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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Mar-2016
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Titano Accordion Company


Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Make Your Plans for World Accordion Day on May 6
2016 AAMS Festival April 1-3 Honors Linda Soley Reed
Peter Soave in Concert on March 13 in Michigan
"Accordions Rising" Nominated for Best Music Documentary
Max Simoncic's Accordion Concerto to Be Performed by Peter Soave
NAA Convention in Texas March 10-12
AAA to Honor Mario Tacca with 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award
MAMTG Annual Festival and Competition April 1-3, 2016
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with The Irish Rovers

Voci Armoniche

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

John Torcello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Brooklyn Accordion Club Presents Sy Kushner on March 6
LIAA to Feature Dominic Karcic and Rinaldo Toglia
Michigan Accordion Society Presents Eddie Monteiro
William Schimmel to Perform at Neue Galerie in New York City
Jane Christison's Spring Programs
Patricia Bartell and the Portatos
Video: Richard Noel Performs "Sunrise, Sunset" at Sydney Harbor - Australia
WMAS Spring Events: Celebrates 13th Anniversary
Accordionaires "Pops" Orchestra Concert
Video: Natalie Emmons from EnterTalk Radio Interviewing at NAMM, Los Angeles - USA

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

AAA Festival in Buffalo July 6-10
Big Squeeze Tenth Anniversary Concert in May
The 17th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
New England Music Festival April 8-10 in Massachusetts
ATG 76th Anniversary Festival July 20-23, 2016
AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 29-31
COTATI Accordion Festival August 20-21 in California

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



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 Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Make Your Plans for World Accordion Day on May 6

by Harley Jones
World Accordion Day
World Accordion Day LogoWhat are you doing for World Accordion Day to promote the accordion in your country? World Accordion day is on May 6th, which is the day the accordion was patented in 1829.

World Accordion Day was started in 2009 by the CIA and has been very successful, generating a lot of 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.

No event is too big or too small. ALL accordion events celebrating World Accordion Day are welcome. This is a CIA 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.

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

2016 AAMS Festival April 1-3 Honors Linda Soley Reed

by Rita Barnea
AAMS Poster
The American Accordion Musicological Society announces that the 2016 AAMS Festival takes place from April 1st to 3rd at The Hanover Marriott Hotel, 1401 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ 07981.

AAMS has released its festival itinerary, including workshops, concerts, an honoree banquet, festival orchestra, and more.

Do not miss the exciting Friday Night Irish Experience Concert featuring the Irish accordion and guitar duo of John McGillian and Darin Kelly. Also appearing are Bob & Anita Siarkowski, Dee Langley, Irish Madrigals, Westmont Accordion Club, and the WPAO, all with totally Irish programs. Lou Persic will provide pre-concert music beginning at 7.30pm for the non-Irish.

On Saturday evening we will present the AAMS Guest of Honor, Linda Soley Reed, who will conduct the Festival Orchestra 2016. Everyone is invited to participate in the orchestra. Contact Linda ( or Joanna Arnold Darrow ( for music.

Pre-Dinner music will be provided by Don Gerundo, Dinner Music by Lou Coppola and the Strolling Strings. Joe Natoli, Mary Tokarski, and Eddie Montiero, and the WPAO will captivate your attention with exciting performances throughout the evening.

Workshops will begin Friday evening with ‘Jigs, Reels, Politics & Religion!’ presented by Bob Lijana and Dean Ratzin. Saturday workshops include Paul Ramunni with ‘Secrets of the Accordion - What Makes the Instrument so Special’, followed by Dallas Vietty ‘Playing Off the Page’, Joe Natoli with ‘Inexpensive Studio Quality Recording at Home’, Music Educator Anthony Mazzocchi, Grammy nominated music educator, and Linda Soley Reed leading a 2 hour long Festival Orchestra rehearsal. Sunday workshops include Paul Ramunni's ‘Secrets of the Accordion - Part 2’, Dee Langley, Part One: ‘Using Your Ear to Memorize Melody’, and Part Two ‘Using your Ear to Memorize Harmony’, and Anthony Mazzocchi, Part Two: ‘The Music Parents’ Guide: Survival Kit for the New Music Parent’.’

All attendees of the AAMS are invited to attend an Open Meeting of the AAA held at 3:PM

For further information email Joanna Arnold Darrow Email:

Titano Accordion Company

Peter Soave in Concert on March 13 in Michigan

by Rita Barnea
Peter Soave
Peter SoaveVideo above: Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist Peter Soave, bandoneon performing Oblivion, composed by Astor Piazzolla. Conductor at the concert within Popular Cycle is Emiliano Patarra, 17 February 2012.

Accordionist Peter Soave will perform Max Simoncic's "Accordion Concerto" with the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 2:PM at the First United Methodist Church in Plymouth, Michigan.

Also on the program will be Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov "Dance of the Tumblers "from "The Snow Maiden" and Sergei Prokofiev "Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100"

This concert is in celebration of the Michigan Philharmonic's 70th Anniversary. One of the orchestra's favorite artists, Detroit native and internationally renowned accordion virtuoso Peter Soave returns home to Michigan to perform an exciting new concerto by Slovenia-born, California-based composer Max Simoncic. (See article in this publication on composer Max Simoncic).

Peter Soave has travelled the world amazing audiences with not only his technical ability but also his passionate interpretations.

From his website: "Peter Soave has established himself as a leading soloist of his generation. The hallmark of his performances is his unique combination of commanding stage presence and the excitement of his vibrant virtuosity.

Of Italian descent, Peter Soave's earliest memories are of music played on an accordion. By age three, he was certain of his life's work. He began music studies at five, and quickly gravitated towards classical music. At sixteen, he entered international competitions and swept first place four times, confirming his reputation as a virtuoso of the highest order: Grand Prix in Neu Isenberg, West Germany; Klingenthal Wettbewerb in East Germany; Coupe Mondiale in Folkstone, England; and the Trophée Mondiale in Arrezano, Italy.

In 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.

Mr. Soave's engagements include performances as a soloist and with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout North and South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Russia. He has appeared with the 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 Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Williamsport Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho and The Zagreb Soloists.

Mr. Soave collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, Neeme Jarvi, Thomas Wilkins, Robert Spano, Leone Mageira, Hermann Michael, Duilio Dobrin, and Guillermo Figueroa. For the only North America appearance in 1999 of the "Three Tenors," Soave performed as the featured bandoneonist. He has also appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America."

In 2007, Soave premiered Astor Piazzolla's oratorio "El Pueblo Joven", written for symphony orchestra, voice recitative, soprano, bandoneon, choir, and percussion, with the Radio Romania Chamber Orchestra, Romania.

Mr. Soave has had numerous compositions written for him by the Venezuela's foremost composer, Aldemaro Romero: "Piazzollana-Homage à Piazzolla" for bandoneon and full orchestra; "Suite de Castelfidardo" for bandoneon and string orchestra; "Soavecito" for accordion and string orchestra; and "Tango Furioso" for bandoneon and string quartet. Romero's "Five Paleontological Mysteries," for accordion and string quartet, received its American premiere in Detroit in February 2008 and its European premiere in Italy in July 2008.

Mr. Soave's discography includes a solo album "Pride and Passion," "Five Tango Sensations" with The Rucner String Quartet, a double CD "Undertango 2," and "Peter Soave & Symphony Orchestra," featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla and Carmine Coppola. His recording awards include the Detroit Music Award for Best Classical Recording in 2001 and Best Classical Instrumentalist in 2003.

Eager to harmonize nature and music, Soave founded the Peter Soave Music Academy in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy in 2010, welcoming music lovers to convene and share."

Peter will be a featured artist and clinician at the 17th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention from August 8-11, 2016.

The MICHIGAN PHILHARMONIC, under the direction of Nan Washburn, now looks forward to its exciting 70th Anniversary Season, the fifth since the organization changed its name. For 65 years, the orchestra was known as the Plymouth Symphony, and also Orchestra Canton for its smaller presentations.

Now known as the Michigan Philharmonic, they continue to offer exciting new opportunities to provide culturally enriching and educational programming in Plymouth, Canton and surrounding communities. The orchestra plays a full season of concerts from September to May, with several special concerts and events throughout the year. A unique feature of the Michigan Philharmonic is the adventuresome programming which has garnered the orchestra 6 ASCAP awards.

By highlighting new music at each concert, our audiences have the opportunity to meet composers and gain an appreciation of the wonderful, new repertoire in the classical music genre. The Philharmonic also sponsors the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, providing a unique, enriching and exciting musical experience for aspiring young players throughout Southeastern Michigan. In 2013, the orchestra was awarded the prestigious Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant and 2nd Place honors from The American Prize, professional orchestra division.

For further information:

For publicity and public relations purposes, please contact:
Beth Stewart, Executive Director

Voci Armoniche

"Accordions Rising" Nominated for Best Music Documentary

by Rita Barnea
Roberta CantowThe important documentary on the accordion, "Accordions Risings", created by prominent film maker, Roberta Cantow, continues to garner awards and nominations. The latest one is "Nominee for Best Music Documentary" at the 2016 Barebones International Film & Music Festival to be announced at the Gala Awards Ceremony on April 24, 2016.

The festival was created by filmmakers, screenwriters and actors and was created for filmmakers, screenwriters and actors who are involved in independent motion picture projects anywhere in the world.

Named one of the "25 Festivals worth the entry fee" by Moviemaker Magazine and named one of the "20 best festivals for new and emerging filmmakers." PBS included Bare Bones as one of the top 20 documentary festivals.   The Bare Bones Film Festival experience has long been touted as the "Friendliest Film Festival" by the many filmmakers who return year after year.

The festival will feature narrative and documentary features, short documentary, short narrative and student films, music videos, animation and live screenplay readings in it's competitive program.

From the "Accordions Rising" Website: "Accordions Rising offers entertaining, conversational style interviews, anecdotal commentary and both formal and informal music performances from celebrated accordionists, composers and bands working in America today.

These musicians make up the colorful and thoughtful cast of characters who drive the story by tracing their uniquely personal attractions to the instrument and sharing their surprisingly divergent paths: from immigrant roots, Creole or Roma beginnings, for example, to a recognition of the very special niche this so-called “low art” form provides for inspirations in jazz, classical, new music, pop, fusion forms, operatic styles and beyond.

The film provides a tapestry of fascinating individuals, their attitudes, deep passions, and above of all else, profound dedication to the instrument. We learn that though still a rebellious lot, these music makers have an audience in some of the hippest hide-a-ways and most sought after mainstream venues. The film makes clear that the so-called “accordion world” is actually a curious continuum that includes everything from wacky and kitsch to sophisticated, serious, meditative and post modern. As Dr. William Schimmel points out, “the accordion is the icon of the 21st century.”

Someone in the audience in Lafayette, Louisiana pointed out that everyone in the film seemed to be saying, in one way or another, that "the roots of the rise of interest today seemed to be found in the evocative nature of the instrument." 

"Roberta Cantow was recognized with her first grant from The American Film Institute while still a graduate film student at NYU. Through the years, The New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and others provided grants for the completion of 4 film works.

She received a NY Area Emmy for her film, "Clotheslines", about the symbolic and artistic role of laundry in women’s lives. Her films and additional videos have garnered several Best of Category Citations in film festivals around the country as well as an Award of Excellence for Dreamtime, in 2008 and an Award of Merit for Not a Still Life, both in the documentary category, from the Global Accolade Competition.

Her work has been exhibited in many of the venues for independents, including a presentation in the Cineprobe Series of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Her four 16mm films were selected for archival preservation by the Donnell Media Center, New York City, in 2001. All of her work will be housed in the Sophia Smith Women’s History Collection of Smith College (in perpetuity).

If you would like to be informed of the film's formal release on DVD, go to the website: - click on Contact and join the mailing list or contact Roberta:

Accordion Jazz Chords

Max Simoncic's Accordion Concerto to Be Performed by Peter Soave

by Rita Barnea
Max SimoncicMax Simoncic's new accordion concerto will be performed by Peter Soave in March 13, 2016 2:PM with the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at the First United Methodist Church in Plymouth, Michigan. (See article in Highlights). The concerto was enthusiastically received at the World Premiere performed by world renowned accordionist, Peter Soave, with the Stockton Symphony Orchestra at the Atherton Auditorium, San Joaquin Delta College. This historic event took place on Thursday, November 10, 2011 and Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Written in three movements with Peter Soave specifically in mind, the "Accordion Concerto" is an original work from Slovenian-born and Stockton-based composer Max Simoncic. It is scored for timpani, suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, snare drum, tambourine, bass drum,triangle, castanets, and strings. The concert marked the fourth time that a Simoncic piece has premiered in a Stockton Symphony milestone season. Simoncic also wrote original works for the symphony's 70th, 75th and 80th anniversaries. 2011 was the symphony's 85th year.

Recognized worldwide as the foremost master of the bandoneón and concert accordion, Peter Soave has established himself as a leading soloist and Soave’s playing, says composer and conductor Duilio Dobrin, is the “stunning, majestic, monumental testimony of a man who lives, breathes, and feels every note. The musicianship is beyond words!”

Composer of international repute and devoted pedagogue, Max Simončič has received commissions from the Stockton Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Bay Brass, San Francisco Saxophone Quartet, St. John’s Chamber Orchestra, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra of New Jersey, Flexible Symphony of New York City, and numerous other ensembles.

In 2005 he won ERM Media’s national competition, Masterworks of the New Era, for his orchestral composition, "Petit cirque", a shorter, reworked version of "Cirque de symphony", which the Stockton Symphony premiered in 2002. In its award winning guise, "Petit cirque" was premiered and recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic conducted by Robert Ian Winstin. "Petit cirque" has also been performed at the Louvre in Paris by the Paris Chamber Orchestra together with the Millennium Symphony (U.S.), in Lyon and Toronto, and by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Norwalk Youth Symphony.

Simončič’s music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe. Some of the more recent performances include: "Four Tangos" for seven accordions, violin, cello, and bass by the Flexible Orchestra, "Guitar Concerto" by the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, "Concerto for Marimba and Symphonic Band" premiered at Carnegie Hall, "A Short Symphony" and "Violin Concerto" premiered by the St. John’s Chamber Orchestra, "Fanfare" for wind ensemble played at Carnegie Hall, and "Fanfare and March" for the Lodi Community Band.

Since the age of eight, when Simončič wrote his first pieces, he continues to find composing both mysterious and exciting! In 2006 Simončič retired from decades of teaching music at San Joaquin Delta College. He has also taught theory and composition at the University of the Pacific, and is an adjunct professor for the Stockton branch of San Diego–based National University.

Peter Soave felt that being part of the premiere of a work is very special, and also a big responsibility. "It's very stimulating because there's so much involved," Soave said. "For a composer to dedicate those countless hours ... it requires such finesse and development. Max is definitely an accomplished composer ... and we've been in contact for a year. It's humbling for me that I have the opportunity to present this. It's difficult, of course, because until the first rehearsal we didn't know how it would come out. You still have opening-night concerns. But Peter Jaffe and the whole staff were committed to making this ... very special. I'm very fortunate to be part of that."

The Stockton Symphony Orchestra was also fortunate to have Peter Soave perform with them. Peter is an internationally known musician who has given performances all over the world. He has recognition as a master of the bandoneon, a type of accordion, and the concert accordion. In 1987, Soave was the inaugural recipient of an international award, "Voce d'Oro," honoring those who have helped raise the prominence of the accordion. "I think the accordion was a not-so-well-understood instrument in recent decades, because it's a young instrument, so it doesn't have much (history) to it. And I'm glad that I'm able to do my part in bringing it to a different light."

"The concerto contains three separate movements and features cadenzas and quasi-cadenzas for the accordion in the first and third movements," Simoncic said in written program notes about the concert. Soave said "It's a marvelous work, very challenging, but it's full of wonderful techniques. New music, a little bit of nostalgic motifs."

From the program notes by Jane Vial Jaffe: "Commissioned by Thomas and Virginia Chen, the "Accordion Concerto" was composed with the talents of Peter Soave in mind.

The composer writes: “The Concerto contains three separate movements and features cadenzas and quasi-cadenzas for the accordion in the first and third movements. “In the first movement (Act I: Villains, Clowns, and Heroes) there are three main themes, which I consider to be similar to characters in a play or novel, and one complete subordinate theme. A sinister or perhaps mysterious sound opens the piece before the first main theme (characters) enters (enter).

The first theme appears as a darkish melody in the minor mode. Not long after the first theme, a second theme, humorous and playful, enters in the major mode. The third main theme uses traditional leaps and scale-like runs, finally ending at the door of the subordinate theme.

The subordinate theme, introduced about halfway through the movement, is in a slower tempo with the melody playing itself out like a song of love. A furious development follows with all themes finding places to shine as the story develops. A brief cadenza for the accordion takes place just before the movement comes to its conclusion.

The second movement (Act II: Reminiscence), in a large three-part form, explores an introspective mood between the accordion and solo violin, enveloped by a feeling of calm in the string section.

Movement three (Act III: Prologue and Dance) begins with a prologue, then the fun begins with the first dance in a seven-beat rhythmic pattern with a Latin feel. This theme departs into the first episode, a Waltz Tango. The next episode could be described as music one might find in a French café. As the music weaves back to the first theme in 7/8 time, it finishes with a short reprise of the Waltz Tango in a quick dash to the end.”

Simoncic, who retired in 2006 from teaching music at San Joaquin Delta College, is well known in international music circles. "In some ways he is more famous outside Stockton than he is here," said Jaffe, in his 16th year as conductor.

The Jaffe-Simoncic collaboration has become more comfortable through the years. "It's been a personal dream of mine in Stockton," Jaffe said, "to help develop a public resurgence of trust in launching new music."

For further information: and

Photo of composer Max Simoncic


NAA Convention in Texas March 10-12

by Rita Barnea
NAA Logo
Norman and Sharon SeatonThe 2016 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention takes place from March 10-12, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Richardson, Texas. A special convention rate is running to 15th February 2016.

The 29th Convention includes concerts, organized training sessions, workshops, jam sessions, banquet, parties, dancing, Accordion Band and NAA Accordion Orchestra.

The NAA Board is: President Norman Seaton, Vice-President Nick Ballarini, Rebecca Ratliff, Sharon Seaton, Nancy Bernstein, and Laura Niland.

The training session topics will include: Know Your Accordion; Musicality; Musical Styles & Ethnic Genres; Music Theory Simplified; Effective Practice & Presentation; Strategies for Working Together with Group Applications; Solo Performance Strategies; Effective Use of Technology in Music; Personal Evaluations & Critiques; Performance.

Here is a list of the performers and workshop presenters from across the US and Canada who will be at the NAA Convention in Richardson, TX ( Dallas area). Michael Bridge, Jamie Maschler, Cory Pesaturo, Joseph Natoli, Dick Albreski, Maureen Jarosh, Elena Fainshtein, Laura Niland, Brian Berlin, Jane Christison, Ina Yakubeika, Beverly Garcia, Shelia Lee, Dale Wise, Arlyn Visentin, John Simkus, Sharon Seaton, Norman Seaton, Jim Rice, Debra Peters, Mario Pedone and Liberty Palileo, Bill Palmer, Tony Lovello, Shelia Lee, Gordon Kohl, Chad Harmon, Dr. Nicki Cohen, Dr. Ian Fries, Jay Fox. The NAA Convention features: Band Camp ( Youth Orchestra, Fun Band, Symphonic Orchestra), many great workshops, Digital Accordion Symposium, International Dance Night, “An Evening Under the Stars” Concert”, Art Show, Exhibits and more.

Details at

Now on the NAA website is:
2016 Daily Schedule
2016 Workshop Descriptions

Picture right is Norman and Sharon Seaton.

Full information at: National Accordion Association (NAA)

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

AAA to Honor Mario Tacca with 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Mario Tacca and Mary ManciniVideo above: Mario Tacca Performs "Tico Tico"

The American Accordionists' Association AAA Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Mario Tacca on Sunday, April 17, 2016 from 1-6:PM at the Colonial Terrace Oval Ballroom, 119 Oregon Road, Cortlandt Manor, New York. Booking Form: 2016TaccaLAA.pdf

Guest artists include: Emilio Magnotta, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Mary Tokarski, Frank Toscano, Manyy Corallo, and special guest, Uncle Floyd Vivino and Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini.

From his website: "Mario Tacca was born in Italy. During his childhood, his family moved to the Alsace Lorraine region of France where he began his musical studies.  This is where his love and intense desire to play the accordion began. He loved the sound! He would pick up the accordion and imitate some of the songs his mother used to sing. The desire and love never diminished, despite having to walk three miles weekly to his teacher with his instrument strapped to his back!

Among his many accomplishments, Mario has twice been the guest of the Chinese Minister of Culture, touring several cities in China (along with his wife Mary Mancini, and tenor Douglas Song) and performing with several symphonies.

Mario is very active in the accordion community and is on the Board of the AAA. Mario spends about 200 days out of the year touring and performing with his wife, internationally acclaimed vocal artist Mary Mancini.  He also maintains a very active recording career. 

While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions. He won the World Cup of Italy, the Grand Prix of Paris, the US National Competition and the International Accordion competition held at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Mario Tacca dazzles audiences across the US and around the world with his unmatched virtuosity on the accordion and his exciting interpretations of international music, the classics and pop.

The Journal News calls Mario “one of the pre-eminent Accordion Virtuosi in the world” and the New York Times writes that he makes the instrument “sound like a gift from heaven.” 
Booking Form: 2016TaccaLAA.pdf
For further information regarding the Lifetime Achievement Award Event: Linda Reed
Phone/fax 203-335-2045. Please leave message and phone number or Email:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

MAMTG Annual Festival and Competition April 1-3, 2016

by Rita Barnea
MAMTG logoThe Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG) will hold their annual festival April 1-3, 2016. Their 2016 Honoree will be Linda Soley Reed, former AAA President and currently AAA 2nd Vice-President.

April 2, 2016 – Coupe Mondiale Qualifying Categories for ALL world events will take place at the MAMTG competition at the Marriott Hotel in Whippany, NJ.

The Hanover Marriott Hotel has a spacious indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, free WiFi in lobby along with 3 computer stations, luxurious guest rooms, The Auld Shebeen Authentic Irish Pub, outdoor courtyard and is easily accessible from routes 287, 24, 78, 95 and Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. It's really a great hotel, the people are great, you'll enjoy your stay. 1401 Route 10 East in Whippany, NJ 07981. (973) 538-8811.

The Mid Atlantic Accordion Virtuoso Championship is scheduled for Friday, April 1, 2016 at 6:PM.

New for Spring Music Festival 2016! Ensembles ShowCase! Students in bands, ensembles and chamber groups can perform live for an audience and receive feedback from an adjudicator. This is a non-competitive performance event. Play for an audience. ShowCase your talents and musicianship!

New for Spring Music Festival 2016! No more tickets needed to enter the Awards Ceremony. Performers and attendees can enter for free.

The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG) was founded by a group of professional music educators from the New Jersey Tri-State area to establish and maintain high professional musical 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.

Established in 1960, The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild has been recognized as a viable musical organization throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England States. Annually our Spring Music Festival for students is held in Whippany, New Jersey.

For further information:

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

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with The Irish Rovers

by Rita Barnea
Irish RoversVideo: ‪The Irish Rovers, 50th Anniversary Tour. A wee sample of The Irish Rovers, Farewell To Rovin' Tour, playing to an audience of 5000 fans in Ontario Canada.

The Irish Rovers play St. Patrick's Day, Thursday, March 17 at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, Canada. Join the international ambassadors of Irish music, the legendary Irish Rovers, as they celebrate 50 years of delivering great tunes and good times to the world.

Now on their last world tour, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this beloved band on St. Patrick's Day, at CelticFest, in one of this city's finest venues.

From March 10-17, Vancouver streets, concert halls, and pubs will resound with the sights, sounds, and vibrant spirit of Celtic culture. Western Canada’s largest Celtic celebration offers the best of traditional and contemporary Celtic culture in all its diversity and vitality – and everyone is invited to join in!

CelticFest proudly presents music icons, The Irish Rovers on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2016. The free Celtic Village takes over Granville Street downtown on Saturday & Sunday, March 12 & 13.The fabulous St. Patrick’s Day Parade is on Sunday, March 13 starting at 11am.

Full info & tickets for CelticFest, email:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

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

Titano Accordion Company

John Torcello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic

by Kevin Friedrich
John Torcello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
John TorcelloJohn Torcello, 1972 Coupe Mondiale Champion, performed the accordion role in 'Correspondances' by Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen from February 12-14th, at The Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles. The 22 minute work ‘Correspondances’ is a song-cycle for soprano and orchestra written by the French composer Henri Dutilleux in 2002–2003. It consists of five episodes and an interlude. The work was premiered by Simon Rattle and Dawn Upshaw with the Berliner Philharmonic on September 5th 2003 and has since been performed all over the world.

The five movements: I – ‘Gong I (Rilke)’, II – ‘Danse cosmique (Mukherjee)’, ‘Interlude’, III – ‘A Slava et Galina... (Soljenitsyne)’, IV – ‘Gong 2 (Rilke)’, and V – ‘De Vincent à Théo (Van Gogh)’ are based on various letters and poems on texts by Rainer Maria Rilke, Prithwindra Mukherjee, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Vincent van Gogh. Although they come from disparate sources, they are unified by their mystical inspiration and especially their concern about the place of humanity in the Cosmos.

Each episode highlights a particular family of instruments. For instance, woodwinds and brass are prominent in ‘De Vincent à Théo’, echoing the painter's use of color while the accordion and strings dominate in ‘A Slava et Galina’ (that letter was addressed to legendary cellist Rostropovich and his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya). ‘Danse Cosmique’ opens with timpani and pizzicato strings before the whole orchestra surrounds the singer. During an interview with famed Soprano Barbara Hannigan for whom Dutilleux worked closely with on the piece, Dutilleux explained that the use of the accordion to him provided an important bridge between the Far East and the West.

Dutilleux composed slowly and meticulously: he was undisturbed if a score took twenty years to complete, it being said that he valued perfection over facility. ‘Correspondances’ was commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1983 and premiered in its final form on September 5th 2003, some twenty years later.

Beginning to play the accordion at age 7, John Torcello was a student of Al Cirrillo at Roxy's Music Store in Batavia, NY. His subsequent studies were with the great accordionist and an early proponent of the chromatic free bass instrument, Joseph Robusto, who subsequently introduced John to the late, great jazz accordionist Russ Messina in Buffalo, NY.

It was under Messina's tutelage that John Torcello became the USA - ATG Champion in 1971 and 1972. John travelled to compete in the CIA Coupe Mondiale in Bruges, Belgium, where he attained 3rd place, and then one year later, went on to win the coveted Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships held in Caracas, Venezeula. John later completed his undergraduate Music Composition degree at the University of Toronto where he studied accordion with Joseph Macerollo.

John has enjoyed an accomplished career playing with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as for other important musical events. Career highlights for John include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Pasadena Pops/Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Long Beach Opera, Jacaranda Music and Idyllwild Arts Orchestra under conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Andreas Mitisek, Rachel Worby, Carl St. Clair, John Williams, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel in works by composers including DelTredici, Berg, Ades, Weill, Piaf, Kagel, Ortiz, Golijov, Bernstein, Piazzolla, Shostakovitch, Dean, Eo¨tvo¨s, Romer and Zappa.

Several of John Torcello's recordings have been re-released including: ‘TORCELLO Music of the Baroque’, ‘TORCELLO State of the Art Accordion’, and ‘Pastiche - John Torcello and Anthony Brazier (Flute)’, all of which are available on Amazon.

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

Brooklyn Accordion Club Presents Sy Kushner on March 6

by Rita Barnea
Sy Kushner and Aaron KushnerVideo: Music by the Sy Kushner Jewish Music Ensemble. "KlezSqueeze!"
"Nor Gelebt, Nor Gelakht"

The Brooklyn Accordion Club will present a "Klezmer Music Workshop" with Sy Kushner on Sunday, March 6th, 2016 3-5 pm at 61 Local
. Admission: $5.00 per person 
B.Y.O. Instrument (Open for all kinds of instruments and levels)
. Please spread the words to all your musician friends!

Lead sheet will be emailed to the participants prior to the meeting date. 
Not on BAC email list? Email to:

From the Sy Kushner website: Nulite Music Inc., formerly Kush Publications Inc., has been dedicated to the dissemination of classic klezmer melodies through books and recordings for over a decade. With the release of the Klezmer Music Fakebook Volume One and Volume Two for C and Bb instruments, many musicians have access to previously unpublished klezmer music. In addition, the release of the CD, KlezSqueeze!

The Sy Kushner Jewish Music Ensemble, recreated the music and sound of the early 1900’s klezmer ensemble, and features accordion, tsimbl (hammered dulcimer) and string bass. In 2008, Nulite Music released the first of an ongoing project of Sy’s original works - Arise! New Jewish Music by Sy Kushner, and the books, Arise! Volume One for C and for Bb instruments, which contain the music on the CD.

This was followed by “Journeys”, New Jewish Music by Sy Kushner, Vol. 2, in 2009, and from my soul, Vol. 3 in 2010.

In November 2013, Nulite Music released “The Sy Kushner Jewish Music Ensemble”, Volume Four: Klez, Kush & Son. The album features Sy Kushner on accordion with third generation klezmer musician, Aaron Kushner on alto sax backed up by some of New York’s finest klezmer musicians. Influenced by Israeli folk dance, Mideast, Latin, Chassidic and klezmer music, the album breaks new ground in the field of Jewish music.

It has been over 40 years since Sy Kushner, along with Ben Hulkower and Jordan Penkower, released “The New Jewish Sound-The Mark 3 Orchestra and Singers Volume One”. It was to become the seminal opus-an album that was to influence the course of Jewish music for years to come.

Combining New World Jewish melodies with an Old World klezmer beat, Sy, Musical Director and accordionist of the group, used the accordion, alto sax, string bass, clarinet, trombone and drums in a manner not previously heard in Jewish music.

Each instrument had an equal voice in the ensemble sound while the solo quality of each instrument was also highlighted. With the Mark 3, Sy concertized extensively, selling out venues such as Brooklyn College’s Whitman Hall and performing for thousands at the Shriners’ Hall in Los Angeles.

The Mark 3 travelled extensively for NCSY (National Conference of Synagogue Youth), playing concerts at conventions around the country. Sy was also the staff accordionist at the Pineview Hotel where he honed his craft during the day performing for guests.

Sy grew up in the Bronx in a house full of Jewish music. His father was a drummer and lover of cantorial music as well as klezmer music. While growing up listening to the old 78s, Sy’s father also took him to “gigs” where he played the accordion, maracas and sang Hatikvah. Finally, when Sy turned 13 he ventured out to do his first professional gig.

His uncle Sam, a gabai(sexton) at the Young Israel of Manhattan, hired Sy to perform for a synagogue function. The featured artist that night was an unknown singer-guitarist by the name of Shlomo Carlebach. The year was 1956.

Sy realized the importance of passing on tradition. Just like his father before him, Sy took his son, Aaron, with him on gigs to listen, watch, and eventually sit in with the band. Aaron went on to become a member of the Klezminors, the most popular teen klezmer band in the country. On Oct. 31, 1999, in front of a packed house at the Tonic Club in Manhattan, Sy’s band and the Klezminors performed separately, then together. Billed as, “The Klezmer Legacy: Two Generations in Harmony,” the passing on of a tradition was realized. Sy and Aaron went on to perform at another sold out performance at the Tonic billed as “Klezmer, Kushner and Son.”

Aaron can also be heard on Sy’s Arise and Journeys albums. He also designed the CD covers for those albums as well as created the artwork for the “KlezSqueeze!” album. 

After a lifetime of performing music composed by other people, Sy decided to devote himself to composing and recording his own works. He has composed over 200 melodies and has embarked on a project to record and share many of them with the world. His first CD of his compostions, Arise! , was released in 2008. This was followed by Journeys Vol 2 (2009), ..from my soul.. Vol 3 (2010) and The Sy Kushner Jewish Music Ensemble, Vol.4: Klez, Kush & Son(2013)

For further information on Sy Kushner:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

LIAA to Feature Dominic Karcic and Rinaldo Toglia

by Rita Barnea
Dominic Karcic and Rinaldo TogliaThe LIAA Long Island Accordion Alliance presents “From Broadway to the Met …. plus” featuring romantic tenor Rinaldo Toglia and accordionist Dominic Karcic on Wed., March 16, 2016 at 6 pm.

Come hear the music from the American Song Book, Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, Opera, Operetta plus much more with Rinaldo Toglia and Dominic Karcic.

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 and his wife Rita, have three adult children and five grandchildren. He has lived in Commack, Long Island for thirty-seven years. 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) on September 10, 2002. He has continued writing articles about Valtaro Musette music and several have been published in the Borgo Val di Taro web-site.

In June of 2003 Dominic joined the Board of Governors of the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA). His love for the accordion has only grown over the years. His greatest interest lies in musette music and he hopes that he can contribute to the enrichment and preservation of this very festive music.

Rinaldo Toglia is a versatile performer whose romantic tenor voice has brought him great success from operatic stages to his popular solo act. He is in great demand not only for his charismatic and entertaining performances, but his commanding stage presence and charm. Often referred to as "The King of the High C's," his voice has been heard throughout the nation in innumerable regional companies in roles ranging from Rodolpho in "La Boheme" to Calif in "Turandot."

Equally at home with classical as well as cross-over music, Rinaldo is a popular guest artist in many resorts throughout the country from Florida to Phoenix. Rinaldo's night club act has been show-cased at New Yorks famous Cabaret clubs "Feinsteins at the Lowes Theatre" and the" Birdland." Rinaldo has toured the world as a headliner for major cruise lines such as Holland America and Cunard.

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

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Michigan Accordion Society Presents Eddie Monteiro

by Rita Barnea
Eddie MonteiroIn continuing their 20th Year Anniversary Celebration, the Michigan Accordion Society is pleased to announce a special concert produced by The Michigan Accordion Society, Danny Patrona & MoonBoat Productions on Monday March 14, 2016 at 7:PM at the Steinway Piano Gallery located at 2700 E. West, Commerce Twp., MI.

The event will feature Michigan Accordion Society Members: Internationally Renowned Jazz Accordionist Eddie Monteiro with Heidi Hepler – Voice, Michele Ramo – Guitar & Violin, Johnny Trudell – Trumpet, Cliff Monear – Piano, Bill Cairo – Drums.

Eddie Monteiro has over 30 years of musical performance in classical, jazz, dance, theater, cabaret and choral ensembles. Eddie is also the youngest honoree elected to American Accordionists’ Association Hall of Fame, November 1994. Member of Bobb Rosengarden, Skitch Henderson, Peter Duchin, Ray Bloch, Michael Lanin and Marty Ames, orchestras from 1971 to present, performing in the New York Metropolitan area and worldwide.

Eddie has been a featured member of pit orchestra on stage in Broadway revival performance of "Carnival" and recently "Evita" and recording of radio and television jingles for Sesame Street, General Foods, Colgate Palmolive, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Bennigan’s Restaurants, Pontiac and more.

Lead artist of innumerable society bands performing throughout the world at social events, political gatherings and corporation conventions. Eddie serves currently as the Music Teacher, Choral Director, Vocal and Instrumental Music Director for the Ann Street Elementary School and is on the Board of the AAA.

Tickets are $25 ... Call now for Reservation: 248-560-9200

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

William Schimmel to Perform at Neue Galerie in New York City

by Rita Barnea
CD CoverDr. William Schimmel will perform in the CD Release Concert with Eric Ostling, and Glen Roven. Royal Road Productions has announced the new cabaret show "A Hanns Eisler Cabaret" of "Eric Bentley's Brecht-Eisler Song Book," a stunning collection of rarely performed songs by Austro-German composer Hanns Eisler on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 9:PM at the Cabaret at Café Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue, New York. Ticket information and reservations are available by calling (212) 628-6200, ext. 485.

From Broadway In her Café Sabarsky debut, the soprano and actress Karyn Levitt presents songs by Brecht and Eisler. Brecht's dark, scathing poetry sizzles in Hanns Eisler's acidic and inventive musical arrangements. Levitt includes original German lyrics along with English translations by world-renowned Brecht translator Eric Bentley. Levitt will perform the Eisler songs with the Hanns Eisler Trio -- featuring accordionist William Schimmel and guitarist Ira Siegel, led by musical director Eric Ostling.

The new CD, "Eric Bentley's Brecht-Eisler Song Book," and the historic centennial celebration for Eric Bentley (hailed by critic Leonard Lehrmann as "a triumph") which Ms. Levitt produced at New York's Town Hall in December 2015, are the culmination of her journey, under the mentoring of Eric Bentley, into the world and music of Hanns Eisler.

Musicians on the new CD album include distinguished pianist Eric Ostling, accordionist William Schimmel, and guitarist Larry Saltzman.

Karyn Levitt, who is an Oberlin-trained performer, has appeared at Town Hall, Carnegie Hall and other distinguished venues. Under Eric Bentley's guidance, Levitt and pianist Eric Ostling created an evening of Eisler's songs that has earned rave reviews around the country.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Jane Christison's Spring Programs

by Rita Barnea
Jane Christison
Accordionist Jane Christison brings light, laughter, and fun to all of her performances. She is very busy with many performances appealing to all ages. She said, "I had a lot of fun in November being part of the National Accordion Symphony rehearsals and concerts, directed by Gene Van, in South Bend, Indiana.  It was really fun to rehearse and spend time with accordion friends as well as meet some new ones."

Accordionist and singer Jane Christison is known for her trademarked “Music With A Smile®.”  Her performances are filled with personality and an enthusiasm for playing the accordion that shines through.

Jane enjoys sharing her music with seniors in upbeat and engaging 45-minute “Music With A Smile®”programs at retirement communities and nursing homes.

Jane enjoys wearing costumes and playing music for theme parties, open house events, conventions and other celebrations. She is introducing a whole new generation to the joy of music by writing songs for children and performing as “Janie Next Door®.”

Jane studied serious accordion literature with Joan Cochran Sommers at the University of Missouri- Kansas City Conservatory of Music and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in accordion performance.
She has been featured as a guest artist and workshop presenter at:
• The National Accordion Association, Inc.
• The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG)
• The American Accordionists’ Association
• The Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Video versions of two of her workshops, “Playing the Accordion for Fun and Fame!” and “Squeezing Money Out of Your Accordion,” are available through her company, Music With A Smile Productions, L.L.C., as is her children’s CD “Come Sing Along with Janie Next Door™.”

As a member of the UMKC Accordionaires, Jane traveled and performed with USO Shows in the Far East, playing at military bases in Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines and Guam. A second USO tour took her to the Azores and Germany. As a member of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, Jane has performed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Scotland, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Italy.

Her next trip is to the National Accordion Association’s annual convention in Richardson, Texas where she is on the schedule for a performance during the Circle of Champions Concert on Thursday night, March 10, 2016. 

On Friday, March 11, 2016, I’ll be presenting my workshop “Squeezing Money Out of Your Accordion.”  On Saturday, March 12th, Jane was invited to be one of the judges for the N.A.A.’s Rising Stars Competitions for Kids and also assist Brian Berlin with an Accordion Workshop for Kids. Jane said, "I’ve always said that the NAA feels like a family reunion, so I’m looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces."

On March 26. 2016, she will perform at the Bunny Extravaganza at the Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center, 6200 Martway, Mission, KS, from 10-11:AM. It is a free family event also including egg hunts, clowns, balloon artists and more!

On March 26, 2016 from 3-3:45 PM, Janie Next Door will offer playful original songs that engage children with a tuneful bounce and irresistible rhythms performed by Jane on her accordion. The event takes place at the Mid-Continent Public Library, Camden Point Branch, 401 Hardesty, Camden Point, MO.

Jane will perform at the First Wednesday Children's Corner, Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, Overland Park, KS, on July 6, 2016 from 10-10:30 AM. It will be a morning of fun, free, and happy entertainment for kids.

Bonner Springs City Library, 201 N. Nettleton Avenue, Bonner Springs, KS. will feature Jane an her accordion on July 9, 2016 from 11-11:30 AM.

For more information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Patricia Bartell and the Portatos

by Rita Barnea
Patricia Bartell"Star Wars Theme" by the Portatos

It's new, it's fresh, it's fun and exciting! The Portatos Accordion band consists of 8 accordionists, 2 bass players, one violinist and one drummer and they are playing and moving into the future from their hometown in Spokane, Washington.

Portato Members: Patricia Bartell - Director/Manager Accordionists: Corrie Sams - "Chip" Kurt Wismer - "Spud" Helen Kuzmenkov - "Pringles" Jeremy Ryan - "Tater" Yev Nosov - "Couch Potato" Anthony Kuzmenkov - "картошка" Johanna Wilson - "French Fry" Joe Raske - "Russet" Brandon Price - "Lay's" Bass: Jonathan Lollar - "Starch, Jon Starch" Drums: John Brogan - "Instant Potato"

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, accordionist and director Patricia is a graduate of Whitworth University with a B.A. in Music Education and Accordion Performance. 

Patricia did her student teaching under the guidance of Karen Baldwin at Chatteroy Elementary School and Riverside Elementary school. She finished her student teaching at Ferris High School before she landed her job with Northwest Christian Elementary School. 

She taught there for two years before moving into full-time position teaching private piano and accordion lessons in her studio, “Able To Play.”  She is widely-known throughout the U.S. northwest and western Canada as an adjudicator, professional performer and teacher.

Patricia is a certified Simply Music Piano and Accordion teacher.  She has studied piano with Dr. Judith Schoepflin of Whitworth College and with Kendall Feeney of the Golandsky Institute, which is the preeminent center for the Taubman Technique Approach. Patricia has also studied "The New Technical Approach" with the world-renowned accordion teacher Frederic Deschamps in France.  This technique approach has helped produce amazing results for all ages.

Currently Patricia is a member of Tango Vocaldo (Argentine Tango Quartet), leads a radical young accordion band called, “The Portatos,” was the 2012 organizer for the Trophée Mondial that came to the USA for the first time. 

Patricia is a Hohner Endorsee, and the Simply Music Hohner Director.  She is a certified teacher of Simply Music and is working with the Founder and CEO of Simply Music to complete the new Hohner Certified Accordion Method.

As a person who has performed in numerous international competitions, Patricia has claimed many championships, including the prestigious Kimberley International Championship award, the Leavenworth International Championship, 3rd in the Maddalena Belfoire (virtuoso entertainment world competition for females) and recently 3rd in Castelfidardo Italy entertainment category.

Patricia has been an adjudicator for competitions and festivals such as the American Accordion Association (AAA), Accordion Teachers & Guild (ATG), Calgary Canadian Accordion Association and internationally at various Trophée Mondial competitions.

Video: Richard Noel Performs "Sunrise, Sunset" at Sydney Harbor - Australia

by Harley Jones
Published on Feb 11, 2016. Richard Noel took these pictures of Sydney Harbour on a recent visit to Australia.

Richard Noel is performing "Sunrise, Sunset," from the great musical and movie "Fiddler on the Roof." A new and very effective type of trip picture album.

Richard writes: "I am playing the song with a Roland FR-7x v-accordion using my Strings set. Only the onboard sounds from the instrument are used, and the music was recorded directly to the USB drive on the 7X".

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

WMAS Spring Events: Celebrates 13th Anniversary

by Rita Barnea
WMAS LogoThe Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) will celebrate their 13th Anniversary at the March 20, 2016 dance party meeting. Entertainment will be provided by club members who are invited to sign up to entertain the group.

The mission of the WMAS is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the National Capital region. The meetings are held at 4:PM on one Sunday each month at the Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia.

The dedication of “Merv Conn Way” will take place Sunday, April 10, 2016, at 3:PM at 8830 Cameron Street in Silver Spring, Maryland. The event will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the unveiling of the Merv Conn Way street sign, and light refreshments. In addition, WMAS will perform some of Merv’s favorites: “You Made Me Love You” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” You are welcome to participate.

The WMAS April 17, 2016 meeting will feature guest artists Duffy Llam and Bean Soup Projecy.

For further information:

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

Accordionaires "Pops" Orchestra Concert

by Karen Lee, ATG 2nd Vice-President
Accordionaires The Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra performed In Santa Barbara, CA. Over 150 people turned out on Sunday afternoon, February 28, 2016 to hear a concert performed by The Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra.

The concert was sponsored by AIMS (Accordion International Music Society), the Santa Barbara accordion club. Selections included a wide variety of music. The program began with Verdi’s “Nabucco Sinfonia” and concluded over an hour and a half later with a Ployhar’s patriotic medley, “Americana,” as arranged for accordion orchestra by Dan Desiderio.

Many of the audience members proudly stood during the playing of their service branch’s song. Also featured on the diverse program were accordion soloist Gail Campanella, playing “Flight of the Bumblebee” and tenor Ara Kocharyantsa singing “Torna a Surriento” and “O Sole Mio”.

The orchestra received a long, standing ovation at the end of the concert from the warm and enthusiastic audience. This concert has become an annual event, with each recent performance being sold out.

The Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra is based in North Hollywood and performs under the baton of Janet Hane. The orchestra has over twenty accordionists (including two on electronic accordions and a bass accordionist), a bass guitarist, a trombone player, and a drummer.

This combination gives the group a unique sound that has been widely appreciated by audiences throughout the southland, including at the Ronald Reagan Library, the annual Swiss Fair, and with the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra. Many members of the orchestra are professional or semi-professional musicians, and several teach accordion.

Photo by Tommy Xing

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

Video: Natalie Emmons from EnterTalk Radio Interviewing at NAMM, Los Angeles - USA

by Harley Jones
Natalie Emmons from EnterTalk Radio and Pitbull Audio met with Alicia Baker, Roland at NAMM in Los Angeles last month. An impressed Natalie Emmons made this interview and wrote online "and I got an incredible demo of the FR8X V Accordion."

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

AAA Festival in Buffalo July 6-10

by Mary Tokarski
AAA Logo
NEW ANNOUNCEMENT for Buffalo Festival:

Save the Dates on your calendar - July 6-10, 2016. The AAA will be gathering in beautiful Buffalo, NY (Niagara Falls) at the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo.

Our guest artists will include Grayson Masefield (New Zealand/Switzerland), Cory Pesaturo (Rhode Island), Ginny Mac (Texas), Alexander Sevastian (Toronto) and the Quartetto Gelato (Toronto). Guy Klusevcek will premiere his new commissioned work for accordion too – you don't want to miss this!

All our artists will have special presentations for you, and even lots of "hands on" workshops and sessions. There are great things in the works. The titles of the sessions will be posted soon, so keep a lookout on the AAA website for the details.

Hotel rooms (single, double, triple or quad) are $127. The reservation desk can be reached at 716-845-5100. Be sure to mention "AAA".

Buffalo is one of the richest cities in the U.S. – boasting the title of "Art Deco" City. Be sure to include the Air Bus and Architectural Tours in your "things to do" while visiting Buffalo. We will, of course, include a visit to beautiful Niagara Falls, and a trip on the Maid of the Mist will be available for our guests.

See you in Buffalo!!

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Big Squeeze Tenth Anniversary Concert in May

by Sheree Scarborough
 to be Held on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin

Texas Folklife is pleased to announce the Big Squeeze Tenth Anniversary Extravaganza Concert, to be held on Saturday May 7 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.  The concert will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze statewide youth accordion contest, and feature past contest winners who will showcase a variety of Texas-based accordion genres including conjunto, polka, Cajun, and zydeco. 

In this important anniversary year, Texas Folklife is focusing its resources on celebrating the successful fruition of the program and showcasing the past winners of the Big Squeeze. These young accordion players have become stars and leaders in their communities.

Following this year of celebration, the Big Squeeze will be back on the road to look for exceptional young accordion players across the state. In addition, with the recent rekindling of the Apprenticeship Program, Texas Folklife is helping to nurture young accordion talent by pairing young apprentices with mentors throughout the state.   

Since its launch in 2007, the Big Squeeze has helped Texas Folklife carry out its mission to preserve and promote Texas’s diverse cultural heritage.

Through the Big Squeeze program, Texas Folklife has built a reputation as a champion of Texas accordion music genres, and supported over 200 young, talented players in their efforts to carry on these community-based accordion music traditions. In order to better nurture the young talent throughout the state, Texas Folklife restructured the popular contest in 2014 to include three Grand Prize Winners, each from one of three main accordion genres—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. The polka genre included German, Czech, and Polish traditions, while Cajun/zydeco included Creole and Cajun musical traditions, and conjunto included norteño and Tejano.

As a result of these efforts, the Big Squeeze welcomed a diverse class of six total champions in 2014 and 2015, including the first-ever female contest winner, Elisabeth Kelley (Cajun). The Tenth Anniversary Extravaganza Concert will reflect the array of unique Texas accordion music traditions by featuring a diverse lineup of past Big Squeeze champions.

“The 10-year anniversary of the Big Squeeze is a great opportunity for celebrating the work our organization and our partners across the state have accomplished since 2007 to nurture young Texas accordion talent,” said Texas Folklife Programs & Development Director Charlie Lockwood. “Many past winners of the contest have gone on to form their own bands and launch professional performance or music education careers. We are excited this year to be able to bring them back to Austin to celebrate their achievements and highlight the impact of the Big Squeeze as a statewide program."  

Show details including final lineup will be announced soon.

The Big Squeeze is supported by Hohner, Inc., and by grants from Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the Houston Endowment, and The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation.  

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 31 years, Texas Folklife has honored cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.

For further information:
Sheree Scarborough
(512) 922-5483,

The 17th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

by Rita Barnea
LVIAC 2016
The 17th Las Vegas International Accordion Convention Annual LVIAC Convention takes place from August 8-11, 2016.

The event stars accordionists Alexander Sevastian, Joey Miskulin, Mario Pedone, Kim and Dan Christian, Mary Tokarski, Gina Brannelli, Gordon Kohl, Pete Barbutti and more.

Professor Joan Sommers will direct the Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra.

Special on room rates: $34/$42 ends 7/8/16.

More information will be included in future articles in the USA news.

For further information check the :
HOTLINE 800-472-1695 or 801-486-1695

For further information visit the website Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
or Email:

New England Music Festival April 8-10 in Massachusetts

by Peggy Falcetti
ATAM header
Peggy FalcettiThe Accordion Teachers Association Of Massachusetts (ATAM) , will sponsor their 54th New England Festival at the Boston Newton Marriott in Newton, Massachusetts on April 8th, 9th, & 10th, 2016.

Contest Chairman, Peggy Falcetti (picture right), states that this year's event will be larger than last years with more than 2000 entries.

In addition to the accordion, drum, guitar, & piano championship & entertainment categories a vocal championship & accordion entertainment category (up to 13) have been added.

Over $4000.00 in cash awards will be awarded throughout the weekend and a $500.00 scholarship will be presented to a deserving student who is majoring in music and starting college in the fall.

President Frankie Coelho is happy to announce the return of internationally famous digital accordionist Cory Pesaturo who will be joined by vocalist Claire Dickson and provide the entertainment for the Saturday evening awards banquet with more than 400 in attendance. Following the banquet will be a dance party which is free of charge and open to all contestants.

The ATAM will recognize Bob Ferrier as a Lifetime Honorary Member. Mr. Ferrier , a graduate of Berklee Music College, is chair of Jazz Studies at Holyoke Community College & Guitar Studies at the University of Mass. Bob was a former contestant of this competition many years ago and has been adjudicating at the festival for over 25 years. This is a well deserved honor.

All events are free and open to the public.

For further information visit the website Accordion Teachers Association Of Massachusetts (ATAM) or email:

ATG 76th Anniversary Festival July 20-23, 2016

by Rita Barnea
ATG Poster
The ATG Accordion Teachers Guild, International will hold their 76th Anniversary Festival from July 20-23, 2016 at the Hyatt Lisle, Lisle (Chicago) Illinois.

The event includes competitions, exhibits, workshops, concerts, ATG Festival Orchestra and more.

The featured guest artist will be New Zealand World Champion Grayson Masefield. In 2009, Grayson became the first person to win the Coupe Mondiale top classical category and the Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Entertainment category in the same year!

In 2009 he also won the Roland International V-Accordion Competition & Festival, Rome and the Primus Ikaalinen International TV Competition, Finland, showing his amazing musical versatility. In September 2010 Grayson won the Trophée Mondial Classique World Accordion Championships and retired from competitions. 

At the 2010 Coupe Mondiale in Varaždin, Croatia, Grayson was elected to the prestigious Music Committee of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) and was re-elected to this position in 2014. He currently serves as a regular member of the Jury for numerous competitions around the globe. 

Grayson will perform two programs, one on Friday evening and one on Saturday evening, one featuring concert works and a second one featuring virtuoso entertainment music. 

The UMKC Communicty Accordion Ensemble from Kansis City will also perform.The musicians are both alumni of the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and former members of the renowned UMKC Accordion Orchestra. The players make their living in various careers, but each have remained devoted to promoting the accordion and its varied repertoire, which includes transcriptions, commissions and other original works.
The UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble under the direction of Joan C. Sommers, has recently performed in Chicago, San Francisco and Kansas City. Members of the group are Betty Jo Simon, Ron Barrow, Samantha Wagner, Cathy Sue Weiss, Kevin Friedrich, Joyce Davis, Sherry Carroll and Joan Cochran Sommers.

More news of workshops and more performers in future publications of the USA news.

Voci Armoniche

AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 29-31

by William Schimmel
Bill SchimmelThere’s no place like home - wherever that may be: the home you left - the home you came to - the home you adopted - the home away from
home - wherever it may be - THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE IT - STEPHEN FOSTER (or Don Amici) GOT IT RIGHT.

Join us for our 22nd smash year:
Home Sweet Home -
Heimat Klinger, Ne Casa Su Casa, etc, etc, etc -

Dr Schimmel will once again be your guide through a maze a concepts, sounds, feelings, tastes and pieces - all by way of the accordion.

The Accordion had a wave of popularity in the 1950’s.
Why did to go the other way?
There were three agendas during that time:
1 What was actually going on
2 Where young people were headed
3 Where the Accordion community wanted to take it

If you were from an ethnic community SOMEWHERE UP NORTH - all of this is a non-issue.

If you lived in the mainstream of 50’s popular postwar culture, it became an issue. In this realm we were Americans first, Eisenhower Americans. Wear an Accordion and your roots show. Perfectly fine today, but not back in the









no place like home

the seminars

the American Accordionists' Association (AAA)
master class and concert series

our 22nd smash year

dr. william schimmel, moderator/curator

july 29, 30, 31, 2016

Master Classes 3 pm
Concerts 7 pm
Master classes $25
Concerts $30
Full day - master class/concert $50
Entire weekend $125

reservations and info:
212 - 876 - 0827

Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street
New York, NY

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

COTATI Accordion Festival August 20-21 in California

by Rita Barnea
Cotati 2016
The 26th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival takes place in La Plaza Park in Cotati, California on August 20-21, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 8:PM both days.

A partial list of performers includes: The Doo-Wah Riders,Michael Bridge, Cory Pesaturo, Debra Peters and the Love Saints, Joao Barradas - Portugal, Jelena Milojevic - Croatia, Jianan Tian - China,
Vivii Maria Saarenkylä - Finland ,The Vivants, Sourdough Slim, The Steve Balich Polka Band, Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton, Skyler Fell, The Mad Maggies, The Great Morgani,
Haute Flash, De Colores, 
MotorDude Zydeco, and Mark St. Mary. Additional artists will be added as they are confirmed.

The Cotati Accordion Festival is a non-profit organization established in 1991 to promote the love of the accordion and to support local youth service organizations. To date they have contributed in excess of $320,000 
to the youth of our community.

You can see this 15 minute trailer film called "Squeezebox" which is the 20th anniversary of the Cotati Accordion Festival. The film was created by Charles J. Tarr and Dan Mustaro. It traces the history of the festival and has some action shots of Steve Balich's band. This year will be the 23rd year The Steve Balich Sr. Polka Band has played at the festival.

For further information:
Cotati Accordion Festival
P.O. Box 809, Cotati, CA 94931
Phone 707-664-0444
Fax 707-585-2920
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