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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Mar-2020
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor’s Note
2020 AAMS Honoree - Professor Joan Cochran Sommers
NAA Accordion Convention on March 18 in Texas
New England Music Festival in Newton, Mass. March 27-29
Registration for AAA 2020 Festival, Virginia
Happy Birthday, George Washington!
May 6th is World Accordion Day! What Are You Doing to Celebrate?
Eddie Monteiro Performs Brazilian Music at Shanghai Jazz, Madison, NJ
Jelena Milojevic Performs with the UVIC Chorus and Orchestra on March 7
Lidia Kaminska Performs with Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Florida
Duo Tutto a Dio plus Neringa Radėnaitė on 29 Concert Tour
Kevin Friedrich to Host “An American Journey” at Dargaville Museum in New Zealand

Voci Armoniche

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

Ludovic Beier Releases New Album “Four and Two”
“Al Terzo and Friends” at AAMS on March 6
Dr Schimmel’s Recent Performances
Article: The First to Represent the US at the Coupe Mondiale - Still Going Strong 60 Years Later
Don Gerundo and Spencer Bruno Perform for the LIAA on March 4
Gary Dahl (1937 to 2017) eBook Special Price - USA
Joseph Natoli Performs Shopping Center Suite composed by Gary Daverne
Brooklyn Accordion Club Features Will Holshouser Plus More
Hudson Valley Accordion Ensemble in March and April Performances
Fabulous Öllerer “Oberkrainer” Accordion at AWAM
Ray Abshire, Cajun musician and Louisiana Folk Artist Hall of Famer, dies at age 68

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

ATG Celebrate 80th Anniversary in Los Angeles - USA
2020 AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York City
VII International Jazz Accordion and Modern Harmony Master Classes with Victor Preto
Simone Baron & Arco Belo: “The Space Between Disguises”
2020 Not Just Oom-Pah! Accordion Workshop and Concert - USA
Accordion Pops Orchestra Celebrates Their 50th Anniversary at the AAA Accordion Festival in July
2020 World Accordion Polka Cup, Button Akordion Rocks Club
Stas Venglevski Presents 5 concerts/workshops in 5 Days
A Festival Pops with the Connecticut Accordion Association
Lukas Stachurski Performs for the Michigan Accordion Society
Cotati Accordion Festival August 22-23
Leavenworth Accordion Celebration 2020 Has Volunteer Opportunities
Seattle Accordion Club Meets March 9
28th Annual Conjunto Festival October 18-20 in Texas

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



Editor’s Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita BarneaWelcome to the March USA News! New accordion competitions, albums, artists, festivals…… It is amazing that each month you have so many accordion events to choose from, but, it really is not amazing at all! The accordion is part of our culture from local pub to Broadway and everything in-between.

In case you are wondering…. accordionists are the friendliest most sharing people I have ever known. Wherever I go, I meet people who are eager and happy to share their music, talk about their instrument, and answer questions you may have. It is a comfortable, warm and collegial atmosphere.

As you are reading, make note of the many concerts and festivals during the Spring and Summer months.

Enjoy the March USA news!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

2020 AAMS Honoree - Professor Joan Cochran Sommers

by Dee Langley
Joan Sommers, Al TerzoJoe Natoli, Dee LangleyThe 31st annual American Accordion Musicological Society will honor Prof. Joan Sommers March 6 & 7, 2020 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The AAMS festival includes Workshops, Gala Concert, Award Banquet, and two Festival Orchestras.

Festival Orchestra 1 is under the direction of Dee Langley and open to all levels. They will be performing music from Slovakia, Poland, Costa Rica, Russia and America as well as music of the Rroma (Gypsy) people. Festival Orchestra 2, under the baton of Joan Sommers offers music of a more challenging nature. The orchestra will present “Seagate Overture”, “Il Postino”, and a medley from “Thoroughly Modern Mille”. Prof. Sommers will also conduct combined Orchestra 1 & 2 in a medley from “Beauty and the Beast”.

Workshops will be presented by Joe Natoli, Al Terzo and Joan Sommer.  Dr. Lou Persic will provide music during the Award Banquet. The Gala Concert performers include five American Accordion Hall of Fame inductees in concert – Joan Sommers, Al Terzo, Joe Natoli, Dee Langley and Joanna Darrow.

Please come and join one of the Festival Orchestras, experience the workshops and enjoy the concert as we celebrate the lifelong contribution of Professor Joan Sommers to accordionists worldwide.

American Accordion Musicological Society (AAMS)
March 6 & 7, 2020
Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill
2349 W, NJ-70, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Hotel reservations: 1-888-233-9527

For additional information and registration contact:
Joanna Arnold Darrow
Acme Accordion School
phone: 856-854-6628

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

NAA Accordion Convention on March 18 in Texas

by Markus Baggio
NAA Header
Norman SeatonThe doors for the National Accordion Convention will open again on Wednesday evening March 18, 2020 with registration, orchestra rehearsals, and an opportunity to meet and mingle. The official start will be Thursday morning and conventioneers will see and experience several changes, from the layout of the rooms, more orchestras, but mostly importantly new presenters and sessions. No excuses not to come.

Besides having about forty workshops with more than twenty presenters, all dedicated to acoustic and the digital accordion, there will be four orchestra you can play with. But there is much more:

- During lunch and dinner attendees will perform with their accordions for your entertainment. The roster will be published a week prior to the convention. We are still accepting volunteers.

- We will have several vendors onsite showcasing their inventory and provide you with opportunities to buy the things you need, just to name a few: Nick Ballarini, Petosa Accordion, The Gary Dahl legacy etc.

- Randy McPeck will have his repair shop open to help you fix your instrument

- Hyatt-Regency hotel is adding the final touches to its renovations.

- Don’t forget to meet and mingle with your fellow accordionists.

I want to highlight our concerts. Every night there will be concert, we will have a wide variety of music and performers from North America and all over the world.

Thursday evening 7:30 PM:
Markus Baggio, Tris Gour, Elena Fainshtein, Gail Campanella, Tutto a Dio, Cory Pesaturo, and Matthias Matzke.

Friday evening 7:PM:
NAA Fun Band (Directed by Dick Albreski), Richard Noel, Julie Wisnewski, Ginny Mac, and the NAA Dance Band (Directed by Shelia Lee). The Friday evening concert will be followed by the Dance Party with Max Frauenthal (Master of Ceremonies), Gordon Kohl and friends, and Gary Blair with invited guest. Bring your dancing shoes

NAA Symphonic Orchestra, Gary Blair, Cory Pesaturo, Matthias Matzke

The current concert schedule is listed here:
2020 NAA

Titano Accordion Company

New England Music Festival in Newton, Mass. March 27-29

by Peggy Falcetti
Header New England Music Festival
Rita BarneaThe New England Music Festival is an annual musical competition sponsored by the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts, Inc, (ATAM). The festival averages more than 1000 entries and 600 contestants from all across New England.

The 2020 New England Music Festival will be held March 27, 28, and 29, 2020 at the Boston Newton Marriott, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, Massachusetts 02466

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

The three-day event takes place Friday through Sunday. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday a “Battle of the Bands” is held in the Grand ballroom. Cash awards are given to the Junior, Intermediate and Senior winners in their divisions. The Accordion, Guitar, Drum, Voice, and Piano Championships are also held Friday evening and Saturday with cash awards given to all competitors.

The Accordion Teacher’s Association of Massachusetts ATAM is proud to bestow Honorary Membership upon Rita Davidson Barnea (picture right above) at the 58th Annual New England Festival sponsored by the “Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts. Rita is the National Editor of the Accordion USA News ( for the past eleven years. This online monthly publication covering North American continent accordion events, artists, concerts, including video etc. has a huge readership.

On Saturday and Sunday continuous group competitions are held in the Grand ballroom. Solo and duet competitions are ongoing. An awards banquet is held on Saturday evening with more than 500 in attendance. A $500.00 and a $250 cash scholarship is awarded to a contestant accepted as a Music Major in college. More than $5,000 in cash is awarded to winners throughout the weekend. Contestants are evaluated by judges from all over the country.

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

Download rules and entry information: 2020ATAM.pdf

For more information: Peggy Falcetti-Chairperson-1-413-204-1022.

Voci Armoniche

Registration for AAA 2020 Festival, Virginia

by Harley Jones
AAA Header
2020 AAA RegistrationAmerican Accordionists' Association (AAA) 2020 Festival will take place July 8-12, 2020 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Alexandria, Virginia which is only 15 minutes drive from the White House, Washington DC.

You can now register online using the AAA Shopping Cart or download and print the Registration Form: 2020AAARegistration.pdf and mail with check.

Full information to book your hotel room and the link to receive the AAA group discount is also on the AAA website: AAAFestival

For information released so far about the event and the performers, download the 2020 AAA Festival flier: 2020AAAFlier.pdf

Accordion Jazz Chords

Happy Birthday, George Washington!

by Rita Barnea
Picture above: US Air Force Strolling Strings, full group, USAF Band, at Mt Vernon.

Below: Recent Air Force Band videos with Senior Master Sergeant Busso:

Senior Master Sergeant Frank BussoIn commemoration of George Washington’s 288th birthday, The United States Air Force Strolling Strings performed at Mount Vernon in Virginia, USA on February 22.

Selections included Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell,” Aaron Copland’s “Hoe Down” from his “Rodeo” ballet, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and James Brown’s “I Feel Good.”

The Air Force Strolling Strings’ accordionist is Senior Master Sergeant Frank Busso, originally from Staten Island, New York, USA.

His next public performances will be with The US Air Force Band’s Celtic Aire ensemble, March 6-8 at the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Senior Master Sergeant Frank Busso


May 6th is World Accordion Day! What Are You Doing to Celebrate?

by Harley Jones
WADWhat 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.

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

Eddie Monteiro Performs Brazilian Music at Shanghai Jazz, Madison, NJ

by Rita Barnea
Eddie MonteiroOn Suday, March 22, 2020, accordion virtuoso Eddie Monteiro will perform at Shanghai Jazz Club in Madison, New Jersey. The NY Times writes “Mr. Monteiro plays an accordion that houses a miniaturized organ as well as synthesizer effects and, with a microphone attached to the top of the accordion and a vocalizing range that takes his voice from high trumpet sounds to dark baritone effects, he becomes a complete orchestra by himself.”

Eddie Monteiro is an internationally recognized musician and educator with 30 years of musical performance in classical, jazz, dance, theater, cabaret and choral ensembles. He won several accordion championships as a youth and was also the youngest honoree elected to the American Accordionist’s Hall of Fame. Eddie recently returned from Italy where he was performing and teaching, and taking time time to discuss his music and his involvement with the accordion. 

Eddie Monteiro has performed at Jazz Festivals throughout the world. National performances include the JVC Jazz Festival and the Toyota Jazz Festival in New York City, Broadway Shows, Salishan Jazz Festival and the Centrum Jazz Festival both in Washington. Internationally Eddie was a guest at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Jakarta Jazz Festival in Indonesia, Sea Jazz Festival in Helsinki, the Norwegian National Accordion Competition, Sweden's Annual Accordion Festival in Ransatter and in January of 2000 Eddie closed the Jazz In El Tambo Festival in Punta del Esta, Uruguay performing with Paquito D'Rivera, Leny Andrade, John Patitucci and Benny Golson.

Eddie has conducted workshops and seminars at the Gr8IDEAS (International Digital Electronic Accordion Society) Convention, Manhattan School of Music, Kansas City Jazz Workshop, Artists in Jazz at Pace University, Topeka Jazz Workshop and a Harmony & Improvisation Clinic in Norway. His numerous recordings include Double Standards, The Real Thing, A Perfect Match (with Nancy Marano featuring Gerry Mulligan, Roger Kellaway and Claudio Roditi), Under Paris Skies (with Karen Akers), A Walk on the Wilde Side (with Ronny Whyte), Jazz Influence and  Arkadia Jazz All Stars: Thank You John! (a tribute to John Coltrane) and was featured on the album with the vocal group ‘String Of Pearls’. His work has also included numerous jingles for Colgate-Palmolive, Budweiser, General Motors, Folonari Wines, General Foods a soundtrack recording with Marvin Hamlisch and an appearance on film ‘Mortal Thoughts’ with Bruce Willis.

A graduate of NYU with a B.S. in Music Education, Eddie studied accordion with Charles Nunzio, (one of the founding members of the American Accordionists’ Association), piano with Madame Olga Van Till and advanced harmony studies with Marty Holmes. Eddie is a member of the AAA Governing Board and is a Certified Teacher Member of AAA as well as a member of Music Educators' National Conference, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Technology Institute for Music Educators, National Education Association, Jazz Educators Association the Sommelier Institute and is an Amateur Radio General Class Operator.

No music charge, $25 food and drink minimum per person. Reservations are recommended and the first set begins at 6:PM. This will truly be a unique, exciting and fun evening of incredible music. It is not often the accordion is the central instrument in a band, but, neither is it often that the instrument is played by such a master. And an entertainer at that!

Shanghai Jazz is located at 24 Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940.
Phone: 973-822-2899
For further information:
To contact Eddie:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Jelena Milojevic Performs with the UVIC Chorus and Orchestra on March 7

by Rita Barnea
Jelena Milojevic
Jelena MilojevicThe accordion takes centre stage at the UVic Chorus and Orchestra concert starring local virtuoso Jelena Milojevic. Two large works make up the program: "Misa a Buenos Aires (Misatango") by Argentinian composer Martin Palmeri and "Fairy Tales for Accordion and Orchestra" by Czech composer Václav Trojan.

“Misatango” incorporates two important musical experiences from the composer’s personal musical history: arranging tango music and directing choirs. The piece maintains all of the characteristics of tango (the harmonies, rhythms and melodic designs) within the orchestral score, allowing the chorus to have full liberty to “sing the mass.”

"Fairy Tales" is a suite bursting with musical humor, invention and virtuosity, with evocative movement titles such as "The Naughty Roundabout", "The Sleepy Princess" and "The Acrobatic Fairy-tale".

Born and raised in Croatia, Jelena Milojević is an internationally recognized classical accordionist. She completed her studies in Croatia and Serbia receiving a Master’s Degree in Accordion Performance and Education at the FILUM Music Academy in Kragujevac (Serbia) where she is currently completing her Doctorate Degree. Her performances have been highly acclaimed. School of Music student and mezzo-soprano, Cassidy Stahr, will also appear as a soloist in Misatango.

DATE: March 7, 2020
VENUE: The Farquhar at UVic, University Centre, University of Victoria
TIME: 2:30 - 4:30 PM
LOCATION: University Centre, University of Victoria, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Rd, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2
ADMISSION: Regular $20 / Seniors $15 / Students & UVic Alumni $10

Chorus conductor Adam Jonathan Con said, “I am so excited about this concert! The Misa a Buenos Aires by Martin Martín Palmeri is such great piece.I hope you can all be there! It's such an honour to be working with Jelena Milojevic! Come and hear her also perform the "Trojan", "Fairy Tales.”

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

Lidia Kaminska Performs with Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Florida

by Kevin Friedrich
Lidia KaminskaLidia KaminskaLidia Kaminska will perform with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra in a series of concerts in Florida from March 3rd to 6th, 2020. Under the direction of Musical Director David Amado, Lidia will be featured on bandoneon performing Aconcagua Concerto by Astor Piazzolla.

The concerts take place in:
Vero Beach (March 3rd at 7.30PM)
Jupiter (March 4th at 7.30PM)
2 concerts in Stuart (March 6th at 4:PM and 8:PM)

The concerts "Masterworks lll" are billed as featuring "the third of four tries Beethoven made at writing an overture to his only opera, Fidelio. The Leonore Overture No. 3 is the most symphonic of the pack, expansive, dramatic, and moving.”

Their program will also include Concerto Aconcagua by Astor Piazzolla and Schumann’s third symphony.

For details email:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Duo Tutto a Dio plus Neringa Radėnaitė on 29 Concert Tour

by Rita Barnea
Duo Tutto a Dio
Video 1: Tango pour Claude - "Tutto a Dio": G. Staponkutė (viola) and A. Rakauskas (accordion)

Video 2: La Campanella composed by N. Paganini/F. Liszt (transcr. V. Semionov), performed by Augustinas Rakauskas.
logoNeringa Radėnaitė - sopranoVideo 1: Tango pour Claude - "Tutto a Dio": G. Staponkutė (viola) and A. Rakauskas (accordion)
"Baltic Tango"
Europe – USA - Canada Tour 2020: Thirty Musical Paintings or the 30th Anniversary of Lithuanian Independence

As one of their Musical Paintings: On March 15, 2020 San Francisco Accordion Club presents: Tutto a Dio all the way from Lithuania. Greta Staponkute-Rakau (viola) Augustinas Rakauskas (accordion) with Neringa Radenaite (soprano.) will perform.

The duo “Tutto a Dio” are a viola and accordion duo. In 2012 both Lithuanian members Greta Staponkute-Rakau and Augustinas Rakauskas started creating a common summer musical project in London where they made their first musical steps together. In the meantime, the duo started to focus on chamber music, work on a variety of arrangements as well as develop their concert career.  

“Tutto a Dio” is based on an exclusive combination of the viola and accordion which has been ant exceptional combination. The duo’s repertoire has a wide range of different genres from baroque, classical and modern compositions to tango nuevo and contemporary music. The ensemble’s activity in four years has accelerated significantly.
Augustines and Greta share, “Regarding the title why we called our tour like this: This year (officially on March 11) is the 30th Anniversary when Lithuania has regained its independence. And we created "two chapters" of our program.

One is the Lithuanian music arrangements and original pieces and the second one is mostly Tango including many pieces by Astor Piazzolla. This is why we called this series of concerts "Baltic Tango”. The goal of this 30th Anniversary of Lithuania was to make Thirty-Concert tour. This includes additional concerts in Switzerland and Lithuania too.

One club had to cancel at the last moment so this is why you can see only 29 concerts on the list. The concerts take place in various halls communicating with the American-Lithuanian communities as well as American accordion clubs and associations which help us with the management of the concerts.”

"Tutto a Dio" has excellent international achievements and is actively performing in Europe and the USA. The Duet has held recitals in California, Meine, Florida, the Consulate General of Lithuania in New York (USA), Switzerland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece.

The Duo has received professional recognition in international competitions worldwide by winnin important competitions – the “Coupe Mondiale – 2017”, 1st Prize in “Premio Internazionale di Castelfirdardo 2017” (Italy), 1st Prize winners of “Trophée Mondial 2017” (France) as well as became the champions of the “Coupe Mondiale – 2018” in Lithuania. They continue their intensive concert activity in Europe and the USA. See list of concerts at end of article.

2020 Performances include:
Greta Staponkute-Rakau – viola | Augustinas Rakauskas – accordion | Neringa Radėnaitė - soprano
1. February 25th., 6 pm., GSTAAD (Switzerland)
2. February 28th., 12 pm., Nashua Public Library, NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE (USA)
3. February 28th., 6 pm., Rodgers Memorial Library, HUDSON, NEW HAMPSHIRE (USA)
4. February 29th., 12 pm., St. Mass, 13 pm, Concert KENNEBUNK, MAINE (USA)
5. February 29th., 7 pm., Maironis Park, WORCESTER, MASSACHUSSETTS (USA)
6. March 1st., 1 pm., Lithuanian Hall, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (USA)
7. March 3rd., 8 pm., The Resurrection Monastery, TORONTO, ONTARIO (Canada)
8. March 4th., 5:30 pm., Vilnius Manor House, TORONTO, ONTARIO (Canada)
9. March 6th., 1 pm., Private event at the Lithuanian Embassy, OTTAWA, ONTARIO (Canada)
10. March 7th., 2 pm., Dawn Gate Parish Hall, MONTREAL, QUEBEC (Canada)
11. March 8th., 1 pm., Lithuanian Music Hall, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA (USA)
12. March 10th., 4 pm., 5500 Grossmont Center Dr, La Mesa SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (USA)
13. March 10th., 6:30 pm., 5500 Grossmont Center Dr, La Mesa, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (USA)
14. March 11th., 8 pm., First Christian Church of North HOLLYWOOD, L.A. CALIFORNIA (USA)
15. March 12th., 7:15 pm., The Runaway Restaurant, NAPA, CALIFORNIA (USA)
16. March 13th., 7:30 pm., Welcome Grange at 3275 Hagen Road, NAPA, CALIFORNIA (USA)
17. March 14th., 2 pm., 1st Congregational Church, SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (USA)
18. March 15th., 3 pm., Chetcuti Community room, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (USA)
19. March 17th., 5 pm., “The Hamilton” 555 Byron St., PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA (USA)
20. March 19th., 7:30 pm., NAA Convention Hayatt Regency Hotel North Dallas, Richardson, TEXAS
21. March 20th., 7 pm., 280 DonOre Rd., SALT SPRING ISLAND (CANADA)
22. March 21st., 8 pm., UVic Legacy Art Gallery, VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA (CANADA)
23. March 22nd., 3 pm., 1812 9th Ave, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (USA)
24. March 22nd., 7 pm., Ronald United Methodist Church, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (USA)
25. March 23rd., Accordion Workshop, Petosa Accordions, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (USA)
26. March 27th., 7 pm., Accordion Recital, Lithuanian Hall, EDMONTON, (CANADA)
27. March 28th., 5:30 pm., Accordion Recital, Lithuanian Cultural Society, CALGARY, (CANADA)
28. April 2nd., 12.30 pm., Caecilia Hall, GENEVA (SWITZERLAND)
29. April 16th., Gariūnai Hall, VILNIUS (LITHUANIA)

Titano Accordion Company

Kevin Friedrich to Host “An American Journey” at Dargaville Museum in New Zealand

by Rita Barnea
Dargaville Poster
Video: Kevin Friedrich performs Cinderella by Alexey Arkhipovskiy, arranged by Alexander Poeleuv, featuring Alina Reekie (dancer) at a previous annual concert.
Kevin FriedrichNew York based accordionist Kevin Friedrich will return to Dargaville to host ‘An American Journey’, on March 29, 2020 at 1:PM, Presented by The Dargaville Museum - Te Whare Taonga o Tunatahi, the 13th Annual Afternoon of Music with Kevin Friedrich and Friends will feature an array of American themed music and finish with an American themed Sing Along.

Available at the Dargaville Museum, tickets are $25 for Adults and $10 for Children and include Afternoon Tea. All proceeds will be donated to the Dargaville Museum in support of their efforts to showcase the history of the community for future generations to enjoy.

Kevin has devoted his life to the accordion. He is an accomplished performer, speaker, writer, and on the board of many important and influential accordion organizations worldwide including AAA, Accordion CIA, ATG, A World of Accordions museum and more.

Kevin has performed in concert, on radio and on television in many countries as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra and as a member of The International Trio, the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra (formerly the North Shore Accordion Orchestra), the Musicale Accordion Orchestra from Auckland, the Auckland Accordion Symphonietta, New Zealand and as concert master of the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) Accordion Orchestra. More recently Kevin has served as Concert Master for the CIA World Accordion Orchestra at their concerts in the USA, Scotland and New Zealand.
After serving as a Vice-President for eight years, Kevin served two four year terms as President of the Confédération Internationale Des Accordéonistes (CIA), the umbrella organization for 35 countries and their National Accordion Associations. Since the CIA (member of the International Music Council, IMC-UNESCO) formed in 1935, this is the first time ever that a non-European has held this title and only the 3rd President elected in more than 40 years, with the last President having held office for over 20 years. Hosting the annual World Accordion Championships, the CIA meets twice a year in various countries around the world. At the conclusion of his Presidency, Kevin was unanimously elected to the CIA Executive Committee as CIA Ambassador, a role created specifically for him.
Acknowledging the ability of the Internet to keep accordionists in touch with each other and informed of worldwide activities, his association with the world wide web included initiating and subsequently producing the United States National Accordion News for 10 years, and being the USA Manager for Accordions Worldwide, the largest accordion site on the Internet since 1997.
Kevin Friedrich

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

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

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Ludovic Beier Releases New Album “Four and Two”

by Rita Barnea
CD CoverAccordionist Ludovic Beier shares, “The album “Four And Two” is now available in physics and digital, everywhere and on all platforms.” He recorded it with Philippe Doudou Cuillerier and Antonio Licusati.

Born in 1978, Ludovic Beier learned the accordion from his father and benefited from being part of a musical family. He was brought up in the French tradition of the instrument and developed his jazz accordion skills. He has a spirited, adventurous style which strays into all kinds of byways. He performs on the French and European scene with some of the top players of the Django/Swing Jazz style including Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmitt, Florin Niculescu.

Along with his virtuoso playing, Ludovic composes and arranges, and has his own band, Ludovic Beier Quartet, to perform his "cool and latin" French jazz. He has an impressive technique and also a great dose of lyricism with a band that keeps him at full stretch.

Besides performing in Europe at top festivals and clubs, he appeared in the States with the Django Reinhardt Project, performing at Birdland (NYC) with guests such as Paquito D'Rivera, at Lincoln Center with Joe Lovano, at Yoshis (CA) with David Sanchez, and last summer at the Montreal International Jazz Festival with Angelo Debarre and James Carter where he brought the house down.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

“Al Terzo and Friends” at AAMS on March 6

by Rita Barnea
Al Terzo and Friends PosterThe “Al Terzo and Friends” program will be presented on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 7:45 PM during the AAMS Festival. Performers include Al Terzo, Suzanna Beites and John Modrowsky. Al Terzo is the conductor of the Accordion Pops Orchestra based in New Jersey.

American Accordion Musicological Society (AAMS)
March 6 & 7, 2020
Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill
2349 W, NJ-70, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Hotel reservations: 1-888-233-9527

For additional information and registration:
Joanna Arnold Darrow

Acme Accordion School

Phone: 856-854-6628

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Dr Schimmel’s Recent Performances

by Rita Barnea
Bill Schimmel
Dr. William Schimmel recently performed in a series of concerts:
Feb 22 - Music from Japan - works by Noriko Koide
Feb 27, 28 and 28 - The New York Philharmonic - Babylon Suite by Jorg Widmann

His upcoming 2020 concerts include:
April 16 - I’m a Stranger here Myself - with Mark Nadler - Cafe Sabarsky
April 17 - The Yorkvillians - Bar Thalia
May 21, 22 and 23 - The New York Philharmonic - Mary Poppins
June - 6 - Curator of Schubert - A box of Melodies - Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center
June 16 - The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra - Lied by Jorg Widmann
July 31, August 1 and 2 - The Seminars - Time Travel - Tenri Cultural Institute

Dr William Schimmel is a leading accordionist, composer and academic, based in New York, where he organizes the annual ‘Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars)’ sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association. He received a Merit Award from the AAA for his contributions spanning fifty years plus the "Accordionist of the Year" Award in 1988. He has performed with many major symphony orchestras in the US, many chamber groups, as well as with rock), jazz, and avant-garde groups.

As a Juilliard trained musician, he is frequently asked to play with the Philharmonic and other orchestras around the country. He also performs in the pit orchestras on Broadway, his most recent performance being the accordionist for the award winning production of “An American in Paris." Over the years Bill’s music has been included in television shows and films. His best known appearance is in the tango scene of "Scent of a Woman" starring Al Pacino. (See video above)

Bill Schimmel learned accordion as a child and attended Julliard School of Music where he received his doctorate in composition. While he was still a student at the school, his career was launched after he recorded songs of avant gard composer, Luiano Berio. An authority on Kurt Weill, Dr. Schimmel has recorded all of Weill's music with accordion. Beginning in 1981, Schimmel’s Tango Project has released a string of acclaimed recordings on the Nonesuch and Newport Classic labels. The first Tango Project recording went to No. 1 on Billboard’s classical charts and was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review magazine.

Schimmel has described the accordion as having a “built-in ironic duality,” both “elegant and vulgar.” That dual quality is captured in the tango scene of “Scent of a Woman,” where it adds a spirit of fun and an undertone of raw sexuality. He has served and continues to serve as Artist in Residence of The American Accordionist's Association (AAA) where he also serves as Distinguished Lecturer in Residence and member of the Governing Board.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Article: The First to Represent the US at the Coupe Mondiale - Still Going Strong 60 Years Later

by Rita Barnea
AAA header
Joan Grauman, AAA HistorianRita Barnea, Editor USA News: A new historical article in the series by AAA Historian Joan Grauman (picture right) in cooperation with the USA News, to help promote the history of the accordion in the USA.

Thank you very much to Joan Grauman for these articles.

Read the full article by Joan Grauman titled:
The First to Represent the US at the Coupe Mondiale - Still Going Strong 60 Years Later

Previous articles:
1. "What Events Led to the Formation of the American Accordionists' Association?" at AAA-Formation.htm

2. "Joseph Biviano and Charles Magnante – A Lifetime Commitment to the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA)" at: Biviano-Magnante

3. “Beverly Roberts Curnow – Former Accordion Queen and World Accordion Champion still bringing joy with her beloved instrument! (Women in the AAA Through the Decades)”.

4. "80 Years of AAA Logos and Promotional Materials"

5. "Growing up in the accordion schools: The 1950s through the 1970s"

6. "Linda Soley Reed and Mary Tokarski, Lifelong Advocates for the Accordion" at: LifelongAdvocates.htm

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Don Gerundo and Spencer Bruno Perform for the LIAA on March 4

by Dominic Karcic
The Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) presents featured guest artists, Don Gerundo and Spencer Bruno (woodwind) at La Villini Restaurant of East Northport, NY. La Villini is sponsoring the next meeting on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. 

LIAA is in their 9th year of bringing great accordion music to Long Island.

Place:        La Villini Restaurant
                   288 Larkfield Road.
                   East Northport, NY 11731
                    631 – 261 – 6344
Date:         Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Time:        6:PM
Reservations are highly recommended.

Gary Dahl (1937 to 2017) eBook Special Price - USA

by Lee Ellen Chontos
Gary Dahl eBook covers
Gary DahlThe home page of Gary Dahl (1937 to 2017) has been updated and for the first time, a special price is offered for the complete collection of Gary Dahl eBooks #1 to #10. The 10 eBooks worth USD $335 with 156 titles is emailed to you for the special price of USD$220, catalog DH01-10eB.

DH01-eB Latin Spectacular!
DH02-eB Favorite French Standards
DH03-eB The American Songbook
DH04-eB Favorite Waltzes & Polkas
DH05-eB Easy Listening Variety
DH06-eB Easy Listening Variety
DH07-eB Traditional Polish Carols
DH08-eB Italian Collection
DH09-eB Traditional Christmas Carols
DH10-eB Polka!

Click DH01-10eB to purchase the 10 Gary Dahl eBooks for US$220

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Joseph Natoli Performs Shopping Center Suite composed by Gary Daverne

by Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway
Here's a charming little suite by Gary Daverne (New Zealand composer) that I acquired, learned, and recorded in 4 days.

This gave me a chance to show off my beautiful Bugari-evo in the first video I have recorded with it. I only had 4 days to acquire and learn this piece, but I truly enjoyed the experience.

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

Brooklyn Accordion Club Features Will Holshouser Plus More

by Rita Barnea
Will Holshouser
Please mark your calendar for the upcoming meeting!
Each meeting will start with an open mic. If you are interested in performing, email.  Beginners, non-professionals, and first timers are encouraged to perform!

Sunday, March 15,2020 from 2:00-4:00 Participatory Workshop "Rhythm on the Accordion" by Will Holshouser at Acme Hall Studios at 435 9th Street at 7th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215
Open mic: Genevieve,  Papa Joe
Please bring your own accordion (all levels welcome!) to participate in the workshop. You are also welcome to just listen.

Sunday, April 26, 2020 from 4:00-6:00 Guest performer: Main Squeeze Orchestra (MSO) at Tiny Montgomery at Three’s Brewing in Gowanus

Sunday, May 17. 2020 from 2:00-4:00 at Acme Hall Studios at 435 9th Street at 7th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215

Sunday, June 14, 2020 from 2:00-4:00 Guest performer: JP Jofre, Bandoneonist at Acme Hall Studios at 435 9th Street at 7th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215

Admission $5.00 per person


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

Hudson Valley Accordion Ensemble in March and April Performances

by Rita Barnea
Mary Manciini and Mario TaccaThe Hudson Valley Accordion Ensemble consists of immediate to advanced players ranging from two to 10 years experience. Performing a variety of music, Director Mario Tacca writes all the arrangements for the group and this enables him to tailor the parts according to the needs of the members of the group who perform on both digital and acoustic instruments.

Artistic Director, acclaimed International Vocalist Mary Mancini also sings with the group. Singing in eight languages, Mary adds tremendous scope to the available repertoire.

Upcoming performances include:
1) Thursday, March 26, 2020 from 7:00pm-9:30 PM at the American Legion, Post 136,  1 Legion Way, (Intersection of Rtes. 133 & 117), Mt. Kisco, NY.  Complimentary food will be provided by the American Legion. Cash bar available. No reservation needed.

2) Thursday, April 23, 2020 from 6:30pm-9:30pm at Taormina’s Restaurant, 59 Hudson Avenue, Peekskill, NY 10566.  $35 prix fixe menu. 
Reservations Required.  Call 914-739-4007. Seating is limited.

Ensemble performances include a musical segment by Mary Mancini and Mario Tacca

Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy an evening of fine food and great music while supporting local restaurants and local artists, performing live music.

Mission Statement of the Hudson Valley Accordion Ensemble:
To have fun and gather with friends!
To make great music together!
To bring the melodic and unique sounds of the Accordion
to people of all ages!
To bring joy to others!

Questions and inquiries can be made to or by calling 914-737-8872.

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

Fabulous Öllerer “Oberkrainer” Accordion at AWAM

by Christine Johnstone
AWAM header
Georg Oellerer companyMade in 1985 by the Georg Oellerer company in Germany, this is the only example of its brand and specific type at AWAM. In addition to its beauty, its claim to special notice lies in two points:

1) it is one of the last piano accordions made by this manufacturer that subsequently focused on producing a type of diatonic called Steirische;

2) it is tuned to sound like a button diatonic accordion of regional Oberkrainer preferences that are most noted for Slavko Avsenik’s and Upper Carniolan folk music.

The beautifully pristine instrument, called a “folk accordion,” incorporates hand-made reeds, a tone chamber, and condenser microphones in the bass section. It was custom-made in 1985 by the Oellerer group for Pat “Patsy” Woods of Arlington, Texas. Pat performed in authentic attire for German venues, restaurants and festivals for over 50 years.

At her request, it was donated to our museum in December of 2019. With the plaque alongside the displayed accordion, we gratefully recognize the generosity of Patsy and acknowledge the value of this authentic instrument in sounding music we regularly offer in concert.

We gratefully recognize the involvement of Nick Ballarini whose Dallas, Texas, accordion business took on the responsibility of conveyance to us.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Ray Abshire, Cajun musician and Louisiana Folk Artist Hall of Famer, dies at age 68

by Rita Barnea
Ray Abshire,
Experts from article by Victoria Dodge and Ashley White, The Daily Advertiser: Emerson "Ray" Abshire, a beloved Cajun musician and Louisiana Folk Artist Hall of Famer, passed away suddenly on February 25, 2020. He was the owner and operator of Magnolia Torque and Testing, Inc., which specializes in hydraulic torquing and hydrostatic testing. But Abshire was probably best known as a Cajun musician who played with many artists, including the Balfa Brothers. He passed his love for music down to his two sons, Travis and Brent. Ray grew up in the "dance hall era," playing in front of a couple hundred people. 

"It’s hard to find a nicer man than Ray," said Herman Fuselier, executive director at St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission and host of Zydeco Stomp on KRVS. "When Philip Gould and I were working on our dance hall book, Ray took an entire Sunday to ride us all over south Louisiana to show us places he used to play. Most of them are now empty lots, but Ray was full of stories and memories. It showed the type of guy he was, always willing to help."

Abshire, who was born near Gueydan, toured the nation with the Balfas for seven years. He was invited to join the band in 1969 when health issues started to sideline his cousin, Cajun accordion great Nathan Abshire. "I didn't know it then, but I had got an invitation to the greatest institution in the world to learn traditional Cajun music — the Balfa Brothers band," Abshire told The Daily Advertiser in 2014. "I didn't recognize that for years to come. It didn't start sinking in until after I got out of music." Abshire was one of the last links to the Balfa Brothers, a pivotal band that greatly inspired today’s pride in Cajun music, language and culture. In 1974, he played with the Balfa Brothers during the first Tribute to Cajun Music in a stormy March afternoon.

Abshire's second son was born a year after the Tribute to Cajun Music, forcing him to leave the bandstand and work in the oilfield for 18 years. In the early 1990s, Abshire heard a familiar, twin-fiddle Cajun sound played by Balfa Toujours, a band founded by Christine Balfa, daughter of Balfa Brothers great Dewey Balfa. Abshire helped keep that Balfa tradition of acoustic accordion, fiddle and guitar alive. He went on to teach accordion at music camps and workshops throughout the country. He was inspired to record his first album, "For Old Time Sake," which featured Balfa Toujours fiddlers Courtney Granger and Kevin Wimmer and won the Cajun French Music Association's Best First Recording Award.
mily, close like brothers and admirable like a father. 

Abshire's sons Travis and Brent became interested in Cajun music. In 2013, they recorded the "All Night Long" CD.”They always listened to the music, but didn't start playing until they were in their late 20s," said Abshire in 2013. "They both went to college, then all of a sudden they started paying attention to how the Abshire family has contributed to music heritage in Louisiana."

Abshire is survived by his wife of 48 years, Peggy S. Abshire; his two sons, Travis and Brent; his mother and stepmother, two brothers and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, Emerson Abshire.

Photo: With an image of the Balfa Brothers behind him, Ray Abshire performs at the 2006 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. (Photo: David Simpson)

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Future events

ATG Celebrate 80th Anniversary in Los Angeles - USA

by Christine Johnstone
2020 ATG poster
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG), President Joe Natoli invites all to celebrate their 80th Anniversary at the Doubletree Hotel, Los Angeles, California from August 5th to 9th, 2020.

The event will feature concerts, competitions, workshops, exhibits, international guests, World Accordion Orchestra (conducted by Joan Sommers), 80th Anniversary Banquet and much more.

Guest artists will include, Alexander Poeluev, Cory Pesaturo, Stas Venglevski, the Viennese Accordion Ensemble (Austria), Southern Cross Accordion Ensemble (Australia/New Zealand), Bavarian Youth Orchestra (Germany) and the Polyphonia Orchestra (Reunion Island - conducted by Pierre Varo and pictured below).

The festival competition includes a variety of age group categories for soloists, duets, ensembles and orchestras.

See the ATG website for competition rules, entry forms and closing dates.
Polyphonia Orchestra, Reunion Island

2020 AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York City

by Rita Barnea
2020 AAA TimeTravel Master Class & Concert Series
Dr William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) presents the 2020 Master Class & Concert Series with Dr William Schimmel, moderator and curator from July 31st to August 2nd, 2020. This event will be held at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City.

Entitled "Time Travel" the festival will feature daily masterclasses from 3:PM and evening concerts from 7:PM.

Dr. William Schimmel, one of the principal architects in the resurgence of the accordion, holds Bachelor of Music, Master of Science, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School. Schimmel's music has been featured in a number of television shows and films, perhaps most notably 'Scent of a Woman' starring Al Pacino, where Schimmel appears in the famous Tango scene. Schimmel performs music in many genres, has commissioned and premiered hundreds of new works, has written a number of books and articles and has made numerous recordings and videos.

The Seminars were brought to the AAA by Dr. William Schimmel with the idea of presenting all facets of the accordion to The New York Artistic Community, with the notion of finding ways to find new angles of expression, composition, video art, performance, dance, design, trapeze, as well as new takes on old ideas and bringing the Accordion Ancestry into fresh new light.The response has been overwhelming in the establishment of an accordion culture in New York City and its influence has gone global.

Download the AAA Masterclass flier for a full list of participants and reservation information: 2020AAAMasterClass.pdf
Online reservations at:
Bill Schimmel

VII International Jazz Accordion and Modern Harmony Master Classes with Victor Preto

by Rita Barnea
Victor Prieto
VII International Jazz Accordion and Modern Harmony Master Classes with Victor Prieto City of Ourense (Spain) with Victor Prieto takes place from July 11-12, 2020 and 18-19, 2020.

The Registration - Audition for The International Jazz Accordion Master Classes City of Ourense, July, 2020 will be open soon. Once again Ourense City (Spain) will become the center of Jazz - World Music Accordion.

There are 9 spots, no inscription fee, accommodation and meals are complimentary to all the 9 attendees. If you would like to attend:
Send a video recording just playing alone or with your group to
You will be notified if you have been selected to participate in the Master Classes in April.
You will receive information about transportation, hotels and lodging.
If you have any question please write to the organization office:
Xohán Manuel Xil Páxaro
Phone: +34-665-629-110
Skype: xmxpaxaro

Registration and Dates:
-The registration is not open yet.
-The master class will be held on July 11,12, 2020 and will take place at Centro Cuntural Marcos Varcarcel (Ourense - SPAIN)

Group and Schedules:
-The group will have a maximum of 9 to 10 students.
-The Master Class will last for 10 hours distributed as follows: 3 hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon each day.
-The classes will run from 10:30 to 13:30 and 15:30 to 17:30. The lunch break will be from 13:30 to 15:30.
-The Master Class will be entirely in English. Victor will translate to Spanish as needed as he did in past years.

Jam sessions:
July 13th during the night, there will be an open Jam session at the best Jazz Club of the city "Cafe Cultural Auriense", so all the participants can play with other instruments, experiment, socialize and have a great time performing in front of an audience.

The Master Classes:
-Please watch this video from previous Master Classes.

During the Master Class work will be done on the following subjects including a full rhythm section (bass and drums) both days:
-Improvisation: in different styles and understanding scales. (Pop, rock, bolero) not only in jazz.
-Comping: How to form chords, close position, open position, Upper structures.
Poly-Chords: My technique "Chord Approach on both hands.".
-Styles ,How to frase and comp: Jazz, blues, Brazilian, traditional tango, new Tango and other styles of modern harmony.
-How to work and what to do in a recording studio when you get only chord changes.
-We will watch videos and analyze them. How the accordion interacts with other instruments depending of the instrumentation of the groups. (Duo, Trio, Solo, singer, piano)
- A book with Material will be given to each student for further studies and review (to take home with you).
-We will practice and perform with a rhythm section (bass and drums). So everyone can apply all the information that we have gone over.
-How to use the registers and voices of the accordion to orchestrate and and have a bigger variety of colors and sounds.

You will receive information about transportation, hotels and lodging.
If you have any question please write to :
or contact the organizers at: Phone 34-665-629-110.

Voci Armoniche

Simone Baron & Arco Belo: “The Space Between Disguises”

by Rita Barnea
Simone Baron & Arco Belo, a cross between chamber jazz, world folk and avant accordion, present their debut album, “The Space Between Disguises”, dedicated to the adventures and heartbreaks of the creative process.

Their album release takes place at Catupiry House Concert in Rosslyn Farms, 3 Winthrop Rd, Carnegie, PA 15106-1039 on March 20, 2020 from 8:PM to 11:PM. Light snacks are available, but you are very welcome to bring your own, as well as your favorite wine to this B.Y.O.B. event. Free parking on the street, carpooling is encouraged.

Simone Baron is a pianist, accordionist, composer based on the East Coast US who has performed throughout Europe, Israel and North America. Recently an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, Strathmore and the Washington Jewish Music Festival, Simone's work focuses on experimenting, and reimagining a sound at the junction of the familiar and the avant-garde.

Arco Belo draws its name from the words bow and bellow, reimagining a sound within the melding of reeds, strings and percussive timbres at the intersection of jazz, chamber music, and folk tunes from around the globe. Led by pianist, accordionist and composer Simone Baron, the project features world-renowned bassist Michael Pope (Chick Corea, Michael and Randy Brecker, David Sanborn), and Brazilian-American drummer, percussionist & composer Lucas Ashby (Big Mean Sound Machine, Kenia, Osei Korakye).

Musicians include:
Simon Baron on piano, accordion
Omer Ashano on violin
Carrie Frey on viola
Raffi Boden on cello
Stephen Arnold on bass
Lucas Ashby on percussion

Since 2016, the ensemble has performed at the historic Strathmore, the Kennedy Center, the Keystone Korner, the Cotati and New York City International Accordion Festivals, has held residencies at the Washington Jewish Music Festival, Avaloch Farm and the Banff Centre, and has toured the west coast to enthusiastic acclaim. Their long-awaited debut album, “The Space Between Disguises”, was released in November of 2019.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

2020 Not Just Oom-Pah! Accordion Workshop and Concert - USA

by Christine Johnstone
Alicia BakerKevin SoleckiDownload flyer: 2020NJOFlyer.pdf
Registrations are now open for the 2020 Not Just Oom-Pah! Accordion Workshop and Concert, held in Austin, Texas from June 26th to 28th, 2020.

The event is made possible by a grant from the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, with support from Texas Folklife, Austin Central Market, and the San Antonio Accordion Association.

Workshop presenters and concert performers will include Alicia Baker (picture above left) and Grammy Award Nominee, Kevin Solecki (picture above right).

A free concert will be held on Friday June 26th, from 6.30pm at Central Market North in Austin, Texas.

The Workshop will be held the following 2 days at the Lamar Senior Activity Center and will include a jam session.

A free Polka Dance Session will be held on Sunday, June 28th, so bring your family and friends for a fun afternoon learning polka, with free dance lessons taught by Gaby Thompson from the San Antonio Accordion Association.

The event will also offer one Youth Scholarship to a deserving accordionist age 18 or younger.

Further information and application for the Youth Scholarship is available online at: 2020NJOScholarship.pdf Applications close April 5th, 2020.

Download the Registration/Payment form at: 2020NJORegistration.pdf

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

Accordion Pops Orchestra Celebrates Their 50th Anniversary at the AAA Accordion Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
Accordions Pops 50th
On Friday, July 10, 2020, the Accordion Pops Orchestra will celebrate their 50th Anniversary presenting a performance at the:
American Accordionists' Association Festival
Holiday Inn & Suites
625 First Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

The APO 50th Anniversary Luncheon Concert; details to be announced in future publications. Put the date on your calendar!

For information on the festival, see


2020 World Accordion Polka Cup, Button Akordion Rocks Club

by Christine Johnstone
Polka cup
Accordionists are invited to the 2020 World Accordion Polka Competition held in Ontario, Canada in July and August organised by the Button Akordion Rocks Club.

The event will include categories for players of diatonic, piano, or chromatic accordion for all ages.

Preliminary rounds will be held on July 25th, 2020 in the Slovenija Center, at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish in Toronto, Ontario.

Finals will be held on August 2nd, 2020 at the Hunters and Anglers Club in Everett, Ontario.

Three champions (chromatic, piano, and diatonic accordion) will be crowned. Additional grand prize and world cup title will be awarded to the top scoring accordionist overall.

See the poster for details. Entries close June 25th, 2020.

Download rules and registration form here: 2020PolkaRules.pdf

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Stas Venglevski Presents 5 concerts/workshops in 5 Days

by Dan Grauman
Stas VenglevskiAcclaimed bayanist, Stas Venglevski, will arrive in Maryland on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 where he will begin a five-day, five performance tour. That evening he will play a concert at a prestigious independent living facility in Sykesville, Maryland. The following day he will perform in Washington, DC at a special event sponsored by the Embassy of Moldova, Stas’s birthplace.

On Friday Stas will perform at another prestigious independent living facility in Frederick, MD. The weekend will include two concerts/workshops, the first, sponsored by Accordion Renaissance, will take place in Suffolk, Virginia on Saturday, and the second, sponsored by the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS), will take place in Falls Church, Virginia on Sunday. The WMAS concert is open to the public.

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

A Festival Pops with the Connecticut Accordion Association

by Rita Barnea
Connecticut Accordion Association header
The Connecticut Accordion Association and the American Accordionists’ Association proudly presents a spring concert. Conducted by Peter Peluso, this full accordion orchestra includes young and seasoned accordionist musicians from Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

A variety of music including selections from Mozart to Gershwin to Carol King will be performed, demonstrating the rich, versatile breadth of this unique instrument.
Date: June 7, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Cost: $10.00 – $16

CAA Orchestra members: Peter Peluso, Conductor, Steve Balog, Julie Cardona, Jeanine Cariri, Bob Czarnecki, Art Daigle, Michael Dran, Angie Errico, Don Gerundo, Dorothy Gondek, Ginger Grider, Brenda Zhang, Ray Krish, Dennis Maxfield, Peter Mezick, Marilyn O'Neil, Rachael Quirbach, Linda Riley, Mark Schaarschmidt, Fred Schwinger, Mary Tokarski, Jack Varanelli, Drum Set, Sandy Zera, and Walter Ziemba.

The Connecticut Acccordion Association began in 2004, the brainchild of Marilyn O'Neil and her accordion teacher, Mary Tokarski. The CAA is dedicated to the promotion of the accordion through all music genres and all variations of accordion instruments! We welcome musicians who play all types of accordions....piano accordion, diatonic, chromatic button and more. Accordionists at all levels are invited including people who may not play the accordion, but love to listen.

CAA Membership is open to all accordionists and accordion enthusiasts. A yearly membership fee of $30.00 will provide you with information about all planned CAA events. CAA members have access to most CAA events at a discounted rate.  

Membership will also provide you with an opportunity to play with the CAA orchestra. Accordion  professionals for hire can post their availability on the website. CAA membership will provide you with access to information about accordion manufacturer and/or repair resources.

For further information:
(203) 272-1202
Visit on the web:
Connecticut Accordion Association

Titano Accordion Company

Lukas Stachurski Performs for the Michigan Accordion Society

by Rita Barnea
Lukas Stachurski Performs for the Michigan Accordion Society
MAS President Joe Recchia invites all: “The Michigan Accordion Society is proud to feature our student member Lukas Stachurski! This will be a St. Patty themed event so please dress accordingly! Also we encourage everyone to bring their instruments for open mic performances! Will be a wonderful time!”

The event takes place on March 17, 2020 at 6:30 PM at Ristorange Piccirilli, 52830 Vandyke Ave, Shelby Twp, Michigan. Phone: 586-731-0610.

Lukas Stachurski is 14 years old and resides in Macomb Township, Michigan. Lukas began studying music at six years old. and has been entertaining professionally for over five years. He is a proud and active member of The Michigan Accordion Society.

Lukas can be found performing at senior homes and nursing homes in the Metro-Detroit area, as well as schools, church functions and private parties. He enjoys playing his accordion for others because he “loves to make people happy.” Lukas performs a wide variety of music. His repertoire consist of many old time favorites including Polkas, Waltzes, Marches, Classical Selections, Patriotic Tunes and Sing-a-Longs.

Some highlights in Lukas’s musical career include being a featured performer at a Michigan Accordion Society event, which earned him national recognition when he was featured in an article published by Accordion USA. Lukas has been awarded a Music Scholarship for four consecutive years. He made headlines on the front page of The Troy-Somerset Gazette Newspaper outlining his achievements. He has also been featured in several articles published by The Italian Tribune Newspaper. Lukas most recently had the chance to perform a duet with World Accordion Champion, Cory Pesaturo.

For further information:
Michegan banner, Lukas Stachurski

Voci Armoniche

Cotati Accordion Festival August 22-23

by Rita Barnea
Cotati Festival header
Mark your calendar for the 30th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival on August 22nd and 23, 2020. The Cotati Accordion Festival is a two-day, multi-cultural,non-profit, multi-generational accordion extravaganza held in La Plaza Park in downtown Cotati. See 40+ bands on seven stages including the Jam Tent, Polka/Zydeco, two main stages, Accordion's Apocalypse Stage, Student Stage, and Friar Tuck's Pub.

La Plaza Park
60 West Cotati Avenue
Cotati, CA, 94931

For further information:
Linda Conner
Local: 707-664-0444

Moire details in future USA news publications.

Accordion Jazz Chords

Leavenworth Accordion Celebration 2020 Has Volunteer Opportunities

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth  Accordion Celebration
The 27th annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration takes place from June 18 - 21, 2020. If you would like to participate as a volunteer, visit their website to see the schedule and what type of assistance is needed.

LIAC is sponsored by the Northwest Accordion Society. Workshops will be presented by Kevin Solecki, Emmanuel Gasser, Creosote, and Barry Smith.

Scheduling will begin in late April 2020.
Contact Kathleen at or 208-610-8426 to participate.

See future USA news publications for more details.


Seattle Accordion Club Meets March 9

by Rita Barnea
Seattle Accordion Club
The Seattle Accordion Club meets on March 9, 2020. Seattle Accordion Socials meet on the 2nd Monday of each month from 7:30-9:30 PM. There are no meetings in July and August. All Socials, are located at the West Seattle Senior Center (WSSC), 4217 SW Oregon St., Seattle, WA, 98116. WSSC phone (days) 206-932-4044. Hosted by John Giuliani: 425-255-2121
Donation $5.00 (includes coffee and cookies-sometimes homemade, by Birgit and Phil)
Northwest Accordion Socials are open to all accordion players, from students to professionals, their friends, families and to anyone who enjoys music.
If you would like to play your accordion at future socials contact John Giuliani at 425-255-2121, or Bonnie Birch at 206-622-4786 (backup).
Future Socials:
March 9: Kory Tideman, Steve Martin, David Miles, Magical Strings
April 13: Andy Mirkovich, John Morovich, Lee Wright
May11: NW Accordionaires

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

28th Annual Conjunto Festival October 18-20 in Texas

by Rita Barnea
Header 28th Annual Conjunto Festival
The City of Los Fresnos will host the 28th annual Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Festival. Band information will be available in the USA news at a later date. The event takes place at . Los Fresnos Memorial Park, Los Fresnos, Texas 78566

The Narcisco Martinez Cultural Arts Center is an organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion and development of the rich, cultural heritage of the Mexican American community in the visual arts, music, theater, dance and literary works. The Narcisco Martinez Cultural Arts Center is an organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion and development of the rich, cultural heritage of the Mexican American community in the visual arts, music, theater, dance and literary works.

The Center, as it is known and referred to by many, opened its doors on Tuesday, October 29, 1991with a performance by Narciso Martinez on his 80th birthday; he played to a standing room crowd. The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center was named in his honor as the result of his philosophy of being a proud man of Mexican ancestry and working class origins; a man of the people who over the years gave of himself and his musical talents so that others could enjoy his contributions; a man who was willing to share his rich musical and Texas-Mexican border experience.

Narciso Martinez was born in 1911 in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, but lived most of his life near San Benito, Texas. He was the first successful conjunto artist to record hundreds of recordings. In 1935 Narciso on the accordion, teamed with bajo sexto player Santiago Almeida, they formed what would become one of the most successful accordion and bajo sexto duos of all time. In 1935 Narciso and Santiago recorded some of the most famous conjunto songs in the history of conjunto music, the polka “La Chicharronera” and the schottische “El Tronoconal” on the Blue Record label. The results of these two recordings were outstanding, thus making Narciso Martinez one of the most prolific and well known conjunto musicians after 1935. The epithet “El Huracán del Valle” was given to him in recognition of the great storm his music created.

Narciso Martinez led the evolution of a new style of accordion driven music, until his death at the age of 80 in 1992. He represents a major historical presence not only in the Rio Grande Valley, but all over the country. Narciso recorded through 1992 before falling ill, and performed at various events both locally and state-wide. In 1983 he received the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment of the Humanities in Washington, D.C.

For more information: 956-367-0335.
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