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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jul-2012
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
AAA Festival July 11-15th in Baltimore
72nd ATG Festival and Competition from July 25-29th
Victoria Accordion Festival July 19-22
Victor Prieto in Summer Concerts
Dr. Marion Jacobson at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
AAA Master Class and Concert Series, NYC July 27-29
Roland Canada Announces the 6th Roland 
V-Accordion Festival!
ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival August 17-18 in New Hampshire
Peter Soave Music Academy Offers Classes in Italy
Emmanuel Gasser Releases New CD

Voci Armoniche

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

Fremar Foundation Presents “Music & Merlot” 2012
AAA Youth Involvement Program Marks its Second Year
Long Island Accordion Alliance Presents Don Gerundo
New Composition, Tango for Two by Karén Khanagov - USA
Meet 9 year old Cody McSherry, Performing at AAA Festival - Baltimore
Fathers Day Tribute to 'Our Dad the Accordion Man' - Canada
Jorgen Sundeqvist and Lena Rist-Larsen: New CD and USA Concert Tour
Accordion Heroes 2012 - Rewound
"Fantasy for Accordion" A New Composition for Stas Venglevski
Accordion Pops Orchestra in June Concert
Café Accordion Orchestra Visited Brainerd Library - USA
Montreal International Jazz Festival: Richard Galliano's main squeeze - Canada

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Second Annual Wallace Accordion Festival August 10-12
AAA September Valtaro Celebration to Honor the Magnanini Family
Roland Corporation U.S. Announces the 2012 V-Accordion Festival!
Tatiana Semichastnaya performs at AAA Festival, Baltimore
Brent Buswell to Perform at 2012 ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival
Kimmo Pohjonen in the USA Premiere of "Accordion Wrestling"
17th Annual Sebastopol Cajun-Zydeco Festival in September

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Editor Rita DavidsonThe summer is beginning and accordion events never end! There are so many wonderful festivals, concerts, and accordion events in the next few months. In the July USA news, you can read about the places where you will want to be, the concerts you will want to hear and the accordionists you will want to meet!

You will notice that the July USA news features many videos showcasing unique performances of all types of accordionists. Let me know what you think about this new addition to the accordion news world.

Best wishes for a great accordion summer!

Enough said! Read and watch below!

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

AAA Festival July 11-15th in Baltimore

by Rita Barnea
AAA Poster
Stas VenglevskiThe American Accordionists' Association presents the 2012 AAA Festival from July 11-15th, 2012, featuring world renowned accordionist and conductor, Stas Venglevski, at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Wonderful workshops, performances, competitions, youth programs and exhibits are scheduled throughout the weekend. Come and join us for a celebration of the accordion surrounded by the celebrated Baltimore city attractions!

The AAA Festival will present another great event! New this year is the Junior Festival Orchestra under the direction of Mary Tokarski. This event is designed for those young people who are not quite ready to participate in the Festival Orchestra or who have never had the experience of performing with other accordionists. Mary has selected some fun pieces, and rehearsals will be scheduled to avoid competition schedule conflicts. Interested participants should contact Mary at

Another new addition is the “Finale” workshop which will be a hands-on workshop with the basics of learning this music writing program. AAA member, Don Gerundo, will conduct the workshop with support materials supplied by the people at Finale.

Additional Workshop Presenters Include:

Linda Ann Warren…."Music 2 My Ears: Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Dr. Robert Young McMahan…."Accordions in the Movies"

Mary Kathryn Archuleta…."Opening Doors to the Wonderful World of the Accordion"

Marion Jacobson, PhD….."Squeeze This" Meet the Author

Dallas Vietty…."Swing Musette and Gypsy Jazz for the American Piano Accordionist"
Mary Tokarski …."Playing Together"
Gabe Hall-Rodrigues…."Jazz Licks"

Click here to view the festival flyer:

Click here to view the full Workshop Schedule: 2012.pdf

Back by popular demand will be the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble with select young musicians from the Baltimore school system partnered with ambitious young accordionists. Both the Junior Festival Orchestra and the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Awards Concert on Saturday afternoon, July 14th. If you want to participate in the great (and fun) Jazz Ensemble program, contact Marilyn O’Neil ( or Mary Tokarski ( for the Junior Festival Orchestra. All of these events are included in the registration.

The Festival will also see the return of the Digital Entertainment category and inclusion of the Coupe Mondiale qualification categories, so be sure to visit for the PDF files to download all Festival application forms.

Thursday night will feature an Italian Cabaret night. Enjoy a delicious Italian dinner while being entertained by wonderful accordion music by the Potomac Ensemble conducted by Joan Grauman. Enjoy singers, Joy Bechtler, soprano, and Joe McKesson, tenor and Dr. Robert Young McMahan, as well as entertainment by Cody McSherry, and siblings, Amanda and Michael Parziale, voice and accordion playing and singing your favorite Italian songs!

The Friday Luncheon will feature music by Frank Petrilli and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, Joe Zale and Vladimir Mollov with his wife Annie Mollova (accordion & violin).

Friday’s Gala Concert includes Tatiana Semichastnaya, Vladimir Mollov accompanied by renowned Balkan drummer Emily Geller (daughter of AAA Board member Joan Grauman). Dr. Robert Young McMahan will perform with Bill Trigg, percussionist and TCNJ Faculty member.They will perform "Novelty" for accordion and percussion composed by Dr. McMahan. It is an atonal parody of the accordion novelty genre.

The AAA Festival’s guest artist - virtuoso accordionist Stas Venglevski. Stas delights all with his friendly and humorous manner, educating and entertaining at the same time. Truly a unique experience you will want to see and hear him perform on Friday Night Gala Concert.

The Saturday Gala Banquet will begin with the magnificent music of the United States Army Strolling Strings with AAA’s own Manny Bobenrieth on accordion at the helm, and will feature the Festival Orchestra conducted by Stas Venglevski, with Mary Tokarski as soloist. Please indicate on your registration form if you would like to participate in the Festival Orchestra.

Plan this summer around the festival's exciting days of Workshops, Exhibits, Cabaret, Luncheon Concert, Gala Concert, and Festival Orchestras. The event will be held at the Sheraton City Center in Baltimore. It is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and in walking distance of the famous Baltimore Inner Harbor, National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and numerous other attractions.

Come to Baltimore for this educational and entertaining festival! Please refer to the AAA Website and the USA news for updates on the festival. 
For further information email:

Titano Accordion Company

72nd ATG Festival and Competition from July 25-29th

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo
Joan Cochran SommersThe 72nd ATG Festival and Competition will be held in Lisle (Chicago), Illinois from July 25-29th at the Hyatt Lisle. The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival information is available and online including ATG Festival Competitions (Solo, Duet, Ensemble for all ages and Adult Hobby), two Special Competitions including the Competition in Honor of Frank Marocco and US Championship, and the various categories of Coupe Mondiale qualifying competitions.

This year, the 72nd ATG Competition and Festival features renowned Russian accordionist Ioisf Puritz, Jazz accordionist Jeff Lisenby, Roland artist Alicia Baker, University teacher Marko Petričić and popular Milwaukee based artist Stas Venglesvki. In addition, the festival will showcase the Gene Van Accordion Orchestra, the UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble, the Soundscape Trio, Betty Jo Simon, Amy Jo Sawyer, Tony Hermanek, Donna Dee Anderson, Esther Lanting, Gordon Kohl and Marion Jacobson.

The ATG welcomes members of the following Associations and Clubs and will feature their members throughout the weekend as they highlight their member and Association/Club activities: Chicago Accordion Club, Peoria Area Accordion Club, Polish American Accordion Association.

There will be three nights of amazing concerts. Thursday evening features an accordion showcase, Betty Jo Simon on MIDI Accordion, the Polish American Accordion Association, Marko Petricic, Alicia Baker, and the UMKC Chamber Ensemble. The Friday Evening Gala Concert will feature the Gene Van Accordion Orchestra, the Winner of the Frank Marocco Competition, and CIA World Champion Alexander Sevastian. The Saturday Evening Gala Closing Concert, "Chicago and all that Jazz" includes the ATG Festival Orchestra conducted by Joan C. Sommers, Amy Jo Sawyer, Selected ATG Competition Winners, Stas Venglevski, and Jeff Lisenby and Chicago Group.

This year, the 2012 ATG Festival Orchestra coordinated by Joan C. Sommers, will unite all attendees, and will be joined in concert by the renowned Youth Choir from Chicago ‘ANIMA’. Just returning from an exciting Concert Tour of Europe, ANIMA will be featured with the Festival Orchestra on the magnificent arrangement of ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’ by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson arranged for accordion orchestra by Joan Cochran Sommers and conducted by Emily Ellsworth, Conductor and Musical Director of ANIMA Youth Singers. The program includes "Celebration March" by Gene Van and "Marocco Medley- Dedicated to the Memory of Frank Marocco, arr. by Liz Finch conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers.

The three day festival will feature Competitions, Workshops, Concerts, with more details at Please mention the ATG for special convention rates which are available until July 8, 2012. The Lisle Hyatt offers Free Parking, transportation to the train offering frequent service to downtown Chicago, complimentary Breakfast Buffet and Wi Fi.

Voci Armoniche

Victoria Accordion Festival July 19-22

by Rita Barnea
Quartetto Gelato
2012 Victoria Festival LogoThe 6th International Victoria Accordion Festival will be held in Victoria, BC from July 19-22, 2012. The event includes internationally acclaimed performers: Trio Voronezh, Tango Paradiso, Alexander Sevastian and Quartetto Gelato among others.

There will be an International Competition with cash prizes and trophies, concerts, workshops, accordion parade, an open stage and trade show.

Aleksander Milojevic is the president of the BC Accordion Society, conductor of the BC Accordion Orchestra, and organizer of the event. He is a graduate of the Tchaikovsky Music Academy with a Master of Fine Arts degree.

The BC Accordion Society, a non-profit society, was founded in early 2010 in the Victoria B.C.Their mission is to promote the beauty of the accordion through concerts, workshops, master classes and competitions.
In 2010, the Society took over the responsibility for Victoria Accordion Festival, establishing at the same time an international accordion competition, for the first time in this part of Canada. The society also created the BC Accordion Orchestra. Aleksander Milojevic is the president of the BC Accordion Society, conductor of the BC Accordion Orchestra, and organizer of the event. He is a graduate of the Tchaikovsky Music Academy with a Master of Fine Arts degree. 

Their most important achievement so far, has been establishing the accordion program at Camosun College in Victoria. Currently, this is the only place in Canada, outside Toronto, where students can study accordion and obtain an official degree.
The BC Accordion Society is a Voting Member for CIA (Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes) and as such represent Canada in all activities organized by the biggest accordion organization in the world. In recognition for everything they have been doing in the last several years, they were given the honor to host the 66th Coupe Mondiale 2013 in Victoria, first ever in Canada. The Coupe Mondiale will be held from August 19-26, 2013.

Additionally, live auditions for the Roland V-Accordion Festival will be held on Sunday, July 22nd, during the Victoria Accordion Festival. You may enter to win a Roland FR-7x V-Accordion and an all expense paid trip to compete at the National Finals in Toronto. The winner of the National Finals will receive an all expenses paid trip to Rome, Italy to represent Canada at the International Finals. To enter: See details in this issue.

Accommodations for the Victoria Accordion Festival can be arranged with the Comfort Hotel and Conference Center. Room rates are $105/room based on double occupancy including complimentary continental buffet breakfast, free parking and free Internet. To make hotel reservations please call 1-866=754-4040 or 250-382-4400 and mentioned the code "Victoria Accordion Festival"

For further information:
 Tel: 778 433 8700

Top photo of Quartetto Gelato with accordionist Alexander Sevastian

Accordion Jazz Chords

Victor Prieto in Summer Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Victor Prieto
Accordionist and composer Victor Prieto is having a busy summer with concerts, tours and collaborations. He will perform with his Trio featuring Arturo O"Farrill on July 19th at 9:45 PM at Terraza Seven LiveMusic.

Victor Prieto is a native of Galicia, Spain, born in the town of Orense in 1975. At the age of nine Victor was encouraged by his mother to study the accordion-an instrument deeply ingrained in Galician folklore. While studying classical accordion at the Orense Conservatory Victor understood the immense musical potential of his instrument and branched out from the classical education by concurrently taking harmony, arrangement and improvisation classes at Estudio Escola de Musica (Santiago de Compostela, Spain). In 1998 Victor received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music where he majored in performance under the direction of Joanne Brackeen.

Today Victor Prieto is revolutionizing the way that the accordion is played by creating new sounds and techniques for this instrument. His music embraces Jazz, Tango, Classical and Celtic Roots enriched with new rhythms and colors. He is the creator of a new technique for the accordion called “chord approach on both hands”, which creates rich and elaborate harmonies.
In 2002 Victor moved to New York where he quickly established himself as a prolific and versatile accordionist on the music and Jazz scenes. As a leader Victor has performed at many prestigious venues and events such as Berklee Performance Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Blue Note NY, New Jersey Performance Art Center, Three Rivers Musical Festival, Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.
Victor has performed and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma (Songs of Joy and Peace, Sony BMG Masterworks. "2010 Grammy Winning Album"), Arturo O'Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra, Billy Hart, Jeff Ballard, Paquito D’Rivera, Matt Wilson, Donny McCaslin, Lionel Louke among others and is involved in projects such as The Maria Schneider Orchestra and Emilio Solla’s Jazz Tango conspiracy. He teaches Master Classes in Spain, Italy, Portugal, USA and has headed the jazz accordion studies at the Brooklyn Conservatory (2003 – 2004).

Victor is a recipient of more than twenty coveted awards, including the first prize at the Citta De Catelfidardo Jazz Competition in Italy, the Creative Performer award from the Spanish Association of Artists and Performers, and the first prize at CMZK’s Concourse of Composition in Argentina
Victor now lives in New York City dividing his time between performing, teaching and recording. He has recently introduced his third recording, "Chris Cheek and V. Prieto. Rollo-Coaster.", Cheekus Music.
Victor is featuring a different artist at Terraa 7 every month…on August 16th with saxophonist Scott Robinson and on September 20th with Ryan Keberle on trombone.
The Victor Prieto Trio features Arturo O'Farrill (piano), Victor Prieto (accordion), Jorge Roeder (bass) and Vince Cherico (drums). Terrzaz 7 Live Music is located on 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, New York. For more info
(718) 803-9602

His future performances include:
July 3, with Sofia Tosello, voice
July 9, 9 PM, Zinc Bar, NYC, with Emilio Soila y La Inestable
July 12, Bard College with Frank London
July 19, 9:30 PM,Terraza 7 Live Music, Victor Prieto Trio plus Arturo O"Farrill
Aug. 5, 11 AM, City Winery, 155 Varick Street, NYC, Victor Prieto Trio
August 16, 9:30 PM, Terraza 7, Victor Prieto Trio
August 17, with Emilio Solla and Bien Sur,
August 23, Lake George Festival, Upper State, NY with Emilio Solla and the Tango Jazz Insiders

Victor has recorded several CD's including "Chris Cheek and Victor Prieto, Rollo-Coaster", "Chris Cheek and Victor Prieto DVD, Live at Penelope St.", "Persistencia". "Miles Espano", "Songs of Joe and Peace, Yo-Yo Ma"- 2010 Grammy Winning Album.

For further information:


Dr. Marion Jacobson at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

by Rita Barnea
Author, accordionist, and ethnomusicologist Dr.Marion Jacobson will present a Lecture/Book Signing on July 12, 2012 at 1 PM at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Marion will discuss and sign copies of her new book, " Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America".

Dr. Marion Jacobson is an ethnomusicologist, author, and educator who has written hundreds of reviews and features of live concerts and events of the major world music traditions from Indian ragas to Cajun/Zydeco for The Washington Post, Stereo Review, and dozens of music magazines and blogs. Dr. Jacobson earned her PhD in ethnomusicology from New York University in 2003. She has taught at NYU, SUNY New Paltz, and the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She began to research American accordion cultures in New York City.

Grants from the American Philosophical Society and the Mellon Foundation gave her the opportunity to research American accordion cultures in the USA including New York, the vibrant accordion centers of Houston, San Antonio, the Twin Cities, and the San Francisco Bay Area, leading to "Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America" , the first comprehensive scholarly book on the piano accordion, published by University of Illinois Press in 2012.

The sponsor is the Benjamin A. Botkin Lecture Series. The lecture/book signing takes place at the Pickford Auditorium on the 3rd floor of the Library of Congress's Madison Building.

Marion travels throughout the USA presenting workshop/lectures. She will present a "Meet the Arthor" workshop at the AAA Festival in Baltimore on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 1 PM. She will also present a workshop during the ATG Festival July 25-29th.

For further information:

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

AAA Master Class and Concert Series, NYC July 27-29

by William Schimmel
Remember to mark July 27, 28, 29th on your calendar. Those are the three days for the 2012 Accordion Master Class and Concert Series-The Seminars_ sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association moderated by Dr. William Schimmel at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York.

It's a new kind of Radar!! Yes, and trust me, it's a new way of Redemption! It's the Radar off the Radar! The Seminars are 18 years old this year and they have found their own place in the marketplace of ideas in a new zone – off the Radar!! Yes, I say again – The Radar off the Radar!! It's a new kind of Radar – and it's looking for you!! It really is!! yes!

And you can find Redemption right smack in the middle of the accordion community. If I sound excited, I am – and it's OK to be excited

– Am I going too far with my enthusiasm? I don't think so but stay with me – I really mean what I SAY – and It's OK to be meaningful – it really is – I'm losing perspective – but that's OK – because perspective is relative to being in the radar – and we're talking about a new kind of radar – The Radar that's off the Radar!! Yes! - It's a new kind of Radar!! And Redemption is waiting for you there. Is it Salvation?? No, not exactly – It's Redemption – sort of like the Halleluia Chorus played by Dozens and Dozens of Accordionists – sort of like that – but not exactly –

Here's what our weekend will be!!
Here's what it will really be like – or something like it! And I really mean it – and that's OK.

Master Classes in the afternoon at 3 - you can play! Concerts in evening at 7 – distinguished lineup! Installations in the lobby.

Books – cds – dvds and other stuff sold in the lobby

Time to network and schmooze in the middle

Post concert fellowship at the end of the evening

JULY 27, 28, 29 – 2012 – and it's at

Concert No. 1 on July 27, 2012 at 7 PM includes:
plus much more……. creative musical performances!

MASTER CLASS NO.2 on July 28, 2012 at 3 PM includes:

These are just some of the programs offered during the seminars.For more information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Roland Canada Announces the 6th Roland 
V-Accordion Festival!

by Rita Barnea
Roland Canada Logo
After the success of the last five Roland V-Accordion Festivals, Roland is anticipating another year of inspiring entries from a new crop of talented accordionists. The Roland V-Accordion Festival gives accordion players from across Canada the chance to showcase their talent, compete for amazing prizes, and vie for the top spot as Canada's official representative at the International Finals in Rome, Italy this November.

How to Enter (Online OR Snail Mail):

Snail Mail:Please mail your fully completed entry form and video to the following address:
6th Roland V-Accordion Festival
Roland Canada Ltd. 
5480 Parkwood Way
Richmond, BC V6V 2M4

Past Contest Winnes of the :Roland V-Accordion Festival
5th Roland V-Accordion 2011 Festival Winners
1st Place - Michael Bridge, Calgary, AB
2nd Place- Eugene Laskiewicz, Mississauga, ON.
3rd Place- Kimberley Prichard, Brooklin ON
Youth Division Grand Prize Winner- Yifei Zhang, Edmonton, AB
4th Roland V-Accordion 2010 Festival Winners
1st Place - Jelena Milojevic, Victoria, BC
2nd Place - Kimberley Pritchard, Brooklin, ON
3rd Place - Sergiu Popa, Montreal, QC
3rd Roland V-Accordion 2009 Festival Winners
1st Place - Alexander Sevastian, Thornhill, On
2nd Place - Sergiu Popa, Montreal, QC
3rd Place - Valery Borodin, Victoria, BC
2nd Roland V-Accordion 2008 Festival Winners
1st Place - Ivan Preanivoc, Victoria, BC
2nd Place - Sergiu Popa, Montreal, QC
3rd Place - Steve Normandin, Quebec City, QC
1st Roland V-Accordion 2007 Festival Winners
1st Place - John Lettieri, Maple, ON
2nd Place - Alessio Mazzone, Maple, ON
3rd Place - John Scaffeo, Thunder Bay, ON

Contest Closes July 31, 2012.
For more information:

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

ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival August 17-18 in New Hampshire

by Donna Regis
Accordions Flyer Poster
Celebrating its fifth year of success, ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival, co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC, is proud to announce its expanded festival lineup for Friday-Saturday, August 17-18, 2012 at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott, Nashua, New Hampshire, USA.

Terrific music, warm friendship, and high spirits characterize this annual gathering of accordion fans. Sign up, bring your accordion, and join the fun!

Check out this exciting schedule [subject to change]:

Friday, August 17: 3pm hotel check-in, informal welcome to ACCORDIONS NOW! by New Hampshire Accordion Association members, 6pm Open Mike Cabaret, 8pm Concert by Brent Buswell, photo ops, CD signing, Post-concert Open Mike Part II, Night Owls Jam Session until ?.

Saturday, August 18: 8:30am ACCORDIONS NOW! Registration opens 9am Vendor displays all day until 4pm. Starting at 9am morning workshops by Sam Falcetti, Christopher Gorton, Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra [piano], 11:30am festive luncheon buffet with musical welcome by Nancy Leonard, 12:30pm Lowell Accordion Orchestra conducted by Donna Michael, 1pm Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra [piano], 1:30pm Just-for-Fun Play-Along Ensemble coordinated by Dan Mackowiak, 2pm jam session [non-ANFO players], 2pm ANFO rehearsal, 4pm Donna Maria Regis, solo and conducting the ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 Festival Orchestra, 4:45pm cocktail reception [cash bar] with entertainment by Carmen Vitanza, 5:45 pm Gala Dinner, 7:15pm Gala Concert performances by Christopher Gorton, Tony Lovello; photo ops, CD signing; Post-concert optional Play-Along and/or Night Owls Jam Session until ?.

Friday evening offers a casual atmosphere, with attendees gathering informally in the Granite State Room for the open mike cabaret, a lively concert by Brent Buswell, and an open-ended jam session. Food and beverages purchased in the Courtyard Café may be brought in during the open mike session.

Saturday morning is devoted to three educational sessions: a workshop by noted educator Sam Falcetti, "How to Enhance a Song Using Left-Hand Decorations, Changes, & Other Easy-to-Learn Techniques"; a master class by multi-champion Christopher Gorton, with volunteers from the audience, in the championship-producing Deschamps Teaching Method; and a lecture-demonstration, “Arranging Solo Piano Works for Accordion and Piano,” by master accordionist Jeremiah McLane and Dutch classical piano virtuoso Annemieke Spoelstra.

Saturday afternoon emphasizes ensemble-playing:

The Lowell Accordion Orchestra, conducted by Donna Michael, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in a concert including “Last Dance” as a tribute to the late Donna Summer, a medley from “Sound of Music,” plus the world premiere of an original arrangement of “Party Rock Anthem” by teenage orchestra member Rachel Quirbach.

Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra [piano] will perform an eclectic concert program, with works by composers Astor Piazzolla, Bela Bartok, Antonin Dvorak, Francis Poulenc and Alan Hovhaness as well as several of Jeremiah’s own compositions.

If you enjoy making music as part of a group, Saturday afternoon offers you two opportunities to participate: the Just-for-Fun [no rehearsal] Play-Along Ensemble – new this year and sure to be a hit – plus the ever-popular ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO], with over 30 players already registered.

Dan Mackowiak, former president of the Massachusetts Accordion Association [MAAA], will coordinate the informal play-along session. The music is arranged to be accessible to most players, but still be interesting to more experienced players. “The play-along,” Dan says, “serves two purposes: first, it gives everyone an opportunity to actively participate; and second, it provides a warm-up for players involved in [later] activities [such as ANFO]…While the music is distributed in advance, there is no rehearsal. So, the play-along involves a lot of spontaneity.” Music for the Play-Along will be sent in advance to all registrants, who are free to accept or decline the invitation to play-along.

The ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] conducted by Donna Maria Regis, requires participants to make a considerable commitment of time and effort to prepare for the annual concert, which this year will showcase the exciting world premiere of “Sinatra” – Tony Lovello’s magnificent musical tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” (As a youth, Lovello, formerly of the legendary Three Suns [“Twilight Time,” “Peg o’ My Heart”] and now a “living legend” himself, toured with Sinatra.) To be part of this once-in-a-lifetime musical experience you must register for ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 no later than July 20 to receive your ANFO music and practice sound clips. Don’t miss this chance to be involved in something wonderful!

Saturday evening’s Gala Concert features two outstanding soloists.

Christopher Gorton, the 2010 US Roland Champion and winner of many other competitions, will present a variety of musical styles – classical, popular, ethnic, and others – all sure to please.

Tony Lovello – “the living legend of the accordion world” and “King of the Bellow Shake” – will bring the Gala Concert to a close with his inimitable flair and effervescent showmanship. As Tony would say, but in a different context, “Don’t miss it!”

Come to New Hampshire to celebrate the ACCORDIONS NOW! motto: LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN!!

Special hotel rates: $91 per room [+ tax] through July 27. Call Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211 or Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100. Mention "ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Courtyard Nashua." 

For more information:
ACCORDIONS NOW! Telephone (603) 216-9582 or Email

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Peter Soave Music Academy Offers Classes in Italy

by Rita Barnea
Peter an Mady SoaveThe Peter Soave Music Academy is an International Summer School for musicians and music lovers. PSMA generously offers a rich musical experience that plunges each participant into the depths of musical artistry. The sessions will include workshops, intensive coaching, master classes, chamber music, and rehearsals culminating in concerts where participants and professionals will be playing side by side.

The picturesque setting for PSMA is Sauris, a tiny alpine village nestled in the Dolomite mountains of Italy, bordering Austria, 2 hours north of Venice, where participants will make musical discoveries that last a life time. Peter said, "Personally, PSMA is a vehicle for me to share my life experiences in music with others. I have found through teaching we all can learn from one another! My wife, Madeleine, and I have worked passionately to realize this project and create a multifaceted program and environment to equip instrumentalists from around the world with the knowledge and skills they need to perform music."

The dates of the workshops are:
Week 1: Sunday, July 22-29 2012

Week 2: Sunday, July 29-August 5,, 2012

Week 3: VIP Sunday, September 2-9, 2012

2013 Dates: 10-Day Seminar Thursday, July 25-August 4

The Hotel Morgenleit provides rooms of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people, with private bathroom and fully furnished with television, minifridge, telephone, toileties. Guests will enjoy the common experience of residing at a quaint and sparkling clean hotel resort, fresh and clean mountain air and nature, regional culture and outstanding regional cuisine.

The faculty includes: Peter Soave, Mady Soave, Dennis Tini, Mary Tokarski, Ralf Bethke, Trio Sasusi,and Gabi Guthöhrlein

Workshops include:
Dennis Tini....Jazz Improvisation & Jazz Styles
Ralf Bethke....First Aid on your Accordion & Maintenance
Trio Sãsusi.....Rhythm - Comprehension, Problems & Solutions
Mary Tokarski....Performance Confidence
Workshops run 45 minutes, Monday thru Friday.
All workshops are simultaneously translated in English, French, German & Italian.

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Emmanuel Gasser Releases New CD

by Rita Barnea
Emmanuel Gasser CD
Emmanuel Gasser has just released his third CD. Only 15 years old, Emmanuel is busy practicing, composing, performing, and competing and winning in accordion competitions. In an interview with Emmanuel, he answered the following questions:

1. How long did it take you to record your new CD?
It took me 10 months.
2. Who do you study accordion with?
Presently my mentor is  Jelena Milojevic.
3. What are your future musical aspirations/ career goals?
I would like to earn high marks in important international competitions, improve my compositional skills and become a concert accordionist as well as an entertainer of all genres.
4. What honors have you received? Competitions won?
I won 9 trophies and  14 awards at the Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships in British Columbia and 7 trophies and 1 award at the American Accordionist Association Festival in Charleston South Carolina; the Youth Entertainment Award in recognition of my outstanding talent at the 2010 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. In 2011 I won the "Frank Marocco Scholarship" for being an absolute outstanding and dedicated accordionist. I am also the winner of three Gold certificates each year in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 at the Sudbury Kiwanis Music Festival. In 2012 I won four gold certificates at the Sudbury Kiwanis Music Festival.

I also love to play in orchestras. I played in the Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships Massed Band and Bursary Band in 2010 and 2011. In 2010 and 2011 at the Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra. In the AAA International Accordion Orchestra in Charleston SC in 2011. All times conducted by Professor Emeritia Joan Cochran Sommers. In February 2012, I played in the FMAE International Accordion Orchestra under the baton of the world-renown Maestro Stas Venglevski. I also performed many solos and duets on the world stage in Las Vegas NV, Mesa AZ, Spokane WA and Charleston SC. I also played with great success at the Sturgeon Falls Fiddle Festival in 2011 for two days. I had the great honor to play the opening concert for the world-stars Jelena Milojevic and Grayson Masefield. I have already 36 original compositions to my credit. Nothing makes me happier than to see my audience being overjoyed at my concerts.
5. When and where are your future performances?
July 7, Dinner & Dance Extravaganza in Edmonton
July 9-14 KIOTAC (Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships), competing in 8 categories and entertain on Platzl
July 19-22 Victoria Accordion Festival, competing in 4 categories
July 25-29 ATG in Chicago, competing in 7 categories and playing in the orchestra
6.What are the names of the selections on your new CD?
Ab Uff d'Pischte (Hans Biffiger) March (3:43)
Im Gerli-Hüsli (Willi Valotti) Waltz (4:07)
S'Toggeburg Ab (Walter Grob) Schottische (3:07)
Erinnerungen an Sigriswil (Hans Biffiger) Polka (2:36)
Elena-Tango (Hans Biffiger) Tango (3:42)
Es Häxeträumli (Hans Biffiger) Waltz (3:44)
Dizzy Fish (Emmanuel Gasser) Schottische (3:07)
Im Sunnehöckli (Walter Grob) Polka (1:29)
Ha-Ro-Ka-Pa-Fox (Hans Biffiger) Foxtrot (4:47)
Es Isch Summerzyt (Hans Biffiger) Waltz (3:34)
Ueli-Schottisch (U. Martinelli/J. Omlin) Schottisch (3:18)
The Campground Polka (Emmanuel Gasser) Polka (2:50)
So gfallts am Fritz (Willi Valotti) Waltz (3:08)
Vreneli-Schottisch (Walter Grob) Schottisch (2:45)
E Satte Spatz (Hans Biffiger) Polka (3:10)
Hochzyts-Tango (Hans Biffiger) Tango (2:59)
Am Schöne Thunersee (Hans Biffiger) Waltz (3:33)
Polketta (Fernado Fantini, arr. Renato Bui) Polka (2:16)
Im Appezöller-Ländli (Carlo Brunner, 2nd acc. Emmanuel Gasser, arr. Herwig Peychär) Waltz (2:56)
Giggle-Schottisch (Emmanuel Gasser) Schottisch (1:44)
In Der Arvenstube (Hermann Illenberger) Waltz (4:10)
The Let's Get Drunk Polka (music by Emmanuel Gasser, lyrics by Timothy Dare) Polka (2:10)
Herbschtelet (Hans Biffiger) Waltz (3:36)
Abschied (Hans Biffiger) Waltz (4:01)

Gasser loves playing, devoting up to six hours a day practicing. He enjoys the tradition of the accordion, connecting with his roots in Switzerland where his parents are originally from. Emmanuel feels that the accordion has a strong cultural history in Europe and all over the world. "Almost every country has the accordion in its culture. It's a beautiful sound. It's an amazing instrument, you can play just about anything on it.", said Gasser.

Emmanuel lives with his family on a dairy farm in St. Charles but enjoys traveling to accordion festivals when he has the opportunity. He is dedicated to his accordion and enjoys meeting his musical friends and fans. Emmanuel has many musical accomplishments for someone so young and a bright accordion future.

For further information:

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Fremar Foundation Presents “Music & Merlot” 2012

by Karen Fremar
Arriving at a lobby decorated in patriotic red, white and blue, Kansas Citians enjoyed a great evening of hors d’oeuvres, Merlot, and musical entertainment featuring the accordion at the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts “Music & Merlot” event on June 23, 2012. The foundation presented the Frank Busso Jr. Trio from Washington D.C. and Vivant! from Kansas City in a shared concert that has become a yearly event in Kansas City.

Vivant was joined by classical pianist Melody Stroth of Overland Park, KS and electric violinist Ronda Adams of Parkville, MO to premiere two new works for the ensemble by Leawood, KS composer Karen Fremar. 

The Busso Jr. Trio (all servicemen in the U.S. Air Force Strings) enchanted the audience with their elegant and tasteful musicianship, charming banter and stunningly precise ensemble playing. Their program comprised the first half of the concert and included a variety of works, including accordion standards such as “Two Guitars,” “Czardas” and the famous tango, “Jalousie;” while pairing them alongside Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5” and Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train.” These works and more were all splendidly arranged by the trio members, Henry Tyszler, Frank Busso, Jr. and William Hones, for violin, accordion and string bass. Opening their program with an exciting and captivating arrangement of "Granada" and concluding with their own energetic, toe-tapping version of the "Orange Blossom Special" (with amazingly realistic train effects), the trio captured the hearts of the Kansas Citians who filled the hall and stood in appreciation to demand an encore.

At intermission, the lobby, decorated in patriotic splendor, welcomed concert goers with wine and hot hors d’oeuvres and a display of various types of exquisite accordions from the private collection of Kansas City attorney, John Brungardt, and CDs for sale by the evening’s artists. 

Vivant! (whose conservatory-trained members include Julie Silfverberg, accordion/keys, Karen Fremar, accordion/vocals/keys, Dee Sligar, bass keytar, Janne Silfverberg, trombone/Latin percussion, and David Sager, drums) took the stage after intermission to perform a varied program that included music to honor veterans of different wars, including an updated version with electronic effects of the World War II tune, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schone,” the ‘50s West Coast Swing tune, “Night Train,” for Korean War veterans, the updated R&B piece, “Grapevine,” for Vietnam War veterans, and “Music for Patriots,” an arrangement of traditional patriotic works. 

Vivant! premiered two new compositions by Karen Fremar: “Grasping for the Wind,” to honor Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, and “Vexation.” The group was joined by Melody Stroth and Ronda Adams for the premieres that included video presentations to illustrate the music prepared by local music educator, Debbie Gray. 

The Busso Jr. Trio then joined Vivant! as all guest artists performed together on the final number, “God Bless the U.S.A/Up Where We Belong,” a work arranged especially for the ten musicians on stage by Karen Fremar.

After a standing ovation, the group launched into a rollicking version of “Kansas City,” with various group members soloing and Busso and Fremar punching out a final 12-bar duo riff as the group jammed together. 

The Fremar Foundation’s board includes professional musicians, Dr. Karen Fremar, Chairman of the Board/President, Denise Sligar, Secretary/Treasurer, attorneys John Brungardt and Larry McMullen, and Julie (Gettler) Silfverberg, professional musician and music studio operator.

The Fremar Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization that presents outstanding accordion artists in concert from around the nation and the world. The free public event was sponsored in part by Husch Blackwell, LLP; the Courtney S. Turner Trust--Daniel C. Weary and Bank of America, Trustees; and the H. R. Block Foundation, Inc.

For more information visit

Concert photos by Kelsi Sligar:
Top Photo:Kansas City's Vivant! performing premiere of new Fremar Work "Vexation"
(L-R) Karen Fremar, accordion, Janne Silfverberg, timbales, Julie Silfverberg, 
accordion, David Sager, drums, Dee Sligar, bass keytar

Bottom photo: Guest Artists The Frank Busso, Jr. Trio in Action
(Henry Tyszler, violin; Frank Busso, Jr., accordion, William Hones, bass)
Frank Busso Jr. Trio

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

AAA Youth Involvement Program Marks its Second Year

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
AAA YouthOnce again, the American Accordionists' Association is proud to offer a special program highlighting youth. Initiated last year in Charleston, this program is running again in Baltimore as part of the American Accordionists' Association's annual festival. The Youth Involvement Program takes place on Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14 with their performance on Saturday at the Awards Concert in the Liberty Ballroom at 1:30 PM.

The "Youth Involvement Program," as it is called, features young accordionists between the ages of 13 and 25 paired with youth from the festival's host city, this year being Baltimore and the surrounding area, that play sax, trombone and bass. The non accordionist youth were recruited specifically for this program. The young musicians will combine to form a jazz ensemble that will rehearse on Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14 and then deliver a performance on Saturday at the Festival's Awards Concert. They will be conducted by Mr. Don Gerundo, an active accordionist and pianist in the New York metropolitan area with an impressive array of experience in jazz. Mr. Gerundo arranged the pieces that will be performed by the ensemble.

The AAA is proud to introduce the accordionists for this year's program. They are Christopher Gorton, Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, Albert Manginelli, Mark Nejako and Tor Stumo.

Christopher Gorton has an extensive accordion history, carefully fostered by his teacher, Bob Paolo. Among his many accolades, Chris is an AAA Virtuoso Champion, and also the winner of the 2010 Roland U.S. V Accordion Festival. He also competed in the Coupe Mondiale in 2003. He currently works as a representative for Roland.

Gabe Hall-Rodrigues is also an AAA Virtuoso Champion, and a graduate of Arizona State University's Music Program. An all around gifted musician, Gabe is a talented vocalist and pianist who just picked up the accordion within the last 4 years. He has had the honor of playing alongside famous jazz accordionist Frank Marocco. A music therapist, Gabe will also be delivering a workshop on Improvisation at the festival.

Albert Manginelli is a 2 time virtuoso champion of the Mid Atlantic Music Teacher's Guild and a student of Dan Desiderio. At the age of 16, he is one of the younger members of the Accordion Pops Orchestra.
Mark Nejako is a pianist turned accordionist, and a student of Frank Busso, Jr. who is taking time from his job traveling the globe to participate in this year's festival.

Finally, the youngest accordionist of this group is 13 year old Tor Stumo, a student of Mary Tokarski who was recently featured in Smithsonian Magazine while "busking" in his home town of Great Barrington, MA.

The additional jazz musicians from the Baltimore area include Donovan Spence and Jake Smith on sax, Kevin Callahan on trumpet and Derek Wiegmann on bass. Their enthusiasm about par- ticipating in the program was immediately noted by Conductor Don Gerundo. Experienced young jazz musicians like these young men echo the sen- timents of all of the non accordionist musicians in this program.

Donovan Spence is a student at the Peabody Preparatory School. He joined this year's program because he sees it as a "unique opportunity to col- laborate with a different set of instrumentation." While he loves all kinds of music, this young man sounds much older than his 17 years when he says that he knows he's succeeded musically when he can change someone's mood by playing his music for them.

Sax player Jake Smith is a student at Shepherd University who has recently begun studying accordion after playing piano for 13 years and sax for 10. Jake "adores" the sound of the accordion, and is excited about playing along with accordion- ists in a unique ensemble experience.

Kevin Callahan and Derek Wiegmann on trumpet and bass respectively are both recent graduates of Archbishop Curley High School.
Kevin Callahan's private trumpet teacher's first instrument was accordion, and that he "talks about it all the time." This young musician recognizes that the accordion is a "lesser known, underappreciated instrument," and looks to this experience with the AAA as an opportunity to be a part of something "bigger than myself."

Bass player Derek Wiegmann recalls that at one point as a high school freshman or sophomore stu- dent, someone donated an accordion to the school, but it stayed locked up in it's case, as, sadly, no one knew how to play it. He says "I enjoy playing jazz whenever I get the chance, and doing it with accordionists should be interesting!"

The common denominator among the non accordionist musicians remains the drive to be different, to "press on the envelope," so to speak, to travel a path where no other young musician has gone. Most young people under the age of 30 have never set eyes on an accordion, not to men- tion the people that play them. But as the instrument gets picked up and heard more and more across all types of music, youth, with their open minds and willingness to explore, are drawn to its unique sound.

Mr. Charlton Singleton, noted Jazz musician and teacher of last year's backup musicians for the Youth Involvement Program summed it up well when he stated plainly: "The accordion can hang!"

DICK MORIARITY PERCUSSIONIST Dick Moriarity started playing percussion in high school around the Milwaukee area. During his teen years, he played with the great accordion bands of Frank Cascio. He later joined the US Army and qualified for the Army / Navy school of music. He performed in orchestras, jazz combos, big bands and – oh yes - marching bands. He claims his feet still hurt.
Dick went on to study at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. He has performed with various combos in Wisconsin often teaming up with his wife, Judy, on accordion.

Dick is currently the percussionist for Accordion XXI Century under the direction of Stas Venglevski performing concerts through out the Midwest.
Dick will be the percussionist for the Youth Involvement Program, as well as The Festival Orchestra, Junior Festival Orchestra, Connecticut Accordion Orchestra and Frabjk Petrilli.

Photos from top to bottom: Tor Stumo, Gabe Hall­Rodrigues, Christopher Gorton, Mark Nejako and Albert Manginelli

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Long Island Accordion Alliance Presents Don Gerundo

by Rita Barnea
Don GerundoAccordionist Don Gerundo and Dave Hirschman (guitar) will be guest artists at the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 at 7 PM at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfiedl Road, East Northport, NY.

Don Gerundo is an active accordionist and pianist who performs in the New York metropolitan area. He is a versatile keyboardist who plays various styles ranging from popular American Standards from the American Songbook, Jazz and Rock N Roll. He has worked with the Bensen-Scott Big Band, an 18 piece Jazz Band, with a Rockabilly small group as well as society combos and Top 40 groups. He has performed and accompanied Lenny Welch (hit record “Since I Fell For You”), Joe Piscopo  and has performed at Swing 46 in New York City, White Plains Theatre for the Arts, Coney Island Park and other large venues.
Don starting playing the accordion at age 10 and studied with Tony Mecca (a native from Waterbury CT) in his teen years. Tony introduced him to popular and Jazz music working with him on harmony, theory, chords and improvisation. During this time he started to perform club dates with some of the local leaders in the New York metropolitan area as well as working at resorts in the New York Catskill area . This “On the job” training helped hone his jazz skills as well as build his repertoire.

Later he  also studied with Adolph Sandole one of the well-known Sandole brothers, was a  music educator and jazz artists from Philadelphia. The Adolph’s brother, Dennis, was recognized as the mentor and teacher for famous jazz artists such as John Coltrane and Pat Martino James Moody, Michael Brecker, as well as guitarists Jim Hall and Pat Martino. 
Don continued to perform during his college years attending Ithaca College where he joined the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha as the first accordionist to be offered an invitation in that chapter. For the last several years Don has focused on the Free Bass Accordion and exploring its use in the Pop and Jazz Idioms by utilizing its flexibility in chord voicings, bass lines and general accompaniment.
Don is also an experienced user of Finale (music notation software) and has used it since 1992 almost from its inception. He uses it to create arrangements, generate materials for students, create transcriptions as well as composition. Many colleagues consult with Don as a resource to seek guidance using Finale as well as troubleshooting technical issues. Don is the musical arranger for the Youth Jazz Program to be held at the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore, Maryland July 11-15.

Reservations are recommended.Call 631-261-6344. The LIAA August 7th meeting will feature vocalist Connie Shakalis accompanied by accordionist Dominic Karcic.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

New Composition, Tango for Two by Karén Khanagov - USA

by Harley Jones
Karén KhanagovComposer Karén Khanagov has released video of the Academy Sinfonia at Oklahoma City University concert in May, 2012 with his composition Tango for Two.

This tango is for Viola and Accordion Duo with Sinfonia with Gerred Edwards (viola) and the composer Karén Khanagov (accordion, picture left).

Karén is the violin teacher at Oklahoma City University and is also the director of the Academy Sinfonia string chamber orchestra at the Performng Arts Academy of Oklahoma City University. Karén Khanagov, Armenian by origin, was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and after becoming a refugee, he settled in Oklahoma City.

Other compositions include concerto for violin and orchestra, Mel Bay publications for violin and viola and Karén regularly performs and records.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Meet 9 year old Cody McSherry, Performing at AAA Festival - Baltimore

by Rita Barnea
Cody McSherryCody McSherry performed on June 17th in Newark, Delaware for the Delaware Accordion Association. Cody will perform at the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore on Thursday evening, July 12th, for the Italian Cabaret night entertainment. He will also participate in the AAA Jr. Festival Orchestra in addition to entering the competition.

Cody McSherry just celebrated his ninth birthday last week but he already is an accomplished musician. Cody and I were the featured performers at the June 17th meeting of the Delaware Accordion Association. And you know who the audience loved and raved over…… Cody, of course! Cody thoroughly charmed the audience with his sparkling personality and poised, spirited performance.

Cody has a musical background. He is going into 4th grade at the Resurrection Catholic School in Lancaster, PA. His busy daily routine includes school, the after school program, and then home to practice. He practices four instruments each day! It takes about an hour and half each day to do this. Cody takes lessons on and plays the piano accordion, button box accordion, piano and his newest instrument…… the pipe organ! His favorite instrument now is the button box accordion.

Cody has played the piano and organ since the age of four. He has played the piano accordion for three years and started the button box accordion about one year ago! I asked Cody what inspired him to learn the accordion. He said, "I saw my music teacher (piano teacher), Mary Koenig, play the accordion at a German restaurant and I liked the sound, the way the polkas sounded" When I asked him how his friends react to his playing the accordion, Cody said, "My friends like it a lot! I play at my school concerts and I am the only soloist each year. My principal likes my accordion playing and gives me time on the program." It is wonderful that the principal is so encouraging of Cody's musical gifts.

Coby comes from a musical family. His Grandpa Jack plays the trombone in a community band in Conestoga, PA. His brothers also play instruments. One plays the trumpet and the other plays the viola. They all play together at Christmas gatherings each year. His mother, Dianna, said, "It is amazing. I never would have imagined that he could have accomplished so much in a short time. He read at the age of four. When I asked him if he wanted to play the piano, he cried because he was so happy to learn music."

Cody's program on June 17th included: Piano accordion… "Beer Barrel Polka", "Alley Cat", "Radetzky March", "Bella Notte", "La Spagnola" and he sang and played "Chattanooga Choo Choo." He also performed several solos on the button box accordion. And, he walked around to each table as he played!

Cody's hobby is Archeology. His favorite subjects are Science, Chemistry and Physics. What does he want to do when he grows up? Cody explains, " I want to play the accordion in the Andre Rieu orchestra." I would not be surprised if he does this in his promising future. He is talented, motivated, and determined. Cody shares his musical gifts by playing for organizations including senior citizen centers.

For further information:

Fathers Day Tribute to 'Our Dad the Accordion Man' - Canada

by Harley Jones
This was published in time for the June Fathers Day. The song is a tribute to 'Our Dad The Accordion Man', written and sung by John Drakes and dedicated to his father, Stephen Drakes, originally from Coomb's Cove, Fortune Bay, NL, Canada.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Jorgen Sundeqvist and Lena Rist-Larsen: New CD and USA Concert Tour

by Rita Barnea
CD cover
Jorgen Sundeqvist and Lena Rist-LarsenSwedish accordionist Jorgen Sundeqvist and his wife, accordionist and violinist Lena Rist-Larsen, recently completed a successful concert tour of the USA. Jörgen Sundeqvist is one of the best known students of Anthony Galla-Rini. They enjoyed a very long and close relationship, including concert tours together of the USA and Europe. Jörgen is a very important force in Swedish cultural life and works among other things as a soloist, arranger and teacher.   Jörgen is  a member of the Swedish Academy of Music and is frequently engaged as an adjudicator in international accordion competitions. Jörgen runs a successful international career as accordion soloist and chamber musician. 

Lena Rist-Larsen began to play the accordion at the age of 3. She distinguished herself during her childhood years as an exceptional musical talent. Lena studied the violin as well as the accordion at Conservatory in Oslo and has after her debut concert in 1996 gained an international reputation. Lena has won awards and is a respected teacher of both accordion and violin. She has participated in numerous productions and has among other things recorded the Goldberg-variations by J.S. Bach. Since 2000 she has worked as a theater musician in Oslo. In 2007 she founded the duo with Jörgen Sundeqvist.

Their newest CD consists of some of the musical repertoire that Lena Rist-Larsen and Jörgen Sundeqvist have been performing together including accordion duets and pieces for accordion and violin. These carefully chosen selections were written or re-arranged directly for Lena and Jorgen . This CD reflects the depth and warmth in their wide musical interest and represents the very different musical languages that they constantly communicate with.

Joan Cochran Sommers said, "This new recording by Lena Rist-Larsen (Violin and Accordion) and Jorgen Sundeqvist (Accordion) provides a very happy listening experience! I am confident that everyone will enjoy listening to the 13 well-chosen selections which are both written originally for the duo or arranged from other sources. Every single selection is well-played, with care for all the musically important details for which we listen. The dynamics are interesting and balanced between the players and their instruments. In addition, the recording accurately captures all the wonderful sounds of both the accordion and the violin at both ends of the spectrum" Please check the CD Reviews Index for the complete review by Joan C. Sommers in the English language.

Shirl Barry, President of Milwaukee Accordion Club, said, "The concert was beautiful. Jorgen and Lena are absolutely superb musicians and our club was truly treated to a world class performance.  In addition, Jorgen and Lena are charming, delightful folks. The concert was very  attended and certainly well appreciated by the audience."

Some of their June USA concert/workshop tour included the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration; Chicago Accordion Club; "Milwaukee Accordion Club, Root River Center in Franklin, Wisconsin; Seattle Concert, and Workshops in Wallingford sponsored by Petosa Music.

For further information:

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

Accordion Heroes 2012 - Rewound

by William Cosby
Accordion Heroes Collage
From the start, Accordion Heroes was designed to be a unique event. The defining characteristics were to sustain the very special North American heritage of the Accordion and to provide opportunities for young players – tomorrow’s Accordion Heroes. The young players were the most important part of the event.

Accordion Heroes 2012 planned an extensive variety of artist performances as a way to engage the accordion community in this endeavor and to provide financial support for the young artist program. However, due to a combination of the economy and other factors, support fell far below expectations. To remain true to the commitment to the young players, especially those anticipating the event, Accordion Heroes 2012 was revamped into an event exclusive to that purpose.

Hosted at the home of Dale and DeAnn Wise, seven young players gathered under the mentorship of William Cosby, Michael Bridge, Esther Lanting, Jim Rice, and Dale for two intensive days of hands-on sessions. The kickoff included an individual video recording of each participant before segueing into topics that included Winning Colors, instrument position and posture, tension and release & the phrase renewal, basics of Galla-Rini’s tone production, learning how to learn, basics of rhythm, how to book and successfully play jobs, conversations using only the accordion, music and the brain, bass patterns, fundamental accordion care and repair, the five types of bellow shakes, and playing music for dancers. In addition to working with mentors, each of the young players had a Bellows Buddy. The events wrapped with a second video recording at the end of the event.

The mentors were amazed at the young player’s diversity of talent, but perhaps even more amazed at their enthusiasm and true love of the accordion. Even at the end of a long day that was already an hour over schedule, they didn’t want to stop.

Local enthusiasts were invited to Saturday’s picnic where they joined the young players in an informal accordion ensemble, a variety of solo performances, and an abundance Accordy-Inn hospitality and great food.

But perhaps the real magic of Accordion Heroes happened on the Friday evening before the picnic. It was here where the Accordion Heroes concept came together in a way that might never have been possible in the originally scheduled venue.

The original event invited enthusiasts to observe the mentoring process with the young players. At the revamped program, the sessions were closed to all but participants and parents. This created a uniquely personal atmosphere, not only with the mentors, but among the young players. We sat around Dale’s large dining room table, sharing personal dreams, experiences and hopes that would never been discussed with the distractions of a catered event. Everyone assisted in preparing food and in clean up. I watched a fellowship that had developed among the young players, parents, and the mentors, realizing that the most the most important goal of the original concept had been realized.

At that point the young artists asked that the mentors play for them – and we did. It was our turn to validate, a term that in the earliest discussions of Accordion Heroes terrified almost everyone. But in one of my favorite Gregory Stone quotes, “We don’t talk about music, we play music.” It was our command performance and it was just for them.

It was my turn to go beyond basics of tone production: time to bring Galla-Rini’s musical vision to life with several of his big transcriptions, which unfortunately, are rarely played. Esther played for them on Galla-Rini’s last accordion, including his arrangement of The Lord’s Prayer which she performed at his memorial service. But nature provided a special surprise as Michael played, when the quiet backdrop of the Northern Virginia countryside was interrupted with a fierce thunderstorm. Michael is likely one of the few players with the virtuosity and musical passion to successfully engage in such a competition; willing to take on nature one-on-one.

Congratulations to Nikitas Conrad, Darla Eaton, Joel Stokes, Hannah Jane, Liubov Pak, Vince Demor, and Dena Monticone – seven of today’s young Accordion Heroes!

Center Photo:Jim Rice, Liubov Pak, Michael Bridge, Darla Eaton, Dale Wise, Vince Demor, Hannah Jane, Esther Lanting, Dena Monticone, William Cosby, and Stokes.
Outside pictures (clockwise from upper right corner): Michael and Bill, Darla, Michael, Esther Lanting & Heidi King, Liubov, Vince, Hannah, and Dale

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

"Fantasy for Accordion" A New Composition for Stas Venglevski

by Rita Barnea
Stas VenglevskiComposer David Bohn is embarking on a new musical project through Kickstarter, to create a new composition for renowned accordionist, teacher, and conductor, Stas Venglevski. David wants to compose a piece for Stas for a performance in either 2012 or 2013. It will be of 15 to 20 minutes duration for solo accordionist without any other performers. The composition may include the use of Stas' voice, if a text considered suitable by both David and Stas can be found. The composition will be a single continuous movement, divided into sections of contrasting character, much as Ravel's "Concerto in D "(for the left hand).

The title for the composition is "Fantasy", with an appropriate subtitle to be chosen in the course of composition. The piece will be dedicated to Stas. The project will only be funded if at least $400 is pledged by August 24, 2012.

Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. Every project is independently crafted, put to all-or-nothing funding, and supported by friends, fans, and the public in return for rewards. Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short no one is charged.

Since its launch in April 2009, more than 24,000 creative projects have been successfully funded by people from around the world. People come to Kickstarter to build community around their projects. It's inspiring to be supported by people you know, and amazing to connect with strangers who are discovering your ideas for the first time.

A native of Wisconsin, David Bohn received degrees in composition from the University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois. His primary composition teachers were Joel Naumann, Yehuda Yannay, and William Brooks. He has taught theory at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Illinois and theory, history and world music classes at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

David Bohn currently resides in West Allis, Wisconsin and is the organist and choir director at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Milwaukee. He is President of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Vice President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Organ Historical Society, and edits the newsletters of both organizations.

The project will be funded by individual backers in amounts ranging from $5.00 and up. If you pledge $5 or more, your name will be mentioned in the credits on the score. If you pledge $10 or more, your name will be mentioned in the credits on the score, plus a postcard inviting you to the premiere, once the date is set. For $20 or more your name is mentioned in the credits on the score, a postcard inviting you to the premiere, once the date is set, plus an mp3 of the premiere. For $30 or more, your name is entioned in the credits on the score, a postcard inviting you to the premiere, once the date is set, plus an CD of the premiere. For $50 or more, Your name mentioned in the credits on the score, a postcard inviting you to the premiere, once the date is set, a CD of the premiere, plus a personalized, autographed copy of the finished score.

For further

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

Accordion Pops Orchestra in June Concert

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Pops Orchestra Logo
The video you will see is an arrangement of "South Pacific" by Accordion Pops Orchestra conductor, Al Terzo which was its premiere performance on June 10th, 2012 in New Jersey. Video is by Dean Ratzin.

On Sunday June 10, 2012, the Accordion Pops Orchestra conducted by Al Terzo presented a concert at the Imperial Music Center, which also happens to be their rehearsal location.  They were honored to have renowned accordion champions Beverly Curnow and Mary Tokarski performing as guest artists. Also featured were Albert Manginelli (accordion) and Nicole D'Angelo (piano), champions from the recent Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild competition, as well as Brian Jeremiah on trumpet.

The varied program featured 16 year old soloist, Albert Manginelli, student of Danny Desiderio, in a performance of the "Carnival of Venice" accompanied by the APO. AAA Board member and virtuoso accordionist, Beverly Roberts Curnow performed Danny Desiderio's arrangement of the "Hungarian Dance No.5". Acclaimed accordionist, AAA and ATG Board member, Mary Tokarski performed "Mexican Carnival" which was composed by Danny Desiderio. Trumpet player, Brian Jeremiah, played "Bugler's Holiday" and "Trumpeters Lullaby" by Leroy Anderson. Pianist Nicole D'Angelo played the "Theme from The Apartment" and "Bumble Boogie" accompanied bythe APO.

The Accordion Pops Orchestra gave the World Premiere of Al Terzo's arrangement for accordion orchestra of "Medley from South Pacific". Al Terzo often creates special accordion arrangements for the Accordion Pops Orchestra. Al is a teacher, arranger, and conductor who has been with the orchestra since its inception in 1970. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and National Association of Music Educators.  Al Terzo serves on the governing board of the American Accordionists Association and is a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He is an accomplished accordionist who has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark's Symphony Hall.  Currently Mr. Terzo teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.

Other selections played by the APO were Al Terzo's arrangements of:" Entry of the Gladiators", "Jamaican Rumba", "Theme from the Apartment", "Bumble Boogie", "Colonel Bogey March", "South Pacific", "Bugler's Holiday", "Trumpeter's Lullaby", "Donkey Serenade", " "Frankfurter Polka", and "Stars & Stripes Forever". Additional selections on the program were: "Old Man River" - arr. Galla Rini, "Hungarian Dance #5"- arr. Desiderio. "Carnival of Venice" - arr. Frosini, "Mexican Carnival" - composed by Daniel Desiderio, "Caramba" - arr. Rixner, and "Conflict Ovrture" - composed by Eugene Ettore. The audience was delighted with the variety of the program and the virtuosity of all the performers.

The Accordion Pops Orchestra rehearses at the:
Imperial Music Center Concert Hall
48 Appleby Avenue
South River, NJ

Their fall schedule will be available very soon. If you are interested in joining the orchestra or would like more information about future performances please email:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Café Accordion Orchestra Visited Brainerd Library - USA

by Harley Jones
Café Accordion Orchestra Band
“Berets and Bongos” with an eclectic mix, full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude describes the Café Accordion Orchestra experience. They visited Brainerd Public Library on Thursday, June 21 at 12:00pm as part of the Kitchigami Regional Library System Legacy Program. This group is sure to get you tapping your toes. It was an opportunity for all ages to come together and celebrate another unique form of music.

The heart of the Café Accordion repertoire is the romantic, gypsy-influenced valse-musette. The five member group complements the musettes with swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas, and cumbias to create a wonderfully varied show. They inject their music with good humor and expressive abandon. Their high level of musicianship and passion for performance makes them an entertaining concert act as well as a great dance band.

Café Accordion Orchestra is lead by Dan Newton on accordion and vocals, with Eric Mohring on mandolin, violin and vocals, Erik Lillestol on bass and vocals, Robert Bell on guitar and vocals and Joe Steinger on percussion. Café Accordion Orchestra has been delighting audiences and dancers alike since 1995. They have appeared in New York at the Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing series, the International Akkordeon Festival in Vienna, Austria, the Minnesota State Fair, as well as festivals, theaters and dance halls across the United States.

This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Montreal International Jazz Festival: Richard Galliano's main squeeze - Canada

by Harley Jones
Richard GallianoMONTREAL - Accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano is loyal to his favourite instrument, a vintage Victoria button model made in Italy half a century ago. He has been playing it since he was a boy.

Though Galliano owns a dozen other accordions, it’s the only one he uses in performance, as he will Thursday when he opens the 33rd edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

“I’m a one-woman man and I’m a one-instrument man,” Galliano, 61, said with a laugh from his ancestral home in Le Rouret, north of Cannes in southern France. “I’ve always used the same accordion on stage. It knows me and I know it – we’re made of the same stuff, we’re in harmony with each other.” He tunes it himself, adjusts the controls, takes the thing apart if there’s a note that doesn’t sound the way he likes. “Sometimes I spend two hours to correct a single note.”

That diligence – and an immense talent – has made Galliano into a master of his instrument and a performer with few peers in the jazz world.Mentored by the late, great Astor Piazzolla, he has played with everyone from Chet Baker to Les Rita Mitsouku, from Ron Carter to Claude Nougaro.

Thanks to modern players like Galliano, the accordion is no longer perceived as something quaint and folkloric, a minor instrument best suited to bal-musettes.“The tide has turned,” Galliano said. “There’s far less prejudice against it than there was in another era. It now gets a lot of interest from the jazz world, even the classical world.” “When they look around for an original voice, they find it in the accordion. They don’t have to look far – there’s a whole new generation of players who are doing beautiful things with it.”

Its chief quality? That’s it’s versatile. “You can liven up a ball with it, you can play the blues, you can experiment with it in modern music,” said Galliano, who started playing very young, age 4, taught by his father, Luciano. (The elder Galliano still plays professionally, at the ripe age of 86. So does Richard Galliano’s son, Jean-Christophe, a professional jazz drummer with the New Meeting Quartet.)

Galliano describes the accordion as a kind of chameleon: it adapts admirably to other instruments, especially strings and brass. Invented around 1820 as a kind of toy, it has become a class act. “It’s a portable organ, very expressive, and it belongs to all nationalities, all folklores – in South America, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Asian countries, too,” he said.

“I’m sure if the accordion had been around in Bach or Vivaldi’s time, they would have written for it. And it’s come a long way. It’s enjoying a renaissance now – just look how often it’s featured in festivals.” Like ours. Galliano is a long-time habitué of the Montreal jazz fest. He has played here nine times since 1984, including a five-night run at the Gesù in 1998.

Last year he dueted with Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba at Théâtre Maisonneuve. This time, he’ll be backed by a classical string quintet at the Maison Symphonique. It’s the first jazz fest show to play in the OSM’s new concert hall, part of the work-in-progress that is the Quartier des Spectacles.

Galliano will start the show with a few baroque pieces by Bach that he recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in 2010, and end it with the music of Piazzolla. In between, he’ll play his own well-known compositions, including Tango pour Claude, (dedicated to Nougaro), La valse à Margaux and Opale concerto. "It’ll be a concert that covers several genres," he said.

“You can’t put a label on it. There’ll be some classical, some jazz, some French music. What will be unique is the sound: a string quintet with an accordion in the heart of the action.” (There’ll be no Nino Rota, however. Galliano covers the Italian film composer’s music with a brass-and-clarinet jazz quintet in his latest album, released last year – something different entirely.)

His next project is to record Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – one of the most popular pieces of the baroque repertoire ever put to disc. His version will be an arrangement for bass and accordion. It’s due out on Deutsche Gramophon in early 2013. “The accordion will make it a very different version from any you’ve heard of the concerti before,” said Galliano, who’ll perform a passage or two for the Montreal show.

“Vivaldi is magnificent. When Deutsche Grammophon proposed the idea to me, I knew they were going for something popular, just as they were with Bach and Nino Rota, and I’m okay with that. “My instrument needs to rest on a very solid foundation so that people no longer act surprised and say ‘Oh, the accordion – you can play classical music with that, you can play jazz?’

“I want to put a stop to that. And above all, of course, it’s my joy to play this music.”
Richard Galliano performs with a string quintet Thursday at 7 PM at the Maison symphonique de Montréal, 1600 St. Urbain St.

Future events

Second Annual Wallace Accordion Festival August 10-12

by Rita Barnea
Wallace Accordion Parade
Wallace Festival LogoMichael BridgeConcert featuring international award-winning musician Michael Bridge will kick off the 2nd Annual Historic Wallace Accordion Festival scheduled August 10-12 in the North Idaho mining town. The concert at 7 PM Friday, August 10, at the Wallace Elks Lodge. It will also feature Patricia Bartell’s Tango Volcado - an ensemble of accordion, bass, piano and violin - and an opening act by the Portatos, a youth accordion band from Spokane. Tickets are $15 for adult general seating, $20 for premier seating, and $10 for children ages 7-16. Children 6 and under admitted free.

Events on Saturday, August 11, will start with a 9 AM Accordion Celebration Parade (see photo of 2011 Parade) through downtown Wallace. The parade will be followed by workshops by Bridge, Bartell and other professionals, music in the gazebo, and a street party that includes entertainment, food vendors and a beer garden featuring local microbrews.

Among those performing at the street party will be Johnny Vukonich, a one-man all inclusive band, and Aaron Seeman, an “over the top” comedic accordionist best known as Duckmandu.Back by popular demand will be polka lessons by a local dance instructor. The Festival will conclude with a Sunday farewell breakfast served by the local Cub Scout pack.

Canadian musician Michael Bridge is one of the most versatile performers of today, expertly blending the works of great composers like Bach and Haydn with old time polkas and waltzes, French musette, jazz standards, and pop hits from the Beetles to present day. Although only 18, he has performed throughout the world. As the 2011 National Roland Digital Accordion Champion, he traveled to Italy last October to represent Canada on the international stage where he placed fourth in a field of 14 national champions. He also competed last fall in Shanghai, China in the CIA Junior World Championships, where he came in fourth out of champions from 21 countries.

As part of his appearance in Wallace, Michael will present two workshops. “Jamming and Improvisation” will teach the fundamentals of improvising an accompaniment as well as creating one’s own melodies. “Practical Technique and Special Effects” will give tips and tricks on using one’s technique to avoid mistakes in performance. Admission to an individual workshop is $15, or $25 for the entire day’s workshops. The entire workshop schedule will be announced in early July.

For more information: or jandmfeiler@suddenlink.netor
Phone for the Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce: 208 753-7151.

Photo of Tango Volcado. The accordionist is Patricia Bartell
Tango Volcado with Patricia Bartell

AAA September Valtaro Celebration to Honor the Magnanini Family

by Rita Barnea
Rachel and Rick Magnanini
Galba MagnaniniThe AAA Valtaro Celebration on September 8th, 2012, at the Magnanini Winery in Wallkill, NY, will honor the Magnanini Family for their continuous support of live accordion music at their establishment.

I recently spent a wonderful afternoon with Rick and Rachel Magnanini, learning about the history of the Magnanini Winery, their family, and their close association with the accordion. Great food, wine, company and great accordion music was the vision of Rick's father, Galba Magnanini. and he made it a successful reality. Today the family tradition is continued with devotion and dedication by Rick and Rachel Magnanini along with their two sons, Robert and David.

The family background is fascinating. The Magnanini family is originally from the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. The Magnanini farm in Wallkill, NYwas obtained in 1951. It was originally an old apple orchard and dairy farm, on 35 acres . In 1970, the land was cleared and the vineyard was planted. Richard, Galba's son, who was graduated from SUNY Delhi for agriculture, works closely with Cornell University on Viticulture and Enology practices. In 1976, Gov. Mario Cuomo passed "The Farm Winery" bill which allowed small grape farmers, who made wine, to sell it on their premises.  In 1976, Galba and Richard started making wine from their own vineyards, for home and friends and the rest was sold to Brotherhood Winery. In 1980, they started to build the restaurant from a two car garage. Many people were skeptical but they pursued their dream. In 1983, Richard obtained his license to sell wine thinking what better way to sell their wine than with homemade specialties such as tagliatelle, ravioli, capelletti, and provisions; salami, coppa, sausage and cotechino.

Joseph Trombetti, a retired executive chef from The Plaza Hotel in NYC, a good friend of Gelso and Galba, was the Magnanini's mentor over the years, helping them to acquire excellent kitchen skills and methods of efficiently serving large groups. The restaurant was completed and the wine was ready to sell. The first years production of 1000 gallons was sold out!  More vines were planted. The second year 2000 gallons were also sold out. As the vineyard grew so did the sales presently producing 6000 gallons, which equals 25-30 thousand bottles of wine each year.  Over the years, Richard has won numerous awards for his wines, of which he is very proud. Today Richard's work at the winery revolves around bottling, processing their own meats, preparing food for the restaurant, making their own pasta and sauces, all vegetables locally grown and hand picked.

The Restaurant opened on Easter Sunday 1985, with a full house. There was live accordion music played by the "Good Time Band" consisting of Richard Magnanini and Danny Coan on accordion and Jack Ragazzi on bass guitar. The music was from the Valtaro region. It is fascinating to learn that Galba and Gelso Pelligrini were from the same part of Italy. Galba would hear Gelso perform at different functions in the NY area and they became friends. Gelso saw the winery being built and said that he would play there. In 1989, Gelso Pellegrini began to perform at Magnanini's continuing until 2001. Gelso, one of the original Valtaro accordionists, would perform there as did Pete Spagnoli, John Brugnoli, and Pet DelGrosso. They would all meet at the Magnanini Winery and play together. Rick said, "Right from the beginning the focus was on the accordion. The accordion and the food makes it a lively fun event. The accordion makes everyone happy". Rick was introduced to the accordion by his father, Galba, who played by ear. Rick took lessons from Steven Harer of Clifton who had studied with Pietro Deiro and Frosini.

In 1990, the Valtaro reunions began. Gelso Pelligrini was instrumental in keeping the Valtaro heritage alive. Along with good homemade foods of the Emila-Romagna region and Valtaro music, everything came together. In 1994 the addition of the dance area and bandstand was completed. Gelso continued to perform with his colleagues at the winery until his passing in Jan. 2002. Through Gelso, the Magnanini's met Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini. Other accordionists who have performed there include Frank Toscano, Frank Carozza, Manny Carallo, Angelo Di Pippo, Charles Nunzio, Ray Oreggio, and Dominic Karcic. Carmen Carrozza , a close friend of Gelso's, also played there. Rick said, "People really like the accordion. I, as do many other people, have very fond memories of the accordion at family functions. People really enjoy the focus on the accordion at the Magnanini Winery."

The Magnanini family continues to keep the tradition of the Italian cuisine and the accordion preserving the family heritage. Mario Tacca, along with Frank Carozza, Dominic Karcic and Frank Toscano presently play at the winery. Rick said, "The Magnanini Winery is a gathering place of Valtaro musicians and friends of the accordion. Anybody that loves the accordion would come here. Many heard about it through the grapevine. It is a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon. We were fortunate to have all these wonderful people as friends. And this is what makes the Magninani Winery what it is today….We carry on the tradition of great food, music, friendship, and wine." Rick met his wife, Rachel, when he was playing with his band and she was waitressing for her nursing degree. The beautiful artwork displayed on the walls are all originals painted by Renzo Magnanini, older brother of Galba. Renzo was also a renowned sculptor and artist from Bologna, Italy. Because the family is totally involved in every aspect of the business, the result is an excellent, unique opportunity for all to have a wonderful time.

The Magnanini Winery is open each weekend for business. It is also available for private parties, weddings and functions. The Magnanini Winery is located at 172 Strawridge Road in Wallkill, NY. For more information/reservations: 845-895-2767. For info on the AAA event in September: or

Top Photo: Rachel and Rick Magnanini
Right photo: Magnanini Winery founder Galba Magnanini
Bottom photo: Valtaro accordionists Gelso Pelligrini, Willy Brunelli, Ugo Nati, Peter Spagnoli . Circa 1989 Reunion
Gelso Pelligrini, Willy Brunelli, Ugo Nati, Peter Spagnoli

Voci Armoniche

Roland Corporation U.S. Announces the 2012 V-Accordion Festival!

by Rita Barnea
Roland US Logo
You can be a part of the Roland V-Accordion® Festival in Los Angeles, CA and win a trip to Rome, Italy.* (Senior Division Only). The 2012 Roland U.S. V-Accordion® Festival finals will be held Sept. 29, 2012 at Roland Corp. U.S. in Los Angeles, CA.

There are two competition categories: Senior (age 18 and older) and Junior (age 17 and younger). The Roland V-Accordion Festival is a skill contest in which you, the participant, will create and submit a 10- minute videotaped audition of yourself on DVD, the audio portion of which may be created and performed on any acoustic or digital accordion.

For an entry form and detailed contest rules :

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Tatiana Semichastnaya performs at AAA Festival, Baltimore

by Harley Jones
Above is a video of Roland demonstrator Tatiana Semichastnaya. Tatiana is performing on the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Friday night Gala Concert during the AAA Festival which runs from July 11-15th.

Venue is the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Further information on the AAA website.

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Brent Buswell to Perform at 2012 ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival

by Rita Barnea
Brent BuswellAccordionist Brent Buswell will perform at the 5th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival in Nashua, New Hampshire on Friday evening, August 17th.

Brent Buswell has played the accordion since 1993 and, from a young age, has been recognized as a virtuoso player. He enjoys performing a wide variety of music, including jazz, polkas, Scandinavian, novelty numbers, marches, Christian, and American standards. He especially enjoys playing the music of great accordion composers such as Pietro Frosini, Charles Magnante, and Pietro Deiro.

Brent has been a featured artist for many Scandinavian and Finnish events, including the Swedish Midsummer Festival (Cape Cod, Mass.), numerous FinnFunn Weekends, and the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in Astoria, Oreg. in 2002 and 2005. He has been a headline performer for national FinnFests in Gorham, Maine (1998); Philadelphia, Pa. (2001); and the 2005 FinnGrandFest in Marquette, Mich. In March 2003, he had the honor of performing at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., with New York accordionist Bert Stromholm. Brent was selected as the 2008 Finlandia Foundation “Performer of the Year,” with more than fifty performances throughout the county, including a featured performance at the 2008 FinnFest in Duluth, Minn.

He has toured throughout the country with the Stratton Mountain Boys from Vermont, has been a guest performer with the Grammy-winning "Polka King" Jimmy Sturr Orchestra and performed at accordion conventions throughout the country. He has also performed at Scandinavian celebrations in Oregon, Maine, Texas, Michigan and other states. Brent was featured on the Sally Jesse Raphael TV show. He also has played at Disney World and at the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC and has recorded three CDs.

Brent was graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in music. During his time at Berklee, he also studied piano, which has become his second instrument.

His wife, Crista, is a professional pianist and they often perform a wide variety of popular, folk, and classical pieces for accordion and piano.


Kimmo Pohjonen in the USA Premiere of "Accordion Wrestling"

by Rita Barnea
Kimmo Pohjonen
Accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen will give the USA Premiere of "Accordion Wrestling" in his New York appearance with Helsinki Nelson on August 3rd and 4th, 2012 at 8:30 PM at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors concert on the Damrosch Park Stage. The stage is next to the Metropolitan Opera House.

"Accordion Wrestling" was originally created for the Turku Cltural Capital of Europe Program in 2011. The event is sponsored by SofTrek Corporation and made possible in part by the Consulate General of Finland, The Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Music (LUSES), The Finnish Performing Music Promotion Centre ESEK, Finn Spark, Inc. and Finlandia Foundation National.

Kimmo Pohjonen, a Finnish accordionist, is a highly respected "accordion adventurer" who is composing, playing and performing accordion music in revolutionary new ways. He has recorded and performed with many projects and groups worldwide plus has composed music for films, dance and theatre.

Pohjonen has released eight albums, the latest of which is Uniko with Samuli Kosminen and Kronos Quartet, released February 2011.The previous album was 2008's Quiver by the trio KTU, featuring Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn (King Crimson). His Earth Machine Music project, featuring live collaboration with farmers and their machines, toured UK and Australia.

Pohjonen also performs in the trio K Cube with Finnish drummer Sami Kuoppamäki and guitarist Timo Kämäräinen. Pohjonen and French drummer Eric Echampard perform as a 100% improvisational duo. Pohjonen also performs with Kluster featuring sampling maestros Juuso Hannukainen or Samuli Kosminen.

Most recent projects include "Accordion Wrestling" with ten Finnish wrestlers and the Iron Lung project with visual artist / conceptualist Ville Walo. Kimmo Pohjonen and Helsinki Nelson. "Accordion Wrestling" is a music, sport, dance, theatre, performance art revival of wrestling and accordion tradition from the 1920s-1960s. "Accordion Wrestling" toured Finland in 2010, Hamburg in 2011 and to UK, Amsterdam and NYC in 2012. The choreographer is Ari Numminen. Kimmo Pohjonen's solo show continues to tour regularly. In 2012 Pohjonen took the show to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore.

The event is free. No tickets are required.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

17th Annual Sebastopol Cajun-Zydeco Festival in September

by Rita Barnea
Cajun Zydeco Festival in September
The 17th Annual Sebastopol Cajun-Zydeco Festival will take place on September 8th, 2012 featuring Cajun Food and Zydeco Music from 11:30 AM to 7:00 PM at Ives Park in Sebastopol, California. Gates open at 11:00 AM.

Featured performers will be Dwayne Dopsi & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Mark St. Mary Delta Blues & Zydeco Band and Lynn August & the Red Hot Special Guests. There will be a huge shaded wooden dance floor under the redwoods in Ives Park.

The Rotary Club of Sebstopol Sunrise is sponsoring the event. The Cajun Zydeco Festival attracts over 2000 people each year. If you are interested in assisting in sponsoring the event, see contact info below.

Admission is $25.00. Free for children under 12.
For further information: or
call 707-823-3631
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