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


Editor's Note
June is National Accordion Awareness Month
AAA Festival July 12-16, 2023. Join the AAA for our 85th anniversary in-person celebration this summer!
Grayson Masefield Performs at A World of Accordions Museum
ATG 2023 Festival Important Information
Updated AAA Composers Commissioning Committee Publication
Kevin Friedrich Guest Artist at South Pacific Accordion Championships Finale Concert in NZ
UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble June Concerts
Stas Venglevski: “Fifteen Minutes of Fame”
Dee Langley to Perform with the Pavia Wind Quintet in Minneapolis
Gregorio Uribe Performs at Carnegie Hall Citywide in NYC
Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs July 14 at AAA Festival

Voci Armoniche

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

Bachtopus Performance for the River Arts Music Tour in Dobbs Ferry, NY
34th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Music Festival on June 3
Dan Newton :”Daddy Squeeze” in June Performances
2nd Anniversary of the New England Accordion Connection & Museum on July 1
Brooklyn Accordion Club Presents Cordeone on June 2
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 22 - 25
Silicon Valley Accordion Society Presents Lou DiMaggio
Ray Oreggia and Dominic Karcic Perform at La Baraka for Bastille Day
Playing the Accordion Benefits Your Brain
New Release: Joe Soprani's "Great American Songbook"
2nd Annual Powell River Accordion Fest 2023 Highlights
Northwest Accordion Society Social June 4
10th Anniversary of Polkadelphia

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

ATG Final Concert, July 22: Joan Cochran Sommers & the ATG Festival Orchestra
Not Just Oom-Pah! Presents Workshop with Courtney Von Drehle July 25 - 27
45th Vancouver Folk Music Festiva July 14-16
Dr. William Schimmel’s 2023 Seminars
Cotati Festival 2023 on August 19 & 20

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rita BarneaJune 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 in person or online.

3. Support accordion players. Honor those who have put in the work. Attend their concerts in person, or watch them play online. Purchase their music/albums 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 fascinating information about videos, albums, artists, festivals, concerts and more!

Please send all comments to


Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

June is National Accordion Awareness Month

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Accordion Star International Poster
Celebrate National Accordion Awareness Day this June to give this accordion its well deserved appreciation. This celebration has a specific purpose — to educate people about the accordion and acknowledge its contribution to music.

The accordion (also called the ‘concertina’) has been featured in many classical and modern musical works, from jazz and zydeco to folk, gospel, and blues. The oldest name for the accordion is derived from the Greek word ‘harmonikos’, which means ‘harmonic’ or ‘musical’. It goes by many names across the world — ‘Akkerdeon’ in Germany, ‘Fiarmonica’ in Italy, ‘Bayan’ in Russia, ‘Sun-Fin-Chin’ in China, ‘Harmonium’ in Pakistan, and ‘Trekspill’ in Norway. But it is commonly just called ‘accordion’ in many countries.

The invention of this instrument is a subject of much debate among researchers. Some credit Austria as its birthplace, others think it was invented in Berlin. What researchers do know is that the accordion spread around the globe because of European immigration into other countries.

This accordion entered into popular music in the 19th century, with many accordionists including five players — Pietro Frosini, brothers Count Guido Deiro and Pietro Deiro, Slovenian brothers Vilko Ovsenik and Slavko Avsenik, and Charles Magnante — becoming major influences during this period. While vaudeville theatres closed during the Great Depression, accordionists performed for and taught via the radio. The rise of rock and roll finally caused the decline of accordions in popular music, but the instrument has since been revived, with multiple musicians like Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and others using the accordion in their songs.

Did you know that the accordion is the official instrument of San Francisco since 1990? Accordionist Tom Torriglia is responsible for making June “National Accordion Awareness Month,” and campaigned to make the accordion San Francisco’s official instrument. How did he make the case to get the piano accordion named the official instrument of San Francisco? Tom shares, “In 1989, I met San Francisco Supervisor Willie Kennedy at an event, told her of my intent to make the accordion the official instrument and asked her how to go about that and would she help me.She guided me through the process. The first step was to write a support paper talking about the history of the accordion in San Francisco and how the piano accordion got its start here and why it should be the city’s official instrument. After reading the piece I wrote, she felt my request had merit and she then introduced a measure to the full Board of Supervisors asking that the accordion be named the city’s official instrument. The supervisors then held a public hearing on the issue. A lot of people showed up to City Hall to speak for and against.The Board of Supervisors passed the measure and the measure then went to the mayor’s office for his signature. Realizing what a hot-button issue this was, the mayor, Art Agnos, decided not to act and the measure became officially approved by default.

How to celebrate National Accordion Awareness Month? Consider attending a live or Zoom concert or festival purchase an accordion album on streaming platforms including Amazon, Spotify, Apple, etc. Watch an accordion event on Facebook or other social media and donate to the accordionist, treat yourself to an accordion and lessons, visit the New England Accordion Museum in Connecticut, A World of Accordions Museum in Wisconsin or other accordion museums in your area. Read the AWW accordion news publications each week/month to learn about what is happening with accordionists around the world. Join an accordion organization/club such as ATG or AAA or one of many groups around the country where you will meet interesting people who share a common love for the accordion.

Read what happened on World Accordion Day on May 6th. WAD

What did you do to celebrate? Email:

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

AAA Festival July 12-16, 2023. Join the AAA for our 85th anniversary in-person celebration this summer!

by Frank Busso Jnr, AAA President
AAA Festival Poster
AAA guest artistsJoin us live to help celebrate the 85th anniversary of the American Accordionists' Association! The AAA festival will be held at the Marriott Philadelphia West in Conshohocken, PA, July 12-16, 2023.


Visit to book your hotel room today! The discounted room block deadline is June 26, 2023. The rate and room type can sell out prior to the deadline, so book your room early to secure the lowest rate.

The importance of reserving a hotel room at the AAA’s official conference hotel, the Marriott Philadelphia West: The AAA makes every effort to keep your expenses at the conference as low as possible. We work hard to negotiate the best hotel rates and to keep conference registration fees as low as possible, even as expenses rise annually. The AAA is able to offer high-quality conferences in desirable locations because we reserve a significant number of hotel rooms. If you choose to stay at another property, the official hotel room block is smaller, making it more difficult for the AAA to gain favorable hotel space at reasonable prices for future meetings.


View the most current version of the festival schedule here: 2023AAASchedule.pdf

Registration, Tickets, and Payment

Use the following form to register for the festival and to purchase tickets: 2023AAARegistration.pdf
Payments can be made by check or online through the AAA’s secure checkout page: AAA Store

Gala Banquet

One of the festival’s flagship events is the Gala Banquet on Saturday night. This year’s banquet will feature the 2023 AAA Festival Orchestra conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers, The United States Air Force Strolling Strings, and the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Frank Busso Sr.

To advertise in the Gala Banquet journal, including special messages to Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Frank Busso Sr, please use the following link: 2023BanquetJournalAdvertisement
We also have some ticket/hotel packages available that may be of interest to you: 2023AAABanquetPackagesAds.pdf

Advertise in the Festival Program Journal

Would you like to send a personal message to the AAA? Do you have a business that might be of interest to accordion enthusiasts? We invite you to advertise in the Festival Program Journal: 2023AAA-Advertiser.pdf

Attention Vendors!

If you would like to sell or exhibit merchandise during the festival, please complete an exhibitor registration form here: 2023AAA-Exhibitor.pdf

Live Competitions are back!

After two years of virtual competition, we are excited to return to live competitions for students of all ages and abilities! Solos, duets, ensembles, and bands. Competition rules can be found online at 2023AAARules.pdf. Entry forms must be submitted by June 12, 2023 and can be found here: 2023AAAEntry.pdf

Important Dates

June 12 - Competition entry form submission deadline
June 16 - Advertisements in Festival Program Journal due date
June 16 - Exhibitor/Vendor registration due date
June 23 - Registrations and ticket purchases deadline
June 23 - Advertisements in Gala Banquet/Lifetime Achievement Award Journal due date
June 26 - Deadline to book your hotel room at the official festival hotel at discounted rate

Some of our Guest Performers and Presenters

We are sure we speak for all when we say accordionists cannot wait to get back together - in person! - to celebrate our beloved instrument. And speaking of accordions, make sure you bring yours along to play in the 2023 Festival Orchestra led by world-renowned conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers!

Grayson Masefield (New Zealand) will join us for performances and workshops. Very personable and well-spoken, Grayson has won and been laureate at over a dozen international accordion competitions around the world in classical, entertainment, and digital categories. He is currently the instrumental music teacher for accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Another special guest performer will be accordion legend and Grammy award winner, Joey Miskulin (USA). Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018 for his extraordinary accomplishments with the piano accordion, and a recent recipient of the AAA's Lifetime Achievement Award, Joey continues to delight listeners with his "flying fingers" and ability to engage audiences.

Looking for even more entertainment? Look no further than Mario Tacca, past AAA champion and AAA Artist in Residence, who will perform as a soloist at Friday night's gala concert, and with acclaimed vocalist Mary Mancini at our Thursday night dinner.

Conducting this year's Youth Orchestra will be Joanna Darrow, who has dedicated her entire life to performing, teaching, and promoting the accordion. She has performed several times with the Philadelphia Orchestra and performed all over Europe, concertizing for over 30 years with her accordion teacher/husband, the late Stanley Darrow.

Several accordion orchestras are already slated to perform, including the Accordion Pops Orchestra conducted by Al Terzo, the Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra conducted by Joanna Darrow, and the Busso Festival Orchestra conducted by Frank Busso Jr.

The United States Air Force Strolling Strings, with AAA President Frank Busso Jr. on accordion, will perform at our Saturday night’s Gala Banquet. Also at the banquet, we will present our coveted Lifetime Achievement Award to longtime AAA Board member and past president Frank Busso Sr. Frank has been an educator, performer, conductor, and all-around ambassador of the accordion for decades.

Keep checking for announcements of additional performers, workshop presenters, events, and registration information!

To read more about Joan Cochran Sommers, Frank Busso Sr., Joey Miskulin, and to learn more about the events that led to the formation of the AAA, please see the articles listed below. Click here for many other articles about AAA History.
Article #1 - AAA-Formation.htm What events led to the formation of the AAA?
Article #9 - "Spotlight on Frank Busso Sr."
Article #18 - Joey Miskulin
Article #25 - Professor Joan Cochran Sommers
AAA Air Force Strings

Titano Accordion Company

Grayson Masefield Performs at A World of Accordions Museum

by Kevin Friedrich VP - A World of Accordions Museum
Grayson at AWAM
Video 1: Grayson Masefield writes: "A fun light-hearted disco medley created for me by Renzo Ruggieri - Performed at University of Massachusetts Boston.

Video 2: Grayson Masefield performs Chaccone in F minor - Pachelbel, 2021 Finale concert, South Pacific Accordion Championships & Festival
A World of Accordions Museum looks forward to welcoming Grayson Masefield (New Zealand) to Superior, Wisconsin, USA for his fundraising concert on July 30th, 2023.

The concert will take place in the Hanni Strahl Concert Hall, which is acoustically ideal and seats 1,000 people on floor and balcony levels.

Grayson is a New Zealand born accordionist and is the first person to win World Championships in Classical, Virtuoso and Digital accordion categories. He is the Instrumental Music Teacher for Accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Over the years, Grayson Masefield has been invited to perform in many countries including France, Spain, Germany, UK, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy, USA, Canada, Russia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Portugal, China, Switzerland, Chile, Czech Republic, Singapore, South Korea, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Finland.

Grayson has available a varied program of serious concert works as well as entertainment music. His extensive repertoire can be heard on his three albums as well as many live performances on youtube.

He has worked with several of the world's leading composers such as Franck Angelis (France), Gary Daverne (New Zealand), Gorka Hermosa (Spain) and Petri Makkonen (Finland) to perform and record new original works for the accordion.

Voci Armoniche

ATG 2023 Festival Important Information

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

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

This is not the year to skip attending the ATG Festival. If you are sitting on the fence I encourage you to jump over to the side of attending the Festival. Remember, the price of all events goes up on May 1 when early bird pricing ends. Your early registration helps us to better plan our events, so we provide a benefit for your kind assistance.

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

Description of the Concerts:

Thursday, July 20, 2023:
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Festival presents the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Accordion Ensemble, directed by world-renowned conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This year’s group, assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, presents an interesting and musically demanding repertoire which we know will be appreciated by all audiences! The UMKC Ensemble will be followed by Nikolay Bine, of Canada, presenting an all-jazz program featuring music by contemporary French accordionists as well as well-known jazz standards. Finally, Das Duo Kollektiv, from Vienna, Austria, brings a unique combination of accordion and flute music to the program. Das Duo Kollektiv has placed itself among the best innovative ensembles of classical music throughout Europe and is gaining recognition in the United States. They bring craftsmanship and a flair for new colors, dynamics, and refined interpretations of classical music to their program shaped by their travels throughout the world.

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

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

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

Best regards,

Mary Ann Covone
President of Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International

Accordion Jazz Chords

Updated AAA Composers Commissioning Committee Publication

by Dr. Robert Young McMahan Chair, AAA Composers Commissioning Committee
AAA logo
Dr Robert McMahanUpdated - The Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Commissioned Works of the
American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Composers Commissioning Committee:
- Henry Cowell: Concerto Brevis, for Accordion & Orchestra
- Otto Luening: Rondo
- Paul Pisk: Salute to Juan

View this 2023 update at:


Kevin Friedrich Guest Artist at South Pacific Accordion Championships Finale Concert in NZ

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Kevin FriedrichKevin Friedrich and organist Michael Bell will perform a program for the Finale of the 2023 South Pacific Accordion Championships. Their program will include Ian Watsons new work, “Dargaville Impressions” on June 4th, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand and a new Gary Daverne work for organ and accordion. The NZ Massed Accordion Orchestra with Kevin Friedrich as Concert Master and the NSAO will perform works with organ, Australian Ensemble, along with soloist Grayson Masefield and the 2023 competition prize winners.

The members of the NZAA Massed Orchestra Players: include Concert Master Kevin Friedrich and players: Amber Masefield, Andre Samotoi, Brenden Healy, Christine Johnstone, Daisy Huang, Dennis Lovatt, Grayson Masefield, Harley Jones, Heather Gladstone, Heather Masefield, Ivy Du, Lian Jones, Maurice Jones, Mia Liu, Patrick Liu, Stephanie Poole, Sonja Palinich, Sven Balvan, Tamba Carleton, Theo Redepenning

Kevin has recently released two CD’s. The Journey Kevin Friedrich plays the music of Gary Daverne - Select track samples and ordering information. In his CD, Reflections catalog: friedrich02 he performs the music of Bach, Glinka, Fremar, Shenderyev, Timoshenko, Repnikov and Zolotaryov. The second album consists of remastered live recordings performed on both piano and button accordions, from the 1970s and 1980s.

Born and raised in New Zealand, Kevin began playing the accordion at the age of seven. After earning the title of New Zealand Solo Accordion Champion in 1979 and 1980 while studying with well known New Zealand accordionist and teacher Harley Jones, Kevin moved to the United States to study accordion with Joan Cochran Sommers at the University of Missouri - Kansas City where he obtained his Bachelor of Music. He then gained his Performance Diploma a Conservatoire in Paris, France studying with Max Bonnay. Kevin served two four-year terms as President of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) and at the conclusion of his Presidency was elected as CIA Ambassador.
Kevin currently makes his home in New York City. His accordion activities include serving on the Board of Directors for both the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG). Dedicated to preserving the history of the accordion, Kevin created his own Museum exhibition ‘Accordion Gems, A Master Collection of Accordions Through Time at the Dargaville Museum, serves as 1st Vice President of the world’s largest accordion museum ‘A World of Accordions Museum’ in Superior, Wisconsin and is Director of the World Accordion Museum Alliance, an initiative of the CIA.
For further information, please visit: Kevin Friedrich
Tickets for the June 3rd concert: Adult $15, Concession $10, Child $5, payable at the door.
Kevin Friedrich CD Covers, The Journey, Reflections

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

UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble June Concerts

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
UMKC Ensemble
The (UMKC) Community Accordion Chamber Ensemble directed by Joan Cochran Sommers will perform concerts in June 2023 as follows:

• June 24th at 3pm – concert at the Swan Dive Events Centre, Vivilore restaurant in Independence, Missouri.
• June 25th at 2.30pm – concert at the Kansas City United Church of Christ Social Hall in Kansas City, Missouri.

Admission is free.

See poster for details.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Stas Venglevski: “Fifteen Minutes of Fame”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video: 15 Minutes of Fame: Video available on June 4, 2023 at 2:PM at

Stas Venglevski invites all: “Join me this Sunday for the world premiere performance of composers around the world who have composed one minute selection for 15 minutes of fame online organization. 15 minutes of fame is 15 one minute works by different composers written for a featured performer. This Sunday, I am honored to be the featured guest performer for Fifteen Minutes of Fame.”

The program takes place on June 4, 2023 - 2:00 PM EDT (UTC-4). Fifteen Minutes of Fame is 15 one-minute works by different composers written for a specific performer or ensemble. Fifteen Minutes of Fame gives a variety of new music by living composers to audiences hungry to hear what is being created in today's music scene.

"...the 15 Minutes of Fame project of Vox Novus is a godsend. It organizes competitions whereby ensembles commission worldwide calls for submissions of approximately one-minute pieces, and then select their 15 favorites for premieres. The players, themselves emerging and without the funds for a traditional commission fee, get original works to present, while the likewise emerging composers get a chance for exposure and a premiere..." - Seth Gilman, NY Music Culture Examiner

Fifteen Minutes of Fame was designed by producer and composer Robert Voisey to create an opportunity for composers to get their works performed and heard by audiences around the world. The presentation of fifteen works in a short amount of time allows for the performance of composers works who would not normally get programmed on a chamber concert.

Stas will be presenting composers: Michalis Andronikou, David Bohn, Stephen de Filippo, John Kefala Kerr, Chihchun Chi-sun Lee, Rosita Piritore, Ryan Charles Ramer, Cornelia Schmid, David Unger, Robert Voisey, Anna Vriend, Willyn Whiting, Matthew Williamson, Yehuda Yannay, and Yuriy Zhikrivetskiy

Excerpts from his website: Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

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

He is a regular participant the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education Program (ACE); has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra; has done television commercials and performed in theater productions; produced 15 acclaimed albums including a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite for Bayan as well as one of original compositions. He has published several books of original compositions.

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

Dee Langley to Perform with the Pavia Wind Quintet in Minneapolis

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dee Langley
Accordionist Dee Langley will perform on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 4:PM EDT with the Pavia Wind Quintet Summer Recital.
The concert takes place at:
Christ Church Lutheran
3244 34th Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

The Pavia Wind Quintet will perform arrangements of Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy and Ravel's “Le Tombeau de Couperin”. They will also perform “Drones & Nanorhythms” by Nikola Resanovic and “Hot Air” by Joshua Mitchell with Dee Langley. Pavia Wind Quintet members include: Ryan Golden (clarinet), Justin Windschitl (bassoon), Gina Goettl, (French horn), Lindsey Thompson (Oboe), and Erica Bennett Duggan (Flute),

Dee Langley specializes in both solo and ensemble works for the accordion having appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Guthrie Theater, Duluth Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Sinfonia, Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Nautilus Music Theater, Ethnic Dance Theatre, Dolina Polish Folk Dancers and Theater Latte Da.

Dee Langley is winner of the 2012 Minnesota Emerging Composer Award (Orkestar Bez Ime - World Music), the 2011-2012 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians. In 2019 Dee was honored at the American Accordion Musicological Society for her lifelong dedication and service to the accordion as a performer, educator, director and composer. She was inducted into the American Accordion Hall of Fame in 2020.

Founder and coordinator for the NE Accordion Festival, Dee is also a former president of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International, and currently teaches accordion for Minneapolis College as well as privately in NE Minneapolis. 

For further information:
Pavia Wind Quintet

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Gregorio Uribe Performs at Carnegie Hall Citywide in NYC

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
GregorioAccordionist Gregorio Uribe performs on Friday, June 9, 2023 at 5:PM in Times Square, Manhattan, NYC.
It is a free event.

Excerpts from Carnegie Hall website: Whether he’s leading his irresistible big band or a vibrant small group—like in this free, Friday-evening concert in Times Square—Gregorio Uribe can get any crowd dancing with an “intoxicating variety” of musical ingredients (The Boston Globe). Born in Bogotá, Colombia and based in New York City, Uribe is a high-spirited accordionist, vocalist, composer, and bandleader who has worked with greats like Rubén Blades, Carlos Vives, and Arturo O’Farrill, and he is a natural leader of musicians and audiences alike. Enjoy the global sound of New York City, courtesy of Carnegie Hall Citywide.

It is the 50th Anniversary Season of Carnegie Hall Citywide. Carnegie Hall is honored to partner with local community organizations to present free concerts that are sensational celebrations of sounds from across the country and around the globe. At a Carnegie Hall Citywide concert, you can revisit your favorite music or try something new, stay in your home borough or journey farther afield. Whatever you choose, you’ll experience everything that makes New York City so vibrant.

“Gregorio Uribe is a high-spirited accordionist, vocalist, composer, and bandleader who can get any crowd moving with an “intoxicating variety” of musical ingredients” (The Boston Globe).

Venue Information:
Times Square
Broadway Pedestrian Plaza between 43rd and 44th streets | Manhattan

Call: 929-277-2330

Titano Accordion Company

Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs July 14 at AAA Festival

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

The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970 when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey.  Its first conductor was  Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.  In 1980 the orchestra was reorganized under well-known accordionist and composer Eugene Ettore.  

In 1985 the orchestra was again reorganized under Daniel Desiderio and the name was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra. The membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Maestro Desiderio retired in 2011 and turned the reins over to the current conductor, Al Terzo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information:

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Bachtopus Performance for the River Arts Music Tour in Dobbs Ferry, NY

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
BachtopusThe Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble perform again at the RiverArts Music Tour!  Selections will include their usual unusual repertoire of classical, contemporary, and folk-influenced music.  Don’t miss it!

Here are the details:
Saturday, June 3rd, 2023, 3 PM
Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church
(43 Ashford Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 10522)
Cost: Free

Bachtopus is an accordion ensemble from New York City that performs music by contemporary composers and Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble was formed in 2011 to play Bach’s organ music, which is well suited to the accordion. The group soon shifted focus to become one of the few accordion ensembles in the United States that focuses on new music. Having established a large repertoire in just a few years, Bachtopus continues perform contemporary music that is interesting and accessible. To support this effort Bachtopus also commissions music from living composers via their Composers Commissioning Fund.

The group features original compositions and commissioned works by Bratko Bibič, Rob Curto, Henco Espag, Peter Flint, Philip Glass, Bob Goldberg, Lars Hollmer, Will Holshouser, Guy Klucevsek, Denise Koncelik, Tony Kovatch, Dean Olsher, Arvo Pärt, Elliot Roman, Bill Schimmel, Doug Makofka, Bob Goldberg, Stas Venglevski, and Randall Woolf. Bachtopus was founded by Robert Duncan and features fellow accordionists Peter Flint, Mayumi Miyaoka, and Jeanne Velonis. For more information:

The ensemble has performed for diverse audiences, and previous performance highlights include: Make Music New York, Bach in the Subways, The New Museum, Accordions Around the World,, and the American Accordion Association Seminars. Bachtopus performs music by and is inspired by Accordion Tribe, Motion Trio, the Kronos Quartet, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Stas Venglevski, the Bang On a Can All-Stars, and Jacques Cousteau. The group features original compositions by Peter Flint and Sy Kushner, and arrangements by Robert Duncan and Denise Koncelik.

Robert Duncan, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the City University of New York and received a BA in Music Humanities at the University of California at San Diego. He is the founder and director of Bachtopus.

Peter Flint has degrees in electronic music, history, and composition from Oberlin College and Conservatory and New England Conservatory. He has studied accordion with Walter Kuehr, William Schimmel, and Rob Curto, Conrad Cummings, Michael Gandolfi, Scott Wheeler, and Lee Hyla. He is deeply interested in Afro-Cuban music and recently had an orchestral composition performed in Havana, Cuba by the Camerata Romeu.He is on the board of directors at the Third Street Music School Settlement.

Mayumi Miyaoka, is an Academic Librarian/Archivist by day, and accordionist by night. She is the founder/organizer of Brooklyn Accordion Club, and is the compiler/editor of a self-published magazine, SqueeZine! – Chronicles of Accordionists. Mayumi studied with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at ACME Accordion School in NJ, and with Dr. William Schimmel in NYC.

Jeanne Velonis is a classical recording engineer. Initially self-taught, she has studied accordion with Leah Barkan and Mary Tokarski.

Bachtopus will perform on July 29-31, 2022 for the Accordion Global Association (online)

For further information on Bachtopus:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

34th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Music Festival on June 3

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video 1:

Video 2:
Grupo ImagenAlex MeixnerVideo 1: Texas Folklife Organization Overview

Video 2: Accordion Kings & Queens (AKQ) showcases the incredible musical diversity of Texas accordion styles, featuring legends of conjunto, polka, country western, zydeco, Cajun, and more. Accordion Kings & Queens draws an over-average crowd of over 4,000 annually to Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre. The event celebrates the cultural diversity of Texas by bringing communities together for an evening of dancing and roots music played on the accordion.

The 33rd Annual Accordion Kings & Queens took place on June 4th, 2022. Featuring performances from Las Fenix, RJ & Kreole Smoove, Cameron Dupuy & the Cajun Troubadours, and the 2022 Big Squeeze Champions. Watch the full show on the Texas Folklife YouTube Channel.

Texas Folklife returns to Miller Outdoor Theatre during its 100th Anniversary Season with the 34th annual Accordion Kings and Queens (AKQ) music festival on Saturday, June 3, 2023 from 7 to 10:PM. Featured on the program are Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole; Grupo Imagen; and Alex Meixner Band. Guest performers include Texas Folklife’s 2023 Big Squeeze statewide youth accordion contest champions. 

The Grand Prize Winners of Texas Folklife's 2023 Big Squeeze Statewide Youth Accordion Contest Champions are:
Polka: John Hickl, 22, Elmaton, TX
Conjunto 16 & Under: Giovani Guerrero, 15, Mission, TX
Conjunto 17-21: Anthony Ortiz Jr
Grand Prize: Eligio Martinez, 20, San Benito, TX

The show will be simultaneously live streamed via Facebook. As always, admission is free and open to all at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, 77030. Tickets for advanced assigned seating are available exclusively to Texas Folklife members. Free tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis at the Miller Outdoor Theatre website the day before the performance at 10:00am.

Accordionist Performers include:
Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole: One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, and songwriter. Originally from San Felipe, TX, Watson has performed French music in 17 countries and on 7 full-length albums with various renowned groups, including the Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, and Les Amis Creole with Ed Poullard. Watson’s albums are a tapestry of pulsing rhythms and Creole poetry, and his live performances are unforgettable, at once progressive and nostalgic.

Grupo Imagen: Grupo Imagen is a Tejano-Conjunto band based out of Corpus Christi, TX. The 2015 recipient of the Tejano Music Awards Best New Group category, Grupo Imagen performs across Texas and has recorded three studio albums, performing primarily their own original compositions. The band is fronted by accordionist Silvia Navarro and vocalist Lorissa Chapa and continues to break barriers in the industry in their commitment to centering Tejana voices in their projects.

Alex Meixner Band: Alex Meixner is a nationally acclaimed musician, performer, bandleader, educator, and a leading advocate of polka music. Formally trained in classical, jazz, and ethnic music, Meixner has cross-pollinated his versatile playing styles through pop music, funk, jazz, and polka. He is an active ambassador for polka music. Meixner is on a mission to provide a much-needed positive experience that pulls communities together to celebrate history, culture, and genuinely good times.

“No other event celebrates the legacy and lasting impact of Texas accordion music traditions like AKQ, and no other venue creates a vibrant atmosphere for this music and our diverse audience more than the Miller Outdoor Theatre,” said Charlie Lockwood, Texas Folklife Executive Director. “We look forward to a night of amazing accordion performances and dancing, and we hope to see you there!”  
Media & Program Contact: 
Charlie Lockwood, Executive Director
(512) 441-9255;

About Accordion Kings and Queens: Accordion Kings & Queens has showcased the extraordinary accordion music of Texas at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre since 1990. The event celebrates the cultural diversity of Texas by bringing communities together for an evening of dancing and roots music played on the accordion. 

Accordion Kings and Queens is supported by the Board and Members of Texas Folklife and the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. Additional sponsorships and support provided by Texas Commission on the Arts, The Morales Memorial Foundation,  Capital Group, AARP Houston, Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids, Hohner Accordions, Restoration 1, Raven Grill, Que Onda Magazine, and many other community partners. Please reach out to sponsorship contact above for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

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.
Cedric Watson

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Dan Newton :”Daddy Squeeze” in June Performances

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dan NewtonDan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton has been dazzling audiences with his creative accordion style for over 40 years. His fresh approach to the much-maligned squeezebox and his mind-boggling repertoire of both original and traditional material will change the mind of the most hardened accordion skeptic. Dan draws influences for songs and tunes from such sources as French Musette, Swing, Cajun, Jug band blues, Celtic and Scandinavian music. Daddy Squeeze entertains and also enlightens his audiences with stories and colorful anecdotes about the accordion and his experiences making a living playing the instrument he loves.

Dan has produced more than 25 albums and has appeared on recordings by other artists such as Garrison Keillor, Son Volt, The Proclaimers, Peter Ostroushko, Prudence Johnson and Pat Donohue. He has performed at The Lincoln Center, NY, The Kennedy Center, Washington DC, accordion festivals in Vienna, Austria, Kaustinen, Finnland, Winnepeg, Canada, San Antonio, Milwaukee and Cotati,CA. Dan was a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion and spent much of his time playing accordion with his group Café Accordion Orchestra.

Upcoming 2023 summer programs:
Saturday, June 3 at 7:PM
Trailer Trash 30th Anniversary @ Hook & Ladder, Mpls
Dan and about 30 other musicians sit in with Trailer Trash to celebrate 30 years of great honky-tonk music. Tickets available from the Hook & Ladder

Sunday, June 4 at 6:PM
Daddy Squeeze @ Waldmann Brewery, St. Paul
Dan returns to this historic Brewery and Restaurant at the foot of the High Bridge. In the Biergarten if weather permits. 445 Smith Ave in St Paul.

June 5: Dan & Elizabeth on Facebook Live Stream 12 noon CT
June 8: Accordion-0-Rama @ Crooners, The Belvedere 7pm
June 9-10: McNordiques @ Nisswastamman, Duluth
June 17: McNordiques @ A.S.I. Midsommer Fest, Minneapolis

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

2nd Anniversary of the New England Accordion Connection & Museum on July 1

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
New England Accordion Museum
Video: New England Accordion Connection and Museum Company!

Angelo Paul Ramunni, founder and director of the New England Accordion Connection & Museum proudly shares, “I thought it was time for an update on what’s been happening at our New England Accordion Connection & Museum Co. here in North Canaan, Ct. This coming July 1, 2023 will mark the 2 year anniversary at our current location. We have had almost 4,000 visitors so far, who have come through our doors to see our collection and hear the music and stories.

For one thing, we have become more serious with our collection of antique accordions. We’ve added 7 more curved keyboard units from the 1930’s and another dozen or so original organettos, bandoneons, and cromatica accordions. We now have 4 Luttbegs, which are double keyboard accordions. Only 12 were ever produced worldwide. We also have over 100 refurbished current accordions for sale. And we continue to offer repair services. More folks are coming in just for that.

However, what continues to amaze me is the reaction of people when they open the door and see all of the accordions. They are pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the beauty, artistry, ingenuity and number of instruments. But then it begins to dawn on them that most of these were made 100 to 200 years ago! There was no internet, no lumber yards, hardware stores, supply centers or even instructions and manuals explaining how to build an accordion. These all had to be designed and made by hand.

Then it happens…people start to smile, laugh, even giggle. They become like little children on Christmas morning. I’ll play a song and some will even dance and some will cry because the music helps them remember precious moments from the past. Within minutes we become friends and I don’t even know their names. This is a happy place filled with wonderful and important memories.

Everyone who visits feels lifted and encouraged. I have a wonderful 8-year-old student who is learning how to play the accordion. He was recently diagnosed with cancer. Even he smiles and enjoys his time here despite his ailment.

I have the best job in all the world. It took me 74 years to find it, but I now have a place that instantly makes people happy. There are the accordions, great music, and reminders of faith from times past. All of this will lift your spirits. Please come to visit. It’s worth a trip from anywhere.”

Over 400 spectacularly-beautiful accordions have been moved into the recently-restored Canaan Union Railroad station in North Canaan, Connecticut by long-time collector Angelo Paul Ramunni. As creator and owner of the New England Accordion Connection & Museum Company (NEACMC), Ramunni recently relocated the exceptionally-detailed and highly-ornate hand-crafted accordions from throughout the world dating back to the year 1829 into the historic railroad station.

"This is a happy, hands-on experience place the public is embracing joyfully," stated Ramunni. "We opened this living historical museum space in early July 2021 and people's jaws drop when they see hundreds of accordions in a room with 12' high wood-beamed ceilings and windows. It is the only room in the original 8,500 square foot station dating back to 1872. The rest of the building was destroyed in a 2001 fire and was re-built to modern-day specs."

Between 1984 and 2002, Ramunni owned the historic station to house his CPA business. In 2001 he sold it to the Connecticut Railroad Historical Association after it was heavily damaged by an arson's fire. Visitors to his museum today are enthusiastically engaged when he tells them stories about what happened in the building over the last 147 years at the 'crossroads where thousands of people passed every week."

In 2011, Ramunni created his accordion museum in a garage on his home's property in North Canaan. This July, he relocated to display the 400+ accordions plus he repairs, buys and sells these remarkable 'bling-enhanced' vintage accordions, and he offers to sell over 10,000 pieces of sheet music and books, provide lessons, and play an accordion at special events.

"Vienna, Austria in 1829 was where the first accordion was patented," revealed Ramunni. "In America, the accordion was popular while the West was being settled and was integral for emigrating families from across the globe. Being portable and musically-rich, it was played throughout the Civil War, World War I and II.

"This museum's 40 x 24 foot historical room," continued Ramunni, "is helping people to reconnect to themselves and unite with others. It is offering a fun, energizing, and beautiful atmosphere. People of all ages walk through taking deep, appreciative long breaths of joy. They especially enjoy my old polka-playing Wurlitzer jukebox!"

The New England Accordion Connection & Museum Company is located in the historic Canaan Union Railroad station in North Canaan next to the Connecticut Railroad Historical Association Museum. The museum is open weekends and by appointment weekdays by calling 860-833-1374 or by emailing to

New England Accordion Museum
75 Main Street, North Canaan, CT
Phone: Paul Ramunni 860-833-1374

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Brooklyn Accordion Club Presents Cordeone on June 2

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
BAC logoVideo: Swing 39 - (Django Reinhardt)

You are cordially invited to a presentation by a local accordionist and multi-instrumentalist, Loïc Cordeone Da Silva.
"Afro-Caribbean Music on Accordion"
Friday, June 2, 2023 from 6:15 - 7:30 PM
Location: A4 Collective at 636 Dean Street #2F Brooklyn, NY 11238   
Admission: Free 

Loïc began his journey playing Portuguese Balls at nine years old. He is a multi-instrumentalist who, starting with the accordion, taught himself to play piano, classic guitar, Portuguese guitar, Brazilian percussions, drums, and the bass. At the age of 18, he embarked on a professional career in music. Cordeone’s musical odyssey has allowed him the pleasure of working and collaborating with amazing artists from all walks of life, such as Jah Mason, Turbulence, Big Joe Turner, Michael Pipoquinha, Ben l'Oncle Soul, Mario Canonge, Samson Schmidt and many more.

This is also a great opportunity to meet some of the BAC Orchestra members and ask questions about BAC and BAC Orchestra if you are interested in being part and could not attend the 1st rehearsal. 

Future meetings and rehearsals:
Brooklyn Accordion Club 10th Anniversary Orchestra 2nd rehearsal - Thursday, June 15, 2023 from 6:30 - 8:00pm in Prospect Heights. If you have not signed up to be part of the BAC Orchestra, please fill this survey:

BAC Orchestra Grand Concert:
Sunday, December 3, 2023 5:15 -6:45 PM (tentative, subject to change) in Fort Greene neighborhood

The Brooklyn Accordion Club is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

For further information:


Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 22 - 25

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
The Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration happens from June 22nd-25 2023. LIAC is a world-class accordion festival in the town of Leavenworth located in Cascade mountains of Washington State. The festival features concerts with renown performers, workshops, jam sessions, accordion competitions, accordion parade, and accordion vendors. The Northwest Accordion Society, proud sponsors of LIAC, brings people together "for the love of the accordion". 
2023 Featured Performers Include:

Joey Miskulin is a multiple Grammy Award winning American accordionist and producer. In a music career spanning more than six decades, Joey has collaborated with a range of artists including Frankie Yankovic, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Paul McCartney, Ricky Skaggs, U2, Shania Twain, as well as many others. He is a member of the Grammy Winning Grand Ole Opry  quartet "Riders In The Sky." 

Alicia Jo Straka (previously Alicia Baker) is a professional accordionist, singer, pianist, and composer from Portland, OR, currently residing in Denver, CO. Throughout her career, Alicia has won multiple International accordion competitions, worked as an artist for the prestigious Roland Corporation, sung leading operatic roles, and has performed at many notable venues including Carnegie Weill Hall and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. 

Andy Mirkovich studied accordion starting at the age of five. He was the featured performer at the Space Needle Restaurant in Seattle, for 11 years, and has performing experience in radio, television, movies and concerts. He has performed with or for many artists, including Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, Dick Contino, Frank Yankovich, Liberace, Burl Ives, The Vienna Boy's Choir, King Hussein of Jordan, and the King and Queen of Norway.

Lyle Schaefer and Toby Hanson are each accomplished bandleaders and accordionists in their own right.  Toby and Lyle switch off effortlessly to create a whirling flurry of notes, reminiscent of the finest accordion duos in the Cleveland-style tradition going all the way back to Yankovic and Pecon.  Die-hard polka fans and newcomers alike will both love the polka stylings of Lyle and Toby.

Creosote is the accordion duo of Jamie Maschler and Gabriel Hall-Rodrigues based out of Seattle, WA. Together they play a dynamic array of original and world music. Maschler and Rodrigues are both seasoned musicians and have individually and collectively mastered their craft of performing, composing and arranging on the accordion.  Expect to hear elegant and clever arrangements of new and old Brazilian and world music. 

Andy Gonzales and Juan Barco Singer and songwriter Juan Barco, born in Lytle, Texas, brings an enormous wealth of experience to the Tejano folk music for which he is so well-known in the Northwest and his native Texas. His songs are colored by his childhood experiences in the migrant labor camps of the South and the Midwest, his service in the military at the Army Firing Range in Yakima, his rich musical family background, and by his twenty years as a caseworker for the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services.

Max Kyllonen was raised in the Andreas Keller Restaurant in Leavenworth, WA. Having embraced the inherent Bavarian tendency to seek harder paths after years of piano accordion playing, he switched to the Alpine Style Button Box following periods of wandering through the alps. Many songs and a few pilgrimages back to visit his Bavarian Folk music teacher just north of Berchtesgaden, Bavaria later, Max can be found continuing to fan the flames of tradition at the Andreas Keller and around Leavenworth.

2023 LIAC Workshop Summary:
Workshops are $13 if paid by June 12 or $15 at Leavenworth
#1 Conjunto Music and the Button Diatonic Accordion
With Andy Gonzalez & friends
Fri 10:00am Grange/Upper

#2 Accordion Gym
With Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues
Fri 11:30am Grange/Upper

#3 How to Play Together
With Toby Hanson and Lyle Schaefer
Fri 1:00pm Grange/Upper

#4 Varying Your Performance
With Grammy Award Winner, Joey Miskulin
Fri 4:30pm Grange/Upper

#5 The Difference Between Demonstrating and Communicating with your Audience
A Master Workshop with Andy Mirkovich
Sat 10:00am Grange/Upper

#6 Ask A Teacher
Workshop with Cooksie Kramer (Kaserzon)
ABCA, LBCA, Member ABRSM Trinity College London, UK
Sat 1:30pm Grange/Upper

#7 The Art of the Musette
With Alicia Jo Straka
Sat 4:30pm Grange/Upper

Be sure to attend the FREE Sessions!
Playing in a group; performing at the gazebo
with Toby Hanson and Lyle Schaefer
Thurs 3:00 – 4:30 PM Grange/Upper

The Button Box Across the Centuries with Tom Tilton
Fri 12:30 – 1:15pm Festhalle by Button Box display

Silicon Valley Accordion Society Presents Lou DiMaggio

by Pamela Tom
Lou DiMaggio
Accordionist Lou DiMaggio will present a concert on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at the Christ Episcopal Church. Doors open at 1:30 PM. The location of the church is :
1040 Border Road
Los Altos, CA 94024

Lou DiMaggio is an outstanding accordionist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently he was a guest artist at the 2022 Cotati Accordion Festival Student Fund Raiser.

In the late 40s Lou studied under vaudevillian virtuoso Angelo Cagnazzo (Dick Contino's accordion teacher). Lou went on to successfully compete in talent contests around his area. His solo playing got him into large city competitions and soon he hit the big time.

The Horace Heidt Youth Opportunity Program was very popular on radio starring Dick Contino on accordion. The Heidt Program was Lou’s goal to compete in. When Dick Contino left the Horace Heidt Show, it opened an opportunity for Lou to compete.

Lou competed and won the quarter finals and went onto the Grand Finals. This led Lou to opportunities performing with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Roy Rodgers, Roberta Linn, Edgar Bergen, The Three Suns, and several U.S.O. shows during the war.

Lou DiMaggio is from an Italian family, and is related to the famous Joe DiMaggio, the baseball player. In Lou’s younger days, the accordion was part of the Italian heritage. Many of the old Italians in his neighborhood played the accordion, and that was where Lou’s interest started.

After a few months of taking lessons, Lou wanted to quit because his attention span for practicing just was not there. His mother told Lou that she had spent her hard-earned money on lessons, and it was not to go to waste. She insisted on making Lou practice every day after school. She would listen to him practice, and when he made a mistake, she would bang on the door and tell him to play it over until he got it down without a mistake. It was Lou’s mom that was his motivator. Lou gives all the credit to his mom for being so persistent and giving him the chance to be part of the accordion world. Lou started playing in his relative’s homes, then for Italian weddings, school dances, and on to solos. Lou then started competing in talent contests around his area and did very well for himself. The solo playing got him into large city competition and soon he hit the big time.

After his professional entertaining career, Lou married, settled down and had children. Lou then started his teaching career. He now is interested in passing on some of his experience to other aspiring accordion players. His philosophy is you are never too young or too old to learn this magnificent instrument.

For further details on the Silicon Valley Accordion Society’s upcoming meeting: visit:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Ray Oreggia and Dominic Karcic Perform at La Baraka for Bastille Day

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
RayDominic KarcicBastille Day Festivities will take place on July 13 and 14, 2023 at 6:30 PM with Continental French music, show tunes and more.
La Baraka Restaurant
255-09 Northern Boulevard
Little Neck, NY 11362-1461

Call: (718) 428-1461
Reservations are necessary. Great food – Geat wine - Great accordion music!

Featured performers are Ray Oreggia (photo left) on July 13, 2023 and Dominic Karcic on July 14, 2023. Ray Oreggia is an accomplished accordionist and serves as Treasurer of the American Accordionists’ Association. Ray is a graduate of the NY Institute of Technology with a degree in biochemistry/microbiology. He worked as a microbiologist and in medical sales.

His real passion is for the accordion beginning his studies at age 8 with Ernest Marconi. When he was 14, he studied with Joe Biviano for a few years. His grandmother was French and the family always had records of French musette music and Valtaro which he would easily play by ear.

Ray was born with a gift for music and played anything by ear. He turned professional at age 9 when he was hired by his next door neighbor to entertain. At 13 and 14, he performed at weddings and catering halls. Presently he performs professionally in the New York Metropolitan area. You will enjoy Ray’s friendly personality and musical arrangements.

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 (Photo right) 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.

Enjoy the delicious food and entertaining accordion music!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Playing the Accordion Benefits Your Brain

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dr. Anita CollinsThe Music AdvantageVideo: How playing an instrument benefits your brain
Lesson by Anita Collins, animation by Sharon Colman Graham.

Did you know that when you play the accordion, you are benefiting your brain? When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What's going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians' brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

Anita Collins explains how music benefits your brain and, therefore, your entire life. Excerpts from her website: Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher, and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. She is internationally recognized for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher, and student.

Since 2016, Anita has traveled around the world to interview over 100 neuroscientists and psychologists about music learning and brain development, known as neurological research. Anita now uses the research to present, consult and advocate for an updated understanding of how music learning can benefit every child’s development.

Anita’s work first came to prominence when she wrote the script for the highly successful TEDEd video, How playing an instrument benefits your brain, followed by her TEDx Talk, What if every child had music education from birth? Anita is best known to Australians for her role as an on-screen expert and campaign lead for the Don’t Stop the Music documentary that aired on ABC in late 2018.

Anita was awarded the Barbara Matthews Churchill fellowship in 2016 which allowed her to travel to the US and Canada to learn from researcher leaders, such as Professor Isabelle Peretz from the BRAMS Lab in Montreal and Professor Nina Kraus from the Brainvolts lab in Chicago. In 2017, Anita was awarded a sabbatical to continue her studies, again in the US, Canada, and Germany with leaders such as Professors Glenn Schellenberg and Sandra Trehub at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Dr Assal Habibi and Dr Mathew Sachs at the Brain and Creativity Institute in LA. In recognition of her work, Anita was awarded the inaugural Australian Women in Music award for Music Education in 2019.

Dr. Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher, and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. She is internationally recognized for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to parents, teachers, and students. Her film “How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain” is one of the most viewed TED-Ed talks of all time. Dr. Collins was the lead onscreen expert in the ABC TV series “Don’t Stop the Music” and is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra and Associate Fellow of Music, Mind and Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne.

About her book, “The Music Advantage”: An expert in cognitive development and music education reveals the remarkable and surprising benefits that playing–or even appreciating–music offers to children.

When you watch this video and read more about the benefits of playing an instrument, you will realize that you can learn an instrument at any age. If you have an interest in learning the accordion, go for it! Buy an instrument, find a teacher, and begin an amazing musical journey that will result in new learning and new experiences. Want to share how you have benefited from playing the accordion? Send your thoughts to

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New Release: Joe Soprani's "Great American Songbook"

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Great American Songbook
Joe SopraniAccordionist Joseph Soprani has released his newest album: “Great American Songbook”. The CD was released on February 23, 2023 with musicians:
Joseph Soprani - accordion
Dave Posmontier - piano
Pat Mercuri - guitar
Bill Zinno - bass
Gusten Rudolph - drums

Produced by Brendan McGeehan
Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Brendan McGeehan
Recorded at Elm Street Studios, Conshohocken, PA

Producer Brendan McGeehan shares, “I am thrilled to announce that at 88 years young, virtuoso accordionist Joe Soprani has a new album out. This has been years in the making and we are all thrilled with how it came out. We matched Joe with an ensemble of excellent players and had a couple of really fun days in the studio. Check it out!'

Selections include: Breezin' Along With the Breeze , Fly Me to the Moon, Stardust, Blue Moon, Georgia On My Mind, Hey There, Estralita, More, I’m in the Mood for Love, Cheek to Cheek, Lullaby of Birdland, Once in a While, and Caravan.

The “Great American Songbook” is available as a Digital Album for $10: Streaming + Download Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3. The Physical CD for $20: Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

Joseph Soprani has a busy career. In addition to performing in Broadway shows such as "Fiddler on the Roof", "Zorba", "Cabaret" and "Irma la Douce", Joe has performed in world premieres of "Frida,” a musical that called for a virtuoso accordionist and "Another Kind of Hero,” a musical which featured him on stage for an entire scene.

Joe, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and won the Arthur Godfrey Show, appeared with TV Star Nell Carter in a "Colors of Freedom" production at the Convention Center in Philadelphia. He also appeared with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops playing a special arrangement by Nero with Soprano Evelyn de LaRosa.

In November of 1997, Soprani became the first accordionist to perform in "La Traviata" by Verdi presented by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Klaus Arp, the opera conductor from Germany, decided to use the accordion in the small ensemble on stage during "La Banda" sections.

Joe has also performed with Russell Watson on Good Morning America, and continues to promote the accordion as a serious instrument at various clubs and organizations. His workshops at schools and colleges, where he demonstrated his skills as performer and arranger to young composers and arrangers, have been well received.

In his 80’s, Joe Soprani is still going strong, always busy practicing, performing, and planning his next musical adventure. Over the years, I have attended many of his live performances as soloist and with orchestras, including his 2019 performance with the 65 piece Philly Pops Orchestra in Disney’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Joe said, “ The score to “The Nightmare Before Christmas has a very powerful score and an interesting accordion part.”

For further information:

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

2nd Annual Powell River Accordion Fest 2023 Highlights

by Christine Johnstone
Powell riverVideo: Highlights of the successful 2nd Annual Powell River Accordion Fest 2023, held on May 5th and 6th in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada, and included World Accordion Day performances.

The event was directed by Walter Martella and Karina Inkster. The opening night concert featured Walter Martella and Karina Inkster, with special guests Budge Schachte, Boyd Norman, Ronen Segall, Dr. Moira Hopfe-Ostensen, Terry Martyniuk, and Jessica Colasanto.

Genres included tango, klezmer, jazz, classical, and music from the Amélie film soundtrack by Yann Tiersen.

World Accordion Day, May 6th, included a masterclass led by Jelena Milojevic, a klezmer workshop led by Ronen Segall, Accordion 101 for beginners, and courtyard performances where accordionists of all levels shared their music.

The event finished with a Squeezebox Night at the Forest Bistro, featuring Ron Campbell's band, the Blues Busters, with Ronen and Walter on accordions.

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

Northwest Accordion Society Social June 4

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
NorthwestThe Northwest Accordion Social meets on June 4, 2023 from 1:30-3:30 PM at their new location:

Fellowship Hall 
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
6020 Beacon Avenue South,
Seattle 98108

The social will meets the first Sunday of each month. No meetings in July and August.

Details on the poster

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

10th Anniversary of Polkadelphia

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
PolkadelphiaVideo: Polkadelphia

Ten years ago a small group of Philadelphia musicians put on lederhosen for the first time to perform at the Porch at 30th Street Station beer garden, and Polkadelphia was born. Since then they would go on to become an integral part of the polka scene in Philadelphia and beyond.

To celebrate 10 years of performing, dancing, and making toasts, Polkadelphia in conjunction with University City District is hosting a 10th anniversary show on June 4, 2023 from 1 - 4:PM at the 40th Street Trolley Portal. Bring your best set of lederhosen, your finest dirndl, and get your toasting arm ready as they mark 10 years of making music in Philadelphia.

Back in 2013, a tuba, trombone, trumpet, and accordion walked into a bar lamenting the lack of fresh approaches in the genre of polka. Two rounds and one passionate conversation later, Polkadelphia was born. Not your ordinary oompah band, Polkadelphia plays traditional German and Polish favorites as well as more modern covers by artists as diverse as Radiohead, the Beatles, the White Stripes, and Metallica.

Based in Philadelphia, they are in high demand throughout the tri-state area. Polkadelphia has been featured at Steelstacks Oktoberfest, Musikfest, Philly Bierfest, and Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein. They have performed on television at WVIA”s legendary Pennsylvania Polka, and have been immortalized as special guests on the reality tv show Worst Cooks in America.

Polkadelphia is made up of top Philadelphia musicians, with performers from such groups as the West Philadelphia Orchestra, Beatlemania Now, the Extraordinaires, the Red Hot Ramblers, Jump City Jazz Orchestra, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Violent Femmes.

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Future events

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

ATG Final Concert, July 22: Joan Cochran Sommers & the ATG Festival Orchestra

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
As a final concert to close the Festival, on July 22, 2023 at 8:PM, the Accordionists & Teacher’s Guild, International, presents the ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra, directed by Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This is a long-standing Festival activity involving accordionists from all over the USA plus other countries such as Canada, Austria, New Zealand and Australia.

Assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, the program will include classical selections, medleys from musicals and tango nuevo. This program culminates with soloist, Grayson Masefield, a New Zealand born accordionist, and the first person to win World Championships in Classical, Virtuoso and Digital accordion categories.

Grayson is currently the Instrumental Music Instructor for accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and is regularly invited to perform concerts, give masterclasses and serve as an adjudicator at festivals and universities around the world. His program of classical transcriptions, original works, and nuevo tango will also include a world premiere of “Meditatio” (a meditation on the irrationality of human barbarism) from Spanish composer Gorka Hermosa, commissioned by the ATG.

For ATG information:

Here is a link to the Wheaton College Artist Series where all concerts can be found and tickets purchased. 
ATG is proud to be a part of the Wheaton College Artist Series:
Festival Pricing Information and Registration: 2023ATG-Festival

To make hotel reservations: 2023ATG-HotelRegistration

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

by Shirley Johnson and Laura J. Niland, Co-founders of NJO
logoNot Just Oompah! is pleased to announce a new accordion workshop,"Have Accordion, Will Travel!" featuring Courtney von Drehle. This workshop will be held via Zoom on July 25, 26, and 27, 2023 from 7:00 - 9:30 PM Central time each night. (8:00 – 10:30 pm Eastern, 6:00 – 8:30 pm Mountain, 5:00 – 7:30 pm Pacific)

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

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

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

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

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

Von Drehle has a B.A. in music from Marylhurst University and has studied North Indian classical singing. He teaches private accordion lessons and is on faculty at the Rose City Accordion Club's annual Silver Falls Accordion Camp.
No travel documents or custom checks involved!
Registration: $100 includes all workshop materials delivered in PDF format, plus recordings will be made of each presentation for later viewing. Register online at our newly revised website.
For more information contact:
Shirley Johnson 512-680-0422  or or

Laura Niland 210-651-4359

45th Vancouver Folk Music Festiva July 14-16

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. William Schimmel’s 2023 Seminars

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dr. William SchimmelThe 2023 Accordion Seminars will be curated by Dr. William Schimmel. It is their 29th smash year sponsored by the Accordion Global Association. - AGA. Dr. Schimmel shares, “We go in a global direction - a global synthesis in a single instrument anywhere or anyplace. Welcome to the ominous side of the accordion - shadowed - mysterious - intimate - subdued - gorgeous - in the background - highlighting - classical - - out front and center - and also can be: (like new york) too surreal to love, but ….. What about the baroque aspect - or baroqueness - finding oneself in the fertile reality of some really bon merde. There is so much to explore - and even more!”
There is so much to digest - and to jest!
There is …….. yes, the built in ironic duality as Dr. Schimmel states: “Hip/square, beautiful/ugly, elegant/vulgar, old/new, classy/ain’t got no class” - never one without the other and two new ones - “terribly sad/ wonderfully hilarious” Tune into the seminars this year - with accordion philosopher, Dr. William Schimmel - and the seminar team. We will give you some really cool presentations and some wonderful hot new pieces - all premiers and some remakes - they will be great fun and make for some really good discussions

“We”ll explore the visual arts, dance, video, music theatre and concept art in the midst of this - what is the goal? as always, content on the highest level
And like the last three years - they will be virtual, July 28 29 30 2023 - Master Class 3 to 4 - Concert 4 to 5. Links will be provided prior to each day.”

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

Topics will include:
Nailing the genre or busting it
The various dimensions of humor
Three Shades of Blue
How to play a proper reggae
How to be your own DJ
Asian culture and bluegrass
Don’t let the lefthand over power the righthand
Unknown Eugene Ettore - or almost
Accordion chotchckas and their social meaning
Improving your technique physically
How to nail the pocket of a beat/playing a rubato without losing the beat

And others to be announced:
Osvaldo Pugliese - the other Piazzolla
The Classical Accordion in America
Accordion/fear - the diminished chord
Accordio - ranting
The choral dimension
Soloist and orchestra in one box

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

$165. entire weekend:
Checks can be made to
William Schimmel
345 E 85th st 4re
New York, NY 10028
paypal -
For reservations and information:

Voci Armoniche

Cotati Festival 2023 on August 19 & 20

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

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

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

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

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

For further information: email:
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