Accordion USA
home articles organizations
Search on site


Yellow Pages Events

U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2020
Previous News | Past News Index | Next News

Titano Accordion Company


Editor’s Note
Passing of Leonard R. “Skeets” Langley
AAA Cancels Festival 2021
Breaking News: Passing of Rose-Marie Bruno Coppola
AAA 2021 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition
New Arrangement of Eugene Ettore's “Manhattan Concerto” Planned for 2021
Stas Venglevski in December 6 Bach Concert and World Premiere of “Poetic Rhapsody”
National Accordion Association Training Centre
ATG 2021 Festival in Lisle, Illinois
New Accordion Scholarship at the University of Victoria
Rob Howard’s Releases New Book, “Accordion Anthology 2”
Cory Pesaturo Presents New Video and CD
Introducing: the Essentials Collection for Digital Accordions
Alex Meixner Online December 3 at 8:PM ET

Voci Armoniche

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

Collaboration Across the Miles Creates Online AAA Archives
2020 IDEAS Symposium: A Great Success!
Kevin Friedrich “Sounds of the Season” Concert, Dargaville, New Zealand
Joe Soprani: ”My Thanksgiving Story"
Not Just Oompah! Presents“ Music is Math 101” Workshop with Shirley Johnson
2021 Accordion Babes Calendar Available for Pre-Order Now
Carlos Vives Latin Grammy Winner with Cumbiana - Columbia
Jeanne Velonis Releases New CD “New York Dronescape" on December 12
Gia Ciccone Performs on Mary Tokarski Zoom concert
Stas Venglevski and Misha Litvin in Concert, December 13
Busso Music School - Broken Circle Concert Series - October 4, 2020
Paul Betken Christmas Jazz Renditions
Cancelled: Milwaukee Accordion Club 2020 Meetings - USA
AccordionGifts Holiday Sale – 25% off everything in stock!
Brooklyn Accordion Club Presents Jeremiah McLane Online
Scythian Online Album Release Show
Sunday Brunch with Chubby Carrier on December 6

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Calling All Accordionists to the Virtual Cotati Festival!

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

New and Updated Sites

Video for Christmas: Lionel Reekie Performs O Holy Night



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor’s Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Holiday Greetings
Rita BarneaWelcome to the last USA News publication of 2020. In 2021, 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!

Although we are still limited by the pandemic, live concerts and events are slowly returning as you will read about in the December publication. It is holiday season a much more challenging time for all. The income of professional musicians has been greatly impacted by the cancellation of numerous live concerts, festivals, and events.

Please consider this year, more than ever, helping to support our accordion colleagues by purchasing holiday gifts from their online websites. Not only will you be giving a unique musical gift, but, at the same time, you will be helping to support them during these difficult times. In this publication, you will read many articles and you will think of gift ideas. I thank you in advance for your consideration of the people who bring music, light, and positivity to all of us.

It is amazing to me that with this publication, I have completed TWELVE wonderful, exciting and fulfilling years as National Editor! Over the years I have produced 144 publications and over 4000 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 sharing with you all types of information about the accordion.

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 2020, this USA News publication had almost 1 million page views! So we can conclude there is a growing 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 sites. Simply click on “Past News Index” at the top of the page.

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. Even though we may be prevented from actually physically going to these places, you can still entertain, perhaps outside, or on Skype, FaceTime, or other social media sites.

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! You can be socially distant and people will still hear you!

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 2021 January USA news for a comprehensive list and description of upcoming festivals, concerts, and more! Live events are returning!

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

The Accordions Worldwide Family wishes all readers from around the world, happy, healthy, safe and joyful musical festivities this season.

Editor Rita Barnea

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

Passing of Leonard R. “Skeets” Langley

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Skeets Langley
Skeets LangleyAWW is sad to report the passing of Leonard R. “Skeets” Langley. His sister, Dee Langley, said, “My most adorable brother, "Skeets" Langley, passed away in his sleep at his home in Maricopa, Arizona on Tuesday, November 17th, 2020. "Skeets" was a world class musician and accordionist, 1963 Coupe Mondiale winner and he was also a world class brother. I'll miss him forever.

The family of "Skeets" Langley would love for anyone who knew him to be able to get together and remember his remarkable life. With COVID restrictions upon us, we have decided to postpone the celebration in Minneapolis until May 2021. When a date and place is set, you will be informed.

Excerpts from the biography by Mke Sanko: Skeets Langley was inducted into the 2012 Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. He was a virtuoso, side man on uncountable bands, leader, educator, recording artist, composer and musicians union member for more than 57 years.

Leonard R. (Skeets) Langley began accordion lessons at age 6 and continued his lessons for 14 years, the last few years of which were with teacher Larry Malmberg (MMHF Inductee 1997). As he grew up, he won many national championships on his way to participation in the Coupe Mondiale.

To qualify for the 1962 Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championship (held in Prague, Czechoslovakia) he first had to win his state then national competitions. Winning those, he then represented the USA and the AAA in the 1962 Coupe Mondiale. With about 25-30 contestants, Skeets came in a close second, losing by just 1/2 point, performing Schumann’s “Piano Concerto in A Minor". He received a Silver Medal and a cut glass trophy from the CIA organised Coupe Mondiale. He was only 20 years old at that time.

The following year (1963) at age 21, he was encouraged to go through the process again, first winning state then national competitions, and once again onto the Coupe Mondiale World Competition, that year held in Germany. In 1963, he won the Coupe Mondiale with his performance of Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto #2 in D Minor”, 2nd movement. He received a Gold Medal, trophy and proudly brought the 1963 Coupe Mondiale world title home to the USA.

Skeets graduated from Golden Valley High School in 1960, received his Bachelor of Music in 1965 from Augsburg College, and Masters Degree from MacPhail School of Music in 1966. He worked as an instrumental music teacher from 1966-1999. He spent his entire career with beginning 5th and 6th grade students, serving in 5 or 6 different buildings every week. This resulted in an immense number of beginning students over his 33 plus years, estimated at well over 20,000 students!

Skeets has led many musical groups and was involved in the recording industry. Skandisk, Inc. began their association with Skeets in the early 80’s when Michael and Else Sevig contacted him for his contribution to their first album. “Juleglade” their Christmas album sold thousands of records. The Sevigs subsequently went on to record 7 more albums, all featuring Skeets on the accordion. These recordings, now in CD format, are still a big seller with Skandisk, Inc.

Two interesting side stories about Skeets: As an accordion player at age 12, Skeets father was employed as a meat cutter and had some connections with the Christmann Sausage Company who had a number of retail cutlets. His father was approached by them hoping that they could hire his son to go around to their various retail outlets and entertain the customers during the Holiday Season (for a small stipend) It did not take long for the Musicians Union to find out about this and put a stop to it. He was taking work away from the other union musicians and he would have to join the union if he wanted to continue to play jobs. The administrative personnel at the union office were surprised when this preteen walked in the office announcing he was there to take the test for membership. Skeets was granted membership without any difficulty. As a result, he was an active union musician for over 57 years and a past Director of their board!

Another story was, that Skeets was the lone accordionist accompanying Luciano Pavarotti during his mid 80’s and early 90’s concert tour in Minneapolis. On one occasion, during rehearsals, when Pavarotti’s touring orchestra director attempted to “direct: Skeets in his interpretation of the “Italian Street Song”, Luciano Pavarotti said to his conductor, “Leo, just let the man play.” Obviously, Luciano approved of Skeets ability and presentation of the piece. After the actual St. Paul Civic Center performance, Pavarotti made direct eye contact with Skeets, smiled and said, “Bravo. Bravo!”

From wearing a tuxedo and playing with Cliff Bunzeil and the Golden strings, to Lederhosen on Leon Bonrud’s Bavarian, to being featured accordionist at the Black Forest Inn, to playing every kind of Oktoberfest, to playing “Pepe Band” style for the Minnesota Vikings games, to playing the opening of Meredith Wilson’s Music Man Square” Museum, to being on the road of the “Mary Lu De Met, Richard Ericsson Foundation” an entity that grants scholarships to aspiring musicians. and to playing the famous Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, Skeets has done it all.

Rosemarie, his wife, shares, “First of all, any celebration of life gathering we will have for Skeets will be held in Minneapolis.  Many of you have been wanting details.  Before I explain further, I will put forth one word, which says it all:  COVID. Those of you now reading this who live in Minnesota are fully aware that Gov. Tim Walz has now put further restrictions on the number of people allowed at a "funeral."  I understand also, that right now, weather is a drawback. Plus, I want everyone who wants to attend Skeets' event to be able to comfortably do so, and that might not be possible for them while COVID is still infecting people. So, after talking with our son David, we feel that this get together would best be arranged after the virus has been controlled (when vaccine is available and most have had access to it). I will keep our Caringbridge avenue of communication open until this last detail is decided so that all of you will know when our get together occurs. Interment of Skeets' cremains will be at noon next Tuesday at our church's Memorial Garden.”

For further information: Dee Langley:

Titano Accordion Company

AAA Cancels Festival 2021

by Dr. Joseph Ciccone, AAA President
AAA Logo
Dr. Joe CicconeIt is with great disappointment that due to the current situation concerning the world pandemic (Covid 19) the AAA Executive Board and Board of Directors have made the necessary decision to cancel the AAA Festival July 14-18, 2021 in West Philadelphia.

We are committed to public safety, including that of our many loyal attendees, guests and performing artists and to help support our nation’s strong efforts to help control the spread of COVID-19, we join a long list of events that have already been cancelled. Although the pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways, we always find a silver lining.

Look for AAA's new digital ventures through online lectures, seminars, concerts,  competitions, and the AAA Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony/concert honoring Linda Solely Reed. It will make it easy for us to communicate without missing a beat.

There's a wonderful world on Zoom waiting for you! We are looking forward to seeing all our fellow accordionists online. Be safe, stay well and keep the faith!
Happy Holidays to All.

Warm Regards,
Joseph Ciccone, President of the AAA

Voci Armoniche

Breaking News: Passing of Rose-Marie Bruno Coppola

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Rose-Marie Bruno Coppola
Picture above: Rose-Marie Bruno and Lou Coppola, accordion champions, with their proud teacher Rudy Molinaro, 1955

Rose-Marie Bruno Coppola passed away the night of November 28, 2020 after bravely battling a long illness. Born in Connecticut in 1939, beautiful, petite Rose-Marie spent almost her entire life performing, promoting and teaching the accordion. 

Picture left: Mother and son John performing together 2010.
Brochure for the Coppolas’ accordion school in Washington, DC in the 1960s.

An award-winning musician, she performed on the stage at Carnegie Hall in her teen years, and for US Presidents and other dignitaries, for decades, with her group The Strolling Strings.  When her illness prevented her from playing, Rose-Marie joyously supported the accordionists in the Washington, DC area and at the AAA festivals. 

A lovely, kind, inspirational person to the end, Rose-Marie will be sadly missed!

The AAA extends its deepest sympathy to the Coppola family.  Sons John and Kevin lost both parents in less than one year. 

The accordion world lost two of their finest, Lou Coppola and Rose-Marie B. Coppola.  May they rest in peace.

Picture below: The Coppola family 1972. Both sons were award-winning accordionists. L to R: Addie Cere, John Coppola, Maddalena Belfiore, Kevin Coppola, Rose-Marie and Lou Coppola.

Accordion Jazz Chords

AAA 2021 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition

by Mary Tokarski
AAA Logo
Elsie M. BennettThe AAA is proud to announce that this year’s edition of the Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition will take place in January of 2021.

Elsie M. Bennett was the driving force behind the AAA’s Composers Commissioning Committee, and was successful in getting the most famous of contemporary composers to write for the accordion. Among them were Robert Russell Bennett, Paul Creston, Robert Baksa, Lucas Foss, Alexander Tcherepnin, and so many more. A complete list is included on the AAA website at

This competition is in her memory and the AAA encourages contemporary composers to include writing for the accordion in their repertoire. Application forms are included with this article and can be found on the website as well.

A panel of prominent accordionists and composers will be assembled to judge the submissions, and the winning pieces from both the Junior Division (up to 18 years of age) and the Open Division (18 and older) may be featured at the AAA’s Festival in West Philadelphia next summer. In the event the pandemic does not allow us to gather in West Philadelphia, there may be a virtual event planned to publicize the winners.

AAA is also proud to announce that the winning entries from the last few years will be available on the website for everyone to hear, and options for accessing the music will also be included.

2021 Bennett Entry Forms: 2021Bennett.pdf

Hope to see YOUR music in the competition!


New Arrangement of Eugene Ettore's “Manhattan Concerto” Planned for 2021

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Eugene EttoreJoe SopraniAccordionist/arranger Joe Soprani is a powerhouse of energy! I spoke with Joe this weekend about his plan to premier a new arrangement for accordion and symphonic orchestra/concert band of the “Manhattan Concerto” by Eugene Ettore in the Spring of 2021 hopefully when things improve.

It will be a new arrangement of the symphonic work with the “Soprani” flair added to it. Joe played a portion of it over the phone for me. I can honestly say that Gene Ettore would have welcomed and enjoyed Joe’s presentation of it. Joe and Gene were very good friends, kindred spirits in the musical/accordion world. Joe said that because of the pandemic he keeps very busy practicing and arranging. He is working on the “Flight of the Bumblebee” for left hand stradella bass!

As it is in the planning stages, the target date for the premiere is Spring 2021 which coincides with the 100th Birthday Celebration of Eugene Ettore which I am working to bring to all. Eugene Ettore's birthday is June 2, 1920. You can read more about him on the Eugene Ettore Memorial Website.

At 86 years young, Joe Soprani is going strong, always busy practicing, performing, and planning his next musical adventure. Over the years, I have attended many of his live performances as soloist and with orchestra, the most recent being his performance with the 65 piece Philly Pops Orchestra in Disney’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on October 24-25, 2019. Joe said, “The score to 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' has a very powerful score and an interesting accordion part.”

In addition to performing in Broadway shows such as "Fiddler on the Roof", "Zorba", "Cabaret" and "Irma la Douce", Joe has performed in world premieres of "Frida,” a musical that called for a virtuoso accordionist and "Another Kind of Hero,” a musical which featured him on stage for an entire scene. Joe, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and won the Arthur Godfrey Show, appeared with TV Star Nell Carter in a "Colors of Freedom" production at the Convention Center in Philadelphia in 1995. He also appeared with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops playing a special arrangement by Nero with Soprano Evelyn de LaRosa.

In November of 1997, Soprani became the first accordionist to perform in "La Traviata" by Verdi presented by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Klaus Arp, the opera conductor from Germany, decided to use the accordion in the small ensemble on stage during "La Banda" sections. Joe has also performed with Russell Watson on Good Morning America, and continues to promote the accordion as a serious instrument at various clubs and organizations. His workshops at schools and colleges, where he demonstrates his skills as performer and arranger to young composers and arrangers, have been well received.

Presently Joe is arranging, for accordion, a book of cocktail piano selections, a Hal Leonard Publication, arranged by Brent Edstrom. It will include selections such as “Blue Moon”, “Fly Me to the Moon” etc.

Please refer to ‘My Thanksgiving Story” in this publication’s Reports Section for more information about Joe Soprani.


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

Stas Venglevski in December 6 Bach Concert and World Premiere of “Poetic Rhapsody”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Stas Venglevski
Poetic RhapsodyAWAMStas Venglevski performs live (and live srteam) at AWAM, Superior, WI and on FaceBook and Youtube on December 6, 2020, 3:PM (CST).

Stas Venglevski, in dedicating his new major composition “Poetic Rhapsody” to Helmi Harrington, curator of A World of Accordions Museum in Superior, Wisconsin, USA. This is a “first” in the history of the Museum.

Accordion lovers are in for a treat with world-class bayan accordionist and composer, Stas Venglevski, performing an in-person concert featuring Bach classics and a world premiere of his new composition, “Poetic Rhapsody” on December 6, 2020 at 3:PM (CST) at A World of Accordions Museum (AWAM) in Superior, WI. Stas’ concert will be live streamed simultaneously via AWAM’s YouTube channel and FaceBook account.

The concert’s first half consists of J. S. Bach’s compositions:
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565),
Invention #2 in C Minor (BWV 788)
Inventions #6 in E Major (BWV 777)
Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 875)
Prelude in E Minor (BWV 810)
Chorale Prelude in F Minor (BWV 659)
Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor (BWV 582).

The second half of the concert will honor two composers: Yehuda Yannay’s "Fantasietta with Interruptions on a Theme in F Minor", and William Susman’s "Zydeco Madness". The concert will conclude with the premiere of Stas’ "Poetic Rhapsody".

AWAM’s spacious concert hall allows 6 feet distancing between audience members. Masks are required. Admission is $20.00 per person and tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Stas is an accordionist, musician, arranger, entertainer and teacher. His repertoire includes his original compositions, and 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.

Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He is a regular participant with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Arts in Community Education Program (ACE), has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, has done television commercials, and has performed in theater productions. Stas has produced numerous recordings and has published several books of original compositions.

Under the guidance of Friedrich Lips, Stas’s artistry, dazzling technical command and musical sensitivity have brought him to the forefront among concert accordionists. He has performed in solo concerts in Canada, Europe, throughout the former Soviet Union, throughout Europe, and in many events in the United States. His acclaim has advanced through theater productions, television commercials, and appearances with celebrities.

He has been further distinguished as premiere performer of numerous original compositions. In service to the accordion community, Stas accepted duties as board member and president of Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International, at which festivals he has performed, adjudicated, and conducted his orchestral compositions.

AWAM shares: "AWAM has a GoFundMe page to help support the continued growth of our Internet outreach events. We plan to update our website to make it more mobile friendly, continue to grow our “Accordion Notes” newsletter, and continue to live stream as many of our events as we can. We are honored that Stas has dedicated Poetic Rhapsody to AWAM. In addition to requesting support of AWAM’s Internet outreach events, we are also requesting specially earmarked donations to reward Stas for his new composition via our GoFundMe page."

Helmi Harrington shares, "Stas Venglevski, in dedicating his new major composition to me as curator of A World of Accordions Museum, grants unique recognition and becomes a landmark “first” in our history. Understanding this dedication in conjunction with the assets afforded by the museum, Poetic Rhapsody lends us the dignity of Stas’ world-renown as composer and artist. The honor is heightened by the fact of its world premiere at our institution.
The concert’s first half will present J. S. Bach’s music. The second half will present Yehuda Yannay’s Fantasietta with Interruptions on a Theme in F minor, William Susman’s Zydeco Madness and Stas’ Poetic Rhapsody.
The program will be presented at 3:00 PM on December 6, 2020, in Harrington ARTS Center’s acoustically ideal Hanni Strahl Concert Hall as a live concert for attendees. The hall’s capacity to seat 1,000 people will be more than adequate to allow for 6-feet (or more) spacing between guests. Face masks for attendees is required. $20.00 admission tickets can be purchased at the door.

Live Stream Information:
This event will be live streamed worldwide on both YouTube and Facebook.  There is no need to register.  You can click on the following links just prior to the start of the event. • 1 PM Pacific Time
* 2 PM Mountain
* 3 PM Central US
* 4 PM Eastern US
* 9 PM UK Time
* 10 PM Central European Time
* 8 AM Dec 7 in Eastern Australia
* 10 AM Dec 7 in New Zealand YouTube Live Stream -
Facebook Live Stream -

If you are on facebook, you can search for AWorldofAccordions and then click on the Events tab to find the live stream.

There is no charge to view the live stream, but we do request that you make a donation to support our efforts to continue to make events like this available in this format.  Please click on the following button to support our digital outreach.

For details email:
Helmi Harrington

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

National Accordion Association Training Centre

by Norman Seaton, NAA President
NAA Logo
Sharon SeatonThe National Accordion Association (NAA) is now hosting a virtual training area for the accordion world, coordinated by Dr Sharon Seaton (picture right). The purpose is to provide a single reference area for digital training areas.

Online training options include:
1. Covid-19 survival kit
2. Training sessions
3. Youtube videos

Sharon is waiting for your recommendations and helpful hints. What ideas have you used personally, or observed in other musicians, to revive lagging playing engagements?

The link to the training area is:

For any suggestion or questions, email:

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

ATG 2021 Festival in Lisle, Illinois

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
ATG logo
ATGAccordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) announces that their 2021 festival will be held at the Hyatt in Lisle, Illinois from July 21st to 25th, 2021. Michael Bridge will be a featured guest artist. Further details on the event which includes concerts, exhibits, workshops and competitions will be announced soon.

The new ATG board of directors includes President Mary Ann Covone (picture left), First Vice President: Liz Finch, Second Vice President: Beverley Fess, Treasurer: Kenn Baert, Executive Secretary: Esther Lanting and board members Joanna Darrow, Donna Dee Ray, Kevin Friedrich, Dr Helmi Harrington, Gordon Kohl, Karen Lee, Joe Natoli, Cory Pesaturo, Amy Jo Sawyer, Betty Jo Simon, Joan C. Sommers and Stas Venglevski.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

New Accordion Scholarship at the University of Victoria

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
JelenaUniversity of Victoria LogoThe University of Victoria, BC, Canada is now offering Bachelor and Master degree programs with the accordion as a major instrument.

The application and the audition dates for this year are:

Application Deadline:
Undergraduate: January 31, 2021
Graduate: December 15, 2020

Audition Dates:
Undergraduate: January 31, 2021
Graduate December 31, 2020
Due to COVID-19 all auditions must be submitted by recording, uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.

The scholarship is named: Brian Money and Nancy Dyer Accordion Scholarship in Music - University of Victoria ( Brian Money was born in Victoria in 1949 and started playing accordion at the age of seven. After graduating from UBC with a Bachelor of Applied Science in electrical engineering in 1972, Brian worked for 35 years with BC Tel/TELUS as a telecommunications engineer. He attended numerous accordion music camps in the US and Canada. He also studied accordion with Carmen Carrozza, a foremost classical accordionist who lived in Thornwood, NY.

After retiring in 2007, Brian played in accordion orchestras in Canada, the US and Switzerland. In 2009, he began studying with the internationally acclaimed accordion performer and teacher Jelena Milojevic, taking his musical passion to a new level. Jelena helped Brian make a significant improvement in his playing ability and musicality for which he is truly grateful.

For more information please contact University of Victoria Accordion Instructor, Jelena Milojevic at

Titano Accordion Company

Rob Howard’s Releases New Book, “Accordion Anthology 2”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Anthology 2Rob HowardHere is a great idea for a holiday or birthday gift: Rob Howard’s newest book: “Accordion Anthology 2” 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 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.

Earlier this year Rob Howard was asked by the British Music Hall Society to write an article about the involvement of accordions and other free reed instruments in the eras of music halls and variety theatres. The article appeared in their magazine “Call Boy”, and it motivated Rob to use an extended version of the article as the basis for his tenth book entitled “Accordion Anthology 2”. The nine previously published books are available online at: Rob Howard. Several leading players then very kindly agreed to write about themselves, and the new book was soon up and running.

This newest 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.

Rob Howard has played the accordion since 1968. At present, he has served as the concert secretary, compere and 'public voice' of Stockport Accordion Club. He has played in a folk group, in accordion bands, entertained in restaurants and for French-themed evenings, performed in musicals, accompanied Irish step-dancing and Polish dancing, been a member of a Bavarian Oompah Band, played in several ceilidh bands, and leads 'wartime sing-a-alongs' at Stockport Air-Raid Shelters.

For more than 20 years he has contributed articles and reviews to specialist music magazines, and above all, is an enthusiast for the accordion. He was the Editor of for many years. Available from Rob Howard, 42 Avondale Rd, Edgeley, Stockport SK3 9NY. Paypal available.

Rob shares, “When I was much younger I spent a lot of time boxing, and later became interested in playing the accordion. I have thus gone from boxer to squeezeboxer! The day job used to be teaching English (and other subjects) in secondary schools in Manchester, but after 33 years I am free of the 'chalk face', and now concentrate on playing music and writing.”

For further information:

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

Cory Pesaturo Presents New Video and CD

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Cory PesaturoIncluded here is Cory Pesaturo’s latest Holiday Video: "A Musical Journey for Christmas through 12 KEYS, 12 GENRES, and 12 Hats!" Enjoy!

Cory Pesaturo continues to be busy even during these pandemic times. In November, Cory played/taught in Gr8 IDEAS 3.0, and was the headline performer for San Francisco Accordion Club's November Event.  

In December 2020, he will be featured performer again at a Cotati Event, the 1st Winter Cotati Accordion Festival. The 2nd CD of the Group Cory is a part of and helped to create, "Outrospectives", is available now with the 2nd Album:

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Introducing: the Essentials Collection for Digital Accordions

by Dennis O'Toole
BoxesNow Available! Gary Dahl—the Legacy Continues (GDTLC), is proud to announce the availability of two editions of the  Essentials Collection for the Roland FR-8X and Bugari Evo digital accordions.

The Essentials Collection - Acoustic Edition is packaged specifically for musicians who enjoy the acoustic accordion sounds of the Roland and Bugari digital accordions. This collection consists of the two acoustic accordion sets which introduce the sound of the popular Borsini SuperStar. Using the Roland sound engine, the tone, timbre, and color of the Borsini SuperStar are faithfully reproduced with a range of musette tunings. The Essentials Collection – Acoustic Edition is being offered at $39.95 USD.

The Essentials Collection - Premium Edition is the foundation collection of digital accordion resources from GDTLC. The Premium Edition includes:

* 2 foundation Sets based on the sound of the Borsini SuperStar

* 84 User Programs using the Borsini sets plus orchestral instruments, covering a wide range of uses

The Essentials Collection – Premium Edition is being offered at $99.95 USD.

How We Developed These Satisfying Sound Offerings:
All digital programming from GDTLC undergoes a comprehensive finishing process. This process includes placing each instrument or reed at the desired location in the sound field, balancing volume according to its role with other instruments or reeds, and blending and optimizing the sound of each instrument or reed using a number of other signal processing steps. This comprehensive finishing process produces mellower smooth sounds, crisper bright sounds, and well-optimized sound combinations yielding a rich, full, and professional sounding result.

Volume is a particular area of focus. Recorded music underwent a number of years of “more volume is better” thinking—often referred to as the volume wars in radio. Now, it is generally accepted among audio engineers that high compression can be fatiguing and washes out the music. Instead, our finishing process allows for a wide dynamic range with thoughtful proportion among the instruments/reeds and between treble and bass. With plenty of signal headroom left after finishing, the performer is in full control of the sound.

For more information, or to get your Acoustic or Premium Edition, visit the GDTLC website.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Alex Meixner Online December 3 at 8:PM ET

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Alex Meixner
Video: Alex Meixner Online - December 3, 2020 - 8 PM Eastern
Video: Alex Meixner at the Brauntex Theatre in New Braunfels, TX

Accordionist Alex Meixner shares with us, “2020 is in its home stretch and although we’ve all had our fair share of challenges in this most unique year, it’s also been a year of creativity, extended time at home with the family, and new opportunities. I’m thankful for the ability to choose happiness and look for the good in this world with all y’all on this journey with me!

I hope you will share some of my music (and/ or the fun items in the online store including our new electrifying squirrel pins and Polka Pilsener bottle openers) with the people on your holiday gift-giving list. We have a 15% off Black Friday sale going on through Monday, so do your holiday shopping now.

Another option for yourself is to subscribe to my Patreon page. For just $3/ month, you get to download all of the new music I’m recording (including the new Christmas Break tunes!) as well as exclusive unreleased classic tracks from the vaults. With an annual subscription, there is a 5% discount, so for only $35 you get a full year of this access! At the “Serious fan” level of $25/ month (and the higher levels) patrons get access to a monthly zoom fan chat/ request hour which is an exclusive interactive live stream.

The audience is limited to 20 people so I can make sure everyone’s specific requests are attended to and it’s a special experience for everyone. I’ve been really enjoying the requests, ranging from my most popular live favorites to new selections that I’ve been preparing that range from tango to video game tunes and even a few new originals! I’m so appreciative of the support and camaraderie that is developing in this group! Last but not least- I’m getting the equipment set up to do a Christmas Livestream on Thursday, December 3 at 8:PM Eastern (7:PM Central) Get your holiday requests ready. As always, feel free to email any of the really crazy ones!!

A good chunk of 2020 has moved to be "virtual", so why not add Christmas gifts to that list. Alex Meixner will record a personal greeting and song to help bring a little cheer to the end of this weirdo of a year.”

Alex Meixner is one of the most dynamic accordionists on the scene today. Meixner has performed around the world, notably at American festivals like The National Folk Festival and Central Park SummerStage, as well as at uncountable community celebrations and accordion-centric events. His virtuosic yet delightfully quirky style has made him a sought-after collaborator (he worked alongside Jack Black in the 2017 Sundance pick The Polka King), spokesperson (Hormel and Ford have used his music and performance to promote their products) and educator.

As a recording artist, Alex has worked with renowned avant garde accordionist/ composer Guy Klucevsek, popular Irish entertainer Seamus Kennedy, Texas indie rockers The Krayolas. His recording “Polka FreakOut” with Brave Combo’s Bubba Hernandez won him a GRAMMY nomination.

Future Live Performances Include:
Dec. 13 Sunday: Holiday Cheeriest: A Winter Beer Festival
Public Welcome- Masks Required
The American German Club of the Palm Beaches, 5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth, FL 33463

Dec. 31 Thursday: Palm Beach Kennel Club
Strolling Band with Jan Lewan
Palm Beach Kennel Club, 1111 North Congress Ave, West Palm Beach, FL

February 16, 2021: Brauntex Theatre
Annual Fat Tuesday Show!
Brauntex Theatre, 290 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Before traveling long distances be sure to always contact the venue directly for last minute schedule changes or cancellations. Please inquire for scheduling availability. Other public performances/ festival dates are always in the process of being confirmed.

For more information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

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

Titano Accordion Company

Collaboration Across the Miles Creates Online AAA Archives

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Logo
JoanHarley Jones, Joan GraumanThe past year sure has been a difficult one in so many ways. Isolation is no fun, and that is an understatement! If not for our “new” technical conveniences, such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and WhatsApp, just to mention a few, so much of what we can accomplish with relative ease would have been impossible.

Each week, Harley Jones, founder and administrator of Accordions Worldwide, calls me on WhatsApp from his home in New Zealand. I sit in my house in Colorado. We chat — as though we are sitting across the table from one another — about stuff, as friends do, and then we get to work. Harley has put 25 of my 29 feature articles, that I have written as Historian for the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA), on the AAA website (AAA Archival Information). Harley not only puts up the articles, he also creates PDFs that can be downloaded, and he finds and uploads videos that correspond to my articles. I am so delighted to know that folks will be able to research historical events in the American accordion world, learn about the people who made a difference, and simply enjoy hearing about life with the relatively new and totally mesmerizing musical instrument: the accordion. Thank you, Harley!!

My passion for the AAA history has been fueled by my research on the amazing people who founded our organization and worked tirelessly to improve the instrument and its music, those who followed and tweaked and perfected the instruments and created excellent instructional materials, and those whose love for the accordion “drew in” so many musicians and enthusiasts, like myself. I loved many of these hard working folks, and wanted to “give back” for all they had given me. The history of the AAA is a rich and fascinating one. I hope you enjoy my articles! All articles at: AAA Archival Information

I am still writing for the AAA, so please keep checking the website for updates. As of today, these are the articles you can visit and download: AAA Archival Information

1. The formation of the AAA, including a video of a workshop I gave on the subject at the AAA Festival, Princeton, NJ 2017.
2. Documenting the AAA history, including several photos.
3. AAA logos and promotional materials spanning 80 years
4. Life in the accordion schools from 1950s to the late 1970s
5. Article on AAA founders Joe Biviano and Charles Magnante and their lifetime commitment to the AAA

Feature articles on various musicians and teachers:

6. Manny Bobenrieth
7. Frank Busso, Sr.
8. Joe Cerrito
9. Lou Coppola and Joan Cochran Sommers: first US representatives at Coupe Mondiale, 1955, and still going strong 60 years later.
10. Article on the life of Lou Coppola
11. Lou Coppola’s Lifetime Achievement Award, with videos
12. Lou Coppola’s obituary
13. Beverly Roberts Curnow: World’s Fair Accordion Queen and Coupe Mondiale champion
14. Guy Klucevsek and Cody McSherry: a heartwarming story of coincidences
15. Guy Klucevsek: “An experience of a lifetime”
16. Guy Klucevsek publishes a delightful new book and CD of his compositions: “Vignettes”. Includes videos.
17. The life of Frank Marocco
18. AAA’s guest conductor for 2017: Dr. William Morse. Includes videos of the AAA festival orchestra under his baton.
19. Washington, DC’s own Joyce Palmer. Don’t miss this one!!
20. Dr. Carmelo Pino
21. Joan Cochran Sommers
22. Linda Soley Reed and Mary Tokarski
23. Gabe Hall-Rodrigues and Jamie Maschler, “Creosote”
24. “And all because of a bumper sticker”: amazing story of how two accordionists, JoAnn Pankow and Art Piel, met and changed each other’s lives
25. Memories of “Mama Stella” Allison, my duet partner, with video

Happy, healthy holidays to all!! I hope to see you when the world is a safe place to gather once again!

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

2020 IDEAS Symposium: A Great Success!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
IDEASThis year's 2020 International Digital Electronic Accordion Society (IDEAS) Symposium was a very special breakthrough virtual event, all of which couldn't be demonstrated any more clearly than with the attached Symposium Souvenir Book. Joe Natoli said, “Some folks have asked "What is this IDEAS Symposium I keep reading about?" This 90-page Souvenir book will answer that question on every level, going into great detail about our 50 workshops and 4 concerts! But you can also go to our web page (, or look at the Announcements section on our Facebook page (“GR8 IDEAS”) to learn more.

We normally provide this Souvenir Book in printed form only to our attendees each year. But since we are virtual this year, it is especially easy to share it globally. We encourage all of you to distribute it to your network of musical friends as well. Absolutely everything about the Symposium is found in these pages (artists, faculty, bios, 50 workshops, 4 concert listings and more). Also, all of the ads, email addresses, and web links are active from within the document. So enjoy!”

Did you miss the incredible IDEAS Virtual Symposium 3.0? Would you like to still experience it all, at your own pace and schedule? There are 103! perfectly recorded video hours of every single workshop, concert, and event that took place at this amazing 16-day Symposium. Joe said, “Michael Soloway and I would like to invite you to email IDEAS
 ( now for details on how to take advantage of this huge library of information, training, and entertainment being offered to paid members for $575 and/or if you are not yet a paid member, just purchase the membership for an additional $45. It will be just like being at the live Symposium! Based on the rave reviews the Symposium has received here, you will be thrilled with your investment!

Joe continued, “While all the symposium sessions were all fantastic the pinnacle in my opinion were the presentations given by Uwe Steger on the mfx processing abilities of the 8x/Bugari - the ability to make the sounds richer, fuller or enhanced using this section has been demystified by his sessions and something many of us all underutilize. His visual explanations along with with skillful editing style was clearly coupled with his creative abilities afforded us the a benefit of seeing what the instrument truly is capable of in a manner unparalleled by others. Just magnificent ! For those who didn’t attend - you missed something extraordinary - and that is an understatement!”

As a lifelong acoustic accordionist, but not formally instructed on digital accordions, I found the workshops and seminars at the IDEAS Symposium to be very user friendly and really a complete education on how to play and efficiently and accurately implement the infinite possibilities on the digital accordion. I look forward to the near future when I plan to own one and play! The IDEAS Symposium was informative, interactive, and as you read this article, you will realize that it will continue to enable you to learn more at your own pace. I thoroughly enjoyed the seminars, workshops, and the excellent virtual concerts that showcased the digital accordion. If you consider investing in the IDEAS symposium and you calculate the total fee divided by the number of hours, your final cost is $6.00 per hour for professional and entertaining instruction! Less than a cup of coffee!

To briefly mention some of the special people and events: Michael Bridge presented a world premier look at his new sound sets structured around the Roland FR8X and Bugari Evo; Tris Gour broke new ground by broadcasting live episodes of his Whole Note series dedicated to both acoustic and digital accordions and how to get optimal use out of them; Cory Pesaturo provided two sessions of his highly successful CPEZ Academy from within the context of the Symposium; Joe Natoli headed a session on the Future of Digital Accordion which was an in depth discussion and presentation on where we will be going next.

Marco Cinaglia (of Proxima Digital Accordion) and Uwe Steger participated in this discussion and there was interaction with the audience; Uwe Steger’s discussions on Effects and Master Effects usage on digital accordion in his first session, and in his second session, “Foray through unique sounds, adapting programs to personal style and other weird stuff!”;Bob Donovan getting into the specifics of the Ketron SD90 arranger as well as helping get to the basics of the FR-8X and the Bugari Evo; Markus Baggio demonstrated the incredible capabilities of the Roland BK-7M arranger as well as making forScore music display software for the iPad easy and understandable; Michael Soloway, Kevin Solecki, & Alex Chudolij took beginners through the basics of the Roland FR-4X and accompanying editor, as well as an advanced class;Tris Gour & Michael Soloway taught and demonstrated the use of the Roland Editor for both the FR-4X and FR-8X.

Joe Natoli & Kenn Baert taught the FR-8X Bugari Evo advanced Level 2 class “Programming like a Pro” so that those users could learn all the best tricks for making the FR-8X and Bugari Evo sound great; Eddie Monteiro shared his special jazz genius and the many stories along the way that helped shape his incredible talent; Lenny Feldmann had a special treat for all of your BK-7M users with his customized playlists from which you will benefit from his hundreds of hours of work. plus much more.

Additional comments on the Symposium:
Joan C. Sommers said, “Happy Thanksgiving to all the new and old friends I met during the GR8 IDEAS Symposium. It was such a wonderful event and very welcoming to those of us attending for the first time! Thank you so much! Be safe until we get our vaccinations!”

“WOW! What an AMAZING couple weeks its been with Michael, Joe, presenters and attendees! As Symposium 3.0 comes to an end, I'm already looking forward to next year 2021!! I'm sure Michael and Joe first need at least one good night's sleep before they already start planning for next year though”

“Thank you for inviting me to be both a presenter and performer this year. Congratulations on a GR8 job done this year transitioning to a virtual event"

Rebecca Jane: Joseph Natoliand Michael Soloway and the rest of the faculty have done an impossible job on this GR8 IDEAS Symposium. The preparation, detail and execution were fantastic. We were not able to watch every workshop when aired but no problem they were all recorded for future viewing. We will catch up in a few days and watch again tin he future. I think you are up to something great.”

“Looking forward to his next one with great anticipation! The Symposium has been worth every moment and more than worth the cost! This is my first but it won’t be my last; I am enjoying it and really learning so much! Congratulations to Joe and Michael for your efforts!”

Joseph Natoli, “Thanks to all for the humbling and positive feedback. It's very encouraging that we hit the mark with this first attempt at going virtual. Glad you are loving it as much as we enjoyed creating it. Brings an otherwise tough 2020 to a more uplifting close. Thanks again everyone”

We all look forward to the next IDEAS Symposium organized by Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway.

For further information:

Kevin Friedrich “Sounds of the Season” Concert, Dargaville, New Zealand

by Christine Johnstone
Kevin Friedrich
DargavilleNew York based Dargaville born accordionist Kevin Friedrich, attracted a capacity audience at the Lighthouse Function Centre at the Dargaville Museum for the second time in four months, this time presenting a concert 'The Sounds of the Season' featuing a variety of festive Holiday Music.

Full report and pictures: 2020DargavilleSounds

All proceeds from the concert are proudly donated to the Dargaville Museum.

The concert featured performances by Wendy Dunn, Jone Yelcich, Take 6, Linda Emmett Litt, Lionel Reekie, Rivertown Singers, Roslyn Gilmour, Alanah Jones, Mike Durney, Adrian Humm, Brenda Polwart, Nolene Osbaldiston, Lynn Walters, Sue Marmont, Mike England and Maurice Jones as well as some Pantomime acts offering a lighthearted comedy element.

The concert Finale featured appearances by some of the more famous Holiday characters including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Santa himself, finishing with a popular Christmas Carol Sing-Along.

In addition to this second Christmas Concert, Kevin has presented annual fundraising concerts each March with the 14th Annual Concert scheduled to be held on March 28, 2021.

Full report and pictures: 2020DargavilleSounds

Pictures below: Kevin Friedrich and Lionel Reekie
Alanah Jones and Maurice Jones
Kevin Friedrich, Lionel Reekie, Alanah Jones, Maurice Jones
Kevin and friends

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Joe Soprani: ”My Thanksgiving Story"

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Joe Soprani
Accordionist Joseph Soprani shares his amazing adventure and miraculous survival of a plane crash: "My Thanksgiving Story”:

"The story that I am going to write about is similar to the one I presented at the Kimmel center for Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the USO and I might add that my presentation and performance was voted the best program of the 2005 season.  

As you know the purpose of the USO was to bring a touch of home to our service men and women and it has been written that few events have left a more lasting emotional impression on them than USO shows. The USO has brought top quality entertainment to millions of US military personnel throughout the world since 1944 and i am proud to have been a part of that development. 

My relationship with USO dates back to the beginning of my career and at age 11 I started doing USO shows for our service men and women. Many of you, I’m sure, remember Jack Steck(Starlite stairway), Stanley Broza of the children's hour, Bailey Goss(Balt. MD), and Paul Whiteman(right after the incident I was invited on his New York radio show to perform with his 50 piece orchestra and tell my story. He then presented me with a gold watch for my services with USO). 

Over the years many articles have been written about my USO days such as:" The Longest Hour", "Lucky to be Alive", "Songs in the Key of Life", "Accordionist Plays and Lives with Gusto", "Musician 18 Safe After Plane Crash"; and the most recent one called "Not Everything Goes Accordion to Hoyle" appeared in the official publication of Korean war veterans called the Graybeards.       
This is my story:  On Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1953 I survived a plane crash while traveling with the USO. after winning the Arthur Godfrey talent scouts show I was called by the USO organization in New York to headline a USO unit: “Broadway Ballyhoo", made up of ten performers, was formed and I was chosen as band leader and accordion soloist. and at 18 I became the youngest USO entertainer. the tour which was scheduled for Japan, Korea and the Pacific Islands for 17 weeks began quietly and without fanfare. We left from La Guardia airport in New York on August 31, 1953 and arrived in Tokyo, Japan 4 days later. 

After rehearsing for 3 days we were ready for the 17 weeks that lay ahead. And for the next 70 days we performed 2 and 3 shows a day in different towns and military bases in Korea(30) and Japan(15). We never did get to the Pacific Islands. 

The Broadway Ballyhoo unit collectively had many years of show business experience with such names as Bob Hope, Woody Herman, Ed Sullivan, the Dorsey Brothers, Xavier Cugat not to mention stage and screen and TV experience. Our show ran two hours and was a top notch variety production from beginning to end. It consisted of a guitar and banjo act(Bill Roberts), a magician(Norma Krieger), a dance act consisting of mother, father, sister, brother(the Evans family), and my accordion solos. Our trio consisted of accordion(Joe Soprani), trumpet(ed house), and drums(Mel Zelman)… and comedian, Joe Wong…ten people in all. I remember on one occasion when it got so cold(all performances were outside) we wore gloves during the show. but, I managed to play “Flight of the Bumble Bee" with gloves.  

On November 26, 1953, which started out like any other day on the tour was to be a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. We had just completed our first show at Iwakuni Air Base and was scheduled to fly to Miho, Japan, less than an hour away. We were treated to a Thanksgiving Day dinner before departing and were scheduled for two more shows in Miho. The military flight was routine and was scheduled to depart at 1:30 PM. However, because of engine problems our flight(c-47) was canceled. Another plane(c-46) was available for our use. We finally boarded the plane at 4:PM. By that time, however, we picked up 15 more passengers and many bags of US mail.

After having performed over 100 shows in 73 days in 15 cities in Japan and 30 cities in Korea for over 200,000 troops and traveling over 15,000 miles, it was not difficult to determine that this plane was overcrowded and overloaded. but, we were assured by the officers in charge that "everything is fine".

We were five minutes away from Miho, but it was raining and getting dark, making it difficult for the pilot to find the runway. He circled and tried again. This time he was instructed to come in on GCA(ground control approach). When the pilot realized that he overshot the runway, he tried to gain altitude but couldn't. We sensed trouble. At that moment there was a tremendous jolt. We did not know it at the time but, we were traveling 140 miles an hour when we hit water. We came to a halt approximately 4 miles from shore. Lights inside the plane had gone out and for a moment it looked like the end. 

There was a pause after impact. No explosion! No fire! There was quiet calm. All of a sudden crewmen came flying by passing over all the mail and baggage that had been strapped in the center of the plane and shouting at us to get out of the plane! Split-second decisions had to be made from this point on. One of the crewmen managed to open the four escape hatches. 

Two life rafts were tossed out and inflated. Each life raft, we were told, can hold twelve people. Thirty people were aboard the plane.  It didn't take much to figure out that some of us would not fit in the raft. 30 people were aboard the plane; 10 USO members, 5 crewmen, and 15 other passengers. Most of the passengers were out of the plane by now, but our trumpet player, our unit manager and I were still on the wing trying to make up our minds what to do next. 

The plane was sinking fast. Our manager suddenly realizes that he left his briefcase on the plane with our passports and important documents so he decides to go back in to retrieve it. When he came back out he realized what he had just done and almost threw the briefcase back in. Then our trumpet player, who was a camera buff, decides that this was a good time to record these moments for posterity and from the sinking plane he began to grind his camera like mad. It was amazing! I had never experienced anything like it. The three of us finally jumped from the plane into the icy waters. There we were in the very cold sea not knowing what was going to happen next.  Were we going to survive? Did we have to worry about shark? 

in less than 5 minutes we had evacuated the plane which was disappearing before our eyes. We lost all of our possessions; including our wardrobe, music, our instruments and my $1200 accordion which was a gift from my grandfather. Everyone was calm at first but by now, an hour later, some of us began to panic and became hysterical. Shock was beginning to set in. We thought we would freeze to death. Suddenly from a distance we could see a light coming in our direction. It was one rescue boat to bring in the 30 survivors. The Air Force rescue team expected the usual; no survivors.

We were all taken to the base hospital and a week later we were making arrangements to get back to the USA. Needless to say after that experience no one wanted to fly.  It took us 14 hours by train from Miho to Tokyo, 14 days on the USN general O. Darby military troop ship from Yokahama to Seattle, and from Seattle everyone went their separate ways. It took me 3 days by train to Phila. It was the longest and lonliest 3 days of my life. I arrived home at 30th street station in Phila. on December 27, 1953 to the waiting arms of my loving family.

After the crash I promised myself that I would never fly again as long as I lived. Two years later I auditioned and was accepted into the United States Air Force as accordion soloist with the United States Air Force band in Washington, DC for 4 years and traveled the globe. How you asked? By plane, of course.
                                       * * * * * * *  
This story has been reported many times over the years and has appeared in many
newspapers and magazines, but, I am still asked about it. even after all this time, especially around this time of year, I relive every minute of that Thanksgiving Day of 1953.


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

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

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

Joe has also performed with Russell Watson on Good Morning America, and continues to promote the accordion as a serious instrument at various clubs and organizations. His workshops at schools and colleges, where he demonstrates his skills as performer and arranger to young composers and arrangers, have been well received.

For further information:

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

Not Just Oompah! Presents“ Music is Math 101” Workshop with Shirley Johnson

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
ShirleyNot Just Oompah! does it again with another online workshop to reinforce your accordion skills. For those who are mathematically minded as well as those a bit challenged by math, Shirley Johnson will show a system that she uses to diagram music. (If you can count to 8, then this workshop is for you!)

Shirley will show how this system is used to make a major scale, and also chords. The relationship to the notes in the scale and the left hand basses will be explained, as well the terminology that musicians sometimes use when they refer to chords as numbers. Relationship to the circle of fifths and the left hand basses will be covered. If time remains in this 2 ½ hour workshop, Shirley will then show how this system can be used to transpose a song. Handouts will be emailed to participants so that they can easily work as Shirley explains. There will be time for Questions and Answers.

The same workshop will be given on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 7:00 – 9:30 pm Central Time, and then again on Saturday, December 5, 2020 1:00 – 3:00 pm Central Time. Be sure to sign up for only one or the other session. Registration will begin on Nov 1, 2020 on the Notjustoompah website or phone the numbers below. Workshop is only $35.00. You can also find information about our past workshops.

Shirley Johnson has been singing, dancing, and performing ethnic music since she was 10 years old- from her Croatian heritage to International folk dance music. She has studied various Balkan music styles for the accordion and for voice from internationally known masters. Shirley is comfortable performing as a soloist, often strolling while playing and singing Italian or French music, or in bands playing Celtic, Gypsy Jazz, and Klezmer, etc., music.

Currently Shirley is the accordionist with “The Oom-Pahs” (Polka) and with “Julie Slim and RendezVous” (French Jazz). Shirley’s 3rd CD, “Dancing Angels,” features several of Austin’s finest musicians. She teaches accordion privately as well as on Skype. Together with Laura Niland, she co-produces the “Not Just OOM-PAH! Accordion Concert and Workshop.”

For more information:
Shirley Johnson email:
Phone:  512-680-0422
Laura Niland email:
Phone: 210-651-4359

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

2021 Accordion Babes Calendar Available for Pre-Order Now

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Accordion CalendarVideo: Information on the 2021 Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar

The 2021 Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar (with CD) is available for pre-order now. The calendar editor is accordionist Renee de la Prade. Renee is asking for advance orders as they need about 200 more orders to cover all the print costs.

Due to Covid-19 leading to so many cancelled concerts, Renee has also started a free fortnightly live online event called "Accordion Fridays". She is inviting loads of great artists to join in and as New Year's Day 2021 is going to fall on a Friday, she has already decided, it's going to be an “Accordion Friday”!

For details email:

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

Carlos Vives Latin Grammy Winner with Cumbiana - Columbia

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News

CarlosVideo: Carlos Vives - Cumbiana (Official Video)
Video: NPR Tiny Desk Concert

The Colombian and Panamanian legends take home Best Tropical Song at the 21st Latin GRAMMY Awards. The lively collab between the two GRAMMY- and Latin GRAMMY-winning legends is from Vives' joyful, cumbia-infused 2020 album, Cumbiana, which won Best Contemporary/Tropical Fusion Album during the Latin GRAMMY Premiere ceremony on November 19, 2020.

Carlos took home a total of three 2020 Latin GRAMMY wins, the other for Best Long Form Music Video for the documentary accompaniment to the album, El mundo perdido de Cumbiana.  Columbian multi-Grammy and Latin Grammy award-winning singer, composer and actor Carlos Vives has been a prominent musical figure for over 30 years.

With 14 albums under his belt, including his latest Cumbiana, Vivas has sold tens of millions of copies globally. He is best known for fusing styles of music, such as vallenato, porro, cumbias, pop, rock and reggaeton.

In Cumbiana, Vives does what he does best, brings it all. He incorporates all of these styles of music, while at the same time modernizing them. The first track, “Hechicera” features Canadian R&B singer and songwriter, Jessie Reyez. The song, in both English and Spanish, is an upbeat tropical vibe song. It fuses styles such as pop and cumbia to create a sexy rhythmic song. Vives, throughout his career, has been known as “El Hijo del vallenato,” the son of vallenato.

Vallenato is a popular music style originating from Columbia’s Caribbean coast.  It fuses Columbian, African and European cultures. Typically vallenatos include three main instruments, the guacharaca, a percussion instrument associated with indigenous culture, the caja, a drum associated with African culture, and the accordion associated with European culture.

In 1993 Carlos released "Clásicos de la Provincia", which proves to be a timeless classic in Colombian and Latin American music, launching the vallenato on the world stage.Then came "La Tierra del Olvido" (1995), "Tengo Fe" (1997), "El Amor de mi Tierra" (1999), "Déjame Entrar" (2001) and "El Rock de mi Pueblo" (2004) which while not equaling the first success they definitely affirm the singer's maturity.

On July 28, 2017, Carlos Vives presented the new single Robarte in Beso, with Sebastián Yatra, reaches the top places in the world charts and reaches a total of 1.3 billion views on his VEVO channel on YouTube. It was presented at the Viña del Mar 2018 Festival in Chile, which surprised ChocQuibTown, Sebastián Yatra and Wisin.

Additional GRAMMY Award Results for Carlos Vives


Más + Corazón Profundo

Corazón Profundo

El Rock De Mi Pueblo

Dejame Entrar

El Amor De Mi Tierra (Album)

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Jeanne Velonis Releases New CD “New York Dronescape" on December 12

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Jeanne VelonisJeanne Velonis releases “New York Dronescape”. The CD includes three pieces:  

1. Music of Chants" by Guy Klucevsek
2. "Vegetative States" by Peter Flint
3. "Brooklyn Dronescape" by Bob Goldberg--three 21st-century drone-based accordion pieces by New York City composers.  

There will be an album release event at the online meeting of the Brooklyn Accordion Club on December 13, 2020.The digital release date is set for December 12, 2020.

Jeanne Velonis, is a classical recording engineer and the newest member of Bachtopus. Initially self-taught, she has studied accordion with Leah Barkan and Mary Tokarski.

For more information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Gia Ciccone Performs on Mary Tokarski Zoom concert

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Joe Ciccone, Mario Tacca, Gia and Ethel Ciccone
Video: Gia Ciccone Accordionist performs "Boum Musette" -(Jo & E. Basile) arr. By Mario Tacca

During these difficult times, it is always uplifting to witness the musical talents and progress of young people. Gia Ciccone is such a person, talented, motivated and always willing to share her musical talents with others. For these reasons, I thought our readers would enjoy her performance when she performed for the Mary Tokarski Zoom Concert on November 15, 2020. Gia’s proud dad is AAA President, Dr. Joseph Ciccone, who also performs with the Hudson Valley Accordion Ensemble. The great Carmen Carrozza was Gia's uncle.

Photo: Joe Ciccone, Mario Tacca, Gia and Ethel Ciccone

13-year-old Accordionist, Gia Ciccone, is an 8th grade student at Somers Middle School in Somers, NY. She started taking accordion lesson at the age of 5 with her Great Uncle Maestro Carmen Carrozza. Gia has consistently entered and won many prizes at the American Accordionists' Association's Annual Festival/Competitions and is a student of Maestro Mario Tacca, with whom she has been studying Accordion & Music with for the past 6 years.

Gia has participated in The AAA's Youth Orchestra under the direction of Mary Tokarski and has been featured as a Guest Artist for: Mario Tacca & Mary Mancini’s “A Candlelight Christmas Concert", The Connecticut Accordion Association, The Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fundraiser Events, The Valtaro Reunion, Mario Tacca AAA’s Life Achievement Award Concert, The Feast of St Joseph the Worker, The AAA's Youth Outreach Program, The Hudson Valley Accordion Ensemble, The Accordion Pops Orchestra and the 2019 American Accordionists’ Association’s Gala Banquet/Concert. Gia is the first student Accordionist to receive The DeBellis School of Performing Arts Music Scholarship on May 19, 2019 and was the First Place Winner of the 2019 Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Competition Jr Division which took place in King of Prussia PA July 16, 2019 at the American Accordionists’ Association annual Festival/ Competitions.

For further information:

Stas Venglevski and Misha Litvin in Concert, December 13

by Dan Grauman
Venglevski-Litvin concert poster
Renowned accordionist, Stas Venglevski, and mandolinist, Misha Litvin, will be performing live on December 13, 2020 at 1:00 PM (EST). If you have seen or heard these two masters perform together, you know what to expect. Those of you who have not are in for a real treat.

The concert is being sponsored by Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville, Maryland. It will be broadcast over YouTube from United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, hence the link to  

When the concert is about to start, that link will take you to the performance. Don’t miss it!

Busso Music School - Broken Circle Concert Series - October 4, 2020

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Busso MusicFrank Busso Jnr.Enjoy this wonderful video of the Busso Music School. The Broken Circle Concert Series, presented by Optimum Audio, was created in 2020 to bring music to the masses during the global health crisis. It strives to showcase local musicians and support worthwhile organizations. This October 4, 2020 concert featured four accordion students from the Busso Music School in Alexandria, Virginia, USA: Max Hoffman, Caroline Lammers, Nicholas Busso, and Alexander Lammers.

The Busso Music School offers lessons on a wide range of instruments, including accordion, piano, and a variety of brass and string instruments. Director Frank Busso, Jr. (picture right) is a seasoned entertainer who currently serves as the accordionist with the Strolling Strings of the United States Air Force Band. Since 2001 he has been performing with his father and sister as part of The Busso Trio, an all-accordion ensemble. Mr. Busso is a skilled educator of all levels, from true beginner to advanced artist, and since 1995 has been an instructor at such institutions as the Staten Island Music School, the Busso Music School, and Boston University.

Busso Music School
5712 General Washington Drive Suite H 
Alexandria, VA 22312

The concert host, Ellen Cherry, introduced the musical selections on the October 4, 2020
1) “Accordiana”, by Charles Magnante, performed by Max Hoffmann
2) “Hey Jude””, by Paul McCartney, performed by Caroline Lammers
3) “When the Saints Go Marching In”, performed by Nicholas Busso
4) “Cascade”, by Carmen Carrozza, performed by Max Hoffmann
5) “Harry Potter”, by John Williams, performed by Alexander Lammers
6) “Whiskey in the Jar”, performed by Anna, Carolyn, and Phoebe (Boyle School of Irish Dance)
7) “Silver Streak”, by Joe Picca, performed by Caroline Lammers
8) “Old Town Road”, by Lil Nas X, performed by Nicholas Busso with Max Hoffmann
9) “Autumn Breezes”, by Pietro Frosini, performed by Alexander Lammers
10) “Take on Me”, by a-ha, performed by Max Hoffmann

*Optimum Audio -
*Busso Music School -
*Boyle School of Irish Dance -
*Titano Accordion Company -
*American Accordionists' Association -

Special Thanks: Optimum Audio, Ralph Sordyl, Woodra Keene, Kyle Schrotel, Diana Meredith, Marianne Meadows, Ben Sullivan, Dennis Hoffmann, Sarah Hoffmann, Ellen Cherry Frank Busso Junior, and all of the performers and their families.

The program was entertaining and very well prepared and organized by their teachers. All of the young people involved performed with skill, great feeling, and are an inspiration to young musicians of any instrument. I enjoyed listening and watching. The students are wonderful examples of what steady, diligent, practice results in. Congratulations to their teachers and also the parents who devote their time and energy to encouraging their children. I am looking forward to future performances.

For further information:

Paul Betken Christmas Jazz Renditions

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video 1:

Video 2:
Paul BetkenVideo 1: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Video 2: “Let It Snow”

Accordionist Paul Betken shares, “'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' is my favorite Xmas song which I really play all year. “Let It Snow” is a great seasonal tune written in 1945 by Jule Styne in the heat of the California sun. He wanted to generate a "cool" song idea. Although this is a seasonal Xmas song, Sammy Cahn's lyrics contains no holiday or Xmas lyrics."

Originally from Chicago and after a mentorship of many years with Leon Sash, Paul Betken performed in the Chicago-land metro area for over 35 years. Now, residing in Tempe, AZ for the last 15 years, he enjoys casual engagements and jam sessions all around town. Paul keeps active performing at local music venues, recording, writing composition books and appearing at national events and festivals. Select clips of his performances are also available on YouTube.

Paul’s past concert appearances include the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018; Florida Smash, Southeast Accordion Association, Orlando, Florida, November, 2012; Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati, CA, August, 2014; Cotati Accordion Scholarship Concert, Redwood Café, Cotati, CA, August, 2015, 2017 and 2018; National Accordion Association Convention Concert, Dallas, 2014; 2015; 2018 and 2019; 78th ATG Festival, Lisle, Illinois, 2017. He participated in the Mesa Accordion Event 2012, 2013, and 2014; 1st Runner-up, Senior Division, Roland Accordion Festival Competition (2012); the “Jazz Series” at Sacred Grounds, Phoenix, AZ, “A Tribute to Leon Sash” July 2012; the Opa Life Cafe Jazz Series, Tempe, Arizona, 2016 to present and THE NASH, Phoenix, Arizona, November 4, 2018. Paul has played in concert for many accordion organizations including the North Hollywood, CA Accordion Club, July 2012; Silicon Valley Accordion Club, San Jose, CA, January, 2015, the Chicago Accordion Club, Elmhurst, Illinois, July, 2017, Napa Valley Accordion Assn, 2019, and the Arizona Accordion Club.

He has given numerous national accordion workshops at national events including the National Accordion Association Convention, Dallas, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017; 2018 and 2019; International Accordion Convention, Las Vegas, NV, June, 2015; 2018; ATG Festival, Lisle, Illinois 2017; and at the Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati California, August 2017;

Publications: “Jazz Accordion Arrangements” with CD, Paul Betken Productions, copyright 2017; “Jazz Accordion Arrangements” with CD, 2nd Edition, copyright 2019, Paul Betken Productions.

CD Releases: “Paul’s Turn-Jazz Accordion”, Paul Betken Productions, copyright 2014. Achieved international recognition and “Beyond My Comfort Zone-Eclectic Jazz Accordion”, Paul Betken Productions, copyright 2018 as recently featured on WKKC, Kirkland Community College radio, the Midwest’s pre-eminent jazz radio station. Both Cd’s are available for purchase at the CD Baby Store:

For more information:

Voci Armoniche

Cancelled: Milwaukee Accordion Club 2020 Meetings - USA

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
MAC club logo
CancelledThe Milwaukee Accordion Club regrets to announce that due to the still increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus in Wisconsin, the Board has voted to terminate all indoor meetings until the epidemic subsides, or until members get vaccinated against this virus.

They have made this decision with regard to the safety of all members and hope to be able to resume as soon as possible in the New Year.

MAC President Roger Boll shares, “I want to stress that our club is still vibrant, and we are not planning on disbanding any time soon. With the positive news that vaccines are just around the corner, hopefully 2021 will see us getting together again with some more great musical shows. I myself and the board are asking you to be patient. I know we all want to get out of the rut that we are in. We will be monitoring the situation, and schedule events as we feel that is safe to do so. Hang in there. See you sometime in 2021”

Milwaukee Accordion Club Mission Statement: Our mission is to stimulate a positive attitude toward the performance of music on the accordion by strengthening relationships with fellow musicians, expanding knowledge of the accordion and accordion playing, and by developing various musical programs to acquaint the general public with the education and entertainment values of the accordion.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

AccordionGifts Holiday Sale – 25% off everything in stock!

by Dan Grauman
AccordionGiftsThis year has been difficult with the Corona Virus pandemic affecting everyone, so we thought that we would end the year on a happy note. AccordionGifts is offering everything in stock, including holiday items, clothing, jewelry, stationery, and novelties at 25% off the listed price.

The sale is in effect for the entire month of December.

Please visit us at to see the large variety of accordion-related items.

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

Brooklyn Accordion Club Presents Jeremiah McLane Online

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Jeremiah McClaneBAC LogoThe next online meeting at the Brooklyn Accordion Club will be held on December 6, 2020 from 2-3:PM (EDT). This will include Part Two of a presentation by Jeremiah McLane of Breton Larides, a follow up to part one: “La Cadence in French Traditional Dance Tunes”.

'La Cadence' is a term used by french traditional dance musicians that has a similar sense to the English word groove. In this workshop you will learn some tunes from Central and Northwest France and look at how accordionists supply the groove for different types of tunes including the bourrée, mazurka, schottishe, and gavotte.

Jeremiah McLane is a composer, accordionist, pianist and teacher with a diverse musical background including blues, jazz, Celtic, Québécois, French and other roots influenced music. He has a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

He has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, in bands such as Cassotto Duo, The Clayfoot Strutters, Nightingale, Allos Musica, Le Bon Vent, Wheezer & Squeezer, and Triton. In 2005 he started the Floating Bridge Music School, which is devoted to teaching traditional music from the British Isles, Quebec and Northern Europe, and North America, all genres that have influenced the music of his native New England. 

The Montpelier Times-Argus music critic Art Edelstein named Jeremiah musician of the year for 2016, citing his contributions in teaching, recording and performing is his various configurations. Since 1990 Jeremiah has released over thirty recordings, including three CDs in the past year alone: a solo project entitled The Grinding Stone; Gnossienne with Chicago-based Allos Musica; and most recently The Wind Among the Reeds with bagpiper Timothy Cummings, which won the Montpelier’s Times-Argus Vermont album of the year award for 2016. His second solo recording Smile When You’re Ready, was nominated by National Public Radio in their “favorite picks”, and his fifth release Hummingbird, with Ruthie Dornfeld, received the French music magazine “Trad Mag” Bravo award, as did Goodnight Marc Chagall with Le Bon Vent.

Jeremiah has composed music for theatre and film, including Sam Shepard’s A Lie Of The Mind, and been awarded the Ontario Center For The Performing Arts “Meet The Composer” Award, and the Vermont Council On The Arts “Creation Of New Work” grant. He has served on the faculty of the Sate University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York and currently teaches the Summit School for Traditional Music in Montpelier, Vermont and at the Upper valley Music Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He also teaches regularly at summer music programs throughout the United States including Ashokan, Centrum’s American Festival of Fiddle Tunes, Swananoah, Maine Fiddle Camp, Lark in the Morning, John C. Campbell Folk School, Pinewoods, Bay Area CDSS Camps, and many others.

For further information:


Scythian Online Album Release Show

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
ScythianScythian Band, which includes accordionist Dan Fedoryka, performed an online concert to celebrate the release of their new album “Roots and Stones” on November 29, 2020. This concert was one in an online series entitled “Aoibhneas Sessions” held in conjunction with the Milwaukee Irish Fest, which was begun because Covid-19 had led to many musicians having to cancel concerts and are in need of support now more than ever.

Scythian is a Celtic/Celtic rock band based in the DC Metro Area that formed in 2002.The band's name, according to the members of Scythian, means “a bunch of pre-Mesopotamian barbarians who did not use forks or phonics," to describe a varying sound that encompasses everything from traditional jigs and reels to contemporary covers. The UB Post describes their sound as a mix of Celtic, Klezmer, Gaelic, Gypsy and Rock.

The band was named after Ukrainian nomads, Scythians, due to the Ukrainian ancestry of Alexander, and Danylo Fedoryka.The band comprises brothers Alexander Fedoryka (Violin/Mandolin/Harmonica/Bass/Vocals) and Danylo Fedoryka (Rhythm Guitar/Accordion/Vocals), as well as band members Ethan Dean (Bass/Percussion/Vocals) and Johnny Rees (Percussion/Drums/Vocals).

Since its inception, Scythian developed from a group of street performers in Alexandria, VA,to the 2009 winner of Washington City Paper's Best of DC 'Best Local Band' competition. They found that their brand of high-energy folk music found a resonance that led The Washington Post to state: “Scythian’s enthusiasm is contagious, and shows seem to end with everyone dancing, jumping around or hoisting glasses.” For over 12 years they have found success as an independent band and have played over 1,300 shows all over the United States, Europe, Canada and as far away as Australia.
Scythian’s accordionist is Dan Fedoryka.  Dan and his brother, Alex, are the founding members of the band, which hosts annual fan trips to Ireland and the Labor Day weekend “Appaloosa “festival in Front Royal, Virginia.

“Danylo Fedoryka (Rhythm Guitar/Accordion/Vocals) was initially trained as a classical pianist, Danylo made the switch to rhythm guitar in order to make music with his brother Alexander. Having performed at the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap as a classical musician, Danylo enjoys the free and somewhat loose spirit of Celtic music. Putting his keyboard skills to use, Danylo also picked up the accordion, which he plays during the band's Gypsy and Klezmer pieces.

For more information email:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Sunday Brunch with Chubby Carrier on December 6

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Chubby CarrierVideo: Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band Win Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album - 53rd GRAMMY Pre-Tel, 2011
Video 2: Zydeco Junkie - Chubby Carrier [Official Music Video]

Zydeco accordionist, Chubby Carrier Performs at Sunday Brunch, December 6, 2020 from 11:AM EST to 2:PM at Cafe Sydnie Mae. It's a Zydeco Sunday Brunch with Chubby Carrier on the Porch at Cafe Sydnie Mae, 140 E Bridge St Breaux Bridge, LA 70517. You know that Chubby Carrier always sells out wherever he goes, so make your reservations early at 

Every south Louisiana native has a recipe for gumbo, the state’s signature hearty stew. All cooks share the dish’s basic ingredients, but each cook throws a little dash of this and a little dash of that from their personal stash of seasonings and spice, to make it “their” gumbo. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band serve up the zydeco gumbo. Mixing the traditional accordion and washboard farmhouse porch boogie of the Cajun prairie with dashes of 70s funk, the spices of classic R&B, and refreshing, swampy twists on classic songs as only authentic Louisiana ambassadors can do.

Excerpts from his website: The master zydeco chef and Louisiana’s favorite emcee, Chubby, will say “there ain’t no party like a Chubby party” several times on your stage.That’s Grammy award-winning zydeco speak for “y’all better hope you wore your dancing shoes.” In addition to earning the Grammy for “Best Cajun or Zydeco Album” in 2011, Chubby and the band have recorded 10 albums; played prestigious music festivals across North America and Europe; and shared the stage with musicians ranging in diversity from Carlos Santana and Travis Tritt to “Weird” Al Yankovic.

A third-generation zydeco performer, Chubby remains true to his roots. A native of Church Point, Louisiana, Chubby still resides in the heart of Cajun country and mixes international touring with local concert and festival appearances, corporate and private engagements and youth outreach activities that share the history, evolution and significance of zydeco and Louisiana culture. 

Cubby is now booking: Festivals, Fairs, Weddings, Corporate, Private Parties, Birthday Parties, Art Centers, Educational Performances, and upscale events.

Future Live Performances Include:
Natchitoches Christmas Festival
Sat, Dec 5 @ 6:00PM — 8:30PM 
Natchitoches, LA

Rock-n-Bowl de Lafayette
Sun, Dec 6 @ 5:00PM — 8:00PM 
Lafayette, LA

Pensacola Crawfish Festival
Sun, May 2, 2021 @ 12:30PM — 2:30PM 
Pensacola, FL

Gator By The Bay Festival
Fri, May 7 and 8, 2021 @ 6:00PM 
San Diego, CA

For further information:

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

Future events

Titano Accordion Company

Calling All Accordionists to the Virtual Cotati Festival!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Cotati Festival
Cotati festivalAnyone in the whole wide world is welcome. So pass the word! Join the 2020 Virtual Winter Festival in the Lady of Spain-a-Ring! Be a part of the Cotati 2020 Virtual Winter Festival on December 19 & 20, 2020! Deadline for submissions is December 10, 2020.

The Cotati event will be streaming live from 11:AM to 4:PM(PST) both days, complete with a raffle, accordionists playing in 8 different countries, a Lady-of-Spain-a-Ring, streaming chats, and a Grand Finale.

You can view the whole extravaganza at no cost(contributions will certainly be accepted) on Facebook, Youtube, or for the best sound, on

Included in the line up of 19 accordionists are headliners such as Gary Blair, Cory Pesaturo, Pietro Adragna, David Munnelly and Matthias Matzke. If you wish to see the whole lineup please go to If you would like to take part in the Lady-of-Spain-a-Ring please contact Maggie at by December 12th.

For any questions contact Scott at

If you need any additional assistance email:

Voci Armoniche

New and Updated Sites

Accordion Jazz Chords

Video for Christmas: Lionel Reekie Performs O Holy Night

by Harley Jones
Video: Regular performer in the USA, Lionel Reekie of New Zealand with a stunning vocal and accordion solo of O Holy Night at the 2019 Christmas Kevin Friedrich and Friends concert in Dargaville, New Zealand. Enjoy this popular Christmas song and . AWW wishes everyone a very happy Christmas season.
© 2022 Accordion USA. All rights reserved. To comment on these pages, e-mail the webmaster.