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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jul-2013
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Passing of Dr. Carmelo Pino
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Passing of Auggie Arruda, Jr.
Passing of Bob Paolo
Dr. Robert Young McMahan is Appointed as Chair of Music Dept. at TCNJ
Alicia Baker Wins First Place at 2013 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration
73rd ATG Festival July 17-21
AAA 75th Anniversary International Concert on August 15th NYC
Joseph Natoli to Perform at 2013 ATG and AAA Festivals
AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 26-28 in NYC
Stas Venglevski in Concert at the ATG Festival in July
World Accordion Orchestra VII, 2013 CIA Coupe Mondiale, Victoria, Canada
Nick Ariondo to Perform for Bastille Day in California
Sammy Thomas in Summer Concerts

Voci Armoniche

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

AAA 75th Festival Carmen Carrozza Luncheon & Concert on Aug. 16th in NYC
Video Advertisement: Roland V-Accordion Overview With Alicia Baker
Soundscape Trio to Perform at ATG Festival in July
Leavenworth International Accordion Festival: June 20-23, 2013
Dr. Helmi Harrington to Present Workshops at ATG Festival in July
AAA 75th Anniversary Festival, Friday Night Concert
Celebrating the Accordion – Venetian Style in Las Vegas
Accordionist Tom Fabinski Delights Audience in Frederick, Maryland

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

John Simkus to Perform at ATG Festival July 17-20
Wallace Accordion Festival: August 9-11 in Idaho
6th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival – August 9-11
Dr. William Schimmel to Appear at Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center, Aug. 15
23rd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival
Due Zighi Baci: Two Little Gypsies to Perform at SFAC, July 21st
You Could Be the New Accordion Star!

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
FireworksEditor Rita BarneaAre you ready for an amazing accordion summer? There are so many accordion festivals, concerts, and happenings during July and August. You can read details in the July USA news.

You can tour the USA and find an accordion event nearby. New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Idaho…. Read even more in the August USA News.

Sadly, many of our accordion greats have recently passed away including Carmen Carrozza ( see June news) and Dr. Carmelo Pino. Their dedication to and love of the accordion has inspired so many accordionists around the world to develop not only their musical skills but also their love of this special instrument. We will miss them and never forget about their unique contributions to the accordion world.

After you have read this month's news, I am sure that YOU will feel like practicing even more! Playing the accordion, at any age, is rewarding and fun!

As always, please continue to send your ideas to me at

Please remember that the deadline is always the 26th of the month before the news is released.

Happy July 4th! Enjoy your accordion summer!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Passing of Dr. Carmelo Pino

by Rita Barnea

Carmen Carrozza and Dr. Carmelo PinoDr. Carmelo PinoVideo of Carmelo Pino performing his arrangement of "Gershwiniana".

Dr. Carmelo Pino, former AAA President, honored concert accordionist, composer, teacher, passed away on the June 20, 2013 after months of serious illness.

Dr Carmelo Pino was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago. AAA President Linda Soley Reed expressed: "To see a vibrant man like Carmelo reduced to living in a care facility, dependent on others for his day-to-day care, is heartbreaking. I miss the man who was Carmelo Pino, friend, artist, teacher, composer."

You may read a detailed and fascinating article by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian, about his many achievements online at: Carmelo Pino.

Linda Reed said, "AAA Past President, Dr. Carmelo Pino, was a gentleman and a scholar. He was an accordionist of charismatic virtuosity who had also distinguished himself as an innovative composer. A member of the AAA since the mid-50s, Carmelo was a member of the governing board, served as vice president for several terms and president from 2001 to 2004. In addition, he was program and competition chairperson, MC, adjudicator and featured performer at numerous AAA events. Together with the late Maddalena Belfiore, Carmelo chaired the 1976 Coupe Mondiale held in Washington, DC.

Featured articles on both Carmen Carrozza and Carmelo Pino will be included in the AAA’s 75th Anniversary Journal supplement which will be distributed at their Festival in New York City in August."

The accordion world and The American Accordionists' Association mourns the loss of two great accordionists who were also past presidents of the AAA, Carmen Carrozza and Dr. Carmelo Pino.

Photo of Carmen and Carmelo, taken at the AAA Tribute to Charles Nunzio, November, 2004 (photo credit: Lou Coppola). 

Their numerous music accomplishments will continue to be an example to musicians everywhere and inspire all of us to work to achieve our highest musical potential.

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

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

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

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

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

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

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

Titano Accordion Company

Passing of Auggie Arruda, Jr.

by Rita Barnea
Auggie ArrudaAugust “Auggie” Arruda Jr., 79, of 74 Greylock Road, Bristol, died Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Judy H. (Henderson) Arruda, his wife of 28 years.

Born in Fall River, MA and a lifelong resident of Bristol, he was the son of the late August and Mary Alice (Freitas) Arruda Sr. Mr. Arruda was a Korean War veteran of the United States Navy, serving abroad the USS Pittsburgh. He was a 1952 graduate of Colt Memorial High School in Bristol, where he was the class president and chairman of the reunion committee for many years.

He went on to graduate in 1958 from Bryant College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. A music educator for 59 years, he owned and operated Arruda Music Studio in Pawtucket and his accordion band was part of the New England Music Festival for many years.

Auggie was a communicant of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Bristol and a life member of the Warwick Lodge of Elks, and he loved spending time working around his home and in his yard and gardens.

Besides his wife, he leaves two daughters, Deborah Arruda of Bristol and Valerie M. Arruda of Riverside; a grandson, Richard Arruda-Cavallaro of Seekonk, MA; four stepchildren, Wendy M. Hebert, Todd B. Hebert, Jennifer L. Dias and Jon P. Hebert; and 11 step-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s Church – Capital Campaign Fund, P.O.Box 414, Bristol, RI 02809.

Voci Armoniche

Passing of Bob Paolo

by Rita Barnea
Robert PaoloRobert A. Paolo, 77, of Johnston, passed away on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at Miriam Hospital in Providence.  He was the beloved companion of Ann Marie Panarello. Born in Providence, he was a son of the late Domenic and Elizabeth (Zangari) Paolo.

Robert was a lifelong music teacher and conductor, a world champion accordion player whose students went on to also become champion players. He was also a producer of an album, and a veteran in the US Army National Guard.

He is survived by his loving children, Pamela Velleco and her husband Ralph of Cranston, Gregory Paolo, PPD, and his wife Donna of North Providence; cherished grandfather of Matthew and Amanda Voccola, Domenic and Cole Paolo.  He was a beloved brother of Thomas Paolo, Raymond Paolo, and Martha Gagnon all of Johnston.

Accordion Jazz Chords

Dr. Robert Young McMahan is Appointed as Chair of Music Dept. at TCNJ

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Robert Young McMahanDr. Robert Young McMahan has been appointed as Chair of the Music Department at TCNJ (The College of New Jersey). Prior to his appointment, Dr. McMahan was a full Professor of Music Theory and Composition and Coordinator of Music Theory Studies. He has been a member of the faculty since 1991.

TCNJ offers a degree in Accordion Performance and a BA in Music Education where the student may use the accordion as a major instrument. This is a wonderful opportunity for accordionists who are interested in earning a college degree to pursue a concert career or seek employment as a music teacher in the public schools, etc.

Robert Young McMahan is an award-winning composer, classical accordionist, specializing in original contemporary music, and published music researcher who is active as both a performer and composer in a number of contemporary music venues in the middle states region.  He is also Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition Studies, as well as of the Accordion major, at The College of New Jersey, and was recently appointed Chair of the Music Department.  An active officer of the American Accordionists’ Association, he serves as Chair of its Composers Commissioning Committee.

In addition to his own music, he has premiered the accordion works of many notable American composers, including Ernst Krenek, Gary William Friedman, Lukas Foss, and Samuel Adler.  Dr. McMahan holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, where he studied composition with Stefan Grové, Robert Hall Lewis, and Jean Eichelberger Ivey, and St. John’s College (Santa Fe campus).  He studied accordion with the well known accordionist, Louis Coppola.

He will premiere his new 4-movement work, "Mechanisms", for flute, clarinet, accordion, and piano on the Friday evening concert of the AAA Master Class and Concert Series on July 26 in NYC.(See article on AAA Seminars in this issue).  It was commissioned by Trio@Play, Kevin Waolis, flute, Ken Elliss, Clarinet, and Lynda Saponara, piano. Guest cellist Cecylia Barczyk and Dr. McMahan will also play Piazzolla's "La Grand Tango" on Sunday, July 28th, of the AAA Seminars (as they did at TCNJ and her college, Towson University last fall).

For further information: Contact Dr. Robert Young McMahan at


Alicia Baker Wins First Place at 2013 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration

by Rita Barnea
Alicia BakerAccordionist Alicia Baker won first place in the 2013 Open Division of the 2013 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration which was held in Leavenworth, Washington, June 20-23rd. It was hosted by the Northwest Accordion Society.

Alicia Baker is a 21 year old self-professed music fanatic from Milwaukie, Oregon. She has been playing the accordion since the age of 6, as well as studying piano and voice. Alicia is a 2013 graduate of Oregon State University, where she was a music major and earned degrees in music education, piano performance, and vocal performance.

Her future dreams include teaching choral music, along with performing every chance she gets! Alicia has had much success on the accordion, winning various competitions including the “Happy Hans Open” at the Kimberley International Old-Time Accordion Competition in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In addition, in 2009 Alicia won the privilege of representing the USA at the Roland International V-Accordion Competition in Rome, Italy.

She has since performed solo concerts at the Kimberley & Leavenworth Old Time Accordion Festivals, American Accordion Association Convention, Cotati Accordion Festival, the Accordionists and Teachers Guild International festival, and the NAMM show. In addition, Alicia performed the 3rd movement of Nikolai Chaikin’s "Accordion Concerto in B-flat Major" with the Corvallis symphony in October 2011.

Alicia strives to play all genres of music well, showing the versatility of her abilities and of the instrument. Some of her favorites include polkas, french musettes, jazz, pop, and techno. Alicia currently works for Roland as an accordion product specialist, where she hopes to continue spreading the joy of accordion music as well as increase the popularity of this wonderful instrument.

For further information:

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

73rd ATG Festival July 17-21

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo
Martynas LevickisPresident Betty Jo Simon welcomes all to attend and participate in the 73rd Annual Competition and Festival of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) which will be held in Lisle, IL (Chicago) from July 17-21st, 2013.

This year you will have the opportunity to hear some of the world's finest accordion artists in concert, attend a variety of interesting and informative workshops and Master Classes, perform in the popular ATG Festival Orchestra, celebrate at the Gala Banquet and Luncheon, shop at the ATG Marketplace, enjoy a variety of Concerts and meet your fellow accordionists from around the world!

All events are open to the General Public. You will find a diverse array of musical genres performed by a variety of accordionists. There is truly something for everyone. You are invited to come along and discover the magic and diversity of the accordion as presented by this year's ATG Guest artists.

The featured Classical guest artist this year will be Martynas Levickis, a Lithuanian born concert accordionist. He was the 2010 Piano Accordion Coupe Mondiale Champion in Croatia and winner of “Lithuania’s Got Talent” 2010.

Guest artists and exhibitors include: Stas Venglevski, Joe Natoli ( article in this issue about him), Mirco Patarini ( see June USA news for more info), John Simkus ( see this issue for more info), Nick Ballarini, Dr. Helmi Harrington, SqeezinArt (Joan and Dan Grauman), Elena and Gregory Fainshtein ( June USA news), World of Accordions Museum, Godon Kohl, Avrum Levin, Abraham McWilliams, Donna Dee Ray, Soundscape Trio, and more!

Also appearing will be Orchestre Polyphonia, directed by Pierre Varo from the Ile de la Réunion (Réunion Islands) off the coast of Madagascar. The 50-piece student musicians composing the ensemble are between 12 & 20 years of age. They consist of not only accordionists, but include strings, woodwinds, brass, keyboards, percussion, singers and dancers.

They have made several tours of foreign countries such as Mauritius Island, South Africa, Germany, the Czech Republic, Australian, New Zealand and France. This year they will add Canada and the USA to their long list. So keep checking the ATG website for more Festival updates.

Tickets may be purchased an all inclusive package of tickets or you are also welcome to buy individual General Admission Tickets at the door for each event. Events take place at the International Hyatt Lisle, 1400 Corporetum Dr, Lisle, IL 60532 (630) 852-1234 $99 single, $109 double (plus tax).

Please mention “ATG” when making the reservation. The deadline for discounted room rates is July 1st. Purchase packages by July 7th for extra savings! Parking is available at the Hotel.

See the ATG website for further information: Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG)

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

AAA 75th Anniversary International Concert on August 15th NYC

by Rita Barnea
2013 AAA International Concert Poster
Be sure to attend the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) 75th Anniversary Festival to be held at the New Yorker Hotel in NYC from August 14-18, 2013. The International Concert takes place on Thursday, August 15th at 1:30 PM in the Crystal Ballroom of the New Yorker.

The International Concert includes virtuoso accordionists who will dazzle you with their skills, charm, and versatility. The guest artists include: Cathie Travers from Australia (see article in this issue), Lionel Reekie from New Zealand, Gamie Aker Spelemannslag and the The Old Aker Band from Norway, Mirco Patarini from Italy (see June USA news for article about him), Maricarmen Vazquez on accordion and Gerardo Auilion from Cuba, Musikforum Olching and Karin Renner-Kiese, conductor from Germany, and Norwegian Champion Einar Thokie Hoyden.

International Concert tickets are included with the AAA Event Package, available now. Individual tickets are available on the day of the concert: $25 per person; $10 for students under 16 who are entered in the AAA Competition.

Do not miss this exciting event taking place in New York City.

For more information visit the website: American Accordionists' Association (AAA)

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

Joseph Natoli to Perform at 2013 ATG and AAA Festivals

by Rita Barnea
Joseph NatoliVideo of "Accordion Extensions" by Joseph Natoli
Joe explains his new composition: "Many people who hear me perform more traditional compositions today, do not often realize that I had spent a good deal of my young adult life steeped in what was considered the "avant garde" or contemporary genre.

The term avant garde refers to "people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics." So I was frequently performing compositions that were at the leading edge of contemporary.

A performance and compositional icon who has dedicated her life and output to this musical space is Pauline Oliveros. We are fortunate that Pauline Oliveros is an accordionist and also a Roland FR7X player who is still performing actively today to devoted followers and crowds who love her "deep listening" approach to music. Therefore, with much admiration and respect I submit this performance for her.

My approach to this piece is to very much exploit where our instrument has come today with the advent of the FR7X and all of which it is capable. I have purposely pushed the limits of what the FR7X can do in this piece to show how versatile this instrument is in any sound setting, including the crossover between electronic and acoustic in a very contemporary idiom. Hence the title "Accordion Extensions.""

Accordionist, composer, and Roland digital accordion expert Joseph Natoli will perform at the 2013 73rd ATG Festival from July 17-20 in Lisle, Ill. and the AAA 75th Festival in New York City, August 14-18, 2013.

Joe makes his home in central Ohio with his wife JoAnn and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven. Joe started his studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio. Under Mickey’s tutelage, Joe won his age division in the American Accordionists’ Association national competitions each year until finally capturing its coveted Open Virtuoso national title at the age of 18 in Washington, D.C..

Later that year (1972), Joe became the AAA United States representative in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition held in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was chosen first runner up, missing the world title by 17 hundredths of a point. Joe also released an album for Giulietti Accordion Corporation that year under the Neofonic label entitled "Accordion Masterworks" presents Joseph Natoli and Richard Romiti, which includes many unique solo and duet arrangements and original compositions for the free bass accordion.
More recently, Joe was the winner in the first Roland US V-Accordion national competition (held in Los Angeles in September 2008). Joe subsequently represented Roland US in the Roland International V-Accordion competition held in Rome, Italy in Nov 2008. From January 2009 to June 2010, Joe became a product specialist, performing artist and clinician for Roland Corporation on the V-Accordion.

Since Joe possesses Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music composition from the University of Toronto, he tries to use his orchestrational knowledge to exploit all the best coloristic and orchestrational possibilities on the FR7X. Joe’s arrangements traverse a diverse set of musical styles (including classical, light classical, jazz, and ethnic).

Joe’s approach to the FR7X is to use the best orchestration possible to enhance the composition, often including accordion sounds, orchestral and percussion sounds, or all in combination.
Some of the recent performances given by Joe:
He performed solo and with the MAE accordion orchestra conducted by Stas Venglevski at the MAE accordion event in Feb. 2013 in Mesa, AZ. This was highlighted by his special tribute to Frank Marocco, which was a performance of his arrangement of "Amazing Grace" and "Danny Boy" dedicated to Frank at his passing in March 2012.

He also performed in Mesa at the Arizona Accordion Club with a tribute concert for his father, Frank Natoli Sr. who used to be a member of that club and performed there several times in the few years before his passing. His special dedication to his father was the jazz standard "It Never Entered My Mind."

Joe recently returned from Indiana where he played a benefit concert with the Gene Van Accordion Orchestra 6/5/13 for the Mishawaka Education Foundation. The performance was a very well-received program with many of the selections focusing on Spring. Joe performed solos on the Roland FR7X as well.

On 6/27 & 6/28 Joe performed another benefit concert with the Gene Van Accordion Orchestra with many of the same selections plus "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" with orchestral enhancement colors from the FR7X. He also performed solos as part of that concert.

Joe's future performances include:
7/17-7/21/13 Joe will be guest soloist and ATG Festival Orchestra member on the Roland V-Accordion.

He will also be a member of an accordion quartet that will perform his own heart felt "Waltz For Ron", dedicated to the late Ron Lankford as well as a new arrangement called "Happy Song," a little jazz ballad style piece based on a Carl Czerny piano exercise.

Additionally, he will be doing a workshop on arranging and orchestration for digital accordions. On 8/14-8/16/13 Joe will be guest soloist for the AAA Festival on the Roland V-Accordion and presenting a workshop on arranging and orchestration for digital accordions.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 26-28 in NYC

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Dr. William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Master Class and Concert Series celebrates its 19th season on July 26, 27 and 28, 2013 at the Tenri Cultural Institute,43A West 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues), in New York. Master classes are at 3:PM. Concerts at 7:PM.

The title of the Seminars is "The Accordion is 3D-No Glasses Required". The moderator/curator, Dr. William Schimmel projects that it will be the best one yet: intriguing workshops, lectures, discussions, stellar performances and, most of all, a collegial attitude in its presentation. Each afternoon workshop will feature up to five performers who wish to receive advice, criticism and tools for improvement from the presenters, the audience and William Schimmel.

Participants come from the local New York area, across the United States as well as China, Japan, Argentina, Croatia and Norway.

Guest artists during the weekend include Dr. William Schimmel, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Erica Mancini, Peter Flint, John Foti, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Micki Goodman presenting a new video work, Doug Makofka, Ken Laufer, Paul Stein, Ingrid Kvale, Martina Li, Mayumi Mayaota, Corn Mo, Mary Tokarski, Will Holshouser, Bob Goldberg and The Famous Accordion Orchestra David Stoler, Art Bailey, Brian Dewan, Melissa Elledge plus more.

• Three levels/three stages, a graphic realization. • Interactive Dance/Video. • Maria/BA/astorp/LEG, a ten minute opera - a remix of Maria of Buenos Aires (Piazzolla) with Light (Goulding) • Holy Trojans - Bach meets Berlioz • Architectural event – the architecture of global travel. • Composer/performer/listener – learning from Roger Sessions. • Good/bad/rancid • Pathetic/pastoral – a sonic wasteland. • My diaspora – displaced Europe in 33 pages. • Cultivate your own HA HA! (English garden) – move over Voltaire. • The Accordion is 3D – yes, it is. • Full moon/tempting arms – Rachmaninoff meets the tango. • Sonata for fiddler – off the roof, that is. • Atlantic 1, 2, 3 – no taking – no Pelham. • Defeated people never unite – a chilly tribute. • The avoidance of bouncy bouncy bounce. • The three steps out of camp. • The three steps to cosmic truth – audience interactive. • Are you achin’? (celebrating easy yet organic solutions) • Messiah/Shostakovich/Clarinet Polka • A Leon Sash Remembrance • Schubert/Liszt/Joplin/more • In your face/out your face/in between your face. • First banana/second banana/third banana – Myron Floren, a tribute. • The three step method for composing, performing, memo-rizing and listening. • Homage to Augustus Pablo – the great melodica doyen from Jamaica. • Playing a Shiva. • Symphony for (the late) Ellie Greenwich, accordionist and composer of leader of the pack, walking in the sand, be my baby, da doo run run and many many more. • The melodica seminar. • A Chaplin serenade, great, but without the dictator • Crestonia, Paul Creston, on a Greek Isle, or is it geek. • Attur, Jerome Kern in India, was Milton Babbit aware? • La fiesta - a new realization of the Chick Corea classic. • Poetic License/drivers license/fishing license. • Paper roses, Anita Bryant/Marie Osmond from a Norwegian perspective. • Sum-ie, Thomas Merton before the fan. • Neon concerto, light up the psyche, perfect for the ulti-mate execution. • Hypozart, pretty bad Mozart in a hyper fashion. • Por Una Cabeza - Gagaku Mix.

Reserve a place early.Master Classes are at 3:PM. Concerts take place at 7:PM. $20/master class; $25/concert; $40/day includes master class and concert or $110/weekend.

For reservations and information:
212-876-0827 (office)
American Accordionists' Association (AAA)
917-498-6823 (cell)

Titano Accordion Company

Stas Venglevski in Concert at the ATG Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo
Stas VenglevskiStas Venglevski will be one of the featured guest artists at the ATG 73rd Accordion Competition and Festival in Lisle, Illinois (Chicago) from July 17-20, 2013.

His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas" Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan.

A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldavia, Stas Venglevski is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

A Past President of the ATG, and current Board of Director, Stas is an accordionist, a musician, an arranger, an entertainer, a composer and a teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music.

He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show.

Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts. He is a regular participant the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education Program (ACE); has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra; has done television commercials and performed in theater productions; produced numerous recordings including a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite for Bayan as well as one of original compositions. He has published several books of original compositions.

Stas Venglevski founded Accordion XXI Century Series in 2010 so that the Midwest audiences can experience the amazing range of the accordion and bayan by bringing gifted artists from all over the world. In a concert setting, these gifted musicians share their skills and cultures to provide the audience with a unique musical experience.

The performances feature the accordion or bayan in solo presentation and, when possible, in concert with other instruments.

He has recorded several CD's as soloist and with other instruments. The brilliant artistry and musical virtuosity of Stas afford an expanded dimension in music and an innovative musical adventure to the audience.

For further information:

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

World Accordion Orchestra VII, 2013 CIA Coupe Mondiale, Victoria, Canada

by Raymond Bodell
Coupe Mondiale 2013 PostersThe 66th International CIA Coupe Mondiale, 19th to 25th August, 2013 is in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada hosted by the Canadian CIA member, the British Columbia Accordion Society, President Aleksandar Milojevic.

All are welcomed to this exciting international accordion event and accordionists are invited to perform in the CIA "World Accordion Orchestra VII" (WAO VII).

The first work will be "Danse Villageoise" by Claude Champagne, arranged and conducted by Maureen Jarosh.

The second work will be a selection from "Les Misérables" by Claude-Michel Schönberg & Herbert Kretzmer, arranged and conducted by Joan C. Sommers, CIA Vice President and founder of the WAO.

"Les Misérables" will also feature the New Zealand tenor, Lionel Reekie who has sung this particular piece with several symphony orchestras recently.

The members of the CIA WAO VII will again include musicians from many different countries – including many officers of the CIA and delegates attending the 130th CIA Congress.

Accordion enthusiasts from around the world are invited to join the WAO VII and enjoy participating in a fun, high quality musical event. Register now! "World Accordion Orchestra VII"

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Nick Ariondo to Perform for Bastille Day in California

by Rita Barnea
Nick AriondoVideo: Nick Ariondo plays French musette accordion. Nick Ariondo composed his "Musette a la Russe" in 1990 in homage to the great French musette accordionists of the early 1920's and 30's. Ariondo's "Musette a la Russe" is musette in the Russian/French style.

Accordionist Nick Ariondo will perform for Bastille Day celebrations on Sunday, July 14th, from 12- 5:PM at Nicole's Gourmet Foods Market & Café, 921 Meridian Avenue, Unit B (enter El Centro), South Pasadena, CA.

Bastille Day is celebrated annually on July 14th and is a popular celebration by French people around the world. The Bastille was a prison in Paris prior to the French Revolution, 1789-94. For the peasant classes, the much hated Bastille stood as a symbol of the hypocrisy and corruption of the aristocratic government. On July 14th 1789, the people stormed and seized the Bastille, starting the revolution that toppled King Louis XVI and the aristocracy.

Nick Ariondo, a recipient of many awards, is recognized as a concert artist and composer of international prominence. His performances and compositions contribute immeasurably to raising the status of the accordion through the promotion and presentation of chamber concerts, solo recitals, and orchestra appearances.

Equally proficient in musical styles ranging from the great classics to modern contemporary, ethnic and jazz, Mr. Ariondo has won accolades from noted composers, conductors, and musicians alike. Ariondo, a member of several composers' organizations and director of THE NICK ARIONDO CHAMBER ENSEMBLE , has received grants from various funding sources including: 
Patroness Mrs. Betty Freeman; The National Endowment for the Arts; The California Arts Council; The White Light Foundation; ASCAP; The Beyond Baroque Foundation.

Numbered among Ariondo's professional appearances, are many performances for radio and television. His versatility also includes technical expertise on piano and electronic keyboards. Mr. Ariondo received his Master of Arts degree in performance and composition from CSULA. A pioneer in his field, Nick Ariondo continues to inspire audiences while exploring new avenues and innovative techniques through his music.

The following film/movie soundtracks feature Nick's accordion: "MONSTERS UNIVERSITY" (Sony Pixar) music-Randy Newman; "PLANES" (Disney) music-Mark Mancini; "A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST" music-Joel McNeely.

For further information:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Sammy Thomas in Summer Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Sam ThomasSammy Thomas will perform at the AAA 75th Anniversary Festival Carmen Carrozza Luncheon & Concert on Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 11:30 AM at the Crystal Ballroom in the New Yorker Hotel, NYC. Guest artists at this event will also include Mary Tokarski, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Mario Tacca, US Champion 1961 and singer Mary Mancini. Luncheon Concert tickets are included with AAA Event Package. Individual tickets are available in advance at $35/person.A limited number of tickets may be available at the Festival on a first come, first serve basis.

Sammy will also present the Friday Night Concert opening performance at the Wallace Accordion Festival in Wallace, Idaho on August 9,2013. See the article in this issue about the Wallace Accordion Festival.

Sammy Thomas was 11 when he started taking lessons with Ilmar Kuljus, who ran the Accordia-Nova studio in Spokane and taught hundreds of students over 50-plus years. Kuljus retired soon after Thomas started, selling his studio and moving to Arizona so Pamela Thomas drove her son south every spring. The Thomases lived with Kuljus for a month at a time, spending hours a day in lessons. Pamela Thomas served as his accordion coach back in Spokane. As a teen he competed in the American Accordionists’ Association’s national competition four times, winning twice. He also traveled overseas twice to compete in the Coupe Mondiale.

Sam Thomas was the 2006 USA Piano Accordion Champion but after the sudden death of his father in 2006, Sam’s enthusiasm for playing and competing slowed and he played very little. The 23 year old was encouraged to break his performance hiatus when it was announced that the Trophée Mondial would take place close to home. Sam qualified and became the first American to place first in the Trophée Mondial in more than 25 years. Sam credits the win to the variety in his repertoire, but also his “American style.”

Make plans to attend the Wallace Accordion Festival August 9-11 and the AAA 75th Festival August 14-18 in NYC and hear Sammy perform. More details about the AAA Festival in this July news issue.

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

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

Titano Accordion Company

AAA 75th Festival Carmen Carrozza Luncheon & Concert on Aug. 16th in NYC

by Rita Barnea
2013 AAA Carmen Carrozza Luncheon & Concert Poster
The AAA 75th Anniversary Festival in NYC is an event not to be missed. If you are making summer plans, take a trip to New York City and attend this unique accordion event.

The Carmen Carrozza Luncheon & Concert takes place on Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 11:30 AM at the Crystal Ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel. This concert is sponsored in part by a generous donation from Alex Carrozza, Alex Music, New York City.

Featured artists include: Accordionist Mario Tacca, the USA Champion 1961 with International Soprano Mary Mancini; Beverly Roberts Curnow, US Champion and World Champion 1965; Sam Thomas (see article about him in this issue) US Piano Accordion Champion 2006; Mary Tokarski, US Champion 1971.

Luncheon tickets are included with the AAA Event Package. Individual tickets are available in advance at $35 per person. A limited number of tickets may be available at the Festival on a first come, first serve basis.

For further information: or

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Video Advertisement: Roland V-Accordion Overview With Alicia Baker

by Steve Albini, Roland Corporation U.S.
Published on Jun 21, 2013
Take a guided tour of the Roland V-Accordion product line overview with Alicia Baker.


Soundscape Trio to Perform at ATG Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
Soundscape TrioSoundscape is the name of an accordion trio consisting of Larry Miller, Madalynn Neu and John Neu. They are based in Denver, Colorado. The group formed in 2000 by a chance meeting. Larry was an accordion major at the University of Denver under Robert Davine from 1967 to 1971. John and Madalynn studied with the studios of Vince Geraci in Chicago.

Each of the members had stopped playing for about 25 to 30 years but now that their children are grown, they decided to rekindle their musical interests. John also currently serves as the Treasurer of the ATG.

The ATG is delighted to welcome Soundscape Trio back this year!

Leavenworth International Accordion Festival: June 20-23, 2013

by Griff Ziegler
Leavenworth CelebrationThe following is an abridged report by Griff Ziegler: The accordion took over the Festhalle, the Gazebo, the Grange, and even down Main Street, and after hours in the local beer halls and Bavarian restaurants for the duration of the Leavenworth Accordion Celebration.

This year saw soloists such as Bruce Gassman doing his upbeat interpretations of Rock and Roll, the Beatles, to numerous musical themes from Star Wars and James Bond movies.

There was also Gary Blair, Leavenworth's favorite Scotsman, treating everybody to his flying fingers and his unique interpretations of traditional and other music. How does anyone move fingers as quickly as Gary?? Must be the Haggis!

Then there were the duet sounds of Kory Tideman and Juan Barco, whose ‘Conjunto’ was a pleasure and wonderfully entertaining.

This year also featured the wonderful sounds of Tango music in the form of Tango Volcado, who come from by Spokane, WA. The group features piano accordion, string bass and violin.

There was also the Northwest Accordionaires, an accordion orchestra composed of 14 accordions, drums, tuba, bass, and a wonderful female vocalist. The selections ranged from Folk, to Broadway, to Classical.

A welcomed surprise was the appearance of Sam Thomas, a former Leavenworth contest winner, now returned as a featured player. Recently Sam was encouraged to entered the Trophee Mondial competition in his home town of Spokane, WA, winning first place overall - the first time in over 25 years that an American won such an honor.

This year’s entertainment also featured a Russian group, now residing in Eugene, Oregon, called Trio Voronezh. This group play authentic Russian instruments including the double bass balalaika, a domra, and a bayan. Their selection of music included Russian folk songs, Gypsy music, JS Bach, selections from the classics, and from George Gershwin.

Closing the last evening’s entertainment was the Great Dance Palooza - swing, fox trots, waltzes, polkas, Latin rhythms, and more for all listening and dancing pleasure, performed by the LIAC Dance Palooza Jam Band, with accordionists Bonnie Birch, Toby Hanson, Rod Miller, Jim and Shirley O’Brien, Kory Tideman, Johnny V, and other NWAS accordion players.

Next year’s Leavenworth begins on June 19th 2014.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Dr. Helmi Harrington to Present Workshops at ATG Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Helmi HarringtonDr. Helmi Harrington, founder and museum curator of The World of Accordions Museum in Superior, Wisconsin will present several workshops at the 73rd ATG Festival, July 17-20 at the Hyatt Lisle, Ill. (Chicago).

In her workshop, "Memorization Skills", Dr. Harrington will explain how everyone can learn to play music from memory. Special innate “gifts,” and hundreds of rote repetitions are not required. The accordion is the most natural instrument to promote this ability by use of its Stradella bass organization and a few harmonic principles.
This workshop identifies types of memorization techniques and the means by which they are developed and applied. One or more volunteers from the audience will be used to demonstrate the learning and memorization of pieces, proving that rational, knowledge-based thinking leads to rapid accomplishment.
Dr.Harrington will also present a workshop called "The History of the Accordion".The history of accordions is a history of the creative spirits of peoples of many cultures. It involves awareness of the values and aesthetics of cultures as represented in the music, song-texts, and artistic life of real people. On all continents of the earth, creative artistry is represented and delivered by accordion-family instruments. This music cannot be understood without knowledge of the instruments themselves, what they were created to accomplish, and the means given to the tasks. Preserving accordions, then, can be seen as a study of humanity. This is the goal and task of A World of Accordions Museum and Harrington ARTS Center.
Beginning with early accordions and concertinas (1829) and progressing chronologically to modern state-of-the-art examples, this session will sound, identify and explain the complex family known as bellowed free-reed aerophones through their major representatives: piano, button chromatic, button diatonic accordions, English, Anglo, Chemnitz concertinas, and Bandonions. Beautifully artistic historic examples as well as hybrids and rarities will be part of the display and demos. Audiences are usually astounded by the varieties and tunings, and the acquired knowledge base enhances appreciation.

For further information on the World of Accordions Museum: or
Call 218-393-0245 or 715-395-ARTS(2787)

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

AAA 75th Anniversary Festival, Friday Night Concert

by Rita Barnea
AAA Gala Concert Poster
Make sure you plan to join the AAA in celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the AAA at the Hotel New Yorker in New York City August 14-18th, 2013. You will want to be there at this historic event featuring former accordion champions, new and future ones. Many special guest artists will perform during this special celebration.

The list of performing artists and activities is continually growing and there is a wonderful, diversified array of talent planned for your enjoyment. Performers include everyone from classical artists to jazz giants to entertainment to the avant garde – all the very best in their genre.

Guest Artist, Alexander Poeluev, winner of the 2002 Coupe Mondiale, has been a frequent guest at the AAA events, most recently at the Lifetime Achievement Banquet honoring President Emerita, Faithe Deffner. Alexander is also a delegate to the CIA representing his homeland of Russia. Alex’s program will include not only a classical repertoire, but some surprising twists utilizing video effects. You will delight in some of Alex’s jazz stylings.

Past AAA Champions, Lou Coppola (1955), Mario Tacca (1961), Beverly Roberts Curnow (1965), Joe Natoli (1972), The “K” Duo –Julie Kasprzyk Cardona (1967-1969) and Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski (1971) – and Sam Thomas (2006 and 2007) are just a few of the guest artists scheduled. Workshops featuring the history of our founding fathers, a panel of past AAA Champions spearheaded by Monica Slomski (1975) will share their experiences in music and discuss careers in music and alternative music-related careers.

On Thursday, August 15th, New York City will virtually explode with accordionists…key subway stops and train stations will have accordionists entertaining the commuters. An International Concert at 2:00 pm in the Crystal Ballroom at the Hotel New Yorker will feature The Old Aker Band Players from Norway, the Musikforum Olching from Germany, as well as Australia’s Cathie Travers and New Zealander, Lionel Reekie. At 5:00 p.m., Bryant Park will be the focal point with individual and group entertainment scheduled until 9:00 pm followed by an all-accordion group JAM until 10.

Workshops highlighting the lives of the founding fathers of the AAA will be presented by former students and colleagues. Daily presentations will be made in the exhibit room featuring the display of the AAA Archives. Back by popular demand will be the Finale workshop – Part I for beginners; Part II for the more advanced. Don’t miss the presentation by the New England Accordion Museum complete with unique “stories” and histories of the instruments on display.

The 75th Anniversary Festival Orchestra will be conducted by none other than the diva of the accordion world, Joan Sommers. The highlight of this performance will be Paul Creston’s "Fantasy for Accordion and Orchestra, Op. 85" with Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski as soloist. The accordion orchestra portion was arranged by Joan Sommers.

Past AAA Champions, Lou Coppola (1955), Mario Tacca (1961), Beverly Roberts Curnow (1965), Joe Natoli (1972), The “K” Duo –Julie Kasprzyk Cardona (1967-1969) and Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski (1971) – and Sam Thomas (2006 and 2007) are just a few of the guest artists scheduled. Workshops featuring the history of our founding fathers, a panel of past AAA Champions spearheaded by Monica Slomski (1975) will share their experiences in music and discuss careers in music and alternative music-related careers.

Accordion exhibitors will include:
Accordion Gallery – Sliwa & Figli accordions - Super Quattro Artist, Super Quinta, and Super Cobra; Busy Fingers - Indialantic, FL – accordions and accessories; Emilio Accordions – Stamford, CT – Bugari, Dino Baffetti accordions and accessories; Gioia Productions – music, CDs and videos; JANPress & Roxy’s Music (Roland) – original accordion music and method books; Liberty Bellows – Philadelphia, PA – Borsini, Hohner, Scndalli, Victoria and more; MusicMagic USA – Roland, Ottavianelli & Pietro Accordions, plus Midis; Squeezin’Art – accordion-related gifts; Titano Accordion Company, PANcordion, Inc., Pigini Accordion Company, Roland V-Accordions, Ernest Deffner Publications. PLUS visit the display from the New England Accordion Museum presented by Paul Ramunni, as well as the AAA Archives,

"75 years of Accordion History" will be presented by AAA Archivist, Joan Grauman who will hold two informal 30 minute workshops in the exhibit room on Thursday and Friday mornings (Aug. 15 and 16).  The topics are: 
1. The 1939 accordion extravaganza in Carnegie Hall in 1939 along with subsequent performances there. 
2.  The women of AAA then and now, starting with our first female member of the AAA:  Addie Ruggiero Cere.

The Junior Festival Orchestra is adding members, and if you’re 18 or under, I hope you will consider joining us for this FUN event.  We have 2 great pieces planned, and rehearsals will not interfere with the competition schedule, making everything at the Festival reachable for every participant – young or old!  Come join the fun!  Contact Mary at for information and parts.

A reminder concerning the Festival Orchestra: The music for the Festival Orchestra is ready for distribution. Selections include: "Pietro's Return March" (Deiro), "Fantasy for Accordion and Orchestra" (Creston; accordion orchestra arranged by Joan Sommers, Mary Tokarski, soloist) and selections from "Les Miserables" (arranged by Joan Sommers). We encourage you to listen to recordings of these selections which can be found online as follows: Pietro's Return (YouTube recording by Littleton High School band); Creston (YouTube recordings of solo performances) and the music from "Les Miserables "(full soundtrack is available on YouTube). There will be a vocalist as well for the "Les Miserables" performance.

Orchestra participants are requested to email with ORCH in the subject line and include your full name, contact information, performance level and type of instrument (i.e., acoustic, midi, other electronic). If you have performed in previous Festival Orchestras, indicate the part(s) you played (i.e., 1st, 2nd, EZ, bass, midi), If you are performing in the World Orchestra at the Coupe Mondiale in Victoria, BC, please advise so that we can supply you with the same orchestra part for Les Miserables.

I f you would like to include your personal/business greetings in the AAA 75th Anniversary Souvenir Journal, the deadline is July 8th. Please see for more information.

For further information about the 2013 festival, performers, with frequent updates please visit: Future issues of the USA news will contain additional information, bios, etc. related to the festival. You can also email:
AAA Festival Schedule

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

Celebrating the Accordion – Venetian Style in Las Vegas

by Rita Barnea
Las Vegas Accordion Convention Poster 2013
The Fourteenth Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention will be held Monday, October 28, through Thursday October 31, 2013 at the Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Room rates this year are only $34 per night, single or double occupancy.  This event celebrates the accordion and presents the largest lineup of accordion stars.

Featured this year will be the Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of Professor Joan Cochran - Sommers.  We will be celebrating Halloween Venetian style with the theme Carnival of Venice in Vegas.  There will be a costume party, with awards, on Wednesday, October 30.

This event will feature performances by Mr. Entertainment himself, Dick Contino, Joey Miskulin, Gee Rabe, Stas Venglevski, and Jeff Lisenby.  Also performing are Peter & Mady Soave, Mary Tokarski, Gordon Kohl, Gina Brannelli, Mario Pedone, comedian Pete Barbutti and MORE! 

The Las Vegas International Accordion Convention attracts 300 to 500 participants and is held annually in Las Vegas. Featured at the event are over 40 workshops and master-classes, 4 dinner concerts, 3 lunch concerts, and an after hours hot spot called Club Concerto where any attendee is welcome to perform on stage.  New this year will be a Star Search where any participant may register and compete. 

This will mark the fourteenth year of this entertainment and educational event.  For more information about the event or to register please contact Paul Pasquali at 1-800-472-1695 (or 801-486-1695) or email or visit for more information and to download a registration form.  


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

Accordionist Tom Fabinski Delights Audience in Frederick, Maryland

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Tom FabinskiMoving to Frederick, MD has been wonderful for us. We are still close to Washington, DC, but up here near the mountains, we are surrounded by a very lovely artsy and musical historic district. One of our popular local restaurants, Brewer’s Alley, hosts a Monday evening “Singer-Songwriter Showcase”. The evening always starts with a 30-minute “pianist’s slot”. This past Monday was a wonderful exception - the evening began with 30 minutes of delightful accordion music, skillfully played by Tom Fabinski from Mt. Airy, MD.

Tom, who began his accordion studies as a young child in the 1950s, started playing a Roland only nine months ago. Listening to him the other night, I was impressed by his facility with the Roland, and the audience was absolutely dazzled! The versatility of the instrument and Tom’s choice (and execution) of melodies thrilled everyone. We enjoyed watching the young members of the audience sit, ignoring the food placed in front of them, simply staring at Tom with beaming smiles and loud cheers at the end of each selection. Lately, Tom has been exploring new accordion music published in Italy.  His favorite composers for the accordion are Italo Salizzato, Marco Aurelio Pisegna and Luciano Fancelli. The music was lovely and perfect for the venue. He will definitely be invited back!

Tom grew up in Detroit and began studying the accordion at age 5 at the “Americana Studio”, one of the four accordion schools that were minutes from his home. There were so many accordion students in the US participating in competitions at that time, it is no wonder that Tom jokingly says, “My biggest formal musical success was being named the second best nine year old accordionist in Michigan by the AAA”. 

Through the years, Tom has played the electric guitar and his accordion in various bands ranging from Motown to wedding bands. He received his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Temple University, and has worked as an illustrator for years. We chatted after the performance. Like us, Tom was excited to see such enthusiasm in the young members of the audience. He remarked, “When I play in public now, I'm pleased by the reaction of young people.  Whether it's the diversity of popular culture and the ability to communicate musically across these cultures or simply the recognition of something different, the pleasure and surprise of their positive emotional response to the accordion makes me confident in the enduring legacy of the instrument.”

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips


by Rita Barnea
Bryant ParkCelebrate the Accordion and the AAA’s 75th Anniversary at Bryant Park on Thursday, August 15th from 5:PM to 10:PM. Individual soloists and small groups will appear from 5:PM to 7:PM and will include: Sam Thomas, Tor Stumo, Rachel Quirbach, Nathan Chapeton, Amanda & Michael Parziale, The Alamo Angels and more. At 7:PM there will be a massed band performance of New York, New York in front of the fountain.

From 7 to 9, larger groups of entertainers will include the Old Aker Band from Norway, Musikforum Olching from Germany, Dominic Karcic and Ray Oreggia – Italian Valtaro music, Maricarmen Vazquez and Gerardo Aguillon – Cuban; and others to be announced.

All interested accordionists are welcome to join the massed band at 7:PM in front of the Fountain at Bryant Park for the performance of "NY, NY" conducted by Frank Busso.

For performance notes and lead sheet, email and include NYNY in the subject line. Each participant will receive a T-shirt with the accordion logo inside the big apple on the back – first come, first serve on shirts. Please include shirt size in your email. Transportation will be provided for all performers to and from the Hotel New Yorker and Bryant Park.

For further information on this event which is part of the AAA 75th Anniversary Festival email:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

John Simkus to Perform at ATG Festival July 17-20

by Rita Barnea
John SimkusJazz artist John Simkus will be a featured guest artist at the ATG 73rd Annual Competition and Festival to be held from July 17-20, 2013 at the Hyatt Lisle, Ill. (Chicago)

John Simkus is a well known jazz accordionist who has performed all over the USA and Europe, at festivals and workshops. He often performs duets with Stas Venglevski. Their group is known as Stas Sera. He also plays bass accordion in accordion orchestras at festivals throughout the USA.

Recognized for his smooth jazz style throughout the United States. He has performed solo, as a member of his jazz trio, and in orchestras both nationally and internationally. 
He currently performs in duet with Stas Venglevski in the US and Europe The Duo Sta-Sera was invited to perform twice at the prestigious Russian Academy of Music in Moscow .
John also performed with the University of Kansas City , Missouri Accordion Orchestra during their last tour in Italy.

John served as President of the Chicago Accordion Club for 10 years and on the boards for the Accordionists and Teacher’s Guild and American Accordionist Association.
John has presented workshops on jazz theory, performance presentation and orchestra preparation at national accordion conventions and served as Concert Master at Galla-Rini music conferences.
With his trio he has performed at many of Chicago's popular hotels, clubs and country clubs.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Wallace Accordion Festival: August 9-11 in Idaho

by Rita Barnea
Wallace Accordion Festival 2013 Poster
The 3rd Annual Historic Wallace Accordion Festival takes place August 9-11, 2013. The event features accordionists Bruce Gassman, Michael Bridge, and Sam Thomas and dance lessons by Lynn Bridge. If you have not attended the first two, then this is your opportunity to experience wonderful accordion music in the beautiful setting of Idaho.

Friday, August 9, 2013
10 a.m. – Registration opens, Elks Lodge 11 a.m. – Street Fair & Vendor Booths open 11 a.m. – Workshop by Bruce Gassman, Elks Lodge 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. – Open mike at Gazebo

Be a stage star, either with or without back-up. Call 208 699-7554 to sign up for your 15 minutes of fame; back-up from Michael Bridge available at various times between 1 and 3:PM

2:PM – Dance lesson with Lynn Bridge, Elks Lodge
3:PM– Workshop by Bruce Gassman, Elks Lodge
4:PM– Dance lesson with Lynn Bridge, Elks Lodge
7:PM-Concert starring Bruce Gassman; opening act by Sam Thomas; Elks Lodge Upstairs

Saturday, August 10, 2013:
9:AM– Registration opens, Elks Lodge
9:30 AM – Parade lineup in front of Elks Lodge (Join in, with or without accordion!)
10:AM – Accordion Celebration Parade, downtown
11:AM – Street Fair & Vendor Booths open
11:AM– Workshop by Michael Bridge, Elks Lodge
1"PM– Special showing of Charlie Chaplin's silent film "The Kid" starring Jackie Coogan, with Michael Bridge providing "pit" music, Sixth Street Theater
2:30 PM– Youth Competition with cash prizes, Gazebo. Two categories: Beginner (up through Palmer Hughes Level 4); Intermediate: Palmer Hughes Level 5 and up. Open
to ages 32 and under.
4:30 PM– Dance lesson by Lynn Bridge, Elks Lodge
7:PM– Concert & Dance featuring Michael Bridge, Elks Lodge

Sunday, August 11, 2013:
8 –11:AM – Farewell Breakfast at Elks Lodge

The historic mining town of Wallace is located along Interstate 90, 50 east of Coeur d’Alene Idaho and about halfway between Spokane WA and Missoula MT. The entire town is listed on the National Regis- ter of Historic Places. The town has a rich history that is explained in its three museums and mine tour.

The area offers an array of outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking paths, world-renowned bicycle trails, a zipline, and mountain roads for four-wheelers. Nearby lakes and rivers offer fishing and kayaking. Winter enthusiasts can ski at area ski resorts, while miles of groomed trails await snowmobil- ers. Increasingly, Wallace is also becoming known for its 10 annual Festivals.

The area has hotels, RV parks, vacation rentals, campgrounds, restaurants, two breweries, antique stores and unique shops. Summer is busy in the Wallace area so don’t wait too long to book your lodging.

6th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival – August 9-11

by Donna Regis
Carmen Carrozza and Donna RegisOutstanding international lineup of talent is on tap at ACCORDIONS NOW! 2013, the 6th annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC. It takes place from August 9-11 in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The 2013 ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival will be dedicated to the memory of the great Carmen Carrozza. Carrozza was a cherished mentor and friend to ACCORDIONS NOW! Artistic Director Donna Maria Regis who studied many years ago with one of his students and thus considers Carrozza her “musical grandfather.”

Regis states, “Carmen’s enormous musical talent was exceeded only by his generosity of spirit. He was immensely kind and helpful to me in countless ways as I returned to the instrument after decades away from it. I will never forget the day he phoned to ask me to perform at the AAA’s annual Carrozza scholarship event in New York. I was honored and thrilled to accept that invitation; it led to one of the most gratifying experiences of my career. I am forever in Carmen’s debt. He was -- and will always remain -- an inspiration.”

In her solo concert at ACCORDIONS NOW! 2013, Donna Maria Regis will perform music in loving memory of Carmen Carrozza.Regis will also conduct the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] concert.

Tony “Living Legend” Lovello (formerly of The Three Suns), Joe Cerrito, and Gerry Grimo & the East Bay Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Gala Concert Saturday night. On Saturday morning, prior to seminars by Cerrito and Lovello, a musical welcome will be offered by Jerry Tramontozzi.

Brent Buswell returns by popular demand Friday night, His concert will follow a prelude performance by 15-year-old Norwegian competition winner Einar Thokle Hovden. Earlier Friday evening the effervescent Nancy Leonard will welcome arriving attendees as she strolls among them in the hotel lobby.

Also coming all the way from Norway, GAMLE AKER SPELEMANNSLAG [GAS = Old Aker Band Players] will do a post-lunch concert on Saturday. Warren Johnson will introduce the musical flavor by playing Scandinavian selections as guests arrive for the festive luncheon buffet.

During lunch, Paul Ramunni, owner of the New England Accordion Museum, will offer fascinating “Boxes of Stories, 2013 Edition.” He is also interested in purchasing (or accepting as donations) for the museum’s collection all registered attendees’ accordions and/or accordion-related memorabilia. Paul’s “Accordions for Cash” idea is new this year. Please contact him in advance regarding an appraisal.

Also on the roster are Paul Bordeleau, Dan Mackowiak, Donna Maria Regis (see separate article), Carmen Vitanza, and the ever-popular ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO].

Important Note: July 12 is the deadline to sign up for ANFO. Sheet music and practice sound clips will be sent to participants upon registration.

ACCORDIONS NOW! is a high-spirited festival filled with warm friendship and terrific music. Bring your family and friends to enjoy it – concerts, workshops, open mike, jam sessions, Play-Along Ensemble, AN! Festival Orchestra, museum display/presentation, reunions with your accordion pals old and new, festive meals, cocktail reception with live entertainment, vendor displays of instruments to try/buy – and so much more!

Come to ACCORDIONS NOW! to experience the festival’s motto: LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN !!

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2013 will take place August 9-11, 2013 at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott, Nashua, New Hampshire, USA. Special hotel room rates are available: 95 USD [+ tax] per room (1-4 persons) through July 12, 2013. To reserve a room, call Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100 or Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211. Mention "ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Courtyard Nashua." 

2013 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE [subject to change]
FRIDAY, August 9:
3:00 PM Hotel Check-in
3:30 PM Informal Welcome by NHAA members
4:00 PM New England Accordion Museum Exhibit opens
5:00-5:40 PM Entertainment by strolling accordionist Nancy Leonard
6:00-7:40 PM Open Mike Cabaret (food & drinks purchased in Courtyard Cafe may be brought in)   
7:45 PM Prelude Performance by 15-year-old champion Einar Thokle Hovden from Norway
8:00 PM Concert by Brent Buswell 
Post-Concert CD Signing, Photo Ops
9:00 PM Open Mike resumes followed by
Night Owls Jam until ?

SATURDAY, August 10:
9:00 am - 4:00 PM Vendor Displays, New England Accordion Museum Exhibit open all day 
9:15 AM Joe Cerrito Seminar, “Simple Chord Substitutions to Enhance Your Playing”
10:15 AM Tony Lovello Seminar, “Secrets of the Master Showman”
11:05 AM Musical Welcome by Warren Johnson
11:10 AM Festive Luncheon Buffet
11:25 AM Paul Ramunni's "Boxes of Stories, 2013 Edition"  
12:15 PM Concert by GAMLE AKER SPELEMANNSLAG [GAS] from Norway
1:00 PM 2nd Annual Just-for-Fun Play-Along [music sent in advance, no rehearsal] with Dan Mackowiak, Coordinator
2:00 PM ANFO Rehearsal, Daytime Jam Session [non-ANFO players] 
4:00 PM Concerts by Donna Maria Regis, ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO]
4:45 PM Cocktail Reception [cash bar], Live Entertainment by Carmen Vitanza
5:45 PM Gala Dinner
7:15 PM Gala Concert: Joe Cerrito, Tony Lovello, Gerry Grimo & The East Bay Jazz Ensemble 
Post-Concert CD Signing & Photo Ops
Night Owls Jam until ?

SUNDAY, August 11:
No Scheduled Events, Informal Discussions of 2014 Plans
11:00 AM Hotel Check-out, ACCORDIONS NOW! Friends Exchange Farewells Until Next Time...

For more information:
Donna Maria Regis 603.216.9582 or
Suzanne Welch 800.328.5227

Dr. William Schimmel to Appear at Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center, Aug. 15

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel will premiere his own unusual arrangement of Beethoven's Egmont Overture on August 15, 7:30 pm at the Clark Studio Theatre at Lincoln Center, New York.

This concert is part of the acclaimed Mostly Mozart Festival. Dr. Schimmel will also perform Mathais Pintscher's "Denier Espace Avec Introspecteur" for accordion and cello.
Dr. Schimmel is guest artist with International Contemporary Ensemble.

Dr. Schimmel is the Director of the AAA Master Class and Concert series now in its 19th year. This event takes place July 26-28 at the Tenri Cultural Institute in NYC. See article in this issue about the July event.

For further information:

23rd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Accordion Festival Logo
The 23rd annual multi-cultural, multi-generational, nonprofit Cotati Accordion Festival will be taking place this August 17th & 18th in La Plaza Park in downtown Cotati, Ca..

The event, which donated $19,250.00 to local youth groups following the 2012 festival, will be celebrating "Viva L'Italia" with internationally acclaimed Italian accordionists Renzo Ruggieri, Vincenzo Abbraciante, and Pietro Adragna, all making the long trip from Italy to take the stage in Cotati.

The festival will also include 20 accordion acts, including zydeco, klezmer, polka, tango, Latino, rock and much more, along with the polka tent, the jam tent the zydeco dance party, food vendors, arts and crafts, beer and wine.

Other featured performers include Cory Pesaturo, Frank Petrilli, Vincenzo Abbracciante, Gail Campanella, Pietro Adragna, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Motordude Zydeco, The Wild Catahoulas, The Golden State Accordion Club Band, The Steve Balich Sr. Polka Band, The Hot Frittatas, Simka, The Internationals, Chuck Berger, Jim Gilman, the Mad Maggies, Sweet Moments of Confusion, Jet Black Pearl, Tango No. 9, Youkali, Future Accordion Stars, Bella Ciao, Polkacide, Duckmandu, Les Amis Zydeco, La Familia Péna-Govea, The Great Morgani and more.

Tickets are $15.00 in advance, $17.00 at the gate and $25.00 for both days.  They may be purchased by calling 1-888-559-2576, or at all Oliver's Markets, The Last Record Store and People's Music. For information call (707) 664-0444 or email:

More details in the August USA News.

Voci Armoniche

Due Zighi Baci: Two Little Gypsies to Perform at SFAC, July 21st

by Rita Barnea
Due Zighi BaciDue Zighi Baci will be guest artists at the July 21st 2:PM meeting of the SFAC (San Francisco Accordion Club). The program will be held at the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco.

No music has the power to whisk us away to magical, far-away places like the songs heard on the streets of old Europe. From the very first strains of the accordion you're savoring a glass of Chianti on a balcony overlooking the Neapolitan shore, or maybe sipping a steaming cappuccino at a sidewalk café on the Champs-Élysées in ‘Gay Paree’.

Due Zighi Baci (Two Gypsy Kisses) promises to transport any audience to a nostalgic state with their authentic, heartfelt performances of popular European café music. Time stands still as tenore lirico Michael Van Why croons his way into your heart with the timeless, sentimental tunes of Italy, France and America. Whether it’s the songs of Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Jacques Brel, Claudio Villa, or Renato Carosone, Michael reinvents these classics for today’s audiences. Accordionist Sheri Mignano accompanies and excels at delivering the ambience of this dynamic duo.

Accordionist Sher Mignano from Petaluma, CA. is music director and founder of Zighi Baci, Due Zighi Baci, and I Gondolieri. She received her accordion training at G & G Accordion Studios, San Jose, CA and earned a BA in Music History/Literature from San Francisco State University with an MA in Humanities. Sheri writes musical arrangements, specializing in French chansons and Neapolitan canzoni/ariettas, including musette and ballo liscio dance music; Piano and Accordion accompaniment for vocalists at Caffè Trieste; Author of Mandolins, Like Salami & Mandolin Melodies (transcriptions & arrangements of hundreds of dances specific to the genre); Many articles published on accordion players, history of the accordion, and accordion related articles. Zighi Baci Ensemble was the recipient of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s “Certificate of Honor” Award in 2007.

Also on the July 21st program are Paul Cain, SFAC scholarship recipient Thor Miao, Lou Jacklich and the world premier performance of the San Francisco Accordion Orchestra Project - an accordion orchestra of Bay Area musicians, organized just to present this performance.

The San Francisco Accordion Club is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization whose purpose is to enhance, promote and stimulate an appreciation for the accordion within the membership and throughout the general public. The SFAC hosts musical programs on the 3rd Sunday of every month at 2:PM. Membership is open to any individual expressing interest in the accordion and accordion music and wishing to join. The only qualification for membership is the payment of annual dues as established by the Executive Board.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

You Could Be the New Accordion Star!

by Rita Barnea
Las Vegas LogoSTOP THE PRESSES - $1000 CASH TO BE AWARDED!  Be the accordion star that shines the brightest in Las Vegas and win a cash prize!

Yes, new for 2013, cash awards contest for the best accordion star!  Come join the FUN and be a part of our very own Accordion STAR Search. Entering is as simple as one, two, three: 
1.     Register as a full time attendee. 
2.     Fill out and submit the Accordion Stars Entry Form*. 
3.     You will be allotted a 5-minute performance slot at Club Concerto to perform before a panel of judges. 

The selected finalists will perform at Thursday’s lunch concert involving the audience voting for the winner! So come to Las Vegas because whether you are in the audience or on the stage. This will be an exciting event!

All participants will be awarded a personalized participation certificate.  The top winners will perform and will be awarded trophies and cash prizes at the Thursday Gala Concert.  Cash prizes will be third place $200, second place $300, and first place $500. 

So register today – enter to win – practice – and we will see YOU, the winner, in Las Vegas!

*Form online or
Call 801-486-1695 in the USA or Outside the USA:
+01 801-486-1695 and request a form and eligibility rules.
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