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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Mar-2011
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Hohner Squeezebox App for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch - Virginia
Celebrate Carmen Carrozza's 90th Birthday on March 27th
Grayson Masefield to Present Concert in Spokane, Washington
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Chubby Carrier Wins Grammy Award
2011 National Accordion Association Convention in Texas, March 10-12
"INTOCABLE", Featuring the Accordion, Wins Grammy Award
AAA Presents 9th Annual Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund Event
Peter and Mady Soave in Concert at Michigan Accordion Society
2011 New England Music Festival April 8-10 in Massachusetts
Jelena Milojevic, 2011 Leavenworth Performer and Judge
Guy Klucevsek to Perform in NYC
Have YOU Made Plans for World Accordion Day 2011?
Mary Tokarski: Honoree of American Accordion Musicological Society
Czech And Then Some (CATS) to Perform at NAA Convention
Emmanuel Gasser, Young Accordionist to Perform in Spokane, Washington
Dee Langley: The Accordion Keeps Her Very Busy

Voci Armoniche

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

Steve Albini to Present Workshops and Concerts in USA
Interview with Accordionist Dr. Ian Blair Fries, Orthopedic and Hand Surgeon
Dr. William Schimmel Performs in Total Darkness
Texas Folklife's 2011 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest
AAA 17th Annual Master Class and Concerts in July
The Accordion is Here to Stay

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Mary Tokarski Performs "Tango Blues" by Roger Davidson
Long Island Accordion Alliance Meets on March 1st
WMAS features Dominic Karcic and Ray Oreggia
18th Annual Leavenworth Accordion Celebration in June 2011
2011 AAA Festival, July 13-17, in Charleston, SC
2011 July ATG Festival in Orlando
ACCORDIONS NOW! 2011: August 12-13 in New Hampshire

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita DavidsonWelcome to the March 2011 USA news! In this issue you will read about the many upcoming festivals taking place in all parts of the country.

The accordion is continuously becoming more prominent: Grammy awards (Chubby Carrier), United States Artists Awards (Guy Klucevsek), AAMS Award (Mary Tokarski). And there is more.

We are all fortunate that Grayson Masefield from New Zealand will be here in the USA again in March to perform in Spokane, Washington. You must hear him perform!

My interviews of interesting accordionists continues. This month, we feature Dr. Ian Blair Fries, noted orthopedic and hand surgeon AND……….. accordionist! He will tell you what you need to know to protect your precious hands!

Do you want to know what else is in the news this month?

I suggest……….. read it now, the March news!

Remember that World Accordion Day is approaching. Please read the article in the news by AWW Founder Harley Jones. Register your event today! Be part of this special celebration and get the recognition which you and/or your group deserves!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Hohner Squeezebox App for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch - Virginia

by Rita Barnea
Hohner Squeezebox App for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch - Virginia
Hohner announces the introduction of a revolutionary new app for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch: the Hohner SqueezeBox. Mimicking the layout of Hohner’s Corona Classic diatonic accordion, this intuitive virtual accordion app feature a super responsive, three-row fingerboard that plays and sounds like the traditional instrument.

The Hohner SqueezeBox allows musicians to practice chord combinations, scales, and songs on-the-go in five different key combinations and colors. Headphones can be used for private practice or, the audio output of the virtual accordion can be amplified by plugging into computer speakers or other sound enhancing devices.

Players have the option to display the note names on the large white simulated pearloid buttons and with the touch of a button, the tonality can easily be changed from “wet tuning” or “musette” to “dry tuning” or “straight” tuning.

“While not intended to replace a real accordion, the app is a convenient and easy tool for practicing, learning, or teaching. SqueezeBox is great for any style of music.” comments Hohner US Accordion Product Manger Gilbert Reyes Jr.

The Hohner SqueezeBox App is available on the iTunes App Store for the introductory price of $1.99 in the following key combinations: Hohner-GCF, Hohner-FBbEb, Hohner-EAD, Hohner-ADG, and Hohner-BbEbAb. The Hohner-Mini version is available in GCF for the iPhone and iPod Touch at $.99.

For further information email:
Hohner Squeezebox App for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch - Virginia

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

Celebrate Carmen Carrozza's 90th Birthday on March 27th

by Dr. Joseph Ciccone, AAA President
Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Event
Young Carmen CarrozzaCarmen Carrozza's 90th Birthday will be celebrated when the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) presents the 9th Annual Afternoon of Music, Food, and Fun at the Magnanini Farm Winery in Wallkill, NY on Sunday, March 27, 2011- 12 noon until 5:PM to benefit the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund for the advancement of promising young accordionists. Tickets are still available.

Carmen Carrozza was born in a small town Solano in Calabria, Italy on July 20, 1921. Carrozza emigrated to the USA with his family when he was nine years old. The Family settled in the town of Chappaqua in Westchester, NY, where Carrozza soon began studying music, becoming proficient on the violin, piano and accordion.

It wasn’t long before his love for the accordion became obvious and he found himself concentrating solely on mastering this instrument and master it he did! Although the piano accordion was developed around the turn of the century in 1909, it was stated by one of Carrozza’s early professors that "the accordion wasn’t given birth until the young Carrozza placed his hands on the instrument."

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

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

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

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

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

Throughout the years Carrozza has received numerous awards and honorees from many different organizations, associations and clubs. On March 17, 2002 Maestro Carrozza was honored by the American Accordionists' Association and was the first recipient presented with the prestigious“Lifetime Achievement Award”. Shortly after this gala event, The Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund, (a fund for the advancement of promising young accordionists and the commissioning of new works for the accordion) began in the spring of 2002.

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

Carrozza currently resides in the town of Thornwood in Westchester NY with his wife Jean and has two grown children and two grandchildren.

Carrozza displays a smooth, effortless technique and together with his musical virtuosity and brisk personality on stage he can be placed somewhere on the scale between unbelievable and incredible. He makes the accordion an instrument of remarkable beauty and makes his performances an experience in artistic majesty. 

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

For further information about Carmen or the AAA Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund Event:

Titano Accordion Company

Grayson Masefield to Present Concert in Spokane, Washington

by Rita Barnea
Grayson MasefieldWorld Champion Accordionist Grayson Masefield from New Zealand will present a concert on March 26, 2011, 7:30 PM at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 24th & Grand Blvd. in Spokane, Washington. Grayson has performed in many countries including France, Spain, Germany, UK, Portugal, Italy, Finland, China, New Zealand, and the United States.

Grayson's teacher, Frédéric Deschamps (France), an internationally recognized accordionist, an innovative teacher, professor of music, jurist for the CIA (Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes) and President of the CMA (Confédération Mondiale de l'Accordéon), will also be in Spokane, WA in March to conduct master classes and workshops March 20th to March 26th.

Grayson Masefield is a gifted musician who has been honored with many first place awards including 2010 1st Place - Trophée Mondial, classique, 2010 1st place Spoleto Senior Variete and Senior Classic, 2009 1st Place - Roland International V-Accordion Competition & Festival, 2009 1st Place – Coupe Mondiale, 2009 1st Place - Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Entertainment, 2009 1st Place - Primus Ikaalinen International TV Competition - Finland.
The Master Class and Concert is hosted by local professional accordionist, teacher, and international competitor and USA jurist for the CMA, Patricia Bartell, who has a music school based in Spokane, Washington.
Tickets are $10.00 at the door.

For further information:

Voci Armoniche

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Paul PasqualiNewsletter cover, Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion FestivalI am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Paul Betken & Jerry Cigler are newly added to a great line up of stars (list below) with lots of great seats still available! Want to hop a plane to come and enjoy this exciting festival?

Newsletter (picture right) with full information: 2018LVACnews.pdf
Picture left: Event organizer Paul Pasquali

The lineup starts with visionary accordionist Cory Pesaturo and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of the legendary Prof. Joan Sommers.

You can register online at or contact Paul Pasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email:
Footer Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival

Accordion Jazz Chords

Chubby Carrier Wins Grammy Award

by Rita Barnea
Grammy Winner Chubby CarrierOn February 13, one of music's most prestigious awards, the 2011 Zydeco/Cajun Grammy went to longtime zydeco musician accordionist, 43 year old Chubby Carrier. Carrier and his band won for their album "Zydeco Junkie". The album, released on his own label (Swampadelic Records) is a 10-song showcase of Carrier’s trademark zydeco party songs. The album also includes his accordion-driven version of "Movin' On Up," the theme from The Jeffersons television show.

Other musicians in the 2011 Zydeco/Cajun Grammy category included:
Cedric Watson, D. L. Menard, Feufollet and the Pine Leaf Boys for the albums listed below.
En Couleurs, Feufollet
Happy Go Lucky, D.L. Menard
Back Home, The Pine Leaf Boys
Creole Moon: Live At The Blue Moon Saloon, Cedric Watson et Bijou Créole

Carrier began his music career in Louisiana dancehalls playing in his father’s zydeco band in the 1970s and kept on keeping on, forming his own band and releasing a total of 11 records since 1989. Carrier is the fourth winner in the four-year-old zydeco/Cajun Grammy category. His win follows the previous winners Terrance Simien, BeauSoleil and Buckwheat Zydeco.

Chubby Carrier is "The World's Premier Zydeco Showman." Born on July 1, 1967 in Churchpoint, Louisiana, Chubby is the third generation of zydeco artists with such famous relatives as Roy Carrier (father), Warren Carrier (grandfather), and cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier who are presently considered legends in zydeco history.

Chubby began his musical career at the age of 12 by playing drums with his father's band. He began playing the accordion at the age of 15. By age 17, Chubby had begun to play with Terrance Siemien and toured the world for 2 1/2 years, before forming his own band in 1989.

Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band have recorded five CDs over the past ten years of Chubby's professional career. His band has traveled all over the world, performing to audiences in all parts of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada. North Africa and Europe. Chubby and the band travel 150-175 days a year, taking his act to big festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Chicago Blues Fest. Summerfest (Milwaukee), Memphis in May, and several festivals in Europe. Chubby has also done guest appearances on recordings for Tab Benoit, 6Was9, and Jimmy Thackery. Ann Wilson of the group Heart encourages Chubby to "continue the great sound that you have. This sound will take you places."

Chubby's March 2011 performances include:
1 Carribean Cj and Debbie Ray Sail Away
2 Carribean Cj and Debbie Ray Sail Away
3 Carribean Cj and Debbie Ray Sail Away
4 Carribean Cj and Debbie Ray Sail Away
5 Baton Rouge, LA Happy's Irish Pub
6 Church Point, LA Church Point Mardi Gras 11am
7 Lafayette, LA Grant St. Zydeco Legends Night
8 Crowley, LA Crowley Mardi Gras 1pm
8 Lake Charles, LA Lake Charles Mardi Gras 4pm
11 Grove, OK JR Spanky's
12 Kansas City, MO Knuckle Heads Saloon
13 St. Petersburgh, FL Cajun & Zydeco Festival
18 Kansas City, MO Private Party
20 Thibodaux, LA Louisiana Swamp Stomp
25 Baton Rouge, LA LSU Frat Party
26 Scott, LA The Shed Spring Jam w/guest
27 Lafayette, LA Grant Street Dancehall


2011 National Accordion Association Convention in Texas, March 10-12

by Rita Barnea
NAA Logo
NAA Management TeamThe 2011 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention has an exciting amount of concerts, workshops, and accordion activities planned. Something for everyone! It will be held at the Westin Hotel in Dallas, Texas from March 10-12, 2011. There is still time to register for this convention which covers all aspects of the accordion!

Sponsored artists pictures above, left to right: Steve Albini (Roland USA), Patricia Bartell (Hohner), Bill Cosby (Giulietti) Tony Lovello (Petosa), Gee Rabe (Hohner), and Hank Thunander (Castle Accordion). Bruce Gassman directs Rock and Roll music.

Pictures left of the NAA Management Team, from the top: Norman Seaton (President), Sharon Seaton, Greg Klugiewicz (Convention Manager), Nick Ballarini (Trade Show), Louise Kucera (Party), Arleen Faulkner (Band Camp) and Debra Peters.

Among the activities planned for Thursday, March 10, are a Band Camp, National Accordion Band Camp Show-Off hour and Faltot's Famous "Circle of Champions".The National Band Camp Concert includes Willard Palmer II "Bill" music directed by Joan Sommers and the Introduction of Willard A. Palmer III.

Jessica Faltot hosts the Circle of Champions which consists of performances in an intimate surrounding, various guest artists and extremely entertaining musical selections that will touch on all genres.

On Friday, March 11, there will be workshops all day. Evening activities will include the Ballarini Invitational Concert with Greg Klugiewicz as MC. The Invitational Concert is dedicated toy Nick Ballarini in appreciation for his many years of dedicated service to the accordion world. It will feature a parade of accordion stars including Bruce Gassman, Greg Klugiewiczl, Mario Pedone, and Sir Nicholas Ballarini. Greg Klugiewicz and Nick Ballarini will jointly serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

This will be followed by the National Polka Party and Dance with Czech And Then Some (CATS)! David Slovak and the very popular polka band that plays Czech music, plus many other styles of polka music. Louise Kucera, the Polka Police and Master of the Polka Ceremonies says: "True to a "Texas Czech" tradition, when a "Czech polka band takes a break, accordions come out of the case, and non-amplified solos are heard all over the place."

On Saturday, March 12, there will workshops all day followed by the Concert in the Ballroom. Accordion artists who will be featured include Tony Lovello, Steve Albini, Patricia Bartell, Hank Thunander, Gee Rabe, and William Cosby with Greg Klugiewicz as MC.

The full National Accordion Association Convention fee ($189) covers all activities including evening events and the banquet. Others must pay $10.00 each at the door to attend public concerts.

The 2011 Trade Show Participants include: Music Magic USA Accordion Company, Roland, Ballarini Music Company, Giulietti Accordions are re-introduced by Petosa Accordion Company, Gordon Kohl Convention Workshop Details and Promotion, Gordon Kohl Music Company, Petosa Accordion Company, Mr. E's Music Company, Castle Accordion and Randy McPeck, Zink's Swap Shop Information.

There will be many youth activities at the NAA Convention. Due to generous donations by other conventioneers, the youth are allowed to attend convention workshops, concerts, and related activities without paying an entrance fee!

The youth directors are Arlyn Visentin, Dr. Daniel Kott, Nick Ballarini, and Shelia Lee. Just like adults, youth will enjoy some workshops more than others. They are free to visit the various workshops and orchestras. Music directors (Lanting, Albreski, Kott, and Lee) have agreed to furnish music designed for various levels of musical expertise. A few workshops and activities are designed strictly for youth.

Many workshops will be offered during the convention. Workshop presenters include: Gee Rage, "Squeezing Out the Fear of Improvisation"; Bill Cosby, "Master Classes and Workshops on Important accordion topics"; Steve Albini conducting several workshops in the Roland area of the Trade Show.

One workshop will be to demonstrate the Roland V-Accordions to non-users and other workshops are designed for of V-Accordion owners; Patricia Bartell, "Right Brain-Left Brain"; Dr. Ian Blair Fries, M.D., "Medical School 101 for Accordionists"; Bruce Gassman, 2011 Band Camp Director and Workshop Presenter, " You're Never Too Old to Rock 'n Roll"; Jim Rommel, "Play Sing-Along TV Tunes"; Joe Domitrowich, "Demonstration Concert on Creating Arrangements", Mario Pedone, " Ornamentations and Embellishments"; Tony Lovello, "King of the Bellows Shake"; Shelia Lee, "Convention Jam Orchestra"; Ross and Valina Witte, "Tips for Singing/Yodeling"; Debra Peters, "Remembering melodies and Using Your Counter-Bass Buttons".

Be part of this exciting accordion event!

For further information:
Norman Seaton, President
National Accordion Association (NAA) website
Cell: 214-938-5984

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

"INTOCABLE", Featuring the Accordion, Wins Grammy Award

by Rita Barnea
Ricky Munoz of IntocableThe recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY, is presented annually by The Recording Academy and is celebrating music through the GRAMMY Awards for the 53rd year. The Recording Academy continues its rich legacy and ongoing growth as the premier outlet for honoring achievements in the recording arts and supporting the music community.

The GRAMMYs are a peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.

Over the last decade, The Academy has expanded its goals from the important work of recognizing the best in music through the GRAMMY Awards to establishing itself as the preeminent arts advocacy and outreach organization in the country. A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy's voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences.

The diatonic accordion was nominated in the categories:

Best Norteño Album
Winner: CD ”Classic”

INTOCABLE was formed in the early 90's led by Ricardo Munoz and Rene Martinez, two young artists from Zapata, Texas. It all began in Zapata, Texas, where accordionist Ricky Muñoz and René Martinez- spent their days rehearsing and daydreaming about success. Years later, that place would turn their dreams into a reality that is now known as INTOCABLE.

In a few years, INTOCABLE had already risen to the top of the Tejano and Norteño fields with a musical signature that had fused Tejano's robust conjunto and Norteño folk rhythms with a pop balladry.

Currently, INTOCABLE could very well be the most influential group in Tejano, and their tough Tejano/Norteño fusion has become the blueprint for dozens of Tex-Mex groups. The group's strengths, which include romantic hooky melodies, and tight instrumentation and vocal harmony is consistently being imitated by a list of other Tejano and Norteño groups. Leaders Ricky and Rene, have manifested their love for the “música norteña”, creating a unique style that identifies them.

Mentioning INTOCABLE inevitably makes people think of hits such as “Eres Mi Droga”, Enseñame a Olvidarte, “Sueña”, “Eso Duele”, “El Poder de tus Manos”, “Aire”, “Vivir sin Ellas”, “Dame un Besito”, “Bastó”, “Tu Adiós no Mata”, “Contra Viento y Marea”, and many more songs which have placed them among that select group of artists who have been able to make the radio crossover

With 15 studio albums, the release of a new INTOCABLE album never tries to top the previous one, and this is how they explain it: “When we make a new record, we never try to top the previous one, but enjoy and live the moment. Really get into the music we’re doing from our hearts.” In 2010, they released “Super #1’s”, which compiles all the songs which have made the top of the charts and have become fan favorites.

On top of 14 hits, which include for the first time in an INTOCABLE album the song “Mojado” with Ricardo Arjona, the band gives their fans two brand new songs, “No puedo volver” and “Voy a odiarte”. “No puedo volver” is the first single off the new album. The song was written by Johnny Lee Rosas and Josue Contreras, and a video shot in Monterrey was premiered recently. “Each one of the songs included in this album has an important story” says Ricky, the group’s lead singer and accordionist.

In September 2010 the band released their first online exclusive single, “Robarte un Beso”, written by Miguel Mendoza. The video for the single was shot in Monterrey and directed by Leche.

The band’s albums have sold millions of copies and have also earned them countless awards such as “Gold and Platinum records”, “Grammy”, “Latin Grammy”, “Premios Lo Nuestro”, “Premios Juventud”, “Lunas del Auditorio Nacional”, “Furia Musical”, “Premios Oye”, “Texano Music Award, “Premios La Gente” among others.

Their 2011 USA tour includes:
March 26, Pharr, Texas
May 6, Lubbock, Texas
May 7 Odessa, Texas
September 16, El Paso, Texas
September 29, San Manuel, California

Their newest CD, "INTOCABLE 2011" will be available everywhere on March 22, 2011. This will be the group’s 15th studio album, maintaining an average of almost an album a year. “Intocable 2011” is released in a year that’s already begun on the right foot for Ricky Muñoz and his guys.

They already won a Grammy and they’ve been performing to sold-out crows on both sides of the border. The album will be officially released March 22, but exclusively through Walmart. You can buy the album online a week before its official release.

For further

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

AAA Presents 9th Annual Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund Event

by Rita Barnea
2011 Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Event
The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) presents the 9th Annual Afternoon of Music, Food, and Fun at the Magnanini Farm Winery in Wallkill, NY on Sunday, March 27, 2011- 12 noon until 5:PM to benefit the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund for the advancement of promising young accordionists.

Carmen Carrozza's 90th birthday will be celebrated at this time! Join us to honor and acknowledge the career and accomplishments of the great distinguished accordionist, Carmen Carrozza. Carmen will enjoy seeing all of his wonderful friends on this special day.

Traditional "Valtaro" music will be featured at the Carrozza Scholarship Dinner along with guest artists: Mario Tacca, Frank Toscano, Emilio Magnotta, Frank Carozza, Ray Oreggia, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Lenny Feldmann, Chris Gorton, Fabio & Fabio, Anita and Bob Siarkowski, The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra, Mary Mancini (international vocal artist) and others to be announced.

The event begins at 12 Noon with wine tasting, 1:PM Dinner followed by entertainment. It will be a fun and entertaining afternoon with great food, dancing, and accordion friends! Reserve early! In the past, the event has sold out!

For more information, visit the AAA web site: or email: Phone: (914) 238 - 0041

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

Peter and Mady Soave in Concert at Michigan Accordion Society

by Rita Barnea
Peter and Mady SoaveMichigan Accordion Society logoThe Michigan Accordion Society proudly presents the internationally renowned Accordion-Bayan- Bandoneon Virtuoso PETER SOAVE – In Concert. Also appearing - Mady Soave. The concert is on Sunday, March 6, 2011, 4:00 PM at the American Polish Century Club located at 38204 Maple Lane in Sterling Heights, Michigan. (Hoover Road becomes Maple Lane north of 14 Mile Road. The Club is opposite the golf course.)

Recognized worldwide as a foremost master of bandoneon and concert accordion, Peter Soave has established himself as a leading soloist of his generation. The hallmark of his performances is a unique combination of his commanding stage presence and the excitement of his vibrant virtuosity.

Critic's comments:
"...absolutely splendid soloist..." - The New York Times
"...explosively passionate reading of Piazzolla's tango.,." - Detroit Free Press
"...Soave brought the audience once again to its feet." - The Muncie Star Press
".. stunning, majestic, monumental testimony of a man who lives, breathes and feels every note. The musician ship is beyond words." - Duilio Dobrin, conductor, composer.

Peter was born in Detroit, Michigan to Italian parents who emigrated from France. He began accordion lessons at the age of five, studying with Michele Kramarz and later, the late Lana Gore. He gravitated towards classical music and at age 16 entered international competitions and swept first place four times, confirming his reputation as a virtuoso of the highest order – the Grand Prix in Neu Isenberg, West Germany, the Coupe Mondiale in Folkstone, England, the Trophée Mondiale in Arrezano, Italy, and at age 18, won the prestigious Klingenthal Virtuoso Music Competition in then communist East Germany, a feat no other person from a free nation had accomplished at that time, and particularly, at such a young age.

ln 1987, Peter Soave was the inaugural recipient of "Voce d'Oro," the international award honoring those who have given prominence to the accordion in the world of modern music.

Deeply inspired by the music of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla, Mr. Soave's impassioned musicianship motivated him to include the characteristic bandoneon in his performances.

Peter is in great demand as a concert artist and has appeared with symphony orchestras around the world – San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony, Flint Symphony, San Salvador Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Lubbock Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Walla Walla Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Puerto Rico, Williamsport Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho and the Zagreb Soloists.

He has collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, Neemi Jarvi, Thomas Wilkins, Robert Spano, Leone Mageira, Hermann Michael, Duilio Dubrin and Guillermo Figueroa. ln 1983 he performed as a soloist for the late Luciano Pavarotti in Detroit. For the only North America performance in 1999 of the Three Tenors, Soave performed as the featured bandoneonist. He has also appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America".

Mady Soave was born in Grenoble, France. As an 8 year old young girl, Mady first learned the traditional French musette accordion repertoire but by age 15, she craved something more challenging. She began studying classical accordion with the renowned French teacher, André Thépaz and went on to study music theory, composition, and harmony at the National Conservatory of Chambéry, near Grenoble.

In 1988, Mady Soave formed the Astria accordion trio with which she toured Europe for several years. During this time, Mady and Astria won several awards, including the prestigious Astor Piazzolla Prize in Castelfidardo, Italy in 1994 and 1995, organized by Piazzolla's longtime producer/manager Aldo Pagani. Since 1995, Mady has worked closely with Aldo Pagani in the presentation of Piazzolla's music.

Mady Soave was guest artist with several prestigious symphony orchestras such as Bay City Orchestra, Saginaw Orchestra, Bijou Orchestra, Minneapolis Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Pine Mountain Orchestra. She was the soloist for the World Premiere of the Contemporary Opera Children of the Keeweenaw, music by Paul Seitz. Most recently, she performed The Lord of the Rings Symphony with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She also appears every year at the Las Vegas Accordion Convention along with the great late Art Van Damme and Dick Contino.

Mady Soave was director of several music schools in France and in the United States where she was teaching piano, theory, accordion.

While he was touring France, Mady Soave met American bandonéon and accordion virtuoso, Peter Soave. Peter was so impressed with Mady's bayan technique, that he invited her to study with him in the U.S. The pair fell in love and married in 2001. They live together between Detroit, USA and Lyon, France and share their passion of music during masterclass and concerts.

The Concert begins at 4:00 PM. Doors open at 3:00 PM. Light snacks will be served. A cash bar will be available. CD's will be available for purchase and Mr. Soave will be available to sign autographs and pose for photos after the concert.

Advance Tickets are $20.00/person. Tickets sold at the door are $25.00/person.
Children Age 14 and Under: $10.00.

To purchase tickets or obtain additional information call 248-689-3296, 313-585-0956, 313-822-4722 or Gus Zoppi Music Studio at 585-978-1816. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

All proceeds to the Michigan Accordion Society's Youth Scholarship Fund.
Mady and Peter Soave

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

2011 New England Music Festival April 8-10 in Massachusetts

by Rita Barnea
2011 New England Music Festival LogoThe 2011 New England Music Festival will be held from April 8-10 at the Boston Marriott in Newton, Massachusetts.

The New England Music Festival is an annual musical competition sponsored by the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts (ATAM) established in 1962.

2011 marks the 49th year for the event, which typically features more than 3000 entries and 1000 contestants from all across New England. This year's festival will be held April 8, 9 and 10 at the Boston Marriott in Newton, MA.

Chris Gorton (picture below) will be a featured guest artist and perform in the Ballroom on Sunday, April 10 at 1:30 PM.Chris is the winner of the 2010 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival. Don't miss his performance!

All events are free and open to the public, while entry fees for contestants range from $10 to $30. During the festival, contestants, ages through 22, take part in accordion, guitar, bass guitar, drum, percussion, piano, and voice competitions. Solo, duet and group categories are also offered. Non Competitive Categories include evaluation solos and festival band divisions. Contestants must be students of ATAM teachers.

The three-day event takes place Friday through Sunday. On Friday evening a "Battle of the Bands" is held in the hotel ballroom. Cash awards are given to the first place winners in three divisions. The Accordion, Guitar, Drum, and Piano Championships are also held Friday evening with cash awards given to the first, second and third place winners.

On Saturday and Sunday continuous group competitions are held in the hotel ballroom. Solo and duet competitions are ongoing. An awards banquet is held on Saturday evening with more than 500 in attendance. A $500.00 cash scholarship is awarded to a contestant accepted as a Music Major in college. More than $3,000 in cash is awarded to winners throughout the weekend. Contestants are evaluated by judges from all over the country.

At the event, students will have an opportunity to participate in workshops, compete in age-level categories, perform for evaluation, attend concerts, and have fun at a Dance Party on Saturday evening for contestants. One of the best things about the event-contestants can participate regardless of their experience level or ability.

More information will be in the April Accordion USA News.

For further information: New England Music Festival website.
Chris Gorton

Titano Accordion Company

Jelena Milojevic, 2011 Leavenworth Performer and Judge

by Rita Barnea
Jelena MilojevicJelena Milojevic is one of the foremost female accordion performers of today. She was born and raised in Croatia where she started studying classical accordion. She received her Bachelor/Master Degree in Accordion Performance & Education at the Kragujevac (Serbia) Music Academy.

Her extensive performing history includes concerts in Europe, Canada and the USA. Her debut concert at Carnegie Hall was the first solo accordion recital in the last 30 years in this prestigious venue.

She has won 9 international accordion competitions. Her greatest success was winning the 2003 CMA Trophée Mondial in Cosenza, Italy.

In the summer of 2007, Jelena moved to Vancouver BC, Canada, with her family. She currently lives in Victoria, BC and now works on putting the accordion onto the map of recognized classical instruments.

Jelena will be a featured performer and judge at the June 2011 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in Leavenworth, Washington.

Her 2011 performance schedule includes:
March 6
Signalfest, CBC Studio 1
Vancouver, Canada

June 16-18
LIAC, Leavenworth, WA, USA
concert, workshop, jury

June 24-26
Judging at the Calgary Accordion Festival

July 4-9
KIOTAC, Kimberley, Canada
concert, workshop, jury

July 14-17
concert, workshop, jury

September 28 – November 6
Jeunesse Musicales Tour (20 concerts), East Quebec & Maritimes, Canada
dates and venues TBA

For more information:

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

Guy Klucevsek to Perform in NYC

by Rita Barnea
On Sunday, March 13, at 6 PM, accordionist Guy Klucevsek will perform with cellist Maya Beiser in Sofia Gubaidulina's "In Croce," at the Rubin Museum of Art, NYC.

The show is part of RMA’s “Resonating Light” series, hosted by Elliott Forrest of WQXR. The works chosen are inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, “Embodying the Holy,” which explores striking parallels between Eastern Orthodox Christian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

In some of her recent projects, Maya has explored the deeply rooted connections between seemingly disparate music traditions. Here she will bring together the luminous music of three of the most notable Eastern Orthodox composers – Arvo Pärt, John Tavener and Sofia Gubaidulina – along with music inspired by Eastern tradition and philosophy from British composer Joby Talbot and American composers Evan Ziporyn and Douglas J. Cuomo.

Guy will accompany Maya in the Sofia Gubaidulina composition, "In Croce for violoncello and bajan", based on the original version for violoncello and organ, arranged by Elsbeth Moser.

The Rubin Museum of Art is located at 150 W. 17th St. between 6th and 7th Aves. Tickets are $35 or $31.50 for members, available by 212/620-5000.

In 2010, Guy Klucevsek applied for a $50,000 United States Artists Fellowship similar to the Guggenheim Fellowship (also $50,000). One doesn’t just apply for the USAF award. One is invited to apply. Winning is not automatic.

In December 2010, Guy received what he says was “one of the best phone calls in my life...” He had won the fellowship, one of 50 awardees nationwide.

An established musician/composer with an international reputation, Klucevsek is the first accordionist to win the prize and the first person from Staten Island, NY.

Guy Klucevsek has created a unique repertoire for accordion through his own composing and by commissioning over 50 works from composers including John Zorn, Aaron Jay Kernis, Lois V Vierk, Fred Frith, Alvin Lucier, Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague and Somei Satoh.

Solo performances include the Ten Days on the Island and Adelaide Festivals in Australia, the Berlin Jazz Festival, New Music America, Serious Fun! at Lincoln Center, Bang on a Can, Spoleto Festival/USA, and the children’s television show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He has also performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Robin Holcomb, the Kronos Quartet, Kepa Junkera, Natalie Merchant, Pauline Oliveros, Present Music, Bobby Previte, Relâche, Jubilant Sykes, and John Zorn.

In 1987, Klucevsek commissioned "Polka From the Fringe", a collection of 32 post-modern two-steps by such composers as Carl Finch, Fred Frith, Christian Marclay and Elliott Sharp, which he presented at the 1988 Next Wave Festival, and has performed around the world with his group, Ain’t Nothin’ But A Polka Band.

In 1996, Klucevsek formed The Accordion Tribe, an international line-up of composer/accordionists Maria Kalaniemi (Finland), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia), Otto Lechner (Austria), and Klucevsek (USA). They released three recordings on the Intuition label, and were the subjects of the Stefan Schwietert documentary film, "Accordion Tribe: Music Travels" , which was released in theaters across Europe in 2004-2005, and featured at film festivals in North America.

Klucevsek has released more than 20 recordings as soloist/leader, including "Polka Dots & Laser Beams" and "Who Stole the Polka", which were chosen as the best recordings of 1992 by John Schaefer on the nationally-syndicated radio program ""New Sounds, and "Transylvanian Softwear", which was cited as a 1995 Recording of Special Merit in Stereo Review.

You can also hear Guy on John Williams's scores for the Steven Spielberg films "The Terminal", "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", and " Munich". He has performed on Broadway in "Fiddler on the Roof", "Victor/Victoria" and "Piaf".

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Have YOU Made Plans for World Accordion Day 2011?

by Harley Jones
World Acccordion Day header
World Accordion Day logoFestival, concert and competition organizers, accordion orchestras, all performers. What are YOU doing for World Accordion Day 2011 to promote the accordion in your area and country? World Accordion Day is on May 6th, which is the day the accordion was patented in 1829.

World Accordion Day first started in 2009 and has been a huge success, generating enormous positive publicity for the accordion. A key part of this event is the World Accordion Day website. Every association, group, orchestra, performer and teacher, is asked to actively support this event by encouraging national and local accordion activities to happen in their country on this day or the weekend either side of Accordion Day if that should be more convenient.

Everyone can register their World Accordion Day activity on the website and send a report of their event after, for that website. This site is already a very valuable resource for the media reporting World Accordion Day.

CIA President Raymond Bodell stated “No event is too big or too small. ALL accordion events celebrating World Accordion Day are welcome. This is a promotion for the accordion in which every accordion enthusiast can participate and help bring our accordion world together as well as strongly promote the accordion to your population.”

Therefore, I urge you to make plans now for next May and encourage broad support from all levels of accordionists for this exciting new project. Let all accordionists work together to make strong promotion to our populations with World Accordion Day.”

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Mary Tokarski: Honoree of American Accordion Musicological Society

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiThe American Accordion Musicological Society is completing final preparations for its 2011 Honoree Banquet/Concert and Workshops April 1-3rd and is proud to announce that Mary Tokarski is the Guest of Honor and Guest Artist. In addition to honoring Mary during the annual AAMS banquet, AAA and ATG Board member Mary will present a workshop entitled, “Growing up with the Accordion Greats”.

The American Accordion Musicological Society honors Mary Tokarski. "Mary & Friends" on Saturday, April 2, 2011, 6:PM at the Marriott Hotel in Whippany, NJ. Lenny Feldmann is the commentator and Master of Ceremonies. Bruce Gassman performs during the dinner. The Westmont Accordion Orchestra conducted by Stanley Darrow, the Potomac Accordion Ensemble conducted by Joan Grauman, and the Connecticut Accordion Orchestra conducted by AAA President Linda Reed will be featured accordion groups.

Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3rd, are special days of varied, interesting, and unique accordion workshops. Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy while learning.

Saturday, April 2nd Workshops:
9:AM, Stanley and Joanna Darrow will present "American Accordion History" The USA had a swift development of the accordion from its introduction to the USA as an instrument for folk music through the winners of the Coupe Mondiale to the contemporary and the
avant garde music scène.

10:AM: Dominc Karcic will present a Valtaro/Musette Workshop assisted by Ray Oreggia.

11:AM: Dean Ratzin will present "The Life of Charles Magnante, Part 1".

12:PM Bernie Gardzall will present "Breaking Down Various Southern Genres including Cajun, Zydeco and Creole" The emphasis will be on featured techniques which can be applied to your own playing for a more authentic flavor and ease in learning new repertoire

3: PM Mary Tokarski presents "Growing Up With the Accordion Greats" Join Mary as she tells all about the judges, concert artists,and people who were instrumental in her life long musical journey. Memories of Charles Magnante, Eugene Ettore, Michael Fernino, Anthony Galla-Rini, Maddalena Belfiore, and the list goes on and on.

4:PM Ray Oreggia, presents an ""Art Van Damme Workshop". Ray's presentation on Art VD will focus on the life, career and recordings of this great jazz accordion legend. Musical examples of some of his greatest recordings will be played from his numerous record albums.

Workshops on Sunday:
9 AM Bruce Gassman presents"Never too Old to Rock and Roll" this class will inspire you and motivate you to think differently about the accordion. Discussion about how to think what to listen for, what to listen to, and why when playing 60's music.

10:AM Dr. Guenadiy Lazarov presents "Balkans Rhythms Workshop". This workshop will bring the audience to a typical wedding in the Balkans presenting irregular rhythms, from Bulgaria and Macedonia. It will feature typical dancing music and some songs with unique rhythms.

11:AM Lenny Feldmann teaches "Strolling for Fun and Profit". Come learn the ins and outs( pun intended!) for the art of strolling with your accordion. This workshop is for newbies and seasoned veterans alike. No other type of performing is as intimate as strolling and requires a totally different set of skills.

12:PM Dean Ratzin presents "Part 2 of the Charles Magnante Workshop"

Jim Vandelly, TBA.

Do not miss these special inspiring workshops!
For more information about Mary Tokarski, please read the article in the Future Section of this issue called "Mary Tokarski Performs "Tango Blues" by Roger Davidson"

For further information about the AAMS:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Czech And Then Some (CATS) to Perform at NAA Convention

by Rita Barnea
Czech and Then SomeThe popular polka group, Czech and Then Some (CATS) will be featured performers on Friday, March 11 8:PM, at the NAA Convnetion in Dallas, Texas. 

Czech & Then Some has been playing since January 1997. The majority of the band’s members are of Czech descent and enjoy keeping their Czech Heritage alive. They play a variety of music consisting of polkas, waltzes, country music, and fun dances.

Czech & Then Some has performed at many functions such as the National Polka Festival in Ennis, TX, Westfest, Accordion Kings in Stephenville, Texas, Six Flags Over Texas for the Texas Heritage Festival, Kolache Christmas, Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, Weddings, Anniversaries, and parties and has appeared on Good Morning Texas show on WFAA Channel 8 ABC, Fox 4 News, and on the 96.3 KSCS morning show.

The band, in existence for 14 years, has performed all over the USA including polka cruises.They have many years of experience of playing polka music. The band members are Aaron Schumacher- trumpet; Zeke Martinez - drums; John Schumacher- bass and vocals;Jennifer Marek- clarinet, sax, & percussion; Michelle Slovak- sax, clarinet, & keyboard; David Slovak- accordion, piano; Danny Zapletal, trumpet, keyboard, vocals. David and Danny are co-owners of the band. Danny Zapletal. The band has six recordings available on CD.

Do not miss their fun and exciting performance at the NAA Convention!

For further

Titano Accordion Company

Emmanuel Gasser, Young Accordionist to Perform in Spokane, Washington

by Rita Barnea
Emmanuel Gasser14 year old sensational and award winning accordionist, Emmanuel Gasser, will present a concert , "Bringing Happiness to You" in Spokane, Washington, on Sunday March 20th at 4:30 PM, at St. Marks Lutheran Church, 24th and Grand Blvd. Tickets are $5.00 at the door and refreshments will be served.

Emmanuel is recognized as one of the best young accordion players of Canada, winning five trophies (one gold, three silver and one bronze) at the Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships in British Columbia. In November 2011, Emmanuel won the Youth Entertainment Award in recongnition of his outstanding talent at the International Accordion Convention in Las Vegas. He is also the winner of three Gold certificates each year in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 at the Sudbury Kiwanis Music Festival.

Emmanuel Benjamin Gasser was born on September 18, 1996 - the fourth of six children. Since very early childhood he loved to sing all day long. On January 4, 2006, he started playing the accordion, and soon adopted a daily practice schedule of three to six hours. He does all of this in addition to his regular farm duties on his family's production dairy farm.

Emmanuel may be young in years, but he has exceptional musical maturity. He has been writing his own music for about three years with already 32 original compositions to his credit. He is often called a child prodigy. Nothing makes the Junior Maestro happier than to see his audience being overjoyed at his concerts.

He decided to record his first CD "Horsing Around" at the age of eleven and his second CD "Bringing Happiness To You" at the age of 12-13 , which he financed all by himself with his concert and farmwork earnings.

An amazing experience awaits you. Emmanuel will play selections from his second CD. Do not miss Emmanuel Gasser in concert on March 20th. His CD's will be available for sale after the concert.

For further information: or

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Dee Langley: The Accordion Keeps Her Very Busy

by Rita Barnea
Dee LangleyDee Langley is one of the busiest accordionists in the Minnesota area. When Dee Langley first played the accordion at the age of four, she could not have known that her love for the instrument and her passion for music would eventually reap her numerous first place honors, take her to Europe, and earn her several guest appearances as accordionist with the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

As a professional, Dee has participated in seminars and symposiums on accordion styles and techniques in Chatel, France and Klingenthal, East Germany. She also has performed with the Dolina Polish Folk Dancers and Ethnic Dance Theatre as well as officiating as Director of The EDT Folk Orchestra. Concert tours of Poland, France and the Czech Republic, respectively, being a few of the highlights of her tenures with these companies.

On several occasions, Dee has been asked to perform accordion works not only with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, but also the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Philomusica, The St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and the Northwoods Classical Players (members of the Chicago Symphony). She has also premiered compositions with the Ancia Quartet, the Minneapolis Philharmonic and Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra and has worked with contemporary composers including, Peter Blauvelt, Mary Ellen Childs, Becky Dale, Shelley Hanson, Mark Hellem, Carleton Macy, Carole Saline and Kim Sherman to expand the visibility of classical accordion with other instruments.

Dee Langley currently is the President of the Mill City Accordion Association and a past President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG). Dee lives in Minneapolis where she performs with the Balkan band Orkestar Bez Ime and the classical group Wild Hollow. Ms. Langley is founder of the NE Accordion Festival and teaches accordion for Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Dee is the accordionist for Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI). Orkestar Bez Ime, meaning "orchestra without a name" in Bulgarian, was formed in 2002 to bring Balkan dance music to the Upper Midwest. Since then OBI has performed at many local Twin Cities venues and has toured in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Alabama, and Pennsylvania to critical acclaim. Founding members Colleen Bertsch, Dee Langley, Katrina Mundinger, and Natalie Nowytski recently welcomed new Rogarians Scott Keever and Matt Miller to the country. OBI currently has produced 5 CD's with "Mahala Drive" 2010 as the most recent.

Join Orkestar Bez Ime and Mila Vocal Ensemble for an energetic evening of music from Bulgaria, Macedonia, and surrounding areas March 3, 8:00 p.m. to midnight at the Acadia Cafe, 329 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis, MN. MARTENITSA with the Mila Vocal Ensemble.

"Martenitsa" is a Bulgarian tradition welcoming spring. The event will bring Bulgaria and Macedonia to the West Bank area of the University of Minnesota. Members of MILA are: Jen Blecha, Laura Lentz, Kerri Meyer , Abby Morrisette, Bernadette Murphy, Marie Rule, Jackie Smith, Phala Tracy and Kristi Larson. OBI members are: Colleen Bertsch, Katrina Mundinger, Natalie Nowytski, Scott Keever, Dee Langley and Matt Miller

Dee will perform in a production of "HEAVEN" from March 25 - April 10, 2011 at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota."Heaven" is a mind-bending dance theater epic that follows an American war photographer on an odyssey through war-torn Bosnia in the early 1990s. Set to a hard-driving Balkan score, the dance and music fly through the realms of pop, rap, rock, percussion, and opera mixed with traditional and contemporary Balkan styles.

The story is heart-wrenching and suspenseful, but surprisingly hopeful. It blasts off at the frenetic pace of a battle, stopping along the way to look at the humanity behind the suffering. It is a story of survival, hope, understanding, forgiveness and even beauty in the face some of the most horrific events the late 20th century has seen. 

The band and music for the show are an exciting marriage of voice, percussive dance, instrumental music, sound, and both contemporary and traditional Balkan styles. Most of the songs in the show are written by Chan Poling of the Suburbs and The New Standards.  There are also collaboratively created dance and movement sequences with music by Chan Poling, Victor Zupanc, Natalie Nowytski, Peter O’Gorman and Joe Chvala.
The band was selected carefully to create a perfect blend and balance of musical elements.  It brings together members of the Balkan band, Orkestar Bez Ime--Dee Langley (accordion), Colleen Bertsch (violin) and Natalie Nowytski (vocals and various instruments).  Jake Endres is the music director and plays keyboards and trumpet as well as a number of ensemble roles, Andy LaCasse plays Bass and Guitar and Peter O’Gorman grounds the percussion which will be augmented by cast members drumming and percussive dancers making music with their bodies and voices.

Dee's future performances include:
March 3, 8:00 p.m. to midnight, Acadia Cafe, 329 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis, MN , MARTENITSA with Mila Vocal Ensemble
March 17, Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar in Lowertown (downtown St. Paul), 308 Prince St., St. Paul,
April 21, Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar in Lowertown (downtown St. Paul), 308 Prince St., St. Paul, MN
April 26, MCTC Faculty Recital, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
May 7, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., Festival of Nations, RiverCentre, St. Paul, Minnesota, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, (FON House Band)
May 8, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Festival of of Nations, River Centre, St. Paul, Minnesota, Cafe & Bazaar stages / Bulgaria
May 19, Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar in Lowertown (downtown St. Paul), 308 Prince St., St. Paul, MN 55101

For further information: , Phone: 612-781-8192
Dee Langley


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

Steve Albini to Present Workshops and Concerts in USA

by Rita Barnea
Steve AlbiniSteve Albini, Roland Accordion Product Specialist, will be featured in concerts and workshops throughout the USA this year. At the 2011 NAA Convention in Dallas, Texas March 10-12, Steve will perform and present workshops.

In addition to a workshop for the general conventioneer, Steve Albini will conduct numerous workshops in the Roland area of the Trade Show. One will be to demonstrate the Roland V-Accordions to non-users and other workshops are designed for owners of V-Accordion owners.

Steve's Trade Show workshops are designed to help V-Accordion owners get the most out of their instruments. 

Topics covered will include creating sets, orchestrating songs etc.  Steve will also have specially created sets for FR-7X and FR-3X owners who attend the workshop. If you own a V-Accordion this workshop is designed for you!

Accordionist extraordinaire Steve Albini is a multi-instrumentalist and singer. His performances of Italian music fused with jazz and world rhythms have brought him international acclaim. He has enchanted audiences throughout the United States and Italy with a blend of musical virtuosity and artistic passion.

Steve’s live performances span Italian, world, jazz and Latin American genres. As a studio musician, he is often called upon by artists, composers, and producers to add his touch to their projects.  

Steve will also be a featured performer at the June 2011 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in Leavenworth, Washington. ( See article in this month's news in the Future Events section).

Steve resides in Northern California with his family. Steve joined Roland Corporation U.S. in June 2010 as a V-Accordion® Product Specialist and Sales Consultant.

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Interview with Accordionist Dr. Ian Blair Fries, Orthopedic and Hand Surgeon

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Ian Blair Fries, Hand and Orthopedic SurgeonI had the pleasure to meet and interview Dr. Ian Fries from Florida and New Jersey at the January 2011 FMAE (Frank Marocco Accordion Event). Ian is an orthopedic and hand surgeon who graciously shares his knowledge of hands with accordionists at conventions and festivals. His practical advice is helpful to amateur and professional musicians.

R: How did you get involved with the accordion?

I: I grew up in New York City. I started to play accordion as a teenager. I was not very good, but was lucky to have Paul Martell as my accordion teacher. He was an accomplished accordionist, and resident band leader at Roseland Dance Hall in NYC. He also played for the Harvest Moon Balls. That's why some of my style is from the era of large dance bands like his.

I remember him fondly. He had never taught accordion, and took me on as a favor to friends of my parents. When we first met it was in his back stage dressing room. He strapped me into his full size accordion, using baling string in an attempt to shorten the straps. It was clearly too big for me, as I could barely look over the top. He then looked at me, trying to figure out what sort of lesson he should provide. He finally asked me what song liked. I said "Around the World in 80 Days" which was popular then. He quickly wrote it out in the key of C, and that's how I learned to play music.

A few lessons later he told me I needed $25.00. Lessons then were $5.00, and $25.00 was a lot of money. So, I went home and my parents trustingly gave me money for Paul. A few lessons later, he presented me with my first fake book. Back then fake books were sold "under the table," and were only for professionals. He taught me to play music from lead sheets - and I still do.

I stopped playing for about twenty years. Then, about four years ago I saw a young lady for a hand surgery consultation. She had sustained a terrible hand injury, and her fingers were close to immobile. I then did something I always like to do. I asked, "How does your hand bother you the most?" She started crying, and said, "Nobody ever asked me that question, and I really never wanted to tell anyone. The real problem is I can't play accordion anymore."

Well, that night I went home and took out my accordion, and started to play again. The keys were sticking, because it had not been played in such a long time. I went on line and found the son of the man who had sold me that accordion was still in business. No longer in New York City, Accordion-O-Rama was South Amboy, New Jersey, not far from my home.

When I brought my accordion in for repairs, Peter Shearer told me about an accordion meeting in Texas three weeks later. He encouraged me to go, and as I happened to have the time I decided to take his advice. And that was my introduction to the accordion world.

I called Norman Seaton about the meeting, and found out he was a pilot, as I am. He kindly invited me to a pre-meeting dinner at German restaurant in Dallas. When I arrived, people were playing the accordion all over, and I could not believe how good they were. I decided to keep a low profile, and noted a man sitting in a corner quietly playing. I said, "You really play beautifully." That was Joe Vento! He is a fantastic accordion player. I also met Dick Albreski who courteously advised I was not even wearing my accordion properly. I was lucky to have such professionals helping me.

R: When did you start doing workshops for accordion organizations?

I: After I attended the Texas Accordion Association meeting (now the NAA), I asked the coordinators what I could I do to return the favor to the many who had helped me. And that's when I started doing seminars.

R: What is your workshop about?

I: I call it "Medical School 101." I like to give accordionists the flavor how we physicians look at the hand. Typically I teach a little hand anatomy, physiology (function), pathology (how things can go wrong), and therapeutics (how we fix hands). I focus on topics of importance to an accordionist, and I like to open the floor to questions and answers.

R. Can you give an example of your teaching.

I: I discuss protecting hands from injuries. You may not be able to prevent arthritis, but most hand injuries are preventable. All accordionists, amateurs and professionals, should realize how important their hands are - before not after they are injured. I hear of professional accordionists who can ill afford hand injuries doing risky things - using table saws, sharping knives, hammering nails, and allowing their hands to come in contact with corrosive chemicals. They should avoid lawn movers or snow blowers, as I see too many injuries from such devices. Accordionists should carry gloves with them - a pair of work gloves and a pair of rubber gloves. If you have them, you are more likely to use them.

R: Your workshops are unique.

I: Thank you. I have been fortunate to have my seminars so graciously received by accordionists.

R: What is your educational background?

I: I went to Columbia College, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. I had post doctoral training at New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center, and Hospital for Special Surgery.

R: Which festivals have you attended, and at which have you given seminars?

I: The NAA, now for my fourth year, Dale Wise's Repair Seminars twice, and this is my second FMAE. I will present two workshops at the NAA on March 11 and 12, 2011. I am a member of the Flying Musicians Association, and under their auspices have played at various airport functions from Cannes, France to Long Beach, California.

R: Where do you live?
I: in Mantoloking, New Jersey; and Vero Beach, Florida.

R: If someone wants to reach you, how can that be done?

I: I participate in several online accordion Yahoo groups, and can be reached at I enjoy meeting and speaking with accordionists.

R: Thank you for taking the time for this fascinating interview.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Dr. William Schimmel Performs in Total Darkness

by Studio- Muse Productions
Dr. William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel performed the lavish accordion part in Georg Friedrich Haas's “In Vain” at the Park Avenue Armory in New York on February 18th. The composition is scored for 24 players including accordion. This 75 minute masterpiece has two sections that are performed in total darkness – the second section employing flashing strobe lights.

Dr. Schimmel had previously performed this work at Miller Theatre at Columbia University as well as the EMPAC center in Troy, New York where the work was recorded for a future DVD release. The conductor was Michel Galante and the performing group was the Argento Ensemble, one of the leading new music groups in the U.S.

Dr. Schimmel’s future performances include:
On March 7, 11, 12 and 13, Dr. Schimmel will appear at the Metropolitan room with singer Tonia Berne Campbell in a show devoted to Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour and Edith Piaf.

On March 12, he will perform with New York City Opera star, Lauren Flanigan, in a Gala concert for the development of future young opera stars.
On March 31, he will perform “Spiral Jetty” by Anthony Cornicello and his own Concerto for Accordion, Violin and Cello at Brooklyn College.
On April 6, 9, 13, and 16, he will perform “Wozzeck”, by Alban Berg, at the Metropolitan Opera.

Dr. Schimmel's performance in Marga Richter's opera, “Riders to the Sea”, has recently been released on Leonarda Records. Soon to be released CDS and DVDS will include “Ropa Vieja” by Jorge Martin on New World Records, “In Orbit” with Dr. Mark Birnbaum on IPS Studio Muse Records, a DVD recording of “In Vain” and a CD for contemporary songs by Lisa Kirchner which includes Dr. Schimmel's Suicide in C.

Dr. Schimmel also performed the accordion solos in the new feature film, “The Beaver”, starring Mel Gibson directed by Jodie Foster soon to be released.

He will also moderate and curate the 17th Annual Master Class and Concert Series sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association – The Seminars on July 29, 30 and 31 at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York.
This year's title is "Walton the Imperial: Crowned!"
For more Information: – click the 2011 seminar page – and – click annual Master Class

Two new books by Dr. Schimmel will be presented at The Seminars in July: “Corrente”, a series of compositions in all styles, idioms and notations and “Confessions of an Accordionist with St. Augustine Complex”, both published by Studio Muse Press.

Dr. Schimmel's new music video, “Ever/Never” can be seen and heard on his site along with numerous other videos that are performed with and directed by his wife, Micki Goodman.

“Portrait in Seven Shades” by Ted Nash has been re-released in a larger distribution on JLCO Records.
Two sections, Chagall and Pollock include solos by Dr. Schimmel with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra conducted by Wynton Marsalis. Dr. Schimmel was a Grammy Nomination contender in the Best Improvised Jazz Solo category.

For further information:

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Texas Folklife's 2011 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest

by Rita Barnea
2010 Winner Keyun DicksonThe Fifth annual competition invites young Texas players to compete for $1000 cash, a new Hohner accordion, recording sessions, and other prizes. Finalists will perform at the 22nd annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival on June 4 at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre

Texas Folklife announces its fifth annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians, 21 years of age or younger. The non-profit that promotes Texas culture is looking for great players in any genre of accordion-based music, including Cajun; German, Czech, and Polish polka; Tejano, Conjunto and Norteño; Western; and Zydeco. For the second year, the contest goes on the road to meet the young talent in their communities.

Photo on the left is Keyun Dickson, the 2010 Big Squeeze winner.

Auditions will be held throughout Texas this spring. Finalists will perform at Texas Folklife’s highly acclaimed Accordion Kings & Queens Festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on June 4, 2011, where the Big Squeeze winner will be selected.

The Big Squeeze 2011 audition dates and sites are:
·      March 6:  Rio Grande Valley at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito;
·      March 11:  Houston at the Eldorado Ballroom of Project Row Houses;
·      March 13:  La Grange at the Swiss Alp Dance Hall;
·      March 19:  Dallas at the Latino Cultural Center;
·      March 25:  Seguin at the Birch Texas Theatre hosted by Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin;
·      March 27:  Corpus Christi at Hacienda Records; and
·      April 1:  San Antonio at the Conjunto Heritage Taller.
The Big Squeeze contest is open to Texas accordionists 21 and younger. Contestants will be judged by a panel of esteemed music professionals on song interpretation, technical skill, originality, execution, and stage presence. Interested players are encouraged to reserve an audition slot at a venue in their region by contacting Texas Folklife.

Those who cannot attend an audition may also mail or e-mail their entries to arrive at Texas Folklife no later than April 1, 2011. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available by calling (512) 441-9255.

Semifinalists selected by audition or mailed entries will be hosted in Austin to take part in the semifinals held on April 30 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. At that time, up to four finalists will be selected and awarded $300 each as well as having their hotel stay paid in Houston to compete before a large, enthusiastic audience of accordion fans at the Accordion Kings & Queens Festival on June 4.

Last year’s crowd numbered over 6,000. The Big Squeeze 2011 grand-prize-winner will be selected at the concert by the panel of judges with help from the audience. The grand-prize-winner will receive a prize package valued at $4500, including a $1000 cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion and recording time at the historic Hacienda Records in Corpus Christi, as well as promotional support from SugarHill Records, Hohner, Inc., Hacienda Records and Texas Folklife, and other professional opportunities.
"We’re very excited to be hosting the Big Squeeze in Texas once again. Last year I had the honor and pleasure of crisscrossing the state discovering talented young musicians. We doubled participation in the program, evidence that our rich musical heritage is alive and well,” said Program Director Cristina Balli. 

“We want to continue supporting the musical education of these young squeeze-boxers and at the same time share this cultural treasure with our audience. I’m looking forward to this year’s contest, meeting the contestants and their families, and crowning 2011’s Big Squeeze champion.”

The Big Squeeze is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the Houston Endowment, the Still Water Foundation, the Austin Latino Music Association, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Additional support is provided by regional businesses including Hohner, Inc., SugarHill Recording Studios, Hacienda Records, Embassy Suites Hotel, Sign Effects and FlashBang Agency in Austin.
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State.

For more than 25 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities and explored their importance in contemporary society. Called “one of the state’s true cultural treasures” by the Austin American-Statesman, Texas Folklife provides accessible, joyful arts experiences.
Located in SoCo just south of downtown Austin, Texas Folklife can be found next door to the Continental Club, at 1317 South Congress Avenue. For more information contact (512) 441-9255,
Media information:
Sheree Scarborough / (512) 922-5483 /
Big Squeeze information:
Cristina Balli, Program Director / (512) 441-9255 /

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

AAA 17th Annual Master Class and Concerts in July

by William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelWelcome to our 17th year! A weekend of bloody aristocracy!

Imperial accordions, Royal Models, Excelsior, Victoria, Titano, Pigini, Monarch, Noble, The Emperor- to name a few!

King of Downtown squeezers, Queen Ida, The New Accordion Queen, King of Ragtime, The First, The Magus, Pee Wee King, Polka King, The Madonna of the Accordion, The Queen of Country, The Accordion Kings-Titles! Titles! Accordion Culture is a Regal Affair. Accordion Royalty! A title for everyone! Everyone wears a crown for the entire weekend!

But only one can wear the Imperial Crown- William Walton! What does he have to do with accordion culture? He did not write for the accordion, well, he wrote a viola concerto- close enough! A work entitled Facade- Accordionists love vaudeville, smoke and mirrors- close enough! And Belshassar’s Feast!

The Royal Weekend will include:



JULY 29, 30 AND 31 2011


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

The Accordion is Here to Stay

by Rita Barnea
Karl KmentTerry Ranstad, a Bend, Oregon resident did not play his accordion for many many years. The accordion was a gift from his father and now, at the age of 61, Terry is getting into playing it again."It's just fun," he said. "You start to play and the smiles come out."
There are a great number of people similar to Terry who are now renewing their interest in playing the accordion. While the accordion may have not been in favor for years, those thoughts are in the past. The accordion is now becoming prominent and more popular all over the world, especially in the USA. Accordionists are playing in all types of groups including rock bands such as The Decemberists and performing with symphony orchestras. Did you know that the Album of the Year Grammy winner, Arcade Fire, has an accordionist in the group?
The Accordion Club of Central Oregon has been in existence now for almost two years and meets each month in Redmond, Oregon to play together and share music and ideas. There are presently about 30 members and the group is increasing in numbers."The accordion is alive and well in Central Oregon," declared Redmond resident Karl Kment, 83,  who has been playing for 15 years after not playing for years . Kment owned music stores and put aside his accordion to demonstrate and sell organs.
Some accordionists share similar stories. They learned when very young. As adults they were too busy with family and work. The accordion faded into the background for them. As they grew into adulthood, families and careers took precedence, and their musical instruments were shoved into storage. Years later, they began to play again. Now they're digging them out and dusting them off. Ranstad noted that his father, who valued music, worked as a real estate agent. One day he came home with an accordion so his son could play it. He had accepted it from a client as a down payment on a house. "It's part of our family heritage now," Ranstad said. "My parents sacrificed for me to play."

Kment said he stopped playing accordion when he owned music stores. Instead, he learned the organ so he could demonstrate it to customers. He was accomplished on his accordion playing in restaurants and being paid for his efforts as a young teenager. He recalls playing for movie goers when the movie equipment failed.

Presently Ranstad is busy practicing and he plans to participate in the next Central Oregon's Got Talent competition. He and others have competed in their age groups at the annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in Leavenworth, Wash. He feels that it would be great for people to take up the accordion again and even introduce it to young family members in order to increase its popularity.

That is already a reality. The accordion IS back and here to stay!

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Future events

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Mary Tokarski Performs "Tango Blues" by Roger Davidson

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiThe Tango Blues Quartet presents the first Connecticut performance of the AAA commissioned composition by Roger Davidson's ( no relation to the editor) "Tango Blues" for accordion, flute, viola, and cello. The composition was premiered at the 2010 AAA Festival in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The performance takes place at the University of New Haven, Dodds Hall Theater, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, Connecticut on March 27th at 5 PM. Tickets are by donation at the door.It is a benefit concert for the homeless in New Haven, Connecticut.

Mary Tokarski began her music career at the age of 7 with Michael Fernino of Ansonia, Connecticut. During the course of her musical career, she has studied theory, performance, ensemble and orchestral training with professors from Yale University, Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory, Boston University, the University of Texas, and the University of Denver.

In addition, she has had extensive Kindermusik training at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and Princeton University, and has attended numerous seminars on the psychology of teaching, technics for "special needs" learners, and LOTS of education-related topics!

Mary has the distinction of winning over 185 trophies and awards for her performances in State, Regional, National and International competitions, and twice represented the United States in the Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championships) sponsored by the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA). She was elected to Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 2002, the Oxford's Who's Who in 1992 and was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 2004.

Concert Accordionist, Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra and as a member of The 'K' Trio. For 20 years Mary served as Director of Music Education at Tokarski Music Center in North Haven, Connecticut, where she taught piano and accordion, as well as conducted the choral & ensemble programs, and supervised the pre-school programs.

Mary currently teaches piano and accordion at her home in Northford, Connecticut.
She also serves as a Music Educator in the North Haven Department of Education's Early Childhood Development Program at Green Acres Elementary School. Currently, Mary serves as a Board of Director with both The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) which are the two national member organizations of the Confederation Interntaionale des Accordeonistes, (IMC-UNESCO).

For further information email: or

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Long Island Accordion Alliance Meets on March 1st

by Rita Barnea
2nd meeting photo of Long Island Alliance groupOn Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 7:PM the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) will meet at La Villini Restaurant in East Northport, NY.

If you play the accordion, please bring your instrument and play a “song or two.” This is open to anybody that plays the accordion no matter your ability (beginner, intermediate, amateur or professional). Everyone is welcome to participate!

The idea is for accordionists to share their love for playing the “best musical instrument in the world.” It will be a relaxing and enjoyable evening filled with accordion music. People who love to just listen to accordion music are most cordially invited to attend. Come join us! It is a fun evening.

La Villini Restaurant
288 Larkfield Road.
East Northport, NY 11731
631 – 261 - 6344

So, come on down! Have a great meal, enjoy the music and have some fun! Reservations are recommended. (631) 261 6344
You can also e-mail your reservation to Frank Catania at: If you are coming to perform please notify Dominic at: 631.864.4428

WMAS features Dominic Karcic and Ray Oreggia

by Rita Barnea
Dominic Karcic and Ray OreggiaThe Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society presents its Italian Night Dinner Dance featuring Dominic Karcic & Ray Oreggia on Saturday, April 16, 2011, 6-9 PM at Marco Polo Restaurant (703-281-3922) , 245 Maple Avenue W. (Rte. 123), Vienna, VA 22180. Admission: $30 WMAS members, $39 for non-members.

You can listen and danced to the beautiful accordion sounds and melodies of Borgo Val di Taro (Parma) and other regions of Italy, as well as a wide variety of dance music performed by this delightful, well-known accordion duet team. Dominic and Ray specialize in festive Valtaro musette accordion music with waltzes, polkas, tangos, mazurkas and merengues. It is great dance music especially for people who love ballroom dancing. There is a delicious menu planned.

Originally from Astoria, NY, Dominic Karcic attended 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 a public school music teacher for thirty-two years focusing on vocal and instrumental instruction in the Long Island towns of Valley Stream, Freeport, and Baldwin. He has always played professionally in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today.

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) which was published in the Gazzetta di Parma (Parma, Italy). He has continued writing articles about Valtaro Musette music and several have been published in the Borgo Val di Taro web-site.

AAA Board member Dominic Karcic, is working on a project hoping to make documentary film on the history and origin of Valtaro Musette music in New York City. He is looking for any pictures or film / video that people might have of accordionist, John “Scudlein” Brugnoli, or his partner, accordionist Pete “Filomena” Delgrosso, and also any of the other Valtaro accordionists: Emilio Chiesa, Gelso Pellegrini, Hugo Nati, Aldo Bruschi, Pete Spagnoli etc. 

The mission of WMAS (pronounced Wah-mass) is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the national capital region meeting on the third Sunday every month at 4:00 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia.

AAA Board member Ray Oreggia specializes in traditional Italian Valtaro music and frequently performs with Dominic at accordion conventions, restaurants, concerts, etc. As an expert on the great jazz legend Art Van Damme, Ray presents workshops at accordion conventions.

Contact Peter DiGiovanni at 703-242-2160, Email:

18th Annual Leavenworth Accordion Celebration in June 2011

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth Festival header
Leavenworth Festival logoThe 18th Annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration hosted by the Northwest Accordion Society will be held from June 16-19, 2011 in Leavenworth, Washington.This is a celebration of the accordion’s versatility and its presence in many cultures. Accordion music is what this event is all about.

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

Leavenworth is Washington’s “Bavarian Village” and a perfect setting for this celebration. Nestled in a cozy narrow valley at elevation of 1100 feet surrounded by wilderness of rugged, majestic mountain ranges, over 2 million visitors per year from all over the world come to experience magical Leavenworth.

With the Northwest Accordion Society as your host and Leavenworth as the setting, why not plan to join them and enjoy four wonderful days of everything accordion. Whether you are a competitor, participant or just love great accordion music, there is enjoyment and participation for everyone.

Here is a partial list of what is happening:
• Accordion Competitions
• Workshops
• Concerts with World Class Performers
• Free Performances at the gazebo, grange, and restaurants
• Free Accordion lessons
• Accordion Parade on Saturday
• Accordion Vendors
• Opportunity for all accordion players to play
• Jam sessions and much more!

There will be award winning performers from around the world including: Mario Pedone (Texas), Steve Albini (California, Roland US), Jelena Milojevic (Canada), Vincenzo Abracciante (Italy) and the Spokane Accordion Ensemble (Washington state)

There are three main venues for the festival: the Grange Hall, the Gazebo, and the Festhalle.The Festhalle will be used for the competition, concerts, and vendor displays in the foyer. Grange Hall will be used as the education center. It has two floors…the upper floor will have a performance space for all levels of performers (often called “the rising star stage”); free accordion lessons, CD sales, sheet music sales, other vendor displays. The lower level will be used for workshops.

The Gazebo is a great place to perform outdoors for tourists and accordion friends. There will be a sign-up sheet with 15 min. slots where accordionists may perform. The Gazebo will be used for both professional and amateur players.

In addition, professional accordionists/groups will entertain in restaurants during the dinner hour. Later in the evening, there will be spontaneous jam sessions.

Sponsorship is greatly appreciated. For sponsors donating $25 or more, their name and website address will be listed in the festival flyer which will be available at all information booths at the festival and will contain the festival schedule plus a list of donors. In addition, you will be thanked on stage at the Festhalle, grange, and gazebo at appropriate times. 

If you are interested in donating, please send your check (made payable to Northwest Accordion Society) to:
5102 NE 121st Ave. 
Unit 12
Vancouver, WA 98682.

For further information on methods of contributing: email
For information on the festival:

2011 AAA Festival, July 13-17, in Charleston, SC

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
The American Accordionists' Association is proud to announce the 2011 AAA Festival from July 13-17, 2011 at the Sheraton at Charleston Airport, Charleston, South Carolina.

At this time, the International Accordion Orchestra Competition will take place. The competition is open to all accordion orchestras. There is no restriction as to the number of members in the orchestra. The minimum requirement is eight accordions. The closing date for entries is February 28th.

Click 2011AArules for Festival Contest Rules for solos, duets, ensembles, and bands. The deadline for these entries is June 10, 2011.

Join us as Joan C. Sommers is honored with the AAA's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

There will be cash awards, workshops, exhibits, concerts, and competitions for all ages. The tentative schedule includes:
Wednesday.....Registration, Press & Squeeze event
Thursday........Luncheon Concert, Cabaret Night
Friday.............Massed Band Performance conducted by Frank Busso, Gala Evening Concert
Saturday.........Awards Concert, Banquet, Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation, Festival Orchestra conducted by Joan Sommers.
Sunday...........Breakfast Meeting and Farewell

The AAA Festival Coordinators are: Mary Tokarski, Frank Busso, Linda Soley Reed.

Make sure you attend for wonderful, memorable music, friendship, and more!

For further information view 2011AArules or the AAA website or email Mary Tokarski: or Linda Reed at

Voci Armoniche

2011 July ATG Festival in Orlando

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo
Anthony Galla-RiniThe ATG (Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International) welcomes you all to their 71st Annual Competition and Festival to be held in Orlando, Florida, July 27-31st at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel.

The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) was established in 1940 by a group of 29 founding members (including ATG President Emeritus, the late Anthony Galla-Rini, pictured right) with the purpose of furthering the progress of the accordion by improving teaching standards, music, and all phases of music education.

The 2011 Roland USA Championships{formerly held in Los Angeles} selecting the US Candidate for the International Digital Accordion Competition in Rome will be held during the ATG Festival. Additional International guest artists and details to be announced soon. Check back.

The ATG is strictly a nonprofit, noncommercial, educational organization and is governed by the teacher members and accordion professionals.

The ATG has presented many important seminars, lectures and concerts in conjunction with its annual competition and festival and has brought the accordion to the attention of many top musicians and music educators across the country. The ATG has also been instrumental in promoting the acceptance of free bass accordion into several important universities and colleges where a student may work toward a degree with accordion as their major instrument.

The festival hotel offers free parking for ATG Guests and Free Airport Shuttle from Orlando International Airport.

Further details will be announced very soon. Mark your calendars!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2011: August 12-13 in New Hampshire

by Rita Barnea
ACCORDIONS NOW!! LogoThe New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC are proud to announce and co-sponsor the 4th Annual Music Festival, ACCORDIONS NOW 2011!! which takes place at their new location, the beautiful Nashua Courtyard Marriott in Nashua, New Hampshire August 12-13, 2011. Lots of Acordions, Lots of Music, Lots of Fun !!

Guest artists and presenters will be announced once the entire roster is set. Here is the ACCORDIONS NOW! 2011 Festival Schedule:
On Friday, August 12, 2011: Afternoon Meet & Greet Accordion Friends, Old & New Informal Jam Sessions. Evening events will be: Open Mike Café [anyone may sign up to play]. The hotel restaurant will be open for dinner/snacks/drinks.
On Saturday, August 13, 2011: Morning Educational Workshops [Topics & Presenters TBA] ,All-Day Vendor Displays & Professional Advice. The lunch buffet will include: Live Welcoming Music Dine/Visit with Accordion Friends, Door Prize Drawing.

Early-Afternoon events will include Featured Concerts, All-Day Vendor Displays & Professional Advice.
Mid-Afternoon includes: Informal Jam Sessions, Vendor Displays & Advice AN!FO rehearsal [open only to pre-registered participants]
Late-Afternoon includes: AN!FO & Small Ensemble Concert, Pre-Dinner Cocktail Reception [cash bar] with live wntertainment

Evening Gala Banquet [plated dinner]: Door Prize Drawing, Gala Concert, Meet the Artists Photo Ops, CD Signing, Informal Post-Gala Jam Sessions

***BEST VALUE*** Package Plans include ALL FESTIVAL EVENTS listed above:
The Early Bird Discount Package Plan – Register by April 30, 2011 for only $99/adult, $49/child age 12 & under.
Regular Admission Package Plan – Register May 1 – August 5, 2011 for $119/adult, $59/child age 12 & under.

Registration fees:
Saturday Late Day/Evening Only – Register by August 5, 2011. Admission Saturday 3:00 PM to close includes Late-Afternoon & Evening events listed above: $65/adult, $33/child age 12 & under.

To register for ACCORDIONS NOW! 2011, call 1.800.328.5227 Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Eastern Time. Early Bird pricing ends April 30, 2011. VISA, MasterCard or debit cards accepted. Personal checks must clear the bank by July 22. Registration ends August 5, 2011.

For the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, pre-Registration is required. Sign up no later than July 22 to participate in the ever-popular ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra. Sheet music and study sound clips will be sent in advance for pre-paid registrants to learn.

For Hotel Accommodations there will be a special rate – Only $89 [plus NH tax] per ROOM. Reserve by July 22, 2011. Call Marriott Worldwide Reservations 1.800.321.2211. Mention ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival at Courtyard Nashua, 2200 Southwood Drive, Nashua, New Hampshire 03063 USA.

Be a part of this special accordion event! Make ACCORDIONS NOW!! part of your summer plans!

For more information: [Donna Maria Regis] or 1.800.328.5227 [Suzanne Welch].
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