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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jul-2023
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Titano Accordion Company


Dear Readers
Grayson Masefield World of Accordions Museum Concert - USA
Editor's Note
Breaking News: Passing of Nick Ballarini
Last Call: AAA 85th Anniversary Festival - USA
ATG 2023 Festival Information
Remembering the Wonderful, Unforgettable Faithe Deffner by Joan Grauman Morse
AWW Founder/Editor Harley Jones Celebrates 70th Birthday in True Accordion Style
2023 ATG Festival Workshops and More!
Cory Pesaturo and National Accordion Month on FOX News
Virtual Accordion Seminars July 28 - 30
Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs July 14 at AAA Festival
Online: Not Just Oom-Pah! Presents Workshop with Courtney Von Drehle July 25 -27
GR8 Ideas Workshop June/July Series

Voci Armoniche

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

Mary Ann Covone: ATG President Featured in Sigma Alpha Iota Journal
AAA Composers Commissioning Committee
Switzerland Tour of Stas Venglevski
San Francisco Accordion Club Highlights from “Symphony of Accordions”
29th Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week
Amy Jo Sawyer receives “Foundation Fellow Award” at MTNA Conference
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers Perform at Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival
Rachel Bell Presents New Video Workshop
Learning from National Music Associations: Increasing Attention to Detail

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Parno Drom Performs at Polish Festival
45th Vancouver Folk Music Festiva July 14-16
Cotati Festival 2023 on August 19 & 20
Sheri Mignano Crawford & Jim Lehmann Entertain at Cotati
Sam Reider in Future Concerts

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



Dear Readers

by Accordions Worldwide
Due to a minor server problem, the August 1st, 2023 USA News will be live at midday EST time. Our apologies for the delay. Please return to read our latest news at 12:00 hours EST. Thank you.
Accordions Worldwide

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Grayson Masefield World of Accordions Museum Concert - USA

by Accordions Worldwide
AWAM Poster
Thanks to sponsorship by AAA, ATG, USA News, Grayson Masefield and his family, every $ of the ticket sales for the Grayson Masefield Fundraising concert on the 30th July will be going for the benefit of the World of Accordions Museum in Superior, WI. We hope accordionists from near and far will support this important project for the accordion.

Details of the International Convocation and other Museum events are listed on the poster above. Download full poster: 2023AWAM-Poster.jpg

Purchase Concert Tickets at: 2023AWAM-GM

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

Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Happy Fourth of July!
The July news is online now! During this hot summer, try lowering the temperature with some cool accordion music! Where is that happening? Everywhere! Read the July news for fascinating information on concerts, events, festivals, competitions. and more!

Wishing you all a Happy 4th of July! Time for fireworks, celebrations, and accordions!

Please continue to send news/info for articles to

Enjoy the summer!

Titano Accordion Company

Breaking News: Passing of Nick Ballarini

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Nick and Debra PetersNick and NormanVideo: 2019 NAA Jazz Concert: Nick Ballarini
Excerpt of the Jazz Concert at the National Accordion Convention from 3/8/2019.

Nick Ballarini, Sr. passed away on Monday, June 26, 2023. Nick was a big believer in “leaving them wanting for more.” He committed his life to his family and all things accordion.

Nick’s daughter, Mary Ellen shares, “There will be no service. In lieu of flowers, simply raise a glass to honor a life well lived by a man who loved well and was well loved”

Norman and Sharon Seaton share. “Nick was an executive officer of the National Accordion Association for 35+ years.Nick had many friends in the accordion world. He was very respected and well liked."

Gilbert Reyes shares, “We offer our deepest condolences to the family of Nick Ballarini, the esteemed founder of Ballarini Accordions, who has recently passed away. Nick was widely recognized as a respected dealer and great accordion player, known for his profound knowledge and unwavering passion for accordions. His remarkable dedication to the accordion community and his relentless efforts to provide musicians with exceptional instruments earned him great admiration in the industry.

Throughout our interactions with Nick, we were privileged to share memorable moments together. One such cherished memory is the photograph capturing him alongside Flaco Jimenez in 2010.(photo down) During this difficult time, we stand with the Ballarini family and all those who were fortunate enough to have their lives touched by Nick's remarkable contributions. His presence and influence in the accordion world will always be remembered and deeply appreciated.”

Matt Tolentino with Alex Meixner and Nick Ballarini said, “Got the news today of the passing of Nick Ballarini, accordionist extraordinaire, and a good friend, especially in the accordion world. Nick helped me out a lot with everything from repairs, to sales of accessories and entire accordions, and helped introduce me to the larger world of the accordion. And often times you could have looked at him as the world's oldest thirteen year old, as he was always good for a laugh, and I'm glad I had some good times with him. Play on. The picture is from the National Accordion Association convention in Richardson, TX back around 2005. That’s Nick on the right with the awesome mustache.”(Photo up)

Debta Peters shares, “Nick was the best example of honest quick wit and humor from a human being. One of the greatest people I ever met in the accordion world. We all experienced his amazing intelligent grit. Nick Ballarini - a very important board member of the NAA. He will be missed”

Dr. Helmi Harrington said, “I knew Nick as a kind, honest, and generous person. We'll all miss him.”

Nick Ballarini, accordionist, pianist, and bandleader was one of the world's most versatile musicians. He operated an accordion business for over 50 years. Nick played for weddings, corporate events and jazz festivals as a pianist and bandleader, as well as playing his accordion at Irish, French, Italian and German themed events. His repertoire ranged from classical to pop to the many ethnic styles associated with the accordion. During Nick's career he played with many prominent musicians such as Luciano Pavarotti, Mel Torme and The Chieftans. He was a big favorite of accordion clubs around the country.

When asked why he played the accordion, Nick shared the many teachers who taught and influenced him:
“1948-Dick Contino, Performance Chicago Theater,
Art Van Damme WGN Studio musician; Professional accordionist Tony Lardino, Dad’s co-worker, recommended Andy Rizzo as Nick’s teacher.
Nick’s music teachers included:
Andy's Brother Joe Rizzo (1948).
1949-52 Antonio Rosanova, Author of Phil Baker Method Books. Very good basics, Hot Licks, Galla-Rini predecessor.
1953-1955 Armando Pizzi: One of the best accordion teachers, influenced Nick’s playing style and humor, like premature laughing while telling funny stories.
1956-61 USN Musician, Piano, Accordion & Percussion
USN School of Music Dance, Concert, Jazz, Marching & Big Bands, 7th Fleet Admirals Band
1962-Manuel Dermer,
1966-1969 Leon Shash taught Nick how to play a legit society gig as soloist and with ensemble. The best teacher of technique and tricks of the trade. Show Tunes, Polkas, Standards"

AWW offers their condolences to Nick’s family and friends. Nick Ballarini’s enthusiasm for life and love of the accordion made an impact on everyone in the accordion/musical world and he will be missed.
Nick Ballarini, Flaco Jimenez, Gilbert Reyes

Voci Armoniche

Last Call: AAA 85th Anniversary Festival - USA

by Frank Busso Jnr, AAA President
AAA poster
The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) hopes you are making plans to attend their AAA 85th Anniversary Festival. It will be a fantastic celebration of the accordion with world renowned performers! Information online at: AAAFestival

To book a room: Visit to book your hotel room today!

See full article about the many famous performers:
Air Force Strings

Accordion Jazz Chords

ATG 2023 Festival Information

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
ATG LogoOur Festival last year was so fabulous, as reported by you, our members, that I thought there was no chance we could ever equal or exceed that event. Well, I believe this year we ARE doing exactly that! ATG will present seven workshops, four concerts (all in the beautiful Armerding Center for Performing Arts at Wheaton College), our fabulous Festival Orchestra playing selections from musicals, Astor Piazolla's Libertango and some classical (very familiar) selections!

Our featured artists are coming from all over the world - Grayson Masefield from New Zealand, The Polyphonia Orchestra from the French Island of Reunion, Cory Pesaturo from Rhode Island, and our own Stas Venglevski and the UMKC Accordion Ensemble, directed by Joan Sommers, will be with us as well. We also have a special treat this year with Kevin Friedrich presenting a new work for accordion, organ and timpani.

This is not the year to skip attending the ATG Festival. If you are sitting on the fence I encourage you to jump over to the side of attending the Festival.

Festival Pricing Information and Registration: 2023ATG-Festival
To make hotel reservations: 2023ATG-HotelRegistration

Description of the Concerts:

Thursday, July 20, 2023: The Accordionists and Teachers Guild International Festival presents the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Accordion Ensemble, directed by world-renowned conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This year’s group, assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, presents an interesting and musically demanding repertoire which we know will be appreciated by all audiences! The UMKC Ensemble will be followed by Cory Pesaturo, an artist known for his versatility and improvisational skills. Along with a guest artist, Cory will present a concert featuring Brazilian music, Argentinian Tango and American Jazz performed on the Digital Accordion, sounding like a full quartet simultaneously with no backing tracks.

Friday, July 21, 2023:
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Festival continues with the presentation of the dynamic energy of Stanislav Venglevski and Nathaniel Holman as they combine the warmth of the marimba and wide range and sparkle of the bayan to create an unforgettable performance. The visual and auditory elements of these two instruments present listeners with new and exciting ways of hearing both new and classic works. The duo will be followed by Accordionist Kevin Friedrich who will be joined by Wheaton College’s own Dr. Tony Payne, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Special Programs and Artist Series at Wheaton College, on organ; Ron Dake (bass accordion) and Nathaniel Holman (percussion) in a performance of a newly commissioned work titled ‘Dargaville Impressions’ by a well-known English accordionist and composer, Ian Watson. The program culminates with a performance by The Polyphonia Orchestra, from the French Island of Reunion, under the direction of Pierre Varo. This is an unforgettable group that combines accordions, singers, and multiple orchestral instruments made up of young musicians from the French Island of Reunion who have shared their eclectic program from classical to pop across four continents.

Saturday, July 22, 2023:
As a final concert to close the Festival, Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International, presents the ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra, directed by Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This is a long-standing Festival activity involving accordionists from all over the USA plus other countries such as Canada, Austria and New Zealand and Australia. Assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, the program will include classical selections, medleys from musicals and tango nuevo. This program culminates with soloist, Grayson Masefield, a New Zealand born accordionist, and the first person to win World Championships in Classical, Virtuoso and Digital accordion categories. He is currently the Instrumental Music Instructor for accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and is regularly invited to perform concerts, give masterclasses and serve as an adjudicator at festivals and universities around the world. His program of classical transcriptions, original works, and nuevo tango will also include a world premiere of “Meditatio” (a meditation on the irrationality of human barbarish) from Spanish composer Gorka Hermosa, commissioned by the ATG.

Visit our website at to see the schedule and for addtional information. I look forward to seeing you in July!

Here is the link for tickets on the Wheaton College Artist Series:

Best regards,

Mary Ann Covone
President of Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International


Remembering the Wonderful, Unforgettable Faithe Deffner by Joan Grauman Morse

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
AAA header
Joan Grauman MorseEditor Rita Davidson Barnea shares, "The AAA is celebrating their 85th anniversary at the July AAA Festival in West Conshohauken, PA. There is a great abundance of history surrounding the AAA, so many personalities, events, concerts all organized to promote the accordion. But the history was not documented until AAA Board Member Joan Grauman Morse recognized the need and volunteered to become the AAA’s first and only Historian.

Newly published article: Remembering the Wonderful, Unforgettable Faithe Deffner:

It is very important for future generations of accordionists and musicians to have this valuable information. Joan shares, "As the organization’s historian, I have been writing historical articles on events that led up to the creation of the AAA and were important for AAA."

To date, Joan has thoroughly researched and written over forty articles about the history of the AAA including AAA Formation, AAA History, Charles Magnate, Guy Klucevsek, Joey Miskulin, Frank Busso, Lou Coppola and Joan Sommers and many more. You can read these articles on the AAA website, I encourage you all to take the time to read them.

On behalf of the AAA and AWW, I would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to Joan Grauman Morse for all her dedication in researching and writing the detailed information which Joan so lovingly organizes and continues to this day!"

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

AWW Founder/Editor Harley Jones Celebrates 70th Birthday in True Accordion Style

by Christine Johnstone
Heather and Harley
Maurice, GraysonPicture above: Heather Masefield with brother Harley Jones

Accordions Worldwide founder Harley Jones, celebrated his 70th birthday in true accordion style at the Milford Cruising Club, Auckland, New Zealand on June 10th, 2023.

The event saw a large number of accordionists, past and present members of the North Shore Accordion Orchestras and the New Zealand Accordion Association plus many family friends.

Entertainment was provided by Tracey Collins and Lee Gray (guitar and vocals - pictured below) with a special set by Maurice Jones and his daughter Alanah Jones (vocals - picture top right). The venue was magnificently decorated by Harley's niece Amber Masefield who was also in charge of photographing the event, pictured with brother Grayson Masefield lower right.

Event pictures: harleyjones/70.htm

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

2023 ATG Festival Workshops and More!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
There are numerous concerts, workshops and more at the ATG in July! Look at these amazing workshops that will be offered at the 2023 ATG Festival. Be there, learn, and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 19 3:PM: Fake Book Ideas for Soloists and Accompanists, Frank Busso, Presenter
Ever wonder what to do with your left hand when reading from a fake book? How can an accordionist make a simple melody line sound like a traditional arrangement? This workshop will present ideas on using lead sheets to play simple solos, sound like a seasoned ensemble member, and even how to take advantage of basic music theory.

Wednesday, July 19, 4:PM: The Art and Craft of Arranging Music: The role of an arranger (verses the composer), Liz Finch, Presenter
This workshop will explore questions that include what it means to arrange a piece of music, what are examples of great arrangements (and why they are great), and how/where do you start?

Thursday, July 20, 2:PM: Part 1: Update from ‘Down Under: Accordion Society of Australia Vice-president, Anthony Schulz will briefly present the current state of the Accordion in Australia.
Part 2: Aural Awareness: Have you ever wondered if there’s more to the page than meets the eye (or ear)?, Anthony Schultz, Presenter
Contemporary accordionist and educator Anthony Schulz will discuss how to listen to music and transfer the experience to a deeper understanding of what it means to play ‘by ear.’ The focus of this workshop is to assist accordionists of any level to explore and develop their aural awareness through listening, and as a result of this process, engage with repertoire with a greater sense of style, nuance and confidence

Thursday, July 20, 3:PM: Accordion Family Genera, Helmi Harrington, presenter
Helmi Harrington is the Curator of A World of Accordions Museum, the worlds largest accordion museum, Superior and is a renowned expert of accordion history. This complex and varied musical instrument family encompasses about 200 years’ development of free-reed aerophone types. From the Sheng varieties, the various harmonicas, to the 1829 first patent by Cyrill Demian and the near-time Wheatstone concertinas, to the dozens of Flutina and related types that led to hundreds of chromatic and diatonic instruments enjoyed throughout the world. Accordions preserve traditional texts and tunes, dance and body rhythms, cultural mores and family traditions. Today, they also offer sophisticated compositions of similar import to artistry as any orchestral instrument has achieved.                  

The obligation of the accordionist is like that of any aficionado-respect the heritages and learn all that you can about music and the numerous tentacles of the instrument’s industry.                

Although accomplished primarily through photos, this seminar will try to introduce you to the subject that can occupy the rest of your life in studies, in thrilling discoveries, and in rich rewards of understanding the instrument you enjoy.

Friday, July 21, 9:AM: Bellows/Bellow Control, Grayson Masefield, Presenter
How bellows action and control of air flow can interfere or help with the learning stages of new pieces and how utilizing the bellows will affect phrasing, articulation and technique in the left and right hand.

Saturday, July 22, 9:AM: Hand care for the musician, Lynda Griffith, Presenter
Learn about care and feeding, strength and flexibility of musician’s hands. What to know. What to teach.

**Schedules subject to change

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

Cory Pesaturo and National Accordion Month on FOX News

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Cory Pesaturo
Video: Jun 22, 2023 Celebrating National Accordion Awareness Month!

Cory Pesaturo recently brought the accordion to national attention with his performance on Fox News in celebration of June’s National Accordion Month. Cory Pesaturo @CPez was the featured guest all day on Fox News, from performing the National Anthem to start off the show, to giving bump music, a full interview, And even doing the Weather!

Cory Pesaturo (“C Pez”) is on the forefront of the accordion world, pushing the boundaries on multiple fronts of what is possible with the accordion. Cory won the trio of World Championships on Acoustic, Digital & Jazz Accordion, and the only accordion graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.  In 2017, Pesaturo became a Guinness World Record Holder, as RedBull® flew him to Austria to break the Marathon Accordion Record, in which Cory played for over 32 hours. Cory’s main contribution is his visionary thinking of how the accordion should be used, played, taught, and presented in modern music.  He has given 2 TED Talk’s and 2 Google Talk’s about this, which are currently the only TED or Google talks in the world about the accordion. Pesaturo is also developing his own electric accordion, and already has made the first ever skinned accordion which includes a symmetric lighting system attached to the keys.  
Pesaturo’s extensive resumé includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on 4 different occasions, starting at age 12, and 8 other appearances for the Clintons since 2000, along with 14 letters from the first family.  On one of those occasions, he became the youngest person to ever perform at a State Dinner, performing with the Marine Strolling Strings for the President of Hungary.  Some TV appearances include the Late Show with David Letterman, performing with Johnny Depp, and nationally televised programs in New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Tunisia, France, and Finland. . He has judged accordion competitions in the US, Canada, and Europe, in addition to other music competitions, and currently gives masterclasses at various universities throughout the US and Europe on Accordion and Improvisation.  
For his Classical side which is lesser known, a win in a concerto competition at 16 years old gave Pesaturo the rare opportunity to perform with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist, where he became the youngest accordionist to ever solo with a symphony orchestra in the US back in 2003.  Concerning his Jazz side, Cory recorded two CD’s with saxophone legend George Garzone and his known band “The Fringe” at age 19, and has become friends with Jazz and Music Legends Quincy Jones and Wynton Marsalis.  His performances at all 3 of his World Championships were played on accordions that were not his, and were generally 90% improvised; both aspects are unheard of in the accordion world.  
Pesaturo is also heavily involved and respected with the weather and motor sports worlds as well.  He composed the Official list of records set by the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and also wrote the lists for the 2007 and 2008 Seasons as well.  Moreover, he has put out reports on Winter Seasons for the US which have been featured on,, and others.  Cory is known for his FreeSledding work, including his own sledding mountain called “CN Mountain”.  He has written sports blogs for sites like Bleacher Report, and has collaborated with members of the Red Sox and the Drop Kick Murphy’s on the “Fenway 100” album released in 2012. His music has been played on Formula 1 broadcasts on NBC, FOX, and Velocity, and additionally has an ongoing musical relationship with 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.

Cory performed with famous Brazilian accordionist and composer Hermeto Pascoal who is similar to Astor Piazzolla. Hermeto, who is in his 80’s, gave Cory a hand written song, original manuscript. When Hermeto was on tour with his band, Cory flew out to Chicago to meet him and hear his performance in a concert hall. 

In May, Cory played for three hours in a private Italian organization event for the President of Malta. The performance took place at Lady Gaga’s parents restaurant. Cory was also a Guest of Chassis Building Legend Giampaolo Dallara and Racing Legend Mario Andretti at the Indy 500. Cory spent time with Herbie Hancock who's a new fan of Cory's.  

In July, Cory will be a featured guest artist on July 20th at the 2023 ATG Festival July 19 - 23, 2023. In August, Cory will entertain at the Cotati Accordion Festival with Yasmine Azaoez.

More news of the amazing Cory Pesaturo in future publications.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Virtual Accordion Seminars July 28 - 30

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dr. William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel, Curator, Sponsored by the Accordion Global Association, invites all to
The Virtual Accordion Seminars 2023
July 28, 29, 30, 2023
Master Classes 3:PM. Concerts 4:PM. The link will be provided before each event.

Note: The Master Classes and concerts, due to the Content in some cases, can be interchangeable but for the most part, there will be more talking at the Master Classes and more playing at the Concerts. Both will be equally educational, entertaining and enlightening

Case: 165. entire weekend - Check or PayPal
William Schimmel
345 E 85th St 4RE New York, NY 10028
Cell: 917 498 6823

Title of Seminar - "In the Shadow the ----!"

Performers and Presentations:
Dr. Robert Young McMahan bringing his usual expertise as a performer and scholar
Will Holshouser, a celebrity among a new breed of accordionists - always enlightening
Paul Stein, a community activist using the accordion as his tool for change
Micki Goodman, using video, dance and performance to create, innovate and to enlighten
Benjamin Ickies, moving from Rock to Classical this year - maybe both
Peter Jarvis, a composer with story that will startle you
Milica Paranosic, composer and Serbian DJ will do the obvious in a non obvious way
Jazz pianist Bill Komaiko will present “shadow boxing” with the accordion in the background.
Doug Makofka, coming to us from the Pennsylvania Mountains.
Bob Goldberg, also a social activist who’d loves to do classic Rock covers
Carl Riehl, who insists that “Punk is not dead”
Corn Mo, our legit trained classical singer who happens to be the best Indie rock artist
In our midst - as well as a storyteller and ranter.
Godfrey Nelson and Jake Holmes coming from Belafonte, Led Zeppelin and Ninja Turtles
Rita Davidson Barnea, our Ettore lady
Erica Marie Mancini, our accordion/glam artist complete with electronium
Mary Spencer Knapp covers virtually everything including babies, accordio-yoga and Death Squeeze
Brian Dewan, a humorist in the tradition of Tom Leher and other comedic greats.
John Foti, an accordion Springsteen , giving us a Taylor Swift cover, Vigilante S—t
Hanzhi Wang, our concert virtuoso, the first to win the Young Concert Artist competition
Gene Pritsker, a prolific composer everywhere in the world - we hope he tunes in here
Dan Cooper, a composer and 8 string bassist - a good match with accordion - really!
Dr. Denise Koncelik, composer,/arranger/performer utilizing all dimensions during the weekend
Bachtopus, a Quartet that goes from Bach to Contemporary/with a folk vibe.
The Main Squeeze Orchestra will show us “what love really is”.
Lee McClure, a composer enjoying his new found celebrity
Elliott Sharp, a downtown music legend, will present “Interpolations”
Martina Li will present a single melody (no chords) to be elaborated on creatively
David Stoler will present a King Crimson vibe
Sari Kalin will present the accordion in a “choral” dimension using a psalm by Ives
Jack de Benedetto, playing for constructive comments and getting better each year
Mike’s Place, a band that includes Michael Schimmel on Drums, his buddy Keith on Bass and Mike’s dad on Accordion - Mike and Keith are Special Needs Adults
Jeanne Velonis will show us how to create a rose from fertile ground
Dr. Thomas Massucci will present Vaughn Williams on the Accordion
Lauren Flanagan - New York City Opera diva
Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Argentine pianist and Scholar
Mark Kostabi - world famous painter, friend of Warhol, now composing
Dave Soldier - a composer and famous neurobiologist
David First - The composer who inspired Sonic Youth
Melissa Elledge joins us once more with her funk and hip hop renderings

Topics will include:
Nailing the genre or busting it
The various dimensions of humor
Three Shades of Blue
How to play a proper reggae
How to be your own DJ
Asian culture and bluegrass
Don’t let the lefthand over power the righthand
Unknown Eugene Ettore - or almost
Accordion chotchckas and their social meaning
Improving your technique physically
How to nail the pocket of a beat/playing a rubato without losing the beat
And others to be announced
Osvaldo Pugliese - the other Piazzolla
The Classical Accordion in America
Accordion/fear - the diminished chord
Accordio - ranting
The choral dimension
Soloist and orchestra in one box

And lastly!:
The controversial title of the weekend is
"In the shadow/in the - - - - !"
A great Tibetan Bhuddist writer talks about “The Manure of Experience”
Meaning that everything we have acquired over the years can be fertilizer
And useful to make better art. This fits the accordion like a glove
Of course, you can supply any four letter word you desire

For more information:

Titano Accordion Company

Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs July 14 at AAA Festival

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
APO Logo
APO Concert posterThe Accordion Pops Orchestra, conducted by Al Terzo, presents their next concert on Saturday, July 14, 2023, 2023 at 6:30 PM at the AAA 85th Anniversary Festival at the Marriott Philadelphia West, 111 Crawford Avenue, Conshohocken, PA.

The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970 when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey.  Its first conductor was  Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.  In 1980 the orchestra was reorganized under well-known accordionist and composer Eugene Ettore.
In 1985 the orchestra was again reorganized under Daniel Desiderio and the name was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra. The membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Maestro Desiderio retired in 2011 and turned the reins over to the current conductor, Al Terzo.

The orchestra consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments.  The accordions are divided into five main sections (first through fifth accordion), each playing different parts.  In addition, there is a bass accordion with special deep reeds and a midi accordion with electronic capabilities to simulate hundreds of other instruments.

There are about 30 members including professionals, teachers, and amateur musicians.  The orchestra performs a repertoire taken from a wide range of music categories, including Broadway, popular music, movie themes, and light classical compositions.  The orchestra performs in concert halls, festivals, playhouses, clubs, churches, and retirement homes.

Conductor Al Terzo is a music teacher, arranger, and conductor.  He has been a member of the orchestra since its inception in 1970. Mr.Terzo is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and the National Association of Music Educators.  He is a member of the governing board of the American Accordionists' Association and a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark Symphony Hall.  Mr. Terzo currently teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.

APO members include: Joanna Darrow, Rita Davidson, Phyllis Edamatsu,Joyce Gandenberger, Michael Koziupa, Annette Marinelli. Diane Squillace, Kalman Zilberman, Diane Ashenfalder, Anne Marie Eagan, Ray Haines, John Modrowsky, Walter Syzonenko, Ines Csulak, Dante Giammarco, Kelly Grove, Alex Juskin, Donald Nowicki, Erika Perez, Sandra Perez, Teresa Rehberg, Tatiana Slowik, Juliette Amerman, Denise Szabo, Mary Thomas, Jennifer Bednar, Connie Compito, Joanna Mast, Patti Selikoff,Joanne Squillace, Erika Brito, Denise Koncelik, Josephine Sarica, John Andrews, Anna Rene Jeremiah, Robert Patterson

Al shares,”Referring to our new website, several orchestras from around the world have asked for some of our arrangements listed on the repertoire link. Groups from the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Belgium, South Korea, and Malta.”

Future APO concerts include:
August 26, 2023 at the Bright View Senior Living in Wayne, PA.
October 8, 2023 at Shannondell, Valley Forge, PA
November 19, 2023 at St. John’s Church, Bergenfield, NJ

For further information:

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

Online: Not Just Oom-Pah! Presents Workshop with Courtney Von Drehle July 25 -27

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Not Just Oompah!Not Just Oompah! is pleased to announce a new accordion workshop,"Have Accordion, Will Travel!" featuring Courtney von Drehle. This workshop will be held via Zoom on July 25, 26, and 27, 2023 from 7:00 - 9:30 PM Central time each night. (8:00 – 10:30 pm Eastern, 6:00 – 8:30 pm Mountain, 5:00 – 7:30 pm Pacific)

Courtney is an Emmy Nominated composer and master accordionist.  This workshop will expand your repertoire and skills with a variety program that covers three continents in three days while you learn the elements that make each style... and of course learn
some great songs on the journey.

Workshop will focus on expanding repertoire and skills, with a variety program that covers three continents.
Concepts to discuss may be:
* Teaching skills, such as chords and chord progressions that participants can use.
* Embellishments, where needed.
* Songs taught will vary in genres, tempos, styles and are FUN for the accordionist and the audience.
* June 25 will start with a short “Meet and Greet” to talk about the Workshop Agenda

Emmy nominated composer and multi-instrumentalist Courtney Von Drehle has been working on his particular brand of musical alchemy since 1980. Early projects in hybrid rock music led to collaborations with many modern dancers and the honing of his ability to create music to accompany other media. This has led to numerous commissions for music for film scores, commercials, radio, dance, theater, and performance projects.

In 2003 he was awarded a fellowship at the Sundance Institute to participate in their film composers lab. His film scoring work includes his Emmy nominated score for filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky's 2009 Academy Award nominated H.B.O. documentary “The Final Inch”, working with Academy Award winning animator Joan Gratz, and working with multiple award-winning short filmmaker Chel White, amongst others.

In addition to co-leading 3 LEG TORSO with Béla R. Balogh, Von Drehle is a resident composer for DO JUMP THEATER and performs with The Djangophiles The Portland Klezmer Allstars, and Michelle Alany and the Mystics. He received a 2010 Caldera Artist Residency Grant and a 2108 Drammy award for his work with the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble. His accordion skills are in demand as a studio musician and he can be heard on the Disney show “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” and on the soundtrack to “Nebraska”, a film directed by Alexander Payne and scored by Mark Orton.

Von Drehle has a B.A. in music from Marylhurst University and has studied North Indian classical singing. He teaches private accordion lessons and is on faculty at the Rose City Accordion Club's annual Silver Falls Accordion Camp.
No travel documents or custom checks involved!
Registration: $100 includes all workshop materials delivered in PDF format, plus recordings will be made of each presentation for later viewing. Register on our newly revised website.

For more information contact:
Shirley Johnson 512-680-0422  or or

Laura Niland 210-651-4359

For more information email:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

GR8 Ideas Workshop June/July Series

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
GR8 ideas
The next GR8 Ideas Workshop Series will continue with “50 Deep Dive Tips for Roland FR-8X/Bugari Evo”.

Part 2 - Sunday July 23, 2023 3:PM EDT
If you have ever wanted to attain a deeper understanding of how to make your FR-8X or Bugari Evo more functional and cooperative for your musical desires, these two workshops are for you!

Parts 1 & 2 of this workshop series will enable you to optimize the amounts and quality of music you should be able to extract from these wonderful instruments.

Joseph Natoli, makes his home in Northeast 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. Joe later attended and achieved Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music where he also studied free bass accordion as his applied major instrument with renowned Canadian virtuoso, Joseph Macerollo.

Joe is the co-founder and director of GR8 Ideas, an organization dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge of digital accordions and digital peripherals via its GR8 Ideas web page as well as its accompanying GR8 Ideas Facebook page,

Joe has released 6 CDs, including “Omaggio”, “Waltz For Ron”, “Merry Christmas”, and “Chameleon” Vols 1 & 2, and 3. The “Chameleon” series CDs are 70-75 minutes each of completely original compositions in every imaginable genre including Classical, light Classical, Latin jazz, jazz ballads, contemporary, orchestral, cinematic, tango, and more (including his latest compositions including accordion orchestra pieces like “Accordion Fanfare”, “Smooth”, “A New Beginning” and “Nine Children’s Pieces”, plus solo pieces like “Nostalgic Suite”, “Homage & Offspring to the Bumblebee”, “Fantasy On a Well-Known Melody”, “Fragments”, & “We’ll Dance Again”, along with many others).

Joe writes for both acoustic and digital accordions, but he uses his orchestrational knowledge to exploit all the best coloristic possibilities on digital accordion.

For any information about Ideas and/or his publishing company JANPress Music, you are invited to send any requests to or to

For details on the 2023 Virtual Workshops email:
GR8 Ideas

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Mary Ann Covone: ATG President Featured in Sigma Alpha Iota Journal

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Mary Ann CovoneWe can all agree that ATG President Mary Ann Covone devotes her life to the accordion, performing, writing,teaching, serving as ATG President and more! She exudes enthusiasm for the accordion in all its many forms and styles of music. Mary Ann is always happy to share her love and knowledge of the accordion!

Mary Ann Covone, ATG President was featured in the Sigma Alpha Iota quarterly journal Pan Pipes. The article tells about Mary Ann’s journey with the accordion, beginning with a historical review of the popular “heyday” of the accordion in the 1940-1970’s, her decision to attend University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music to study accordion performance with Joan Cochran Sommers, returning to accordion after a 30-year career as an attorney, and then becoming president of the ATG.

The article also gives an excellent short story of the history of the ATG, the recent and coming festival, the value of the ATG syllabus, and the establishing of her Chicagoland Accordion Academy. 

The Pan Pipes journal was distributed to just under 10,000 professional musicians, professors, teachers and music students in colleges and universities.  Sigma Alpha Iota is a professional sorority for women in the field of music. 
Link to complete article: PanPipes.pdf

Titano Accordion Company

AAA Composers Commissioning Committee

by Dr. Robert Young McMahan Chair, AAA Composers Commissioning Committee
AAA header
Dr Robert McMahanUpdated - The Nineteenth Commissioned Work of the
American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Composers Commissioning Committee:
George Kleinsinger: Prelude and Sarabande
View this 2023 update at:

Dr Robert Young McMahan writes:
It has been quite a while—three years, to be exact—since we last gathered in person for the much anticipated, uniquely eclectic, and always exciting annual mid-summer event the accordion world knows as the AAA Festival. My contributions to this long-awaited resumption of the AAA Festival will be twofold:

1. AAA Festival Presentation: For most of the second half of the twentieth century and a few years beyond, Elsie Bennett, founding chair of the AAA’s historic Composers Commissioning Committee, succeeded in convincing a who’s who of famous composers and others of high quality to produce much needed concert works of all types and styles for or including the accordion. She was also a meticulous record keeper of all meetings and correspondence with her subjects as well as countless photographs of them (as well as many notable cooperating accordionists) she had taken with her in meetings, social gatherings, and concerts.

For this presentation we will open her vast photo albums allowing the pictures on screen to pleasantly guide us through her amazing story and important contributions to the classical accordion.

2. One-on-one Festival Consultation: Teachers, artists or students of all ages and backgrounds can book by email a (no charge) 30 minute individual consultation at the AAA Festival with Composers Commissioning Committee (CCC) Chair Robert Young McMahan to discuss the extensive CCC repertoire and which of its works might best fit each person’s musical tastes and performance level. Students are encouraged to involve their teacher. This is a CCC promotion to develop greater knowledge of the extensive CCC repertoire and encourage more performances. Email:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Switzerland Tour of Stas Venglevski

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Stas VenglevskiStas VenglevskiThis wonderful article on Stas Venglevski recently appeared in the ATG Bulletin: Stas Venglevski presented several concerts in Switzerland from April 23 through May 6, 2023. It is now tradition for Cornelia Schmid to organize a spring tour and perhaps one again in the fall. These concerts often include other outstanding musicians and this year was no exception.

During this last tour Stas had the immense pleasure and privilege to perform in the J.S. Bach Church in the city of Arnstadt, Germany where Johann Sebastian Bach had his first job as organist for four years. Stas performed the Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor twice in this very church.

These are his words about this fantastic experience: “Finally my dream came true. I played at the church in Germany where Bach had his first job as organist for four years. I played his Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor twice. Same place bench. Such emotional moments. that same spot. They gave me the opportunity to play that very organ as well.”, one of his tremendous and profound works. A good moment to plunge into the 18th century!”

"Just the thoughts that in this church Bach got his first job as an organist is already awe-inspiring. As an 18 year old boy, he worked miracles on this bench for years from 1702-1707 in Arnstadt, Germany. Bowing before the genius, I took the opportunity to perform the Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, one of his tremendous and profound works. A good moment to plunge into the 18th century!”

In reporting this very special experience there were several photos taken, one with Stas standing next to a monument of Bach at the age of 18 years and one of Stas playing in the actual church where Bach performed.

Stas is an Accordionist, a Musician, an Arranger, an Entertainer and a Teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show. Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts.

He is 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 15 acclaimed albums 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.


San Francisco Accordion Club Highlights from “Symphony of Accordions”

by Pamela Tom, Ken Schwartz and Rosemary Busher
Rosemary and Ken
rosemary and kenrosemary and young enthusiastLast month’s launch of “Symphony of Accordions,” San Francisco’s first accordion festival in conjunction with Festa Coloniale Italiana (sponsored by the San Francisco Italian Athleic Club Foundation) was a huge success and exceeded expectations. The San Francisco Accordion Club (SFAC) was invited to participate at the inaugural event. The annual Festa is a free event located on Stockton between Union and Filbert Streets (North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco).

Ken Schwartz (SFAC President) and Rosemary Busher (SFAC Secretary) hosted the SFAC booth at the festival. In keeping with the SFAC’s non-profit Club’s mission to promote and stimulate the appreciation of the accordion emanating from San Francisco to the broader community in the US, the Festa provided a unique venue to highlight the history of the accordion in North Beach culture which continues to this day!

Ken and Rosemary chatted non-stop with over 100 visitors who wanted to learn about the accordion and many of whom had a relative who played accordion or still had one “in a closet!” Ken performed Italian tunes on an original SF Guerrini accordion which attracted visitors to the booth! Particularly relevant was Rosemary’s on-site free mini lessons with young students.

A fun time for Ken and Rosemary was being invited to play “That’s Amore” (key of C) alongside the Festival’s accordion artists on stage during the community sing-along.

The Festa presented a wonderful opportunity to showcase accordionists playing a diverse genre of traditional Italian and contemporary music styles and to revive interest in the accordion. The accordion festival’s entertainment included: Mike Trucco Band; Tatiana; Ron Borelli Group; il Sole featuring Steve Albini; Accordion Sing-Along of “That’s Amore”; and, Bella Ciao featuring Tom Torriglia.

An educational poster was designed to explain the accordion’s history in San Francisco and the SFAC’s involvement in the accordion community. With June as “National Accordion Awareness Month,” next year’s annual Festa Coloniale Italiana is slated for June 1-2, 2024 in North Beach, San Francisco
SFAC Poster

29th Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Irish Festival
Irish posterThe 29th Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week will be held in East Durham, New York, USA from July 16th to 22nd, 2023. The event features a “week-long celebration of Irish music, song, dance, culture, heritage and language”.

Accordion workshops will be held by:
Patty Furlong: Advanced BC AM / Intermediate C#D PM
Diarmuid O Meachair: Advanced C#D AM / Melodion all levels PM
Danny O’Mahony: Intermediate BC AM / Advanced BC PM
Loretta Egan Murphy: Advanced Beginners AM / Intermediate BC PM
Billy McComiskey: Artist in Residence AM / *Master Class TBA (separate registration)

Concertina workshops will be presented: by:
Brenda Castles: Intermediate AM / Intermediate, Advanced PM
Mary Mac Namara: Advanced AM / Advanced PM
Catriona Fee: Advanced Beginner AM / Advanced Beginner PM

Paul Keating, 2023 Artistic Director, shares, “As we look forward to the convening of the 29th Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week from July 16-22, 2023 this summer in the hamlet of East Durham we do so with great assurance that we have another great year in the works planned for all our attendees, many of whom we hope will register for our classes either full time or part time to ensure that the foundation of the CIAW the tradition of Irish music, song and dance remains a living tradition for all generations who embrace it. Please note that we are operating a week later than usual this year for several reasons we considered advantageous. We have recruited a marvelous faculty with many familiar names and CIAW veterans who have helped us obtain our sterling international reputation as a significant week-long summer school here in North America and recognized and respected on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. We are especially proud that we receive recognition and much appreciated financial support from the Irish Government through their Emigrant Support Programme and Culture Ireland which allows us to extend invitations to 12 artists from Ireland, half of whom will be experiencing the depth of the CIAW experience for the first time, no doubt to join the growing chorus of praise for what Irish America accomplishes in the Catskills every year where history is not a thing of the past.”

A Message from the CIAW Committee: In the 25 years since Catskills Irish Arts Week began, we have experienced a surge in interest and growth that we could have hardly imagined at the outset.
We look forward to meeting old friends and new this coming July.
CIAW Committee:
Donal Gallagher, Executive Director
Mike McHale, Music Consultant
Msgr Charlie Coen, Music Consultant

For further information:
Cell: 518-634-2286.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Amy Jo Sawyer receives “Foundation Fellow Award” at MTNA Conference

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Amy Jo SawyerThe Illinois State Music Teachers Association honored Amy Jo Sawyer with the Foundation Fellow Award for 2023.  She received the award at the Music Teachers National Association Conference held in Reno, Nevada, on March 27, 2023. The award is presented to one who has “made significant and substantial impact on the lives of others through music and service”. 

Amy Jo became an MTNA Nationally Certified Piano teacher in 1989. She served on the ISMTA board as Composition Chair for five years. She has served twice as President of the local “Gateway Arch East Chapter”.  In 2014 she was chosen ISMTA Composer of the Year. In 2019 she was chosen Teacher of the Year.

Amy Jo Sawyer has devoted much of her musical career to the accordion. Her concertizing, composing, arranging, and administrative activities (currently President of The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International) have enhanced recognition of the accordion as a concert and popular/jazz instrument.

Her Jazz CD “According to Amy” and her Classical CD “Classically Amy” demonstrate her virtuosity and the versatility of the accordion. She began piano at age five and accordion by age ten. She represented the Western US in the Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championship) in Biel, Switzerland and is a Nationally Certified Piano Instructor (Music Teacher’s Nat’l Assoc.) with award winning students. 

She earned BA Degrees in Composition and Keyboard Performance, and a MA in Jazz Keyboard Performance.  She has composed and arranged for Stage Band, Vocals, Choir, Piano; plus Accordion solos, duets and ensembles.

Amy Jo has written music for, and performed with, the University of Missouri at Kansas City Accordion Orchestra, under the direction of Joan Sommers, on four international tours. She has performed with the Sacramento and St. Louis Symphonies, including accompanying tenor Luciano Pavarotti.  Her orchestra compositions have been performed at many notable accordion events, including Frank Marocco’s Accordion Orchestra Event in Mesa, Arizona.  Her original Tango, “Juntos” (Together), was performed in Castelfidardo, Italy in 2011 by the Frank Marocco Orchestra. She has performed as a guest artist for the Chicago Accordion Club, National Accordion Association (Texas), Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, Wasatch Accordion Club (Utah), and the Silicone Valley Accordion Club (CA).  

In 2014 she received the Composer Commissioning Program Award sponsored by the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, for her original Piano solos. In 2016 she was the accordionist with the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theater Orchestra (outdoor theater seating 11,000) in their production of “Fiddler On The Roof”. She also played the accordion with the St. Louis Symphony in performances of the movies “The Godfather”, “Ratatouille”, and “Lord of the Rings” (Fellowship of the Rings).   She is Music Chair and principal organist for her church.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers Perform at Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dwayne Dopsie

Video: Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
High energy zydeco from the Hell Raisers. From south Louisiana Dwayne was a real crowd pleaser with antics like jumping off the stage and leading a second line through the park. Recorded in Milwaukee on July 14, 2018 

Located at the Blues Ranch on the Methow River in the resort town of Winthrop, Washington, the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival is a three-day event packed full of exciting national and regional entertainment for all ages. There is on-site camping, food and craft vendors, portable showers, and a beer garden. The Blues Ranch is the perfect setting for one of Washington’s finest music festivals. We look forward to another great year and hope to see YOU at the 36th Annual Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival!!

He has no competition in his genres, he’s the Jimmy Hendrix of the accordion.” – Rolling Stone magazine
2018 GRAMMY® Award nominee and “America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne Dopsie plays a high energy zydeco that keeps you wanting more. Excerpts from Wikepedia: Dwayne Rubin, better known by his stage name Dwayne Dopsie, is an American Zydeco musician. He is the accordionist and vocalist for his New Orleans-based band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers.

Dwayne Dopsie is the youngest of accordionist Rockin' Dopsie's eight children, and picked up music in the household from an early age. He began playing washboard at age six and accordion at seven, and performed with his father on stage at Mardi Gras and on television for a Super Bowl halftime during his childhood.[ After Rockin' Dopsie died in 1993, Dwayne Dopsie dropped out of high school to pursue zydeco music full-time.[ 

He founded his own band, the Zydeco Hellraisers, in 1999 when he was nineteen years old,[2] and that same year was named "America's Hottest Accordionist" in a competition run by the American Accordion Association. In 2013, Dopsie collaborated with Corey Ledet, Anthony Dopsie and Andre Thierry on the album Nothin' But the Best, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album.[

Dopsie received another nomination in the same category for his 2017 album Top of the Mountain. Dopsie plays regularly at New Orleans events such as Mardi Gras and Jazz & Heritage Festival, has done numerous tours of the United States,[5][6][7][8] and has toured internationally several times, including performances in Canada, Georgia, and China.[3] In 2018, Dopsie signed with Louisiana Red Hot Records, who released Bon Ton in the June, 2019.

Current members of his band:
* Dwayne Dopsie - accordion, vocals
* Brandon David - guitar, vocals
* Percy Walker - drums
* Dion Pierre - bass
* Paul Lafleur - washboard
* Tim McFatter - saxophone

For further information:

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

Rachel Bell Presents New Video Workshop

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rachel Bell
Video: Eloise & Co., which features Rachel Bell (accordion), Becky Tracy (violin) and Bethany Waickman (guitar) performing “We're Not Broken” by Rachel Bell.

Filmed at Jared Flynn's Moon Bridge on the grounds of Green Mountain Orchards, Putney, Vermont, USA, on September 24, 2022. Accordionist and teacher, Rachel Bell has released a new video workshop “Smooth, Beautiful Tunes for Piano Accordion”.

This video mini-course includes 19 videos with a total of over an hour and 15 min of instruction. There are 5 pages of sheet music/notes to accompany the videos. The tunes are simple but there's a strong emphasis placed on expanding the tunes as much as possible with lots of chordal and rhythmic variety, harmonies, improvisations, and left hand grooves.Participants can work at their own pace, skip around, review the videos as many times as they want, and use the sheet music resource pages for reinforcement.

Rachel Bell is performer, tunesmith, and teacher who is sought after for concerts, contra dances, French bal folk dances, English country dances, workshops, and festivals–all in virtual form during the pandemic. She plays with Eloise & Co., Peregrine Road, Alchemy, and Old World Charm School. Her playing spans an enormous range of emotion, from nuanced and sensitive to exhilarating and powerful.

Excerpts from her website: Over a decade of musical travel has landed her smack-dab in the middle of some of her most exciting projects ever. A vibrant and versatile collaboration with Karen Axelrod, exquisite violin and viola sounds from Eric Martin, a rich and energetic contra dance band called Seaglass, and a slew of French-focused music and dance adventures with Susan Kevra are just the tip of the iceberg. A recent addition has been a joyful musical partnership with Becky Tracy, Bethany Waickman and other combinations often round out the mix.

Rachel’s work is infused with a contagious enthusiasm for her instrument and a deep respect for the musical traditions she carries. She loves to create authentic connections with audiences everywhere—from packed, energized dance halls to small, intimate house concert settings. She is passionate about sharing with others the delight she finds in this music.

For details email:

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

Learning from National Music Associations: Increasing Attention to Detail

by Esther Lanting
Esther LantingI have long been a member of National Music Teachers Association (NMTA) because I teach accordion and piano. I was certain that reading their periodical would give me new ideas and increase my teaching skills. What has surprised me is that the NMTA’s bimonthly magazine, American Music Teacher, always has ideas that apply not only to teaching but can also be integrated into my accordion playing. They are not always earth-moving new ideas; often they are simple reminders of things I have forgotten or become lazy with. I have come to value what I glean from the magazine.

Each issue of the periodical features a “How Do You…?” section. The June/July 2023 feature focuses on increasing attention to detail. Chee-Hwa Tan—composer, educator, former head of piano pedagogy at the University of Denver and currently on the pedagogy faculties at the Oberlin Conservatory—writes, “Details matter because attention to them creates the emotional connection in music, thus giving us ‘story’.”
Here are some reminders and helpful ideas I took away from this article:

* Carefully look over new music before attempting to play. 
* Who is the composer? What do you know about him/her?
* Note measures or sections that might be tricky. 
* Note repeated patterns, chord progressions, scales—anything helpful that will assist in learning this particular selection.
* Every week or two, record yourself, then listen to the recording while following the music.
* What details did you do well (dynamic markings, slur, staccato, etc.)?
* What details did you miss?
* Did each note get its full value? 
* What are the measures/sections that need the most work?
* Did the “details” give emotional strength to the story of the music?

There is much to take away from supplementing your ATG membership with a membership in another music organization. By reading their periodical and asking yourself, “What in this magazine would help me improve my accordion playing and increase my understanding of music?” you can move further towards becoming a better musician.

Esther Lanting is Executive Secretary of ATG

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Parno Drom Performs at Polish Festival

by Christine Johnstone
Polish festival
Parno Drom will perform at the Seattle Polish Festival, held at the Seattle Centre Armory & Mural Amphitheatre in Seattle, Washington, USA on July 8th, 2023 from midday.

The group, which features Bob Kozak (accordion & vocals), Katya Kiselyova (guitar & vocals), Lubov Plett (violin) and Elizabeth Lesztak (dancer), perform Eastern European Romani (Gypsy) style music from Russia, Poland, Hungary and beyond. They sing in the original language of each song including the Romany language of the Gypsies.

The Polish Festival Seattle is a family-oriented event for the Greater Seattle multicultural community.

Admission is free. See poster for details.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

45th Vancouver Folk Music Festiva July 14-16

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Vancouver Folk Festival
Vancouver Folk Festival PosterVancouverThe 45th Vancouver Folk Music Festival will be held in Jericho Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from July 14th to 16th, 2023.

Accordion performers include Rum Ragged (picture above right), Cedric Watson (accordion) & Jourdan Thibodeaux (violin) pictured above left, and Kalàscima (Italy – picture below).

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is a not for profit society building a world where folk music culture thrives. Charitable Number 119261030 RR0001.

Already known around the world for the quality of its programming, friendly ambience and beautiful park setting, the 2022 Vancouver Folk Music Festival will be another year of exciting, eclectic and diverse music for all ages.

This festival is guaranteed to create another magic-filled weekend of great music at Jericho Beach. Add in fabulous food, great shopping, a special area for Little Folks plus other on-site activities and amenities.

For tickets & information:
Online or 604-602-9798

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Cotati Festival 2023 on August 19 & 20

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Get ready for the 2023 Cotati Accordion Festival! It will be at La Plaza Park, La Plaza, Cotati, CA 94931, on August 19 & 20, 2023. Make sure to attend the Cotati Accordion Festival Zydeco Dance Party. Starting at noon on Saturday, August 19th, the Zydeco Dance Party opens up at Spanky’s, adjacent to the park and our festival. There is not only dancing inside the club, but there is a lot of dancing space outside on the wide sidewalk adjacent to  the club which was full of dancers last year. On top of that,  we get to start things off with the incomparable Mark St.Mary.

Mark St.Mary has been awarded the “Best Zydeco Band” by the Bay Area Blues Society and the “Delta King” never fails to bring the best in traditional Louisiana zydeco music. Mark closes out his set at 5:00 only to be followed by more dancing in the zydeco tent which starts up at 5:15 on Saturday with Iko Ya Ya and their “swamp rock and roll”. Iko Ya Ya will be mixing a lot of genres in with their zydeco and it all ends up in a stew that has everyone dancing for another couple of hours.

On Sunday the Zydeco Dance Party starts anew with the California Blue Runners at Spankys. Andrew Carriere, Haywood Douresseau, Tom Stewart, Andre Nigoghossian and David Hymowitz bring their deep Louisaniana experience to Cotati for all of us to enjoy. Once again, the party continues at 5:15 in the tent with long-time  local favorites The Wild Catahoulas creating the ultimate in an upbeat vibe and the perfect dancing environment. 

Partial List of Cotati Festival Performers:
Cory Pesaturo
Tracey Collins (New Zealand)
Jenny Conlee(The Decemberists)
Elena Stenkina(Russia/New Jersey)
Those Darn Accordions
Faleado Forro(Jamie Maschler)
Carlos Mehia Godoy(Nicaragua/Cal.)
Jet Black Pearl
Mad Maggies
Erica Mancini(New York City)
Junk Parlor
Mariposa Del Alma
Courtney Von Drehle
Hernandez Hideaway
Mike Danner
Sourdough Slim
Paper Bellows(Oregon)
Wind Weavers
Five Cent Coffee
Zla Vila
Amber Lee Baker
Barn Swallows
Juniper Djinn
Future Stars
The Steve Balich Band
Sheri Mignano
Mark St Mary
California Blue Runners
Iko Ya Ya
The Wild Catahoulas The Grand Finale…..and more to be announced.

The Cotati Accordion Festival is a non-profit organization established in 1991 to promote the love of the accordion and to support local youth service organizations. To date, they have contributed in over $500,000 to the youth of the community.

Cotati poster artwork & design by Katie Kincade Designs

For further information:

Sheri Mignano Crawford & Jim Lehmann Entertain at Cotati

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
JimSheri Mignano and Jim Lehmann will perform at the Cotati Accordion Festival on Mornings in the Polka Tent just got more interesting! (9:30-12N) Saturday and Sunday

Sheri Mignano Crawford and Jim Lehmann return to the polka tent bringing a broad array of musical talents from the European café tradition and the dance halls of Paris, Rome, and Berlin. Sheri is a professional accordionist, retired humanities professor, book publisher, author, and feline fanatic!

Whether it’s a polka, a fox trot, a Viennese or Parisian waltz, an Italian mazurka, a Schottische, or a Latin rumba, tango, and the ever-popular cha-cha. So, don’t miss your chance to dance your toes off! Let Sheri know your favorite Lawrence Welk tune or the title of your favorite rumba! She and Jim Lehmann, a superb percussionist and drummer, can transform an ordinary dance into a rhythmic spin around the dance floor. Whether you choose to hop, kick, swirl, or glide across the smooth dance floor or you prefer to enjoy a relaxing break, you’re always welcome.

Sheri and Jim started playing together about ten years ago at Original Joe’s in San Rafael. Having both worked for decades with their separate bands, they’re looking forward to sustaining the dance tradition at the Cotati Accordion Festival in August.

Contact Sheri via email:

Sam Reider in Future Concerts

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sam Reider

Video 1: "Coyoacan" by Sam Reider and the Human Hands
This piece was inspired by a trip to "Coyoacan," the beautiful neighborhood in Mexico City where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera made their home—brightly painted houses, a bustling marketplace, and the overlapping melodies of out-of-tune wooden crank organs wafting through the warm, Sunday evening air.
"Coyoacan" is the second installment in a 6-part series of videos comprising the new Human Hands EP. The audio was be released for purchase and streaming in January
Alex Hargreaves - violin
Eddie Barbash - saxophone
Dominick Leslie - mandolin
Dave Speranza - bass
Brother Roy - guitar

Video 2: “Quintet for Accordion and Strings”
Tarantella Fugue in 9/8!
In the third and final movement I wanted to pay homage to accordion folk music, so I wrote sort of a fast "tarantella" in 9/8. The movement opens with a short fugue and then follows an arch form: ABCBA

Sam Reider is an accordionist, pianist, composer and singer from Brooklyn. A jazz pianist turned folk musician, Sam has spent the last eight years redefining American roots music on the accordion. His original music draws inspiration from sources ranging from Woody Guthrie to George Gershwin to Ennio Morricone. Sam has been featured on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, toured in seven countries overseas, and appears regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center and major festivals nationwide.

Excerpts from his website: His work brings together various streams of American music, from jazz and folk tunes to popular song and contemporary composition. He has appeared as a bandleader and soloist at major festivals and venues around the world and his performances and original compositions have been featured on NPR, PBS and the BBC. Reider has performed, recorded and collaborated with a range of artists including Jon Batiste, Jorge Glem, Sierra Hull, Laurie Lewis, and Paquito d’Rivera. As Mark Corroto writes in All About Jazz, “Reider has a knack for writing new music that has a familiar sound. Let's say he has an old soul encased in some sprightly fingers.”

Representing the U.S. Department of State as a musical ambassador, Sam has traveled to China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Estonia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, carrying his accordion on his back and collaborating with international artists. Folk songs and stories from these travels serve as inspiration for many of the compositions on Reider’s first record, Too Hot to Sleep (2018), which features the Human Hands, a virtuosic ensemble of acoustic musicians originally based in Brooklyn, NY described by the New York Times as “modern folk music with saxophone and accordion.” Irresistible melodies, fiery improvisation and otherworldly sounds collide in what Songlines Magazine dubbed a "mash-up of the Klezmatics, Quintette du Hot Club de France and the Punch Brothers.”

In July 2022 Reider released “Petrichor”, his first record of solo piano music. The title refers to the smell of the earth after a first rain and the eight original compositions on Petrichor form a musical reflection on Reider’s recent homecoming to San Francisco after ten years in New York City.

Cross-cultural collaboration plays a vital role in Reider’s creative practice. His most recent project, a collaboration with Venezuelan artist Jorge Glem, puts the accordion in musical conversation with the cuatro. After meeting Glem at a house party in 2016, Reider began taking the train from Brooklyn to visit Glem at his apartment in the Bronx. Over the course of several years of performing, teaching, and traveling together, they developed a strong friendship and a unique repertoire of music. Their debut record Brooklyn-Cumanà was released on Guataca Records in fall 2022 and features special guests Paquito d’Rivera and Gaby Moreno. The duo performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk in February of 2023.

Reider is a passionate and dedicated educator and a lifelong student. He has studied piano with Grammy-award winning pianist Fred Hersch, been mentored by legendary composer/conductor David Amram, and studied counterpoint and harmony with composer and Juilliard Professor Kendall Briggs. Reider holds a B.A. in American Studies from Columbia University and an M.A. in Music Composition from San Francisco State University. He is on faculty at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA where he teaches about jazz and improvisation. Whether he’s performing, teaching or composing music, Reider brings the same high level of dedication to his craft and an exuberance for sharing his love of music with the world.

See Poster for upcoming concert dates and info.

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