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


Editor's Note
Final Ruling for Air Travel With Musical Instruments - USA
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
2015 National Accordion Convention Theme: Duet Together
Mary Tokarski Honored at New England Music Festival
THE STONE Presents Weeklong Residency with Composer/Accordionist Guy Klucevsek
Victor Prieto Trio to Present "A MUSICAL VOYAGE"
American Idol Hopeful Joey Cook Pleases Keith Urban
Nathan Chapeton to Perform with New Haven Symphony
Texas Folklife's 2015 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest
Brooklyn Accordion Club to Feature Uri Sharlin
2015 MAMTG Festival
Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca are AAMS 2015 Honorees
Elena and Gregory Fainshtein to Perform for the NAA Convention in Texas
2010 AAA Virtuoso Champion Gabe Hall-Rodrigues on tour with Jared & The Mill

Voci Armoniche

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

Anita Siarkowski … Busy accordionist and more!
Cory Pesaturo's Tribute to His Teacher, Tulio Gasparini
New Scandalli Hub for North America
Accordionist Rob Reich
Paul Belanich to Perform for LIAA
New CD: "The Montreal Sessions"
Video: Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival - USA

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

2015 AAA Festival/Competitions, July 8-12, Historic Alexandria, VA
New England Music Festival: April 10-12
Connecticut Accordion Association Orchestra Performs for Unico
Django in June with Dallas Vietty and Victor Prieto
ATG Festival July 22-25 in Lisle (Chicago), Illinois
Whiskey and Women on March 15 at San Francisco Accordion Club
William Schimmel's Winter and Spring Tour
Weird Al's "Mandatory World Tour"
2015 American Accordionists' Association Master Class and Concerts

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

CD Reviews

CD Review: Let Me Tell You A Story CD by Random Encounter



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita Barnea USA EditorGet your calendar out now and plan your accordion activities.

Read details about festivals, the NAA in Texas, AAA, AAMS and MAMTG in New Jersey. Performances by Guy Klucevsek, Victor Prieto, Cory Pesaturo, Bill Schimmel, Joey Cook, honors for Mary Tokarski and more. Get info on the Big Squeeze Accordion contest, performances for accordion clubs, New CD's.

As always, I welcome comments and ideas. Please send to

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

Final Ruling for Air Travel With Musical Instruments - USA

by Rita Barnea
For the many accordionists who have had problems taking their accordion onto the plane. This is a welcome ruling to protect your precious accordion when you travel.

As of March 6, 2015, it’s official and no longer at the discretion of the various airlines. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, musicians who board planes must be allowed to carry on their instruments provided they fit in the overhead bin.

If this space isn’t large enough, the musician is also permitted to purchase a second seat in which to stow their musical companion.

One caveat: the airlines don’t have to prioritize musical instruments ahead of any other carry-on luggage, so if the bins are full, you’ll still have to check your instrument at the gate.

To remedy this, the U.S. Department of Transport suggests that musicians may want to pay the airline’s fee for priority boarding to ensure that there will be room for their gear.

Travel Tips for Travelling with a Music Instrument: 2015Tips.pdf
Download the official ruling: 2015DoT.pdf

Titano Accordion Company

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

Voci Armoniche

2015 National Accordion Convention Theme: Duet Together

by Rita Barnea
National Accordion Association (NAA) President Norman Seaton invites all to attend the 2015 NAA Convention. A unique new addition to the 2015 NAA Convention is the "Artists Interpretation of Music Art Show".

The tradition continues… The 2015 NAA Accordion Convention will include National Vendors, Manufacturer Representatives and the ongoing Musical Swap Shop.

The 2015 National Acordion Convention takes place at the Southfork Hotel and Conference Center from March 5-7, 2015 in Plano, Texas. The event code is ACCOR2015G

The evening events are open to the general public. As a community service project, Thursday evening activities are complimentary for the general public. Friday and Saturday evening events are only $10 per person. Friday buffet is $12.50 per person. Your generous donations enable youth to attend these events free of charge.

For concert details:
National Accordion Association

For further information:

Photo Above: 2015 Art Show Entries
Photo Below: 2015 Saturday Night Showcase Performers
2015 Saturday Showcase

Accordion Jazz Chords

Mary Tokarski Honored at New England Music Festival

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiThe Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts ‘s 53rd Annual Music Festival will be held at the Newton Marriott in Newton, Massachusetts on April 10, 11, 12, 2015.

Mary has adjudicated at the ATAM Competition & Festival for over 25 years and will be recognized by the Association as a Lifetime Honorary Member at their annual Banquet on Saturday evening.

The newly elected President, Francisco Coelho, will do the presentation.

Mary Tokarski was recently elected as the new AAA President. Concert Accordionist, Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestras, with String Quartets and as a member of The 'K' Trio. Mary has appeared as a soloist with the Prince George’s Philharmonic (Maryland), the Moravian Symphony (Czech Republic), the Auckland Symphony (New Zealand), The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra (Massachusetts), the Waterbury Symphony (Connecticut), the Bronxville Pops Orchestra (New York), the Hamden Symphony Orchestra (Connecticut) and most recently with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (Massachusetts).

Mary toured mainland China with the Mantovani Orchestra, performing both in the orchestra and as a soloist, appeared in the orchestra for the musical “Fiddler On The Roof”, performed with the Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center Orchestra in the full sound track for “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” complete with the film, and in the Opera “Four Saints In Three Acts” by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein.

In Spring 2014, Mary was featured in the Westport Country Playhouse production of “Sing For Your Shakespeare” created by Wayne Barker, Mark Lamos and Deborah Grace Winer.

For 20 years Mary served as Director of Music Education at Tokarski Music Center in North Haven, Connecticut, where she taught piano and accordion, conducted the choral & ensemble programs, supervised the pre-school programs, and served as a Music Educator in the North Haven Department of Education's Early Childhood Development Program.

Mary currently teaches accordion and piano at her home in Northford, Connecticut. 
In collaboration with Karen Malan-Uribe (an English as a Second Language teacher in the Washington, D.C. area) and Joan Geller Grauman (an amazing illustrator/artist from Maryland), Mary selected and recorded the music and narration for the guided reader children’s book “An Accordion! What Is That?” released in 2010, and now in an iBook format! (
Mary has performed internationally in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland and Switzerland – as well as extensively here in the United States.

As a two-time United States Champion she represented the U.S. in the Coupe Mondiale (World Championship) events in Belgium and France, and now serves on the Board of Directors for the American Accordionists Association, is one of the founders of the Connecticut Accordion Association, and is a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, Intl. 

In addition, Mary presents Workshops and Master Classes on improving musical skills, and coaches on all aspects of performance throughout the U.S. and Canada, and recently at the Peter Soave Music Academy in Sauris, Italy. Sought after for her adjudicating skills, Mary has served numerous associations as a “regular” at festivals around the U.S. as well as serving on prestigious jury panels for world events.

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, was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 2004 and recevied the AAMS Recognition Award in March 2011.

Her CD's include: “Have Yourself A Mary Merry Christmas” – a collection of Mary’s favorite listening music for the Holidays! Her previous 2 solo CDs, “Music with Mary . . . for my friends!” and “Music with Mary . . . with my friends!” have received international acclaim . . . and . . . Mary was chosen by New Zealand composer Gary Daverne to perform many of his compositions for accordion and symphony orchestra on his CD release “Rhapsody”. As a member of The "K" Trio, Mary has 3 CD releases: "Images", "Take 2", and "Classically, the "K" Trio".

For more information, to book a presentation or coaching session, or to order a CD, Mary can be reached at: Mary Tokarski.


THE STONE Presents Weeklong Residency with Composer/Accordionist Guy Klucevsek

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekPress Release of Series of Events which Guy Klucevsek is doing in March:

What: Guy Klucevsek Concert Residency |     40 Year Composer Retrospective
When: Tuesday 3.17–Sunday 3.22 at 8:00pm
Where: The Stone, Corner of Avenue C/2nd Street, NYC, Train: F/J/M/Z at Delancey-Essex
Tickets: $20. No advanced ticket sales. For more information, visit 
Media Contact: April Thibeault, AMT PR, 212.861.0990, 

“Forget everything you thought you knew about the accordion.”          – The Seattle Weekly 

“Klucevsek is a musical Orient Express whose themes pass from Hungarian gypsy to Slovenian waltz to Middle Eastern wail without stopping at the borders.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

John Zorn’s renowned THE STONE presents Guy Klucevsek | A 40 Year Composer Retrospective  — a weeklong residency performed and curated by composer/accordionist Guy Klucevsek. For six consecutive nights, some of today’s top artists from both the jazz and new music scene join Klucevsek in performing his pieces written over the past four decades (1972-2014), including three world premieres and seven New York premieres. (Complete schedule is below.)

This residency marks the collaborative culmination of a decades-long relationship between Klucevsek and Zorn that was born in 1984. “After hearing Zorn’s Rugby for the first time, every idea I had about performing and composing was challenged,” says Klucevsek. “Though my pieces sound nothing like Zorn, their episodic structure and mixture of popular music sources with art music techniques came directly out of my experiences with Zorn and the free improve scene of the 80s.”

Surveying his last 40 years of writing, Klucevsek has composed over 100 pieces for solo accordion, and more than 30 pieces on commission from dance and theatre companies. 

His music entertains and engages even as it addresses musical ideas of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. While occasionally referencing the traditional accordion repertoire, Klucevsek’s music incorporates a dash of Eastern European paprika and dance rhythms, a sprinkle of Tex-Mex accordion and flamenco guitar, and a peppering of post-modern avant-garde music. “There is always something happening beneath the simple melodies and harmonies — tremolos, counterpoint, polymeter — to add density,” explains Klucevsek of his own compositions.

Klucevsek is a major contributor to the accordion renaissance of the last 25 years. “I began playing in 1952, when the accordion was the most popular instrument in America,” says Klucevsek. “The most amazing thing about being an accordionist for 40 years has been to experience the dramatic shifts in public opinion about the instrument.”

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

Guy is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to "America's finest artists.” In November/December 2014, he was awarded a fellowship to the MacDowell Colony to pursue his creative work.

He has created a unique repertoire for accordion through his own composing and by commissioning over 50 works from composers including Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn. He has composed over 20 dance scores for choreographers including Karen Bamonte, Martha Bowers, Angela Caponigro, David Dorfman, Anita Feldman, Victoria Marks, Stuart Pimsler, and Mark Taylor.

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

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

*Guy Klucevsek plays accordion on all programs. All compositions are written by Klucevsek, except where otherwise indicated.

TUE 3.17 @ 8:00PM | The Klucevsek/Bern Unit
Guy Klucevsek (accordion)
Alan Bern (accordion & piano)

Guy and Alan first joined forces in 1998, and have played together as a duo, off and on, ever since. Tonight’s program features music from their two Winter & Winter releases —Accordance (2000) and Notefalls (2007) — plus more recent work including the New York premieres of The Day the Snow Fell Upwards (2011) and Haywire Rag (A Waltz) (2010).  They will perform several of Alan Bern’s compositions as well.

WED 3.18 @ 8:00PM | Teetering on the Verge of Normalcy:  Music for Dance and Theatre
Guy Klucevsek (accordion)
Peter Brown (voice)
Jed Distler (piano)
Kamala Sankaram (voice)
Todd Reynolds (violin)
Margaret Leng Tan (toy piano, toy instruments)

Klucevsek has created scores for dozens of dance and theatre productions over the years (subsequently receiving two Bessie Awards for his work). Tonight’s ensemble pays homage to his theatrical side with music from Chinoiserie (for PIng Chong and Company), Fallen Shadows (for Karen Bamonte Dance Works), Industrious Angels (for a one-person show by/with Laurie McCants), and Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (for Lionel Popkin Dance Company).

THU 3.19 @ 8:00PM | Guy Solo
Guy Klucevsek (accordion)

Klucevsek has written over 100 pieces for solo accordion.  This program features pieces from four decades, 1982 - 2014, from his recordings Scenes from a Mirage (Review), Transylvanian Softwear (Starkland), The Well-Tempered Accordion and The Heart of the Andes (Winter and Winter), and Dancing on the Volcano (Tzadik), as well as the New York premiere of Bob Flath Waltzes with the Angels (2014).

FRI 3.20 @ 8:00PM | The Bantam Orchestra 
Guy Klucevsek (accordion)
Mary Rowell (violin)
Erik Friedlander (cello)
Pete Donovan (bass)

Klucevsek assembled this string trio plus accordion for two dance scores in 1990:  Citrus, My Love for Stuart Pimsler, and Passage North for Angela Caponigro. This stellar ensemble also recorded two albums together with this instrumentation: Citrus, My Love (1992, recrec/Swiss, out-of-print) and Stolen Memories. 


This program will feature selections from those two recordings as well as several pieces from Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse (1991, XI), and the world premiere of For the First Time (2014), featuring Erik Friedlander, cello.

SAT 3.21 @ 8:00PM | Buffalo Braunschweiger 
Guy Klucevsek (accordion)
Steve Elson (saxes & clarinets)
Pete Donovan (bass)
Barbara Merjan (drums)

The debut of a band showcasing some of his latest work, tonight’s program features premieres of Klucevsek’s music for trio and quartet. Pieces include: world premiere of The Swan and the Vulture (2014), New York premieres of Three Quarter Moon (in memory of Kurt Weill) (2014), and Little Big Top (in memory of Nino Rota) (2014), both commissioned by The University of Wisconsin - River Falls.

SUN 3.22 @ 8:00PM | AAATT (All Accordions All the Time) 
Guy Klucevsek (accordion)
Art Bailey (accordion)
Nathan Koci (accordion & bass accordion)

Marking the debut of Klucevsek’s new accordion ensemble, tonight’s program features music that he wrote for his long-time band, the Accordion Tribe (1996 - 2010). One of the pieces Guy is most excited about doing is Toronto: (sevenths) (1972), the first performance of this piece in over 20 years.  Art Bailey and Nathan Koci will also contribute a composition each to this program. Other works on the menu include: the 
world premiere of Music for Mobiles (2013), commissioned for a video by Keith LoBue; and the New York premieres of Euroslavian Wedding Dance (2014), and As They Waltz off into the Sunset (2014), both commissioned by the University of Wisconsin - River Falls.

For more information, please visit: 

For photo/video/audio downloads, please visit: 

For artist interviews, photos, tickets, etc., please contact:               April Thibeault, AMT PR│212.861.0990 |

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

Victor Prieto Trio to Present "A MUSICAL VOYAGE"

by Rita Barnea
Victor PrietoVideo: Victor Prieto group performing Ta Boa Santa by E. Gismonti while on their 2014 USA Tour at the Emens Auditorium, Muncie, Indiana.

The Victor Prieto Trio will present "A Musical Voyage" at the Cervantes Institue in New York City on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:PM. Instituto Cervantes - 211 East 49Th Street - New York, NY.

Victor Prieto is hailed by The New York Times as “A fiendishly skilled accordionist and composer” and by the All About Jazz as “One of the best World musicians and Jazz accordionists nowadays”.

He has changed the way musicians and spectators view accordion by revolutionizing both technique and sound. His love for the traditional Galician music and classical education enriches his compositions with explosive rhythm and colors uniquely combining Galician Roots, Celtic, Brazilian, Jazz, Tango, and Classical music.

His album "Victor Prieto" has been nominated to the Grammys for his collaboration In the  Album Second half, in the Latin Jazz Category. Trio: Víctor Prieto, accordion; Carlo De Rosa, bass; Vince Cherico, Drums  

General Admission: $20 | ICNY Members: $10
You may purchase the tickets over the phone (212-308-7720), at ICNY (before 6:30PM the day of the event) or online: 

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

American Idol Hopeful Joey Cook Pleases Keith Urban

by Rita Barnea
Joey Cook
Eccentric Joey Cook put her own spin on Keith Urban's country song when she played her accordion and sang the tune "Somebody Like You".

She wowed all three judges with her unique presentation of the song and made it totally her own. ‘Joey it was fantastic!’ Keith told her, clearly genuinely impressed. ‘That’s what artists do, you take a song, make it yours. It was perfect.’ Both Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. agreed!

Joey was one of 12 female performers as all the women sang for viewers’ votes for the first time, the night after the 12 remaining men did the same. The final 24 will be whittled down to 16 by next week. The women appeared to have a harder time impressing the judges, with several clearly not doing well but Joey impressed them all.

See next month's USA news for more American Idol results.

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

Nathan Chapeton to Perform with New Haven Symphony

by Mary Tokarski
Nathan Chapeton and his teacher, Mary Tokarski
Nathan Chapeton and Mary TokarskiAccordionist Nathan Chapeton will have an exciting Spring, to say the least! He has worked diligently to improve his musical skills on the accordion, and it has paid off with an amazing opportunity!

He was chosen from among 13 candidates at Middletown High School to perform as a soloist when they present "Middletown High Goes to the Symphony" with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He will perform Pietro Deiro's "Concerto in E, Rondo Movement" as a soloist with the symphony.

Students from Middletown High School's Concert Band, String Orchestra, and Concert Chorus will perform WITH the New Haven Symphony at this event, along with several other student soloists.

The New Haven Symphony partners with the Bushnell Center for the Arts in Hartford to host the event. Maestro William Boughton of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Edward Cumming, University of Hartford Orchestra, and Neely Bruce, Wesleyan University Professor of Music, will share the podium during this magnificent collaboration between the high school, local university, and the community.

The concert will take place on May 11, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at The Bushnell Center for the Arts in Hartford. Tickets for the concert and further information can be obtained online at or email

Nathan Chapeton (14), a student of Mary Tokarski of Northford, CT has studied the accordion for almost six years now, and just this past October represented the United States at the Coupe Mondiale (world accordion championship) in Salzburg, Austria.

He competed in the Junior Virtuoso Entertainment Category, which highlights the talents of young accordionists (under the age of 18) from countries around the world. Nathan's program consisted of music by famed Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, Bulgarian composer Todor Gerov, Russian composer Vladimir Zubitsky and American composer/accordionist John Pezzolo. He plans to represent the U.S. again in the 2016 Coupe Mondiale being held in Rostov on Don, Russia.

Nathan has also recently appeared as a Guest Artist at the Long Island Accordion Alliance, the Brooklyn Accordion Club, and the Connecticut Accordion Association's annual holiday Concert at the Blackstone Library. His plans for the future include introducing the accordion to young people around the United States through performances and workshops on the qualities of the instrument and its music.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Texas Folklife's 2015 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest

by Sheree Scarborough
Big Squeeze 2015 Logo
Free Talent Showcase to be held at Pleasant Grove Branch Library

Performance by Dallas’s Three Former Big Squeeze Champs, including Reigning Zydeco Champ Randall Jackson  
Austin, Texas – February 25, 2015 – Texas Folklife is pleased to announce its ninth annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians, 21 years of age or younger. The contest is one of the ways in which Texas Folklife carries out its mission to preserve and promote Texas’s diverse cultural heritage. The contest recruits players in all genres of the Lone Star State’s accordion-based music, including German, Czech, and Polish polka; Creole, Cajun, and zydeco; and conjunto, norteño, and Tejano.

The contest takes to the road this spring in order to meet young accordion players in their communities and see them perform in talent showcases. On Saturday, March 21, the Big Squeeze arrives in Dallas to seek out the best young squeezeboxers in the area.

The talent showcase will be held at the Pleasant Grove Branch of the Dallas Public Library, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Interested players are encouraged to reserve a showcase slot by contacting Texas Folklife, and should arrive by 2:00 p.m. Those who cannot attend the showcase may also mail or e-mail their entries to arrive at Texas Folklife no later than March 30, 2015. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available online at or by calling (512) 441-9255.

The 2015 Dallas Big Squeeze talent showcase will bring some new features to the annual contest. It will be a first time collaboration between Texas Folklife and the Pleasant Grove Branch Library. It will also be the first time that all three Dallas Big Squeeze champions will perform together in Dallas. After the showcase there will be a free performance by Nachito Morales (Big Squeeze Champ 2012) and the Morales Boys; Michael Ramos Lopez (Big Squeeze Champ 2013); and Randall Jackson (Reigning Big Squeeze Zydeco Champ). It promises to be a conjunto-zydeco blowout!

There will be nine finalists (three from each genre—conjunto, zydeco, and polka) chosen from the field of performers at the showcases, and those who send in their performances to Texas Folklife, by a panel of esteemed music professionals.

Accordionists will be judged on their technical proficiency—skill in playing, and technical and musical accuracy—as well as their song interpretation (stylistic choices, innovation, and originality) and stage presence (level of comfort on stage and attention to personal appearance). The finalists will be announced on April 3.

The finalists will perform at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin on Saturday, April 25, at a free concert and playoff. Three Grand Prize Winners will be selected. There will be one winner for each accordion category—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. All three winners will perform at Texas Folklife’s highly acclaimed annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 6, 2015, with Texas roots music accordion stars and legends.

The three Big Squeeze Grand Prize Winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion, performance opportunities in Austin and Houston, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities.

“We are excited about our Big Squeeze showcase in Dallas this year. Our new collaboration with the Pleasant Grove Branch Library seems to be a perfect fit as they are also a community-focused organization that serves a variety of neighborhoods,” says Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “And we have a fantastic program planned consisting of our three former Dallas Champs. I’m especially keen to hear Randall Jackson—our Reigning Zydeco Champ—perform on his home turf for the first time as a Big Squeeze winner.”

The Big Squeeze is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife and by Hohner, Inc.; by grants from Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the Houston Endowment, Texas Gas Service, and the Houston Press. Additional support is provided by regional businesses including Hacienda Records and Frank+Victor Design.

About Texas Folklife:
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For 30 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.
1317 S. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78704
T (512) 441-9255 F (512) 441-9222
Pleasant Grove Branch Library
Dallas Public Library
7310 Lake June Road
Dallas, Texas 75217
(214) 670-0965
Media information: Sheree Scarborough (512) 922-5483 /
Big Squeeze information: Tomas Salas (512) 441-9255 /

Titano Accordion Company

Brooklyn Accordion Club to Feature Uri Sharlin

by Rita Barnea
Uri SharlinThe Brooklyn Accordion Club welcomes accordionist Uri Sharlin who will give a presentation on Brazilian "Forro" music on Thursday, March 5, 2015 from 7-9:PM at 61 Local Cafe & Public House, 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, New York.

Uri Sharlin is a Brooklyn-based composer, accordionist pianist and arranger. Born in Israel, he moved to New York where he earned a BFA degree with honors in Music Performance from the City College of New York.

Upon graduation Uri formed collaborations with prominent musicians such as Antony and the Johnsons, Natalie Merchant, Avi Avital and Frank London. Uri was also featured as a pianist and composer in the acclaimed HBO series Flight of the Conchords.
He has become known as a “wonderfully free flowing accordionist” (All About Jazz), as well as for his “masterfully crafted arrangements” (

Throughout his career as a composer, musical director, pianist and accordionist, and over years of traveling and studying with World Music masters, Uri has been strongly influenced by different musical genres. In his albums, Uri’s jazz and classical background fuses with Balkan rhythms, Arabic modes and Brazilian harmonies, and he combines carefully-structured compositions with loose and experimental improvisations.

His compositions – praised as a “tour de force” (All About Jazz), “classy and compelling” (Hot House) – were recorded by Grammy Award Winner Matt Darriau and Nominee Avi Avital, and were performed at renowned venues including the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Taiwan International Festival for . Uri was also featured recently in the New York Times as a composer and band leader.

In the past years Uri has been collaborating with star singer song writer Natalie Merchant, and on her latest two albums, he can be heard on piano, accordion, keyboards. He also did several of string arrangments for her up and coming album (to be released in 2015 ).

He is currently leading several groups including the Cardamon Quartet and the DogCat Ensemble. Uri has also recently established Play Me a Story, a musical storytelling performance program for children.

The Brooklyn Accordion Club was founded in 2013. The Brooklyn Accordion Club aims to build a community of accordion players of all levels and admirers in the heart of Brooklyn.

For further information:

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

2015 MAMTG Festival

by Rita Barnea
MAMTG 2015 Logo
The 2015 MAMTG Festival will be held at The Hanover Marriott Hotel,
1401 Route 10 East, Whippany, NY 07981 from March 27-29, 2015.

(973) 538-8811 (800) 228-9290

Make Reservations by March 1, 2015

Special MAMTG Rate - $99.00 
Must mention MAMTG for this rate.

The MidAtlantic Accordion Virtuoso Championship will be held on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 6:PM at the Hanover Marriot Hotel.There will be cash awards.

MAMTG Mission
The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG) was founded by a group of professional music educators from the Tri-State area to establish and maintain high professional teaching and ethical standards, exchange music-related ideas, information and fellowship among colleagues, promote music education in our area, and to provide a platform for area music students to display their talents in a competitive environment. The Guild has been recognized as a viable musical organization throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England States.

For further information:
Phone: (732) 762-6769

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca are AAMS 2015 Honorees

by Rita Barnea
Mary and MarioThe American Accordion Musicological Society announces activities to be held at the
27thAnnual Festival of Workshops from March 27 thru March 29, 2015 in Whippany, NJ

In addition to the workshops, enjoy TWO magnificent concerts and a Banquet honoring Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini for their support of the AAMS and the accordion world.

The Friday Night Concert will treat attendees to an Italian Experience thru Music. Enjoy a kaleidoscope of Itallian culture thru all things Italian. Music from Italian composers such as Vivaldi, Scarlatti and Frescobaldi will be interspersed with original accordion music by Italian composers such as Frosini and Berio. Frosinis arrangement of "Carnival of Venice" will be presented along with Folk Music from various regions of Italy. Guest Performer for this event is Fabio Turchetti , who hails from beautiful Italy will perform "MURALES"- original music composed for 3 row diatonic accordion with tributes to the Italian tradition. Also included in this program will be: Dee Langley, Joanna Darrow, Jim Vandelly, Bernie Gardzallo, Lenn Feldmann and the Westmont Accordion Club.

Saturday Night Banquet Entertainment and Concert will present Dinner Music provided by Dr. Louis Persic, and strolling musicians Vladimir (accordion) & Annie Mollov (violin). Saturdays, Gala Concert will feature this year's Honorees and exciting duo Mario & Mary Mancini (accordion & voice) in a program titled "Music from the Heart." Vladimir Mollov of Bulgaria will perform a program of "Flavors from Europe". This program will be rounded out with a performance by the Virtuoso Accordion Winners of the MAMTG competitions and the Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra directed by Stanley Darrow.

Workshops will include both active attendee participation and exciting presentation type events. Remember to BYoA.(Bring your own Accordion.) Workshops are........................................

##Dallas Vietty "Be-Bop on Accordion" Exploring the Style from Tommy Gumina thru Richard Galliano.

##Bernie Gardzalla "All Together Now" A look at musicianship for ensemble playing. Bring your accordion. Everyone plays at this one. We’ll read a few easy and fun pieces written for various types of ensembles. Music will be available by March 1st.

##Fabio Turchetti "from the Adriatic Sea to the New World" Fabio presents typical Italian folk rhythms and their relation to latin music.

##Dee Langley "Your Ear - Your Best Friend " Quick tips and tricks for learning how to play by ear.

##Vladimir Mollov "Improve your learning with Scales" Learn the fabulous benefits of understanding and playing scales. -faster memorization - quicker and more efficient mastery of difficult passages and more.

Paul Ramunni & The New England Accordion Museum "Boxes of Memories and Sounds" Experience the latest additions to the museum and their fascinating stories.

##Joanna Darrow "Metronome Magic" A guide to making this your most valuable friend for improving technique and reduce the time for learning new pieces.

##Lenn Feldmann "PRACTICE - Art of Science?" This workshop will show you how to concentrate your work and what habits and errors to avoid in order to attain the quickest technical results.

Dr. Robert McMahan "From Deiro to Berio and beyond" A survey of original works for or including the accordion by Italian composers.

Stanley Darrow "The Hohner Symphony" A presentation on the orchestra that is the Epitome of Accordion Orchestras thru recording, photos and memories.

## BYoA (Bring your own accordion)




Acme Accordion School is located in Westmont, N.J. is now in its 67th year! Acme is also the home of the famed Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra. Founded in 1948 by the esteemed instructor and conductor Stanley Darrow, the Acme Accordion School is a prestigious music academy welcoming students from all over New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware and is considered the place for everything accordion, providing various services from instruction to repair.

Many Acme alumni have gone on to make their mark in the music industry. Acme is also part of the EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC & MOVEMENT PROGRAM - Musik Garten, a unique music, art and physical movement program where children learn certain skills and learn how to express themselves through movement while applying musical techniques. Acme Accordion School will have sheet music, instructional guides, accordion accessories and helpful hints available for the general public.

Come tap into their vast knowledge and share some stories. Stanley and Joanna are board members of the Accorordionists and Teachers Guild Int. Joanna is also a board member of the American Accordion Association. You can contact Stanley and Joanna Darrow further by calling (856) 854-6628.

Music Magic - Accordions USA, founded by Alex Chudolij in 1997, is an authorized importer and representative of over a dozen different Italian accordion manufacturers also a source for midi systems, keyboards, amplifiers and accessories.

Alex, now a Board Member of the American Accordionists Association, started his musical career at the age of 6 studying with the renowned professor, teacher and performer Tulio Gasperini in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. During the latter part of his formal training Alex earned numerous awards in solo, band and ensemble categories at Rhode Island state competitions as well as national American Accordionists Association championships held in Pittsburgh, PA, Washington, DC and Springfield, MA. As a teenager Alex was already making numerous concert and festival appearances, pleasing the crowds with classic showpieces and his own concert arrangements. Adulthood brought over 20 years of being a bandleader, multiple band and solo albums, and dozens of events as MC and talent scout for ethnic and international festivals.

The accordion remaining his passion, Alex has become known for honest advice, incredible knowledge of accordion styles and variety, and provides a friendly place for clients to learn about and shop for new instruments when visiting the Music Magic USA showroom in Clifton, New Jersey. You can reach Alex & Lillianna Chudolij at 888-887-0975.

Paul Ramunni, director of the New England Accordion Museum, will bring his travelling showcase filled with photographs of famous accordion players as well as an array of unique antique accordions “that tell a story” or two about their amazing past lives. Visit Paul’s display in the Performing Artists Room on Saturday and Sunday and also get information on how to visit the museum located in Canaan, C.T.

For more information contact: Joanna Darrow 856-854-6628

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Elena and Gregory Fainshtein to Perform for the NAA Convention in Texas

by Rita Barnea
NAA header
Elena and Gregory FainshteinElena and Gregory Fainshtein will be among the featured performers at the 2015 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention in Plano, Texas. Elena has experience teaching the accordion and piano for over 25 years. Currently, she is working with children and adults in her own home studio, Musical Expressions, located in Plano, Texas and she also teaches via Skype.

Elena said, "It is beautiful to watch people develop a passion for playing the piano and accordion and to share in my joy of spreading music to others.

 I have been playing in a duo with my husband, Gregory, for several decades, and our music has accompanied us from the Soviet Union, to the State of Israel, and for the past decade, in Texas. We have journeyed to different countries and learned other languages, but what has remained a constant is music."

Elena started to play the accordion at the age of five. She first took private lessons and then attended the School for Gifted Kids in Minsk, Belarus, where her second instrument of choice was piano. Then, she went to the Minsk Music College, graduating with the highest honors. After music college, she attended the Academy of Music in Minsk.

At the age of 17 at music college Elena began playing as an accordion duo with her classmate, Gregory Fainshtein, who became her husband and music partner for life six years later.

Since their school days, they have performed in a variety of concerts all over the world, including Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, and the United States. 

The Fainshteins have recorded two CD's "Musical Adventure" and "Together". Joan Cochran Sommers in her review of their CD said, "It is obvious they are not only entertaining performers but, also, very well-trained ones with excellent technical abilities. They compliment, enhance, and listen to each other; their respect for the music is evident throughout the recording."

Elena will conduct the intermediate/advanced orchestra. Her students will participate in "Time to Shine" concert. Elena and Gregory will perform with Stas Venglevski as a trio and also present a workshop.

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

2010 AAA Virtuoso Champion Gabe Hall-Rodrigues on tour with Jared & The Mill

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Jared and the Mill
Gabe Hall-RodriguesGabe Hall-Rodrigues, renowned jazz pianist, accordionist and vocalist, made his accordion debut at the Frank Marocco Accordion Event in 2009. By the next summer, his progress on the accordion qualified him to take first place in the AAA Virtuoso Competition.

Gabe is now playing and singing with the very popular Phoenix-based band Jared & The Mill which will be touring the country this spring and summer. Their music and instrumentation is delightfully infectious!

See their website for concert dates. Here is a brief description of the band, in their own words:
We are Jared & The Mill.  All of us were born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and we still call it home today.  When we first got started in the summer of 2011 we just wanted to play some music with our best buds, have a few shows, and have a good time. 

Jared and Michael had been buddies and playing music together since they were kids, and after they met up with another childhood musical duo, Josh Morrin and Larry Gast III, they realized they needed a bass player, so along came Larry’s pal Chuck Morris III.  Some months later, Jared ran into Gabe Hall Rodrigues, a local accordion and keys player at a coffee shop.  Gabe joined, and as it goes we were soon hammering along in the local scene, playing alongside the bands of new friends and old throughout Arizona. The wheels kept turning, and before we knew it we had over two years of touring under our boots; playing in the living rooms, dive bars, venues, theaters, and even arenas of this big ol’ country of ours alongside fellow upcoming bands, and with some of the biggest acts we had always looked up to.

Playing for fifty people one night in a smoky bar, and the very next night opening up and playing for eighteen thousand in an arena was inspiring and eye opening to say the least. Opening up for the likes of Zac Brown Band, Barry Gibb, Boy & Bear, Run River North, Della Mae, Cake, Joe Pug, Horse Feathers, Flogging Molly, The Killers, Allen Stone and others while touring alongside bands just getting their start like us was a real honor. 

We certainly gained invaluable experience from all those shows and all those trials, but something else happened out there on the road for us, something we have a hard time explaining, but anyone who’s spent some time out there on the interstate understands; we became not just friends, but family.

Being out there changed our lives, it changed how we thought about things, it changed how we wrote about things. Those miles molded our music and molded our souls and it made our bond even stronger.   Life gives to you and it takes from you, and we have written about that give, and that take.  We’ve written about getting older, about those friends and those loved ones and those things that never leave and about those that do; about those sweet things and those bitter things, and that struggle to keep the course as you try your best to carve yourself into a good man. We have written about our desert home we so very often miss. 

Our music has been called, compared and regarded by a number of different names and genres, and we’ve been influenced and shaped by many different events and people, but more than anything, we’d like to think that some shred of the Southwest — of our home — can be found in the heart of our music.
It ain’t blues and it ain’t country.  It ain’t bluegrass and it ain’t indie rock.  It’s something in-between like most things here in the Southwest, and that’s just the way we like it.  So here we are, with a new EP to record and a busy year ahead.  We’ve got some new tunes and a sound that has grown, and we’re eager as hell to share it with all of you.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for listening.
We’ll see you down the road,
Jared & The Mill"

Photo credits: Jared & The Mill – Southwest Shots Photography; Gabe Hall-Rodrigues – Michael Carter

Titano Accordion Company

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

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Anita Siarkowski … Busy accordionist and more!

by Rita Barnea
Anita SiarkowskiAnita and Bob Siarkowski are wonderful examples of how to live an active, productive, meaningful and fun life with many of their activities revolving around their accordion activities. They travel around playing duets (in coordinating costumes!). They are always upbeat and inspirational.

Anita Siarkowski wears many hats. As an accordionist, she’s always on a roll/role via various theme related costumes and repertoires ....Cupid, Leprechaun, Spring Chicken, French Maid, Mrs. Santa Claus, etc. Of particular appeal is Anita’s portrayal of “Thera-Peutic” – a voluptuous nurse in white uniform, cap, fishnet pantyhose, cape, medical motif bloomers and treatment bag bursting with bogus cure-alls. Audience reaction is living proof that laughter is the best medicine.

Anita said, "I will be doing an accordion presentation at the Waterbury Campus of UConn, Friday, April 17, 2015! I’m in the writing class at UConn, working on my books (Memoirs re: the accordion, nursing career, etc.) I’ll call our accordion program, “A Stroll Down Memory Lane” , based on  my Waterbury roots - especially considering UConn’s proximity (walking distance) to everything I did between ages 13 and 21! I  Déjà vu!"

When not ‘facing the music’....Anita is self-employed as a registered nurse, certified case manager, and independent medical consultant. In the workers’ compensation arena, Siarkowski has been credited with maximum return-to-work rates statewide, phenomenal cost savings, the timeliest case resolutions, mentoring nursing staff, resolving dermatitis plagues in private industry and state group homes. Having exceeded all employer criteria and expectations, Anita was professed the most action oriented of 25 R.N. /Vocational Case Managers.

Anita’s nursing career encompasses acute/long term facility staffing, private duty, home care, occupational health, medical underwriting, vocational counseling, disability and worker’s compensation case management.Anita’s son, Bret Siarkowski partnered with her to design CaseNET, comprehensive software for nurse case managers. Anita’s husband, Bob Siarkowskii, also an accordionist, contributed to this patented product as trouble shooter. CaseNET, with well over 100 employees, is based in Bedford, Massachusetts.

As her church’s representative in the Southington Ecumenical Laity, Anita integrated the spiritual aspect of healing by establishing a non-denominational chapel at Bradley Memorial Hospital in Southington, Connecticut. Siarkowski has served as ladies’ guild president and on the church council for the past 6
years.During her 3 year stint as a pool nurse, Anita covered all 3 shifts in 10 hospitals, plus the medical departments of 35 industrial facilities. Secondary to her flexibility, reliability, productivity, and professionalism.... Siarkowski was
deemed “Superstar of the Year”.

On the Board of Directors of C.M.S.A. (Case Management Society of America), Anita was recently spotlighted by this national nursing organization on their website. Based on her impact in the healthcare arena, Siarkowski was also nominated for “Platinum Award of Service Excellence”. Given her extensive professional experience and infectious sense of humor, Anita ‘spread the wealth’ via a comical account of the diversity in multiple medical
settings. ...“A Turn For The Nurse” is destined for her book of memoirs regarding her accordion and nursing careers - publication pending. Stay tuned!

For further information on Anita and Bob:

Cory Pesaturo's Tribute to His Teacher, Tulio Gasparini

by Cory Pesaturo
Tulio GasperiniVideo: To my Teacher. An 8 Minute Documentary by Corey Pesaturo showing Tulio Gasperini playing at 91 years, and photos of his life.

Corey Pesaturo was asked to write about Tulio Gasperini and what he meant to him. Below are some excerpts:

For every international achiever in any craft, there is a teacher infused in their foundation.  For me, that teacher was Tulio Gasperini.  A man who started accordion at the age of 4, and became National Champion by age 18 at a time when there was a plethora of tremendous accordionists in the United States. 

He was the student of the great Frank Gaviani, and was one of the founding members of ATARI (which later became the current ATAM).  He also taught advanced students at Rhode Island College, after he began the school’s first Accordion Major.  Unthinkable now.  He served in World War II with the US Military Intelligence, and was termed a “Living Legend” by our famed Providence Mayor, Buddy Cianci. 

The studio he created, Gasperini Music, which would later become Aruda Music headed by the late August Aruda, was the studio I had started at, oddly enough. 

Unfortunately for the world’s ears, Tulio never had his sights set on national fame, and, in the same vain as Joe Spano and Illmar Kuljis, Rudy Molinari and Tito Gudotti, was only truly known and respected in his own region. 

After about my first year into the accordion, my parents realized I needed to have a highly advanced teacher to give me the opportunity to reach my ceiling.  At an ATAM event, Tulio performed a few songs with a trio composed of Lou Ludovico (my teacher after Tulio fully retired in 2002, who died just last year), and Eddie Sachosha, a well known Rhode Island accordionist who just died a few years ago. I have a video of this performance still. 

My father had heard much about him, and after seeing him play, ran to Tulio in the hallway.  In Classic Italian aggressive style, he grabbed him and said “Tulio!  Tulio!  You’ve gotta teach my kid.  I know you’re retired and I don’t care, Ya Got-Ta teach my kid….”.  In even more classic Italian style, after Tulio declined, my father called a few mutual friends, who said something to Tulio, and Bam!  He was teaching me soon after! 

It was the greatest pleasure and honor to be Tulio’s only, and last student.  I was able to grasp everything he ever knew, and had 100% of his attention.  I would go every Thursday, walking through the hallway of his basement, admiring the many pictures and trophies scattered around. 

Tulio was old school; tough with not much leeway.  A compliment, was mighty big.  He scared you just enough to make you practice, but not enough to scare you off if you were strong enough.  He was not blessed with classic music hands; long and skinny fingers.  His fingers were short and stubby, but Incredibly strong. 

The motivation to prove Tulio’s teaching and Tulio’s ways were the best propelled me. 

His push to always play with the music, and not just go by the page affirmed that what I had secretly been doing to all my songs since 10 years old, was right, not wrong.  Luckily, there are many videos from news reports around the time I started going to the White House, of Tulio’s lessons with me, as my parents always told them “Do the interview at Cory’s lesson, then you can see where his playing comes from.”. 

Tulio’s energy was captivating, specifically his desire to win.  He once bet my dad to a drag race while waiting at a red light on Newport Ave. in Pawtucket.  He loved competition, and I fed off it.  Today has become a sappy-fest of “It doesn't matter who wins, as long as you do your best.”.  The old guys like Rudy and Tulio would laugh at that.  You either Won, or you Lost. 

Most importantly, Tulio played with SO much emotion.  Always trying to make every note differ from the previous and the next, both in dynamic level and presence in the phrase.  This is still evident in the video, along with his improvisatory elements, and his hand position; all there at 91. 

My one regret with Tulio, is that I never got to orchestrating his Masterpiece, “Symphony Tune-Up”, for full orchestra.  It is widely regarded as one of the greatest works ever composed for the accordion, and a piece so many of his students played.  I will get on to that soon, and will think about the best time to have a performance of it, and with what group that will have some significance to Tulio. 

The greatest testament that I can give to Tulio, occurred just a few years ago in New Hampshire.  I was playing a concert and woman came up to me to say “Your teacher was Tulio Gasperini.”.  I immediately said “Oh you knew ha?”, to which she answered something I will never forget – “I didn’t know.  I could just tell by your overall playing and technique.  It was quintessentially Tulio.”

To think that I began taking lessons with Tulio’s friend, Lou Ludovico at 15 after Tulio fully retired, until I went to college, then college, then my own tweeks and personal theory’s of how to play for years and years; And still, Tulio’s foundation was still infused in my foundation, having a major part in all my National and World Championship successes, and every time I play a note. 

Angelo Di Pippo on the phone with me today: “I was of course from Rhode island, and Tulio was The Best that state ever had.” 

For more information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

New Scandalli Hub for North America

by Scandalli Accordions s.r.l.
Scandalli North America header
Michael BulboffWe are excited to announce our new distribution hub "Scandalli North America" to offer sales, support, product information, and events to our customers in the USA and Canada.

We are pleased to introduce Michael Bulboff (picture left) as our manager at Scandalli North America and his contact information is:

Scandalli Accordions North America
614 S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-760-7222
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-6pm EST

The new distribution system will reduce shipping time and cost for new Scandalli accordions due to a centralized USA inventory management and support hub in Philadelphia.

The web site lists the current stock, new products, and dealer contact information. We look forward to continue serving our North American customers with the best service and products.

Scandalli Accordions s.r.l.

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

Accordionist Rob Reich

by Rita Barnea
Rob Reich
California based accordionist/composer Rob Reich shares the following information about his musical activities:

"Hello from the Canadian Rockies!

Banff Residency

I'm in the middle of an incredible two-week stay at the Banff Centre. Nestled in the Canadian Rockies, the environment is so inspiring for devoting time to music; each day is filled with practicing, composing, and developing music for my trio with Emily Asher and Tom Abbott, Endangered Species. 

Tin Hat's Final Shows
When I joined Tin Hat in 2010, the band had already been together for over a decade and released six albums. It was a legacy that I was honored to be a part of. Alas, the time has come to put an end to this chapter of the band. As Carla Kihlstedt says: 
"Even with all of our new space-time-continuum-defying technologies, the great geographic divide has been hard for us to overcome.

We still have a list of special projects and recordings that we want to do, so we’re saving our collective energies for those, and we’re setting aside the old band-makes-record-and-tours model. Actually, we set it aside a little while ago. Now we’re just making it official."
So, come out and celebrate our last shows with us!

March 12, 8pm - The Loft, San Diego
March 13, 8pm - McCabe’s Guitar Shop, Santa Monica
March 14, 6:30pm - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
March 15, 4pm - Dance Palace, Point Reyes Station
Bria Skonberg tour

NYC-based Trumpeter Bria Skonberg is coming to California for a short tour, and I'm honored to be a part of her band. The Wall Street Journal says Bria is "poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation."
March 25, 8pm - Piedmont Piano Company, Oakland
March 26, 8pm - Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
"Shadowbox" CD release

Mark your calendars for what promises to be a special evening at the Red Poppy: the release concert for "Shadowbox", my long-awaited debut CD of original music. 

April 11, 7:30pm - Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco"

For further information:

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

Paul Belanich to Perform for LIAA

by Rita Barnea
Paul BelanichAccordionist Paul Belanich will be the featured performer for the next meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) sponsored by La Villini Restaurant on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 6 PM. 

LIAA is in their fourth year of celebrating the accordion on Long Island. Come and enjoy the festive music of the  Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) and March's featured guest artist Paul Belanich.

Paul Belanich started to play accordion at age 5. Born on St. Peter's Island (Ilovik) the northern part of the Croatian Adriatic Sea, where the accordion is the center of entertainment. He started playing his father's diatonic button accordion as his father did and both of his uncles. Paul now performs with his brother as a 2 piece band in the Tri State area. He entertains in Slovenian and Austrian polka styles with a blend of Valtaro Musette flavor which he grew up with.

Performing and playing mostly by ear he has recently recorded some of his music which consists of different rhythms other than polka and waltzes. He also sings in English, Croatian and Italian.

Paul always says, "What fires me up the most and gives my heart the happiest feeling, is the polka music itself." Playing accordion since the early 60's, my love for the accordion is the same today as it was back then. I just hope that one day the American public realizes how beautiful the accordion is as a musical instrument.

Place:         La Villini Restaurant
                  288 Larkfield Road.
                  East Northport, NY 11731
                  Phone:  631 261 6344
Date:          Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 6:PM
For further information:

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

New CD: "The Montreal Sessions"

by Rob Howard
Jazz AllianceThe North American Jazz Alliance are Kenny Kotwitz (accordion), Steve Hobbs (arrangements, vibraphone), Greg Clayton (guitar), Dave Laing (drums), Alec Walkington (bass), and John Labelle (vocals).

Montreal has long been known for its night-life, and its jazz music and musicians. The North American Jazz Alliance are modern exponents of a long held tradition, and this new recording, ‘The Montreal Sessions’, is a jazz accordion CD that represents the tradition very well indeed.

This CD – available via Amazon - is contains standards given a jazz treatment, plus Astor Piazzolla’s ‘Oblivion’, performed in typical Argentinian tango style. Accordionist Kotwitz leads the band through Cole Porter’s ‘Just One Of Those Things’, Neal Hefti’s ‘Cute’, etc, in a swinging style. Montreal-based vocalist John Labelle is heard to good effect on ‘Close Your Eyes’, ‘Nobody Else But Me’, and ‘Dancing In The Dark’.

Tracks: Just One Of Those Things; Close Your Eyes; Cute; Oblivion; Angel Eyes; Nobody Else But Me; Delilah; Charade; Dancing In The Dark; It Could Happen To You; Only Trust Your Heart; That’s All

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Video: Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival - USA

by Harley Jones
Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival featuring LA based Cajun band Feufollet. Filmed May 2014 and published on Nov 13, 2014.

Lafayette, LA based Cajun band Feufollet performing on the Cajun-Zydeco Stage of the 25th annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival held at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Park in Simi Valley, California, U.S.A. during the Memorial Day weekend.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Future events

2015 AAA Festival/Competitions, July 8-12, Historic Alexandria, VA

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Alexandria, VA
Alexandria, VAWhat a picture perfect location for what is shaping up to be a super exciting event! The 2015 AAA Festival will be held in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia within walking distance of restaurants, shops, galleries and the beautiful historic waterfront.

The lovely Holiday Inn will come alive with the music of jazz great Eddie Monteiro, US virtuoso champion Joe Natoli, Russia’s award-winning bayanist and composer Prof. Viacheslav Semionov and others.

There will be wonderful workshops on topics such as the role of the accordion in the US Army Band (SGM Manny Bobenrieth), the role of the accordion in and the managing of the Mantovani Orchestra (Ken Moulton), the music of Eugene Ettore and using the accordion in the classroom (Rita Davidson Barnea), Klezmer and Balkan ornamentation (Lauren Brody), the stories old accordions can tell (Paul Ramunni) as well as workshops by Dr. Robert Young McMahan and Professor Joan Cochran Sommers.

The AAA Festival Orchestra will be led by conductor and director of the Accordion Pops Orchestra, Al Terzo. The Festival Orchestra will perform at the Saturday evening banquet along with special guests, the US Army Strolling Strings, under the direction of accordionist SGM Manny Bobenrieth.

This year’s event will feature a competition honoring the memory of AAA’s President Emerita, Faithe Deffner. $25,000 in prize money has been donated for this competition.

There will be opportunities for young accordionists to play in the Youth Orchestra directed by AAA President Mary Tokarski, and in the Youth Jazz Ensemble (which includes other instruments) directed by jazz accordionist Bob Vitale.

Other competitions and concerts will take place during the event, and there will be an exhibit room filled with new accordions, gifts for accordionists, the AAA Archives and an enchanting accordion museum exhibit.

Registration forms, a downloadable flyer and other information on the festival will be available on the AAA website within the next two weeks:

Hope to see all of you there!

Photo Below: US Army Strolling Strings. Sgt. Major Manny Bobenrieth is the accordionist.
US Army Strolling Strings

New England Music Festival: April 10-12

by Sam and Peggy Falcetti
Festival Logo
The New England Music Festival sponsored by the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts takes place April 10-12, 2015 at the Newton Marriott in Newton, Ma.

The Festival is an annual musical competition and 2015 will be its 53rd event. The Festival averages more than 2000 entries and over 700 contestants from all across New England.

All events are free and open to the public. Entry fees for contestants vary by category. During the festival, contestants, ages through 22, take part in accordion, guitar, bass guitar, drum, percussion, piano, violin and voice competitions.

Non-competitive categories include evaluation solos and festival group divisions. Contestants must be students of ATAM members. Over $4000.00 in cash will be awarded throughout the weekend.

The three day event takes place Friday through Sunday. On Friday evening and Sunday Jr.-Sr. Battle of the Band competition takes place in the Grand Ballroom. On Saturday and Sunday continuous group competitions and Entertainment Solos are
also held in the Grand Ballroom. Solo & Duet competitions are ongoing and all Championship competition is held on Friday evening.

An awards banquet is held on Saturday evening with more than 400 in attendance. A $500.00 scholarship and cash awards and trophies are presented to Championship, Entertainment, all NE Cup Solos and Improvised Drum contestants. At the banquet
Mary Tokarski will be recognized as a Lifetime Honorary Member of the ATAM.

At the event students will have an opportunity to participate in workshops, compete in age-level categories, be evaluated and have fun at a Dance Party on Saturday evening.

Internationally famous accordionist, Cory Pesaturo, will be performing in concert on Sunday afternoon in the Grand Ballroom.

Connecticut Accordion Association Orchestra Performs for Unico

by Rita Barnea
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, the Connecticut Accordion Association Orchestra conducted by Linda Reed, will perform for "Dinner, Music, and Wine, Italian Style".

The event presented by the men and women of the Pontelandolfo Club and Waterbury Chapter of UNICO National takes place at 1:PM. Price is $40/person at LaBella Vista!The Ponte Club, 380 Farmwood Road, Waterbury, Connecticut.

Proceeds benefit the Saturday Italian Language and Cultural Programs for Youth.

For tickets contact:
Saverio: 203-756-1140
Bob: 203-592-8785
Marilyn: 203-272-1202

Voci Armoniche

Django in June with Dallas Vietty and Victor Prieto

by Rita Barnea
Dallas ViettyVictor PrietoDjango in June 2015 Dates are June 16-21, 2015 at Smith College, Northampton, MA. Concerts will be held on June 19 & 20 at the Academy of Music.

Django in June is New England's premier occasion to celebrate, study and just plain enjoy the musical tradition associated with the inimitable Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. That tradition is now known by many names: Gypsy jazz, hot (or Hot Club) jazz, Gypsy swing, jazz gitan... Whatever you call it, it offers one of the most ebullient, accessible and unique jazz styles on the planet.

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

In 2007 the first music camp in the US dedicated to the Gypsy jazz tradition was offered and every year since it has proved an incredible experience. For musicians who would really like to dig in—whether to build a strong foundation in the style or add another floor above the one you’ve got—Django Camp offers an opportunity for immersion, guidance and inspiration like no other.

Pioneer Valley locals and visitors can get in on the act by attending the grand finale of weekend concerts at the historic Academy of Music in downtown Northampton, MA. In 2015 those concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 19th and 20th. Tickets will be sold through the Academy's box office, so please check with them for availability.

Dallas Vietty is an American jazz accordionist located in Easton, PA, specializing in the Parisian swing-waltz style of Musette and Gypsy Jazz. He began playing the accordion in 2001, and has studied jazz and arranging at California State University Northridge and accordion performance with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at Acme Accordion School. 

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

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

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

Dallas has been on the Django in June staff for several years working with the other accordion teachers/performers who cycle through. Every time he gets rave reviews as a skilled and generous teacher.

Victor Prieto will also be on the Django in June staff. Dallas said, "Victor Prieto is my top recommendation. He is a killer, amazing jazz player performing at the highest level of jazz in the US. What's more, he is a master educator. He is my teacher. I don’t know of anyone else who has more of command, knowledge, and concept of jazz accordion than he does.

And he really cares about education. He created the curriculum, concept and leadership for the jazz accordion program in Spain. Victor runs summer camps for accordionists in his hometown in Spain, and they sell out quickly. He loves to play and loves to teach. What Victor will teach will be immediately applicable to Gypsy Jazz."

You can participate in Django in June in three ways:
1. Register for all of Django Camp
2. Register for the Django Camp "weekend option"
3. Attend concerts

For further information: 

Andrew Lawrence, 
Event Organizer

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

ATG Festival July 22-25 in Lisle (Chicago), Illinois

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo 2015
The 2015 75th Anniversary Festival takes place in Lisle (Chicago), IL, on July 22-25, 2015. The Board of Directors is working hard to prepare for this splendid Diamond Anniversary at the Hyatt Lisle. This hotel is beautiful and very accommodating. The rooms include a full breakfast buffet, free Internet and parking for $105 plus tax per single occupancy per night.

ATG is honored to present Yuri Shishkin, from Russia as their featured guest artist. Yuri has won numerous international competitions in Germany and Italy, including ATG’s 1990 Anthony Galla-Rini International Competition.

He is a most sought after musician promoting the bayan and the accordion by doing lectures and master classes in major cities around the world and at international festivals and competitions. You will not want to miss this rare opportunity to hear Yuri in concert in the USA!

ATG welcomes Frank Petrilli and his Quartet. Frank, a native of Los Angeles, CA has been playing professionally since the age of 16. He is not only accomplished on the accordion but also on the B3 Organ and Saxophone. He has performed at many of the major accordion festivals and clubs in the U.S. as well as on TV, and on several important venues in Europe.

Former ATG President and current Board member Stas Venglevski, will also be a featured soloist during the Festival as well as performing as the soloist with the Festival Orchestra on one of his newest compositions, Rondo-Fantasy, written especially for this event.

Popular Joe Natoli returns with his outstanding command of the Roland V Accordion. Many others will soon be added so keep checking the website for updates. As usual, several outstanding workshops will be announced and an always-interesting display room for instruments, music, recordings, and accessories will be set up.

Workshop presenters:

Once again, ATG will have Dr. Helmi Harrington with her display of rare instruments; she will also present the lecture/demonstration of these instruments, for which she is very well-known. If you haven’t heard this, you absolutely must set aside time for it this year!

Joan Grauman will present "Rhythms and Harmonies of Bulgarian and Macedonian Folk Music. This workshop is designed for accordionists who enjoy the unusual rhythms and beautiful melodies of the Balkan region, but need a little “push” to try to tackle this music on their own.

Joan will introduce accordionists to the “mathematical system” of Balkan rhythms. Within minutes, what seemed difficult and confusing will become exciting and fun. She will give out music for three lovely Macedonian songs, so bring your accordions and music stands! The art of the hauntingly beautiful Balkan harmonies will also be introduced and dances demonstrated.

Joan Grauman, a piano performance major, international folk dancer and choreographer, switched to the piano accordion in her early 20s to play the beautiful music of the Balkan countries. She loved the exciting melodies and the intricacies of the region’s rhythms and dances. Joan was the accordionist in the popular Balkan dance band, BAMCO from 1983 to 2001. Today, Joan is the music director of the Potomac Accordion Ensemble (Washington, DC) and the archivist for the American Accordionists’ Association.
ATG wants to encourage new composers for the accordion and is featuring an original accordion composition concert on Friday afternoon. Included will be several guest artists, ensembles and the winners of the original accordion composition category offered this year.

The ATG competitions provide an excellent opportunity for students to excel by preparing for a contest! ATG is offering solo, duet, and ensemble categories and even some with cash prizes. There is something for everyone. All competition rules, regulations and forms are listed under “Competition Information” tab on this website.

You will want to play a part in this year’s Festival Orchestra under the direction of Joan C. Sommers. The goal for the Festival Orchestra is to have at least one member from every state in the union participate. You can help spread the word to all of your accordion friends throughout the USA that this very special Festival Orchestra wants them to come represent their state.

More ATG news including additional presenters will be listed in future USA news publications.

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

Whiskey and Women on March 15 at San Francisco Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
whiskey and women
The musical trio, Whiskey and Women, will perform for the San Francisco Accordion Club on March 15, 2015, 2:PM at the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco.

Renee de la Prade is the accordionist for the group.Renée was adopted as a baby by a loving family in the rural town of Nicasio, California. Her father Xavier was an accordionist and French teacher, her mother Candy loved country music. From a young age, she studied piano and guitar and dreamed of growing up to play rock-n-roll.

At the age of 19 she started repairing guitars at Amazing Grace music in San Anselmo, where she was exposed to Irish music; it was love at first tune. She decided to hang up the guitar and take up button accordion; a year later, she got her beloved Cairdin accordion in the mail, and started playing music in the subways to earn money while she was in college.

The Irish tunes were hard to learn, so she added French songs from her childhood to her repertoire, and then Cajun tunes, which combined French and rock-n-roll in a way that really lit her fire. She quickly yearned to play more chords than her traditional button-box could produce. In 2006 she got a job at Smythe's Accordion Center, where she learned the sklls to modify her accordion's bass system to play power chords.

Her stomp box came a year later... the music she plays now took about 10 years of dedicated practicing and several instrument repair jobs to master. Renee is also producer and editor of the Accordion Babes Album and Pin-Up Calendar.

Whiskey and Women got their name from their first street performance together: they had only an hour to earn enough money to buy a bottle of Jameson. It was a cold, rainy day in Edinburgh, Scotland. They had never rehearsed a lick of music together.

The violinist in the group is Joan Wilson Tueter. In addition to Whiskey and Women, Joan sings and plays accordion in the sea music group The Barbary Ghosts. Rosie Grace Steffy is also a violinist. She and Renee are sisters. Rosie also sings and plays piano, drums and violin in the Oakland-based bands, La Dee Da, Upside Down, and Tall Grass.

Whiskey and Women play Irish, Scottish and Welsh drinking songs, sea shanties, Cajun two-steps, honky-tonk originals, impromptu harmonies and a whole lot of stomp and holler.

For further information:


William Schimmel's Winter and Spring Tour

by William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelVideo of a recent interview of William Schimmel for The Composers Now Festival 2015.

Dr. William Schimmel continues to maintain a very busy schedule. On March 7, He will play a concert with famed Klezmer violinist, Alicia Svigals, at The Rockland County School of Music in New City, New York.

From March 9th to the 14, Dr. Schimmel will be in residence at the EMPAC Center in Troy New York performing and giving workshops with The Talea Ensemble culminating in a performance of Enno Poppe’s "SPEICHER".

On March 16, he will join Serbian DJ and Composer Milica Paranosic in a performance of her punk influenced work "PUSH" - at a Harlem Club TBA

March 28 - He will join soprano Lauren Flanigan in a concert that benefits The Music and Mentoring House in Harlem. The concert will take place there.

April 18, He will again join the Talea Ensemble in a new work by Irish composer Ann Cleare written for Dr Schimmel and the ensemble at The Kitchen in Manhattan.

April 25, He will perform in Elliot Sharp’s opera PORT BOU, about the last day of philosopher Walter Benjamin. The performance will take place in Berlin, Germany at the Konzerthaus Berlin in Mitte in the Werner Otto Seal.

May 2, He will perform his 1971 masterpiece, PAROUSIA, for solo accordion at the Look and Listen Festival taking place at the Whitebox Arts Center in

May 3, He will do a performance of "AN AMERICAN IN PARIS" on Broadway.

May 6 to 10, He will perform in the musical, " ZORBA", At the Encore Series at New York’s City Center.

May 28, he will perform Clemens Gadenslatter’s E.P.O.S. 1 les premiers. cris and SEMANTICAL INVESTIGATIONS 2 at the Austrian Cultural Forum - again
with The Talea Ensemble.

On Feb 27, Dr Schimmel performed with The New York Philharmonic in AMARCORD (Fellini) by Nino Rota - Great Performances at Lincoln Center - Channel 13 (NY), MUSIC FOR THE iTALIEN CINEMA - Alan Gilbert conducting.

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Weird Al's "Mandatory World Tour"

by Rob Howard
Weird AlWeird Al Yankovic (born 1959) is an American singer-songwriter, comedian, accordionist, parody artist, record producer, satirist, music video director, film producer, actor, and author. Yankovic is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts.

Since his first-aired comedy song in 1976, he has sold more than 12 million albums, recorded more than 150 parody and original songs. He is not related to the late polka accordionist Frank Yankovic, though they have performed together.

Weird Al begins his ‘Mandatory World Tour’ in May, with a total of 88 concert dates in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, UK and Ireland. The first of these dates include:

May 12th to 16th – Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 19th – Brady Theater, Tulsa, Oklahoma
May 20th – Hudson Performance Hall, Oklahoma City
May 22nd – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Biloxi, MS
May 23rd – Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
May 24th – Horseshoe-Tunica Bluesville, MS
May 26th – Center for the Performing Arts, Bloomington, Illinois
May 28th – Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, Indianapolis, Illinois
May 29th – Soaring Casino and Resort, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
May 30th – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, Cleveland, Ohio
May 31st – Palace Theatre, Greensburg, PA

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

2015 American Accordionists' Association Master Class and Concerts

by William Schimmel
Dr. William Schimmel and Corn MoAAA LogoBe sure to mark your calendar for the 2015 American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Master Class and Concert Series with Dr. William Schimmel as Moderator/Curator.

It’s our 21st smash year at The Seminars and we look forward to:
Dates: August 7, 8 and 9, 2015
Place: Tenri Cultural Institute - 43A West 13th St - between 5 and 6th Aves
Times: Master classes at 3 PM - Concerts at 7 PM

For further information visit the website: American Accordionists' Association
or email:

Titano Accordion Company

CD Reviews

Voci Armoniche

CD Review: Let Me Tell You A Story CD by Random Encounter

by Joan C. Sommers
Let Me Tell You A Story CD coverCD Reviews Index for the Review of Let Me Tell You A Story CD by Random Encounter, in English language, reviewed by Joan C. Sommers
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