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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Mar-2022
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor’s Note
Daniel Ratcliffe to Star as Weird Al Yankovic
ATG 80th Anniversary Festival
Online: 2022 Not Just Oompah! Announces Workshop and Concert Series Featuring Rita Barnea and Raif Hyseni
Register Now! Exciting NAA Convention 2022 – Youth Program
2022 Texas Folklife Apprenticeship in the Folk & Traditional Arts Program Awardees
Mary and Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund Offers Scholarships and Grants
Accordion Pops Orchestra Begins 52nd Season
ATG Wednesday Night Virtual Workshops
Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak Celebrate 10 Years Concertizing Together
Online: New England Music Festival Welcomes Adult Virtual Competitors
Mary Ann Covone: Expert on Podcast Show: “The Big Fib”
Drs. Norman and Sharon Seaton Present the NAA Weekly Challenge #52 of 52
Klezmatics Perform on March 3 in Middletown, PA
Texas Folklife Announces 16th Annual Bg Squeeze Statewide Youth Accordion Contest
Online Reunion to Remember Frank Marocco Ten Years After His Passing

Voci Armoniche

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

The New ATG Syllabus
The Pioneer Women of the American Accordionists’ Association, Part 1
NAA Convention 2022: "We Are Back and Revitalizing the Convention!"
Composer Sam Sadigursky Releases 3 New CD's Featuring Accordionist Nathan Koci
The Accordion Saves the Day! …….Wedding!!!
2022 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition Information - USA
Litvakus Performs at Rockwood Hall, NYC
Rob Curto Performs “There’s a Place for Us”
A Very Special Story
Sergei Teleshev and Maria Telesheva Perform for San Francisco Accordion Club on March 20
Passing of Leo Aquino
Dominic Karcic's Upcoming Events
Mike Zampiceni Presents Virtual Concert for Silicon Valley Accordion Society
Spotlight on Peter DiGiovanni — Accordionist, Composer, Arranger, and Technical “Whiz”
Sofia Ros Performs with Irving Symphony Orchestra in Texas
Long Island Accordion Alliance Hosts "Accordion Love Fest"
"Cherish the Ladies” March USA Tour
Joe Cerrito Performs with the Venice Symphony Orchestra

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Save the Date for Guy Klucevsek’s 75th Birthday Concert on May 14
CNIMA USA Teaching Tour, May & June 2022 - USA
The ATG Festival Orchestra of 2022
2022 AAA Coupe Mondiale Qualification
Albuquerque Accordion Extravaganza and Band Camp Registration
Dr. William Schimmel: The 2022 Accordion Seminars and More!
Indiana Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival

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



Editor’s Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rita BarneaLive accordion events are back! Now that the pandemic seems to be subsiding, more accordion music festivals are available for you to enjoy. Of course, we still have virtual events and live/virtual events for those who feel more comfortable that way.

In this months publication, there are so many concerts, CD releases, festivals and competitions to read about. I hope you will take the opportunity to once again see your accordion friends, play in your ensembles, and present your programs. The accordion is live and well all over the world!

As always, please keep me informed:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Daniel Ratcliffe to Star as Weird Al Yankovic

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Weird AlDaniel Ratcliffe, popular Harry Potter star and Broadway actor, will wear a Hawaiian shirt and perm for the Roku Original, "WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story." Radcliffe’s casting was announced earlier this month for The Roku Channel’s biopic of “Weird Al”, who is known for hilarious songs like “Trapped in the Drive-Thru.” The movie will focus on the prolific career of Weird Al, Grammy winning musician and pop cultural icon. It will be Roku’s first original biopic. WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story is currently filming in Los Angeles. The film will be available exclusively for free on The Roku Channel.

Daniel said, “Wearing the Hawaiian shirt is a huge responsibility that I don’t take lightly,” Radcliffe, told People, “and I’m honored to finally share with the world the absolutely 100 percent unassailably true story of Weird Al’s depraved and scandalous life.”

According to a press release, “The biopic holds nothing back, exploring every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle.” Eric Appel will direct from Yankovic’s script, which he co-wrote. Appel commented, “when Weird Al first sat me down against my will and told me his life story, I didn’t believe any of it, but I knew that we had to make a movie about it.”

Yankovic shared that he is “absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying” him in the film, joking of the British actor, “I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.” Roku Head of Original Scripted Programming Colin Davis joked in the press release, “There clearly aren’t enough biopic movies about famous musicians and we were excited to shine a light on the incredibly true, unexaggerated story of Weird Al.” He finished his statement on a more serious note, saying “this is sincerely the ultimate combination of talent, creativity, and friends, coming together to make something genuinely funny and we could not be prouder to call this film a Roku Original.”

Weird Al is on a 133 date tour of the USA. His future performances include:
April 26, Poughkeepsie, NY, Bardavon Opera House
April 27, Albany, NY, The Egg
April 29, New Bedford, MA, Zeiterion Performing Arts Center
April 30, Orono, ME, Collins Center for the Arts
May 1, hampton beach, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
May 3, Portland, ME, Merrill Auditorium
May 4, New London, CT, Garde Arts Center
May 6, Medford, MA, Chevalier Theatre
May 7, Medford, MA, Chevalier Theatre
May 8, Burlington, VT, The Flynn
May 10, Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse

Three terrific books about Al were released in 2020 – "The Weird Accordion to Al" by Nathan Rabin, "Weird Al Seriously" by Lily Hirsch, and "Black & White & Weird All Over" by Al’s longtime drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz!

Al is comedy and music all rolled into funny performances!

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

ATG 80th Anniversary Festival

by Karen Lee, ATG 2nd Vice-President
Murl Allen SandersATG (Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International) invites everyone to join in its Festival celebrating the accordion and ATG’s 80+ years as a premier organization for accordion teachers, professional accordionists, and other accordionists and students.

The Festival includes four separate concerts; a unique “Petting Zoo” open without charge to the general public, giving the curious and youngster a hands on experience with an accordion; the opportunity to play in an 80 musician orchestra on a magnificent concert stage; Exhibitors; Competitions with prize money and trophies; proficiency examinations; Workshops; a Gala Banquet, and, most importantly, the renewed opportunity to meet with and enjoy the company of fellow accordionists from across the county.

The Festival takes place July 20 through July 24, 2022, in Lisle, Il. (Chicago) at two locations: The Lisle Hyatt Regency and the Wheaton College campus’ Armerding Center for Music and Arts and Barrows Auditorium. The three evening concerts will be at the college campus. Thursday evening’s concert at Barrows Auditorium features the exquisite UMKC Accordion Ensemble directed by Joan Cochran Sommers.

Members in photo:
Seated L to R:  Betty Jo Simon (former ATG President), Samantha Jarquio Wagner, Joan Cochran Sommers (Director, former ATG President), Christine Jarquio Nichols, Jane Christison
Standing back row L to R: Mary Ann Covone, (current ATG President), Ron Dake, Ron Barrow, Kevin Friedrich (former ATG President), Cathy Sue Weiss;

The Thursday evening concert includes Italian virtuoso Mirco Patarini; jazz accordionist/World Champion, Nikolay Bine; and modern accordionist, composer, recording artist, Murl Sanders.

Two evening concerts will be performed from the beautiful stage of acoustically acclaimed Armerding Center for Music and Arts. Friday’s concert is an evening with the highly regarded Canadian accordionist Michael Bridge, skilled on both acoustic and digital accordions. The finale concert on Saturday begins with the 80 musician Festival orchestra under the baton of internationally respected Joan Cochran Sommers. You can play in this historic orchestra, too. However, over 60 chairs in the orchestra have already been reserved! To assure there is a place for you, reserve your chair NOW at

The culmination of the festival, following the orchestra’s performance, will be the Bayan virtuoso Stas Venglevski playing a full program including Anthony Galla-Rini’s Second Concerto for accordion with the Racine Symphony Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor William Morse. Friday afternoon is a separate accordion orchestra directed by Prof Joan Sommers who will perform a concert of original accordion music at the hotel ballroom.

All four concerts are included in the Festival registration package. Additional tickets for the evening concerts may be purchased separately through the Wheaton College Arts Series ticket office. The public is invited to all concerts.

The Festival registration form and hotel information, for members and for nonmembers, can be found at . If you would like to be an advertiser (or simply to give your best wishes and congratulations to ATG) in the Festival Brochure/Schedule for this historic event, contact the ATG through its website. ATG hopes to see you ALL at the Festival.
UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra

Titano Accordion Company

Online: 2022 Not Just Oompah! Announces Workshop and Concert Series Featuring Rita Barnea and Raif Hyseni

by Shirley Johnson and Laura J. Niland, Co-founders of NJO
Rita Barnea and Raif Hyseni
Laura Niland and Shirley JohnsonOnline: Shirley Johnson and Laura Niland are proud to announce the first workshop series of an exciting lineup for the 2022 Not Just Oompah Workshop and Concert Series. First, the "Music of Albania" will be presented by Raif Hyseni, followed by the "Music of Eugene Ettore " presented by Rita Davidson Barnea. Cost for attending both of the workshops is $75 for accordionists and both presentations will be held on ZOOM with workshop materials delivered in PDF form to registered participants.

Download flyer: 2022FlyerBarnea.pdf
Payment and registration information is on the website at

Raif Hyseni will present his workshop on Saturday, April 23, 2022 from Noon - 2:30 PM Central Time, followed by a concert on Zoom April 23 @ 7:00 - 8:00 pm Central Time. On Wednesday, April 27 @ 7:00 - 9:30 PM Central Time, Rita Barnea will present the "Music of Eugene Ettore ".

Raif Hyseni hails from The Republic of Kosova, which has a large Albanian majority. He grew up in the town of Mitrovicë, where he studied accordion at the music school. During high school he performed in amateur ensembles, folk bands, and orchestras, and even toured in Germany, Austria and throughout the Former Yugoslavia. Before moving to Tiranë in 1992, Raif was a well-known radio and television performer in Kosova’s capital city, Prishtinë, performing with well-known singers, and where he performed with the legendary violinist Isak Mucolli. While attending college during the evenings in Prishtinë he worked as a high school music teacher in the afternoons.

Rita Davidson Barnea filled glasses of water to create a musical scale and tapped out little songs with a spoon at the age of 4!! Her parents took her to Major Music in Irvington, New Jersey where Eugene Ettore became her accordion teacher at the age of 9. Rita loved the minute she was given her first little red accordion, and to this day, not a day goes by that she is either playing, listening to, writing about the accordion. After years of instruction and playing in bands, she performed in many venues with the Sano Symphony conducted by Eugene Ettore. Rita also learned to play the piano and the violin.

Auditioning on the accordion for the University of Connecticut music department, she was a piano major in music education. For over 30 years she taught Pre-K to Grade 5 vocal and special education music in the West Orange, NJ public schools using the accordion every day to accompany her students. On beautiful, warm days, she took her classes and accordion outside to teach lessons. Ms. Barnea is an AAA Governing Board member.

For 14 years she has been and still is the National Editor of covering accordion events, artists, concerts, etc. which take place on the North American continent. Rita welcomes accordion news, photos, and information for the USA News. Email her at:

She presents workshops and concerts on Klezmer music as well as on the "Life and Music of Eugene Ettore", ”The Use of the Accordion in the Teaching of Music in School”, and "How to Organize a Children's Birthday Party" centered around the use of the accordion. She has performed in recitals, concerts, workshops, and at accordion festivals throughout the US. Rita is the creator and curator of the Eugene Ettore Memorial Website, which contains photos, articles, and other valuable information at: Eugene Ettore.

Free Download the "Music of Eugene Ettore " mp3 album at:

Eugene Ettore began to study the accordion at age 5 with his father, Antonio, a Vaudeville accordionist. Truly a Renaissance man with varied interests, Eugene always excelled in any subject that he devoted himself to. He specialized in composing original accordion compositions, as well as arranging music for concert solo and ensemble accordion groups, organ, and guitar (pop and standard tunes.) Mr. Ettore has to his credit over 300 published and unpublished copyrighted works of all types. He was the author of method books for the accordion, French horn, recorder, and melodica, and the Chief Editor and Arranger for Pietro Deiro Publications from 1955 to 1965.

Eugene was President and Vice President of the American Accordionists Association (AAA), and awarded as an “Outstanding Composer and Arranger” of that organization, as well as Vice President of the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey. He was recipient of ASCAP Standard Pane Awards for 1964 and 1965 and listed in 1955 in "Who's Who in the East". For more information about Eugene Ettore’s vast achievements and accomplished life and career, please visit

We look forward to seeing you at the ZOOM presentations from both Raif Hyseni and Rita Barnea. Join us for an exciting new year with Not Just Oompah.

Download flyer: 2022FlyerBarnea.pdf

For more information and workshop Payment/ Registration check the website
Rita Barnea and Raif Hyseni register

Voci Armoniche

Register Now! Exciting NAA Convention 2022 – Youth Program

by Markus Baggio
NAA Logo, Welcome
YouthYouthOne of the pillars of the NAA Convention is the youth program on Saturday, March 19, 2022. With the guidance of Dick Albreski young accordionists will attend workshops and play together and learn.

This year’s youth activities will culminate in a concert on Saturday where they can showcase their accordion skills to the conventioneers and their parents in the main ballroom during lunch. Special thanks go also to Elena Fainshtein who sends many of her students to participate and perform. We are lucky having so many young students this year.

The countdown is on! There is still time to register.

Wednesday, March 16th to Saturday, March 19, 2022

Same place as the years before: Hilton Hotel, Richardson, TX (formally a Hyatt facility)

Please follow this link to register for the hotel and the convention:

We will have 18 presenters and performers with a total of 40 sessions and band rehearsals. Workshops cover musicality, technology, play-along. Something for everybody. There is also plenty of time comingle and reconnecting with your friends.

Check out details for the presenters and workshops:

Here is a glimpse of the evening activities:

* Wednesday evening: Welcome reception. Meet and mingle with your fellow accordionists.
* Thursday evening: Music around the world. We will dedicate rooms to different cities like Paris, Rome, Munich, and others. Each will have a main presenter, but everybody is welcome to play for open mike! Stroll around with a beverage for an entertaining trip.
* Friday evening: Dance Party - dance until your shoes fall off! We will have performers on stage entertaining you with Folk, Polka, and Ballroom dance.
* Saturday evening: Gala dinner with a final concert.
* Every night: Jam sessions until the lights go off.

Looking forward seeing all y’all!
NAA Festival and Youth band

Accordion Jazz Chords

2022 Texas Folklife Apprenticeship in the Folk & Traditional Arts Program Awardees

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Texas Folklife
Since 1987, Texas Folklife's Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Program has supported 369 folk and traditional artists pass on and learn a diverse range of art forms practiced in cultural communities across Texas. The Apprenticeship Program provides awards of up to $3,000 for artist mentors to offer one-on-one training in art, cultural, or heritage practices to dedicated apprentices for six to eight months. By refining artist mentors' approaches to their crafts, broadening apprentices' skills, and encouraging the transmission of knowledge within and between cultural communities, the Apprenticeship Program fosters the continuity of the folk and traditional arts in Texas.

Texas Folklife is proud to announce the 2022 Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Program awardees. The Apprenticeship Program fosters the continuity of Texas' traditional arts through mentorship, artist development, and organizational support. Mentors and apprentices from across the region were chosen from a number of highly qualified applicants through a rigorous panel review process. From South Indian veena and Chinese erhu performance, conjunto accordion tuning and playing, western swing guitar and flamenco, cartonería and comida casera, and Native American storytelling, the selected artist teams represent the diversity of Texas's folk art traditions.

 2022 Texas Folklife Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Awardees include:

- Mentor Felipe Perez (San Antonio) and apprentice Bernabe Perez (San Antonio) in the art of accordion tuning

- Mentor Juan Longoria, Jr. (Brownsville) and apprentice Manuel Tovar (Brownsville) in the art of conjunto accordion

- Mentor Jesús Muñoz (Albuquerque) and apprentice Andrea González (Sugar Land) in the art of flamenco
- Mentor Rajeswari Pariti (Argyle) and apprentice Vishnu Dokka (Austin) in the art of Carnatic veena performance
- Mentor Rocío Ramírez-Landoll (Waco) and apprentice Diane Torres (Waco) in the art of cartonería
- Mentor Veronica Castillo (San Antonio) and apprentice Rosie Torres (San Antonio) in the arts of ceramics and comida casera
- Mentor Whit Smith (Austin) and apprentice Ian Lee (Wimberley) in the art of western swing guitar
- Mentor Xelena González (San Antonio) and apprentice Excy Guardado (San Antonio) in the art of Native American storytelling
- Mentor Daniel Chen (McKinney) and apprentice Eric Wang (McKinney) in the art of Chinese erhu performance

The Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program is made possible by a State Partnership Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Texas Commission on the Arts and support from the board and members of Texas Folklife. Additional support is provided by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and folk and traditional arts partners across Texas.

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. The National Endowment for the Arts designates Texas Folklife as the official folk and traditional arts organization for the state. Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored traditions passed down within communities, explored the importance of traditional arts in contemporary society and celebrated the state’s vibrant heritage by providing arts experiences enjoyable and accessible for all generations. For more information, visit 

More about the accordion related awardees Felipe Perez, Bernie Perez, Juan Longoria, Jr., Manuel Tovar in future USA news publications!


Mary and Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund Offers Scholarships and Grants

by Mary Tokarski
Mary and Frank TokarskiBeginning in July of 2022, the Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund (managed by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Connecticut) will begin presenting Scholarships and Grants to young musicians ll (up to the age of 26) who are seeking educational advancement and/or extra-curricular programs to improve their musical skills.

Special consideration will be given to those who plan to use the accordion as an integral part of their career plans.

Winners will be notified by email on or around June 15th, 2022.

 Questions, clarifications and requests for applications should be sent to Mary Tokarski at    
The deadline for applications is May 15th, 2022. Application forms and all required paperwork should be mailed to:
The Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund
22 Boyd Farms Drive, #C
Jackson, TN  38305

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

Accordion Pops Orchestra Begins 52nd Season

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video 1:

Video 2:
Al TerzoVideo 1: Conflict Overture Accordion Pops Orchestra performing "Conflict Overture" at Shannondell, Audubon PA. September 22, 2019 Al Terzo conductor
Video 2: Accordion Pops Orchestra performing “Hoedown” at Shannondell at Valley Forge, September 18, 2016 Al Terzo conductor

The Accordion Pops Orchestra was founded in 1970 by the Accordion Teachers Association of J.J. The first conductor was Jacob Neupauer followed by maestro Eugene Ettore in 1980 and Dan Desiderio in 1985. The group is now under the direction of Al Terzo ( 2011- Present), one of the original members. In addition to New Jersey, the orchestra now has members from New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The 35 member group rehearses once a month and performs 5 or 6 concerts a year. Al is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and National Association of Music Educators. Mr.Terzo serves on the governing board of the American Accordionists Association and is a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He is an accomplished accordionist who has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark's Symphony Hall. Currently Mr. Terzo teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.

Since the start of Covid, several orchestras around the world have asked Al Terzo for his arrangements. Groups from England, Germany, Belgium, Australia, and Malta have all asked for his arrangements after seeing the Accordion Pops Orchestra (APO) on YouTube.

The orchestra performs a repertoire of Light Classics, Broadway Big Band, and Popular music. Members of the group include professional musicians, teachers, students, and hobbyists. The orchestra has entertained audiences at many locations including concert hall, festivals, and playhouses in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.

Future concerts include December 4, 2022 at the Hillsboro, NJ Elks Club. More concerts will be announced soon in the USA news.

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

ATG Wednesday Night Virtual Workshops

by Joe Natoli, Gail Campanella Mary Ann Covone
ATGInstead of self-imposed musical lockdowns and cancellations that have impacted other US organizations because of the Covid pandemic, ATG has decided to use technology as its friend to find ways of musical communication outside the normal methods. Hence the idea of the ATG Wednesday Night Virtual Workshops was formed for 2021 and continues very successfully in 2022.

So far a total of 26 very engaging workshops have been presented, with Joe Natoli kicking off the series in 2021 with his Alternative Stradella Chord Voicings on 3/24/21 and again on 3/31/21 with his workshop on Successfully Streaming Live on Zoom. Since then, a widely diverse group of workshops have been enjoyed by all attendees, covering just about any useful subject one could imagine as you can see from the following lists:

2021 Workshops:
• Joe Natoli – Alternative Stradella Chord Voicings (3/24/21)
• Joe Natoli -  Successfully Streaming Live on Zoom (3/31/21)
Frank Busso, Jr – The Anatomy of the Accordion (4/7/21)
Herbert Scheibenreif – Friedrich Lips’ Life Achievements (4/14/21)
Grayson Masefield – Bellows Masterclass (4/21/21)
• Murl Allen Sanders – Accompaniment Techniques in Ensemble Playing (5/5/21)
Stas Venglevski – Stas’ “Practice System” (5/12/21)
• Madalynn Neu – Plays Well With Others (5/19/21)
• Paul Cain – In the Studio (6/2/21)
Joan Sommers, Betty Jo Simon, Jane Christison - Kansas City Trio (6/9/21)
Paul Pasquali – Arranging Songs for the Stradella Accordion (6/16/21)
• Ron Borelli – Using the iPad for Performance (6/23/21)
• Michael Bridge – How to Play Great Last Notes (6/30/21)
Mirco PatariniScandalli Factory Tour (7/19/21)
• Murl Allen Sanders – Ensemble Playing (9/22/21)
• Dr. Helmi Harrington – Bohemian Diatonic Accordion (9/29/21)
• Dr. Helmi Harrington – Slovenian Diatonic Accordion (10/6/21)
• Gordon Kohl – An Oktoberfest Band Accordionist (10/27/21)
• Joe Natoli – Playing Musically (11/3/21)
• The Fink Family – Schwyzerorgeli (11/17/21)
Stas Venglevski, Joan Cochran Sommers – Duets for Two Accordions (12/1/21)
• Joe Natoli – Successful Use of Accordion Registers (12/8/21)

2022 Workshops:
• Dr. Angela Natoli – Health Subjects for Accordionists (1/12/22)
• Joan Cochran Sommers & Beverley Fess – Exploring the New ATG Syllabus (1/26/22)
• Liz Finch – Navigating Notation Software (2/9/22)
• Eddie Monteiro – The Magic of the Walking Bass (2/23/22)
• Don Gerundo – Accompanying a Melody Instrument or Vocalist (3/9/22)
• Ulrich Schmulling – Accordion Activities and Literature in Germany (3/23/22)
• Joe Natoli – Music Memorization Techniques (4/13/22)
• Elena & Gregory Fainshtein – Playing Effectively in a Duo (4/27/22)
• Dr. Angela Natoli – Hand Health for Accordionists (5/11/22)

The 2022 workshops are scheduled through May 25, 2022 on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Each workshop is archived on the ATG Members Only area of the website (

The workshops are free to ATG paid members, and everyone is encouraged to join ATG to enjoy these workshops as one of the many benefits of ATG membership. Also, ATG members are encouraged to submit ideas for their own presentations on our workshop series which will be reviewed by the Board of Directors for possible inclusion in our schedule. The only requirements are
1) that you have the ability at home to connect on Zoom via your computer
2) that you have the ATG recommended optimal Zoom settings
3) that you have an internet connection fast enough to support live streaming.

Additionally, presentations are best (especially with live performances) if they are done using a good audio interface.
ATG sincerely hopes to see you joining us either as an attendee or as a potential presenter.

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

Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak Celebrate 10 Years Concertizing Together

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
10 Year
Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak are acclaimed music and comedy duo who combine traditional acoustic instruments with 21st-century digital technology to uniquely reimagine the repertoire of classical, world, and jazz music.⁣We are happy to inform you that Bridge and Wolak are on tour now. Tickets to many wonderful and entertaining concerts are available now. Plan to attend.

Michael shares, “It's unbelievable--but the first Bridge & Wolak concert was almost exactly 10 years ago, on February 12, 2012! Starting in California, we're launching into our 11th year with two major US tours this winter/spring. It's been an incredible ride. We've toured in South America, Poland (3x), France, Ukraine, Czech Republic, across Canada, and in about 20 US states. We've played over 300 concerts, 50+ school shows, collaborated with amazing colleagues (notably: Guillaume Tardif on two European tours), given many masterclasses, and created the Bridge & Wolak Music Mentorship Program online for high-school musicians. We feel extremely lucky to get to work, travel, and support ourselves through performing music, and with a great friendship to boot!

It's a privilege to get to make an impact and interact with many audiences and students, which in turn contributes to our personal growth and awareness. To us, the most important factor is that we constantly seek to improve ourselves, and we have a few announcements about this coming soon.”

Michael Bridge (accordions & piano) and Kornel Wolak (clarinet & piano) are an internationally-acclaimed music & comedy duo, integrating traditional acoustic instruments with 21st century digital technology. They perform their own uniquely re-imagined repertoire of classical, world and jazz fusion. With deft virtuosity and endless wit, Bridge & Wolak have been called the “Victor Borges of the 21st Century.” Fun-loving gentlemen (with seven degrees in music), they are both globe-trotting musicians and educators. They were nominated for the BC Touring Artist of the Year award in 2019. “Watch and be amazed!” —CBC. “Remarkable subtlety in Bridge’s production of sound. [...] Control and a smooth expressivity are what make Wolak shine.” Toronto Star. Their program features selections from composers such as Handel, Bach, Chopin, and Gershwin as well as a few surprises. Deft virtuosity and endless wit.

Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak are acclaimed music and comedy duo who combine traditional acoustic instruments with 21st-century digital technology to uniquely reimagine the repertoire of classical, world, and jazz music.⁣

Future Performances Include:
MAR 4: Longview-Kelso Community Concerts
Friday, March 4, 2022
7:30 PM  9:00 PM
Rose Center For The Arts 

MAR 6: Wenatchee Concerts
Sunday, March 6, 2022
7:00 PM  8:30 PM
Wenatchee High School 

APR 24: Judith Arts
Sunday, April 24, 2022
4:00 PM  6:00 PM
Hobson Public School 

APR 26: Chouteau County Performing Arts
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
7:00 PM  8:30 PM
1406 Franklin StreetFort Benton, MT

APR 27: Alpine Artisans 2 Valleys Stage
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
7:00 PM  8:30 PM

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Online: New England Music Festival Welcomes Adult Virtual Competitors

by Pamela Tom
Online: The New England Music Festival is an annual musical competition sponsored by the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts, Inc, (ATAM). ATAM celebrates its 60th Festival, April 8-10, 2022 at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel (Newton, MA). The Festival averages more than 3000 entries and 800 contestants from New England. Youth and adult categories exist for accordion, piano, guitar, voice and drum. Youth under 19 years old may compete if their teacher is a member of ATAM. Adults (over 19 years old) may participate from outside of New England as they do not have to take lessons from an ATAM member.

This year’s festival features in-person and online formats. In-person adult categories include: New England Championship (two classical compositions); classical; non-classical; and digital. This year ATAM is offering only one virtual solo accordion category (non-classical) for adults. The time limit for solos is 6 minutes; the NE Championship is 15 minutes.

There is a nominal entry fee for solo ($20), group ($10/member) and New England Championship Competition ($40) categories. Memorization is optional! Participants will be judged on interpretation, tempo, dynamics, phrasing, technique, and musicianship, and medals will be based on score results: Gold Medal—Excellent (95-100); Silver Medal--Very Good (90-94); and Bronze Medal--Good (85-89). In this contest you will be competing against yourself. Everyone who scores 85 or higher will be eligible to receive a medal. Details are available at: New England Music Festival

The entry closing date and date that the fees must be received is March 21, 2022 and your video entry must be uploaded to YouTube by April 1, 2022.

Titano Accordion Company

Mary Ann Covone: Expert on Podcast Show: “The Big Fib”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
WonderyMary Ann CovonePodcast link:

Mary Ann explains the accordion at 12:04

ATG President Mary Ann Covone was invited to be the expert on the Podcast “Accordion: The Big Fib | Episode 192 Can you figure out who's lying about accordions?” which aired on February 22, 2022.

I listened to the entire podcast which was very entertaining and educational for all ages. Mary Ann patiently explained the accordion in a fun and enthusiastic way. If I didn’t already play the accordion, Mary Ann would definitely have convinced me that the accordion is the best instrument to play!

The podcast reaches millions of people, a wonderful promotion for the accordion. Mary Ann, who has a Bachelor’s degree in accordion performance, shares that she has students from the ages of 6 to 69 teaching Jazz, Klezmer, Polka, and also conducts an accordion band! She is director of the Chicagoland Accordion Academy. Listen to the podcast to find out more interesting facts!

Every Wondery show brings on two experts where one is an expert and the others a liar. The job of a human child to help figure out who is who because none can spot a liar better than a child. This podcast is part of Wondery, an Amazon company, is a premium podcast studio known for character-driven, binge-worthy stories including “Dr Death,” “The Shrink Next Door,” “Even the Rich” and “Business Wars,” and distributing hit shows like “SmartLess” and “My Favorite Murder”.

Wonderful is behind 7 of the Top 10 New Shows of 2021, according to Podtrac, including  #1 (The Apology Line) and #2 (Suspect). Forty of Wondery’s shows have hit #1 on Apple Podcasts including “Harsh Reality” and “Operator”.

Several of Wondery’s shows have been adapted for scripted television or streaming series. Wondery has gained critical acclaim and commercial success for its immersive approach to sonic, emotionally driven storytelling, which helps listeners to “Feel the Story,” including the Ambie winner for Podcast of the Year “Dying for Sex.”

Wondery’s app offers a unique, personalized podcast experience with over 15,000 episodes, including access to its premium ad-free offering, Wondery+, where fans can get thousands of exclusive and early access to the latest episodes of Wondery’s hit shows.

Mary Ann shares, “The photo below was taken on the day of the podcast and shows the characters involved. Guy on top left is the robot On the bottom right is the “liar” (who also happens to be a lawyer and actor). It’s a little silly because it is a childrens game show, but if you have 20 minutes you just might learn something you didn’t know about the accordion.”

For further information:

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

Drs. Norman and Sharon Seaton Present the NAA Weekly Challenge #52 of 52

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
NAA Logo
Drs. Norman and Sharon SeatonDrs.Norman and Sharon Seaton initiated a detailed project last year at this time called “The Plan: 52 Challenge!” Having read the challenge each week, I can say that it successfully gives valuable information that was helpful in maintaining and promoting playing the accordion and sharing music during the COVID-19 pandemic. This information is always useful and relevant. I suggest taking the time to read and implement the challenges. How did Sharon and Norman provide motivation to all of us? Here is the initial premise of the “52 Challenge”:

1.The NAA is offering to our members and guests what we have named the “52 Challenge.” Once a week for the next 52 weeks, we will create a project for you to initiate or complete that involves the accordion or some aspect of music. You will receive an email each Friday that reveals and explains the activity. Some activities will be quite easy to perform while others will consist of a more extended commitment of time and effort.

2. Our mission is to encourage our members to continue pursuing their love of the accordion! This is not a time for a break in accordion activity. It is true that most public accordion engagements have been on hold for the last year because of the need for players to remain distanced from each other and from audiences. We have missed playing and have missed each other!

The final challenge: NAA Weekly Challenge #52 of 52: Complete the Feedback Survey. There are only three questions. Survey link

History: During the last 51 weeks, Sharon Seaton sent weekly Challenges, also known as e-Letters, to keep USA and Canada-based accordionists motivated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week’s Challenge is the last Challenge for this NAA commitment to the accordion population. Of course, we have also used the Challenges to keep accordionists posted on the latest developments of the annual NAA Convention.

Problem Area: On the downside of the Challenges was the lack of information related to the number of accordionists who have received and appreciated these Challenges. Reason? Many of the vendors (such as Apple) and browser (URL) organizations have changed their computers thus preventing our e-mail service (Send-in-Blue) from reporting how many accordionists have opened and read the message. In other words, we really do not know who is reading the Challenges.
2022 Convention Update Information: The Public Concert has just been published on the NAA web site: Public Concert Link  

Notice that the breakfast and lunch playing time slots have not been assigned at this time. Those time slots will be assigned to registered conventioneers by next weekend. Have you completed the registration form yet? If not, do it now!

You can read many of the NAA Weekly Challenges in previous publications of the news. Check the Past News Index to easily reach the links to past issues. Did you know that there is a search engine on the left side column of the news which says “Search on Site”. You can easily access information on any topics that were included in the news.
2022 Convention Form with request to perform at the convention!
Hilton Hotel Registration Form

Congratulations to Norman and Sharon for providing motivation, education and commitment to the promotion of the accordion!
For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Klezmatics Perform on March 3 in Middletown, PA

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video 1

Video 2
Video 1: The Klezmatics play live at Town Hall NYC with special guests. Barikadn,a song by Shmerke Kaczerinsky (ca 1930's )With Lorin Sklamberg, Frank London, Matt Darriau, Lisa Gutkin, Paul Morrisett and Richie Barshay and friends. This video is taken from the Klezmatics documentary "The Klezmatics - On Holy Ground" DVD

Video 2: "Lolly Lo" Words by Woody Guthrie. With Lorin Sklamberg, Frank London, Matt Darriau, Lisa Gutkin, Paul Morrisett and Richie Barshay and friends. This video is taken from the Klezmatics documentary "The Klezmatics - On Holy Ground" DVD

The famous and entertaining Klezmatics are performing on Thursday, March 3, 2022 7:30-9:30 PM at the Kulkarni Theatre, Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, PA. If you can't make the trip, you can purchase a ticket to the livestream show, and watch from home! The Kulkarni Cultural Series presents this Klezmatics concert in partnership with the Susquehanna Folk Music Society.

The Klezmatics are globally-renowned world music superstars — and the only klezmer band to win a Grammy award. Excerpts from their website: The Klezmatics emerged out of the vibrant cultural scene of New York City’s East Village in 1986 with klezmer steeped in Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality, while incorporating contemporary themes such as human rights and anti-fundamentalism and eclectic musical influences including Arab, African, Latin and Balkan rhythms, jazz and punk. In the course of over twenty years and nine albums they have stubbornly continued making music that is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable.

Members include: Lisa Gutkin, Matt Darriau, David Lindsay, Kurt Bjorling, Paul Morrissett, David Licht, Matt Darriau, Frank London, David Krakauer, Margot Leverett, Paul Morrissett, Lorin Sklamberg, David Lindsay, Lisa Gutkin, Richie Barshay, David Licht, Kurt Bjorling, Richie Barshay, Paul Morrissett, and Alicia Svigals

Since their emergence more than 30 years ago, the Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically and musically interesting recordings, inspired future generations, created a large body of work that is enduring, and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Often called a “Jewish roots band,” the Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.

They have performed in more than 20 countries and released 11 albums to date—most recently the album Apikorsim (Heretics), produced by Danny Blume (who helped the band win a Grammy in 2006) and the first of the band’s albums to feature only the 6 members. On their Grammy-winning 2006 album Wonder Wheel, the Klezmatics set a dozen previously unsung Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, widening their stylistic base by largely diverging from klezmer. They have also recently served as the subject of a feature-length documentary film, The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground. During their third-of-a-century existence the Klezmatics have collaborated with such brilliant artists as violinist Itzhak Perlman, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Israeli vocal icon Chava Alberstein, plus many other prominent artists working within multiple genres.

Today, with three original members—Lorin Sklamberg (lead vocals, accordion, guitar, piano), Frank London (trumpet, keyboards, vocals) and Paul Morrissett (bass, tsimbl, vocals)—still on board, alongside longtime members Matt Darriau (kaval, clarinet, saxophone, vocals) and Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals), the Klezmatics are without a doubt the most successful proponents of klezmer music in the world. The Klezmatics’ music is rooted in but is not a strictly traditional variety of the klezmer genre. Rather it is a comfortable hybrid that appeals equally to those with no previous exposure to the music and those already familiar with it.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Texas Folklife Announces 16th Annual Bg Squeeze Statewide Youth Accordion Contest

by Rebecca Johnson
Big Squeeze Poster
Texas Folklife announces the 16th annual Big Squeeze youth accordion contest. This year’s event will include a mix of virtual and in-person events in traditional Texas accordion music genres including conjunto, polka, Cajun, zydeco and more. Cajun, zydeco and polka categories are open to ages 25 and under and Conjunto is open to 21 and under.
Big Squeeze season opens March 1, 2022 when Texas Folklife begins accepting contest entries, which will be sent in by video. Sign-up, event details and contest rules are now available at All entries are due by March 31st by 11:59 p.m.
A pair of in-person events will follow the virtual entries. The Conjunto Semi-Finals return live to the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
Then on Saturday, May 14, the ever-popular Big Squeeze Finals return live to the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.
Grand prize winners each will receive a cash prize, future performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development and other professional opportunities.
In addition to the contest, this year’s Big Squeeze also will feature a series of virtual discussions with members of Texas’ accordion community about the future of the Big Squeeze. “We are looking to make changes and to improve the program,” said Texas Folklife Executive Director Charlie Lockwood, “and community input will be an important part of this process.”
Interested players are encouraged to submit an application no later than March 31st at midnight. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available online at or by calling 512-441-9255.
The Big Squeeze is presented by Texas Folklife as part of its mission to preserve and present Texas’ diverse cultural heritage. Since 2007, Texas Folklife has promoted Texas accordion music genres through the Big Squeeze program. More than 300 young, talented players from dozens of Texas communities have participated in the program, which supports these vital community-based accordion music traditions.  
The 2022 Big Squeeze Program Director is longtime Texas Folklife producer and partner Sarah Rucker. This is Rucker's 12th Big Squeeze in its 16-year history. 
The Big Squeeze offers a variety of opportunities for individuals and organizations to become sponsors of this distinguished program. For more information on becoming a Big Squeeze Sponsor, visit or call 512-441-9255.
The 2022 Big Squeeze is supported in part by the generosity of H-E-B, a Squeezebox Legend Sponsor, who has contributed to worthy causes through Texas and Mexico for 115 years. We also are grateful to the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board for their long-time support. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor, as well as contributions from Hohner Accordions, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Cultural Arts Division and other regional partners.
About Texas Folklife:
Texas Folklife (TXF) is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. TXF is designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as the official folk and traditional arts organization for the state. Since 1984, TXF has honored traditions passed down within communities, explored the importance of traditional arts in contemporary society, and celebrated the state’s vibrant heritage by providing arts experiences enjoyable for all generations.
For further information:
Rebecca Johnson:
Sarah Rucker, Program Director:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Online Reunion to Remember Frank Marocco Ten Years After His Passing

by Dan Grauman
FrankFrankVideo: Frank Marocco and Eddie Monteiro jam at the Frank Marocco Accordion Event, Jan. 15, 2011 evening celebrating Frank Marocco's 80th birthday. Thanks to Mike Roche for the video and Bruce Lawrie for the pictures.

A virtual reunion over Zoom to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Frank’s passing has been scheduled for this month. The reunion will bring together over 60 accordion camp attendees from the US, Canada and Europe, as well as some special guests.

Participants will have an opportunity to reminisce, as well as view some previously unseen videos. A "virtual orchestra" has been formed, which will perform one of Frank's arrangements that was featured at the 2011 camp. Following the formal portion of the online reunion, participants, who wish to perform for up to five minutes, will have an opportunity to do so, either live or by submitting a video.

Internationally famous accordionist, Frank Marocco, passed away on March 3, 2012 at the age of 81. He had a career spanning nearly 60 years and was one of the most recorded accordionists in the world. He also conducted accordion orchestras and worked with many well-known artists and conductors. Other credits include hundreds of movie tracks, TV series, shows, specials, and commercials. Frank was a prolific composer and arranger of classical, jazz, and other genres of music for accordion solo, duet, various size ensemble, and orchestra. He received numerous awards throughout his career.

In 2006 Frank asked Joan Grauman and me to run an accordion orchestra camp for him. We agreed, even though we had never done anything like that previously. What followed, beginning in 2007, was eight wonderful camps in Mesa, Arizona known initially as the Frank Marocco Accordion Event.

The four-day camps brought together as many as 60 accordionists from the US, Canada, and Europe, who participated in daily rehearsals, workshops, as well as individual and group performances. The last evening of the camp featured a concert by the accordion orchestra, conducted by Frank, as well as individual and duet performances. These public concerts were extremely popular and well attended each year.

Sadly, Frank was only alive for the first five camps. The last camp he attended was highlighted by his 80th birthday party in January 2011, that lasted almost five hours. The video above was part of that memorable party. In 2012, following Frank’s passing, the camp was renamed the Mesa Accordion Event. Stas Venglevski, appointed by Frank as Assistant Music Director in 2009, directed the musical portion of the remaining three camps and conducted the orchestra.

This reunion will remember Frank Marocco as a great musician and personality who is sadly missed by all his accordion friends.

Titano Accordion Company

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

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

The New ATG Syllabus

by Joan C. Sommers
ATG syllabusThe Accordionists and Teachers Guild, Int’l. (ATG) issued its new Syllabus of Examinations at the end of 2021. After about 18 months of weekly meetings of the Syllabus Committee composed of Joan Cochran Sommers (Chair), Beverley Fess (Co-Chair), Amy Jo Sawyer, and Joanna Darrow, 9 levels of both Practical and Written requirements related to the study of the accordion were established.

This includes the requirements for solo performance, the building of technique in both hands, aural and sight-reading skills, as well as those for general musical knowledge. There are suggestions for accomplishing these requirements but there is room also for own choices to be made in the many selections of solos, exercises and studies. The works of many composers and arrangers from several different countries are included in these lists.

All instruments, regardless of type, i.e., piano keyboard or button right hand, stradella or free bass left hand, chromatic or quint, whether C (Italian), B (Russian), or Finnish Systems, for example, reed or digital, may be used to pass the various Practical requirements. There is an opportunity to learn either or both stradella and free bass from the very beginning Preparatory Level. However, it is required to show proficiency in both stradella and free bass in the upper four levels, with a definitive emphasis on free bass in the upper two levels. This is a deliberate attempt on the part of the ATG Syllabus Committee to help bring that proficiency up to the level of all other players throughout the accordion world. Without a doubt, the accordion repertoire of today shows the need for our students to play both stradella and free bass.

The ATG Syllabus of 2021 is the newest revised version and will always be available for purchase on the ATG website: It is available to all and, along with related materials regarding publishers, and suggested books for other musical studies, will be updated as necessary. Many people have been purchasing it and have sent messages back to the Syllabus Committee giving congratulations and saying how much they appreciate seeing so much important information in the Syllabus. The examinations may be taken during the ATG Festivals as well as online during other times of the year. Those details are printed elsewhere in the Syllabus.

Submitted by Joan Cochran Sommers on behalf of the ATG Syllabus Committee.

The Pioneer Women of the American Accordionists’ Association, Part 1

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
Pioneer woman
AAA LogoPhoto: Top left clockwise:  
Elsie Bennett, Maddalena Belfiore with Myron Floren, Theresa Costello, Faithe Deffner and Maddalena Belfiore, Maddalena Belfiore, Addie Ruggiero Cere, Millie Montignone and Addie Cere, Faithe Deffner.

As the AAA prepares for its 85th anniversary celebration in 2023, I thought I would spotlight five amazing women who tirelessly worked, for decades, to help shape and steer the AAA to become the world class, well-respected organization it is today. Each month, for the next five months, I will feature one of these incredible women who began their involvement with the AAA prior to 1960 and remained very active and productive in the organization their whole lives.
Here is a brief introduction to our pioneer women:

Maddalena Belfiore — Maddalena joined the AAA as a young student of one of the AAA founders, Pietro Frosini. She held the office of AAA President twice and served on numerous committees, including contest chairperson, for decades. Maddalena studied composition and conducting at the Juilliard School of Music in NYC. She received the AMITA Golden Lady Award in 1976 for her outstanding achievements in music. Maddalena soloed at Carnegie Hall and ran a successful accordion school for several decades.

Addie Ruggiero Cere — Addie became a member of the AAA in 1942. She served as secretary and on several committees through the decades. Born in Italy, she studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Music in Turin. Addie was a prolific composer of accordion study and performance pieces, many of which were written in collaboration with her husband, Mindy Cere. Addie was highly regarded as a teacher and adjudicator.

Elsie Bennett — Elsie received her M.A. from Columbia University, using the accordion as her major instrument. She owned and operated the Bennett Music School and Schiff School of Music in Brooklyn, NY. In 1952, Elsie created and chaired the Composers’ Commissioning Committee for the AAA for decades and was instrumental in garnering famous contemporary composers to write music for the AAA.

Theresa Costello — Theresa joined the AAA in 1948. She served the organization as secretary from 1949 to 1959 and was on their governing board for decades, and was always active on committees. In 1947, Theresa became Frank Gaviani’s partner in O. Pagani & Bros, Inc., NYC, a pioneer accordion music publishing firm which was founded in 1919. Theresa wrote articles on various accordion topics for the Etude Magazine for several years. She never played the accordion herself.

Faithe Deffner — Faithe was tremendously influential in moving the AAA into new and unchartered territories. She was not an accordionist herself, yet her contributions were numerous and monumental. Faithe majored in journalism and owned an advertising agency prior to joining Ernest Deffner Affiliates, the musical instrument firm which her husband founded in 1934. While working full-time as the president of Deffner Publications, Pancordion, Inc., Titano Accordion Co, International and partnering in Ars Nova Publications, Faithe found the time to work tirelessly for the AAA as its President, chairperson of numerous committees, and the list goes on.

Along with their decades of accomplishments on behalf of the accordion, these women also received the coveted CIA (Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes) Merit Award, presented in recognition for outstanding contributions to the international accordion movement:
1994 - Maddalena Belfiore
1996 - Elsie Bennett
2000 - Faithe Deffner

Stay tuned for more information on these amazing women who helped to shape the accordion world as we know it today.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

NAA Convention 2022: "We Are Back and Revitalizing the Convention!"

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Keep CalmThe National Accordion Association (NAA) 2022 Convention will be held from March 16th to 19th, 2022 at the Hilton Hotel, Richardson, Texas, USA and includes 42 workshop sessions, 16 presenters, and 6 orchestra practices!

"We are back!" we hope to see you all again in person. The focus for the 2022 National Accordion Convention will be on socializing activities, band practice, interactive sessions, the dance party, etc., as we have practiced social distancing for way too long!

Planning for the 2022 National Accordion Convention is at full steam. We have already signed up a large list of presenters and performers, some of whom you may have seen in previous years, but some are also new to the convention. All are well seasoned accordionists and will conduct a large variety of interesting presentations and workshops.

There will be something for every accordion enthusiast: from playing in two orchestras, presentations, interactive sessions and play-along, accordion techniques, digital and acoustic accordions.

Here is a glimpse of the evening activities:
• Wednesday evening: Welcome reception. Meet and mingle with music.
• Thursday evening: Music around the world. We will dedicate rooms to different cities like Paris, Rome, Munich, and others. Each will have a main presenter, but everybody is welcome to play for open mike! Stroll around with a beverage for an entertaining trip.
• Friday evening: Dance Party - dance until your shoes fall off! We will have performers on stage entertaining you with Folk, Polka and Ballroom dance.
• Saturday evening: Gala dinner with final concert.

Note: Covid-19 will most likely not be over, so we will follow all health guidelines of the State of Texas, the local authorities, and the Hotel to keep you safe.

Booking information, Hotel registrations and Convention registrations are now available online at: NAA
NAA Board

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

Composer Sam Sadigursky Releases 3 New CD's Featuring Accordionist Nathan Koci

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sam and Nathan
Solomon DiariesSolomon DiariesLeading contemporary composer/clarinetist Sam Sadigursky (photo top left) celebrates the release of a Three-CD Set inspired by New York’s Borscht Belt Region featuring accordionist Nathan Koci (photo top right) and TONY Award-winning vocalist Katrina Lenk.

Songs of freedom, rebellion, celebration, tradition, independence, loss, hope, decay and renewal - this is the music of Sam Sadigursky's The Solomon Diaries. Originally inspired by the peculiar history and modern remnants of the Borscht Belt, these songs present Sadigursky's unique work, bringing together an eclectic mix of tradition, improvisation, global influences and a classical chamber intimacy. The 3 album set of The Solomon Diaries, came out Jan. 7, 2022 on Adhyaropa Records. The CD Release Concert was held at Barbes in Brooklyn, NY on February 6, 2022.

Clarinetist Sam Sadigursky was featured onstage in the Tony and Grammy Award winning The Band's Visit and most recently joined the Philip Glass Ensemble. Excerpts from press releases: He has also played with Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, and the Mingus Orchestra. Accordionist and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Koci, who has played with Bang on a Can and Alarm Will Sound was music director of Daniel Fish's acclaimed Broadway production of Oklahoma!.

Between international tours with the critically-acclaimed Philip Glass Ensemble, the award-winning composer/clarinetist Sam Sadigursky announces the release of his latest recording project “The Solomon Diaries” The performers include Sam Sadigursky (clarinet), Nathan Koci (accordion/piano/banjo),and Katrina Lenk(vocals.)Excerpts from the press release:  A sophisticated collection of true era-defining cross-genre composition, this trio of compelling albums showcases Sam’s wide-ranging eclecticism that references jazz, world music, and post-minimalism. Inspired by the dramatic rise and fall of the famous Borscht Belt region, "The Solomon Diaries" is an aural reflection on America’s Jewish Vacationland celebrating the monumental place that it has in American cultural history and capturing absence, loss, and change within the Jewish American immigrant story. The CD Release Concert was held at Barbes in Brooklyn, NY on February 6, 2022.

Searching for a new direction in his music, Sam became fascinated by the photo book The Borscht Belt by Marisa Scheinfeld, which shows the contemporary remains of the Catskills region just before many of the resort sites were completely demolished. He felt compelled to set these images to music, which led to a deep fascination with the region’s history. “The Solomon Diaries is a musical documentation of a pivotal era in American Jewish history, one that tells a much bigger story than just a bunch of hotels and resorts in the mountains. I don’t have a direct personal connection with those places, but a story of refugees facing exclusion and rebelling by creating their own oasis and then eventually assimilating is a story that is so relevant today,” says Sam. “I dedicate this music to the memory of my grandparents, all of whom lived through the Holocaust and spent their lives driven away from their homelands of Eastern Europe.”

Growing up listening to Jewish music (his father is a Klezmer clarinetist/accordionist) coupled with his experience performing Jewish, Arabic and Middle-Eastern inspired music onstage in the 10-time TONY Award-winning musical The Band’s Visit, now more than ever, Sam’s musical aesthetic is peppered with a traditional folk flavor. “I think this is the most personal music I’ve written. My connection to Judaism is shaped most by its rich music tradition, which goes so much deeper than Klezmer music. There’s a space in these pieces for improvisation that reflects all the aspects of my musical background.”

Most of the albums’ songs were written in 2019 and early 2020 and originally performed with a quartet, but The Solomon Diaries was slimmed down to a duo due to COVID-related limitations. Sam is joined by his former colleague, accordionist and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Koci, who prior to the pandemic served as music director and conductor of the TONY Award-winning Broadway revival of Oklahoma!. According to Sam, Nathan’s unique musical background made him the obvious choice for this music. “As difficult as it was having both our performing careers decimated by COVID, it was an enormous gift to have the time and the space to dissect and collaborate on this music in a much deeper way than our busy pre-pandemic lives might have allowed us.”

Described as “personal, not particularly restricted by ideas of musical genre, quite complex and resolutely unshowy (The New York Times), Sam’s “gracefully high-minded” compositional style is on full display. The trio of recordings comprises 28 tracks, many of which use found audio to augment the duo, including field recordings such as Jewish chants from Daghestan and Azerbaijan in Kudmant Chant, and archival recordings of entertainers from the Borscht Belt region. Recordings of Yiddish folklorist/singer Ruth Robin are featured in Pines Hora and Nevele and one of the most famous Yiddish melodies, Oyfn Pripetchik, gets a modern expansion on solo clarinet in What You Learn Here. Wiltz Waltz, a humorous tribute to Wilt Chamberlain’s stint as a bellhop at Kutscher’s, uses ambient café noise to envelop the duo and lift the energy of the piece.

Accordionist Nathan Koci is a performer, conductor and composer across multiple media including folk music, contemporary classical music, dance, and experimental theater. He most recently served as the Music Director and Vocal Arranger for the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, directed by Daniel Fish. As a music director, he has also worked with directors and artists Rachel Chavkin, Jim Findlay, Daniel Kluger, Anais Mitchell, Molly Smith and Alice Reagan. As a performer, he has premiered new works by Timo Andres, Anthony Braxton, Ted Hearne, John Heginbotham, Maira Kalman, William Kentridge, Guy Klucevsek, and Stew and Heidi, working with ensembles including Alarm Will Sound, The Knights, Ensemble Modern, Bang on a Can, the Tri-Centric Orchestra, the Michael Leonhart Orchestra, and Wordless Music. He performs and records on horns, accordions, pianos, and banjos with groups including The Hands Free, The Opposite of a Train, and Shovels and Rope and currently teaches improvisation and arts engagement at The New School College of Performing Arts.
Guest vocalist Katrina Lenk, best known for her role as Dina in the musical The Band’s Visit, for which she won the 2018 TONY Award for Best Actress in a Musical, speaks text from Ruben Wallenrod’s Dusk in the Catskills on the first album’s closer Little Narrow Circles, which slowly builds from an understated melody to a raucous, drunken celebration. Bookending the series is Fannie’s Waltz, a short tribute to Fannie Shaffer, a Russian immigrant who survived the tragic fire at Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. “This is one of the songs that I wrote amidst the pandemic,” explains Sam. “The repetition of the opening idea of the melody here evokes the sameness of so many of our days that year. The clarinet lays out here – the accordion sings above an old sounding and dreadfully out of tune piano.”
The Solomon Diaries marks Sam’s seventh album. 

Since moving to New York in 2002, Sam Sadigursky continues to make a mark as both a leader and sideman across a broad spectrum of musical landscapes. Sam has toured and recorded as a saxophonist and clarinetist with artists as diverse as Brad Mehldau, Fred Hersch, Lucia Pulido, Gabriel Kahane, Tom Jones, Edmar Castaneda, Katrina Lenk, Linda Oh, the Michael Leonhart Orchestra, Taylor Eigsti, The Mingus Orchestra, Rufus Reid, The Jamie Baum Septet+, David Yazbek, La Cumbiamba eNeYe, and the Philip Glass Ensemble, and is featured prominently on three Grammy-nominated albums with Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society. As a leader, he is currently performing with his group The Solomon Diaries, which recently performed at the Sheen Center in NYC and was featured on the Metropolitan Museum’s weekly Balcony Bar series.

As a composer, he has written for film and modern dance and has also published four books of original etudes for clarinet and saxophone. He is the recipient of numerous grants from organizations such as Chamber Music America, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation. He appears on over 50 albums as a sideman, and was recently the onstage clarinetist for the Grammy, Tony and Emmy winning show The Band’s Visit on Broadway.

For further information:
Nathan Koci

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

The Accordion Saves the Day! …….Wedding!!!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Middleton weddingDr. Mike MiddletonImagine your child is getting married. Everything is all set: the church, the guests, the reception, the music. But wait! The sound system and electricity is not working! Who comes to the rescue? Accordion playing dad! Dr. Mike Middleton performed for the wedding of his youngest son, Mitch Middleton and Brooklyn Baker Middleton in February 2022. According to Mike, “I was scheduled to only do the Processional music but the sound system and electricity didn’t work; so I did other music including the recessional on the cuff at short notice. It shows the value of the accordion as a stand alone instrument. I played “Pachelbel’s Canon in D” for the wedding processional at the request of the bride and transitioned into “I Can’t Help Falling In Love with You”.

Dr. Mike Middleton is an accordionist and his main musical interests are Midi Enhanced Accordion music from all genres. He performs mainly for charity events and local festivals, including all styles of international accordion music. Mike also enjoys arranging compositions on the accordion, and has recently been performing at many churches and for senior groups throughout Central Texas. Mike’s latest performances include his renditions/arrangements of "Ghostriders in the Sky", "Variations on an Amazing Grace", "Beer Barrel Polka Variations", "Russian Minka Variations", and other favorites.

Dr. Middleton is currently employed as Director of Nuclear Medicine and Professor of Radiology, at the Scott & White Clinic/Texas A&M Health Science Center. He has served as President of the American College of Nuclear Physicians and the Southwest Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, Secretary/Treasurer of SNMMI, and other leadership positions. He has also been Secretary of the Scott & White Clinic Healthcare Board of Directors, 2008-present. Dr. Middleton has also been nominated for VP-Elect of the SNMMI.

Dr. Mike Middleton has been entertaining audiences in central Texas for over 3 decades. While in college, he was named Texas State Champion accordionist in 1981 & 1982, and had placed in several national competitions. To help pay for medical school, he was contracted as a repeat solo performer at the famed Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas as well as other venues. In 2001, after 2 decades of not competing, Dr. Middleton won the (one time only) Accordionist and Teachers Guild/Texas Accordion Association's International Texas Folk Accordionists Competition in San Antonio, Texas.

Mike shares, “I have a passion for the accordion and love teaching audiences about this wonderful instrument. In 2017 I became a Board of Director on the A World of Accordions Museum, in Superior Wisconsin, USA, where I have performed several times.
In addition to the accordion, I am a Tubist, and combine accordion and tuba performances periodically where I also sometimes play a Mirafone 189 Kaiser Tuba. Currently, I live in Central Texas with my wife Darla. I have 3 grown children (Meredith, Lance, and Mitch) and one grandson. Historically, they have performed also with me on Harp, Drums, and Bass, respectively. When performances include my children or my great friend, Mr. Clayton Capps on tuba; we have been affectionately called " Mike and the Middletones “. I perform throughout the year in the Scott & White Clinic for Octoberfest, and other venues. My friends, family, clinic staff, hospital staff, and patients continue to attend my performances.”

Congratulations to newlyweds Brooklyn Baker Middleton and Mitch Middleton and parents David and Laura Baker and Mike and Darla Middleton.

Mike’s family and friends will always remember his son's amazing wedding and how Mike’s accordion saved the day!

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

2022 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition Information - USA

by Mary Tokarski
AAA header
Elsie M. Bennett2022 Competition Information, Awards, Regulations and Entry Form at: 2022Bennett.pdf

Elsie Bennett initiated the AAA Composers’ Commissioning Committee in 1954 with Elsie serving as its Chair. Elsie held this post for 51 years, achieving the amazing feat of having commissioned 33 composers who composed 55 works collectively. Elise only retired as Chair a short time before her passing in 2005. Memorial for Elsie M. Bennett.

Entries are welcome from all countries. Entry closing date is June 01, 2022 to Mary Tokarski, Competition Chairperson.

Winners will be notified by email on or about July 01, 2022.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Litvakus Performs at Rockwood Hall, NYC

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
On Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 7:PM: Litvakus presents their Purim Special. Litvakus is a Klezmer collective led by the internationally renowned clarinetist, vocalist, composer, and scholar D. Zisl Slepovitch, a native of Belarus, and the first to focus exclusively on the music and culture of Belarus and Litvak Jews.

Zisl Slepovitch, clarinet, arrangement
Ljova, fadolín (6-string violin)
Joshua Camp Music, accordion
Taylor Bergren-Chrisman, double bass
Sam Weisenberg, poyk

Excerpts from their website: The Litvakus repertoire presents a unique mix of traditional Belarusian and Litvak (North-East European Jewish) folk music, as well as contemporary pieces written in the spirit of roots music. In their various programs, Litvakus have collaborated and recorded with Michael Alpert, Sasha Lurje, and Daniella Rabbani, among others. Zisl Slepovitch’s ethnographic multimedia program Traveling the Yiddishland is a touring production of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, where the founding band members first met in 2008.

As a contemporary klezmer band, the way Litvakus sounds is unexpected; but it also overpowers by the warmth of the deeply rooted tradition. Bagpipe-like drones, drones on the fiddle and bass, “shtetl disco” groove, both authentic and vibrantly modern, come to life with old and forgotten tunes and free improvisational takes on them.

D. Zisl Slepovitch, a native of Minsk, Belarus, is an ethnomusicologist (Ph.D.), klezmer, classical, and improvising woodwind and keyboard player; conductor, composer, educator, founding member of critically acclaimed bands Litvakus, Zisl Slepovitch Trio, and Zisl Slepovitch Ensemble. Dr. D. Zisl Slepovitch is the musician in residence at Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University. Slepovitch’s theatre, film, and television work includes multiple productions by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (off-Broadway), Rejoice (dubbed “Eternal Echoes” CD, Sony Classical) with Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot (PBS, Sony Classical), Defiance movie, and many others. Dr. Slepovitch has taught Yiddish language and culture at The New School, has been a guest artist and visiting lecturer at many universities and cultural organizations worldwide. 

The program takes place at the Rockwood Music Hall , Stage 2
196 Allen St.
New York, NY, 10002

For further information: or

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Rob Curto Performs “There’s a Place for Us”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rob CurtoVideo 1: "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)"
Composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story. Performed on Pedal Steel, Accordion, and Guitar.

Accordionist Rob Curto shares, “More chill Sunday afternoon vibes with this beautiful composition by Leonard Bernstein, my friends Isaac Stanford on pedal steel and Brennen Ernst on guitar, me on accordion and Kiki on guest vocals. She consistently entered at the last A section on every take we did. Dogs get it.”

Rob Curto is an accordionist, composer, and pianist based in Philadelphia and New York City. Excerpts from his website: Curto has a prolific career touring and composing, gaining notoriety for his mastery of the piano accordion, exciting harmonic blends, and general musicianship across genres and musical boundaries.
He is a founding member of the "Brazilian Bluegrass" band Matuto,which gained a following across the US and Canada, was selected to showcase at WOMEX, and toured extensively across Africa, Asia, Europe, and other areas, chosen to represent the US State Department overseas. He has released several CDs and EPs as a band leader and is a prolific composer/arranger, including his latest musical project, the unabashedly accordion-centric American roots band, Fish Harmonics, featuring smokin' accordion along with bass fiddle, groove-oriented drumming, and old-timey strings. Fish Harmonics' debut EP, ONE, is available streaming in all the places.

Since relocating to Philadelphia, Curto has developed an interest in Irish button box, adding B/C button accordion to his repertoire. He studies with NEA National Heritage Fellow and multi-All Ireland Champion, Billy McComisky, and occasionally with John Whelan and PJ Hernon. Curto is profoundly interested in the (relatively) recent history of accordion in traditional Irish music, a passion that has brought him zig-zagging around West Kerry and Co. Sligo, joining sessions and absorbing tradition and tunes.

Curto has many compositional credits, including his own albums as well as TV (Bear in the Big Blue House), documentaries (The Same Heart), independent compositions, and other commissions for theater, film, and commercials.

Rob is available for virtual lessons on reading music, improvisation, composition, development of repertoire and more. Rob has over 20 years of experience as an educator. During his rich career as a world-class performer, Rob has also shared his musical knowledge through private lessons in Accordion and Piano, and workshops for students on both amateur and professional levels. Through teaching, Rob strives to give students not only first-hand information and insight, but the tools to then go and learn on their own. Skills such as how to organize one’s practicing, how to work on technique, how to play by ear and master new repertoire are emphasized.

A Very Special Story

by Chris Brettschneider
Chris BrettschneiderPreface by Joan Grauman: Chris Brettschneider, originally from Maryland, now resides in Port Charlotte, Florida. I met Chris several years ago at an AAA Festival in Virginia, and I have totally enjoyed hearing him play in several restaurants near my home in Florida. The touching story Chris tells below beautifully exemplifies the incredible power of music.
The person on the gurney is Bob Heckmann's father. He had a hip replacement done in early February 2016 and was a professional accordion player and in a coma as a result of the hip replacement. He was a true German gentleman. 

Jackie Tholotowsky and I were hired by the nursing home where he was a resident.  We were asked to "stroll" through the hallways of the nursing home to drum up interest in a concert we were hired to perform, during which time Bob Heckmann tapped me on the shoulder and asked if we could play the Beer Barrel Polka for his dad which we gladly did. 

After being totally unresponsive in a coma for about 10 days, upon hearing the Introduction to the Beer Barrel Polka, woke up and sat up on his gurney and sang the song with us.  When we finished the song, Mr. Heckmann went back into his coma and passed away a few days later.

I would not have believed this story if I had not experienced it for myself. It was 6 years ago that Bob had a camera in his hand and took that picture.  I forgot the exact date, but I will never forget the experience. ~ Chris Brettschneider

Sergei Teleshev and Maria Telesheva Perform for San Francisco Accordion Club on March 20

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Maria and SergeiMaria Telesheva and her father, Sergei Teleshev, will perform for the San Francisco Accordion Club on March 20, 2022. Maria Telesheva was six years old when she started to play the accordion. Maria’s teacher is her father, Sergei Teleshev. Two months after Maria started playing, she won her first International Competition. Since then, she has won several International Competitions in the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, and Belarus. Maria’s talent is not limited to her exceptional duet and solo accordion performances. She’s also a talented singer. She sings in both Russian and English. In November 2021, Maria got the title "Prodigy of the Year" and was selected to grace the cover of the "Accordion Stars Illustrated" Magazine, Time Press, New York (December/January Issue). Mario is now 14 years old and in 8th grade.

Classically trained at the Academy of Music in Voronezh, Russia, Sergei Teleshev is a winner of many International Accordion Competitions and the US V-Accordion Champion of 2013. Being founding member and accordion player of Trio Voronezh (Russia/USA), Classic Klezmer Trio (Sweden), Valinor Quartet (USA/UK), East-West International Project (USA/Japan), Sergei & Nati (USA/Russia) and Duo Two Accordions (USA), he collaborates with many internationally recognized artists, ensembles, and orchestras, composing and arranging music, participates in recording projects of different genres. Sergei is a jury member at International accordion competitions in Russia, Canada, USA, France, Italy. He is also the Founder and President of the Accordion Star International Competition and Festival based in the USA. Sergei is providing online accordion lessons, master classes and educational school programs.

It is a special treat to listen to the duo of Sergei Teleshev an Maria Telesheva. Their performances are entertaining, virtuosic, and delightful to watch.

The SFACC meets the 3rd Sunday from 2-5:PM Come enjoy live music. The Club promotes appreciation of the accordion among members and to the general public. The meetings take place at:
The Chetcuti Community Room
City Center Plaza
450 Poplar Avenue
Millbrae, CA

For further information:

Passing of Leo Aquino

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Leo AquinoVideo: Leo Aquino performing "Gitanerias" by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecouna. Transcription by Galla Rini.

Accordions Worldwide is sad to report that Leo Aquino passed away at the age of 91 in February 2022.

Excerpts from BC Entertainment Hall of Fame:
“Leo has been hailed by music critics and accordion enthusiasts as one of the finest concert accordion artists in the world. His talent was so enduring that recordings made on his Scandinavian tour in 1959 are still aired in radio broadcasts in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden! In 1978, Leo received rave reviews for his performances in a solo concert tour in the Soviet Union. He has appeared on radio and TV in the U.S., Canada, England, and Scandinavia. With his feather-light touch & perfect but powerful technique, he offered his audience an uplifting and inspiring musical experience whenever & wherever he performed.”

“His concert tours included transcriptions of piano, violin, and orchestra works of Bach, Handel, Wagner, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and others. His concerts were always greeted with standing ovations from the audiences. In 1991, Leo toured the United States, giving performances for accordion clubs and festivals in several major cities.”

“In 1995, Leo sat in the Opera Orchestra for Pavarotti’s Concert at GM Place, in Vancouver, and played the Introduction to the last piece in the program…18,000 people attended the concert. Leo lived in Vancouver, BC, playing occasional gigs and continuing to impress listeners with his outstanding musical skills. Leo performed at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention in 2007.”

“Leo Aquino was one of a select few accordionists chosen to study with the great musical educator, Alf Carlson as a student in 1940. The instruction was very intense...5 days a week for 6 months & included rigorous written exams. The others in this exceptional group were Joe Morelli, Horace Lazzari, Len Holland, Ernie Rilling, & Irvin Lang.”

Leo Aquino will be sadly missed.

Voci Armoniche

Dominic Karcic's Upcoming Events

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dominic Karcic and group
Dominic Karcic and his Continental Sound Ensemble will be featured at the following up-coming events:

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the East Neck Nursing Center in West Babylon, New York

Saturday, March 19th, 2022 at the San Giuseppe feast day celebration at the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York City.

Originally from Astoria, NY AAA Board member, accordionist, pianist, and band leader, Dominic Karcic attended St. Francis of Assisi grammar school, William Cullen Bryant high school, New York College of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and continued his education at the City University of New York (CCNY) where he received his Masters Degree in Music.

Dominic was one of the founders and first president of the Adriatic Islands Charity Committee and served as its president for thirteen years during his tenure the committee raising thousands of dollars for senior citizen homes, hospitals and churches in the Mali Losinj (Lussin Piccolo) area of Croatia. The organizations first fund raiser at the Oyster Bay caterering house in Astoria, NY attracted nine-hundred and fifty people and Dominic and his orchestra supplied the music for the monumental event.

Dominic has always played professionally (accordion and piano) in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today. He and his musicians “The Continental Sound” have been house musicians at the Columbus Citizens Foundation (NYC) for over twenty-five years and he has played for organizations like the Valtarese Foundation (Parma, Italy), Fubinese Society (Piemonte, Italy), Italian Charities of Queens, NY, Italian Heritage Association of Long Island, La Pace Restaurant (Glen Cove, NY) and also at Magnanini Winery in Wallkill, NY.

His love for the Valtaro Musette music was instilled in him through his years of study with noted accordionist Peter Spagnoli. In recent years he has been involved in the preservation and documentation of this musical style. He collaborated in writing a biographical article on the life and career of accordionist John “Scudlein” Brugnoli (founder of the Valtaro Musette Orchestra).

He and fellow accordionist Ray Oreggia have given workshop presentations on the Valtaro Musette style for the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA), Connecticut Accordion Association (CAA), Maryland Accordion Club, the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) and the Istria Women’s Club (Astoria, NY).

Dominic founded the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) The wide spread success of LIAA events has endeared it to accordionists and accordion music lovers from all over the New York Metro area and has made it (LIAA) and its events the “Voice of the Accordion on Long Island.” He also created and performs with various singers in a program titled "From Broadway to the Met” which features the music of the American Song Book and Opera.

Photo: Dominic Karcic (Accordion), Ron Horton (Trumpet), Bruce Reed (Vocalist)

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Mike Zampiceni Presents Virtual Concert for Silicon Valley Accordion Society

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Mike Z
MikeOn March 6, 2022 at 3:15 PM PST, Mike Zampiceni will present a virtual concert for the Silicon Valley Accordion Society.

Mike was raised with accordions from birth. His father, Joseph Zampiceni, was a noted accordionist, teacher, composer, arranger, and accordion music publisher, so accordions were part of the Zampiceni household from day one. Mike began formal study of the piano at age 7, then the accordion at age 8, and had his first series of paid engagements at the age of 11 when he played for San Jose area parades on the back of a promotional flatbed truck.

When Mike was 14, he advanced to his father’s orchestra where he played either the accordion or drums. He began leading his own band at the age of 17 when he joined the musician’s union.  During high school he discovered he had a beautiful tenor voice, and was encouraged by my choral teacher to compete in a regional high school music competition. After winning first place in the vocal category, he started taking voice lessons at 16. He received the Bank of America Achievement Award in music upon graduating from high school.

He entered San Jose State University as a music major. His performance concentrations were voice, piano and organ. After graduating with a B.A. in music, he returned after a year and worked on an M.A. in music. It was during this time that he was chosen as tenor soloist with the San Jose Symphony in a performance of a Bach cantata.

After teaching, performing, and selling pianos and organs for about five years, he decided that he needed to switch careers and became a technical writer for thirty years before retiring in 2014. Nevertheless, he had never left the music profession and continued to play engagements and teach students. For example, he's played for special performances with accordion selections in the San Jose Symphony and San Jose Civic Light Opera.

His retirement "job" for the past several years has been playing and singing at parties and special events, and he currently has more than a dozen students ranging in age from 7 to 70. It is wonderful to see the popularity of the accordion spanning all generations, thanks to Mike!

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

Spotlight on Peter DiGiovanni — Accordionist, Composer, Arranger, and Technical “Whiz”

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
Peter DeGiovanni
Wall musicI met Peter DiGiovanni when I became the Music Director of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) in late 2003. In early 2004, I created the Potomac Accordion Ensemble, a small group of accordionists from WMAS. Peter came for our first rehearsal and attended every ensemble performance.

Peter wrote beautiful arrangements for our ensemble through the years and for the Holiday Orchestra that I conducted annually.
After moving from the Washington area Peter was my choice to take over as the WMAS Music Director. That was the best decision imaginable!

More on that later. First, let’s meet Peter:
Originally from New York, Peter DiGiovanni now lives in Oakton, Virginia, with his wife, Sally. After earning his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter joined Mobil Oil Corporation in 1968. During his satisfying 32-year career, he worked in 5 petroleum refineries and 3 Headquarters locations. His assignments covered a broad range of business areas, including process engineering, economics, planning, scheduling, marketing, budget, finance, supply, transportation, financial analysis and management. In 1998, Peter became a licensed Realtor in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is currently a sales agent with Long & Foster Realtors, Inc.

Peter is presently affiliated with the Washington Balalaika Society (Principal 3rd accordion), the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society ,President), the American Accordionists Association, and the Accordions for Kids program offered by Accordions Plus. He also performs, solo and with singers and in small ensembles, at parties and celebrations, weddings, grand openings, public and private concerts, fundraisers, and music clubs and festivals. He has several original compositions to his credit, some of which have won awards, and has created scores of arrangements and lead sheets (pun intended). 

Peter also enjoys bowling, bridge, golf, puzzles, investing and traveling. When asked how he came about playing the accordion, Peter replied: “Musically, it all started as a young child with our piano at home. My Dad played by ear (only in the key of C, mind you) and showed me scales and chord progressions. There was always music playing in the house which exposed me to a continuous stream of wonderful new material. I had about 2 years of piano lessons as a young teenager, which I did not fully embrace at the time, but now wish I had. My father also had an accordion (Superior – 1938, made in NY), but I showed no interest in it. He gave it to me when I was about 35, and I was delighted to discover that the bass buttons were arranged in the circle of fifths, which tied in nicely with my ear for music. I rarely played it, only taking it to an occasional party - more as a lark rather than for real entertainment. But a series of amazing coincidences was about to change all that.

After retiring from Mobil in 2000, I joined the 400-member Potomac Annuitants Club (PAC), and at the request of the Club President, was elected to the Club VP position in 2003. He could have asked anybody, but he asked me! One of my responsibilities was to organize the Christmas party. In searching for entertainment, Sally and I wanted to do something different than inviting the traditional high school singers that the Club has been relying on for years. We kept thinking about the wonderful concerts performed by the Washington Balalaika Society (WBS), which we had been going to for several years. I called the WBS executive director, Max McCullough, to see if there was a small group from the orchestra that could entertain us, and the Samovar ensemble accepted! Then, for the sing-along portion of the party, the lady who had been accompanying us on the piano for free moved 30 miles away and would only come back if we paid her. I am not a great pianist by any means, but I knew I could do a Christmas sing-along, so I did. Then, as a lark, or so I thought, I brought the accordion my Dad gave me to the party and played it for the last song – The Twelve Days of Christmas, where everyone split up into 12 groups and I moved about the room with one of the members who dressed as Santa Claus, conducting them in at their turn to sing. The Samovar players were still there, and upon hearing me play, they encouraged me to join WBS. I was shocked. You gotta be kidding!

I had only played the accordion maybe six times in my life. I had no experience playing where it really mattered what note I hit and my sight reading was terrible, so I was quite apprehensive, particularly knowing how great the orchestra sounded. But I got up my nerve, went to a rehearsal, bought a new accordion from Dale Wise, and the rest is history.
Since then, the accordion has been the centerpiece of my retirement. But if I hadn’t been asked to be on the PAC Board AND if Samovar didn’t play at the Christmas Party AND if the lady hadn’t moved away . . . . none of this would have happened!”

Recently, the pandemic forced WMAS to move their in-person meetings to Zoom as did many other organizations. Peter, a technical whiz, hosted the meetings and helped the participants through the maze of technical issues that always come up. This allowed the members to stay connected, with the added benefit of including those who lived too far away to attend in-person meetings.

For the 2021 WMAS Holiday Concert, Peter put together a virtual orchestra comprised of 14 WMAS accordionists playing six entertaining selections. He arranged the selections and sent reference tracks to the participants who then made video recordings of themselves playing their parts. Peter took these videos, edited them as needed, combined them into a virtual orchestra, added some special effects, and Voila! The concert also featured several soloists. Everyone had a great time and the end result was musically and visually delightful!! The whole concert can be view here. https://

WMAS is now back to in-person meetings. When they are not featuring a concert, they frequently enjoy playing together in jam sessions with the help of sheet music – usually lead sheets. The written music helps those who need sheet music to play from, as well as providing a more cohesive structure for each piece – harmony, road map, etc. It also expands the pool of songs far beyond those that most people already know. The challenge for the members has been to maintain a collection of sheet music to play from. Not everyone is at all the meetings, so some folks miss some of the handouts. Over the years, hundreds of pages of music have been distributed in these “play-alongs,” and much of it has been uploaded to the WMAS website. Regardless of how it’s distributed, individual players must print, organize and index the music somehow. Printing “play-along” books for all the member players would be expensive, and adding new material to it over time would pose the same challenges.

About 24 hours before the February 13 WMAS meeting, while rehearsing duets with Halina Banas-Jones, Peter had an idea – why not project the music on the wall so everyone can see it! After all, he had all the play-along music on his iPad, as well as a ton of other lead sheets and fake books. [A direct result of pandemic-lifestyle-induced boredom (PLIB) prompted Peter to make the leap from paper to iPad – and he hasn’t looked back once!] So on the way to the meeting he bought a projector along with the necessary HDMI cable and adapter. He chose an Epson VS260, though there are many others that would do the job. The VS260 image was bright enough to use in a lit room. It could fill the wall from floor to ceiling, connect with the iPad and mirror its screen onto the wall. Total investment was about $400.

The players were delighted – no more binders, no more hunting for the music, no more staring at each other wondering what to play next, and they didn’t even need their music stands! The sorting and indexing is easily done in the iPad using the forScore app. The two-hour meeting was a huge success. Keep this in mind for your own playing group if you find yourself in a similar situation.

The next WMAS meeting will take place, in person, on March 20, 2022 at the Sleepy Hollow UMC in Falls Church, VA. If you will be in the Washington, DC area at that time, please come and say “Hello” and celebrate the 19th birthday of WMAS with everyone. Bring your accordion, but not your music stand, as everyone will be playing music “from the wall”.

I am speaking for all the members of WMAS: “Thank you, Peter, for all you have done and continue to do for our club!”

The Potomac Ensemble (partial group):  L to R Joan Grauman, Mark Nejako, JoAnn Pankow, Meryl Benenati and Peter DiGiovanni
WMAS play-along music now projected on the wall


Sofia Ros Performs with Irving Symphony Orchestra in Texas

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sofia Rios
Sofia and ElenaElenaSofia Ros, 19 years old, performed in concert with the Irving Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hector Guzmán at the Irving Arts Centre in Irving, Dallas, Texas, USA on February, 2022. The concert, entitled “Musical Treasures from the World” included a world premiere by Irving Symphony Orchestra’s SMU composer in residence as well as music from Argentina, Armenia, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Hungary.

Winner of Trophée Mondiale de l’accordeon’ 2020 (Junior Classique) and Vienna International Music Competition 2021 at the age of 18, Sofia Ros is a student of the distinguished Serbian accordionist and pedagogue Djordje Gajic at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.In September 2021, Sofia made her debut at the Musikverein’s Brahms Saal in Vienna and in the up-coming season 2021/2022, Sofia she will be performing in other well-known venues throughout the UK such as the Purcell Room and Corinthia Hotel organized by the Drake Calleja Trust.

As soloist with orchestra, Ros has performed at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh (Scotland) in two occasions, as a finalist of the Edinburgh Competition Festival (Concerto Class), featuring Richard Galliano’s “Opale Concerto” and Astor Piazzolla’s “Double Concerto”. Her repertoire ranges from original works for accordion (Kusyakov, Lorentzen, Londonov, Makkonen...), to transcriptions from Bach, Scarlatti, Schnittke and Albeniz.

She has been awarded a number of first prizes in international accordion competitions, including most recently the Moscow International music competition 2021, the ‘British College Association of accordionist’ competition 2021, ‘Odín International music competition 2021’ and ‘London Young Musician of the year 2020/21’ where she obtained the Grand Prix. She will also be working on a CD recording with TrueArt TV as part of the prize. Throughout her career, she has also been awarded at international competitions abroad in Klingethal (Germany), Castelfidardo and San Vincenzo (Italy). First prizes in Spain include the Arraste Accordion Competition 2012, 2018 and 2019 and in Scotland, the ‘Allie Cullen’ Memorial Prize as part of Glasgow Music Festival Competition 2019.

Born in the Canary Islands (Spain), Sofia gained a full scholarship to study at Scotland’s National Specialist Music School ‘St. Mary’s Music School’ in Edinburgh at the age of 13 where she studied for 4 years, winning their annual competition “Director’s Recital Prize” in 2020. In 2021, Sofia was awarded a partial ABRSM EU Undergraduate Scholarship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as been supported by the Craxton Memorial Trust and Talent Unlimited.

Accordion teacher Elena Fainshtein shares, “Thank you Kathrine Pennington, Executive Director of Irving Symphony Orchestra for inviting me and my students for incredible concert of Sofia Ros, accordionist, under Hector Guzman whose conducting was beyond the words!!! Such a great time!”

For further information:

Photo up: Sofia Ros with Irving Symphony Orchestra
Photo right: Elena Fainshtein, Peter Gressor, Sofia Ros, Elijah Clements
Photo left: Elayne Dogget and Sofia Ros

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Long Island Accordion Alliance Hosts "Accordion Love Fest"

by Dominic Karcic
Smorgas BandThe Wednesday, February 2, 2022, Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) monthly event at La Villini Restaurant in East Northport, NY turned out to be another “accordion love fest.” The event was highlighted with spontaneous singing and dancing by the patrons and it turned out to truly be “party time” at La Villini Restaurant.

Individual Alliance members (Joe Campo, Joe DeClemente, Bob LaBua, Dominic Karcic ) participated in the open mike segment of the event with their respective accordion sets. Also joining them and visiting and participating in the evening’s entertainment for the first time was noted Rhode Island accordionist Guyde A. Lombari. Guyde’s performance showed off some very interesting aspects and possibilities in using the Roland accordion and it’s technology.

Smorgas Band, the noted Scandinavian ensemble, was the featured guest artist for the evening and as usual they did not disappoint with their entertaining renditions of:
1. "Födelsedags Vals till Mona" by Benny Andersson (ABBA) 1987 Sweden
2. "Gladan" by Benny Andersson 2007
3. "I Do I Do I Do I Do" by B. Andersson 1977 
4. "Nidelven" - traditional Norwegian waltz
5. "Finska Polka" - traditional Finnish polka
6. "Slängpolska efter Byss Kalle", Swedish folkdance
7. "Squeezebox" by The Who
They were also joined by the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) ensemble in two toe tapping selections -" Helsingborg Polka" and "Waltz Continental"

Smorgas Band has been part of many Alliance events over the years and alway come through with great performances. The group, consisting of Jeanne Eriksson Andersen (accordion), Wayne Soderlund (accordion) and Chad Widman (electronic drums), plays  regularly at the noted Lindenhurst, Long Island German restaurant, The Village Lanterne.

Smorgas Band Photos: 
Accordionists Wayne Suderlund and Jeanne Eriksson Andersen and drummer Chad Widman

For further information:

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

"Cherish the Ladies” March USA Tour

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Cherish the Ladies Poster
Video: The Portmna Workhouse/ The Hurling Boys of Portumna for Cherish the Ladies Album “Hear of the Home”
Cherish the Ladies:
Joanie Madden - Whistle
Mary Coogan - Guitar
Mirella Murray - Accordion
Kathleen Boyle - Piano
Nollaig Casey - Fiddle

Special guest musicians: Donnchadh Gough (Bodhrán) and Trevor Hutchinson (Bass)

“Cherish the Ladies” performs their Irish Music Tour of USA next month from March 1st to 25th, 2022. The group plays Irish traditional music and travel with Irish dancers including World Champions, National Champions along with “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance” alumni. The song and dance ensemble includes accordionist Mirella Murray and Kathleen Boyle (accordion and piano).

Cherish the Ladies are a very successful Celtic Pops ensemble. To date, they have been the guest soloists for over 300 nights with the leading symphonies across the United States performing their signature Celtic Pops Celebration program and their Celtic Christmas show. Their symphonic career all began with a phone call from the Boston Pops and the Ladies made their debut with the Cincinnati Pops under the tutelage of legendary conductor, Keith Lockhart. After the overwhelming enthusiastic response, Keith brought Cherish the Ladies back to Boston’s Symphony Hall where they performed another four shows including the prestigious Tanglewood Summer Series. Their successful collaboration continued with a recording that led to their Grammy nominated album, “The Celtic Album”. Since that time, the ladies have taken the symphony world by storm and have performed with National and regional orchestras with many return engagements.

Excerpts from their website: For over 37 years, Cherish the Ladies, one of America’s most heralded Irish music ensembles, has won the hearts of audiences worldwide with their rousing blend of traditional music, captivating vocals, and propulsive step dancing. To quote The Boston Globe: “It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do”, speaking of this Grammy-nominated Irish American super group that formed in New York City in 1985 to celebrate the rise of women in what had been a male-dominated Irish music scene. Since their inception, they have toured the world performing thousands of concerts from the White House to the Olympics, recorded 18 critically acclaimed albums and an Emmy award winning PBS television program, “An Irish Homecoming”.

Accordionist Mirella Murray grew up in Claddaghduff on the north west coast of Connemara in County Galway. Her father John Joe, a notable sean nós dancer, came from Inishark Island and had a deep understanding and love for traditional music. Mirella studied the piano accordion with Mary Finn and it was at music classes that she met up with fiddler Liz Kane from Letterfrack. Mirella won the accordion All-Ireland championship and duet All-Ireland championship with Liz Kane.

Mirella teamed up with the great fiddle player Tola Custy from Co. Clare and they recorded, “Three Sunsets”, which was voted one of the top five albums of the year by The Irish Times Newspaper. Mirella performed at the International Women’s Day Festival in Moscow; was featured in the Galway Arts Festival and toured Austria, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Spain and France. She was a featured soloist in the off Broadway production of the late Johnny Cunningham’s theatrical production, “Peter & Wendy”, an adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” which garnished two OBIE Awards. She also has an incredible flair for teaching, and it is a credit to her musicianship that twenty-two of her pupils have gained All-Ireland titles. She has accumulated a vast store of tunes from her travels, and musicians such as Sharon Shannon, Lunasa and the Bumblebees credit her as a source for many uncommon melodies.

Kathleen Boyle from Glasgow, Scotland comes from a family steeped in the traditional music of Donegal. Her father Hughie is a talented musician and handed down his love of music to her. Kathleen is a talented pianist and accordion player and has won All-Scotland and All-Britain titles on both instruments.

In 1999, Kathleen made history as the first graduate gaining a degree in traditional music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She is in great demand as a teacher and lecturer on both accordion and piano at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music and The Irish Academy of World Music in Limerick University.

She has performed at Holyrood Palace for His Royal Highness Prince Charles and for Irish President Mary McAleese; Kathleen’s travels with Cherish the Ladies and Dochas have taken her around the world with tours of the UK, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Sweden, America, Canada and China. Dochas, were voted best new comers at the 2004 Scots Traditional Music Awards and nominated as best folk band in 2006. Kathleen’s first solo album “An Cailin Rua” or “The Red Haired Girl” was released to rave reviews in 2008. Her latest recording, “Back to Donegal”, is an album she recorded with her father and family members.

Upcoming performances include:
Ridgewood, New Jersey – Ridgewood Women’s Club Private Event

03/04: Mineola, New York – The Irish American Center
03/05: Cumberland, Rhode Island – Blackstone River Theatre

03/06: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Commodore Barry Arts and Cultural Center

03/09: Duluth, Minnesota  – The West Theatre

03/10: Minneapolis, Minnesota  – The Dakota

03/11: Des Moines, Iowa – The Celtic Music Association Concert

03/12: Stoughton, WI – Stoughton Opera House

03/13: Milwaukee, Wisconsin – The Irish Cultural and Heritage Center

03/16: Boston, Massachusetts – City Winery
03/17: Tarrytown, New York – Tarrytown Music Hall

03/18: Geneva, New York – The Smith Opera House

03/19: Binghamton, New York – Broome County Forum Theater with the Binghamton Philharmonic

03/20: Frederick, Maryland – Weinberg Center for the Arts

03/22: Old Saybrook, Connecticut – The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

03/23: Portsmouth, New Hampsire – Jimmy’s on Congress
03/25: Muskegon, Michigan – The Frauenthal Theater with the West Michigan Symphony

For details email:

Titano Accordion Company

Joe Cerrito Performs with the Venice Symphony Orchestra

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
Joe Cerrito
ProgramJoe Cerrito performed with the Venice Symphony Orchestra located in Venice, Florida, which is known for its sell-out concerts. On February 4 and 5, 2022 the orchestra presented the spectacular “A Night At the Oscars” concert. All three performances sold out! The conductor of the Venice Symphony, Troy Quinn, is known for his “energetic and riveting, yet sensitive conducting”, and also for his diversity. He is equally at home with pop, opera, Broadway and classical music.

For this concert, Maestro Quinn chose Oscar-winning scores and created a mesmerizing evening of great selections by John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini and others. For a few of these pieces, such as “Concerning Hobbits” from Howard Shore’s “Lord of the Ring: “The Fellowship of the Ring”, and “Love Theme” from “The Godfather” by Nino Rota, Quinn wanted to bring in an accordion. Lifelong accordionist Joe Cerrito, who winters in Florida, was chosen. Piano great Dick Hyman, who resides in Venice, expressed this choice well, “Of course they chose Joe. He’s the man!” The accordion, and Joe’s skillful playing, added just the right touch to the selections. The orchestra enjoyed sharing the stage with Joe and he with them.

Joe will be celebrating his 89th birthday next month and is still very active, playing in restaurants, at festivals and private parties in and around Sarasota, Florida and Providence, Rhode Island. Please visit my 2016 article on Joe on the AAA website.
Joe Cerrito, Venice Symphony Orchestra

Voci Armoniche

Future events

Accordion Jazz Chords

Save the Date for Guy Klucevsek’s 75th Birthday Concert on May 14

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News

Guy KlucevsekGuy and Alan BernVideo 1: Guy Klucevsek: “The Swan and the Vulture”
Guy Klucevsek: Composer/Accordionist
Camera: Ray Foley
Editor: Elmo King
Recorded at: Casa Klucevsek
Composed in 2014 at the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH

Video 2: Guy Klucevsek: “As They Waltz off into the Sunset”
Subtitled: "The Mystery of the Disappearing/Reappearing Tie"
Guy Klucevsek: Composer/Accordionist
Camera: Ray Foley
Editor: Elmo King
Sheet music available in Guy’s book, Vignettes: Short Pieces for Accordion, published early in 2020, available through Bandcamp

Roulette Presents Guy Klucevsek 75th Birthday Celebration on May 14, 2022 at 8:PM. The “Music of Guy Klucevsek” will be performed by The Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble (Robert Duncan, Peter Flint, Mayumi Miyaoka, Jeanne Velonis) Alan Bern: accordion and piano; Will Holshouser: accordion; Nathan Koci, accordion; Jenny Lin, piano; Todd Reynolds, violin. The event will feature solos, duos and ensemble pieces written between 1980 and 2021, including five premieres. Roulette is located on  509 Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn, NY.

Having retired from the concert stage in 2019, Klucevsek is proud to hand over the performances in this program of solos, duets and quartets to a distinguished cast of musicians he has worked with over many years and, in some cases, decades: Todd Reynolds, violin, Jenny Lin, piano, and accordionists the Bachtopus ensemble (Robert Duncan, Peter Flint, Mayumi Miyaoka, Jeanne Velonis), Alan Bern (doubling piano), Will Holshouser and Nathan Koci.  The pieces Klucevsek has selected represent 40+ years of his composing, from “Oscillation No. 2 for piano” (1980), through “The Grass”, “It Is Blue (Ain’t Nothin’ But a Polka)” (1986), “Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse” (1988), “Eleven Large Lobsters Loose in the Lobby “(1991) and “Bar Talk” (1998) (in memory of Béla Bartók), up to pieces from the 21st century, including

Seven World Premieres:
“Seesaw Song”, Will Holshouser, accordion
“Feel the Bern”, Alan Bern, accordion
“String of Garlands” and “Slango”, Bachtopus accordion ensemble
“Winter is an Etching”, Jenny Lin, piano, and Todd Reynolds, violin
“A Certain Slant of Light”, Jenny Lin, piano
“Hope Dies Last”, Todd Reynolds, violin and Nathan Koci, accordion

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

He is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to “America’s finest artists.”He has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn.

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

His 1987 project, Polka From the Fringe, a collection of commissioned polkas by Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Bobby Previte, Carl Finch, et. al., toured around the world and was released on 2 cds on the eva label, and were named “best recordings 1992” on WNYC-FM’s “New Sounds” program. In 1996, he founded Accordion Tribe, an international ensemble of composer/accordionists Otto Lechner (Austria), Maria Kalanemi (Finland), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia) and himself. They toured internationally from 1996-2009, are the subjects of Stefan Schwietert’s award-winning documentary film, Accordion Tribe: Music Travels, and released 3 cds on the Intuition (Germany) label.

His music theatre scores include “Chinoiserie” and “Obon” with Ping Chong and Company, “Hard Coal,” with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, “Industrious Angels” for Laurie McCants, “Cirque Lili” for French circus artist Jérôme Thomas, which has been performed over 250 times world wide, always with live music, and his own piece, “Squeeze Play,” an evening of collaborations with Dan Hurlin, David Dorfman and Dan Froot, Claire Porter, and Mary Ellen Childs. He and Dan Hurlin were awarded, jointly, a BESSIE for, “The Heart of the Andes,” which has played the Henson International Puppetry Festival, The Barbican Center in London, and the Ten Days on the Island Festival, Tasmania.

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

For further information:


CNIMA USA Teaching Tour, May & June 2022 - USA

by Christine Johnstone
Nathalie Boucheix and Jacques MornetVideo: Promotional video of the CNIMA Accordion School

The CNIMA (Centre National et International de Musique et d'Accordéon) is a French based accordion school founded by famous accordion tutor Jacques Mornet and award-winning accordionist, Nathalie Boucheix (pictured left), who will conduct a CNIMA Teaching Tour in the USA this coming Spring 2022.

The tour will include masterclasses, workshops and demonstrations and is open to all ages, all levels, all styles and is suited for piano and button accordions.

Tour dates as follows:

• May 25th from 2pm to 5pm: Accordion Masterclass at South Oxford Place (BK) in New York City
• May 30th at 2pm to June 3rd at 12.30pm: Four day Accordion Workshop at Alliance Française in New Orleans
• June 5th from 2pm to 5pm: Accordion Masterclass at Petosa Accordion Shop in Seattle
• June 9th at 7pm: Accordion demonstration at Alliance Française in Los Angeles

Jacques Mornet has taught worldwide and is the recipient of the Gus Viseur Prize and the Russian Gnessin Academy Silver Disc and in 2003 was awarded the CIA Merit Award. Mornet's technique lies in approaching the accordion as a wind instrument rather than a keyboard instrument. The proper use of the bellows combined with the appropriate touch of the keys creates outstanding results that transforms one's playing and frees musicality.

CNIMA students have enjoyed multiple successes, including having won a record 126 awards at international competitions. The school has trained several generations of finest French accordionists including Alain Musichini, Domi Emorine, Félicien Brut, Vincent LHermet and Christine Rossi to name a few.

Further information at:

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

The ATG Festival Orchestra of 2022

by Joan C. Sommers
ATG Logo
Joan SommersAs always, the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, Int’l. (ATG) will have its Festival Orchestra this coming July 19-23, 2022 in Lisle, IL (a suburb of Chicago). Joan Cochran Sommers will also be its conductor once again and has selected a program of six pieces which will showcase the accordion in a very fine light. The program will be just a bit longer than normal because this Festival is celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the ATG.

And since it is celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the ATG, it was suggested that the Festival Orchestra should have 80 players. Normally, this orchestra could not have that many since hotel ballrooms rarely have room for that many musicians, but this year all the ATG Festival Concerts will be presented in either the Armerding Center for Music and the Arts Concert Hall, seating 648, on Friday and Saturday, or in the Barrows Auditorium, seating 459, on Thursday on the campus of Wheaton College which is located very close to the Festival Headquarters Hyatt Lisle Hotel in Lisle.

The repertoire selected is:
1. Theme from Lawrence of Arabia (Maurice Jarre)
2. Paragon March (Anthony Galla-Rini)
3. Finlandia Tone Poem, Op. 26, No. 7 (Sibelius)
4. Epilogue from The Comedians (Kabalevsky)
5. The Lord of the Dance (Ronan Padraig Hardiman)
6. Sound of Music Medley (Rodgers & Hammerstein)

Many players have signed up by paying $25 for the Save a Seat plan. We will begin sending all the music out in March to those who have had ATG Save a Seat for them. There is still room for you! This is going to be an especially exciting concert, so if you want to play in the orchestra, just contact and she will send you the form to fill out. You will be welcome to join this special 80 member orchestra!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

2022 AAA Coupe Mondiale Qualification

by Mary Tokarski
AAA Logo
Mary TokarskiEach year, the AAA holds a Qualification round where young US accordionists have the opportunity to represent their country at the Coupe Mondiale. The Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) 2022 Coupe Mondiale will be hosted by the CIA member from 4-9 October 2022 in Zofingen, Switzerland. The competition categories and rules are online at: Coupe Mondiale

If you wish to participate in the 2022 qualifying round, please contact AAA First Vice President, Mary J. Tokarski (picture right) with questions and the category you wish to enter, no later than June 30, 2022. Email:

Further information at:

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

Albuquerque Accordion Extravaganza and Band Camp Registration

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Kim and Dan Christian
Kim and Dan Christian are excited to announce that the Albuquerque Accordion Extravaganza and Band Camp is becoming a popular event!! They invite all to their Albuquerque Accordion Extravaganza and Band camp from May 12-14, 2022So far there are people from CA, UT, AZ, CO, AK, OH, MO and of course NM who signed up. Kim and Dan share, “We would love to add your state to this list! It is going to be such a blast! Our intention for this event is that you will have the most fun that you have ever had with your accordion and that you will be very proud to be a part of thisAwesome Accordion Orchestra!"

It is not too late!! There is still plenty of time to get signed up and learn your parts. Come and be a part of this fun, interactive 3 day event where you will be working together with people from all over the US to perform an awesome and entertaining set of music in front of an appreciative and energetic audience in Albuquerque, New Mexico!

When you get signed up, you will be sent the music to seven great band pieces. This is a very fun event where Kim and Dan promise that you will definitely notice an improvement in your technical playing skills, articulation, and performance skills and you will be very proud to be part of this impressive Accordion Orchestra! The audience absolutely loved this orchestra performance in 2019 and it was covered and applauded by the Albuquerque Television News team! The band will be accompanied by the famous Las Vegas drummer, Rich Delabio!

Song List to be performed:
"Gimme Some Lovin’ "(Blues Brothers)
"Peter Gunn" (Groovin' Detective Series Tune)
"Cotton Candy Twist" (An original accordion chart - Swing)
"Somewhere Out There" - James Horner
"Pilgrim's Chorus" - Wagner
"Danse Macabre" - St. Saens (Easy version)
"Ombo" – Palmer-Hughes

If you prefer to send a check for registration via "snail mail" you can send it to:
Kim or Dan Christian
3654 N. Del Lu Dr.
Springfield, Mo. 65803

For further information: kdcstudios@gmail

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Dr. William Schimmel: The 2022 Accordion Seminars and More!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dr. William SchimmelThe 2022 Accordion Seminars curated by Dr. William Schimmel is scheduled for July 29, 30 and 31, 2022. This will be the 28th year. Like the last two years, they will be virtual. The Theme is: “Too much information, too little time, but we do it anyway”.

The Seminars will be presented by a new organization, The Accordion Global Association. The Master Classes will be from 3 to 4:PM. The concerts from 4 to 5:PM. The distinguished list of participants include: MIcki Goodman, Paul Stein, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Will Holshouser, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Dr. Denise Koncelik, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, Doug Makofka, Jeanne Velonis, Sari Kalin, Brian Dewan, Erica Marie Mancini, Mary Spencer Knapp, Benjamin Ickies, Dan Cooper, Peter Flint, William Komaiko, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Gene Pritske, rPeter Jarvis, Bachtopus, Mayumi Mayoaka, Robert Duncan, David First, Bob Goldberg, Carl Riehl, Rachel Quirbach, Melissa Allege, Dave SoldierAnd more to follow ………..

Seminar topics include:
In your face
Out of your face
The New Professional
The Vague Panther - dealing with navigation of rough waters
The technique of ideas
The technique of chops
Ideas and chops
The Accordion as Homing Pigeon
Accordi yoga
Zen Phrasing revisited
Accordio meditation
De stressing with your accordion
Fun with a purpose
Fun with a porpose
Hard work - with payoff (instant gratification)
Hard work with delayed payoff (the art of patience)
Contraction and release
Aught Culture and Reverse Irony
New works
Old works - new angles
Nothing new, but how we look at it
The Accordion as Smile - La - Phone
Morality and the Accordion

$150 - entire weekend
$25 per Master Class
$25 per Concert
Payment methods will appear in the April issue

Dr. Schimmel’s Recent Projects include Free E-Books, 2 New Books, Upcoming Performances. His 7 E - Books that can be downloaded for free on his website:
1.That means What?!
2.The Cosmic Accordion
3.The Accordion Players’ Perspective
4.Accordion Clarifications
5.Red Lantern Accordion Seminars
6.The 2018 e - book
7.The 2016 Accordion Seminars

“54 Ways to go Oompah” - a 12 minute piece that takes you through various styles that can be played using a simple bass/chord approach.

“Zen of the Quint” - a short book containing short exercises for the left hand Quint Convertor from simple to quirky. It deals more with right brain activity than left brain.

“Performance, a Counterpoint of Dimensions” - a paper

Dr. William Schimmel’s upcoming 2022 performances include:
March 3, 5 and 6 - “Fiddler on the Roof”, concert version - Bock, Harnick (arr. John Williams). The performances takes place at The Philadelphia Orchestra - Verizon Hall
May 13, 18, 21, 16, 31, June 4, 9 - “Hamlet” - Brett Dean - Metropolitan Opera - Lincoln Center, NY
June 16 - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. NY - “Not Entirely Schubert” - a concert showing the “melodic” and “lyrical side” of the Accordion with new takes on Schubert and other works that we feel Schubert would have liked with Dr Schimmel, curator
July 29, 30 and 31: “The 2022 Virtual Accordion Seminars”, Dr. Schimmel, Curator sponsored by The Accordion Global Association
Theme: “Too Much Information, too little time, but we do it anyway”

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Indiana Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Zydeco Festival
The most fun you and your family will ever have! The Inaugural Indiana Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival at Bill Monroe's Music Park and Campground. Live Cajun & Zydeco music, golf cart parades, second line, dance lessons, live crawfish boil, workshops and so much more! If you love the culture of Louisiana, the food, the music, the fun, you will love the Inaugural Indiana Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana. The festival takes place May 20 and 21, 2022 and features Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band and Dwayne Dopsie.

This 2-day festival will feature a live crawfish boil, live music, dance lessons, second line, crawfish races, crawfish eating contests, and so much more. Do you think you make the best gumbo around? Get ready to sign up for the Gumbo Cookoff. This family friendly festival has fun written all over it! Gates open 10 am Friday and Saturday, and the party continues until 11 pm each night.

If you like to camp, there are plenty of campsites available from primitive to water/electric hookup for any size camper. Camping reservations are separate from admission tickets, each person staying at the campsite is required to purchase their own admission ticket. Reserve your campsite online through our reservation system. If camping isn't your style, book a room at our host hotel. Make sure to arrive on Thursday so you don't miss a minute of the fun that begins Friday.

Order your admission tickets, get your discounted crawfish boil tickets, and reserve your golf cart to get around online today! Every person entering the campground/festival grounds is required to purchase an admission ticket. Children 12 & under are free and do not need an admission ticket. The festival is held rain or shine, all tickets and camping are non-refundable. Come have the best time of your life during the Inaugural Indiana Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival.

The event takes place Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground | 5163 N. State Road 135 | Morgantown, IN 46160. More information in future publications.

For further information:
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