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Yellow Pages Events

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


Editor’s Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Premiere of AAA Commissioned Work by Roger Davidson at July AAA Festival
Make Your Reservation for the AAA Festival in July
California to Host ATG 70th Anniversary Celebration
Bruce Gassman Releases First Solo CD
Dr. Robert Young McMahan Performs Original Works at AAA Events
AbsolutAccord to be featured at the ATG Festival in July
AAA Master Class and Concert Series in July
OBI Releases Their Fourth CD
A Petting Zoo at an Accordion Convention?
Joseph Natoli To Give MIDI Workshop At 2010 AAA Festival

Voci Armoniche

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

Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs to Benefit ALS Hope Foundation
Roland V-Accordion Showcased At 2010 Rochester Jazz Festival
Dr. Schimmel is Soloist at the Washington Square Music Festival
Meet Dr. Anthony “Tip” Ciotti, Navy Dentist and Virtuoso Accordionist

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

AFNA Festival and Competition August 12-14 in California
Fairbanks (ALASKA) Summer Arts Festival July 18 to August 1st
Vivant! to Perform on August 1st
14th Annual Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration (RMAC)
The Great Morgani Performs at the ATG Festival
July LIAA Meeting Promises Fun for All

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



Editor’s Note

by Rita Barnea
July is an amazing accordion month. Have you planned your vacation? Consider going to one of the many accordion festivals taking place during the summer.

I would like to remind you that in the right hand column you will see a heading at the top called, “Yellow Pages Events”. If you click on any date, you will see what is happening in the accordion world.

If you would like to list your concert or accordion event, click on “Add New Events”. There is no charge for this listing.

Have you joined the USA Fan Club which is sponsored by who are offering one eSheet solo music (able to be sent to you by email) free of charge to all who join.

You can select from any of the 1,400 plus eSheet solo titles online provided it costs less that US$12/Euro 9 at

To join our USA Fan Club you only need to click: USA Fan Club and fill in your name and email address. There is no password or other sign-up questions or requirements. It is very simple and quick. The USA Fan Club will be used to inform you by email of important Breaking News during the month.

Enjoy the summer!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Paul PasqualiNewsletter cover, Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion FestivalI am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Paul Betken & Jerry Cigler are newly added to a great line up of stars (list below) with lots of great seats still available! Want to hop a plane to come and enjoy this exciting festival?

Newsletter (picture right) with full information: 2018LVACnews.pdf
Picture left: Event organizer Paul Pasquali

The lineup starts with visionary accordionist Cory Pesaturo and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of the legendary Prof. Joan Sommers.

You can register online at or contact Paul Pasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email:
Footer Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival

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

Premiere of AAA Commissioned Work by Roger Davidson at July AAA Festival

by Rita Barnea
Composer Roger DavidsonA new work for accordion commissioned by the AAA, will be premiered on Friday, July 16th at 7 PM at the AAA Festival in Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, PA.

Composer Roger Davidson (no relation to editor Rita Davidson) has composed “Tango Blues”. Scored for accordion, flute, viola, and cello, it is a fusion of tango and jazz.

The musicians are Mary Tokarski (accordion), Christina Busso Lammers (flute), Yulia Zhukov (cello) and Alice Bish (viola). The concert will be on Friday, July 16th at 7 PM. You can purchase tickets at the door for $20.00.

A flexible and diverse pianist and composer, Roger Davidson has a long history of playing both European Classical music and straight-ahead Jazz as well as various styles of Latin music. A specialist in improvisation, he has a life-long love of the music of Argentina and Brazil.

Having completed his third tango album, "Pasion por la Vida" (Soundbrush Records) the first to rely solely on his own compositions, Davidson is quickly becoming a certifiable tanguero! "Pasion por la Vida" is a collaboration with the Latin Grammy Award-winning Raul Jaurena on bandoneon and produced by Argentine bassist Pablo Aslan. Both of these men played on Davidson’s "Mango Tango" (Rainbow Collection) in 1995 and have remained close collaborators ever since.

Davidson produced Jaurena’s "Te Amo Tango" which won a Latin Grammy for best Tango album in 2007. With Aslan, he teamed up as The Tango Project and produced "Amor por el Tango" ("Love for the Tango") which has received rapturous critical praise.

Born in Paris in 1952 to a French mother and an American father, Davidson moved to New York City when he was a baby and has spent most of his life in the northeastern part of the United States. In the 1980’s he earned Master’s degree in Composition from Boston University and a Master’s in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where he began writing choral music – which later bloomed into an extensive repertoire.

During his time in Boston, he founded and directed a chamber orchestra, which gave several concerts to critical acclaim. He later spent time in Germany, studying voice and teaching improvisation at the Lichtenberger Institute ,but returned to the northeastern U.S. and moving to New York. His interest in jazz was strong, however, and one of the people who encouraged that interest was the late producer, Helen Keane (who was best-known for managing and producing one of Davidson’s idols, Bill Evans). In the late ’80s, Keane produced an album-length jazz demo recording for Davidson, although she didn’t live long enough to see it become a published CD – which it was, years later, as "Ten to Twelve", under the Soundbrush label.

In 2002 Davidson founded Soundbrush Records where he served as President until 2008. With Soundbrush he oversaw and produced almost two dozen first-rate recordings of Jazz, World and Latin music during this time, including work by David Finck, Carol Fredette, Marco Granados, Frank London, and Argentine guitarist, Pancho Navarro.

For further information about the AAA Festival or the premiere of “Tango Blues” contact:

Titano Accordion Company

Make Your Reservation for the AAA Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
You are invited to attend the 2010 American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival which will be held at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, PA from July 14-18 2010. Performances will take place at Hershey Park.

The event will have all types of accordion music with something for everyone! There will be many exciting and fun filled events taking place at the AAA Festival this year including a Press and Squeeze Party on Wednesday evening, a massed band performance at Hershey Park on Thursday followed by a cabaret night on Thursday evening. The Luncheon Concert is scheduled for Friday and the breakfast/meeting on Sunday morning.

On Friday morning a unique program will take place: A children’s program with an accordion “petting zoo” and a presentation of the book, “An Accordion! What Is That?” by Karen Malan-Uribe, Joan Grauman and Mary Tokarski. This is the first time that an accordion “petting zoo” will be part of the festival activities.

Mary will read the book and perform. Joan will distribute crayons and colored pictures of Buzz Treble, the bee guide in the book. Karen will talk about the creation of the book. Following will be the “petting zoo” in which the children will be able to hold and play a 12 bass accordion!

The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) is delighted to announce that Dr. Emilian Badea will conduct this year’s festival orchestra on Saturday evening, July 17. The orchestra is open to all registered participants and will rehearse at the Festival. There will also be a Junior Orchestra this year for younger performers who may have not had the experience of playing in a group.

This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of an accordion orchestra! Music for the Festival Orchestra, Junior Orchestra, and Massed Band is online.

Accordionist, bassoonist, musicologist, conductor and educator, Dr. Emilian Badea is a member of the National Music Honor Society “Pi Kappa Lambda”, the International Double Reed Society, the American Accordionists’ Association and the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts. He is on the music faculty of the University of Massachusetts. New School of Music Cambridge and Bookline Music School and maintains his music studio in Natick, MA.

Several important competitions will take place during the festival including: The 2010 Maddalena Belfiore Entertainment Competition for Female Accordionists Competition) the 2010 Elsie Bennett Composition Competition; the 2010 Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Competition; and the 2010 Digital Accordion Competition Rules.

Many well known accordion artists will perform at the AAA Festival including: Dominic Karcic and Ray Oreggio, Dr.Robert McMahan, Joseph Natoli, John Moceo, Bruce Gassman, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Vladimir Mollov , Annie Moger, Mary Tokarski, The Busso Trio, Martynas Levickis, The Potomac Ensemble, and The Alex Meixner Band.

For hotel information: 717-564-5511. Please mention American Accordionists’ Association to get the special room rate: $109 for single, double, triple, and quad.

For further information view the AAA website or email: You can find information about the Festival on Facebook.

Voci Armoniche

California to Host ATG 70th Anniversary Celebration

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo
Alongside featured guest artists World Champions Alexander Sevastian (Canada) and Cory Pesaturo (USA) stride some of California’s great accordion talent. The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) proudly welcomes to the stage area favorites Peter Di Bono, Liz Finch, AbsolutAccord, Steve Albini, Gordon Kohl, The Great Morgani (Frank Lima) and Accordion Chamber Ensemble (ACE) conducted by Joe Smiell, Jr.

Additional ATG artists and workshop presenters are Patricia Bartell, William Cosby, Bruce Gassman, Joan Grauman, Dee Langley, Esther Lanting, Karen Malan-Uribe, Bernard Metais, Lionel Reekie, Amy Jo Sawyer, Betty Jo Simon, Joan Sommers, Mary Tokarski and Stas Venglevski.

The ATG is also proud to announce a Special Screening of "Behind the Bellows" a documentary by Steve Mobia which has popular acclaim in the Bay Area. And don’t forget the Sightseeing Tour scheduled for Wednesday, July 21 and don’t miss the ATG performance at California’s Great America’s Amusement Park Saturday morning with an all-you-can-eat picnic at noon for $37 (includes an all day pass to the park).

The ATG 70th Anniversary Celebrations are open to the public and tickets for the concerts and day passes to listen to the Galla-Rini Classical Accordion Competition, attend the workshops or visit the display area may be purchased at the door. Banquet tickets must be purchased before July 16th. For more information visit the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) website or contact Dee Langley at email:

Hilton Santa Clara
July 21-25, 2010
4949 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California
United States 95054

Accordion Jazz Chords

Bruce Gassman Releases First Solo CD

by Rita Barnea
Bruce GassmanBruce is very excited to announce the release of his 1st Solo CD,“Classic Rock Accordion 2 Bruce” during his performances on Thursday evening, July 15th at the AAA Festival in Hershey, PA and on Thursday evening, July 22nd at the ATG 70th Anniversary Celebration in Santa Clara, CA.

When asked about the release dates, Bruce said; “I am extremely honored and pleased to have two release opportunities; one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast both of which take place at two of the premier accordion events held in the United States”.

When asked about the music, Bruce said; “This is the music I grew up with and love to listen to and play and it appears that the timing is right for a
---Child of the 60's !!!
---In his 60's!!!
---Playing 60’s Music!!!
Accordion enthusiasts and players, young and old, are appreciating Classic Rock n’ Roll Music more and more, especially when it’s played on their favorite instrument – THE ACCORDION”.

When asked about the CD, Bruce said; “My thinking was simple: I did not want to make a ‘sterile or sanitized’ recording; I wanted people to hear the real me; and I wanted to capture the same feel and emotion of a live performance even though it was recorded in a studio. When you perform live, making music can become more interesting and surprises can occur; like a ‘patch’ change not catching immediately, adding a new funky bass lick or even the song’s arrangement can take a fun twist. That never happens when the music is played the same, note for note, every time. You lose the spontaneity of the moment and that’s not what I wanted to accomplish. So there are no tricks and no overdubs; just two hands and one accordion”.

Bruce had a very busy 2009 and this coming year is even busier. In March of 2010, Bruce was a featured performer at the National Accordion Association Convention in Dallas, where he did two shows, two workshops and did a Fox 4TV spot with Nashville accordionist Jeff Lisenby promoting the event. Later that month he played in the orchestra pit for a local production of Fiddler on the Roof and the following week performed at the Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild Gala Event, sharing the stage with Eddie Monteiro, Mary Tokarski, Joanna Arnold Darrow, Beverly Roberts-Curnow and Lenny Feldmann. In April, Bruce was the guest artist for the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society where he presented a show followed by a workshop.

On May 2nd, Bruce played with Maestro Dan Desiderio and the Accordion Pops Orchestra. On June 5th, the Orchestra performed at the famous Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA. In July Bruce is instructing and performing at both the AAA Festival in Hershey, Pa and at the 70th Anniversary Celebration presented by The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International in Santa Clara, California, where he will be introducing his new solo CD. On June 26th, Bruce entertained Danny Desiderio at his Surprise 80th Birthday Party in Philadelphia. Danny and his friends were delighted to hear Bruce’s Rock and Roll accordion selections.

This November, you will be able to see and hear Bruce’s performances and workshops at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention and later that month, you can hear him perform in Florida at the Florida Accordion Association’s annual “SMASH” event. Following these events, Bruce will be back for his 3rd season with Holiday Express, a group of 80 professional musicians and 600 volunteers who, from Thanksgiving till Christmas, bring the gift of human kindness to those less fortunate. In 2009, Holiday Express performed more than 50 shows at Developmental Centers, Psychiatric Hospitals and Children’s Special Schools. Bruce played at 25 of them. You can also occasionally catch Bruce on weekends as a guest performer with local Jersey Shore Bands or at private parties throughout New Jersey. It has been a very busy time for this wonderful and talented performer.

For further information email:


Dr. Robert Young McMahan Performs Original Works at AAA Events

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Robert Young McMahanDr. Robert Young McMahan, AAA Board member, will share his musical knowledge and creativity at the AAA Festival, July 14-18 in Hershey, Pennsylvania and at the AAA Master Class and Concert Series in July 29, 30 and August 1st.

Dr. McMahan will perform the AAA commission, “Sonata,for Accordion,” by Robert Baksa on the AAA Thursday evening "Cabaret" concert as well as a new work which he composed called "Atavisms, for Old-Time Accordion".

The “Sonata for Accordion” by Baksa is a full three-movement sonata, with the tempo scheme of fast (with slow introduction) / slow / fast, and following the traditional forms of that 18th-century type, but in mildly modern pandiatonic style.

Robert’s “Atavisms” represents a complete departure from his usual modern style of composition and actually reverts to vaudevillian-style traditional tonality, exploiting some of the stereotypes of the popular accordion from bygone times. The composition was inspired by the Christmas Holidays this year and is a "vacation" from his usual "serious" mode of writing. “Atavisms”, originally intended for accordion duet, will have its debut, in solo form, at the Festival. The three movements are “Tarantella”, “Waltzette”, and “Polka”.

Dr.McMahan will also present a workshop on the evolution of the accordion concerto on Friday afternoon at the AAA Festival.

During the AAA Masterclass and Concert Series, he will present a shortened version of the concerto workshop and will perform his “Ativisms” on July 29th along with a 1996 duet for accordion and piano by Bill Schimmel, titled “Sinfonia India”. On July 30th,he will play “ Moshe Budmor's “Toccata and Fugue, for Accordion (2009)”, which he premiered at TCNJ in March. On August 1st, he will perform his “Three Toss-offs, for flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon”, which he also premiered in March 2010 at TCNJ.

This will be performed with three of his former TCNJ students in music theory, Rachel Smith, flute, Alison Mari, oboe, Greg Marsh, clarinet, and a NYC classmate of Alison's, Matthew Rosenberg.

Dr. McMahan is Professor of Music at The College of New Jersey where he is also Area Coordinator of Music Theory, Composition, Ear Training, and Classical Accordion.

Prior to his appointment at TCNJ, Dr. McMahan taught Music Theory and related subjects at Towson University, Morgan State University, College of Notre Dame, Essex Community College, and the Peabody Preparatory School (of the Peabody Institute) where he was Head of the Theory Department and developed its curriculum. He also taught Classical Accordion at the Peabody Preparatory School and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Dr. McMahan studied composition with Robert Hall Lewis, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, and Stefan Grove at the Peabody Institute. He received honors in composition there and awards in composition from the Annapolis Fine Arts Composers’ Competition and Contemporary Recording Society.

In addition, he has received a number of Meet the Composer grants since 1996. Dr. McMahan is a recognized authority on the American composer, Carl Ruggles, and has published articles in American Music, Sonneck Society Bulletin, New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and New Grove Dictionary of Music. He is presently working on a book on the life and works of Ruggles.

Dr. McMahan’s primary instrument is classical accordion, and he has tirelessly promoted the instrument in serious contemporary music throughout his career. He has been commissioned to write works for the accordion by various individuals and organizations, including the American Accordionists’ Association and the New York State Council on the Arts. He has recorded on the CRS and Orion labels and is published by Ernest Deffner Music.

During his years in the Baltimore area, Dr. McMahan was accordionist for the Baltimore Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Washington Ballet and American Ballet Orchestras (at the Kennedy Center), and for other cultural and performing organizations.

He has performed under such notable conductors as Julius Rudel, Rob Fisher, Sarah Caldwell, Sergiu Comissiona, Gunther Schuller, Frederik Prausnitz, Murry Sidlin, bandleader Les Elgart, Leon Botstein, Leon Fleisher, and Peter Schickele, and with Sting, Georgia Brown, Maureen McGovern, Alvin Epstein, Boyd Gaines, and Theodore Bikel. Besides his numerous published articles,

Dr. McMahan has been featured in articles by others in Keyboard Magazine, The Music Connoisseur, High Fidelity, Who’s Who in American Composers: Classical, and several other highly regarded publications.

Dr. McMahan serves as a reader and table leader at the annual examinations readings of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program for Music Theory and had been a reader for the Graduate Record Examination in Music Theory prior to its discontinuance.
For further information:

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

AbsolutAccord to be featured at the ATG Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
AbsolutAccord: Lynn Ewing, Marian Kelly, David Perry, Joe Simoni, Sharon Walters Greyhosky, Richard Yaus, Norma Zonay-ParsonsAbsolutAccord, an accordion ensemble based in the San Francisco area, will be featured at the July ATG Festival in Santa Clara, California. Their performance is on Friday, July 23 at 8 PM at the Santa Clara Hilton, 4949 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA.

Accordionist Richard Yaus founded the group ten years ago and uses many of his teacher’s arrangements. Born in Germany, he began to play the accordion at the age of six. Richard Yaus studied with the German accordion virtuoso, Georg Schwenk, while winning music competitions in the solo, duo and orchestra categories during the 1980’s and 90’s.

Richard attended conducting classes held at the conservatory in Munich and in Trossingen, led his own accordion orchestra, played accordion parts in opera and musical theater in and around Munich, and later joined his teacher’s accordion ensemble and orchestra. Richard recently performed music by Astor Piazzolla as part of the chamber music series with the Palo Alto Philharmonic, and with the Redwood Symphony in Shostakovich's Suite for Variety Orchestra.

AbsolutAccord has been recognized as an unusual and rare musical treat and consists of seven accordionists: Lynn Ewing, Marian Kelly, David Perry, Joe Simoni, Sharon Walters Greyhosky, Richard Yaus, Norma Zonay-Parsons. AbsolutAccord's repertoire includes jazz standards, French, Italian, and Russian music, tangos, and classical music.

How did they get the name, AbsolutAccord? Richard said, “ We wanted a name using the word, “accordion” and because all the musicians in the group are perfectionists and we are very focused on a high quality performance in order to achieved a professional result……. we used the word, “absolute” which means “Perfect in quality or nature; complete” thus our name, “AbsolutAccord”.

Lynn Ewing was born and raised in San Diego, California, where she started playing accordion at age seven. As a young adult, Lynn taught at the Robert Mitchell Accordion School, where she directed five accordion bands and gave accordion lessons to over a hundred young children. She received her certification in the Orff Method of Music instruction from Mills College, and was the music specialist at El Granada Elementary school for seven years. Currently Lynn teaches private accordion students, and performs with two accordion ensembles, the San Francisco Accordion Chamber Ensemble (ACE) and AbsolutAccord.

Marian Kelly grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts where, at the time, there was a great deal of accordion interest. She joined the orchestra of and taught for the Pizzitola Music Studios, which provided many rewarding experiences along with a bit of income and became kind of a second home. Her current accordion interests include teaching, participating in the San Francisco Accordion Chamber Ensemble (ACE), playing the bass-accordion in AbsolutAccord, schmoozing with her many accordion friends and helping at least a few folks in the general public appreciate the variety of musical treats, which an accordion can provide.

David Perry studied accordion from ages six to seventeen, most of that time with Ernst Gloe who taught music at the California Conservatory of Music and at California State University, East Bay.

David played the clarinet for many years in various groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area but the accordion sat unused in the closet for forty-eight years. In the spring of 2008, David crossed paths with a member of the San Francisco Accordion Chamber Ensemble (ACE) who invited him to join that organization and David now performs with ACE and AbsolutAccord.

Joe Simoni has been playing accordion for almost fifty years and has studied with San Francisco’s own Michael Corino and Professor Giovanni Vitale, an accomplished and highly respected accordion instructor from Lucca, Italy. Joe is the leader of the JPS Band, which has been entertaining audiences from Napa to Monterey. Joe is also proud and honored to be one of the three original accordionists in AbsolutAccord.

Sharon Walters Greyhosky began playing the accordion at age six. Sharon studied with (and taught in the studio of) Orlando Meni-Ketti, and later studied for several years with Ernst Gloe. Sharon is a member of the San Francisco Accordion Chamber Ensemble (ACE), plays with the San Francisco Cabaret Opera Company and accompanies poetry presenters at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. Sharon is a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild; she resides and teaches accordion in San Francisco.

Norma Zonay-Parsons is originally from Southern California. Norma has entertained since her teens, was lead singer and accordionist touring with her own trio for a number of years, playing in clubs, shows and radio. Norma teamed for several years in a violin/accordion duo with a noted violin impresario in Salt Lake City, doing POPS Concerts and a weekly variety TV show. Norma now teaches in her studio in San Jose and performs with Bellows and Bow, a violin/accordion duo, and with AbsolutAccord.

The next performance of AbsolutAccord will be on August 8, 2010 2 PM at the Rengstorff House ,3070 N. Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, CA. Their CD which includes jazz standards, tangos, ethnic music, and classical music is available. Individual selections are also available from ITunes.

For further information: e-mail:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

AAA Master Class and Concert Series in July

by Rita Barnea
AAA Master Class and Concert SeriesThe purpose of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Master Class and Concert Series is to present every aspect of accordion culture to the New York artistic community and to anyone else interested.

THE SEMINARS were founded, directed, curated and moderated by Dr. William Schimmel, an accordionist as well as a composer and philosopher who is Artist in Residence of The American Accordionists’ Association.

The AAA Master Class and Concerts are a series of master classes and concerts that take place yearly over a three day period and are sponsored by The American Accordionists’ Association. The first series of Seminars took place in 1995 and is now in its 16th year.

The Master Classes consist of lectures, workshops, discussions and intimate performances. The concerts are more formal: perhaps one evening: classics – another evening: theater and performance art and another evening: experimental and current – although nothing is completely carved in stone.

Participants prepare topics assigned to them by William Schimmel. Each year, the seminars are based around a single theme. This year’s seminar is called” “Don’t Like Opera?” Both participants and spectators come from a wide range of age groups, educational backgrounds and tastes. Although not exclusively academic, they are intellectually stimulating and require commitment from those who attend, but they are presented in a straightforward manner and can be easily understood – in other words, no cryptic shop talk.

The Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes has awarded Dr. Schimmel the Distinguished Merit Award for his work in the international accordion movement especially by way of THE SEMINARS.

The Seminars will be held on July 30, 31 and August 1 2010 at The Tenri Cultural Institute of New York,43A West 13th St. between 5th and 6th Aves. The Master Classes are at 3 PM – Concerts at 7 PM. The fee is $20 per Master Class – $25 per Concert or $40 per day which includes the Master Class and Concert. $110 for entire weekend.

Reservations: 212-876-0827 or
Those wishing to “take the hot seat” should reserve early.

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

OBI Releases Their Fourth CD

by Rita Barnea
Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI), which means 'orchestra without a name' in Bulgarian is releasing their fourth CD, 'Mahala Drive' this week. The music is exciting, slinky and exotic featuring Gypsy, Romanian, Bulgarian and Macedonian melodies and songs.

OBI uses the accordion not only as a melody and harmony instrument but as a solid part of the rhythm section. “Mahala Drive” features the accordion on two tracks with improvised solos on the hajaz scale called 'taxim'. The melody of each taxim floats above the sometimes wild rhythm to create a feeling of calm over turbulence.

The musicians in the group are: Colleen Bertsch, violin; Katrina Mundinger, clarinet; Dee Langley, accordion; Scott Keever, guitar/mandolin; Matt Miller, bass and Natalie Nowytski on vocals, dumbek and tapan

Orkestar Bez Ime was formed in 2002 to bring Balkan dance music to the Upper Midwest. Since then OBI has performed at many local Twin Cities venues and has toured in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Alabama, and Pennsylvania to critical acclaim.

Meet the musicians:
Colleen Bertsch is OBI's violinist extraordinaire of haunting eastern European melodies and swirling ornaments. Her mentors include Hungarian violinists Hrúz Dénes of the band Dűvő, Ökrös Csaba of Ökrös, and Vizeli Balázs formerly of Téka. Colleen has traveled many times to Hungary to study fiddling, but in the summer of 2008 she traveled throughout Romania for three months in search of musicians who are still playing their village-specific folk music.

Scott Keever, one of the newest members of OBI, is a multi-instrumentalist/composer who has been working within the Twin Cities area for over a decade. He has been a music director for Brave New Workshop and, for eight years, was composer/arranger and sound designer for local comedy sketch troupe Idiot Box.

For four years, Scott performed with Celtic/folk band Lojo Russo & Funks Grove, with whom he co-produced three albums. He has also been involved with numerous live performances and studio sessions, with genres ranging from Top 40 to Jazz to Musical Theatre to Experimental Electronica.

He has composed and produced the theme song for the KFAI news (Twin Cities - 90.3FM) as well as the soundtracks for a number of independent film makers. Scott is also currently a student at the U of MN - School of Music, working on his B.A. in Music, with guitar as his primary instrument.

Dee Langley specializes in solo and ensemble work on the accordion. She has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in addition to being part of Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI), Wild Hollow Ms. Langley is the President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International, founder of the NE Accordion Festival and teaches music privately in the Metro area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Matt Miller likes to think of himself as a wandering bassist, always searching for the right type of music, right sound, and on a bad day the right chords. He has played in a multitude of groups such as a chinese orchestra, the Ocean orchestra with Merce Cunningham and Andrew Culver, the occasional symphony orchestra and OBI. He has also played for the spark festival doing electro acoustic music, and worked with composers such as Andrew Imbrie.

Katrina Mundinger considers herself a "Clarinet Evangelist" who will go to great lengths to increase knowledge of and participation in great clarinet playing. She began classical training in 1979 and obtained a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from Oberlin Conservatory (1990) and a Master of Music in Clarinet performance from Northwestern University (1991).

After a three year hiatus from the instrument she discovered Eastern European folk music and hasn't stopped playing since. Her primary classical teachers were Lawrence McDonald, Robert Marcellus, and Clark Brody and she has traveled far and wide to study with the likes Ivo Papasov, Ivan Milev, Gëzim Halili, and Jim Stoyanoff to develop her folk music skills. In addition to performing with OBI, Katrina plays with Wild Hollow and teaches clarinet locally.

Natalie Nowytski ("The Chameleon") was supposed to be an opera singer but her fascination first with her native Ukrainian folk music, then Bulgarian, then countless others convinced her at an early age that villagers really do have more fun. She has since learned to hold a note for 38 seconds and has added more than 50 languages and nearly 20 distinct vocal styles to her repertoire, thanks in part to study with vocal giants Svetla Karadjova Ivanova, Liljana Galevska, Donka Koleva, Carol Silverman, and others.

In addition to whipping up vocal acrobatics, Natalie also holds down the percussion fort for OBI and lends a hand on various flutes. She has performed nationally and internationally with the likes of Peter Ostroushko, Ruth MacKenzie, Mila Vocal Ensemble (which she also directed for several years), and Garrison Keillor.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

A Petting Zoo at an Accordion Convention?

by Rita Barnea
An Accordion What is That?
An Accordion What is That, back coverOn Friday morning, July 16th at 9:30 AM, a unique program will take place at the 2010 AAA Festival in Harrisburg, PA. and also on Friday, July 23rd at 10:AM at the 2010 ATG Festival in California: A children’s program with an accordion “petting zoo” and a presentation of the book, “An Accordion! What Is That?” by Karen Malan-Uribe, Joan Grauman and AAA and ATG Board member, Mary Tokarski. This is the first time that an accordion “petting zoo” will be part of any accordion festival activities.

Three good friends and fellow accordionists combined their special talents to create a delightful children’s book about their favorite instrument entitled, “An Accordion! What Is That? Looking at the accordion inside and out”. The book includes a CD with narration and music.

Karen Malan-Uribe, award-winning author of children’s books, is the author. Celebrated artist, AAA Board member and AAA Historian,Joan Geller Grauman, illustrated the book and created its mascot, an animated honeybee named, “Buzz Treble”. The CD includes a wonderful narration of the book, as well as music beautifully performed by world renowned accordionist, Mary Tokarski.

In the words of American Accordionists' Association (AAA) President, Linda Soley Reed: “What a delightful early reader! Yet, it is comprehensive for the older child as well. It is definitely a unique approach to teaching, not only the workings and complexities of the accordion, but the music as well. The accompanying CD and illustrations are a treasure. This book should be included in every school’s required curriculum.”

The book is intended as an early reader, but it includes music and material that can be appreciated by older children, as well as adults.

Books can be purchased during the AAA and ATG Festival. Additionally, copies can be purchased through SqueezinArt for $17.95 plus $2.05 for shipping & handling per book (total of $20). Please send checks to: SqueezinArt, PO Box 2001, Rockville, MD 20847-2001.

For volume discount (10 copies or more), please send e-mail to Joan Grauman:

Titano Accordion Company

Joseph Natoli To Give MIDI Workshop At 2010 AAA Festival

by Rita Barnea
Joe Natoli using his MIDI studio at homeHaving attended quite a few accordion conventions as a clinician for Roland Corporation since 2008, Joe Natoli noticed a typical theme emerging from new and even experienced owners of their digital accordions, and that is a struggle with the basics of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital interface) and how to apply it to live and/or recorded performance, especially when using digital accordions attached via MIDI to various arranger modules.

MIDI was developed as a standard in 1982 to allow electronic musical instruments to speak to one another and to also be able to speak to sequencers, computers, and digital recorders. Joe has been using MIDI since its first instruments started appearing on the scene in 1983, and had a very successful duo for about 15 years that utilized pre-recorded “sequenced” MIDI data (with all percussion and instrumental parts performed by Joe), which he then played along with in live performances.

His arrangements of Top 40, jazz, rock, country, and ethnic were crafted to sound just like the original recordings. Joe’s duo could sound like any group size including an intimate jazz trio, to a five-member rock band, or a 20-piece big band!

Now that the technology has evolved so rapidly since those days, MIDI continues to become an even more exciting adventure for musicians of all types. But the one issue so many newcomers to MIDI have in common is that no one has taken the time to explain to them the basics of MIDI and how to get the most from one’s MIDI instruments. So the typical scenario is that a “newbie” goes out and purchases a digital accordion, possibly with an arranger module hoping to become a one person band. That aspiration is completely possible and not as difficult as it may seem, but often once they hook things up, all they get is SILENCE. They scratch their collective heads in consternation and frustration and sometimes so much so that they want to sell their new equipment on Ebay or the best offer that can help them keep most of their cash outlay.

Joe’s workshop is meant to once and for all help take the mystery out of MIDI for many newbies out there who are just missing a few basics to be able to really get the most out of their MIDI setups….hence the name of the workshop, “Getting the Most Out Of Your MIDI and Digital Applications.“ But this workshop can be equally useful even for experienced MIDI-files who may not realize the full potential of their MIDI setups.

Joe will be using the Roland FR7X and a Roland Sonic Cell sound module as part of this workshop but questions/concerns from anyone about any equipment they have in their MIDI home setup are encouraged and welcomed.

Joseph Natoli, who lives in Ohio, has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since 1960. Joe started his studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio. Like many other accordionists of his time, Joe developed his classical performance skills in state and national competitions hosted by the American Accordionists' Association (AAA), eventually winning its national title at the age of 18 in Washington, D.C. Later that year (1972), Joe became the AAA United States representative in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition held in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was chosen first runner up.

Joe also released an album for Giulietti Accordion Corporation that year entitled Accordion Masterworks presents Joseph Natoli and Richard Romiti, which includes many unique solo and duet arrangements and original compositions for the free bass accordion.
Natoli was the first student ever to be accepted at the University of Toronto using free bass accordion as an applied major instrument, studying with renowned Canadian accordionist Joseph Macerollo.

While at the University of Toronto, Joe participated in the first International Accordion Symposium as a performer and composer, for which his Eclat for 5 accordions was commissioned. In 1978 and 1979, Joe also received 2 substantial Ohio Arts Council grants to write and record Prism/Rebirth for free bass accordion, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, and a large constituent of percussion.

Joseph Natoli, 1972 AAA US Virtuoso champion, 1972 Coupe Mondiale 1st Runner Up, and 2008 Roland US Digital Accordion champion, and active Roland clinician has found a way to teach students anywhere in the world who want to study with him, using Skype’s available technology.

Since current laptop and desktop computers typically come equipped with a web cam and microphone, and since most people currently have high-speed internet access, Joe has been successfully using a free online video conferencing tool to teach students anywhere on the planet via web cam.

Joe recently released an Adult Accordion Method which comes with a 63-track CD that includes every exercise and musical selection in the book. Although it is always wise to find a good teacher, this method is written with the self-learner in mind as well. Therefore if a student is in a remote area where access to accordion teachers is not readily available, a student can use the method book and its accompanying CD as an effective self-teaching tool. Both are designed to give the self-taught as well as the instructed student the ability to make as much progress as possible.

If a student is fortunate enough to have found a teacher, then think of the accompanying CD as a way to take the teacher home to help practice the other six days of the week!

Joseph Natoli is very active at accordion festivals and conventions as a clinician and performer. Make sure you attend his workshop on Friday, July 16th, 8:30 AM, Fir & Elm Rooms at the 2010 AAA Festival in Harrisburg, PA. He will also perform at the Thursday evening, July 15th, Cabaret Concert at 8 PM.

For more information:

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs to Benefit ALS Hope Foundation

by Rita Barnea
Daniel DesiderioThe Accordion Pops Orchestra, conducted by Daniel J. Desiderio, presented a wonderful concert June 5, 2010 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

In addition to the Orchestra, the concert featured flautist Andrea Mauer, tenor Rodolfo Veneziano, soprano Elizabeth Patterson, percussionists Michael Beswick and Doris Heck, and the APO Chamber Group with oboist Ross Gombiner, guitarist Matthew Kaplan, soprano Elizabeth Patterson, and accordionist Justin Patterson.

The Accordion Pops Orchestra was organized in 1970 by the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey. It is the only professional accordion orchestra of its kind on the East Coast. The 35 member orchestra performed
a repertoire of Classical, Broadway, Latin, Pop, and Ethnic music.

A highlight of the concert came when Maestro Desiderio thrilled the audience by performing solo with the orchestra. He handed the baton to APO Assistant Conductor, Lenny Feldmann, strapped on his accordion, and proceeded to perform the 2nd Movement of his own composition, "Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra".

This was followed by a terrific rendition of "Andalucia" by Ernesto Lecuona and finally Mr. Desiderio played his famous accordion composition "Mexican Carnival". Each piece was accompanied by the APO with the orchestra parts arranged by the Maestro himself.

Daniel J. Desiderio is one of the country's foremost accordion artists. Well known in the accordion field for his compositions and arrangements and has recorded on the Ampco and Cormark labels. He has concertized throughout Europe, appearing at London's Royal Festival Hall, Copenhagen's Radio House, Munich's Congress Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall, Town Hall and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

During his four year military service he was the featured soloist with the Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. A former member of the Board of Directors of the AAA, Mr. Desiderio is one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Accordion Teacher's Association.

In addition to being the conductor of the Accordion Pops Orchestra, he teaches accordion, piano, and organ at his studio in Media, Pennsylvania.

This is the fourth time the APO has been invited to the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia within the past six years to present a fund raising concert for the ALS Hope Foundation.

For more

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Roland V-Accordion Showcased At 2010 Rochester Jazz Festival

by Joseph Natoli, ATG President
Rochester Jazz Festival
On June 16, 2010, something new happened at the famed Rochester Jazz Festival that has never happened before. The accordion was given front and center stage with two Roland artists, Eddie Monteiro and Joseph Natoli.

Thanks to the hard work last summer of the late Ron Lankford from Roland Corporation along with Rose Caccamise of Roxy’s Music, their efforts got the accordion very much noticed this year at a hugely famous week-long jazz festival where the accordion shared the venue with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, and Stanley Jordan.

The Festival is sponsored by Xerox Corporation with 14 different concert halls in the downtown Rochester district provided in a campus setting for jazz artists from all over the world. Xerox’s own auditorium in Xerox Plaza was provided exclusively to Eddie and Joe who performed two shows entitled the “Rochester/Roland All-Star Accordion Jam!”

There were certainly all types of listeners in the audience, from accordion skeptics, to accordion enthusiasts, to jazz aficionados, to everyday music enthusiasts. However, Joe Natoli started the program, and from the very first notes coming out of his Roland FR7X virtual accordion with huge concert percussion sounds as he began a very accurate recreation of Aaron Copland’s orchestral piece “Fanfare For the Common Man,” there were audible gasps in the audience, as they realized they were in for something completely different.

Joe continued a program of classical, light classical, and jazz. Eddie Monteiro then performed with a trio, showcasing his incredible talents as a jazz artist, performing a number of wonderful jazz standards including his trademark “One Note Samba.”

Needless to say, the accordion made a lasting impression on an audience who has come to expect the best that this festival has to offer. They may have come in with some preconceptions about what they were about to hear from an accordion, but certainly they left with a completely different set of expectations for next year.

A huge debt of gratitude goes out to our dear deceased friend, Ron Lankford, Roland Corporation, and Rose Caccamise of Roxy’s Music in Batavia, NY for making this opportunity possible.

For more information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Dr. Schimmel is Soloist at the Washington Square Music Festival

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelOn July 20, AAA Board member Dr. William Schimmel will perform as soloist in two works at the Washington Square Music Festival in Greenwich Village, New York. Established in 1953, it is New York's oldest music festival.

William Schimmel will open the program with his new rendition of Von Suppe's “Poet and Peasant Overture” complete with Latin rhythms, Latvian folklore, Bollywood and other world music references. He will close the program with Offenbach's “Orpheus in the Underworld” – also a new rendition. Both pieces are scored by Dr. Schimmel for accordion solo with alto and tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, cello and bass.

Dr. Schimmel will also accompany singer Laila Salins in music by Cole Porter and Frederick Hollinder. The artistic director is Lutz Rath. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information –

William Schimmel is a virtuoso accordionist, author, philosopher and composer. He is one of the principle architects in the tango revival in America, the resurgence of the accordion and the philosophy of Musical Reality (composition with pre-existing music). He received his diploma from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music and his BM, MS and DMA degrees from the Juilliard School. He has taught at the Juilliard School , Brooklyn College CUNY, Upsala College, New School University, Neupauer Conservatory (dean) and has lectured on accordion related subjects at Princeton , Columbia , Brandeis, University of Missouri , Duke University, Manhattan School of Music, the Graduate Center CUNY, Santa Clara University, The Janacek Conservatory in Ostrava, Czech Republic and at Microsoft.

He now heads the Neupauer Conservatory Order of the Shield program, a private studies program for gifted students on a graduate and post graduate level. He conducts a successful three day master class and concert series sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association.

The Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes has awarded Dr. Schimmel the distinguished Merit Award for the AAA Master Class and Concert Series as well as his contribution to the international accordion scene. He received the American Accordionists' Association Distinguished Service Award for Fifty Years of Accordion activity and his work as Lecturer in Residence. He is listed in Who's Who in America and Great Minds of the 21st Century

Titano Accordion Company

Meet Dr. Anthony “Tip” Ciotti, Navy Dentist and Virtuoso Accordionist

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Anthony CiottiMusic is a wonderful and special part of life. Whether or not it becomes one's profession, there are so many opportunities to explore, friends to make, places to go, concerts to hear or participate in…….if you are fortunate enough to play an instrument. Playing the accordion is one of the most special instruments that a person can learn. The people who play it and the people who love it are a very unique group of individuals.

Dr.Anthony “Tip” Ciotti has enjoyed playing the accordion for his entire life! He was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware where he began his accordion studies at the Laravela Music School. He played on his first recital at the age of 5 at the Children’s Theater and there he met the famous Charles Magnante who was the guest artist.

Anthony completed his studies with Magnante’s friend and fellow premiere artist, composer, and director, Daniel Desiderio of Parkside, PA. Over the years “Tip” competed in and won several local and national competitions while also playing with his quartet in the Wilmington area.

After graduating from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine, Anthony served a full career as a dentist in the U.S. Navy. During this time, he performed in a wide range of venues throughout the USA, Europe, and the Far East including solo concert work as well as television.

Since retiring from the Navy, Anthony has lived in Virginia Beach with his wife, Carol, also a retired Navy dentist, and their three children. He and Carol perform locally in the Tidewater Viginai area where she accompanies him on percussion instruments including a unique bass instrument called a marimbula.

In October 2007, a fellow local accordionist, Sid Sward, and Anthony established the Accordion Lovers Club of Virginia, an informal group who practice in his home once a month. It is a small but dedicated group which always welcomes anyone who shares the love of the accordion.

Anthony was a participant in the January 2010 Frank Marocco Accordion Event in Arizona where he performed several solos. On June 12, Anthony performed at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts as part of a fund raiser for Virginia Musical Theatre. The program featured twelve local musical and dance artists and groups who have performed both nationally and internationally. The Sandler Center, situated in the heart of Virginia Beach, is known for its impeccable acoustics and has hosted such luminaries as Tony Bennett, The Moscow Ballet and the Virginia Symphony among many others.

Tip also entertained his teacher, Daniel Desiderio, at his surprise 80th birthday party held on June 26th. Everyone greatly appreciated Anthony’s virtuosity and enthusiasm for the accordion.

For further information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Future events


AFNA Festival and Competition August 12-14 in California

by Rita Barnea
AFNA Poster
AFNA LogoThe 55th Annual AFNA, Inc. Music Festival and Competition will be held from August 12-14 at the Irvine Hyatt Regency near John Wayne Airport in beautiful Irvine, Orange County, California. Book your hotel room with AFNA to receive the special Festival package rate.

Special events include concerto competitions, a luncheon honoring Ms. Sylvia Prior, a mass Festival Accordion Orchestra, and more.

The special competitions this year are a Sylvia Prior Concerto Competition for Accordion with Orchestra and also for Piano with Orchestra. The accordion selection is an original for accordion, “Rhapsody for Accordion” composed by Gary Daverne, the conductor of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

The solo part will be a special adaptation for stradella accordion to be provided by AFNA. AFNA has received permission for this from Mr.Daverne and use of this arrangement by all contestants is mandatory. Cash prizes will be awarded. First prize is $1,000.00.

The special luncheon in honor of Ms. Sylvia Prior will take place on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM. This is an opportunity for those who studied with Tito Guidotti to say hello to Sylvia and their daughters, Adrian and Sylvana. Please visit the AFNA facebook page for details and ticket order information.

Friends of Ms. Sylvia Prior are encouraged to send in a letter, note and/or photo for a 'Memories Book' that will be presented to her. Please send by July 25, 2010, to or AFNA, Inc. c/o Sandra Martin 1101 W. Orangethorpe Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833 USA (714) 447-9163.

As a tribute to Tito Guidotti, a great accordion teacher, one of the selections, from his many arrangements, will be performed by the mass Festival Accordion Orchestra. Everyone is invited to participate in the mass Festival Accordion Orchestra that will rehearse on Saturday morning and perform Saturday evening at the Festival Concert. A ticket to the Friday evening Cocktail Party is included with registration. There will also be a "jam session" after the Saturday night concert.

The AFNA 2010 Festival Orchestra will be directed by the internationally recognized accordion orchestra conductor, Randall Martin, with guest conductors Gordon Kohl, Mary Tokarski, and others.

Please visit AFNA's facebook page for festival & competition information and email Sandra Martin at to order your tickets certain events, book hotel room nights at the special rate, and to register for the mass accordion orchestra.

As a non-profit organization, AFNA, Inc. would like to especially thank Adrian Guidotti, Dr. Sylvana Guidotti, Patricia Prior, Mr. & Mrs. Randy Martin, Guilietti USA, and Roland US for their partial sponsorship of the 2010 AFNA Music Festival.

Fairbanks (ALASKA) Summer Arts Festival July 18 to August 1st

by Rita Barnea
Shelia Lee will conduct 2 - two week long accordion workshopsat the Fairbanks, Alaska, Summer Arts Festival. It is not too late to register. Classes will be held from July 18 to August 1, 2010.

Shelia is a dynamic accordion performer from Galveston, Texas. Well versed in multiple styles of music and with a large repertoire. she has entertained solo or with a band for many different style venues—from formal concerts, festivals, conventions, restaurants, cruise ships to house parties, backyard barbecues, and even as a street performer. Styles include: Italian, German, Tex-Mex, Country, Standards, and Party Songs.

Shelia's greatest strength is her teaching ability where she keeps the instructions simple and memorable! She has published many volumes of accordion music for the button and keyboard player. Many of these include Karaoke backtracks, instructional DVD and CDs. She teaches keyboard and button accordion through Heritage Arts Productions (a non-profit organization) and through Houston Accordion Performers (co-owner).

Sheila has played the accordion since she was 5 years old, studied with Bill Palmer, and rehearsed with the Palmer and Hughes Accordion Symphony at the University of Houston until 1965. At 21, she opened her own Shelia's Accordion Conservatory with over 300 accordion students. Sheila also presents workshops at accordion festivals/conventions. She was featured at the NAA in Dallas, Texas in March 2010.

Joe Smiell is a recognized virtuoso on both the button box and piano accordion, and he is a friendly and popular teacher with a large following. His unique performance deftly combines classical training with the flavor and charm of the traditional Austrian folk accordion.

Joe has performed throughout the world—from symphonies and opera companies to stage shows and TV productions. Smiell conducts master classes throughout the United States, and he sponsors popular Accordion Camps. Most notable among his accomplishments is the development of a multi-volume instruction method for the button box.

The Festival's mission is to provide highly qualified guest artists who offer multidisciplinary study and performance opportunities that increase both personal growth and arts appreciation to all participants. The philosophy is to enrich the lives of all with whom one associates—through study and performances—by engaging their spirit, intellect and energy in an empowering way.

The Festival gives people who are enthusiastic about the fine arts an outlet to release their passions. Classes and workshops are offered at various ability levels, so beginners will find plenty to do.

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the course offerings, a participant with one main area of study has the opportunity to branch out and the explore other arts: a violinist can take ballroom dance before their orchestra rehearsals, or a painter can play in a steel drum band after spending all day in watercolor classes.

Think of the Festival as summer camp for adults. You get to make new friends, hone your arti talents, and just plain have fun. There are concerts nearly every day, so keeping busy is not a problem. The Festival takes place in Fairbanks, which often has beautiful weather at that time of year, so you can enjoy some extremely long days, and maybe take a weekend trip to Denali to see nature at its best.

If spending your whole days for two weeks with the Festival is not a possibility due to work or travel commitments, you may be pleased to see the number of evening classes and one-day mini workshops available.

For more information: 907-474-8869 or email at

The coordinator of the accordion schedule: Elaine Andaloro (907-457-7870)

Several piano accordions and button boxes will be available to rent for in-class use. These should be reserved through Elaine.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Vivant! to Perform on August 1st

by Rita Barnea
Vivant!Vivant! a Kansas-based USA band, will perform as the featured guest artists at the Mid-America Music Association's annual festival in St. Louis, MO on: Sunday, August 1, 2010, at 12 Noon in the Ballroom
(Just prior to the Awards Ceremony) at the St. Louis Airport Marriott.

M.A.M.A. is a huge music event in the Midwest, now attracting over 2,000 entrants in all areas of music performance. There are two awards ceremonies to accommodate all the participants in the ballroom. Vivant! will be featured for the final awards ceremony on Sunday.

Vivant! is made up of multi-talented musicians whose primary musical training centered around the accordion, in addition to various keyboard instruments and other acoustic and percussion instruments. The focus of the group is to share the unique versatility of the accordion and the various styles of music that are possible to produce with the instrument.

Vivant! members and instrumentation are: Dee Sligar, Bass Keyboard; Gail Overly, Accordion; Julie Silfverberg, Accordion/Keyboard; Karen Fremar, Accordion/Keyboard; Sarrah Cantrell, Percussion/Mallets/Keyboard; and Janne Silfverberg, Trombone/Percussion.

The accordionists in Vivant! all began studying the instrument at a young age. They are highly decorated musicians in both ensemble and solo performing. Most have toured professionally, and collectively they have concertized in most of the United States and in 28 countries throughout the world. Several of the musicians chose the accordion as their major area of emphasis in college and have continued to play professionally.

The sound of Vivant! combines the richness of the acoustic accordion with the electronic sounds of synthesizers, trombone, and various percussion instruments. Their style combines the art of virtuoso concert accordion with jazz, pop, Latin and tango. Vivant! explores original music written for the accordion, Baroque and other classical works suitable for the instrument, as well, as tango, jazz and other popular works. Above all, their music is exciting, captivating and alive!

If you're in the area, come out and join the 1000+ M.A.M.A. contestants and their parents in the audience as their music convention experience concludes with a rockin’ Vivant! show. Their CDs will be available at the souvenir table where Vivant! will greet fans and sign autographs.

There is no admission for the concert.
For updates and more information visit: or email

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

14th Annual Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration (RMAC)

by Rita Barnea
Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration LogoAccordion enthusiasts from all over the U.S. and Canada will again be taking that scenic trip to Philipsburg, Montana for the 14th Annual Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration. The event will take place this year, July 30th and 31st, 2010.

The 2010 Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration Festival is dedicated to the memory of Ron Lankford (Roland,USA).

Fiddlers, guitar players, harmonica players and drummers team up with a host of accordion players to create some of the best jammin you will ever hear which begins on Friday and ends when the last player goes home on Sunday. A performance by headline entertainers takes place on Saturday afternoon in the HighSchool gym. Pack up your camper, throw in your lawn chairs, grab the kids and gramma and grampa.

Cory Pesaturo is one of the guest artists. Cory, recent graduate from Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory of Music has released two critically acclaimed CDs – A Change in the Weather and Crosswinds, both in collaboration with legendary jazz saxophonist George Garzone. They are the culmination of years of Cory’s local, national and international appearances at concert halls, festivals, rock clubs.

Cory has the distinction of having performed at the White House on four occasions. Since leaving office, the Clintons have requested that he perform on five more occasions, and as the numerous letters from former President Bill Clinton reveal, the two have enjoyed a warm, lasting friendship.

With his Conservatory training completed, Cory is now bringing the accordion to numerous venues from Boston to New York. Combining his virtuosic finger work with his high energy, Cory has been embraced by audiences who appreciate his devotion to both the rigors and subtleties of jazz. Comfortable with many genres of music, this young musician with a dynamic vision is unleashing not only his own potential, but also that of the accordion.

Cory recently won the first ever International Competition for Digital Accordion held by the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) at the 62nd Coupe Mondiale Festival in Auckland, New Zealand.

Cory maintains a busy schedule during July including the following concert dates:
July 5-11 - Kimberley Old Time Accordion Celebration in Victoria, BC
July 13-18 - Victoria Accordions By The Sea in Victoria, BC
July 19 - Petosa Concert in Seattle, WA
July 20 - Egan's Jazz Club in Seattle, WA
July 21st - Festival Del Sol with the Mega Star Nikki Yanofsky in Napa,
July 22-25 - ATG Festival in Santa Clara, CA
July 30 - July 31st- Rocky Mountain Accordion Festival in Phillipsburg,

Kerry Christensen is also a guest artist. Kerry Christensen is not your typical yodeler. His concerts and events this year will take him to as many as 23 US states and two or three countries internationally. Kerry spent two years in the country of Austria right out of high school where he became interested in the alpine yodeling art.

After mastering this difficult medium he was asked in l983 to move his six member family to Orlando, Florida and use his yodeling skills at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center for seven years.

Today Kerry performs all kinds of corporate, festival, and community concert events. He recently lent his unique classical yodeling talent to a full-length Disney animated feature called "Home on the Range."
Kerry is perhaps the only full time yodeler in the world that specializes in all styles of yodeling. You will hear cowboy, alpine, cajun, Latin, Jewish, Hawaiian, jazz, classical, and his always popular humorous yodeling renditions.

Big Lou is also a guest artist. Lou has played with such bay area notables as the Melotones, the Stir-Ups, Thee Hellhounds, and Polkacide. She founded Those Darn Accordions. Lou cut her musical teeth playing country-western piano in Austin, Texas.

She loves most music, but has a soft spot for the ethnic variety, especially Eastern European polkas and French waltzes. A native of Hollywood, she also treasures movie music, and loves to play songs from the wide screen.

Sponsors of the Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration are:
Roland Accordions, Quigley Cottage Sunshine Station, Pintler Suites, R House Inn, Schnibbles, Blackfoot Telecommunications, Huffmans Grocery, Philipsburg Schools, Southwest Montana Community Federal CU, Philipsburg Chamber of Commerce, Gem Mountain Sapphires, Griff Ziegler Photography, Sweet Palace/Sapphire Gallery, Peter and Stephanie Sorini, The Inn at Philipsburg, lub Bar and Grill.

For more info about the festival call: 1-406-859-3812
or email:

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

The Great Morgani Performs at the ATG Festival

by Rita Barnea
The Great MorganiThe Great Morgani (aka Frank Lima), a fixture in the Santa Cruz area, performs at various festivals while covered head-to-toe in mind-blowing, homemade costumes. He will perform this year at the ATG Festival in California from July 21-25.

Most people would not think that Lima was originally a stock broker who retired at 35 and didn’t start performing as The Great Morgani until after he was 50. In his 60’s now he still spends hours with his sewing machine and glue gun putting together new costumes.

The Great Morgani is a testament to the irreverent humor that accordion players have. The Great Morgani is a one man show. He arrives in costume and, being a self contained acoustic show, requires no special staging, amplification or electricity. His costumes are all hand crafted and cover him from the feet to the top of the head, as well as the accordion itself. He performs on a compact portable stage. The stage is carefully crafted to match the costume and raises him about one and a half feet about the everyone gets a good view

His repertoire includes over 1,000 Songs. He has over 50 costumes, and his friendly humor is appropriate for all ages. He also wrote a book, "The Great Morgani: The Creative Madness of a Middle-Aged Stockbroker Turned Street Musician"

For further information:

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

July LIAA Meeting Promises Fun for All

by Rita Barnea
LIAA MemberslThe LIAA ( Long Island Accordion Alliance) will meet on Tuesday, July 5th at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road,East Northport, NY. Phone: 631-261-6344

On June 21st, the accordionists that attended were Ernie Barry, Joe Campo, John Custie, Charlie Fontana, Phil Franzese, Dominic Karcic, Ray Oreggia, Phil Prete, John Stampfel, John Weber, Mike Zeppetella and also vocalist Adrienne Autovino. 
The evening will feature delicious dining, great accordion music, and dancing. Make your reservations early. Invite your friends! All are welcome. Bring your accordion!

For further information, call: 631-689-5920
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