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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Feb-2011
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Roland Debuts The FR-18 Diatonic V-Accordion - Italy/Japan
New 50th Anniversary Frank Marocco CD is Available Now!
Daniel Desiderio Conducts Final Concert with Accordion Pops Orchestra
Frédéric Deschamps and Grayson Masefield in Washington State

Voci Armoniche

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

Vladimir Mollov Performs in Arizona
Young Musicians Think Accordions Are Hip!!!
Interview with Karen Lee from Long Beach, CA

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

AAA Festival in Charleston, July 13-17
Dick Contino, Mario Pedone Plus Others to Perform in Reno
Main Squeeze Orchestra Debut CD Release Party
AAA Presents the 2011 Seminars
Giant Texas Jam

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Frank Marocco 80thAmazing events are happening in the accordion world! In January 2011, the 5th Annual Frank Marocco Accordion Event (FMAE) took place in Mesa, Arizona, 2011 FMAE Report.

60 lucky accordionists had the privilege of performing in an accordion orchestra conducted by jazz artist, Frank Marocco. Additionally, we all celebrated his 80th birthday with Frank, accordion friends, and his beautiful and talented family.

We were treated to memorable performances from artists including Frank Marocco, of course, and Jazz great, FMAE guest artist, Eddie Monteiro. Listening to both of them playing wonderful jazz solos and duets was like being in "Accordion Heaven".

Who do we all owe a huge thanks to?……Joan and Dan Grauman of Maryland who, for the past 5 years, have focused their time, energy, and love of the accordion into arranging the Frank Marocco Accordion Event (FMAE) with Frank as conductor, performer, composer, and arranger. It is a sold out event every year. Thank you, Joan and Dan!!!!

Additional fantastic accordionists present were: Stas Venglevski, John Simkus, Amy Jo Sawyer and Vladimir Mollov. Plus many others that you will read about in an upcoming article, 2011 FMAE Report.

Elke Ahrenholz of Victoria Accordions attended with her family. She surprised Frank at his 80th Birthday Concert with a wonderful gift that she organized: The newly released CD, "Frank Marocco´s Ultimate Jazz Accordion Collection - 50 years of great music in one double Album". Yes, you can order it! Do not miss out on buying it!

Additional stories, with photos of Frank and his accordion friends will be online here early in the week. Check out USA News for these new articles.

If you want to know what is happening in the accordion world, make sure you check the USA news several times during the month for late breaking updates.

Too cold and snowy outside? Then stay home, practice your accordion, and read the February USA News.

Note: My performance of the "Manhattan Concerto" on February 8th has been postponed until a future date.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roland Debuts The FR-18 Diatonic V-Accordion - Italy/Japan

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Pictures above, Top: Roland NAMM show booth with big crowds and in the front row right: Chris Bristol, the President of Roland Corp. and to the left of him, President of Roland, Hidekazu "Kaz" Tanaka. Middle is Steve Albini, V-Accordion Product Specialist and Amanda Whiting, Director of Marketing for Roland US with a close-up of the new Roland FR-18. Lower is Grammy nominated Lynn Marie playing a black Roland FR-18, and right is Danilo Di Paolonicola, seven time world diatonic champion.

The World’s First Digital Folk Accordion Has Arrived!

The world's first digital diatonic accordion, the new FR-18 diatonic V-Accordion, is here. With this groundbreaking and affordable instrument, traditional folk accordionists around the world can now enjoy the many benefits of Roland’s famous V-Accordion technology.

The FR-18 diatonic allows folk accordionists to instantly conquer the inherent limitations of their traditional acoustic diatonic accordions, which include the instrument’s fixed musical key, limited note range, and static sound signature. Thanks to its digital sound engine, the FR-18 diatonic can be transposed to different keys at the touch of a button.

All of its many sounds can be changed at will. This provides all folk accordionists with a single practical instrument allowing the playing of any musical style in any key. It also eliminates the need to carry and maintain multiple acoustic accordions.

The FR-18 diatonic has 12 authentic ethnic accordion sound sets onboard, including Cajun, Organetto, Tex Mex and Alpine, which permits accordionists to play a vast array of musical styles including Zydeco, Balkan, and Irish. In addition, there are eight orchestral voices and four Virtual Tone Wheel organs with fast and slow rotary effects, allowing accordion players to explore completely new musical styles.

It is also possible to assign drum sounds to the bass and chord buttons and play them manually. Sounds can be customized and stored in four user registrations for easy recall.

The FR-18 diatonic’s keyboard and bass button layout can be easily reconfigured. Users can store 12 different tablatures onboard for quick access. A simple software-based editor (available via free download) with the FR-18 makes it easy for users to create custom tablatures on their Windows or Mac-based computer. These tablatures can then be transferred to the FR-18 diatonic via convenient USB flash memory.

With its speaker-less design and battery-powered operation, the FR-18 diatonic allows the accordionist to perform freely with a compact and lightweight instrument. When paired with a battery-powered amp such as Roland’s Mobile CUBE, CUBE Street, or BA-330, players have a complete mobile setup for performing anywhere. The FR-18 diatonic also works perfectly with all popular wireless audio systems, and features a headphone output for silent practice.

Online translation !
View the video on

Titano Accordion Company

New 50th Anniversary Frank Marocco CD is Available Now!

by Rita Barnea
CD Cover
A new two-CD set entitled, “Traveling ‘In Time’ with Frank Marocco – The Ultimate Collection, 1960-2010” was released just a few weeks ago at Frank’s 80th birthday celebration in Mesa, Arizona. The announcement and presentation of the CD set was a gift from Frank’s manager, Elke Ahrenholz, and came as a complete surprise to Frank, who was not expecting the release for at least another year. The 38 tracks included in the two CDs come from 20 of Frank’s most popular records/tapes/CDs over the past 50 years, such as: “Like Frank Marocco” (1960 vinyl), “Jazz on the Road” (1988 tape), “Blue Notes” (1992 tape), “Be-bop Buffet” (2006 CD), “Frank Marocco Turns Up the Flame” (2010 CD), and many more.

In the world of accordion performance, Frank Marocco is a giant. Not only for his mastery of the instrument itself, but for his highly developed musicality. In any style, on the concert stage or in the recording studio, his playing is technically brilliant and musically superb.

Frank Marocco is one of the most recorded accordionists in America (and, possibly, the world), having played on a vast number of movie soundtracks, television scores, commercial jingles and record albums, in the studios of Hollywood and beyond. He has recorded for and/or worked with artists ranging from Brian Wilson, Pink Floyd and Madonna to Luciano Pavarotti, conductor Maxim Shostakovich and composer John Williams.

He was nominated eight years in a row for the Most Valuable Player Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (N.A.R.A.S) and received that award twice. 

Frank is also a consummate jazz artist and a gifted composer with several of his own albums to his credit. He has played his music for audiences all over the world.

Frank began his professional career playing in clubs and hotels all over America with a Trio he organized at age 18. Jazz was his first Love but the opportunity to make a living playing Jazz was not easy and he eventually made his way west to Los Angeles where he worked as a session studio Musician becoming one of the most recorded Accordionists in the world playing on hundreds of Movie soundtracks, TV shows and record dates.

He has recorded film music with a long list of composers; John Williams, Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein, Michele Le Grand, Hans SimmGiancchini, Henry Mancini and dozens of others. 

Frank Marocco has also played with some of the best Jazz Musicians in America and Europe; Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, Zoot Sims, Joe Pass, Joey Baron, Herb Ellis, Ray Pizzi, Ivor Malherbe, Carlo Atti, Sam Most, Gian-Carlo Bianchetti, Jacob Fisher, Pekka Sarmanto, Martin Classen, Andy Martin, Tuomo Dahlblom, Ric Todd, Harold Jones, Gerry Gibbs,  Mikko Hassinen, Conti Candoli, Philippe Cornaz, John Pattatucchi, Mats Vinding, Mogens Baekgaard Andersen, Marcel Papaux, Aage Tanggaard, Ron Feuer, Richard Galliano, Peter Erskine, Klaus Paier, Renzo Ruggieri, Massimo Tagliata, Pete Christlieb, Larry Koonse, Simone Zanchini, Andy Simpkins, Bob Shepard, Frank Rossolino, Jim Hall, Abraham Laboriel, Grant Geissman, Luis Conte and Stix Hooper just to name a few.

His passion is Jazz and in recent years has been playing concerts in Europe, Japan and Brazil.

His 2011 concert dates are:
USA, February 13th
Jazz Vespers Los Angeles
Northridge United Methodist Church 

February 19th 2011
Giannelli Square 
Record release "Giannelli´s Square"

Republic of Moldova, 8th March, 2011
Chisinau guest of the international music festival "Martisor" 
Solo Concert and with Concertino

Italy, 9th March 2011
Rome Concert 21.15

USA, April 10th 2011,  Milwaukee, Wi
(Info Stas Venglaski )

GERMANY, 2-8 May
2011 Klingenthal Workshop (4th-7th May ) 
and Concert 7th May 19.00

Italy, 2-6th June 2011
Frank Marocco Accordion Event
Castelfidardo, Italy
For information about Frank Marocco's compositions and CD's email:

For information about concerts: and

Voci Armoniche

Daniel Desiderio Conducts Final Concert with Accordion Pops Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Pops Orchestra
Accordionist/conductor Daniel J. Desiderio, who is retiring, conducts his final concert, "A Memorial Tribute to Charles Nunzio (1912-2010), with the Accordion Pops Orchestra for the benefit of the Alzheimer's Association on May 1st. The orchestra is honored to dedicate this concert to the late Charles Nunzio, world famous accordionist, teacher, composer, and arranger who passed away in October 2010 at the age of 97.

World renowned jazz artist, Eddie Monteiro, who studied with Charles Nunzio, will be the featured performer. Alfred Terzo will become the new conductor of the APO.

Daniel J. Desiderio is one of the country’s foremost accordionists. Well known in the accordion field for his compositions and arrangements, Mr. Desiderio has recorded on the Ampco and Cormark labels.  He has performed in concerts throughout Europe and America, appearing at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Copenhagen’s Radio House, Munich’s Congress Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, Philadelphia's Academy of Music and Kimmel Center, and the White House.

Mr. Desiderio began his formal musical training at the age of 9 under the late Arnold Crowe of Philadelphia and later Pietro Deiro, Sr, the "Daddy of the Accordion." He also studied arranging and composition with Dr. William Happich of the University of Pennsylvania.  He began his concert career at age 17.

 During his four year military service, he was featured soloist with the Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, performing around the world under the direction of Col. George S. Howard.  

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Accordionists' Association, one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Accordion Teachers Association, and a member of the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey which has become the MAMTG.

In addition to serving as conductor of the Accordion Pops Orchestra, Mr. Desiderio continues to perform in concerts and private affairs in the Philadelphia area.  He also operates a music studio in Media, Pennsylvania where he teaches accordion and piano students.

The origin of the APA can be traced to 1970, when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey.  Over the next ten years it performed at various community functions throughout the state under the direction of its first conductor, Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.

In 1980 the orchestra members took a leave of absence, but four years later the membership was reorganized under the direction of the late Eugene Ettore of Livingston, New Jersey.  In 1985, Daniel Desiderio was invited to act as a guest conductor of the orchestra and a few years later the A.T.A. of NJ appointed him as conductor in residence. 

The name of the orchestra was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra and its membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island.

The largest professional accordion orchestra of its kind on the East Coast, the group consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments.  In addition, the orchestra often accompanies guest soloists including pianists and vocal artists. 

Most of the twenty-five plus members of the orchestra are professional musicians or teachers.  Many are soloists in their own right.  The orchestra performs a repertoire of light classical, Broadway, big band and popular music.  It has entertained audiences at concert halls, county fairs, festivals, schools, and playhouses at many locations primarily in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The concert takes place at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton, NJ.Lunch/1 PM. Concert/3 PM at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, NJ. The donation is $48.00 which includes luncheon and concert. All reservations must be in before April 1, 2011.

Additionally, the APO will present a concert on Sunday, April 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM at the Shannondell at Valley Forge, PA.

For further information about the concerts and the Accordion Pops Orchestra CD: Rosemarie Cavanaugh 732-257-8198

Accordion Jazz Chords

Frédéric Deschamps and Grayson Masefield in Washington State

by Kathleen Falco
Frédéric Deschamps and Grayson MasefieldFrédéric Deschamps (France), an internationally recognized accordionist, is an innovative teacher, professor of music, and jurist for the CIA. Frédéric is also the President of the CMA (Confédération Mondiale de l'Accordéon), is returning to Spokane, WA in March to conduct masterclasses and workshops. 

The Master Class and Workshop dates are March 20-26, 2011, culminating in a concert by his protege Grayson Masefield (New Zealand). The concert will take place 26 March at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Park and Ride Place, 218-398 E 24th Avenue, Spokane, Washington. Time to be advised.

Grayson Masefield is an outstanding artist who has been honored with many first place awards including 2010 1st Place, Spoleto Senior Variete and Senior Classic, 2009 1st Place, Roland International V-Accordion Competition & Festival, 2009 1st Place, Coupe Mondiale, 2009 1st Place, Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Entertainment. 2009 1st Place, Primus Ikaalinen International TV Competition - Finland. Grayson is returning to Spokane, WA to perform once again.
This Master Class and Concert is hosted by local professional accordionist, teacher, and international competitor and USA jurist for CMA, Patricia Bartell, who has a teaching school based in Spokane, WA. 

Information about Frédéric Deschamps Master Class and Workshop can be obtained from:
Kathleen Falco, USA Coordinator or 208-610-8426.


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

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

Vladimir Mollov Performs in Arizona

by Rita Barnea
Vladimir Mollov   Photo by Bruce LawrieVladimir Mollov recently performed at the 2011 FMAE in Mesa, Arizona. He was featured in a concert to celebrate the 80th birthday of jazz great, Frank Marocco. He also performed selections with his fiance, violinist Annie Moger.

Vladimir who has attended many accordion conventions and festivals delights all with his energetic and virtuoso style of playing. The FMAE audience was thrilled by the duets of Vladimir and bayanist, Stas Venglevski.Vladimir also was guest artist at the January Arizona Accordion Association concert. He and Annie are available for accordion clubs, associations, and musical events.

Born on the 13th of January, 1983 to a family of self-taught wedding musicians, Vladimir was inspired by the sounds of the accordion since early childhood. Even at one-and-a-half years old he “played” his little accordion alongside his father at a wedding.

At the age of seven he began accordion lessons with the nationally recognized pedagogue Nadejda Nicheva in Kazanluk, Bulgaria. At his later stages of musical development he studied with Professor Peter Marinov at the National Music Academy, internationally recognized accordion artist Hristina Danova, and Nedelcho Dimitrov, a laureate of national and international accordion festivals and competitions.

At the age of thirteen Vladimir participated in an accordion competition in Vladivostok, Russia and placed fourth. Two years later he placed first in the International Competition for Accordion and Guitar in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria, and received fourth place in the World Accordion Competition in Castelfidardo, Italy.

Since then Vladimir has been recognized at national and international accordion competitions including a first award recognition at the Naonal Competition for Variety Music and Jazz on accordion in Novi Pazar, Bulgaria.

In 2002, Vladimir joined the Duquesne University Tamburitzans in Pittsburgh, PA. For the four years he was a student at the university, he performed over three hundred and fifty shows with the ensemble,
and arranged music for several of the dances and instrumental numbers on the shows.

His recent CD is a result of his work in several different music genres including traditional Balkan sound and fusion between Balkan ethnic music and jazz. Vladimir composed the music on this solo accordion album featuring folklore, jazz and some new experimental fusion styles.

For further information his CD and future bookings:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Young Musicians Think Accordions Are Hip!!!

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
Gabe Hall-Rodriguez, Sean Brogan, Austen Mack
This was my 4th time at the Frank Marocco Accordion Event,(FMAE) which took place from January 13-17 at the Dobson Ranch Inn in Mesa Arizona. A week of intense rehearsal culminated in a sold out concert on Sunday night. This year marked the Maestro's 80th birthday. All of us feel a real connection to the man who has successfully shown all that the accordion is capable of doing. He's made a lasting impression on this participant, but he's also, through his immense skill and personal warmth, made a lasting impression on a group of people we've been trying to reach out to for a long, long time.

As a member of the Board of Directors of the American Accordionists’ Association, I've been engaged in many a conversation about how to draw young people to the instrument. Those of us who grew up in the heyday of the accordion played it because it was seeped in ethnic tradition, and we left it to mark a separation from our families of origin. The dawn of rock 'n roll, the influence of the Beatles and other rock artists effectively sent many accordions and accordionists into the closet.

It's beginning to enjoy a slow resurgence. But what is it that's drawing the young ones to our beloved instrument???

I had the pleasure of interviewing 3 young musicians at the FMAE, who are clearly hooked on the accordion, thanks to Frank Marocco. What's the draw? How were they hooked? What's the journey like? These were the questions I asked of Sean Brogan, Austen Mack and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, bass player, drummer and jazz accordionist, respectively, for the Frank Marocco Accordion Event. All 3 of these highly talented musicians are in their early 20's. All are skilled on several instruments. All are graduates of Arizona State University's music program.

Prior to being invited to play bass for the FMAE orchestra several years ago, Sean Brogan's only references to the accordion were Disney movies (specifically Lady and the Tramp), Weird Al, and polka music in general. His first reaction to the invitation to perform with Frank brought questions: "An accordion orchestra? Really? Do they make arrangements for accordion orchestras?" He immediately researched Frank Marocco, and was surprised to see that this jazz accordionist was "the real deal." His friends had the same initial reaction when he told them he was playing for Frank's event, and soon their responses followed suit. Watching Sean listen to Frank playing, I saw pure bliss: eyes closed, head swaying to the impeccable jazz sound and rhythm that flowed from Frank's heart into the instrument.

Austen Mack stood in for percussionist Wes Anderson this year. Wes was recruited from the local community college to play for the FMAE in 2007, and was instrumental in bringing Sean into the fold as well. Wes was on his honeymoon for the 2011 event, so Austen was recommended by Wes. Austen, a jazz major who also played violin, guitar and keyboard, grew up with instruments in every room and all kinds of music in his home, primarily jazz. But his heart is in drumming. He's no stranger to the accordion, as his father was a player. He describes his dad as technically accomplished, but forced into playing the accordion. The elder Mack abandoned the accordion for jazz guitar and keyboard. While Austen wasn't as spoiled by stereotypes of the accordion, he was nonetheless blown away by the level of playing he heard at the FMAE. He, like many young people these days who are intrigued by the instrument, sees its versatility, tonal options and capacity for fitting into various forms of music, along with other instruments, like horns for example.

And finally, there's Gabe Hall-Rodrigues. Lured to an FMAE concert in 2009 by his friend, Wes, he describes himself first and foremost as a vocalist. And this young man can sing! His growing up years were filled with song. He started on piano at age 7, and went on to learn guitar. His dad is Brazilian, so he's also no stranger to the accordion, having heard it growing up.

At first, he wasn't too keen on the idea of coming to an accordion concert. But once hearing the FMAE orchestra, and Frank, he was mesmerized, and caught the bug. He obtained an accordion from an Arizona Accordion Club member and started playing. He joined the FMAE orchestra in 2010, personally invited by Frank Marocco, started lessons with a new Petosa accordion acquired via the kindness of Frank Petrilli (Marocco's student), started lessons with Ilmar Kuljus..... and went on to win the 2010 Virtuoso Solo Championship title at the AAA Festival in Hershey, PA!! He just obtained a degree in Music Therapy. Learning to play the accordion taught him “what it's like to do hard work," having practiced and learned a lot in such a short period of time.

All three young men reveal music backgrounds that created a kind of openness to all kinds of music. Two of them were exposed to the accordion at an early age, but never encouraged to play it. But most importantly, they cite the same desire that youth have today to be different from the usual musician playing the "usual" instruments like piano, guitar or violin. And all three of these young men show extraordinary musical talent, jazzing it up as a trio to the delight of the FMAE orchestra.

While I'm old enough to remember how the accordion was pushed aside with the onset of Beatlemania, I'm very glad that I'm still young enough to see our instrument begin to nudge its way past the guitar as it gains in popularity with a new breed of youth who show an openness and a desire to be musically different from the norm. I believe that's where the road to reaching youth is leading us. We all wanted to express our individuality by being different from our parents. Today's youth want to be different from THEIRS. And they learn from events like the FMAE that the accordion is meant to play many different kinds of music, and that in the arms of skilled musicians like Marocco, it can sound really, really GOOD.

Sean summed it up when, I believe, he spoke for all three of these young musicians: "The instrument alone does not determine the value of the musician. Accordionists are HIP!"

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

Interview with Karen Lee from Long Beach, CA

by Rita Barnea
Karen LeeAs I attend various accordion events around the country, I have been interviewing all types of people who love the accordion and are involved with the accordion in very unique ways. Here is my interview with Karen Lee which took place on January 16, 2011 at the FMAE event in Arizona.

This is the first of what will be many interviews with accordion people.

R:What do you do?
K:I am the engraver for the Frank Marocco Accordion Event and I also do lead sheets for him.

R:How long have you been doing this?
K:For several months now. I taught myself about 8 or 9 months ago.

R:What is your profession?
K:I am a retired trial attorney. '

R:How does that career compare to your new musical career?
K:My musical career is much more fun! Less confrontational. And equally puzzle solving. It is a people type of thing.

R:How did you meet FM?
K:He is one of the people that is associated with the accordion club that I belong to. I play with the North Hollywood Accordionaires. I heard him at the club several times. And then I attended his events. Then I asked him if I could be his student and he said yes.

R:How long have you been studying with him?
K:About a year and a half.

R:Did you play the accordion before that?
K:Well, I played "at" the accordion before. At my first lesson I learned that I did not play the accordion at all.

R:Did you play as a child?
K:I played the piano and the pipe organ.

R:How long was that?
K:From the time I was 4 until 37.

R:What made you decide to play the accordion?
K:You can't carry a pipe organ around!

R:That's true. When was the first time you played with an accordion orchestra like this?
K:Probably 5 or 6 years ago with the Accordionaires Orchestra.
There were 5 or 6 people then. Now there are over 20. Janet Hane's group.

R:When do you take lessons from FM?
K:When he is in town and I am in town.

R:Can you share something that you have learned?
K:Strive for tone.

R:How do you do that?
K:Keep the bellows under control. Always keep pulling or pushing the bellows.

R: What is your educational backround?
K:I went to Loyola in LA. It was a 2nd or 3rd career for me.
I started as a high school English teacher. Then I became a HS libarian. Then I went to law school.

R:Seems like a natural progression of events. Are other people in your family musical?
K:No, its just me.

R:Have you attended other accordion conventions and festivals.
K:I have been to Las Vegas.Silver Falls, Galla-Rini, FMAE

R:What would you say is unique about accordion people?
K:They are all friendly! Have fun with your accordion!

R:How long do you practice?
K:I practice every day between 2 and 3 hours.
Frank said to practice scales every day.

R:What do you think of this Frank Marocco Accordion Event?
K:This is my 5th one! I would not miss it!
You get to become friends with many people.

R:How did you get into engraving music?
K:Another thing I did was join a Klezmer band. They only had a score. There were no accordion parts written out. I researched and got a basic program, Finale, which I took it to Frank at my lessons and he helped me create an accordion part. Frank said, "Would you do this for me?" I said, "Sure, that would be great" And it is great! Frank has been very helpful to me.

R:Isn't it time consuming?
K:Yes, but it is fun for me.

R:What are you working on next?
K:When he has something for me to do , I will do it.

Karen, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Best wishes for future successes in all your accordion endeavors.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Future events

Titano Accordion Company

AAA Festival in Charleston, July 13-17

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
The American Accordionists' Association is proud to announce the 2011 AAA Festival from July 13-17, 2011 at the Sheraton at Charleston Airport, Charleston, South Carolina.

At this time, the International Accordion Orchestra Competition will take place. The competition is open to all accordion orchestras. There is no restriction as to the number of members in the orchestra. The minimum requirement is eight accordions. The closing date for entries is February 28th. Click 2011AArules for Festival Contest Rules.

Join us as Joan C. Sommers is honored with the AAA's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

There will be cash awards, workshops, exhibits, concerts, and competitions for all ages. The tentative schedule includes:
Wednesday.....Registration, Press & Squeeze event
Thursday........Luncheon Concert, Cabaret Night
Friday.............Massed Band Performance conducted by Frank Busso, Gala Evening Concert
Saturday.........Awards Concert, Banquet, Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation, Festival Orchestra conducted by Joan Sommers.
Sunday...........Breakfast Meeting and Farewell

The AAA Festival Coordinators are: Mary Tokarski, Frank Busso, Linda Soley Reed.

Make sure you attend for wonderful, memorable music, friendship, and more!

For further information view 2011AArules or the AAA website or email Mary Tokarski: or Linda Reed at

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

Dick Contino, Mario Pedone Plus Others to Perform in Reno

by Rita Barnea
Dick Contino and Mario PedoneSteve AlbiniCorky Bennett, CB Productions, presents the "Great American Squeeze Off" Accordion Festival on Monday, April 4th and Tuesday, April 5th at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada.

This exciting two day accordion extravaganza will feature many wonderful accordionists including Dick Contino (picture top left), Mario Pedone (picture left lower), Pete, Contino, Steve Albini (picture right), Ron Borelli, Joe Cairo, Bob Russ, Corky Bennett, and John Coverelli.

The emphasis will be on fun and camaraderie. Seating is limited to 400 with the first 100 receiving preferred seating.

The fee is $195/person and $345/couple which includes 2 buffet lunches, 2 dinner buffets, 8 different concerts. Special room rates. National Vendors will be present.

Reserve seating early: Corky Bennett 775-351-7019

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Main Squeeze Orchestra Debut CD Release Party

by Rita Barnea
Walter Kuhr and The Main Squeeze OrchestraOn Sunday, February 13, The Main Squeeze Orchestra will have a CD Release Party. Additionally, The Last of the International Playboys, will also perform.

The party will be held at DROM, 85 Avenue A, between 5th and 6th Streets. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Doors open at 7:PM. Everyone will receive a free CD with admission!

The Main Squeeze Orchestra is the Western world's only 14 piece All-Female All-Accordion Orchestra under the direction of Walter Kuhr. Organized in 2002 by Walter Kuhr, they play everything from Madonna to Bach to "Bohemian Rhapsody". Walter, who arranges all the music for the group, is also the owner of Main Squeeze, a lower East Side boutique for all your accordion needs.

Why did Walter form this group? One night, after attending an accordion festival, Walter dreamt that he was the conductor of an all-female accordion orchestra. The next morning he began to recruit members from his students.

Walter began to study the accordion as a child in Germany, later learning Classical music and playing piano in a jazz quartet plus playing the accordion in local clubs. When he received a scholarship to study music in the USA, he moved here in 1990 and has lived in NYC every since.

Walter, also the founder and leader of The Last of the International Playboys, has brought together a group of very accomplished jazz and Latin musicians. LIP is a nine piece latin jazz and lounge act. They have recorded two CD's.

Join Walter and his accordion groups for a fun, lively, and entertaining evening!

For further information: or 212-614-3109

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

AAA Presents the 2011 Seminars

by Rita Barnea
Dr.William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel, moderator/curator, will direct the 2011 Seminars :Walton the imperial:Crowned!. The master classes are at 3 pm. The concerts take place at 7 pm. All events will be at the the Tenri Cultural institute, 43a West 13 St. – between 5 and 6 Ave, New York.

it will be a weekend of master classes, which includes afternoon workshops, discussions and informal performances as well as full length evening concerts of a more formal nature.

Accordion philosopher, Dr. William Schimmel will be the guide for the entire weekend supplying commentary, giving interviews as well as lecturing and performing himself. The weekend will cover literally every aspect of the accordion and its various dimensions – classical, jazz, ethnic, avant garde and world music

Anyone interested in performing at one of the afternoon masterclasses – to receive advice, encouragement and constructive criticism from the participants, the audience and Dr. Schimmel may contact him at 212-876-0827 – the same number for all reservations concerning the entire weekend events. the Tenri Cultural institute, 43a West 13 St. – between 5 and 6 Ave, New York.

The master class on July 29, 2011 will include:
The accordion in ordinary life
Twelve ordinary notes
The non narrative life
The accordion and FDR
More is better
Simplicity born of an inner complexity
The art of disappointment
Turn your garbage heap into a pop art statement

The Master class on July 30, 2011 will include:
Performing for the homeless
Tea and tango
The tango and shopping
Glasgow – the tokyo of the north/tokyo of tea rooms
The art of boredom
The 400 club
The tango and how to dance it
The house of the ordinary/ordinary people

More information will appear in the March USA news.
$20 per master class                $40 per day
$25 per concert        $110 entire weekend

For reservations: 212- 876-0827
For more information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Giant Texas Jam

by Rita Barnea
Giant Texas Jam
On Saturday, Feb 26 at the Killeen Community Center, in Killeen, Texas, Shelia Lee and her HAPI children accordion/violin group will join the MECCA children music/dance group in a jam session to celebrate Texas Independence. A song book with the songs for the jam session will be available. Sheila will also give several workshops at the 2011 NAA Festival in March.

The jam session will start outdoors in front the Blackburn Log Cabin at 12:30 p.m. It will then move into the community center at 1:00 p.m. Fran Thom from North Carolina, a leading accordionist, will assist with the jam session using a prepared DVD with the lyrics to the songs to be sung. This will be followed by an international entertainment program until 6:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, March 2, Texas Independence Day, MECCA will have two web casts of Tex/Mex music and dance. The first at 10:00 a.m. for an hour. Frank Thom will be featured in this webcast. The second one at 2:00 p.m. for an hour. It can be accessed by any classroom in the U.S.A.equipped with video conferencing equipment or with a laptop/desktop computer. The bridging outlet will be connect2texas for the schools. A free software program will have to be installed on the computer.

Teaching material including sheet music will be available to any school registered for the event.

For more information:
Daniel Kott
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