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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jan-2014
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
2014 Accordion New Year's Resolutions
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
The A Word: Accordions Alive and Kickin’ A documentary (under 60 minutes)
Video: 2013 Grammy Award Winner Wayne Toups and Zydecajun - USA
New Opera by Dr. William Schimmel
Angelo Di Pippo is Special Guest of the New Hampshire Accordion Association
Accordion Pops Orchestra Presents Tribute to Carmen Carrozza
Update on Gabe Hall-Rodrigues
Alicia Baker: 2014 and Beyond!
Frank Stanger Wins Polka Hall of Fame Awards
Cory Pesaturo
Dallas Vietty in 2014
Texas Folklife's Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Expands Talent Search
San Francisco Accordion Club Features Rene Sevieri

Voci Armoniche

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

Video: J P Jofre & Wendy Law Concert, New York - USA
Popular Mesa Accordion Event to end in 2014 after Eight Years
Accordion Pops Orchestra Presents Christmas Concert
January Schedule for Rob Reich
Video: Strasser Promotional Video About Diatonic Manufacture
Long Island Accordion Alliance Meetings
2014 Collectors Edition Accordion Artists Calendar

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

2014 National Accordion Convention is March 5-9. 2014
MAMTG Festival in New Jersey in March
226th American Accordion Musicological Society Festival March 28-30
New England Music Festival: April 4-5, 2014
AAA 2014 FESTIVAL: JULY 9-13 in Tarrytown, NY
74th ATG Festival in San Francisco in July 2014
2014 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration
Cotati Accordion Festival: August 16-17, 2014

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita Barnea, USA News EditorWelcome to the 2014 USA News! Do you know that the first publication of the United States National News was published on December 1,1999 with former CIA President Kevin Friedrich as the accomplished National News Editor for the first ten years of the news?

As of December 2013, I began my sixth year as USA National News Editor and I can only say that as the years go by, I am even more interested in and excited about the accordion world, the developments in technology which have enhanced the news capabilities, and the limitless possibilities of what the Internet can bring to all of us in terms of not only entertainment but also education in the musical world. By taking a few moments to click on the USA news or any other of the other AWW news sites, you can open an entire universe of valuable and fascinating information about the accordion.

Special thanks and deep gratitude go to AWW Founder and Worldwide Editor Harley Jones who brilliantly conceived the idea of Accordions Worldwide and brought his ideas to reality. I suggest that you read the history of AWW by clicking on:
It is well worth taking the time to read about the accordion websites.

The January USA News contains articles about upcoming events in 2014 including news about the young accordionists who are carving out new careers and opportunities in the musical world.


As always, you are invited to send your ideas and comments to me at

All issues going back to the first one in 1996 are available 24/7 in archives on this site. Be sure to read the USA news for continuing coverage on upcoming festivals, concerts, events, and the people who make them happen.

Best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy, and musical New Year!

Read below for some New Year's Resolutions which you may want to implement this year. Happy New Year!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

2014 Accordion New Year's Resolutions

by Rita Barnea
Happy New Year!
Here are your Accordion New Year's Resolutions!

Can you think of any more? Please send them to me and I will add them to the February news.

1. I promise to practice my accordion every day.

You can find at least 20 to 30 minutes a day to practice your accordion if you want to. If you find time for watching the news on TV, or talking on your cell phone, enjoying your tablet, computer or just sitting on your couch, you can find the time to take your accordion out of its case! With a little effort, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. Practicing your accordion is relaxing, a stress reliever and also good exercise! And you don't need a doctor's appointment or a prescription!

2. I promise to play my accordion for friends and family at least once a month (more often would be even better)!

Everyone who has ever seen me perform has always commented on the beauty and complexity of the instrument{ as if there were something very magical about playing the accordion. But it is magical, isn't it?) Going to a family dinner or having the family and friends over?....... take out your accordion and play for them. No matter what your level of proficiency is..........people will be amazed by your playing.

3. I promise to learn at least one new song every month.

Try to expand your repertoire. It doesn't have to be a concerto! What about a new popular song or one from the past that you always wanted to learn. Don't have the music? Look it up on the Internet or e-mail your accordion friends. If you want the song........ it is out there: however, if you really cannot find it, try to play it by ear, sound it out, write out the notes. It may take time, but it is a good experience to learn it on your own. It is possible, don't be afraid to try it.

4. I promise to attend at least two or more accordion events in 2012.

There are many accordion festivals, concerts, accordion clubs etc. around the country.Search the USA News each month and you will find an event in your area. Not only will you have a wonderful time listening to great accordionists, but you will be able to participate on any level from beginner to advanced. There will be accordion bands, ensembles, people who will enjoy meeting you and hearing about your experiences with the accordion. If you want to meet interesting people who share your love of the accordion, you will find them! You will not only hear great music but you will go away with new friends.

5. I will purchase at least two accordion CD's this year!

There are so many wonderful accordion CD's. Search the Internet and you will find lists of accordion artists. It is important to show our support for these outstanding musicians by buying their CD's! Visit to find your favorite accordion CD!

6. I promise to introduce the accordion to people who have never heard one before.

This is a special opportunity for you to expand the musical horizons of someone. The accordion is so versatile, found in cultures all over the world and running the gamut from folk to classical and everything in between! There is a visual fascination with the accordion that no other instrument can claim. How do we do it? Keys, buttons, bellows, It is a coordination of fine motor skills that places an accordionist at the top of the list of the best multitaskers in the world!

7. I promise to send news about my accordion club, association, concert, event to for a possible article in the USA news.

We want to know all about your accordion activities. Please let me know far in advance, if possible, so that readers can plan their schedules accordionly ( Could not resist that one!!).

8. I will think about treating myself to a new accordion! Why not? When you have a new instrument, you sound better!!

9. I promise to read the USA News ( news every month and the weekly news, Accordions Worldwide ( Check on the Fan Club page for the latest updates.

10. I will reread Resolutions 1-9 again and again!

Happy New Year to All!

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

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

Titano Accordion Company

The A Word: Accordions Alive and Kickin’ A documentary (under 60 minutes)

by Rita Barnea
Clip 1: Clip 2:
Clip 3:
Roberta CantowRoberta Cantow is an independent film maker from California who is working on a new film about the accordion, " The A Word: Accordions Alive and Kickin’. A documentary (under 60 minutes)". Roberta said, "'The A Word' is the working title of a new documentary about the explosion of interest in the variety, diversity and extraordinary virtuosity of the accordion and accordion music. This shift of awareness has actually been taking place over several of the last decades and encompasses the music of cultures from all over the world and a wide variety of styles.

While many still think of the accordion as a stodgy instrument of a bygone era, those in the know will tell you that it is kicking up a storm in the hippest and most sophisticated of venues throughout the world, including NY City and its many hideaways. The goal of the film is to demonstrate just how really wonderful an instrument the accordion is, how many are in love with it and what those accordion lovers, composers and musicians have to say about their attraction it to. It will be a revelation to those who say that “the accordion is dead,” (and that is certainly one of many reactions received when beginning to describe this forthcoming film).

The film includes interviews and performances with prominent accordion players, performers and composers (Guy Klucevsek, William Schimmel, Pauline Oliveros, Will Holshouser, Rachelle Garniez, Peter Stan, and Lou Fanucchi, among others). There is both an aural and visual component so as to demonstrate the many ways that this maligned instrument has captured the imagination of many in the form of video, performance, dance and site specific works.

Let the accordion story and the enlightenment begin!"

Roberta Cantow is a graduate of NYU Graduate Institute of Film and Television (MFA, 1972). Her independent film work has been recognized with production and distribution grants from: The American Film Institute, The New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts (Artist Fellowship Award, 1987) and The Jerome Foundation, among others.

Her films have received several Best of Category Citations in film festivals around the country ("Clotheslines" – Best Documentary, Atlanta Film Festival (1983); "The Book of Laughs" – Best Woman’s Film, Atlanta Film Festival (1987) and abroad, ("Clotheslines" – Film of Great Merit, London Film Festival (1982); "If This Ain’t Heaven" – Selection, Edinburgh Film Festival, (1985). Her work has been exhibited in many of the venues for independents, including a presentation in the Cineprobe Series of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Her last work, "Dreamtime", (the third part of the trilogy, "Bloodtime Moontime Dreamtime"), was selected as a finalist in the 2008 Moondance Film Festival. She received a NY Area Emmy for her film, "Clotheslines", about the symbolic and artistic role of laundry in women's lives.

For more than 30 years, "Clotheslines" continues to be successful in the educational market via Filmmaker’s Library and Alexander Street Press. "Bloodtime Moontime Dreamtime" is currently being distributed for the educational market via Chip Taylor Communications. Her four 16mm films were selected for archival preservation by the Donnell Media Center, New York City in 2001 and more recently, her work was invited into the Sophia Smith Women’s History Collection of Smith College.

This is the first of several articles which will follow the progress of the film. Included in this article are several clips of her movie. In future publications, we will include additional film clips and information.

For further information please email Roberta:,

Voci Armoniche

Video: 2013 Grammy Award Winner Wayne Toups and Zydecajun - USA

by Harley Jones
Wayne Toups
Wayne Toups and Zydecajun performing Sugar Bee at the 2013 International Rice Festival.

This is one of Louisiana's oldest and largest agricultural festivals, and the International Rice Festival celebration seeks to showcase the importance of rice and emphasize its historical role in the City of Crowley and enjoys the unique and varied culture of southwest Louisiana.

Zydecajun band members are:
Freddie Pate - Tour Manager Guitar & Vocals
Darrell Toups - Percussion
Chevy Foreman - Bass Guitar
Mike Burch - Drums
Rick Lagneaux - Keys, Vocals

Pictures below of the 2013 Grammy Award presentation to Wayne Toups
Wayne Toups 2013 Grammy Award Presentation

Accordion Jazz Chords

New Opera by Dr. William Schimmel

by Rita Barnea
The Colonials
Dr William Schimmel's new chamber opera "SEANTIC: JOSEPHINE" will receive its premiere on January 29, 2014 at the Gershwin Hotel in New York.

It was commissioned and will be performed by The Colonials (photo above), a new group that specializes in music that crosses centuries. The scoring is for Accordion (William Schimmel), Baroque Violin (Kristina Giles), Baroque Cello (Paul Dwyer), Baroque Bass (Doug Balliett) , Piano (Alexandria Le and Leading Vocalist.
Sharon Harms will be the Leading Lady.

The Colonials are classically-trained musicians who want to make art accessible to everyone. Their programs are designed to show the dialogues and similarities between "old" music (Baroque period to 20th century) to newly written works. The members have diverse training on modern and period instruments, as well as different modern genres such as bluegrass and jazz. Some are composers, too. In their shows, you will be treated to a wide range of music and sounds from an array of instruments as well as interactive dialogue with the performers, who welcome questions and discussion about the pieces, instruments used, and interpretation.

The Colonials play in non-traditional venues such as cafes/bars, mixed use performance spaces, and living rooms. Shows are informal, because they love to have fun and you, the audience, should have fun, too.

Dr. William Schimmel supplies the following program notes:
There is no plot or linear story
It's a surreal portrait of a woman who assumes the essence of Josephine:
1.Josephine Baker - diva, ex-patriot, worked with French resistance, tried to have a comeback in America
2.Josephine - wife of Napoleon - complexity and contradiction
3.La Femme Nikita - anti-terrorist whose secret code name was Josephine
They form a kind of Trinity - 3 in one person
Instrumentalists serve as commentators as well as devotees (minions)
Singer sings abstract extractions from two Josephine Baker songs - "Blue Skies" and "J'ai Deux Amours".
Instrumentalists comment with Alley Oop Josephine - which I took from an actual 1930's radio broadcast in Berlin - the radio announcer introduced her with: Alley Oop Josephine!
Singer performs in one place for entire piece - during instrumental sections she tries on various types of sunglasses.
Instrumentalists form a circle around her - possibly a table with everybody around it and her standing at center - to give a kind of liturgical elegance, a negotiation, the last supper, a corporate board meeting, a surreal Mass, an anti-terrorist assignment or all of the above.
At each accordion chord at the end, the players keel over one by one as if being shot. Josephine picks up a cell phone and holds that pose. The instrumentalist get up (from the dead) for bows indicating the end of the opera - turning a tragedy into a dark comedy.
All of the real action is internalized. Who is she? What really happened?

William Schimmel said, "Some of the films that inspired me to do this opera are:"Persona" - Ingmar Bergman - two women merge as one;"That obscure object of Desire" - Luis Bunuel - one part played by two women; "La Femme Nikita "- TV series in the late 90's; "Diva", a French New Wave film of the 1980's about an Opera singer who refuses to record;"The Tenth Victim", a cult film of the 1960's starring Ursula Andress - inspired the "Hunger Games".

If a singer is not available - the vocal part can be done by the accordionists assuming the role as a surreal "story teller" telling the story (or non story) from the accordion but, of course, the ideal solution is a female singer - any nationality or age."

For further information:

Available online are 6 CD's and compositions by: William Schimmel


Angelo Di Pippo is Special Guest of the New Hampshire Accordion Association

by Rita Barnea
Angelo Di PippoAngelo Di Pippo will be the special guest at the New Hampshire Accordion Association meeting on Saturday January 18th, 12.30-4:PM. Angelo di Pippo is well known as an accordionist, arranger, composer, producer, conductor and member of the trio, The Accordion Kings. He has appeared in movies, most notably in "The Godfather".

At the January NHAA meeting, Angelo will not perform, but will present a master class with a few volunteer accordionists who would like to have their playing evaluated in front of the class. Following a break for refreshments, Angelo will talk about his remarkable career and answer questions from the audience.

One of the world’s fantastically talented musicians who just happens to play accordion, the legendary Angelo Di Pippo has played accordion since the age of eight years old and is a graduate of Holy Cross College with a Master’s degree from C.W. Post College and an honorary Doctorate from Five Towns College.

Angelo has played in thousands of recording sessions. Over the years Angelo has recorded and concretized with score of famous such as artists as: Peggy Lee, Harry Belefonte, Debbie Reynolds, Frankie Avalon to name a few. has also appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Regis Philbin Show and many more too numerous to mention.

Besides being voted by Keyboard Magazine “best accordionist in America”, Angelo has appeared in many movies where he can be seen and heard in films such as the wedding scene in the Godfather. He has also played in several Broadway productions. Angelo is an accomplished arranger- conductor and for over twenty years has conducted and arranged for the eminent Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert Merrill. Today Angelo is actively arranging and performing in New York.

At the conclusion of Angelo's presentation, NHAA members and guests will honor him at the first annual NHAA Membership Kickoff Dinner, to be held at a local restaurant.

NHAA meets at Accordion Connection, LLC, 136 Route 106, Gilmanton, NH 03237. For further information email:

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

Accordion Pops Orchestra Presents Tribute to Carmen Carrozza

by Rita Barnea
APO Concert Poster
The Accordion Pops Orchestra conducted by Al Terzo will present a memorial tribute to the great Carmen Carrozza on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 2:PM at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton, New Jersey.

Lenny Feldmann will be the commentator and Master of Ceremonies. Havard Svensrud, virtuoso accordionist from Norway will be the featured artist.

All proceeds will be donated to the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund. Dinner and Concert tickets are $50.00.

For tickets and information: Rosemarie Cavanaugh 732-257-8198

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Update on Gabe Hall-Rodrigues

by Rita Barnea
Gabe Hall-RodriguesGabe Hall-Rodrigues is very busy playing the accordion with various groups and proving to young people that the accordion is a very cool instrument.

Gabe, who grew up in Arizona, began playing piano and singing at the age of seven. Gabe is an active performer in the Phoenix valley with several groups mentioned below. He performs regularly on accordion, piano, and jazz organ. With several years of vocal training, Gabe also enjoys singing and playing in various ensembles.
Gabe has been featured singing with the ASU Concert Jazz Band and was featured as a guest artist on both piano and accordion with the Salt River Brass Band on various concerts. He has performed with numerous chamber ensembles highlighting many works by Astor Piazzolla. In April 2012, Gabe performed Piazzolla's "Adios Nonino" on accordion with the Red Mountain High School Band at the Mesa Center for the Arts. During the summer of 2011, Gabe's accordion trio, Ocotrillo, toured the east coast performing at the American Accordionists' Association conference and venues along the east coast. Recently, Gabe was featured on The Nash's Catch A Rising Star Series in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gabe was awarded first place in the U.S. Virtuoso Solo Competition at the 2010 American Accordionists' Association Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Gabe performs with Ocotrillo formed in January of 2011. Ocotrillo (pronounced Oco-trio) Accordion Trio is comprised of Gabe Hall-Rodrigues on accordion and vocals, Sean Brogan on upright bass, and Wes Anderson on drums. Ocotrillo performs jazz music including jazz standards, contemporary tunes, and original compositions by the members of the group. The group was feature at the 2011 American Accordionists' Association Conference in Charleston, South Carolin July 13-17 and the Mesa Accordion Event in February 2013. The group also completed a San Francisco tour in January 2012 with featured guest, Frank Petrilli, on accordion.
Straight from the horse's mouth! HorseMouth is a jazz organ combo formed in 2012. The group plays a variety of straight-ahead jazz, Brazilian music, and original tunes. The group include Gabe Hall-Rodrigues on Hammond B3 organ, Larry Gast III on guitar, Alex Young on alto saxophone, and Robby Carrillo on drums.HorseMouth was featured with Gabe on the Nash's Catch a Rising Star series in July 2013.
In the Summer of 2011, five friends convened in a hot tiny room in Tempe AZ without air conditioning with the goal to arrange a few songs that Jared Kolesar had written while attending Arizona State University. What transpired is a great friendship that tested the month long goal the group had marked for a show that was supposed to be their only performance. The group composed of Jared Kolesar, his long time friend Michael Carter, Larry Gast III, Josh Morin, and Chuck Morriss III, considered what they had to be a good thing and brought on their 6th man, Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, with the ambitions to keep going as an Arizona Folk outfit.
Their initial performance at the Clubhouse in Tempe, AZ marked the beginning of their adventure into the realm of Folk Music. Since that show the band has shared stages with the likes of Flogging Molly, Cake, The Killers, Youngblood Hawke, Joe Pug, and Horse Feathers.Their Debut Album, Western Expansion, was released in September of 2013

Gabe will be living in Brazil with his wife, Amy, studying music for the next ten months. We look forward to his return to performing in the USA!

For further information:

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

Alicia Baker: 2014 and Beyond!

by Rita Barnea
Alicia BakerAlicia Baker has been a passionate musician since she sang her first solo at age 3.  She began studying the piano at age 4, the accordion at age 6 and vocally at age 14.  Alicia recently graduated from Oregon State University, and now holds a bachelor of arts degree in Music Education, Piano Performance, and Vocal Performance.

Alicia has found her most tangible success with the accordion. She has won several International competitions, including the Happy Hans award at the Kimberley International Old-Time Accordion Championships and the Leavenworth Open.  Alicia also won 3rd place at the Coupe Mondiale accordion world championships in Victoria, BC in August 2013. In 2009, she won the privilege of representing the USA at the Roland International V-Accordion Competition in Rome. This turned out to be the beginning of her current relationship with Roland; one that continues to provide opportunities to share her love for the instrument. 

Aside from competitive events, Alicia has performed solo accordion concerts at many notable festivals. These include the American Accordion Association Convention, Cotati Accordion Festival, the Accordionists and Teachers Guild International Festival, KIOTAC, Leavenworth Old-Time Accordion Festival, the NAMM show. In 2011, she was privileged to join the Corvallis symphony as the soloist for Nikolai Chaikin's Accordion "Concerto in B-flat Major". 

Vocally, Alicia thrived as an opera student all throughout college, as she discovered a new passion.  Her college operatic performance experience included the role of “Queen of the Night” in OSU’s production of Mozart’s "The Magic Flute" in April 2012, as well as multiple roles in various scenes throughout four terms of Opera Workshop at OSU.  Alicia performed two solo vocal recitals in fulfillment of her vocal performance degree.  In terms of awards, she was the vocal scholarship recipient of the Brookings Friends of Music Annual Scholarship Competition, in addition to winning the NATS competition for classical voice in her age division in 2012.  More recently, Alicia was selected as a finalist in Classical Singer’s National Vocal Competition.

On the piano, Alicia performed two solo piano recitals in fulfillment of her piano performance degree, and accompanied many musicians and singing groups to fund her college education.  She loves the art of collaborative piano, and will always enjoy working as an accompanist.

In addition to her three instruments, Alicia also discovered a passion for musical composition.  She’s composed many solo accordion pieces, a few piano solo pieces, and two works for choir. Alicia won the KRAFT composition competition held at OSU in 2011, and was honored to have her composition “The Unseen”, written for choir, cello, and piano, performed by the OSU Chamber Choir.  She plans to continue composing, and hopes to become a published composer someday.

As a recent college graduate, Alicia can now begin fulfilling her dreams, which include promoting and sharing her love of accordion to younger generations, as well as performing on all of her instruments.  She currently works for Roland Corporation, where she enjoys sharing her love and knowledge of music with others.

When I asked Alicia about her feelings about the accordion, she said, "I'm thrilled that the accordion seems to be making a come back in the music scene, and in a whole new way.  It seems to have been welcomed into some modern musical genres, and is powering through to some more mainstream musical groups.  

My hopes for the accordion is that it can break out of its stereotypical polka association, and reach a more wide-spread audience.  However, don't get me wrong, I of course love the polka - I just want accordion music to reach as many people as possible.  Personally, my favorite accordion genre of music is French musette and jazz.  I would love to try to fuse these styles together with some original musical thoughts of my own, to try to make another direction where the accordion can flourish on today's music scene.  

I also think that with the forward motion of technology, companies like Roland can help the accordion to reach even wider audiences - which is a really exciting thought.  The ability to play the music that is most relevant with today's generation can help to change the image of the accordion in young people's minds. It doesn't matter so much to me what style of accordion music is getting the most attention - as long as good players are spreading a positive image of accordion, then I'm a happy girl.

The accordion has provided me with a special opportunity to be a unique kind of musician in the music world.  I love being able to play so many different styles of music on one instrument - I think accordion is one of the most versatile instruments.  Also, because there aren't as many accordionists as say pianists or guitarists, it helps me to set myself a part from the average musician.  I love playing such an amazing and unique instrument."

For further

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Frank Stanger Wins Polka Hall of Fame Awards

by Rita Barnea
Frank StangerFrom the Cleveland Hall of Fame Facebook Page, the following great information about accordionist Frank Stanger who won several awards at the 2013 Polka Hall of Fame Music Awards:

"Accordionist and bandleader Frank Stanger scored the first sweep at the Polka Hall of Fame music awards by taking Album, Band, Music and New Song of the Year awards for 2013. The 26th annual awards ceremony was presented by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, November 30, 2013, at Euclid Auditorium in Euclid, Ohio. Bandleaders Eddie Adamic, Jim Kozel and Frankie Zeitz were inducted for their lifetime achievements in polka music. Former Senator George V. Voinovich was honored for having served as the honorary chairman of the Polka Hall of Fame at its founding in 1987. The gala stage show was the high point of Cleveland’s 50th Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend.

The Downtown Marriott Hotel was the site of the three-day polka event which attracted music-lovers from 27 states and six countries on Thanksgiving Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Orchestras performed in three hotel locations, including the Grand Ballroom, along with impromptu polka jam sessions. A highlight was the Polka Mass, celebrated by Cleveland Bishop A. Edward Pevec and Fr. Frank Perkovich of Minnesota. Entertainers included RFD-TV’s Mollie B and Squeezebox, Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostanek, Hall of Famer Hank Thunander, the Chardon Polka Band, Polka Revolution, and orchestras led by Eddie Rodick, Joey Tomsick, Wayne Tomsic, Fred Ziwich, Jeff Pecon, George Staiduhar, Ed Klimczak, Don Wojtila, Dan Peters and Anthony Culkar.

The Awards Show showcased polka music across the four seasons and closed with a holiday production number. Performers included three-time Grammy-winner Walter Ostanek; Linda Lee Brown and Wild Bill; and Patty Candela and the young Polka Stars of Tomorrow. The stage orchestra was led by Tom Mroczka with musicians from several states. The master of ceremonies, WELW’s Ray Somich, introduced guest presenters, such as Fox 8 sportscaster John Telich; Lili Brunec and Mojca Delač from Radio Slovenia; John Hasper, a polka webmaster from the Netherlands; Canadian performer Mary Lou Downs; and His Excellency Dr. Božo Cerar, Ambassador of Slovenia, with Hon. Jure Žmauc, Slovenian Consul General. The show was directed by Ray Somich II. The Awards Show was supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

“I play polkas because I love the music and I love the people who love the music,” said Eddie Adamic, the Detroit bandleader who was recognized for his 70-year career as a polka bandleader and accordionist.

Pennsylvania bandleader Frank Stanger took home four awards: Musician of the Year, Band of Year and Recording of the Year for “All Keyed Up.” His orchestra performed his winning song, “The Punxsutawney Phil Polka.” Recipients of annual awards were Kathy Hlad for button accordionist; the Fairport Jammers for button accordion ensemble; Thanksgiving Weekend Chairman Mark Habat for support and promotion; Dale Bucar for vocalist; and the SNPJ Recreation Grounds in Kirtland, Ohio, for cultural heritage. Three side musicians received awards: Mark Habat (Fred Ziwich and the International Sound Machine), Brian Zupancic (Joe Novak Orchestra), and Jack Tankovich (Bob Kravos and the Boys in the Band).

Polka Hall of Fame members voted in two all-time hits songs. “Kamnik Polka,” recorded by Andy Blumauer in Cleveland, became a hit in Slovenia. It was introduced by Vera Marsic and performed by the Veseli Godci (Happy Musicians), a local Slovenian-style band. “Hambone Polka,” the theme song of the Eddie Habat Orchestra, was released internationally on the Decca and Polydor labels in the 1950s. Mark Habat, son of the late bandleader, presented the song, along with Klancnik and Friends, musicians from Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Seven names were added to the Polka Hall of Fame Trustees Honor Roll: polka TV hosts Joe Gabrosek and Gene Kovack; the Mahoning Valley Button Box Club, an accordion ensemble; musicians Bob McGuire, John Zipay and Joe Miklavic; and the Slovenian National Home on East 80th Street in Cleveland. Miklavic recorded with Frank Yankovic, America’s Polka King, in the 1940s. McGuire is known for his tune, “Moon over Parma,” the original theme song for TV’s “Drew Carey Show.”

Radio personality Tony Petkovsek began the Thanksgiving Polka Party in 1963 and expanded it into one of the country’s largest polka music festivals and the longest-running. He gave an award to Former Senator Voinovich for his long-time support of Cleveland-Style Polka music.

"Polka music gets everyone happy,” said Fred Zarzecki, an accordionist from Grand Rapids, Michigan. “It doesn’t matter what your nationality is. People come here from all over the country for the Thanksgiving Polka Weekend because Cleveland-Style music makes you feel like dancing.”

“There’s a fresh polka breeze sweeping through America and the Polka Hall of Fame is carried along with it.” said Joe Valencic, President of the Polka Hall of Fame and producer of the Awards Show. “The Thanksgiving Polka Weekend and Awards Show bring attention to upcoming Cleveland-Style polka talents as well as to bands that are long-time crowd-pleasers."

The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum was founded by musicians and leaders of Slovenian and ethnic organizations to preserve and promote the style of American dance music that emerged from the city’s neighborhoods. The museum traces the rise of Cleveland's home-grown sound to nationwide popularity with audio exhibits, historic photographs and original instruments, including accordions belonging to recording stars such as Frank Yankovic, Johnny Pecon and Johnny Vadnal. The archive preserves 6,000 vintage recordings dating back a century. Each year, the organization's nationwide membership nominates and votes for annual winners in several categories, as well as for lifetime achievement.

The Polka Hall of Fame and Museum is located at 605 East 222nd Street in Euclid, Ohio, in the historic former Euclid City Hall. Admission is free. Hours are 11:00 AM to 4:PM., Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Polka and Slovenian recordings are on sale on-line and in the museum store."

For more information, call (216) 261-FAME
toll-free: (866) 66-POLKA

Titano Accordion Company

Cory Pesaturo

by Rita Barnea
Cory Pesaturo and Yasmine Azaiez

Cory PesaturoVideo #1 of solo at the 2013 Coupe Mondiale
Video #2 of Renzo Ruggiero, Ludovic Beier, and Cory Pesaturo at the 2013 Coupe Mondiale

Cory Pesaturo has a very busy career as a performing jazz artist all over the world. In January 2014, he will be at the NAMM Convention for the 6th time, and as a representative for Borsini.  

His 2013 winter performances included: Performance at Isis in Asheville, NC.; continued his semesterly Masterclasses at MIT on Accordion and Improvisation; performed in Austin, TX in collaboration with the Formula 1 US Grand Prix.  

In December 2013, Cory was featured as the 2013 Guest Artist with the Brown University Big Band on December 6th. He had a segment on the ABC channel of Boston on Destroying the Accoridon Image on the show "Chronicle"; played with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' at the House Of Blues December 27, 28, 29; collaborated with the Red Sox / Fenway Park for FreeSledding and the Mighty Mighty Bosstone's concert on a charity event for the Red Sox Foundation.  

Cory Pesaturo, from Cumberland, Rhode Island, is an accordion player, who also plays the piano, clarinet, and saxophone. He most recently won the 2011 Primus Ikaalinen World Championship and was the first American contestant. Additionally, Pesaturo won the Coupe Mondiale World Digital Accordion Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, and became the first American to win a World Accordion Championship since Peter Soave 25 years ago. In June 2009, he won the Leavenworth International Championship, and International Jazz Championship. Pesaturo performed in 5 different continents during 2009 including Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Tunisia and Japan. Cory is one of only four accordionists in history to win a World Championship on both acoustic and electronic accordion, and is the only person to also win a world championship in jazz.

For further information:

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

Dallas Vietty in 2014

by Rita Barnea
Dallas ViettyDallas Vietty is an American jazz accordionist specializing in the Parisian swing-waltz style of Musette and Gypsy Jazz. He began playing the accordion in 2001, and has studied jazz and arranging at California State University Northridge and accordion performance with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at Acme Accordion School. 

As a soloist he performs widely, and won first place in the Free Bass category at the American Accordionist Musicological Society Festival in 2011.  As a band leader, his groups have performed at Musikfest 2012, Djangoary Festival 2011 and 2012, Djangofolies Festival 2012, Djangology Festival 2012, TEDxPhilly 2010, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and many other concerts around the country. As an educator he has taught at the famous Django music camp Django in June, led workshops at the American Accordionist Association Conference 2012, and has a busy private studio and growing online teaching presence. He is one of a few who have a curriculum and knowledge of Musette and Gypsy Jazz for the piano accordion.

He currently leads Musette Project, a contemporary take on the modernist waltz compositions of the mid-century Parisian accordionists, and Hot Bijouxx, an early 20th century inspired hot swing group. 

Dallas will return for his third year as an accordion instructor at Django in June, the world's only gypsy jazz camp. The workshops span beginner through professional level. The public concerts feature premier European & North American artists, but nothing beats the nightly Djams that swing well into the wee hours. Dallas said, "I'm excited to be able to spend lots of dedicated time with students again, sharing the techniques of the music I love. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about gypsy jazz, go ahead & peruse last year's info on the website, put the dates on your calendar, June 16-22, 2014 in Northampton, Massachusetts and stay tuned for more updates."

On January 23 and February 14, 2014, Dallas will perform with his group, Hot Bijouxx, at the Historic Hotel in Bethlehem, PA. The musicians in his group are Najwa Parkins: vox, Ryan McNeely: guitar, Kevin Ripley: drums. On Friday, March 28th, he will perform at the East Hanover NJ Marriott for the WMAS event.

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Texas Folklife's Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Expands Talent Search

by Sheree Scarborough
The Big Squeeze
The eighth annual competition invites young Texas players to showcase their talent and to compete for one of three titles of the Big Squeeze Grand Prize Winner. Grand Prize Winners will be selected in each category: Polka, Zydeco, and Conjunto  
Texas Folklife announces its eighth annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians, 21 years of age or younger. The non-profit that endeavors to preserve and promote Texas’s diverse cultural heritage is looking for great players in all genres of the Lone Star State’s accordion-based music, including German, Czech, and Polish polka; Creole, and Cajun zydeco; and conjunto, norteño, and Tejano.

In order to better nurture young Texas talent, Texas Folklife is restructuring the popular contest this year. The contest will go on the road again this spring in order to meet the young accordion players in their communities in “talent showcases.” Three Final Grand Prize Winners will be devoted to the three main accordion genres—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. The polka genre will include German, Czech, and Polish traditions. Zydeco will include Creole and Cajun musical traditions. And conjunto will include norteño and Tejano. The showcases will be free, open to the public, and feature performances by local musicians.
The Big Squeeze 2014 talent showcases:
·      February 1:    Houston Creole Festival
·      February 8:    La Joya High School
·      February 9:    McDonald Public Library in Corpus Christi
·      February 22: Texas Polka Festival & Symposium in Schulenburg
·      February 23: MECA [Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts] in Houston   
·      March 23:      Latino Cultural Center in Dallas
·      March 29:      Los Fresnos High School
·      April 4:          Gallista Gallery with Conjunto Heritage Taller in San Antonio
Nine finalists (three from each genre) will be chosen from the field of performers at the showcases (and those who send in their performances to Texas Folklife) by a panel of esteemed music professionals.

Accordionists will be judged on their technical proficiency—skill in playing, and technical and musical accuracy—as well as their song interpretation (stylistic choices, innovation, and originality) and stage presence (level of comfort on stage and attention to personal appearance). The nine finalists will be announced on April 11.

The finalists will perform at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin on Saturday, April 26. Three Grand Prize Winners will be selected. There will be one winner for each accordion category—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. All three winners will perform at Texas Folklife’s highly acclaimed annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 7, 2014. The three young winners will hit the jackpot because this will be a special year to perform at Accordion Kings & Queens as it will be the 25th anniversary!

Interested players are encouraged to reserve a showcase slot at a venue in their region by contacting Texas Folklife. Those who cannot attend a showcase may also mail or e-mail their entries to arrive at Texas Folklife no later than April 7, 2014. The complete contest rules and entry forms are availableby calling (512) 441-9255.

The three Big Squeeze 2014 Grand Prize Winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion, performance opportunities in Austin and Houston, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities.

“The Big Squeeze contest is becoming a tradition across the state,” says Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “We are truly gratified by the way the contest has been embraced by local communities. But what we have discovered in our travels and seeking out the best young Texas accordion players is that a larger emphasis needs to be placed on certain accordion traditions. We have broadened the scope of the contest by creating three Grand Prize Winners, one winner for each genre. In particular, we are focusing on zydeco and polka at several of the showcase events and are developing more ways to safeguard their important place in Texas music.”

The Big Squeeze is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife and by Hohner, Inc.; by grants from Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Music Office, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Houston Endowment, Humanities Texas, H.E.B., and Texas Gas Service.

Additional support is provided by regional businesses including SugarHill Recording Studios, Antone’s Records, Hacienda Records, Frank+Victor Design, and Embassy Suites Hotel in Austin.

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences. It is located in Austin, Texas, in the SoCo neighborhood—one of the city’s vibrant commercial and arts district.

Media information:
Sheree Scarborough (512) 922-5483
Big Squeeze information:
Sarah Rucker/ (512) 441-9255 /

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

San Francisco Accordion Club Features Rene Sevieri

by Rita Barnea
Rene SevieriPresident Lynn Ewing welcomes all to the San Francisco Accordion Club's January 19th 2:PM meeting when the featured performer will be Rene Sevieri.

Accordionist/Singer Rene Sevieri grew up in the North Beach area of San Francisco and studied music at the old Corino Music School on Columbus Ave. back in the 60's. 
He has been performing in and around the San Francisco bay area since the age of 12. His music and singing is deeply rooted in his Italian heritage and he is not your typical accordion player.

A child of the 60's and 70's, he was influenced by varied bands and artists and performs many genres of music from the 40's to the 70's. Being bi-lingual, Rene sings in English and Italian. Rene performs solo and with other local musicians, with some of whom he has recently completed a new CD "Canzoni di Babbo", which includes classic and popular songs from all over Europe.

The program takes place at the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco, CA.

The San Francisco Accordion Club is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization whose purpose is to enhance, promote and stimulate an appreciation for the accordion within the membership and throughout the general public. Membership is open to any individual expressing interest in the accordion and accordion music and wishing to join. The only qualification for membership is the payment of annual dues as established by the Executive Board.

Future programs include:
February 23, 2014: Ron Borelli
March 16, 2014: Alicia Baker
May 18, 2014: Joe Domitrowich with Cafe Vienna

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

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

Titano Accordion Company

Video: J P Jofre & Wendy Law Concert, New York - USA

by Harley Jones

J P Jofre (bandoneon/composition) & Wendy Law (cello) performing in the Jazz at the Crypt Concert Series, Church of Intersession, New York City.
Video 1. Tangodromo
Video 2. Sweet Dreams

The New York Times wrote:
“Well, I was originally a drummer,” J. P. Jofre, the 29-year old master of the bandoneón, said one recent afternoon when a visitor to his Harlem apartment asked whether he came to the accordionlike object he was holding by way of another instrument. Drumming, it turned out, was only the beginning of the musical path of this prolific composer, who moved to New York from Argentina five years ago.

View the full article by Allan Kozinn at: Jofre.pdf

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Popular Mesa Accordion Event to end in 2014 after Eight Years

by Joan and Dan Grauman
FMAE Participants 2011
Joan and Dan GraumanFrank Morocco 20092006 was the year that we received a phone call from Frank Marocco asking us if we would run an accordion orchestra camp for him. “Why us?” we asked. “We have never done anything like this!” We loved and tremendously respected Frank, so his faith in us had us saying OK before the phone call had ended.

The first camp was so exciting. Several friends that we had met at other accordion events signed up immediately and helped to create the magical atmosphere that has been a constant since that first beautiful and successful camp in January 2007. Working with the sweet, gentle Frank Marocco was delightful for all who attended. We had 38 accordionists in that first orchestra. By the second year, our “Frank Marocco Accordion Event” orchestra had 56 members with a waiting list of 40. Along with spouses, siblings and friends, we have averaged around 80 attendees (we will have 80 this coming February), and our concerts regularly draw an audience of around 350 people.

Each year has been a new adventure, always filled with much laughter, great music and cherished friendships. From the start, the camp has been a place where everyone, from novice to renowned professional, could enjoy time together in a non-competitive, relaxed environment. The lovely blue skies, palm trees, fountains and warmth of Mesa, Arizona helped greatly to attract accordionists from all over the world. For the past several years, we have had campers from as many as eighteen states, three Canadian provinces, and Castelfidardo, Italy.

Many lifelong friendships have been made at this event. Each year’s event is a sweet reunion for the returnees and is always a welcoming and warm experience for the new campers. Our terrific “staff” help to make things run smoothly from start to finish. Bruce Lawrie, our amazing photographer and sound technician has been with us since the first event. He provides us with hundreds of beautiful, professional-quality photos annually, sets up the sound equipment for all activities and also plays in the orchestra! Our videographer, Mike Roche, has created beautiful videos of all of our evening events and concerts since 2008. We could not run this event without the constant, generous assistance of these two men!

We have had world-renowned guest artists through the years such as Stas Venglevski’s wife, cellist Roza Borisova, domra and mandolin great Misha Litvin, and accordionists Eddie Monteiro, Mary Tokarski, Joe Natoli and Stas Venglevski. In 2009, Frank asked Stas to be our Assistant Music Director. Stas has delighted us for years with his sense of humor, sensational performances, compositions and arrangements, and skills as a conductor. With Frank’s sad, untimely passing in 2012, Stas has become the Music Director of our camp, now called the “Mesa Accordion Event”.

Two of our campers, Frank Petrilli and Gail Campanella, who came to the camp as recreational accordionists, have now become celebrated and sought-after performers. Young camper, Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, started playing accordion after attending our 2009 concert in Mesa. At our following event in January 2010, Gabe had progressed so much, under the tutelage of Ilmar Kuljus, that we all encouraged him to compete in the AAA Festival that would take place in July. He did, and the 2010 AAA US Virtuoso Champion was our Gabe! Bass player, Sean Brogan, and percussionist, Was Anderson, have been with us annually -- to the delight of all -- and are now performing professionally all over the country with Gabe and also with Frank Petrilli.

We are very excited about our upcoming event in February as we will be celebrating the 80th birthday of world renowned educator, arranger and conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers. Stas will once again be our conductor and Music Director. Joan Sommers will be our Concertmistress and will also conduct the orchestra in two pieces.

Saying goodbye to this event has been very, very hard for us, but also quite necessary. Since the first camp eight years ago, two of our children have married and our youngest is now engaged. We are the very happy and proud grandparents of three young children who live in Texas (we live in Maryland). We simply need to spend more time with our family. However, we will never forget the wonderful times spent in Mesa with our cherished accordion family!

The final Mesa Accordion Event concert will take place at the Arizona Golf Resort in Mesa on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 7 pm. For more information about the concert, please email Joan and Dan at

Camp photo credits: Bruce Lawrie
Photo captions:
Top Photo: Frank Marocco Accordion Event orchestra members (and mascots) prior to 2011 concert
Right Photo: Frank Marocco always enjoyed evening activities with the campers (2009)
Left Photo: Event directors, Dan & Joan Grauman, handing out “perfect attendance” certificates to the many campers who attended all seven events (2013)
Bottom Photo: Music Director, Stas Venglevski, and 2014 Mesa Accordion Event Guest of Honor, Joan Cochran Sommers
Stas Venglevski and Joan Cochran Sommers


Accordion Pops Orchestra Presents Christmas Concert

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Pops Orchestra Poster
"Carol of the Bells"
"Little Drummer Boy"
"Mele Kalikimaka"
All videos by Dean Ratzin

The Accordion Pops Orchestra performed for a very appreciative audience on Sunday, December 15th, at Holy Trinity Church in Helmetta, NJ. Under the direction of conductor Al Terzo, the group set the tone for a great musical holiday season.

Selections performed by the orchestra, many arranged by Al Terzo, included: "Christmas Fantasy", "Hallelujah Chorus", "Carol of the Bells", "Christmas Canon", "Little Drummer Boy", "Trolley Song", "Sleigh Ride", and "Sounds of Christmas".

The "Andrews Sisters" group, Samantha Castro, Jenel Garcia and Germaine Garcia with Christmas Elves, Isabel Castro and Ashley Phillips delighted all with their rendition of "Home for the Holidays" and "Mele Kalikimaka". Laura Addeo performed "O Holy Night".

Mary Tokarski played several selections from her new CD, "Mary Merry Christmas" and, as always, mesmerized the audience with her flawless and sensitive performance.

Read in this issue about the APO future performance at the Carrozza Memorial Concert on April 27, 2014.

For further information:

January Schedule for Rob Reich

by Rita Barnea
Rob Reich
Rob Reich performs Chopin's "Mazurka Op.7 No1

There are many young accordionists today who are busy pursuing a musical career with the accordion playing a major part. Rob Reich is among them.

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

Reich’s music defies genre. Whether it’s composing art songs based on the poetry of E E Cummings with Tin Hat, writing circus music for Circus Bella, or composing jazz repertoire for accordion with the Rob Reich Trio, his music combines strong melodic ideas, rhythmic drive, and a spirit of irreverence and experimentation.

Recently he was commissioned to compose and produce a score for “The Stranger: Part 1”, a full length modern dance piece by David Herrera Performance Company. In 2011, he receieved a commission from Yerba Buena Gardens Festival to compose “Sidewalks and Alleys” for a seven piece chamber ensemble.  His accompaniment skills have found him performing live soundtrack to silent films, including Buster Keaton’s “The Playhouse” and Dave Fleischer’s “Bimbo’s Initiation”.

Rob plays in the acclaimed jazz groups Gaucho, Nice Guy Trio, and Prez Kids, and has performed at venues including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s, SFJAZZ, Yerba Buena Gardens, Symphony Space, and Joe’s Pub.

Upcoming January performances include:
upcoming performances for January:
1/1 with Rob Reich Trio at The Page, San Francisco
1/1 with Gaucho at Amnesia, San Francisco
1/5 with Gaucho at Brenda's French Soul Food, San Francisco
1/5 with Kally Price at Amnesia, San Francisco
1/7 with Kally Price at Blush Wine Bar, San Francisco
1/8 with Gaucho at Amnesia, San Francisco
1/9 with Gaucho at Yoshi's, Oakland
1/11 with Gaucho at El Rio, San Francisco
1/12 with Gaucho at Brenda's French Soul Food, San Francisco
1/14 with Kally Price at Blush Wine Bar, San Francisco
1/15 with Gaucho at Amnesia, San Francisco
1/18 with Rob Reich Trio at Divino Osteria, Sausalito
1/19 with Rob Reich Trio at Bird & Beckett, San Francisco
1/21 with Kally Price at Blush Wine Bar, San Francisco
1/22 with Gaucho at Amnesia, San Francisco
1/23 with Gaucho at Yoshi's, Oakland
1/26 with Gaucho at Brenda's French Soul Food, San Francisco
1/28 with Kally Price at Blush Wine Bar, San Francisco
1/29 with Gaucho at Amnesia, San Francisco

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Video: Strasser Promotional Video About Diatonic Manufacture

by Harley Jones
A well known European brand of diatonic accordions, Strasser, have produced a promotional video about its instruments and their manufacture.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Long Island Accordion Alliance Meetings

by Rita Barnea
Paul BelanichLa Villini Restaurant presents the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) and Open Mic Night on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:PM. Bring your accordion and play a song or two. Everyone is welcomed to perform.

Join the LIAA for a fun filled evening of accordion music at: La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, the noted Croatian accordionist Paolo Belanich will perform for the LIAA.For reservations and information: 631-261-6344
Dinner reservation required. Seating is limited.

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

2014 Collectors Edition Accordion Artists Calendar

by Rita Barnea
2014 Calendar
With the growing popularity of crowds drawn to the accordion comes a new culture and generation of accordionist. Petosa welcomes these new artistic bands that feature the accordion along with some nostalgic groups as well by assembling a 2014 calendar to highlight 12 top recording and touring bands and their accordionist. You will definitely want to keep these great photos.

Groups include:  Nirvana, John Mellancamp, Decemberists, Beriut, Lumineers, Jack Johnson, Cedar Suede, Pearl D’Jango, Contino Band, Riders in the Sky, Molly B and the Squeezebox Band, Mood Area 52.

Proceeds will be donated to accordion scholarships to be announced in the near future.

For more information:

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

Future events

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

2014 National Accordion Convention is March 5-9. 2014

by Rita Barnea
Dr.Norman SeatonThe 28th 2014 National Accordion Convention will be held from March 5-9, 2014 at the Southfork Hotel and Convention Center in Plano, Texas.

An exciting new concept will be implemented this year. Accordion ambassadors from China are scheduled to participate in the 2014 convention include Yiru Liu, Shusheng Wang, Yuanan Fan, Rui Liu and Annie Gong (China-New Zealand). Together, they will be representing Shandong University at Weihai, the Accordion Association of Shandong Province, National Accordion Association (China), Tianjin Conservatory of Music, Chinese Musicians Association, National Higher Education Accordion Society (China) and Roland Accordion. Selected members of the National Accordion Association (USA) will teach sessions on classical, jazz and folk music, which are normally associated with the USA and European countries.
President Norman Seaton said, "For 2014, the National Accordion Association is going to add a Chinese flavor to our convention. While we share a mutual love for classical music, Chinese folk and dance music was previously missing from our organization." Plan to attend the National Accordion Convention for a unique new experience in accordion festivals.

Here is a partial list of events which will take place during this convention. There will be something for everyone. Group Activities: The National Accordion "Band Camp" (Thursday, March 6) is set: Dick Albreaki - Fun Band, Jim Rommel - Band Camp Band; Paul Betkin and Jazz musicians will teach a 2-hour session on accompanying (this is NOT a jazz workshop). John Simkus and others will teach Jazz in other workshops. Friday and Saturday morning activities will be open with group training sessions (like an orchestra but without a performance.) Party Time on Friday: "Royal Klobaskeks" play the Friday Dance Party (8:00 until 11:PM.). Arlyn Visentine is running the 15-minutes of fame show again. Additionally, there will be play-along sessions, workshops, presentations, jam sessions, and several concerts. Almost everything is scheduled but "dull moments.

Medically speaking, there will be presentations from Drs. Fries (MD) and Griffith (therapist); other impressive names includes Eli Davidsohn, Tony Lovello, Mario Pedone, Ross and Val Witte, Daniel Kott, Shelia Lee, Tom Visentine, Debra Peters, Randy McPeck, Nick Bratkovich, Gordon Kohl and Jeff Crilley."
Please read future publications of the USA News for more information as it becomes available.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

MAMTG Festival in New Jersey in March

by Rita Barnea
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.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

226th American Accordion Musicological Society Festival March 28-30

by Rita Barnea
AAMS Poster
The American Accordion Musicological Society will hold its 26th Annual Festival at the Marriott Hotel in Whippany, New Jersey from March 28-30, 2014.

There will be many workshops. More details will be available in the news in February. James Vandelly will be the Guest of Honor at the Honoree Banquet.

For more information: Joanna Arnold Darrow
PHONE: 856-854-6628

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

New England Music Festival: April 4-5, 2014

by Rita Barnea
New England Music Festival
The New England Music Festival will be held from April 4-5, 2014 at the Boston Newton Marriott. The New England Music Festival is an annual musical competition sponsored by the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts, Inc, (ATAM). The festival averages more than 3000 entries and 800 contestants from all across New England.

All events are free and open to the public, while entry fees for contestants vary by category. During the festival, contestants, ages through 22, take part in accordion, guitar, bass guitar, drum, percussion, piano, violin and voice competitions. Solo, duet and group categories are also offered. Non Competitive Categories include evaluation solos and festival group divisions. Contestants must be students of ATAM teachers.

The three-day event takes place Friday through Sunday. On Friday evening and Sunday a “Battle of the Bands” is held in the hotel ballroom. Cash awards are given to the first, second and third place winners in three divisions. The Accordion, Guitar, Drum, and Piano Championships are also held Friday evening with cash awards given to all competitors.

On Saturday and Sunday continuous group competitions are held in the hotel ballroom. Solo and duet competitions are ongoing. An awards banquet is held on Saturday evening with more than 500 in attendance. A $500.00 cash scholarship is awarded to a contestant accepted as a Music Major in college. More than $4,000 in cash is awarded to winners throughout the weekend. Contestants are evaluated by judges from all over the country.

At the event, students will have an opportunity to participate in workshops, compete in age-level categories, perform for evaluation, attend concerts, and have fun at a Dance Party on Saturday evening. One of the best things about the event-contestants can participate regardless of their experience level or ability.

• Who can participate? 
Participants must be students of ATAM member teachers.
• What are the competition rules? 
The following provides an overview of competition rules. Contact an ATAM school, studio, or teacher for additional information.
• Contestant cut off age is 22 as of April 1, current year.
• All music must be memorized except snare solos, all duets and groups. If you are using music for a duet, please bring your own stand.
• Time limits apply to music chosen by the students and teachers. See your teacher for guidelines.
• Students must submit a clean copy of music to the judges in categories that apply. See your teacher for details.
• What are the costs of participating? 
Fees are subject to change each year, so please contact the participating ATAM studio or teacher.
• When is the registration cutoff date? 
Each school has its own date to allow for timely registration and preparation. Please contact your teacher for cutoff dates.
• Where can I find a list of ATAM music schools or studios? 
Please visit the ATAM Teachers page.
• What are some of the benefits of participating in the event? 
The ATAM offers a $500 scholarship opportunity to graduating high school seniors who are participating in the festival and are going to major in music.

For additional assistance, Festival Chairperson, Peggy Falcetti:
Phone: (413) 596-6940

AAA 2014 FESTIVAL: JULY 9-13 in Tarrytown, NY

by Rita Barnea
AAA LogoFollowing the great success of the 75th Anniversary AAA Festival in NYC, the AAA is proud to announce the 2014 AAA Festival to be held at the Double Tree Hotel in Tarrytown, New York from July 9-13, 2014.

There will be several prize categories including the Carrozza Scholarship; Belfiore Entertainment; Tony Dannon Jazz. The Festival will feature interesting workshops and talented performers.

More details will be available in future issues of the USA News.
For further information:

74th ATG Festival in San Francisco in July 2014

by Rita Barnea
ATG Poster
ATG President Betty Jo Simon invites everyone to attend the 74th Annual Festival and Competition which will be held in San Francisco at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel in Burlingame, California from July 23-26, 2014. The featured guest artists will be Stas Venglevski and Frank Petrilli.

This will be the second time the ATG Festival will be in San Francisco so you can look forward to reconnecting with West Coast friends and musicians. Mark your calendars and start saving for this great event.

For further information:

2014 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth Logo
The 21st Annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration sponsored for the fifth year by the Northwest Accordion Society takes place from June 19-22, 2014 in Leavenworth, Washington.

The Northwest Accordion Society has been hosting accordion events in the Northwest for over twenty five years. Included in its accomplishments are monthly accordion socials and the annual "Day of the Accordion" at the Seattle Center and accordion scholarships.

Leavenworth is Washington’s “Bavarian Village” and a perfect setting for this celebration. Nestled in a cozy narrow valley at elevation of 1100 feet surrounded by wilderness of rugged, majestic mountain ranges, over 2 million visitors per year from all over the world come to experience magical Leavenworth. 

With the Northwest Accordion Society as your host and Leavenworth as the setting, why not plan to attend and enjoy four wonderful days of everything accordion. Whether you are a competitor, participant or just love great accordion music, there is enjoyment and participation for everyone. 

Here is a partial list of what is happening:
• Accordion Competitions
• Workshops
• Concerts with World Class Performers
• Free Performances at the gazebo, grange, and restaurants
• Free Accordion lessons
• Accordion Parade on Saturday
• Accordion Vendors
• Opportunity for all accordion players to play
• Jam sessions and much more!

This is a celebration of the accordion’s versatility and its presence in many cultures. Accordion music is what this event is all about. More details will be available in the USA news in future issues.

For more information:

Voci Armoniche

Cotati Accordion Festival: August 16-17, 2014

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Festival Poster
The 24th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival is scheduled for August 16th and 17th, 2014 in Cotati, California. Not only will you enjoy a few days of fabulous music but you will also be contributing to a worthwhile cause.

The Cotati Accordion Festival is a non-profit organization established in 1991 
to promote the love of the accordion and to support local youth service organizations.To date they have contributed in excess of $320,000 to the youth of the community.

For more information: 707-664-0444. Read future publications of the USA news for more details about performers and workshops.
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