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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jun-2015
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
LATE NEWS: Concert of Macedonian Trio AkodrioM at Gallery MC, NYC
Passing of Anthony Carrozza, Accordionist and Teacher
Patricia Bartell Scores Big Success With Spokane Symphony Orchestra
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Rose City Accordion Camp June 7-12, 2015
Las Vegas International Accordion Convention Classes, Seminars, Workshops
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 18-21, 2015
2015 AAA Festival in Alexandria, Virginia
75th Anniversary 2015 ATG Festival Competition July 22-25, 2015
Accordions Rising Documentary Film by Roberta Cantow
Richard Galliano To Perform in New York City June 26-29
2nd Annual Open House for the New England Accordion Museum
2015 AAA Festival Youth Involvemement Program Seeking Musicians
Video and Spotlight on Debra Peters
Update on Alicia Baker
Texas Folklife Announces 26th Annual Accordion Kings and Queens Festival
Video and Dallas Vietty in Summer Appearances
LIAA to Feature Mary Tokarski and Nathan Chapeton
Accordion Pops Orchestra to Present Summer Concerts
San Francisco Accordion Club Celebrates Two Milestones on June 6
Django Camp June 16-21 Curriculum

Voci Armoniche

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

William Schimmel New CD and Broadway Performances, ‘An American in Paris’
Today's Youth, The Future of the Accordion
Robby Reich Has a New CD,"Shadowbox"
Musette workshop - Brooklyn Accordion Club
Will Holshouser and Musette Explosion at Birdland, NYC
Available: Awakening Album by Stas Venglevski and Joan Sommers
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society’s Button Box Extravaganza
Scandanavian-American Night Includes Accordions!
The Long Beach Bayou Festival Is Celebrating Its 29th Year!
Children's Fiction Books Which Feature the Accordion
New Music eSheet Säkkijärven Polka Arrangement by Zevy Zions
New eBook Released, Italian Spectacular Arranged by Gary Dahl - USA

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

AAA Festival Luncheon Concert to Feature Washington Area Musicians
Benefit Concert for Student Accordionists at 2015 Cotati Festival
Report on the 2015 AAA Seminars
Cotati Accordion Festival August 22 and 23

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita BarneaJune is known as National Accordion Awareness Month! It was established in 1989 to help spread the word about the increased popularity of the accordion and to educate all people about the accordion.

A great way to educate yourself is to read the AWW publications. This publication is the USA news which covers accordion activities on the North American continent. You are welcome to contribute ideas and comments to me at

In this issue, you can choose accordion events to attend this summer, books to buy, CD's to listen to, etc.

What else can you do to celebrate the accordion in June? How about:
1. Play your accordion outdoors at a street festival or in a park. I have passed by many instrumentalists who do this. Meet people and maybe earn a few dollars!
2. Go to a senior center and volunteer to play. Worried about your abilities? Not to worry, I guarantee they will love your playing!
3. Go to your son, daughter's, grandchildren's classroom and educate and entertain them in the classroom.
4. Class picnic this time of year? Be there with your accordion! And bring some tambourines or little instruments if you have them for playing along with you.
5. Write an article for your local paper or online news. Make it a first person article about how the accordion has improved your life!
6. Missed a few lessons? Sign up for accordion lessons either as a beginner or to brush up on your skills.
7. Go to an accordion dealer near you. Now is the time to treat yourself to a new or preowned instrument. What are you waiting for?
8. Plan to attend or participate in an accordion festival. You can read about it right here in the June USA news or previous news.
9. Be creative! Write a childrens book about the accordion! Can't draw? Take photos.
10. Graduation, Weddings, Birthdays in June? Need a gift? Visit the website to find the perfect accordion gift.
11. Take the time to write an email to your favorite accordion personality that you know or have read about here on the AWW websites. Musicians love to hear from their fans. This would be a good deed and make them feel appreciated.
12. Make a resolution to practice your accordion every day, even if for a few minutes. Slow and steady wins the race. Practice diligently and you will be surprised to see how much you can improve.
13. Send me an email and let me know what you did to celebrate June Accordion Awareness Month and I will include it in an article in the July USA news. The address is

Enjoy National Accordion Awareness Month! Enjoy the accordion every day!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

LATE NEWS: Concert of Macedonian Trio AkodrioM at Gallery MC, NYC

by Anica Karakutovska
Macedonian accordion trio AkodrioM will hold a concert at Gallery MC, 549 West 52nd Street, 8th Floor, NYC on June 22nd at 7 pm.

The concert is supported by the national program of the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Macedonia.

Trio AkodrioM consists of: Zorica Karakutovska, Bojan Volchevski and Filip Stamevski. This trio started performing together a few years ago, but its members have previously been part of various musical ensembles that sometimes perform together on stage.

AkodrioM members Bojan Volchevski and Filip Stamevski are both Karakutovska's former students. Their concert list is considerable, with performances in Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Portugal, Luxembourg, Italy etc.

AkodrioM play transcriptions/compositions originally written for other chamber ensembles' (by Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart) alongside accordion works (from Derbenko, Piazzolla and Galliano).

Their latest repertoire are works created from the young composer Bete Ilin, showcasing the complex rhythmic structures in Macedonian folklore (5/8, 7/8, 9/8). These compositions are inspired by traditional Macedonian songs and are written in a contemporary style using various composing techniques.
Trio AkodrioM

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

Passing of Anthony Carrozza, Accordionist and Teacher

by Rita Barnea
Anthony CarrozzaAnthony Carrozza of Chappaqua, NY passed away peacefully on May 9, 2015 surrounded by family. He was born April 6, 1931 to Joseph and Mary Carrozza and was a lifelong parishioner of St. Mary and St. John Church in Chappaqua. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 58 years, Domenica (Mimma) Carrozza nee Raso, brother Patrick Carrozza and loving sister, Jean (Antonio) Ciccone, devoted nephews and nieces: Joseph (Ethel) Ciccone & children; Carmen (Nancy) Ciccone and children; Carmen (Adriana) Carrozza Jr. and children; Marianne (Larry) Carrozza-Smith and Mark (Karen) Carrozza & children. He is predeceased by his brother Carmen Carrozza; an infant sister Giovanna; and sister-in-laws Jean and Connie Carrozza.

Anthony graduated from the Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY in 1951 and pursued his love of cars by working at the Ford dealer in Pleasantville, NY. He then served in the US Army for 2 years and upon his discharge he followed his musical talent with the accordion and piano.

As a professional accordionist he performed at many different functions and went on to open the Carrozza Music Studio in Mamaroneck where he taught music. He was on the Board of the American Accordionists Association.

In the 60’s he formed and conducted the Carrozza Accordion Orchestra made up of young accordion enthusiasts – teenagers and young adults - and they competed in AAA orchestra competitions, were champions many times and gave many concert performances including Carnegie Hall.

Upon his retirement, Anthony Carrozza continued giving private piano and accordion lessons until his Parkinson’s disease put a halt to many things in his life. He deeply loved his family and was very much a family man.

Anthony leaves behind many dear cousins and paisani locally and in Italy. He will be truly missed by all.

The funeral was held at the Church of St. John & Mary.

Titano Accordion Company

Patricia Bartell Scores Big Success With Spokane Symphony Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Patricia Bartell
Patricia BartellIncluded in this article is a review by Larry Lapidus Correspondent for The Spokesman-Review:

"Two of the brightest planets in Spokane’s musical firmament teamed up this weekend, when accordionist Patricia Bartell joined Eckart Preu and the Spokane Symphony Orchestra on the stage.

In keeping with Preu’s interest in expanding the repertoire, they collaborated in performing the Concerto for Bandoneon, subtitled “Aconcagua” (1979) by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), who is credited for bringing the tango into the realms of both jazz and concert music.

Bartell’s appearance onstage brought the audience immediately to its feet, and occasioned a burst of whistling and shouting unusual in that auditorium. The Spokane musician is plainly a star, and the reasons are not hard to find.

Her mastery of her instrument is absolute, which enables her to use the accordion as a resonator for her soul, able to reach across the gap between her and her listeners to make their thoughts and feelings vibrate in tune with hers.

The symphony distinguished itself by mirroring Bartell’s kaleidoscopic range of color and mood precisely. Most memorable was the second movement, in which she engaged in intimate dialogue with concertmaster Mateusz Wolski, principal cello John Marshall and harp Earecka Tregenza Moody.

The audience did not want Bartell to leave the stage without an encore, which she graciously supplied with an improvisation so brilliant that one felt that the whole orchestra was still playing."

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Patricia lived her first nearly five years in an orphanage before being adopted by a family in Montana. She is a graduate of Whitworth University with a B.A. in Music Education and Accordion Performance. Patricia teaches accordion and piano full time in Spokane, Washington and travels world-wide as an adjudicator, a Hohner endorsee concert performer and teacher. Her passion is not only in teaching students but also training up new teachers and mentoring them.

Ms. Bartell is a member of Tango Volcado (Argentine Tango Quartet), leads a radical young accordion band called, “The Portatos,” and is the USA adjudicator for the Trophée Mondial – a prestigious international accordion championship.

Having started the journey of music at the age of eight, Patricia excelled quickly and began teaching at the age of sixteen. During her senior year in high school, thanks to the encouragement of her band and choir teacher Alicia Lipscomb, she quickly found that playing and teaching music was what she wanted to pursue as a career. Patricia studied accordion in France under world-renowned teacher Frédéric Deschamps and studied piano with Dr. Judith Schoepflin of Whitworth University and Kendall Feeney of the Golandsky Institute; the preeminent center for the Taubman Technique Approach. Her performances; whether individual, ensemble, or with other classical artists both in the USA and Europe, continue to receive high reviews. She has performed in numerous international competitions, claiming many international titles.

For further information:
Patricia Bartell

Voci Armoniche

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

Accordion Jazz Chords

Rose City Accordion Camp June 7-12, 2015

by Rita Barnea
Rose City
Stas VenglevskiMurl Allen SandersThe Rose City Accordion Camp will be held June 7-12, 2015 at the Silver Falls State Park Conference Center Sublimity, Oregon.

The Conductors will be Murl Allen Sanders (right photo) and Stas Venglevski (left photo). Workshop instructors are Beverley Fess and Mary Tokarski.

Enjoy music in ensembles, workshops and more in a beautiful setting. Lodging, main service and meals are included. Enrollment is limited.

The Rose City Accordion Club, located in Portland, Oregon, is a non-profit organization comprised of individuals who share enjoyment of and enthusiasm for the accordion. The Club embraces all styles of accordion music and welcomes all who have an interest in the accordion whether they play or not. Our intent is to promote the future of the accordion and the enjoyment it gives to all.

Rose City Accordion Club members play the accordion at various events and venues around town.
The Rose City Accordion Club is open to all accordion players, from beginners to professionals, their friends and families, and to anyone who enjoys music. Meetings are held monthly on the third Saturday of each month at the Milwaukie Public Safety Building, 3200 SE Harrison Street (SE 32nd and Harrison), Milwaukie OR, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

For further information:


Las Vegas International Accordion Convention Classes, Seminars, Workshops

by Paul Pasquali Event Organizer
LVIACLVIACClasses have been posted for the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. Listed below is the amazing array of classes for those attending this Convention.

Look over the excitement, view the article and videos about all the great performers published last week - there is still time to register and join the FUN!

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention Classes

Accordion Effects | Grayson Masefield, Exploring glissandos, tremolo, bellow shakes are some effects to be presented.

Accordions Roll Part 1 | Riders in the Sky, Performing and recording with a traveling band.

Accordions Roll Part 2 | Riders in the Sky, Performing and recording with a traveling band.

Acoustic Duets | Gordon Kohl

Appearing in Public | Gina Brannelli, Taking the Stage, dress, presentation and music

Controlling your Bellows | Stas Venglevski, The heart of the accordion - it's all about control!

Duet & Group Master class | Joan Sommers

Ear Training | Joey Miskulin, Often wonder how musicians do what they do - learn to listen with Joey!

Electronic Accordion Duets | Gordon Kohl

History of Music Notation | Liz Finch, A discussion of how throughout the ages sound has been captured and put on paper.

Interpreting music notation | Liz Finch, How to interpret as a performer traditional and non-traditional elements of notation.

Jazz Accordion Tips | Paul Betkin/Jerry Cigler A sampling and potpourri of simple performance tips based on the craft of the legendary Leon Sash. This will be a practical and performance presentation of basic techniques and advice geared toward the casual accordionist for the performance of simple lead sheet music. The presentation will be performance oriented, down-to earth, informative and fun. Questions and comments through audience participation is highly encouraged. The information to be presented is a stand-alone art and craft for the accordion not taught anywhere today in the USA.

Jazz Accordion Tips 2 | Paul Betkin/Jerry Cigler, More examples of using and interpreting lead sheets

Longevity in the Accordion Business | Gordon Kohl, Marketing the accordion - performing, teaching

Master class | Joey Miskulin

Master class | Mary Tokarski

Master class | Stas Venglevski

Orchestra Rehearsal | Joan Sommers

Perfecting Your Technique | Grayson Masefield, Perfecting passages and various styles - Grayson will demonstrate and answer your questions.

Playing in a Band vs. Solo | John Kolbrich, John will discuss his approach of being a musician first, and accordionist/keyboardist/bassist/vocalist second. Being less busy and more musical is my approach to making the band sound better, leaving space for everything and everyone to come together. John's approach to playing the Concerto blending midi Bass, Keyboards, and Accordion into a very powerful package of sound, the cornerstone to the band.

Playing Simple Music | Stas Venglevski, The art of making great music from even the simplest of music.

Playing with a digital orchestra | Chuck Henry, Auto accompaniment tools are not for everyone but Chuck will show how to effectively use a backing module with the Concerto.

Playing with digital samples | Chuck Henry, Using the Concerto Chuck will show how to make sounds come alive such as making a trumpet really sound like a trumpet.

Preparing for A Rehearsal | Joan Sommers, Preparing and making valuable rehearsal time meaningful.

Selecting the right accordion (Concerto) for you! | John Kolbrich, John's is playing his second generation Concerto accordion and will review what he has learned about selecting the right model for you, He will review key "go to" sounds, that work well in most commercial sound settings. John will review his settings with examples, how he uses of a "Leslie" Pedal for producing natural rotary speaker Hammond sounds, and his approach for getting the best Bass sound.

Styles & Dynamics | Joey Miskulin, A look at various musical styles and the importance of dynamics in music especially with the accordion!

Tango Music | Grayson Masefield, The art and style of playing Tango Music

Teaching the Accordion I | Gina Brannelli, Starting off correctly and dealing with the basics

Teaching the Accordion II | Gina Brannelli, Moving forward after the basics.

The Total Package | Mary Tokarski, Everything counts – a look at some of the most misunderstood parts of a performance – and WHY they are important!

Traveling with Mantovani AND the accordion | Mary Tokarski, The joys of performing with the “World’s Most Elegant Orchestra”, and traveling with an accordion . . . the great stuff . . . AND . . . some of the horror stories. Learn what works (and what doesn’t) when traveling with your accordion.

Youth Master class | Joan Sommers

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

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 18-21, 2015

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth logo
The Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration sponsored by the Northwest Accordion Society will be held in Leavenworth, Washington from June 18-21, 2015.

The Northwest Accordion Society has been hosting accordion events in the Northwest for over 25 years. Included in it's accomplishments are monthly accordion socials, the annual "Day of the Accordion" at the Seattle Center, accordion scholarships, and it's elegant quarterly publication "The Northwest Accordion News".

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 and Leavenworth as the setting, why not plan to attemd and enjoy four wonderful days of everything accordion. Whether you are a competitor, participant or just love great accordion music, there is enjoyment and participation for everyone. 

Here is a partial list of what is happening:
• 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!

Download the full details of workshops including the ticket and workshop order form: 2015Leavenworth.pdf

2015 workshop presenters/performers include: Alicia Baker, Michael Bridge, Sergei Teleshev, The Valinor Quartet, Jamie Maschler, Patricia Bartell, Cooksie Cramer,Bonnie Birch,Beverley Fess, Toby Hanson, Jim and Shirley O'Brien, and Max Kyllonen and Kory Tideman. See link for more information about the presenters and their workshops.

All players are welcome to participate in the Gazebo "Jam" on Friday and Saturday afternoons at 4:PM. The music is found online at under the gazebo tab.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

2015 AAA Festival in Alexandria, Virginia

by Mary Tokarski
aaa festival
Historic and strikingly beautiful Alexandria, Virginia is the site for this year’s American Accordionists’ Association Annual Festival. Alexandria is one of the most celebrated towns of the United States, noted for its breathtaking waterfront views and historic housing - George and Martha Washington’s Mount Vernon home, Robert E. Lee’s residence, Civil War Era homes, the Torpedo Factory, and so much more.

On Thursday July 9, 2015, the AAA Luncheon Concert will feature accordionists from the Virginia/D.C. area including The Potomac Ensemble directed by Joan Grauman, Robert & Rocio Ford, Ken Kunec and Mark Nejako with violinist Nick Sungenis. Thursday evening will feature “Accordionists on the Town”.

It is a special celebration weekend in Alexandria, and in its honor, The Busso Festival Orchestra will perform on King Street at 7:00 p.m. Shuttles are available from the hotel to the downtown area, so don’t miss it!

In addition to the usual Festival competitions, this year will host the memorial Faithe Deffner Accordion Competition with U.S. and international competitors. Participating on the adjudication panel is world reknowned composer Viatcheslav Semionov, along with Professor Joan Cochran Sommers, Joe Natoli, and Kevin Friedrich, Moderator.

Guest Artists for the Gala Concert on Friday, July 10, 2015 will be Professor Viatcheslav Semionov, Eddie Monteiro, Joe Natoli, the Accordion Pops Orchestra with Al Terzo conducting, Dr. Robert Young McMahan with cellist Ceceylia Barczyk, and as reported in the earlier article, multi World Champion Grayson Masefield, now based in Europe.

Highlighting the Gala Banquet on Saturday, July 11, 2015 will be the performance of the Festival Orchestra conducted by Al Terzo. The orchestra is comprised of professionals and amateurs alike from all around the United States. Dinner will be graced with the unforgettable music of SGM Manny Bobenrieth and the United States Army Strings . . . don’t miss it!

All events are at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 625 First Street, Alexandria, VA. For more information, tickets and registration forms go to .

See you there!

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

75th Anniversary 2015 ATG Festival Competition July 22-25, 2015

by Rita Barnea
ATG Poster
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) is celebrating their 75th Annual Competition and Festival from July 22-25, 2015 at the Hyatt Lisle, Lisle (Chicago), Ilinois. There will be competions, exhibits, workshops, concerts, the 75th Anniversary ATG Orchestra and much more.

Guest artists include:
Yuri Shishkin, Russia; Frank Petrilli, Los Angeles, Stas Vengevski, Milwaukee; Joe Natoli, Ohio; Gary Blair, Scotland; Cory Pesaturo, Rhode Island; Michael Bridge, Canada; Mary Tokarski, CT; The Jarosh Accordion Ensemble, Canada.

Workshop Presenters:
"History of the Accordion", Helmi Harrington, Ph.D.
"Rhythms and Harmonies of Bulgarian and Macedonian Folk Music", Joan Grauman
"Inexpensive Studio Quality Recording at Home" by Joe Natoli
"Shortcuts for Sounding Great on the Roland V-Acc" by Michael Bridge
"Special Effects on Acoustic Accordion" by Michael Bridge
"Authenticity of Styles" by Cory Pesaturo
"Improvising Tools for Teachers and Student Enthusiasts" by Gordon Kohl

75th Anniversary ATG Festival Orchestra with Joan Cochran Sommers

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Accordions Rising Documentary Film by Roberta Cantow

by Roberta Cantow
Above: Promotional Video Trailer

Accordions Rising Documentary links to the Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign where, in addition to the trailer above, another set of clips can be seen featuring: William Schimmel, Nicole Renaud and Guy Klucevsek. All this, and I still haven’t given the whole film away!

However, you will surely get a flavor of what the film has to offer, why I was driven to make it and how I believe it will forever change perceptions about the accordion. This is a call to action. I do need your support.

Please consider making a donation to help raise the funds that I need to complete this project. With great thanks, Roberta Cantow, filmmaker. Accordions Rising Documentary

Editor: Roberta Cantow has been very dedicated to this project for a few years. I have seen parts of the movie and I think its great. Roberta has devoted her time, great talent and energy resulting in an important contribution to the advancement of the accordion. I therefore hope you will all strongly support her fundraising to finish the project at Accordions Rising Documentary.

Titano Accordion Company

Richard Galliano To Perform in New York City June 26-29

by Harley Jones
Richard GallianoWorld-renowned accordionist Richard Galliano returns to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Broadway and 60th Street, New York, June 26th to 29th, 7.30 PM (and other times), to present the music from his ‘Sentimentale’ album.

Though his career has included unprecedented accordion performances of Vivaldi and Bach, and a revival of the French bal-musette genre, Galliano clearly feels at home playing jazz. He has worked with jazz greats since the 1970s, from Ron Carter and Kurt Elling to Toots Thielemans, and he continues to work with some of the most interesting musicians around.

Alongside a veteran group of jazz musicians, the accordion virtuoso will apply his unique sound to the music of Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, and John Coltrane, as well as classic Brazilian composers like Ivan Lins, Joåo Doato, and Abel Silva.

Richard Galliano - accordion, will be accompanied by guitarist Victor Juris, pianist John Nelson, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli .

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

2nd Annual Open House for the New England Accordion Museum

by Rita Barnea
Paul RamunniIn the above video, Paul Ramunni, Director of The New England Accordion Museum in Canaan, CT discusses some of the reasons for preserving the history of Accordion Americana.

Paul Ramunni, Founder and Director of the The New England Accordion Museum invites all to its Second Annual Open House on Sunday June 28, 2015 from 1-5 17 Margaret Lane, Canaan, CT. Entertainment will be provided by Tony Lovello and more. Complementary dessert and beverages will be served.

Set in a garden party atmosphere, Paul will guide you through his extensive collection of accordions, each with its own unique story. You can also see new and used accordions and sheet music for sale.

The New England accordion Museum is a collection of antique and modern accordions as well as related memorabilia. On display are models from the very beginning of the accordion era starting in 1820 all the way up to the current day. There are over 300 accordions on display.

Paul said, "I do love the accordions themselves. When I take them apart for needed repairs, I especially appreciate the genius in their design and what it took to put them together so that they would work reliably. I have come to regard each one with the same appreciation as if they were a painting or a work of art."

The museum opened its doors in October 2011. It is located in separate renovated spaces attached to Paul's personal residence in North Canaan, Connecticut.

Accordionly to Paul: "Accordions have long been an intergral part of many families. They were there to comfort us in the bad times as well as to help us enjoy the good times."

The New England Accordion Museum exists to display vintage and modern accordions for the general public’s enjoyment and edification. The goal is to find and save any accordions and memorabilia so that people, especially children, interested in this instrument, will learn to play and enjoy what many people have experienced over the last 200 years with accordions.

Admission is $5 for CAA members. $15 for non members. Space is limited. Please respond by June 14, 2015. Call Marilyn of CAA for reservations: 203-272-1202

For further information: or Phone: 860-833-1374

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

2015 AAA Festival Youth Involvemement Program Seeking Musicians

by Rita Barnea
2015 AAA Festival
The 2015 AAA Festival takes place in Alexandria, Virginia from July 8-12, 2015.

The Youth Involvement Program is still actively recruiting accordionists for the accordion section. Also needed alto and tenor saxophones, bass players, upright or bass guitar and percussion. College age students are welcome.The conductor is Bob Vitale.

The rehearsals will be on Friday, July 10th and Saturday, July 11th in the morning. The performance will be at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, July 11, 2015.

If you are interested please contact by June 15th:
Please reference "Youth Involvement Program" in the heading of the email. The music will be sent via email immediately.

Visit for information about the AAA Festival.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Video and Spotlight on Debra Peters

by Rita Barnea
Debra PetersVideo: This video is about Debra Peters and the Love Saints at the Broken Spoke in Austin, Texas.

Debra Peters is a very busy accordionist both as a performer and an educator. It is difficult to keep up with her. She always has a new project/performance developing which is both entertaining and innovative! She is a wonderful example to young accordionists especially women who want to have a career as an accordionist.

Debra Peters and the Love Saints are from Austin where they perform a mix of sounds—blues, zydeco, polka, western swing, and classic country. The band has traveled around the globe playing their blend of Texas roots music. Ms. Peters is also an educator. She has created a series of educational videos and teaches the accordion with a special emphasis on encouraging young women to take up the national instrument of Texas.
Debra has been a judge for the BIG SQUEEZE since the first year in Austin, performing a few times over the years for the Texas Folklife events but this will be her first time in Houston.

The BIG SQUEEZE WINNERS 2015 go on to play the BIG SHOW in HOUSTON for the ACCORDIONS KINGS & QUEENS show. On June 6, 2015,her band will host and back up Elizabeth Kelley, the winner of the Cajun Division 2015. Debra's four piece band will open the show at 7:PM.

Debra Peters is an Austin Texas based composer, music teacher, pianist,
accordionist and bandleader of Debra Peters & The Love Saints. She was born in mountain railroad town Jasper, Alberta Canada and began music lessons in 1963.

By 1966 her accordion teacher (Ronnie Morris of Jacob Sheen & Morris School of Music) entered Debra in Kiwanis music competitions as solo, duet, quartet and performed “Night of the Stars” at Jubilee Auditorium in 1966 as a member of accordion orchestra with 50 accordions! Very inspiring!

Debraʼs first part-time summer job was at Harmony Kids in Edmonton, teaching little kids how to play accordion. After decades of playing and singing in piano bars, country clubs, in USA, Canada, private clubs in Japan, blues in Holland & France, Mexico and zydeco Fais Do Doʼs in Los Angeles, Debra moved to Austin in 1991.

Debra is hostess of Accordion Round-Up at The Broken Spoke held the last Tuesday of the month 1992 to present. In 2005 Debra began filming, editing and producing first of her three (50 min.) accordion lessons on DVDʼs and four original music CDʼs which are available upon request.

Debra performs with her band,The Love Saints, They play a variety of blues, roots-rockin', zydeco, cajun, western swing, western swamp, train beats and classic country music. Included in the mix are a few original songs... favorite songs picked up along life’s highway.

Additional interesting facts about Debra:
Debra Peters has over 30videos on youtube.  
Member of the local CTAA.
Member of the NAA and has conductedworkshops for Norman Seaton for 10+ years.
Member of the ATG and travels and performs in the ATG International Orchestra under direction of the Joan Cochran Sommers.  With performances June in Las Vegas and July in Chicago.  Debra entered the 2015 ATG composers competition for original accordion music. Solo entry (including written sheet music and mp3 recording) called Blues Quatro - 4 different blues songs in one. 

5:15 PM Love Saints & Elizabeth Kelley sound check
5:30 PM Food served
 7:05 PM _ 7:45 PM LOVE SAINTS performs for 40 min with Big Squeeze champ, Elizabeth Kelley. 

Future performances include:
June 6, 2015..Accordions Kings and Queens Concert, Houston
June 2015.. Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
July 2015.. Accordion Teachers Guild (ATG)
For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Update on Alicia Baker

by Rita Barnea
Alicia BakerAlicia Baker continues to expand her musical horizons. Her possibilities are unlimited! She is a classically trained accordionist, pianist, and singer from Portland, OR.  She has performed on various stages, from the operatic stage to the headlining spot at accordion festivals.  Alicia has explored her many avenues of musical ability in both performance and educational venues. 

Alicia received 3 music degrees from Oregon State University, including piano performance, vocal performance, and choral education.  Alicia’s repertoire spans a wide variety of musical genres amongst her instruments, including opera, folk songs, jazz standards, French musettes, polkas, contemporary, classical, romantic, techno and popular hits throughout the decades.

Alicia has competed and won multiple International accordion competitions, in addition to headlining major accordion festivals all around North America.  These include the American Accordionists’ Association, The Vegas International Accordion Festival, the Cotati Accordion Festival, the Big Squeeze, the Accordionists and Teachers Guild International Festival, KIOTAC, Leavenworth Old-Time Accordion Festival, and the NAMM show.  She even had the honor of performing an accordion concerto with the Corvallis Symphony in 2011. 

Alicia has also sung the leading role in multiple operas, including Queen of the Night from Mozart’s The Magic Flute with OSU opera.
In 2009 Alicia became connected with Roland Corporation, the maker of a fully digital accordion, when she entered the Roland US V-Accordion competition. Her relationship with Roland continued to blossom, leading to her full-time work with the company today where she is a product specialist, demoing pianos and accordions around the country.  This relationship helps Alicia show the accordion in a whole new light by utilizing the amazing technology.

Alicia has created a unique show for her audiences by combining her skills on accordion with her accomplished voice.  Known for operatic arias accompanied by herself, and modern styles like techno, Alicia is passionate about reinventing the face of accordion in today’s world.

I asked Alicia to share her thoughts on music and specifically, the accordion. Her words are inspiring to all.: "Accordion has been such a wonderful influence on my musical development.  Although I also sing and play piano, accordion will always have a very special place in my musical world.  I star playing old-time and classical music at a very young age; however, my musical style has morphed and changed as I've grown as a musician - and the accordion has been a big part of that.  I've been cultivating this intense passion for french/jazz music, which has become the core of music I play when I gig on accordion.  

When I was younger, music used to be something I practiced because my parents were musicians, I seemed to be naturally gifted, and it sounded nice to me.  Thankfully, my musical abilities turned into a true love for music, which has fueled a desire to have a career in music. I just couldn't live without my accordion, and those wonderful french musettes!"

Future Performances include:
June 10 – Vie de Boheme
• 8:00 pm
• LIVE CD Recording!!  I’ll be recording a French café themed CD, Live with band!
• Alicia on accordion, Mike Horsfall on vibes and piano, Kevin Deitz on Bass, and Todd Strait on Drums
 June 17 – Arrivederci Wine Bar at 7:00 pm with Alicia on accordion, Mike Horsfall on vibes and piano, Kevin Deitz on Bass, and Mike Snyder on Drums
17023 SE McLoughlin Blvd Milwaukie, OR 97267
 June 19 – Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association Grand Concert at 7:00 pm, West Salem High School Auditorium / 1776 Titan Drive NW, Choral Concert, with accordion concert at intermission. Tickets: $10.00
June 20 – Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration
• 1:30 pm – Roland Accordion Workshop at The Grange
• 7:00 pm – Accordion Concert with Michael Bridge
June 22 – Alicia Baker and Michael Bridge in Concert at 7:00 pm / Portland, OR, Specific Location – TBA
Sept.19 and 20 (time TBA) Mt. Angel Oktoberfest

To order her CD's and for further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Texas Folklife Announces 26th Annual Accordion Kings and Queens Festival

by Sheree Scarborough
Texas Folklife Poster
Free Concert and Los Texmaniacs CD Release Party to be held at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 6, 2015.

Featuring Grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs with special guests including Flaco Jiménez, Jerome Batiste and the Zydeko Players, Debra Peters and the Love Saints, and 2015 Big Squeeze Champs   

Texas Folklife will bring its annual celebration of the state’s accordion roots music to Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 6, at 7:00 p.m. In keeping with its mission to preserve and present Texas’s diverse musical heritage, the festival will feature stars and legends in polka, Cajun zydeco, and conjunto.

This year’s accordion stars will include Debra Peters and the Love Saints, Jerome Batiste and the Zydeko Players, and the Grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs and special guests National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow Flaco Jiménez, Augie Meyers, and Rick Treviño. The accordion stars will be joined onstage by this year’s Big Squeeze Grand Prize Winners: Elizabeth Kelley (Cajun/Zydeco), Brandon Hodde (Polka), and Rito Peña (Conjunto). 
The Grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs hardly need an introduction. The band is comprised of founder Max Baca on bajo sexto, Josh Baca on accordion, Noel Hernandez on electric bass, and Daniel Martinez on the drums. Los Texmaniacs won the 2010 Grammy award for Best Tejano Album, Borders y Bailes, on the Smithsonian Folkways label.

Their sound has been called “hip music everybody can relate to” and is comprised of conjunto, rock, and rhythm and blues. Los Texmaniacs will be joined onstage by National Heritage Fellow Flaco Jiménez, who recently won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and has been called the “King of Conjunto,” Augie Meyers, and Rick Treviño.

It will be a special night as the new Texmaniacs CD, Americano Groove, will be released. The album was produced by Steve Berlin (of Los Lobos), and includes vocals from a roster of Texas music royalty: Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, Kevin Fowler, and Rick Trevino. Additional guest musicians include David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Steve Berlin, and Augie Meyers. It's a mix of five traditional conjunto tracks, three country tracks, and four others that blur genres between rock and TexMex.

Jerome Batiste and the Zydeko Players will bring the Cajun/zydeco beat to the festival this year. Batiste has described himself as a “Creole Cowboy,” and has described the type of music he and his band play as a little bit of everything—Cajun, Creole, jazz, zydeco, blues, rock & roll, and reggae. Based in Crosby, Texas—on the Louisiana side of Houston—the band spreads the gospel of Zydeco Nation throughout the region.

Debra Peters and the Love Saints hail from Austin where they perform a mix of sounds—blues, zydeco, polka, western swing, and classic country. The band has traveled around the globe playing their blend of Texas roots music. Ms. Peters is also an educator. She has created a series of educational videos and teaches the accordion with a special emphasis on encouraging young women to take up the national instrument of Texas.
This year’s event will again be co-emceed by writers and radio hosts Joe Nick Patoski and Tony Diaz. The festival is free and open to the music-loving public. Festivalgoers wanting seats in the pavilion area can pick up their free tickets the day of the festival at the Miller Box Office or become members of Texas Folklife and receive reserved tickets in advance.

One of the important ways Texas Folklife carries out its mission is by introducing the culture bearers of the past to the culture bearers of the future. This will be on display at the 26th annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival as the three young winners from the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest take to the stage to play with these powerhouse performers. Not only will the young players benefit from this joyous musical connection, but those lucky enough to be in the audience will have the opportunity to witness this generational passing of the torch.

“We are very much looking forward to this year’s Accordion Kings and Queens Festival,” said Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “The concert was started with the idea of promoting the accordion and its role in the different genres of roots music found throughout the state. It has become a full-out celebration of that music, featuring musical legends and stars, and it also has become the breeding ground for the next generation of squeezeboxers with our newly crowned Big Squeeze Champs taking to the stage. And we are thrilled that Los Texmaniacs is using the Festival this year to release their new CD. It will be a joyous night of celebrating all things accordion—with dancing and merry-making, all under the stars in Houston, Texas. Put on your dancing shoes or boots and join us!” 

The Accordion Kings & Queens Festival and The Big Squeeze are funded in part by the Board of Texas Folklife, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, Houston Endowment, Hohner Inc., Texas Commission on the Arts, the Raven Grill, the Houston Press and KPFT 90.1 FM. Additional support for the contest is provided by One Gas, Sign Effects, Hacienda Records, South Central Music Source, and the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
About Texas Folklife
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For 30 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.

Miller Outdoor Theatre
The Miller Outdoor Theatre is located just south of downtown Houston, near the museum district and the Houston Medical Center in Hermann Park. The address is 6000 Hermann Park Drive in Hermann Park, Houston, Texas, 77030. For more information contact (281) 373-3386
For further information:
Sheree Scarborough
(512) 922-5483,

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Video and Dallas Vietty in Summer Appearances

by Rita Barnea
Dallas ViettyVideo: Musette Project's arrangement of Tony Murena's famous musette waltz 'Melancolie', with much liberties taken.

Accordionist Dallas Vietty has a busy summer schedule. He is a young professional accordionist who is a wonderful representative of the future of the accordion. Dallas Vietty is an American jazz accordionist located in Easton, PA, specializing in the Parisian swing-waltz style of Musette and Gypsy Jazz.

He began playing the accordion in 2001, and has studied jazz and arranging at California State University Northridge and accordion performance with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at Acme Accordion School. 

As a soloist he performs widely, and won first place in the Free Bass category at the American Accordionist Musicological Society Festival in 2011.  As a band leader, his groups have performed at Musikfest 2012, Djangoary Festival 2011 and 2012, Djangofolies Festival 2012, Djangology Festival 2012, TEDxPhilly 2010, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and many other concerts around the country.

As an educator he has taught at the famous Django music camp Django in June, led workshops at the American Accordionist Association Conference 2012, and has a prolific private studio and growing online teaching presence. He is one of a few who have a curriculum and knowledge of Musette and Gypsy Jazz for the piano accordion.

He currently leads Musette Project, a contemporary take on the modernist waltz compositions of the mid-century Parisian accordionists, and Hot Bijouxx, an early 20th century inspired hot swing group.

He appears with his group the Hot Bijouxx Trio with special guest guitarist Dave Sanders on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 6-9:PM at the The Brick in Bethlehem, PA.

Come join Hot Bijouxx at their monthly residency, first Thursdays happy hour. The Brick specializes in wood-fired, artisan pizza and craft beers, and are offering food and wine specials during happy hour. Check out Hot Bijouxx's new arrangements and featured musicians.

Dallas will teach at Django in June at Smith College in Northampton, MA. The event runs from Tuesday, June 17 to Sunday, June 21, 2015.
Now in it's 11th year, Django in June is the largest gypsy jazz educational event in North America, gathering hundreds of people who are passionate about the music of Django Reinhardt. Students study guitar, mandolin, bass, violin, or accordion, in small classes led by top artists from the US, Canada, and Europe.
Then every evening, everyone gathers throughout campus to "Djam" until the wee hours. There are even facilitated jams for those who want to gain a little more confidence in playing with others. The camp closes with Friday and Saturday Academy of Music concerts featuring virtuosic performers.

Dallas will be returning for his 4th year leading beginner through advanced students through his gypsy jazz accordion curriculum. Joining him this year is Grammy award-winning accordionist and composer Victor Prieto. Victor tours with top ensembles from his base in NYC, and returns to Spain annually to lead the jazz accordion programs he has developed.

Come for the week or just for the weekend - Dallas and Victor will be taking the gypsy jazz accordion program to another level this year!

Dallas and Hot Bijouxx will perform on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Free Summer Concert Serios in Suburban Square, Ardmore, PA.

For further information:

LIAA to Feature Mary Tokarski and Nathan Chapeton

by Rita Barnea
Nathan Chapeton and Mary TokarskiThe Long Island Accordion Alliance will feature AAA President Mary Tokarski and her student, Nathan Chapeton, at their meeting on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 7:PM at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, New York.

AAA President and Concert Accordionist, Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestras, with String Quartets.

Nathan Chapeton studies accordion with Mary Tokarski. Nathan also plays the guitar and loves entertaining, playing at local events and regularly participates at church events with his accordion.

Nathan's plans for the future definitely include music and the accordion. He hopes to apprentice in Italy to become involved with accordion construction and repair, and desires to have an integral part of the accordion's future here in the U.S.

Seating is limited. Reservations are recommended.
Call: 631- 261- 6344

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Accordion Pops Orchestra to Present Summer Concerts

by Rita Barnea
APO Orchestra Flyer
The Accordion Pops Orchestra conducted by Al Terzo presents a concert on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 3:PM at the Shannondell Performing Arts Theater at Valley Forge, 10000 Shannondell Way, Audubon, Pennsylvania.

Featured performers are vocalist Sasha Leon and accordionist, Cody McSherry.This will be the sixth concert of the APO at beautiful Shannondell! The concert is open to the public.

Contact: 1-800-669-2318 or 610-728-5211 for more information.

The Accordion Pops Orchestra will also perform at the 2015 AAA Festival on Friday July 10 and Saturday July 11, 2015. The location is:
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
625 King Street
Alexandria, VA 2231

Al Terzo is a teacher, arranger, and conductor who has been with the orchestra since its inception in 1970. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and National Association of Music Educators. 

Mr.Terzo serves on the governing board of the American Accordionists' Association and is a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He is an accomplished accordionist who has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark's Symphony Hall. Currently Mr. Terzo teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.

If you are interested in engaging the orchestra for a performance, would like more information on an upcoming concert, or might be interested in joining the orchestra please E-mail:

For more information on attending the festival, go to

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

San Francisco Accordion Club Celebrates Two Milestones on June 6

by Rita Barnea
SFAC Poster
Reno di BonoSteve AlbiniThe San Francisco Accordion Club proudly announces its 25th Anniversary of the Re-establishment of the San Francisco Accordion Club and the 100th anniversary of the original San Francisco Accordion Club.

The SFAC is celebrating these two milestones with a festive evening gala on June 6, 2015 from 6-10 PM Join them for a memorable evening of fun, dancing and—of course—ACCORDION MUSIC! The gala will be held at the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, 300 E Santa Inez Ave, San Mateo, CA.

There will be snacks, beverages and entertainment galore, featuring:
• The Accordion Orchestra Project conducted by Richard Yaus for its 3rd consecutive year
• The strolling accordion music of Reno Di Bono
• Performances by Jana Maas and Mike Zampiceni
• Music for dancing by Steve Albini

The cost is $25 per person.

For further information and to RSVP: Lynn Ewing:

Photo right: Steve Albini
Photo left: Reno di Bono

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

Django Camp June 16-21 Curriculum

by Rita Barnea
Victor PrietoDjango in June

Django in June will be held from June 16-21, 2015 at Smith College, Northampton, MA. Concerts are on June 19 and 20 at the Academy of Music.

Their flagship offering is Django Camp, which gives musicians the opportunity to immerse themselves in Gypsy jazz for 5 days under the tutelage of world-class artists from both sides of the Atlantic. The event is mostly held on the campus of Smith College in Northampton, MA, where Django Camp participants eat, sleep, study and "djam" to their heart's content.

From the Django Camp Website:
Since 2007, Django in June's full-immersion offering—Django Camp—has held out an unparalleled opportunity to take both your understanding and enjoyment of this music to the next level, in two ways:

"First, we offer a gathering place for players from all over the continent and abroad. A place to meet face-to-face, learn from one another, and djam to our hearts' content. By centralizing all of Django Camp's activities in and around a single facility—namely, a cluster of dorms on the Smith campus—we have easy, constant access to one another for the better part of a week, all with the comfort of private dorm rooms and three squares a day provided.

Second, we offer the chance to study with real experts in a sustained, intimate setting. While a two-hour clinic is far, far better than no instruction at all, that format has its limitations. We want to offer you the opportunity to get more guidance from more artists/instructors at a better value than has ever been available in the US."

Accordionist Dallas Vietty says, "Awesome education curriculum planned for Django In June this year. I just finalized everything with Victor Prieto. It's not too late to come even if just for the weekend (you'll get the materials for the whole week too)!! This is going to be the American jazz accordion hang out event of the decade!!"

For further information:
Andrew Lawrence
Event Organizer

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

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

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

William Schimmel New CD and Broadway Performances, ‘An American in Paris’

by Rita Barnea
Theatre of the Accordion CD cover
Dr. William SchimmelAcclaimed accordionist Dr. William Schimmel is currently performing in ‘An American in Paris’ at the Palace Theatre on Broadway in New York.

In addition to his performances, he also developed and realized the accordion part to give the show that distinct Parisian flavor along with the Gershwin Score. The show has been nominated for 12 Tony awards. A cast album will be released on the Masterworks label in a few days.

William Schimmel’s new CD, ‘Theatre of the Accordion’ will be released in July 2015 on Roven Records. The Album will feature solo works written and realized by William Schimmel. The guest artist on the CD is Wynton Marsalis.

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Today's Youth, The Future of the Accordion

by Anita Siarkowsi
Don Gerundo and Youth Jazz Ensemble
Youth Ensemble Rehearsal, Mary Tokarski Conducting. Lower: Mitch GuidoThe Connecticut Accordion Association (CAA) featured young accordionists and other young musicians in concert on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at Vasi’s Restaurant in Waterbury, Connecticut. Several accordion soloists performed, in addition to the Youth Festival Orchestra and Youth Jazz Ensemble.

The turn out for the event was wonderful as was the response to the fantastic performances by the young soloists and youth ensembles. They were very professional in appearance,  presentation, and decorum.

The Youth Jazz Ensemble was directed by AAA Board Member Don Gerundo.(photo above) All the soloists were terrific! Every performer was a great testament to the youth and the accordion world!

Members of the Youth Jazz Group included Deanna Fiorella -flute (NY), members of the junior orchestra. Rachel Quirbach (NH), Nathan Chapeton (CT), Will Comer(CT), Joseph and Anton Klettner (NY) and Cody McSherry (PA). Joining the group were Joey Quirbach (NH) and Gia Ciccone (NY), Mitch Guido (sax) and Matt Reiss (trumpet) both from New York and Ian Tait (bass)and Mike Rasimas (percussion) joined this group,as well. Mitch (lower right photo) is a returning participant in the AAA's Youth Involvement Program and will perform on Friday, July 10, 2015 at the Gala Concert with Jazz Great, Eddie Monteiro.

Many of the members will be traveling to Alexandria for the 2015 AAA Festival July 8-12 at the Holiday Inn & Suites, 624 First Street, Alexandria, VA and will perform with the AAA's Jr.Ensemble. It is not to late to join them.
Little did we know that we were in for an unexpected surprise…..Accordion jazz legend, 92 year old Tony Mecca, showed up with his family, son Bill Mecca, his aunt (Tony’s sister), Kay Mecca. All were thrilled to see them.

Per Marilyn O’Neil, Co President of CAA (Connecticut Accordion Association) and member of AAA (American Accordionists' Association’s Board of Directors …”Five years ago, I developed a program called The Youth Involvement Program, which pairs young accordionists with peers who play other instruments from the festival's host city. They come together at the AAA (American Accordion Association) Festival, form a jazz ensemble, and then perform for festival attendees and the general public. The non accordionist youth learn about the accordion, about the potential for both solo and accompaniment in both jazz and classical genres."

The conductor for this year's jazz ensemble, which will be held in Alexandria, VA from July 8-12, 2015, is Waterbury's own Bob Vitale of Vitale Realty in Waterbury CT.  Bob owned his own music studio in Waterbury during the heyday of the accordion. On a national level, we are in the midst of a huge effort to reintroduce the accordion to a very willing young audience. The AAA's annual Festival, held in various major cities along the Eastern part of the USA, now proudly offers - in addition to solo competition, opportunities to participate in a Youth Festival Orchestra led by Mary Tokarski, President of AAA and Co-President of CAA - in existence since April of 2004.

Several CAA members serve on the AAA Board of Directors. Immediate Past President of AAA, Linda Soley Reed also serves as Conductor of the CAA Orchestra.

Marilyn O’Neil went on to say…. “Today's youth are fascinated by the accordion because it's different from what they're used to.  Whenever we feature it to young crowds, we consistently get requests for where they can go to learn how to play.  This instrument is new, different, with the capability of producing various sounds - both acoustic and digital. And let's not forget the portability factor!  It's a way for kids to be seen as innovative, creative.....a far cry from still another guitar.  That having been said, it's worth it for me, Marilyn O’Neil, to tell you that John Lennon also played accordion.....along with numerous other fine rock musicians."

Relative to how the accordion translates to the 21st century….. AAA President Mary Tokarsk saidi, ”Accordions are heard in more commercials, movies and live events now than ever before!  The sound is unique, easily supports a solo sound, or the need for a fuller, orchestral effect.  The accordion is being integrated with all sorts of instruments in groups that are creating "today's music".  Jarred and the Mill is one fine example from Mesa, Arizona. Is there a new generation ready to embrace it?”You bet!  Young people are attracted to the instrument in droves . . . The sound creates excitement and its versatility is so much fun to experiment with and create new music for - both acoustically and electronically with the new midi-enabled accordions.  We truly look forward to what the young people of today have to offer the accordion!”

Per Bob Siarkowski, CAA Advisory Board, AAA member, Proprietor of Bob’s Music Center in Plantsville, Connecticut…..”As a lifelong accordion instructor and professional accordionist, I have seen more and more people who are interested in the accordion over the past few years. A month doesn't go by that my telephone rings and I hear, “I’d like to take accordion lessons, rent or buy an accordion!”The accordion is getting back to its popularity from the past. A lot of young people are taking accordion lessons now - a wonderful sign for the future of the accordion.”

Bob’s wife, Anita Siarkowski, was introduced to the accordion at age 9 through music lessons, and, decades later, continues to perform professionally on a regular basis. With regard to the future of the accordion, Anita feels that, ”The accordion has so much going for it. It is an international instrument. There is no country in the world where the accordion is not played. It is unique, being the only portable, self-contained (no need to plug in) musical instrument that you can play the melody, harmony, rhythm and accompaniment all at the same time! The accordion is very versatile.

Most musical instruments have only one sound. The accordion duplicates multiple instrument sounds to fit any type of music, precisely why we have all accordion orchestras. Today, the future of the accordion is where the action is - with today’s youth!”

Upper Right photo of rehearsal: Students Rachel Quirbach, Joseph Klettner, Nathan Chapeton, Will Comer, Cody McSherry(front row) - Standing in back, Joey Quirbach
Mary Tokarski Conducting

Robby Reich Has a New CD,"Shadowbox"

by Rita Barnea
Rob ReichAccordionist Robby Reich contributes: "Just got back from a wonderful trip to NYC, where I had some fun playing with Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors, Mona's Hot Four, Glenn Crytzer, and Tamar Korn, and I had a blast hanging out at the New York Hot Jazz Festival. I also played with my own quintet at Barbes, celebrating the East Coast release of my new CD, 'Shadowbox'.

Speaking of which, Shadowbox is reviewed by Peter Margasak in June's issue of Downbeat. Here's an excerpt:

"Bay Area fixture Rob Reich, a key 
member of Tin Hat and numerous other ensembles, shares a multiplicity of visions on his debut
 album as a leader, an elegant quintet date that moves effortlessly 
between post-bop, jazz Manouche 
and chamber-rock."

Future performances include:
Nice Guy Trio
Friday, June 12
Presidio Officers' Club
50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco

The Nice Guy Trio makes a rare appearance for a free concert in the Presidio with these fine musicians: Darren Johnston (trumpet) and Daniel Fabricant (bass).

Prez Kids
Monday, June 15
SFJAZZ Joe Henderson Lab
201 Franklin St, San Francisco

Smith Dobson's tribute to the great Lester Young and the music of the swing era, featuring:
Smith Dobson V - tenor sax
Erik Jekabsen - trumpet
Rob Reich - piano, accordion
John Wiitala - bass
James Gallagher - drums

For further information:

Musette workshop - Brooklyn Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
BAC logoThe Brooklyn Accordion Club meeting will feature a Musette Workshop on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 2:00 PM. The location is:
61 Local Cafe & Public House
61 Bergen St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

It is a Participatory Musette workshop "French Musette: Decoded" by Tony Kovatch. Tony Kovatch performs French Musette / Gypsy Jazz Accordion throughout the NYC and Philadelphia regions.  His projects include Gypsy Jazz group “The River City Healers” and Bal Musette duo “Kim and Tony”.  

The workshop will be participatory (Bring Your Own Accordion!), and open to all levels. The music sheets will be emailed prior to the workshop date so that the participants can prepare/practice.  If you are not on the email list, please email: to subscribe.

Interested in performing a piece or two?  First timers/beginners are encouraged to perform.  Email:
Admission: $3-$5 dollars

Will Holshouser and Musette Explosion at Birdland, NYC

by Rita Barnea
Will and Musette Explosion
Accordionist Will Holshouser and his group, Musette Explosion will perform on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at Birdland, 315 West 44th St,New York, NY 

Early time slot -- 6:00 pm (75 minute show)
$25 cover, $10 food or drink minimum (dinner menu available)
Will Holshouser, accordion
Matt Munisteri, guitar & banjo
Marcus Rojas, tuba

Will Holshouser was given an accordion as a surprise when he was still young and impressionable. He has since found a unique niche for himself as an accordionist, improviser, and composer in many different areas of music. He tours regularly with jazz violinist Regina Carter and her band Reverse Thread. He also plays in a collaborative trio with Amsterdam-based improvisers, drummer Han Bennink & saxophonist/clarinetist Michael Moore. This group has a new CD out and has toured in Europe, the US and Africa.

Will's long-standing trio features Ron Horton on trumpet and David Phillips on bass. Together since 1998, these three have developed a truly unified group sound. The trio has three CDs out on the Portuguese label Clean Feed. Their third CD, Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns was recorded in Portugal with the late, brilliant pianist Bernardo Sassetti as special guest.

Will has also played with David Krakauer, Antony and the Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright, Andy Statman, Phillip Johnston, Matt Munisteri & Brock Mumford, the Raymond Scott (tribute) Orchestrette, Roberto Rodriguez, Mark Morris Dance, New York City Ballet, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others.

Will studied composition with Anthony Braxton and Bill Barron at Wesleyan University, where he received a grant to research Cajun and Creole music in Louisiana. After moving to New York in the early 1990s, he studied accordion with Dr. William Schimmel. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.

Musette Explosion is a dynamic trio including Matt Munisteri, Marcus Rojas, and Will Holshouser. They released their first album on Nov. 1st, 2014. Three of New York's most in-demand virtuoso musicians, each with a distinctive voice on his instrument, explore and expand on Parisian musette. They bring this multicultural dancehall music to new places through the highest improvisational communication, emotionally honest performances, and original compositions.

Future performances include:
Aug. 10 / Chautauqua Institution's Logan Chamber Music Series

Aug. 11 / The Bop Shop, Rochester NY 

Aug. 27 / The Towers, Narragansett RI 

Sept. 18 / Monterey Jazz Festival 

Sept. 24 / Djangofest Northwest 

David Krakauer's Acoustic Klezmer Quartet:
June 20 / Montreal Chamber Music Festival

Will solo:
Aug. 7 / short set at Bill Schimmel's Master Class and Concert Series
Tenri Institute, NYC

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

Available: Awakening Album by Stas Venglevski and Joan Sommers

by Harley Jones
Awakening AlbumAwakening Album by Stas Venglevski and Joan Sommers is available as an eTrack mp3 download for only US$9.95 and individual tracks are available too. Sound samples of each track online. Catalog: vstas05eT CD also available.

Awakening is a compilation of recent original compositions written for two accordions / ensemble by Stas Venglevski. Joining Stas on the recording is Joan Sommers (accordion), John Babbitt (string bass), John Simkus (bass accordion) and Michael Lorenz (drums).

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society’s Button Box Extravaganza

by Joan and Dan Grauman
Buttonbox performers
Video 1: Flying High composed and performed by Frank Vidergar
Video 2: Cody's Polka composed by Ron Pivovar, performed by Cody McSherry
Video 3: Schottische performed by Casey Sutcliffe
Pictures above: Top row (l to r): Rik Kaplan, Casey Sutcliffe, Frank Vidergar
Center row: some of the button boxes used by the performers
Bottom row (l to r): Cody McSherry, Silvia Eberly, Tony Murawski

On Sunday, May 17, 2015 the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) held its first “Button Box Extravaganza”, and it was a huge success! The event featured several diatonic button accordions and these instruments were demonstrated by some of the best.

Joan Grauman introduced the crowd to the diatonic system of free-reed instruments and then demonstrated the one small free-reed instrument that is not diatonic: the English Concertina. She then introduced the presenters, beginning with Rik Kaplan who not only demonstrated the one-row diatonic Cajun accordion, but he also brought several of his beautiful Cajun accordions for a hands-on demonstration after refreshments were served.

We were then entertained by delightful, Washington, DC favorite: Silvia Eberly. Silvia played her 4-row Steirische Harmonika, a gorgeous Austrian diatonic accordion with Helikon “tuba” reeds in the bass. Silvia played, yodeled, and then played a piece with Cody McSherry (on Steirische Harmonika) and Frank Vidergar (on Slovenian 3-row accordion). The audience was ecstatic!!

Then, we heard young Cody McSherry play – fantastically! His progress on this instrument is astounding, especially since he also takes lessons on the piano accordion, pipe and theatre organs, and he is currently starring in a dinner theatre production of “Les Miserables”.

We had a surprise performer. Casey Sutcliffe had not attended a meeting in a few years. When she came into the room on Sunday, Joan asked her to come up to perform for everyone. Casey played a beautiful Scandinavian Schottische on her 2 ½ row diatonic. Beautiful!!

Baltimore’s own Tony Murawski demonstrated the lovely Star concertina, a box-shaped diatonic instrument designed to play polkas. He played his gorgeous instruments flawlessly and it was a real treat having him join us!

Then, we were all blown away by the terrific Slovenian accordionist, Frank Vidergar. Frank makes his 3-row accordion do things the instrument was not created to do. He is amazing!

What a delightful event!! WMAS is planning to hold another button box event in the next year. Stay tuned!

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

Scandanavian-American Night Includes Accordions!

by Rita Barnea
Niklas Sunden and Fredrick Aberg (see video), accordion champions from Sweden, will perform at Scandanavian-American Night Outdoor Summer Concert on Monday, June 15, 2015 at 7:30 PM.

The event takes place at the Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, Long Island, New York.

Also appearing will be SmorgasBandet of New York. There will be two hours of non-stop Scandinavian and American music. SmorgasBandet is a lively accordion band based on Long Island, New York specializing in Scandinavian music with American music mixed in. They do sing-a -longs, audience participation with songs and dances playing Waltzes, Schottishes, Swing music, Cha-Chas, Cajun and Polkas. Members of the group are: Jeanne Eriksson Anderson (accordion), Wayne Soderlund (accordion) , Chad Widman, Walter Eriksson, Jr. and Ingrid Olsson.

Bring lawn chairs, picnics, blankets,etc.
Admission is free for a two hour show.

Jeannie  Widman Andersen has asked LIAA members and their accordion playing friends to attend and bring their accordions for a "grand finale number" playing "Beer Barrel Polka" and "American Wooden Shoe Polka." Join in the fun with your accordion!

Hope to see you on  Mon., June 15th.

For further information: 516-572-0396


The Long Beach Bayou Festival Is Celebrating Its 29th Year!

by Rita Barnea
Steve RileyGenoFrom an article on the Internet on June 1, 2015:
"The 29th Annual Long Beach Bayou Festival line-up was recently announced. This festival continues to be a popular family friendly event that is fun, engaging with some top notch entertainment that celebrates the culture, music, heritage and festivals of Louisiana.

Long Beach Bayou Festival, June 20-21, 2015 takes place at the Rainbow Lagoon Park, (at Linden Ave & Shoreline Drive), Long Beach, CA.

Festival goers can expect mouthwatering Cajun and Creole cuisine, inter-active dance instructions, continuous dancing, a lively, colorful Mardi Gras Parade, a watermelon and crawfish eating contest, and plenty of activities for kids and teens. Bring the entire family, babysitter, neighbors, friends and co-workers.

The Zydeco, Cajun, Creole and Blues loving community unites each year for the Long Beach Bayou Festival at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st, 2015, the first day of Summer.

The festival features two stages of music featuring top notch blues, zydeco & Cajun music. The Zydeco Stage will host Grammy nominated bands Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, the powerhouse team of Grammy winner Joel Savoy and Cajun Hall of Famer, Jesse Lege′ with their band Cajun Country Revival, the swamp-funky Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, West Coast favorite T-Lou & His Hot Louisiana Zydeco Band, Bonne Musique Zydeco and David Sousa & The Mudbugs.

This stellar line-up guarantees that the large covered wooden dance floor will be constantly filled all weekend. Quick and easy dance instructions for all ages will ensure that no one is left out of the fun.

Left: Steve Riley: Photo Courtesy, Full House Promotions
Right: Geno Delafose: Photo Credit, Full House Promotions

The festival hours are Saturday: 11:00am-9:00pm and Sunday: 11am-7:00pm, For more information and to purchase tickets:, or call (562)912-4451.

The festival also boasts a festival costumed Mardi Gras Parade led both days by the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band, colorful French Quarter Marketplace with gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, hush puppies. For dessert, sweet potato pie, beignets and other an array of cobblers.

The Long Beach Bayou Festival is presented by Benoit Entertainment Group. A portion of the profits will benefit LALA (Louisiana to Los Angeles), a non-profit organization which raises educational funds for local youth to attend college. The festival is sponsored by city National Bank, Shock Top, Waste Management, Benoit Entertainment Group, LLC, and Rainbow Promotions, LLC."

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Children's Fiction Books Which Feature the Accordion

by Rita Barnea
An Accordion, What is that?
Mendel's Accordion book cover and Dallas and the Accordion book coverHector the Accoridon Nosed DogIn order for the accordion to remain a valued member of the musical world, I believe that we need to educate everyone, especially children, about the accordion. In this article, you can read about books which include the accordion.

An informative, delightful, and entertaining book is "An Accordion! What is That?" Looking at the accordion inside and out….. by award-winning author of children's books, Karen Malan-Uribe, illustrated by celebrated artist, Joan Geller Grauman who created its mascot, an animated honeybee named "Buzz Treble". The CD includes a wonderful narration of the book as well as music beautifully performed by world renowned accordionist, Mary Tokarski. These three fellow accordionists have combined their special talents to create this wonderful children's book about the accordion. The book includes a CD with narration and music. You can order the book by contacting Mary at

"Mendel's Accordion" by Heidi Smith Hyde (author) and Johanna Van Der Sterr (illustrator) is a picture book history of klezmer music. Mendel is the accordionist forming a traveling band, going to America when his life becomes difficult in the old country.

In his journey, he encounters musicians and organizes his own group. He goes to New York City, marries, has a family who like different styles of music. His great grandson finds his old accordion in the attic, has it repaired and begins a new generation of klezmer musicians. The story also celebrates the experiences of the Jewish immigrants. The book is geared to ages six and up. It is available on Amazon.

"Dallas and the Accordion" was written by Vanessa Schukis, published on March 3,2015. The story is about a young boy who felt bored and opened a box he found in the closet. He was surprised to see that it was an accordion. He never felt bored again because he found music! It can be ordered through bookemon.

In addition to being a performer, the author,Vanessa Schukis, is an award winning teacher with over thirty years experience in performing arts education focusing on students with learning disabilities and special needs. Currently Vanessa teaches music at The Murphy School in Dorchester, MA and The Harvard-Kent Schoot in Charlestown, MA through the outreach program of The Community Music Center of Boston. Vanessa has been on the faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA and New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA.

"Hector, The Accordion Nosed Dog" by author John Stadler is an illustrated uplifting children's book about a dog who has an accident that turns his nose into an accordion.

Instead of being defeated by that, Hector becomes a celebrated musician by way of his musical nose. This title was a "Reading Rainbow" book on the Public Television program of the same name, MC'd by Lavar Burton. More information and illustrated excerpts are available on the author's website, The book is available on Amazon.

If you know of other children's fiction books which feature the accordion, please send the titles to I will include them in a follow up article in the July USA news.

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

New Music eSheet Säkkijärven Polka Arrangement by Zevy Zions

by Rita Barnea
zevy ZionsPolkaZevy Zions new arrangment, catalog: zzions018 Säkkijärven Polka, Finnish traditional polka, available online as eSheet, secure server. It can be sent to your email address.

Also released is an arrangement of Military Polonaise, Op. 40, No. 1, Chopin catalog: zzions017

Zevy Zions has been playing music since he was four years old. Starting with the piano, on which he was given a year of formal piano lessons with a local teacher, he was basically self-taught. His mother loved the accordion, so she bought him a used, smaller sized instrument.

Fast forward to 2001; for eight years Zevy went for private training with the great accordionist and mentor, Charles Nunzio. Emphasis on technique, expression and overall musicianship was covered over that period of time. Zevy considers himself lucky to have studied with Mr. Nunzio, and still has a fond attachment to him.

He has also released several solo albums including "Olive Blossoms", "Dizzy Accordion" and "William Tell".

Zevy plays as a solo musician and also with various musical ensembles. He is the accordionist for "Klezmerfest". They have recorded two albums, "Party Music", and "Life of the Party".

For further information

Titano Accordion Company

New eBook Released, Italian Spectacular Arranged by Gary Dahl - USA

by Gary Dahl
Gary Dahl eBooks
Italian Spectacular eBookGary DahlGary Dahl has released a new eBook titled Italian Spectacular.

Gary Dahl writes: "The Italian contribution to music over the centuries is an artistic treasure we all can enjoy. The accordion, because of its orchestral capabilities, brings this joy to all accordionists and their listeners. The Italian Spectacular book of arrangements will enable every accordionist to enhance this great heritage of musical history."

You can see samples of each piece at Catalog: DH08-eB

eBook means that the book is emailed to you. Purchase online for USD$35.50 or Euro equivalent at: DH08-eB

This eBook Italian Spectacular is Collection #9 in a series of eBooks by Gary Dahl that have proved to be very popular:
DH01-eB - Latin Spectacular! Collection #1- eBook
DH02-eB - Favourite French Standards Collection #2 - eBook
DH03-eB - The American Songbook Collection #3- eBook
DH04-eB - Favourite Waltzes and Polkas Collection #4 - eBook
DH05-eB - Easy Listening Variety Collection #5 - eBook
DH06-eB - Easy Listening Variety Collection #6 - eBook
DH07-eB - Traditional Polish Carols Collection #7 - eBook
DH08-eB - Italian Spectacular Collection #8 - eBook

There is a special for clients wanting to purchase all 8 eBooks at: DH01-08eB

Gary Dahl is widely known as a virtuoso accordionist as well as a composer, arranger, recording artist and music educator.

Voci Armoniche

Future events

Accordion Jazz Chords

AAA Festival Luncheon Concert to Feature Washington Area Musicians

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Potomac Accordion Ensemble
Nick Sugenis and Mark NejakoKen KunecThe 2015 AAA Festival Luncheon Concert will feature the members of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS). WMAS has met monthly in Northern Virginia since its founding in 2003. With the club’s constant encouragement, its terrific workshops, the guest artist concerts and performing opportunities, many of the members have blossomed into really fine musicians and performers.

Performing at the Luncheon Concert will be the Potomac Accordion Ensemble under the direction of AAA Governing Board member Joan Grauman; accordionist Robert Ford accompanied by his daughter Rocio Ford on castanets; accordionist Mark Nejako with violinist Nick Sungenis; and accordionist/singer Ken Kunec.

The Potomac Accordion Ensemble was founded in 2004 by its director, Joan Grauman. Originally, Joan formed the group to assist members of WMAS who just started to play the accordion or had just returned to the instrument after not playing for up to 45 years. The music and the camaraderie kept everyone coming back for more. Soon, the ensemble was being approached by the national accordion associations to perform at their events and banquets.

Named after the beautiful Potomac River, the group has performed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania (including the 2010 AAA Festival in Harrisburg), all over Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland (including the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore). Performing in coffeehouses, for major music festivals, farmers’ markets and Christmas events, the eleven year-old ensemble is looking forward to and honored to be playing in Alexandria, Virginia for the 2015 AAA Festival!

Robert and Rocio Ford were featured performers at the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore and thrilled the audience with their beautiful performance! Robert Ford was ten years old when he started playing the accordion at the Hohner Academy in La Paz, Bolivia. At 13 and 15 years old, he represented Bolivia at the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competitions in Venezuela (1972) and Sweden (1974).

For the next several years, he played only sporadically as he moved back to the US, completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and then began to work fulltime. After moving to Virginia in 1998, Robert started to play the accordion regularly again. He has performed at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, Gunston Arts Center in Arlington, VA, at WMAS meetings and other venues. Robert especially enjoys performing with his daughter Rocio.

Rocio Ford, 15, began learning the castanets and Spanish dance when she was three years old under the tutelage of her mother, Carmen de Vicente, a master castanet virtuoso who played with numerous orchestras, pianists, guitarists and accordionists across Spain and the US. Rocio practices and performs with Requiebros Spanish Dance Group, a group of students from Carmen de Vicente’s Spanish Dance Academy in Arlington, VA. She has performed at various Spanish dance festivals and with her father at the 2012 AAA Festival and at several WMAS concerts. Rocio enjoys playing classical and Spanish music on the castanets and dancing Flamenco, Sevillanas, and various regional dances from Spain.

The duo of Mark Nejako (accordion) and Nick Sungenis (violin) performed at the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore and at the 2014 WMAS Holiday Concert. It’s great to have this delightful duet team joining us for the Luncheon Concert!

Mark Nejako grew up in Maryland and is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Science in Biotechnology and a Master of Business Administration. He began studying the accordion in 2009 with Frank Busso, Jr. in Alexandria, VA. Mark has performed in various accordion ensembles around the Washington, DC area, and most recently in the CIA World Accordion Orchestra VIII in Salzburg, Austria.

Nick Sungenis was born on the West Coast but grew up in Maryland. He graduated from Howard Community College and from Providence College studying Philosophy. His thesis paper about music and eudaimonia was recently published in the fifth volume of an undergraduate humanities journal: Proto. Nick studied the violin from age eleven, has recorded in Nashville, and has played in various venues around the East Coast. Next year he plans to pursue graduate studies in the philosophy of music and to record original compositions.

Ken Kunec is the WMAS concert emcee/resident comedian/singing accordionist and is enjoyed by all! Born and raised in Northeastern, Pennsylvania, Ken began piano lessons “just to keep his brother company”. He began studying the accordion at age ten with “Lefty”, a local popular accordionist and studied with him for three years. In high school, he began singing and playing popular and dance music at parties, weddings and taverns (chaperoned by his dad).

He played solo and in pick-up bands with his accordion, and then switched to guitar, electric organ and rock music late in high school and through college. After finishing college, Ken moved to the Washington, DC area and began his career developing computer systems for the US government. A few years ago, at the urging of his wife, Ken picked up his accordion again. He plays for church functions, WMAS meetings and concerts, and venues all over Northern Virginia, “only for fun and only for free,” says Ken. Ken and his wife Teddy will be celebrating their 45 wedding anniversary this month.
Hope to see everyone at the 2015 AAA Festival!!

Photo captions:
Top: Potomac Accordion Ensemble: 
Front: Luis Uribe;  middle row l to r:  Lee Paulson, Joan Grauman, JoAnn Pankow. 
Back l to r: Peter DiGiovanni, Lou Silvia, Pat Saylor, Karen Malan-Uribe and Meryl Benenati.  Not in photo: Mara Cherkasky.
Left: Nick Sugenis and Mark Nejako
Right: Ken Kunec
Lower: Rosio and Robert Ford
Rocio and Bob Ford


Benefit Concert for Student Accordionists at 2015 Cotati Festival

by Rita Barnea
Benefit for Students
The Cotati Festival will hold a benefit concert for student accordionists on Friday, August 21st, at 6:30 PM at the Redwood Cafe, 8240 Old Redwood Highway in Cotati. No cover charge.

The Master of Ceremonies is Michael Van Why. Featured accordionists will include Guy Richards, David Noferi, Don Glogovac, Frank Lima, Paul Betken, Jack Behseresht, John Covarelli, Lou diMaggio, Sheri Mignano, Zavier de la Prade and more.

All proceeds will benefit 2015-16 student scholarships and the debut of the new student stage. For more info:
Phone: 707-664-0444

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

Report on the 2015 AAA Seminars

by Dr. William Schimmel
AAA Banner
It is the 21st year of the AAA Seminars! We still have our same loyal participants who have been with us from the very beginning:
Dr Robert Young Mc Mahan, Micki Goodman Schimmel and Paul Stein

- along with Will Holshouser,
Benjamin Ickies, John Foti, Art Bailey, Doug Makofka, Erica Marie Mancini and many others.

Most members or the Brooklyn Accordion Club will be participating - this includes Mayumi Miyaoka, Peter Flint, Denise Koncelik and a performing group called Bachtopus.

In addition to accordionists, we will have a theremin player (Elizabeth Brown), a sho player (Michael Dames), a trombonist, violinist, concert pianist, harpist, guitarist and a few special guests who will appear un-announced.

We will have many world premieres: Dr. Mc Mahan, Dave Soldier, David First, David Stoler, Elizabeth Brown, Normali Fenn, Peter Flint, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Peter Jarvis, Art Bailey and myself - My new CD: "The Theatre of the Accordion" will be unveiled at this time as well.

Our initial intent of the Seminars starting with the first one back in 1994 was: to build a strong artistic accordion community in the New York Area, a community of artists that could communicate on an equal level to the rest of New York’s diverse artistic community.All of our workshops and performances will bear this in mind.

We also did surveys - in the past and now - asking participants and would be participants what they really felt they needed at the Seminars. The response was almost unanimous: a sense of belonging to something that could prepare them intellectually as well as practically for just about any musical situation in a competitive music would - not just the accordion world. And we maintain that philosophy as our goal to this very day.

The Seminars are not just a series of workshops and concerts. It’s an experience, a total immersion into a weekends where judgements are suspended, competition comes to a halt and the steady flow of ideas can almost make one’s head spin.

We urge to to attend this years Seminars: Chock full O’ Learnin - August 7, 8 and 9th at Tenri Cultural Center in New York City.

You won’t forget it. For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Cotati Accordion Festival August 22 and 23

by Rita Barnea
Cotati 2015 Poster
The 25th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival will be held August 22 and 23, 2015 at La Plaza Park in Cotati, Californica. The festival features great bands and soloist from all over the USA.

For info:
Cotati poster
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