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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jun-2021
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Recommended Reports for Your Viewing - International
A Beautiful Celebration: Linda Soley Reed’s Virtual Lifetime Achievement Award
Video:" Gratitude": For my dear friend Linda Soley Reed by Joseph Natoli
Kevin Friedrich CD Release for Europe & North America & Asia
Remembering and Honoring Eugene Ettore on His 100th Birthday
2022 International Video Competition for Conductors
Michael Bridge Performs Final Doctoral Lecture-Recital
Guy Klucevsek: Accordions4Peace - Artists4Peace
Updates for Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 17-20
Virtual Accordion Camp V on June 5

Voci Armoniche

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

A World of Accordions Museum Honors World Accordion Day
Chris Rybak Plays Accordion at Elementary School in Texas
Victor Prieto Performs Live in “A Musical Voyage” in New York City
Online: Hamidreza Nematollahi Guest at Brooklyn Accordion Club
Texas Folklife Announces Champions of 15th Annual Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Contest
Alexander French Wins Texas Folklife “Big Squeeze Contest” Polka Category
Geno Delafose Performed at “Mudbug Madness Festival” in Shreveport, La.
A Virtual Tribute to Zydeco on June 17
Not Just Oom-Pah! 2021 Accordion Concert and Workshop
Slavic Soul Party is Back!!
Alex Meixner Performs for the World Accordion Day Special Event
“Poor Man’s Gambit” Entertains at Longwood Gardens
Accordions on the Canadian Peace Tower
Rochelle Morse Thompson Plays Accordion After 54 Year Pause
Accordionist Performs for Irish Funeral
Victoria Accordion Club Band Performs for World Accordion Day

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Children's Corner

Video: Maria Telesheva Plays Bach to Celebrate World Accordion Day

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

Future events

2021 Virtual AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York with Dr. William Schimmel
Dominic Karcic Performs for Bastille Day Festivities
Rose City Accordion Camp in Eagle Creek



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
National Accordion Awareness MonthJune is National Accordion Awareness Month. National Accordion Awareness Month was established in 1989 to help spread the word about the resurgence in popularity in the accordion and to educate people about the accordion. AWW certainly educates and entertains the world about the accordion all year long!

National Accordion Awareness Month Activities Can Include:

1. Buy an accordion. What better way to honor this instrument than to permanently bring one into your life? Research the best and most affordable accordions and treat yourself to a wonderful instrument. Worried about the space it might take? No time to learn this instrument? Do a good deed and give it to someone who appreciates music, or donate it to your local music class. Send a little music/joy out into the world.

2. Take accordion lessons. Take lessons in person or online.

3. Support accordion players. Honor those who have put in the work, attend their concerts, or watch them play online. Purchase their music from online platforms, etc. Share your discovery with the world and help spread awareness about the accordion.

Interesting fact: A renewed interest in grassroots regional musical styles, such as Zydeco, Cajun and Tejano, have resulted in the rediscovery and recent rise in popularity of the accordion in the U.S.

The June news includes videos and information on accordion happenings many of which are now live. Also included are virtual events that you can sign up to see on Zoom.

There are many special reports and videos on World Accordion Day (WAD) which was May 6-8, 2021. You can view concerts from around the world just by clicking on the links in the articles.


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

Recommended Reports for Your Viewing - International

by Harley Jones
CIA logo
WADWait a few seconds for the large video to load.
1. Video Broadcast by Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA). View the video above in large size at: WorldAccordioDay2021 and all the other 2021 reports.

2. Video: 2021 World Accordion Day, World of Accordions Museum - USA. This is reported at: 2021USWAM

3. The Associazione Promotion Arte led by Renzo Ruggieri organizes "Absolute Premiere" online video of:
- Vincenzo Abbracciante "Orizzonte"
- Andrea Di Giacomo "Suite Abruzzo"
- Marco Gemelli "Resíliens"
- Roberto Palermo Ensemble "Mediterranima"
- Renzo Ruggieri Mauro De Federicis "Ciak"
Video and details of each new composition in Italian and English at: 2021AbsolutePremiere

4. World Accordion Day 2021, Brazil, Portugal, Others - International
Video 1: 10 clips of performances by many famous players.
Video 2: Video of Fabrica de Gaiteiros introduced by Samanta Albuquerque of the Oswaldinho do Acordeon Institute

Titano Accordion Company

A Beautiful Celebration: Linda Soley Reed’s Virtual Lifetime Achievement Award

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Logo
Linda Soley ReedCelebrating Linda Soley ReedDownload the 24 page booklet Celebrating Linda Soley Reed - tributes by her friends in honor of her 2021 AAA Lifetime Achievement Award. Celebrating Linda Soley Reed is available here in PDF format for you to download and enjoy.

After months of careful planning, gathering outstanding musical and verbal tributes, endless meetings and phone calls between the committee members, Linda’s heartfelt virtual Lifetime
Achievement Award celebration was presented Sunday, May 23, 2021 to a very appreciative Zoom audience. Friends, colleagues and relatives from all over the world attended — what a touching sight — to honor the American Accordionists’ Association’s 2021 award recipient, Linda Soley Reed.

I would like to acknowledge and thank my fellow committee members, AAA President Dr. Joseph Ciccone, Don Gerundo and Marilyn O’Neil for their tireless work in preparation for Linda’s well-deserved award. I would also like to thank our amazing emcee Manny Bobenrieth who worked with us for weeks, helping anywhere he was needed. Dominic Karcic came onboard to assist those having problems with Zoom — a very necessary and appreciated job!

At Linda’s personal request, Dr. Robert Young McMahan and Dan Mastroianni wrote pieces in her honor, which were premiered at the event. Due to time constraints, only excerpts from these compositions were featured. Others who played and recorded for Linda were: Joe Cerrito, Mario Tacca, Eddie Monteiro, Don Gerundo, Frank Busso, Sr., Dr. Joe Ciccone, Manny Bobenrieth, Guy Klucevsek, Mary Tokarski, Frank Toscano and Alexander Poeluev. Speakers were Dr. Joe Ciccone, Joan Cochran Sommers, Harley Jones and Kevin Friedrich.

I know I speak for everyone of us when I say that this entire production was a total labor of love to honor a remarkable woman and great friend who has given “her all” to the AAA for decades! Sadly, Linda’s health began to decline earlier this year. We are grateful to Linda’s family for their assistance in presenting Sunday’s event to Linda in her hospital room. In Linda’s words, “I absolutely loved it!”

In closing, here are the beautiful words of AAA Board member, and Linda’s close friend, Marilyn O’Neil:

“Throughout the process of working alongside my AAA colleagues, I kept reflecting on the story of my relationship with this extraordinary woman. I know full well many of you have known our Linda since childhood. She walked into my life with that history inside of her; all the contributions that all of you made that make her the person she is today.

What did I see and hear in my mind’s eye? I saw Linda conducting our CAA Orchestra, growing our group from infancy to adulthood, educating us, honing our skills. I heard the laughter, felt the warmth, endured the challenges we faced and enjoyed the great times we had. I saw her leadership, her caring, her unwavering devotion to the CAA. I felt her love. I feel it still.

As our AAA “Mother”, as Joe Ciccone aptly describes her, Linda’s combination of skills as a leader, a creator and as an accordionist continue to influence the direction our organization has taken to keep our beloved instrument alive.

As long as the accordion is in my life, the Lifetime Achievements of Linda Soley Reed will reside in me.”

In closing, I would like to request that everyone keep our beloved Linda Soley Reed in your thoughts and prayers!

Voci Armoniche

Video:" Gratitude": For my dear friend Linda Soley Reed by Joseph Natoli

by Rita Barnea
Joe NatoliJoseph Natoli, is a professional accordionist and composer, a past President of ATG and a co-director of the IDEAS. This new work by Joseph Natoli titled "Gratitude" is dedicated "to my dear friend Linda Solely Reed."

Joe shares: “Congratulations Linda Soley Reed. I just wanted to take this opportunity to show my love and appreciation for Linda Soley Reed for her lifelong friendship, as well as her support of me and everything accordion. Linda's AAA Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday 5/23/21 was so well-deserved for her continual selfless support of the accordion and the AAA. God bless Linda and here is my offering to show her some well-deserved GRATITUDE!" The music is available from JANPress Publications.

Joseph Natoli, is not only a professional accordionist and composer, but also past President of ATG and co-organizer along with Michael Soloway of the International Digital Electronic Accordion Society (IDEAS) which holds an annual Symposium each year in November for digital accordionists from all over the world. Joseph Natoli has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven. Joe’s education includes Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Toronto Faculty Of Music in Toronto, Canada, where he was the first student accepted there to use the free bass accordion as an applied major instrument, studying with renowned Canadian accordionist, Joseph Macerollo. 

Joseph Natoli started his musical career mostly as a performer, but had always been interested in composition, and has focused on his compositional craft even more in recent years. Joe has written many original pieces in all musical styles and genres for standard and free bass accordion, all of which are available by inquiries to, including his ensemble piece “Child's Play” (for 2 accordions, cello, & percussion), and “Smooth” (a Latin jazz piece for solo or accordion quintet), as well as solo accordion pieces “Nine Children’s Pieces” for free bass accordion, “Variations On a Well-Known Melody,” “Sonata in F Major (in the Classical Style),” “Children’s Suite”, and “Kinetic Tango” among many others.

Joseph Natoli is realizing a lifelong dream, having recently retired from his Information Technology (IT) career, in order to dedicate himself to music (both performance and composition).

Joe always maintained a fairly active schedule for both disciplines even during and in spite of his years as an IT manager. However, since retiring recently from that very demanding and stressful profession, Joe has stepped up his game in the music arena and is enjoying composing more than ever before.

Joe is a very accomplished composer and musician. At the same time, he maintains a demeanor of humility, modesty, and friendliness. He is a great listener and always available to discuss musical topics with enthusiasm appropriate to a person’s level of skill. Joe is a prolific composer always creating beautiful compositions inspired by meaningful events in his life. We all look forward to Joe’s future compositions, never very far in the future.

For further information:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Kevin Friedrich CD Release for Europe & North America & Asia

by Harley Jones
Gary DaverneUpon his return from New Zealand to the USA, Kevin Friedrich has released his new CD in the North America and Europe and dedicated the release to World Accordion Day. You can hear sound samples and read about the CD at: Catalog: friedrich01 The Journey CD.

The CD titled "The Journey", features music by renowned New Zealand composer Gary composer Gary Daverne (picture right) who has written pieces specifically for Northland, New Zealand, such as “Song of the Far North”, “Gem of the Kaipara”, “Day of Aranga” as well as “The Anzac Trilogy”, all which have been featured at Kevin's annual Fundraising concerts at the Dargaville Museum, New Zealand, often with the composer present.

CDs are available online at Catalog: friedrich01 The Journey CD for only US$20 including postage.


Remembering and Honoring Eugene Ettore on His 100th Birthday

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Eugene Ettore

Video 1: “Rhapsodie Espagnol” composed by Eugene Ettore, performed by Rita Barnea at the 80th Anniversary AAA Festival in Washington DC.
Video 2: "Prelude & Scherzo” composed by Eugene Ettore, performed by Rita Barnea.

June 2, 2021 would have been Eugene Ettore’s 100th Birthday. In honor of his birthday, I am posting the link to the website which 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 at: Eugene Ettore

During this year, I will include articles on his music, musicians who perform his music, and scheduled programs featuring his compositions.

I was extremely fortunate to be his student. Eugene Ettore prepared me for my long career as a music teacher in the public schools. I played the accordion every day for my students! The accordion is a fabulous asset to any music teacher! Anyone who has a mentor who positively encourages and reinforces his interests is a very fortunate person. Lifelong interpersonal skills are developed because of an influential teacher.

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 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, piano tuner/rebuilder and Braille transcriber etc. He was President of the AAA (American Accordionists’ Association) three times!

I presented a lecture/concert workshop, “The Life and Music of Eugene Ettore” at the 2018 AAA Festival in Alexandria, Virginia. 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. Eugene Ettore: "Spanish Holiday, for Accordion":

2. Rita Barnea Workshop "Accordion Miniatures”:

3. Rita Barnea Workshop "Five O'Clock Rush”:

If you wish to learn any of his music including his method books, please email me at and I will send it to you as a free download.

I hope that you will enjoy learning about Eugene Ettore. He greatly deserves to be remembered and recognized for his important contributions. I would love to see more accordionists learn and perform his works. I welcome any comments sent to me, Rita Barnea at Cell/text: 201-675-4861

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

2022 International Video Competition for Conductors

by Harley Jones
2022 Conductor's Competition
Gary Daverne2022 International Video Competition for Conductors performing music compositions by New Zealand composer Gary Daverne.

This is a Video Competition for conductors of:
Accordion Orchestras, all types of Orchestras, Choirs, Bands (brass, wind, accordion, etc.), Ensembles.

1st prize is a round trip air ticket to New Zealand to conduct at a suitable concert in 2023, in Auckland, New Zealand. Accommodation for 5 nights included. This is a great opportunity for the winning conductor to visit New Zealand.

This competition is open to conductors of any age, gender and nationality.

Download rules and regulations at:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Michael Bridge Performs Final Doctoral Lecture-Recital

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Michael BridgeVideo: "Tsaghkats Baleni (Avetisyan)" - Michael Bridge

Michael Bridge shares, “In May 2021, I performed my final doctoral lecture-recital... to an empty hall at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. The video coming in two weeks.” Please check this article again in two weeks for the video of Michael’s recital. "Now that more live events are being scheduled," Michael said, “I’m looking forward to performing live again starting this fall in Ontario & Quebec, and across the USA (with Bridge & Wolak) starting in January 2022.”

Please enjoy the above video, expressive and lyrical, photos and performance. Michael explains its conception: “Tonight, April 18, 2021, I biked past the cherry blossoms on the University of Toronto campus, and was reminded of this a piece I arranged and recorded, “Tsaghkats Baleni”, which means "White Cherry Blossom Trees" in Armenian. I took a few slow motion videos of the blossoms with my phone, and added the recording from my album, Overture. I hope it will bring you some pensive late night reflection & inspiration. If you'd like to purchase the album, please email:

Excerpts from his website: Michael Bridge’s mother arrived home one afternoon in 1998 with a $5 mini-accordion she had purchased at a garage sale. Soon Michael proclaimed it did not have enough notes, and a long journey began…By age 10, Michael was performing frequently in retirement homes in his native Calgary. Seduced by earning $30 in an afternoon, he would soon perform 75 events annually playing folk music, and learn to host a show. A technology tinkerer, Michael constantly bought keyboards, microphones and recorders. He produced a half-dozen albums from his family’s basement by age 15.

Two transformations then took place: Diving into classical accordion repertoire, and encountering the digital accordion. To play classical music, Michael bought a free-bass button ‘concert’ accordion, which required re-learning where all the notes were. He entered and won the Canadian Digital Accordion Championships twice, receiving digital accordions as the prize and allowing him to finally “play all the instruments at once,” blending his love for technology and his musical abilities.

Already touring internationally, Michael enrolled at the University of Toronto in 2011, where he is completing his doctorate (the first Canadian to do so). His professor, Joseph Macerollo, emphasized working with other instruments and with composers to create new music — leading to over 50 world premieres and a keen interest in new music.

In 2021, he was awarded a prestigious Rebanks Fellowship at the Glenn Gould School where he will pursue post-doctoral studies. As an orchestral soloist, Bridge has appeared with the Boston Pops, National Orchestra of Brazil, Edmonton Symphony, Ontario Philharmonic, and his hometown Regina Symphony, among others.

With his duo partner, clarinetist Kornel Wolak, Bridge & Wolak have toured extensively in Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, France, Ecuador, in many US states and in every Canadian province. Among the most active Canadian groups during Covid-19, Bridge & Wolak’s virtual concerts (pre-recorded), virtual school shows (live), and Music Mentorship Program for high school students are reaching communities in new ways. Touring as a member of Ladom Ensemble since 2015, the quartet has risen to national acclaim, giving over 200 concerts in nearly every province and creating their own unique brand of classical-world music fusion.

Invested in music education, Bridge plans to eventually scale back from touring half the year and teach accordion at the university level. He gives masterclasses at every opportunity, including at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Kiev, Krakow and Łódź Academies in Poland, Princeton University, and the Universities of Colorado Boulder, Alberta, Lethbridge, Western Ontario, and Queen’s.

Bridge’s work has received many accolades from national and international media. He was awarded the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Career Development Award, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Medal, and a Massey College Junior Fellowship. He has gratefully received funding to supporting his performances, recordings, and research from SSHRC, the Canada & Ontario Arts Councils, and the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation.

Michael lives in Toronto near a natural valley, and has never owned a car. He dances salsa, engineers guacamole, shoots espresso, nurses scotch, and knows by heart (and by stomach) the best vegan restaurants from Kiev to São Paul

Future 2021 performances include:
Kansas City, KS
June 3, 2021 / 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Bridge & Wolak - Virtual Concert and Q&A with John County Community College

Ottawa Chamberfest
August 1 - 3, 2021 / Times TBA
Ladom Ensemble - Outdoor Performances with Ottawa Chamberfest

Bolton, NY
August 7, 2021 / 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Outdoor Lawn Concert at the Sembrich Opera Museum

Montmagny, QC
September 3 - 5, 2021 / Times TBA
Performances and Masterclasses at the Carrefour Mondiale De L’Accordeon

AWW extends a sincere congratulations to Michael Bridge for all his many accomplishments.

For further information:

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

Guy Klucevsek: Accordions4Peace - Artists4Peace

by Rita Barnea

Guy KlucevsekVideo 1: "Music and Mobiles": Guy Klucevsek / Keith Lo Bue

Video 2: "Bachtopus: String of Garlands"
Bachtopus is excited to release the fourth commission from our 2020 Composers Commissioning Fund, “String of Garlands,” which was originally written by composer and accordionist Guy Klucevsek for accordion orchestra and then arranged for Bachtopus. This composition was written in memory of Anne Garland for her husband David and son Kenji.

Video 3: Guy Klucevsek: "Pauline, Pauline" (for Pauline Oliveros)
Bellows Brigade, live at Roulette, Brooklyn, May 11, 2017. Guy Klucevsek, accordion & bass accordion, Will Holshouser, accordion, Nathan Koci & Kamala Sankaram, accordions and voices. Duration: ca. 17 minutes. Sections: 1. Buddha from Another Planet. 1a. Quietly So As Not to Wake the Butterfly (after Murikami), a moving interlude. 2. Shō-zilla! 3. Dronespeak. 4. Piper's Lament. 5. The Queen of Kingston. 6. Pauline Oliveros.
Video by Point of Order Productions.

Guy Klucevsek is a contributing member of Artists4Peace. Included in this article are three of his compositions. Guy shares: “I began playing accordion in the 1950s, when I was five or six, and began composing as a teenager. Thus it’s probably more than a coincidence that my compositions are primarily for accordion—either alone or in multiples, or in combination with other instruments.

"String of Garlands" (2020’) was commissioned by Bachtopus, an accordion ensemble based in the New York City area. I imagined the sound of a mega-accordion—massive both in terms of pitch and dynamic extremes—and tried to create that sound through the medium of an accordion ensemble. This recording features accordionists Robert Duncan, Peter Flint, Mayumi Mayaoki and, on bass accordion, Jeanne Velonis. The video was created by Robert Duncan. The piece is dedicated to David and Kenji Garland, in memory of Ann Garland, a dear friend of mine.

"Music and Mobiles"(2013) is a video created by Keith LoBue which features his miniature mobiles and for which he commissioned a score from me. The music is for solo accordion, which I performed myself. Because the individual videos are very short, I had to immediately capture and sustain a mood—whether it was wistful, playful, shimmering—and not overly-concern myself with development. Keith LoBue is an amazing visual artist who creates one-of-a-kind jewelry and sculptures, most often using found objects. He has also done the art work for my CDs “Citrus, My Love” and “Song of Remembrance.” They were composed and assembled as opening sequences for Lo Bue's online workshop entitled "Poetry in Motion: Making Marvelous Mobiles."

"Pauline, Pauline" (2017)’, is dedicated to the memory of my longtime, dear friend, Pauline Oliveros. It is scored for 4 accordions, with several of the players doubling on voice and bass accordion. It consists of six short pieces: 1) Buddha from Another Planet, 2) Shō-zilla!, 3) Dronespeak, 4) Piper’s Lament, 5) The Queen of Kingston, and 6) Pauline Oliveros. I tried to capture many of the elements of Pauline’s work from over the decades: use of drones, voice and accordion, improvisation—from meditative to wild-and-wooly—organic quadraphonics (4 players surrounding the audience), analogue panning (players moving from one stationary location to another while playing or whistling). In the final piece, “Pauline Oliveros,” I used the rhythm of her name to generate the music, which becomes at once a chant and a lament. This video is from the premiere of the piece at Roulette, Brooklyn, New York, March 2017. The performers are Nathan Koci, Will Holshouser, Kamala Sankaram and myself.

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.

With a recording catalog spanning four decades, Guy Klucevsek remains one of the most accomplished and respected accordionists in the world.

Guy is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to "America's finest artists." He 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 CD's on the Intuition (Germany) label.

Guy’s 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.”

Who are Artists 4 Peace? Artists for Peace (A4P) is an international collective that aims to contribute to world peace and sustainability by creating opportunities for meaningful communication and innovative collaborations across the world. Artists 4 Peace (A4P) is a global collective presenting works focused on peace and sustainable living.

The first edition was launched on September 21, 2020, aptly the United Nations International Day of Peace. Art forms include, but not limited to multidisciplinary works, Dance, Music, Film and Video, Theater, Writing, Science, and Visual Art. A4P will appear online as bi-monthly editions, presenting curated works within categories to a global audience.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Updates for Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 17-20

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Leavenworth Festival
The LIAC, sponsored by the Northwest Accordion Society, will take place on June 17-20, 2021.
It will be an outdoor event.: Because of COVID, Festhalle activities will have to be cancelled this year. However, the good news is that we intend to have plenty of entertainment at the gazebo. We also have a lovely garden space for jamming and workshops outdoors. There are also plans to have a virtual adjudication event for students. We are excited to have a great, yet safe festival for accordionists and tourists.  

For those wishing to perform at the gazebo during LIAC 2021, contact Doris Osgood to reserve your performance time.  A sign- up schedule may be viewed now at 

Update on playing at the Gazebo:
Masks will no longer be required when playing on the gazebo stage. Also, there won’t be restrictions on the number of people that can be performing at the same time on the stage.
This is all due to the removal of restrictions in Washington State due to improvement in the Covid situation. It is highly suggested that those that are not vaccinated should wear a mask.
Anyone that feels more comfortable wearing a mask may certainly do so.

Go to the Gazebo page to see what time slots are available (there aren’t many).
Gazebo Schedule | Accordion Celeb ( .

The 2022 LIAC will take place from June 16-19 2022 - back to normal! This includes the Festhalle program, workshops, and Grange activities. The LIAC website will be updated to show the “who, what, when” for 2022.

LIAC Plan for 2021:
There are 2 basic events in 2021: Student Evaluations and Live Music at the Gazebo. There are no activities in the Festhalle or Grange due to restrictions due to cover. Following is where to find information on 2021 events. (the remainder of the website shows what will be happening in 2022).
2021 LIAC Video Evaluations:
Toby Hanson, chairman of the Evaluation event, will be glad to answer all questions and help students to sign-up. He can be reached at:
(206) 245-8207 and 
To get started, here are the following links:
2021 LIAC Video Evaluation Guidelines
2021 LIAC Evaluation Submission Form

2021 Sign-up to perform at the Gazebo:
We are now taking sign-ups for those who would like to perform at the gazebo.
For those interested in the Gazebo Ensemble, we will be performing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The Gazebo Ensemble Music Book can be downloaded and printed.
Information for playing at the gazebo and playing in the Gazebo Ensemble:
Gazebo Schedule | Accordion Celeb ( .

Contact Doris: or 503-357-0417 for information.

See Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration for important updates.

Titano Accordion Company

Virtual Accordion Camp V on June 5

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Virtual Accordion Camp
Welcome to Virtual Accordion Camp V on June 5, 2021 at 11:45 AM EDT. Workshops, jam sessions, and social time during the day. Look for a separate event for a very special celebration concert in the evening! The theme this time is composition: Some contemporary compositions will be taught with lots of accordion technique and accordion-specific ideas built into the sessions and work on how to create your own tunes and harmonies.

12:30 PM EDT--Workshop Session1:
Rachel Bell: How to Write a Tune
Jeremiah McLane: Swing Gavotte
(Workshop descriptions online)

2 pm EDT--Tune Party:
Join the Virtual Accordion Camp tutors as they share their favorite pieces of music for all to play along with. Sheet music will be available in advance, and will be the closest we can get to a proper 'jam session' whilst online. Suitable for all.
Rachel Bell: Tunebook Sampler
Alex Cumming: Bringing your Music to Life
(Workshop descriptions online)

4:PM EDT—Final Gathering and Panel Discussion:
The Panel Discussion will be a chance to hear Alex, Jeremiah and Rachel nerd out on the accordion, compositions, techniques, share stories and more with a chance to ask questions as well. This will also be a chance to wrap up the day of workshops and get the link to the all important feedback form!
6:PM EDT--CONCERT on facebook and youtube

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

A World of Accordions Museum Honors World Accordion Day

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
AWAM band
Joan and StaasMayor and HelmiVideo: See FOX TV local news report about the World Accordion Day program at A World of Accordions Museum. TV report by Ken Slama

A World of Accordions Museum presented a unique,educational and entertaining event to honor World Accordion Day May 6-8. 2021. This article includes links to all the events that happened. Learn, enjoy and be inspired!

Dr. Helmi Harrington thanks everyone that participated in the World Accordion Day, Willard A. Palmer Festival and Polka Service at A World of Accordions Museum in Superior, Wisconsin. The tables below have links to video recordings for each performance for all three days. Helmi shares, “If you would like us to continue to broadcast live streams and post videos like this, we need your financial support.  Please consider making a donation at the following link: Support Live Streams and Videos “

Accordionists from all over the country congregated in Superior, Wisconsin for World Accordion Day May 6-8, 2021. The three day event held at the Harrington Arts Center on the 14-hundred block of Belknap St., featured original music by some of the most world renowned accordionists and as tributes to others.

“It was a fabulous event and I’m so glad to say that it expands and grows with prestige and with name recognition every year. We’re very proud of it, and it draws people from all around the nation, and very often from around the world,” said Helmi Harrington, founder, owner and curator of the World of Accordions Museum. While some of the international musicians performed virtually, most of the music was live by local accordionists and many who made the trip from across the country.

You can enjoy viewing the entire 3 day event by choosing the links below:
World Accordion Day:
Performance Link
Introduction and Opening Remarks
Stas Venglevski: Premiere of “Full Moon” Suite in Four Movements In honor of Joan Cochran Sommers
Judy Campbell Contino:   Dick Contino Legacy
Mike Middleton Concert:   Honoring Dick Contino
Joan Cochran Sommers and Stas Venglevski: Original Duets
Accordion Trio from Kansas City - Joan Cochran Sommers, Betty Jo Simon, Jane Christison
Japanese Guest Artists: Mihoko Goto and Chiharu Ebihara
William Susman: “Three for Keyboard”: Stas, Dr. Brett Jones (UWS Music Dept. Chair), UWS pianist Hector Landa
Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival:
Performance Link
Festival Introduction: Willard A. Palmer III  “Growing Up Bill Palmer”
Paul Vargason: Concert in Honor of Lorren Lindevig
Demos of Special Instruments of the Museum
Willard Palmer, III: Family Music developments mid-19th Century
Dee Langley Workshop: Balkan Experience: Music from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia, and Slovenia
Dance Attic: Suzi and Jimi Concert
Roundtable Discussion: Composing and Arranging Music for Accordion
World Accordion Music Band: Tracey Gibbens Conductor
Polka Service
Performance Link
The Norsk Høstfest Polka Service Band Sponsored by Yvonne Marts

We are all very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit A World of Accordions Museum. Thank you and great appreciation go to Dr. Helmi Harrington, founder, owner, and curator.

Photos by Jane Christison:
Right: Joan Sommers and Stas Venglevski rehearsing for their duet performance. Stas Venglevski is the new Artistic Director for A World of Accordions.
Top: Official Photo by Hanni Wrencher of the 2021 AWAM Band.Tracey Gibbens is the director.
Left: Jim Payne, Mayor of Superior, Wisconsin, with an official decree for World Accordion Day. He also mentioned that the City Council would be offering financial support to the museum.
Down: The Kansas City Accordion Trio made it's debut at World Accordion Day 2021.
Kansas City Accordion Trio

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Chris Rybak Plays Accordion at Elementary School in Texas

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Chris Rybak
Video: Chris Rybak entertains at End of School Party

Accordionist Chris Rybak Chris Rybak entertained at his daughter, Kristina’s, Sacred Heart Catholic School End of School Party in Hallettsville,TX on May 26, 2021. See above video. Chris Rybak - one of the most popular accordion entertainers in Texas can be found performing all across the state throughout the year. Chris livens up every event with his musical talents and endless enthusiasm which entertains, energizes and inspires his audiences. This 'Accordion Cowboy' plays music from Polka to Country, Cajun, and Tex-Mex all around the world!

Chris shares, “"I've been playing the accordion full time for over 20 years now and I've seen the ups and downs in the popularity of the accordion. I've noticed in the last few years, however, a remarkable resurgence in the interest of the accordion once again by the young generation. From the accordion clinics and classes in schools to the performances at festivals, the accordion is coming back ... and we are so proud to be a part of that movement in bringing it back!"

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Victor Prieto Performs Live in “A Musical Voyage” in New York City

by Rita Barnea
Victor Prieto
Victor Prieto (accordion) and Oleg Osenkov (bass) will perform “A Musical Voyage” concert at Sounds of the City in New York, USA on June 5th, 2021 at 7.30 PM. ”The Artists’ Charity is the Salvation Army. As a New York-based accordionist and a native of Galicia, Spain he naturally combines sounds and ideas from different genre. His compositions are not only the culmination of this idea but it takes it to another level.

At the age of nine Victor was encouraged by his mother to study the accordion-an instrument deeply ingrained in Galician folklore. While studying classical accordion at the Orense Conservatory Victor understood the immense musical potential of his instrument and branched out from the classical education by concurrently taking harmony, arrangement and improvisation classes at Estudio Escola de Musica (Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

In 1998 Victor received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music where he majored in performance under the direction of Joanne Brackeen. Victor Prieto holds a Degree in Jazz Accordion Performance from Berklee College of Music (Boston), where he studied with a full schoolarship and a Diploma in Classical Accordion from Ouresnse - Spain Conservatory. 

Today Victor Prieto is using the accordion in uniques ways by creating new sounds and techniques for this instrument. His music embraces Jazz, Tango, Classical and Celtic Roots enriched with new rhythms and colors. He is the creator of a new technique for the accordion which creates rich and elaborate harmonies. For the past 20 years, Victor has been developing and improving his curriculum for teaching modern harmony and jazz for the accordion.  These classes will help you establish a strong foundation in the understanding of modern harmony or jazz harmony in the accordion.

He performs with Santiago Greco, electric bass and Michael Olivera, drums.Some of Victor’s awards and prizes are: The Creative Performer award from the Spanish Association of Artists and Performers, and the first prize CMZK’s Concourse of Composition. As a leader Victor has performed at many prestigious venues and events such as Berklee Performance Center, Dizzy?s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Blue Note NY, New Jersey Performance Art Center, Three Rivers Musical Festival, Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Victor has performed and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma (Songs of Joy and Peace, Sony BMG Masterworks. “2010 Grammy Winning Album”), Arturo O’Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra, Billy Hart, Jeff Ballard, Paquito D?Rivera, Matt Wilson, Donny McCaslin, Lionel Louke among others and is involved in projects such as The Maria Schneider Orchestra and Emilio Solla?s Jazz Tango conspiracy.

For further details email:

Titano Accordion Company

Online: Hamidreza Nematollahi Guest at Brooklyn Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
Hamidreza NematollahiBAC LogoHamidreza Nematollahi (from Tehran, Iran) and his son Sepehr (translator) will be virtual guest presenters at the Brooklyn Accordion Club’s June, 2021 online meeting. The meeting will begin at 12.30 PM EST.

Mr. Hamidreza is a composer and singer with more than 20 years of experience in teaching accordion and singing in Iranian and international styles. In his presentation, he will introduce some Iranian traditional tunes.

The Brooklyn Accordion Club aims to build a community of accordion players of all levels and admirers in the heart of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Accordion Club celebrated their 8th anniversary on Feb. 10, 2021.They have provided education, entertainment, and fun for all during these years.

For details email:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Texas Folklife Announces Champions of 15th Annual Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Contest

by Rebecca Johnson
Big Squeeze Winners 2021
Video: Results of the 15th Annual Big Squeeze accordion contest presented by Texas Folklife, with performances by the 2020 champions, Grammy-Winner Chubby Carrier, and the announcement of the 2021 champions.

Presenting the champions of Texas Folklife’s 2021 Big Squeeze accordion contest! Five youths from Texas and Louisiana have been crowned champs in Polka, Cajun, Zydeco, and Conjunto music. The winners were announced May 8, 2021 and are:
Polka: Alexander French, 14 (The Colony, TX)
Zydeco: Kaleb Leday, 21 (Lake Charles, LA)
Cajun: Cameron Dupuy, 23 (New Orleans, LA)
Conjunto, 16 and Under: Ashly Nicole Molina, 16 (Roma, TX)
Conjunto, 17-21 Anthony Ortiz, Jr. Grand Prize: Johnny Joe Gutierrez, 17 (Mission, TX)
Each of the champions will receive a prize package including a new accordion from Hohner Accordions, cash prize, future performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities.
“Congratulations to all of this year’s champions and participants in the Big Squeeze program,” said Texas Folklife Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “We are truly inspired by the talented young musicians, teachers, educators, parents, and communities we have had the privilege of working with over the past 15 years. Thank you to the 2021 participants for sharing your passion for accordion music with us.”
The Big Squeeze is presented by Texas Folklife as part of its mission to preserve and present Texas’ diverse cultural heritage. Since 2007, hundreds of talented young players from dozens of communities have participated in the program, which supports vital, community-based accordion music traditions.
This year’s Big Squeeze was entirely virtual due to the COVID pandemic. Contestants across all categories submitted videos to Texas Folklife that were judged in successive rounds by three panels of judges.
“We had a lot of contestants and they are all extremely talented, and our judges have a very hard time narrowing it down,” said Sarah Rucker, Program Director for the Big Squeeze. “These young players were scored on their song interpretation, originality, and stage presence.”
The 2021 Big Squeeze has been supported by funding and donations from the board and members of Texas Folklife, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, H-E-B, and the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board and Hohner Accordions. Additional support was provided by regional partners.
About Texas Folklife: Texas Folklife (TXF) is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. TXF is designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as the official folk and traditional arts organization for the state. Since 1984, TXF has honored traditions passed down within communities, explored the importance of traditional arts in contemporary society, and celebrated the state’s vibrant heritage by providing arts experiences enjoyable for all generations.

Alexander French Wins Texas Folklife “Big Squeeze Contest” Polka Category

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Texas Folklife
Alex FrenchVideo: Texas Folklife Big Squeeze on NBC5 TV DFW. The video includes three of Elena’s students: Elayne Dogged who is the youngest of the North Texas finalists in Texas Folklife's Big Squeeze accordion contest. Also included are Nick Heatly and Alex French.

14 year old Alex French is one of the champions of Texas Folklife’s 2021 “Big Squeeze” accordion contest Texas in May 2021. His accordion teacher is Elena Fainshtein. Three of Elena’s students have become finalists and were on NBC5 news on May 9, 2021 and one of them - Alex French won the first place and became an Accordion champion in the Polka Category. Now Elena has three champions of the “Big Squeeze”:
Peter Gresser in 2018.
Elijah Clements in 2019.
Now Alex French is wearing the same title.

Alexander French, 14, has completed the 8th grade at the Strike Middle School, The Colony, Texas. He loved music since he was five. He first started piano lessons at the age of six with Elena Fainshtein. He also loved the drums, guitar, ukulele. Then, at the age of twelve, his grandmother gave him an accordion which came from a friend’s father who passed away. Alex became very interested in playing an accordion and started to play on his own. When his parents asked him if he wanted to take lessons with Elena on Accordion - he gladly agreed. He has been playing for almost a year now and really enjoys this. He likes the fact that it is close to his Russian heritage.

Elena said, “I am really proud of each of my students.”

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Geno Delafose Performed at “Mudbug Madness Festival” in Shreveport, La.

by Christine Johnstone
GenoVideo: Geno Delafose and French Rockin Boogie playing “Take your time”

Geno Delafose (picture right) entertained at the “Mudbug Madness Festival” in Shreveport, Los Angeles on May 28th, 2021.The event began in 1984 as a two-day street festival in downtown Shreveport. It is now a three-day event and one of Louisiana’s largest and most popular Cajun festivals.

Geno Delafose is a zydeco accordionist and singer. He is one of the younger generations of the genre who has created the sound known as the “nouveau zydeco”. His father is the famous zydeco accordion player John Delafose.

For further detailsl:

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

A Virtual Tribute to Zydeco on June 17

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Step Rideau
Video: Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws New Years 2017

The Brazoria County Historical Museum hosts and pays tribute to the musical genre that has roots in both Louisiana and Texas. Enjoy the sounds of this grassroots music and learn its history at the Brazoria County Historical Museum’s live virtual event on June 17, 2021 at 6:30 PM Central Daylight Time Award-winning Zydeco group Step and the Zydeco Outlaws entertain while author and music historian Roger Woods answers questions about the music’s history. Pre-registration is free on the museum site.

With 8 CD's to his credit, international zydeco sensation Step Rideau has been a cornerstone of the zydeco scene for almost 20 years. Step and the Zydeco Outlaws offer traditional sounds from his native Louisiana fused with the urban vibe of Houston. Excerpts from his website: Stephen Joseph Rideau “Step”  was born in 1966 in the St. Landry Parish town of LeBeau , Louisiana.  Surrounded by Creole culture and zydeco music from infancy, it wasn’t until relocating to Houston in the mid-1980’s that he began to play the accordion and eventually formed his own band. 

Today, Step Rideau is widely acknowledged worldwide as one of the living masters of the instrument.  He’s also established himself over the the past two decades, through the course of multiple recordings and festival appearances nationwide, as a prolific and passionate zydeco recording artist, songwriter, and live performer.
Part of Rideau’s appeal is that he brings a true singer’s sensibility to zydeco, not just shouting out the lyrics but soulfully engaging with them to articulate the song, both in English and in Creole French. In that respect, he’s served well by his band of Outlaws, who provide not only fine instrumental accompaniment but also unusually rich and melodious backing vocal harmonies, especially in the case of long-time drummer, Jean-Paul Jolivette. Collectively, these players make music that respects the art of the human voice in as much as it respects the driving rhythms, funky beats, and accordion riffs that make zydeco perhaps the ultimate dance soundtrack for people everywhere.

For further information:
Phone: 979-849-5711
Registration is required to join this event. Register on museum site.

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

Not Just Oom-Pah! 2021 Accordion Concert and Workshop

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
2021flyerThe 2021 Not Just Oompah! Accordion Concert & Workshop is scheduled for June 21-27, 2021. Not Just Oompah! (NJO) is announcing its online Concert & Workshop Series featuring Master accordionists Cory Pesaturo and Mahatma Costa .

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Additional support is from Texas Folklife, Accordion Renaissance (a Virginia based non-profit), Accordions for Kids USA, and the San Antonio Accordion Association. NJO was cofounded by Shirley Johnson and Laura Jean Niland from Texas. This year our instructors include Cory Pesaturo who will present Italian Folk & Retro styles, and Mahatma Costa who will present South American Rhythms.

The Facebook Concerts are free (donations appreciated to support the artists), the dates and links are posted here:
Download poster and information: 2021Oompah2June.pdf

Monday June 21, 2021 @ 7:00-8:00 PM Central Time Mahatma Costa
Saturday June 26, 2021 @ 7:00-8:30 PM Central Time Cory Pesaturo

The accordion workshops will be presented online via ZOOM, hosted by Shirley Johnson and assisted by Laura Niland.

There will be a special “Meet and Greet” session on Tuesday June 22, 2021 7:00-9:00 PM CST.
Workshop dates:
Wednesday & Friday, June 23 & 25, 2021 @ 7:00-9:00 PM CST
Thursday June 24, 2021 @ 7:00-9:30 PM CST & Saturday Jun 26, 2021 @ 1:00-3:30 PM CST
Sunday June 27 @ 1:00-3:00 PM CST

The cost for the workshop is $100 per accordionist and includes all materials which will be delivered to participants in PDF via email. All sessions will be recorded for later viewing so participants may review according to their schedule.

In addition, NJO is offering one Youth Scholarship to interested accordion youth 18 years old or younger. Check the Scholarship Application to see if you qualify and if so, please apply TODAY! Scholarship Application Deadline is June 15, 2021. Not Just Oompah! continues to offer exciting concerts and workshops that promote the accordion. NJO offers “Music that Entertains, Educates, and Inspires Every Audience”. Join us in celebrating the accordion and learning together with other accordionists from across USA and beyond!

Registration, Youth Scholarship Application, workshop payment options, artists bios, and more detailed information at: 2021Oompah2June.pdf
Shirley Johnson 512-680-0422 email: or
Laura Jean Niland 210-651-4359 email:

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

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

Slavic Soul Party is Back!!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Slavic Soul Party
Slavic Soul Party is back with live performances beginning June 1, 2021. Slavic Soul Party is an American Balkan brass/jazz band. The band borrows from dixieland, funk, klezmer, and Roma music. The band has performed on stages usually known for rock bands, opening for such acts as Arcade Fire and Dresden Dolls.They have also performed at music festivals which highlight their international flavors.

SSP! members include:
Peter Stan, Accordion
John Carlson, Trumpet
Darren Johnston, Trumpet
Peter Hess, Saxophone
Adan Dotson, Trombone
Tim Vaughn, Trombone
Kenny Bentley, Tuba
Chris Stromquist, Percussion
Matt Moran, Tapan

Slavic Soul Party 2021 performances include:
Tuesday June 1st, SSP returns to Barbes on the 18th anniversary of their weekly residency there. Tuesdays at Barbès, forever! For the first month they will be presenting small groups with members of SSP! to allow for a period of adjustment as Barbès reopens “fully” in accordance with local guidelines.

Friday, June 11th, SSP greets the people of New York City with the full band at Wild Birds in Brooklyn. They are thrilled that Wild Birds has reached out and asked them to energize their community, hoping you will come and dedicate your evening to rejoicing with them.

Saturday, June 26th, SSP continues their partnership with Carnegie Hall by presenting a free 7pm concert at the DUMBO archway as part of their Carnegie Hall Citywide series, bringing music to NYC neighborhoods free of charge. SSP has worked with Carnegie Hall for over a decade.

SSP shares, “This past winter, we created music with Balkan masters Ekrem Mamutovic and Nizo Alimov, and put out videos of that work, work which still continues and helps us grow. You will hear it! Next year we’ll travel to the Balkans to deepen those connections with the support of the Trust for Mutual Understanding, yet another multi-decade partner in New York whose support has helped make SSP! the band it is.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Alex Meixner Performs for the World Accordion Day Special Event

by Rita Barnea
Alex Meixner celebrated World Accordion Day in conjunction with the
Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) with a 15-minute program in which he presented some favorite selections on piano accordion and button accordion.

Alex Meixner is one of the most dynamic accordionists on the scene today. Meixner has performed around the world, notably at American festivals like The National Folk Festival and Central Park SummerStage, as well as at uncountable community celebrations and accordion-centric events. His virtuosic yet delightfully quirky style has made him a sought-after collaborator (he worked alongside Jack Black in the 2017 Sundance pick The Polka King), spokesperson (Hormel and Ford have used his music and performance to promote their products) and educator.

As a recording artist, he has worked with renowned avant garde accordionist/ composer Guy Klucevsek, popular Irish entertainer Seamus Kennedy, Texas indie rockers The Krayolas. His recording “Polka FreakOut” with Brave Combo’s Bubba Hernandez won him a GRAMMY nomination.

Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world.

His talents in music and comedy were featured on the Tonight Show on NBC. Alex’s reputation for professionalism and quality performance attracted additional commercial opportunities including performing on radio commercials for Ford Trucks and the soundtracks for numerous episodes of Moonshiners on the Discovery Network. Alex has performed on over 50 albums, including 17 as a leader or soloist. His performance with his Father on Canadian Polka King, Walter Ostanek’s, “Music and Friends” won a Grammy Award.

Alex has performed on over 50 albums, including 17 as a leader or soloist. His performance with his Father on Canadian Polka King, Walter Ostanek’s, “Music and Friends” won a Grammy Award. His album “Polka Freak Out”, a collaboration with Bubba Hernandez, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007. He has also recorded with a vast number of diverse artists as a soloist or sideman including avant-garde accordionist/composer Guy Klucevsek, Grammy winner Brave Combo, TexMex Rock icon The Krayolas and Irish entertainer Seamus Kennedy.

For more information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

“Poor Man’s Gambit” Entertains at Longwood Gardens

by Christine Johnstone
Corey Purcell
Three piece band “Poor Man’s Gambit” will entertained live in the Longwood Gardens beer garden in Pennsylvania, USA on May 22nd, May 28th, June 24th and June 26, 2021.

The trio, which includes Corey Purcell (diatonic accordion, cittern, vocals, bodhran, dance), Federico Betti (guitar, fiddle), and Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals, dance) play a mix of Irish traditional music, which is influenced by traditional music of other cultures including France, Scotland, England, and America.

For details email:

Picture below left to right: Corey Purcell, Deirdre Lockman and Federico Betti.

Accordions on the Canadian Peace Tower

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Accordion Gargoyles
Canadian Peace TowerAccordions are everywhere. High above the ground, several fantastic stone sculptures decorate the Canadian Parliament building's 322 foot high Peace Tower. The Peace Tower is a campanile - a freestanding bell tower - dedicated in remembrance of the sacrifice and service of Canadians in the First World War. the Peace Tower is located in Ottawa, Ontario.

Excerpts from Wikipedia: Designed by Jean Omer Marchand and John A. Pearson, the tower is a campanile- a free standing bell tower- whose height reaches 92.2 m (302 ft 6 in),[over which are arranged a multitude of stone carvings, including approximately 370 gargoyles, grotesques, and friezes, keeping with the Victorian High Gothic style of the rest of the parliamentary complex. The walls are of Nepean sandstone and the roof is of reinforced concrete covered with copper.

July 1, 2017 marked the 90th anniversary of the inauguration of the Peace Tower. This neo-gothic structure was the crowning achievement of architect John Andrew Pearson's reconstruction of the Parliament Building (1916-1927). The Peace Tower is a campanile—a freestanding bell tower—connected to the Centre Block by a covered entryway. It houses a 53-bell carillon, dedicated in remembrance of the sacrifice and service of Canadians in the First World War. Inside the Peace Tower is the Memorial Chamber, a space dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives in service to Canada.

In a letter written to Prime Minister Mackenzie King shortly before the opening of the Tower, Pearson writes about how the tower would look as visitors approach Parliament Hill:
“In all my thoughts of the tower, peace was dominant. I believe there is a quiet peaceful dignity about it. I somehow bring myself to read it that way—no matter what troubles and worries and differences of opinion take place in the building. I feel that one cannot approach the building up the centre road without experiencing its mute appeal for toleration, moderation, dignity and peace.”

The inauguration of the Peace Tower and its Carillon took place on July 1, 1927, the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. This major event attracted thousands of spectators to Parliament Hill and was marked by the first national and international radio broadcast in Canada. The broadcast featured speeches by the Governor General and Prime Minister, along with a musical performance by Percival Price, the first Dominion Carillonneur.

The Peace Tower houses a 53-bell carillon, one of the oldest and finest in North America. Each bell is a different size: the smallest weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and the largest – which tolls the hour – weighs 22,244 pounds (10,090 kilograms), about the size of three large elephants. The carillon is operated by the Dominion Carillonneur, who sits in a room mid-way up the tower and plays a keyboard connected to each bell clapper.

For more information about the Peace Tower, visit Government of Canada – Explore the Peace Tower.

Rochelle Morse Thompson Plays Accordion After 54 Year Pause

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video: Rochelle Thompson plays “Star Spangled Banner”

Accordionist/music teacher Elena Fainshtein shares, “I am so proud of my new student- Rochelle. Nobody can tell that she has been playing her accordion only a couple of months after 50 years of not touching an instrument. Great job!” Rochelle said, “Almost 4 months of playing after a 54 year pause. Here’s my tribute to the fallen, in honor of the US Memorial Day holiday. Thank you to my extraordinary instructor, Elena Fainshtein!”

Rochelle Thompson found her way back to the accordion after a 54 year break. With her parent’s encouragement, she took lessons as an elementary student in Chicago for about two years. Although she took a “short” break, she remained musically inclined by singing in school choirs, and went on to join an adult vocal ensemble that performed the National Anthem at a Rangers Game in Arlington, Texas. With the Pandemic, she found herself in need of a distraction and wondered if she could return to playing the ol’ squeeze box.

After purchasing a new-to-her accordion she found renowned teacher, Elena Fainshtein. Elena happened to also be the same teacher as the previous owner of her accordion! With Elena’s help, her passion for music, and accordion muscle memory after all these years, Rochelle is now playing songs from the Palmer Hughes Book 4, including the Star Spangled Banner which she was excited to play as a tribute for Memorial Day.

This story is very inspiring. It teaches us that it is never too late to learn something new, develop new skills or relearn and renew interest in a hobby from long ago! All that is needed is the desire and determination to improve.

Best wishes to Rochelle for continuing enjoyment of the accordion!

Accordionist Performs for Irish Funeral

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Accordion funeralWilliam K. Fox, a student of Sam Falcetti, recently played his Roland accordion at the request of the family at an Irish funeral outside in the town cemetery in the village of Cataumet on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in February 2021. The family especially requested the well-known Irish song, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", because that tune was a particular favorite of the deceased. Mr. Fox took the occasion to utilize a thumb drive provided by Sam Falcetti that included a recording of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and he played back-up to the excellent recording that provided both music and lyrics.

The funeral service and the music presented by Mr. Fox were "live" streamed via smartphone to 35 relatives of the family in Ireland. He also played some additional well-known Irish tunes, such as "Irish Lullaby", "The Wearing of the Green", "Danny Boy", "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" and "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."

According to one of the family members at the funeral, a family relative watching remotely in Ireland wept openly during the playing of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" and said it was her favorite tune.

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

Victoria Accordion Club Band Performs for World Accordion Day

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Victoria Accordion Club
Video: “Blue Tango” by the Victoria Accordion Club Band

The Victoria Accordion Club Band performed “Blue Tango” for WAD in May 2021. "Blue Tango" is an instrumental composition by Leroy Anderson, written for orchestra in 1951 and published in 1952. Anderson originally wrote "Blue Tango" for an orchestra consisting of two flutes, one piccolo, two oboes, two clarinets in B-Flat, two bassoons; four horns in F, three trumpets in B-Flat, two tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba; a percussion section consisting of snare drum, bass drum and glockenspiel; and strings.

The Victoria Accordion Club started in 2002 as a small gathering of interested accordion players in the Victoria area. Presently there are over 50 members who come from as far as away as Nanaimo (2 hours north of Victoria).

The aim of the Victoria Accordion Club is to enjoy the accordion, the music of accordions, and the people who create it here in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Everyone is welcome! The VAC band is made up of 10 – 15 accordionists, ranging in levels from beginner to advanced. The band was formed 2002, with the creation of the Victoria Accordion Club.

The music of the VAC Band includes a wide variety of songs. Music ranges from popular international songs, such as Mexican Hat Dance and Chiapanecas, to classical (Scheherazade) to waltzes (Life in the Finland Woods) to tangos (Scent of a Woman) and even jazz (Swanee River) and rock’n roll. The group plays range of European ethnic music as well. And, of course, the band plays the ever-popular and lively polkas.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Children's Corner

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Video: Maria Telesheva Plays Bach to Celebrate World Accordion Day

by Christine Johnstone
Video: Maria Telesheva is playing Bach’s Prelude and Fugue No 2 in C minor to celebrate World Accordion Day for your enjoyment.


Future events

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

2021 Virtual AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York with Dr. William Schimmel

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
AAA Masterclass 2021
Dr. William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) will present a 2021 Master Class & Concert Series with Dr. William Schimmel, moderator and curator, from July 30th to August 1st, 2021. This event will be held online the same as the very successful 2020 event. Entitled "The Twilight Time" (The magical place from light to darkness), the AAA Master Class and Concert Series will feature daily masterclasses from 3:PM to 4:PM and concerts from 4:PM to 5:PM.

Welcome to our 27th Year and like last year, the master classes and concerts will be virtual.

The topics will include:
A new AAA commissioned work
51 ways to go - oom pah
Playing the Accordion for babies
The use of the Accordion for Special needs adults
Sea Shanties
The accordion in confined space
The Accordion and Alcohol - including Happy Hour
The Accordion and no Alcohol - Coffee and Culture
New exciting videos
The accordion and the “chi”
The resonance of the accordion when absent
Which/What - Which accordion for what purpose
Unusual accordions and accordion replacements and how to use them
Art Songs, Indie Songs and new takes on Rapture Hymns and Psychedeliia

And Twilight Time:
The short list of featured participants will include:
Micki Goodman, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Paul Stein, Will Holshouser, Dr. Denise Koncelik,
Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Michael Schimmel, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, John Foti, Jeanne Velonis, Bachtopus, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, Mary Spencer Knapp, Charita Paramikatorn, Sarah Starpoli, Miwa Gemini, Jennie Muoio, Erica Marie Mancini, Carl Riehl, Doug Makofka, Bob Goldberg, David Stoler, Benjamin Ickies, Corn Mo, Brian Dewan, Mike’s Place (Mike, Edith, Keith, Tony, Brian, Micki), Ted Nash, The Yorkvillians, Melissa Elledge, Rachel Quirbach, Rachel Swaner, Elaine Yau, Peter Flint, Robert Duncan, Mayumi Mayaoka, Dan Cooper, Michio Suzuki, John Ferraro, Dave Soldier, David First, Peter Jarvis, Linda Reed, Raymond Storms, Natasia Thweatt, Gene Pritsker, Quentin Tice, Milica Paranosic, Elliott Sharp and others to be announced. - and Dr. Schimmel (the long list on the downloadable flyer may contain some past participants)

The Zoom links will be provided shortly before the event

$110 for entire weekend - $25 per individual master class or concert - $40 per day (includes Master Class and Concert)

Download the AAA Masterclass flier for a full list of participants and reservation information:
Online reservations:

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

Dominic Karcic Performs for Bastille Day Festivities

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dominic KarcicAccordionist Dominic Karcic will perform for Bastille Day festivities on July 14 and July 15, 2021 at 6:PM at La Baraka Restaurant, 255-09 Northern Boulevard, Little Neck, NY.

Originally from Astoria, NY AAA Board member, accordionist, pianist, and band leader, Dominic Karcic attended St. Francis of Assisi grammar school, William Cullen Bryant high school, New York College of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and continued his education at the City University of New York (CCNY) where he received his Masters Degree in Music.

Dominic was one of the founders and first president of the Adriatic Islands Charity Committee and served as its president for thirteen years during his tenure the committee raising thousands of dollars for senior citizen homes, hospitals and churches in the Mali Losinj (Lussin Piccolo) area of Croatia. The organizations first fund raiser at the Oyster Bay caterering house in Astoria, NY attracted nine-hundred and fifty people and Dominic and his orchestra supplied the music for the monumental event.

Dominic has always played professionally (accordion and piano) in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today. He and his musicians “The Continental Sound” have been house musicians at the Columbus Citizens Foundation (NYC) for over twenty-five years and he has played for organizations like the Valtarese Foundation (Parma, Italy), Fubinese Society (Piemonte, Italy), Italian Charities of Queens, NY, Italian Heritage Association of Long Island, La Pace Restaurant (Glen Cove, NY) and also at Magnanini Winery in Wallkill, NY.

His love for the Valtaro Musette music was instilled in him through his years of study with noted accordionist Peter Spagnoli. In recent years he has been involved in the preservation and documentation of this musical style. He collaborated in writing a biographical article on the life and career of accordionist John “Scudlein” Brugnoli (founder of the Valtaro Musette Orchestra).

Dominic and fellow accordionist Ray Oreggia have given workshop presentations on the Valtaro Musette style for the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA), Connecticut Accordion Association (CAA), Maryland Accordion Club, the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) and the Istria Women’s Club (Astoria, NY).

Dominic founded the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) The wide spread success of LIAA events has endeared it to accordionists and accordion music lovers from all over the New York Metro area and has made it (LIAA) and its events the “Voice of the Accordion on Long Island.” He also created and performs with various singers in a program titled "From Broadway to the Met” which features the music of the American Song Book and Opera.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Rose City Accordion Camp in Eagle Creek

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rose City
Rose City LogoThe Rose City Accordion Camp will be held at the Collins Retreat Center in Eagle Creek, Oregon, USA from August 29th to September 3rd, 2021. The Rose City Accordion Club was formed in 1996 by a group of people who love playing this fantastic musical instrument. RCAC is a non-profit organization created exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The club currently has 95 members ranging from teenager through senior citizen, amateur players, professionals and folks who do not play the accordion but love to listen to the music it produces.

The Rose City Accordion Camp will include workshops led by Courtney von Drehle and Toby Hanson, solos, small group playing and large group jamming in the evening as well as an orchestra conducted by Beverley Fess and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues.

All attendees must have had the COVID vaccination unless there is a medical condition certified by a doctor. Masks are required.

For details email:
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