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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Mar-2017
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Boston Symphony Orchestra Premieres New Bayan Concerto
8th March 1908 "International Women's Day" - WORLDWIDE
Carrozza Scholarship Event on April 30 in New York
Joseph Natoli’s New Composition "Children's Suite"
2017 AAA Festival In Picturesque Princeton, New Jersey - USA
NAA Concerts March 8-11
An Evening of Latin Jazz Accordion Music – NAAC/Hall-Rodrigues/Petrilli
Hanzhi Wang to Perform in Dobbs Ferry, New York
"Accordions Rising" Film at NAA
Stas Venglevski and Tatyana Krasnobaeva Perform in Wisconsin
2017 Cotati Accordion Festival Will Award Student Scholarships
Roland V-Accordion East Coast Event Hosted by Music Magic - USA

Voci Armoniche

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

Guy Klucevsek’s 70th Birthday Bash
Poems “I Am An Accordion”
Alex Meixner Featured on 'The Polka King' Jack Black Movie Soundtrack
Digital Accordionists Welcome at the NAA in Texas
Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys Perform on March 12 in NYC
Manny Corallo, Dominic Karcic, and Frank Toscano Perform in Long Island
AAMS Festival Moved to 2018
A World of Accordion Museum Programs
Connecticut Accordion Association's February meeting: SOLD OUT to the KIDS!!!
A Boy and His Box
Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Spring Concerts
Mardi Gras Celebration at Magnanini Winery

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in June
Temple Symphony Orchestra Concert to Feature Award Winning Accordionist
23rd William Schimmel Moderated American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Seminars
2017 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Editor Rita BarneaWelcome to the March 2017 USA news filled with articles and videos of the latest happenings in the accordion world.

As always, please send comments and ideas for articles and your World Accordion Day events and articles to as soon as possible.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

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

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

Boston Symphony Orchestra Premieres New Bayan Concerto

by Rita Barnea
Triple Concerto performance with BSO
Composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s new work “Triple Concerto” for bayan, cello, and violin received its world premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, February 25, 2017 and on February 28, 2017 in New York at Carnegie Hall as part of its ongoing 125 Commissions Project. The concerto was co-commissioned by the BSO and the North German Radio Philharmonic of Hannover. Swiss accordionist Elsbeth Moser, a longtime Gubaidulina collaborator, inspired the composition and is the work’s dedicatee.

Picture right: Elsbeth Moser, Sofia Gubaidulina and Rita Barnea. Picture lower, Elsbeth Moser with the score.

BSO artistic administrator Anthony Fogg helped to bring the concerto to the Boston Symphony. In addition to the violin cello and accordion soloist, the score of the Triple Concerto calls for three flutes and piccolo, three oboes, two clarinets and bass clarinet, three bassoons and contrabassoon, six horns, four trumpets (first in D, second through fourth in B-flat), three trombones, tuba and contrabass tuba, four percussion (variously playing triangle, snare drum, tenor drum, five tom-toms, bass drum, three cymbals, and tam-tam), timpani, celesta, and strings.

The duration of the piece is about twenty-six minutes, played without pause.

Excerpt from the review of the February 25, 2017 concert by Dr. James C.S. Liu in The Boston Musical Intelligencer:
"It was a work filled with the kind of sonic atmospherics that you’d expect from a veteran film score composer like Gubaidulina, and between the presence of three soloists, women from different countries and different generations, the exploration of unusual instrument combinations and the extremes of orchestral tessitura made for a fascinating probing of music’s margins. The crowd registered warm approval, and rose to its feet when the 85-year-old composer stepped to the front to take a bow. "

As a student in Soviet-era Russia, Gubaidulina was criticized for exploring non-traditional sounds and tunings, but, as the story goes, famed composer Dmitri Shostakovich supported her boundary-pushing work.

Like so many Russian artists and musicians she was scrutinized and remained behind the Iron Curtain, largely cut off from the West. In 1979, she was blacklisted by the composer's union as one of the so-called "Khrennikov's Seven" for taking part in Western music festivals. This meant she and the others were banned from radio, television and publishing their scores.

“Gubaidulina was one of those figures during the Soviet-era that we knew a little of,” Fogg explained. “There was some recordings of her music, but she was almost a sort of mythical figure regarded as one of the important figures in the next generation after Shostakovich.”

The BSO’s relationship with Gubaidulina began in 1988, as her international recognition was rising. She was able to travel to Boston for a festival of Russian music. The orchestra and composer have collaborated many times since then. In 1997 Gubaidulina was a composer-in-residence at Tanglewood.”

The 85 year old composer attended rehearsals following the score and making suggestions to the BSO music director Andris Nelsons.

Elsbeth Moser who teaches at the University of Music, Theater, and Media in Hanover Switzerland and Gubaidulina have been collaborating together for many years. Their first rehearsal together was in Lockenhaus, Austria prior to the Gubaidulina’s western premiere of “Seven Words.” Elsbeth assisted Sofia in leaving Russia in 1991 and going to Germany where Sofia presently lives.

Accordionist and teacher, Elsbeth Moser studied accordion and piano at the Bern Conservatory and at the Academy of Music in Trossingen. In 1983 she was appointed as a professor at the University of Music and Theatre in Hanover. In 1998 she became an honorary professor of the Music Academy Tianjing and is a guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and at the University of Pula (Croatia).

Top photo: Baiba Skride, Harriet Krijgh, Elsbeth Moser in Gubaidulina "Triple Concerto". (Winslow Townson photo)

Titano Accordion Company

8th March 1908 "International Women's Day" - WORLDWIDE

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
A Mimosa - to all women of this world !

In memory of the 129 women killed on the 8th of March 1908 in New York/USA!

Image dedicated by Roberto Mangosi to all accordion ladies throughout the world !

Info: The mimosa (technically, the Silver Wattle) is the symbol of the celebrations of Women's day in Italy and Russia

Celebrate International Women's Day.

Voci Armoniche

Carrozza Scholarship Event on April 30 in New York

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Carmen CarrozzaVideo of Carmen Carrozza: The great classical accordionist Carmen Carrozza (who premiered many original compositions for the instrument) died on June 17, 2013. Here he talks about the lack of accordion teaching books when he was young as well as techniques to create more interesting chords on the standard bass (Carmen never learned the "free bass" models). This is an excerpt from the DVD of "Behind the Bellows: A Documentary About the Accordion" by Steve Mobia.

The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) was formed to promote the accordion as a legitimate classical instrument and commissioned many original pieces from major composers. Carrozza was often their chosen performer for these pieces.

April 30, 2017 will bring together some of our finest young artists for the Carrozza Memorial Scholarship Fund Raiser being held at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor,466 US Route 6,Mahopac, NY. The event will feature talented accordionists Gia Ciccone, Cody McSherry, Chris Gorton, Cory Pesaturo and more!

Enjoy music by strolling musicians Frank Busso, Sr. and Emilio Magnotta.Special AAA guest performers: The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra conducted by Peter Peluso and dancing to the music of Mario Tacca & Mary Mancini, Frank Toscano, Emilio Magnotta, Frank Carozza and family!

All profits will benefit the Carrozza Memorial Scholarship Fund and these funds are awarded to the winners of the Carrozza Memorial Competition.Thank you for your support, and we hope you will join us to hear these marvelous young performers in concert.

The Carrozza Competition on July 13, 2017 will be part of the 2017 AAA Festival, July 12-16, 2017 at Westin Forrestal Village, Princeton, NJ.

Enjoy a fantastic menu of appetizers, salad, main course, coffee and dessert, with wine on table for $75 per person.

For Carrozza reservations: Contact Dr. Joseph Ciccone, Chairman, Phone: 914-238-0041, fax 914-238-0494 or email

Details and registration forms are available on the AAA Carrozza Scholarship Dinner page.

Accordion Jazz Chords

Joseph Natoli’s New Composition "Children's Suite"

by Rita Barnea
Joseph NatoliVideo published on February 19, 2017: Joseph Natoli writes: "I just completed and recorded a new composition for accordion called 'Children's Suite' which includes the following four movements 1) Innocence, 2) Play, 3) Wonder, and 4) Joy.

Many composers have written children's suites for many different instruments as well as for orchestra. But I am not aware of a substantial work in this genre for accordion, so I wanted to contribute to the accordion literature with this offering."

As the video indicates, the inspiration for 'Children's Suite' by Joseph Natoli came from his two granddaughters. The first movement 'Innocence' was written for the first birthday of his first granddaughter. The third movement 'Wonder' was written next for the birth of his second granddaughter in 2016, with the remaining two movements ('Play' and 'Joy') being completed in very close succession in December 2016."

Joseph performs the composition on the Roland FR-8X.

The movement structure of the piece is slow, fast, slow, fast, with some of the elements in the 4th movement 'Joy' being borrowed from the second movement 'Play,' since children are often most joyful when they are at play. The video discusses the thoughts and inspirations behind each movement.

Joseph Natoli makes his home in Northeast Ohio with his wife, JoAnn, and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven (inspired to play the instrument by his grandfather -- also Joe Natoli, and his father, Frank Natoli). Joe started his studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio, and won the 1972 AAA US Virtuoso Accordion Championship under Mr. Bisilia’s tutelage, while placing first runner-up several months later in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition in Caracas, Venezuela.

More recently, Joe won the grand prize for the first Roland US V-Accordion competition held in Los Angeles, California, in 2008. Joe’s education includes Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Toronto Faculty Of Music in Toronto, Canada, where he was the first student accepted there to use the free bass accordion as an applied major instrument, studying with renowned Canadian accordionist, Joseph Macerollo.

Mr Natoli started his musical career mostly as a performer, but had always been interested in composition, and has focused on his compositional craft even more in recent years. Joe has written many original pieces in all musical styles and genres for standard and free bass accordion, all of which are available by inquiries to, including his latest 2017 pieces, "Children’s Suite" for accordion solo, and "Smooth" (a Latin jazz piece for solo or accordion quintet).

Some of his most recent recordings include an all-acoustic accordion CD called “Omaggio,” which is dedicated to the many musical influences in Joe’s life from various composers, musical friends and family members. Joe has also released an all-digital Roland V-Accordion CD entitled, “Waltz for Ron,” which contains a bevy of original compositions and arrangements of classical, light classical, ethnic and jazz pieces fully exploiting the orchestral possibilities of the Roland virtual accordions. Both CDs are available on the JANPress website.

A new CD will be released soon in 2017 called "Chameleon" which will focus on the widely diverse styles of Joe’s compositional output. Professionally Joe has enjoyed a career in Information Technology (IT) and over the years has been involved in both IT technical and leadership roles for many large companies. Joe studied computer science at Youngstown State University as well as Franklin University, and also achieved an MBA degree at Franklin University in Columbus, OH. Joe and JoAnn have three adult daughters and two granddaughters.

As with all original music by Joseph Natoli, you can purchase by contacting him at


2017 AAA Festival In Picturesque Princeton, New Jersey - USA

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
2017 AAA FlierThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) has chosen a lovely historic area for this year’s annual festival, 12th to 16th July. The Westin Princeton Hotel in Forrestal Village is in walking distance of many fine shops and restaurants and is close to several major attractions.

Please mark your calendars for this exciting festival! Join us for interesting and entertaining workshops and terrific performances by well-known greats as well as talented young accordionists.

There will also be competitions and opportunities to play in the youth orchestra directed by AAA President, Mary Tokarski, the youth jazz ensemble directed by Mitch Guido, and the festival orchestra (all ages) under the baton of celebrated conductor and accordionist, Dr. William Morse.

The registration forms will be online at by March 20.

Please see the attached flyer for more information. 2017AAAFlier.pdf

See you in Princeton!

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

NAA Concerts March 8-11

by Rita Barnea
NAA Logo
Public performances are the NAA outlet for demonstrating the accordion which is their "Musical Instrument of Choice." Every year the National Accordion Association (NAA) gives many opportunities for listening to accordion music. During lunches and early evenings, visitors may dine with world-class accordionists or attend the evening concerts.

Thursday Evening Concert Schedule 7:30 to 10:PM includes:
Annual Fun Band: Dick Albreski, Dir.
Willard A. Palmer II Tribute: Shelia Lee, Dir.
Accordion Orchestra: Mary Tokarski, Dir

Circle of Champions:
This event has become a tradition at the convention and it’s celebrating its seventh year. The Circle of Champions is an opportunity for some of our best and long standing and new gifted accordionists to get to share their talents. Each performer plays 2 musical selection, which allows the evening to showcase a lot of great talent.

Put this on your list of events to attend, because you’re not going to want to miss this one!

Strolling Accordionists are featured daily in the restaurant pr banquet hall. The NAA convention provides wonderful music everywhere, including during lunch and dinner in the hotel restaurant. It’s a great way to showcase talent and it gives accordionists another opportunity to perform for their fellow accordionists and guests.

Plan on having lunch or dinner in the restaurant and enjoy some great strolling accordionists.

Friday Evening (Progressive Party) includes:
Folk Dance Music (N. Bernstein)
Cafe' Accordion (S. Seaton)
Party Animals (N. Ballarini)
Jam Sessions (Max/Charly)
Saturday Afternoon Youth Concert
Saturday Evening Concert
Concert artists will be selected from the list of presenters.

For full information, view the website: National Accordion Association (NAA)
Registration Information: 2017NAARegistration

Picture below, alphabetical order of 2017 performers/workshop providers.
NAA performers & worshop providers

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

An Evening of Latin Jazz Accordion Music – NAAC/Hall-Rodrigues/Petrilli

by Karen Lee, ATG 2nd Vice-President
The North American Accordion Collaborative is thrilled to announce that on March 16, 2017, it is sponsoring its first ever event in the Los Angeles area: “An Evening of Latin Jazz Accordion Music” featuring jazz accordionists Gabe Hall-Rodriques and Frank Petrilli backed by an A-list rhythm section of players from around the world.

Gabe Hall-Rodriques, an award winning accordionist, has performed across the United States and Brazil. While in Brazil Gabe performed at venues including Mingus Restaurant, Aujord’hui Café, Retalhos Restaurante, Casa da Cachorro Preto, and the Music Conservatory of Pernambuco and was featured on two albums, Wallace Seixa’s Seguindo em Frente and Daniel Podsk’s Relembrando PE.

Frank Petrilli, the protégé of the legendary Frank Marocco, has also performed across the nation and at major events in Italy and Russia. In addition to playing with his own trio, he has performed with such renowned artists as guitarist John Chiodini. As Pat Senator of the Los Angeles Vibrato Jazz Club says, “...Petrilli gives new life to the accordion with impeccable phrasing and a smooth, fluid style.”

The venue for this exciting event is White Oaks Music and Arts, 17646 Sherman Way, Lake Balboa, CA 91406; March 16, 2017; at 8:00 pm. Tickets: $15 available at the door. No advanced ticket sales.

For further information:

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

Hanzhi Wang to Perform in Dobbs Ferry, New York

by Jeanne Velonis
Hanzhi WangVideo: Video 1: On the path to AC Anderson is the new album collected original Danish accordion works by accordionist Hanzhi Wang.

On Saturday, March 18, I will host a house concert in my home in Dobbs Ferry, NY, featuring the soloist Hanzhi Wang. Admission will be by donation, with the proceeds to be divided between the performer and the AAA Composers' Commissioning Committee.

Ms. Wang has been studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. She is in New York for a only a brief time, studying at Manhattan School of Music in their graduate-level Contemporary Performance program. Videos and a more detailed bio follow, at the end of this message. She is thrilled to have this opportunity to perform for us.

Guests may begin to arrive after 3 PM. We will have some light refreshments available, and you will have a chance to meet and talk with the performer. The music will begin at 4 PM; the program will be about an hour in length.

Space in my home is limited, so if you wish to attend, it is absolutely critical that you RSVP! Kindly respond to this e-mail by March 5th, indicating how many people I should hold seats for. Kindly reply just to me, at These reservations will, of necessity, be on a first-come, first-served basis.

I will send details on directions, parking, etc. to those who have confirmed they are coming. Thank you, and I hope to see you there!

Hanzhi Wang is considered to be one of the shining stars amongst the young upcoming generation of classical accordionists. Despite her young age, she already has a remarkable career, and tours all over the world as a soloist and chamber musician. In reviews she is described as "Masterful", "Technically flawless" and "remarkable stage presence", which adds to her innovative musicianship.

She won the most important competitions for young accordionists by the age of 18, such as the Beijing International accordion competition in China and Klingenthal International accordion competition in Germany. Recently she won two of the absolutely most important accordion competitions for professional players; The Arrasate International Accordion Competition in Spain (2013), and the Premio category of the International accordion competition in Castelfidardo (2015).

The success in the competitions has led to concerts and tours in Germany, Denmark, China, Japan, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Serbia, Montenegro and Taiwan. For the upcoming season, she will play concerts in United States, Denmark, Holland, China, Japan, Taiwan, Serbia and Montenegro, just to name a few. She has also made several TV- and radio appearances in many countries.

With her powerful and yet sensitive performances, Hanzhi Wang has also become very popular amongst contemporary composers. Several of them has dedicated their works to her, such as Martin Lohse (DK).

For inspiring the young accordion generation, she has given lectures and excellent master classes at the 7th International Summer Campus at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Tianjin Music Conservatory of China, Music College of Capital Normal University of China. She was also invited as jury member at the 6th International Digital Accordion Competition of Rome and the International Accordion Festival in Alcobaça, Portugal and the 41st International Castelfidardo Accordion music festival in Italy.

She was invited to the United States as a visiting scholar in the Manhattan School of Music in and also for a concert tour for new music introduction and performance.

In 2017 she will release her solo CD, with works by Danish composers. The CD is called "In the path of H.C. Andersen", and takes the listener in to the heritage of Danish adventures.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

"Accordions Rising" Film at NAA

by Rita Barnea
Roberta CantowAccordions RisingRoberta Cantow is pleased to announce that Highlights from her award-winning music documentary, Accordions Rising, will be shown at the National Accordion Association Convention in Richardson, Texas March 8-11. The DVD and Blu Ray disks are still available for purchase (but going fast) from the film's website:

In addition to the attention that the film received at US film festivals, (Bare Bones, Cinema on the Bayou, Indie Filmfest and Global Accolade Competition, it is now getting seen with purchases far and wide and has made it into the UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia and Denmark. Accordions Rising is not a historical documentary but one that emphasizes some of the ways the instrument is alive today.

AWW continues to provide up to date information on "Accordions Rising", the important documentary on the accordion, created by prominent film maker, Roberta Cantow. So far the film has received the Winner, Award of Merit from the Accolade Global Film Competition and is the 2016 Official Selection of the Cinema On the Bayou Film Festival. Read future publications of the USA news for updates.

Roberta Cantow said, "Accordions Rising" had its debut screening at the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival in Lafayette, Louisiana in January, 2016, where it was well received by an audience of film goers, music educators, music aficionados and film enthusiasts. Within no more than a week, the very reputable educational film distribution company, Filmakers Library expressed an interest in wanting it for their collection. This is very good news for the film since Filmaker's Library is now an imprint of Alexander Street Press, Inc.

This means that the film will have the possibility of being purchased, screened, streamed and presented in university and public libraries, and for college classrooms all over the country and beyond." Roberta has a long-standing relationship with this company which has been distributing her film, “Clotheslines", since 1982, and she is thrilled.

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.”

Roberta's life long career in film making has rendered several Best of Category Awards, a Film of Great Merit Award and a Best of Festival Award, among others.

Accordions Rising is also now streaming on three different platforms with more platforms to be announced in the coming months. As of March 7, itunes will be added. Anyone who watches the film on Amazon can/should leave a viewer's Review and Star Rating which helps the film get to Recommended by Amazon

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Stas Venglevski and Tatyana Krasnobaeva Perform in Wisconsin

by Rita Barnea
Stas Venglevski and Tatyana Krasnobaeva
The HARTS and AWAM proudly present guest artists Stas Vanglevski and Tatyana Krasnobaeva in concert on March 12, 2017, at 4:00 PM, 1401 Belknap St., Superior, WI. (715-395-2787) or (218) 393-0245. Admission is $20.00 per person.

The concert hall’s perfect acoustics will faithfully convey the delicate sounds of Tatyana’s cembalom (hammered dulcimer) and Stas’ Russian bayan accordion in solo and duet offerings of Russian folk, classical and original compositions. This is the first local opportunity to enjoy these instruments and their artists.

Excerpts from his website: As a virtuoso, Stas’s dazzling technical command, and sensitive interpretations have brought him to the forefront among accordionists. He has been invited to tour in many countries and has received copious acclaim. In addition to his performance career, Stas serves the accordion community as a board of director for ATG, as adjudicator, composer and arranger whose works are frequently performed.

He also promotes fellow artists in concert tours (Accordion XXI Century Series) through which Tatyana appears here. Tatyana graduated from Belarus Academy of Music. Her repertory includes exceptionally complex music covering the gamut from Baroque to contemporary blues. This performance is a MUST for all avid musicians.

Krasnobaeva graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Music. Her instrument dates back to the 16th century in Belarus and is famous for its unique silvery timbre, making it universal for playing any genre from Baroque to folk and contemporary.

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

2017 Cotati Accordion Festival Will Award Student Scholarships

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Accordion Festival
The Student Stage at the 2017 Cotati Accordion Festival is pleased to announce the competition for scholarships at this year's festival. This is open to any student who is enrolled in school and taking lessons (18 and under). Please help promote the Student Stage by sharing the attached application form (with revised requirements), adjudication form, and official letter: 2017Cotati.pdf

A fundraiser will take place on Friday August 19 (free) at 6:PM at the Redwood Cafe in downtown Cotati. A fabulous array of accordionists will be featured in an intimate setting. You or your business can help us raise scholarships by sending a check to the scholarship fund. It is tax deductible! Please note as "CASS" on the check.

Call or email if you would like more details. Petosa Accordions, Volpi Restaurant, the Los Angeles Accordion Club, and the Golden State Accordion Club have been some of the many generous sponsors and donors.

For more information: Sheri Mignano Crawford
Student Stage Coordinator
Call: 707-772-9816

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Roland V-Accordion East Coast Event Hosted by Music Magic - USA

by Harley Jones
Music Magic header
Lillianna Chudolij and Steve AlbiniAlex ChudolijRoland V-Accordion East Coast Event hosted by Music Magic USA is to be held Saturday, April 1, 2017, noon to 4:00 pm at UACCNJ, 60C North Jefferson Road, Whippany, NJ 07981.

Planned is an afternoon program filled with fun and entertainment for all accordion and Roland V-Accordion lovers and players. The venue is just a mile or so down the road from the annual MAMTG Music Festival also being held this same weekend

Featured is special guest star Steve Albini (picture left), flying in from California to provide a fascinating product demonstration as well as to perform a mini-concert featuring the sounds of the brand new FR-4x, brought to you courtesy of Roland Corporation.

- Full Presentation of the FR-8X by Alex Chudolij (picture right)
- Other V-Accordion performances by well-known surprise accordion artists.
- Open Mike Competition –(limited amount of available performance slots) Valuable prize awarded to the participant receiving the highest decibel level of sustained audience applause. Open to all attendees – reserve a playing slot in advance to ensure your ability to compete for the prize.
- Breakout sessions with V-Accordion specialists available to answer your specific V-Accordion questions.
- Mini workshops on numerous topics demonstrating:
- Lightweight accordion amplification
- Going wireless in 1 minute or less
- Bellows shaking the Correct Way for V-Accordions (Bonus - The secret of performing a bellows shake on an FR-8x without even cracking open the bellows.)

Refreshments available. Handicap access. Free parking. Bring your accordion!

To accommodate all attendees, we ask that you:
Register your attendance, indicating how many will be in your group
Provide your full name, contact info, names of others in your party
Suggested topics or V-Accordion questions in advance are welcome!
Please email:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Guy Klucevsek’s 70th Birthday Bash

by Rita Barnea
Guy Klucevsek concert
Guy Klucevsek celebrated his 70th Birthday on Saturday, February,25, 2017 at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island. Guy is an established musician/composer with an international reputation. He was awarded a United States Artists Fellowship in 2010 which has a $50,000 no-strings prize.

At the concert he performed with Todd Reynolds, violin, and Kamala Sankaram, voice and accordion (picture below). The program was a presentation of the Newhouse Center's PASS program.

Excerpts from the Staten Isand Advance, Micheal Fressola: "The composer and his wife, a librarian, settled in St. George more than 30 years ago. He made his local debut at Snug Harbor in the 1980s, around the time that he headlined 'Polka From the Fringe' at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.

He'll be performing fresh material (new music has defined his nearly 50-year career) from a recent album, "Teetering on the Edge of Normalcy" (Starkland). As longtime fans are well aware, Klucevsek likes sly titles; he called one 1990s compilation "Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse."

The February 25th birthday program -- it is the eve of composer's birthday -- had one rearview-mirror section, a group of pieces dating to 1990s. Plus, one work-in-progress: "Pauline, Pauline," dedicated to the late fellow accordionist, composer and colleague Pauline Oliveros, a seminal presence in new music. Oliveros, died last fall at age 84.

Klucevsek, who grew up in the Slovenian polka-crazy enclaves of Pennsylvania, came of age in the new music/downtown New York creative circles of the late 1960s and 1970s.
His idea, not so radical today as it was then (although it is still surprising) was that the accordion has depths, range and musical possibilities that aren't instantly evident in its traditional roles.

The list of celebrated colleagues with whom he has worked, performed and/or recorded with, reads like an A-to-Z of new-music circles, from Laurie Anderson to John Zorn.

In another and somewhat unexpected musical realm, he has played under composer/conductor John Williams, of movie score fame. He will join the Boston Pops this spring in a concert celebrating Williams' 85th birthday."

Vernon Reid, who attended the concert, said, "Violinist Todd Reynolds, composer and accordionist Guy Klucevsek, vocalist & accordionist Kamala Sankaram played a fabulous Saturday night concert at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Shaolin in celebration of Guy's 70th Birthday. All 3 displayed lyrical mastery of interpretation of Guy's stylistically wide ranging music. My favorite piece of the evening was their moving tribute to composer Pauline Olivieros."

Guy said, "My friends and amazing bandmates, Todd Reynolds and Kamala Sankaram, who made my 70th birthday concert such a joyous and transporting experience: Thank you for pouring out your souls for us!”

Guy will perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra ccelebrating John William’s 85th birthday on Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Boston, MA. This concert will include over 55 years of material from John's six decades as a film composer and will be recorded for a CD release in the spring. For tickets: 888-266-1200

For further information:

Picture below:
Todd Reynolds, Guy Klucevsek and Kamala Sankaram.
Guy Klucevsek concert

Titano Accordion Company

Poems “I Am An Accordion”

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
Barbara Leogrande GenoveseCody McSherryAt the February 26, 2017 meeting of the Connecticut Accordion Association (See article in this months publication”, two poems were read titled "I Am An Accordion."

The first version was written by the wife of the late Charles
Leogrande. Barbara Leogrande Genovese (she subsequently remarried) worked in her late husband's studio in Waterbury, CT in the heyday of the accordion in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Charlie died in his mid 40's, but taught hundreds of fine accordion students who competed at state and national levels. Bob Vitale taught for Charlie, who was an accomplished jazz accordionist. Vitale eventually broke away and opened his own studio.

The second version of the poem was written and then delivered right after Barbara's, while the two of them stood next to each other. Penned by our own Cody Mc Sherry, it delivers a clear message of hope and excitement about the accordion and how it the accordion is perceived by a young person who is currently studying and playing it. Cody is studying accordion with Mary Tokarski.

It was a powerful moment at our meeting. Enjoy!

Second version of "I am an Accordion" by Cody McSherry:

My voice is more treasured than gold,
I am loved by many,
From the Americas to Europe, to Asia,
My beautiful voice is adored.

From my pearly white keys,
To my small bass buttons,
To my constantly breathing bellows,
I am perfect.

Some do not know my beauty,
For they have never met me,
But given the chance,
I will steal their hearts away, too.

The children love me,
My voice surprises them,
Something new and interesting,
That will strike their fancy.

They will want to play me,
I would not blame them,
For I am amazing,
And children see it so.

And when they play me,
They feel me breathe with them,
I become a part of them,
And they a part of me.

Come, come enjoy me,
Wrap your arms around me,
Become a part of me,
And let me become a part of you.

Surrounded by those who love me,
I am never lonely,
Always a song within me,
I am cherished.

First version of "I AM AN ACCORDION" by Barbara Leogrande Genovese:

Once the center of entertainment, enjoyment and recognition as well as the heart and soul of a society that longed for beauty and merriment, people came from far and wide to see and hear me. It was 1950 and I was the answer to the new ideas of this great country.

Having no means of walking, I was strapped over the shoulders of people who loved me, who breathed life into me. They pushed and pulled my lungs to make the most magical sounds that became music to their ears. On my right side, flying fingers ran up and down my white tentacles and short black stubs. On my left side, with a diamond in the center, rows and rows of black buttons resembled a river of rocks in a bed of white water expecting to be fondled.

Children would run their little fingers up and down all over me. I loved the sensation and expelled sounds only a satisfied lover would hear.

On my TV show I glowed in my celebrity, responding with sounds higher than a human could comprehend and enjoyed the acclimations given to me. From the concert halls to the family festivities I was treated with elegance and care in a style suited for a king.

It is now 1960. With the passing of time, my place of importance has faded. A younger and more compact lover has replaced me. To my audience, I became cumbersome and awkward. My lungs were decomposing and developing holes. The pushing and pulling of air out of me I could no longer control. The white of my tentacles had turned yellow, the short black stubs had become brittle to navigate and the river of black marbles had become impossible to fondle.

Once magical sounds from my being became sounds of an old person's garble. I began to feel like the ugly duckling. It was time for me to retire. My old heart could not bear it any longer. Children of today will not be aware that I once provided enjoyment and pleasure for those who wanted to hold and caress me.

I rest now in this silk lined coffin with a beautiful covering over my belly of bellows and black buttons. On the floor of this closed jail under a pile of junk, I wait not to be exposed, not to be fondled, not to be caressed and loved, but to be sold. At a tag sale! For a song, no doubt!

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Alex Meixner Featured on 'The Polka King' Jack Black Movie Soundtrack

by Rob Howard
Jack Black and Alex MeixnerAccordionist Alex Meixner has worked on the soundtrack for the movie, ‘The Polka King’, starring Jack Black. Billed as a tragicomedy, the film debuted on January 22nd at the Sundance Film Festival to good reviews and is scheduled for wide release later this year.

Meixner spent two days last summer working with actor Jack Black, who plays the lead role in the true story of Jan Lewan, a polka-playing musician turned ponzi scheme felon. The pair met and worked together at New York’s historic Avatar Studios, which has hosted dozens of rock ’n’ roll icons from David Bowie to Bruno Mars.

“Those two days are a personal and professional highlight,” Meixner said. Every time you see and hear Black play the accordion on screen, you'll be listening to Meixner’s music. Meixner said Black was exactly as he seems onscreen. He is a little disheveled, very funny, hardworking and caring.

On a lunch break, Meixner, actor Jason Schwartzman, who co-stars in the film, and Black took a quick Uber ride to a Manhattan pizzeria. Black insisted on tipping the driver $100 and then playfully engaged with fans at the restaurant. “He was totally gracious, totally cool,” Meixner said.

Digital Accordionists Welcome at the NAA in Texas

by Dr. Ian Blair Fries
NAA Logo
Dr. Ian Blair FriesThe National Accordion Association (NAA) will hold their 30th Convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Richardson, Texas from March 8 - 11, 2017.

The Roland event will be held on Friday, March 9, 2017. This will be a meeting that digital accordionist should not miss, with seminars, informal gatherings, and demonstrations for those who play Roland and other makes of Digital, MIDI, electronic accordions.

All seminar information at: 2017NAAWorkshops

During a Digital Symposium, several professional accordionists will explore why and how they play electronic instruments. How do they handle their instrument when solo versus when in an ensemble? How has their teaching changed? What accordion do they recommend for a beginning student, versus a student already playing an acoustic accordion?

A Roland Suite devoted to digital accordions and accessories will be open daily for informal discussions, demonstrations, formal presentations, and snacks. All National Accordion Association attendees are welcome, from experienced Roland accordionists to those who would like to experience a digital accordion up close for the first time.

Topics will include;
FR-4x - Playing the latest Roland Accordion Out of the Box
FR-8x - Playing the flagship Roland Accordion
FR-7x – For some a preferred instrument
FR-3x - Still easily available
FR-1x – Extreme portability
Jazz bass chords to accompany orchestral treble.
Managing sets and user programs.
Computer editing of sets and user programs.
Sound expansions; Dallape, Balkan, Alpine, AccordionOrchestra
Adjusting orchestral sounds.
Bending notes, aftertouch, sustain, and chorus.
The BK-7m backing module attached to a Roland Accordion.
Amplification of the Roland Accordion.
How to use USB backing.
Adjusting bellows, reverb, and balance.
Transferring sets and user programs between Roland accordions
Battery and power opinions.

Michael Bridge, Chuck Henry, Ray Harris, Steve Albini, Markus Baggio, and others plan to participate in the Roland Suite.

I have had the pleasure to play the new Roland FR-4x for the past few weeks. I can promise mine will not be the only FR-4x in the Suite. Would you like to try out one on your lap? This is the seventh year I have hosted a Roland Suite, and the most exciting. Please join us.

For full information, view the website: National Accordion Association (NAA)
Registration Information: 2017NAARegistration

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys Perform on March 12 in NYC

by Rita Barnea
Jeffery BroussardJeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys will perform at Connollys on 45th Street in New York City on March 12, 2017.

Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys features the accordion mastery and soulful vocals of front man Jeffery Broussard, from the legendary band, Zydeco Force. The band delivers great, pack-the-floor renditions of Creole classics as well as their own brand of contemporary Zydeco.

Early Creole music, as played by legends Canray Fontenot on fiddle and Jeffery's father, accordion player Delton Broussard, is experiencing a well-deserved resurgence of interest in Louisiana today. Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys are presenting their music with contemporary flair and expertise.

Connolly features tasty and reasonably priced food with a full bar and great wooden dance floor. The location is 121 West 45th Street (between 6th and 7th Ave) - 3rd floor. Doors: 5:PM for dinner, drinks or socializing. There is a complimentary Zydeco dance lesson to follow. Partners not needed - 5:30 PM. Music takes place from 6:PM to 9:30. Admission $22 -- Tickets at the door. Admission is guaranteed.

For information: Call or e-mail Laura: 212-685-7597 / 917-208-2432 /

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

Manny Corallo, Dominic Karcic, and Frank Toscano Perform in Long Island

by Rita Barnea
Trio Musette
La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731 (631.261.6344) in keeping up with its history of promoting successful accordion events on the first Wednesday of the month is adding an additional evening of accordion music on the third Wednesday.

Starting on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 "Trio Musette" featuring accordionists Manny Corallo, Dominic Karcic and Frank Toscano will be performing at La Villini Restaurant once a month.

Musical festivities start at 6:PM. Reservations are highly recommended. Please come and join them on "opening night" Wednesday, March 15, 2017 and hear “accordion music at it's best.”

For more information:

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

AAMS Festival Moved to 2018

by Rita Barnea
Dee LangleyThe American Accordion Musicological Society (AAMS) announces that due to changes in scheduling as well as the need for additional planning for a broader based and even more inclusive accordion event, the AAMS Accordion Festival Weekend will be held biennially, with the next festival in 2018.

The AAMS will continue to sponsor and present its popular and long standing weekend festival that will include enhanced workshops, product and historical exhibits, and a gala dinner concert with accordion ensemble and solo performances, capped by the coveted presentation of the AAMS Honoree Award to some of the most deserving recipients in the accordion world.

The 2018 Festival will proudly honor Dee Langley as AAMS Honoree. Plans to present the following workshop presenters, concert artists and vendors are either already completed or in progress for 2018 with additional presenters and concert artists to be planned.

Linda Soley Reed will conduct the Festival Orchestra. Workshops will include “Improvising” by Dallas Vietty; “Prevention and Biomechanics of Musician Injuries” by Dr. Lynda Griffith, DPT, Author of "Playing Well"; Paul Ramunni and the New England Accordion Connection and Museum Company.

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

A World of Accordion Museum Programs

by Rita Barnea
A World of Accordion Museum logo
The World of Accordions Musuem located at 1401 Belknap Street, Superior, WI is presenting a series of concerts over the next few months. More details on each concert will be included in the USA news in future publications. These concerts are in the Wisconsin area. For updated information visit the World of Accordions at

The World of Accordions Musuem is honored by the participation of international accordion celebrities: Kevin Friedrich (NewYork, NY), Stanislav Venglevski (Milwaukee, WI), Michael Bridge (Toronto, Canada), John Scaffeo (Thunder Bay, Canada), Dee Langley (Minneapolis, MN), Dr. Michael Middleton (Temple, TX) and Tracey Gibbens (Duluth, MN).

The performances include
1. Stas Venglevski (Bayan) and Tatyana Krasnobaeva (Cembalom)
March 12, 2017 - Admission: $20 - Time to be announced.This is a long-awaited opportunity to present these elegant virtuosi in duet and solo performance.

2. Introduction to Accordion Repairs
April 29-May 2, 2017 - 9:00 AM—6:00 PM - Admission $350.00 Additional information will be sent with preregistration (required)
Introduction to Accordion-Family Instruments Understanding the major members of the instrument family Basic repairs: bellows, air insufficiency, machine alignments, reed work, tuning, waxing, leathers, more

3. World Accordion Day In conjunction with Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival Fifth Annual celebration of America’s great educator and artist
May 6-7, 2017 - At AWAM’s Strahl Concert Hall -All day
Stas Venglevski, Conductor
Accordion Band and Orchestra
Participants: Michael Bridge (Concert, Workshop) and Kevin Friedrich
Dee Langley (Concert, Three Workshops)
John Scaffeo, Carolyn Carver, and Tracey Gibbens

4.Chmielewski International PolkaFest
Grand Casino, Hinkley, MN - May 19-21, 2017
Special guest performer: Joey Miskulin and many others favorites

The side area will feature the following, with more yet to be scheduled: Introduction to A World of Accordions Museum resources. Presenting selected instruments from AWAM’s Travelling Museum through performances:
a. what construction features makes them easy and popular
b. accordion qualities and values
c. take a first lesson on different types of accordions,concertinas
d. Discussion topics about accordion repairs and maintenance
e. Sales of instruments, music, novelty items, and misc.

5. Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival
Lisle, IL - July 19-23, 2017
Accordion Concertina Music Band presents: Pachelbel “Canon in D” and “The Lost Chord” Workshops to be announced

For further information:
Dr. Helmi Harrington:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Connecticut Accordion Association's February meeting: SOLD OUT to the KIDS!!!

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
CAA Banner
They played classical, jazz, accordion standards, pop. They played accordion alone, with saxophone, with violin, with guitar, with sultry vocals. They played with music, they played impromptu. They took their cues from their teachers in formal lessons. They took cues from each other in performance.

The Connecticut Accordion Association's February meeting was a sold out performance to a crowd of over 100 people. (Last month's meeting drew over 100 people as well!!)

February's meeting featured Rising Stars in the accordion world; youngsters who are donning the instrument because they love it and want to play it. They are the future come to life in front of our eyes and ears.

The lineup at the CAA's meeting in Cheshire, CT included Cody Mc Sherry and Nathan Chapeton, students of Mary Tokarski. Sandy Zera's students included Joseph and Anton Klettner, Nicholas and Colin Daines and Will Comer.

And if that wasn't wonderful enough, the CAA was proud to celebrate still another special occasion: The return of the late Bob Paolo's student Christopher Gorton to the accordion world!! Chris came back after a 4 year layoff to show the crowd that his incredible talent remains.

Special guest artist, vocalist Malorie Leogrande, granddaughter of Charles Leogrande (who taught hundreds of students in Waterbury during the heyday of the accordion), sang with accordion accompaniment provided by Don Gerundo. The crowd went wild as she sang jazz classics. Later, she belted out Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah,” with backup provided by the Klettner boys and Will Comer.

Malorie's grandmother, Barbara Leogrande Genovese, (wife of Charles Leogrande) recently celebrated her 85th birthday. She read a poem she wrote entitled “I Am An Accordion.” It described the rise and fall of our instrument as she experienced it over the course of her life. 13 year old Cody Mc Sherry followed her reading with HIS version of “I Am An Accordion,” which described the rebirth of a passion that has been ignited in our young people today for the instrument. It was a poignant moment that instilled nostalgia as well as hope and inspiration for all of the accordion loving attendees at this gathering.

It was truly a celebration of youthful accordionists. The Connecticut Accordion Association can say that we can be PROUD of what's up and coming in our world.

Photos include:
1st Picture: Jazz Vocalist, Malorie Leogrande and Don Gerundo
2nd Picture: Barbara Leogrande
3rd Picture: Cody Mc Sherry
4th Picture: Will Comer and Nicholas Daines
5th Picture: Nathan Chapeton
6th Picture: Christopher Gorton
7th Picture: Anton and Joseph Klettner
8th Picture: Nicholas Daines on Accordion with his brother Colin on Sax.
9th Picture: Anton Klettner on violin and Joseph Klettner on Accordion

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

A Boy and His Box

by Joe De Clemente
Joe De ClementeJoe De ClementeIn the small mountaintop town of Guiliano de Roma, Italy, was born Augusto in 1855, the son of Francisco and Maria Leuzi Iorio. As a child, Augusto Iorio was surrounded with a love for music from his father who made and sold pipe organs and accordions. As Augusto grew, he began tuning church organs and learned the magical sounds of the accordion itself.

Years later, Augusto Iorio married Francesca Villani and settled in her seaport town of Gaeta,Italy and where they had 6 children. His youngest son Candido would one day play a major role in the history of the accordion making business.

Augusto with his brother Amedeo and his son Frank as a trio, toured the countryside of Italy and France earning enough money to bring their talents and business to America. That wish came true from 1900 to 1906 when Augusto, his sons Frank and Candido, and his family immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. Joining his brother Amedeo and his cousin Biagio Quattrociocche, they set out to work the local piano shops building and repairing accordions. One year later in 1907, the Iorio Accordion Factory was established at 44 Baxter Street in the heart of Little Italy with a combination of accordion makers, musical instrument lessons and copyrighted music composition.

While on a business trip to Italy in 1926, Augusto suffered a major stroke and died in Gaeta, Italy leaving his son Candido Iorio to continue the business. As business flourished in 1939, it expanded with the opening of the Carl Fischer Factory and in Candido’s home garage at 164-03 Clayton Road in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

I can recall some of my early years, as a child, with my dad taking me to see his Uncle Candido and our cousin Amedeo (Al) Iorio who lived on Clayton Street in Jamaica, Queens, New York. While there, we would go out back to the expanded garage (which served as the Iorio Accordion shop) and see the men making and fixing accordions.

In late 1955, with Christmas approaching, and my 9th birthday a week later, I asked my parents for an accordion. Well, they did get me one, however, it was a plastic one from the toy store. When I opened the box and found that it was a toy, and a broken one at that, I explained to them that I wanted a real accordion. Finally, in March 1956, dad took me to Melody Music Store on Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont where we rented a 12 bass accordion and I started taking my first lessons. My cousin also started accordion lessons there, so a competitive spirit started to develop from the beginning. When I entered fourth grade, and was 10 years old at the time, my cousin and I played a duet for my grandparent’s (the Leone’s) fiftieth anniversary party at the Elmont American Legion Post 1033, better known to us as the “Dugout”. “Drink To Thee With Only Thine Eyes” was the song we played.

We agreed to play it two times before stopping, but looking over the old movies and remembering that day, My cousin kept on playing the song for the third time. I could see myself lost and trying to regain my composure (I didn’t know what that was at the time) by rejoining him to the end of the song. At Melody Music, I studied with “Manny” for about two years, before moving on.

In 1958, I began lessons with Mr. Springer in New Hyde Park, who taught more complicated arrangements. My cousin soon followed and the competitive spirit continued. By this time, my Grandmother, Nonna Gilda (Candido Iorio's sister) and Nonno Angelo De Clemente, gave me a bigger accordion of my own. It was a red and white mother of pearl Iorio accordion, made by my dad’s uncle Candido Iorio.

As graduation from sixth grade was approaching, Mr. Springer taught me Charles Magnante’s arrangement of “Tea For Two” and “Dark Eyes” (the latter being the harder of the two songs). I mastered “Tea For Two” and planned to play for the graduation recital at Belmont Boulevard Elementary School. I remember being warned not to attempt to play “Dark Eyes” by Mr. Springer. When the time for the recital came, I played “Tea For Two” and got a tremendous applause. The audience wanted more, so I got up my nerve and played “Dark Eyes” and did it perfectly. With that, I received a standing ovation.

Between 1958 and 1959, I remember how my dad use to send me outdoors, to the street, to play for the workers, as they installed the new sewer system in our community. Once he also had me play for the men who were building a garage at our Elmont home. One thing I could say about my dad, he knew the right direction I should take. The workers would laugh, and yet, loved the fact that I would play for them. As for Mom, she always loved the song “Fascination” and wanted me to learn it. I soon did and even today, in her golden years, she still asks me to play it for her.

As Candido & Amedeo's special interests grew in the makings of the accordion and its intricacies it finally reached a new plateau beyond the conventional accordion. His invention of the accordion-organ, to be known as “ACCORGAN”, in 1959 was patented and that changed the accordion sound and its history forever.

In 1959, I went on to Junior High School and later joined the dance band. However, reading piano music made my task difficult. During this same year, the Iorio’s had introduced the new “Accorgan”. There were special demonstrations of the Accorgan, with Louis Del Monte featured as the key accordionist, demonstrating the many features of this new accordion-organ. He became my idol, and I wanted to play like him. Trying to mimic his style, I learned the songs he played at the many demonstrations. On one occasion, as he played at the NYC Hotel New Yorker, I came out from the audience to try the instrument, and began playing Mr. Del Monte’s own arrangement. Unfortunately, I remember combining two songs into one, a slight error. At the Long Island Fair at Roosevelt Raceway, he also demonstrated the accorgan once again, and I came from the viewers and sat in.

Shortly thereafter I borrowed an Accorgan and auditioned for the Ted Mac Amateur Hour, a television show. They liked me, and asked me to learn “Tico Tico” and come back in two weeks. I had three sessions of music lessons during the following two weeks, and mastered the song. At the interview, I played the song perfectly, however, for some unknown reason I never heard from them again

Two years later, my music teacher, Mr. Springer moved, so I had to find another teacher. My dad located Mr. John Serry in Jamaica, Queens. My cousin followed as usual. First I was taught by his associate, Mr. Roy Appy, then later by John Serry himself. At that time, Dad bought me a 5 Star Philharmonic for me, as my fingers were outgrowing the red and white accordion.

I remember, on one occasion, the famous accordionist, Myron Floren from the Lawrence Welk Show, was doing a concert in New Jersey. Dad took me to see him. He played the “Tiger Rag” and took down the place with a standing ovation. Since I knew Mr. Del Monte, and he was sponsoring the concert, I was privileged to go backstage to meet Mr. Floren. A great experience and a signed photo to match. Changing teachers again, in the early 1960’s, I attended The Bolognese School of Music in North Bellmore. Of course, my cousin followed again. There, I studied under Lou Bolognese (formerly of the Biviano School of Music) and entered national competition. My first song was “Perpetual Motion”, a classical piece that was about fourteen pages long, which I had to memorize. I sat before a panel of judges as I played the song for them. I came in sixth place. No trophy, but a ribbon, because I had done well. In the jazz competition, I came in tenth place.

As I became of working age, I worked part-time at the Iorio’s, sending out advertising flyers about accordion shows and their products. I remember telling my dad that I wanted to work in a gas station, pumping gas. He would ask me why I wanted to do that and get dirty. Then he would go on by telling me to play the accordion and make money as a musician. Later on, I took his advice. In 1962, I attended Sewanhaka High School, and a classmate who played the guitar asked me to join his band. Our first job on December 14, 1962, was a Christmas party. We played five hours earning $12.50. Two weeks later, we played the Dugout for New Years Eve, and made $25.00 for a five hour job. This was big money for a 16 year old. With time, I dropped out of The first band, letting my cousin play with them.

Later in 1963, in the high school library, two students approached me. Vinny Carbone, a drummer (Joe’s cousin) and Tommy Palumbo, a guitar player, and asked me to join them and form another band. Ray DaNato, a sax player was the fourth man. We grouped and called ourselves the “Moonlight Quartet” . We played at fire houses and other local small places, but no one sang. Slowly, I made an attempt at singing too. Ray was eventually replaced with Bill Piemonte. Later on, we got an opportunity to play on the “Murray Morgan Show”, which was broadcast over radio on Sunday mornings. I still have the tape of that broadcast, playing Glen Miller’s “In The Mood” and “So Rare”.

My music career, as a side job continued through the sixties, finally getting my first steady gig at the Starlite Lounge in Hempstead. I was hired by a drummer and an upright bass player. The drummer sang and did a Louie Armstrong impression. This sparked my interest in singing Louie Armstrong style, memorizing more songs each week and slowly singing more and more. I played with the lounge combo for about a year or so, and continued to also work with the Moonlight Quartet whenever possible. In the mid-1960’s, I got hooked up with “Alex and Henry’s” a Catering House in the Bronx, and was part of the house band. With time, I met my wife to be, Janet Philips, and informed her, right from the start, that music was part of my life since childhood, and if she wanted to marry, she would have to accept that too. She did and in 1969 we got married. I continued to play at “Alex and Henry’s” through 1972, and in that year traded my Philharmonic model for a new Model “E” Accorgan.

Later that year, I quit the house band and decided to continue on my own. It seemed as though I always returned to the Moonlight Quartet, however the quartet was not a quartet anymore. Ray, Bill and Tommy had left the group. I always kept in touch with Vinny (Junior) and in time, I met Mat Fazio, a sax man. We started working together as a trio, and in 1973, used the name the “Joe Dee Trio” which later became the “Moonlighters”. I did not like my name as part of the band’s name. We stayed together as a trio until the late 1980’s when Junior moved to Florida. Mat and I continued using different drummers, but it was never the same. By the mid 1990’s, Mat and his family moved to Arizona, the band having seen its last. Good memories of the fun we had together remains.

As a soloist, I purchased an electronic drum machine to help provide me with the combo sound that I liked. I began playing gospel music and performed many solos as “special music” in church services in the mid-1970’s. “Amazing Grace” being one of my favorites, has become my way of expressing my faith to those who would listen. The list goes on and on, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, and even parties for dogs, all solo. I play the usual three-four hour parties, with one party lasting up to seven hours, and all by memory. Preferring to see my listeners and play at the same time, I avoid the use of music sheets. Memorized music always comes out better, even with a few mistakes. All over Long Island, the VFW’s, American Legions, Masonic Temples, Churches, Synagogues and Knights of Columbus, have heard me play and sing my songs.

During the summer of 2002, I sold my Model “E” and purchased a MIDI-Accorgan, which is programmed to play digital reproduced sounds like trumpets, sax, piano, etc. This box has expanded my capability and makes me sound like I have a full orchestra behind me. It was a great investment.

Today, I still play my accordion, singing and making people happy. They dance to the music, romance to the music, sing to the music or just listen to it and enjoy it. To me, music has been a language that crosses all barriers, speaking to all people and bringing joy to those who listen. The box has been my pal and passion for over 60 years and I am so glad that the Lord gave me this special gift.
Joe D

Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Spring Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Mario Tacca and Mary ManciniVocalist Mary Mancini and accordionist Mario Tacca are featured in many spring events. La Villini Restaurant presents the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) and internationally acclaimed guest artists Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 6 PM at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY. Call for reservations: 631 – 261 – 6344. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. The LIAA April 5, 2017 featured guest artist will be Fabio Lucarelli.

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!

While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions. He went on to become a world champion, winning 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.

Mary Mancini has achieved national and international acclaim for her vocal versatility and command of all styles of music. Her repertoire includes eight languages.

Whether performing our National Anthem for the NY Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers or captivating audiences in concert halls and theaters across the US, Canada, Europe and China, Mary Mancini consistently brings audiences to their feet with her musical interpretations of: international favorites, Broadway tunes, opera, the classics, and pop. In addition, her inspiring renditions from the Sacred music repertoire have touched the hearts of people around the world.

She has been called "the woman with the golden voice." Her growing list of achievements, honors and awards include recognition from: The International Festival of the Arts (Canada), The Chinese Government, The American Song Festival, The American Cancer Society, Guardia Lombardi Society, Circolo da Vinci Society, Westchester Community College - Il Club Italiano, and recently the Lifetime Award for Achievement in the Arts presented by the Order of Sons of Italy in America, NYS Grand Lodge Foundation.

Additional performances include:

Sunday March 12, 2017, Mario -Dinner & Dancing at Casa Milanese, Rte. 44/55 - 692 Vineyard Avenue Highland, NY from 1:PM - 5:PM. Call for reservations: Santino or Rita at: 845-834-3727 or 845-471-9533

Join Mary, Mario and Tenor RInaldo Toglia (Allegria) & Comic Floyd Vivino for Lunch, Dancing and Show on Friday March 22, 23, 24 at The Brownstone Banquet Hall at 351 W. Broadway, Patterson, NJ from 11:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Call Ace in the Hole Productions for reservations: 201-374-2333.

On Sunday April 2, 2017, Mary and Mario will appear with "The Camerata Chamber Orchestra” 3:PM at Westchester Community College Classroom Building, Room 200.

For further information: or

Mardi Gras Celebration at Magnanini Winery

by Anita Siarkowsi
Anita and Bob Siarkowski with Ricky and Rachel MagnaniniMagnanini Winery in Wallkill, NY held a Mardi Gras celebration on February 4, 2017 filled with great food and wonderful accordion music. Mardi Gras guests enjoyed a delicious, family style, 6 course prime rib dinner.

Live entertainment was provided by accordionist, Frank Carozza, accompanied by his two sons on guitar and drums, and brother on trumpet for the guests listening and dancing pleasure. The restaurant often features accordionists at their events.

Top photo: Owners, Ricky & Rachel Magnanini shown flanking
1st place winners of costume contest at Mardi Gras
( Carnevale) 2017 Celebration . Bob & Anita Siarkowski of Plantsville, CT, for their German folk costume finery, won the $100.00 Gift Certificate for Magnanini Winery!

Bottom photo: Bob and Anita Siarkowski with Frank Carozza

For more information:
Magnanini Winery
172 Strawridge Rd
Wallkill, New York
Call (845) 895-2767

Future events

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in June

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth 2017 poster
The Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration brought to you by the Northwest Accordion Society will be held June 15-18, 2017 in Leavenworth, Washington. Performers include: Stas Venglevski, Kim and Dan Christian, The Potatoes, Mark Myking and Zydeco Rex, Northwest Accordionaires and the LIAC Dance Band plus more. See this issue for info about some of the performers.

The event includes accordion competitions, workshops, concerts in the Festhalle, free performances at the Gazebo and Grange, free accordion lessons, accordion parade on Saturday, accordion vendors, accordion bands, jam sessions in restaurants, volunteer opportunities, and fun for all ages.

Voci Armoniche

Temple Symphony Orchestra Concert to Feature Award Winning Accordionist

by Harley Jones
Mike MiddletonExcerpts from the Temple Daily Telegram News.

Accordionist Dr. Mike Middleton will perform Saturday with the Temple Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tom Fairlie.

Middleton, an award-winning musician, will perform two 10-12 minute medleys which were written for the symphony based on music from his albums. The first is a Polka Medley with songs including Lichtensteiner Polka, Happy Wanderer, Julia Polka, Edelweiss & Clarinet Polka. The second Medley will be a Texas Folk Medley, which include The Yellow Rose of Texas, Red River Valley, Waltz Across Texas, Ghostwriters in the Sky, and The San Antonio Rose.

Currently, Middleton lives in Central Texas with his wife, Darla, and has three children. Middleton, along with his sons on percussion, and Clayton on tuba together started his band, which they affectionately called “Mike and the Middletones.”

The Middletones have been featured at Wurstfest in New Braunfels multiple times, and other festivals. They have performed on The Mollie B Polka Party TV show in 2016 and have performed at The World Accordion Museum in Superior, Wisconsin.

Middleton recently has produced and recorded several albums: “Around the World & Back TO Texas,” “Accordion & Tuba Favorites,” and “Accordion to Mike & The Middletones: Back IN Texas,” along with the single, “Amazing Grace Accordion Variations.”

Tickets for individual Temple Symphony Orchestra concerts are $25 for adults and $5 for students. Orchestra performances are held at the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center at Temple College, located at 2600 S. First St. in Temple.

CD's available online at: Mike Middleton
Temple Symphony Orchestra

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

23rd William Schimmel Moderated American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Seminars

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Dr. William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) announces their 23rd year of Master Classes and Seminars moderated by Dr. William Schimmel in NYC, July 28-30.

Dr. William Schimmel said, "Accordion Culture is based on Contests. Championship Contests - much like sports. Who comes in First of course is the Champion - whether its the World Champion, The U.S. Champion or the Whatever Champion.

Sometimes the term, Champeen, is used.There are those who come in Second and Third - they get trophies - but they are not Champions - or Champeens.

What about last place?

Ever watch a marathon? - and the final runner still running while practically every one has gone home or partying? He or She just wants to make it to the end - to run the course - personal best and proud to be a part of it - as St. Paul says - “I fought the good fight. I have kept the Faith”.

That’s the Red Lantern Winner - last place - a last place winner!

We have RED LANTERN ACCORDIONISTS - The backbone of the industry - in it for the long haul - signed up for the whole ride - putting other’s interests first - working for the betterment of the culture.

We dedicate this weekend to the Red Lantern accordionist - may his or her light shine bright!!

There is no logical reason to become a Red Lantern Accordionist. Red Lantern Accordionists are called. by who? don’t quite know but they feel the call of a different winning

of hard labor

of doing hard time"

american accordionists’ association master class and concert series
dr. william schimmel - moderator and curator
the red lantern accordionist
our 23rd smash year
july 28, 29, 30, 2017 at
the tenri cultural institute
43a west 13th street - between 5 and 6 aves
master classes at 3 pm - ending at 5pm
concerts at 7 pm - ending at 9 pm
$25. per master class
$30. per concert
$50. per day - includes master class and concert
$135. per entire weekend

reservations and information: 212 876 0827

Participants will include:
Micki Goodman, Paul Stein, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Will Holshouser, Doug Makofka, Brian
Dewan, Yoichi Fukui, Gene Pritsker, Melissa Elledge, Mark Nathanson, Benjamin Ickies, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Dragica Banic Curcic, Peter Flint, Erica Maire Mancini, Dave Soldier, Mayumi Miyaoka, Dan Cooper, The Yorkvillians, Rachel Swaner, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, Bachtopus, Milica Paranosic, Michael Dames, Peter Jarvis, David Stoler, David First, Mary Spencer Knapp, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Lee Mc Clure, Ken Laufer, John Foti, Kathleen Tipton, Marni Rice, Bob Goldberg, The Famous Accordion Orchestra, Corn Mo, Rachid Eladlouni, Carl Reihl, Linda Reed, Rita Barnea, Dr Denise Koncelik, Alicia Svigals, Elizabeth Brown, Ted Nash, Jeanne Velonis, Cecylia Barczk, Devon Tipp, Sydknee, Michiyo Suzuki, Robert Duncan, Miwa Gemini, Jenny Cho, Elliott Sharp, Jennie Muiio, Elaine Yau, Carita Patamikakam and many others and a few surprise guests - and Dr. Schimmel.

On March 9, 2017 Dr. Schimmel will present his new work “Lisztrinite for Piano and Musette Accordion” with Dr Hugo Goldens on piano. The event will take place at The Mannes College of Music, New York. During April and May he will performing a series of concerts with The New York City Ballet as well as concerts with The International Society of Contemporary Music.

For further information on the AAA Seminars and Dr. Schimmel’s programs:

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2017 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

by Harley Jones
New 2017 Poster.
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