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


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Coupe Mondiale in Victoria, CA in August
Mary Tokarski to Premiere New Work by Dr. Karen Fremar
Mirco Patarini is Guest Artist at the 2013 ATG Festival
Leavenworth International Accordion Festival: June 20-23
Free Download: Updated Fiddling and Clogging Book by Dr. Daniel Kott
Wallace Accordion Festival: August 11-14
AAA 75th Festival August 14-18th in NYC
5th Gary Dahl Music eBook, "Easy Listening Jazz" Now Released
Children’s Book, “An Accordion! What is That?” to Become an eBook
“ACCORDION SELECTIONS – from the Repertoire of Zevy Zions” – New Anthology Available
All Stars Concert in Canada Featuring Jelena Milojevic and BC Orchestra
ATG July Festival Performers Elena and Gregory Fainshtein
The Accordion is 3D, No Glasses Required
Remember the New Instructions for Submitting a Video to the News

Voci Armoniche

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

Tony Dannon Recognized with Scholarship Fund and Statue
Albert Manginelli Wins Tri-County Concerts Association Youth Festival
Lou Coppola: First Solo Concert Since 1957
Accordionist Jay Landers Onstage with Full Symphony Orchestra
Mary Tokarski In Concert in Historic Middletown, Maryland and on June 5 in Long Island, NY
6th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival: August 9-11 in NH
Accordion Babes 2014 Calendar Deadline

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Arthur Welch to Perform at New Hampshire Accordion Association
Summer Schedule of Dr. William Schimmel
The Las Vegas International Accordion Convention is Oct. 28-31
Paul Ramunni and the New England Accordion Museum at ACCORDIONS NOW!

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Asher and Rita BarneaI am happy to announce that on May 21, 2013, I was married to retired businessman, Asher Barnea, in Florida. The Internet is not only great for accordion news but is also a wonderful way for introducing people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet!

I lived in New Jersey and Asher (yes, he likes accordions!) lived in Florida. We met on one of the popular Internet dating sites! And it quickly developed into a romance and now marriage!

I recently retired from a long and very enjoyable career as a music teacher in the public schools where I played my accordion in the music classes every day!

I will now be known as Rita Barnea happily continuing my accordion activities as Editor of the USA news, Board member of the AAA, writer, musicologist and performer/workshop presenter.

My email remains the same as
My new mailing address is 9858 Glades Road #229, Boca Raton, Florida, 33434.
Phone: 201-675-4861

The June USA news features information about new accordion books, festivals, reports on young accordionists, museums, videos and more! Summer is almost here and make sure you include accordion events in your plans. Read about it in the news. Remember our search engine on the site. All past publications are quickly available anytime in the archives.

Please note that the deadline for submitting ideas is the 26th of each month.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther


by Rita Barnea
CARMEN CARROZZAWe are sad to report that the great Carmen Carrozza passed away this morning, June 17.

Here are the details for the viewing and funeral:

Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home Inc.

288 East Main Street

Mt. Kisco, NY 10549


Tuesday 7-9

Wednesday 2-4 and 7-9

Funeral Thursday morning at 10:00 am

Holy Rosary Church

170 Bradhurst Avenue

Hawthorne, NY 10532

Floral remembrances should be sent to Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home in Mt. Kisco, NY (see above). Donations in memory of Carmen are requested to be sent to the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund of the American Accordionists' Association, c/o Dr. Joseph Ciccone, 145 King Street, Chappaqua, NY 10514

Carmen Carrozza was born in a small town Solano in Calabria, Italy on July 20, 1921. Carrozza emigrated to the USA with his family when he was nine years old. The family settled in the town of Chappaqua in Westchester, NY, where Carrozza soon began studying music, becoming proficient on the violin, piano and accordion. It wasn’t long before his love for the accordion became obvious and he found himself concentrating solely on mastering this instrument and master it he did! Although the piano accordion was developed around the turn of the century in 1909, it was stated by one of Carrozza’s early professors that "the accordion wasn’t given birth until the young Carrozza placed his hands on the instrument."

In 1937, he graduated from the Pietro Deiro Accordion Conservatory in Greenwich Village, NYC where he was awarded the highest honors and a gold medal for his performance. He furthered his studies at the New York Academy of Music specializing in theory, harmony, counterpoint and composition. Carrozza’s professional debut took place in 1947 at the Philadelphia Academy of Music launching what was to be one of the greatest careers of the century.

He went on to triumph with appearances throughout the concert halls in the United States ? (Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Times Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center Music Hall, Philadelphia Academy of Music, just to name a few) Canada, and Europe - (France, Germany, England, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Italy). Carrozza was presented with a gold medal by the E.A.L., an agency of the Italian Government, after an outstanding performance at the Theatro di Pavia.

Carrozza was the first accordionist invited to perform as featured soloist with major symphony orchestras: The Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler premiering Paul Creston’s Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra; National Symphony and New York Philharmonic under the direction of Andre Kostelznetz, premiering Alan Hovanhess’ Rubaiyat; Cincinnati Orchestra, under the direction of Thomas Schippers; The Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, The United States Navy Band, and the list goes on and on. A legendary composer, arranger and world renown concert artist and educator, Carrozza was a true inspiration to humanity.

Carrozza’s success on the concert stage was matched only by his contribution to the development of accordion literature. In this area, he collaborated with outstanding American composers: Robert Russell Bennett, Henry Cowell, Paul Creston, Alan Havanhess, George Kleinsinger, Otto Leuing, Paul Pisk, Wallingord Riegger, Elie Seigmeister, William Grant Still, Carlos Surinach, Virgil Thompson, & Russian composer, Alexander Tcherepnin.

Carrozza considered solo concerts in Town Hall, New York City, as one of the high points in his career. At these concerts, he performed and premiered all original accordion works by the forementioned composers. It was a milestone in the history of the accordion. His performances of the works of these composers opened a new field for the generations of accordionists to follow and gives to composers a new instrument to use as a vehicle of musical expression. Concert accordionists of the future owe a debt of gratitude to Maestro Carrozza for paving the way for them to the concert platform.
Throughout the years Carrozza received numerous awards and honorees from many different organizations, associations and clubs.

On March 17, 2002 Maestro Carrozza was honored by the American Accordionists Association and was the first recipient presented with the prestigious“Lifetime Achievement Award”. Shortly after this gala event, The Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund, (a fund for the advancement of promising young accordionists and the commissioning of new works for the accordion) began in the spring of 2002.

Carrozza was a past president and an active governing board member of the American Accordion Association (AAA), a national organization dedicated to the development of the accordion. He continued to promote the accordion through educational workshops at schools, universities and private music studios.

Much has been written about the unique artistry of Maestro Carrozza and much more surely will be written in the future, but one critic apparently established for all times Carrozza’s esteemed position in the world of the concert accordionist when he proclaimed, “the violin has its Pagannini, the piano its Chopin – the accordion its Carrozza”

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

Coupe Mondiale in Victoria, CA in August

by Rita Barnea
2013 Coupe Mondiale PosterThe 66th Coupe Mondiale and the 130th CIA International General Assembly of Delegates Congress in Victoria, B.C., Canada will be hosted by CIA member, the BC Accordion Society. Pre-Coupe Mondiale events will be held on August 17 and 18, and the Coupe Mondiale will be held from the 19-25 August, 2013.

This will only be the second time ever that the Coupe Mondiale has been held on Canadian soil (Toronto in 1964) and CIA is more than excited for this great opportunity to promote it's activities in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Victoria, B.C.

The BC Accordion Society is thrilled to announce one of the highest prize budget ever, with over $50,000 in money prizes, instruments and awards. Also, we invite you to the International Competition of Accordion Orchestras, that will be organized as a part of the Victoria International Accordion Festival, under the auspices of the CIA, with impressive awards, too.

The organizers are also thrilled to announce that thanks to the generosity of one anonymous donor, twenty eligible contestants will receive a scholarship of $300 towards their travel expenses. For full eligibility, please contact organizers directly.

Full information about tickets to events, all inclusive 'Early bird' discounted ticket packages, accommodation, please contact the organizers directly at the e-mail address listed below.

For those interested in possible travel discounts through the Star Alliance network, please visit the Accommodation and Travel Info page for further information.

We look forward to welcoming you to Canada, in August 2013!

The 2013 Coupe Mondiale Organizer: BC Accordion Society
Aleksandar Milojevic - 2013 CIA Honorary Vice President and President of the BC Accordion Society will be assisted by his organizing team.

For further information email:

Voci Armoniche

Mary Tokarski to Premiere New Work by Dr. Karen Fremar

by Rita Barnea
Vivant! members
Vivant! PosterMary TokarskiVivant! (a Kansas City ensemble comprised of UMKC Conservatory Alums) will be featured on the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts Concert, "Music & Merlot" on Saturday, June 15th at 7 PM. Two-time United States Champion, Mary Tokarski, of Connecticut will perform as guest artist premiering a new work entitled, "Sapphire" by Karen Fremar. Conservatory alum Karen Fremar will release a new CD of original works.

The concert will be at All Souls Unitarian, Bragg Auditorium, 4501 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO, 64111. The event is free and open to the public. A special collection of various types of accordions will be on display in the lobby, and CDs of guest artists will be available for purchase. Cocktails and appetizers begin at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby. Admission is free. Donations accepted at the door.

Vivant! members include Karen Fremar and Julie Silfverberg, Accordion/Keyboards; Melody Stroth, Piano; Janne Silfverberg, Trombone/Latin Percussion; Dee Sligar, Bass; and Brian Steever, Drums. For this performance, various Vivant! members will team with Conservatory Alums Judy Johnson, Flute; Beth (Baker) McCollum, Cello; Jason Scheufler, Guitar; and Kevin Maret, Vibes/Percussion to perform a variety of music including big band swing, blues, Latin, tango, salsa, and original new works. 

In honor of Karen Fremar’s new CD release titled “Night at the Pla-Mor,” several tracks on the CD will be performed live at the concert. The event will also focus in part on big band music that was performed at the memorable Kansas City Pla-Mor Ballroom in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Guest artist, Mary Tokarski, is a renowned artist who has concertized worldwide. 
Tokarski and Fremar (both United States Accordion Champions) will team together with Janne Silfverberg to present the World Premiere of a new work by Fremar for two accordions and hand drums. 

Dr. Karen Fremar, Chairman of the Board, President: Dr. Karen Fremar holds the Doctorate Degree in Music Theory from the University of Kansas.  She obtained degrees in accordion and composition from the U.M.K.C. Conservatory of Music.  Karen performs professionally on accordion and keyboards.  She is often asked to serve as adjudicator for music competitions. Karen composes and arranges music for the accordion as well as other instruments, and has given recitals and concerts internationally.  Her works are published through Ernest Deffner Publications, Fremar Publications, and Music for  She currently serves as the Musical Director for ensemble Vivant!   The group has released two albums containing her original works and arrangements, River of Destiny and Whatever You Do. 

Karen won the World Championship in Entertainment Accordion in Sweden, and received the Silver Medal in the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships.  She won the United States Accordion Championship in Chicago sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association.  Her family operated the Fremar Music Studio in Fort Scott, Kansas for over fifty years.

The Fremar Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that presents outstanding accordion artists from around the world, supports the creation of new works for the accordion, and provides education about the accordion, its music and musicians, and its history.

The concert is sponsored in part by Husch Blackwell, LLP and H&R Block Foundation.

Top photo: Vivant! members: (L-R): Janne Silfverberg, trombone/Latin percussion; Julie Silfverberg, accordion/keys; Melody Stroth, piano; Karen Fremar, accordion/vocals; Brian Steever, drums; Dee Sligar, bass.

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Mirco Patarini is Guest Artist at the 2013 ATG Festival

by Rita Barnea
Mirco PatariniMirco Patarini will be a featured performer at the 73rd Annual ATG Festival to be held in Lisle, Il. (Chicago) from July 17-20, 2013.

Mirco was born in Spoleto (Italy). In 1978 he began to study music at the CDMI (Italian Musical Didactic Centre) in Spoleto. At this time the study of accordion was not included in the courses of the Italian Conservatory. In the month of October of the same year he began to participate in national competitions, and he was judged first in competitions in Ancona, Pescara and Recanati. In 1980 he started to study the free bass accordion and in 1981 was judged first at the Italian pre-championship of Castelfidardo, which gave him the right to take part to the 30th CMA Trophee Mondiale of the accordion, where he was the youngest participant.

Between 1983 and 1985 Mirco Patarini won the Italian pre-championship another 3 times; so he could participate in the Trophee Mondiale of Caracas (Venezuela), Caldas de Rahina (Portugal) and finally at La Caux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) where he obtained first place and the title of Champion of the world at the age of 18.
In 1988 he began to collaborate with the firm “Farfisa-Bontempi” as musical adviser and here he started his evolution through the world of electronics music. At the same time, he began his collaboration with the firm “Menghini”, a society that built the famous accordions “Scandalli”, “Paolo Soprani” and “Menghini”. The purpose of this collaboration was the development of new musical instruments and the care of sound quality and of mechanical working.

As a concert accordionist, his diversity spans the classic repertoire to modern music, from the acoustic accordion to electronics with Midi, from the soloist player to the concert for accordion and Computer! Performing around the world as a soloist and Chamber musican, he has also appeared with such greats as Luciano Pavarotti and Nicola Piovani.

With the brothers Leonardo and Luciano Menghini, he is co-owner and President of the firm “Menghini S.r.l.”, a society that develops, produces and distributes accordions with the brands “Scandalli”, “Paolo Soprani” and “Menghini”. From the beginning of 2003 his company Menghini srl joined the SEM accordion factory creating “SUONI srl” of which he also serves as President, and this group now is producing and distributing worldwide, accordions under the names Scandalli, Paolo Soprani, Menghini and Sem.

As President of Ars Spoletium, which he started in 2006 with Gianluca Bibiani, he acquired Strumenti & Musica in September 2007 from Berben srl (Ancona), the historical music magazine founded on 1948 by Bio Boccosi. He immediately restarted the edition as an international magazine and publishes in both Italian and English.

Serving on many National and International committees, Mirco served as the Chairperson of the Advancement and Development Committee of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes, (CIA) IMC-UNESCO from 2006 until its conclusion, and also served as the CIA Honorary Vice Presdient in 2011-2012. He is Artistic Director of the IAC (Italian Accordion Culture) Association, the Italian Premiere Voting Member of CIA. Most recently, Micro, the founder of the Strumenti & Musica Spring Accordion Festival, now serves as its Artistic Director. At the ATG this year in Chicago Mirco will be an exhibitor in the Trade Show, a workshop presenter, and of course an International guest soloist!

Recently he traveled to China in order to visit some of the most important music Academies in the country. He went to the “Youth Activities Center of Fengtai District” in Beijing, where he knows some special students , young accordionists at the beginning of their “career”. Then he went to the Art Institute of Nanjing in order to present Master Classes and finally he met the talented students of the Normal University in Nanjing. He also gave Master Classes for the students of the prestigious Conservatory of Shanghai.


Leavenworth International Accordion Festival: June 20-23

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth Poster
The Northwest Accordion Society welcomes you to the 20th Annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration. Leavenworth is Washington’s “Bavarian Village” and a perfect setting for this celebration. Nestled in a cozy narrow valley at elevation of 1100 feet surrounded by wilderness of rugged, majestic mountain ranges, over 2 million visitors per year from all over the world come to experience magical Leavenworth.

With the Northwest Accordion Society as your host an Leavenworth as the setting, plan to join four fabulous days of everything accordion. Whether you are a competitor, participant or just love great accordion music, there is enjoyment and participation for everyone.

Featured performers include: Bruce Gassman, Sam Thomas,, Gary Blair, Tango Volcado, Trio Voroezh plus The Great Dance Palooza, accordion bands, button box accordionists, and much more.

Among the activities you may choose from are: Accordion Competitions,Workshops, Concerts with World Class Performers, Free Performances at the gazebo, grange, and restaurants, Free Accordion lessons, Accordion Parade on Saturday, Accordion Vendors, Opportunity for all accordion players to play, Jam sessions and much more!

2013 Workshop Summary:
Workshop #1 “How to adapt the accordion to different styles of music” with Gary Blair
Workshop #2 “Conjunto-style music on the accordion” with Kory Tideman and Juan Barco
Workshop #3 “HEY MR. BASSMAN” - Yes YOU; With the Accordion!!” with Bruce Gassman
Workshop #4 “Knowing Your Accordion” with Jim Tobler
Workshop #5 “Using the Accordion in an Ensemble” with Trio Veronezh
Workshop #6 “Knowing Your Accordion” with Jim Tobler
Workshop #7 “Sight-reading accordion duets” with Jim O’Brien, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus and Shirley J. O’Brien, Ed.D. Professor Emerita, U of Arizona
Workshop #8 “HEY MR. BASSMAN” - Yes YOU; With the Accordion!!” with Bruce Gassman
Workshop #9 “How to adapt the accordion to different styles of music” with Gary Blair
“Get Ready to Jam” with Bonnie Birch
“Simply Music Teaching Method for Accordion” with Patricia Bartell

For further information:

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

Free Download: Updated Fiddling and Clogging Book by Dr. Daniel Kott

by Rita Barnea
The just updated book "Workshop on Texas Fiddling and Clogging" by Dr Daniel Kot can be played on accordion and he has kindly given this book to the accordion world as a free download. Thank you to him.

Download at: Clogging

Daniel wrote: Many may not be aware aware of the use of the accordion and fiddle in the development of the
Western USA. For example, Howe published a book of over 1,000 fiddle tunes for the accordion in the 1800's.

Howe was one of the most prolific music publishers of fiddle/accordion and dance choreographers back then.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Wallace Accordion Festival: August 11-14

by Rita Barnea
Wallace Accordion Festival 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.

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

AAA 75th Festival August 14-18th in NYC

by Rita Barnea
AAA 2013 Poster
Carnegie Hall Cover 1959Media display - Maddalena Belfiore, AAA Posters - Joan GraumanMake 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.

On left: AAA-ATG-Carnegie - Program - concert co-sponsored by AAA & ATG
Above right: Media display - Maddalena Belfiore, AAA Posters contributed by AAA Archivist Joan Grauman

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.
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:
Carnegie Hall Rose Museum curator with Joan, Mary & Linda

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

5th Gary Dahl Music eBook, "Easy Listening Jazz" Now Released

by Harley Jones
Gary Dahl eBooks
Following on the very successful Gary Dahl arranged eSheet music (able to be sent to you by email), Gary Dahl has now released the fifth of his music eBooks.

Cat No: DH05 Collection #5 Easy Listening Jazz - 10 titles, I Left My Heart In San Francisco, It's Magic, Twilight Time, In The Mood, Harlem Norcturne, Picnic, Something, Never My Love, Rockin' The Blues, Yesterday, 11 pages of music for only US$24.95 or Euro equivalent.

The previous eBooks recently released are:
Cat No: DH01 Collection #1 Latin Spectacular - 10 titles, Besame Mucho, Amapola, Tico Tico, Brazil, Beyond the Sea, El Cumbanchero, Adios Muchachos, Spanish Eyes, A Day in the Life of a Fool, Amour, 26 pages of high quality arrangements for only US$24.95 or Euro equivalent.

Cat No: DH02 Collection #2 Favorite French Standards - 10 titles, La Vie en Rose, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize, Moulin Rouge, Clair de Lune, Pigalle, Domino, Michelle, Padam Padam, Under Paris Skies, The River Seine, 32 pages of high quality arrangements for only US$24.95 or Euro equivalent.

Cat No: DH03 Collection #3 The American Songbook - 10 titles, Tenderly, Angel Eyes, Misty, September Song, Moon River, Summertime, Sentimental Journey, Crazy, The Godfather, Autumn Leaves, 32 pages of music for only US$24.95 or Euro equivalent.

Cat No: DH04 Collection #4 Favorite Waltzes & Polkas - 18 titles, Achtung Los, Amazing Grace, Beer Barrel Polka, Beer Barrel Polka (adv), Champagne Polka, Chicken Dance, Clarinet Polka, Edelweiss, Just Because, Let's Have A Party, Maria Elena, Liechtensteiner Polka, My Wild Irish Rose, Red River Valley and You Are My Sunshine, Sunrise Sunset, Vienna My City Of Dreams, Tulips From Amsterdam, You Can't Be True Dear, 56 pages of music for only US$34.95 or Euro equivalent.

You can view sample pages of the music online (DH01, DH02, DH03, DH04, DH05) and order from the shopping basket which links to the high security eCommerce site run by, one of the world's largest internet payment processing systems.

There are nearly 200 arrangements on his website of Gary Dahl.

Titano Accordion Company

Children’s Book, “An Accordion! What is That?” to Become an eBook

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
The cover of “An Accordion!  What Is That?”
While illustrator Joan Geller Grauman and narrator/accordionist Mary Tokarski stressed out about how to come up with the money to reprint their popular children’s book, “An Accordion! What is That?”, the book’s author Karen Malan-Uribe had a different idea.

“It’s time to turn this into an eBook,” she insisted. Karen, a school teacher who has seen a tremendous move toward e-readers in the schools, finally convinced her two “old fashioned” friends and collaborators.

With help from Joan’s husband, Dan, the narrated eBook with accompanying music will be available very soon. See video above which is a sample page from the eBook.

Visit for additional information. Plans are also in the works to produce versions of the eBook in German, Spanish and Italian.

Below is a picture of the book creators: Joan Geller Grauman, Karen Malan-Uribe and Mary Tokarski.
The Authors, Karen Malan-Uribe, Joan Geller Grauman and Mary Tokarski

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

“ACCORDION SELECTIONS – from the Repertoire of Zevy Zions” – New Anthology Available

by Jay Landers
Zevy Zions and Angelo DiPippo
“ACCORDION SELECTIONS – from the Repertoire of Zevy Zions”  CD coverLike others before him, Zevy Zions has now made available a published selection of the transcriptions and original works for the piano accordion which he has previously recorded. Zions’ labor of love in recent years has been to record a set of four CD’s comprised primarily of standard classical pieces, signature works for the accordion and Klezmer tunes. The project was dedicated to his teacher, the late Charles Nunzio. These recordings of Zions’ solo accordion performances were entitled: “Olive Blossoms”, “Dizzy Accordion”, “William Tell” and “Bolero Fantasia”.

Zevy Zions’ musical background began at four years of age when he pecked at the piano. About the age of nine he was given some basic piano lessons. Zevy switched to the accordion at age eleven. He essentially taught himself, and eventually became involved with many club date bands on both keyboards and electronic accordion. He returned to the acoustic accordion during the Klezmer revival period of the 1990’s. Zevy’s whole musical world changed in 2000 when he took his accordion for repairs to Charles Nunzio. They forged a serious musical relationship and Zevy took lessons in technique and analysis.

In this volume of “Accordion Selections” there are original works and arrangements by Nunzio. Other composers and arrangers represented include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Camille Saint-Saens, Fritz Kreisler, Ernesto Lecuona, Pietro Frosini, and Guido and Pietro Deiro.

Reactions from within the American accordion community have been positive, and these compliments come from accomplished accordion artists, who also do arranging and composing:

“This brilliant book will radically improve your playing – a must for every accordionist.”
Angelo DiPippo

“This is a marvelous compilation of music that every musician/accordionist should know.”
Eddie Monteiro

“A book every accordionist should own…nice job!”
Gary Dahl

Zevy Zions provides descriptions and images of the composers on the title pages to the pieces. He provides suggestions or aids to the accordionist such as the registers to use. As a prelude to “I Don’t Care” by Guido Deiro he states: “The entire character of the song will be altered if the lower register is used or if it is transposed to a different key.” For “Schon Rosmarin” by Fritz Kreisler he advises: “Remember to place the accent on the first beat of each measure. Before attempting this, it probably would be a good idea to brush-up on your scales and arpeggios.” “Malaguena” is offered as a new edition for the accordion. Zions has reduced his transcription to three sharps, down from the original key of four sharps, while enharmonically preserving the music. He is matching the original piano score as closely as possible by reintroducing some important material that was left out in earlier arrangements.

This anthology creates a ready reference for any serious accordionist. In a single anthology of 83 pages, the player can find a variety of familiar classical works notably Mozart’s “Menuetto from the Divertimento No. 17, K 334”, Rossini’s “William Tell Overture, Part IV” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee”. These are placed alongside pieces written for or that have been closely associated with the accordion such as Tolchard Evans’ familiar fandango “Lady of Spain” as arranged by Charles Nunzio, and the lyrical polka by Guido Deiro “I Don’t Care”.

Great care has been taken by Zevy Zions on behalf of accordionists everywhere who seek to raise awareness of and appreciation for our instrument. The impression left by the accordion is only as good as the capability of the player. These “Accordion Selections” allow the player to raise the level of expectations about the accordion from the listener. With this book Zevy Zions has presented accordionists with tremendous opportunities to challenge their skills and expand their repertoire.

You can obtain a copy of “Accordion Selections” (along with an optional companion CD) and purchase the CD’s of Zions’ performances by visiting Accordionists are also welcome to contact Zevy at and request samples of any of these pieces.

Top Photo: Zevy Zions (left) and Angelo DiPippo (right)

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

All Stars Concert in Canada Featuring Jelena Milojevic and BC Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
All Stars Concert Poster
Jelena MilojevicThe All Stars Concert takes place on June 7 at 8;PM at the Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Ave. The BC Accordion Orchestra, conducted by Aleks Milojevic will perform. Guest artists Jelena Milojevic, Ken Lavigne, and violinist Daniel Lapp will perform.

Jelena Milojevic is one of the foremost female accordion performers of today. She was born and raised in Croatia, where she started studying classical accordion, first at Ivan Matetic-Ronjgov Music School and later on at Music Academy in Pula (Croatia). But destiny, and her Serbian roots, led her to one of the most famous accordion centers in the world, the city of Kragujevac (Serbia) and its Music Academy, where she received her Bachelor/Master Degree in Accordion Performance & Education.

While a student, she had intensive collaboration with some of the world's leading accordion pedagogues and performers, such as: A. Skliarov, Y. Shishkin, P. Soave, J. Crabb, D. Modrusan, O. Murray, M. Vayrynen, R. Tomic. As a versatile musician with an extensive performing history, she has appeared on concert stages in Europe (Germany, France, Italy, UK, Ukraine, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia), Canada and USA. Her debut concert at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, NYC was the first solo accordion recital in the last 30 years in this prestigious venue. Her performances have been acclaimed as "an explosion of cosmic sensuality” and she has been praised for her “brilliant virtuosity”.

While studying, she won 9 international accordion competitions, as a soloist and chamber musician, including highly acclaimed contests in Pula (Croatia) and Castelfidardo (Italy). Her greatest success was winning one of the biggest international competitions for accordion artists, WORLD TROPHY 2003, in Italy. In the summer of 2007, Jelena moved to Vancouver BC, Canada, with her family. While there, she taught at Vancouver Community College, and performed throughout the West Coast to promote the accordion. Suddenly she discovered the amazing accordion community in beautiful Victoria, BC where she currently lives, and now works on putting the accordion onto the map of recognized classical instruments. Jelena is teaching accordion at Camosun College in Victoria. Jelena Milojevic released a CD "The Art of Accordion" in which she is honors some of the world's most recognized accordion composers.

Tickets are available at Tempo Trend Music: 250-384-2111 and at Long&McQuade: 250-384=3620

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

ATG July Festival Performers Elena and Gregory Fainshtein

by Rita Barnea
Elena and Gregory FainshteinPerformance at the 2013 NAA Convention in Texas

The ATG 73rd Annual Competition and Festival will be held in Lisle, Il. (Chicago) from July 17-20, 2013. Many fascinating and talented performers will be featured during this event. Elena and Gregory Fainshtein of Texas will be among those featured.

Elena and Gregory Fainshtein are a married couple of over 25 years, whose encounter and life journey can be attributed fully to the music they have been playing together, on their button accordions - their Bayan since they were teenagers.

They both graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Music in the former USSR and are classically trained. Their music, as their lives, has journeyed with them from the Soviet Union, to the State of Israel, and for the past decade, the United States. Dallas, Texas is their home now. Their style is varied, from classical, Russian folk music, to mussette and polka.
Elena and Gregory have performed on numerous international tours, and played at many venues and occasions.

Most recently, in May of 2012, Gregory participated in the adaptation of the Tango Opera "Maria de Buenos Aire"s in the Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts in Fort Worth, Texas. Elena teaches music to children of all ages and is very excited to spark interest in music in the new generation.

Elena and Gregory have participated and performed in every single one of the National Accordion Association Convention meetings in Richardson, Texas since their arrival in the United States.
Both Elena and Gregory have changed careers throughout the years, but to this day, music remains their passion and their love. They recently performed at their daughter's wedding which delighted everyone!

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

The Accordion is 3D, No Glasses Required

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Master Class and Concert Series celebrate its 19th season on July 26, 27 and 28 at Tenri Cultural Institute,43A West 13th Street, 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, stellar performances and, most of all, a collegial attitude in its presentation.

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.

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. 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.

For reservations and information:
212-876-0827 (office)
917-498-6823 (cell)

Titano Accordion Company

Remember the New Instructions for Submitting a Video to the News

by Rita Barnea
Please use for a simple way to send files both large and small.

You will need Harley's email address which is

You can send files of up to 2 gig size and we would prefer that you send the original file from your video camera.

Very Important: Videos should be single selections. This means you should send more smaller files which is also easier for putting online with less editing.

For further information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

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


Tony Dannon Recognized with Scholarship Fund and Statue

by Bob Stead
Tony Dannon statueJoe Recchia, nephew of the late Tony Dannon and President of the Michigan Accordion Society asked Detroit Area Sculptor Giuliano Zuccato  who created a wonderful memorial of a man who gave many decades of his talent to the Italian community of Detroit and thousands of accordionists from all over the world. Giuliano is well known as the the creator of the Vincenzo Bellini bronze statue which is showcased in the main lobby at the Detroit Opera House.

It all started with a phone call from Dino Valle who helped to get Joe in contact with local area Sculptor Giuliano Zuccato "it was one the best phone calls I had received and I am grateful to Dino who played a big part in getting this project started." said Joe Recchia.  Giuliano who mentions he is a lover of the accordion has a generous heart and is a great ambassador for our heritage to donate his magnificent talent to help us remember a wonderful music ambassador,Tony Dannon, who made his home in the Italian community of Detroit and who passed away in April of 2011.
Mr. Recchia is now working with various accordion associations around the country such as the legendary "American Accordion Association" to turn a dream into a reality to preserve his uncle's legacy in the accordion industry by using this great statue as a major award during accordion competitions.  "It is just the right thing to do" said Joe Recchia. 

In addition to the statue recognition, the Michigan Accordion Society has also started a Tony Dannon Student Scholarship Fund which will be used to help Young Musical Students keep the accordion moving forward for future generations to come.  "We were very successful raising nearly $30,000 to start the scholarship fund off in a great direction." said Joe Recchia "Besides generous donors, we had help from many great musicians in the Italian Community of Detroit as well as musicians from Ohio, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  

Performers performed over 6 hours to a sold out crowd of over 370 people at the Forestree Banquet Center in Rochester Hills, MI. Performers included Eva Evola, Dino Valle, Michele Ramo, Heidi Hepler, Johnny Trudell, Billy Cario, Ashley Ault, Aaron Caruso, Lisa Agazzi, Mark Randisi, Made In Italy, Jim Rand, Chet Wisnowski, Joe Cerrito, Joe Recchia, Cristina Carollo, Cory Pesaturo, Joe Natoli, Gene Van, John Shollack, Andy Caruso, Al Battistelli, Mike Zawjsky and dozens more great musicians all of which donated their talent along with many generous sponsors and some as far away as Castelfidardo, Italy to help make this Scholarship fund very successful.
After nearly one year of planning, the Michigan Accordion Society members, musicians and sponsors along with Detroit's Italian community should be very proud and honored for their compassion and dedication to help make this scholarship fund very successful for Tony Dannon, a man who was a highly devoted and a giving musicians in our community and beyond.  

A wonderful 3 disc DVD's of this scholarship fund raiser event has just become available and is filled with great performances from the above list of performers including the Giuliano's statue unveiling and Scholarship award donations and much more.

All proceeds of this DVD sale will continue to be used for the Tony Dannon Student Scholarship Fund. For more event info and DVD ordering please view the website of the Michigan Accordion Society

Top Photo: Dannon Scholarship Award Thank you photo explanation:
Tony Dannon statue was presented to our main donor Mr. John Tersigini on behalf of the “Tersigini Family Foundation” as a thank you for their generous $25,000.00 donation to help kick start the Tony Dannon Student Scholarship Music Fund.  Alongside Michigan Accordion Society Member and Student Scholarship fund donor and famous Tenor Mr. Aaron Caruso.  Sculpting work of the Tony Dannon Statue was donated by Giuliano Zuccato.

Top Right Photo: Joe Recchia, president of the Michigan Accordion Society and nephew of the late Tony Dannon  accepting the Tony Dannon  statue from Giuliano Zuccato who donated his time sculpting this wonderful statue.

Lower Right Photo: Giuliano Zuccato hand sculpts a special tribute of Tony Dannon in his art studio using photographs and You Tube Video clips.

Albert Manginelli Wins Tri-County Concerts Association Youth Festival

by Rita Barnea
Albert Manginelli17 year old Albert Manginelli won the Tri-County Music Festival Youth Auditions on May 4th. The categories for the competition were strings, piano, winds, ensembles, and percussion, harp, and classical guitar in the music diversa category. The committee permitted Albert to enter on accordion. He performed Tchaikovsky's "Overture to Romeo and Juliet" arranged by Eugene Ettore.

Albert will perform in a concert on Sunday, June 9th at 2:PM at the Montgomery County Community College in Bluebell, PA, about 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The winners of this competitions often aspire to attend music conservatories and become professional musicians. Albert has clearly demonstrated that the accordion is a legitimate classical musical instrument. It is a win for accordion players everywhere!

Albert Manginelli became interested in the accordion when he heard an accordionist at a family birthday celebration. At age 12, he began studying with Maestro Daniel Desiderio. Albert has been a member of the Accordion Pops Orchestra of East Brunswick, NJ, for four years and also performs as a soloist with the orchestra. In 2010 he won second place in the Carmen Carrozza Piano Accordion Scholarship Competition; in 2011 and 2012 he won first place in the American Accordion Musicological Society Accordion Virtuoso Competition; and in 2012 he also won the American Accordionists’ Association Virtuoso Competition. Albert won Honorable Mention in the 2012 Youth Auditions for the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. He has been running a lawn-mowing and snow-removal service for six years and enjoys maintaining the family vegetable garden. He is a 17-year-old junior in the University Scholars Program of the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.

Tri-County Concerts Association is a nonprofit classical music organization based in Delaware County whose mission is to foster the performance and appreciation of the highest quality solo and ensemble chamber music. It is the only chamber music series in the area run by an independent community board.
For over seventy years, Tri-County Concerts has presented four to six chamber concerts a year. In recent decades, the chamber music series has focused primarily on presenting emerging artists.

Tri-County Concerts also organizes a Youth Music Festival to identify and reward young talent. Students in grades 6-12 who reside in Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester Counties are given an opportunity to audition before and receive critiques from professional judges in a wide variety of instruments. The winners perform before a discriminating audience at the annual winners' recital.

Tri-County Concerts Association is dedicated to continuing adult community awareness of the beauty of chamber music
and expanding children and youth's knowledge of and exposure to chamber music, encouraging appreciation and inspiration.

Presenting solo and ensemble classical chamber music of the highest quality, the Tri-County Concerts Association has served the Greater Philadelphia Area for 73 years.William Kapell, Marian Anderson, Eugene Istomin, the Budapest String Quartet, Leontyne Price, the Julliard String Quartet, Rosalyn Tureck, and Vladimir Sokoloff have all performed in Tri-County's concert series.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Lou Coppola: First Solo Concert Since 1957

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Lou Coppola today and in 1955
Dizzy Fingers Solo by Lou Coppola
Stereo Strings perform "Granada" and "Brazil", Lou Coppola accordion
Pictures above: Lou Coppola with his son John on bass. Lou Coppola, US AAA Virtuoso Champion 1955.

On May 19, our club, the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) was treated to a very special concert. For the first time in 56 years, four-time AAA Virtuoso Champion and former US Air Force Strolling Strings accordionist, Lou Coppola, performed a spectacular solo concert.

Lou told the audience that his friend, Joan Grauman, “bugged” him for about 9 years to play solos again. Well yes, this is true. I am guilty as charged. It is hard to describe how happy I felt while sitting in that room listening to Lou play those solos!

His skills are still beyond excellent and his dynamics and warmth created an excitement in our large social hall that has never before been seen or heard there. Wow, Lou was a huge hit and the cheers could be heard outside the brick walls!

Then, Lou brought to the stage superb violinists Stephanie Wiman Myers and David Swanson, and celebrated bass player, John Coppola (Lou’s son).

The “Stereo Strings” performed for our club and strolled through the room. Their performance was mesmerizing and totally delightful. Please watch the above videos: Lou playing “Dizzy Fingers” and the Stereo Strings playing “Granada” and “Brazil”.

You can hear Lou Coppola and the Stereo Strings at the AAA 75th Anniversary Festival in New York City. They will be the performers during the gala banquet on Saturday, August 17.

View the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) website for more information and updates.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Accordionist Jay Landers Onstage with Full Symphony Orchestra

by Jay Landers
Jay Landers and Tony SandlerJay Landers, solo accordionistIn America it’s rare for an accordionist to appear onstage with a full symphony orchestra. The opportunity presented itself Saturday, May 11, when Jay Landers shared the stage with the 60-piece Danville Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jeremy Swerling in Central Illinois.

“My Paris” is a one-hour symphonic concert piece arranged by the late Peter Matz, Grammy Award-winning arranger, producer and music director for television and motion picture projects. The work is based on the book of the same name by the legendary French entertainer Maurice Chevalier.

The script was written by Marna Petersen. Tony Sandler, of Belgian descent, was teamed with American Ralph Young from 1963 to 1987. Sandler & Young played top entertainment venues, appeared on all of TV’s top variety shows, and headlined in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. Since 1987 Sandler has been a solo act, and in the 1990’s he toured with his one man show “Chevalier, Maurice & Me”, as well as this symphony pop production entitled “My Paris”. Tony Sandler, singer and raconteur, celebrates his 80th birthday later this year.

The venue for the concert was the magnificent auditorium of Danville high School. This portion of the complex dates from 1924. Named the “Dick Van Dyke Auditorium”, it honors the 1944 alumnus who’s had such an illustrious career in television and motion pictures. His brother Jerry graduated in 1951. Academy-award winning actor Gene Hackman was in the Class of 1949. The late cabaret pianist Bobby Short also graduated from there along with many others who have excelled on many different career paths.

“My Paris” creates a unique opportunity for the accordion and the player. There are some 20 sections to the piece and the accordion is scored in more than half of them. The accordion, to be sure, is there for the “French Flavor”, and the musette register is primarily used. Landers plays an Excelsior 960 with LMMMH sets of reeds in the treble. The middle reeds are tuned about 5 cents. A single mic on a floor stand was positioned over the treble grille of the instrument. The score is primarily for right-hand only, although there is a segment of narrative where the accordion is mostly solo background in “Under Paris Skies”. There’s a left-hand complement in this two-page section.

Jay commented, “I’ve had the opportunity to play in pit orchestras over the years for musical theatre productions of ‘Cabaret’, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and others. This is the first time I’ve found myself onstage with a full symphony orchestra playing from a score written for the accordion. It was exhilarating. My family and friends said the audio mix was superb and the accordion came through clean and strong. The orchestra was electrifying!”

The accordion’s placement was a surprise to Landers. Usually, the orchestra piano and any other keyboard would be placed to the rear with the percussion. However, in “My Paris” the pianist is foremost among the other musicians and plays solos, and is situated directly in front of the conductor in the center of the orchestra. The accordion was placed in the curved well of the piano. This additional visual exposure for the accordion to the audience was unexpected and much appreciated. Landers also provided music in the lobby for patrons prior to the concert.

The accordion wasn’t scored for some of Chevalier’s more famous songs such as “Louise” and “Gigi” (the motion picture for which he won the Academy Award at age 69). However, it was given the opportunity to be an able partner with the orchestra including “Paris Canaille” (roughly “The Rakish Air of Paris”), “April in Paris”, “I Love Paris”, “Mon Plus Vieux Copain” (“My Oldest Friend”, a beautiful waltz), “La Seine”, “Speak to Me of Love” and “La Vie En Rose”.

Jay Landers has played the piano accordion continuously since 1958. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he and his family reside in Springfield, IL. He can be reached at .

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

Mary Tokarski In Concert in Historic Middletown, Maryland and on June 5 in Long Island, NY

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Mary TokarskiNot only is Mary Tokarski a renowned virtuoso accordionist, she is also a delightful speaker and entertainer. On a beautiful day in early May, in a lovely old church with mesmerizing stained-glass windows, a large group of lucky folks were treated to a beautiful solo concert by Mary.

The historic church, now housing “Earthsong Music Studio”, came alive with the lovely and highly skilled sounds of Mary’s extended keyboard, free-bass piano accordion.

Listen to Mary play a wonderful arrangement of “Tea For Two”.

The Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) sponsored by La Villini Restaurant will present an evening of accordion music and featured guest artist, internationally acclaimed accordionist, Mary Tokarski on the evening of Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. at: La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY | 11731

For more information: (631) 261 – 6344

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

6th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival: August 9-11 in NH

by Rita Barnea
Joe CerritoACCORDIONS NOW! 2013, the 6th annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival is co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC, will be held August 9-11, 2013 at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott, Nashua, New Hampshire. You, your family, and friends are warmly invited to attend.

Left: Joe Cerrito

Here is the much-anticipated lineup of talent:  
Tony Lovello, Joe Cerrito, Gerry Grimo and the East Bay Jazz Ensemble, Brent Buswell, and coming all the way from Norway, GAMLE AKER SPELEMANNSLAG [GAS = Old Aker Band Players] and 15-year-old Norwegian competition winner Einar Thokle Hovden.

Additional performers include: Paul Bordeleau, Nancy Leonard, Dan Mackowiak, Paul Ramunni, Donna Maria Regis, Carmen Vitanza,Warren Johnson, Dan Mackowiak, Jerry Tramontozzi and the ever-popular ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra.  (Sign up by July 12 to participate.)
Bring your accordion for the Open Mike Cabaret, Night Owls Jam and pick-up sessions. Sign up to receive music in advance for the 2nd annual Just-for-Fun Play-Along.
This high-spirited weekend organized by Co-Founders Donna Maria Regis and Suzanne Welch is always filled with warm friendship and terrific music. Bring all of your family and friends to enjoy it – concerts, workshops, open mike, jam sessions, play-along ensemble, AN! Festival Orchestra, reunions with your accordion pals old and new, festive meals, cocktail reception with entertainment, vendor displays of instruments for you to try/buy – and so much more! The festival motto is LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN !! Come join us for a fabulous time.

New England Accordion Museum owner, Paul Ramunni, will exhibit a fascinating display of unusual accordions. ( see article in this issue) and offer a presentation at the festive luncheon buffet.

Newly introduced by the museum this year is a "Cash for Accordions" purchase program for registered ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival attendees looking to sell their own accordions and/or memorabilia. The museum also gladly accepts all donations of accordions or related materials for its collection.

Special hotel room rates are available: $95 [+ tax] per room (1-4 persons) through July 12, 2013. To reserve your room, call Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100 or Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211. Mention "ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Courtyard Nashua." 

For more
Donna Maria Regis 603.216.9582 or
Sue Welch 800.328.5227

Photo of accordionist Gerry Grimo and the East Bay Jazz Ensemble
East Bay Jazz Ensemble

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

Accordion Babes 2014 Calendar Deadline

by Rob Howard
Accordion Babes
Accordion Babes Calendar 2013The Accordion Babes 2014 Album & Pin-Up Calendar is in preparation, but the deadline for submission of photo, song on CD, etc, has been extended from June 1st until June 14th.

There are lots of tips and diagrams available from the organizer Renee de la Prade for producing a calendar-quality photo, including nuts-and-bolts stuff like image dimensions, and some do's and don'ts for your photo shoot. Please note that a photo needs to be accompanied by a photo release form signed by the applicant and her photographer.

The Grand Launch Date for the 2014 Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar takes place at the Cotati Accordion Festival on August 17th.

For further information email:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Future events

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Arthur Welch to Perform at New Hampshire Accordion Association

by Rita Barnea
Arthur WelchAccordionist Arthur Welch will perform at 1:00 PM on June 22 as part of New Hampshire Accordion Association's monthly meeting at Accordion Connection LLC in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.

Arthur's rare appearance is eagerly anticipated since his last public performance was over six years ago, when he delighted an enthusiastic audience filling the music room at Accordion Connection.

Arthur Welch's concert is the third and last in a three-month series of performances designed to showcase the accordion's remarkable versatility. This series has been co-sponsored and hosted by the New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC. Arthur is the owner of the Acoordion Connection, 136 Route 106, Gilmanton, NH which handles accordion sales and repairs.

In April, Donna Maria Regis kick-started the tri-fecta with a tour de force. Catfish Howl Blues Band then "rocked the joint" in May, inspiring much toe-tapping, swaying, and even some audience participation on the washboard and tambourine.

June 22 promises to be yet another memorable musical experience. The public is cordially invited to attend both Arthur's concert and the NHAA meeting without charge.

For more information:
Donna Maria Regis, Music Director 1-603-216-9582
Suzanne Welch, Executive Secretary 1-800-328-5227

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Summer Schedule of Dr. William Schimmel

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelAccordionist Dr William Schimmel performs with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in Thomas Ades' ‘Powder Her Face’ at the Perelman Theatre, Kimmel Center, 300 S Broad St, Philadelphia, on June 7th, 9th, 12th, 14th, and 16th.

On June 18th Dr Schimmel will perform ‘Why Me? - for Accordion and Strings’, by Latvian composer Anna Veismame with the North South Consonance Ensemble at Christ and St Stephen's Church, Manhattan.

Dr Schimmel will perform in Marc Blitztein's ‘The Cradle will Rock’ at City Center, Manhattan, on July 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th.

For further information:

The Las Vegas International Accordion Convention is Oct. 28-31

by Rita Barnea
Las Vegas Accordion Convention Poster
LVAC LogoSave the date for the Sixth Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention at the Gold Coast Hotel on October 28-31st.

The event stars Joey Miskulin, Gee Rabe, Dick Contino, Stas Venglevski, and Jeff Lisenby. Gust artists also include Peter & Mady Soave, Mary Tokarki, Gordon Kohl, Gina Brannelli, Liz Finch, Pete Barbutti and many more.

Be a part of this amazing annual event. You can participate in the Sixth Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra conducted by Professor Joan Cochran Sommers.

More information will be available in future USA publications. Call 800-472-1695.

Paul Ramunni and the New England Accordion Museum at ACCORDIONS NOW!

by Rita Barnea
Paul RamunniACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival, co-sponsored annually by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC, is delighted to announce that The New England Accordion Museum will return to the Courtyard Nashua August 9-11, 2013 with an impressive array of historic and unusual accordions.

Owner Paul Ramunni will include in his exhibit at least 30 distinctive accordions, along with interesting memorabilia, magazines, pictures, and the video "Behind the Bellows." At the luncheon buffet, he will share his fascinating stories/adventures in his "Boxes of Stories".

Paul has brought many accordions from his museum to accordion festivals in the USA. He relates the warm personal stories surrounding these special instruments. He is also available to answer questions and provides fascinating information on the history behind them. If you would like to donate an accordion to the museum or for information about it, call 860-833-1374.

ACCORDIONS NOW! is a high-spirited festival filled with warm friendship and terrific music. Bring your family and all of your 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!

Bring your accordion! Come make some music!! Enjoy and experience first-hand the ACCORDIONS NOW! motto: LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN !!

Special hotel room rates are available: 95 USD [+ tax] per room (1-4 persons) through July 12, 2013. To reserve your room, call Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100 or Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211. Mention "ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Courtyard Nashua." 

For more information: (603) 216-9582 or (800) 328-5227
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