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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jan-2021
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note and 2021 New Year's Resolutions for the Accordionist
Breaking News; Passing of Jeff Lisenby
Breaking News: Passing of Shelia Lee
BREAKING NEWS: Passing of Julie Kasprzyk Cardona
Children’s Corner Section to Begin in February
Accordion Youth Summit (AYS)
2021 National Accordion Convention Registration is Open Now
Corey Ledet's Newest CD Available January 15
Virtual Accordion Camp IV on January 16 Features Creosote in Concert
Holocaust Survivor Alex Rosner: His Accordion Saved His Life
Rebel Reed presents: Exploring the Bellows
Frank Toscano Performs in New Movie “The Many Saints of Newark”
The Essentials Collection Enjoying Huge Success!

Voci Armoniche

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

AWW Extends Condolences to Kevin Friedrich Upon the Passing of his Mother
ATG 2020 Holiday Video
Conjunto Star Flaco Jiménez To Open New Food Trailer Business
The Versatility of Nick Ariondo
Stas Venglevski Performs Bach Concert and World Premiere of his “Poetic Rhapsody”
Newly Available Sheet Music "Poetic Rhapsody" by Stas Venglevski
Jamie Maschler Teaches at Virtual Accordion Camp IV
Trio Voronezh Wins 3rd Prize in 2020 PIF Performance
A Glorious Christmas Concert with Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca
Remembering Frank Marocco
Anton and Joseph Klettner in Concert
WMAS Virtual Holiday Concert - December 13, 2020
Rachel Bell Presents Online Concert
Alex Meixner Band Entertainment
Grand Finale of 2020 Cotati Accordion Festival
Denny Malmberg Brings Holiday Cheer to Shoppers

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

2021 Not Just Oompah! Accordion Concert with Gregory & Elena Fainshtein (Light Classical Workshops)
Dr. William Schimmel to Present New Seven Hour Virtual Work
AAA Festival: July 14-18 2021 in Philadelphia, PA is Cancelled
ATG 2021 Festival in Lisle, Illinois

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

New and Updated Sites

Elsie M. Bennett Composition Winners and Information Online



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note and 2021 New Year's Resolutions for the Accordionist

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Happy New Year!
Rita BarneaAccordions Worldwide would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We hope you have enjoyed the news over the last year, and AWW will continue to keep you informed about accordion events wherever they are happening. Even with the pandemic, we have plenty of wonderful positive news and events taking place in the accordion world. We are all wishing that 2021 will be a much better year for all of us.

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. (Even if you met them virtually online, one day you will actually meet them!)

Here are your 2021 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. Now that many of us continue to be home because of Covid 19, we have extra time for learning. 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 even if online (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. Maybe we cannot actually physically visit people and places to perform but we can still schedule virtual concerts on Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, 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 2021.

There are many accordion festivals, concerts, accordion clubs etc. around the country. The majority of them are online at this time. It is so easy to register, attend, or participate from the comfort of your own home! Consider making an online donation to help support musicians whose livelihood has been greatly reduced due to the cancellation of so many live events. Search the USA News each month for online events. 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.

5. I will purchase at least two accordion CD’s, iTunes, books, sheet music, mp3’s etc…

There is so many wonderful accordion music to purchase. 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 online offerings. 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 old fashioned 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. Just click on "Past News Index" at the top of the page.

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. 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 reread Resolutions 1-10 again and again!

Let’s bring more kindness and good feelings to our world in 2021. A caring word and your accordion playing will go very far to make someone enjoy the day and feel better. Playing a song on your accordion for someone brings positivity and enjoyment. Don’t be shy. You do not have to be a virtuoso. Put you and your accordion on the many online platforms and you can easily send your musical message of peace and happiness all over the world!

Happy New Year to All! Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2021!

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

Breaking News; Passing of Jeff Lisenby

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video 1:

Video 2:
Video 3:
Jeff LisenbyVideo 1: Jeff Lisenby, 1990: Ease on Down the Road, Heinz Siemens youtube.

Picture right: historic 1977 poster as ATG Champion.

AWW sadly reports the untimely passing (Covid) of Jeff Lisenby on January 6, 2021. Jeff was a wonderful gifted musician highly respected by all. Lisenby earned a Master’s Degree from The Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was no stranger to musical oxymorons. His experience ran the gamut of styles.

Jeff was a two time ATG national accordion champion (1974 & 77) and a bronze medalist in the Coupe Mondiale International Classical accordion competitions. “When I was a kid,” Lisenby said, “my goal was to win the world accordion championship, which was for ‘serious’ music. So I was practicing 7-8 hours a day when I was a teenager. I would get tired of practicing the ‘heavy’ music, and then I would start playing pop or jazz standard tunes and improvising on them. It was a good musical mix for me.”

Lisenby used his genius on the accordion and keyboards to carve a niche market for himself and performed with the Nashville, Kansas City, and Los Angeles Symphonies, the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra, and a gig accompanying Luciano Pavarotti during part of his USA tour.

Certainly not limited to classical music, Lisenby toured extensively with the Mills Brothers, Boots Randolph, and Brenda Lee, and accompanied Lee Greenwood, Donna Summer, Tricia Yearwood, Three-Dog Night, the Coasters, David Cassidy, Marty Stuart, Jo Dee Messina, Pam Tillis, Loretta Lynn, Roy Clark, and Dolly Parton, to name a few.

Recently, Lisenby was honored to be the conductor/pianist/orchestrator for "Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash”, for which he pulled from his extensive experience backing country artists in Nashville. Lisenby was also one of the first-call accordionists for recording sessions in Nashville.

Projects he worked on included the Grammy-winning album: “Songs from the Neighborhood; the Music of Mister Rogers”, and jingles for Budweiser and Sutherland’s Lumber (which he also wrote and produced). Lisenby taught for Belmont University’s School of Music and was active in the Nashville recording scene. He also presented seminars for the ATG.

Jeff Lisenby will be greatly missed by all.

Titano Accordion Company

Breaking News: Passing of Shelia Lee

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Shelia LeeAWW sadly reports the passing of Shelia Spracklen Lee on January 16, 2021 due to COVID 19. Shelia played the accordion her entire life, ran a music school, Shelia’s Accordion Conservatory, had her own combo, opened Houston Accordion Performers, authored many instructional DVD’s and books for the diatonic accordion as well as a complete free video series teaching the Palmer & Hughes Lesson Books and much more.

Shelia loved teaching and sharing the fun she had playing the accordion. Shelia was a very popular teacher at the annual NAA Conventions each year where she conducted the Dance Orchestra. Shelia who dedicated her life to the accordion, was a very friendly, kind, encouraging and inspirational person who could brighten up anyone’s day. She will be missed by all.

Voci Armoniche

BREAKING NEWS: Passing of Julie Kasprzyk Cardona

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
K Trio of Walter Kasprzyk, Mary Tokarski, Julie Kasprzyk Cardona.
Julie Kasprzyk CardonaPicture above: KTrio of Walter Kasprzyk, Mary Tokarski, Julie Kasprzyk Cardona.

AWW sadly reports the unexpected passing of Julie Kasprzyk Cardona, 72, on January 15, 2021 in her home in North Haven, CT. Julie was in poor health for several years. She was born in Derby on March 29, 1948 and was the daughter of the late Benjamin and Julia Gluse Kasprzyk.  Julie had worked as a pre-press operator for GHP Media of West Haven for many years. She was a member of both the Connecticut and American Accordion Associations.  Loving sister of Mary Tokarski, Walter (Karen) Kasprzyk, Thomas (Wanda) Kasprzyk and the late Michael Fernino. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great nephews.  Predeceased by her brother-in-law Frank Tokarski.

The visiting hours will be Wednesday morning, Jan. 20th from 10:00 to 11:00 at The Havens Family, North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue. A funeral service will be conducted at 11:00.  Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery. (masks and social distancing strictly required for all services).

Julie, her sister, Mary Tokarski and her brother, Walter Kasprzyk, are well known as the K Trio, all talented, accomplished and winning many prestigious accordion competitions over the years. Julie loved the accordion and won many solo competitions. She and her sister, Mary Tokarski, won the AAA Duet Championship for more than 12 years. Julie also was a national award winning typist.

Julie played 1st chair in The Fernino Quintet and Fernino Accordion Orchestra! By the time she was a teenager, Julie had already compiled over 150 trophies in local, state and national events! Her other hobbies included ice skating and going to concerts! As a member of the Accordion Symphony Society of New York, she performed symphonic works under the direction of Maestro Joseph Biviano. In 1967, she won her first U.S. Championship going on to compete in the Coupe Mondiale, held in Holland that year, where she placed 3rd. In 1964, Julie (and Mary, too) were honored by the American Accordionists' Association with a special award as "Outstanding Student of the Year". In 1968, she won the U.S. Championship again, this time traveling to England, and a 2nd place. In 1969, a record-breaking 3rd time U.S. Championship took her to the Coupe Mondiale in New York City, where she placed 4th.

Accordionists/musicians will greatly miss Julie. She is an inspiration to all. More information will be published in the February news.

Accordion Jazz Chords

Children’s Corner Section to Begin in February

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video: Elayne’s Jingle Bells Extravaganza!: Elayne Doggett performs Jingle Bells using her talents at tap,gymnastics, piano, voice and accordion in one single, self-choreographed compilation! Experience the joy of the holiday season through the eyes of this 9-year-old performer!

As of February 2021, the USA news will include a new news category: “Children’s Corner” section in which we will encourage and feature our young upcoming accordionists. Children who are ages 1-12 are eligible for this section of the news.

Elayne Doggett is the accordion student of Elena Fainshtein. Elena shares, “Elayne is a very talented positive girl. The accordion adds a spark to her life. She began the accordion in April 2020. Her mother, Veronika, is the pianist in the video. They live in Plano,Texas but we have never met! All the lessons are through Skype. Elayne played the piano for about four years before and is a very talented child.”

Children, adults, and teachers are welcome to submit news items, videos, reports and photos to:

Please submit the information before the 26th of the month for a 1st of the month publication. Thank you.


Accordion Youth Summit (AYS)

by Joseph Natoli
Joseph Natoli
Anyone reading this article will most likely agree that the best way to secure the future and visibility of the accordion would be to make certain that enough young people become interested in pursuing and utilizing all the incredible traits of this wonderful instrument. But how should that topic and effort be approached?

Well, this has been attempted many times before, has it not? Many of you who have belonged to accordion organizations over the years know that it is almost a ritual at any one of those events to have a final membership meeting where “attracting more youth” is the main topic of discussion. This ritual has persisted for the last 50+ years without much tangible success. Freud tells us that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result.”

Therefore, the Accordion Youth Summit is a strategic and calculated attempt to try something different, because as mentioned, our previous efforts simply have not seen the results we were all hoping for in spite of many well-meaning efforts. Our membership and ranks keep getting older and leaner while any expanding younger membership interested in our instrument is minimal to non-existent. We MUST do something different if we are to achieve more positive and lasting results. Our current situation is not sustainable.

Therefore, the Accordion Youth Summit has been formed and will meet for the first time on Jan 9 ,2021 Sat at 3:00pm EST. If you have any interest in attending the first meeting to either audit what will be discussed or if you feel you have meaningful information and techniques to contribute, please reach out to Joseph Natoli at to request an invitation and a meeting agenda. You will be happily accommodated. At this writing (12/29/20), we have about 40+ people committed to attending from all over the US and Canada, which hopefully will expand internationally in subsequent meetings.

The idea of AYS in short is simply to move our thinking out of the historical individual silos of accordion organizations into a more creative, diverse, and collaborative platform for as many different organizations nationally and internationally as possible. We want to build a synergistic coalition of many diverse minds to tackle a problem that needs critical and creative thinkers. Their focus will be to help analyze, discuss, and develop solutions toward this topic of engaging more young people to become happily motivated and involved with our instrument. Many of you already have experience in this area and have done well. But frankly you have not had the support of an entire international community which is why you possibly have not met even your own expectations or become even more visible.

If you love the accordion for the incredible instrument that it is, if you want to see it flourish in the future, then we must get youth interested in learning and performing on the instrument in growing numbers. You are more than welcome to participate by reaching out to Joe Natoli again at the email provided. We look forward to hearing from you. See you on 1/9/21 Sat at 3:00pm EST!

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

2021 National Accordion Convention Registration is Open Now

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
NAA34th Annual 2021 National Accordion Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Richardson, Texas from March 17 - 20, 2021.Social distancing and mask may be required. The 2021 Accordion Convention Theme is “From Classic to Folk - the World of the Accordion”

Registration for the 2021 NAA Convention is now open. Payments not due until February 2021! The 2021 Convention is still on the schedule subject to government-generated COVID-19 requirements. Thanks to Markus and Sabine Baggio, there will be multiple options available that range from a full-convention down to online only (virtual).

2021 Convention Presenters and Workshops (scroll down the page or link to the information):
* New to the National Accordion Convention:
* Private Lesson with the Professionals: 50 minute private session for $50
* Tutto a duo: Improvisation, Playing Techniques
* Tris Gour: Lead Sheets 1 and 2: Accompany Techniques
* Sam Falcetti: Left-hand styles and Patterns; MP3 Files; Two for One
* Bob Donovan: Configure and Program the FR4x and/or the FR8x
* Gary Dahl: Gary Dahl, Tris Gour, and Dennis O'Toole: Publishers of the 2020 NAA Music Book

* Returning Favorites with New Techniques: Names are listed in reverse as in "the last shall be listed first."
* Arlyn Visentin:15 Minutes of Fame; NAA Photo Booth
* Walk In Clinic: Roland Technology Accordions
* Sharon Seaton: Circle of Excellence; World of Accordions-Panel of Experts
* Cory Pesaturo: Italian/French; Tango/Brazilian; Klezmer and Balkan
* Richard Noel: From Acoustic to Digital; Prepare for all Occasions
* Mike Middleton: Enhance your Acoustic Accordion
* Randy McPeck: Accordion Bellows
* Ginny Mac: Accordions and Western Swing
* Matthais Matzke: Read Music vs. Understanding Music; Transcribe Pop Tunes to "Cool Accordion Tunes"
* Shelia Lee: NAA Dance Band; Work Session Link - Convert Piano Music into Accordion Music
* Gordon Kohl: Austria Music; Dance Favorites
* Ian Fries: Proxima Digital Accordion, Stradella Bass Jazz Chords, Accordionist's hand.
* Eli Davidsohn: Making Parties Fun
* Gail Campanella: It is not about you!
* Gary Blair: Scottish and Irish Music
* Dick Albreski: Biographical Information

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Corey Ledet's Newest CD Available January 15

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Corey Ledet Zydeco
Video: “Corey Ledet Zydeco”

Corey Ledet will release his new CD, “Corey Ledet Zydeco on January 15, 2021. Corey Ledet Zydeco pays homage to Ledet’s family and musical heritage which are inextricably combined. His great-grandfather, Gabriel Ledet, played professionally with the colorful early Jazz legend Bunk Johnson as an upright bassist.

Grandfather, Buchanan played drums with Clifton Chenier and Rockin’ Dopsie, as Zydeco’s first drummer and invented the twice-pumped bass drumming pattern called “double clutching” that’s been an integral part of the genre ever since. Numerous members of this extended French speaking Creole family followed in their footsteps, playing professionally and non-professionally in the decades that followed. Corey’s rise to Zydeco royalty in the 21st century was a fait accompli.

Corey Ledet is a Zydeco artist from Parks, Louisiana. The family tradition of Creole music and the Kouri-Veni language runs in his blood. Corey was born and raised in Houston, Texas, where at the age of 10, he started picking up shows as drummer for Houston’s Wilbert Thibodeaux and the Zydeco Rascals and slowly learned his way around the main instrument of the style – accordion. Corey studied and incorporated Kouri-Vini, a regional dialect spoken by family members into songs on this album.

Produced by Corey Ledet and Louis Michot
Recorded at Dockside Studio, Maurice, LA
Engineered and Mixed by Justin Tocket
Mastered by Mark Bingham at Nina Hwy Studio, Henderson, LA

Corey Ledet: Accordion, Drums, Washboard, Vocals
Cecil Green: Hammond B3 Organ
Lee Allen Zeno: Bass Guitar
Grant Dermody: Harmonica
Julian Primeaux: Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Background Vocals
Gerard Delafose: Drums, Washboard

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

Virtual Accordion Camp IV on January 16 Features Creosote in Concert

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Creosote in Concert
Virtual Accordion Camp LogoOn Saturday January 16, 2021 Virtual Accordion Camp IV will take place. Whether you’re an experienced accordion player or just starting out, you are invited to join the fun, camaraderie and inspiration of a camp setting from the comfort of your own home.

The day will feature an afternoon of workshops culminating in a meet-the-artist-style concert with camp staff. You will have the opportunity to learn new skills and expand existing ones in our multi-level Zoom classrooms, with topics ranging from repertoire-building to bellows control to techniques for the left hand. Your instructors, inspired by mutual isolation and the desire to foster community with fellow accordion players, are excited to offer varied approaches that will appeal to a broad spectrum of learners.

Founded in 2020 by Rachel Bell, Alex Cumming, Jeremiah McLane, the virtual camp is geared towards Piano Accordion players, though other accordions are welcome. The tutors are Rachel Bell, Alex Cumming, Jeremiah McLane and Jamie Maschler.

The workshop element will take place on Zoom and the schedule format (below) will be much the same as the September camp with workshops, tune party and social hour. The concert will be broadcast via Facebook Live! This means we will not be selling concert or full day tickets, just workshop tickets, as we will be using the tip jar model during the broadcast. And don't worry, if you do not have Facebook you will still be able to watch the concert.

For further information:
VAC schedule

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Holocaust Survivor Alex Rosner: His Accordion Saved His Life

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Alex Rosner with accordion
Rosner accordionA father's love, a violinist and an accordion ...

Holocaust survivor Alex Rosner donated his accordion to The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Long Island, New York, where it is on display in its museum. He was a boy in the Auschwitz concentration camp (Birkenau section) when he received the unusual gift of an accordion from a guard. He explained how music and his father, a violin player, helped save his life during the Holocaust. Alex Rosner was one of the youngest people on Oskar Schindler’s famous list.

Alex Rosner's red accordion sat in a plastic bag in his basement for decades. A female Nazi guard gave him the accordion when he was at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. "He's representing all those who didn't survive through his story, through his accordion," said Steven Markowitz, his friend and the center's chairman. "It brings the reality of the Holocaust to life." The facility currently has an exhibit of items donated by survivors, their families and others. The objects include a soft leather shoe left by a child at Auschwitz; a beer stein decorated with anti-Semitic caricatures; and a lightbulb, all that remains of a synagogue in Greece. "It's only by bringing these stories to light, by telling the stories and using actual artifacts from that time, to prove that it happened," Markowitz said.In about 1940, Nazis took Rosner, then 5, from his home in Poland, along with his parents, Henry and Marianne, all Jews. They first lived in a crowded ghetto in Krakow and then the Plaszow concentration camp outside of the city.

When Rosner and his father were deported to Auschwitz, someone recognized Rosner’s father and asked him if he played. When he said he played the accordion, someone brought one from the warehouse of confiscated goods so that he could accompany his father. While his own musical abilities were part of how he survived, Rosner readily admits that far more important was his father, who when asked to perform for the commandant, said he would perform only if his son would be saved."In Auschwitz concentration camp, a female guard having heard my father play the violin, she asked if I play any instruments, and I said, ‘Yes, an accordion,'” Rosner told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “So about an hour or two later she came back with an accordion.”“Music hath charms that soothes the savage breast,” Rosner said, and he believes it saved their lives. “He took risks and they paid off,” Rosner said. “He considers his violin to be his weapon.”

Rosner also credits Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who protected roughly 1,200 Jews. Rosner and his father met Oskar Schindler, who eventually put them on his “list” and helped them to survive at Auschwitz. After the Nazis moved Rosner and his father to other camps, Schindler employed his mother and held onto the violin and accordion.

“The irony is that after the war, after we liberated and we were reunited with my mother, when she came to Munich to meet us she had his violin and my accordion. Oskar Schindler found those instruments somewhere, somehow and he gave it to her to bring to us," said Rosner. In 1945, both Rosner and his father were sent on a death march to Dachau, but managed to survive, and were liberated by the American forces and moved to the United States.

The accordion accompanied the family to Queens and spent decades in a basement until Rosner met  Steven Markowitz at a tennis court.“He told us about the accordion and says, ‘By the way, I still have that accordion, it’s in my basement. Would you guys like it?'” said Markowitz, chairman of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County. The red and white child’s accordion is now part of an exhibit at the center, along with other artifacts including a child’s shoe, a swastika flag, striped prisoner’s uniform, and a Star of David light bulb. “It’s a relic from a time past, but it is evidence that I’m not a figment of someone’s imagination,” Rosner said.

At Steven Spielberg's invitation, Alexander Rosner, his parents, uncle, aunt and cousin took part in the filming of the epilogue scenes of Schindler's List in Jerusalem, which became part of the film. In the last scene...the Rosners, accompanied by the actors who portray them in the film, place stones on Oskar Schindler's grave and are identified by name. The film received several Academy Awards in 1993. Alex's late father's violin is on permanent display at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. His accordion is on display at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove, Long Island, NY. 

In 1994, Mr. Rosner began speaking publicly in high schools, universities and houses of worship throughout the Unites States about Schindler's List and bigotry. Students have been eager to question him, as a Holocaust survivor, because he was then old enough to remember surviving the concentration camps, and is now young enough to effectively communicate with them. One unexpected result of these talks is that listeners have been inspired to see their own challenging life experiences in a more positive way.

Learn more about the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County in the documentary Treasures of New York: The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center.

Photo: This accordion—which belonged to Holocaust survivor Alex Rosner—is one of the artifacts on permanent display at the Tolerance Center of Nassau County, which helps create historical context for visitors to carry forward hard-learned truths from the 20th century. | Photo by Hillary Viders

Titano Accordion Company

Rebel Reed presents: Exploring the Bellows

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Exploring the bellows
Dallas Vietty”Exploring the Bellows” is brand new 9-week Zoom group class taking place on Jan.6, 2021. Each class in "Exploring the Bellows" will be offered twice on Wednesdays. 1:PM and 8:PM EST. Students may attend either time. Each class is 60 minutes long. Each class will have homework and class materials.

"Exploring the Bellows" is a bellows-centric survey of accordion techniques, mechanics, science and creativity. This class is a survey style class, in that it will cover a wide range of bellows-related topics over the 9 week class. 

"Exploring the Bellows" is a fun and thought provoking survey class designed to expand your ideas about what the accordion bellows do, and how you can learn to use them to make your music express you more deeply. Each class will have homework and class materials: PDFs, videos, assignments, explorations.

All of the classes are recorded and uploaded to the course page for viewing again.

Each of these topics will be developed with interactive group class lectures, materials, assignments and class collaboration and discussion.
* how the use of the bellows makes the keyboard feel
* using bellows pressure and touch to get beautiful tone
* every accordion player must know about overtones 
* survey of accordion articulations as combinations of bellows and fingers
* how the bellows are crucial for staccato and gentle releases
* using the dynamic volume range of the accordion
* learning to change the bellows, manage your air
* bellows techniques: bellows stop, bellows shakes
* playing on the surface/half button technique
* understanding the left side of your body 

"Exploring the Bellows" will be taught by professional accordionist Dallas Vietty: recent (pre-covid era) performances include Tours of Switzerland, accordionist in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish on Broadway, Jazz at Lincoln Center, teaching workshops around the country, past member of multiple accordion non-profit boards.

For further information:

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

Frank Toscano Performs in New Movie “The Many Saints of Newark”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Frank Toscano
Video: Official trailer of "The Many Saints of Newark"

Accordionist Frank Toscano was asked to arrange and perform music for the soundtrack of a new movie, “The Many Saints of Newark” which will be released worldwide on March 12, 2021.

Frank recorded eight songs and performed in the movie. Frank appears in the film with guitarist, Steve Lucas, in the scene of the confirmation party for Janice, Tony’s sister. The movie is a prequel to the popular series “The Sopranos”.

It was very interesting to speak with Frank and hear him share his fascinating experiences during the filming. Among the songs he played were “Ferry Boat Serenade”, “Volare”, “The Nearness of You” and “Core Grate”. For the scene Frank wore a red tuxedo jacket and slicked back hair. He played a Verde acoustic accordion. Frank said the director and cast enthusiastically applauded him at the end of the scene.

The music/soundtrack was recorded at The Hit Factory in New York City. The challenge, according to Frank, was to play the song during filming exactly as it was recorded at The Hit Factory since the recording was used during the filming of the movie. Of course, Frank was able to easily accomplish the task.

A professional musician since the age of eight, Frank Toscano has made music and the accordion his entire life. Born and raised in New York, Frank came from an Italian family who valued the idea of music being played in the house constantly. Without a choice from his father, Frank took lessons on the accordion under the direction of Emilio Chiesa and never dreamed that it would became the passion of his life!

Frank said, “Emilio provided me with a solid classical foundation, for which I am forever grateful. I was very fortunate to have such a great teacher who he himself is also a Virtuoso Accordionist.” As Frank continued through the years practicing, he mastered the instrument and it was only natural for him to become a professional musician. He wanted more though...more music... and so he learned, studied jazz and mastered the art of playing the Piano (taught himself) and at the age of twenty-one opened the Frank Toscano Music School.

Now some 50 years later the school continues to flourish with young and not so young talent. Still teaching everyday, his undying passion for music and performing never seems to subside. He has performed live with and for many artists including Michail Baryshnikov and Aidan Quinn and can also be heard on many recordings of other artists... too numerous to mention. Frank performed for Steve Schirripa and the entire Soprano’s Cast to help launch an up and coming new T.V. show.

He has also had the pleasure of performing with Joe Piscoppo and Vocalist Debra Toscano. Frank has performed many steady engagements at many prominent clubs in the Tri-State area such as the Playboy Club, North Hempstead Country Club, Rockland Country Club and many more.

Among his accomplishments Frank arranged, conducted, and performed on three great CD’s. “Accordion To Frank”, a solo CD which embraces the flavor of Traditional styled music laced with a hint of Modern Jazz paying homage to his Accordion heritage.“The Amazing Accordion Kings” Volumes One and Two were arranged, performed and conducted with two other great Accordionists, Angelo DiPippo and Manny Corallo. These CD’s contain compilations of Opera to Jazz. Frank Toscano, a true musician, a true professional...and most certainly a true artist.

Frank told me, “The future of the accordion is bright, its a beautiful sound, and with modern technology, electronic accordions will help make it popular again.” Frank Toscano is an inspiration to all accordionists and demonstrates clearly that the accordion is a continuing and integral part of the world of music.

For further information: or

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

The Essentials Collection Enjoying Huge Success!

by Dennis O'Toole
Gary Dahl
Essentials CollectionNow Available! Gary Dahl—the Legacy Continues (GDTLC), is proud to announce the availability of two editions of the  Essentials Collection for the Roland FR-8X and Bugari Evo digital accordions.

The Essentials Collection - Acoustic Edition is packaged specifically for musicians who enjoy the acoustic accordion sounds of the Roland and Bugari digital accordions. This collection consists of the two acoustic accordion sets which introduce the sound of the popular Borsini SuperStar. Using the Roland sound engine, the tone, timbre, and color of the Borsini SuperStar are faithfully reproduced with a range of musette tunings. The Essentials Collection – Acoustic Edition is being offered at $39.95 USD.

The Essentials Collection - Premium Edition is the foundation collection of digital accordion resources from GDTLC. The Premium Edition includes:
* 2 foundation Sets based on the sound of the Borsini SuperStar

* 84 User Programs using the Borsini sets plus orchestral instruments, covering a wide range of uses

The Essentials Collection – Premium Edition is being offered at $99.95 USD.

How We Developed These Satisfying Sound Offerings:
All digital programming from GDTLC undergoes a comprehensive finishing process. This process includes placing each instrument or reed at the desired location in the sound field, balancing volume according to its role with other instruments or reeds, and blending and optimizing the sound of each instrument or reed using a number of other signal processing steps. This comprehensive finishing process produces mellower smooth sounds, crisper bright sounds, and well-optimized sound combinations yielding a rich, full, and professional sounding result.

Volume is a particular area of focus. Recorded music underwent a number of years of “more volume is better” thinking—often referred to as the volume wars in radio. Now, it is generally accepted among audio engineers that high compression can be fatiguing and washes out the music. Instead, our finishing process allows for a wide dynamic range with thoughtful proportion among the instruments/reeds and between treble and bass. With plenty of signal headroom left after finishing, the performer is in full control of the sound.

For more information, or to get your Acoustic or Premium Edition, visit the GDTLC website.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

AWW Extends Condolences to Kevin Friedrich Upon the Passing of his Mother

by Christine Johnstone
Valerie Friedrich, Kevin Friedrich
Accordions Worldwide would like to extend their sincere condolences to CIA Past President, Kevin Friedrich following the passing of his mother Valerie Friedrich (87 years) on December 15th, 2020 at their family home in Baylys Beach, Northland, New Zealand after a short (non Covid) illness.

Valerie and her late husband Athol were keen supporters of not only Kevin Friedrich's many accordion activities which have made such an important contribution to the accordion world, but also to the many accordion, arts and music activities held in Dargaville over many decades.

Despite her illness, Valerie Friedrich attended Kevin’s “Sounds of the Season” Christmas Concert at the Dargaville Museum Lighthouse Function Centre on November 22nd and enjoyed every minute of the concert.

A service was held at the Lighthouse Function Centre on December 20th, where her life was celebrated, including with performances by Kevin and long time friend of the family Lionel Reekie (vocals/accordion).

We extend our deepest sympathies to Kevin Friedrich and the large extended family of Valerie Friedrich.

Titano Accordion Company

ATG 2020 Holiday Video

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
ATG logo
Happy Holidays from the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG).

This video contains performances from 23 different ATG members.Thanks to Jane Tuchscherer for producing and editing the video! ATG produced this holiday video based on submissions
by their members.

ATG members who shared their performance in order of appearance: 
Stas Venglevski, "Nutcracker Overture" —Tchaikovsky
• Joseph Natoli, "Remember Me" — Joe Natoli 
• Beverley Fess, "Jingle Bells Fantasy" — Dixie Deen
• Michael Bridge, "O Holy Night" — Traditional 
• Joan Grauman & William Morse, "What Child Is This?" — Traditional
• Gordon Kohl, "O Christmas Tree" — Traditional
• Daniel Tantsyuro, "Santa Clause is Coming To Town" — J. Fred Coots & Haven Gillespie 
Betty Jo Simon, "Christmas Medley" 
• Paul Cain, "Christmas" Traditional 
• Dan Wright, "Jingle Bell Revisited" 
Stas Venglevski, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" —Tchaikovsky
• Steven Mazurek, "Tuscendi dalle Stelle" — Capocci 
• Louise Kowalski, "Wśród nocnej ciszy" — Polish Traditional
• Cory Pesaturo, "The 12 days - 12 keys - 12 hats - 12 Genres of Christmas (medley)" 
• Edward Bergin, "What Child is This?" — Traditional
• Karen Lee, "Silent Night" — Traditional 
• Pam Tom, "Hallelujah Chorus" — Handel 
Stas Venglevski, "Russian Dance from Nutcracker"  — Tchaikovsky  
• Paul Betken, "Let it Snow" — Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne
• Zach Grindle, "March of the Toys" — Herbert 
• Kenn Baert, "The Christmas Song" — Robert Wells  & Mel Tormé, arrangement Joe Natoli 
Jeff Lisenby, "Sleigh Ride" — Leroy Anderson Michael Zikovich, & Jeff Taylor,  
Joanna Darrow, "Christmas Concerto — Corelli" with Mike Garrahan, Violin I, Michael Casassa, Violin II, Paul Jordan, Violoncello 

Beverley Fess, on behalf of the entire ATG Board of Directors said, “Thank you so much for sharing your talent.”

For more information on the ATG, please visit

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Conjunto Star Flaco Jiménez To Open New Food Trailer Business

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
FlacoFlaco JimenezVideo: Flaco Jimenez with Max Baca & Josh Baca - ay te dejo en San Antonio - from Tejano America Episode #2. Tejano America presented by AARP, the legendary Flaco Jimenez with Max Baca and Josh Baca of Los Texmaniacs at home performance from the series Tejano America presented byAARP, episode #2

San Antonio’s Grammy Award-winning accordion maestro Flaco Jiménez will open a new business, Tacos Jiménez mobile eatery, on January 7, 2021.The menu includes barbacoa bañados estilo Monterrey and menudo which are popular Monterrey, Mexico-style tacos bathed in a savory red sauce. The trailer will offer tacos Tuesday through Sunday.Menudo will be available on Saturday and Sunday. Jiménez's trailer will be located at 10911 Highway 16 South, across the highway from the Colt 45 Sports Club.

Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez  is an American singer, songwriter, accordionist and Five Time Grammy Award Winner / Tex-Mex.from San Antonio, Texas. Excerpts from wikipedia: He is known for playing Norteño, Tex Mex and Tejano music. Jiménez is a solo performer and session musician, and as a member of the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven.

Jiménez began performing at the age of seven, with his father, Santiago Jiménez Sr, who was a pioneer of conjunto music and began recording at age fifteen as a member of Los Caminantes. Jiménez's first instrument was the bajo sext. He played in the San Antonio area for several years and then began working with Doug Sahm in the 1960s. Sahm, better known as the founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet, played with Jiménez for some time. Flaco then went on to New York City and worked with Dr. John, David Lindley, Peter Rowan, Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan.

He appeared on Cooder's world music album Chicken Skin Music and on the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge.This led to greater awareness of his music outside America and, after touring Europe with Ry Cooder, he returned to tour in America with his own band, and on a joint bill with Peter Rowan. Jiménez, Peter Rowan and Wally Drogos were the original members of a band called the Free Mexican Airforce.

Jiménez won a Grammy award in 1986 for Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio, one of his father's songs. He was also a member of the Tejano fusion group Texas Tornados,[with Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender. The Texas Tornados won a Grammy award in 1990,[7] and Jiménez earned one on his own in 1996, when his album Flaco Jiménez won the Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance.

In 1999, he earned another Grammy award for Best Tejano Performance for Said and Done (released by Barbed Wire Records) and one for Best Mexican-American Performance as a part of the supergroup Los Super Seven. In 2012 Jiménez received a National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment of the Arts.

In February 2015, Jiménez won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also won a Best Video award at the Tejano Music Awards and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard Latin Magazine for "Streets of Bakersfield" with Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens. Jiménez appeared in the movie Picking Up the Pieces, with Woody Allen and Sharon Stone, and was also featured on the soundtrack.

His music has been featured in the soundtrack for other movies, such as Y Tu Mamá También, El Infierno, The Border, Tin Cup, Chulas Fronteras, and Striptease.[The Hohner company collaborated with Jiménez to create the Flaco Jimenez Signature Series of accordions.

His brother, Santiago Jiménez, Jr., is also an accomplished accordionist and has recorded extensively. Jiménez's 2014 CD, Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies, was issued by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. In 2015, "Legends & Legacies" won Flaco Jiménez and Max Baca an award in the Latin Album category at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards.

The Versatility of Nick Ariondo

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Nick Ariondo
Video: World Music/Global Accordion ~ Nick Ariondo 11/29/2020

The accordion, an instrument of world/global status, captures musical styles from classical to world-ethnic and everything in between. In this video, accompanied by Russian guitarist Sergey Taranov, accordionist/arranger Nick Ariondo demonstrates his diverse/unique style, performing music of eastern-european-romanian origins.

The camera angle close-ups of the right-hand keyboard, bellows and left-hand buttons captures the essence of the accordion's endless possibilities ~ from driving rhythms and chords, to a variety of single note passages, to complex bellows technique, and more… all found in Nick Ariondo's electrifying arrangement for accordion ~ a Global Accordion/World Music experience!

Nicholas S. Ariondo (Nick Ariondo), accordionist/composer/arranger/pianist received his BA and MA Degrees in Music Performance & Composition at California State Univ., Los Angeles, CA. Nick Ariondo's music accomplishments include:
25 ASCAP Awards
Onstage performances with opera legend Placid Domingo
Studio session work at Capitol Records with Paul McCartney
Double Grammy Award winner with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra
Performed on the Oscar-winning film 'Life of Pi', music by Michael Danna
A featured soloist with Oscar-winning conductor/composer Alexandre Desplat 'The Shape of Water' with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra at Disney Hall
Cameo on-screen performance in 'Bridesmaids' award-winning film, music by Mike Andrews
First American to receive Italy's Ancona/Castelfidardo Prize for his chamber music
Inclusion in the International Who's Who in Music (14th Edition) Cambridge, England
1990 Artists Fellowship Grant recipient: California Arts Council
Composer/arranger of numerous works cataloged with ACCO-Music Publishing/ASCAP and is a Publisher member of BMI.

Nick's diverse musical background includes classical to modern contemporary, jazz, gypsy and multi-ethnic world styles. As a session musician, his accordion is heard on many a soundtrack for film and television (composers John Powell, Randy Newman, Mychael & Jeff Danna, Danny Elfman, Joseph Trapanese, Chris Young, Howard Shore, Alan Silvestri, Joel McNeely, Lyle Workman, etc.) .

As a composer/arranger, Ariondo's arrangements of Russian folk songs were featured in Warren Beatty's film "Love Affair", music by Ennio Morricone (1994, Warner Bros.) As a concert artist, Nick performs his original compositions/arrangements with orchestras, chamber music ensembles, vocalists and in solo recitals throughout Southern California and abroad.

Nick Ariondo has worked on stage and on movie soundtracks with many well-known people in show business such as Placido Domingo, Bette Midler, Randy Newman, Nicola Benedetti, and Michael Buble. He has been described by critics as “the Yehudi Menuhin of the accordion”.

For further information email:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Stas Venglevski Performs Bach Concert and World Premiere of his “Poetic Rhapsody”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Helmi HarringtonVideo: Stas Venglevski concert at the Harrington Arts Center, A World of Accordions Museum on December 6th, 2020.

The concert featured the premiere of “Poetic Rhapsody” which was composed by Stas Venglevski and dedicated to Helmi Harrington (picture right), curator of A World of Accordions Museum in Superior, Wisconsin, USA. Stas said, “I dedicate 'Poetic Rhapsody' to Helmi Harrington. I feel like I am at home here at AWAM.”

The concert first half presented: J. S. Bach’s music including: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565), Invention #2 in C Minor (BWV 788), Inventions #6 in E Major (BWV 777), Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 875), Prelude in E Minor (BWV 810), Chorale Prelude in F Minor (BWV 659), Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor (BWV 582).

The concert second half included: Honoring two composers, whose accordion works are new to our stage: Yehuda Yannay’s “Fantasietta with Interruptions on a Theme in F Minor”, and William Susman’s “Zydeco Madness”. The concert concluded with the world premiere of Stas’ "Poetic Rhapsody". I enjoyed Stas’ new composition. It evoked feelings of sensitivity, expressiveness, lyricism, and thoughtful emotion. I found myself listening to it many times.

Learn more about A World of Accordions Museum at
Join their mailing list:

Please help support A World of Accordions Museum digital outreach on their GoFundMe page. The Museum relies on generous support from listeners like you to be able to produce these live streamed events.

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

Newly Available Sheet Music "Poetic Rhapsody" by Stas Venglevski

by Megumi Hada
Stas VenglevskiThe newly available sheet music of "Poetic Rhapsody" Catalog: vstas064 is online.

Other eSheet Individual Compositions by Stas Venglevski.
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.
Catalog: vstas055 Octobler Rondo (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas056 Summer Sunshine (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas057 Sunshine Return, accordion (solo )with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas058 In the Garden, accordion (solo) with music page sample and sound sample.
Catalog: vstas059 Butterfly Swing, accordion (duet) with music page sample.
Catalog: vstas060 K's Musette, accordion (solo) with music page sample.
Catalog: vstas061 Shaking Waltz, accordion (solo) with music page sample.
Catalog: vstas062 Ice Meadow, accordion (solo) with music page sample.
Catalog: vstas063 Twelve Hot Tango Compositions For Accordion (solo)
Catalog: vstas064 Poetic Rhapsody for accordion (solo)

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

Jamie Maschler Teaches at Virtual Accordion Camp IV

by Rita Barnea
Jamie MaschlerJamie Machler will be one of the tutors at the Virtual Accordion Camp IV on January 16, 2021. See article in this publication.

“Jamie Maschler knows the versatility of the accordion better than most. She has played the instrument since she was four and spent years perfecting and competing…. Talents like her seem to be increasingly valuable.“  -The Atlantic
Jamie is based in Seattle, WA where she studied accordion under three-time Latin Grammy Nominee, Jovino Santos Neto at Cornish College of the Arts. Her main projects are Seattle’s only Brazilian forró band- En Canto and Accordion duo- Creosote with Gabe Hall-Rodrigues. Jamie began to play the accordion at age four, thanks to a door to door salesman. Jamie happily says, “The accordion chose me!” Although this may be true, she was instantly enamored with her new instrument and began to study privately with the renowned accordionists and teachers, Dan and Kim Christian, in Colorado Springs. She studied with them throughout her youth. Kim Christian said: “As young as she was, Jamie took to the music right away. She pretty much grew up with our daughters competing and playing together in bands. Jamie always loved music and always loved performing. She won many, many trophies over the 12 years she took lessons with us!”
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) recently featured Jamie in their Museum of Making Music exhibit titled  “Accordions: Expanding Voices in the USA”. She also accompanied the Seattle Symphony’s live scoring of “Lord of the Rings”, and played the accordion part in “Tchaikovsky's Suite No.2” with the Seattle Philharmonic. In October 2019, Jamie was "Nellie Friedman" in Seattle Repertory Theater’s run of Paula Vogel’s Tony award winning play, Indecent.
Jamie is a frequent guest performer and presenter of stylized Brazilian and Tango music at numerous festivals. She works for accordion manufacturer Petosa Accordions, where she is able to share her passion and actively participate in the reinvention and face of the traditional Instrument. Jamie’s original music has been aired on the Radio in Seattle, Austin, Salvador BR, and Canada. Jamie has been featured performer and presented workshops on stylized Brazilian and Tango music for the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, National Accordion Association, Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG), American Accordionists' Association (AAA), Port Townsend Accordion Festival, Seattle Flute Society and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in AK.

For further information:

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

Trio Voronezh Wins 3rd Prize in 2020 PIF Performance

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Trio Voronezh
Video: Live performance at the competition of music by Piazzolla.

Trio Voronezh (USA) which includes Sergei Teleshev (accordion), Val Petrukhin (balalaika) and Vladimir Volokhin (domra) won the 3rd Prize at the International Competition PIF Castelfidardo 2020 - Astor Piazzolla Award. Excerpts from their website: Vladimir Volokhin, Valerie Petrukhin and Sergei Teleshev formed the Trio in 1993. The folk trio named themselves after the working-class city from which they studied and perfected their craft, a city of over a million people, and approximately 350 miles south of Moscow. In 1995, Trio Voronezh sprang onto the international stage after they were discovered playing classical favorites and folk tunes in a Frankfurt, Germany subway station.

Sergei Teleshev has won many regional and international accordion competitions and recently became the US V-Accordion Champion by winning 2013 US Roland V-accordion festival. In July 2017 he won in two categories (Solo Open, and Ensemble) at the International Accordion Competition in Victoria, Canada. Valerie Petrukhin has performed with many famous Russian folk orchestras and ensembles and currently is being an honored member of the Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society.Vladimir Volokhin went on to win the title of National Champion in the All-Russia Domra Competition in 1986 and 1990.

In addition to five albums released in the following years, the Trio was featured on a 2007 release of "Peter and the Wolf, along with the London Symphony. It was selected by Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, as one of 2007's "10 Best." Stevanne Auerbach is one of the nation's and world's leading experts on play, toys, and children's product. The recording was also selected by National Parenting Publication Awards "NAPPA Gold Award."

Trio Voronezh's virtuosity and delightful artistic innovation gives the trio the ability to alter the way audiences experience classical, folk and contemporary repertoire. The diverse repertoire of the Trio includes the works of Vivaldi, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninov, as well as Russian folk songs, Argentine tangos, gypsy dance music, bluegrass and popular songs by Gershwin. The ever-expanding concert material is arranged by the members of the Trio, and performed with extraordinary virtuosity and musical lyricism entirely from memory.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

A Glorious Christmas Concert with Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Mary Mancini and Mario TaccaThe above video is a wonderful concert of the 23rd Annual Christmas Concert which was held on December 19, 2020. Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca share, “Recorded in the beautiful Adoration Chapel at Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, we bring you our annual traditional Christmas Concert. Special guests are Ray Blue on saxophone and David Winograd on bass who lend their musical talents to make this performance extra special. Although the concert couldn't be held in person this year, we are pleased to bring you this performance that you can enjoy, over and over, in the comfort of your home.This performance is dedicated in loving memory to our dear friend and colleague, musician and conductor, Vincent Lionti. Our sincerest thanks to our Technical Staff, Jim Brooks and Joe Pisano, for recording our concert in the beautiful Adoration Chapel at Assumption Church. We wish you all a blessed Christmas filled with hope, peace, joy and the best of health for you and your families!”

Selections included:
Mary's Little Boy Child - 2:48
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - 7:33
Hallelujah - 12:06
Tu Scende Dalle Stelle - 17:48
Christmas Polka - 22:04
Christmas Song - 25:14
We Need a Little Christmas Medley - 30:43
What God Wants for Christmas - 38:31
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - 43:32
Mary Did You Know - 45:33
Believe - 50:32
Feliz Navidad - 55:00
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - 59:32
Sleigh Ride - 1:09:07
O Holy Night - 1:13:07
Silent Night - 1:18:15
Happy Birthday to You Our Lord - 1:27:52

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. He is available for lessons on accordion and piano.

Internationally acclaimed vocal artist Mary Mancini has been featured in the New York Times, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, and the Journal News and has performed in a variety of venues around the world. Able to sing in eight different languages, Mary draws from a deep repertory reservoir. She is adept at pop, show tunes, operatic arias, and sacred music and has received worldwide acclaim. Le Republicain Lorrain, in Alsace-Lorraine, France, writes that the “purity of her voice, the ease with which she interpreted the most difficult pieces showed that she is a great artist.” The Spring City Evening News in Kunming, China, writes that “audiences were greatly impressed by Mary Mancini’s singing ability…Through her music, we see her heart is smiling.”

Mary has headlined numerous concert halls and festivals in North America, Europe, and China. She has performed at the Garden State Arts Center, Resorts International Casino Hotel, Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in CT. As a dynamic and popular performing duo, they have completed two concert tours of China. As guests of the China Ministry of Culture, they toured five cities in three weeks and performed with three symphony orchestras. Joining them on their tour was highly acclaimed Chinese tenor, Douglas Song. In addition to performing with the Symphony Orchestras, some of the most memorable moments included a performance held at the 1600 seat True Color Jazz Supper Club in the booming city of Shenzhen and in the 3500 seat Golden Opera House.

In lieu of online ticket sales, a free-will donation will be gratefully accepted. Proceeds will benefit the ongoing Assumption Organ Restoration Fund. To donate by check: Checks must be made payable to Gioia Productions, with “Assumption Organ Restoration” noted in the subject line. Mail your check to Gioia Productions, P.O. Box 401, Crompond, NY 10517. OR To donate by credit card: Contact Gioia Productions at 914-737-8872 or to process your donation.

Mary and Mario said, “We missed seeing all of you in person at our 23rd Annual Christmas Concert. But we are so grateful to be able to bring our music into your homes virtually! We hope you had a very blessed Christmas!”

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Remembering Frank Marocco

by Dan Grauman
Video 1: Frank performs during participant performance evening in June 2011, Castelfidardo, Italy.

Video 2: Frank performs with Eddie Monteiro during his nearly five-hour birthday party in January 2011, Mesa, Arizona.
FrankThe legendary accordionist, Frank Marocco, would have turned 90 on January 2, 2021. When Frank asked Joan Grauman and me to run an accordion orchestra camp for him in late 2006, we said that we had never done this before, but since it was Frank who asked, and since we had previously attended a session of the Galla-Rini Accordion Camp, we said that we would give it a try. We picked Mesa, Arizona as a location that would be in driving distance for attendees from the West and easily accessible by air for other participants. The first event was held in January 2007 and went well. We had a waiting list in subsequent years.

Frank enjoyed these events as much as the participants. He was one of the kindest and most accessible artists that I have known. He treated every participant regardless of playing ability equally, paying full attention when anyone performed. The 2011 event, which took place in January, was one of the highlights of our 8-year run. It was the year we celebrated Frank’s 80th birthday. There was a second birthday celebration in Castelfidardo, Italy, directed by Frank’s Manager & Publicist, Elke Ahrenholz. Sadly, it would be the last event in which he would participate, as he passed away in March 2012. Stas Venglevski, whom Frank chose as Assistant Music Director, led the orchestra during the last three years.

The two videos included in this article are beautiful ways by which to remember Frank
Video 1: Frank performs during participant performance evening in June 2011, Castelfidardo, Italy.
Video 2: Frank performs with Eddie Monteiro during his nearly five-hour birthday party in January 2011, Mesa, Arizona.

Anton and Joseph Klettner in Concert

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
CAA/AAA logoThe Connecticut Accordion Association and the American Accordionists' Association proudly present Anton and Joseph Klettner, ages 16 and 15 respectively, in concert. You've seen these multi talented young performers at our CAA Orchestra concerts. We've all watched them grow into extremely successful young musicians. They exemplify everything the accordion can do.  They show how the accordion can reach youth.

This concert will feature classic rock hits by artists like Billy Joel, (Miami, 2017) Aerosmith, (Cryin') and The Beatles (Hey Jude, While My Guitar Gently Weeps) along with other classic pieces like 12th Street Rag and Orange Blossom Special.

Here's the link to the concert:  Next Meeting (

Anton and Joseph Klettner are an instrumental duo who play classic rock and other popular music on a variety of instruments. The brothers reside in South Salem, NY, and attend John Jay High School. Their duet combinations include violin, piano, guitar and accordion. Their musical studies began with the piano over 10 years ago, and shortly thereafter, they began training in the other instruments.  

They have performed in several venues in the area, including The Heights at Brother Vic’s in South Salem, NY; the Note Kitchen in Bethel, CT; The Spotted Horse in Shelton CT; Nod Hill Brewery in Ridgefield, CT; and as featured artists at the Horseshoe Café in Southport, CT.  In addition, they were winners of the 2018 Darien’s Got Talent and Connecticut’s Got Talent competitions. 

Anton and Joseph are also members of the rock band Platinum Moon, which performs in the area, including as a headliner at the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk CT, at The Bitter End in NYC, and as an opening act at the Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie and at the Summer Concert Series on the Danbury Green. The band also was the first place winner of the 2019 Connecticut’s Got Talent competition.

More information on Anton and Joseph’s duo can be found on Facebook@AJKlettner .
Social media links for Platinum Moon include (website) and Facebook@PlatinumMoonOfficial .

WMAS Virtual Holiday Concert - December 13, 2020

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
WMAS logoPeter DiGiovanni, President of WMAS, hosted the virtual ZOOM WMAS Holiday Program on December 13, 2021. The link to the concert video is unlisted on youtube and not searchable, but anyone with the link can view it. Thank you to Dan Grauman for creating the video.

Participants included:
0:29 We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Orchestra
2:05 Sleigh Ride - Joan Grauman
4:32 Brazil - Robert Ford
6:57 Begin the Beguine - Robert Ford
11:03 Holiday Jukebox - 2019 Orchestra, arr. Peter DiGiovanni
15:43 Hogwarts March - Bernie Schenkler
17:43 Silent Night - Orchestra
20:09 Greensleeves - Joan Grauman and Bill Morse
23.36 Der Shtiller Bulgar - Michael B. Rubin
26:24 Frosty the Snowman - Orchestra
29:38 Ding Dong Merrily on High - Peter DiGiovanni
33:44 Hallalujah Christmas - Ken Kunec
38:24 Joy to the World - Orchestra
39:50 Slovenian Rhapsody - Silvia Eberly
43:12 Carol of the Drum - Halina Banas-Jones and Michael Jones
45:48 Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Orchestra
48:12 Sleigh Ride - Bill Morse and members of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra
51:38 We Light the Hanukkah Candles - Duane Quenzel
55:05 Greensleeves - Orchestra
57:07 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Orchestra
1:02:20 Austrian Medley - Silvia Everly
1:05:00 Dzisiaj W Betlejam - Halina Banas-Jones
1:06:32 Der Heyser Bulgar - Michael B. Rubin
1:09:58 Winter Wonderland - Ken Kunec
1:12:47 Ode to Joy - Duane Quenzel

Peter shared, “Thank you all who participated in this first-time-for-us experience, and to our audience who made it all worthwhile. Happy Holidays to all!”

The next “meeting” is on Sunday, January 24, at 4 pm - Zoom Open Mic. Sign up to attend/play. The mission of WMAS is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the National Capital region.

For further information: Peter DiGiovanni

Rachel Bell Presents Online Concert

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rachel and BeckyVideo Rachel Bell (accordion) and Becky Tracy (violin) playing “Piquée Double.”

Rachel Bell and Becky Tracy presented an online Winter Cotillion Concert on December 20th, 2020 hosted by Eloise & Co. Their program included: Celtic, French, Quebecois, and contra dance tunes, including some of their own compositions. There were French dance demonstrations during their performance enabling people to dance in their own living room.

Rachel Bell is an accordion player, tunesmith, and music teacher based in Brattleboro, VT. She is in demand throughout the United States and beyond for concerts, contra dances, English country dances, French dances, workshops, children’s classes, and school residencies. Excerpts from her website: Over a decade of musical travel has landed her smack-dab in the middle of some of her most exciting projects ever.

A vibrant and versatile collaboration with Karen Axelrod, exquisite violin and viola sounds from Eric Martin, a rich and energetic contra dance band called Seaglass, and a slew of French-focused music and dance adventures with Susan Kevra are just the tip of the iceberg. A recent addition has been a joyful musical partnership with Becky Tracy, and other combinations often round out the mix.

Future Performances include:
Fri Jan 8th to Sun Jan 10th, 2021: Eloise & Co, Upper Potomac Fiddle Retreat, online, jam sessions, workshops, concerts,

Sun Jan 17th, 2021 10:30 PM: Peregrine Road FSGW concert, online, part of the Folklore Society of Greater Boston series

Sun Feb 7th, 2021 10:PM: Eloise & Co. concert, online, hosted by the Sacramento Country Dance Society

Sat Feb 13th, 2021: Peregrine Road: Dance Flurry, online, Details coming soon, including an ECD session with Susan Kevra

For details email:

Voci Armoniche

Alex Meixner Band Entertainment

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Alex Meixner BandVideo: World News Polka - Alex Meixner Band

The Alex Meixner Band was honored to be asked to record a version of the "World News Polka" for the program "World News Now" that airs overnights on the television station, ABC in the United States.
Alex Meixner - Accordion & Vocals
Tom Haller - Drums
Paddy King - Fiddle
Jake Willis - Tuba
Nicholas Owen - Guitar

Recorded at Ohio Recording Company
Video & Audio: Brennan Willis
World News Polka was written by Barry Mitchell
© 2020 Harris Music Productions

The Alex Meixner Band entertained at the Palm Beach Kennel Club on New Year’s Eve “Thanks for the Memories” Event on December 31st, 2020 in Florida.The event celebrated all the greyhound racing highlights from the past 88 years. It was a full day of special presentations, live entertainment, PBKC fan appreciation activities, giveaways, a greyhound pet adoption celebration, prize drawings and New Year’s toast. The Alex Meixner Band strolled the grounds performing with special guest, Jan Lewan.

Alex Meixner is one of the most dynamic accordionists on the scene today. Meixner has performed around the world, notably at American festivals like The National Folk Festival and Central Park SummerStage, as well as at uncountable community celebrations and accordion-centric events. His virtuosic yet delightfully quirky style has made him a sought-after collaborator (he worked alongside Jack Black in the 2017 Sundance pick The Polka King), spokesperson (Hormel and Ford have used his music and performance to promote their products) and educator. As a recording artist, he has worked with renowned avant garde accordionist/ composer Guy Klucevsek, popular Irish entertainer Seamus Kennedy, Texas indie rockers The Krayolas. His recording “Polka FreakOut” with Brave Combo’s Bubba Hernandez won him a GRAMMY nomination.

Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world.

His talents in music and comedy were featured on the Tonight Show on NBC. Alex’s reputation for professionalism and quality performance attracted additional commercial opportunities including performing on radio commercials for Ford Trucks and the soundtracks for numerous episodes of Moonshiners on the Discovery Network. Alex has performed on over 50 albums, including 17 as a leader or soloist. His performance with his Father on Canadian Polka King, Walter Ostanek’s, “Music and Friends” won a Grammy Award..

On February 16, 2021, Alex will perform at the Brauntex Theatre
Annual Fat Tuesday Show
Brauntex Theatre, 290 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Before traveling long distances be sure to always  contact the venue directly for last minute schedule changes or cancellations.

For more information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Grand Finale of 2020 Cotati Accordion Festival

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
”Let It Snow" Grand Finale
Video: Tracey Collins (New Zealand)
Cotati Virtual FestivalVideo: ”Let It Snow" Grand Finale of "Cotati Accordion Festival - 2020" with Matthias Matzke (Germany), Pietro Adragna (Italy), Sergei Teleshev (USA), Maria Telesheva (USA), Gary Blair (UK), Cory Pesaturo (USA), Erica Mancini (USA), Elena Spitsa (Russia), Jamie Maschler (USA), Jack Garton (Canada), Jenny Conlee (USA), Jason Webley (USA), Tracey Collins (New Zealand)

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

Denny Malmberg Brings Holiday Cheer to Shoppers

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video: Denny Malmberg is a former band director from Minneapolis South High School, who still performs all around the Twin Cities. Joe Berglove reports from Jerry’s Foods in Edina, where Malmberg was playing with bass player Steve Pikal (2:28) WCCO 4 News At 5 - Dec. 24, 2020

Denny Malmberg also makes available arrangements by his father Larry Malmberg, an accordion teacher of many US Champions including 1963 Coupe Mondale winner Skeets Langley.

The list of Larry Malmberg arrangements are:
larrym001 - Alexander’s Ragtime Band
larrym002 - Amazing Grace
larrym003 - Anchors Aweigh
larrym004 - Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
larrym005 - Avalon
larrym006 - Darktown Strutters Ball
larrym007 - Fascination
larrym008 - Red Wing
larrym009 - St. Paul Waltz
larrym010 - Yellow Rose of Texas
larrym011 - Gershwin Medley
larrym012 - I Get Ideas
larrym013 - If You Knew Suzie
larrym014 - It Had To Be You
larrym015 - Just You, Just Me


Future events

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

2021 Not Just Oompah! Accordion Concert with Gregory & Elena Fainshtein (Light Classical Workshops)

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
Elena and Gregory Fainshtein
Video: Gregory and Elena Fainshtein celebrated 40 years of their Duo “Together” on 10/10/20. Elena said, “It was 1980 and we were in Minsk Musical College when Gregory suggested to play a duo with him. I agreed, we practiced together, performed together, 6 years later we’ve got married. Since then we moved to several countries and learned different languages. Our family is growing and we are still performing together! Since we won’t be able to do a big concert as we planed in January - we even had the date 10/10/20 for 40 years playing together and a place rented for the concert, we decided to do a little movie with music that we are playing!"

Greetings and Happy New Year 2021 to all accordion enthusiasts from Shirley Johnson and Laura Niland, co-founders of Not Just Oompah (NJO). Mark your calendars February 21 - 23, 2021 for a FREE Not Just Oompah Facebook concert with Elena and Gregory Fainshtein. Continuing in the NJO series is a two-part workshop of “Light Classical Accordion Music” delivered on ZOOM by Elena Fainshtein from Plano, Texas. The Facebook Concert will be presented by Elena & Gregory Fainshtein on Sunday, February 21, 2021 @ 3:00 - 4:00 PM Central Time with entertaining music from around the world.

The two ZOOM workshops will be presented each night by Elena on Monday, February 22 and Tuesday, February 23, 2021 from 7:00 - 9:30 PM Central Time. All materials for the workshop will be delivered in PDF form via email to attendees prior to the workshop. Workshops will be recorded for later viewing by participants who miss either session. Additional details are posted on the NJO website. Registration and payment ($65 per accordionist) should be completed by February 20 on the website

The term light classical in this workshop means that you will learn music that has beautiful expression and wonderful entertainment qualities for every audience. Learn how to express each note with emotion, to play with proper intonation, to control the bellows, and to articulate each note with clarity and expression. Elena will discuss proper position and posture for playing the accordion, as well as methods to reduce physical stress. Materials are designed for players at all levels.

There are fun musical exercises that assist the learner in developing finger dexterity that is readily transferable to each classical piece. You will learn many different types of light classical music with a few pop tunes in the mix, just for fun! And YES, a classical polka will be included as well. Each musical selection is selected to assist the participant in learning different aspects of accordion performance so that the learner can improve their skills and become a more proficient performer.

Whether you are a chromatic button accordion player or a piano accordion player, this workshop is for you. We look forward to seeing you online at this exciting NJO Light Classical Workshop with Elena Fainshtein!

For further information please contact:
Shirley Johnson email: or Phone: 512-680-0422
Laura Jean Niland email: Phone 210-651-4359
Website Registration/Payment

Presenter Bio: Elena Fainshtein started playing the button accordion (bayan) at age 5 and attended a school for gifted children in Minsk, Belarus. Her second instrument of choice was piano. At age 15, she was accepted to Music College in Minsk and graduated with highest honors, then attending Belarusian State Academy of Music and graduating in 1987. She began playing in an accordion duo with her classmate, Gregory Fainshtein at age 17. They married six years later.

Since their school days, Gregory and Elena have performed concerts all over the world, including Belarus, Russian, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, and the United States. They have performed at the National Accordion Association conventions, and in 2013 and 2015, performed together at the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG). In 2014, they performed at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention (LVAC). In 2019, Elena was able to take one of her top accordion students, Elijah Clements to LVAC, where Elijah received a scholarship and they performed a half-hour solo and duet concert. Two of Elena’s accordion students have been awarded the Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze Champion in the Polka Division: Peter Gresser in 2018 and Elijah Clement in 2019.

Elena Fainshtein has been teaching piano and accordion successfully for over 30 years, giving lessons in three different languages. She currently resides in Plano, Texas where she maintains a private home studio called Musical Expressions.

Read more about her work and studio at

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

Dr. William Schimmel to Present New Seven Hour Virtual Work

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dr. William Schimmel“Tributaries”, a set of pieces that explore the accordion in all facets, moods and styles will be presented and performed by Dr. Schmmel in seven one hour segments (on Zoom). The first week in February 2021 - exact times to be announced.

A Tributary can mean many things - a small river flowing into a large river, a tribute to a composer or a reference or a spray of references from all of accordion history fusing with the history of western - and in a few cases, Eastern music. Otto Luening, one of our AAA commissions said to Dr. Schimmel on one occasion: “You’re doing what Liszt and Busoni were doing in the 19th Century but in a contemporary way”.

Dr. Schimmel decided to call his works “Realities” instead of “Fantasies”. For further information, check Dr. Schimmel’s Facebook page (William Schimmel) for exact times and prices.

The AAA 2021 Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars) will again take place virtually July 30, 31, August 1, 2021 on Zoom. The theme will be “The Twilight Time”. Full information will appear on the AAA website shortly as well as Dr. Schimmel’s website,, and his Facebook page William Schimmel.

Check out his new video with his wife Micki Goodman: “The Kitchen Table at Twilight” on YouTube.

Dr William Schimmel is a leading accordionist, composer and academic, based in New York, where he organizes the annual ‘Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars)’ sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association. He received a Merit Award from the AAA for his contributions spanning fifty years plus the "Accordionist of the Year" Award in 1988. He has performed with many major symphony orchestras in the US, many chamber groups, as well as with rock), jazz, and avant-garde groups.

As a Juilliard trained musician, he is frequently asked to play with the Philharmonic and other orchestras around the country. He also performs in the pit orchestras on Broadway, his most recent performance being the accordionist for the award winning production of “An American in Paris." Over the years Bill’s music has been included in television shows and films. His best known appearance is in the tango scene of "Scent of a Woman" starring Al Pacino. (See video above)

Bill Schimmel learned accordion as a child and attended Julliard School of Music where he received his doctorate in composition. While he was still a student at the school, his career was launched after he recorded songs of avant gard composer, Luiano Berio. An authority on Kurt Weill, Dr. Schimmel has recorded all of Weill's music with accordion. Beginning in 1981, Schimmel’s Tango Project has released a string of acclaimed recordings on the Nonesuch and Newport Classic labels. The first Tango Project recording went to No. 1 on Billboard’s classical charts and was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review magazine.

Schimmel has described the accordion as having a “built-in ironic duality,” both “elegant and vulgar.” That dual quality is captured in the tango scene of “Scent of a Woman,” where it adds a spirit of fun and an undertone of raw sexuality. He has served and continues to serve as Artist in Residence of The American Accordionist's Association (AAA) where he also serves as Distinguished Lecturer in Residence and member of the Governing Board.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

AAA Festival: July 14-18 2021 in Philadelphia, PA is Cancelled

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
AAA logo
Dr. Joe CicconeThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival 2020 in Alexandria, Virgina is cancelled. AAA President Dr. Joseph Ciccone shares, “It is with great disappointment that due to the current situation concerning the world pandemic (Covid 19) the AAA Executive Board and Board of Directors have made the necessary decision to cancel the AAA Festival July 14-18, 2021 in West Philadelphia.

We are committed to public safety, including that of our many loyal attendees, guests and performing artists and to help support our nation’s strong efforts to help control the spread of COVID-19, we join a long list of events that have already been cancelled. Although the pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways, we always find a silver lining.

Look for AAA's new digital ventures through online lectures, seminars, concerts competitions, and the AAA Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony/concert honoring Linda Solely Reed. It will make it easy for us to communicate without missing a beat.

There's a wonderful world on Zoom waiting for you! We are looking forward to seeing all our fellow accordionists online. Be safe, stay well and keep the faith!

For further information visit: American Accordionists' Association (AAA)

Happy Holidays to All,
Joseph Ciccone, President of the AAA

Voci Armoniche

ATG 2021 Festival in Lisle, Illinois

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
ATG Logo
ATG PresidentThe Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) announces that their 2021 festival will be held at the Hyatt in Lisle, Illinois from July 21st to 25th, 2021. Michael Bridge will be a featured guest artist. Further details on the event which includes concerts, exhibits, workshops and competitions will be announced soon.

The new ATG board of directors includes President Mary Ann Covone (picture left), First Vice President: Liz Finch, Second Vice President: Beverley Fess, Treasurer: Kenn Baert, Executive Secretary: Esther Lanting and board members Joanna Darrow, Donna Dee Ray, Kevin Friedrich, Dr Helmi Harrington, Gordon Kohl, Karen Lee, Joe Natoli, Cory Pesaturo, Amy Jo Sawyer, Betty Jo Simon, Joan C. Sommers and Stas Venglevski.

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

New and Updated Sites


Elsie M. Bennett Composition Winners and Information Online

by Harley Jones
AAA Logo
Elsie M BennettElsie M. Bennett (picture right) Composition Competition winners since 2009 are now online on the AAA site.

From 2017, the AAA has added a sample page and sample sound file of the winning music. Also, the contact email of the composer to contact to purchase these new compositions.

Also download Composer's Guide to the Piano Accordion prepared by Dr. Robert Young McMahan at:

2019 – Open Division
1st – Daniel A. Mastrioanni – Awkward Moments, 2nd movement from Sonata #5
Sample Page at:
2nd – Will Comer
3rd – Nathan Chapeton
3rd – Rachel Shutt
2018 – Junior Division
1st – Nathan Chapeton - Tango Pour Janet
Sample Page, Sample sound file Email:
2018 – Open Division
1st – Massimo DeLillo - Visum et Impetus
Sample Page, Sample sound file, Performance by: Fabio Zurlo at
2nd – Will Comer
3rd – Emmanuel Gasser
3rd – Joseph Ciccone
2017 – Junior Division
1st – Nathan Chapeton - Sonata No. 1
Sample Page, Sample sound file at
2nd – Joseph Klettner
3rd – Anton Klettner
2017 – Open Division
1st – Emmanuel Gasser – Tango Frio
Sample Page, Sample sound file at
2nd – Massimo DeLillo
3rd – Joseph Ciccone
3rd – Will Comer
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