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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jan-2019
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note and Your 2019 Accordion New Year's Resolutions!
Mollie Busta and Ted Lange (Squeezebox) in Clint Eastwood's movie “The Mule”
U.S. Army Accordionist SGM Manny Bobenrieth Retires - Washington DC
What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day?
Julien Labro to Perform with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in February
Stas Venglevski in 2019 Concerts
Accordion Revolution: New Book by Bruce Triggs in Spring 2019
Amy Jo Sawyer Compositions Performed by CIA World Accordion Orchestra X - Lithuania
Joey Miskulin To Receive 2019 AAA Lifetime Achievement Award
2019 NAA March 6-9, 2019
Joseph Petric’s 2019 European Performances - UK, France, Canada
Sergei Teleshev Releases New Music and Videos
Fish Harmonics EP Release with Rob Curto and Mike Block on Jan. 25

Voci Armoniche

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

Museum Of Music Making Exhibit Featuring the Accordion is a Huge Success
Report: 2018 Master Class & Concert Series: The Seminars, Thinking Inside the Box
National Accordion Convention - Digital Suite - March 7-9, 2019
Donation to ‘A World of Accordions Museum’
Jeff Lisenby and Nashville Accordion Ensemble Perform on Nashville Radio
Accordion Babes Calendar 2019 Available Now
Seattle Accordion Social on January 14
San Francisco Accordion Club Features the Reno Di Bono Trio

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

2nd Annual San Diego Accordion Camp, April 4-6, with Gordon Kohl
2019 Not Just OOM-PAH! Accordion Workshop and Concert on April 5-7, 2019
Save the Date: AAA Festival July 17-21, 2019
79th Annual ATG Accordion Festival in Denver July 24-27, 2019
2019 Accordion Organizations in the USA
2019 Maine Fiddle Camp Includes Accordion
Cajun Youth Accordion Workshops & Concert on Feb. 16

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



Editor's Note and Your 2019 Accordion New Year's Resolutions!

by Rita Barnea
Editor's Note and Your 2019 Accordion New Year's Resolutions
Editor Rita BarneaTo all our readers, accordion 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 2019.

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 music! 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!!). Please remember that information needs to be submitted by the 26th of the previous month for a first of the month publication. Did you know that all publications are preserved in permanent archives?

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 2019!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Mollie Busta and Ted Lange (Squeezebox) in Clint Eastwood's movie “The Mule”

by Rita Barnea
Mollie Busta Lange and Clint Eastwood
Ted LangeMollie, Accordionist Ted Lange, Clint EastwoodMusician Mollie Busta and accordionist Ted Lange are in the Clint Eastwood movie, “The Mule” released on December 14, 2018.

The Mule is a 2018 American crime film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the lead role. The screenplay is by Nick Schenk, based on The New York Times article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule" by Sam Dolnick. The film is inspired by the true story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became a drug dealer and courier for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Mollie Busta Lange has been performing polka music all her life. She started her career performing with the Jim Busta Band and she also performs with SqueezeBox (you can see them in “The Mule”) with Ted Lange, accordionist.

This International Polka Association Hall of Famer not only has performed on over 35 recordings, she has shared her many talents with fans in over 25 states and eleven countries and continues to inspire young musicians with her love for music.

Accordionist Ted Lange, a 2 time GRAMMY nominee, leads several bands including the "Ted Lange Band", "Ted Lange & Alpenpower" and "Squeezebox" off stage as the band manager, and on stage he is featured on Accordion, Midi Bass, Concertina, Button Box and Vocals.

He has become a name synonymous with quality polka music as an award winning musician, promoter, engineer, song writer, DJ, arranger and producer. He currently co-produces the "Mollie B Polka Party" on RFD-TV with his wife "Mollie B", broadcast into over 60 million households.

Ted got his start in Polka Music at a very early age with his parents’ band, "The Buckeye Polka Band", a Polka/Variety Band in Northwest Ohio, and at age 5, started playing drums with them. As he grew older and more experienced, he began filling in on accordion and drums with many of the local Northwest Ohio Polka bands.

Most recently, Ted has continued his life long passion of performing, recording and promoting polkas by performing not only with his band "Squeezebox", but also under his own name as "The Ted Lange Band" and "Ted Lange & Alpenpower" in addition to filling in with various bands across the US. He currently performs over 100 dates a year in 20 states a year, covering all areas from the West Coast to East Coast and from Florida to Canada.

Ted's reputation for being able to step in as a side musician due to his keen musical ear, in addition to his vast polka music knowlege and ability have made him one of the "first calls" for any band seeking a quality fill-in on accordion, concertina or drums.

He has performed with a wide variety of bands including: The Polka Family Band, The Alex Meixner Band, Brave Combo, Karl & The Country Dutchmen, Polka Country Musicians, Fred Ziwich and the ISM, The Jim Busta Band, Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push, Gary's Ridgeland Dutchmen, The Dynatones, Frankie Liszka & The Brass Connection, Gerry Kaminski's Merrymakers, Mark Janson and the Brass Express, Ed Guca & The Polish Canadians, Henny & The Versa J's, The Polka Nuts, and Eddie Biegaj & Crusade in addition to many more.

Mollie said, "Since the release of the movie, “The Mule,” it seems like many of you have questions about my/our experiences with the movie and Clint Eastwood.

Now… if you want to know more about my involvement in the movie…. click:" MollieB.pdf
Mollie and Ted in Squeezebox

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

U.S. Army Accordionist SGM Manny Bobenrieth Retires - Washington DC

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
SGM Manny Bobenrieth and family
SGM Manny BobenriethPicture above: Captain Emily Bobenrieth, Maureen Bobenrieth (Manny’s wife), Sergeant Major Manuel (Manny) Bobenrieth, and Captain Vincent Bobenrieth - photo by Lou Coppola.

Video above: 2015 AAA Festival - U.S. Army Strolling Strings, My One and Only Love & The Trolley Song

AAA Governing Board member, Sergeant Major Manuel (Manny) Bobenrieth, accordionist for the U.S. Army Strings, will retire on December 31 after a stellar 32-year career.

On December 7, in a ceremony recognizing Manny’s many achievements throughout his career, he was presented with multiple awards and gifts from the Army, members of the Strings, and his two children who are both Captains in the U.S. Army.

The large auditorium was filled to capacity with members of the military including some of the U.S. Army's highest ranking officers, alumni of the various Army bands, family and friends, including many friends from the accordion community.

A full article with additional photos and video will follow in February.
U.S. Army Strolling Strings

Titano Accordion Company

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

by Harley Jones
WADWhat are you doing for World Accordion Day to promote the accordion in your country? World Accordion Day is on May 6, which is the day the accordion was patented in 1829. It is not too early to think about it.

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

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

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

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

Voci Armoniche

Julien Labro to Perform with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in February

by Rita Barnea
Julien Labro
Accordionist Julien Labro will perform with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra on Friday, February 15, 2019 - Sunday, February 17, 2019 at the Belding Theater at The Bushnell on Friday & Saturday at 8:PM and Sunday at 3:PM

The program includes:
Copland "El Salón México"
Piazzola "Libertango"
Piazzolla "Aconcagua, Concerto for Bandoneón"
Frank "Three Latin American Dances"

Márquez "Danzón No. 2"
Adam Boyles, conductor
Julien Labro, bandoneón

French-born Julien Labro was 9 years old when he saw a televised accordion performance and knew he wanted to play. His parents rented him an accordion, and signed him up for lessons. He quickly mastered the instrument, earning him spots in competitions across Europe. In the years since, Labro performed at festivals and venues in Europe, North America, the Middle East and South America.

He accompanied and collaborated with groups and artists such as Hot Club of Detroit, Brazilian pianist Joao Donato, Argentinean composer and pianist Fernando Otero and big band leader Maria Schneider. Labro also plays the bandoneon — an instrument related to the accordion and considered essential in tango ensembles.

Excerpts from his website: After graduating from the Marseille Conservatory of Music, Labro began winning international competitions and then moved to the U.S. for further studies. He has shared the stage and/or recorded with many distinguished artists, including João Donato, Cassandra Wilson, Miguel Zenón, James Carter, and Tommy Emmanuel. Labro has played for audiences throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He has also been enlisted as an arranger and/or soloist by the Spektral Quartet, Curtis On Tour, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and many more. His artistry, virtuosity, and creativity as a musician, composer, and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to impress audiences worldwide.

It’s a Latin-infused festival of love! Copland’s dazzling El Salón México captures the spirit of a dance hall he visited during his first trip to Mexico. Piazzolla revolutionized tango music, and his sizzling Libertango intertwines the style with elements of jazz and classical. His fiery Aconcagua will feature the acclaimed Julien Labro on bandoneón. Contemporary composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s vivid Three Latin American Dances bears a kinship to Bernstein, and Márquez’s spirited Danzón No. 2 is one of the of the most popular contemporary Mexican compositions today.

Julien’s future 2019 USA performances also include:

Date Artist City Venue
01/12/19 Julien Labro & Olli Soikkeli Quartet, New York City, NY, Winter Jazz Fest @ Public Arts
Showtime: 6 PM
02/15/19 Soloist w/ Hartford Symphony, Hartford, CT, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Aconcagua | Libertango (Piazzolla)
02/16/19 Soloist w/ Hartford Symphony, Hartford, CT, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Aconcagua | Libertango (Piazzolla)
02/17/19 Soloist w/ Hartford Symphony, Hartford, CT, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Time: 3:00pm. Aconcagua | Libertango (Piazzolla)
03/15/19 Julien Labro & The Chanson Experiment, Scottville, MI, Center Stage Theater @ WSCC
03/21/19 Julien Labro & The Chanson Experiment, Elgin, IL, SecondSpace Theatre
03/22/19 Julien Labro & The Chanson Experiment, Chicago, IL, The Green Mill
03/23/19 Julien Labro & The Chanson Experiment, Chicago, IL, The Green Mill
03/25/19 Mihai Craioveanu invites Julien Labro, Holland, MI Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts

About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, excerpts from their website:The mission of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is to enrich lives and community through great music. Marking its 74th season in 2017-2018, the HSO is Connecticut’s premier musical organization, the second largest orchestra in New England, and widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras.

The HSO captivates and inspires audiences of all ages by presenting more than 100 concerts annually, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! Series, Sunday Serenades, Discovery Concerts, Symphony in Schools, Musical Dialogues, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival, and more.  The HSO aims to deliver uniquely powerful and emotional experiences that lift and transform the spirit, and to give back and help create vibrant communities in the Greater Hartford area.

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra named Carolyn Kuan as its tenth music director in January 2011; she is the first woman and youngest person to hold this title. Since beginning her tenure in 2011 she has led the HSO to new artistic heights with community-minded concerts and innovative programming.

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1934 and formally established as the Symphony Society of Greater Hartford in 1936. Angelo Coniglione, Jacques Gordon, Leon Barzin, Moshe Paranov, and George Heck were the Orchestra’s first music directors. With the appointment of Fritz Mahler in 1953, the HSO began its Young People’s Concerts and made several highly acclaimed recordings for Vanguard. In 1964, Arthur Winograd became music director and the Orchestra grew in artistic stature, performing at Carnegie Hall and other New York locations to highly favorable reviews.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Lankester from 1985–2000, the HSO received national recognition for its programming innovations, including the popular Classical Conversations and Family Matinees, as well as a series of landmark theatrical productions. From 2001–2011, Edward Cumming led the HSO to new levels of artistic excellence and innovative programming.
Each season, the HSO plays to audiences numbering more than 95,000 statewide. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s extensive array of Education and Community Activities serves 23,000 individuals in Hartford and surrounding communities annually.

For tickets to the Hartford Symphony event:
Single & Flex Cards: 860.987.5900
Subscriptions: 860.244.2999

For further information on Julien Labro:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Stas Venglevski in 2019 Concerts

by Megumi Hada
Two accordion concerts are scheduled for 2019 starring Stas Venglevski. He will be performing with the Houston Accordion Orchestra and the Houston Balalaika Society Orchestra on January 19, 2019 starting at 6:30 P.M. The concert takes place at the Performing Art Center Theatre, Houston Community College, Spring Branch Campus. Tickets are $10 in advance. $15 at the door.

Stas will give a second  concert on Sunday January 20, 2019 at 6:30 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Houston with an accordion ensemble and domra guest performers Misha Litvin and Olga Douglas.  
Tickets are $10 in advance. $15 at the door.

Ensemble includes: Beverley Fess, Gail Campanella, Heidi Spendlove, John Neu, John Simkus, Judy Ridenour, Lynn Ewing, Madalynn Neu.

Two new Stas Venglevski compositions are now available.
Catalog: vstas055 Octobler Rondo (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas056 Summer Sunshine (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.

Recent Stas Venglevski compositions released.
Catalog: vstas051 Meg Tango (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas052 Maurisa (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas053 A Song (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas054 Stas' Tune (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.

Excerpts from his website: His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

Stas is an Accordionist, a Musician, an Arranger, an Entertainer and a Teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show.

Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts. He is also former president of the ATG. Stas has many wonderful CD’s and musical compositions including solos, duets, and ensembles available for purchase. A great holiday gift for accordion aficionados.

For further information:


Accordion Revolution: New Book by Bruce Triggs in Spring 2019

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Revolution
Accordion historian Bruce Triggs’ new book “A People’s History of the Accordion in North American” will be released in the Spring of 2019. Uncover the hidden history of the Accordion in North America: The book will cover the time from the Industrial Revolution to the Rock and Roll upheaval of the 1960’s, African American "windjammers," Country & Western accordions, Irish American button-boxes, Jazz, Zydeco, Klezmer, Tex-Mex, and the lost tale of the Electric Rock Accordion.

It will include over 45 illustrations including the Accordion Family Tree above: 700 Years of (combined) accordion history and will cover the accordion in popular culture.

From the Accordion Noir Instagram: “Accordion Noir Radio host Bruce Triggs hasn't just been twiddling his thumbs the 6 days a week we're haven't been broadcasting accordion radio these past eleven years. He's been conducting investigation, taking detailed notes, and connecting the Stradella-like dots needed to write and publish the authoritative tome on the rise, fall, and re-emergence of the #squeezebox on the world stage.

* African American "windjammers," Country & Western accordions, Irish American button-boxes, Jazz, Zydeco, Klezmer, Tex-Mex, and the lost tale of the Electric Rock Accordion.
* With over 45 illustrations including the Accordion Family Tree above: 700 Years of (combined) accordion history.

Table of Contents (As of Aug 2018):
Accordion Revolution: The Squeezebox Heart of Pop Music in North America 
Part I: The Dawn of the Accordion Revolution
Chapter 1: The Accordion Conquers the World
Chapter 2: The Accordion’s Family Tree
Chapter 3: Blackface Minstrelsy

Part II The Golden Age
Chapter 4: Vaudeville and the Dawn of the Golden Age
Chapter 5: Polka and “Ethnic” Music
Chapter 6: Jazzing the Accordion
Chapter 7: The Closing Acts of the Golden Age

Part III Roots Music: An Outsider’s Canon
Chapter 8: Acordeón: Mexican and American Roots
Chapter 9: Creoles, Cajuns, and Zydeco: French Music in the American South
Chapter 10: Irish and Scottish Accordion: Immigration, Transition and Tradition
Chapter 11: Canadian Accordion: Northern Traditions
Chapter 12: Klezmer: a Restoration with Accordion

Part IV: American Wheeze: A Pre-History of Rock
Chapter 13: African Americans Played Accordion Before They Played the Blues
Chapter 14: Country & Western: Cowboys and Squeezeboxes
Chapter 15: The Folk Revival: The Accordion Betrayed

Part V: Accordion Exile: The Rise of Rock
Chapter 16: Rockin’ the Accordion
Chapter 17: The Accordion Exodus

As lead-up to the publication of this volume, his primary undertaking over the past decade, he would like to gather e-mail addresses and contact information for people who would be interested in hearing this fascinating account.

To register, please sign up to his e-mail list:

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

Amy Jo Sawyer Compositions Performed by CIA World Accordion Orchestra X - Lithuania

by Rita Barnea
WAO 2018
Amy Jo SawyerVideo above of the CIA World Accordion Orchestra X performance in Lithuania.

Original music by ATG former President and current executive board member, Amy Jo Sawyer, was performed at the “Coupe Mondiale” World Championships and Festival in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sept. 29, 2018 by sixty accordionists and percussionists from around the world.

The CIA World Accordion Orchestra X was directed by Prof. Joan Sommers who had selected the Amy Jo composition “Recuerdos” (Memories) as one of three compositions by American composers for this international event.

Other compositions by Amy Jo Sawyer are available online:
sawyer01 - Diggin' Dorian
sawyer02 - Elida
sawyer03 - Juntos ("Together")
sawyer04 - La Fiesta
sawyer05 - Opus 5-6-4
sawyer06 - Recuerdos (Memories)

Amy Jo Sawyer has released two CD's:
catalog amy01 According to Amy
catalog amy02 Classically Amy

The other two compositions performed were “Serenata” by Leroy Anderson, and music from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein. Amy Jo performed with the orchestra as well as ATG members Kevin Friedrich, Liz Finch, and Beverley Fess.

Amy Jo Sawyer began her study of the accordion at the age of ten under the tutelage of Henri Milano, in Mesa, Arizona. She came from musical parents, Marlin & Virginia McLaws, who played trumpet and piano respectively in their own Dance Orchestra for fifty years in the Phoenix area. Amy Jo started piano lessons at the age of five and during her grade and high school years played the baritone horn in the school bands. The accordion became her "first love" and at age fourteen she entered the National Accordion Competition, in Chicago, placing 2nd in her age category.

At age nineteen she won first place in the Western States Accordion Competition in Long Beach, California and competed in the "Coupe Mondiale" (World Accordion Competition) in Biel, Switzerland, establishing herself as one of the world's foremost accordionists. She continued her studies under the direction of Anthony Galla-Rini, in Los Angeles, and represented Arizona in the National Accordion Competition in New York City.

Amy Jo said, ”One of the greatest compliments I have received was from Mr. Galla-Rini, as he included my name with those he considered his most talented students in the book, 'Anthony Galla-Rini on His Life and the Accordion' written by Swedish author Ove Hahn." In 1964 she won a competition sponsored by the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, the winner of which to perform in solo with the symphony. The other contestants were violinists and pianists. The Symphony Conductor, Sandor Salgo, exclaimed, "she is a musical genius, and just happens to play the accordion!" She performed "Fantasia for Accordion & Orchestra", by Paul Creston.

Amy Jo has written music for, and performed with, the University of Missouri at Kansas City Accordion Orchestra, under the direction of Joan Sommers, on four of their international tours. Amy Jo received a BA degree in Composition in 1988 and a Master's Degree in Jazz Performance in 1989 from Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. While there she composed several jazz originals that were performed by the SIU-E Concert Jazz Band, with her on keyboards. An original, "Just You," was also performed by the Brigham Young University "Synthesis" Jazz Band. Amy Jo has performed accordion parts with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions, including accompanying world renowned Italian Tenor, Luciano Pavarotti. Amy Jo has served as President of the Accordionists & Teacher's Guild, International, Inc.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Joey Miskulin To Receive 2019 AAA Lifetime Achievement Award

by Rita Barnea
Joey MiskulinJoey Miskulin has been selected to receive the AAA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 for his many musical contributions. The date and location of the event will be announced soon.

Joseph M. Miskulin is a hall of fame accordionist and producer of Grammy Award-winning music albums. In a music career spanning more than four decades, Joey Miskulin has collaborated with a range of artists including Paul McCartney, John Denver, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Williams, Ricky Van Shelton, Emmylo

Info by Steve Kurutz: "When accordionist Joey Miskulin did a tour of duty with "America's Polka King" Frank Yankovic, by traveling the country at the age of 13, he began a professional career that now includes playing on several gold and platinum albums, as well as three grammy award winning releases.

Miskulin, a native of Chicago, was a child prodigy, joining his first band at the age of 11. By 13 he was traveling with the above-mentioned Yankovic, who was a Columbia recording artist at the time, and had already appeared on a record. After playing on a syndicated tv polka show based in Cleveland, Miskulineventually made the move to Nashville. There he befriended Jack Clement who helped him get session work. Over the years Miskulin has played with Townes Van Sandt, Garth Brooks, Ricky Skaggs and U2 among others.

Miskulin has also began producing and arranging, cutting records for Michael Martin Murphey, Riders in the Sky and his own band, Joey Miskulin & the International Festival Orchestra."

Joey Miskulin is one of Cleveland-Style Polkas’ greatest pillars of musical talent. In his most memorable role, Joey, the child prodigy discovered by Chicago’s Roman Possedi, became Frank Yankovic’s featured accordionist at age thirteen, beginning an association that would last over thirty-five years. Frank’s insistence that Joey be included in a Columbia recording session cemented Joey’s decision to make music his career.

Broadening his experience, Joey became in the 1970’s became a studio musician and producer, performing on bass, piano, banjo, guitar, organ, accordion, and as a vocalist. All the while, Joey maintained his love affair with Cleveland -Style Polkas, playing and recording with Yankovic and Cleveland -Style orchestras. In 1978, Joey opened Miskulin’s Lounge, reviving a venue that housed some of Cleveland’s most famous polka clubs. Teaming up with the legendary Lou Trebar, Joey formed the Mis-Tre Orchestra. Joey hosted various TV shows, including his very own Polka Time U.S.A. In 1985 Miskulin produced the first Grammy-winning polka album, Frank Yankovic’s 70 Years of Hits. Among Joey’s many Compositions I Wanna Call You Sweetheart was designated a Great All-Time Polka Hit. Joey moved to Nashville in 1987 for his other love, Western music as Joey the Cowpolka King.

You can read more about Joey Miskulin in future USA news publications.

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

2019 NAA March 6-9, 2019

by Norman Seaton, NAA President
2019 NAA Info
2019 National Accordion Association (NAA) Accordion Convention (Dallas area) & Call for Presenters. Convention dates are: March 6-9, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency, Richardson, Texas.
Convention and hotel registration opens Dec. 1, 2018.

2019 "Call for Presenters" Offer closes January 5, 2019.

This is an accordion-driven convention. Thus, individuals interested in teaching and/or managing any events during the convention need to fill out the form. The link is on the Home Page of NAA.

Please mark your calendar. It will be another fun National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention.

For further information:
Norman Seaton, NAA President
2019 New

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Joseph Petric’s 2019 European Performances - UK, France, Canada

by Rita Barnea
Joseph Petric
Video 1: Excerpt from Accordion Sequenza (chanson) XIII composed by Luciano Berio, performed by Joseph Petric.

Joseph Petric will travel to Europe for spring performances including the world premiere of “Living Flame of Love” which is a 40 minute work by Peter Togni for the 22 voice Pro Coro choir with accordion and harp soloists.

Joseph will also be doing new collaborations with violinist Lynn Kuo, as well as masterclasses for the Lille Conservatoire in France. On March 21, 2019 he will perform Schubert’s “Winterreise” with Christoph Prégardien at the Northern College of Music, Manchester, England followed by a performance March 23 at Wigmore Hall, London.

Joseph then returns to Canada for the world premiere of David Mott’s Chamber “Concerto for baritone saxophone, accordion and the Penderecki String Quartet” March 28, 2019 in Waterloo, Ontario.

Excerpts from his website: Joseph Petric’s fearless innovations and interpretations have been noted by the international press as  “extraordinary, eloquent and moving” (Boston Globe) and “union of poetic imagination….. and profound musicianship” (Halifax Chronicle Herald).  His international debut in Washington DC and London, England were critically acclaimed. 

Laureate of the BBC3 and CBC National Radio Auditions, he was the first instrumentalist granted the designation Friend of Canadian Music “a legendary collaborator, a pre-eminent international performer with an unwavering trajectory of excellence on the world stage” (Canadian Music Centre).

An international soloist, Joseph also moves effortlessly across artistic boundaries in the chamber ensembles Trio Diomira, Erosonic, Bellows and Brass, Duo Contempera, the Winterreise Project with Christoph Prégardien, the Petric Forget Duo, Baroque Postcards with violinist Lynn Kuo, in performances noted as  “the perfect seduction…mesmerizing” (Phillips Gallery Washington), “a glittering exhibit…” (Chicago Tribune). 

Joseph has debuted 13 concertos written for him including Peter Paul Koprowski, Denis Gougeon, Brian Current, James Rolfe, Howard Skempton, Gunnar Valkare, Omar Daniel, and Paul Frehner. 

A champion of contemporary works, Joseph’s opus of 251 commissions includes the creation of a unique genre of works for accordion with CD playback, digital delay, computer ensemble, computers, live video, and live software applications. He commissioned works by numerous women composers including Norma Beecroft, L.C. Smith, Janika Vandervelde, Micheline Roi, Rose Bolton.

Accordionist of choice at international festivals such as Domaine Forget, Washington Festival, Southbank London, Huddersfield, Tokyo Spring, Agora IRCAM, Schubertiade Hohenems, and the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, his Winnipeg Festival performance was noted as “miraculous, astonishing…”(Winnipeg Free Press) and his appearance  at Tanglewood in Berio’s 75th birthday concert was described as “strong, committed, particularly memorable” (New York Times).

Joseph’s discography includes 32 titles. His album “Orbiting Garden” (Centrediscs) received a JUNO nomination. He was awarded Prix Opus (Best Recording) 2011 and appears on the ATMA, Chandos, Naxos, Astrila, Odeofon, Centrediscs, MusicaViva, CBC5000 Series, and ConAccord labels. He has appeared on CBC TV, SRC-TV, EU TV-5 and has been broadcast on NHK, NPR, CBC, SRC, BBC3, French, Norwegian, Swedish and Serbian Radio systems. 

As artistic director, he staged the first Canadian performance of the Complete Berio Sequenzas in Toronto 2013 with David Hetherington, the Harbourfront Big Squeeze Accordion Festival 1991, the Glenn Gould Studio Virtuosi Series 1994, and the Carte Blanche Series for Société Radio Canada in Montreal 2000 and Québéc Cité 2004. Teaching has always been integral to Joseph’s work. He gives international masterclasses, recitals and lectures at London’s RAM, Amsterdam Conservatory, Trossingen, Copenhagen, Oslo Conservatory and Essen among others. 

2019 Concert Schedule:
Guest host:  Joseph Petric | This is My Music | CBC Radio Air time: 10.00 AM -12.00 noon local time
JANUARY 20 – 21 
Winterreise – FLAK Project – Videotaping | Montreal, QC
World Premiere of Peter Togni’s Living Flame of Love.  Commissioned by the Nova Scotia Arts Council for Joseph Petric, Michael Zaugge and the Pro Coro Choir | Accordion and harp Edmonton, Canada
Bellows and Brass presents Baroque works by Roman, Viviani, Bach, Jacobi | Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Music Society | Canada
MARCH 8 – 15 
Masterclasses |  Lille Conservatoire | Lille, France
British premiere of Normand Forget’s chamber version of Schubert’s Winterreise for Pentaèdre Woodwind Quintet and tenor Christoph Prégardien |  Royal Northern College of Music | Manchester, England
Schubert’s Winterreise with Pentaèdre Woodwind Quintet and German tenor Christoph Prégardien |  Wigmore Hall | London, England

Titano Accordion Company

Sergei Teleshev Releases New Music and Videos

by Rita Barnea

Video 1: “Vegas Strip” SERGEI & NATI (OFFICIAL VIDEO) Available on CD Baby
Video 2: Official Video of Sergei and Nati performing “Firedance” by Bill Whelan

The Accordion and Violin Duet of Sergei and Nati is a unique collaboration between excellent musicians from Russia and United States. They perform in a diversity of styles such as Classical, Tango, Jazz, Pop, Original music and more.

Classically trained at the Academy of Music in Voronezh, Russia, Sergei Teleshev has won many regional and international accordion competitions. Being founding member and accordion player of Trio Voronezh, Classic Klezmer Trio, East-West International Project, he collaborates with many internationally recognized artists, ensembles, and orchestras, composing and arranging music, participates in recording projects of different genres.

Sergei has been a jury member at International accordion competitions in Russia, Canada and the USA. In 2013 he won the National V-Accordion Competition. As the U.S. champion, Sergei represented the United States at the 7th Roland International V-Accordion Festival, in Rome.

Nati Popova is a world renowned violinist, actress. Classically trained at the prestigious Gnessin Russian Academy of Music, she won many regional and International violin competitions in Russia and Spain. She composes and arranges music in multiple styles.

For further information:

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

Fish Harmonics EP Release with Rob Curto and Mike Block on Jan. 25

by Rita Barnea
Rob Curto and Fish Harmonics
Video 1: Rob Curto said, “ I'm very excited to share this second new video from my group Fish Harmonics! This track "Jack's Jig", features beautiful arco bass soloing from my Philly cumpadre Chris Coyle! (check out 3:28) and beautiful playing by Doug Hirlinger on drums and Brennen Ernst on guitar. Thanks to these great musicians for helping me getting this new music together.

The tune was inspired by the experience of meeting Martin Feeney of Atlantic Sheepdogs Co Sligo, Ireland and seeing his wonderful, award-winning pup Jack in action. That visit also included the honor of discovering the Coleman Music Centre and meeting the great musicians Junior Davey and PJ Hernon. Yes to County Sligo!! Thanks to Jesse Gimbel for audio engineering, Koofreh Umoren for the video filming and editing, Jennifer Rajotte on production and Philadelphia Folksong Society for the beautiful space.

On Friday, January 25, 2019, from 7:30 to 10:PM, the Philadelphia Folksong Society (PFS) Co-op Presents: Fish Harmonics EP Release with Mike Block. Fish Harmonics are a Philadelphia-based ensemble, led by accordionist Rob Curto, that plays adventurous American roots music.

Excerpts from their website: Influenced by modern bluegrass, old time and celtic sounds, the band brings a unique free-wheeling and improvisational energy to both classic tunes and original compositions. Featuring Curto’s mastery of the piano and diatonic accordions, coupled with rhythmic arco bass playing and groove-oriented drumming, the band is creating an exciting blend of sounds, both familiar and new.

Location: Philadelphia Folk Song Society
6156 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia
Pennsylvania 19128

$10 for Members *While Supplies Last* | $12 Not-Yet-Members | $15 Doors
PFS is a BYO venue. $2 BYO Wristband (21+ with ID)

Join PFS as they celebrate the release of "ONE," an EP of original music by Rob Curto with his ensemble, Fish Harmonics, featuring adventurous American roots music that takes you on a whirlwind, toe-tapping ride.

Influenced by celtic, old time, and modern bluegrass sounds, the band brings a unique free-wheeling and improvisational energy to both classic tunes and original compositions. "ONE" features Curto’s mastery of the piano and diatonic accordions, coupled with rhythmic arco bass playing by Chris Coyle (bass); old-timey strings by Brennen Ernst (banjo, guitar), Isaac Stanford (dobro), and Mazz Swift (fiddle); and percussion by Saantis Fenmu Davis with groove-oriented drumming by Doug Hirlinger.

"ONE" is a musical journey in itself, documenting the discovery of a new place, new music, and new collaborations in Philadelphia. Listening to the album will leave you with no doubt that you've just heard some of the best players around make something special. The irony? "One" listen isn't enough. (Handy note: CDs of "ONE" will be available at the show for $10!)

Special guest Mike Block (Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble) will start the evening off with a solo performance on cello. Block is a cello player, singer, and composer who is a Grammy Award-winning member of the Silk Road Ensemble. Block's solo show features a mixture of original compositions and songs, arrangements of traditional folk music, and classical selections that draw inspiration from his diverse collaborations with artists such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Mark O'Connor, Indian tabla player Sandeep Das, and pop stars such as, Stevie Wonder, and Bon Iver.

About Rob Curto and Fish Harmonics: Rob Curto (composer, pianist, and accordionist) has spent the last 8 years touring extensively with his band Matuto, known for its distinctive “Brazilian-bluegrass” sound. Mixing the roots Americana stylings of the great Bill Monroe with rhythmic and melodic elements from Brazil, Curto has been part of a movement to establish the accordion as a versatile and important instrument in contemporary roots music.

In addition to Brazilian music, Curto has gained a reputation as an all-around master of the accordion and has been in high demand across genres. His musical collaborations include performing and recording with Latin Grammy award winner Lila Downs; Klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer; trumpeter/composer Frank London; Punjabi Indian singer Kiran Ahluwalia; and icon of Brazilian Forró, the great accordionist Dominguinhos. Curto is also an enthusiast of Irish button accordion and studies with acclaimed B/C box player, Billy McComisky.

Curto has toured internationally including across parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and has represented the United States State Department abroad. He has been a staple at festivals like Wintergrass, Red Wing Roots, and Rhythm and Roots, and made his Philadelphia Folk Festival debut with his band Forró for All in 2018.

Fish Harmonics is the new project of Curto, featuring an exciting and unusual blend of roots influences and deeply informed by Curto's own rootings in jazz and improvisational mastery. True to form, the accordion is at the forefront of the group's sound and there's no denying the excitement of Curto's flying fingers once the band starts a groove--and groove they do, with an impressive line-up of some of Philadelphia's best musicians including Chris Coyle on acoustic bass, Doug Hirlinger on drums, and Brennen Ernst on banjo/guitar. The combination of arco bass with groove-oriented drumming and old-timey strings played with dizzying skill along with the accordion create a sound that's somehow both familiar and new... and always an adventure.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

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

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Museum Of Music Making Exhibit Featuring the Accordion is a Huge Success

by Dr. Jonathan Piper
display picture
Dr. Jonathan PiperOn Thursday, December 13, 2019 Accordions: Expanding Voices in the USA opened at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA. I honestly wasn’t sure how well attended the opening events would be, but the accordion community blew me away.

The whole day was at or even above capacity: a special insiders-only, sneak peak lunch with a few tunes played by Cory Pesaturo; an evening reception for Museum members with music from I Delinquenti (Costa Mesa, CA); and the feature performance by Cory (with TWO standing ovation encores!), prefaced by a presentation from Guido Deiro, Jr.

Only minutes before the performance started, the Museum’s staff scrambled to pull our last chair out of the closet for a guest – that doesn’t happen all that often!

As for the physical exhibition itself, everything worked: the “exploded” accordion display, with components mounted to the wall so that visitors can see inside, stood up to curious poking and prodding; the two custom touchscreens delivered information about the instruments and audiovisual clips of the contributing musicians; and the how-to video and interactive instruments had visitors waiting their turn to try an accordion for themselves.

Visitors to the opening day events included accordionists, accordion enthusiasts, and people who were just curious about the instrument. If some of that curiosity motivates someone to pick up a book about the accordion, a CD from one of the contributing musicians, or an instrument to learn how to play, I’ll be pretty happy.

Thank you to everyone who came on the first day, everyone who’s planning to come, and everyone who has lent their support over the last few months of development – this wouldn’t be possible without all of you!
For further information:
Jonathan Piper (picture right), Ph.D., Manager of Artifacts and Exhibitions
Museum of Making Music, a division of the NAMM Foundation. All Photos courtesy of NAMM.
5790 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Office: 760-304-5824

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Report: 2018 Master Class & Concert Series: The Seminars, Thinking Inside the Box

by Dr. William Schimmel
Seminar group and Dr. Schimmel
Dr.McMahanA report by Dr. William Schimmel, Moderator and Curator:

The Seminars this year were an exciting event.

Again - new ideas - new concepts - new points of view

Some of the highlights were: a fascinating new work by Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan for accordion, clarinet and piano with the unassuming title of "Three Tweets". A "St. Anthony's Canon" celebrated the life of the late Stanley Darrow performed with care an affection by the accordion quartet, Bachtopus (Mayumi Mayaoka, Denise Koncelik, Jeanne Velonis and Peter Flint). Will Holshouser gave an enlightened presentation of "The Accordion and Counterpoint" exploring the linear dimension of the accordion.

The Main Squeeze orchestra was a hit combining: "Greensleeves" with Dr. Denise Koncelik's arrangement of "Por Una Cabeza" with excerpts from
Dr. Schimmel's "Symphony #7".

Doug Makofka gave us a new Fugue dimension.
Denise Koncelik's songs based on Margaret Atwood poems were sublime along with "Military Bitter Suite", a collaboration with Dr. S, a testament to our troubled times along with her new work performed by her and Jeanne Velonis.

Jeanne performed Dr. Schimmel's "Water Still", a tribute to John Cages's "Water Walk".

Erica Marie Mancini, who is now on this year's cover of Accordion Babes gave a presentation of the Accordion and Fashion, restoring the glamour of the accordion. Paul Stein moderated a discussion on the New York Accordionist and what it takes to work in New York and find that niche. He performed on the Claviola, a rare wind instrument no longer made and Ben Ickies took us through The Polish funeral which still ended with "Beer Barrel Polka".

There was a discourse on teaching called "Dual Teaching and the Orange Soda Syndrome" and Dalcroze specialist Mimi Hsu put all of us though the paces of accordion and movement.

We had the honor of presenting three musical legends: the Downtown icon - composer and improviser Elliott Sharp who gave us a blues teaching from roots to today and New York City Diva Lauren Flanigan and I decided to take a break from our extensive and exclusive work on Kurt Weill and present Rodgers and Hart through the eyes of the accordion with some classics and a virtual work by yours truly. The great klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals joined Dr. Schimmel in a concert version of "Hava Nagila" and an improvised Klezmer Classic.

John Foti presented his poetic renderings with his original music.

Bob Goldberg had everyone placed around the Tenri Space in an environmental work.

David First performed on the Vietnamese guitar. David Stoler gave us a wonderful new work for accordion and digital enhancement (see and hear enclosed video). Melissa Elledge once again wowed us with her hip hop renderings including a Moondog cover. Dave Soldier's "Lewitt Etudes" were robustly played by Dan Cooper on 7 string bass, Denise Koncelik on piano, Dr. Schimmel on melodica and Robert Young Mc Mahan on accordion. Dr. Mc Mahan played "Prelude and Sarabande" by George Kleinsinger, an AAA commssioned work and a work by Daniel Galow.

Indi rock star Corn Mo joined Dr. Schimmel in Brel's Nene quite pas and his work, Dude.

Mary Spencer Knapp, now a Broadway star, played piano in Toot Suite along with Dr Schimmel and then switched to accordion. Her evolution has been staggering.

Godfrey Nelson and Lorraine Nelson Wolf gave us an "Accordion Suite" to an Urban beat.

Brian Dewan closed the event with Tom Leher's "The Old Dope Peddler" and "This is my Box" by Gian Carlo Menotti from "Amahl and the Night Visitors". Dr. Schimmel and harpist Kathryn Andrews premiered a new work by Dr. Schimmel titled "Buried Treasure" inspired by a segment of the musical Carousel where they both are performing in. Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig pianist joined Dr. Schimmel in a performance of "Scenes from Childhood/Scenes from Adulthood" combining Schumann with Schimmel. The Yorkvillians: Dan Cooper, Michio Suzuki, Max Maples, Dr Schimmel performed "Atonal Funk" written by each of its members. Ken Laufer was terrific on piano in a duo with Dr. S and Lee Mc Clure gave us a work for toy piano, accordion and flute.

Some of the comments of the participants

Micheline Malosh: You, the gangster of Love

Bob Goldberg: Always an honor to be part of it

Paul Stein: Great job, as always, Bill

Will Holshouser: Thank you Bill, for your inspiration and education

Erica Marie Mancini: Celebrating the Accordion today at Dr. Bill Schimmel's Accordion Seminars at the Tenri Cultural Institute. Come and enjoy a truly magical night of accordionists and new music.

Yesterday I gave a presentation about the accordion as a costume, and I mentioned how one time I actually transformed myself into an accordion through a costume. I think presentation through costuming is important for musicians because its an added layer of expression and can be an outlet for creativity. Tonight I'll be performing a new piece, a duo with Bill under the working title of "Andadog/Confirmed Parker/Dali/Bunuel/"

Next year the Seminars will celebrate its 25th Anniversary year. The title will be THAT MEANS WHAT?!

2019 Dates are July 26 27 and 28, 2019 at Tenri.

Left photo: Dr. Robert Young McMaha
Top photo: Seminar group with Dr. William Schimmel
Down photo: Dr.Schimmel. Peter Jarvis, David Stolar, Paul Stein playing the Clavicle

See future USA news publications for information on the 2019 AAA Seminars and Concert Series
Dr.Schimmel. Peter Jarvis, David Stolar, Paul Stein playing the Claviola

Titano Accordion Company

National Accordion Convention - Digital Suite - March 7-9, 2019

by Markus Baggio
NAC Digital Training Center
Does a Digital Accordion have a soul?

There is that stigma of digital accordionists being different. The digital accordion doesn’t have a soul like the acoustic, because it is electronic. Just to set the stage upfront, no instrument has a soul, it is the musician who transfers his soul into the instrument and make it sound wonderful. It does not matter if this is an acoustic or electronic instrument. A musician brings an instrument to life and transfers his or her feelings across to reach you, the listener, the audience. You can exactly experience this at that National Accordion Convention 2019 in Dallas/Richardson, TX.

I have been attending the National Accordion Convention for 2 years in a row. From a participant and presenter to oversee the Digital Suite in 2019. A short, but eventful time; considering the convention goes into its 32nd year! I must be honest, I have not seen a better crowd of enthusiastic accordion players from all over North America and our guests from across the globe, embracing the accordion. Remember this is not a competition; who is the best, I play better than you, it is a convention where people meet to listen, learn, make friends, and have fun. Three days of presentations, workshops, band practice, concerts and flash-mob like jam sessions all over the convention venue.

The Digital Suite has been part of the Convention for more than 10 years. It started as an initiative of Dr. Ian Fries in a separate room to give the digital players, mainly ROLAND V-Accordion players a forum to exchange information and share experience. From the humble beginnings, it covers meanwhile about 40% of the total convention, from the “Suite upstairs” the “Longhorn Ballroom” on the main floor.

For 2019 we have scheduled over 15 presenters and 21 presentations (just of the Digital Suite). In addition, there will be concerts, and jam sessions. There will be presentations, round table discussions, and hands-on workshops. Many topics will be covered.

Orchestration: We will have several sessions, covering orchestration. You will see (and hear) how our presenters approach the question of: how to I make my song sound better. Naturally this will cover a lot of the Roland V-Accordions, but we will have also presenters covering the Concerto and other MIDI Accordions.
Performance: So, you want to play the blues? You want to learn how to improvise, build harmonies and how to transform a song from a Lead sheet to a performance? This year’s convention will have several sessions covering these topics featuring several renown Jazz musicians.

What else is there: Tired of carrying your binders to every performance? Check out the session about sheet music software. Can’t have a band, play with backing tracks or use external arranger and sound modules.

The digital Suite will open on Wednesday evening 6:30 PM for a welcome session, with some digital showcases and time for Jam session. Here a sneak peek for the presenters: Bill “Merlin” Palmer, Cory Pesaturo, Eddie Monteiro, Gordon Kohl, Jerry Cigler, Joe Natoli, Larry Nickel, Markus Baggio, Matthias Matzke (Germany), Michael Soloway, Mike Middelton, Nick Ballarini, Paul Betken, Ron Uhlenhopp, Tiia Karttunen (Finland).

For further information:
NAC Returning NAC Presenters

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Donation to ‘A World of Accordions Museum’

by Rob Howard
World of Accordions Poster
‘A World of Accordions Museum’ is proud to announce receipt of George Curletto’s musical estate on November 9th 2018. George, who lives in Washington D.C., arrived with his driver to personally deliver a first van-load of items. Further portions of his estate are promised for the near future.

These unique pieces include hand-made samples of George’s copyrighted MIDI holding devices, multiple amps, speakers, keyboards, digital devices and reedless Electronic Vertical Keyboards. These “were created for the modern performer to minimize weight related discomfort and as an unsurpassed ergonomic alternative to traditional full sized accordions, keeping in step with the ongoing technological evolution of digital instruments.”
Helmi and George met about 25 years ago when he was at the forefront of developments in electronic accordion inventions. Now, decades later, the invitation to preserve evidence of his genius at AWAM is becoming reality.
We are currently discussing further cooperative efforts in biographical documentation recording his observations of, and participation in, MIDI developments during the last 50 years.

Jeff Lisenby and Nashville Accordion Ensemble Perform on Nashville Radio

by Rita Barnea
Jeff Lisenby
The Nashville Accordion Ensemble brought everything from Christmas favorites to an extended Star Wars medley to Studio C on December 14, 2018 at Nashville Public Radio.

The Nashville Accordion Ensemble from Nashville, TN includes:
Michael Zikovich (Nashville, TN)
Jeff Lisenby (Nashville, TN)
Jeff Taylor (Nashville, TN)

Their set included:
* arr. Jeff Lisenby and Jeff Taylor: Christmas Bells Medley
* Jimmy Heusen and Sammy Cahn, arr. Jeff Lisenby: Ain't That A Kick in the Head
* Jeff Taylor: West Batavia Musette
* John McKaskey, arr. Michael Zikovich: Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
* Jeff Lisenby: (A Winter Holiday in) Solina
* John Williams, arr. Jeff Taylor: Medley from 'Star Wars'

Photo by Kara McLeland/Nashville Public Radio

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Accordion Babes Calendar 2019 Available Now

by Rita Barnea
Renee de la PradeThe 2019 ‘Accordion Babes’ calendar, produced by Renee de la Prade, is now available. As usual, all the ladies featured are accordionists, not models, and the calendar includes a CD featuring each of them. Accordion Babes are pro-level women musicians who are out there proving that the accordion is sexy. The 2019 Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar photos were taken by Sean T Vallely.

What is the Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar about? Why does it exist? Excerpts from their website: The Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar is the brainchild of Renée de la Prada, who was working as a street performer, professional Irish musician and accordion repair technician in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2008 when the first Accordion Babes calendar was produced. Through her job at Smythe’s Accordion Center, and through her gigs with the celtic band Culann’s Hounds, Renée got to meet hundreds of accordionists who travelled through California.

One day, she was invited to do a photoshoot in the San Francisco Mission district by photographer Keith Brown. The resulting photos featured her accordion prominently, and they were sexy and raw and rebellious, very different from the accordion’s reputation as an instrument which is only for grandpas. That’s when the wheels started turning in her head. There was no place to publish these accordion photos, but there should be… wouldn’t it be great if someone published a pin-up calendar with sexy accordion photos? Wouldn’t it be an amazing vehicle for promoting indie artists, if it also came with a compilation CD?

Renée kept this idea in the back of her mind and handed out her business card to dozens of female accordion players whom she met at gigs and at Smythe’s Accordion Center. When she earned the interest of two phenomenal artists, Big Lou the Accordion Princess and Isabel Douglass, she decided to go for it. Who wouldn’t want to be in a calendar with their heroes? Smythe’s Accordion Center agreed to put up some money for an ad in the calendar… and that started a whole path of creating ad spaces, to pay for the print run with sponsorships. The first editions of the calendar relied heavily on the go-getter nature of all the Accordion Babes, who had to promise to distribute 50 copies, and sell advertising to be participants. Today it’s a little different, the print run is funded with crowdsourcing and pre-sale orders.

The accordionists featured for 2019 are:
Erica Mancini (cover)
Onah Indigo, USA
Sapo, Canada
Guro von Germeten, Norway
Charlotte Bessard, France
Molly Kennedy, Canada
Ann Savoy, USA
Susan Hwang, USA
Squeezebox Rosie, UK
Anitta, Finland
Renée de la Prade, USA
Sarah Savoy, France and USA
Adriana Sanchez, Brazil

The calendar costs $20 + postage

For further information email:

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

Seattle Accordion Social on January 14

by Rita Barnea
Seattle Accordion Social
Seattle Accordion Socials meet on the 2nd Monday of each month from 7:30-9:30 PM. There are no meetings in July and August.
All Socials, are located at the West Seattle Senior Center (WSSC), 4217 SW Oregon St., Seattle, WA, 98116. WSSC phone (days) 206-932-4044. Hosted by Birgit Ages: 206-947-8393 and John Giuliani: 425-255-2121
Donation $5.00 (includes coffee and cookies by Birgit and Phil)

Northwest Accordion Socials are open to all accordion players,from students to professionals, their friends, families and to anyone who enjoys music.
If you would like to play your accordion at future socials contact John Giuliani at 425-255-2121, Birgit Ages at 206-947-8393 or Bonnie Birch at 206-622-4786 (backup).

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

San Francisco Accordion Club Features the Reno Di Bono Trio

by Rita Barnea
Reno De Bono Trio
The San Francisco Accordion Club hosts Musical Programs on the third Sunday of every month at 2:PM:
Oyster Point Yacht Club
Chetcuti Community Room
Civic Center Plaza
450 Poplar Avenue
Millbrae, CA 94030

Reno Di Bono and his ensembles have been delighting audiences for over 30 years, playing Jazz, Swing and Italian styles. Reno has been playing accordion for 40 years with a specialty in Italian music. He can sing over 30 Italian songs in either the Sicilian, Neapolitan or Piemontese dialects.

What do you do when you are a retired commercial airline pilot? Dave Kawamoto plays saxophone and clarinet reminiscent of Benny Goodman. Dave has a great "ear" and can play virtually any song that he hears, but his speciality is Dixieland jazz.

Bob Belanski completes the trio on drums. Bob studied music at New Mexico State University and has played extensively with many popular bands and groups all over the country, such as with Dick Contino at the Cotati Festival and the Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Buddy de Franco. Bob presently teaches drums in Cupertino.

Also performing will be the Klezmer group Klezmore Square with accordionist Daniel Cher!

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. Donations are tax-deductible and gratefully accepted.

For further information:
Klezmore Square

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

2nd Annual San Diego Accordion Camp, April 4-6, with Gordon Kohl

by Pamela Tom
Gordon KohlThe 2d annual San Diego Accordion Camp (SDAC), under the musical direction of Gordon Kohl, will be held April 4-6, 2019 from 9:AM to 4:30 PM at the Mangia Italiano Restaurant, 248 Third Ave., Chula Vista, CA.

The SDAC emphasizes building accordion musicianship skills, enjoyment and self confidence in playing an accordion solo. A goal of this camp is to enhance the music arrangements we learn and to make them enjoyable to play.

This year’s camp will use “First 50 Songs You Should Play on the Accordion” arranged by Gary Meisner for the textbook. We will review and play several popular tunes including “Libertango,” “Cherokee (Indian Love Song),” “The Phoenix Love Theme (Senza Fine),” etc. and Gordon will explain the application of chord cadences and progression, building introductions, harmony, rhythm, bellow technique, expression and theory. Each song has select measures where improvisation will be incorporated. The use of harmonic tones and design of short introductions and endings will be studied and played by participants.

Both acoustic and digital accordionists are welcome to attend the 3-day camp. Suggestions for possible acoustic reed switch settings and digital voice choices will be given.

The enrollment fee is $189/person which covers: textbook (“First 50 Songs” arranged by Gary Meisner), parking, course materials, notebook and lunch. Sign-up by March 15, 2019. The textbook will be mailed in advance so that you can practice the selected tunes ahead of camp. Gordon will distribute extra class notes and exercises at camp in your notebook.

Gordon Kohl (SDAC camp director) is a professional accordionist and teacher. He has performed and presented invited workshops at numerous accordion conventions and camps across the U.S. He is on the Board of Directors of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International. He continues to play solo and group engagements for conventions, clubs, dances, and special events.

He has combined the use of a reed accordion style with the electronic and digital world new age accordion technology. He uses skills from piano, keyboard, and accordion in his continually evolving professional style design. He always wants to mix the voicings of the reed instrument with the modern pop and orchestral sides of digital instrument capability in his music arrangements. This conceptual idea has helped him and his combo remain popular today.

For an enrollment form go to: or contact Gordon Kohl:
Mobile phone: (619) 395-0454
Email address: .

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

2019 Not Just OOM-PAH! Accordion Workshop and Concert on April 5-7, 2019

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
Not Just Oom-pah
Shirley Johnson and Laura Jean Niland have just received their second grant from the City of Austin and are offering their 2019 Not Just OOM-PAH! Accordion Workshop and Concert on April 5-7, 2019.  

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, with addition support form Texas Folklife and Central Market in Austin, and the San Antonio Accordion Association.

The FREE Concert will be on Friday, April 5, 2019 @ 6:30-9:00 PM at Central Market North, 4001 Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX  78756, featuring accordionists Jamie Maschler & Friends playing Forro and Latin Styles, and Rachel Bell with Karen Axelrod playing French, Celtic and English Folk Dance Music.  

A series of 12 workshops plus a Folk Dance Session will be held on Saturday-Sunday, April 6-7, 2019 from 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM at Lamar Senior Activity Center, 2874 Shoal Crest Ave., Austin, TX 78705.  Also on Sunday April 7 from 2-4 PM there will be a Folk Dance Session FREE and open to the public @ Lamar Senior Activity Center with music provided by Rachel Bell & Karen Axelrod, and dance instruction by Gaby Thompson.  Hotel information is in the Registration Packet, for out of town guests, or call for details. 

The cost for the workshops for accordionists is $175 to include all materials and lunch on each day, $60 for non-accordionists includes lunch each day.  In addition, one scholarship will be offered to a young accordionist under age 18.

Download the flyer, fegistration forms and scholarship application at: 2019oom-pah.pdf

Registration is limited to 30 participants for workshops, with the deadline for registration being March 15, 2019. The deadline for Youth Scholarship Award application is March 1, 2019.  

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event!

Save the Date: AAA Festival July 17-21, 2019

by Rita Barnea
AAA 2019 Poster
The American Accordionists’ Association presents the 2019 Festival Orchestra with guest artist Michael Bridge.

Exciting Competitions Workshops
Youth Involvement Jazz Ensemble
Junior & Senior Festival Orchestras
Plus the Premier of new chamber work by Joseph A. Natoli

Save the Date:
July 17-21, 2019
Come join the AAA Festival at the
Valley Forge Casino Resort (Radisson Hotel)
1160 First Avenue
King of Prussia, PA 19406

$119 Single or Double Adult*
Children w/parents in same room, no charge *3 & 4 adult in same room addtl. charge

More information on the AAA Festival in future publications.

79th Annual ATG Accordion Festival in Denver July 24-27, 2019

by Rita Barnea
ATG 2019 Poster
President Joe Natoli invites all to the 79th Annual ATG Accordion Festival in Denver July 24-27, 2019.

The event will feature concerts, workshops, competitions, exhibits, the ATG Festival Orchestra, Banquet and more!

See future USA news publications for more information.

2019 Accordion Organizations in the USA

by Rita Barnea
Are you looking to join, attend, or participate in accordion events during 2019. The following Accordion Events Calendar was compiled by Doris Osgood. There are many more accordion groups for you to learn about. Read future USA news publications.

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

Bellevue, WA
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 are 1 PM – 5 PM Contact Doris Seaton for info: 406-727-2493

IDAHO 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

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 541-479-9409 or

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

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

1st Sat. monthly 10 AM – 1 PM Forest Grove Library Pacific Ave. Contact: Paul and Judy Bria 503-591-0504

Yuma, AZ
every Tuesday, November - March at the Yuma Food Bank at 2404 E 24th Street, Yuma, AZ President, Coreen Bergholm @ or Ginger Purdy @

1st Sunday Monthly 2:30 PM, Victoria Edelweiss Club 108 Niagra St., James Bay District Victoria, BC Contact: John 250-386-7282 or 250-477-3098

Voci Armoniche

2019 Maine Fiddle Camp Includes Accordion

by Rita Barnea
Maine Fiddle CampVideo 1: Maine Fiddle Camp Director Doug Protsik talks about this multi-generational tradition music camp and demonstrates the music on various instruments offered at the camp in an interview by Ann Page. Accordion begins at about 15:22

Maine Fiddle Camp (excerpts from the camp website) is about playing music and learning tunes, and being able to play and enjoy those tunes with other people whatever your level of experience or ability. Before camp, each camper receives access to the year’s collection of tunes that are posted on Tunes page on their Web site. The collection includes a variety of tunes chosen by MFC staff members and played by them in the audio files (downloadable mp3 format). Also included are sheet music of the tunes in pdf format. Learning some or all of these tunes is a great way for campers to expand their repertoire. It also assures that when you arrive at camp there will be at least some tunes that everyone will be able to play together.

2019 Dates:
June Weekend I – June 14-16
June Week – June 16-21
June Weekend II – June 21-23
August Week I – August 4-9
August Week II – August 11-16

The emphasis at camp is on learning tunes the traditional way—by ear. So campers are encouraged to listen to the tunes on line and, if they wish, to download them into a computer or portable music player, to learn the tunes that way, using the sheet music only as an aid, if necessary. This is to warm you up for camp and, as it says above, and to make sure there are some tunes we will know in common for jam sessions if we want. In general, the tunes you learn in classes at camp will be additional tunes, not part of the Web site collection.

Accordions have been a part of Maine Fiddle Camp since the very beginning, but as Camp has expanded, so have the opportunities to learn accordion. As in the past, this year they have top teachers on piano accordion for both August weeks. Sylvia Miskoe, from NH, will again be on staff for the first August week, and Jeremiah McLane, from VT, will be on staff once again for the second August week.

In June they have added a new weekend with a multi-level and multi-faceted accordion track. Staff members Sabin Jacques from Quebec, Jim Joseph and Junior Stevens from Maine will handle button accordion in several styles including Cajun, Irish, Quebecois and New England. There will be opportunities to learn Anglo and English concertina as well!! This weekend is the second June weekend (June 21-23).

Accordion teachers include: Chris Brinn, Nancy 3. Hoffman, Sabin Jacques, Jim Joseph, Jeremiah McLane, Sylvia Miskoe, Doug Protsik, Junior Stevens, Julie Vallimont. Concertina teachers include: Junior Stevens, and David Stimson.

You can contact Maine Fiddle Camp by mail, phone or email year round by contacting Camp Director Doug Protsik:
Doug Protsik
116 Pleasant Cove Drive
Woolwich ME, 04579 Phone: 207-443-5411

Maine Fiddle Camp is held at
219 Trotting Park Rd.
Montville, ME 04941

Flyer, registration form and other information at: 2019mainecamp.pdf

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Cajun Youth Accordion Workshops & Concert on Feb. 16

by Rita Barnea
Cajun Accordion
Cajun Youth Accordion Workshops & Concert will be held on Saturday Feb. 16, 2019 from 1-5:PM. Workshop instruction and performances will be presented by Big Squeeze winners and Cajun accordion masters!

The event takes place at:
Museum of the Gulf Coast
700 Procter St
Port Arthur, TX 77640

Workshops 1-4:PM Concert: 4-5:PM
Youth 21 and under: Free with RSVP
Adults: $10 donation

For Tickets and more information:

All ages and experience levels welcome
Accordions provided, or bring your own!
This program is a special initiative of Texas Folklife's Big Squeeze statewide youth accordion contest.  In February 2018, Texas Folklife hosted a discussion at Larry’s French Market & Cajun Restaurant about how the organization can support efforts of the community to encourage youth participation in Cajun traditional music. 

The community discussion touched on three main topics: the reasons behind decline in youth participation in Cajun music in Southeast Texas; comparisons between Louisiana and Texas in how they support the music and what they prioritize; and strategies to encourage youth participation in Cajun music.  This workshop is the direct result of this community-led discussion on one such promising strategy.  

This program is made possible in part by support from the members and board of Texas Folklife, grants from the Southeast Texas Arts Council, Texas Commission on the Arts with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, H-E-B, and generous support from Hohner Accordions, Music Water, Cajun Sounds Internet Radio, the Cajun French Music Association, and the Museum of the Gulf Coast.
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