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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jan-2010
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
World Accordion Day Appeal by CIA President - Spain
Mary Tokarski to be Featured with the Prince George’s Philharmonic
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Dee Langley to Perform with the Minnesota Orchestra
Pine Leaf Boys on Tour in January
Dr.William Schimmel to Premiere New Work at Composers Concordance Concert
Cory Pesaturo, Alicia Baker, and Danielle Renzi to Perform at 2010 NAMM Convention

Voci Armoniche

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

Kim and Dan Christian Offer Skype Lessons and CD's
Grammy Nominees Announced, California
2010 West Coast Accordion Babes Calendar is Available
Properly Positioning Your Accordion
Holiday Concerts in Virginia
Stolen Accordion

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Frank Marocco Accordion Event Orchestra Concert on January 17th
Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild Music Competition and Concert in March 2010
ATG Celebrates 70 Years at Festival in July
AAA 2010 Festival in Pennsylvania July 14-18
Fund Raiser for WMNF Radio in Tampa Features Accordionists
US Tour for 2009 Coupe Mondiale Winner Grayson Masefield
Pedone-DiMaggio Workshop in Texas on January 30
Borsini USA Tour With Vincenzo Abbracciante

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Happy New Year to all! It is the beginning of a new year and a new decade ……………many unique developments on the accordion horizon…….new types of instruments and new artists to share their special skills on the accordion.

I will call the accordion………THE INSTRUMENT OF THE DECADE!!!

I invite all of you to share your musical concerts and events this coming year. Our readers would like to know what accordionists of every level are doing in the musical world. For example, did you know that the accordion is an integral part of the orchestra of the Cirque de Soleil all over the world? Did you know that Madonna has an accordionist in her band? Bob Dylan used the accordion in his latest CD. There are so many more examples.

You will read about fascinating accordion happenings right here on the USA News.
We want to publicize your accordion club concerts.

Please send me details including photos of your future concerts and I will be very happy to include an article in our monthly news. In addition, you may also send information post concert with photos.

Let’s stay in touch. Send all to Editor Rita Davidson at or 201-675-4861

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

World Accordion Day Appeal by CIA President - Spain

by Raymond Bodell
At the opening of the 123rd Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) General Assembly of Delegates in Arrasate, Spain on the 5th of December, CIA President Raymond Bodell (picture left) made an appeal to accordionists around the world.

World Accordion Day "what are you doing for World Accordion Day to promote the accordion in your country?"

World Accordion day is on the 6th May, which is the day the accordion was patented in 1829.

World Accordion Day started in 2009 and has been a huge success, generating enormous 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. This site is already a very valuable resource for the media reporting World Accordion Day.

No event is too big or too small. ALL accordion events celebrating World Accordion Day are welcome.

This is a promotion for the accordion which every accordion enthusiast can participate in and help bring our accordion world together as well as strongly promote the accordion to your population.

Therefore, I urge you to return to your country after this Congress and encourage broad national support from all levels of your accordionists for this exciting new project. Please – let all accordionists work together to make strong promotion to our populations with World Accordion Day.

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

Mary Tokarski to be Featured with the Prince George’s Philharmonic

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiConcert Accordionist, Mary Tokarski will be the featured soloist with the Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra at 8:00 PM on February 13, 2010 at the Queen Anne Auditorium at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland – Charles Ellis, Conducting.

Mary will perform “Aconcagua: Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra” by Astor Piazzolla. The work, commissioned for a 1979 radio broadcast, resembles a baroque concerto grosso. The “tango neuvo” Piazzolla championed during his lifetime is hinted throughout, especially in the slow movement. The finale, a rhythmic Presto, contains a breathtaking melody, and progresses to a powerful, emotional closing.

Performing both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra, and in a duo known as “Buttons & Keys”( with Bulgarian pianist Dessie Vaughan), this year Mary has traveled to China to perform with the Mantovani Orchestra, to New Zealand with the Auckland Symphony, and to Arizona, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Tennessee, Minnesota, California and Nevada. As a workshop presenter, Mary is sought-out by numerous associations for presentations on all aspects of music, performance, and Master Classes.

In February of 2011, Mary will appear with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra in Hamden, Connecticut performing Gary Daverne’s “Rhapsody for Accordion and Orchestra”.

For 20 years Mary served as Director of Music Education at Tokarski Music Center in North Haven, Connecticut, where she taught piano and accordion, as well as conducted the choral & ensemble programs, and supervised the pre-school programs. Mary currently teaches piano and accordion at her home in Northford, Connecticut.

She also served for many years as a Music Educator in the North Haven Department of Education's Early Childhood Development Program at Green Acres Elementary School, is currently 2nd Vice President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) as well as on the Board of Directors with both The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the ATG which are the two national member organizations of the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes, (IMC-UNESCO).

For information and tickets, call 301-446-3245. For more information on how to book a concert, Mary can be reached at 203-484-5095 or by email at .

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

Dee Langley to Perform with the Minnesota Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Dee LangleyATG President, Dee Langley, will perform live music for Charlie Chaplin's silent film "The Gold Rush" with the Minnesota Orchestra this weekend. Dee said, “I'm proud to be part of the MN Orch for these performances, yes, there's an accordion part complete with a solo.” The performances will be Friday, January 8th at 8 PM, Sunday, January 10, at 2 PM, and Thursday, January 14, at 11 AM . The Minnesota Orchestra is led by Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, who became the Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth music director in September 2003.

Dee Langley specializes in both solo and ensemble work on the accordion and has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ancia Quartet, Minnesota Sinfonia, Minneapolis Philharmonic and Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. She is presently the President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International and event coordinator for the NE Accordion Festival. Dee lives in NE Minneapolis and teaches music privately.

Of all Charlie Chaplin's films, The Gold Rush (1925) is the one he most wanted to be remembered for. There will be a big screen on the Orchestra Hall stage and the orchestra will play the jaunty, tender tunes Chaplin himself wrote to go along with this brilliant silent comedy. Memorable moments abound, as the Little Tramp tries to eat his boot, also to make biscuits dance by stabbing them with his fork—and scrambles to safety as his ramshackle cabin teeters on the edge of the cliff.

With the advent of films with spoken dialogue in 1927, Chaplin’s pantomiming Tramp became something of an anachronism, but the king of silent cinema found a way to adapt his films and his signature character to the era of synchronized sound. His 1942 project is one such example: Chaplin re-released The Gold Rush with several adjusted scenes, spoken narration and a musical score credited to Chaplin himself.

Chaplin was not a composer by the traditional definition; he had no formal music training
and could not read or write notes on a staff. He was, however, an adept keyboard improviser and had experimented with stringed instruments as a teenager. Beginning in 1923, he began to help compile anthologies of previously published music that were distributed for live performance with his silent films, a common practice at the time. But he found this approach inadequate, and in frustration declared that “[recorded] music which has the quality of a symphony orchestra is much better as an accompaniment than feeble vamping on a piano or the excruciating efforts of an incompetent or ill-led orchestra.” Starting with his 1931 film City Lights, he enlisted the aid of Hollywood arrangers to compose full orchestral scores.

For the Gold Rush re-release, Chaplin collaborated on the score with composer-arranger Max Terr. The process capitalized on each man’s strengths: the director sat at the piano, singing or playing snippets of melodies. Terr would then expand on those ideas, and together they would meticulously revise the passages until Chaplin was satisfied. But regardless of whose pen touched the page, it was Chaplin who retained creative control throughout the compositional process. He relied on others to develop arrangements and complex orchestration. Still, as biographer Jeffrey Vance declared: “The musical imperative is his, and not a note in a Chaplin musical score was placed there without his assent.”

Chaplin’s Gold Rush score is playful, heartfelt and well suited to its story. As with much of his music, it is heavily influenced by popular songs of the day as well as classical music. It quotes several themes verbatim: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee accompanies two frenetic action sequences, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz underscores a dance scene, and a recurring love theme comes from a lesser-known work, Brahms’ Romanze in F major.

Chaplin’s film scores rank alongside the Tramp as one of his great contributions to cinema. His sole competitive Academy Award, in fact, came in 1972, recognizing his score to the movie Limelight. Throughout his career, Chaplin was equally productive and versatile: he acted in 87 films, directed 75, wrote screenplays for 62 and composed original scores for 15. Even today, three decades after his death, very few artists have been involved in so many facets of filmmaking, and none have matched the extraordinary range and degree of his success.

The presentation of The Gold Rush combines music from the 1942 edition, adapted by contemporary composer Timothy Brock, with visuals from a reconstructed version of the original 1925 release.

For tickets please call: 1.800.292.4141 For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Pine Leaf Boys on Tour in January

by Rita Barnea
Pine Leaf Boys
Louisiana’s finest, the three time Grammy-Nominated Pine Leaf Boys have made a name for presenting their own inimitable brand of Cajun music with youthful exuberance. Hailing from southwest Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys, known for their wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand.

Being described as, “... the link that connects the young and the old generations,” and, “the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time,” the Pine Leaf Boys play the old-fashioned dance hall standards while making a priority to bring many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and play them with gusto. Their mission is to present the real Cajun music of their ancestors to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life.

All five members, in their early 20s — Wilson Savoy, Courtney Granger, Jon Bertrand, Drew Simon, and Thomas David — have been steeped in music since childhood. Hailing from farms and villages in Cajun country, the Pine Leaf Boys have been making a name for themselves not only for their youth, but also by preserving the traditional Cajun sound while allowing it to breathe and stretch. They present their music on twin fiddles, accordion, bass, and drum.

Wilson Savoy, who plays Cajun accordion and sings, was born and raised near Eunice, Louisiana. He is heavily inspired by high-energy Cajun accordion playing from his father, Iry LeJeune, Amede Ardoin and many others.

Steeped in Cajun music as a child from his parents, Marc and Ann Savoy, as well as friends of the family, such as the legendary Dennis McGee and Dewey Balfa, Wilson learned songs many years before he even touched the accordion or the fiddle. In his early teens, his father gave him a homemade accordion built from the wood of a Sasaffras tree that his grandfather planted. Wilson intensely studied the styles of Amede Ardoin and Iry Lejeune, as well as his father and soon developed a style of his own, full of punch, Creole syncopation, and energy.

When not on the bandstand, Wilson is a frequent visitor at jam sessions at his father’s music store or the Blue Moon Saloon, or he is teaching at music camps all over the world including Fiddle Tunes, Augusta, and Tikendalch in France. Wilson has played in many groups over the years like the White Mule Boys, the Red Stick Ramblers, the Savoy-Family Band, the Chuch Point Aces avec Paul Daigle and Mitch Reed, and his heart has always been with Cajun music. In 2006, Wilson debuted in the film “All the King’s Men” as a piano player alongside actor Sean Penn.

The Pine Leaf Boys new smashing live CD has just been released by the Jazz Festival 2009 Recordings and is available for purchase.
Their performance dates for January 2010 are:
Jan 1,Blue Moon Saloon,8 PM, Lafayette
Jan 2, La Poussiere, 7pm-11pm
Jan 8, 10, Rosendale Cafe, Rosendale, NY
Jan 9, 10,Let's Zydeco at Connoly's, NYC
Jan 15, Farmington, NM, San Juan College
Jan 16, Denver, CO, Swallow Hill Music Hall
Jan 17 Denver, CO, Swallow Hill Music Hall
Jan 21, Las Cruces, NM, NMSU Music Recital
Jan 22, Socorro, NM, New Mexico Tech
Jan 23, Clovis, NM, Clovis Civic Center
Jan 24, Albuquerque, NM, South Broadway
Jan 30, Mt Pleasant, MI, Finch Fieldhouse

For further information: Mitch Greenhill,, 310- 451-0767


Dr.William Schimmel to Premiere New Work at Composers Concordance Concert

by Rita Barnea
Composers Concordance
Dr. William SchimmelComposers Concordance Presents a marathon concert entitled “Composers Play Composers'” on January 31, 2010. Doors open at 6 PM. The performance time is from 7-10 PM at the Club Drom in New York, 85 Avenue A (between 5th & 6th). Tickets are $10 with a mandatory 2-drink minimum. AAA Board member, Dr. William Schimmel will premiere a new composition.

The concert will consist of a 3 hour performance with twenty three composers playing their own works. The marathon will have three sets with two short ten minute breaks. Each set will start off with a trio composed by Franz Hackl, trumpet, Charles Coleman, baritone voice and Gene Pritsker on electric guitar.

Gene Pritsker, Composers Concordance co-director talks about the concept for this presentation:
"We are exploring the relationship composers have with their instruments and how they go about writing music in which they know that they will be the performer. Dan Cooper and I talked about assembling a large group of composers and requesting a four minute composition from each. We are programming them back-to-back in a marathon setting and constructing a performance that highlights the composer as a performer:short compositions as vehicles for direct expression, from the composer’s mind to body to the audience We selected 150 composers and e-mailed them all on a secretly chosen day and time. The first 23 to respond to this e-mail were programmed for the event. We created a random criterion as opposed to a competition for choosing the participating composers, though all 150 candidates were composers whom we, the Composers Concordance directors, knew and respected."

Bill describes his composition which he will perform on January 31st: “The Wheel of Becoming” is a representation, through music, of Samsara, the continuity of Birth, Life and Death which can only be liberated through Enlightenment. Particularly Tibetan Buddhist, it can be interpreted and reinterpreted into any religion or philosophy, including Romany life, a life in constant movement, a life on wheels and a life constantly becoming. Much of the style changes in the music depict constant and abrupt change - although the basic theme is rather constant. Although it is Theme and Variation in form, the intent was to produce a feeling of constant and permanent transition, as well as forward movement to make the final ending on a perfect fifth both peaceful and mysterious.The opening and closing chanting sections are optional. If sung, one can breathe where one wishes or needs to.” The Sheet music is published by Studio Muse Press and can be ordered by contacting the composer at

The Composers Concordance is a presenting organization for contemporary music, primarily American. The organization strives to give opportunities to composers to have their works heard in a concert hall or a club setting and aim to present music in innovative ways with a thematic emphasis. Composers are encouraged to attend and each gives a short introduction to his or her work before it is presented. This interaction with the audience is continued at post-concert receptions where audience and community outreach are continued.

The mission is to give exposure to composers who otherwise would remain unheard, and we have a 25 year history of featuring women and minority composers as part of our natural mix. Performances are arranged from a core group but may also feature performers who are recommended by composers and who are interested in championing their work. The overriding vision is to see contemporary music, composers and new works as a rightful and respected part of society.

For further information on the concert: Joseph Pehrson:

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

Cory Pesaturo, Alicia Baker, and Danielle Renzi to Perform at 2010 NAMM Convention

by Rita Barnea
Cory Pesaturo, Alicia Baker
Danielle Renzi with her teacher, Robert PaoloThe 2010 NAMM convention will be held from January 14-17,2010 at the Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Ave.,Anaheim, CA. The trade-only and highly exclusive NAMM Show is one of the longest-running and largest events in the music world, featuring thousands of the latest musical instruments and products, amazing live music at every turn and the biggest names and brightest minds from the international music products industry.

At the NAMM ( National Association of Music Merchants) convention this year, Cory Pesaturo-2009 Winner of the International Digital Accordion Competition (picture top left); Alicia Baker - Roland's Senior 2009 National Champion (picture top right); and Danielle Renzi - Roland's Junior 2009 Champion will perform (picture right). Having a 23 year old, 18 year old and a 16 year old demonstrating the Roland V-Accordions shows the world that the accordion is making a huge come-back. This convention draws 100,000 people in four days and pretty well sets the stage for the musical year that follows.

Cory Pesaturo, USA representative to the 2009 Coupe Mondiale in NZ, won first place in the International Digital Accordion Competition for Coupe Mondiale Contestants in Auckland, NZ. Roland Corporation sponsored the inaugural Coupe Mondiale Digital Accordion Competition, part of the 2009 Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships & Festival. Roland is a leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, including the V‐Accordion, the world’s first digital modeling accordion. As part of the Coupe Mondiale sponsorship, Roland exhibited the full range of Roland V‐Accordions at the Bruce Mason Centre during the 62nd Coupe Mondiale event. This prestigious international accordion competition is organized annually by the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA – IMC‐UNESCO).

Danielle Renzi is a sixteen year old accordionist who has been taking lessons at the Robert Paolo Music Studio since she was seven.( Photo is of Danielle and her teacher, Robert Paolo). She has won the New England Cup each year in her age division from eight to twelve years old. She won the New England Championship at thirteen and fourteen years old, the youngest contestant to have that honor. Recent rulings excluded her from competing in the championship for a third year so she entered the New England Entertainment Championship which she won at fourteen years old and again at fifteen. She has also been part of the Paolo Studio Band for the past eight years which has won many first place trophies.

Alicia Baker, eighteen years old, won the championship at the International Accordion Competition in Kimberley, Canada (KIOTAC). She has also placed 1st in multiple divisions at the Leavenworth International Accordion Competition. Most recently, Alicia competed in the National V-Roland Accordion Festival in Los Angeles, and won the privilege of representing the USA at the International V-Accordion Roland festival and competition which took place on November 20, 2009 in Rome, Italy.

The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of more than 9,000 Member companies.

Roland Corporation is a leading manufacturer and distributor of electronic musical instruments, including keyboards and synthesizers, guitar products, electronic percussion, digital recording equipment, amplifiers, audio processors, and multimedia products. With over 35 years of musical instrument development, Roland sets the standard in music technology for the world to follow.

The V-Accordion is the first instrument of its kind to provide powerful digital modeling technology in a traditional, immediately familiar, accordion design, and with performance functions and authentic sounds. It combines the familiar sounds and nuances of a traditional accordion with the versatility of a modern digital musical instrument.The FR-7x is the successor to the current FR-7. It is enhanced with the latest V-Accordion features.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

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

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

Kim and Dan Christian Offer Skype Lessons and CD's

by Rita Barnea
Kim and Dan Christian
Kim and Dan Christian CD's for saleAfter a 2 year successful run of their production, "Music Makes the World Go Round", performed in Branson, MO., Dan and Kim Christian are back in their home town of Colorado Springs, CO.

Dan and Kim are excited to announce a New Year’s Blowout sale on the CD’s representing the Branson production entitled The World Tour and The USA Tour. Also available are their previous recordings of Squeeze Play which is an outstanding collection of music that is not ordinarily heard on the accordion, and finally a collection of favorite “souped up” arrangements of popular polkas entitled, Polka Power. Normally sold for $15.00 a piece, the CD’s are now available for just $12.00 a piece or $40.00 for all 4 CD’s. What a bargain! These CD’s are a must have for the avid accordion enthusiast.

They are also announcing that they will now be accepting students via Skype with the use of a webcam. All you need is a webcam that plugs into a USB port or a computer that already has a camera in it and high speed internet service and voila, Kim and Dan will be in your home providing top quality accordion lessons.

The Christian’s have both taught accordion lessons for over 30 years. They both have a sense of making lessons fun and intriguing for their students by offering up to date music and arrangements. As a student, you can expect to improve your technique, learn how to express music, learn good bellows techniques, learn how to improve your speed and clean up the sound of your playing and much more. You will also be given the opportunity to perform solo or with the Christian’s bands at the Rocky Mountain Accordion Society Festival held in Denver, Colorado annually.

The Christian’s are accepting students from beginner to virtuoso and will work with you where you are in your music abilities. The only requirement is a devotion to your weekly lessons and good practice habits. Lessons with either one of the Christians are a blast because they both are fun loving people.
Dan and Kim have both been teaching for over 30 years. They have been performing throughout the US and as far away as Beijing, China for years. Seven of their previous students have received full music scholarships at the prestigious Lamont School of Music at Denver University. Among Kim’s achievements are: AAA National Champion 1983, Coupe Mondiale honorary bronze medal winner 1984, two time R.M.A.S. Virtuoso Solo Winner, AFNA Virtuoso solo winner and many others. Kim has directed many accordion orchestras from beginner to virtuoso and has an extremely successful winning record with those orchestras. One of Kim’s most proud accomplishments is producing, marketing and performing a production that was very well received by the general public audience in Branson, MO. It has always been her dream to bring respect and appreciation to the accordion in the US.

Among Dan’s achievements are: Four time winner Rocky Mountain Accordion Virtuoso Champion winner, Winner of the prestigious Anthony Galla-Rini traveling trophy, Director of the US National Champion Accordion Orchestra, esteemed arranger and transcriber of music (Dan has transcribed over 20 symphonic works for accordion orchestra including works by Tschaikovsky, Dvorak, Saint Saeens, Schubert and others.

Dan and Kim met while Dan was taking lessons from Kim’s father, Mike Aman. Dan has known Kim since she was 5 years old and they have literally grown up together performing and teaching the accordion. Kim’s parents are Mike and Alice Aman. They have successfully run their music school Young Musicians of America since 1961. YMA students have performed in Disneyland, Disneyworld, Mexico and Canada.

Contact Kim and Dan immediately as their schedules are filling up fast! All ages are welcome! (Kim once started a student who was 90 years old , and he played until he was 95!!)

Email them at: or call (719)-597-1984 for lesson times or CD sales information.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Grammy Nominees Announced, California

by Rob Howard
The nominees have been announced in December for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. The ‘Best Polka Album’ award has been dropped, but there are still plenty of accordions among the ‘Best Cajun/Zydeco Album’ category is full of them:

‘Alligator Purse’, by Beausoleil Avec Michael Doucet
‘Lay Your Burden Down’, by Buckwheat Zydeco
‘Stripped Down’, by The Magnolia Sisters
‘Live At 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’, by the Pine Leaf Boys
‘L’Ésprit Créole’, by Cedric Watson et Bijou Créole

The accordion is also well represented in the ‘Best Norteño Album’ category:
‘Dejame Soñar’, by Cumbre Norteña
‘El Niño De Oro’, by El Compa Chuy
‘Pese A Quien Le Pese’, by Los Rieleros Del Norte
‘Tu Noche Con…Los Tigres Del Norte’, by Los Tigres Del Norte
‘Soy Todo Tuyo’, by Los Tucanes De Tijuana

There are also a handful of accordionists scattered through other categories. ‘Los Texmaniacs’ and ‘Sunny Sauceda’ are both vying for ‘Best Tejano Album’, Weird Al Yankovic is up for ‘Best Comedy Album’, and David Hidalgo’s accordion was a key ingredient in Bob Dylan’s ‘Together Through Life’, nominated for ‘Best Americana Album’.

And finally, many thought that the demise of the polka award would spell the end of 18-time winner Jimmy Sturr’s Grammy run. However, Jimmy and his orchestra garnered yet another Grammy nomination; this time, for ‘Best Traditional Folk Album’.

Watch the Grammy Awards on CBS, 31 January 2010, 8pm Eastern Time.

Titano Accordion Company

2010 West Coast Accordion Babes Calendar is Available

by Rita Barnea
2010 Accordion Babes CalendarShowcasing the talented, fun, sensual, often underground, and always entertaining West Coast Accordion Babes, the calendar includes a 13 song compilation CD performed by all the women of the Babes Calendar and mastered by Tim Gennert of Prairie Sun Studios.

The project, begun by local musician Renée de la Prade (of Culann's Hounds), started with the mission to take the accordion from Lawrence Welk and give it to Sophia Loren. The CD includes accordionistas playing folk, jazz, gypsy, pop, jug band and more.

The 2010 West Coast Accordion Babes calendar includes a compilation CD with a tune by each of the babes. Order now, retail or wholesale depending on quantity. The calendar shows a sexy, funny, girl-powered makeover for accordions, featuring pro musicians who tour nationally and around the globe. The 2010 West Coast Accordion Babes Calendar is the ideal gift for lovers of pin-up, accordions, music, feminine form, high art, low brow, camp and/or the Gregorian calendar system.

For further information: Renée de la Prade,

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

Properly Positioning Your Accordion

by Lynn Ewing
Lynn EwingI learned a lot of things in Las Vegas, and one of the important things was holding the accordion properly, in a workshop from Gina Branelli of the UK.

I have been playing the accordion since I was 7 years old, and have gotten very comfortable with how I hold the instrument. However, various folks, including Richard Yaus, Bob Smith, Mary Tokarski, John Bonica and others have given me an inkling that perhaps I should consider making some adjustments to my positioning. I decided to take advantage of someone who didn’t know me well to try to learn this, as it can be hard to accept advice when you’ve been playing a certain way for years!

It’s always hard for an old dog to learn new tricks, but maybe some of you will find my new insights helpful, and also perhaps prevent some injuries. I found this quite awkward at first, and embarrassing as well, but very worthwhile!

Instrument Position – First, and most importantly, the instrument should be positioned so that the keyboard is under the CHIN. In order to do this, I had to make drastic adjustments to my straps. The left hand strap has to be very snug, and I had to take my straps in to the shoe man to poke additional holes in my left hand strap. Mary Tokarski mentioned that she sometimes has to order two sets of straps in order to get the left hand strap small enough for her.

Most accordions are very well balanced. The way to get the correct positioning is to balance the accordion bellows on the left thigh. Then, you should be able to slip your arms into the straps, essentially without having the accordion move at all. This way, the accordion’s weight will be off your shoulders and you will have the keyboard under your chin. You will need to have somebody hold the accordion for you so that you can adjust your straps. The accordion should be more or less straight up and down, not tilted to one side or the other. For most people, the top of the keyboard should be about level with the top of the shoulder. If you have a long torso or a small accordion, you might have to put the accordion a little lower.

When sitting, you should sit at a height so that your thighs are absolutely level. Your feet should be flat on the ground, about shoulder width apart. The keyboard should lock into your right thigh, but not so far into it that you don’t have access to your highest notes. In other words, the keyboard rests about an inch into your thigh. You should sit on the edge of the chair, so that your back is straight. Tucking your feet under you or stretching them out puts pressure on your back, and can cause injury.

Getting the correct positioning on both right and left hands is easier when you have the accordion positioned this way. As everyone has told us forever, on the right side, the arm and wrist should be straight out from the elbow, with the shoulder relaxed, and the fingers curved and resting lightly on the keyboard. The left hand positioning was very tricky for me. I have been playing my bass with 2-3 fingering forever. However, I discovered when playing Frank Morocco’s lovely music that my fifth finger was a problem. I never really learned how to use it, and part of the problem was that my hand wasn’t adjusted properly into the bass side. The bass strap should be approximately at the wrist bone. To get the proper positioning, put your hand through the strap and rest all 5 fingers in a row starting with little finger on C, 4 on G, etc. and make sure you can reach the counter bass row in this way as well. Again, try not to cock the wrist in relation to the hand. Another thing that Gina suggested was that 4-3 fingering is really much better for playing, and keeps the hand and wrist in a better position. This is not something you can change overnight! It will be a process of some months before I am able to accomplish this. When pulling the bellows, you need to pull back toward your body rather than out into the air. The left elbow is kept fairly close to the body, but not crammed in, so that you have a full range of motion on the bellows, and you have some support for the bellows as well.

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Holiday Concerts in Virginia

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Bill CosbyThe weekend of December 12-13 was a busy, festive time for our local accordionists: Dale Wise held his annual “Accordions For Kids Holiday Concert” on Saturday the 12th, in Oakton, Virginia. It was preceded that afternoon by a well-attended and well-received workshop, sponsored by Dale, led by the four-time ATG US Accordion Champion, Bill Cosby. The evening concert was very nice with sing-along carols, solos and duets. Then, the audience was treated to a stellar performance by Bill Cosby. His stage presence, rapport with the audience, and his unbelievably delightful and skillful playing was dazzling!! Many in the audience stood in the back so they could watch, in total awe, both of his hands fly flawlessly over the keys and buttons. The accuracy and emotion this man pours into his music makes it very hard to believe that Bill stopped playing accordion over 30 years ago and has only recently started playing again.

On Sunday, the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) held its annual Holiday Concert and Dinner in Falls Church, Virginia. The weather was horrible, yet much to our surprise and delight, we had a huge audience and every seat was filled for dinner. Our terrific Master of Ceremonies, Ken Kunec, kept the concert moving as our Holiday Orchestra, the Potomac Accordion Ensemble, and many soloists (plus a young tap-dancing accordionist!) played for a very animated and appreciative crowd. “Decking the Halls” with accordions and accordion-playing friends was a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season!

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Stolen Accordion

by Rita Barnea
Please help Joanna Darrow locate a red and white Atlas accordion with about a 16 inch keyboard - maybe a 17" with 2 sets of reeds.

The switch in the middle of the the 3 switches has a black disk glued on top of where it says master. The disk indicates 1 middle, 1 low.

The left hand has two sound change switches. They are 2 different shades of red, since one had to be replaced.This accordion has much sentimental value as opposed to monetary value. It would mean a lot to have it returned.

It was taken between December 14th and January 4th from the Acme Accordion School in Pitman NJ.

Please call Joanna Darrow:856-854-6628 or with any info.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Future events

Titano Accordion Company

Frank Marocco Accordion Event Orchestra Concert on January 17th

by Rita Barnea
Frank Marocco top, Stas Venglevski lowerOn January 17th at 7:30 PM, the Frank Marocco Accordion Event (FMAE) Accordion Orchestra will present a concert at the Best Western Dobson Ranch Inn, 1666 South Dobson Road, Mesa, Arizona. Over 50 accordionists from the USA, Canada, and Europe will participate under the direction of renowned accordionist, Frank Marocco (picture left top).

The concert will feature the FMAE Accordion Orchestra and soloists. The tickets are $5.00 per person. Children under 12 are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

This very popular event sold out 15 hours after the initial e mail went out announcing this year’s event. Frank Marocco is the conductor/ music director. Stas Venglevski (picture left, lower) is the assistant music director.

For further information: For information on the day of the concert, please contact Dan Grauman : 301- 806- 5999

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild Music Competition and Concert in March 2010

by Rita Barnea
Mid Atlantic Music Teacher's Guild Logo
The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild{MAMTG) will be held from March 26-28, 2010 at the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick, NJ. There will be competitive categories in the following areas: Piano, Voice, Guitar, Strings, Keyboards, Woodwinds, Percussion, Accordion, and Brass. The entry deadline is February 15, 2010. There will be a Piano Virtuoso Championship, Battle of the Bands, Virtuoso Classical Voice, Piano Entertainment and Piano Performance Competition, and Mid Atlantic Idol Competition. These categories will offer first, second and third place cash prizes.

In addition, the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild presents “Accordion Extravaganza” on March 27, 2010, 7:00 PM at the Hilton Hotel, 3 Tower Center Boulevard, East Brunswick, NJ.. AAA Board member, Lenny Feldmann, will be the Master of Ceremonies.

The evening will be a spectacular display of accordion talents including: Mary Tokarski, Daniel Desiderio, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Eddie Monteiro, Joanna Darrow, the Westmont Philharmonia Orchestra, The Busso Trio, and The DeBellis Accordion Orchestra. Tickets are only $10.00. For further information:

The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG) was founded by a group of professional music educators from the Tri-State area to establish and maintain high professional teaching and ethical standards, exchange music-related ideas, information and fellowship among colleagues, promote music education in our area, and to provide a platform for area music students to display their talents in a competitive environment. The Guild has been recognized as a viable musical organization throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England States.

For further information: and (732) 762-6769

ATG Celebrates 70 Years at Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo
The ATG "70th Anniversary Galla-Rini Celebration" will be held in San Francisco, California on July 21-25, 2010. This special anniversary festival will feature the Anthony Galla-Rini International Competition for Classical Accordion, which offers almost $10,000 in prize money.

CIA Delegate and Past ATG President, Joan Sommers, has graciously offered to be the contact person for this competition. Please contact her via email for rules and more information.

This will be the first time the ATG holds a festival in California. Already tremendous enthusiasm and response for the festival is happening. Mark your calendars now and start putting a little extra away for shopping on Fisherman’s Wharf, and sightseeing to Alcatraz and Chinatown. For a special flare join us in a concert at Great America Amusement park with World-Class performers.

The ATG "70th Anniversary Galla-Rini Celebration" will be a grand way to celebrate seven decades of ATG history and commitment to excellence within the world-wide accordion community.

Mark your calendars and we hope to see you for this fabulous event in San Francisco, California, USA July 21-25, 2010.

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

AAA 2010 Festival in Pennsylvania July 14-18

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
The American Accordionists' Association announces that the 2010 AAA Festival will be held at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, PA from July 14-18 2010. Performances will take place at Hershey Park.

Room rates are $109 for single, double, triple, and quad.

More details will be announced next month.

For further info:

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

Fund Raiser for WMNF Radio in Tampa Features Accordionists

by Rita Barnea
WMNF Radio Logo
Florida Accordion Association LogoThe Florida Accordion Association is promoting a fundraiser for WMNF Radio in Tampa. The WMNF Accordion Jam Fest will be held on Saturday, January 16th, at the Polish American Pulaski Hall of Holiday, Florida, 4616 Darlington Rd. Holiday Florida. There will be music and dancing from1:30-4:30PM.Tickets are $5.00 per person.Children 12 and under are free. Students are just $1.00. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Big name Accordionists have donated their time and will be giving guest performances at this event. They are:
Living Legend & Showman Extraordinaire – Tony Lovello
Polka Hall of Famer – Joe Oberaitis
Virtuoso & Concert Artist – Walter Kasprzyk
Carmen Vitanza will also be joining in on the fun and
last but not least on Button Box –Alex Meixner

Bring your accordion and participate in the jam – music will be provided.

For more information or tickets contact Karen Adam Kasprzyk at Make checks payable to: WMNF Community Radio. Mail to Karen Adam Kasprzyk, Florida Accordion Association, 2244 Musket Drive, Navarre, FL, 32566, so that they are received by January 13.

All musicians and the public are welcome.

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

US Tour for 2009 Coupe Mondiale Winner Grayson Masefield

by Rita Barnea
Grayson Masefield (New Zealand), the winner of the 2009 Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships also took first prize in the International Competition for Virtuoso Entertainment Music. This milestone achievement by Grayson Masefield highlighted his diverse musical abilities when he won these double world titles in 2009.

Grayson's most recent success was winning the 2009 3rd Roland International V-Accordion Festival and Competition, November 19th to 20th, in Rome, Italy.

Plans are underway to schedule a concert tour for Grayson in the US from early April to early May, 2010. A number of concert dates are still available.

The following dates are already taken:
Sunday, April 11, 2010 -Accordion Teachers Association of MA (ATAM), Boston
Sunday, April 25, 2010 - Connecticut Accordion Association, Connecticut
Saturday, May 1, 2010 - Concert, Silver Spring, MD sponsored by Dan & Joan Grauman
Sunday, May 2, 2010- Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Dinner, New York

To arrange concert dates, please contact concert organizer, Faithe Deffner via e-mail: or the AAA office at

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

Pedone-DiMaggio Workshop in Texas on January 30

by Rita Barnea
Mario Pedone, Lou DiMaggioDon’t miss this great opportunity to attend the Mario Pedone/Lou DiMaggio Accordion Workshop on January 30 from 10 AM-4 PM. The price of $120 for the workshop includes lunch and concert ticket plus all workshop materials. Mario will be bringing his CD’s and music books for sale.

The evening workshop tickets are available for $12 per person for those wishing to attend only the concert at 5 PM.The workshop and concert will be held at the Olympia Party house on 8442 Athenian, Universal City, Texas. The deadline is January 10.

Some of the topics which will be covered at the workshops: Blues, Pentatonic & Diminish Scales; Arpeggios and Inversions; Improving your Technique; Nomenclature; Scales; Extended Chords; Chord Changes For Endings; Repeating Notes, Fills In; Chromatic Scales New Fingers; Positions; Graces Notes, Passing Chords; Tango Style; Variations with Boogie Style.

Lou DiMaggio is of Italian descent and is related to the famous baseball player, Joe DiMaggio. Lou competed in talent contests, his solo playing put him into big city competition, and soon he hit the big time performing with: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Roy Rodgers, Roberta Lynn, and Edgar Bergen . He also played in U.S.O. shows during the War. Lou then started his teaching career. Presently he is interested in passing on his wealth of experience to other aspiring accordion players. His philosophy is: “You are never too young or too old to learn this magnificent instrument.” Make sure that you sign up for Lou’s Accordion Workshop.

Mario Pedone is an accomplished teacher and performer. Mario graduated as a Concertista from the School Academia de Acordeon Smith, directed by Roberto Ruscitti and in March 1974 he earned a Cum Laude diploma in accordion from the same school. On April 30, 1976 he graduated with a degree of Professor of Accordion he founded his own accordion school, Academia Latina de Acordeon, where he had over 125 students. Most of his former students are now playing professionally.

Mario has his own recording studio in Sugar Land where he has arranged and recorded hundreds of tunes including many of his own compositions. His musical range includes, but is not limited to Classical, Latin, European, American Standards. He also produces CDs and cassettes for other musicians

For more information Contact: Laura Niland,

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Borsini USA Tour With Vincenzo Abbracciante

by Rita Barnea
Vincenzo AbbraccianteIn January and February of 2010, Borsini will be on tour with the incredible jazz accordionist, Vincenzo Abbracciante, who is coming all the way from the south of Italy to make his very first tour of the USA. Vincenzo hails from three generations of accordionists.

Visiting with him will be Carlo Borsini who is one of the master tuners from the Borsini factory in Italy. He will also be available to factory tune any accordion in the USA in January.The Borsini company has been building top quality accordions since 1922.

Jeffrey Iacono from Borsini USA will also be available to answer any questions and to give you a chance to demo a new Borsini accordion.Feel free to contact Jeffrey for additional tour details or for professional tuning or repairs on any make or model of accordion. Jeffrey is an apprentice to Carlo and Vincenzo Borsini and can service any accordion as well. To kick things off Borsini will be visiting many cities in the USA in January and February of 2010. The schedules and dates are listed below:

January 10, Buon Giorno Cafe, Costa Mesa, CA
January 11, Northwest Accordion Society, Seattle, WA
January 14 -­ 17, NAMM Show, Anaheim, CA
January 18, Arizona Accordion Club, Phoenix, AZ
January 19, Los Angeles Accordion Club, Los Angeles, CA
January 21, Vibrato Grill, Bel Air, CA
January 25, Chicago Accordion Club, Chicago, IL
February 6, Venturi Music, Madera, CA
February 7, Silicon Valley Accordion Club, San Jose, CA

The USA Borsini Factory sales, service and tuning location is in Laguna Beach, CA. For further info: (714) 269-­8646 or
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