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


Editor’s Note
What Are You Doing For World Accordion Day?
Large Prizes, AAA Carrozza Competition, July 13, 2017, NJ.
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention in March
11th The Big Squeeze Accordion Contest by Texas Folklife
Mike Middleton Featured, Family Pops Temple Symphony Orchestra, Texas Future Events Free Listing - Cyberspace
Peter Soave Concerts in Michigan, February 2017
Hanzhi Wang @ Brooklyn Accordion Club, New York – USA

Voci Armoniche

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

Wall Street Journal Features Dr. William Schimmel
NAMM Musical Instruments Show, Los Angeles - USA
Guy Klucevsek's 70th Birthday Concert on February 25
February Performances by Victor Prieto
Waterbury’s Tribute To The Accordion: Then and Now
Anne Romagnoli (1926-2017), Chicago - USA
Rob Reich in Performances
Accordion Clinic in Venice, Florida
Stan Boreson, Kids TV Show Host, Dies at 91 - Seattle
NACC North American Accordion Collaborative
Gary Dahl Releases Ashokan Farewell Arrangement - USA
Eyewitness News 3 New England Accordion Museum

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Carrozza Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser, April 30, 2017
A World of Accordions Museum Upcoming Events
Digital Accordionists Welcome at the NAA, Texas
Brent Buswell at Massachusetts Accordion Association
AAA Open Meeting, Sunday, April 2, 2017 –

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



Editor’s Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita BarneaFebruary is another month filled with accordion activities. Have you thought of celebrating Valentine’s Day by attending an accordion event?

The USA News is your source for information on important accordion concerts and more!

Send your comments/ideas to:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

What Are You Doing For World Accordion Day?

by Harley Jones
World Accordion Day header
World Accordion Day logoWhat are you doing for World Accordion Day to promote the accordion in your country? World Accordion day is on May 6th, which is the day the accordion was patented in 1829.

World Accordion Day was started in 2009 by the CIA and has been very successful, generating a lot of positive publicity for the accordion. A key part of this event is the World Accordion Day website.

Every association, group, orchestra, performer and teacher, is asked to actively support this event by encouraging national and local accordion activities to happen in their country on this day or the weekend either side of Accordion Day if that should be more convenient.

Everyone can register their World Accordion Day activity on the website and send a report of their event after, for that website.

No event is too big or too small. ALL accordion events celebrating World Accordion Day are welcome. This is a CIA promotion for the accordion in which every accordion enthusiast can participate and help bring our accordion world together as well as strongly promote the accordion.

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

Large Prizes, AAA Carrozza Competition, July 13, 2017, NJ.

by Rita Barnea
AAA Carrozza Competition header
Carmen CarrozzaJoin the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) in celebrating the legacy of Carmen Carrozza by participating in the competition sparked by the Maestro himself!

$8,000 in Prizes will be awarded to winners in the Junior and Open Divisions. Rules and Regulations are available at: 2017Carrozza.pdf

Junior Competitors must select one piece from the Original Composition list (Cascade, Parisian Musette and Spring Caprice), one from the Standard Repertoire list (Pioneer Concerto, Quick Silver and Mimicri), and perform contrasting selection(s) for the Own Choice Entertainment program. Time limit is 12 minutes, and not less than 9 minutes.

Open Competitors must select one piece from the AAA Commissioned Works list (Iridescent Rondo, Four Nocturns, Prelude & Dance and Pavanna & Rondo), one from the Standard Repertoire list (Vivo, Prelude and Scherzo and Omaggio A Pietro), and perform contrasting selection(s) for the Own Choice Entertainment program. Time limit is 15 minutes, and not less than 12 minutes.

The Carrozza Competition on July 13, will be part of the 2017 AAA Festival, July 12-16, 2017 at Westin Forrestal Village, Princeton, NJ.

Titano Accordion Company

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

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

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

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

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

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

Voci Armoniche

National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention in March

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
National Acccordion Association (NAA) header
Norman SeatonThe National Accordion Association (NAA) is proud to announce the 30th Annual National Accordion Convention on March 8-11, 2017 in Richardson,Texas at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

NAA President, Norman Seaton (picture left), invites you to make your reservations today online at

The convention theme is “Enjoy the Journey”, which features workshops encompassing the history of the accordion through 100 years, and includes a tribute to Dr "Bill" Willard Palmer.

The Convention will feature a Thursday Band Camp with conductor Dick Albreski for the Fun Band and Youth Orchestras as well conductor Mary Tokarski for the NAA Orchestra, and Shelia Lee leading the music tribute for Bill Palmer. Participants will be practicing and performing on Thursday to enthusiastic crowds.

Features of the NAA 30th convention include: Band Camp and Youth Program, Digital Accordion Symposium, Evening Concerts with special performers, jam sessions, strolling accordionists, vendors and exhibits, 15 Minutes of Fame, Circle of Champions performance, and daily workshops featuring everything from traditional polka music to Celtic, Israeli and Balkan music and more.

There will be a variety of music from classic baroque style to traditional ethnic flair and the free style rhythm of blues, jazz and country Western. Evenings are filled with concerts, dance, jam sessions and fun for all.

A partial list of presenters include: Michael Bridge, Gary Blair, Patrick Harrison, Steve Albini, Gordon Kohl, Dale Wise, Debra Peters, Hank Thunander, Dick Albreski, Mary Tokarski, Palmer Hughes III, Rollie Revering, Nick Bratkovich, Nick Ballarini, Randy Mc Peck, Chuck Henry, Dr. Ian Fries, Charlie Crittendon, Max Fruenthal, Tom Visentin, Rita Barnea, Ed Caspar, Shelia Lee, Ray Harris, Sharon Seaton, Elena and Gregory Fainshtein and others.

These master presenters are ready to energize the 30th National Accordion Convention, so bring your accordion and a friend and” Enjoy the Journey” with us.

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

11th The Big Squeeze Accordion Contest by Texas Folklife

by Harley Jones
2017 Big Squeeze competition posterThis will be the 11th year for The Big Squeeze Accordion Contest, an event that is excited to find and showcase Texas accordion talent!

It is a Texas statewide contest where accordion players ages 21 and under will showcase their performance abilities in three main accordion genre categories: Polka, Cajun / Zydeco and Conjunto. The event strives to represent the state's geographic and cultural diversity. The Polka genre will include German, Czech, and Polish traditions. Cajun / Zydeco will include Creole, Cajun and Zydeco musical traditions. Conjunto will include Norteño and Tejano.

Since 2007, 182 young musicians from more than 32 Texas towns and cities have participated.

Applicants can enter by performing two songs at a showcase where they will be videotaped by Texas Folklife or submit a video entry digitally, by mail or e-mail. They do not have to do both.

Showcase Dates:
4th February, Los Fresnos
11th February, La Joya
12th February, Corpus Christi
18th February, Houston
19th February, Houston
4th March, Groves/Nederland
25th March, Dallas
26th March, San Antonio
22nd April Finals at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Showcases in the Rio Grande Valley to be announced

Rules and entry information at: 2017BigSqueeze.pdf


Mike Middleton Featured, Family Pops Temple Symphony Orchestra, Texas

by Harley Jones
Mike Middleton PosterMike Middleton, two time Texas State Accordion Champion is being featured at the Family Pops Concert by the Temple Symphony Orchestra, conductor Thomas Fairlie, on Saturday 4th March. Venue is the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center in Temple at 7:30 pm.

The concert is being repeated on Sunday 5th March at 4 pm in Georgetown by the Temple Symphony Orchestra, conductor Thomas Fairlie, at the Georgetown High School Klett Center for the Performing Arts.

Gary Dahl eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server system Future Events Free Listing - Cyberspace

by Harley Jones
Accordion Yellow-Pages header
All concert, competition and festival organizers are reminded to list their Future Events for 2017 in the website. Its free to list and you can do it yourself. You can also change and update your listing yourself as further information becomes available.

The Future Events calendar displays at the top right hand side of this USA News, the Weekly News of in all 7 languages and also on the Diatonic News and Russia News.

Huge numbers of readers, about 5,000 visitors per day, view also the Future Events calendar display, so all accordion event organizers are reminded to take full advantage of this free service to keep the accordion community informed.

Any internet challenged organizers may email their event details:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Peter Soave Concerts in Michigan, February 2017

by Rita Barnea
Peter SoaveVideo: Peter Soave (bandoneon) performing 'Ave Maria' by Astor Piazzolla with the Orchestra del Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Roma, conductor Ernesto Gordini.

Peter Soave will present two concerts in the USA this February.

The Michigan Accordion Society (MAS) announces that their February Music Event will feature their Honorary MAS member Peter Soave, from France.

For more information and for ticket purchase:
Ann Arbor, MI, Feb 10th 8:00 PM

Birmingham MI, Feb 11th 7:30 PM

The first concert is on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 8:PM:
"Soave Soirée" is presented in partnership with the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings (DCWS) with:

Peter Soave (accordion & bandoneon), Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy (violin), James VanValkenburg (viola), Kevin Brown (bass), Laurence Liberson (clarinet), Additional musicians to be announced.

Peter Soave will join the DCWS wind and strings musicians in a cabaret-style setting.
The program includes:
"Fuga con Pajarito": Aldemaro Romero
"Quintet Op. 39": Sergei Prokofiev
"Escualo": Astor Piazzolla
"Sicilienne": J.S. Bach
"Sentimentale": Claude Bolling
"Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29" J.S. Bach
"Flora's Fame (Milonga Prelude)" Astor Piazzolla

Excerpts from the program notes: Peter Soave is recognized worldwide as a master of the bandoneon and concert accordion and a leading soloist of his generation. The hallmark of his performances is his unique combination of commanding stage presence and the excitement of his vibrant virtuosity.

USA born and of Italian descent, Peter Soave's earliest memories are of music played on an accordion. By age three, he was certain of his life's work. He began music studies at five, and quickly gravitated towards classical music. At sixteen, he entered international competitions and swept first place four times, confirming his reputation as a virtuoso of the highest order: Grand Prix in Neu Isenberg, West Germany; Klingenthal Wettbewerb in East Germany; Coupe Mondiale in Folkstone, England; and the Trophe Mondiale in Arrezano, Italy.

In 1987, Peter Soave was the inaugural recipient of "Voce d'Oro," the international award honoring those who have given prominence to the accordion in the world of modern music.

Deeply inspired by the music of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla, Mr. Soave's impassioned musicianship motivated him to include the characteristic bandoneon in his performances.

Ann Arbor, MI.
Concert Preview at 6:45 PM
Sponsored by Macro Connect
“Bach, Bellows & Buttons” – Peter Soave on the Bandoneon

Tickets can be purchased through the First United Methodist Church of Birmingham Office: 248-646-1200

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

Hanzhi Wang @ Brooklyn Accordion Club, New York – USA

by Rob Howard
Video 1: Partita in C minor - J. S. Bach

Video 2: My Story - arranged Hanzhi Wang
Hanzhi WangHanzhi Wang performing at the 2016 Castelfidardo Accordion Festival.
Video 1: Partita in C minor - J. S. Bach
Video 2: My Story - arranged by Hanzhi Wang

Hanzhi Wang is the special guest at Brooklyn Accordion Club this Sunday February 12th, 3-5pm, at 61 Local (61 Bergen Street), Brooklyn, New York. Admission - $5 (kids under 18 free). There will an open-mic session before Hanzhi Wang’s concert.

Hanzhi Wang is one of the stars amongst the young generation of classical accordionists. She tours internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, and has been described in reviews as "Masterfully", "Technically flawless" and "remarkable stage presence", which adds to her innovative musicianship.

Her competition successes include winning the Beijing International accordion competition in China and Klingenthal International Accordion Competition in Germany, the Arrasate International Accordion Competition in Spain, and the Premio category of the International Accordion Competition in Castelfidardo, Italy.

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

For further information email:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

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

Titano Accordion Company

Wall Street Journal Features Dr. William Schimmel

by Rita Barnea
William Schimmel
Picture above: William Schimmel warms up before a performance of the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center in New York.
Video above: The best known film appearance of William Schimmel is in the tango scene of "Scent of a Woman" starring Al Pacino.

The Wall Street Journal featured accordionist Dr. William Schimmel in an article in the January 9, 2017 publication written by Charles Passy. The article describes how Bill Schimmel, "an expert on Kurt Weill, has been the accordionist for the New York Philharmonic for over 40 years.

The New York Philharmonic often features unusual instruments which becomes a challenge for them to find a musician who is not only accomplished on his instrument but can also have a working knowledge of following a conductor and being a part of a symphony orchestra.

Dr. William Schimmel has all of these credentials and more. As a Juilliard trained musician, he is frequently asked to play with the Philharmonic and other orchestras around the country. He also performs in the pit orchestras on Broadway, his most recent performance being the accordionist for the award winning production of 'An American in Paris'."

On September 19, 2016 a free concert to honor the 70th birthday of William Schimmel was held at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.

The concert was sponsored by the Composers Concordance and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble presented contemporary music in honor of Bill Schimmel who has commissioned and premiered many new works.

Over the years Bill’s music has been included in television shows and films. His best known appearance is in the tango scene of "Scent of a Woman" starring Al Pacino. (See video above)

Bill Schimmel learned accordion as a child and attended Julliard School of Music where he received his doctorate in composition. While he was still a student at the school, his career was launched after he recorded songs of avant gard composer, Luiano Berio. An authority on Kurt Weill, Dr. Schimmel has recorded all of Weill's music with accordion

Beginning in 1981, Schimmel’s Tango Project has released a string of acclaimed recordings on the Nonesuch and Newport Classic labels. The first Tango Project recording went to No. 1 on Billboard’s classical charts and was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review magazine.

Schimmel has described the accordion as having a “built-in ironic duality,” both “elegant and vulgar.” That dual quality is captured in the tango scene of “Scent of a Woman,” where it adds a spirit of fun and an undertone of raw sexuality.

He has served and continues to serve as Artist in Residence of The American Accordionist's Association (AAA) where he also serves as Distinguished Lecturer in Residence and member of the Governing Board.

Directed by Peter Jarvis, the Composers Concordance program featured eight world premieres including music composed by Schimmel alongside compositions by John Clark, Dan Cooper, Franz Hackl, Jarvis, Gene Pritsker, David Taylor and Payton MacDonald. Performers will include Schimmel, Pritsker on guitar, the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble and the B3+ Brass Trio.

Bill will be the moderator/curator of the AAA 23rd Master Class and Seminars July 28-30, 2017 at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City.

For further information:

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

NAMM Musical Instruments Show, Los Angeles - USA

by Harley Jones
The 2017 NAMM Show was held 21 to 24 January at the Anaheim Convention Center, Los Angeles. On display was the new Roland FR-4X picture left being demonstrated by Alicia Baker of Roland US.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Guy Klucevsek's 70th Birthday Concert on February 25

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekSnug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island has invited accordionist Guy Klucevsek to present a concert of his music in celebration of his 70th birthday.

The concert is on Saturday, Feb.25, 2017 at 5:PM reception, 6:PM concert. Joining Guy will be his friends, Todd Reynolds on violin, and Kamala Sankaram, voice and accordion.

Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Brave Combo, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Rahim al Haj, Robin Holcomb, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relâche, Zeitgeist, and John Zorn.

He is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to "America's finest artists."

Guy Klucevsek has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn.

For more information:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

February Performances by Victor Prieto

by Rita Barnea
Victor Prieto
Victor PrietoThe 2017 International Music Festival: Valentine Special with Victor Prieto takes place:
When: Tue., Feb. 14, 7:30 PM
Phone: (210) 464-1534
Price: Free-$100

It will be a romantic evening with the jazz trio led by accordion master Victor Prieto from Galicia, Spain. Admission is free and is on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, reserved seats are available for purchase online from $60-$100.

Southwest School of Art
300 Augusta San Antonio
Phone: (210) 224-1848

Excerpts from his website: Víctor Prieto, a revolutionary on the accordion, embraces Jazz, Tango, Classical and Celtic Roots enriched with new rhythms and colors. He has performed at many prestigious venues and events such as Berklee Performance Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Blue Note NY, New Jersey Performance Art Center, Three Rivers Musical Festival, Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

He has also performed and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma (Songs of Joy and Peace, Sony BMG Masterworks. “2010 Grammy Winning Album”), Arturo O’Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra, Billy Hart, Jeff Ballard, Paquito D’Rivera, Matt Wilson, Donny McCaslin, Lionel Louke among others and is involved in projects such as The Maria Schneider Orchestra and Emilio Solla’s Jazz Tango conspiracy.

Victor Prieto is a native of Galicia, Spain born in the town of Orense in 1975. At the age of nine Victor was encouraged by his mother to study the accordion-an instrument deeply ingrained in Galician folklore. While studying classical accordion at the Orense Conservatory Victor understood the immense musical potential of his instrument and branched out from the classical education by concurrently taking harmony, arrangement and improvisation classes at Estudio Escola de Musica (Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

In 1998 Victor received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music where he majored in performance under the direction of Joanne Brackeen. Victor now lives in New York City dividing his time between performing, teaching and recording.

Musical Bridges Around the World is a 17 year old, nonprofit cultural and educational organization. Our concerts feature classical, jazz, and ethnic folk musicians in one of a kind, cross-cultural pairings that showcase San Antonio’s vibrant cultural heritage. MBAW events appeal to both seasoned concertgoers and curious new listeners. Their mission is to unite, educate and inspire through culturally diverse programming. Cornerstones of our programs include:

Providing free admission to the public, making art accessible to all. Targeting youth - particularly at-risk, to develop audiences of tomorrow. Partnering with the City and other organizations to foster San Antonio’s reputation as a cosmopolitan cultural center.

MBAW’s programming includes: Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral: A concert series held on select Sunday evenings in the heart of downtown San Antonio; International Music Festival, featuring 10 days of world-class artists in cross-cultural pairings; Kids to Concerts (KtC), a free educational outreach program for San Antonio Title One schools; and Golden Age, a free outreach program to seniors in retirement communities.

Additionally, Victor Prieto will be the director of The International Jazz Accordion Master Classes City of Ourense will be once again in July 8-9 and 15-16 . (Registration is not yet open). Read future USA news publications for information.

Victor said, "I am looking forward to this tour in Texas, USA. Besides the concerts and Clinics, I will also introduce and show the accordion to more than 2000 kids in 7 different schools performances. For many of them, it will be the first time they see an accordion playing so close, or the insides and mechanism of the instrument. I have to tell you that I love teaching since I was 15, even more than performing.

The outreach programs are one of my favorite parts of any tour. Hope to see you at any of the concerts or clinics. And please stay tuned for the International Jazz Accordion Master Classes City of Ourense, July 8-9 and 15-16, 2017. As you know only 8 students are accepted per weekend."

Victor Prieto, acc and voice
Aimee Allen, voice
Edward Perez, bass
Alex Kautz, drums

School Visits and Radio interviews:

Sunday February 12 at 8:PM
Presentation, Victor Prieto Trio inSan Antonio, TX 78249

Monday February 13 from 8:30-9:10am
Carnahan Elementary School, District 8
6839 Babcock Road | San Antonio, TX 78249

9:40-10:20 AM at Stubbing Elementary, District 8
11655 Braefield | San Antonio, TX 78249
Phone: 210-397-4390

12:00-12:40 PM at Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior One-Stop Center
District 6 (Sponsored by WELLMED)
Address: 8353 Culebra Road San Antonio, TX 78251 Cafeteria

2-2:40 PM at Cameron Elementary District 2
3635 Belgium Lane | San Antonio, TX 78219

3:30-4:PM at Classic Radio in San Antonio.

3:30-4:PM at KCRO FM 91.2 in San Antonio.

Tuesday February 14
8:30 AM-9:10 AM in Thousand Oaks Elementary District 10
16080 Henderson Pass | San Antonio, TX 78232; Phone: 210-407-8000

1:00-1:40pm at Indian Creek Elementary (Outside City Council Limits)
(Musical Sprouts School) 5830 Old Pearsall Road | San Antonio, TX 78242

2:20-3:PM at Kriewald Road Elementary (Lesson School) (Outside City Council Limits)
(Musical Sprouts) 10355 Kriewald Road | San Antonio, Texas 78245

For more info:
For more info on Victor Preto:
Victor Prieto

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Waterbury’s Tribute To The Accordion: Then and Now

by Anita Siarkowski and Marilyn O’Neil
CAA Orchestra
The Connecticut Accordion Association presented a video of CAA Orchestra’s premier performance from 12 years ago, 2005, at their January 29, 2017 gathering. Waverly Inn in Cheshire, Connecticut was the setting for "Waterbury’s Tribute To The Accordion:Then and Now"

Aside from the CAA Orchestra concert, this spectacular featured an accordion duet by husband and wife, Bob and Anita Siarkowski, a performance by the “K Trio (state, national, and world accordion champions Mary Tokarski, Julie Cardona, Walter Kasprzyk), plus Walter Lawrence and others.

Accordion teachers from Waterbury, Connecticut’s past were honored in person.....Bob Vitale, Vic Fuda, plus in memoriam....Bob Mobilio, Charlie Leogrande, Dom Mecca, Dom L. Mecca, Tony Mecca, and Vinny Spiotti – all phenomenal contributors to the accordion world. This extravaganza, a huge success, was open to the public, drawing 113 people. Attendees included past and present CAA orchestra members, their families, friends, along with former accordion students and teachers from the Waterbury area. Three CAA orchestra members were honored in memoriam in what resulted in a very nostalgic reunion.

Of Waterbury's most noted accordion teachers and performers honored at the original event in 2005.... Bob Vitale continues to participate in the CAA orchestra, while Vic Fuda is still performing regularly. Representatives of the Mecca family at the 2017 CAA gathering included Domenic Mecca’s sister, Kay Mecca Rocco, and Tony Mecca’s son, Bill Mecca. Bob Mobilio, deceased since the original concert, was represented by his son, John Mobilio plus daughters, Mary and Nancy. Charlie Leogrande's wife, Barbara and son, Charles Jr. were in attendance. Charles’ granddaughter, Malorie, sang in the original concert. Only “17” at that time, she accepted a plaque in Charlie’s honor, and sang "Over the Rainbow" in tribute – accompanied by Bob Mobilio and his son, John Mobilio.

While this event honored the past, it is noteworthy that the two youngest performers featured in the 2005 video were AAA Champion Christopher Gorton and vocalist Malorie Leogrande, who will both perform at CAA's February 26th event, which will also feature other young artists in concert. More details to follow.

Attached photo of the Connecticut Accordion Orchestra from 2005, initiated and conducted by Linda Soley Reed.

Titano Accordion Company

Anne Romagnoli (1926-2017), Chicago - USA

by Rob Howard
Italo American
Anne RomagnoliAnne Romagnoli (nee Piatanesi), music teacher, businesswoman and expert on accordion manufacture and repair, died Friday January 6th at the age of 90.

Anne Romagnoli was the longtime owner of the Italo-American Accordion Manufacturing Company, widely known in the Midwest for new and used accordions. Many considered her to be the Chicago area’s First Lady of Accordions.

The company has been located in Oak Lawn at 5510 W. 95th St. since 1996, when it moved from its long-time home in Gage Park, at 3137 W. 51st t St. It was founded in the early 1900s in the city’s ‘Little Italy’ neighbourhood and purchased by Mrs. Romagnoli’s father and uncles in 1915.

Mrs. Romagnoli and her husband, Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Romagnoli - known as the last man in America who could build an accordion from scratch - owned the business from the early 1950s until his death in 1994.

She also was owner of the Republic Music School of Chicago, which for years was headquarters at 59th and Kedzie in Chicago, across the street from the Colony Theatre. At the school, Mrs. Romagnoli taught accordion to hundreds of students, young and old.

In the 1950s, before the guitar bands became popular, the Italo-American employed as many as 100 people. Today, it has a small staff.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Rob Reich in Performances

by Rita Barnea
Rob ReichAccordionist Rob Reich is looking forward to playing a solo set of accordion and electronics at the De Young Museum, part of their "One Love" Valentine's Day event. His location will be near the "Textiles and Minimalism" gallery on February 11, 2017 from 1:30-2:PM at De Young Museum, SF

In February, his swing band "Rob Reich Quintet Swings Left" will be in residence every Monday for SF's coolest new dance event "Shimmytown".

Feb 6, 13, 20, and 27
9:PM until midnight at the Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St, SF

In March he will be playing an intimate concert of original music with his quartet at an exquisite venue, the Maybeck Studio in Berkeley.
March 12
2:30PM doors, 3:PM show
$10-20 sliding scale

Rob Reich - accordion & piano
Ben Goldberg - clarinets
Ila Cantor - guitar
Schuyler Karr - bass
1537 Euclid Ave, Berkeley

Excerpts from his website: Rob Reich grew up in Long Island, New York, studying piano from age three. After graduating with a degree in Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he discovered the accordion, now his primary instrument.

Reich’s music defies genre. His music combines strong melodic ideas, rhythmic drive, and a spirit of irreverence and experimentation. He has written songs for Tin Hat based on the poetry of e.e. cummings, music for contortionists and trapeze artists with Circus Bella, as well as new repertoire for his own ensembles, the Rob Reich Trio and the Rob Reich Quintet.

His accompaniment skills often finds him performing live soundtrack to silent films. In 2013, he was commissioned to compose and produce a score for “The Stranger: Part 1”, a full length modern dance piece by David Herrera Performance Company. In 2011, he was commissioned by Yerba Buena Gardens Festival to compose “Sidewalks and Alleys” for a seven piece chamber ensemble.

Reich performs with the acclaimed groups Tin Hat, Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors, Ben Goldberg School, Gaucho, Nice Guy Trio, and Prez Kids, and has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Tampare Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, Switchboard Festival; and at San Francisco venues including Herbst Theater, Yoshi’s, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the Red Poppy; and at NYC venues including Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, and Barbes.

inspired by an idea from Bandcamp and his friend Lisa Mezzacappa, for the month of February I'm donating 100% of the money I make from sales of my recordings to the ACLU.

Rob’s albums Shadowbox and Circus Bella All Star Band send him some money (paypal is fine) and he will send you a CD in the mail or send you a digital version and donate the proceeds to the ACLU.

Contact Rob for more info:


Accordion Clinic in Venice, Florida

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Picture above (l to r): Frank Petrilli, Betty Fisher, Lynn Ewing, JoAnn Pankow, Gail Campanella, Joan Grauman, Mark Nejako, Joe Cerrito, Pat Racioppa

A good time was had by all as a small group of accordion friends from all over the country gathered at our home in mid-January for a 3-day accordion clinic, under the guidance of renowned accordionist Joe Cerrito.

The eight of us enjoyed daily sessions consisting of exercises, some improvisation, excellent teaching tips, sight-reading and group playing. Adding to the enjoyment was gorgeous mild weather, great food, and a little sightseeing in the Venice/Sarasota area.

The event ended on a “high note” when we performed for 70 of our very enthusiastic neighbors in the local clubhouse.

Since coming down to Florida, I have been working with Joe Cerrito (for close to a year now), and he has really changed the way I feel about daily exercises, along with instilling in me a new and exciting appreciation for my beloved instrument.

As a self-taught accordionist, I have found that working with Joe has given me more self-confidence, not only as a musician but also as a teacher. I wanted to share this experience with some of my friends, so Joe and I came up with the idea of a clinic for accordionists of all levels.

Also living close to us in Florida is former American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) President Linda Soley Reed, who moved here a few months ago. Linda spent time with us daily during the clinic and even prepared a lovely lunch for us one of the days. She was also our guest conductor at the concert.

Keeping the number to eight people worked well, as everyone had the opportunity to get one-on-one assistance from Joe. In the end, each person learned something new and had a great time.

Joe pointed out the need for others to create and direct events such as our clinic across the country. His message to all of us: “If you have the knowledge and ability to help accordionists to become better musicians and better teachers, please share this gift.”

The accordion is making a comeback and it’s important, for those who are qualified, to provide good instruction and guidance.

Participants: Gail Campanella, Lynn Ewing and Frank Petrilli from California; Mark Nejako from Maryland; JoAnn Pankow from Virginia; Pat Racioppa from Pennsylvania; Betty Fisher from North Carolina; Joan Grauman from Maryland and Florida.

Picture below: (l to r) Pat Racioppa, JoAnn Pankow, Gail Campanella, Mark Nejako, Lynn Ewing, Joan Grauman, Betty Fisher, Joe Cerrito, Frank Petrilli.

Stan Boreson, Kids TV Show Host, Dies at 91 - Seattle

by Harley Jones
Stan Boreson
Video 1: Lawrence Welk Show Appearance
Video 2: Stan Boreson Clubhouse Theme Song/Enjoy Yourself
Excerpts from an article by Erik Lacitis Of The Seattle Times

Seattle - Stan Boreson, 91, the accordion-playing "King of Scandinavian Humor," who from 1954 to 1967 hosted a kids show on KING-TV, died Friday night.

Boreson was part of many a Puget Sound baby boomers' childhood days, back when television stations had on-air personalities who hosted kids shows.

Boreson's show - first called "KING's Klubhouse," and then "The Stan Boreson Show" - featured his accordion playing, which was excellent, along with numerous corny songs.

He released popular Scandinavian-flavored Christmas albums with songs such as, "All I Want For Christmas (Is My Upper Plate)," and "Walking In My Winter Underwear." He performed the latter tune in 1957 on "The Lawrence Welk Show," the popular variety show on ABC. Video above.

After his TV career ended, the baby boomers who grew up with him continued to follow Boreson. From his website fans could order 16 different CDs with his tunes.

For 25 years - until 2013 - they could travel with the Boresons on guided tours in North America and Europe. Of course, Boreson brought along his accordion, the same one he had been using since his TV days.

One of Boreson's last forays into the recording world was his 2008 version of Sheb Wooley's " I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore." It has gotten 380,000 views on YouTube. "He loved to make people laugh. He laughed at his own jokes more than anyone else," said Barbara Boreson.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

NACC North American Accordion Collaborative

by Rita Barnea
Dallas ViettyThe North American Accordion Collaborative is a brand new accordion non profit with one aim: to serve any and all accordionists in North America!

The Board of Directors includes:
Dallas Vietty, President and Director (photo on left)
Karen Lee, Director
Game Hall-Rodrigues, Secretary and Director
Charlie Schneller, Director
Frank Petrilli, Financial Officer and Director

Dallas Vietty said: "I announce the fruit of almost a year of hard work. Together with a phenomenal team, we are launching the North American Accordion Collaborative (the NAAC for short).

The NAAC is a brand new accordion nonprofit, born in the age of the internet. Our concept is simple: we listen and learn what accordionists need, and then we partner with accordionists to build amazing opportunities that meet those needs.

We are launching with four awesome programs: (education, recording opportunities, instrument drives, international initiative).

We would love to have you join. Membership is totally, absolutely FREE."

We are announcing our first call for submissions to the NAAC Youtube Channel. This YouTube channel is a place to share your accordion playing and check out the diverse styles and personalities of other NAAC members.
Deadline: The deadline for submissions is Feb. 21.
Length - No longer than 7 minutes
Ages - 3 to 99
Skill level - All skill levels are encouraged

Requirements - Videos must feature at least one NAAC member. (Feel free to collaborate with other non-accordion musicians.)

How to submit your video:
Email a shared link to your preferred file sharing program (Dropbox, Google share, OneDrive, iCloud, etc.)

Please include:
- Your name and where you’re from
- Name of any other performers in your video
- Title and composer of your piece
- A brief description of less than 100 words.

*Disclaimer* Videos containing graphic material, sexual content, adult themes, or profanity will be disqualified from being posted to the NAAC YouTube channel.

Your music and interests are the focus of this organization, please share them with us!


Gabe Hall-Rodrigues and the NAAC team

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Gary Dahl Releases Ashokan Farewell Arrangement - USA

by Gary Dahl
Ashokan FarewellGary DahlCatalog No: DH0257 - Ashokan Farewell by Jay Unger

Arranger Gary Dahl writes about this new arrangement:
The minimal use of embellishments is intentional so as to retain the poignancy of this composition. This arrangement is not hard to play but requires exceptional emotion to best convey the beautiful melody to your audience.

Jay Ungar and his wife and fellow musician, Molly Mason, were running the Ashokan Camp, a summer arts school specializing in fiddle and dancing. While there, Ray Ungar composed the tune and their group, Fiddle Fever—recorded the song, including it as part of their 1983 album Waltz of the Wind.

The inclusion meant that the song would need a name. Mason suggested “Ashokan Farewell.”.

The release of the album generally coincided with the years Ken Burns spent researching and producing The Civil War documentary. In 1984 in particular, Burns was on the lookout for songs that could serve as the soundtrack for the documentary.

Ken Burns heard the album and the rest is history.

Sample page online and to purchase: Catalog No: DH0257 - Ashokan Farewell by Jay Unger

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

Eyewitness News 3 New England Accordion Museum

by Harley Jones
The heading on the Eyewitness News 3 website, January 12th was: "Prepare to be amazed by one man’s accordion collection."

‘Better’ photojournalist, Eric Budney, caught up with Paul Ramunni, who has been collecting accordions for years!

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

Future events

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

Carrozza Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser, April 30, 2017

by Mary Tokarski
Carrozza Memorial Scholarship
Venue is the lovely and elegant Villa Barone Hilltop Manor, 466 US Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541, April 30, 2017 from noon to 5 p.m.

Enjoy a fantastic menu of appetizers, salad, main course, coffee and dessert, with wine on table - $75 per person.

For reservations, contact Dr. Joseph Ciccone, Chairman, Phone: 914-238-0041, fax 914-238-0494 or email

Enjoy music by strolling musicians Frank Busso, Sr. and Emilio Magnotta. Featured Young Artists: Cody McSherry, Gia Ciccone, Christopher Gorton and Cory Pesaturo.

Special AAA Guest Performers: The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra conducted by Peter Peluso
And . . . Dancing to entertainment by:
Mario Tacca & Mary Mancini, Frank Toscano, Emilio Magnotta, Frank Carozza and family!

All profits will benefit the Carrozza Memorial Scholarship Fund and these funds are awarded to the winners of the Carrozza Memorial Competition.

Thank you for your support, and we hope you will join us to hear these marvelous young performers in concert!

The Carrozza Competition on July 13, will be part of the 2017 AAA Festival, July 12-16, 2017 at Westin Forrestal Village, Princeton, NJ.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

A World of Accordions Museum Upcoming Events

by Rita Barnea
World of Accordions MuseumThe World of Accordions Museum located at 1401 Belknap Street, Superior, WI is presenting a series of concerts over the next few months. More details on each concert will be included in the USA news in future publications. These concerts are in the Wisconsin area. For updated information visit the World of Accordions at

The performances are:
1. Stas Venglevski (Bayan) and Tatyana Krasnobaeva (Cembalom)
March 12, 2017 - Admission: $20 - Time to be announced
This is a long-awaited opportunity to present these elegant virtuosi in duet and solo performance.

2. Introduction to Accordion Repairs
April 29-May 2, 2017 - 9:00 AM—6:00 PM - Admission $350.00 Additional information will be sent with preregistration (required)
Introduction to Accordion-Family Instruments Understanding the major members of the instrument family Basic repairs: bellows, air insufficiency, machine alignments, reed work, tuning, waxing, leathers, more

3. World Accordion Day In conjunction with Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival Fifth Annual celebration of America’s great educator and artist
May 6-7, 2017 - At AWAM’s Strahl Concert Hall -All day
Stas Venglevski, Conductor
Accordion Band and Orchestra
Participants: Michael Bridge (Concert, Workshop) and Kevin Friedrich
Dee Langley (Concert, Three Workshops)
John Scaffeo, Carolyn Carver, and Tracey Gibbens

4.Chmielewski International PolkaFest
Grand Casino, Hinkley, MN - May 19-21, 2017
Special guest performer: Joey Miskulin and many others favorites

The side area will feature the following, with more yet to be scheduled:
Introduction to A World of Accordions Museum resources. Presenting selected instruments from AWAM’s Travelling Museum through performances:
a. what construction features makes them easy and popular
b. accordion qualities and values
c. take a first lesson on different types of accordions,concertinas
d. Discussion topics about accordion repairs and maintenance
e. Sales of instruments, music, novelty items, and misc.

5. Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival
Lisle, IL - July 19-23, 2017
Accordion Concertina Music Band presents: Pachelbel “Canon in D” and “The Lost Chord” Workshops to be announced

For further information:
Dr. Helmi Harrington:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Digital Accordionists Welcome at the NAA, Texas

by Dr. Ian Blair Fries
The National Accordion Association Convention will include a activities that digital accordionists should not miss with more seminars, informal gatherings, and demonstrations for those who play Roland and/or other MIDI or electronic accordions.

During a Digital Symposium several professional accordionists will explore why and how they play electronic instruments. How do they handle their instrument when solo versus when in an ensemble? How has their teaching changed? What accordion do they recommend for a beginning student, versus a student already playing an acoustic accordion?

A Roland Suite devoted to digital accordions and accessories will be open daily for informal discussions, demonstrations, formal presentations, and snacks. All National Accordion Association attendees are welcome, from experienced Roland accordionists to those who would like to experience a digital accordion up close for the first time.

Topics will include;
FR-4x - Playing the latest Roland Accordion Out of the Box
FR-8x - Playing the flagship Roland Accordion
FR-7x – For some a preferred instrument
FR-3x - Still easily available
FR-1x – Extreme portability
Jazz bass chords to accompany orchestral treble.
Managing sets and user programs.
Computer editing of sets and user programs.
Sound expansions; Dallape, Balkan, Alpine, AccordionOrchestra
Adjusting orchestral sounds.
Bending notes, aftertouch, sustain, and chorus.
The BK-7m backing module attached to a Roland Accordion.
Amplification of the Roland Accordion.
How to use USB backing.
Adjusting bellows, reverb, and balance.
Transferring sets and user programs between Roland accordions
Battery and power opinions.

Michael Bridge, Chuck Henry, Ray Harris, Steve Albini, Markus Baggio, and others plan to participate in the Roland Suite.

I have had the pleasure to play the new Roland FR-4x for the past few weeks. I can promise mine will not be the only FR-4x in the Suite. Would you like to try out one on your lap?

This is the seventh year I have hosted a Roland Suite, and the most exciting. Please join us.

For further information:

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Brent Buswell at Massachusetts Accordion Association

by Harley Jones
Brent BuswellBrent Buswell from PA will be performing at the Massachusetts Accordion Association on April 23, 2017
at the Ciociaro Club, 44 Bridge St. Newton Mass. from 1:30 to 3:00 pm.

All members from the association will be free of charge. Non members will be asked to pay a $10.00 entry fee. "seating" is limited.

Brent Buswell Bio: BuswellBio.pdf

AAA Open Meeting, Sunday, April 2, 2017 –

by Mary Tokarski
AAA logoMary TokarskiThe AAA Open Meeting will be held at 3 pm, Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the conclusion of the MAMTG Festival, Hanover Marriot in Whippany, NJ.

Everyone is invited to attend the AAA Open Meeting. Your voice counts . . . we are making a difference! and the AAA asks you, to attend and help us plan the future of the accordion!
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