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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Mar-2024
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Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editor's Note
What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day?
2024 National Accordion Convention March 20 - 24 “Celebrating the Return of Live Music” in Texas
Exciting News Upcoming 2024 AAA Festival, Conshohocken, PA
Guy Klucevsek Receives Orpheus Lifetime Achievement Award - Italy
ATG Presents: TeachTalk Online Lesson
Add Your Photos to AAA Memory Article
Join ATG and the 2024 ATG Festival Orchestra
Elena Stenkina Performing for Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society
Ramón Ayala Announces His Retirement with a New Single and Farewell Tour
Michael Bridge Updates
Guy Klucevsek on Bold Journey
Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians 2023 Reunion in Delaware Water Gap, PA
Kevin Solecki and Carnegie Accordion Company on CBS News, Pittsburgh

Voci Armoniche

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

Cherish the Ladies March Concert Tour
March Special Price Complete Collection of Gary Dahl (1937 to 2017) eBooks (10 Books)
Former Falcetti Music Student Wins a Grammy
New Accordion Band at New Jersey Public School
Cory Pesaturo and the Grammys TV
Sam Reider in Performances
Seattle Accordion Social on March 3

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

2024 Che Bandoneon International Competition
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration (LIAC) in Leavenworth, Washington June 20-23
The 2024 Accordion Seminars - Dr. William Schimmel, Curator
Travel to Castelfidardo in 2024 to Accordion Factories


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

Highlights


PANcordion

Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Remember that May 6, 2023 is World Accordion Day! Please send info about your WAD events to www.worldaccordionday.org. Plan to attend or view the many online and live celebrations of WAD (World Accordion Day) happening on May 6, 2024.

Visit the WAD site created by Harley Jones, Public Relations for the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) to celebrate the accordion’s versatility, importance and influence all over the world.

Enjoy reading about the accordion events that are taking place in March and beyond.

Please email Editor Rita Barnea at Ritabelll@aol.com with details of your upcoming concerts, music platform releases, festivals, competitions, performances etc. Remember to include photos and video links.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day?

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

WAD was started in 2009 by the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) and has been very successful, generating a lot of positive publicity for the accordion. A key part of this event is the WAD website.

Every association, group, orchestra, performer and teacher, is asked to actively support WAD by encouraging national and local accordion activities to happen in their country on this day or the weekend either side of WAD if that should be more convenient.

Everyone can register their WAD activity on the WAD website and send a report of their event after, for that website.

No event is too big or too small. ALL accordion events celebrating WAD are welcome. This is a CIA promotion for the accordion in which every accordion enthusiast can participate and help bring our accordion world together as well as strongly promote the accordion.

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

2024 National Accordion Convention March 20 - 24 “Celebrating the Return of Live Music” in Texas

by Norman Seaton, NAA President
NAA
NAANational Accordion Association (NAA) Party!! Convention Hotel Registration Deadline has been extended at the Hilton Garden Inn - 785 SH 121 - Lewisville, Texas. This hotel is 8 miles North of DFW Airport. More rooms are now available! New closing date: March 4, 2024.

Special room rates are still available. Convention registrations are still accepted. Join us for a fantastic time!

http://accordions.com/naa/cRegistration.html

95% of the early-to-register conventioneers reported that they come to the Texas Convention primarily to meet old and new friends and to have a lot of fun!

As a survey results, Norman and Rick have redesigned the 2024 Convention to become a National Accordion Party. Our 2024 workshops and sessions are designed around applying basic music theory to prepare all accordionists to become leaders in our new musical world!

Additionally, our new hotel has solid walls, so more conventioneers play their accordions in groups without interrupting other sessions. In other words, we will be conducting a lot of non-threatening jam sessions. Max Frauenthal will be coordinating many traditional accordion tunes. The music is located on the workshop download page.

2024 Presenters include: Dick Albreski, Barbara and Dick, Mary K Archuleta, Bob Basciglia, Lori Brooke, Elijah Clements, Mary Ann Covone, Max Frauenthal, Dr. Ian Fries, Roy Helsing, Gordon Kohl, Alex Meixner, Sharon Seaton, and Mitch White. (Photo down)

The NAA is planning a fantastic accordion convention from March 20 - 24, 2024 at the Hilton Garden Inn - 785 SH 121 - Lewisville, Texas. This hotel is 8 miles North of DFW Airport. The title of the convention is "Celebrating the Return of Live Music"!!!!!

Now is the time to register for the 2024 Party-Driven National Accordion Convention. Training for all levels of musicians! There are New Concepts for 2024! The new "Pathways to Success" program is open to all accordionists!

The year 2024 is providing a new movement of “live music” opportunities. As a result, The 2024 planning committee has developed several “pathways to becoming a successful musician.” Read about the “optional pathways” that are detailed on the convention landing page.

Good Facts: 
• We are adding two more nice meals at no extra charge: 
• Thursday “Get Acquainted” luncheon. 
• Friday Banquet at no extra charge
• Saturday Banquet is still on the agenda. 
 
Other Planned Changes You Need to Know About:Thursday March 21 two changes:
• Thursday luncheon is a get acquainted with other conventioneers meeting.
• Thursday Convention Concert will open with the Happy Music Center (HMC) awarding  Alex Meixner as a Happy Music Ambassador. 
 
Evening schedule change: We now have an opportunity to serve the banquets in a separate area of the hotel, therefore, we can tighten the evening schedules. We are removing the time reserved for set up.
 
http://www.accordions.com/naa

Any information you may need regarding class content is available at accordions.com/naa. Jamming music, Dick Albreski Fun Band music, and other class training materials is also available. The daily schedule is nearly finalized but in its present form, it is usable. Classes are constructed to the benefit of any level of musical expertise or experience. So be encouraged to join the interactive class sessions with your instrument, whether it is acoustic or digital. 
 
Before you arrive in Lewisville, remember to build your own personal convention book by downloading from the website and printing the jamming music and other class materials. The evening programs will be exciting as this year’s conventioneers are encouraged to participate musically. 
 
The hotel is first class, the NAA provides three meals, and we have new invited guests for the Friday evening program. We hope to see you there March 21 – 23 (you may arrive Wednesday, March 20 for the meet and greet party).
 
National Accordion Association (NAA) Norman Seaton CEO
NAA

Titano Accordion Company

Exciting News Upcoming 2024 AAA Festival, Conshohocken, PA

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
AAA header
Click each picture to see full size
Frank Busso Jnr, AAA PresidentThe AAA Board led by AAA President Frank Busso Jr. (picture right) has been busy making many exciting changes and additions to this year’s festival, which will take place from July 12-14. This consolidated schedule will be packed with events, performers, workshops and food functions beginning with a gala luncheon on Friday, July 12. This will cut down the amount of hotel nights needed, but not the amount of wonderful activities!

We are delighted to announce guest artists: Hanzhi Wang, Joseph Natoli, Dallas Vietty and this year’s festival orchestra conductor Frank Busso Sr. More performers will be announced as plans firm up.

Meanwhile, please save the date and join us for this special event! Along with performances and workshops, there will be competitions for students of all ages and proficiency levels. There will be performance opportunities for all attendees, three festival orchestras, vendors, exhibits and several food functions with live music.

Please visit the AAA website (www.ameraccord.com) for hotel discount code, guest artist releases and other festival announcements.

Hope to see you there!!

Picture below: Dallas Vietty
Dallas Vietty

Voci Armoniche

Guy Klucevsek Receives Orpheus Lifetime Achievement Award - Italy

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Click picture to see full size
Guy KlusevsekGuy Klucevsek will receive the Italian 15th Orpheus Lifetime Achievement Award 2024 on March 5, 2024 at 7:PM. This award is an international recognition of his major contribution to the accordion and his accordion compositions during his long career.

Guy Klucevsek is a most versatile and highly-respected accordionist. 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.

Guy 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.”

Accordion Jazz Chords

ATG Presents: TeachTalk Online Lesson

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
teachTALK
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) will present TeachTalk "The Online Lesson: Burden or Blessing?" on March 17th, 2024. The aim of TeachTalk is to enrich our online accordion teaching skills by discussing with our accordion peers our successes and frustrations at teaching online accordion lessons.

Potential discussion topics:
Technology: Zoom-Skype-Facetime, audio problems, tech proficiency
Materials: sheet music, video, audio, notes, sharing with your students
Emotional: connecting energetically, understanding the student, teaching into the void
Pedagogy: when students and teachers cannot play together, ensembles

TeachTalk is an ATG-sponsored online community event designed to help accordion educators (and as a result their students) by fostering conversation and connection with other accordion educators.

There is no fee for this program, but registrations are required. For details visit: ATG

PANcordion

Add Your Photos to AAA Memory Article

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
AAA Header
Click each picture to see full size
Were you in any of these massed band photos? Do you have memories of American Accordionists' Association (AAA) events in photos that are special to you? I am creating an “ongoing” online article featuring photos from AAA events dating back to 1938. All events and all years are welcome!

This article will be on the AAA website in the “Articles AAA History” section at https://www.ameraccord.com/articles.php
It will be Article #43 and will hopefully grow regularly with all of your contributions! I have many boxes of photos and memorabilia from AAA achievements, events and competitions. It is important to me that this rich history of our now 86 year old organization will always be available to the public and accordion enthusiasts worldwide.

Picture below: Washington, DC, 1997, Joan C. Sommers conducting

Please send photos and descriptions to my email address: graumanjoan98r@gmail.com
1997

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

Join ATG and the 2024 ATG Festival Orchestra

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
Click picture to see full size
ATG logoDoes this photo bring back some memories? If you were not a member of this 80-piece accordion orchestra, this photo might inspire and excite you? Join us in Kansas City and be part of our 90-piece accordion orchestra! That is our goal to commemorate and celebrate Joan Sommers' 90th year! Come play with your friends and make new friends. The experience will be unforgettable -guaranteed.

Professor Sommers has been conducting accordion orchestras all over the world for her entire musical career. Those of you who have played under her baton know and understand the incredible learning experiences you will encounter in rehearsal and the fabulous end result - a concert performance you will remember forever!

Now is the time to register (join ATG). We have two newly commissioned pieces, composed by Ian Watson and Gorka Hermosa, that the orchestra will premier with one of the composers present in the audience. How exciting is that!

Come renew your friendships and create new ones and relish in the moments of making glorious music with Joan Cochran Sommers. It is time for parts to be assigned, so it is important to sign-up now for the orchestra. If you think we know you will be there, we might; however, you still need to register for organizational purposes.

Click here to register to play:
https://www.atgaccordions.com/event-details/2024-atg-festival-orchestra-registration

Looking forward to seeing you in Kansas City!

Best regards,
Mary Ann Covone
President
Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG)

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Elena Stenkina Performing for Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Elena Stenkina at Cotati Accordion Festival
wmas poster Elena Stenkinawmas logoPhoto above: Elena Stenkina performing at the 2023 Cotati Festival

March 01, 2024
On April 14th, 4pm, the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society will host a benefit concert and workshop featuring as a guest artist, the professional female accordionist Elena Stenkina. The event aims to raise funds for the club's needs.

Elena Stenkina is renowned for her unique blend of music and dance performances. Throughout her successful career, she has garnered numerous accolades, including a Silver medal at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood, the Grand Prix at the Vilnius International Folklore Competition, and the Golden Time Talent competition.

She has also been honored with the Platinum Prize, Technical Mastery Special Award, and Artist Award at the Universal Stars Music Competition, among others.

Elena has also served as a jury member at various competitions worldwide, including the Squeeze & Thanks Online Accordions Competition (USA), CA Art Planet (Turkey), Stars Of The Alps (Switzerland), World Star (Austria), and Christmas in New York (USA).

Further information about Elena at: Elena Stenkina

Photo below at: Nagaworld Casino in Cambodia
Elena Stenkina at

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

Ramón Ayala Announces His Retirement with a New Single and Farewell Tour

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video 1
Video 2
Ramón Ayala tour posterVideo 1: Christopher Ayala nieto de (grandson of) Ramon Ayala The Forum
Video 2: Ramón Ayala on How long He'll Continue to Perform! He talks about his young grandson, Christopher, also an accordionist. They perform together.
The interview is in Spanish. Click on “CC” for closed captions in English.

Accordionist Ramón Ayala announced his last tour, after a 60 year career. The Tour El Principe De Un Final (The Beginning of an End) on February 27, 2024. Ramon will present more than 50 concerts in the USA and Mexico. The tour will begin at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles on March 9, 2024 and will end at the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, California on November 30, 2024. He will release his new single, “El Reten” on March 8, 2024.

Ayala’s beginnings with Los Relámpagos del Norte to the height of his career with Ramón Ayala y sus Bravos del Norte helped reshape the norteño music landscape, pushed forward by his virtuosic accordion skills. He’s widely recognized for crafting timeless norteño classics such as “Mi Piquito De Oro,” “Que Casualidad” and “Tragos Amargos.” Throughout his career, Ayala has influenced great artists such as Grupo Frontera and Intocable. {See USA publications for articles on these groups.) “The first song I fell in love with the accordion was ‘Mi Piquito de Oro’ by Ramón Ayala. I was sold,” Ricky Muñoz, Intocable’s leader and accordionist, told Billboard Español earlier in February.

His albums Antología De Un Rey (2004) and Arriba El Norte (1991) reached No. 1 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart Twelve of his songs have entered the Hot Latin Songs tally, including “Del Otro Lado Del Portón” at No. 12 and “Quémame Los Ojos” at No. 19.

As the four-time Grammy-winning gets ready for retirement, his partnership with Fundación Hermes Music through the Guitarras Por La Paz (Guitars for Peace) campaign will continue to underline the Monterrey artist’s dedication to harnessing music as a vehicle for peace. This initiative sees the distribution of guitars and educational materials to various charitable organizations, ensuring his impact extends beyond the stage.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Michael Bridge Updates

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Michael BridgeVideo:  “Oblivion” (Piazzolla) on Digital Accordion - arranged for digital accordion by Michael Bridge
All sounds performed live. The sound combinations used in the video (UPGs) are available from Michael Bridge and can be installed on Roland FR-8X or Bugari Evo digital accordions.

Michael Bridge shares, “I invite you to meditate with me on Piazzolla’s “Oblivion”, in my new orchestration for solo *digital accordion. I played this with a little more dissonance and a little less ‘light’ than the norm. But after all, the title is Oblivion. It’s a serious but beautiful piece. Thank you to the Rebanks Fellowship @ the Glenn Gould School which enabled me to film this video.”

Michael is a very accomplished musician receiving his doctorate in performance from the University of Toronto studying accordion with Joseph Macerollo, with thesis supervisor Wallace Halladay and committee members Lorna MacDonald and Robin Elliott. His thesis is titled: “Expressive Virtuosity on Accordion: The Performance Techniques of Joseph Macerollo, O.C.,” featuring interviews about the innovative work of Joseph Macerollo, Geir Draugsvoll, and Claudio Jacomucci. It is available now via library systems worldwide.

Michael Bridge is a virtuoso performer on both acoustic accordion, and its 21st-century cousin, the digital accordion. He’s won a slew of competitions in Canada and offers lectures and masterclasses. He’s at home with jazz, folk and classical music.

Excerpts from his website: He’s premiered 53 new works. If pushed, he’ll say he likes Baroque music best because of its unforgiving demand for clarity of intent and execution. He began playing when he was 5 and growing up in Calgary. His mom bought an accordion at a garage sale for $5. A family friend started teaching him to play by ear. Formal lessons began at 7. He spent weekends at prairie accordion competitions, playing polkas and learning to dance. At 15 he attended the World Accordion Championships as a spectator. For the first time he heard classical accordion and fell in love with it. He started all over again, mastering a completely different kind of accordion and a whole new technique. He was soon offering a hundred community concerts a year.

As a soloist with orchestra or string quartet, with his two ensembles, he continues that pace, playing in concert halls all over the world. Bridge (along with his clarinet partner Kornel Wolak) performs on a digital accordion—essentially a computer housed in a conventional accordion case. This extraordinary piece of technological wizardry imitates the sound of just about any instrument you can imagine.

Michael has also mastered the more familiar acoustic accordion, a soulful, highly expressive instrument, essential to the music of Toronto-based Ladom Ensemble. Along with cello, piano and percussion, the Ladom quartet creates a sophisticated blend of everything from traditional Persian melodies, to Bach and Piazzolla, to Radiohead. Bridge also gives back through an online Music Mentorship Program. After performing hundreds of concerts in schools—usually in the less-than-ideal setting of a packed gymnasium with a tight time limit—Bridge & Wolak determined to build more meaningful relationships with musically inclined teens. With help from composers, tech people and producers, they introduce emerging artists to the wide world of professional music.

Michael Bridge maintains a busy schedule including both performances and arranging for the digital accordion plus more. For any interested accordionists, he has added the sheet music for 5 of his arrangements on his website:
Bach: “Invention in F Major”
Avetisyan: “Tsaghkats Baleni”
“Tarantella Napoletana”
Cohen: “Hallelujah”
Mancini: “Moon River”

Michael’s future performances include:
Amherst Island, ON
April 6, 2024: Bridge & Wolak @ BachHause Concerts

Sarnia, ON
April 17, 2024: Ladom Ensemble @ Imperial Theatre

Southwest Symphony, Hobbs, NM, USA
April 27, 2024: Bridge & Wolak

Lula Lounge, Toronto, ON
May 5, 2024: Bridge & Wolak

Rijeka, Croatia
June 15, 2024: Wirth Institute Presents BTW Trio (Michael Bridge, Guillaume Tardif, & Kornel Wolak)

When he’s not being a musical renaissance man, you’ll find Bridge salsa dancing, cooking vegan dishes and talking to smart people. He loves to travel and he’s trying to live a more minimal life - abandoning anything that isn’t essential to his life and work. But what really matters for Michael Bridge is making your world more bearable, beautiful and human - even if only for the length of a concert. He is grateful for the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto.

Titano Accordion Company

Guy Klucevsek on Bold Journey

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
GuyVideo: "Hope Dies Last" composed by Guy Klucevsek

“Bold Journey” is a site that features stories about people who face challenges in their lives. Guy shares, "I was recently asked by Bold Journey to share my story with them, in the hopes it may provide some guidance for others." By reading this interview, you will get to know Guy on a personal level. He is very transparent and shares his journey through life.

I highly recommend that you acquire his latest recording, “Hope Dies Last”. Excerpt from “Bold Journey”: It is a place to have conversations about the challenges. Living life boldly means exposing yourself to all sorts of risk – risk of loss, risk of criticism and judgement, risk of mental, emotional, or physical distress.  It’s no wonder, so many of us are raised to not live boldly, to not take risks, to not push ourselves to reach our highest potential.  

In our view, one of the best ways to deal with those challenges is to learn from the stories and experiences of others. We recently connected with Guy Klucevsek and have shared our conversation below:

Guy, we’re so excited for our community to get to know you and learn from your journey and the wisdom you’ve acquired over time. Let’s kick things off with a discussion on self-confidence and self-esteem. How did you develop yours?
It took me quite a while to develop my confidence and self-esteem, because I felt my worth only existed in comparison to others, whereas the simple truth is that I have a unique background, history, influences, personality, as does every other person. Once I finally realized that, I learned to appreciate and celebrate what I am, rather than whatever I feel (rightly or wrongly) I may lack.

Great, so let’s take a few minutes and cover your story. What should folks know about you and what you do?
I am a musician—specifically, an accordionist and composer. I grew up in western Pennsylvania, studying accordion as a classical instrument, while also learning the music of the Slovenian-American culture I grew up with there. In my late teens and early twenties, I began composing music for accordion, and, eventually, other instruments as well. In order to be in the midst of what I felt was the center of artistic activity in the 70s, I moved to New York City, where I have been ever since. Since arriving here, I have had the chance to: free-lance as accordionist in a wide variety of settings including as a soloist; with chamber ensembles, bands, improviser collectives; commission dozens of composers to create new pieces for me; and, as composer, collaborate with choreographers, theatre artists, and filmmakers.

I also love the process of recording, whether on my own projects or those of others, and have had the good fortune to be able to pursue that activity as well. Among the countless things I love about what I do: I get to create something from scratch, work with others to bring it to life, and share it with listeners who are often hearing it for the first time; I have traveled the world playing music throughout the Americas, and across Europe, Japan and Australia; I have had the good fortune to work with some of the most gifted musicians, producers, creative artists and technicians of our times, developing close friendships with many of them along the way.

There is so much advice out there about all the different skills and qualities folks need to develop in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and often it can feel overwhelming. So, if we had to break it down to just the three that matter most, which three skills or qualities would you focus on?


1. Seek out teachers, mentors and advisors who will help you to develop your individual interests and skills to the utmost, rather than trying to fit you into a mold. I was very fortunate to have an accordion teacher, Walter Grabowski, who instilled in me a love for classical music, and the belief that the accordion deserved to be in that world. He also stressed musicianship and expressivity as much as technique. My first music composition teacher, Robert Bernat, gave me some advice which forged my path. What he said was along the lines of: “You are a wonderful accordionist, and there is not enough original music being written for your instrument. You should create your own music for it.” He got me out of the mind-set that I had to immediately dive into writing for string quartet, orchestra, opera–plenty of time to do that later, if I chose to. My next composition teacher, Morton Subotnick, introduced me to electronic music, of which he is a pioneer. Also, he had no particular “axe to grind” in terms of stylistic “isms;” he introduced me to serialism, minimalist, post-modernism, but did not dictate what language I should write in.  This allowed me to develop my own vocabulary and language, and, for that, I am forever grateful.


2. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!!! Work with other people as often as you can, from as wide a variety of fields as you can. I thought I would spend my life as a composer purely creating music for the concert hall. Instead, serendipitously, I found myself writing music for dance and discovered I LOVED doing that. Don’t pigeon-hole or pre-limit yourself. Don’t be afraid to “fail.” After all, what IS failure? Is it writing a book or play that is not a commercial success at first? Is it doing a recording which does not sell well? Is it inventing something that does not get backing? I don’t think so. Those are measures of commercial, not artistic achievement.  You keep at it. If you have to do it, you WILL do it, come what may.


3. Vision, goals, direction:  how do you see yourself; what do you hope to achieve in whatever field you are in; how do you find ways and people to help you on your path?  As a creative and performing artist, I found it invaluable to my development to attend as many performances and exhibits as I could in all art forms.   Not only did that inspire and educate me in possibilities, it literally introduced me to people with whom I would collaborate, often for years, or even decades.

Is there a particular challenge you are currently facing?
At the end of 2018, I was dealt several health challenges, which led me to all-but-retire from public performance, after 50+ years. Once I made that difficult decision, I had to ask myself, what now? Instead of focusing on what I could NOT do, i.e., perform and tour, I realized there were still things I could do as a creative artist–e.g., continue composing, but more for accordionists other than myself now; and write more for other instrumentalists; create audio- and video-recordings at home, and self-publish a book of my accordion compositions.

With the help of a handful of extremely talented and generous friends, I have been doing all of these things. I wrote accordion solos for four fine players, all friends, whose playing I love and admire. I wrote several piano solos, which have since been recorded and performed by Jenny Lin. In 2019, I collected 19 of my compositions from over the decades and self-published a book, “Vignettes: Short Pieces for Accordion,” which is now distributed by Starkland@Bandcamp. To go along with this, I, along with several of my accordionist friends scattered around the world, recorded every one of these solos and included the recordings as digital-downloads to go with the book of scores. I collaborated with filmmaker, videographer, cameraman, Ray Foley, on music videos of several of my solos, recorded in my living room in Staten Island, NY. We released them on my YouTube site, where they remain. Once the pandemic hit in early 2020, forcing us to isolate, I collaborated with pianist Jenny Lin on a remote recording of Giya Kancheli’s “Simple Songs,” 33 pieces which we divided into solos for piano and accordion and duos for the two of us, for which I did the arrangements. The recording was released on Steinway & Sons in 2021.

With my 75th birthday approaching in 2022, I was invited by Roulette Intermedia, in Brooklyn, NY, to present a concert of my music to celebrate. Unable to perform myself, I produced the concert by engaging the services of a circle of my friends and collaborators from over the years–Todd Reynolds on violin, Jenny Lin on piano, and a bevy of fine accordionists: the Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble, Alan Bern, Will Holshouser and Nathan Koci. This concert was video recorded and is available for viewing in the Roulette Intermedia Archives. Inspired by the concert, which included a lot of unrecorded pieces, I decided to make an audio recording in the summer of 2022, using all of these fine musicians.

The resulting recording, entitled “Hope Dies Last,” was released on Starkland@Bandcamp on December 1, 2023. I stepped out of retirement to perform myself in September of 2022. I was asked to create and arrange music for the appearance of “Little Amal Walks” at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, near my house in Staten Island. Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet (designed by the same folks who did “War Horse”), representing a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl (and, by extension, refugee children worldwide), and became one of the most emotionally moving and thrilling events of my life and career. I arranged the music for a quartet of trumpet, saxophone, bass clarinet and accordion.

Because the band had to be mobile, leading a procession, I needed to be mobile, too. Since I was unable to carry my accordion, Snug Harbor arranged for me to seated on a golf cart, facing backwards, towards the rest of the band, who were walking. Seeing hundreds and hundreds of folks of all ages and ethnicities joyfully interacting with Little Amal brought chills up my spine. The trumpet player and curator of the event, Volker Goetz, suggested after the event that we should find a way to play the music again. We received a grant which provided a commission for me to create more music and arrangements for the same personnel, which I did for the winter-summer of 2023. I then stepped out of retirement for the second time to do a concert of the music in October of 2023, again at Snug Harbor Cultural Center (but this time indoors). In the week leading up to the concert, we recorded all the music in my living room, produced and engineered by Jeanne Velonis, a long-time collaborator of mine. We are now editing the tracks and now in discussions with a label, with eyes towards a release later in 2024.

You can find out more information about Guy Klucevsek from his website, Facebook, and YouTube postings.
For more information: gklucevsek@mac.com

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

Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians 2023 Reunion in Delaware Water Gap, PA

by Betty Jo Simon
Click each picture to see full size
Betty Jo StubblefieldOn October 20-22, 2023 I took a memorial step back in time to attend a reunion with 90 former Fred Waring Pennsylvanians. We met in the very place we rehearsed prior to our 7-month concert tour every year. The Castle Inn, built in 1906, became the home of the Pennsylvanians for 3 weeks as we prepared a 2½ hour concert complete with costumes. The singers memorized not only their vocal parts but also all their choreography. I played Cordovox as a soloist and as part of the 12-piece orchestra filling in all the violin parts that were missing.

There were five Cordovox players between the 1960’s through 1984 when Fred died. Three of us were students of Joan Cochran Sommers; the late Donna Dee (Anderson), Ray (former ATG Board member) toured (1965-1970), I toured (1970-1972) and Sheilah (Flanagan) McDowell toured (1972-1978). The other Cordovox and Duovox performers were Betty Ann McCall and EvAnn (Dahl) Hawley (1978-1984) respectively.

Fred Waring was very innovative and introduced the “new Cordovox” to his audiences. The featured Cordovox player not only played a solo with the orchestra backing them, but did a demonstration of a few of the “1000 sounds” the Cordovox could make, as Mr. Waring would announce it. This was my first time playing an electronic accordion and I’ve been playing one ever since. Thank you, Mr. Waring!

Fred Waring is known to generations as the “Man Who Taught America How To Sing.” He helped make the popular song a classic American Art Form. He is one of the most fascinating figures in the history of show business. Through almost seven decades of sharing his distinctive brand of beautiful music, he was always up-to-date and actually ahead of his time. The Pennsylvanians recorded over 1500 songs and 100 albums and Fred became known as the “King of The Road”, touring some 40,000 miles every year, mostly by bus. In one of his many endeavors, he developed the famous Waring Blendor.

The rigors of the road were tiring when we drove 200 to 300 miles to our next venue every day. We had our own personal bus and an 18-wheeler which carried our staging, lighting, sound system, instruments, music, and costumes. All would be set up and ready for us to play when we got to the concert hall. The most challenging concerts were the ones in high school gymnasiums. Since there wasn’t a curtain, they would turn off all the lights and we would have to find our way up on the stage in the dark following reflector tape. Fred would flick a little flash light to let me know to start the D diminished arpeggio on a marimba sound so the choir could get their pitches to start singing “I Hear Music” and then into “Sleep” which was Fred’s theme song. Then the light would come up.

I learned a lot from Fred Waring and being on the road. This experience taught me how to organize songs in themes and how to talk to the audience. I will be forever grateful for my time with the Fred Waring Show.

It was awesome to reconnect with people on my tour and meet many new ones from other tours year. During the reunion, the choir would rehearse several songs and the distinct Waring sound brought tears to my eyes as it brought back such wonderful memories. We experienced a trolley tour of the Pocono Mountains, a walking tour of the Historic Castle Inn where we rehearsed, and a visit to Fred Waring’s Gatehouse home and his famous Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort.

During the day, Stan Beard conducted us through the original Fred Waring arrangements. On Sunday, a service was held at the Historic Shawnee Presbyterian Church founded in 1752. The Pennsylvanians sang 3 original arrangements of Waring’s worship songs that brought the house down. I felt comradeship and many pleasant memories resurfaced during my attendance. It was simply amazing and rewarding! Thanks for the memories!

For further information: betty@bettyjosimon.com
Fred Waring Reunion

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Kevin Solecki and Carnegie Accordion Company on CBS News, Pittsburgh

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
KevinKevinVideo: Kevin Solecki shares, “What a fun morning! Katie O'Malley from Pittsburgh's KDKA TV morning show Pittsburgh Today Live (CBS TV) visited and I had a chance to share some of my accordions with the viewing audience! Check out some song samples on the Roland too... Katie also performed her new hit song, The PTL Polka!”

Kevin Solecki was interviewed on February 26, 2024 by CBS Pittsburgh News. His enthusiasm and love for the accordion is contagious and certainly felt by the KDKA TV news team. I asked Kevin if he would like to share his feelings about playing the accordion, “I am blessed and honored to be involved in the accordion community on multiple fronts; a professional performing accordionist, accordion store owner, educator, promoter, it's amazing to be able to work with so many great people who also share a common interest in the accordion!”

Kevin Solecki is a Grammy nominated accordionist and owner of Carnegie Accordion Company. Kevin, born and raised in Warren, Michigan started accordion lessons at the age of 6. At the early age of 10, Kevin started playing solo accordion performances. A few of Solecki’s earlier highlights include performances on some of Detroit’s radio and television stations.

At 17, he joined a nationally known polka band from Pennsylvania, the Polka Family Band. After several extensive months of traveling the country with this band, Kevin decided to relocate to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he currently resides. Solecki was a full-time member of the Polka Family Band for a total of 10 years while maintaining an active solo career before deciding to end his tenure with the band and focus solely on his solo endeavors.

Over the past two and a half decades, Kevin has performed all over the United States as well as internationally. He has also performed on numerous radio and television shows, and had the opportunity to perform at some of the country’s top polka festivals, state fairs, county fairs, hotels, and cruise ships.

In 2005 Kevin recorded and released "Solecktions”, an album consisting of different styles of polka and waltz from around the world. “Solecktions” was nominated for a Grammy Award during the 2005-2006 season.  His follow-up recording is a project called “Solecktive Sounds” which was released in September 2007.  It once again features different styles of music which includes polka, waltz, tango, and accordion novelty favorites. Kevin’s latest release “Romantic Melodies” debuted in 2010 and continues to be a favorite among the elderly demographic.



Some of Solecki’s numerous career highlights include performances on some of the world’s top cruise ships, a PBS Television documentary on the polka, a Grammy nomination for his debut album "Solecktions" followed by multiple visits to the Grammy Awards, performances at accordion conventions, a personal invitation from Harry Connick Jr. to help him perform at Pittsburgh’s historic Heinz Hall in June 2013, and an appearance on a December 2020 episode of Emmy Award Winning “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. This #1 rated children’s PBS Television show is viewed by over 65 million children and adults in the United States and world.

Kevin enjoys being a very versatile and busy accordionist.  He can be heard performing at a wide range of events around the Pittsburgh area and beyond, including Oktoberfest celebrations, house parties, casinos, riverboat cruises, resorts, weddings, colleges, rehearsal dinners, graduation parties, birthday events, anniversary celebrations, restaurants, church functions, senior citizen homes, accordion club concerts, and more.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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


Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Cherish the Ladies March Concert Tour

by Christine Johnstone
Cherish the ladies
“Cherish the Ladies” began their tour of the USA and Canada this week and will give Irish music, song and dance performances through to March 22nd, 2024.

The tour will feature two special St Patricks Day concerts at the Irish Arts Center in New York City, USA on March 17th, 2024.

The group includes Mirella Murray (accordion), Joanie Madden (flute, whistles, harmony vocals), Mary Coogan (guitar), Nollaig Casey (fiddle), Kate Purcell (lead vocals, guitar), Gabriel Donohue (piano) and dancers David Geaney (five-time World Champion), Tyler Schwartz (World Champion) and Noel Spillane (All-Britain Champion and Riverdance alumnus).
Cherish the Ladies

Titano Accordion Company

March Special Price Complete Collection of Gary Dahl (1937 to 2017) eBooks (10 Books)

by Leesa Dahl
Gary Dahl books
Special price for the complete Gary Dahl eBooks Collection of 10 eBook's (value US$335), for only US$200 or the € equivalent. This special price lasts for two weeks only until 8th March. Catalog: DH01-10eB

The home page of Gary Dahl (1937 to 2017) has been updated for the complete collection of Gary Dahl eBooks #1 to #10. The 10 eBooks worth USD $335 with 156 music titles of very popular arrangements by Gary Dahl is emailed to you.

DH01-eB Latin Spectacular! US$35.50
DH02-eB Favorite French Standards US$35.50
DH03-eB The American Songbook US$35.50
DH04-eB Favorite Waltzes & Polkas US$46.50
DH05-eB Easy Listening Variety US$35.50
DH06-eB Easy Listening Variety US$57.50
DH07-eB Traditional Polish Carols US$16.50
DH08-eB Italian Collection US$35.50
DH09-eB Traditional Christmas Carols US$18.50
DH10-eB Polka! US$18.50
Total USD$355

For those only looking for one work, there are 215 excellent individual Gary Dahl arrangements of different grades available online that can be emailed to you. All-Dahl-€ or All-Dahl-US$

Click DH01-10eB to purchase the 10 Gary Dahl eBooks for only US$200 (ends 8th March).

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Former Falcetti Music Student Wins a Grammy

by Sam Falcetti
CarlaCarla Patullo studied both piano and voice at Falcetti Music for about 5 years in the 1990’s. She also performed and was the vocalist for the Springfield Accordion Orchestra. During this period, she competed at the ATAM New England Music Festival for several years.

Carla grew up in Wilbraham MA, and after graduating from Minnechaug High School, she attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Recording artist Carla Patullo struck gold on February 4, 2024when she won her first Grammy award for the album “So She Howls” in the Best New Age Category at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.

She has also released three albums with White Widow, and over 30+ soundtracks for film and television including the Disney film Maxine. In her television and radio interviews, she gave credit to her musical education at Falcetti Music and eluded to the fact that it was great experience and fun to sing with the Springfield Accordion Orchestra. Congratulations to you Carla, from the Falcetti Family and Staff.

PANcordion

New Accordion Band at New Jersey Public School

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Joanna DarrowA new accordion band was started in February 2024 at the Mark Newbie Public School. Located in Collingswood, NJ the group began with 10 children from grades 4 and 5 and is going strong. It is a wonderful and positive step for enouraging young people to play the accordion.

Gifted and Talented Instructor Lisa DeAngeles has assisted in having this program being approved by the Board of Education. Joanna Darrow (picture left), owner of the Acme Accordion School is directing the group. Joanna is an accomplished accordionist and teacher. She is a member of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG).

Their first performance is scheduled for the April 29, 2024 Collingswood Board of Education Meeting.

For further information: acmeaccordion@gmail.com

Cory Pesaturo and the Grammys TV

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Cory PesaturoVideo: Cory at the 2024 Grammy Awards assisting legendary Gospel singer, Kirk Franklin.

Cory Pesaturo recently attended the 2024 66th Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles, California. In order to be included as part of the Grammy Recording Academy a person has to release records. Because of what Cory has accomplished in music, he received an invitation a few years ago to be a voting member of the Recording Academy. He attended the latest Grammy Awards Ceremony in February as he does each year.

If you watch the video, you will see Cory from a front row seat holding the hand to steady the famous gospel singer, Kirk Franklin, who is trying to balance himself on a chair while performing.

Cory is no stranger to being on TV but this was surely one of the most unexpected "TV appearances" and maybe a first, without his accordion!

Cory was recently performing for millions on TV in Saudi Arabia and he will play the accordion and act in a movie to be publicized and released later this year. More information will be included in future USA News publications.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Sam Reider in Performances

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sam Reider and the Human Hands
Sam ReiderSam Reider is a very versatile musician, excellent on both accordion and piano. Sam is an accordionist, pianist, composer and singer from Brooklyn. A jazz pianist turned folk musician, Sam has spent the last eight years redefining American roots music on the accordion. His original music draws inspiration from sources ranging from Woody Guthrie to George Gershwin to Ennio Morricone. Sam has been featured on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, toured in seven countries overseas, and appears regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center and major festivals nationwide.

The Human Hands in Aiken and Nashville: Sam will travel with the Human Hands in March. They are returning to Joye in Aiken, one of their favorite festivals. They are also making their first ever appearance in Nashville, for an intimate showcase.
March 7 - Aiken, SC - Joye in Aiken (w/ The Human Hands)
March 9 - Nashville, - The Fiddle Shop (w/ The Human Hands)

Many exciting things are coming up including a big announcement regarding the release of the Human Hand’s new record. Stay tuned!
For further information: sam@samreidermusic.com

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Seattle Accordion Social on March 3

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Seattle SocialThe Seattle Accordion Social takes place on Sunday, March 3, 2024 From 1:30- 3:30 PM at
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
6020 Beacon Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108

Enjoy great music for listening or dancing.

The event will feature accordionist Jon Person, the Magical Strings and accordionist David Miles. You are invited to perform at a social. All accordionists (any age or level) are welcome to play one or two selections. To sign up, please contact Giuliani at 425-255-2121 to testaduda@gmail.com in advance.

Seattle Accordion Socials meet on the first Sunday of each month, 1:30 - 3:30 PM. No meetings are held in July and August.

For more details, please see the poster.

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

Future events


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

2024 Che Bandoneon International Competition

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Che Bandoneon
The 2024 Che Bandoneon InternationalCompetition is open to bandoneon players of all nationalities and at least 18 years of age by August 1, 2024. All application materials must be submitted using the online application form. The preliminary round is held online. The Finals of the Competition will be held in Stowe, Vermont USA from August 6 – 19 as a part of the 2024 Stowe Tango Music Festival. The 2023 competition's first place winner is not eligible to compete.

The preliminary round is held online. The Finals of the Competition will be held in Stowe, Vermont, USA from August 6th to 19th, 2024 as a part of the 2024 Stowe Tango Music Festival.

Timeline
March 31 : Application Deadline
April 30 : Video Submission Deadline
May 7 : Announcement of the Finalists
August 6 : Finalists arrive to Stowe
August 16 : Competition Finals
August 17 : Award Ceremony
August 19 : Departure from Stowe

All finalists will receive a full Scholarship to the 2024 Tango Academy and Bandoneon Workshop.

Download competition information and rules here: 2024CheBandoneon.pdf

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

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration (LIAC) in Leavenworth, Washington June 20-23

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
LIAC paradeLIACPlan ahead for the 2024 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in Leavenworth, Washington from June 20-23, 2024 sponsored by the Northwest Accordion Society (NWAS). An amazing event is in the works. Future USA news articles will continue to include updates. Here are the latest updates for LIAC 2024 with current schedules for the Festhalle, Gazebo, and Grange. The following dates are important:
Sign up to play at the Gazebo: May 1, 2024
Purchase tickets in advance: April 15 thru June 10
Sign up to register for the competition, artistry, private coaching: April 15 thru June 10

Festhalle 2024 Performers include: Pearl Django who have a performance history spanning more than 29 years and have released 15 CDs, Pearl Django endures as one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups working today. Although the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, its extensive repertoire includes traditional jazz classics and original compositions.

Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances, and nightspots throughout the U.S. and abroad. They have played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine and have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Throughout the years, Pearl Django has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following and they continue to play to packed houses wherever they perform. Members include: Tim Lerch & Jim Char, Guitar; Michael Gray, Violin; David Lange, Accordion; Rick Leppanen, Bass


Performances also include Gary Blair and Robyn Hyland Duo. Gary Blair has been playing accordion from the age of 8 having been taught by his father Jimmy. A regular winner of competitions through the UK, Gary has been judging accordion competitions since 1982 and has adjudicated at many festivals around the world. Gary Blair and Robin Hyland have been performing together for many years. The duo started when Robin contacted Gary for lessons. It didn't take Gary long to realize Robin had a gift for playing 2nd Accordion and invited him to join the Gary Blair Ceilidh band as 2nd Accordion player.Among their performances are Carrefour Mondial De l'Accordéon (Quebec 2017), The Eastbourne Accordion festival (England), Faroe Islands accordion festival, Karlsson's music festival Sweden and at PIF Castelfidardo, Italy. In 2024, they will again be performing at the Eastbourne Accordion festival and at Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon.

Additional performers include Toby Hanson and Lyle Schaefer Duo (Verne and Steve Meisner Tribute), The Northwest Accordionaires and The Spokane Ensemble.

Lyle Schaefer and Toby Hanson are each accomplished bandleaders and accordionists in their own right.  Lyle started his professional career in the early 1970s, playing in restaurants and for various private establishments.  Toby started much the same way twenty years later.  Each of them has worked hard to hone their craft and bring out the fun and excitement inherent in every polka.  Equally adept at either lead or second, Toby and Lyle switch off effortlessly to create a whirling flurry of notes, reminiscent of the finest accordion duos in the Cleveland-style tradition going all the way back to Yankovic and Pecon.  Die-hard polka fans and newcomers alike will both love the polka stylings of Lyle and Toby.

The Northwest Accordionaires is an Accordion Orchestra comprised of 14 Accordions, plus drums, tuba, bass, vocals and strings as well as other orchestral Instruments depending on the requirements of the music from the era that is being performed. The Orchestra has performed in and around Seattle as well as Victoria, BC. The members come from varied backgrounds, ranging from Engineers to Teachers. Rehearsals are held on the Eastside. It has been in existence for 16 years. All the arrangements from Folk to popular Broadway tunes as well as Classical, are original and are penned by the Founder, Leader and Conductor Cooksie Kaserzon Kramer. Originally from South Africa, she opened and ran the largest Music Studio in Johannesburg with three Accordion Orchestras, Junior, Intermediate and Advanced. Cooksie won the South African Accordion Championship and went to New York to represent South Africa and participate in the Coupe Mondiale in 1959 (check out her You-Tube Videos). She now resides in Kirkland, WA where she teaches Piano, Accordion and Organ. She is also the creator and President of the Eastside Jazz Club. She shares, “We are very excited to be back on the stage in Leavenworth for LIAC”.

The Spokane Accordion Ensemble is a unique blend of players with a common love of music and the accordion.The Ensemble had its beginning many years ago in the fifties, founded by Ilmar Kuljus, and started out as a group of accordion teachers and their advanced students.  Its members are a dedicated group – several travel up to two to three hours each way to attend weekly rehearsals.  The Ensemble enjoys entertaining for a wide variety of audiences and their repertoire ranges from Bach to old standards, Broadway melodies, Movie themes, Pops Music, Americana, and yes – a couple of polkas!  Our conductor for this performance is Beverley Fess from Canada. 

Workshop presenters include: Gary Blair,Toby Hanson, Andy Mirkovich, David Lange, Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodriguescooksie Kramer, Beverly Fess. See future publications for more information.

For further information: Bonnie Birch  bonniebirch@msn.com

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

The 2024 Accordion Seminars - Dr. William Schimmel, Curator

by Dr. William Schimmel
Dr.William SchimmelOur 30th Anniversary Year, More is Better...The 2024 Accordion Seminars on July 26, 27, 28, 2024

This has been our philosophy for 30 years - and we’re proud of it: Staggering Variety, Overflowing Ideas, Developed Ideas, Ideas in process, Success, Failure, Encouragement, Styles, Brands - and we’re still working to improve our art in every way. We cover everything including all of the ISMS around - yes, even (would you believe) outdated Minimalism (ironic statement of course).

We’ve build a culture. We’ve built a community. Some call it a non culture - some call it a non community. Some call us Weird - Some say it’s all been said and done. We do still do weird - and we do new takes on old stuff ( most of them new to the Music Community - Non Accordionists at large - therefore new to them ), which still raises the question: “What is this thing called “New Music ?”

There are a few points to ponder:
The great director Peter Brook talked greatly about “The Empty Space”. Accordionists start with a “Full Space” and add more and more s - - t.

Great artists start practicing slowly until they are ready to play at tempo. Great Accordionists start faster and eventually slow down due to tangled fingers. We think they all lead to the same place. We’re not a Fringe Group - We never were. We put on our lab coats and get to work and so can you - virtually.

Topics will include: The Art ofAudience Participation/The Sing - a - Long; Embracing the Maximallst Dimension (The Art of Clutter); Faking/Improvising - are they the same?; Working In the Video Dimension; The Varieties of The Mexican Hat Dance and The Hokey Pokey; Classical or Classic; Cassettes are back - giving “Ye Olde Accordion Sound” a return; The Artificial Intelligence of the Accordion before Artificial Intelligence; the Pot of Gold at the end of
The Rainbow; Practicing by Real Time Continuity; The Five Minute Ear Training Course; Klezmer from a Non - Jewish perspective and more to follow.
and much more to follow - with participants, in future articles to follow,

Our team will include Micki Goodman, Paul Stein, Will Holshouser, Dr. Denise Koncelik, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Corn Mo, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, Bachtopus, Carl Riehl, Mary Spencer Knapp, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Melissa Elledge, Doug Makofka, Rita Davidson, Erica Marie Mancini, Benjamin Ickes, Dan Cooper, Dr. Thomas Maccussi, Gene Pritsker, Peter Flint, Mayumi Miyaoka, Robert Duncan, Jeanne Velonis, Bob Goldberg, David Stoler, David First, William Komaiko, Sari Kalin, Jack Di Bennidetto, John Foti, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Brian Dewan, Lee Mc Clure, Peter Jarvis, Elliott Sharp, Hanzhi Wang, Milica Paranosic and others to follow.

July 26, 27, 28, 2024 - virtually
$165. Entire weekend
Master classes from 3 to 4:PM
Concerts from 4 to 5:PM

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Travel to Castelfidardo in 2024 to Accordion Factories

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Castelfidardo
CastelfidardoHave you ever thought about traveling to Castelfidardo, Italy to visit the accordion factories there? Think about joining the 2024 visit to Castelfidardo from October 1 to 5, 2024. It is possible it could be the last trip of this nature for Peter Le Geyt. It is especially an opportunity for those who always wanted to visit ‘Accordion Mecca’ at some point in their life! 

Prices for the 5 day package without flights starts at£695 (approx.US$840) for twin/double occupancy.  Please contact Peter Le Geyt directly for travel recommendations.

Trip Highlights include:
-Visits to factories to see wonderful instruments being built by hand
-Musical demonstrations at the factory showrooms
-Play high quality accordions loaned to the group by some of the manufacturers
-See also how reeds are produced and how bellows are made  
-Visit the Carini accordion accessory shop  
-Visit the Accordion Museum Castelfidardo
-Try out the largest working piano accordion in the world  
-Optional visits to some of the attractive nearby towns such as the religious pilgrimage town of Loreto to see the Basilica and Holy House
and much more!

Please contact Peter Le Geyt for more information:
Tel:  + 44 (0)20 8977 6680 
Email:  plg@plgmarketing.com
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