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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2019
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
IDEAS Symposium 2.0 A Huge Success
Registrations Open for 2020 National Accordion Convention in Texas
National Museum of African American Music Opens in 2020
Teachers - Win a Trip to New Zealand, 5 Weeks to Entry Closing
Latin Grammy for Quinteto Astor Piazzolla
Stas Venglevski and Cory Pesaturo to Perform in the Ukraine
Dr. William Schimmel Presents 2020 AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York City
Accordionist Marichka Marczyk in “Lemon-Aid” Festival in Toronto
Rob Howard Releases New Book, “Accordion Anthology 2"

Voci Armoniche

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

Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra to Perform at 1st Night Celebration
Joseph Natoli’s 2019 Christmas Offerings
William Schimmel Performs with Violinist Alicia Svigals and Pianist Uli Geissendoerfer
Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak Concert Review
Ludovic Beier Performed at 20th Anniversary of Django Reinhardt Festival in NYC
Lina Orfanos and the Poetica Ensemble Present ‘Dream Odyssey” in NYC on December 7
A Musical Story....
WMAS Annual Holiday Events
The Squeezebox Squad of P.S. 203, Queens, New York
Long Island Accordion Alliance Featured Charlie Sauss
Connecticut Accordion Association Presents “Seasonal Melodies” Dec. 7
A Candlelight Christmas Concert with Mario Tacca, Mary Mancini and Friends
Updates on “Accordions Rising” by Roberta Cantow….Great Holiday Gift Idea
New Accordion Organization: Port Charlotte, Florida Accordion Club
Murl Allen Sanders in December Concerts
Hank Thunander Concert Review 
Special Screening of Award Winning Documentary: “Zydeco Breakfast”, a Film by Tom Uhl
Ghostbusters Theme Cover by Anders Flanderz One Man Band

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

AAA Upcoming Events in 2020
American Accordion Musicological Society to Honor Joan C. Sommers in March
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
2020 3nd Annual San Diego Accordion Camp
Vancouver Squeezebox Circle and Vancouver Area Accordion events
Rybak Europe Tour April 2-18, 2020

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Welcome to the last USA News publication of 2019. In 2020, 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 have completed ELEVEN wonderful, exciting years as National Editor! Over the years I have produced 132 publications and over 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 feel it is both a great honor and huge responsibility to serve as National Editor of

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 continuing support.

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

In 2019, this USA News publication had almost 1.5 million page views! So we can conclude there is a HUGE interest in the accordion!

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. As your National Editor, I enjoy presenting 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. Additionally, the added great benefit is the wonderful people you can meet that ordinarily you would never encounter. The accordion unites us all bonding us with our love of music and the accordion.

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 will learn of events, concerts, festivals, performers on the North American continent. With our featured videos, you can actually hear and see the performers. Did you know that ALL of the articles in every publication remain accessible in the permanent archives on these site.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season. 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. Make sure you read the 2020 January USA news for a comprehensive list and description of upcoming festivals, concerts, and more!

Illustration by California based artist, Noe Valladolid:

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, support and enthusiasm!

The Group of Accordions Worldwide wishes all readers from around the world, happy and joyful musical festivities this season.

Editor Rita Barnea

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

IDEAS Symposium 2.0 A Huge Success

by Joseph Natoli
All attendees & tutors

Richard Noel, Julie WisniewskiPicture above: All attendees & tutors

As co-directors of the International Digital Electronic Accordion Society (IDEAS), Joseph Natoli and Michael Soloway can breathe a sigh of happy relief as their 2nd highly successful Symposium 2.0 (held in Warren, Ohio at the prestigious Avalon Inn & Resort Country Club, Nov 6-9, 2019) is now in their rearview mirror.

People from all over the globe attended and took part in this incredible digital accordion journey and learning experience that is like no other on earth. There were attendees, performers, and faculty from countries like Canada, Australia, Germany, all over the US, and more.

The Symposium hosted the novel idea of three 8:AM concerts (Thu, Fri, and Sat) and two 8:PM concerts (Fri & Sat). Some of the world’s best digital performers delighted audiences, including Eddie Monteiro (New Jersey), Matthias Matzke (Germany), Cory Pesaturo (Rhode Island), Joe Natoli (Ohio), Richard Noel (California), Al Battistelli (Ohio), Lenny Feldmann (New York), Kenn Baert (Illinois), and Julie Wisniewski (Australia).

Pictures right: Matthias Matzke, Richard Noel (California), Julie Wisniewski (Australia)

Additionally, there were 59 intense learning classes that ranged anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours, many of which were in repeated daily tracks on every possible digital accordion related topic, including:
* Detailed studies on how to expertly program and orchestrate on each variety of instrument
* Deep instruction on accordion sound engineering
* Beginner and advanced digital recording techniques (including video and green screen production)
* Detailed instruction on using tablets and music display software
* Up close and personal study of Richard Noel and his entire set of sound libraries
* Private classwork with the amazing Eddie Monteiro
* Individual private lessons with the amazing Cory Pesaturo
* Deep orchestration work with Matthias Matzke
* Performance anxiety workshops
* Detailed study of using digital peripherals like the Roland Bk-7M and Ketron SD-90 arranger modules
* ….and much much more

There was also the Ohio premier of the AAA commissioned work, “Child’s Play” by Joseph Natoli, written for 2 accordions, cello, and percussion. On accordions were Joe Natoli and Matthias Matzke, a wonderful cellist, Kivie Cahn-Lipman (local professor at the Dana School of Music), and Kenn Baert handling all the percussion parts on his Roland FR-8X, proving how versatile the instrument is in nearly any scenario, and a perfect application of the instrument for this Symposium.

Of course, Eddie Monteiro’s jazz stylings were phenomenal, and especially his heartfelt rendition of “Rainbow Connection.” Cory Pesaturo dazzled the audience in multiple genres. Eddie and Cory played duos both nights, but their version of “Here’s That Rainy Day” was especially memorable.

Matthias Matzke delighted the Fri and Sat night crowds with his unbelievable mastery and orchestration of some original music as well as expertly arranged cinematic and other interesting works. Richard Noel put his sounds to good use on his portion of the concert. The surprise performer was Julie Wisniewski on Sat night, where her stage presence, smile, and tireless energy on stage met with great applause.

Based on the feedback surveys returned to IDEAS, attendees had a wonderful and memorable time and can’t wait to come back to next year’s Symposium 3.0 Nov 4-7, 2020 again at the Avalon Inn & Resort. Mark your calendars if you are a digital player. It will be the experience of a lifetime.

Picture below: Eddie Monteiro's well-attended classes on jazz harmonies and vocal accompaniment
Eddie Monteiro's well-attended classes

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

Registrations Open for 2020 National Accordion Convention in Texas

by Rita Barnea
NAA logo
Norman and Sharon SeatonRegistrations are now open for the 2020 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Richardson, Texas from March 18th to 21st, 2020.

NAA Convention President Norman Seaton (picture right with wife Sharon) has announced a Call for Presenters 2020. Band/orchestra presenters have been preselected by the planning team and are listed on the website. Therefore the Annual Call for Presenters (2020) is open for those seeking to be featured conventioneers in 2020. Conventioneers wanting to conduct workshops while attending the convention as a "sharing conventioneer" are to complete the 2020 convention registration form.

Forms are available on the NAA Convention website or you can email:

The event will include group training activities such as accordion bands and symphonic orchestras and opportunities to perform in numerous settings. Next year they will focus on the colorful sounds and origins of world music: German, Czech, French, American, Texas-Mexican and much more.

Norman said, "To review the fun time we had in the March 2019 convention, visit to our newly updated website at NAA and open the 2019 Gallery and Survey dropdown menu. There, you will find the results of the 31st annual convention and view over 250 pictures and videos."

2020 Registration Forms are available on the National Accordion Convention website or you can email:

Titano Accordion Company

National Museum of African American Music Opens in 2020

by Rita Barnea
NMAAMThe National Museum of African American Music opens in 2020. Of course, the accordion will be included as it is an important part of the African American musical experience.

In early 2017 Cynthia Simien was doing some reading and came upon an interesting article that inspired an idea. After reading about the 40 million dollar National Museum of African American Music being built in Nashville, she decided to get to work. She made a couple modest donations to the museum to get dialed in. She sent a few emails inquiring about a contact in the curation dept. She was determined to get someone to respond to her about an idea she had. Done and done!

Her persistence paid off and after exchanging a few emails, Dr. John Fleming, PhD picked up the phone and called her. They spoke for 45 minutes and just like that – zydeco becomes part of their Rivers of Rhythm exhibit! They decided together what it would consist of. Dr. Fleming requested Terrance’s traditional Fulani hat and she suggested a custom made Creole flag, a Hohner accordion from Queen Ida and a zydeco rubboard or frottoir from Reggie Dural (Buckwheat Zydeco’s son). She went to work again finding someone to custom quilt a Creole flag and began coordinating with Reggie and Ledra (Ida’s daughter) to get these artifacts sent in and catalogued with Dr. Marquita Reed, PhD. The museum will open in 2020, and we are extremely honored to be part of this state of the art museum!

Letter of thanks: NMAAM-letter.pdf

Scheduled to open in Downtown Nashville in Summer 2020, the National museum of African American Music will be a 56,000-square-foot facility that will encourage visitors to discover the many connections and influences that composers have had on all genres of music. From classical to country to jazz and hip hop, NMAAM will integrate history and interactive technology to share the untold story of more than 50 music genres and subgenres. It will be an unparalleled institution, not confined by record label, genre or recording artist, but instead will tell a unique narrative through the lens of black music.

Future publications will have more information.

Voci Armoniche

Teachers - Win a Trip to New Zealand, 5 Weeks to Entry Closing

by Harley Jones
South Pacific Accordion Championships header
2020 International Video Competition & Promotion of Accordion Music by Gary DaverneThis is a great opportunity for the teacher and one winner accordionist to visit New Zealand.

The New Zealand Accordion Association (NZAA) announces the 2020 International Video Competition & Promotion of Accordion Music by famous New Zealand composer Gary Daverne.

This is a free online "Video Competition for Accordionists of all ages and nationalities" with a 1st prize of two round trip air tickets to New Zealand to the 2020 South Pacific Accordion Championships, 30-31 May 2020, Auckland, New Zealand. Accommodation for 3 nights included plus some additional other concert/holiday possibilities.

Contestants must send a .mp4 video recording of one (or more) work/s composed by Gary Daverne who has a wide repertoire of compositions for accordion including:
- solo;
- accordion duet or accordion with another instrument;
- accordion trio/ensemble or accordion with string ensemble;
- accordion orchestra;
- accordion soloist with accordion orchestra or accordion soloist with string orchestra or accordion soloist with symphony orchestra.

The accordion music is available for any contestant free of charge upon request.

The international jury will be: Gary Daverne, Kevin Friedrich, Grayson Masefield, Stephanie Poole.

Entries online close 5th January 2020.

Full information at:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Latin Grammy for Quinteto Astor Piazzolla

by Diatonic News
Quinteto Astor Piazzolla
Video: Presentation of the award:
Latin GRAMMY Award for the BEST TANGO ALBUM to Quinteto Astor Piazzolla

Video: Presentation of the award: We congratulate Quinteto Piazzolla from the Astor Piazzolla Foundation, who received the award for the category ‘Best Tango Album’ at the recent 2019 Latin Grammy Edition in Las Vegas. We wish to especially thank Laura Escalada Piazzolla for trusting BM+O with the protection of the Foundation’s Intellectual Property Rights.

Album Name: Revolucionario / Label: East 54 Entertainment, Inc.

The Latin Recording Academy
The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. is a unique, multinational membership-based association composed of music industry professionals, musicians, producers, engineers and other creative and technical recording professionals who are dedicated to improving the quality of life and the cultural condition for Latin music and its makers both inside and outside the United States. Established in 1997, The Latin Recording Academy is the first international venture launched by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., representing a vibrant and passionate creative community.


Stas Venglevski and Cory Pesaturo to Perform in the Ukraine

by Rita Barnea
Stas and Cory in UkraineVideo: some fun improvisation at the 2019 Las Vegas International Accordion Festival.

Stas Venglevski and Cory Pesaturo will present a special concert in Kharkiv, Ukraine on December 8, 2019.

Excerpts from their websites: His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

Stas is an accordionist, a musician, an arranger, an entertainer and a teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show. Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawi.

Cory Pesaturo is an accordion player, who also plays the piano, clarinet, and saxophone. He began playing at the age of nine, and in 2002, became one of the youngest persons to win the National Accordion Championship. He most recently won the 2011 Primus Ikaalinen World Championship and was the first ever American contestant.Additionally, Pesaturo won the Coupe Mondiale World Digital Accordion Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, and became the first American to win a World Accordion Championship since Peter Soave 25 years earlier. In June 2009, he won the Leavenworth International Championship, and International Jazz Championship. Pesaturo performed in 5 different continents during 2009; some countries included Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Tunisia and Japan. Cory is one of only four accordionists in history to win a World Championship on both acoustic and electronic accordion, and is the only person to also win a world championship in jazz.

Cory Pesaturo plays a modern electric accordions. This particular accordion has a full vinyl skin, and midi-sequenced LED's in the grill connected to the keys in a symmetric pattern. He was accepted on the accordion at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA where he studied Contemporary Improvisation and a variety of music styles, including Italian and French folk music, Bulgarian and Jewish music, Classical music and Jazz. He became the second person to major in and graduate as an accordionist at the New England Conservatory.

For further information:

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

Dr. William Schimmel Presents 2020 AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York City

by Rita Barnea
AAA Masterclass Registration
William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) will present a 2020 Master Class & Concert Series with Dr William Schimmel, moderator and curator, from July 31st to August 2nd, 2020. This event will be held at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City.

Entitled "Time Travel" the festival will feature daily masterclasses from 3:PM and evening concerts from 7:PM.

Dr. William Schimmel, one of the principal architects in the resurgence of the accordion, holds Bachelor of Music, Master of Science, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School.

Schimmel's music has been featured in a number of television shows and films, perhaps most notably 'Scent of a Woman' starring Al Pacino, where Schimmel appears in the famous Tango scene. Schimmel performs music in many genres, has commissioned and premiered hundreds of new works, has written a number of books and articles and has made numerous recordings and videos.

Download the AAA Masterclass flier for a full list of participants and reservation information: 2020AAAMasterClass.pdf
Online reservations:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Accordionist Marichka Marczyk in “Lemon-Aid” Festival in Toronto

by Rita Barnea
LBO Orchestra
Lemon AidThe Lemon Bucket Orkestra (picture above) will perform at the “Lemon-Aid” festival held at The Opera House in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from December 27th to 29th, 2019.

This event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Opera House and will include performances by Toronto bands that will each donate half of their fees to a charity of their choice.

Lemon Bucket Orkestra: IAN TULLOCH (sousaphone) , OS KAR (savage drums, screams), MARICHKA MARCZYK (accordion, vocals), MICHAEL LOUIS JOHNSON (trumpet), JULIAN SELODY (saxophone), JAASH SINGH (darbouka). ALEX NAHIRNY (guitar), MARK MARCZYK (violin, vocals), STEPHANIA WOLOSHYN (dance, percussion, vocals), NATHAN DELL-VANDENBERG (trombone), JAMES McKIE (violin)

Experts form the LBO website: The Lemon Bucket Orkestra, which includes accordionist and vocalist Marichka Marczyk will perform a mix of Balkan, Klezmer, Gypsy and “Party-Punk” music. Marichka is an ethnomusicologist, singer and folklorist who graduated from the National Academy of Music in Kyiv in 2002.

She is one of the founding members and soloists of Bozhychi, a legendary folk choir that has toured the world presenting traditional Central and Eastern Ukrainian vocal music for over 15 years.

Equal parts exhilarating precision and reckless abandon, LBO’s live shows are a truly immersive experience - ranging from the ecstatic to the cathartic and all points in between - and they have expertly captured that unique blend of energy and emotion on their new album If I Had The Strength. Released in Canada through Outside Music in late 2018, it’s set for worldwide release via a new deal with Six Degrees Records this September, and includes guest appearances from famed soprano Measha Brueggergosman, rising Latino rapper Boogát, sing-a-long phenoms Choir!Choir!Choir! and more.

Accordionist Marichka Marczyk has over 1000 songs in her repertoire, which she collected over countless ethnographic research expeditions, and which she performs regularly in different iterations with a number of groups both traditional and contemporary. Her solo projects, Sonce Klosh, Kyky Shanel and Lemonchiki Projekt have performed all over Ukraine, Russia, and Europe at folk, jazz, and world music festivals and she often works with renowned Ukrainian and Canadian musicians such as Oleg Skrypka, Vasyl Popadiuk, and Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

For further information email:

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

Rob Howard Releases New Book, “Accordion Anthology 2"

by Rita Barnea
Rob HowardAccordion Anthology 2Rob Howard announces the release of his new book:

Catalog robaccord08 “Accordion Anthology 2” which presents a variety of articles and biographies aimed at the accordion enthusiast. The book contains many interesting and well-researched articles on all manner of accordion related things. Loads of color photos and many beautiful old black and white ones from the golden era of the accordion.

There is, as ever, a nice sprinkling of vintage and historic instrument pictures provided by Caroline Hunt accompanied by descriptions outlining the constant development of the accordion and related instruments.

This volume focuses very much on UK home-grown accordionists but also has a section on accordionists from abroad who are presently or were previously based in the UK too.

There are many biographies included throughout the book and then finally a look into historic accordion milestones. All this along with a potpourri of articles covering trivia, construction, maintenence, accordion orchestras, festivals, clubs Scottish and Irish heritage and so much more make it a must for people who live and breathe accordion in the UK.

The book is presented in the usual Howard style which means your growing collection of his accordion books have a visual family connection on your bookshelf too.

Accordion Anthology 2 presents many articles and biographies, including several interesting autobiographical contributions from some well-known players. Like its predecessor, ‘Accordion Anthology’ (still available), this is a near A4 sized high quality hardback, fully illustrated with 375 photographs, and is aimed at enthusiasts. 

The contents include:
Articles: Accordion Family Members; Accordions in the eras of Music Hall and Variety; Looking After Your Accordion; Caroline’s Antique Accordions; Castelfidardo; Diatonic Accordion Musings (by George Garside); CD & DVD Reviews (Peter Wood Shetland Dance Band DVD, David Vernon CD, Mantovani DVD, Mario Conway CD, Cambridge Buskers CD box set); The Impact of British Accordion Composition (by Lauren Farquharson); The No 1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra; The Serious Performer (by Douglas Ward); Learning the accordion – a work in progress…(by Rob Howard); Using the Accordion for Vocal Accompaniment (by Jack Emblow); Tales & Trivia; The London Accordion Orchestra; Accordion Clubs; Accordion Festivals; The Midland Accordion Festival (by Barry Smith); Scotland’s Accordion Heritage; Ireland’s Accordion Heritage; Overseas accordionists who have performed in the UK; 1829…and more milestones in the accordion’s history.

Biographical articles: Yvette Horner, Harry Hussey, Jonny Kerry, Owen Murray, Dermot O’Brien Remembered, Sharon Shannon, George Syrett, Douglas Ward, Charlie Watkins Remembered.

Autobiographical articles: Gary Blair, Gina Brannelli, Julie Best, Jean Corrighan, Mario Conway, Dave Cormack, Brian Forrest, Jean Hanger, Roy Hendrie, Rob Howard’s French Connection, Seamus O’Sullivan, Nigel Pasby, Bert Santilly, Gordon Shand, Karen Street, Karen Tweed, Robert Whitehead, Blackpool 1942 – Francis Wright’s memories.

A great holiday gift for accordion lovers!

For further information and online ordering of “Accordion Anthology 2” at: robaccord08

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

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

Titano Accordion Company

Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra to Perform at 1st Night Celebration

by Peggy Falcetti
New England Digital Accordion Orchestra
Sam FalcettiThe USA’s only digital accordion orchestra will perform at Cape Cod in Chatham, Massachusetts on January 1, 2020. By invitation the New England Digital Accordion Orchestra will be part of the 29th NewYear’s 1st night celebration in Chatham, Ma. on Cape Cod.

The Orchestra will be part of the 70 bands and entertainment at 10 venues on December 31st. They will be performing two concerts at 1:00 & 2:00 at the 1st Methodist Church in the center of Chatham.

The Orchestra is proud to be a part of one of the largest “1st Night” celebrations in the country. Ginny Hamlet, the events co-or-di-na-tor, said after hearing some of the songs they are going to perform, “This is the largest orchestra we have ever had and one of the most versatile in program and orchestrated sounds”. This group was organized and is conducted by internationally recognized music educator, Sam Falcetti. The orchestra rehearses once a month at Falcetti Music in Springfield, Mass.

Conductor Anselmo “Sam” Falcetti, started on the accordion at the age of 10, and began home teaching when he was 16. Before graduating from the University of Hartford with a degree in theory & composition, he opened up his first accordion studio in Westfield, Ma.

During his career Mr. Falcetti has conducted the Springfield Accordion Orchestra on performance tours in Japan, Italy, New Zealand and the USA in the 70’s and 80’s. He also directed the Orchestra on National TV on the David Frost Show with Roberta Flack. In the 80’s, by invitation, his Westfield State University Accordion Ensemble performed twice at Carnegie Hall in New York City. As founder of Falcetti Music he provides Roland Accordion sales, service and instruction and is the distributor for New England.

Excerpts from IDEAS website: Sam has supported the digital accordion since it’s very inception, both in his business and by making it his performing instrument early on – and to this day is New England's Roland digital accordion distributor. Central to this, Sam formed the only digital orchestra in the USA playing custom arrangements in many prominent venues all over New England – opening for Deanna Martin and Bobby Rydell - and up to this year where the orchestra has played all over Massachusetts  in the “Summer Concert Series” concluding with “New Year’s First Night on Cape Cod with 70 musical groups in over eight venues.

Retired now from the business world, Sam is back exploring his passion for digital accordions and teaching with many private students, seminars with the AAA and, of course, at both of the IDEAS Symposiums thus far. Importantly, as Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway began creating and building IDEAS as the central community and home for the electronic and digital accordion players all over the world, Sam threw his considerable reputation, influence and access behind it to help, believing that it could be possible, and would be possible -  wanting to see it realize all of its potential as a teacher and player and for all of his students and digital orchestra members. He presented a series of seminars at Symposium 2.0 and was honored at the final dinner on Saturday evening of Symposium 2.0.

Sam resides with his wife Peggy in Wilbraham, Ma. and is proud of his two sons and four grandchildren who are all involved with music.

Listed below are the orchestra members and where they are from. Also listed is the 30 songs that they are able to perform on any concert program. For further
information contact, “1st Night”, Chatham, Ma.


John Camardella-Springfield, Ma. Digital Accordion
Barney Courtois-Granby, Ma. Drums/Percussion
Scott Cunningham-Worcester, Ma. Digital Accordion
Bob Czarnecki-Colchester, Ct. Digital Accordion
Carmen D’Angelo-Stoneham, Ma. Digital Accordion
Tony D’Eramo-Ashland, Ma. Digital Bass Accordion
Michael Dran-Bethel, Ct. Digital Accordion
Michael Drumheller, Wilbraham,Ma. Drums/Vocalist
Karen Drumheller, Wilbraham, Ma. Vocalist
Michael Falcetti-Ludlow, Ma. Digital Accordion
Martha Flood-Adams, Ma. Digital Accordion
Mark Galica-Westfield, Ma. Digital Accordion
David Gamache-Belmont, Ma. Digital Accordion
Paul Gluck-Longmeadow, Ma. Electronics
Charles Gruszka-Harwich, Ma. Digital Accordion
John Kalinowski-Portland, Ct. Digital Accordion
Guyde Lombari-Providence, R.I. Digital Accordion
Jay Maggi-South Hadley, Ma. Guitar
Bill Maver-West Granby, Ct. Digital Accordion
Pat Poehler-Palmer, Ma. Digital Accordion
Diane Quirbach-Milford, NH. Digital Accordion
Bob Datz-MC & Media Consultant
Peggy Falcetti-Manager


To arrange a performance or for further information, please contact Sam Falcetti at (413)2045522 or email:

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

Joseph Natoli’s 2019 Christmas Offerings

by Rita Barnea

Joseph NatoliJoseph Natoli’s 2019 Christmas Offerings

Video 1: “Lullaby of Peace” Composed by Joseph Natoli on 11/30/19 with the hopes that peace will one day prevail on our planet for the good of our children and our future.

Video 2: “O Christmas Tree” Arranged by Joseph Natoli

Joe Natoli shares, "Every year as the Christmas season approaches I have been compelled to create arrangements of some of my favorite Christmas songs. This year, I wanted to do something different with my own composition and a special sentiment that can be enjoyed all year round, but is especially appropriate during the holiday season. Certainly I would aspire that we all keep the ideals of this video and song alive all year round with the new piece I wrote on 11/30/19 called "Lullaby Of Peace." 

Joe Natoli, is not only a professional accordionist and composer, but also President of ATG and founder/organizer of the IDEAS Symposium held in November 2019. Joseph Natoli, born 1953, makes his home in Northeast Ohio with his wife, JoAnn, and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven (inspired to play the instrument by his grandfather -- also Joe Natoli, and his father, Frank Natoli)."

Joe’s education includes Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Toronto Faculty Of Music in Toronto, Canada, where he was the first student accepted there to use the free bass accordion as an applied major instrument, studying with renowned Canadian accordionist, Joseph Macerollo. Mr Natoli started his musical career mostly as a performer, but had always been interested in composition, and has focused on his compositional craft even more in recent years. Joe has written many original pieces in all musical styles and genres for standard and free bass accordion, all of which are available by inquiries to, including his latest 2017 pieces, "Children’s Suite for accordion solo", and "Smooth" (a Latin jazz piece for solo or accordion quintet).

Some of his most recent recordings include an all-acoustic accordion CD called “Omaggio,” which is dedicated to the many musical influences in Joe’s life from various composers, musical friends and family members. Joe has also released an all-digital Roland V-Accordion CD entitled, “Waltz for Ron,” which contains a bevy of original compositions and arrangements of classical, light classical, ethnic and jazz pieces fully exploiting the orchestral possibilities of the Roland virtual accordions. Both CDs are available on the JANPress website. A new CD was released in 2017 called "Chameleon" houses on the widely diverse styles of Joe’s compositional output.

Professionally Joe has enjoyed a career in Information Technology (IT) and over the years has been involved in both IT technical and leadership roles for many large companies. Joe studied computer science at Youngstown State University as well as Franklin University, and also achieved an MBA degree at Franklin University in Columbus, OH.

Joe is also very involved with The International Digital Electronic Accordion Society (IDEAS), serving a co-direcctor with Michael Soloway, available for the public. The web site provides access and visibility into all sorts of things related to the digital accordion, including the IDEAS Symposium 2.0 that will be held Nov 6-9, 2019 this year at the Avalon Inn & Resort in Warren Ohio. Joe and JoAnn have 3 adult daughters and two granddaughters.

As with all original music by Joseph Natoli, purchases can be made by contacting him at

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

William Schimmel Performs with Violinist Alicia Svigals and Pianist Uli Geissendoerfer

by Rita Barnea
Bill SchimmelKlezmerAlicia Svigals, Klezmer fiddler, and Uli Geissendoerfer, piano with special guest William Schimmel, accordion present the "Beregovski Suite: Reimagining a Long-Lost Klezmer Archive". The concert takes place December 1, 2019 at 3:30 PM (West Building, West Garden Court) National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

This concert is part of a series of performances by female violinists, showcasing the brilliance and stylistic versatility of the instrument. 20 years ago, violinist Alicia Svigals, the world’s foremost klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, released her groundbreaking album Fidl, the first contemporary recording of the deep and ecstatic klezmer fiddle music that had been beloved across Jewish Eastern Europe for hundreds of years.

In 2018, she paired up with Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer on Beregovski Suite, a project that brings to life long-lost melodies from the early 20th-century fieldwork of Moshe Beregovski and reimagines them for the 21st century. They are joined by William Schimmel, the well known and respected. classical and new music accordionist.

Concerts at the National Gallery are open to the public, free of charge. Audience is admitted on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before the concert begins. For further information, call (202) 842-6941.

Concerts at the National Gallery of Art began during World War II, when the first director, David E. Finley, kept the Gallery open on Sunday nights to accommodate the armed forces personnel who were in Washington at the time. The first concert took place in the East Garden Court on May 31, 1942. Finley’s idea for adding music to the museum’s service to the public was inspired by renowned pianist Myra Hess’s recitals for troops and the public at London’s National Gallery during the Blitz, 1940–1941.

The National Gallery of Art concert series has provided a rich and distinguished service to music not only in Washington but also on the national and international levels. Many musicians who appeared at the Gallery early in their careers have gone on to worldwide fame, including pianists Claudio Arrau, Eugene Istomin, Earl Wild, Philippe Entremont, Jean Casadesus, and Menachem Pressler; singers Axel Schiotz and Martina Arroyo; and the Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets. The concerts were broadcast live from 1950 to 1992 and continue to be broadcast frequently on National Public Radio.

For further information:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak Concert Review

by Dr. Helmi Harrington, Curator, A World of Accordions Museum, USA
MichaelMichael BridgeWhen so many popular musical events contain more cacophony than harmony, this one was the total opposite. Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak give us performances that would please the most persnickety listeners. True, they are a unique duo in the world—beyond their combination of digital accordion with acoustic clarinet. More significantly, their extraordinary skills, technical control, intelligent interpretations, and perfect ensemble must be heard to be appreciated. Dr. Wolak teaches and performs in an international spectrum while Bridge is interrupting his DMA work in order to concertize.
The program showed inspired musicianship in excellently chosen repertory! Michael began with solo pieces on his EVO digital accordion. His astonishing performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture persuaded many of the virtual accordion’s true artistic potential in the hands of an artist of genius. Here’s only one example: Michael demonstrated three levels of right-hand partial-depression that could be tracked through differently produced overtone construction in concurrent, individual contrapuntal lines. His control of left-hand depression levels sounded more obvious effect differences. Yes, the instrument clarifies the techniques that Michael has mastered. For many however, the program highlight came in the duo’s final pieces, performed with an acoustic Gola borrowed from the museum. The audience jumped to its feet applauding and shouting “Bravo.” 
Kornel proved equal genius. On a standard clarinet model, his tone control over the instrument’s full range was beyond compare. In a wide variety of musical epochs and styles, his intonation and fluency were impeccable. His beautifully constructed jazzy sounds again sent the audience to its feet.
In a grueling two-month sequence of 20 concerts through Wyoming, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana, Illinois, and North Dakota, these two accomplished artists took time to provide a benefit appearance for AWAM. The demo/workshop was short-notice, so in contrast to their normal 1,500-2,000 attendees, our group was very small. In our audience were university professors, expert musicians and students who became privy to another unusual experience—both men spoke freely and responded personably to numerous questions. It provided an engaging hour that allowed insights into each personality.

On a personal note:  I had a particularly warm reunion with Michael, having met him at the 2013 Coupe Mondiale in Victoria, British Columbia, enjoyed his participation in my 2017 repair seminar, followed by a performance of Bach’s cello suite that remains exemplary. He never fails to mention his appreciation for what AWAM provides, which he elucidated during his (2017) web-posted walk through the museum while playing our beloved “cello” accordion. I was pleased to meet Kornel during our breakfast on November 5 after the two overnighted in our Duluth “parsonage.”
I consider Michael the Northern Hemisphere’s answer to the great European accordion masters. Kudos to Michael and his teacher/mentor Joseph Macerollo (University of Toronto). Years ago, Macerollo visited our evolving Duluth museum and graciously played for the surprised students.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Ludovic Beier Performed at 20th Anniversary of Django Reinhardt Festival in NYC

by Rita Barnea
Ludovic BeierI was fortunate to attend on November 13, 2019 the 20th Anniversary of the Django Reinhardt NY Festival at Birdland Jazz Club, produced by Pat Philips-Stratta and her late partner, conductor Ettore Stratta. The festival, which began in 1999, has featured many talented musicians over the years who embody the gypsy jazz style of music by the great Django Reinhardt.
Dorado Schmitt was joined by sons Samson Schmitt (guitar) and Amati Schmitt (guitar), who over the years, have grown up on the Birdland stage and who have become virtuosos in their own capacity. With them are mainstays Ludovic Beier (accordion/accordina) and Pierre Blanchard (violin) who consistently leave the audience breathless with their performances. Joining them are more gypsies, cousins of the Schmitt family, Francko Mehrstein (rhythm guitar) and Gino Roman (bass). 
The Django Reinhardt NY Festival brings the music of the great gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt, into the 21st Century.  The high energy performances pay tribute to Reinhardt who is considered one of the greatest jazz guitarists of all time. Reinhardt’s driving, swinging style became known as ‘HOT JAZZ’. The Django Festival Allstars add their own interpretations and arrangements to some of Reinhardt’s greats, as well as create new and modern compositions of their own.
It was amazing to witness the technical virtuosity and sensitive interpretations in all the selections accordionist Ludovic Beier performed at the Django Reinhardt Festival with Dorado, Samson & Amati Schmitt, Francko Mehrstein, Gino Roman and Pierre Blanchard from November 12 - 18, 2019 featuring special guests: Ken Peplowski, Tim Ries, Joel Frahm, Grace Kelly and Roger Kellaway.

I have attended the Django Reinhardt Festival for almost 10 years at Birdland, located on 315 West 44th Street, NYC which is an exciting and very comfortable venue. Birdland is consistently of the highest quality in every aspect. The dinner, drinks, and appetizers are always delicious and reasonable. All seats provided an excellent view of the stage. The sound system was superb. (Not too loud). The people who work there are very accommodating and friendly. Parking is convenient and inexpensive. You can meet the performers who are always very approachable and friendly.

The ‘hot swing’ musical style of Django holds the crowd like a magnet. The Django Reinhardt NY Festival continues at Birdland for the 20th successful year. Excerpts from Birdland website: The Django Reinhardt Festival carries on the legacy of legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, with original music keeping it fresh, exciting, cutting-edge! .…along with some old favorites.. the music, Hot Jazz, 'swiging and romantic' has exploded across the US and it all started at Birdland in 2000, with the launching of the Festival with tours now 2X a year at prestigious standing ovations: Kennedy Center, Disney Hall in LA, SF JAZZ, to name a few.

Dorado Schmitt, legendary Manouche gypsy guitarist from the Strasbourg region of France, a Django look-alike with pencil thin mustache, returns to Birdland to adoring fans. Schmitt started coming to the US in 2002 and is now a star attraction at major festivals as well as at Birdland. He is joined by his son, Amati Schmitt, a brilliant young guitarist, plus other talented musicians appearing regularly as part of the Festival: Virtuoso accordionist/accordina player Ludovic Beier, violinist Pierre Blanchard.

Each year, they present their newest compositions/arrangements filled with technical brilliance and emotion. If you want to hear more, check them out on Youtube.

Born in 1978, Ludovic Beier learned the accordion from his father and benefited from being part of a musical family. He was brought up in the French tradition of the instrument and developed his jazz accordion skills. He has a spirited, adventurous style which strays into all kinds of byways.He performs on the French and European scene with some of the top players of the Django/Swing Jazz style including Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmitt, Florin Niculescu.

Along with his virtuoso playing, Ludovic composes and arranges, and has his own band, Ludovic Beier Quartet, to perform his "cool and latin" French jazz. He has an impressive technique and also a great dose of lyricism with a band that keeps him at full stretch.

Besides performing in Europe at top festivals and clubs, he appeared in the States with the Django Reinhardt Project, performing at Birdland (NYC) with guests such as Paquito D'Rivera, at Lincoln Center with Joe Lovano, at Yoshis (CA) with David Sanchez, and last summer at the Montreal International Jazz Festival with Angelo Debarre and James Carter where he brought the house down. He also had the honor to perform at Carnegie Hall with Toots Thielemans among a prestigious line up including Herbie Hancock, Ivan Lins and Eliane Elias.

I am already looking forward to next year at Birdland with Ludovic Beier

Titano Accordion Company

Lina Orfanos and the Poetica Ensemble Present ‘Dream Odyssey” in NYC on December 7

by Rita Barnea
Lina OrfanosGary SchreinerLinda Orfanos and the Poetica Ensemble will perform an eclectic ad intriguing tradition and contemporary repertoire in her native English, as well as in Greek, Italian, Korean, and Spanish. The presentation includes songs from around the work. The Poetica Ensemble includes Gary Schreiner on piano and accordion; Mathias Kunzli, percussion; Gjilberto Lucaj, cello; Christos Papadopoulos, bouzouki.

The program takes place at the Triad Theatre
158 West 72nd Street, 2nd Fl, NY,NY
Date: Saturday, Dec.7, 2019 at 9:30 PM

Lina Orfanos is an acclaimed international mezzo-soprano who sings in popular, classical, jazz, and world musical styles.  Excerpts from her website: She has a lush voice with faultless intonation and great rhythmic footing. Born in New York, the daughter of a Greek-American father and a Polish-American mother, Lina can sing in English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish. Her performances are enriched with old Greek folk laments, tributes to Ella Fitzgerald’s version of “Night and Day,” or Spanish poems written for her by a young composer.
Her charisma was recognized from a very young age, when she was on stage at the Metropolitan Opera with the Children’s Chorus. Since that time, she has worked hard at developing her art with private lessons, studio education, university studies and solo performances. These performances include venues such as the Metropolitan Room in New York City, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Town Hall.
A serious illness in adolescence, however, derailed her for a few years. Being a true warrior though, Lina learned to mend wounds of all kinds through her music. Always enjoying live performances and engagement with audiences, Lina put her remarkable recital skills, high quality repertoire, and vocal expressiveness in full throttle in her first studio album Enchanted Night (2007).  Recording old and recent songs by Greece’s most famous composer, Mikis Theodorakis, Enchanted Night has been presented to audiences around the world. She has received high praise not only for her selections but for what Theodorakis himself says about Lina’s “beautiful lyricism and interpretive perfection!”.

Lina holds the exclusive honor of being invited personally by Theodorakis to cross the Atlantic twice and sing on the huge concert stages of the Herodion Theater at Acropolis in 2007 and Lycabettus Hill in Athens in 2010. The composer found her singing “thrilling”. When she sang “How lovely is my love in her everyday dress…” from The Mauthausen Cantata (1965), critics noted that an invisible trembling wave moved across the theater stage and settled  amid the 4,000 listeners. 

Lina recently released her newest CD, “Dream Odyssey”. Dream Odyssey is a collection of traditional and contemporary lullabies from around the world. The songs are in different languages and are about protecting the baby, imagining a future, and dreaming deeper.
Gary Schreiner is as accomplished a performer and studio musician, as he is a composer, producer and arranger. His work on keyboards, accordion and chromatic harmonica can be heard on many recordings, television shows, and films. He has worked with diverse artists such as Elton John, Rosanne Cash, Joan Osborne, Patti LaBelle, Pedrito Martinez, Yoko Ono, Pheobe Snow, Marvin Hamlisch, Run-DMC, Lucy Kaplansky, Carly Simon, Ben Taylor, Blue Man Group, John Pizzarelli, Julio Fernandez (Spiro Gyra), Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock,  Kermit the Frog, and World Champion figure skater Randy Gardner.

He has written music for hundreds of television commercials including: Award winning Cotton Council Commercial, Ralph Lauren (My Romance), McDonalds, Pepsi, Applebees, Advil, Honey Bunches of Oats, Duracell, and a number of Super Bowl spots (including one for Pepsi). His arrangement and production of Stevie Wonder's “Don’t You Worry About a Thing”, was the long-running centerpiece of UPS’s national campaign.
His musical compositions have also been featured on many TV shows such as Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, X Files, and Chappelle’s Show (  Gary has composed in collaboration with his writing partner, Curt Sobel, music featured in films such as “Ray”, “Donnie Brasco”, "Parker", “Thank You for Smoking”,  “Love Happens”, and “Get On Up".

In the theater world Gary has co-written the music (with fellow Emmy-award winning composer, William Electric Black) for the shows "American Star!!!" and “My Boyfriend is a Zombie" both featured at the Theater for the New City. Previously Gary composed the music for Alison Larkin’s one-woman show “The English American”, featured in the The Edinburgh Festival and The London Comedy Festival (with other performances in New York City and Los Angeles).

For further information on Lina Orfanos:
For further information on Gary Schreiner:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

A Musical Story....

by Rita Barnea
Christmas SantaHere is a fun musical story from the internet. If you “get” it, then you are a decent musician. Enjoy!

C, an E-flat, and a G go into a bar. The bartender says: "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So, the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them. 

After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished: the G is out flat. An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." An A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor.

Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims: "Get out now! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight." The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. 

The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says: "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development." 

This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and stands there au naturel. Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. 

The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility. 

On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless. The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so patrons, the soprano out in the bathroom, and everything has become alto much treble, he needs a rest - and closes the bar.

Happy Holidays!!!


WMAS Annual Holiday Events

by Rita Barnea
WMAS PosterWMAS members will present their 10th Annual Holiday Music Program under the direction of Mark Nejako on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 1-3:PM at Dublin Roasters Coffee, 1780 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. Friends and family are welcome to enjoy delicious hot drinks, bakery goods, sandwiches, soups and more in a wonderful relaxed atmosphere. You will hear traditional holiday music with sing along.

On December 15, at 4:PM, WMAS will hold its always popular annual Holiday Concert and Potluck Dinner in Falls Church, VA.:
Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church
3435 Sleepy Hollow Road 
Falls Church, Virginia 22044 

Members and children under 12 are free. Nonmembers $8

The mission of WMAS (pronounced Wah-mass) is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the National Capital region. They meet at 4:PM one Sunday every month (except for August, usually) at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia.

For further information:

The Squeezebox Squad of P.S. 203, Queens, New York

by Rita Barnea
accordionsantaMusic teacher Linda Holcomb shares, “At Public-School 203Q in Bayside, Queens, the students think the accordion is cool! Ever since Cory Pesaturo visited our school, everyone wants to be in the Accordion Club! Thanks to the generosity of several people who have donated accordions to our school, we now have the largest accordion club in P.S. 203’s history! We are proud of our fourteen members this year. The group is made up of thirteen 4th and 5th grade students as well as our assistant principal, Ms. Ai-Huei Chang-Lau. Ms. Chang-Lau is learning how to play right alongside the students."

The group is conducted by the school’s music teacher, Linda Holcomb, with the assistance of community member and professional accordionist, Papa Joe DeClemente.

Linda said, "We enjoy performing for concerts and events in our school, and we love taking our show on the road, into our community. During December, the group will play holiday songs outdoors for the Bayside Hills community holiday lighting celebration. They will also entertain at the Clearview Senior Center located in Bayside. The students always come home from those trips so excited, having experienced how their music can really be a blessing to others."

The school’s Winter Concert will be held on December 17th at 7:PM. The accordions will be playing their rousing renditions of “Jingle Bells”, “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel”, and maybe even a little “Silver Bells”.

“Papa Joe” DeClemente volunteers once a week early in the morning to assist the music teacher, Linda Holcomb, at an elementary school music program at Public-school 203Q, in Bayside, Queens which may be one of the only elementary schools in the five boroughs of New York City that has a student accordion band. The school started their accordion band fifteen years ago. They meet once a week, at the beginning of the school day to practice various songs that they will perform throughout the year. Papa Joe volunteers his time to join the students for rehearsals and he inspires them to be better accordionists. Among the many things he does for them, he also fixes their accordions!

Editor Rita Barnea said, “Having visited the school and heard their Spring Concert last year, I can assure you that you will be amazed by the students’ performance, their focus, joy and commitment to learning the accordion. The group received a very enthusiastic response from the audience. I encourage you to attend.”

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Long Island Accordion Alliance Featured Charlie Sauss

by Dominic Karcic
LIAA logo
Charlie SaussLa Villini Restaurant of East Northport, NY sponsored the November 6, 2019 meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance(LIAA) which featured accordionist Charlie Sauss. He did not disappoint the sellout crowd with probably one of the most demanding and extensive programs ever performed at an LIAA event. His performance was outstanding,featuring a very diverse repertoire, dazzling technique and a very sensitive / expressive musical touch.

His program included a vast range of literature from the classical,Italian, French and church repertoire. Among these were Champagne Polka (Myron Floren), Fugetta (John Gart), Fantasy Impromptu (Chopin), Blue Danube (Strauss), Granada (Lara), Csardas (Monti), Amazing Grace, Happy Norwegian Polka (Myron Floren), an Italian medley and a French medley. His execution was flawless.

Charlie studied with Peter Viani (1980's), Harold Danko (1985), Nick Paone (1975-1979), Joe Biviano (1970-1972), Serge Matusevitch (1967-1968), Peter Stio (1957-1967).

Listed below is just a part of his extensive and impressive resume:
2015 The Visit (Chita Rivera ) Broadway
1983-1984 Zorba (Anthony Quinn) Broadway and
National Companies
1981 Dick Cavett Show
1981 Tony Awards
1981-1982 Fiddler On The Roof (Herschel Bernardi) -
National Company
1981 Piaf - Broadway
1977 Finnian's Rainbow - Jones Beach Marine Theatre
1971-1973 Fiddler On The Roof - Broadway
1970 Cry For Us All - Broadway
1976-1978 Toured extensively throughout the USA and Canada with the Guy Lombardo Orchestra
1976-1978 Guy Lombardo - New Year's Eve on TV

On Wednesday, January 8, 2020 the featured guest artists will be accordionists Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano.

For further information:
631 – 261 – 6344

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Connecticut Accordion Association Presents “Seasonal Melodies” Dec. 7

by Rita Barnea
CAA LogoAAA LogoThe Connecticut Accordion Association presents their annual CAA Holiday Concert, “Seasonal Melodies”, on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 3:00-4:30 PM. This concert will feature traditional holiday favorites, both contemporary and classical performed by the CAA Orchestra under the direction of Peter Peluso. This concert is co-sponsored by the American Accordionists’ Association.

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
355 Camp Street
Bristol, CT

Suggested donation is $10.00 per person

CAA Orchestra members: Peter Peluso, Conductor, Steve Balog, Julie Cardona, Jeanine Cariri, Bob Czarnecki, Art Daigle, Michael Dran, Angie Errico, Don Gerundo, Dorothy Gondek, Ginger Grider, Brenda Zhang, Ray Krish, Dennis Maxfield, Peter Mezick, Marilyn O'Neil, Rachael Quirbach, Linda Riley, Mark Schaarschmidt, Fred Schwinger, Mary Tokarski, Jack Varanelli, Drum Set, Sandy Zera, and Walter Ziemba.

The Connecticut Acccordion Association began in 2004, the brainchild of Marilyn O'Neil and her accordion teacher, Mary Tokarski. The CAA is dedicated to the promotion of the accordion through all music genres and all variations of accordion instruments! We welcome musicians who play all types of accordions....piano accordion, diatonic, chromatic button and more. Accordionists at all levels are invited including people who may not play the accordion, but love to listen.

CAA Membership is open to all accordionists and accordion enthusiasts. A yearly membership fee of $30.00 will provide you with information about all planned CAA events. CAA members have access to most CAA events at a discounted rate.  Membership will also provide you with an opportunity to play with the CAA orchestra. Accordion  professionals for hire can post their availability on the website. CAA membership will provide you with access to information about accordion manufacturer and/or repair resources.

CAA goals are:
To promote public interest in the accordion through public awareness.
To hold gatherings, concerts and other activities throughout the state of CT.
To act as a resource to provide referrals in accordion instruction, repair, sales and/or trade, sheet music, accessories, etc.
To network with fellow associations throughout the USA in an effort to provide unity within the accordion world.

For further information:
Marilyn: (
(203) 272-1202
Visit on the web:

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

A Candlelight Christmas Concert with Mario Tacca, Mary Mancini and Friends

by Rita Barnea
Candlelight Christmas
Mary and MarioA Candlelight Christmas Concert with Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini

Date: December 13, 2019

Time: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM EST

Event Description:
Please join us Friday, December 13, 2019 at 7pm for our annual concert of joyful Christmas music at the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, NY. Performers include Internationally Acclaimed Soprano Mary Mancini, World Renowned Accordion Virtuoso Mario Tacca, The Victor Lionti String Quartet and the Assumption Youth Spirit Singers.

They will perform your favorite Christmas Hymns and Carols, as well as stunning pieces from Bach, Vivaldi, Handel and Mozart. Tickets are $20 for Adults; $10 for children under 17. Light refreshments will be served after the concert in the St. Joseph Hall. Tickets will be on sale after all the Masses on the weekends of Nov. 30/Dec. 1 and Dec. 7/8.

For more information contact the Assumption Rectory at 914-737-2071 or Gioia Productions at 914-737-8872.

Church of the Assumption, 920 First Street, Peekskill, NY, 20166.
Date/Time Information:
Friday, December 13, 2019 at 7:00pm

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

Updates on “Accordions Rising” by Roberta Cantow….Great Holiday Gift Idea

by Rita Barnea
Roberta CantowRoberta CantowAccordions Rising Documentary looks at the past, presents the present and considers the future of the accordion in our culture. It features a wide variety of players and styles, celebrates all and suggests that the musical possibilities are endless.

In the words of one Amazon Reviewer: "Hours after watching the terrific "Accordions Rising," I find myself with a heightened awareness and a reconsideration of everyday things -- always-present things I've paradoxically neglected in life. Such is the impact "Accordions Rising" has beyond the musical instrument it champions -- it encourages a wider rethink and a re-invigoration of interest in all things ignored or maligned.

I shamefully had accordion players pegged as curiously happy-looking, older white men unduly obsessed with polka numbers. But here, accordionists themselves debunk my ignorance by providing their impassioned and charming oral histories of their own journeys leading them to a unique instrument; an instrument passively marginalized in society as something too quirky to be shown due respect or interest. These engrossing human interest stories and the sincerity and enthusiasm with which they’re told are interwoven with loads of music, which is now heard anew with freshly educated and reconditioned ears. We're listening now, not just passively hearing and selectively ignoring.”

Accordions Rising Documentary is a wonderfully conceived and executed film which, by transcending its highly engaging subject matter, reminds us that we simply need to pay better attention -- period -- and afford things a preemptive curiosity and respect beyond what our knee-jerk inclinations may assume. Heavily recommended."

Roberta shared, "The film is available on DVD from the website: where there is also more information about the featured players and musicians.  In addition to all  the streaming options listed on the purchae page,  it is available now on Apple TV as well.  If interested, people can also write to me at: ( to make special requests or ask questions."

Blu Ray copies are available on-line at  Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Best Buy."Accordions Rising" has won awards internationally and nationally including  two different Awards of Merit in the Documentary Category and one other: Global Accolade Competition – Award of Merit, November, 2015; Indie Film Fest, August, 2016 – Award of Merit;  Bare Bones International Music and Film Festival – Best Movie Poster, April, 2016. The film has been a winner at several accordion festivals across the country and in Wales, the UK and Germany.

Roberta Cantow was recognized with her first film 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 and distribution of 4 film works and videos. 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 others.

Roberta's 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 film and video work will be archived in the newly named Special Collections of Smith College.

For further information:

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

New Accordion Organization: Port Charlotte, Florida Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
Linda and ChrisAccordion ClubWelcome to the newest accordion club, the Port Charlotte, Florida Accordion Club! Co-organizers Chris Brettschneider and Linda Reed connected with the American Legion Post 110 in Port Charlotte on Harbor Blvd. where the club will meet. Linda is former president of the AAA. The first meeting is Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 1:PM. All Port Charlotte accordion lovers and those in the surrounding areas are invited to join and play if you like, or just sit back and enjoy the music

On December 3, 2019 the guest artist will be Chris Brettschneider. January 5, 2020 features artists Joan Grauman & Bill Morse, and February 2, 2020 will feature Walt Kasprzyk.

The American Legion has a full service restaurant and beverage service all at economical prices. Great afternoon of music, reminiscing and camaraderie.

Special thanks to the following for offering their mailing lists and recommendations:
Peggy Owens in Brooksville, FL - Accordion Adventure Club,
Corky Hall - Polk Chapter Accordion Club, and especially
Karen Adam - Florida Accordion Association; organizer of the “Smash” weekends in Orlando.

The Port Charlotte Accordion Club wishes all Happy and Healthy Holidays and looks forward to welcoming you to their events!

For further information:
Linda Reed:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Murl Allen Sanders in December Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Murl SandersAccordionist Murl Allen Sanders leads a very interesting musical life. Excerpts from his bio:

Murl Allen Sanders is a musician, composer, teacher and recording artist living in Seattle. Murl has worked in the USA, Canada, England, Brazil and Japan with such diverse artists as Chuck Berry, Etta James, Il Divo, Glenn Yarbrough, Seattle Symphony, accordion virtuosi Frank Marocco, Chico Chagas, Stas Venglevski, Alex Meixner, Gary Blair and Cory Pesaturo, Leroy Bell, Peter Duchin, Alarm Will Sound, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Cascade Symphony, Everett Philarmonic, Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, The Von Trapp Children, Theodore Bikel, Leslie Gore, Barbara Lamb, Susan Pascal, Warren Rand, Pearl Django, Michael Tomlinson and Kelly Harland, among many others.

Murl teaches piano and accordion privately and is also adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts and Shoreline College in Seattle. He has received two grants from The Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to compose “She Blows Hot and Cold” for chorus and symphony orchestra in 2010 and “Accordion Concerto #2” in 2007, both pieces performed by Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers. His “Accordion Concerto #1”, a commission from Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, premiered in 2003. Murl received a 2010 and 2009 ASCAP plus award for his concert compositions from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Recent appearances:
Seattle Symphony “Music Beyond Borders” Concert 2017
LeRoy Bell 2019
Deep Squeeze Accordion Festival 2019, Port Townsend, WA
Leavenworth International Accordion Festival 2018
Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival, Chicago 2018
International Festival Da Sanfona, Juazeiro, Brazil 2016
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Chico Chagas
Earshot Jazz Festival
Bellevue Jazz Festival
Milwaukee Accordion Club & Chicago Accordion Club
Alarm Will Sound
Seattle Modern Orchestra
Northwest Film Forum
Murl’s discography:
“Guides and Spirits” 1981, “Soon” 1991, “New Romance and Doing All Right” 1996
“Can You Dance To It?” 2000, “Accordion Concerto #1” 2003
“Murl’s Holiday Favorites” 2009, “Stories of Lucile” 2012

Murl is also an inventor, designing the Murlstrap - Accordion Back Strap to help move the weight of the accordion and alleviate some of the neck and shoulder strain many accordionists endure. You can find out more about Murl Allen Sanders' many accomplishments and the Murlstrap:

Upcoming performances:
December 1, 2019: Silicon Valley Accordion Club in Los Altos, California. Show begins at 1:30 PM at the Christ Episcopal Church 1040 Border Road, Los Altos,
just off Highway 280 near El Monte Avenue.

December 28, 2019 9:PM: Performance with LeRoy Bell’s band at the Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. NW Seattle, WA 98107. LeRoy is the mighty singer/songwriter who has written hits for Elton John.

For further information:
Tel: 206-781-8196

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Hank Thunander Concert Review 

by Dr. Helmi Harrington, Curator, A World of Accordions Museum, USA
HankHankWould you believe three-plus hours of non-stop music?  Well, that’s what our audience enjoyed when Hank Thunander took the stage on October 27. The audience remained enthralled throughout and one of my people commented: “I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.”

The multi-Hall-of-Fame honoree arrived at HARTS about noon and was “warming up” shortly thereafter. When a few front-row seat folks settled in, that turned into real playing. By the time the program officially began, Hank was well into repertory medleys. One of his first was a tour of European and American favorites, especially Big Band pieces. Then Paul Vargason played a few duets with Hank, effectively using his Hohner Gola and Polverini button diatonic in perfect ensemble with Hank.

Hank knows his accordion well. It is an ornate 1933 Italo-American crème beauty with green “black-keys.” It is a light-weight and easily handled instrument, which Hank proudly says has never required repair attention.*.He is clearly fond of his performance instrument, comparing it favorably to Paul’s Gola. But then, Gola assets aren’t needed in Hank’s entertainment style, which involves stream-of-consciousness medley-type sequences that incorporate linkage segments with modulation sequences that are smooth, inventive and harmonically correct. He excels in fast finger passages, complex chords accomplished with ease, distanced jumps fluently grasped, clean touches in both hands and clearly expressed dynamics. Modestly, he rarely stopped for applause. Occasionally he told about his experiences or explained something about his enhancement techniques, and then the musical flow continued.

His musical skills are amazing, as is his extended concentration. Everything was played without music; only a list of titles was on the music stand nearby. His repertory expanse is astonishing and marvelous—8,000 titles by his own estimate. Students would be well advised to discuss elements of his technique in private lesson sessions.

The program was financially sponsored by Barbara and Dennis Vargason, long standing friends of AWAM and admirers of Hank. The Vargasons wanted to do something special for the museum and this was a most generous decision. Indeed, the concert brought us one of the highest receipts ever received through a single concert. We are honored to be able to add Hank Thunander’s name to our list of artists.

*When touring the museum, visitors should see our several like-models that regularly are found on service/maintenance tables.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Special Screening of Award Winning Documentary: “Zydeco Breakfast”, a Film by Tom Uhl

by Rita Barnea
Special Screening of Award Winning Documentary: “Zydeco Breakfast”, a Film by Tom UHL

Documentary Feature Division Prize Winner at the Capital City Black Film Festival!

See the showing of the documentary "Zydeco Breakfast" a documentary that highlights local artist and dancers who help explain what is so compelling about the culture and music! The event takes place on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 9 PM CST at Rock 'n' Bowl de Lafayette, 905 Jefferson St.LA.

Excerpts from the website on the movie: The story of one man’s inspiring journey into a world of rich musical culture in Southwestern Louisiana. It begins in a small cafe on the banks of the Bayou Teche and dives deep into the world of Zydeco music; telling the stories of some of this cultures most influential musicians, dancers and innovators.  From its roots to the young emerging local talent of today, "Zydeco Breakfast" brings you the complex story of Louisiana Americana - a community of people, part of a long tradition, working to preserve the heritage of Southwestern Louisiana.

In the Land of Zydeco there radiates soul-rocking accordions and that memorable and uplifting rub board percussion that makes the heart of zydeco explode.  The music roars across the dance floor at the local house Zydeco in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Here, in the Bayou Teche, is where Santa Fe-based documentary filmmaker Tom Uhl rediscovered his affection for the blend of rhythm and blues and felt the joy and sensuality of the inspired dancing. He spent 10 years traveling to the southwestern parts of the state to learn about the culture of the sounds and movements for his 2015 film debut, “Zydeco Breakfast,” The 93-minute film is a homage to the history and rulers of zydeco.

Though an outsider to the scene, Uhl displays an ability to immerse himself into the culture and gains access to heavyweight performers Donna Angelle, Geno Delafose, Corey Ledet, and Cedric Watson. In the film’s teaser, two-time Grammy nominee Watson opens up about his personal take on the history of zydeco. “The music is Creole music that is mixed between African influences and French and Spanish and Native Americans. When the music started being sold and advertised, that is when it was separated between what’s Creole, what’s Cajun, and what’s zydeco? The way I see it, it’s all Louisiana French music.”

Uhl shines as a producer and director in offering a mix of historical context with up-close footage of live bands and enjoyable locals and tourists characters who line up outside venues as early as 7:30 a.m. to tear up the dance floors with leg-swinging, hip shimming action. To his credit, Uhl cleverly gives the performers the space to tell their own stories of deep familial ties to the craft and meaning of zydeco.

"This is a truly important film in these trying times, where our social fabric needs the healing and mending harmony and love that zydeco brings to the hearts of those with eyes to see, ears to hear and a desire to bring the message that we are all family in the Land of Zydeco.” - Eric K

Doors open at 6:30 $10.00 Cover

Ghostbusters Theme Cover by Anders Flanderz One Man Band

by Rita Barnea
Anders FlandersHappy Holidays. Here is a fun video from Anders Flanders who knows how to entertain a crowd with his busking. The people who are watching this are stunned! Are you? What is this? It is Anders Flanderz One Man Band!

For further information:

Future events

AAA Upcoming Events in 2020

by Rita Barnea
2020 AAA PosterAAA Festival 2020
July 8-12, 2020
Holiday Inn & Suites
625 First Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition
2020 information coming soon at Bennett Competition Events Page.

AAA Open Meeting
July 12, 2020 (Sunday breakfast at 2020 Festival).
Further information

2020 AAA Master Class & Concert Series
William Schimmel, Moderator and Curator
July 31 and August 1, 2, 2020
Tenri Cultural Institute, 43-A West 13th Street, New York, NY 1011.

More information (including hotel booking) will be provided in the coming months.

Voci Armoniche

American Accordion Musicological Society to Honor Joan C. Sommers in March

by Rita Barnea
AAMS logo
Joan Sommers, Al TerzoJoe Natoli, Dee LangleyThe American Accordion Musicological Society is proud to honor Joan C. Sommers at their Honoree Banquet and Concert on March 6 and 7, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel 2349 W NJ Route 70, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

The event will feature two Festival Orchestras:
Advanced Festival Orchestra 1: directed by Joan C. Sommers
Intermediate Festival Orchestra 2: directed by Dee Langley

Workshops will be presented by Al Terzo, Joe Natoli, and Joan C. Sommers.

Hotel Rate $110.00 plus taxes More info in future USA publications.

For more information contact:
AAMS – Joanna Darrow – 856-854-6628

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience

by Rita Barnea
Terrance SimienVideo: Two-time Grammy Award winning Creole Zydeco artist Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience performing on the Cajun-Zydeco Stage of the 26th Annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival held at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park in Simi Valley, CA, U.S.A. for the Memorial Day weekend. Terrance Simien - Vocals and Accordion Danny Williams ...

Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience present the following performances in 2020. Lively, exciting, fun, exciting for all!:

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
Feb. 25 Tue 3 PM: Grand Theatre Frankfort, KY · Frankfort, Kentucky
Feb 28: Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco ~ Student Matinee Series
Fri 10 AM · Stocker Arts Center · Elyria, Ohio
Feb 29: Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience ~ Random Acts Series
Sat 7 PM · Stocker Arts Center · Elyria, Ohio

Terrance Simien website excerpts: For 38 years, two- time GRAMMY award winning artist Terrance Simien and 8th generation Louisiana Creole has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is – and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience bandmates – long time members Danny Williams, keyboards and Stan Chambers, bass, horn players, Lance Ellis, sax  and Curtis Watson, trumpet, and newest member (2019), drummer Ian Molinaro – Thompson 

Simien has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. He and his band mates have performed over 9000 concerts, toured millions of miles to over 45 countries during their eventful career.

2019 marked Simien’s 34th consecutive New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – the gold standard for diversity in American roots music. 2014 proved to be another memorable year when Simien & his collaborators from the Zydeco Experience band were honored with their second GRAMMY award in Los Angeles on January 26, 2014 at the Nokia Theatre.

2012 found Simien & his band mates seen performing their original song “Dance Everyday” in the Warner Brothers film “The Lucky One” starring Zac Efron and Blythe Danner, and directed by Oscar nominated director Scott Hicks. Simien’s version of zydeco standard “Uncle Bud” was also used in the film.

2009 signaled the release of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog”, set in the city of New Orleans and featured their first black princess. Alas, history was made. Simien is the featured guest artist on “Gonna Take You There”, a zydeco flavored song penned by Randy Newman. Simien recorded the song with Newman in Los Angeles in late 2007 and it has became a favorite track for children everywhere! Simien’s student audiences all over the country sing along with him when he & his band mates perform it during their school time concerts.

History was also made in a very big way for this genre –  as it was the first time Disney featured zydeco music in a film!  As if that was not enough – the word zydeco was also spoken in the movie by one of the characters and has introduced generations of young children and families to an indigenous American roots music that because of this film, many heard for the very first time! We are forever grateful to John Lasseter and the team at Disney for this rare opportunity to have this genre immortalized in a Disney film.

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

2020 3nd Annual San Diego Accordion Camp

by Pamela Tom
The 3rd annual San Diego Accordion Camp, under the musical direction of Gordon Kohl, will be held on April 2-4, 2020 at the Mangia Italiano Restaurant in Chula Vista, CA. The camp emphasizes building accordion musicianship skills, enjoyment and self confidence in playing an accordion solo.  Both acoustic and digital accordionists are welcome to attend. This camp is designed for accordionists playing at Palmer Hughes book level 3+ to 7.  Music selections will include:  
·         Celestial Fire-- a study in rhythm and bellowing
·         Klezmer Waltz
·         Polka ltaliano--a fun solo in 8ths and 16ths
·         You Are the One--a dance ballad and study in tempo and harmony
·         Venetian Minstrel--an Italian Mazurka
·         Beautiful Senorita--a Latin rhythm study
The registration form and logistics information is available at:
For more information contact: Gordon Kohl Phone: (619) 395-0454



Vancouver Squeezebox Circle and Vancouver Area Accordion events

by Rita Barnea
Vancouver Squeezebox Circle FlyerThe Vancouver Squeezebox Circle is know for all things accordion for Vancouver, BC (Canada). The group meets the first Thursday of every month - Squeezebox Circle get-together;  Spartacus Books. The next session will be December 5th, 2019 7.30 pm - 3378 Findlay (just off Commercial Drive at 18th)

What happens there? It's "an informal gathering of accordions and their players from around the Vancouver region.  Some play, some watch.  No experience necessary, punk-rockers and polkas welcome." Set up a lesson, learn a lick, share a song, plan the squeezebox revolution (it is at Spartacus Books after all.)

The circles were started by Bruce Triggs and Rowan Lipkovits, co-hosts of Vancouver Coop Radio and are now hosted by Alan Zisman of Vancouver folk band The Gram Partisans. See the short documentary One Less Guitar: A Film about Accordion Noir by Pull Focus Films. Stay in touch by joining the Squeezebox Circle email list and their Facebook group. Watch a video short on the Circle made by TelusTV in February 2011 and check out the Facebook Vancouver Squeezebox Circle group.

Dec 1, 2 pm  - The Art of the Tango Fugue w. Jonathan Goldman, bandoneon - Pyatt Hall, 843 Seymour
* Dec 5, 7.30-9.30 - Squeezebox Circle monthly get-together - Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay (near Commercial & 18th
* Dec 14, 7.30 pm - The Dreadnoughts album release w. Balkan Shmalkan - The Astoria69 E Hastings
Dec 15, 7-, 79 pm Teapot in the Tuba, Solstice Coffee House, Brittania Community Centre, Napier & Commercial
* Dec 21, 6-9 pm: Alan Zisman - Secret Lantern Society Solstice lantern making: Strathcona Community Centre
* Dec 21, 7-7.45: Teapot in the Tuba - Secret Lantern Society Solstice False Creek Community Centre, Games Room
*Dec 21, 8.30-9.45: Zlatna Mountain - Secret Lantern Society Solstice False Creek Community Centre, Lind Hall
*Dec 22, 10 am-2 pm - Teapot in the Tuba - Hastings Park Winter Market •
Dec 22, 8-11 pm - The Wrong Show: Twisted Christmas Party w. 'special guest' Ana Bon-Bon. Tiki Bar at the Waldorf, 1489 E Hastings
* Dec 24, 4-6 pm - Teapot in the Tuba - Vancouver Christmas Market, Jack Poole Plaza
 Ongoing events • Every Tuesday, 7.30-9.30 - Breaking Boundaries Experimental Quartet - La Mezcaleria, 68 E Cordova St
* Every  Wednesday, 10-11pm - Accordion Noir radio show CFRO 100.5 FM or anytime at
* First Thursday of every month, 7.30-9.30 - Squeezebox Circle monthly get-together - Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay (near Commercial & 18th)
* Second Thursday of every month - Black Bear Rebel Ceilidh Band - Black Bear Pub, 1177 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver.
* Third Thursday of every month - Balkan dance party - "Balkan Shmalkan headlines a night of wedding and funeral music from Balkan and Klezmer traditions. Each month also features a set by different Balkan or Kelzmer guest band." - WISE Hall & Lounge, 1882 Adanac (at Victoria).
Roma Swing Ensemble - Thursdays, 7-10 pm: East is East, 4413 Main Street: Saturdays (7-10pm) & Sundays, (7:30-10 pm) East is East, 3239 West Broadway
* Every Friday, 6-8 pm - Breaking Boundaries Quartet, La Taqueria, 586 Hornby St.
Every Friday: 7:30 to 10:30- Alpine music accordion get together- Austria Vancouver Club, 5851 Westminster Highway, Richmond- all welcome!
* Every second Friday evening - 'International music' on accordion + guitar by our friend Rick W. - Jagerhof Alpine Restaurant, 71 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver - Call restaurant to confirm dates - (604) 980-4316
* Every second Saturday of the month - Nuvo Zydeco - The Cheese Inn, 4585 Dunbar, 604-620-1951
Every Sunday, 7-10 pm: Gary Comeau & Cannery Row, Ouisi Bistro, 3014 Granville
First Thursday of every month, 7.30-9.30 pm pm - Squeezebox Circle get-together;  Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay (just off Commercial Drive at 18th)- Victoria Accordion Club - Victoria Edelweiss Club, 108 Niagara Street Accordion-friendly festivals (in BC): •
Chutzpah Festival - Vancouver (February-March)
* Festival du Bois (Maillardville/Coquitlam - early March)
* Celtic Fest Vancouver (mid-March)
* Midsummer Music Festival (Smithers/Bulkley Valley - early July)
* Vancouver Island Music Festival 
Vancouver Folk Music Festival 
* Mission Folk Music Festival (July)
* ArtsWells (Wells, in Northern BC- Aug)
* Princeton Traditional Music Festival (August)
Accordion Noir Festival - Vancouver (September)
* World Accordion & Tango Festival 

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Rybak Europe Tour April 2-18, 2020

by Rita Barnea
Time for the 2020 Rybak Europe Tours, April 2-18, 2020. It is always fun, educational, and musical tour. Details below:

Thursday, April 2
Depart from Houston airport and fly in direction of Europe, France, Nice.

Friday, April 3
Arrival in Nice, France. The luxury bus with attendant team (including your tour guide) will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to the hotel in Nice. Check- in our hotel, and then enjoy free time for yourselves to discover this lovely city on the French Riviera!

Saturday, April 4
Leave the hotel in the morning for a tour of the state of Monaco. The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign state whose territory covers only 0.75 sq miles. We will tour this little state, see the Cathedral of Monaco, Prince`s Palace in the Old Monaco-Ville which also offers a breathtaking panoramic view overlooking the Port and Monte-Carlo. Of course we cannot skip seeing the famous Monte Carlo Casino. In the afternoon we will continue on the way to Italy, port of Savona where we will embark the Brand New Flagship of Costa Cruises – Costa Smeralda, the newest and largest ship currently in the Mediterranean! Check-in our balcony cabins, security training, tour of the ship and time to relax and enjoy the view of the Italian Riviera! Leaving the amazingly beautiful port of Savona at 6:00 PM is truly an unforgettable and magical experience!

Sunday, April 5
Marseille, France 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
When cruising southern France, you have to know that Marseille is the most renowned and populated metropolitan area in the country after Paris and Lyon. When you alight from your Costa cruise ship, the cafés around the Vieux Port, where glistening fish are sold straight off the boats on quai des Belges, are wonderful spots to observe the city’s street life.

Particularly good in the afternoon is the north (Le Panier) side, where the terraces are sunnier and the views better. The best view of the Vieux Port is from the Palais du Pharo, on the headland beyond Fort St-Nicolas, or, for a wider angle, from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the city’s Second Empire landmark atop the La Garde hill. To the north of the Vieux Port is the oldest part of Marseille, Le Panier.

You can enjoy many COSTA cruise excursions from the Vieux Port. Capital of the Catholic Church during the early Middle Ages and for centuries a major artistic centre, Avignon remains another unmissable excursion. Low medieval walls still encircle Avignon’s old center, as it nestles up against a ninety-degree bend in the Rhône river.

Monday, April 6
Barcelona, Spain 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital and port of Catalunya - vibrates with life, and there’s certainly not another city in the country to touch it for sheer style, looks or energy. A cruise excursion to Barcelona city center will take you to discover its world-class art museums and its fashionable designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops. And in Antoni Gaudí’s extraordinary church of the Sagrada Família and the world-famous boulevard that is the Ramblas, you have two Mediterranean sights that are high up on any list!

Tuesday, April 7
Palma de Mallorca, Spain 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
In Spain there is only one place that does holidays, leisure, shopping and culture at once: Palma de Mallorca! Upon arrival in Palma de Mallorca, you can focus on the Island’s various activities: shopping, medieval buildings, walks on the beach or mountain climbing, whatever you desire. Go downtown for a stroll to the port of Palma de Mallorca, while architecture lovers will know that many historic buildings in the city have an impressive courtyard inside, like the Museum of Contemporary Art. Get some "ensaïmadas" to eat on the way to the Cathedral or on one of the island’s beaches. Don’t forget to visit the “Paseo del Borne” to do some shopping.

Wednesday, April 8
Day at sea. Relax and party on the ship!

Thursday, April 9
Civitavecchia (near Rome), Italy 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Civitavecchia, a former Etruscan port, is the seaport for Rome. And what about it? Everything here reflects the glorious power of people who ruled the world.
Located in cove, protected to the north by Mignone and south by the Marangone, the Civitavecchia port was built on the Tyrrhenian coast in Etruscan times and still preserves traces of this history. In particular, the Michelangelo fort and the old town with its 9th-century walls bear witness to the splendour of a medieval past. On a shore excursion you book with COSTA, you can visit Rome (1.5 hour drive), the grandiose capital with its world-famous monuments: the Forum, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trajan's column, St Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Venezia, the Spanish Steps and so much more!

Friday, April 10
La Spezia, Italy 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM
The small port of La Spezia, an impressively sweeping panorama of islands in the Italian Riviera, is located between Genoa and Pisa. It is south of Liguria, on a mountainous coast at the bottom of the Gulf of Poets. The port of La Spezia is very famous for its military arsenal. A stop at this port will allow you to visit several museums, including the Amedeo Lia inside the monastery of San Francesco di Paola. A shore excursion booked with COSTA can take you to visit the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) - named for five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – wedged into a series of coves between sheer cliffs, whose comparative remoteness and dramatic positions make the region the principal scenic highlight of the whole Riviera. Or other excursion options can bring you to beautiful Florence or take you to the amazing Leaning Tower of Pisa, an imposing structure that appears almost weightless thanks to story after story of graceful arches.

Saturday, April 11
Arrival to the port of Savona in the morning. Our bus will be waiting for us and take us to the city of Milan, located in Lombardy in Northern Italy. It´s the country’s financial and fashion capital. Home to designers like Prada, Armani and Versace, Milan’s impressive shopping centers attract nearly as many visitors as the city’s centuries-old cultural institutions. With attractions in Milan like the Duomo Cathedral, La Scala opera it’s no wonder that Milan is Italy’s third most visited city after Rome and Venice. We will have a short walking tour of Milan to see the main attractions: La Scala opera house, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – the oldest shopping mall with luxurious boutiques such as Versace, Prada and other famous brands. We will also see the Duomo Cathedral and Duomo square after which you will have some free time for yourselves and shopping in the city. Continue on our way and spend a night in the area of Lake Como.

Sunday, April 12
Departure to Tirano, where we get on the Bernina Express train for an unbelievably beautiful scenic ride! A particular high-point of the ride is the panoramic view as it passes mighty glaciers on its ascend from a land of swaying palms in Tirano. We will experience one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps. This winding mountain railway connects northern and southern Europe without the use of any toothed-wheel mechanism. We will end up at one of the most famous holiday destinations in the world - located in Engadin on the southern side of the Alps at 6,089 ft. above sea level – in between Zurich, Milan and Munich. We will continue with our bus to Innsbruck, Austria, a beautiful Tyrolean town lying in the valley of river Inn. Check-in our hotel, then attend a show called Tyrolean Evening with typical Austrian music, dances, yodeling, and playing different special musical instruments, all while nestled in the foothills of the Alps!

Monday, April 13
We will start the day with one of the highest points of Innsbruck for a spectacular view of the city and surrounding mountains from the top of ski-jump which was featured in the winter Olympics. Then drive to Wattens just outside of Innsbruck which is known for the production of world known Swarovski jewelery. We will view the permanent exhibition of Swarovski Crystal World, famous producer of crystal items like figurines, optics and jewelry. You can shop in the largest Swarovski store in the world for reasonable prices. Then leave for Salzburg, city of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You will have a guided tour of the historical city, see Mozart’s birthplace, famous boulevard Getreidegasse, Residenz Square, the Salzburg Cathedral, and the fortress Hohensalzburg overlooking the city. You will also have some free time in the historical downtown. Check-in our hotel and then enjoy dinner as we wind down from another amazing day in Europe!

Tuesday, April 14
Leave for the Czech Republic. Stop en route in Vienna, the capital of Austria. This city used to be a capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for more than six centuries which left a definite mark on it. From the windows of your bus you will see the highlights of historical Vienna. The circle within the Ringroad is an unforgettable experience, constructed in 1857, 2.5 miles long, surrounded by the representative buildings (National Opera House, New Town Hall, National Theatre, Parliament, museums, universities, fancy hotels and shops). Have your cameras ready! We will then get off the bus close to the main square which can boast of beautiful St. Stephen Church and shopping opportunities. In the afternoon continue on our way to Roznov pod Radhostem. This is the area of probably the biggest emigration to Texas in the last century and a place where many Texas Czechs have their ancestry. Welcome PARTY with dinner in the evening at Koliba Kordulka – authentic Vallachian restaurant.

Wednesday, April 15
Today we will enjoy the beauties of Wallachia region, the eastern part of central Moravia. Visit one of the most popular tourist destinations in this part of the country – the Wallachian Open-Air-Museum. The buildings more than 100 years old stand here all originally furnished. We will tour the Wallachian Little Wooden Village including the church, convenience store, post office, mayor`s house and other period buildings. Then the bus will take us to neighboring town Frenstat pod Radhostem where our group will be officially welcome at the town hall. We will also see the permanent exhibition of local museum which is called There Behind the Sea and which explains the reason of emigration to Texas from this area, conditions for emigration and represents at many times the distressful journey across the ocean. Describes uneasy creation of Czech settlements in Texas, life in Czech communities and speaks about important personalities from public life. In the afternoon, you will have TWO OPTIONS: You can rest at the hotel, use the wellness area, book a massage and do whatever you desire
OR you can depart to Lichnov to view one of a kind collection of records on emigration of locals to Texas.
In the evening PARTY and DANCE to typical Czech and Wallachian music in the hotel restaurant.

Thursday, April 16
In the morning leave for Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic. We will stop en route at Moravian Karst to tour caves. You will walk through mighty underground spaces and passages decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, as far as the bottom of the world-famous Macocha (Step Mother) Abyss. The foot walk is followed by a motor boat ride along the underground river Punkva. The ride includes the visit of the Masaryk´s Dome, one of the most beautiful caves of the Moravian Karst. The Punkva Caves are an extension of the longest cave system in the Czech Republic, the Amateur´s Cave, whose passages are over 21 miles long.
After lunch we will continue on our way to Prague, check-in our well located hotel in the historical center. In the evening, we will be treated to a dinner and folklore show where you can enjoy a great program with examples of Czech typical dances, songs and playing different instruments – all while you enjoy cold pivo, Moravian vino, and wonderful Czech Cuisine!

Friday, April 17
This day we will tour the city of Prague! Guided walking tour of Prague begins with Prague Castle and then on to St. Vitus Cathedral, Hradcany quarter, and the Church of Our Lady Victorious which houses the famous wax statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. We will walk across the famous 14th century Charles Bridge and continue on to Old Town Square to see the Astronomical clock. After lunch in the restaurant serving traditional Czech cuisine, we will continue and end up the tour at Wenceslas Square, which has historically been the sight of many events including the 1989 Velvet Revolution demonstrations. Then you will have some free time for individual sightseeing and great shopping at the numerous stores lining the Wenceslas square.
The SECOND OPTION is to just enjoy Prague on your own as our hotel is situated in the heart of this majestic city, in the Old Town district and join us possibly for lunch by the Old Town Square.
In the evening, a historical tram will take us through old Prague just by the Vltava River where we will take a 2 hour buffet dinner boat cruise. You will be able to view the beautiful sights of Prague illuminated at night!

Saturday, April 18
Departure home from the airport in Prague on a flight to Houston. HOME SWEET HOME!

Itinerary subject to change depending on availability.

Email Edita Rybak for more info: or call: 512-963-6660

Please send your check to: Edita Rybak
603 N Texana St. Hallettsville, TX 77964
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