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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jan-2018
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note and Your 2018 Accordion New Year's Resolutions
80th Anniversary of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA)
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
2018 Coupe Mondiale Rules and Regulations Released, Kaunas - Lithuania
23 December: New Friedrich Lips Book Release - Germany
ATG Festival July 25-28, 2018
Stephen Dominko (1947-2017), New Hampshire – USA
Joseph Natoli's Composition in Honor of Stephen Dominko
What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day? - International
Confirmed Cory Pesaturo, Breaks Guinness World Record, 2018 Performances
Joseph Natoli is Commissioned by the AAA for Two New Compositions in 2018 & 2019
Michael Bridge Performance of Eight New Works

Voci Armoniche

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

Mauro Greco Passed Away (1931 - 29 December 2017), Kearny, N.J.
New Accordion Group: Accordion Ensemble of the Hudson Valley
Eddie Monteiro Performance with Howie Tavin Trio in NJ
Alicia Baker to Perform at NAMM Convention in Anaheim January 25-28
Luciano Testani (1948-2017)
LIAA Presents Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano
Silicon Valley Accordion Club Presents The Great Morgani, Adam and Emma Dohner

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events Future Events Free Listing - Cyberspace
Bayan Mix to Perform in Canada in February
National Accordion Association (NAA) 2018 Annual Convention, March 2018
USAF Strolling Strings to Perform at AAA’s 80th Anniversary in July
25th Anniversary of Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 21-24, 2018
24th Annual Accordion Master Class/Concert Series Seminar – Hold the Date!
2018 Accordion Events Calendar in the West
2018 Accordion Club Meeting Schedules in Northern California
Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon in 2018
19th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention October 15 -18, 2018

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



Editor's Note and Your 2018 Accordion New Year's Resolutions

by Rita Barnea
happy new year
To all our readers, enthusiasts, clients, artists and supporters from around the world

HAPPY NEW YEAR from all the staff of the USA News. Please continue to submit your news, events, and concert details.

Have a great, successful and musical NEW YEAR!

I like to begin each new year reminding us all that playing music at any level is a unique and special gift which we all possess. It is never too late to begin learning the accordion (or any instrument) and the joys, which include meeting new friends, are priceless. Think of all the wonderful people that you have met this past year because of the accordion. And, there are more to meet this year!

Here are your New Year's Resolutions! Have some suggestions? Please send them along with your ideas/comments to me at

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 really 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 and admire your commitment to learning the accordion. Share your music. Visit senior centers, nursery schools, etc.

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 on the internet: 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 2017.

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. Check out the calendar on the right side of the publication. You will see events listed by the month, location, websites, etc.

5. I will purchase at least two accordion CD's. iTunes, books, sheet music, or DVD'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 items!

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 an article in the USA News. We can also include photos and videos.

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!! Well, some practice would also help.

9. I promise to read the USA News every month and the Weekly News regularly. All past publications are available in archives.

10. I promise to get in shape this year!

Being in good physical health leads to a better mental and spiritual outlook on life. Watching your diet, losing weight, exercising are all positive and beneficial activities. Not only does it benefit your daily life, but also your musical abilities. Why is this true? As you may already know, playing the accordion requires upper body strength to lift the instrument to play and perhaps to stroll with. Using the bellows requires arm muscle movement, etc. The accordion puts positive physical stress on your back and your shoulders and therefore, back and shoulder exercises are important to maintain one’s alignment .You will feel better, look better, and play better! My suggestion: Take a photo of yourself/video of your playing the accordion. Get on a regular exercise program as well as a regular practice schedule. Take a photo/video of yourself three months later. You will notice a great improvement in your physical appearance and your musical performance. Let me know how it works for you.

11. I will continue to learn new techniques and improve my playing by taking accordion lessons. You can easily do this in this great age of technology. There are many fabulous accordion teachers who can easily teach you via Skype and other technology platforms. It is easy to do from the comfort of your own home.

12. I will reread Resolutions 1-11 again and again!

Happy New Year to All! Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2018!!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

80th Anniversary of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA)

by Rita Barnea
2018 AAA Poster
Joan Grauman, AAA HistorianIt will be a Huge Celebration! July 11-15, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia when the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) celebrates their 80th Anniversary. Make plans to be there! All are welcome!

Download event poster: 2018AAAPoster.pdf

A very exciting program is planned as you can see from the poster above with wonderful music for everyone to enjoy, workshops, history, and a festival orchestra, so all who wish, can be on the stage.

To help promote the 80th Anniversary Celebration, AAA Historian Joan Grauman, in cooperation with the USA news publication, will contribute an article each month containing a segment of the history of the AAA, from its creation on March 9th, 1938 through to 2018.

The AAA History this month by Joan Grauman focuses on:
"What Events Led to the Formation of the American Accordionists' Association?"

Read the article at: AAA-Formation.htm

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

2018 Coupe Mondiale Rules and Regulations Released, Kaunas - Lithuania

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
Coupe Logo
CoupeCoupeThe 71st Coupe Mondiale will be held from 24-30 September, 2018 in Kaunas, Lithuania hosted by the Lithuanian National Accordionist's Union. The festival will feature competitions as follows:

Coupe Mondiale
• Masters Coupe Mondiale
• Junior Coupe Mondiale
• International Competition for Virtuoso Entertainment Music
• Junior International Competition for Virtuoso Entertainment Music
• Chamber Music - Classical
• Chamber Music - World Music

The on-line entry system will open in May, entry closing date: 31st July 2018

Host, Lithuanian National Accordionist's Union, President Kazys Stonkus and Vice-President Mindaugas Labanauskas, welcome all accordion enthusiasts, teachers and competitors to the 2018 Coupe Mondiale in Kaunas City.

Full information at: Coupe Mondiale

You will find a complete record of the 2017 Coupe Mondiale at:
Video Homepage & Video Timetable at: 2017CM-Video

Voci Armoniche

23 December: New Friedrich Lips Book Release - Germany

by Harley Jones
Cover "The Art of Arranging Classical Music for Accordion" by famous Prof. Friedrich Lips will soon be available. The high-quality content corresponds to the outward appearance of the book: typographically lavish with finest Italian paper, thread-stitching, laminated softcover with double flap and exclusive design – worthwhile, treasured.

Subscription Offer
25 % price advantage on pre-orders,
ONLY until 16th January 2018
29.50 euros instead of 39.50 euros later

15 % price advantage on pre-orders
from 17th January to 31st January 2018
33.50 euros instead of 39.50 euros later

Books Posted by 15 February 2018

For pupils, students, teachers, stage musicians, composers and performers, amateur players and professional musicians.

220 pages · 150 sheet music samples · Format: 17 x 24 cm · ISBN 978-3-925572-17-3

Purchase at Catalog No: kslips03 The Art of Arranging Classical Music for Accordion

Other books by Friedrich Lips:
kslips00 The Art of Bayan Playing & Playing the Accordion Artistically (English)
kslips01 Die Kunst des Bajanspiels (German)
kslips02 Die Kunst der Bearbeitung klassischer Musik für Akkordeon (German)
kslips03 The Art of Arranging Classical Music for Accordion (English)

Accordion Jazz Chords

ATG Festival July 25-28, 2018

by Amy Jo Sawyer
ATG Poster
Amy Jo SawyerMerry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

TIME seems to just fly by! We all have the same amount of TIME. Have you ever wondered how many songs have been written with TIME in the title? Here are a few: See how many you can hum, or even better –play! A TIME FOR LOVE, TIME ON MY HANDS, JUST IN TIME, SUMMERTIME, TIME AFTER TIME, I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS, ANYTIME, AS TIME GOES BY, TIME WAS, SOME OTHER TIME, TIME REMEMBERED.

It is just about TIME for my two years as ATG President to be up! It has been a TIMELY experience! I have enjoyed meeting many ATG members at our Festivals, and working with the ATG Board members. We have worked very hard to present wonderful, exciting Festivals which include world-class guest artists, workshops, concerts, orchestra, and all that goes into a great Festival. I appreciate all the many people who have contributed their TIME and talents to help ATG continue to promote the accordion!

It is TIME to put the ATG Festival for 2018 on your calendar, July 25 –28, 2018. We will be back at the lovely Hyatt Hotel in Lisle, IL (near Chicago). Our special guest artists will be World Champion Matthias Matzke from Germany, our own Master of the Accordion, Cory Pesaturo, and Chicago Jazz Artist Mike Alongi.

The event will also feature many other fine soloists, ATG Orchestra, President’s Quartette, Mixed Ensemble, and other talented groups. We will have great workshops, original music for Accordion Concert, Vendors, and just a lot of FUN. Please plan now to attend. I know the TIME you spend at the ATG Festival will be a memorable one

Tell a friend about ATG and invite them to attend the Festival. Remember, if you get two new people to attend, your own registration will be free.

Have a wonderful holiday season,
Amy Jo Sawyer, President of ATG

For further information:


Stephen Dominko (1947-2017), New Hampshire – USA

by Rob Howard
Chopin’s ‘F Minor Concerto’, with the the New York Philharmonic.

HS Student Wins Award With Documentary “The Life of Stephen Dominko”
Stephen DominkoOn Sunday December 10th Stephen Dominko passed away.

Stephen Dominko’s life of music began when he was just four years old. While listening to a recording of Leroy Anderson’s ‘A Christmas Festival’ he ran from the room crying. When his parents asked him what was wrong, he told them, “The music is too beautiful to listen to.”

He began taking accordion lessons with Rudolf Molinaro. When Stephen was 10, he was a guest on the Sam Levenson TV show, which led to his concert career. By the age of 13, Stephen Dominko was the youngest US Open Champion in history.

Stephen played his first of two concerts at New York’s Carnegie Hall at age 14, his second at age 18. During this same period, he was competing at international level representing the USA, becoming the youngest-ever World Champion in 1964, winning the CIA Coupe Mondiale in Toronto, Canada, at 17.

In 1966, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic staged international auditions to find six of the world’s most talented young musicians. After a series of auditions, Stephen and five others were chosen. They performed on The Bell Telephone Hour from Lincoln Center. Stephen who performed Chopin’s ‘F Minor Concerto’, was the only accordionist ever to play with The New York Philharmonic.

Recording, concerts, TV and radio performances followed, including performing on the Lawrence Welk Show. The young Dominko delighted his audiences with his fiery and expressive style.

In 1985 Stephen Dominko began composing. He also studied yoga and meditation. His experience as a VNA Hospice volunteer, combined with his spiritual practices, largely inspired his compositions.

He lived in the town of Washington, New Hampshire, where he taught piano, accordion and composition to a select number of advanced pupils. He is survived by his wife Beverly.

Recent article: HS Student Wins Award With Documentary “The Life of Stephen Dominko”

Cory Pesaturo kindly sent an obituary about Stephen Dominko and we have extracted some excerpts:

17. Seventeen. That’s the age at which Stephen Dominko won not only the US National Title, but the 1964 Coupe Mondiale World Championship. A Record to this day, that like Ty Cobb’s 0.366 lifetime batting average, will probably never be broken. The 1960’s through early 1970’s era in the USA was a time when every town had talent, and almost every state had 1 or 2 world class players with World Champion level ability.

Leonard Langley, the Kasprzyk sisters of Mary and Julie, Jacqueline Hofto, Beverly Roberts, John Torcello, Joe Natoli, Pam Barker, Diane Schmidt, Monica Slomski, Karen Fremar, Donald Hulme, and Bill Cosby are just the names which won US Titles and attained prizes in the Coupe Mondiale during this 60’s era of Steven’s competition days.

There were obviously many others who were top talents as well. By contrast, since Peter Suave’s 1984 Coupe Mondiale win, Sammy Thomas (2012 Trophée Mondial) and myself, these are the only Americans to even place in any world championship competition.

Dominko was born in Connecticut, and had his serious studies with accordion professor legend Rudy Molinaro. Stephen told me his life depended on his practice, as if was even the slightest bit unprepared, Rudy would go “Full-on-Italian on me.” He also mentioned that Rudy only gave him one small compliment in the history of their relationship (The kind of teaching I Like!), and Stephen said he wouldn’t have changed a thing.

His arduous practice sessions of 8 hours included up to 2 hours of just warm up exercises. Yes, that’s 2 hours, of just warm ups. Unimaginable to those who were forced to begrudgingly practice 1 hour total a day. Not to mention the multi-hour drive to get lessons either.

By 19 years old, Dominko had his “Accordion Masterworks” album out, was playing concerts all over the country including concerts with orchestras, and was certifiably the world’s best accordionist, had an apartment in Manhattan, with it additionally being on the first floor so he could drive his Harley-Davidson right inside, and was dating not just a gorgeous girl, but Mrs. Pennsylvania. Moreover, the greats of the day respected him.

Rita Barnea, in fact, has a document showing how Eugene Ettore was writing a piece for Stephen, using Stephen's name as a numerical system to compose. Sadly, Stephen eventually burned out of this lifestyle, and became someone who wanted to be away from hustle and bustle of the music world.

I remember learning about Stephen Dominko as a young teen, and my father made sure he found and bought copies of his famous album with Hungarian Rhapsody #2. One mint, and one for use. *Note that I am listening to that album as I type this*

What is not known since Dominko was so detached from the accordion world and music world at large for over 40 years, is how incredibly kind he was, how warm he was, and how real he was. When I went up for a lesson, I wouldn’t just have it and go home; I would be there for 24+ hours. We would go through the woods on an ATV, stack logs for winter, play pool, and talk about all the greats in classical music, and how they achieved their musical success. To say he was thoughtful is an understatement.

Joe Natoli and Guy Klusevcek told me recently that Stephen Dominko was their accordion idol growing up.

Stephen loved sitting next to his pellet stove looking out at the snow, philosophically discussing topics. Everyone in his little town loved him. And lastly, he was so humble with his abilities; he wanted to teach me everything he knew and whatever he could remember, basically for free, just so it could live on.

I cannot thank him enough, and I am now so deeply honored to forever be equipped with the knowledge to teach a serious accordion student what must be done to be able to play as he did.

Stephen was overall in fine health at 70, so this has been devastatingly hard for his family and friends. Miss you so much already Champ.

Musically – Cory Pesaturo

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

Joseph Natoli's Composition in Honor of Stephen Dominko

by Rita Barnea
Video: "The One" (in memory of Stephen Dominko, 1947 - 10 December 2017) composed and performed by Joseph Natoli.

Composer and accordionist Joseph Natoli honors and memorializes Stephen Dominko on the day of his passing with "The One," a composition he was compelled to compose, perform, and record within several hours on the day that Stephen sadly left us.

The comments on the video best state the reasons for the composition:

Joe Natoli states, ”I am consumed with sadness today after learning of the passing of my boyhood musical idol, Stephen Dominko. I listened to everything he did constantly and aspired to his level of artistry. Stephen was an accomplished composer and that is something we have in common, so I try to honor his memory with this piece I wrote today after learning of his passing. RIP Stephen. You had such a big impact on my life. Thank you so much.”

Joseph Natoli, born 1953, makes his home in Northeast Ohio with his wife, JoAnn, and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven. Joe started his musical studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio, and won the 1972 AAA US Virtuoso Accordion Championship under Mr. Bisilia’s tutelage, while placing first runner-up several months later in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition in Caracas, Venezuela. More recently, Joe also won the grand prize for the first Roland US V-Accordion competition held in Los Angeles, California, in 2008.

Joe’s education includes Bachelor and Master of Music degrees (1976, 1977) in music theory and composition from the University of Toronto Faculty Of Music in Toronto, Canada, where he was the first student accepted there to use the free bass accordion as an applied major instrument, studying with world-renowned Canadian accordionist, Joseph Macerollo. Joe Natoli also studied with some of Canada’s most important composers like John Weinzweig (dean of Canadian composers), Gustav Ciamaga, Lothar Klein, and Edward Laufer.

Joe has created dozens of arrangements, especially those in his favorite genre of jazz ballads. But original composition is how Joe spends most of his writing efforts, having written many original pieces in all musical styles and genres for standard and free bass accordion, some of which are performed regularly throughout Europe, Canada, and the US.

Some of Joe’s most recent recordings include an all-acoustic accordion CD entitled “Omaggio,” which is dedicated to the many musical influences in his life from various composers, musical friends and family members. Joe has also released an all-digital Roland V-Accordion CD entitled, “Waltz for Ron,” which contains a bevy of original compositions and arrangements of classical, light classical, ethnic and jazz pieces fully exploiting the orchestral possibilities of the Roland virtual accordion. “Waltz For Ron” is not only the title of the CD, but the title track of one of the CD’s compositions dedicated to the memory of the late Ron Lankford, who is very much responsible for the success of the V-Accordion in the US. A new CD will be completed in 2018 called “Chameleon” and as the name hints, will showcase the wide diversity of Joe's compositional efforts for acoustic and digital accordion solo, accordion with ensembles, and electronic ambient music.

In addition to his music degrees, Joe also attended Youngstown State University for a Computer Science degree and has an MBA from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Joe has been working in the Information Technology industry since 1984, working for General Motors, Delphi Automotive, EDS, JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance, and PNC Bank. Joe and his wife JoAnn have three adult daughters and two granddaughters.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confirmed Cory Pesaturo, Breaks Guinness World Record, 2018 Performances

by Rita Barnea
Cory's Record
Cory Pesaturo has now received official confirmation of his Guinness World Record. Event report at: CoryWR

2018 performances by Cory Pesaturo include:

January 2018
Finland Accordion Cruise, 27th - 28th January, organised by the Finnish Accordeon Institute. Trip Turku to Stockholm to Turku, 24 hours with over 2,000 accordionists and enthusiasts. For the 3rd Year in a row, Cory will play on the famous Finland Accordion Cruise.

March 2018
National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention
March 7th, 2018 to March 11th, 2018 in Dallas , TX US
For the 4th Time, Cory will perform at the NAA Convention.

42nd Anniversary Il Circolo Gala
March 17th, 2018 to March 18th, 2018 in Palm Beach, FL US
Cory will will have his first performance at the Il Circolo Gala at the glamorous Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.

June 2018
Leavenworth Accordion Festival
June 20th, 2018 to June 25th, 2018 in Leavenworth, WA US
Cory will be back to the Leavenworth Accordion Festival for the 5th time.

July 2018
Festa Italiana
July 18th, 2018 to July 22nd, 2018 in Milwaukee, WI US
For the 5th time, Cory will perform at Festa Italiana. The Biggest Italian Festival in the USA.

Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival
July 25th, 2018 to July 30th, 2018 in Chicago , IL US (Lisle)

La Tavola Italian Dinner and Concert on August 10th, 2018
Mashpee, MA US

Cotati Accordion Festival
August 17th, 2018 to August 19th, 2018 in Cotati ,CA USA
For the 8th Time, Cory will perform at the Cotati Accordion Festival. This time like 2016, in a variety of ways, as he headlines the odd years.

October 2018
Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
October 15th, 2018 to October 20th, 2018 in Las Vegas , NV US
For the 2nd year in a row, Cory will perform at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Joseph Natoli is Commissioned by the AAA for Two New Compositions in 2018 & 2019

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Joseph NatoliJoseph Natoli has been commissioned in 2017 by the AAA for two new compositions (a solo work in 2018 and an ensemble work in 2019). The solo work is already completed and entitled "Sonata In F Major (in the Classical Style)" which Joe will perform at the AAA Festival in July 2018.

Joe Natoli states: "When it comes to composition, I consider myself a musical chameleon, adapting to any style according to the need and purpose of the composition, just as a chameleon adapts immediately to its current environment. Therefore I have written music in every possible genre, from contemporary Avant Garde, to quasi-minimalist, jazz, Classical, Baroque, ethnic polkas & waltzes, cinematic, neo-Romantic, ragtime, Latin, and even Pop.

I enjoy performing and composing in all styles and especially enjoy dabbling in the styles of the old masters like Bach and Haydn. On a business trip about 10 years ago, I was bored in my hotel room late at night, so I decided to write a Baroque style invention on my computer (since I had no instrument available). It turned out to be a piece that I was very happy with. Shortly thereafter I wrote two more inventions in C and G. You can find a recording of the "Invention in F" at this YouTube link: or you can view the video embedded above at the top of this article."

I also had written for a student about 13 years ago a ‘Sonata in D Major (in the Classical style)’ which I completed in two weeks. The exceptional student then learned and memorized it in 5 weeks, and subsequently competed with it, winning first place at both the AAMS and AAA competitions in 2004. Since then, I have always wanted to get back to a Classical sonata composition that was more of a fully developed and executed sonata within a truly virtuoso Classical context.

I particularly love Haydn's piano sonatas. So this ‘Sonata In F Major’ has scratched that itch for me and is 20 pages and 12 minutes in length. It is the first time the accordion has had such a complete work written especially for the instrument in that stylistic genre. I thought this AAA commission would be a perfect opportunity for such a piece, since the AAA has had such a long historical association of accordionists performing Classical works of the masters.

It is my hope that this is the kind of piece that Haydn or Mozart might have written for the free bass or Stradella accordion if they had our quality instruments of today available to them. However, this Classical piece is written within the context of a composer with 21st century ears, who has the historical benefit of having heard all the music that came before it. So it takes some surprising harmonic and developmental twists and turns that demonstrate that perspective. Also, in the final movement (Presto), there is a short quote from the theme of the first movement, which is a technique that 18th century Classical composers might not have attempted. It seemed to fit so well however, that I could not resist the temptation. This is a difficult virtuoso sonata for both free bass and Stradella accordion that I am hoping the audience enjoys in July.

I want to thank the AAA for the commission and the piece will be published at the JANPress Music web site as soon as the web site completes some necessary updates and adjustments."

For further information:

Be sure to make your reservations for the AAA 80th Anniversary Festival in Alexandria, Virginia July 11-15, 2018.

Titano Accordion Company

Michael Bridge Performance of Eight New Works

by Rita Barnea
Michael BridgeCanadian accordionist Michael Bridge partnered last summer with the Canadian Music Centre and the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (I.C.O.T.) to send out a world-wide call for new pieces for accordion solo written in the last five years.

They were overwhelmed and delighted to receive 53 submissions from composers in 21 countries, and a jury selected the seven best works from the submissions. These will be performed in concert by Michael Bridge on January 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto - all receiving their Canadian premiere.

Michael Bridge is a Doctoral candidate in Accordion Performance at the University of Toronto (tutor Joseph Macerollo) and is committed to developing new repertoire for accordion, now with over 50 world premiers to his credit.

The winning selections represent diverse strands of contemporary accordion music, including pieces with electronics, virtuosic showpieces, and one piece that uses the accordionist’s voice.

Gilberto dos Santos Agostinho Filho: Asterism (Germany)
Ali Balighi: Daramad (Iran)
Nastaran Pouladzadeh: Mosafer (Canada)
Alan Ahued Naime: Study No. 2 (Mexico)
Edson Zampronha: Trazo (Spain)
Tze Yeung Ho: Utrolig varmt vann (Norway)
Christina Althinodorou: Virgules (Cyprus)

For further information:

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Mauro Greco Passed Away (1931 - 29 December 2017), Kearny, N.J.

by Mary Tokarski
Myron Floren, Maddalena Belfiore Greco, Mauro Greco
Picture above: Myron Floren, Maddalena Belfiore Greco and Mauro Greco.

Just received very sad news from the family of Mauro Greco that Mauro passed away this morning, 29th December 2017. Mauro and Maddalena Belfiore Greco were a huge part of AAA’s history, and will surely be missed by all.

Mary Tokarski
President American Accordionists' Association

Family Obituary:

Mauro C. Greco

Mauro C. Greco Prominent real estate developer and life director in regional and state Builders Association, yacht club member and Kearny resident, 86 Mauro passed away peacefully on Dec. 29, 2017, at the age of 86.

He was born and raised in Kearny, N.J., where he resided his entire life. Mauro graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory High School and Seton Hall University. After graduating, he served in the United States Army.

Mauro was president of Montville Manor Inc. , a real estate development company. His passion for the building industry was one that was well respected. Mauro was a member of the Builders Association of Northern New Jersey, where he served on the board of directors and eventually became president. He received numerous honors and awards from the association commemorating his unwavering service to the building and construction industry and was named as a prestigious life director.

Mauro was also a long-standing member of the New Jersey Builders Association, where he served on numerous committees and earned the status of state life director. Mauro had tremendous focus and dedication managing his real estate holdings.

He was a continuous long-standing member of the Kearny Lions Club and a member of the Atlantis Yacht Club in Monmouth Beach, N.J., where his passion for yachting was well known. He enjoyed spending his summers with friends and family entertaining on his boat.

Through his late wife, Mauro had a passion for the accordion and was an honorary member of the American Accordionists' Association. He was the loving husband to the late Maddalena Belfiore Greco; cherished father of Nat and his wife, JoAnn, of East Hanover, N.J., and Frank of Hackensack, N.J. He also leaves his adoring grandchildren, Christopher, Adrianna, and Alex, and his companion, Patricia "Patty" McKaig.

Funeral is from the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny, N.J., on Friday at 8:30 a.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Mount Carmel Church in Lyndhurst, N.J., at 10:30 a.m. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Lions Club International Foundation.

Picture below: Mauro Greco at the 2007 Coupe Mondiale, Washington DC, pictured with Faithe Deffner (event organizer).
Faithe Deffner and Mauro Greco

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

New Accordion Group: Accordion Ensemble of the Hudson Valley

by Rita Barnea
Hudson Ensemble
Mario TaccaThe Accordion Ensemble of the Hudson Valley was founded in August 2017 by world renowned accordionist and AAA Board Member, Mario Tacca. The group consists of nine accordionists, both piano and chromatic accordionists. Anyone of any level can join and is welcome to participate at the once a month rehearsals. Mario is the conductor and arranger. He arranges the music according to the level of the musician.

Presently they rehearse in Yonkers, New York. Their first performance will be in the spring. Read future USA news publications for more details.

Mario said, “ I founded this group because I would like to give aspiring accordionists, both amateur and more advanced, an opportunity to perform in an ensemble setting. We plan to present concerts at venues to be announced soon.”

Mario Tacca, on the Board of Directors of the AAA, was born in Italy. During his childhood, his family moved to the Alsace Lorraine region of France where he began his musical studies. This is where his love and intense desire to play the accordion began. He loved the sound! He would pick up the accordion and imitate some of the songs his mother used to sing. The desire and love never diminished, despite having to walk three miles weekly to his teacher with his instrument strapped to his back!

While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions. He went on to become a world champion, winning the World Cup of Italy, the Grand Prix of Paris, the US National Competition and the International Accordion competition held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Mario Tacca dazzles audiences across the US and around the world with his outstanding virtuosity and his exciting interpretations of international music, the classics and pop.

Mario has recently been seen on MTV in a commercial for a pilot Italian Food program. Also, he was seen on the Food Network in a commercial for “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” His latest recording, “Journey Through the Classics” features great melodies from the Classic Repertoire.

Photo: Left to right rear:  Bob Duffy, Maria Schmidt Romano, Dominic Corrado, Fred Schwinger, Bill Jordan, Bruce Neilsen, Monique Brooks, Mario Tacca, Mary Mancini Tacca, Joseph Ciccone.

For further information: Mario Tacca:
Cell: 914-737-8872

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Eddie Monteiro Performance with Howie Tavin Trio in NJ

by Rita Barnea
Eddie Monteiro, Howie Tavin
On December 6, 2017 Eddie Monteiro performed as part of the Howie Tavin Trio at the Maywood Twin Door Tavern, Maywood, New Jersey. It was an amazing evening of the American Songbook presented with unique style and versatility that Eddie creates with his gift for improvising on his Roland accordion. Howie Tavin played bass and sang while David Cox played percussion.

Eddie Monteiro has over 30 years of musical performance in classical, jazz, dance, theater, cabaret and choral ensembles. Member of Bobb Rosengarden, Skitch Henderson, Peter Duchin, Ray Bloch, Michael Lanin and Marty Ames orchestras. Eddie performs in the New York Metropolitan area and worldwide.

A member of pit orchestras on stage in Broadway revival performances of both "Evita" and "Carnival". He has recorded radio and television jingles for Sesame Street, General Foods, Pontiac, Colgate, Palmolive, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Bennigan's Restaurants and more.

Lead artist of innumerable society bands performing throughout the world at social events, political gatherings and corporation conventions, Monteiro also is the youngest honoree ever elected to the American Accordionists’ Association Hall of Fame in 1994.

Eddie Monteiro has performed at Jazz Festivals throughout the world. National performances include the JVC Jazz Festival and the Toyota Jazz Festival in New York City, Salishan Jazz Festival and the Centrum Jazz Festival both in Washington.

Internationally Eddie was a guest at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Jakarta Jazz Festival in Indonesia, Sea Jazz Festival in Helsinki, the Norwegian National Accordion Competition, Sweden's Annual Accordion Festival in Ransatter and in January of 2000 Eddie closed the Jazz In El Tambo Festival in Punta del Esta, Uruguay performing with Paquito D'Rivera, Leny Andrade, John Patitucci and Benny Golson.

He has conducted workshops and seminars at the Manhattan School of Music, Kansas City Jazz Workshop, Artists in Jazz at Pace University, Topeka Jazz Workshop and a Harmony & Improvisation Clinic in Norway. His numerous recordings include Double Standards, The Real Thing, A Perfect Match (with Nancy Marano featuring Gerry Mulligan, Roger Kellaway and Claudio Roditi), Under Paris Skies (with Karen Akers), A Walk on the Wilde Side (with Ronny Whyte), Jazz Influence and  Arkadia Jazz All Stars: Thank You John! (a tribute to John Coltrane) and was featured on the album with the vocal group ‘String Of Pearls’.

His work has also included a soundtrack recording with Marvin Hamlisch and an appearance on film ‘Mortal Thoughts’ with Bruce Willis. A graduate of NYU with a B.S. in Music Education, Eddie studied accordion with Charles Nunzio, (one of the founding members of the American Accordionists’ Association), piano with Madame Olga Van Till and advanced harmony studies with Marty Holmes. 

He presently is a music teacher and choral director at Ann Street School (New Jersey) and is also Musical Director at Matawan-Aberdeen High School Summer Theater and vocal director for Matawan Avenue Middle School’s Spring musicals - conducting, coaching and accompanying students on productions of numerous Broadway plays. 'The Trio' a CD recorded with Joe Cocuzzo (drums) and Lenny Argese (guitar) was the most recent release in 2006 when the group was performing weekly at the Retreat Lounge at the Short Hills  Hilton (NJ)

Eddie is a member of the AAA Governing Board and is a Certified Teacher Member of AAA as well as a member of Music Educators' National Conference, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Technology Institute for Music Educators, National Education Association, Jazz Educators Association the Sommelier Institute and is an Amateur Radio General Class Operator.

Howie Tavin, bassist and vocalist was the Music Coordinator for the World Trade Center, Music Coordinator for the Bergen County, N.J. Young Peoples Concert, Music Coordinator for the “Cerebral Palsy Telethon”, Summer Concert Series-American Popular Songbook, Music Coordinator for major corporate functions in and around New York City
Music Coordinator for the American Banking Assoc.,New York Savings & Loans,Texas Savings & Loans and most of the major banking conventions across the USA, Private trio for Emil Houghton-CEO of Corning Glass, and Private trio for John McGillicudy-CEO of Manuf-Hanover Bank.
David Cox, drums and percussion is currently on the faculty of Adelphi University. As a Graduate Fellow he served as the Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn College Conservatory(1994-1997)while earning a Master’s Degree.He holds an Undergraduate degree from Manhattan School of Music,doing graduate work at the Julliard School(1970-1972)
Musical associations include several tours with Engelbert Humperdinck, Vic Damone and two world tours,including Live from Carnegie Hall with Liza Minnelli. He is also a Percussionist with Symphony Orchestras in NYC, NJ and Conn.
The New York Trio and Quartet have refined the presentation of corporate entertainment to a fine art.With a uniquely “New York” sophistication and elegance,this group brings to life the rich heritage of American song classics in a way that is full of integrity and authenticity. Musical director and bassist Howard Tavin has served as music coordinator for a list of “Who’s Who” in the corporate world including the American Banking Association, Corning Glass and the World Trade Center. Whether serving as the “private trio” for a major CEO, traveling by private jet to a national business meeting, or providing music for a “party scene” in a movie shoot, this ensemble always delivers exquisite music for the discerning listener and dancer.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Alicia Baker to Perform at NAMM Convention in Anaheim January 25-28

by Rita Barnea
Alicia BakerAlicia Baker will perform from January 25-28, 2018 at the NAMM Show in the Anaheim Convention Center - Anaheim, CA at the Roland booth. She will be the V-Accordion and Digital piano demonstrator and artist.

Excerpts from her website: Alicia Baker is a classically trained accordionist, pianist, and singer from Portland, OR, currently residing in Denver, CO.  She has performed on various stages, from the operatic stage to the headlining spot at accordion festivals.  Alicia has explored her many avenues of musical ability in both performance and educational venues. 

Alicia received 3 bachelor of music degrees from Oregon State University, including piano performance, vocal performance, and choral education, in addition to a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from University of Colorado Boulder in 2017. Alicia’s repertoire spans a wide variety of musical genres amongst her instruments, including french musettes, opera, folk songs, jazz standards, polkas, contemporary, classical, romantic, techno and popular hits throughout the decades.
Alicia has competed and won multiple International accordion competitions, in addition to headlining major accordion festivals all around North America.  These include the American Accordionists’ Association, The Vegas International Accordion Festival, the Cotati Accordion Festival, the Big Squeeze, the Accordionists and Teachers Guild International Festival, KIOTAC, Leavenworth Old-Time Accordion Festival, and the NAMM show.  She even had the honor of performing an accordion concerto with the Corvallis Symphony in 2011.  Alicia has also sung the leading role in multiple operas, including Queen of the Night from Mozart’s The Magic Flute with OSU opera.
In 2009 Alicia became connected with Roland Corporation, the maker of a fully digital accordion, when she entered the Roland US V-Accordion competition. Her relationship with Roland continued to blossom, leading to her full-time work with the company today where she is a product specialist, demonstrating pianos and accordions around the country.  This relationship helps Alicia show the accordion in a whole new light, by utilizing Roland's progressive technology.
Alicia has created a unique show for her audiences by combining accordion with her accomplished voice.  Known for accompanying herself on operatic arias, and playing modern styles like techno and pop, Alicia is passionate about reinventing the face of accordion in today’s world.

2018 Upcoming Performances:

January 21 - La Cour
* Alicia on Accordion and Vocals, Alex Heffron on Guitar
* 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
* French jazz and jazz standards

January 25-28 - NAMM Show
* Anaheim Convention Center - Anaheim, CA
* Roland booth
* V-accordion and Digital piano demonstrator and artist

February 18 - La Cour
* Alicia on Accordion and Vocals, Alex Heffron on Guitar
* 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
* French jazz and jazz standards

March 18 - La Cour
* Alicia on Accordion and Vocals, Alex Heffron on Guitar
* 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
* French jazz and jazz standards

April 15 - La Cour
* Alicia on Accordion and Vocals, Alex Heffron on Guitar
* 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
* French jazz and jazz standards

May 20 - La Cour
* Alicia on Accordion and Vocals, Alex Heffron on Guitar
* 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
* French jazz and jazz standards

June 17 - La Cour
* Alicia on Accordion and Vocals, Alex Heffron on Guitar
* 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
* French jazz and jazz standards

September 27-30 - Oregon's Alpenfest
* Alicia on Accordion and Vocals
* Old-time favorites, polkas, waltzes, and more!

For further information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Luciano Testani (1948-2017)

by Rob Howard
Luciano TestaniItalian-born Canadian accordionist Luciano Testani passed away in December at the age of 69. He was the Vice President of the Montreal Accordéonistes Association, and a dedicated lifelong classically trained accordion player and enthusiast. He was a regular performer at the annual festival Carrefour Mondial de L’Accordeon de Montmagny.

The picture shows Luciano Testani flanked by Italian accordionists Roberto Lucanero and Pietro Adragna taken at the 2013 Edition of the event ‘Fisa Pazza’ initiated by Ercole de Cubellis at the cultural center of Little Italy - casa d ' Italia, 505 rue Jean-Talon, Montreal, Quebec.

Fellow Quebec accordionist Mario Bruneau commented, “Luciano’s passing will leave a great void in the accordion world in Quebec”.

LIAA Presents Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano

by Rita Barnea
LIAA Poster
The LIAA (Long Island Accordion Alliance ) sponsored by La Villini resturaunt presents an evening of accordion music featuring the guest artists Manny Corallo and Frank Toscano. on January 3,2018. at 6pm.

It is going to be a very special event because it will be videoed and eventually shown on Cablevision in March.

Come join us at :
La Villini Resturaunt
288 Larkfield Road
East Northport, NY 11731
(631)- 261 - 6344

Reservations are recommended. Seating is limited.

The LIAA February 7th,2018 guest artist will be Paul Belanich.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Silicon Valley Accordion Club Presents The Great Morgani, Adam and Emma Dohner

by Rita Barnea
The Great Morgani, Adam and Emma Dohner
The Silicon Valley Accordion Club invites all on January 7, 2018 to hear a fantastic performance by return performers The Great Morgani (above left) as well as Adam and Emma Dohner (above right)!

Frank Lima, The Great Morgani, is a one-man show arriving in costume and, being a self-contained acoustic show, requires no special staging, amplification or electricity.  His costumes are all hand crafted and cover him from the feet to the top of the head, as well as the accordion itself.  A Musical Entertainer for Corporate Events, Parties, Grand Openings, Festivals and Special Events where you seek to dazzle and amaze your guests.

Adam Dohner said, “My sister, Emma, our drummer, Pat Rundell, and I have been playing together as Garf’s Uncle for several years. However, we grew up playing music together in Palo Alto. Emma’s been honing her craft on the violin since the beginning while I started out on piano and then picked up the accordion in high school as a way to take the piano with me on the road i.e. farmer’s market gigs and camping trips. Our musical style covers the gamut from gypsy jazz to klezmer, and argentine tango to Irish reels.”

Silicon Valley Accordion Society meetings are held the first Sunday of each month at
Harry's Hofbrau
390 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, CA  95129
at the corner of Kiely Blvd.

Doors open at 1:PM. The program begins with members playing their accordions. The door fee for members is $5, $10 for non-members, under 16 - no charge.  Jim and Ron begin playing at 3:00. You are invited to visit one of their meetings and listen to wonderful performances by guests. The members are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about SVAS and how you can join.

Future 2018 performances include:

* January 7:  Adam and Emma Dohner; The Great Morgani
* February 4:  Ernie Beran, Jana Maas
* March 4:  Reno Di Bono Trio
* April 1:  Fete Musette
* May 6:  Spring Festival, SVAS Players
* August 5:  Il Duetto Musica (Gloria & Paul Aebersold)
* September 9 (adjusted):  Nordahl Grieg Leikarring og Spelemannslag, Norwegian Folk Dance Group

For further information:

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

Future events

The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by famous accordion repairer and tuner Thierry Benetoux Future Events Free Listing - Cyberspace

by Harley Jones
Accordion Yellow-Pages header
All concert, competition and festival organizers are reminded to list their Future Events for 2018 in the website. Its free to list and you can do it yourself. You can also change and update your listing yourself as further information becomes available.

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

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

Any internet challenged organizers may email their event details:

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

Bayan Mix to Perform in Canada in February

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

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

An award winning accordion duo Bayan MIX straight from Russia will come to Ottawa for the first time! The sold-out concerts of Bayan MIX were held in Kremli and many philharmonic halls of Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, Estonia. The duo is a frequent guest at all major TV shows and a winner of several prizes awarded by several radio stations in Russia.

The performances of Bayan MIX are very energetic, virtuosic and highly entertaining! The duo plays the hits of world music like Hava Nagila, Sirtaki, Czardas, Autumn Leaves and sing their own songs and compositions.

In Ottawa Bayan MIX will present its new romantic program "Prosto Nado Lyubit" or "Just Love It" This show is not to be missed!

More information is available at (613) 867-7939

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

National Accordion Association (NAA) 2018 Annual Convention, March 2018

by Norman Seaton, NAA President
NAA Team
The Texas-based 2018 National Accordion Convention is announcing the official list of presenters that have been assembled from an international pool of experts. The NAA 2018 National Convention takes place in Richardson, Texas from March 7-10, 2018. Each of the pictured individuals will serve as a presenter or will assume a leadership position during the Convention.

One of the reasons the NAA Convention is always unique is the opportunity provided to every attendee to perform at some point during the event. While some of the following workshop presenters will be performing during the scheduled concerts, final decisions have not as yet been made. Opportunities for performance are still available to registered conventioneers.

2018 Convention Workshop Presenters, alphabetical order:
Dick Albreski (Ok), Marcus Baggio (TX), Paul Betken (AZ), Gary Blair (Scotland), Ed Casper (AR), Dan/Kim Christian (CO), Elena Fainshtein (TX), Jessica Faltot (TX), Ian Fries (FL), Marcia Godwin (TX), Chuck Henry (FL), Gordon Kohl (CA), Shelia Lee (TX), Jamie Maschler (WA), Grayson Masefield (New Zealand), Randy McPeck (MN), Michael Middleton (TX), Joe Natoli (OH), Richard Noel (CA), Lori Najvar (TX), Bill Palmer (TX), Cory Pesaturo (NJ), Debra Peters (TX), Joey Petosa (WA), Gabe Rodriquez (WA), Jim Rommel (TX), Sharon Seaton (TX), George Secor (IL), Matt Tolentino (TX), Dale Wise (VA), and Michael Zampiceni (CA).

2018 Convention Management Team:
Rebecca Ratliff, Norman Seaton, Sharon Seaton, Arlyn Visentin, Thomas Visentin, Nick Ballarini, Nancy Bernstein, and Ian Fries.

The "2018 Call for Vendors and Advertisements" is now open for business. 2018 Convention Registration Information (link)

For additional information, contact Norman Seaton at
NAA Team

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

USAF Strolling Strings to Perform at AAA’s 80th Anniversary in July

by Rita Barnea
John and Louis Coppola, Frank Busso, Jr.
The United States Air Force Strolling Strings will perform at the AAA’s 80th Anniversary Banquet and Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to former USAF accordionist, Louis F. Coppola. A contingent of the group will entertain during dinner.

CMSgt (ret) Harry Gleeson wrote: “Lou Coppola spent over 28 years with the Band following his enlistment on October 23, 1956. During his tenure, he not only performed before presidents and kings, and traveled the world over, but he earned the distinction of being the first non-string-player to become noncommissioned officer-in-charge of The Air Force Strings. 

Photo of Louis Coppola and his son, John, on bass.

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he was far more interested in sports than in music when his mother said, “Try the accordion for one month, and if you don’t like it, you never have to take music again.” Young Lou saw this as a way to escape to sports. Instead, the accordion turned into his lifelong vocation and avocation! 

At the age of 18, he became the first American to participate in the Coupe Mondiale, an international classical accordion solo competition, held that year in Brighton, England. Lou returned to America and had settled into a life of performing and teaching when his teacher, Rudy Molinari, advised him to audition for an opening in The USAF Band because “You’ll travel the world,” and travel he did. 

With the Air Force Strings from the very beginning of his career, Europe and Asia-and virtually every Air Force base in the inventory-became his stomping grounds. However, some of his brightest memories are of performances in Washington, D.C. During the Kennedy administration, Lou and the Strings were featured on the cover of Life Magazine with the president and first lady. However, it was another appearance at the White House, which provided one of the major highlights of his career: celebrated violinist Isaac Stern was the evening’s featured entertainment and Leonard Bernstein was a guest. 

Following the official function, Mrs. Kennedy asked a small ensemble, including Lou, to go upstairs to the family quarters and entertain Stern, Bernstein and their wives in the building's private family quarters. After awhile, Stern borrowed one of the instrumentalist’s violins, Bernstein found his way to the piano, and soon Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein and Lou Coppola were presenting a "trio" performance of the Mendelssohn violin concerto. Mrs. Kennedy snapped their picture, and the photo remains today one of Lou’s cherished treasures from his AF days. 

Not only did the music continue when he retired as a CMSgt in 1985, his gigsmanaged to increase. On Friday and Saturday nights, Lou and three string players appeared at the Officers’ Club in Fort Myer, Virginia, an engagement which lasted 43 years, 16 of which have been during his “retirement.” 

Years ago, Lou established his own company, Stereo Strings, and with them he has become a fixture at weddings, embassy parties and corporate affairs throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Among these have been appearances at the Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Corcoran Gallery and Ronald Reagan National Airport with 28 strolling violinists for its new opening. 

His performances in the civilian domain have not been restricted to the D.C. area. Among other locations, Lou and his Stereo Strings have performed for United Technologies in Epcot Center at Florida’s Disney World complex in Florida, and for Lucent Technologies in Palm Springs, California. He also became the adopted “good luck charm” for Atlanta’s bid for the Summer Olympics, and appeared numerous times in Atlanta, as well as in Seoul, Tokyo, Barcelona and, of course, in D.C. 

In his “free” time, Lou has contributed extensive research on former Air Force Strings personnel, and thanks to his efforts, there now exists a comprehensive directory of all former and present USAF string instrumentalists and Air Force Strings members. 
Lou Coppola’s exciting and productive life is once again graphic proof that there really is a wonderful “life after Bolling.” 

Exerpts from Louis Coppola’s website: An accomplished classical accordionist, Mr. Coppola won numerous titles on his instrument & was the first accordionist to win three consecutive national championships. He was also the first American to represent our country, at age eighteen, in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition in Brighton, England.

He performed with the acclaimed United States Air Force Strolling Strings for over 28 years, ultimately becoming the leader of the organization. His Air Force career took him to the palace of Anwar Sadat, to the Far East & all over the globe. He has played at the White House for hundreds of heads of state & performed for nine U.S. Presidents in the course of his years in the military. 

Mr. Coppola managed his own company, Stereo Strings, for many years. He provided music entertainment for the Washington, DC area as well as throughout the country. Stereo Strings performed with 28 violinists at the opening of the new Ronald Reagan National Airport. The group is extremely proud of their involvement with the city of Atlanta, traveling to Seoul, Tokyo and Barcelona with Atlanta’s Olympic committee. Stereo Strings were America’s sole musical representative in this successful effort. 

Lou and his ensemble had one of the longest consecutive engagements in the country, having performed dinner music every weekend at the Officers’ Club in Fort Myer, VA. for an astounding 44 years. 

Excerpts from the USAF website: “Master Sgt. Frank J. Busso Jr. is the accordionist with the Air Force Strings, The United States Air Force Band, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. Originally from Staten Island, New York, his Air Force career began in 2005.

Frank Busso Jr. attended Boston University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 2001. He studied accordion with Frank Busso Sr. at the Staten Island Music School in New York. Prior to joining the Air Force, Busso was an instructor and arranger with the Boston University Athletic Bands. He was also an instructor at the Staten Island Music School, where his students earned many regional and national titles in competition.

As a competitive accordionist, Busso received numerous regional titles from the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey, including the organization's virtuoso championship in 1995. He also earned multiple national titles from the American Accordionists' Association in classical, popular, and ethnic competitions. Since 2001, Busso has performed in concert as a member of The Busso Trio at numerous summer festivals hosted by the American Accordionists' Association and the Accordionists & Teachers Guild.” Frank is a member of the AAA Board.

The Strings have entertained every president since Eisenhower and have also performed for high level diplomatic and military functions. They bring exceptional entertainment to any occasion.

Their versatile repertoire includes the best of Broadway, classical, country, international and society selections.These talented Air Force musicians create a unique, awe-in- spiring experience. Strolling throughout the room, they play directly for their listeners, the ultimate in living sound music.

Recently, the USAF Band presented their 2017 Flash Mob at Gaylord National Hotel. See their full holiday presentation at

25th Anniversary of Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 21-24, 2018

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth Logo
The Northwest Accordion Society sponsors the 25th Anniversary Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration. Mark Your calendar for June 21-24, 2018. It will be a very special event with surprise guests. More information in future publications. Excerpts are from the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration website.

2018 LIAC Workshop Presenters include:  

Murl Allen Sanders: Murl Allen Sanders is a musician, composer, teacher and recording artist who is active in the Seattle area music scene and across the United States, Canada,England, Brazil and Japan. Murl has worked with such diverse artists as Chuck Berry, Etta James, Il Divo, Glenn Yarbrough, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Modern Orchestra, accordion virtuosi Frank Marocco, Chico Chagas, Stas Venglevski, Alex Meixner, Gary Blair and Cory Pesaturo, among many others.

Murl teaches piano and accordion privately and is also adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts and Shoreline Community College in Seattle. He has received two grants from The Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to compose“She Blows Hot and Cold” for chorus and symphony orchestra which premiered May 2, 2010 and a grant to compose his “Accordion Concerto #2” which premiered in 2007 with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers.

His “Accordion Concerto #1”, a commission from Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, premiered in 2003. Murl received a 2010 and 2009 ASCAP plus award for his concert compositions from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Recent appearances include: Seattle Symphony “Music Beyond Borders” Concert 2017, International Festival Da Sanfona, Juazeiro, Brazil 2016, Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival, Chicago 2017, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Chico Chagas
Bruce Gassman: Bruce’s extensive accordion background began at age 9. He performed his first Senior Recital at age 11 and at the age of 13 he competed and won the National Boy's Club of America Music Scholarship Award. For the next 4 years he studied with Maestro Joseph Biviano of New York City. In 1962, at the age of 15, Bruce became the youngest member of the Accordion Symphony Society of NY, and at his first concert in December of that year; they performed at Town Hall featuring the immortal Charles Magnante.

While in college, and playing rock & roll, he toured the Mid-West with the Escorts, Doc & the MD's and The Broadway Clique. Once back East, playing Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes piano, Jersey Shore rock scene experience involved performances at many area night clubs, he jammed with stars such as the late B.B. King and future stars including Bruce Springsteen Returning to his accordion roots in 1974, he formed The Bruce Gassman Orchestra and for the next 18 years Bruce performed at more than 2,500 private parties. In 1992 he stopped playing to focus on his family and his real estate career.

After a 15 year sabbatical, he started the come-back. Bruce joined Dan Desiderio and the Accordion Pops Orchestra; and then in 2008 became the first accordionist ever to perform with Holiday Express, a group of more than 100 professional musicians and 1,500 volunteers who, from Thanksgiving till Christmas, bring the gift of human kindness to those less fortunate Since 2009, Bruce has presented workshops, conducted and been a featured performer at numerous accordion clubs, conventions and festivals. 

Michael Bridge: Concert-accordionist Michael Bridge is internationally renowned for his warm, engaging stage-presence and outstanding musical versatility. Named one of Canada’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30” by CBC, his repertoire – baroque & classical masterworks, world folk music, jazz standards, and digital accordion – smashes all accordion stereotypes.

He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at 17, and has performed on four continents, now playing over 100 concerts per year. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in accordion performance from the University of Toronto, where he his now pursuing his doctorate with Joseph Macerollo. He was awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award, and is a winner of the University of Toronto Concerto Competition and the Calgary Stampede Talent Search.

A believer in the critical nature of developing new music for accordion, he has commissioned and/or premiered over 50 chamber and solo works. He has adjudicated accordion competitions and taught master classes across the USA and Canada and is passionate about advancing accordion pedagogy for the next generation.
Cory Pesaturo: Cory is one the forefront of the accordion world, pushing the boundaries on multiple fronts of what is possible with the accordion. The only person to ever win a World Championship on Acoustic, Digital And Jazz Accordion, and is a recent graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. Pesaturo is also a Guinness World Record Holder, as RedBull® flew him to Austria to break the Marathon Accordion Record in 2017, in which Cory played the accordion over 32 hours.  

Cory’s main contribution is his visionary thinking of how the accordion should be used, played, taught, and presented in modern music. Pesaturo is additionally developing his own electric accordion.

Pesaturo's extensive resumé includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on 4 different occasions, starting at age 12, and 8 other appearances for the Clintons since 2000, along with 14 letters from the first family. Some TV appearances include the Late Show with David Letterman playing with Johnny Depp, the Columbus parade in NYC, and nationally televised programs in New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Tunisia, France, and Finland. Pesaturo is also heavily involved and respected with the weather and motor sports worlds as well. From 2005 to 2006, he composed the Official list of records set by the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and also wrote the lists for the 2007 and 2008 Seasons as well.
Jim & Shirley O’Brien: Jim and Shirley are accordionists who spend their winters in Tucson, Arizona and their summers in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho when not traveling in their motor home to festivals such as Leavenworth.  Jim founded the Accordion Club of Tucson (ACT) in 1998 while he was a Professor in the School of Music at the University of Arizona. Shirley was a Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and began playing the accordion several years ago.  Jim has developed an educational website about accordion history and technology.

Two years ago, the O’Briens totally changed their style of musical performance with the purchase of Roland V accordions. Jim has created over 50 backing tracks in his home studio and they now entertain as “Polka Express” a big band in a box! 
Kory Tideman and Max Kyllonen: Kory and Max will present many important details about the workings and playing of the buttonbox accordion. Both have many years of experience on their instruments. Kory performs regularly with the Happy Hans Band. Max performs regularly in Andreas Keller Restaurant. Even if you don’t play the buttonbox accordion, come to this workshop to expand your understanding of the accordion. All accordionists will benefit by having some knowledge of accordions other than the ones they play.

For further information:
Call: 206-622-4786

24th Annual Accordion Master Class/Concert Series Seminar – Hold the Date!

by Dr. Denise Koncelik and Pamela Tom
The 24th Annual Accordion Seminar directed by Dr. William Schimmel (moderator/curator) will be held during July 27-29, 2018 each day from 3:PM to 9:PM in New York City.  The theme for 2018 is “Thinking Inside the Box.”  The seminar will be conducted at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W 13th St., New York, NY.
The afternoon master class sessions at 3:PM are open to anyone to attend the talks on various accordion related subjects.  The 7:PM evening concerts cover a wide range of musical styles presented by invited performers.
The accordion seminar rates range from:
$25 per master class, $30 per concert, $50 per day master class and concert, or $135 for the entire weekend

To view a schedule of events, log into Facebook, search for William Schimmel; click “more;” then “events.”  For Seminar reservations and information contact: (212) 876-0827.  Information will also be available on the American Accordionists’ Association website this spring.
To reach Dr. Schimmel directly - mobile: (917) 498-6823.  E-mail:
In 2017 Pamela Tom met Dr. Denise Koncelik, a multi talented professional musician, who is active with the Brooklyn Accordion Club and an accordion student of Dr. Schimmel.  I asked her for insight to the 2017 seminar which had the theme, “The Red Lantern Accordionist.”  Here’s what Denise has to say about her participation at the seminars consecutively since 2012.
Each day there is a two-hour Master Class from 3-5:00 pm with accordion relevant presentations and discussions:

Everything from the history of the instrument and players to the philosophy of the instrument and its players. Often there are guest presenters and performers that participate in the afternoon sessions

Last year Elliott Sharp (!!!) and Lauren Flanigan (NY City Opera) played and sang, and the year prior Ted Nash (Jazz at Lincoln Center) played and spoke. It is not a traditional “show up and play a piece for commentary” master class setting yet informative and thought provoking
Each evening there is a two-hour concert from 7-9:00 PM.  This is not your grandpa’s accordion music! Every piece is either accordion, or accordion and something, or someone else. Almost all of the performances are of new music performed by the composer. The variety of styles and performers is phenomenal!

Alternative, classical, electronic, eclectic, dark, serious, funny, all kinds of music are presented.  The first time I ever heard a live Sho player was at one of these concerts!
There is no festival orchestra experience in NYC - but the EXPERIENCE of the seminars is exhilarating for an avid accordionist or accordion lover.”

Participants will include: Micki Goodman, Paul Stein, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Will Holshouser, Doug Makofka, BrianDewan, Yoichi Fukui, Gene Pritsker, Melissa Elledge, Mark Nathanson, Benjamin Ickies, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Dragica Banic Curcic, Peter Flint, Erica Marie Mancini, Dave Soldier, Mayumi Miyaoka, Dan Cooper, The Yorkvillians, Rachel Swaner, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, Bachtopus, Milica Paranosic, Michael Dames, Peter Jarvis, David Stoler, David First, Mary Spencer Knapp, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Lee Mc Clure, Ken Laufer, John Foti, Kathleen Tipton, Marni Rice, Bob Goldberg, The Famous Accordion Orchestra, Corn Mo, Rachid Eladlouni, Carl Reihl, Linda Reed, Rita Barnea, Dr Denise Koncelik, Alicia Svigals, Elizabeth Brown, Ted Nash, Jeanne Velonis, Cecylia Barczk, Devon Tipp, Sydknee, Michiyo Suzuki, Robert Duncan, Miwa Gemini, Jenny Cho, Elliott Sharp, Jennie Muiio, Elaine Yau, Carita Patamikakam, Uri Sharlin, Sam Day Harmet, Steph Babirak, Sal Azzarelli  Jules A. and many others and a few surprise guests - and Dr. Schimmel!

2018 Accordion Events Calendar in the West

by Doris Osgood
2nd Monday monthly: West Seattle Senior Center
Contact: John Giuliani 425-255-2121 or Birgit Ages 206-947-8393 Back up contact: Bonnie Birch 206-622-4786. Music 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM. (no meeting in July and August)


2nd Thursday monthly: Lutheran Church 121st & Park Ave. across from PLU Library 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Contact: Dick Myking 253-537-0136


4th Sundays April and October. Forest Grove Community Center, 2037 Douglas St. Forest Grove, OR. 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM. Contact: Doris Osgood 503-357-0417.


2ND Saturday Monthly, noon – 2 PM Aspen Ridge Retirement Home 1010 NW Purcell Blvd, Bend Members provide entertainment one Sunday monthly also. Contacts: Lillian Jones, 541-536-1531 or Karl Kment, 541-548-0495


3rd Monday monthly 6:30, 553 Little Valley Rd. Roseburg 
Pres. Karen Cordell 553 Little Valley Rd. Roseburg, OR 97471, 541-784-1911,

Contact: Haike Kingma,


2nd Sunday monthly 1 – 3 PM Vale Verde Retirement Theatre 900 Calle de los Amigos, Santa Barbara, CA
AIMS P.O. Box 4511 Santa Barbara, CA 93140

Info: Heinz Trick 805-685-2260


3rd Tuesday monthly, Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 7:30 PM
Contact: Cooksie Kramer 425-828-9104


2nd Monday monthly: 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Veterans’ Memorial Bldg. 1626 Willamette St. Secretary Linda Gunn 541-726-6330 V.P. Lou Marzano Social time 6:PM, business 6:45 PM


Mondays weekly 6 – 8 PM Pioneers Home, open to all free reed instruments. Contact: Christine Upton 907-457-3392

5VAA Jams are 1- 5:PM

Pres. Helen Brady 370-8452

Montana – NW Accordion Association Contact: Ken Kenmille 406-407-3514

All NWAA Jams 2 – 5:30 PM 
Montana – Great Falls Accordion Players Jams 1 – 5 PM

Contact Doris Seaton for info: 406-727-2493


Caldwell Library Community Rm Caldwell, ID
3rd Saturday monthly 1 – 4 PM

For information contact: Dianne Lansing


2nd and 4th Monday monthly 2:00 - 4:00 PM Director,Leif Holmes, 
President: Ron Zentner, 4100 S. Wilkes Gary Hts., Camano Island, WA 98282 (360)387-8143


2nd Wednesday monthly 5 – 9 PM Joe Brikha, Pres


4th Monday monthly 7 - 9 PM: Central Point Senior Center 123 N. 2nd St, Central Point, OR Jeannette Dewey, Pres. 1029 SE Rogue Dr. Grants Pass, OR 97526 541-471-7455


Tuesdays weekly Sept. – May, Senior Center on Richter

Info contact: Rod Miller 250-317-9088, Lela Bourne


2nd Friday monthly. 4 – 6 PM Council Chambers Rogue River City Hall, 133 Broadway St. Rogue River, OR.
Pres. Margot Turrell 206 Creekside Grants Pass, OR 97526 541-479-9409


3rd Saturday monthly. 1 – 5 PM Milwaukie Public Safety Bldg, SE 32nd & Harrison, Milwaukie, OR.
Pres. Wayne Tiusanen


2nd Sunday, Odd numbered months, 1:00 – 4:00 PM Sequim Senior Center 921 E. Hammond St; contact: Frank Bruckner: 208-290-4037 or Caryl Dowell: 520-369-2550


John Covarelli, Pres. 775-848-3777,

Weekly rehearsals 6- 9 PM Eileen Webber, Pres. 509-290-6858

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

2018 Accordion Club Meeting Schedules in Northern California

by Rita Barnea
There are many wonderful active accordion associations all over the USA that you are invited to participate in. Here are the accordion club meeting schedules in Northern California. Please email if you would like to add your association to the list.

Accordion Club of the Redwoods (ACR) meets on the third Monday of every other month beginning in February 2017. Herman & Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma CA 94952. Contact: (707) 795-4060.

Golden State Accordion Club (GSAC) has three divisions:

The Vacaville Club meets the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM, Pietro’s N.2, 679 Merchant St, Vacaville, CA 95687.

The Humboldt Club meets on the third Tuesday, 7:00 PM., Humboldt Swiss Club, 5403 Tompkins Hill Road, Loleta, CA 95551.

The Sacramento Club meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Elks Lodge No.6, 6446 Riverside Blvd,Sacrament,CA.. Contact for all the GSAC: Carole Enneking (707) 864-2359.

Good Time Accordion Club (GTAC) meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM, Escalon Community Center, 1055 Escalon Ave., Escalon, CA 95320. Contact Ed Sciarini (209) 545-3603.

Northern California Accordion Society (NCAS) meets on the first Wednesday of the month 6:30 PM 6365 Douglas Blvd., Lutheran Church Social Hall, Granite Bay, CA 95746.

San Francisco Accordion Club (SFAC) meets on the third Sunday of the month 2:00 PM . Chetcuti Community Room, Civic CenterPlaza, 450 Poplar Ave., Milbrae, CA 94030. Contact Lynn Ewing (650) 453-3391.

Silicon Valley Accordion Society (SVAS) meets on the first Sunday of the month, 1:00 PM at Harry’s Hofbrau, 390 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA 95129. (between Kiely Blvd. and Stevens Creek Blvd. Contact: Bill Tapogna (408) 984-5290.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon in 2018

by Rita Barnea
Festival photoThe Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon festival takes place from August 30 to September 3, 2018.

Since 1989, renowned accordionists from the world over have graced the Carrefour's stages with their presence. In doing so, they have helped create an international and multicultural event. In addition to the accordion's reputation for bringing people together, this event also highlights an important part of our cultural heritage, while at the same time opening the door to the discovery of world music! The program features concerts, dance evenings and outdoor entertainment. A celebration for the whole family!

More information in future USA news publications.

For further information:

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19th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention October 15 -18, 2018

by Rita Barnea
LIAC logoThe 19th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention takes place on October 15, 2018. In the coming months, the USA news will keep you informed about the events, classes and performers. Check back often!

The first event is a welcome reception Monday, October 15, from 3 to 5 PM where you pick up your packet of materials and have a refreshing soft drink at Club Concerto with the music of Gina Brannelli. On Thursday, October 18 the Gala Concert ends with the Grand Finale ending at 10:PM.

Key Benefits of Attending the Convention
* Join the fun and make new friends from all over the World.
* See the latest in new accordions with factory exhibits.
* Hotel accommodations are very inexpensive.
* Be inspired by some of the finest.
* Learn from the masters.

For further information: or email:
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