at:
SqueezinArt logo

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra in Winter Concert

by Rita Barnea
WPAOStanislavEveryone is invited to a free concert on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 2:PM at the Willia G Rohrer Memorial Library featuring Martha Cannon (Flute) and
presenting accordionist Stanislav Culcicovschi.

The Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra (WPAO) will perform its annual Winter Concert at the Haddon Township Branch of the Camden County Library in Westmont, NJ. Founded in 1960, the WPAO is under the direction of its founder Stanley Darrow. The WPAO has performed varied programs both nationally and internationally.

Flutist Martha Cannon will add the beautiful timbre of the flute to the intriguing melodies of Borodin's "In the Hills of Central Asia". A surprise guest artist, Stanislav Culcicovschi from Moldova, has been added to the program. Mr. Culcicovschi is currently performing throughout the east coast while on a concert tour in the USA. Following this performance he will travel to Chicago for more events.

Included in the concert will be works covering many genres of musical literature. A few of the compositions are:
Kalif of Bagdad F. A. Boieldieu
Santander T. Leutwiler
Irish Suite M. Seiber
Slavonic Sketch F. Dobler
Nocturne A. Borodin
Flute: Martha Cannon
In the Hills of Central Asia A. Borodin

Mr. Stanislav Culcicovschi will perform a varied program including
Caesar Franck's "Prelude", Music of Moldova, "Dixie" and more.

Members of the above ensemble come from all walks of life and have in common their love of this wonderful instrument. Membership into the ensemble is through audition only.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Joanna Darrow 856-854-6628 ;

AAMS American Accordion Musicological Society
322 Haddon Ave
Westmont, New Jersey 08108
Tel. 856-854-662

For further information:
AAMS Acme Accordion School:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Connecticut Accordion Association Holiday Concert

by Rita Barnea
CAA and Peter Pelosa
The Connecticut Accordion Association presents their Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 3:PM at St. John's Episcopal Church, 16 Church St., Waterbury, CT 06702. The conductor is Peter Peluso. This concert will feature the Connecticut Accordion Association's Orchestra, along with some very special guests, performing a variety of holiday favorites!

The CAA are welcomed to perform at St. John's Episcopal Church in Waterbury, a majestic setting fitting for their CAA Orchestra, with plenty of room right in the church. Peter Peluso will conduct the orchestra performing classical holiday pieces, sacred songs, show tunes...and even a little rock and roll! The orchestra will be joined by several very talented vocalists. Young accordionists will perform. A jazz trio will dazzle.

Connecticut Accordion Orchestra Accordion Members include Steve Balog, Karen Buccitti, Julie Cardona, Jeanine Cariri, Will Comer,Bob Czarnecki, Kathy DiCocco, Angie Errico, Don Gerundo, Dorothy Gondek, Ginger Grider, Lois Karasaurskas, Anton Klettner, Ray Krish, Joseph Kllettner, Peter Mezick, Dennis Maxfield, Pete Mezick, Marilyn O’Neil, Peter Peluso, Rachel Quirbach, Ken Reed, Linda Riley, Mark Schaarschmidt, Fred Schwinger, Mary Tokarski, Lauren Toussa, Sandy Zera, Walt Ziemba,Ralph Corbo, Guitar, Mitch Guido, Saxophone Olivia Smailes, Jim Lawrence, Foster White, Vocals, Maryjane Peluso, Piano, Jack Varanelli, Percussion, Peter Peluso Conductor.

Note: This concert replaces the November and December meetings of the Connecticut Accordion Association.

RSVP or obtain additional information, call (203) 272-1202.
Visit on the web at

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

"Daddy Squeeze" in Winter Performances

by Rita Barnea
Daddy Squeeze
Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton is a versatile musician who performs in several bands including Daddy Squeeze Solo, Cafe Accordion Orchestra,The Bellows Bros, Daddy Squeeze Band, The Rockin' Pinecones, The Hula Peppers, Jumbo Ya Ya and Cafe Accordion.

On December 2, 2017 Saturday 1:PM, Daddy Squeeze @ Friends for a Nonviolent World - Holiday Fair, Mpls. Shop with a purpose! Dan is happy to play for this great event which takes place at 4401 S York Ave, Minneapolis, MN.

On Saturday, January 6, 2018, the CAO's 13th annual concert at the Cedar Cultural Center will take place. For this show the band welcomes guest performer "Ukulelezaza", from Belgium. He will do an opening set of classic 20s and 30s ukulele instrumentals. CAO will follow with their special blend of French, American and Latin sounds.

Excerpts from his website: "Daddy Squeeze" has been playing offbeat accordion music since 1987, when he won the Nebraska State Accordion Contest at the Czech Festival in Wilber, Nebraska. He has used the squeeze box for playing all kinds of music not normally associated with free-reed instruments, as well as standard accordion material.

Daddy Squeeze also enjoys mixing up styles and genres that don't generally seem compatible. "Music out of context", or "Ethno-clectic Bop" is the result of his genre-bending experiments with Celtic, Tex-Mex, Creole, Blues, Jazz, Scandinavian, Polka and pop music.

Daddy Squeeze offers bands of all sizes, as well as solo musicians, for dances, receptions, concerts, parties and recording session and can provide you with rockin' blues and Zydeco, swingin' hillbilly jazz, elegant French and continental sounds, plus ethnic music such as Celtic, British, Latin rhythms, square and contra-dance, Cajun and even some jugband and old-time polka sounds. He has created ten CD’s of varying types of music.

Telephone: (651) 488-1174

Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society Concert

by Rita Barnea
WMAS Holiday Program
The Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) will sponsor their Annual Holiday Concert and Potluck Dinner on Sunday, December 10, 2017, at 4:PM.

You are welcome to attend this popular and fun annual event. The social hall will be beautifully decorated in the holiday spirit. You will be entertained by an accordion orchestra, small ensembles, soloists, and sing-alongs followed by special delicious foods.

Only $8 donation. Members and children under 12 years old are free.

The program takes place at the Sleepy Hollow Methodist Church, 3435 sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, Virgina.

For more information:

Free Postage, Super Value Christmas Gifts Books by Benetoux

by Harley Jones
BellsThe Ins and Outs of the Accordion book coverAccordion repair author Thierry Benetoux is offering a Free Postage Christmas Special for all his books until 20 December. Take advantage of this special offer for:

Catalog benetouxen00 The Ins and Outs of the Accordion (Book text) € 44,97 or US$ equivalent.
- How To Understand and Repair Your Accordion
- How to Tune Your Accordion

Catalog bthierryen Sounding Out The Accordion (Book text) € 42,00 or US$ equivalent.

Catalog benetouxfr00 Comprendre et Reparer Votre Accordeon (Book text) € 45,00
In French language or US$ equivalent.

Catalog: bthierryfr L’Accordeon & SA Diversite Sonore (Book text) € 49,00
In French language or US$ equivalent.

Cody McSherry Performs in Christmas Musical Production – USA

by Joan and Dan Grauman

Young accordionist, Cody McSherry (14 years), participated in a lively and very moving musical production on November 14 featuring Christmas music performed in various styles. Cody performed solo, accompanied a singer, and played with the entire group of instrumentalists and singers.

The musical production, “Old-time Gospel Radio Christmas” was presented by the Servant Stage Company, which began to operate in 2011. There was no admission charge, but donations are welcomed. There will be over 20 performances of the show in November and December across Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and beyond.

The organization’s mission can best be described in their own words, found in the program book:

“Servant Stage Company exists to serve our community with outstanding musical and theatrical experiences; make the arts accessible to all, especially those with financial or physical limitations; provide a creative outlet for artists in our community to develop and share their talents; create performances that inspire, educate, challenge, and entertain … and have fun while doing it!”

Voci Armoniche

Future events

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

2018 National Accordion Association (NAA): Invitation to Register

by Norman Seaton, NAA President
NAA Logo
Norman and Sharon SeatonWelcome to the 2018 National Accordion Convention
Hyatt Regency Hotel in Richardson, Texas
March 7 - 10, 2018

We are Celebrating 31 Years by
Moving Beyond the Past - Launching the Future!
"Enjoying the Journey"

The official 2018 National Accordion Convention (Dallas area) is now open to interested accordionists from around the world. The NAA has issued a global "Automated Call for Presenters" using both and Weekly News. The results were very impressive. Contracts are still being negotiated; thus, many of the presenter's names will not be released until mid-December. Early registration assures an automated check-in process (no lines). Full refunds are available is requested in a timely manner.

Tentative contracts include, but are not restricted to, the following individuals: Jim Rommel, Ian Fries, Richard Noel, Gary Blair, Debra Peters, Mike Middleton, Chuck Henry, Shelia Lee, Ed Casper, Sharon Seaton, Bill Palmer, Michael Zampiceni, Randy McPeck, Markus Baggio, Elena Fainshtein, and Gordon Kohl.

Daily Schedule:The tentative layout of the 2018 Convention remains the same as the past few conventions

Wednesday (March 7, 2018): Evening arrivals and band practices, jam sessions, and socializing
Thursday (March 8, 2018): National Band Camp Day. Band directors are Dick Albreski, Gordon Kohl, Gary Blair, and Elena Fainshtein. Jessica Faltot will coordinate the traditional "Circle of Champions."
Friday (March 9, 2018): Workshops during the day and Party Time in the evening.
Ian Fries will coordinate the Digital Accordions Unlimited Concert in one ballroom
Nancy Bernstein will coordinate the National Dance Party in another ballroom
Nick Ballarini will coordinate the "Ballarini Sports Bar" in the Spurs area. Nick's show will feature popular USA music.

Conventioneers and the general public are encouraged to participate in various Friday evening activities as desired. Bottom line: Relax and have fun!
Saturday (March 9, 2018):

Youth activities, workshops, banquet, and formal concert
The convention planning team includes Norman Seaton, Nick Ballarini, Rebecca Ratliff, Sharon Seaton, Nancy Bernstein, Ian Fries, Dick Albreski, and Arlyn Visentin.

The "Call for Presenters" has over 20 highly qualified candidates.The Convention Planning Team is processing the candidates to produce a fantastic convention.The selected presenters are Jim Rommel, Dr. Ian Fries, Richard Noel, Gary Blair, Debra Peters, Mike Middleton, Chuck Henry, Shelia Lee, Ed Casper, Sharon Seaton, Bill Palmer, Michael Zampiceni, Randy McPeck, Markus Baggio, Gordon Kohl and Elena Fainshein.

On or before December 15, 2017, the full convention is scheduled to be online and the hotel/convention registration systems will be opened.

Our "Musical Instrument of Choice" is the accordion! The National Accordion Association (Association) is a group of accordionists who love to play our accordions and continually communicate with each other. The Association is member-driven and conducts an exciting convention every year. The term "Member-driven" indicates that the Board listens and reacts to member requests and suggestions.

Mission Statement:
The National Accordion Association, Incorporated, is a music organization that exists to support accordionists and to encourage an appreciation of the accordion by the general public. The Association seeks to motivate accordionists to build their musical skills, knowledge, and abilities to perform both solo and with other accordionists and musical instruments. Opportunities are provided for accordionists to collaborate with each other and to learn through numerous events held yearly at the National Accordion Convention and at various locations throughout the year.

For further information:
NAA performers & worshop providers

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

Accordion Cowboy Chris Rybak: Holiday Programs and European Tour

by Rita Barnea
Chris Rybak Performances
The Rybaks are touring Europe again and only a few spots are lerft.

Experience the magical Christmas season in Europe while touring the Christmas Markets with Edita & Chris Rybak from December 11 - 21, 2017. You'll visit Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany and enjoy a wonderful dinner cruise on the Vltava River in Prague, as well as an unforgettable cruise on the Danube River in Budapest.

There will be many parties full of culture including the Czech traditional restaurant Koliba Vlcina and the famous Munich Hofbrauhaus where you can enjoy 1 liter steins of beer! You'll also have a chance to see the TALLEST Christmas Tree in the Czech Republic and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere on the streets lined with wooden Christmas shops ... where you'll find handcrafted goods for sale, hot wines, and sausages and chestnuts roasting on open fires! It's truly an amazing experience!

The tour includes Flights, Hotels, Meals, Tour Guides, Drinks (Including Alcohol), Parties, live accordion music and a Luxury Bus.

Contact Edita Rybak at 512-963-6660 or for more info. Only a few spots left!

The Rybaks also have another Europe Tour scheduled including a North Sea Cruise from April 8 - 22, 2018 going to Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany on the bus and Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium and France while cruising. The tour initially sold out very fast, however the Rybaks were able to add an additional bus and more spots ... it's gonna be one great big party in Europe next April! You don't want to miss it!

Check for more info on this tour as well as other tours, cruises, performances and CDs.

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.

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


Frank Toscano and Manny Corallo to Perform for Long Island Accordion Alliance

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 3, 2018 at 6:PM. The featured guest artists will be Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano.

Born and raised in New York, Frank Toscano 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 was 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 mas- tered the art of playing the piano (taught himself) and at the age of twenty-one opened the Frank Toscano Music School.

Now some 50 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.He 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 per- formed for Steve Schirripa and the entire Soprano’s cast to help launch a new T.V. show, 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.

Among his accomplishments Frank arranged, conducted and performed on three 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 Accor- dion heritage. The “The Amazing Accordion Kings” Volumes One and Two were arranged, performed and conducted with two other great Accordionists, Angelo DiPippo and Manny Corallo. These latest CD’s contain compilations of Opera to Jazz. Frank Toscano, a true musician, a true professional...and most certainly a true artist.

Manny Corallo began his musical career early. At age 4 he began to play drums, and soon after that switched to accordion.“My father played accordion, and I started taking lessons from my father’s music teacher, Frank Toscano. It was a bonding thing for my father and I to play the same instrument. Sundays at my grandparents consisted of my father and I on accordion and my grandfather on mandolin and guitar. I remember how much fun that was when I was a kid.”

By age 13, Manny began piano lessons and continued to study with Frank. Frank provided Manny with proper classical training but he had a strong love for jazz and Manny developed the same love for it. “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.”

Inspired by Angelo’s accomplishments and albums, Manny found out that he too had an interest in arranging and began his career arranging for tenor Peter Colombo, and accompanied him on his Catskill Mountain tours as his piano conductor. “It was a good place to start. Writing rhythm section and horn charts for Peter and conducting for him gave me the confidence I needed.”

Manny also got his feet wet in the recording studio at this point, by arranging and recording 2 albums for Peter. Soon after the tours, Manny met record producer and engineer Gerry “Doc” Comito of Sonic Sound Recording Studio in Freeport, NY. “Gerry is another good friend of mine and we have worked on many recordings together. I have been hired as an arranger, pianist, and accordionist, by Sonic clients.” Manny’s next couple of projects enabled him to write for live strings - something he still loves to do to this day.

“I had a project where the client wanted a live string section. Still being a kid, I went home and sweated over every note. When I heard the strings on playback with a little reverb, I was hooked.” This led to another project with live strings and brass “Venezuela Princess” written by Al Pantino. After that Manny combined his arranging and playing on an Italian album.

Writing for live instruments was something he definitely enjoyed. Not every project needed live instruments once synths and midi became common, but just being in the studio was good enough for Manny. He started teaching piano privately and formed his own dance band, 'Prime Time Live'. “We started out as a five piece band and eventually wound up as ten pieces with 4 horns. Having my own horn section enabled me to arrange for horns all the time.” We performed in Atlantic City, opening up for acts such as comedians Sal Richards and Paula Poundstone. We also performed at the Brookhaven Amphitheater, as the opening act for the Count Basie orchestra.”

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.

Place: La Villini Restaurant

288 Larkfield Road.

East Northport, NY 11731

631 – 261 – 6344

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Annual NAAC Member Meeting 2017

by Rita Barnea
NAAC logo
The annual NAAC member meeting will be held on Sunday, December 10, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. This meeting will be held online through a streaming or video conferencing software to be named.

Every year on the second Sunday of December, the NAAC holds its annual member meeting. The meeting is open for attendance by any and all members of NAAC. Members will vote on pertinent topics. Members will be given notice prior to the meeting via email.

DETAILS: Location: Online through Zoom video conference
Date: December 10, 2017, Time: 7:PM Eastern Time, Location: Zoom
Registration: Registration is required through this link

The North American Accordion Collaborative is a non-profit organization that helps accordionists of varied interests by identifying their specific needs and by building opportunities to meet those needs.

The Directors of the NAAC are: Dallas Vietty, Karen Lee, Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, Charlie Schueller, Frank Petrilli and Laura Jean Niland. You are welcome to join the organization for free.

For further information:

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

Ron Borelli and San Francisco Accordion Club Events

by Rita Barnea
Ron BorelliThe San Francisco Accordion Club Holiday Club Accordion Circle takes place on December 17, 2017. Accordion Circle meetings are a format where YOU, their members and friends, will be the "featured" performers. Musicians of all skill levels are invited to perform in a relaxed and supportive environmnent.

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 reservations are necessary, but if you would like to reserve a spot for a future meeting, please contact Mike Zampiceni at

On January 21st, 2018: Ron Borelli will present a concert. Ron Borelli, pianist and accordionist, performs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area as a soloist or with his combo. Ron has played for hundreds of venues and special occasions including San Francisco’s Bimbo’s 365 Club, the Fairmont and St. Francis Hotels, the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony and the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, to name just a few. His expansive repertoire includes American standards, jazz standards, European continental, opera, classical, motown and classic rock and roll.

Musical programs are hosted on one Sunday of every month at 2:PM at the:
Chetcuti Community Room
Civic Center Plaza
450 Poplar Avenue
Millbrae, CA 94030

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

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

New and Updated Sites

Voci Armoniche

Accordion Russia News Change of Format - Russia

by Harley Jones
Accordion Russia header
Arseniy StrokovskiyThe Accordion Russia News is changing from a monthly publication to having articles released regularly as they happen and updating. News will be from Russia and Eastern Europe and featuring Russian performers in all parts of the world.

The editors will be international competition laureate Arseniy Strokovskiy (picture right) and journalist Oksana Strokovskaya.

The new format Accordion Russia News is now online.

For those not able to read Russian, there is an online translation link.
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