Accordion USA
home articles organizations
Search on site


Yellow Pages Events

U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Feb-2018
Previous News | Past News Index | Next News

Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Sad News: Alexander Sevastian Fatal Heart Attack - Mexico
What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day?
2018 National Accordion Asssociation (NAA) Convention, Texas
Joseph Natoli Becomes New President of ATG
Bayan Mix to Perform in Ontario and BC in February
Accordion Virtuosi of Russia Perform in New Jersey and Texas
Dr. Schimmel to Perform in “Carousel” on Broadway
Dr. Mike Middleton is Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award
Nathan Chapeton Wins Carnegie Hall Performance
Texas Folklife Resources Announces the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest
Accordionist Rob Curto's “Forró for All”
Elena and Gregory Fainshtein to Perform in TED Talks

Voci Armoniche

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

Joseph Biviano and Charles Magnante – A Lifetime of Commitment to the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA)
Bellows and Bows: A Potpourri of Chamber Works for Violin, Cello, and Accordion
Petosa Accordions Welcomes Everyone To Their New Building
Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) - It’s History - Aims - Goals
John Torcello performs with the LA Philharmonic
Tribute to Stephen Dominko
AAA President Mary Tokarski Performs in “The Spitfire Grill”
CAA Sponsors St. Patrick’s Day “Seisun”
"Squeezing in Queens"
Accordionaires’ Pops Orchestra in Concert
The Day of the Accordion Presented by the Northwest Accordion Society
Le Vent du Nord Tour Dates

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

"Not Just Oom-PAH!" Accordion Workshop & Concert
Brooklyn Accordion Club 2018 Meeting Schedule
Sunniva Brynnel, Accordionist Performs With Violinist Sara Pajunen
23rd AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 27-29 in NYC

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
ValentineEditor Rita BarneaThe February 2018 USA News is an interesting mixture of different types of accordion articles ranging from upcoming conventions and festivals to presenting performers and artists. Accordion history, tributes, and association news from all over the continent may convince you to have an accordion destination as part of your travel itinerary this year.

If you are wondering what to buy for Valentine's Day for someone special, you might consider purchasing a CD, DVD, accordion concert or festival tickets or, perhaps, a new accordion! It is always a good idea to show support to our wonderful accordionists all over the world. Click on

Enjoy the February USA news!

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

Sad News: Alexander Sevastian Fatal Heart Attack - Mexico

by Harley Jones
Alexander SebastianVideo 1: Alexander Sevastian | J.S. Bach - Organ Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565

Alexander Sevastian (October 2, 1976 to February 2018) has died in Mexico suddenly of a heart attack, while touring South America with Quartetto Gelato. He is survived by his wife Anna, a 14 years old son (Vova) and 4 year old daughter.

Alexander Sevastian was a winner of the 2007 Coupe Mondiale in Washington, DC, a prominent musician and ambassador for the accordion.

Full details of his musical achievements are listed at: Alexander Sevastian

Alexander was a much loved musician and will be greatly missed.

Titano Accordion Company

What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day?

by Harley Jones
CIA Logo
WAD 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.

Voci Armoniche

2018 National Accordion Asssociation (NAA) Convention, Texas

by Norman Seaton, NAA President
NAA Team
2018 National Accordion Convention
Hyatt Regency Hotel in Richardson, TX USA
March 7 - 10, 2018

Special Feature:
The second floor "Digital Suite" has merged with the traditional activities with this convention. For 2018, all workshops, concerts, and other activities are moved to the same area and all conventioneers and presenters are encouraged to "mix and mingle" more than past years.

For complete convention information, visit our website at National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention

2018 Featured Artists range from New Zealand to Scotland and many points in between. Below is the pictures of all the Performers and Presenters. The names and further information are on the NAA site.

NAA Presenters

Accordion Jazz Chords

Joseph Natoli Becomes New President of ATG

by Joseph Natoli, ATG President
ATG Poster 2018
Joseph NatoliAWW congratulates Joseph Natoli on becoming the new president of ATG. He succeeds the former President Amy Jo Sawyer whose dedication to the accordion is very much appreciated. We wish Joe many years of successful accordion events. Below is his greeting to all:

Announcement February 1,2018: Friends, I wanted to announce my first official day as President of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG), and am flattered and honored to fill this leadership role for such a great organization.

You can see our web site and my welcome message at

As president, I hope that I can interest you in attending our 78th annual Festival at the Hyatt Regency in Lisle, IL (near Chicago) July 25 - 28, 2018. We have another great line-up of world-class performers (including Cory Pesaturo from Rhode Island, Matthias Matzke from Germany, the incomparable bayan artist Stas Venglevski (previous ATG President originally from Moldova and now from Wisconsin), and
Mike Alongi from Chicago, as well as world-renowned Xia Gang from China, and of course the always incredible ATG Festival Orchestra under the baton of conductor Prof. Joan Cochran Sommers.

Of course our many workshops are always outstanding and informative on every level. The food is great, the hotel is wonderful, the concerts are mesmerizing, and these 4 days are something to be remembered.

Become a member, if you are not already and get 4 issues a year of our ATG bulletin, chock full of news, performance announcements, beautiful free music, and special interest articles. It's going to be a wonderful 2018 for the accordion!

Accordionists & Teachers Guild (ATG), International is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the advancement of the accordion, through the raising of teaching standards and promotion of all aspects of the accordion.

For further information:


Bayan Mix to Perform in Ontario and BC in February

by Rita Barnea
Bayan Mix
Bayan Mix will perform on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 6 - 8 PM at Bayview Yards on Bayview Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 2C5. They will also perform on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 6:PM in BC. For this show call: 778-355-7377

Multicultural Russian Speaking Association of BC presents “Bayan-Mix” featuring Sergey Voytenko and Sergey Kotkov. Bayan-Mix is a unique duo of popular innovative accordion music. Their music makes the audience want to dance; its energizing, cheerful and jolly. The duo is well-known in Europe and Russia for their breathtaking live performance style.

This is the first time, that award winning Bayan-Mix, direct from Russia, has come to Ottawa! Famous in Russia for Kremlin concerts, TV shows and concerts all over Russia, and tour to other countries such as Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, Estonia, the famous duo is sure to be a hit in Canada.

For further information, phone: (613) 867-7939

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

Accordion Virtuosi of Russia Perform in New Jersey and Texas

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Virtuosi of Russia
The Accordion Virtuosi of Russia will perform at the McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Pl, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 8 - 10:PM. For tickets and information: (609) 258-2787. Email:

The Boerne Performing Arts invites you to a very special evening...with the Accordion Virtuosi of Russia.They will perform in Boerne, Texas, for one night only on February 15, 2018. Tickets are available at
For group rates, please call 830.331.9079.

The accordion takes center stage when this world-renowned ensemble makes its Boerne debut.  The Accordion Virtuosi of Russia continues to thrill audiences around the globe, including performances at the Olympic Games in Munich, Montreal and Moscow, with a diverse repertoire ranging from folk songs to pop music to full orchestration of the classics.  Founded by Professor Pavel Smirnov in 1943, during the Leningrad siege, today’s exceptional ensemble is led by the third generation of the Smirnov family.

Excerpts from their website: Throughout its history, Accordion Virtuosi of Russia has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world including the Gewandhaus, Verona’s Arena, Olympia Hall in Paris, and the Great Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg. They have toured extensively in Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Spain, Japan, Guinea, Angola, Sierra Leon, Congo, Japan, Canada and elsewhere. In the United States the Accordion Virtuosi have performed in Washington, DC, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, New Jersey, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois. 
Accordion Virtuosi of Russia is a winner of numerous competitions in Russia such as “Musical  Carousel” and “Peter-Pavel Assemblies”. Most recently, the Accordion Virutosi of Russia has been included in the  prestigious “Golden Book of St. Petersburg” for its achievements in arts and was also named “Best  accordion orchestra of Europe of 2013” by orchestra society “EU Musika” in Frankfurt, Germany.

its repertoire ranges from folk music from many nations (not just Russia) to arrangements of rock songs, operatic arias, and even familiar classics. For example, a typical program might include excerpts from West Side Story and the overture to Bizet’s Carmen to music of Prokofiev, Scott Joplin, Strauss Waltzes, Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance, and of course Tchaikovsky. In the hands of these musicians, the accordion takes on an entirely new dimension. 

The Boerne Performing Arts enthusiastically supports all arts events in the Texas Hill Country region.You are encouraged to attend performances and visual art presentations throughout the small towns of the hill country and in San Antonio.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Dr. Schimmel to Perform in “Carousel” on Broadway

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelThe great 1945 classic, "Carousel" by Rodgers and Hammerstein will have its revival at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. It will be an entirely new production and will include and all star cast including the great opera Diva, Rene Fleming.The new orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick which will include the accordion and played by Dr. Schimmel. Previews begin on Feb 28 and the official opening is April 9, 2018.

Dr. Schimmel is the featured accordionist with The New York City Ballet in a work by Bruno Moretti entitled “Oltramare”. Performances are Feb 2, 6, 7, and 10, 2018 at the David Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, NYC. Excerpts from the New York City Ballet website: Brooding and intensely physical, "Oltremare" depicts the journey toward a new life with both its struggles and adrenaline-rising anticipation.

"Oltremare" was the third ballet that Mauro Bigonzetti choreographed for NYCB, all of which are set to scores by his frequent collaborator, Bruno Moretti. About the ballet, which premiered in 2008, Bigonzetti said, “'Oltremare', which translates to ‘beyond the sea,’ explores the feelings of people who have left their homeland on a quest for a better life in a far new land: the sadness of separation, and the excitement and joy of a new world. We see them at port, before they board the ship, saying goodbye to their home, and we see them sharing an emotional journey—crying, laughing, hugging—until finally everything fades away, like the colors of an old postcard.”

Dr. Schimmel will be a guest artist at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003 on Feb 4, 2018 at 7:PM to celebrate the release of a new CD by the great Klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals. The album is “Beregovski Suite” with pianist Uli Geissendoerfer.

For further information:

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

Dr. Mike Middleton is Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

by Rita Barnea
Mike Middleton
Mike MiddletonAccordionist Dr. Michael Middleton of Scott & White Nuclear Medicine was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award during the ACNM Award Ceremony and Banquet on Friday, January 26, 2018.
About the ACNM: The new American College of Nuclear Medicine (ACNM), a combined organization of the American College of Nuclear Physicians and the American College of Nuclear Medicine; officially formed on September 1, 2009. Both colleges brought over thirty years of service to its respective members. The College, comprised of physicians and other nuclear medicine professionals dedicated to enhancing the practice of nuclear medicine through the study, education and improvement of clinical practice.

The organization is a strong advocate for nuclear medicine professionals and provides access to activities encompassing the business and socioeconomics of nuclear medicine before the legislative and regulatory bodies, other medical organizations, the media and the general public.

Specifically, the ACNM is a professional organization that directly represents the interests of nuclear medicine physicians before legislative and regulatory bodies, other medical organizations, the media and general public. Our goal is to assure a legislative, legal, regulatory and economic framework that encourages and makes practicable the safe, appropriate use of nuclear medicine procedures to improve the quality of health care service available to patients.

Accordionist/physician Dr. Mike Middleton said, “Sometimes in life you get surprised. I am humbled to receive this honor from my Medical Specialty of Nuclear Medicine. "Lifetime Achievement Award, from the American College of Nuclear Medicine". Id like to thank the kind folks at the College that nominated me and voted for me to receive this honor.”

Accordion and Medicine? It is a perfect combination for Mike Middleton.

Dr. Mike Middleton is an accordionist and his main musical interests are Midi Enhanced Accordion music from all genres. He performs mainly for charity events and local festivals, including all styles of international accordion music. Mike also enjoys arranging compositions on the accordion, and has recently been performing at many churches and for senior groups throughout Central Texas. Mike;s latest performances include his renditions/arrangements of "Ghostriders in the Sky", "Variations on an Amazing Grace", "Beer Barrel Polka Variations", "Russian Minka Variations", and other favorites.

His preferred instruments are a Titano Starlight Royal Cossoto Accordion with a Melody Maker onboard Midi Synthesizer, a Petosa Mahogany Alpine Tuba Bass Accordion, and sometimes a Roland Electronic Accordion. In the past, Mike was the 1982 & 1983 Texas State Accordion Champion, and the 2001 Accordionist & Teachers Guild International Texas Folk Music Champion. He was awarded the following website:

In addition to the accordion, Mike is a Tubist, and he combines accordion and tuba performances periodically with his friend and tubist, Mr. Clayton Capps. Currently, Mike lives in Central Texas with his wife Darla, and has three children (Meredith, Lance, and Mitch). Mike, along with sons on percussion, and Clayton on Tuba together started his band, which they affectionately called "Mike and the Middletones ".

Mike recently has produced and recorded several successful albums: “Around the World & Back TO Texas”, “Accordion & Tuba Favorites”, and “Accordion to Mike & The Middletones: Back IN Texas”, along with the single, “Amazing Grace Accordion Variations”.

The Middletones have been featured at Wurstfest in New Braunfels multiple times, and other festivals. They have performed on The Mollie B Polka Party TV show in 2016, and have performed at The World Accordion Museum in Superior, Wisconsin. He also is being featured with the Temple Symphony in March 2017 performing polkas, waltzes, Texas Folk music and classical music. (see attached poster).
Mike has performed almost every year in the Scott & White Clinic Cafeteria for Octoberfest, and other venues. He donates many hours of performing and portions of his album sales to charities, in Central Texas.

Dr. Middleton is currently employed as Director of Nuclear Medicine and Professor of Radiology, at the Scott & White Clinic/Texas A&M Health Science Center. He has served as President of the American College of Nuclear Physicians and the Southwest Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, Secretary/Treasurer of SNMMI, and other leadership positions. He has also been Secretary of the Scott & White Clinic Healthcare Board of Directors, 2008-present. Dr. Middleton has also been nominated for VP-Elect of the SNMMI.

Dr. Mike Middleton has been entertaining audiences in central Texas for over 3 decades. While in college, he was named Texas State Champion accordionist in 1981 & 1982, and had placed in several national competitions. To help pay for medical school, he was contracted as a repeat solo performer at the famed Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas as well as other venues. In 2001, after 2 decades of not competing, Dr. Middleton won the (one time only) Accordionist and Teachers Guild/Texas Accordion Association's International Texas Folk Accordionists Competition in San Antonio, Texas.

Most of his performing now is for local festivals, clubs, nursing homes, churches, and hospital/community events. A nuclear medicine physician at Scott & White for 20 years, Dr. Middleton stays busy as a Professor of Radiology, at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and is currently an officer of the Scott & White Healthcare Board of Directors. He is also active as an officer in several specialty societies in Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging.

Future performances include:
National Accordion Assoc in Richardson, TX
( demonstrator and performer)
Temple Tx, Lions Club Follies Show
Palmer Festival and World Accordion Day at A World Of Accordion Museum, Superior, WI

For further information:

Photo: Mike Middleton featured with the Temple Symphony Orchestra, 4th March 2017, conducted by Tom Fairlie.
Mike Middleton

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Nathan Chapeton Wins Carnegie Hall Performance

by Mary Tokarski
Nathan ChapetonElite Music Competition Corp. is a New Jersey nonprofit corporation, operating as a public charity and advancing classical music throughout the world by encouraging young artists to pursue their studies in music, showcasing their talent, and demonstrating their music potential.

The corporation was founded by Alla Lovel, MM, MA, and is comprised of a group of dedicated and highly skilled experienced professional musicians, inspired by the power of music, and dedicated to the discovery and development of talented musicians. Alla is an honor graduate of the Master’s degree program in Music of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia as well as numerous honors and awards through the years.

Nathan Chapeton, AAA representative to the 2018 Coupe Mondiale and student of Mary J. Tokarski, auditioned for the prestigious Elite Music Competition netting him an opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall. The auditions were held in Greenwich,
CT on Sunday, January 14th and Nathan received word that he was a recipient of the prestigious opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall.

We believe Nathan’s performance date is scheduled for February 25, 2018 at 7:30 PM. Live auditions are held at various locations around the world. The Winners Recitals of the First and Second place honors are held in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Winners Recitals of the Third place honors are held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Caldwell University in Caldwell, New Jersey.

All the contestants, who have successfully passed the audition and performed at the Winners Recitals, are awarded Certificates of Achievement based on the judges’ evaluations and the contestants’ performance taking into account the following criteria:

interpretation (style, musical form, phrasing, intonation, articulation, rhythmic accuracy, tempo, dynamic control, balance, and pedaling), musical achievements (memorization, tone-facility, expression), as well as the participant’s age and the complexity of the musical selection.

Prizes will be awarded as follows:

• Cash Prizes: Grand Prize, First Prize, Second Prize, Third Prize
• Golden Star Award Trophy: awarded to the first three best performers
• Silver Star Award Trophy: awarded to the three second-best performers
• Performance with Symphony Orchestra

Titano Accordion Company

Texas Folklife Resources Announces the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest

by Sheree Scarborough
Text Folklife Poster
Texas Folklife Will Search for Top Young Accordion Talent at Café 4212 in Houston ‪on Saturday, February 17‬, 2018.

Grand Prize Winners will be selected in the following updated four categories: 

Polka Grand Prize (Age 25 and under)
Cajun & Zydeco Grand Prize (Age 21 and under)
Anthony Ortiz, Jr. Conjunto Grand Prize (Ages 18-21)

Texas Folklife is thrilled to announce that the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest is back in 2018. This will be the 12th year for the Big Squeeze program that supports up-and-coming Texas youth accordionists.

The contest is one of the ways in which Texas Folklife carries out its mission to preserve and present Texas’s diverse cultural heritage. The contest recruits players in all genres of the Lone Star State’s accordion-based music, including German, Czech, and Polish polka; Creole, Cajun, and zydeco; conjunto, norteño, and Tejano.

Since 2007 Texas Folklife has built a reputation as a champion of Texas accordion music genres through the Big Squeeze program, and has supported over 230 young, talented players from dozens of Texas towns and cities in their efforts to carry on these vital community-based accordion music traditions.

This year, Texas Folklife will hit the road again and hold Big Squeeze showcases in communities throughout the state to search for young accordion talent.

Four Final Grand Prize Winners will be selected from Texas traditional accordion music genres: polka, Cajun, zydeco, and conjunto. The polka genre will include German, Czech, and Polish polka traditions. Cajun & Zydeco will include zydeco, Creole and Cajun musical traditions. And conjunto will include conjunto, norteño and Tejano. 

For the 2018 program Texas Folklife has implemented some changes that will encourage more statewide youth participation. There are no changes in the Cajun & Zydeco Category. The Conjunto Category has been split into two age categories (one for ages 17 and under, and one for ages 18-21) and the Polka Category has been extended to ages 25 and under.

The Conjunto grand prize category for ages 18-21 is named in loving memory of Anthony Ortiz, Jr., a former Big Squeeze finalist, virtuosic young professional accordionist, and member of the Texas Folklife family who passed away in 2017. The showcases will be free and open to the public, and will feature music by established accordion artists as well as showcase the young musicians.

Texas Folklife will hold a talent showcase in Houston at Café 4212 ‪on Saturday, February 17.‬ The showcase will be held ‪from 3:00-5:30 p.m.‬ and is free and open to the public. This showcase features zydeco, but all interested players are encouraged to reserve a showcase slot by contacting Texas Folklife in advance or by registering at the event—registration will open at Café 4212 ‪at 2:00 p.m.‬ the day of the event. After the contestants perform, there will be special performances by Lil Porter & The Zydeco Hustlers.

There will be nine talent showcases held throughout the state. Interested players are encouraged to reserve a showcase slot at a venue in their region. Those who cannot attend a showcase may also mail or e-mail their entries to arrive at Texas Folklife no later than ‪March 23, 2018‬.

The complete contest rules and entry forms (in English and Spanish) are available online at or by calling ‪(512) 441-9255‬.

Up to twelve finalists (three from each category) will be selected in early April by a panel of judges, and will perform at the Big Squeeze Concert and Finals at the Bullock Museum ‪on Saturday, April 21.‬ At that time, four Grand Prize Winners will be selected.

The four Big Squeeze 2018 Grand Prize Winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities. Additionally, the Grand Prize Winners will perform onstage with legendary Texas musicians at Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens Concert, held at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre in June.

Big Squeeze Program Director Alysha Hernández will be leading the Big Squeeze Program again this year in 2018. Hernández brings a decade of experience in communications, film, and live event production. She is a native Texan, born in San Antonio and has spent much of her life in the Rio Grande Valley.
The Big Squeeze also has opportunities for individuals and organizations to become sponsors of the program. There is information on the website on how to become a Big Squeeze Sponsor at: or please contact us by phone at ‪512-441-9255‬.

“Houston and the surrounding area is an important locus for zydeco,” said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “Houston has been good to us at Texas Folklife. We hold our annual Accordion Kings & Queens Concert at the Miller Outdoor Theatre where thousands of accordion-loving fans congregate, dance, and celebrate the national instrument of Texas.

Please join us at this talent showcase at Café 4212 to help support these young musicians and keep traditional music alive and well in the Lone Star State.”
The Big Squeeze is supported by the board and members of Texas Folklife, Hohner, Inc., El Norteño Foods, Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival, and by grants from H-E-B, The Texas Music Office, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, and the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. Regional community and venue partners include Hacienda Records, Cajun Sounds Internet Radio,, Conjunto Heritage Taller, McDonald Public Library in Corpus Christi, Dallas Public Library Pleasant Grove Branch, Café 4212, Multicultural Education & Counseling through the Arts, Larry’s French Market & Cajun Restaurant, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Los Fresnos High School, La Joya Independent School District, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

About Texas Folklife:
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State, and is designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as the Folk & Traditional Arts organization for the state.  Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.

Media inquiries:
Sheree Scarborough ‪512-922-5483‬/
Program inquiries:
Alysha Hernández ‪210-286-1999‬ /

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

Accordionist Rob Curto's “Forró for All”

by Rita Barnea
Rob Curto
Rob CurtoForró is coming this Saturday, February 3, 2018 to Baltimore featuring Rose Moraes and Scott Kettner! Dance lesson and forró party with accordionist Rob Curto's "Forró For All". The event takes place at 8:PM at The Motor House in Baltimore, MD.

The Wolf Den Presents: Sunday March 4, 2018, 2-5pm. $80 (refreshments provided!) For location and further info email: Rob saiid, “This is a 3 hour long class for accordionists who wish to learn about the rich and sophisticated tradition of accordion in Brazilian music. In the three hours we will gain an overview of the accordion in two Brazilian musical genres: forró and choro. We’ll learn to identify the distinct rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and cultural features of these styles of music. Then we will begin to apply our knowledge to learn a short composition, and walk away with something to perform, and begin building a musical repertoire.

Excerpts from his website: An early devotee of American swing music, Rob has combined his influences with his mastery of their Brazilian counterparts: forró, choro and samba to produce stunning new results. He has performed extensively in Brazil, completely absorbing and interpreting the country’s musical traditions.

Rob has toured internationally for years with Grammy Award winning Latin singer Lila Downs, and clarinetist David Krakauer, as well as his own group Matuto,which has been selected as Cultural Ambassadors by the US State Department and most recently toured in Thailand, Cambodia, China, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Accordionist Rob Curto will also perform with Scott Kettner and Rose Moraes at Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA on August 4, 2018 at the Volksplatz at 5:PM.The program will feature Brazilian Roots Music: Rob Curto-Accordion, Rose Moraes-Vocals, and Scott Kettner-Drums and Percussion.

Rob Curto's “Forró for All” is a band dedicated to Forró, the Accordion-driven party music of Brazil, and the legacy of its primary innovator, the great Luiz Gonzaga. “Forró for All” is led by accordionist Rob Curto, originally from New York City, and is considered to be an important ambassador in the United States for Forro.

Rob plays an important role in introducing North American audiences to Northeastern Brazilian Music, and was an original member of the band Forró in the Dark along with Mauro Refesco (David Byrne, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Smokey Hormel (Beck).

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Elena and Gregory Fainshtein to Perform in TED Talks

by Rita Barnea
Elena and Gregory Fainshtein
Accordionists Elena and Gregory Fainshtein of Dallas, Texas will participate in TED Talks on February 6, 2018 from 6-9:PM at the Mountain View College Performance Hall, 4849 W. Illinois Ave in Dallas, Texas.
For tickets:

Excerpts from their website: Elena and Gregory Fainshtein, a married button accordion duo, have traveled the world both professionally and personally and now reside in the Dallas, Texas area. Both Elena and Gregory graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Music in the former USSR and are classically trained. Their life journey has taken them from the former USSR to the State of Israel and then to the United States of America.

Throughout their lives, they’ve learned different languages and met a variety of people, but the one constant that remains is the music they have developed with each other. Both Elena and Gregory like to explore new genres and expand their musical vocabulary from year to year.

Elena and Gregory have been a part of the National Accordion Association for over a decade and performed in various conventions nationally. They are well known in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where Elena has her own music studio and teaches piano accordion and heads up the “Happy Fingers Accordion Band”.

Music drives this couple in everything they do, and they are excited to share their passion with a new audience at the TeD Talks.

Elena Fainshtein will present several workshops at the NAA Accordion Convention and Festival in Texas in March. On Thursday, March 8 at 9:AM she will present a workshop on Russian folk Tunes. On Saturday, March 10 at 2:30 PM, she will present a Master Class/ Open Lesson.

For further information:
Elena Fainshtein
Accordion Performer, Conductor, Piano, Accordion Teacher
Phone: 469-450-6153

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Joseph Biviano and Charles Magnante – A Lifetime of Commitment to the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA)

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Header
Joan Grauman, AAA HistorianRita Barnea, Editor USA News: This is the second article in the series by AAA Historian Joan Grauman in cooperation with the USA News, to help promote the 80th AAA Anniversary Celebration. An article is planned each month containing a segment of the history of the AAA, from its creation on March 9th, 1938 through to 2018. Thank you very much to Joan Grauman for these articles.

January 2018 Article "What Events Led to the Formation of the American Accordionists' Association?" at: AAA-Formation


JOSEPH BIVIANO AND CHARLES MAGNANTE – A Lifetime Commitment to the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA)

“The American Accordionists’ Association’s aims and accomplishments, if itemized, would fill volumes but, suffice it to say that, since its beginning, it has been dedicated not only towards building a position for the accordion and the accordionist in the family of music and musical instruments, but in helping to further the musical culture of the world.”
--- Pietro Deiro, Jr., 1962
The AAA has been blessed with an abundance of hard-working, dedicated, enthusiastic Governing Board members through the decades. It has been the efforts of these selfless folks -- who recognized an obligation to their industry and to the world to maintain and encourage the continued growth of the accordion -- that has made our 80-year old organization a resounding success!

This article will focus on the efforts of two of the twelve founders of the AAA who, in addition to working full-time as musicians, composers and educators, dedicated their lives to the AAA. We salute these great men: Joe Biviano and Charles Magnante.

Read the full article at: Biviano-Magnante
Joseph Biviano and Charles Magnante

Titano Accordion Company

Bellows and Bows: A Potpourri of Chamber Works for Violin, Cello, and Accordion

by Rita Barnea
Emmanuel Borowsky (violin), Dr Robert McMahan, Cecylia Barczyk (cello)
Picture above: Emmanuel Borowsky (violin), Dr Robert McMahan, Cecylia Barczyk (cello)

A special concert featuring violinist Emmanuel Borowsky, cellist Cecylia Barczyk, and accordionist Dr Robert Young McMahan, will take place at the Mildred and Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall, The College of New Jersey on February 3, 2018 at 8:00 PM. Admission is free.

The program includes:
“Passacaglia in G Minor on a Theme” by Georg Friedrich Händel (1897),
for violin and cello…….by Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935)

“Triologue” (2003), for violin, cello, and accordion…….. by Lukas Foss (1922-2009)
“Bambuco Almirante” (1955), for violin and cello ………. by Alberto Acosta Ortega
“Spanish Rhapsody, op 9” for solo violin…….. by Jaroslav Vanĕc̆ ek, (1920-2011)
“Introduction and Allegro” (1955), for cello and Matyas Seiber (1905-60)
“2 Chôros bis, W227, for violin and cello”…….. by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
I. “Moderé”

II. “Lent – Animè”
“Prelude and Sarabande” (1963), for accordion solo ….. by George Kleinsinger (1914-82)
“Dance Suite for Two” (2012) ……… by Edward McGuire (b. 1928)
I. Courante

II. Air & Slip Jig

III. Hebridean Dolphins

IV. Jig: Lassies O’Stevenston
“Romp 5” (2017), for violin, cello, and accordion ……. by Robert Young McMahan (b.1944)

The bowed string family and the accordion share a high level of expressivity, dynamic range, and nuance in both sustained and moving musical passages largely due to their similar dependence on either moving bellows or bows to produce sound. These features, plus an additionally shared virtuosic capability and a wide assortment of timbral and idiomatic special effects, allow for a unique variety of interesting sonic combinations and contrasts.

The selections on this evening’s program are similarly varied and unique, and we hope that they will bring to the listener a new and interesting experience when the bows and the bellows meet (and, in a few instances, when they do not).

The Artists:
Emmanuel Borowsky began his violin studies at the age of four, and by the age of eight was regularly invited to perform concerts around the USA and abroad. At age twelve, he completed a six-week tour of Israel and Jordan, and represented North America at the World Child Prodigies Concert in Amman. At thirteen, he received the distinguished Cultural Achievement Award from UNESCO, and at fifteen was featured on the nationally-syndicated radio show, From the Top. Mr. Borowsky gave his Carnegie Hall debut recital at seventeen, and then performed for an audience of over 100,000 people at the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.

Mr. Borowsky holds degrees from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and Indiana University (B.M., M.M.). He is currently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the The University of Maryland. His teachers have included Erick Friedman, Dorothy DeLay, Roman Totenberg, Zoltan Szabo, Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, Jamie Laredo, Mark Kaplan, Menaham Pressler, and James Stern.

Cecylia Barczyk has achieved international recognition as a complete artist, successful teacher, and humanitarian. She has given concerts, recitals, and master classes throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and has appeared as a soloist with prominent orchestras including those of Amman, Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Jakarta, Leipzig, London, Moscow, New York, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Seoul, Shanghai, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Taiwan, Tel Aviv, Tianjin, Tokyo, and Warsaw. She has frequently performed on radio and television and has recorded much of the standard and new cello literature on the Muza, ICRecords, Melodya, Relief, and CRS labels.

She won prizes in prestigious music competitions including the Danczowski Cello Competition (Poznan), Pablo Casals Cello Competition (Budapest), Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow), Aldo Parisot International Cello Competition (Brazil), J.S. Bach International Competition (Leipzig), Cassado International Cello Competition (Florence), and W.C. Byrd Young Artists Competition (Michigan). She is on the faculty of Towson University and directs the annual International Cello Festival. In 2003 she was appointed Artistic Director of the International Music Institute and Festival USA

Dr. Robert Young McMahan is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition Studies, as well as of the Accordion major, at The College of New Jersey. A native of Washington DC, he studied accordion with the noted artist Louis Coppola and music composition with Robert Hall Lewis, Stefans Grové, and Jean Eichelberger Ivey at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

He is an award winning composer, noted and recorded classical accordionist, and published music researcher, and is active as both a classical accordionist and composer in a number of contemporary music venues in the middle states region. He presently serves as an officer of the American Accordionists’ Association and the Chair of its Composers Commissioning Committee. (All of the works for or including accordion on this evening’s program, excepting Romp 5, were commissioned by the AAA).

In addition to his own music, he has premiered the accordion works of many notable composers, including Ernst Krenek, Lukas Foss, and Samuel Adler, and recently co-wrote the new entry for the accordion with Adler in the latest edition of the latter’s noted orchestration textbook, "The Study of Orchestration".

Outside of these activities, Dr. McMahan is also a recognized authority on the American composer, Carl Ruggles, and is presently working on reconstructing portions of that composer’s unfinished opera, "The Sunken Bel"l.

For further information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Petosa Accordions Welcomes Everyone To Their New Building

by Rita Barnea
Petosa Building
Petosa DisplayPetosa DisplayPetosa writes that: With sincere gratitude and appreciation to our loyal customers for making this possible, we are excited to announce the opening of a new, larger facility to better serve our growing accordion community.

Build out at the new space has been in progress for months, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to our new home in 2018!

Congratulations to Petosa on their new facility. The new address is: 19503 56th Ave. W. STE B, Lynnwood, WA 98036.

Phone: 206-632-2700
Petosa New Building

Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) - It’s History - Aims - Goals

by Dominic Karcic
From my very early childhood I have been exposed to the accordion, accordion music and dancing to accordion music. In my Croatian and “quasi Northern Italian” culture and up bringing the accordion was “the musical instrument of choice” - "the accordion was king.” 

Accordion music was always part of every major social event that I ever attended. So, no surprise that at the age of ten I started taking lessons. Eventually my love for the accordion and accordion music became the catalyst that helped direct me to a musical performing career and also a lengthy career as a music educator in the Long Island public school system.

As a long time resident of Long Island and an active performing accordionist, I knew that there were many people who either played the accordion or used to play the accordion and that there was a vast group of people who just loved accordion music and it’s culture. I always felt that there was a void and lack of activities and events for the accordion locally.

Being a ”dreamer," I have always felt that a periodic accordion event if structured properly would succeed. I started to bring my dream to reality when in July of 2010 I began calling various accordionists that I knew. Everyone that I contacted agreed to participate and the rest is history.

On the August 3, 2010 the very first meeting of what today is known as the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) took place at a Commack, Long Island restaurant named Campagnola. This very first meeting included Joe Campo, John Custie, Charlie Fontana, Phil Franzese, Dominic Karcic, Emilio Magnotta, Ray Oreggia, Phil Prete, Franco Ruggiero and Mike Zeppetella. In January of 2011 we moved to our current home at La Villini Restaurant in East Northport, Long Island.

The Alliance, made up of both professional and amateur accordionists, meets once a month on the first Wednesday of the month with Alliance members performing solo, in small ensembles and as an orchestra. Every month we usually have a featured guest artist(s).

We are so proud that periodically some of the finest accordionists perform at our monthly event. Some of these artists have been USA and even world competition champions. These include Beverly Roberts Curnow, Mario Tacca and Mary Tokarski. Some other artists that have performed for us include Manny Corallo, Angelo DiPippo, Don Gerundo, Emilio Magnotta, Paddy Noonan, Frank Toscano, the Scandinavian group Smorgas Bandet and internationally acclaimed vocalist Mary Mancini.

Patrons come in to have dinner and listen. Some patrons who play the accordion are invited and encouraged to participate in the “open mic” portion of the evening.

Our whole aim is to promote a love for the accordion and accordion music, bring former accordionists back to the instrument, create an environment where aficionados can attend and “celebrate the accordion and its culture.”

We (LIAA) strive to create a vehicle were accordionists can perform, grow musically, meet regularly, network and in our own way further the aims and goals of the American Accordionists Association (AAA).

In the fall of 2015 Newsday paid a visit to our event and gave us a tremendous two and one-half page write up. That article really gave our event a new impetuous and helped us reach a far greater and wider audience of accordion fans.

Just this past week, January 3, 2018, we were honored by a visit by Dave Anthony Setteducati. Mr. Setteducati is the host of the "Italian America Long Island" Cablevision program which airs every Wednesday on channel 115.
He videoed our event and created a very interesting and informative program that contains personal interviews with the Alliance members and guests, many segments of member accordionists performing individually and also segments of ensemble playing. This program, featuring the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA), is scheduled to be featured on his Cablevision program on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. 

Our members hope that this program and the positive publicity it will create will bring knowledge of Long Island Accordion Alliance activities to even a much wider audience on Long Island and also reach out to the whole Cablevision viewing area. The publicity potential is enormous.

The current Alliance nucleus consists of nine accordionists. These include Joe Campo, Joe DeClemente, Santo Endrizzi, Dominic Karcic, Bob LaBua, Ray Oreggia, Phil Prete, Frank Scardino and Greg Zukoff.

In August of 2018 we will be celebrating our eighth anniversary. We feel so proud that the formula we created works. We hope our success is an incentive to “other dreamers” out there to take the plunge and create their own local “accordion club."

The Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) usually meets at 6 pm the first Wednesday of the month at La Villini Restaurant (631 261 6344), 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731.

Reservations are highly recommended.

Dominic Karcic 

Top Photo: (left to right) Ray Oreggia, Phil Prete, Joe Campo, Charlie Fontana, Dominic Karcic, Bob LaBua, Greg Zukoff, Joe DeClemente, Frank Scardino ( La Villini Restaurant, East Northport, NY - August 2017 - seventh anniversary celebration )

Bottom Photo: (left to right) John Custie, Joe Campo, Phil Prete, Phil Franzese, Ray Oreggia, Franco Ruggiero,  Dominic Karcic, Mike Zeppetella. (Campgnola Restaurant, Commack, NY August 2010)

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

John Torcello performs with the LA Philharmonic

by Kevin Friedrich
John Torcello and LA Philharmonic
John TorcelloOn January 23, 2018, Los Angeles accordionist John Torcello joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki in the World Premiere performance of Marcos Balter's new chamber work, an LA Philharmonic commission “Things Fall Apart” scored for woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp, piano, accordion and strings.

Brazilian composer Marcos Balter and Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki took part in a pre-Concert discussion, talking about the piece itself as well as Susanna Mälkki's work in preparing the orchestra's performance.

No stranger to working with some of the world's top orchestras and conductors, John's career includes appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Pasadena Pops/Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Long Beach Opera, Jacaranda Music and Idyllwild Arts Orchestra under conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Andreas Mitisek, Rachel Worby, Carl St. Clair, John Williams, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel in works by composers including DelTredici, Berg, Ades, Weill, Piaf, Kagel, Ortiz, Golijov, Bernstein, Piazzolla, Shostakovitch, Dean, Eo¨tvo¨s, Romer and Zappa.

The Concert was presented by members of the LA Philharmonic (Susanna Mälkki, Conductor) as part of their Green Umbrella series which showcases new commissions and other contemporary compositions.

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

Tribute to Stephen Dominko

by Lee Ellen Chontos
Stephen Dominko
It truly is a small world as evidenced by this story: CAA President, Marilyn O’Neil’s sister, Dawn O'Neil, was having dinner with the woman who gave the eulogy for Stephen Dominko. Her name is Lee Ellen Chontos, very good friends with Stephen and his wife, Bev.

Dawn texted Marilyn during the meal and asked if she knew Stephen. Marilyn said she had heard about him and was connected to people who were close to Stephen. Marilyn then asked Dawn to ask Lee Ellen and Bev if they'd be willing to share the eulogy with the accordion world. Both Lee Ellen as well as Stephen's wife, Bev, were touched at the gesture.

The result is this beautiful eulogy/tribute to Stephen Dominko. It's actually a poem by Linda Ellis that Lee Ellen elaborated upon. The poem is called "The Dash”.

“The Dash” ( by Linda Ellis) for Stephen

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend,
He referred to the dates on the tombstone, from the beginning to the end

He noted first came the date of birth, and spoke the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most, was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time, that they spent alive on earth,
And now only those who loved him, know what that little line is worth

For it matters not how much we own, the cars- the house- the cash
What matters is how we live and love, and how we spend our dash

In reality, we’re all part of Stephens dash, we are those that are left behind
But we take solace that our memories will live, and be frequently brought to mind

By profession, a composer and artist, music paved the way
But unlike a job, it was his passion, that truly motivated him to play

But that’s the Stephen you can Google, there is much more than meets the eye,
He had a heart the size of Texas, and was a simplistic kind of guy

He gifted his talents frequently, not searching for accolades
He gave of his time and his efforts, to benefit both Hospice and Aides

He was ALWAYS one with nature, spiritual fulfillment the never ending quest
And spending “alone time” with Bev and his critters, were the times that he loved best

I can picture him holding his cat Felicity, he would cradle her in his arm,
Unconditional love was in her eyes, as he kept her safe from harm

Devoted dad to Jeremy, and loving husband, who would protect and defend
Faithful son and brother, and an unpretentious, unselfish friend

Fishing, hunting, hiking, some quality time down at the lake
And he lived the mantra- “the circle of life”, Always give more than u take

He was a collector of earth’s treasures, fossils, geodes and such
But ''twas crystals” that captured imagination, and the their powers that did so much

He encouraged many a student to create themselves, grab the stars that they could reach,
But besides music, there were other lessons, that Stephen liked to teach

He taught me that humans can actually replicate, an adult frogs mating call
It's kind of like an inward choke, not like a ribbit at all - -

And he taught me that embracing Mother Nature, is not something u read in a book
To enhance the sound, be sure to cup your ear, if ever around a babbling brook- -

And he taught me, you will always be young, if truly you do believe
Have fun, even if you break the rules, and you are asked to leave- - -

And he taught me, the tiger Is the TRUE king of the jungle, so Chinese culture does profess,
Thus the tattoo he sported on his left arm, I ain't lion- “ I must confess”

So when your eulogy is being read, with life actions to rehash
Follow your dreams- they know the way, completely live your dash.

In conclusion, part of a quote from Kahill Gribran, I find it not only poignant, but it simply defines “ Stephen Dominko”- - -only when you drink from the river of silence, shall you indeed sing. And, when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And, when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

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

AAA President Mary Tokarski Performs in “The Spitfire Grill”

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiAAA President Mary Tokarski will play the accordion in the production of The Spitfire Grill” which is an American musical with music and book by James Valcq and lyrics and book by Fred Alley, based on the 1996 film of the same name by Lee David Zlotoff. It won the Richard Rodgers Production Award, administered by The American Academy of Arts and Letters, among many other accolades and outstanding reviews.

The musical depicts the journey of a young woman just released from prison who decides to start her life anew in a rural Wisconsin town. She participates in a journey within the town itself toward its own tenuous reawakening.

The score is exciting and contemporary, with many surprises from the small, but effective, orchestra pit. Accordion - Mary Tokarski; Piano - David Harris; Guitar & Mandolin – Bruce Bednarsky; Violin – Lexie Pellegrino; Cello – Andrew Bell.

The production will be presented by the Fairfield University Theater drama students, and will be at the Lawrence A. Wien Experimental Black Box Theatre in the Quick Center for the Arts on the campus of Fairfield University.

Performances are Wednesday, April 11th through Sunday, April 15th. Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets and information will be available at as well as on the Quick Center’s website, which gives directions, info on ticket sales, parking, etc.

For further information:

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

CAA Sponsors St. Patrick’s Day “Seisun”

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
The Connecticut Accordion Association will hold a St. Patrick’s Day Program on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 1:PM at The Waverly Tavern,
286 Maple Ave., Cheshire, CT 06410

The program will feature host/accordionist Michael Clarke along with vocalist, Kathy Mrazik.

In Irish circles, a “seisiún” is defined as a gathering of Irish traditional performers for the purpose of celebrating their common interest in the music.  A participatory event set in a relaxed, informal setting, a seisiún is simply a collaborative, collective sharing of talent and song. The objective in a seisiún is not to provide music, song and stories for an audience of passive listeners.  

It should be noted that although what are referred to as “punters” (non-playing attendees) often come for the express purpose of listening, the seisiún most of all for the musicians, singers and storytellers themselves. Simply put, a seisiún is an experience that is shared, not a performance that is bought and sold.

Michael Clarke started playing the piano accordion at the age of six, before he had any say in the matter. His late mother, Rosemary, who came from the County Donegal in Ireland, loved the “squeeze box.  Rosemary herself played the piano accordion, as she said, “until I got married, and that was that!”  

Mr. Clarke realized early on that he, too, loved the accordion, and has since performed regularly on three continents.  Mr. Clarke is founding member of Celtic Cross, a celtic-rock band formed in the 1980s in the New York metropolitan area, Mr. Clarke ushered in the tri-state’s homage to the "Celtic Tiger” movement by writing and performing on Celtic Cross' popular first album, entitled Part the First.  Mr. Clarke has recorded with Tommy Mulvihill, John Nolan, Kitty Kelly, Susan McGrath and Eileen Crowley, and has performed with Paddy Noonan, Dermot O’Brien, the Saw Doctors, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Michael “Jesse" Owens, the Wolfe Tones, the Commitments, the Jamie Kelly Band and the Andy Cooney Band.  Currently, Mr. Clarke regularly performs live an eclectic mix of Irish and 1980s music with the two piece band, McBueller.

For the meeting please bring an instrument of any kind! Bring your voice! Share an Irish tune, song or story!

Admission is $5.00 CAA members, $10.00 all others, under 16 years, free!

Please RSVP by March 23 to Marilyn at 203-272-1202. Visit

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

"Squeezing in Queens"

by Linda Holcomb and Joe De Clemente
Queens School Accordionists
Queens accordionistsPublic-school 203Q, in Bayside, Queens may be one of the only elementary schools in the five boroughs of New York City that has a student accordion band. It is made up of ten 4th and 5th graders and is conducted by the school’s music teacher, Mrs. Linda Holcomb. The school started their accordion band fifteen years ago. They meet once a week, at the beginning of the school day to practice various songs that they will perform throughout the year.

“We enjoy performing for concerts and events in our school, and we love taking our show on the road, into our community,” says Holcomb. During December, the group braved the frigid weather and played holiday songs outdoors for the Bayside Hills community holiday lighting celebration. (See photo)

They also entertained at the Clearview Senior Center located in that same area. Holcomb adds, “Performing for nursing homes and Senior Centers brings such joy to the people there. They love to see the children play their accordions. Our students always come home from those trips so excited, having experienced how their music can really be a blessing to others.”

For the past two years, the group has been fortunate to have the guidance of community member and professional accordionist, “Papa Joe” De Clemente. Papa Joe volunteers his time to join the students for rehearsals and he inspires them to be better accordionists. Among the many things he does for them, he also fixes their accordions! (Sometimes nine and ten year olds don’t exactly treat their accordion like they deserve to be treated!)

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Accordionaires’ Pops Orchestra in Concert

by Karen Lee, ATG 2nd Vice-President
Accordionaires Pops Orchestra
The Accordionaires’ Pops Orchestra under the baton of Janet Hane will perform an evening of accordion music in North Hollywood, California, on February 20, 2018.

The concert feature soloists, including Gail Campenella on the accordion, vocalist Ara Kocharyantsa, and trombonist Bob Rokos. The hour and a half program spans a wide variety of music, including such classical pieces as Dichter und Bauer [Poet and Peasant] Overture (von Suppe/Herold) and Farandole (Bizet); movie music Moulin Rouge Medley (arr. Desiderio); a tango Por Una Cabeza (Gardel/Desiderio); and Just Another Polka (Loesser- DeLugg/Desiderio).

Although the concert is an annual concert for the orchestra’s supporting accordion club, the Accordionaires, the public is welcome. There is a suggested donation of $10 at the door. The concert begins at 7:00pm. Doors open early at the venue (Victorio’s Restaurant, 10901 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood).

To assure a seat, it is suggested that you arrive early. For further information – or to become of member of this orchestra – contact Janet Hane at

The Day of the Accordion Presented by the Northwest Accordion Society

by Rita Barnea
The Day of the Accordion
The Northwest Accordion Society is sponsoring “The Day of the Accordion” on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Crossroads Bellevue Food Court, 15600 NE 8th St., Bellevue, WA.

Performers on the Market Stage: Jazz Hands, Murl Sanders, Northwest Accordionaires and more! Free admission to all events.

In the Community Room there will be Free accordion lessons, Button Box Presentation, lessons, jamming etc.

Don’t miss this special day to honor the accordion!

Le Vent du Nord Tour Dates

by Rob Howard
Le Vent du Nord, from Quebec, Canada, performs the lively folk dance music and songs of the Quebecois tradition, which is heavily influenced by Celtic music from Ireland and Brittany.

Formed in 2002, the band performs their music with a high level of energy, drawing the audience in with their enthusiasm and warmth. All of the band sing and are multi-instrumentalists with guitar, bouzouki, accordion, bass, piano, hurdy gurdy, fiddle and foot percussion.

To date they have released eight albums, two of which have received awards.

Performance schedule:
In January 2018, they toured France and Scotland
February 2nd, 8:PM – One Longfellow Square, Portland, Maine, USA
February 3rd, 7.30 PM - Barre Opera House, Vermont, USA

Future events

"Not Just Oom-PAH!" Accordion Workshop & Concert

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
Shirley Johnson and Laura Niland are proud to announce the Not Just Oom-PAH! Accordion Workshop and Concert to be presented ‪June 16-17, 2018 ‬in Austin,Texas.

This project was made possible by a Grant from the Cultural Arts Division of City of Austin Economic Development Department, and is also supported by Texas Folklife Resources.

Our outstanding presenters are:  Ginny Mac (Gypsy Jazz), Jan Flemming (South American rhythms), Shirley Johnson ( East European) and Mario Pedone ( Eclectic World Music).   Also YouTube Video instruction and recording will be presented.  

The Concert will be ‪on June 17‬, 2018 and performers include: Ginny Mac, Mario Pedone and Jan Flemming with Grupo Massa.  

We are also offering One Scholarship to an applicant under age 18 to attend the workshop and concert.

We have all the applications ready for participants and scholarship applicants. We are looking forward to making this event special, and hope to continue to offer additional programs as we improve our abilities in grant writing processes!

Download brochure at: 2018Oom-Pah.pdf

Voci Armoniche

Brooklyn Accordion Club 2018 Meeting Schedule

by Rita Barnea
BAC LogoHere is the BAC meeting schedule for 2018 - Mark your calendar!

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, 2-4:PM "New Year 2018 Kick Off w/Klezmer w/Sy Kushner
Sunday, March 4, 2018, 2-4:PM "Repair Presentation/Performance" by Emilio Magnotta of Emilio Accordions
Sunday, April 8, 2018, 2-4:PM
May meeting - TBA
Sunday, June 17, 2018, 2-4:PM
Sunday, July 1, 2018, 2-4:PM
August - No meeting

September, October, November, December meeting dates (TBA)
Please note the meeting time has changed to 2:00-4:PM

If you have ideas/suggestion for guest presenters/performers and/or want to organize a special meeting, please let BAC know!  BAC is a volunteer run community group, and your help is appreciated!

NEWS! - BAC has moved!
In 2018, BAC meetings will be hosted at Great Room at the LuEsther T. Mertz South Oxford Space/A.R.T. New York
138 South Oxford Street (Between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

The Great Room is fully air-conditioned, wheelchair accessible (ADA compliant), has a grand piano, stage (!), and is conveniently located only a few blocks away from Atlantic Terminal in the heart of beautiful historic Fort Greene neighborhood accessible by all trains: B, C, D, G, N, R, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5, and the LIRR. 

Hope to see you all on February 25, 2018 at the South Oxford Space! Excerpts from his website: Accordionist Sy grew up in the Bronx in a house full of Jewish music. His father was a drummer and lover of cantorial music as well as klezmer music. While growing up listening to the old 78s, Sy’s father also took him to “gigs” where he played the accordion, maracas and sang Hatikvah. Finally, when Sy turned 13 he ventured out to do his first professional gig. His uncle Sam, a gabai(sexton) at the Young Israel of Manhattan, hired Sy to perform for a synagogue function. The featured artist that night was an unknown singer-guitarist by the name of Shlomo Carlebach. The year was 1956.

Sy realized the importance of passing on tradition. Just like his father before him, Sy took his son, Aaron, with him on gigs to listen, watch, and eventually sit in with the band. Aaron went on to become a member of the Klezminors, the most popular teen klezmer band in the country. On Oct. 31, 1999, in front of a packed house at the Tonic Club in Manhattan, Sy’s band and the Klezminors performed separately, then together. Billed as, “The Klezmer Legacy: Two Generations in Harmony,” the passing on of a tradition was realized. Sy and Aaron went on to perform at another sold out performance at the Tonic billed as “Klezmer, Kushner and Son.” Aaron can also be heard on Sy’s Arise and Journeys albums. He also designed the CD covers for those albums as well as created the artwork for the “KlezSqueeze!” album.

After a lifetime of performing music composed by other people, Sy decided to devote himself to composing and recording his own works. He has composed over 200 melodies and has embarked on a project to record and share many of them with the world. His first CD of his compostions, Arise! , was released in 2008. This was followed by Journeys Vol 2 (2009), ..from my soul.. Vol 3 (2010) and The Sy Kushner Jewish Music Ensemble, Vol.4: Klez, Kush & Son(2013)

To complete the circle, and to pass the tradition on to a new generation, Nulite Music re-released “The New Jewish Sound-The Mark 3 Orchestra and Singers” in Oct. 2009.

For further information on BAC:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Sunniva Brynnel, Accordionist Performs With Violinist Sara Pajunen

by Rita Barnea
Sunniva and Sara
On March 18, 2018 the Mass Accordion Club presents Sunniva Brynnel and Sara Pajunen on violin at their meeting located at 44 Bridge St., Newton Mass. at 1:30 PM. They will perform Finnish music and present a workshop with discussions. Admission for non-club members is a $10 donation at the door.

Excerpts from their websites: Sunniva Brynnel, native of Sweden and a Masters student at the New England Conservatory of Music, is the accordionist with the gifted new band Night Tree. She received her Swedish music teaching degree from Gothenburg University in 2016. She descends from seven generations of female musicians.  Her mother, a Swedish folk singer, is one of her major influences.

Sara Pajunen, born in Minnesota, was trained in classical violin. Her life has been steeped in her Finnish culture, music, and tradition.  She was named 2015 Performer of the Year by the Finlandia Foundation National [FFN]. She received a bachelor degree in classical violin performance from the University of Minnesota and a Solo Studies degree from Stadia in Helsinki, Finland.  While there, Sara did an intensive study of Finnish folk music.

Sara Pajunen is a violinist and composer working in various genres and forms. With training in classical music and contemporary improvisation, her output has touched folk, electro-acoustic, tango, and sound art. Known for projects surrounding her Finnish ancestry, Pajunen’s work approaches culture and tradition in progressive yet reverent ways.

With deep roots in the Swedish and Finnish folk music traditions, the duo of Sara Pajunen and Sunniva Brynnel perform traditional music from the two countries as well as original music rooted in tradition. Having met at the New England Conservatory, Sara Pajunen and Sunniva Brynnel found an instant musical kinship. Sara’s violin and Sunniva’s accordion are sometimes playing like one voice and at other times complementing each other in sympathetic, melodious, and playful ways. Singing in Finnish, Swedish and English, the duo brings together their musical backgrounds and passions.”

On February 23, 2018, the dynamic young duo Sunniva Brynnel and Sara Pajunen will make a special stop in Montpelier, Vermont during their concert tour to hold a workshop in Swedish and Finnish traditional tunes for all instruments.The workshop will take place on Friday evening, Feb. 23, 2018 from 5:30-7:00 pm, followed by an optional potluck supper and a short jam. The workshop will be hosted by Donna and John Hopkins at 107 College St. in Montpelier, VT [corner of Woodrow Ave., enter on Woodrow side]. The cost will be $25 per person. For reservations:

For further information on the Massachusetts Accordion Club event:
Gary Morin:

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

23rd AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 27-29 in NYC

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Dr. William Schimmel will again be the moderator and curator for the 23rd annual American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars) which take place, July 27 - 29, 2018 at the Tenri Cultural Institute, New York City. Master classes are daily, 3-5 pm, concerts daily, 7-9 pm.

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

Dr. Schimmel has performed with most of the major symphony orchestras in America, and many chamber music groups in New York. Pop star colleagues range from Sting to Tom Waits, who has commented, “Bill Schimmel doesn't play the accordion, he is the accordion”. His many accomplishments include founding the ‘Tango Project’, teaching, leading master classes, composing, recording, and performing on movie soundtracks.

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

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

Reservations and information: Phone: 212 876 0827
$25 per Master Class
$30.00 per Concert
$50.00 per day, includes Master Class and Concert
$135.00 for entire weekend.

Checks made out to: The American Accordionists' Association (AAA)
c/o Julie Cardona, 67 Sackett Point Road – Apt 215, North Haven, CT 86473.
© 2022 Accordion USA. All rights reserved. To comment on these pages, e-mail the webmaster.