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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jun-2018
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note:
Passing of Gene Van (1936 - 2018) - Indiana
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Timeless Articles on Accordion Instruction
Guy Klucevsek Releases New Recording “Carousel of Dreams”
Accordions on the Waterfront! in Brooklyn, NY
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 21-24
It’s not too late to register for the 2018 AAA 80th Anniversary Festival!
AAA Grayson Masefield Kennedy Center Concert, Washington DC
78th ATG Annual Competition and Festival in Lisle, IL July 25-28
2018 ATG Festival to Honor Special Guest Harley Jones
World Premiere of David Rothenberg’s New Work for Accordion, Cello, Guitar, and Pre-recorded Whale
Texas Folklife’s 29th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Concert Calendar and PSA

Voci Armoniche

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

Honoring Composer Eugene Ettore
World Accordion and Tango Festival & 68th Trophee Mondial, Victoria - Canada
Nick Ariondo to Perform at Arcosanti in Arizona
Cory Pesaturo in Summer Events
Cody McSherry: Musical Ambassador
Petar Maric in Performance at the Brooklyn Accordion Club
Bruce Gassman to Perform at Leavenworth
Student Accordion Band in Queens School Spring Concert
Welcome to the New England Accordion Connection & Museum Company
Rose City Accordion Club Camp June 10-15

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Meet Grayson Masefield In New Jersey House Concert on July 7
Don't Miss the AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 27-29 in NYC
Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat January 17-20, 2019

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



Editor's Note:

by Rita Barnea
Welcome to the June USA news. In this months publication, you will read about important accordion personalities, performers, festivals, competitions, and events taking place all over the country.

June is also National Accordion Awareness Month established in 1989 to help promote the accordion, to let people know that it is a popular instrument today, and to educate people about the versatility of the accordion!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Passing of Gene Van (1936 - 2018) - Indiana

by Joseph Natoli, ATG President
Gene Van Accordion Orchestra
Video 1: Because It’s Christmas

Video 2: Excerpt from Kernan’s Heroes Weekend

Video 3: Time Is Once Again
Gene VanThis has not been a good year for accordionists, as we have lost so many important figures in the accordion world starting in late 2017, and we have unfortunately lost yet another accordion icon on 5/28/18, Memorial Day. Gene Van peacefully transitioned to his final rest (hopefully filled with music), while his loving family was by his side for every minute of the previous three challenging weeks.

For those of you who may not remember the name Gene Van because he came a little before your time, he was one of those special individuals who had multi-dimensional talents and excelled in every one of them.

First and foremost, he was an incredible teacher who affected the lives of many many students, which is substantiated by the outpouring of love and sympathies on the “Gene Van Accordion” Facebook page as news started to spread of Gene’s 4:15am transition into the next life.

Gene so positively affected the lives of so many students, and they all reiterate that what they learned from Gene in music lessons and orchestra rehearsals is what taught them to appreciate striving for excellence and doing whatever it takes to succeed whether in music, their jobs, or in life.

Obituary: Passing of Gene Van (1936 – 2018)

Gene’s teaching abilities are legendary. Hailing from the South Bend/Elkhart/Mishawaka/Granger, Indiana areas, he had a studio from the 1960s through the next 50 years that boasted as many as 600 students at its peak, with many champions emerging from that stable, including his own daughters.

The Gene Van Orchestra also came from that studio and consistently won band championships at the American Accordionists Association (AAA) festivals year after year with Gene’s incredible arrangements and transcriptions. Their precision and flawlessness along with Gene’s meticulous conducting skills made them contenders and/or champions repeatedly.

Additionally, in the 1970s Gene Van started developing his Show Band, which delighted audiences at accordion festivals and other performances all over the world as they traveled to take their talents to standing-room only appreciative audiences everywhere. The Show Band was really where Gene found his niche because it enabled him to showcase his fabulous talents as an arranger, composer, conductor, teacher, musical event organizer, performer, and accordion titan.

Every one of these skills went into creating memorable performances that were precise, exciting, musical and ever so complimentary to our beloved instrument, the accordion, to which Gene remained fiercely loyal to his last day.

Some other interesting accomplishments from Gene Van’s accordion school:
- Performed at Soldier field in Chicago in the 1960s with the Gene Van Orchestra
- Started a full-scale accordion program in all of the Catholic schools in the South Bend/Fort Wayne Diocese
- Built his own Gene Van Studio in Mishawaka in the 1970s
- Developed show bands that included teaching his students to sing and dance as well as play accordion
- Performed at Carnegie Hall with the Gene Van Orchestra as AAA US Virtuoso Ensemble champions in the 1980s

Gene always stressed the important of the “triad” of teacher/student/parent in attaining maximum results with students.

Also, Gene managed to maintain a very successful and close relationship with the famed duo of Willard Palmer and Bill Hughes (Palmer-Hughes) who remained important mentors to Gene as he was developing his own studio.

The real testament to the impact Gene had on his students’ lives however comes with the many concerts he has given for various charitable causes since the 2008 timeframe, often several per summer.

Yet, all of his loyal students would be more than willing to drop whatever they were doing in their personal lives and come to Granger Indiana for nearly a week to rehearse and put on some fantastic concerts.

Here is an example of Gene’s wonderful orchestra arranging skills with “Because It’s Christmas” - video above.

Additionally, one of the most notable of these events was in November 2015 where Gene (who was already not in the best of health) still managed to put together a spectacular program of some of his best accordion orchestral arrangements for a weekend dedicated to performances for the “Kernan’s Heroes” and the Wounded Warrior Project.

There was military pageantry, extremely fine music (as witnessed in the audience member video example provided here (Video 2 above) incredible camaraderie among the performers, and some intensely memorable moments of music, love, and joy that will not be forgotten by anyone performing or attending.

However, in addition to Gene Van’s wonderful accordion orchestra writing skills, we have also attached a more recent video of Gene’s talents as a composer. Gene’s last substantial composition (Video 3 above) is entitled “Time Is Once Again” and is a poignant example of his deep understanding of musical harmony, craft, and taste. It is being performed in this example by Joseph Natoli as a tribute to his dear friend, Gene Van.

The pictures in the video are all from the memories discussed above in that November 2015 Wounded Warrior series of concerts.

God bless you Gene Van. We will forever miss your presence, positivity, musicality, inspiration, and loyalty to the accordion.

Visitation information at Hahn Funeral Homes.
Funeral Service
11:00 AM Fri., Jun. 01, 2018
Location: St. Thomas the Apostle Church

Picture below: Gene Van Accordion Orchestra

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

Timeless Articles on Accordion Instruction

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Logo
Joan GraumanRita Barnea, Editor USA News: This is the 6th article in the series by AAA Historian Joan Grauman (picture right) in cooperation with the USA News, to help promote the 80th AAA Anniversary Celebration. An article is planned each month containing a segment of the history of the AAA, from its creation on March 9th, 1938 through to 2018. Thank you very much to Joan Grauman for these articles.


As I read through the old Accordion World Magazines (and I love to read these!), it always amazes me how some things have changed dramatically over the past 80 years while others stay very much the same.

The masters of the accordion in the early years wrote excellent articles monthly on various topics such as stage fright, sight-reading, national and local events, and accordion instruction.

For my June "Accordion USA" article honoring the AAA’s 80th anniversary, I will share with you four very well-written and still relevant articles on accordion instruction.

Charles Magnante, Joe Biviano, Paul Miners (1937-38 Accordion World Magazines) and Tony Dannon (1962 AAA Annual Journal) each shared fascinating, informative ideas that I feel all who teach or plan to teach should read – and enjoy!

1. "Constant Is the Word for Study" by Joe Biviano – Accordion World, December 1937

2. "Background for Success – Teaching" by Charles Magnante – Accordion World, March 1938

3. "Making Scales Interesting" by Paul Miners – Accordion World, June 1938

4. "Jazz on the Accordion – How Do I Learn to Play Jazz?" by Tony Dannon – AAA Journal, 1962

I hope you will keep checking the AAA website: for more of these historic articles that I will be posting over the next few months in the “History” section of the website.

Voci Armoniche

Guy Klucevsek Releases New Recording “Carousel of Dreams”

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekGuy KlucevsekGuy Klucevsek’s new recording, “Carousel of Dreams,” will be released on June 18, 2018. The recording features Guy’s solo compositions, including “Three Tributes,” commissioned by the American Accordionists’ Association, and a trio and quartets for Bellows Brigade, where Guy is joined by fellow accordionists Will Holshouser, Nathan Koci (doubling voice) and Kamala Sankaram (doubling voice). The feature piece is a 17-minute suite, “Pauline, Pauline,” dedicated to the memory of Guy’s long-time friend, composer/accordionist Pauline Oliveros.

The title composition is dedicated to Cody McSherry (see article about him in this publication), who premiered the piece on May 6, 2018 in a concert by the Accordion Pops orchestra, with Guy and his wife, Jan, in attendance.

Produced by AAA Governing Board Member Jeanne Velonis, “Carousel of Dreams," will be released both as a physical CD, to be available through CDBaby, and digitally through CDBaby,, itunes, and many other digital and streaming outlets.

On Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 2 PM, Guy will take part in Relâche’s 40th Anniversary concert, performing two of his solo compositions. The concert includes three pieces by Guy Klucevsek: The Swan and the Vulture (2014), Little Big Top (2014), and Haywire Rag (a Waltz)(2010), with the former two pieces featuring Guy on the accordion.

From 1980-1990, Guy served as composer, Music Advisor, and ensemble member with Relâche.  “Relâche” is taken from Erik Satie’s 1924 collaborative ballet whose absurdist title on the theatre marquis translated to “no performance today.” Since 1977, the band’s work with composers such as John Cage and James Tenney, and with the most thoughtful (and fun!) organized sound of today has tested music’s limits – if not its strict definitions then certainly the cultural boundaries negotiated by so called “art music.

Excerpts from the website: Relâche’s aim has never been to play “safe” music. In music, when composers and performers relinquish their assumptions of structural and social parameters, the audience’s thrill – our thrill – of the unexpected catches us vulnerable, and the results can be frightfully sublime, innocent, or hilarious.

As one of Relâche’s founding members, Guy Klucevsek knows this as well as anyone. Revisiting his compatriots with a set of works whose explorations of modality are deceptively simple on first hearing, Klucevsek’s echoes of Eastern Europe reflect both the dance repertoire of his accordionist training in the outright catchy Wing/Prayer, and the sobriety of (dare we say) Górecki in Still Life With Canon. Placed in contrast to the epic introspection of Cynthia Folio’s work and Mark Hagerty’s gear shifting,

Klucevsek’s punctuations – particularly his dances – subversively offer a more wry notion of the “play” in this recording’s title is a new music ensemble that for over 40 years has maintained an international reputation as a leader in commissioning and performing the innovative music of our time. Relâche has a unique sound—flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, viola, piano, bass and percussion, and performs works that are neither classical, nor popular, but somewhere in between—a melding of Western classical traditions with jazz, rock, electronica, world music, and more.

Excerpts from his website: Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Brave Combo, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Rahim al Haj, Robin Holcomb, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relâche, Zeitgeist, and John Zorn.

Guy Klucevsek is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to "America's finest artists.” Guy and his music are included in two documentaries about the accordion, “Behind the Bellows” and, most recently, “Accordions Rising” by Roberta Cantow.

Guy has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn.

Performances include the Ten Days on the Island Festival (Tasmania), the Adelaide Festival (Australia), the Berlin Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival/USA, BAM Next Wave Festival, Cotati Accordion Festival, San Antonio International Accordion Festival, Vienna International Accordion Festival, and the children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

His 1987 project, Polka From the Fringe, a collection of commissioned polkas by Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Bobby Previte, Carl Finch, et. al., toured around the world and was released on 2 cds on the eva label, and were named “best recordings 1992” on WNYC-FM’s “New Sounds” program.

In 1996, he founded Accordion Tribe, an international ensemble of composer/accordionists Otto Lechner (Austria), Maria Kalanemi (Finland), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia) and himself. They toured internationally from 1996-2009, are the subjects of Stefan Schwietert’s award-winning documentary film, Accordion Tribe: Music Travels, and released 3 cds on the Intuition (Germany) label.

His music theatre scores include “Chinoiserie” and “Obon” with Ping Chong and Company, “Hard Coal,” with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, “Industrious Angels” for Laurie McCants, “Cirque Lili” for French circus artist Jérôme Thomas, which has been performed over 250 times world wide, always with live music, and his own piece, “Squeeze Play,” an evening of collaborations with Dan Hurlin, David Dorfman and Dan Froot, Claire Porter, and Mary Ellen Childs. He and Dan Hurlin were awarded, jointly, a BESSIE for, “The Heart of the Andes,” which has played the Henson International Puppetry Festival, The Barbican Center in London, and the Ten Days on the Island Festival, Tasmania.

Klucevsek has released over 20 recordings as soloist/leader on Tzadik, Winter & Winter, innova, Starkland, Review, Intuition, CRI, and XI. Stereo Review cited his Starkland recording, Transylvanian Software, as a recording of special merit" (1995). He can also be heard on John Williams’s orchestral scores for the Steven Spielberg films, “The Terminal,” "Munich," “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and “The Adventures of Tin-Tin,” and on A. R. Rahman’s score for “People Like Us.”

On Saturday, June 30,2018 at 8:PM, Guy will be a part of PS21 Theatre’s Opening Night Celebration and Revue, in Chatham, NY, also playing his solo compositions.

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Accordions on the Waterfront! in Brooklyn, NY

by Rita Barnea
Accordions on the Waterfront
On June 2, 2018 the BWAC Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition will host “Accordions on the Waterfront” at 481 Van Brunt St, Door 7, Brooklyn, New York 11231 from 2-4:PM.

“Accordions on the Waterfront!” is a special presentation of NYC accordion ensembles, curated and hosted by longtime Red Hook neighbor Rachel Swaner (accordionist, singer songwriter). The Famous Accordion Orchestra will be led by composer/accordionist Bob Goldberg, The Famous Accordion Orchestra is an accordion ensemble that bridges the traditional and the post-modern.

The Orchestra’s repertoire covers a broad spectrum that includes Bach, Offenbach, Duke Ellington, Guy Klucevsek, Lars Hollmer, and Andy Statman, as well as original compositions and folk tunes from American, Balkan, Klezmer, Basque, and Italian traditions. Performers include Bob Goldberg, Mark Nathanson, Rachel Swaner, Genvieve Leloup, Melissa Elledge

Also featured will be Bachtopus, an accordion ensemble from NYC that performs music by contemporary composers and Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble is one of the few in the United States that focuses on new music. The group features original compositions by Bratko Bibič, Peter Flint, Philip Glass, Lars Hollmer, Guy Klusevsek, Sy Kushner, Arvo Pärt, Elliot Roman, and Stas Venglevski.

Bachtopus performers: Robert Duncan, Peter Flint, Denise Koncelik, Mayumi Miyaoka, Jeanne Velonis

For further information: 718-596-2506/7


Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 21-24

by Rita Barnea
LIACLIAC will be held on June 21 – 24, 2018. This will be the 25th Anniversary of the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration and the 9th year the Northwest Accordion Society has produced the festival. It will be a fun, educational and entertaining event.

Thursday concerts will have:
Alicia Baker – Roland
Music and Dancing Ken Olendorf Tribute Band

Friday concerts feature:
Former Leavenworth Open competition winners                        
Murl Allen Sanders
Music and Dancing Bruce Gassman
Saturday concerts include:
Performance by current and past winners of Leavenworth Open
Michael Bridge                                    
Cory Pesaturo          
Music and Dancing LIAC Jam Dance Band       

Judges for the LIAC this year will be Michael Bridge, Bruce Gassman, and Cory Pesaturo.

2018 LIAC Workshop Choices: 
Workshops are $13 if paid by June 8 or $15 at Leavenworth
Fri 10:30am Grange/Upper
Fri 12:00pm Grange/Upper
#3 “Accompanying Effectively and Beautifully” with Murl Allen Sanders
Fri 1:30pm Grange/Upper
#1 “Tony Lovello Techniques” with Cory Pesaturo
#2 “Crafting Linear Jazz Solos” with Gabe Hall-Rodrigues
#4 “Nine (9) Types of Bellows Shakes” with Michael Bridge
Fri 5:00pm Grange/Upper
#5 “Working with the Roland V-Accordion” (FREE workshop) with Alicia Baker
Sat 9:30am Grange/Upper
#6 “Authenticity of Styles” with Cory Pesaturo
Sat 11:00am Grange/Upper
Sat 5:00pm Grange/Upper
#7 “Entertaining with the Accordion” with Gary Malner
Sat 1:30pm Grange/Upper
#8 “How to Perform The Music You Grew Up With” with Bruce Gassman

Free workshop sessions include:
*“Playing in a group; performing at the gazebo” with Jim and Shirley O’Brien
(This will be a rehearsal for the Thurs evening Festhalle performance) Thurs 3:00pm Grange/Upper
*“The Button Box Across Two Centuries: Exhibit and Demonstration” With Thomas Tilton of AlpenFolk
June 1 – June 30 Thurs thru Sunday 9:AM – 5:PM Demonstration at museum: Saturday June 23, 2018 11:00 am Upper Valley Museum, 
347 Division St, Leavenworth, WA 98826 (509) 548-0728
*“Working with the Roland V-Accordion” with Alicia Baker
 Sat 9:30 AM Grange/Upper

LIAC is a celebration of the accordion’s versatility and its presence in many cultures. Accordion music is what this event is all about.

For further information:

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

It’s not too late to register for the 2018 AAA 80th Anniversary Festival!

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Festival Flyer
This summer’s accordion extravaganza should be exhilarating and mesmerizing from start to finish!! Our lineup of stellar performers, workshop presenters, exhibits, opportunities to play in the orchestras, the youth jazz ensemble, the after-hours parties -- and the camaraderie -- should make for a wonderfully memorable festival!

With all of the changes in the world in the past 80 years, it is incredible that the AAA has remained a strong force in this country, promoting the instrument that has brought such joy to so many through the years. Please join us in beautiful Alexandria, Virginia – just outside of Washington, DC – to celebrate this momentous event with renowned performers from the US, Russia, Moldova, New Zealand, Switzerland and Argentina, as well as our world-renowned conductor of accordion orchestras, Prof. Joan C. Sommers.

A new addition to our performer list is the delightful accordionist and vocalist, Lionel Reekie from New Zealand. Also from New Zealand/Switzerland, is five time world champion accordionist Grayson Masefield, who will be giving a workshop and performing on Friday’s Gala Concert.

Local performers, Russkie Musikanti, a dazzling ensemble from the Washington Balalaika Society, will perform for the convention attendees at Friday night’s reception. Saturday evening’s banquet will feature the Festival Orchestra, under the baton of Joan Sommers, members of the US Air Force Strolling Strings, and other superb musicians who will perform in honor of our recipient of the 2018 AAA Lifetime
Achievement Award, Louis F. Coppola.

What’s New, and What’s Due?

What’s New? 
Join us at 4:PM on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 for the premier performance of "Sonata in F" performed by composer, Joseph Natoli. Additional performances of original works by Gorka Hermosa and Guy Klucevsek as Grayson Masefield and Cody McSherry join the presentation. Seating is limited so please confirm your attendance to on or before July 1.

What’s Due?
June 1 - All competition entries are due!!
June 1 - Journal advertising deadline. Send your camera ready art to:
Questions? Contact Linda Reed at 203-556-0002, fax 941-883-4588

June 11 - Last day to book hotel rooms at the discounted $129 rate. 
June 15 - Last day to purchase registration packages (individual event tickets can be purchased at any time depending on availability).

We hope to see all of you there!! 
Please visit the AAA website for the registration forms and all updates at:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

AAA Grayson Masefield Kennedy Center Concert, Washington DC

by Rita Barnea
Kennedy Center Grayson Masefield Concert
AAA logoThe Millennium Stage is a free performance series and part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC 20566. It features a broad spectrum of national and international performing arts companies, from dance and jazz, to chamber music and folk, comedy, storytelling and theater, every day of the year. Performances always begin at 6 pm.

On Monday July 9th, the American Accordionists' Association 80th Anniversary Festival brings 5 times World Champion Grayson Masefield for a concert that demonstrates the capabilities of the accordion, with selections of music from the Baroque period to modern compositions.

The performance will include transcriptions and original works for accordion, including songs by Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Angelis, Hermosa, and Nuevo Tango.

This concert seeks to promote the AAA 80th Anniversary Festival starting two days later and promote the accordion generally. The concert has a large international reach, with high quality video available online after the concert for the world to view.

Admission is free, no tickets required.

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

78th ATG Annual Competition and Festival in Lisle, IL July 25-28

by Rita Barnea
ATG Poster
Welcome to the 78th Annual Competition and Festival to be held at the Hyatt Regency in Lisle, IL (Chicago) from July 25-28, 2018. This year you will have the opportunity to hear some of the world’s finest accordion artists in concert, attend a variety of interesting and informative workshops, perform in the popular ATG Festival Orchestra, celebrate at the Gala Banquet and Luncheons, shop at the ATG Marketplace, enjoy a variety of Concerts and meet your fellow accordionists from around the world!
All events are open to the General Public. You will find a diverse array of musical genres performed by a variety of accordionists. There is truly something for everyone. Discover the magic and diversity of the accordion as presented by this year’s ATG Guest Artists. You are invited to purchase an all-inclusive package of tickets (with details available on the Registration Form at or you are also welcome to buy individual General Admission Tickets at the door for each event. Free parking is available at the Hotel.

The festival includes great concerts, workshops and food and also provides two opportunities for accordionists to perform with a group and have a lot of fun:
1) There is the Festival Orchestra  which gives you the opportunity to perform some incredible orchestra music under the baton of the world famous accordion orchestra conductor, Joan Sommers.  
2) There is also a fun Mixed Ensemble that will include high school students from local high school bands mixed with accordion players and is open to all players and all ability levels under the leadership of Murl Allen Sanders. Last year was the first year, enjoyed by both participants and audience!

2018 guest artists include:
Matthias Matzke, Germany
Leoni Kratz (Soprano), Germany
Cory Pesaturo, USA
Mike Alongi, USA
Donna Dee and Dennis Ray, USA

2018 workshop Presenters and Topics:
1. Joan Cochran Sommers: FIRST LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS....
This workshop is planned for a 50-minute presentation and is intended for use by accordionists, pianists or other musicians who may never have taught accordion but might like to teach some. 
For attendees who do not have an instrument, we may have some 12-bass accordions available for demonstrations.

There will be handouts for workshop attendees.  This workshop has been presented in the past to teachers actively teaching accordion students at all levels and they often expressed appreciation for the presentation, saying it gave them several new ideas to use in their own teaching methods.
This workshop can be presented with or without participants, but works nicely using volunteer students for demonstration purposes, limiting participants to to students with a 12-bass accordion.

ATG can provide some but if you have one and would like to bring it with you to the workshop that would be helpful. A 12-bass instrument when teaching beginner students is very helpful and eye-opening when applying these teaching techniques.
There are so many accordionists in the world who have perhaps just returned to playing and might assume they can teach the instrument or are pressured by others to do so. Therefore, this workshop hopes to help all attendees and teachers at any level become better teachers and may even encourage them, especially the non-accordionists, to take some lessons, too.

2. Cory Pesaturo
: AUTHENTICITY OF STYLES....Just because you know a Frank Marocco arrangement, does not mean you know a lick about Jazz.  Just because you play Nunzio's version of Under Paris Skies, does not mean you know anything about French music.  Playing a style takes years to understand, let alone master.  Cory will take you through over 10 genres, and dive into the details of each, using just one simple song as an example all the way through. 

The song will transform in groove, ornaments, tempo, key, touch, feel, and many other aspects as it is put through the paces of each genre.  By the end, you will have an idea of how to identify certain details in a style, apply them to your playing, and hence, make yourself sound more authentic.  

Title: IMPROVISATION/ENHANCING YOUR MUSICIANSHIP...Improvisation is the door that leads you to a Massive room in your musician house that you never knew you had.  Cory will give you some keys to unlock your potential, even just simple ideas of how to change a melody, so that every time you play a song, it's slightly different.  He'll also get into how to hear different chords inside your head that can add to an arrangement you are playing, and also improve your ability to "borrow" ideas others have played / learning a song on the radio you heard only once.  

3. Mattias Matzke
Matthias demonstrates his approach to increasing the accordion’s attraction by focusing on the following topics:
Sound and arrangement for solo and band performances 
Accompaniment of a vocalist 
Accessing current literature

4. Mike Alongi
: REHARMONIZATION AND A SURVEY OF USEFUL FACTS CONCERNING THE LH STRADELLA SYSTEM...The two-fold subject matter in this workshop consists of (1) Simple ways to view reharmonization. (2) A discussion on how the LH Stradella System gives us a clearer understanding of root movement with respect to the progression of chords.

5. Helmi Harrington
: WHAT MOST ACCORDIONISTS DON'T KNOW ABOUT THEIR INSTRUMENTS AND CONVENTIONAL NOTATION SYSTEMS....Our system of two-clef notation evolved over centuries and continues to develop as contemporary music introduces new symbols for sound and action. Beginning with diatonic accordion notation in tablature forms, we will next consider implications and problems in standard accordion music. Among these are shifts vs. keyboard placements, bass/chord notations vs. reed contents, and dynamic balance between instrument sections.
If you think you understand what conventional notation presumes of your sound product, awareness of its imprecision will cause reconsideration of your accordion’s components while exposing covert implications of notation. This information will promote improvements in your musical delivery and encourage advanced technical skills.

6. Murl Sanders: ACCOMPANYING EFFECTIVELY AND BEAUTIFULLY....Suggestions to make yourself a better accompanist and team player with your accordion. Learning to integrate or "fit in" with an ensemble of any size. This is a hands-on workshop. Bring your accordion. Be prepared to play because you will be asked to play with other folks during the workshop. If you play another instrument other than accordion, please consider bringing it so we can have realistic examples. If you are a singer, please consider singing and bring music for a simple song of your choice. Some simple sheet music will be provided as well.

7. Nick Ballarini
This is a hands-on workshop, accordion Required For Admission and music will be provided. • To Swing or Not To Swing
* Blues Riffs To Develop Your Swing
* 12 Bar Blues, 8 Bar Blues
* Major and Minor Blues
* Lazy (Wo)Man's Blues/Rock Bass
* Stradella Bass System Chord Structure
* Plucking Bass, Walking Bass, Strumming Bass

8. Gordon Kohl
....Placing an importance to the accordion tones being included and mixed in with other digital musical instrument voices. His workshops includes the accordion (voicing, registers, tuning, and chords); combining accordion reed voices with Digital Piano, Strings, etc.) He also mixes sounds from Broadway, French, Italian, County, and European music.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

2018 ATG Festival to Honor Special Guest Harley Jones

by Rita Barnea
Harley JonesAccordions Worldwide Founder Harley Jones will be the special honored guest at the July 2018 ATG Festival in Lisle, Il. from July 25-28, 2018.

Excerpts from the ATG website:
In 1996, Harley Jones started the Accordions Worldwide group of internet sites. These include:, and, the largest and most visited accordion internet sites in the world. These sites provide advertising banners for companies and artists with a very large readership attracted by such accordion community services as: Weekly News in 8 languages, US monthly news, CD Reviews, Celebrity Interviews, Articles, major event reports etc.

Additional sites include: Accordion Yellow Pages Search-Accordion largest accordion links site in the world, a site which sells eSheet music (sent by email to the client), CD's for world known artists, music catalogs for publishers in different parts of the world.

Harley Jones is a virtuoso accordionist. He has appeared on T.V. and National Radio in New Zealand many times, and has performed extensively in the USA, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Hong Kong, Singapore and China as well as his home country of New Zealand.

Harley was soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on a CD of symphony orchestra works composed by Gary Daverne, recorded in 1992 and now released internationally by EMI. "Rhapsody for Accordion and Orchestra" was written by New Zealand composer Gary Daverne especially for Harley Jones.

He premiered this work in New Zealand with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer (December 1987). He performed "Rhapsody" at the International Piano Accordion Competition and Festival in New York (August 1988) and at the Prize Giving of the 1990 Coupe Mondiale held in Germany in 1990. Harley has performed this work over 120 times worldwide, usually with composer Gary Daverne as the conductor, including Europe, North America, Australasia, China and Turkey.

Harley Jones has been involved with the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) for many years, having been an adjudicator on a number of occasions and Chairman of the Coupe Mondiale Adjudicators in 1976 in Washington. He has served on the Music Committee for the CIA for about 16 years (the committee which guides all aspects of the Coupe Mondiale competitions) and is currently the Public Relations Officer for the CIA and has been a CIA Executive member for some 16 years.

The ATG looks forward to welcoming Harley Jones as their special honored guest.

Titano Accordion Company

World Premiere of David Rothenberg’s New Work for Accordion, Cello, Guitar, and Pre-recorded Whale

by Rita Barnea
Video 1:Meet Composer David Rothenberg: The NJIT Board of Overseers presented the third New Jersey Institute of Technology Excellence in Research Prize and Medal to best-selling author and acclaimed clarinetist

Composer and Author David Rothenberg has composed a new work for accordion, cello, guitar and pre-recorded great whale. Rothenberg specializes in combining instrumental music with sounds from nature. He is the author of many books on the subject including "Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound"   

Shawn Lawson and The Progression Ensemble will give the world premiere of David's new work “And One Day We’ll Know Why Whales Sing” for Accordion, Cello, Guitar, and Pre-recorded Whale” at ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn on Sunday June 10, 2018 at 8:15 PM. The musicians include Eric Despard – Guitar; Michael Gilbert Ronstadt – Cello; and Rocco Jerry – Accordion.

Excerpts from David Rothenberg’s website: ECM recording artist David Rothenberg has performed and recorded on clarinet with Pauline Oliveros, Peter Gabriel, Ray Phiri, Jan Bang, Scanner, Suzanne Vega, Elliot Sharp, Markus Reuter, and the Karnataka College of Percussion.

He has nineteen CDs out under his own name, including “One Dark Night I Left My Silent House” , a duet album with pianist Marilyn Crispell. Rothenberg is the author of “Why Birds Sing”, book and CD, published in seven languages. He is also the author of “Thousand Mile Song”, about making music with whales, and “Survival of the Beautiful”, about aesthetics in evolution. His book and CD, “Bug Music”, featuring the sounds of the entomological world, has been featured on Radiolab and in the New Yorker. His latest recordings are “Cicada Dream Band”, “Berlin” and “And Vex the Nightingale”.

Rothenberg is distinguished professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. More of his books and CDs can be found on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and .)

In addition to the David Rothenberg world premiere, the concert will include new works by Christopher Cook, Eric Despard, Michael Dilthey, Gene Pritsker and Bjorn Bolstad Skjelbred and a new arrangement of “Lullaby” by Dan Cooper.

Rothenberg's most recent book and CD, Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound, chronicles the rich, underwater universe of whale sound. To produce the new material, he traveled from Hawaii to Russia to play his bass clarinet while recording the sounds of whales in their native habitats. Thousand Mile Song (Basic Books) was named one of the ten best science and technology books for 2008 by Booklist on Line, a publication of the American Library Association.

Why Birds Sing (Basic Books, 2005) was Rothenberg's first general interest book to examine bird song from the combined perspectives of science, music, and poetry and was the culmination of his interdisciplinary work since he began teaching at NJIT in 1992. Why Birds Sing has been published in the U.S., England, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Korea, China, and Taiwan as both a book and compact disc.

Rothenberg's first CD on ECM Records, with pianist Marilyn Crispell, One Dark Night I Left My Silent House came out in May 2010. The CD features him as a jazz clarinetist. Earlier in Rothenberg's career, he edited The Book of Music and Nature (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), and Parliament of Minds (SUNY Press, 1999), interviews with leading philosophers in conjunction with a public broadcasting television series of the same name, of which he was a co-producer.

In 2008, Rothenberg received NJIT's Excellence in Research Award for the College of Science and Liberal Arts. Rothenberg received his PhD from Boston University and his BA from Harvard University.

The NJIT Excellence in Research Prize and Medal is awarded for contributions that have enhanced the reputation of NJIT. At the event, the prize and medal winner delivers a lecture based on his record of accomplishment. The lecture is also available on NJIT's iTUNESU.. The prize and medal winner must have been a member of the NJIT faculty for at least 5 years.

For further information on David Rothenberg:

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

Texas Folklife’s 29th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Concert Calendar and PSA

by Sheree Scarborough
Accordion Kings and Queens
Saturday, June 2
7:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public
Miller Outdoor Theatre
6000 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030
(281) 373-3386

Come out and celebrate the legends of Texas Roots Music at Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens Concert, Saturday, June 2, at 7:00 p.m. It will be a star-studded affair, featuring THE Accordion Queen Eva Ybarra, Keyun Dickson & the Zydeco Masters, Jesse Lége & Bayou Brew, and Czech & Then Some. Grab your boots and dancing shoes! Pick up your FREE tickets at Miller Outdoor Theatre the day of the event. For advance reserved seating become a member of Texas Folklife: 512-441-9255.

PSA 30-second spot
Now through June 2
Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens Concert
Media contact: Sheree Scarborough (512) 922-5483 /

Long Live the Accordion! Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens Concert will be held at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Saturday June second, at seven p.m. This year’s free concert features Accordion Queen Eva Ybarra, Keyun Dickson & the Zydeco Masters, Jesse Lége & Bayou Brew, and Czech & Then Some. Grab your boots and dancing shoes! For more information call 512-441-9255

PSA 60-second spot
Long Live the Accordion! Texas Folklife’s 29th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Concert will be held in Hermann Park at Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday June second at seven p.m. Featuring Accordion Stars and Legends, including National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow and Accordion Queen Eva Ybarra, Keyun Dickson & the Zydeco Masters, Jesse Lége & Bayou Brew, Czech & Then Some, and the 2018 Big Squeeze Grand Prize Winners. It will be a night of celebrating all genres of Texas roots music. Grab your boots and dancing shoes! Be sure to pick up your free tickets at Miller Theatre the day of the event or for advance, reserved seating become a member of Texas Folklife at 512-441-9255

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

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

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Honoring Composer Eugene Ettore

by Rita Barnea
Eugene EttoreJune 2, 2018 would have been Eugene Ettore’s 97th Birthday. In honor of his birthday, I am posting the link to the website I created to educate all about a unique, versatile and talented individual who made great contributions to the accordion world and musical world in general. I encourage you to visit this page:

I was extremely fortunate to be his student. He prepared me for my long career as a music teacher in the public schools. Eugene Ettore inspired all of his students with an approach which included discipline, encouragement, and kindness. Those of you who had a music teacher as a guiding light in their lives will understand the importance of having a teacher/mentor. The positive lifelong benefits and influence branch out into so many other areas of life.

Eugene Ettore was well known as a fabulous composer for the accordion. He performed as both soloist and in the duet team, “Concert Duo” with Carmen Carrozza, his great friend. As a Renaissance man, Eugene Ettore also played the French Horn, and wrote method books for the accordion and French Horn. He was an artist, inventor and Braille transcriber etc. He was President of the AAA (American Accordionists’ Association) three times!

I will present a lecture/concert workshop, “The Life and Music of Eugene Ettore” at the 2018 AAA Festival in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday, July 13, 2018 at 10:AM.

In honor of Eugene Ettore’s birthday, I am offering a free download of the recording of his original compositions:

If you would like to see recent performances of some of his works, please visit:
1. Rita Barnea Workshop "PRELUDE & SCHERZO”:
2. Eugene Ettore: Spanish Holiday, for Accordion:
3. Rita Barnea Workshop "Accordion Miniatures”:
4. Rita Barnea Workshop "Five O'Clock Rush”:

If you wish to learn his music, please email me and I will send it to you as a free download also.

I hope that you enjoyed learning about Eugene Ettore. He deserves to be remembered and recognized for his important contributions . I welcome any comments to be sent to me, Rita Barnea, at

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

World Accordion and Tango Festival & 68th Trophee Mondial, Victoria - Canada

by Aleksandar Milojevic
CMA header
After 11 years, the Victoria International Accordion Festival, one of the important accordion festivals in North America, made a bold move to expand by changing festival dates, concept and name, to become the World Accordion and Tango Festival.

In this transitional year, as part of the festival being held on November 10-18, 2018 the BC Accordion and Tango Society will be hosting the 68th Trophée Mondial. This event is held every year in a different country and this will be the first time ever in Canada.

The Society was successful with their bid and was granted the honor to host the Trophée Mondial in Victoria, largely due to the huge success of the Coupe Mondiale 2013 that Victoria hosted, five years ago.

From November 10-15, 2018, some of the worlds finest young accordion soloists and ensembles will be competing for the very prestigious Trophee Mondial awards and a major prize budget. In the evenings there will be concerts will be presented by famous accordion professionals from different parts the world.

During the second festival weekend (Nov 16-18), the program will shift into tango music, for another three days of world-class performances by some of the most passionate and accomplished tango musicians and dance couples, who will be presenting their skills in workshops, dance lessons and famous milongas.

There will be over 200 performers in dozens of public concerts, workshops, dance nights, lectures, exhibitions.

The 68th Trophee Mondial is open to all accordionists, regardless of their age and level of playing. For all entry information, go to

Detailed program will be available during the summer and Early Bird ticket packages will go on sale at the beginning of September.

The festival has arranged some amazing deals with several hotels in Victoria, available for the festival guest only, for $89 CAD per room/per night.

For any additional information about the World Accordion and Tango Festival, please write to or phone 778 402 8151.

Titano Accordion Company

Nick Ariondo to Perform at Arcosanti in Arizona

by Rita Barnea
Nick AriondoAccordionist/Composer Nick Ariondo and guest vocalist extraordinaire Gregorio Gonzalez will entertain at “Italian Night at Arcosanti - Dinner & Concert under the Stars!” on June 30. 2018 / 6:PM dinner / 7:30PM concert.
Dinner & Concert $40 per person / Concert only $20 ($10 for students)

The evening begins with a fantastic Italian dinner served under the colorful vaults on the edge of the mesa followed by the virtuosity of accordionist/composer Nick Ariondo. Arcosanti is proud to welcome back Nick Ariondo, this time with guest vocalist Gregorio Gonzalez who have performed together with the L.A. Opera, Placido Domingo, and the Long Beach Opera, including recitals at UCLA/Herb Alpert Foundation, among others.

Ariondo exploits the accordion's dynamic range to orchestral proportions ~ enjoy a musical evening of spellbound accordion/vocal virtuosity with international delights from Italy and beyond. Ariondo was recently the featured soloist with 2018 Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat conducting his score “The Shape of Water” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Disney Concert Hall. Nick can be heard in the Oscar winning film “Life of Pi”, has appeared on-screen in the ever-popular hit “Bridesmaids”, has performed onstage with opera legend Placido Domingo and a Double Grammy Award winner with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra.

He was awarded Italy’s Ancona Prize and has appeared on national television with violinist Nicola Bennedetti (CBS-TV). Nick Ariondo received 25 consecutive ASCAP awards for his compositions and performances as he continues to surprise audiences with his incomparable artistry. Nick Ariondo’s Youtube videos have reached millions of viewers worldwide.

Arcosanti is located at:
13555 S Cross L Road,
Mayer, Az 86333

For further information about Nick Ariondo:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Cory Pesaturo in Summer Events

by Rita Barnea
French Magazine article
Cory in schoolCory Pesaturo is busy, as always, traveling around the world, presenting a positive image for the accordion.

Cory is very generous with his talents. In May, Cory and Joe Natoli went to two High Schools in Lisle, Chicago that ATG set up to present programs about the accordion. Cory arranged a performance at Maura Weis's Autism Center in South Bend, Indiana for the students there (Maura is Charlie Weis's wife (Patriots Offensive Coach in the first 3 Super Bowls)). Cory also arranged a performance and Masterclass at St. Joseph's Academy which has the only known High School Accordion Program.  

Cory performed at several private events at the Indianapolis 500. He was prominently featured in a French Magazine called STARS Magazine.  

Cory’s June 2018 appearances include:
- Jazz Concert at the famed Vibrato's Jazz Club in Los Angeles.  
- Leavenworth (LIAC)
- Performing private events during the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix for the 3rd time in Graz, Austria for RedBull and the RedBull Formula 1 team near where he broke the World Record.  

Cory will present a special program at a Queens, NY elementary school on June 5, 2018. Cory enthusiastically displays a very positive image for the accordion and is a wonderful motivator of young people, encouraging them to learn the accordion.

For further information:


Cody McSherry: Musical Ambassador

by Pat McSherry
Cody M.
Cody buttonCody McSherry will again be a musical ambassador bringing the accordion to people all across Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Cody will be a featured performer in Servant Stage’s production of “I’ll Fly Away,” which runs from May through August. The production is billed as “a toe-tappin’ tribute to folk, bluegrass and old-time gospel music.”

This is Cody’s third show with the unique theater company. The mission of Servant Stage is to create outstanding professional theater productions, but also to make those productions available to everyone, especially those who have financial or physical limitations that would limit their ability to experience live theater. With this in mind, Servant Stage takes its shows on the road, performing in churches, parks and eldercare facilities. The theater company does not charge for its shows, but asks for people to “pay as you will.” The model has been working well and the company has been expanding rapidly.

In the show, Cody will be performing some high energy pieces on both piano accordion and diatonic button accordion. Each show has a variety of performers. As a featured performer, Cody will be appearing in twenty-two of the run’s thirty shows. Performing with Cody will be the Backwoods Bluegrass Band (photo below) and several other acts.

At the old age of fourteen McSherry is already a seasoned stage performer with different production companies having been in shows such as “Les Miserables,” “A Christmas Story – the Musical,” “Evita,” “Old Time Gospel Radio Hour,” and “Old Time Gospel Christmas Show.” He also fronts his own polka band, “Polterabend,” and is the accordionist for Kolo Club Marian, a Croatian dance troupe. In addition, Cody performs on theater and pipe organ, baritone and tenor saxophone, and harp. He also serves as one of organists at Historic St. Mary’s, the fourth oldest Catholic parish in the original thirteen colonies.

Petar Maric in Performance at the Brooklyn Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
Petar Maric
Accordionist Petar Maric will perform for the Brooklyn Accordion Club on Sunday, June 17, 2018 from 2-4:PM at the Great Room at South Oxford Space, 138 South Oxford Street (Between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street), Brooklyn, NY 11217
Admission: $5.00  

The meeting opens with the regular open mic. If you are interested in performing please email:

Excerpt from the website:
Petar Marić was born in Serbia (Belgrade) in 1990 and began to play the accordion at the age of 5 years.

His tutors include: Aleksandar Nikolić (Serbia), Frederic Deschamps (France), Franck Angelis (France), Tibor Racz (Slovakia).

Petar has won many international accordion competitions including:
- CIA 2006 Junior Coupe Mondiale, Norway.
- Klingenthal 2009, Germany - Senior Variété
- CMA Trophee Mondial 2009 (Senior category, field: classical music)
 -Citta Di Castelfidardo, Italy – 2009 (Senior variété music)
 -CIA Coupe Mondiale Croatia - 2010 (Senior classical and variété)
 -CIA Coupe Mondiale (World champion title), Italy - 2012 (Electronic music category).
- Primus Ikaalinen, Finland – 2014 (Popular Music)

In addition to classical music originally written for accordion or transcriptions for compositions written for other instruments, Petar also plays virtuoso-compositions from the variété genre consisting of music from different countries and of different styles, enabling this world-class young artist to show the audience all the attraction and possibilities of accordion as an instrument.

Apart from classical and variété music, the young artist's wide repertoire offers something new and original: electronic accordion and electronic sound presenting the instrument from a new perspective which has wide appeal to the public.

The Great Room is fully air-conditioned, wheelchair accessible (ADA compliant), has a grand piano, stage (!), and is conveniently located only a few blocks away from Atlantic Terminal in the heart of beautiful historic Fort Greene neighborhood accessible by all trains: B, C, D, G, N, R, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5, and the LIRR. 

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Bruce Gassman to Perform at Leavenworth

by Rita Barnea
Bruce GassmanBruce Gassman will perform and present a workshop at the 2018 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration on Friday, June 22, 2018.

Bruce’s extensive accordion background began at age 9. Excerpts from LIAC website: He performed his first Senior Recital at age 11 and at the age of 13 he competed and won the National Boy's Club of America Music Scholarship Award. For the next 4 years he studied with Maestro Joseph Biviano of New York City. In 1962, at the age of 15, Bruce became the youngest member of the Accordion Symphony Society of NY, and at his first concert in December of that year; they performed at Town Hall featuring the immortal Charles Magnante.

While in college, and playing rock & roll, he toured the Mid-West with the Escorts, Doc & the MD's and The Broadway Clique. Once back East, playing Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes piano, Jersey Shore rock scene experience involved performances at many area night clubs, he jammed with stars such as the late B.B. King and future stars including Bruce Springsteen.

Returning to his accordion roots in 1974, he formed The Bruce Gassman Orchestra and for the next 18 years Bruce performed at more than 2,500 private parties. In 1992 he stopped playing to focus on his family and his real estate career.

After a 15 year sabbatical, he started the come-back. Bruce joined Dan Desiderio and the Accordion Pops Orchestra; and then in 2008 became the first accordionist ever to perform with Holiday Express, a group of more than 100 professional musicians and 1,500 volunteers who, from Thanksgiving till Christmas, bring the gift of human kindness to those less fortunate. Since 2009, Bruce has presented workshops, conducted and been a featured performer at numerous accordion clubs, conventions and festivals.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Student Accordion Band in Queens School Spring Concert

by Rita Barnea
Apologies for sideways video. Will be corrected tomorrow.
On May 15, 2018, PS203Q presented its Spring Concert to the families of the Bayside Queens Elementary School. The concert, which lasted about 2 hours, included the following groups:

    * The Suzuki Violin Program which consisted of approximately 50 violinists.
    * Squeezebox 10 Accordion Club Band
    * Les Chanteurs - Dancing & Singing Group
    * School Chorus
    * Dance Club

A special feature that night was the PS 203Q Accordion Band, conducted by Ms. Linda Holcomb, which consists of 10 accordionists. "Papa Joe" De Clemente from Queens provides assistance during band practices sessions and for the concert. A week prior to the concert, some of the kids' groups, including the accordion band, performed for the residents of the "Chapin Home of the Aging" in Jamaica Queens, NY.

The accordion band performed the following selections;
"Come to the Sea"
"In The Mood"
"La Donna E Mobile"
"Chicken Dance"
"Star Wars Theme"
 They also accompanied the School Chorus with "Something Just Like This" 

A special note of thanks should be made to Ms.Holcomb for all of hard work she did as evidenced by the excellent performance of her students and the very enthusiastic reception by the audience.

Excerpts from LIAA publication: Public-school 203Q, in Bayside, Queens may be one of the only elementary schools in the five boroughs of New York City that has a student accordion band. It is made up of ten 4th and 5th graders and is conducted by the school’s music teacher, Mrs. Linda Holcomb.

The school started their accordion band fifteen years ago. They meet once a week, at the beginning of the school day to practice various songs that they will perform throughout the year. “We enjoy performing for concerts and events in our school, and we love taking our show on the road, into our community,” says Holcomb. During December, the group braved the frigid weather and played holiday songs outdoors for the Bayside Hills community holiday lighting celebration. They also entertained at the Clearview Senior Center located in that same area.

Holcomb adds, “Performing for nursing homes and Senior Centers brings such joy to the people there. They love to see the children play their accordions. Our students always come home from those trips so excited, having experienced how their music can really be a blessing to others.”

For the past two years, the group has been fortunate to have the guidance of community member and professional accordionist, “Papa Joe” De Clemente. Papa Joe volunteers his time to join the students for rehearsals and he inspires them to be better accordionists. Among the many things he does for them, he also fixes their accordions!

As a special treat for the school, Cory Pesaturo is going to graciously share his talents at PS203Q on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 1:PM.

For more information about the school’s accordion program, please contact Ms. Holcomb at
Student Accordion Band

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

Welcome to the New England Accordion Connection & Museum Company

by Rita Barnea
Looking for a road trip summer vacation accordion destination? Visit this amazing place: The New England Accordion Connection & Museum Company is a collection of antique and modern accordions as well as related memorabilia. There are display models from the very beginning of the accordion era from 1820 to the current day.

Excerpts from the website: Paul Ramunni (picture above) opened the museum in October 2011 located in separate renovated spaces attached to his personal residence in North Canaan, Connecticut. One of the main priorities of NEACMC is to keep the spirit and influence of the accordion alive.

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

There are now over 600 accordions on display. Of that number 100+ new and used accordions are available for sale in the newly renovated studio and showroom.

Among the museums offerings are:
*Lessons for beginners;
*Saturday gatherings for group and individual play;
*The traveling museum visits senior centers, nursing homes and other locations to play, display and present older accordions and their stories;
*The repair loft with repair supplies, accessories and repair services;
*Sponsoring speaker seminars and workshops (on and off the premises);
*Multimedia presentations of performing artists found online at various websites;
*Accordions accepted as donations for the museum or purchased outright;
*Customer owned accordions accepted for sale on a consignment basis;
*Accordion appraisal services;
*Over 10,000 pieces of sheet music, instruction books and song books offered for sale at reasonable prices.

You may also request a tour. By appointment only – NEACMC provides small group tours for those who would like to view the exhibit. NEACMC will also visit you with their NEACMC Mobile Exhibits/

Free Admission - Donations welcomed. Paul said, “Thank you for believing in our mission to develop a bright future for the accordion industry.”

Address of the Museum: 17 Margaret Lane Canaan, CT 06018
Phone: (860) 833-1374

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

Rose City Accordion Club Camp June 10-15

by Rita Barnea
Rose City Logo\Plan to participate in the Rose City Accordion Club’s Annual Accordion Camp Sunday, June 10 – June 15, 2018 at the Silver Falls State Park Conference Center, Sublimity, Oregon.

The Conductors will be Beverley Fess and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues. The Workshop Instructors are Mary Tokarski and Courtney Von Drehle.

Enjoy music in ensembles, workshops and more in a beautiful setting. Lodging, maid service and meals are included. Enrollment is limited. Please reserve your place early. A non-refundable $100 deposit will hold your place. To Register fill out the form and send with a check to:

Rose City Accordion Club
c/o Fran Maddox
3429 SE 162nd Ave
Portland, OR 97236-1912

The Accordion Camp Registration Form is available for download .
Click here:

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.Their intent is to promote the future of the accordion and the enjoyment it gives to all.

The 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 1-4:PM.

For further information: Bev Spurgeon

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Meet Grayson Masefield In New Jersey House Concert on July 7

by Rita Barnea
Grayson Masefield

Grayson MasefieldOn Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 3:PM we will host a house concert in our home in West Orange, New Jersey featuring international concert artist, Grayson Masefield. Admission will be $10 per person.

Guests may arrive at 3:PM and you will have a chance to meet and talk with Grayson. The concert begins at 4:PM and lasts for about one hour. Please be early! Light refreshments will be served.

Grayson is a recent graduate, with a Masters Degree, from University of Music – Lausanne, Switzerland and five-time world champion.

Grayson Masefield will also perform at a special concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on Monday, July 9th and at the 80th Anniversary of the AAA in Alexandria, Virginia on July 11, 2018 at 4:PM. He will also present a workshop on Friday, July 13 at 1:30 PM. and will be a guest artist at the AAA Gala Concert in Alexandria, Virginia on July 14.

Space in our home is limited, so if you wish to attend, it is absolutely critical that you RSVP ASAP. Kindly respond to by June 10 indicating how many people will attend.These reservations will, of necessity, be on a first-come, first-served basis.  

I will then send details with address, directions, parking, etc. to those who have confirmed they are coming. Thank you, and we hope to see you there to hear Grayson Masefield.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Don't Miss the AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 27-29 in NYC

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
American Accordionists' Association Master Class and Concert Series
William Schimmel, moderator and curator presents:
"Thinking inside the Box. Our 24th Smash Year"

Download form and information on the AAA site at:

July 27, 28, 29, 2018 at the Tenri Cultural Institute
43a west 13th street between 5th & 6th avenues

Master Classes at 3:PM
Concerts at 7:PM
$25.00 per master class
$30.00 per concert
$50.00 per day, includes master class and concert
$135.00 per entire weekend

Performers, presenters, master class topics and concerts will be announced as the program is finalised.

Participants will include:
micki goodman, paul stein, dr. robert young mc mahan, will holshouser, doug makofka, brian dewan, yoichi fukui, gene pritsker, melissa elledge, mark nathanson, benjamin ickies, godfrey nelson, lorraine nelson wolf, dragica banic curcic, peter flint, erica marie mancini, dave soldier, mayumimiyaoka, dan cooper, the yorkvillians, rachel swaner, the main squeeze orchestra, bachtopus, milica paranosic, machael dames, peter jarvis, david stoler, david first, mary spencer knapp, dr. hugo goldernzweig, lee mc clure, ken laufer, john foti, kathleen tipton, marni rice, bob goldberg, corn mo, rachid eladouni, carl reihl, linda reed, rita barnea, dr.denise koncelick, alicia svigals, elizabeth brown, ted nash, jeanne velonis,cecylia barczk, devon tipp, sydknee, michiyo suzuki, robert duncan, miwa gemini, jenny cho, elliott sharp, jennie muoio, elanie yau, charita patamikakam and many others, a few surprise guests, and dr. schimmel.

For reservations and information:
or Phone: 212-876-0827.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat January 17-20, 2019

by Rita Barnea
Houston Accordion event 2019
The Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat takes place January 17-20, 2019 at the Wyndham Houston West Energy Corridor in Houston, TX. Stay Venglevski will be the music director with guest artist Mischa Litvin collaborating with the Houston Balalaika Society Orchestra.

There will be opportunities for you to participate in orchestra rehearsals, open mic and jam sessions, public concert and attendance at Stas and Mischa’s concert.

There will be a limited number of attendees allowed. First come, first served. A waiting list will be created. The event is supported by Petosa Accordions.

More information about this event will be available in future USA news publications.

For more information contact Megumi Hada:
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