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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-May-2012
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
World Accordion Day is Almost Here! May 6th
World Accordion Day, 6th May 2012 - International
"Squeeze This" Into Your Calendar! Book Launch Party in NYC
AAA Workshops and Schedule Released - Baltimore
Chris Rybak, Santiago Jimenez Jr.and Boni Maricio in May Roland Events
Cory Pesaturo and Boston Red Sox Players on New CD Celebrating 100 Years of Fenway Park
Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnaya in Spring Performances
Chubby Carrier in San Diego Zydeco Blue and Crawfish Festival: May 11-13
Pine Leaf Boys
Joe Soprani's Future Concerts
RESCHEDULED: First Annual Branson Accordion Festival: May 17-20
Accordion Heroes Festival: June 20-23 in Virginia
Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Competition in Honor of Frank Marocco

Voci Armoniche

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

Cory Pesaturo in Concerts
Falcetti Music Hosts Roland Event On World Accordion Day
Stas Venglevski to Perform in Paris with Flute Orchestra
ATAM Presented New England Music Festival's 50th Anniversary Event
Sylvia Marie Barber (1938-2012), California - USA
2012 Texas Folklife Big Squeeze Accordion Competition Semi-Finals and Finals - USA
Rocco Jerry Presents New Works for Accordion and Cello At MAMTG Festival
Dr.Howard D. Van Orden to Perform on World Accordion Day

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

American American Accordionists' Association 18th Master Class and Concert Series
Jeff Lisenby to Perform at ATG in July
ACCORDIONS NOW 2012! Admission Discount:Now till May 31st

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Editor Rita DavidsonMay is a month of new things for the accordion:

Books, CD's, Concerts, Festivals, Anniversaries

And…Remember World Accordion Day on May 6th!

What can you do to honor our favorite instrument?

Attend a concert, play for a group of friends, and support accordion artists by buying their books, CD's and tickets to accordion events.

Check where you can easily purchase CD's, books and music.

Plan your summer vacation around accordion activities…..there are so many!

Read about them right here in the USA News!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Paul PasqualiNewsletter cover, Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion FestivalI am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Paul Betken & Jerry Cigler are newly added to a great line up of stars (list below) with lots of great seats still available! Want to hop a plane to come and enjoy this exciting festival?

Newsletter (picture right) with full information: 2018LVACnews.pdf
Picture left: Event organizer Paul Pasquali

The lineup starts with visionary accordionist Cory Pesaturo and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of the legendary Prof. Joan Sommers.

You can register online at or contact Paul Pasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email:
Footer Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival

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

World Accordion Day is Almost Here! May 6th

by Rita Barnea
World Accordion Day LogoThe Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) is pleased to announce May 6, 2012 as the fourth annual celebration of World Accordion Day. On May 6th, the anniversary of the day the accordion was patented in 1829, the CIA will coordinate an annual world wide celebration, in a unified global crusade to promote the diversity of the accordion and the outstanding artists that play it.

World Accordion Day is a unique global opportunity to promote public awareness of the accordion, an instrument without boundaries, one that spans all cultures and musical genres. From a solo performance to a Concerto with a 100 piece Symphony Orchestra, from a Duet or Trio to a 40 piece Accordion Orchestra, from the majestic sounds of the handmade acoustic reeds to the latest in Digital Technology, from newly commissioned original works to dazzling transcriptions of the classics, from Classical to Jazz, from Ethnic to Pop, from the pit orchestra in a Broadway Show to the background music in a TV Commercial, from Tchaikovsky to Gubaidulina, from the tiny diatonic nstruments to the multi octave concert models, from the shelves of a Museum to center stage at Carnegie Hall, from Private Music Studios to the most esteemed and respected Conservatories in the world, there is no limit to where one might find the accordion, or have the opportunity to enjoy the variety of ways in which it is utilized.

The CIA’s fourth World Accordion Day will be held on 6th May 2012, the 183th birthday of the accordion. All accordionists from around the world are invited to join this celebration, while paying homage to the accordion. This International event will serve as an exciting means to bring everyone together in a unified effort to promote public awareness of the accordion and its many capabilities.

We invite you to join us on, or around May 6th to celebrate the accordion by scheduling, attending, performing or promoting a concert featuring the accordion. Please send me news of your activities so we can publish them.

This year, the CIA will take embark on a new adventure to celebrate World Accordion Day with a live streaming 24 Hour Celebration of the Accordion, similar to the TV coverage of New Years Eve, whereby celebrations are viewed on an ongoing basis as the time zones elapse around the world (i.e. beginning in New Zealand +12GMT then traveling west across the world through Asia and Europe finishing in the Americas -8GMT).

For the 2012 World Accordion Day, each CIA member is invited to submit either a 'live event' via technology such as streaming video and Skype etc... at a pre-scheduled time, or, you may pre-record your contribution. This will provide viewers from around the world the opportunity to see another side of the accordion and promote your countries accordion activities. It would also be greatly appreciated if traditional or modern/popular accordion music from your country could be included in some way.

The production will be available for viewing live throughout the day with 24 separate hours of archived video coverage which will be available for viewing anytime after the event. World Accordion Day event is not exclusive to just CIA members and many people in the accordion world will be invited to participate.

To watch the World Accordion Day video streaming and archives, view the promotional video now online and the detailed schedule, click: WAD2012
Start Time will be 7am Paris Time (GMT+1), 6th May.
ITS LIVE NOW - go look: WAD2012

Titano Accordion Company

World Accordion Day, 6th May 2012 - International

by Grayson Masefield
2012 World Accordion Day
To watch the World Accordion Day video streaming and archives, view the promotional video now online and the detailed schedule, click: WAD2012
Its Live Now: WAD2012

Voci Armoniche

"Squeeze This" Into Your Calendar! Book Launch Party in NYC

by Rita Barnea
Marion Jacobson
Marion Jacobson brings attention to the accordion with her new book, "Squeeze This, A Cultural History of the Accordion in America". The University of Illinois Press calls it: "Everything you wanted to know about piano accordions in America--but were afraid to ask.

No other instrument has witnessed such a dramatic rise to popularity--and precipitous decline--as the accordion in the 1950's. "Squeeze This!" is the first history of the piano accordion and the first book-length study of the accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon. Ethnomusicologist and accordion enthusiast Marion Jacobson traces the changing idea of the accordion in the United States and its cultural significance over the course of the twentieth century.

From the introduction of elaborately decorated European models imported onto the American vaudeville stage and the instrument's celebration by ethnic musical communities and mainstream audiences alike, to the accordion-infused pop parodies by "Weird Al" Yankovic, Jacobson considers the accordion's contradictory status as both an "outsider" instrument and as a major force in popular music in the twentieth century."

Marion Jacobson, author of "Squeeze This", celebrates the publication of her book on Thursday, May 17th from 6-7:30 PM, at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery between Bleecker and Houston Streets in New York City. All are invited to attend.

Join accordionists Guy Klucevsek, Dallas Vietty & the Musette Project who will perform. During this official launch party, concert, and book-signing event accordionist Dallas Vietty and his trio will get the place jumping in Gypsy jazz style. Guy Klucevsek, one of the world's most versatile and highly-respected accordionists, will emcee the evening.

Books will be available for purchase (cash or check only) at the discounted price of $25. Here's what critics say about Squeeze This!

“A fascinating cultural history of the most underestimated of instruments."--Booklist

"Wunnerful, wunnerful. . . . A delightful and illuminating surprise."--The Wall Street Journal

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance. Also available for purchase: latest CDs by Guy Klucevek and Dallas Vietty. There is no cover charge. Cash bar and food are available for purchase. Take the F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker

Marion will serenade New Jersey commuters and also sign copies of her book at the Montclair, NJ Transit Station on Friday, May 4th at 4 PM.

Marion Jacobson has sparked great interest in and brought much attention to the accordion with her new book. Whether you agree or disagree with her thoughts or are reading it to learn about the accordion, it makes us all think about the accordion, how it has influenced our culture, our lives, and how it is part of a new generation of musicians who realize and greatly appreciate its value in the world of music.

The book presents fascinating information and triggers even more questions, commentary, and curiosity in the accordion. I recommend that you read this book, listen to all types of accordion music, and develop a desire to learn more about the accordion. And….. how about learning to play the accordion!

You may purchase at the book launch or other promotions or Amazon. For further information about Marion Jacobson and her new book:

Accordion Jazz Chords

AAA Workshops and Schedule Released - Baltimore

by Rita Barnea
The AAA Workshops and Schedule is now released for the American Accordionists' Association 2012 AAA Festival from July 11-15th, 2012 at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. To print: 2012AAWorkshops

The American Accordionists' Association presents the 2012 AAA Festival from July 11-15th, 2012 at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The AAA Festival will present another great event! New this year is the Junior Festival Orchestra under the direction of Mary Tokarski. This event is designed for those young people who are not quite ready to participate in the Festival Orchestra or who have never had the experience of performing with other accordionists. Mary has selected some fun pieces and rehearsals will be scheduled to avoid competition schedule conflicts. Interested participants should contact Mary at

Another new addition is the “Finale” workshop which will be a hands-on workshop with the basics of learning this music writing program. AAA member, Don Gerundo, will conduct the workshop with support materials supplied by the people at Finale.

Back by popular demand will be the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble with select young musicians from the Baltimore school system partnered with ambitious young accordionists. Both the Junior Festival Orchestra and the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Awards Concert on Saturday afternoon, July 14th. If you want to participate in this great (and fun) program, contact Marilyn O’Neil ( All of these events are included in the registration.

The Festival will also see the return of the Digital Entertainment category so be sure to visit for updated events including PDF files for downloading all Festival application forms.

Thursday night will feature an Italian Cabaret night. Enjoy a delicious Italian dinner while being entertained by wonderful accordion music by the Potomac Ensemble conducted by Joan Grauman. Enjoy singer, Soprano Joy Bechtler, Tenor Joe McKesson, and Dr. Robert Young McMahan as well as accordionists playing and singing your favorite Italian songs!

Friday evening performers include the Busso Trio (comprised of Frank; Frank, Jr.; and Christina) and Tatiana Semichastnaya. Virtuoso accordionist Stas Venglevski will be the Guest Artist and Guest Conductor of the Festival Orchestra. He delights all with his friendly and humorous manner, educating and entertaining at the same time. Truly a unique experience you will want to see and hear.

This year the Festival Orchestra features Mary Tokarski as soloist. Vladimir Mollov and Mary Tokarski will also be featured as “two soloists”. Dr. Robert Young McMahan will be joined by prominent classical saxophonist Dr. Paul Cohen in a performance of McMahan’s new composition for accordion and saxophone.

Vladimir Mollov, virtuoso accordionist, will perform solos and also duets with his wife, renowned violinist, Annie Mollova. Gabe Hall-Rodrigues and Frank Petrilli will perform solos and duets at concerts during the Festival. Please refer to the San Francisco Accordion Club article in the January issue for their biographies. Other performers and workshop presenters include: Cody McSherry, Amanda and Michael Parziale, Joe Zale, Linda Warren, and Manny Bobenrieth with the United States Army Strings and more!

Plan this summer around the festival's exciting days of Workshops, Exhibits, Cabaret, Luncheon Concert, Gala Concert, and Festival Orchestras. The event will be held at the Sheraton City Center in Baltimore. It is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and in walking distance of the famous Baltimore Inner Harbor, National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and numerous other attractions.

Please refer to the AAA Website and the USA news for updates on the festival. For further
2012 Baltimore AAA Workshops and Schedule


Chris Rybak, Santiago Jimenez Jr.and Boni Maricio in May Roland Events

by Rita Barnea
Chris and SantiagoOn May 5 and 6 at Heritage Arts Productions, 1547 S. Richey St, Pasadena, TX. (tel. 281-780-8656), there will be two Roland Workshops. A free Roland V-Accordion Workshop will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2012 from 1:30 to 3:30PM. The event will be hosted by Heritage Arts Productions and conducted by Roland V-Accordion Artists, Chris Rybak and Santiago Jimenez, Jr. who will offer:
1:30 to 3:30 - Performance Workshop - open to Keyboard & Button accordionists
3:30 to 5:30 - Roland V-Accordion Demonstration, upgrades installed, "Learn your Menus & Sets"!!!! and much more....

Chris Rybak is one of the most popular accordion entertainers in Texas. He can be found performing all across the state throughout the year. Combining his love of music, strong Czech Heritage, and arousing charisma, this accordion cowboy has what it takes to entertain audiences through his showmanship and fresh enthusiastic musical style.

Santiago Jimenez, Jr., a three-time Grammy nominee, is best known for remaining in the tradition of his father. That is, the instrumentation which he utilizes, the repertoire which he performs, the style of his compositions and, above all, his style of playing the button-accordion remain in the century-old tradition of south Texas accordionists.

There will be a free Diatonic Performance Workshop on Sunday, May 6, 2012 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM. It is hosted by Heritage Arts Productions and conducted by Roland V-Accordion Artist, Boni Mauricios, who is one of Corpus Christi's finest and played for the Hometown Boys albums several years ago. He is currently singing with them again. He has his own style and it's definitely got some South Texas sentimiento.

Boni Mauricio is a well known Conjunto/Tejano accordionist, singer and recording artist from Corpus Christi Texas. Boni has a long history as a studio musician and member of several well know groups such as The Hometown Boys and Mingo Saldivar. He was inducted into the "Tejano Roots Hall of Fame" and performs throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
12:30 to 1:30 - Come EARLY and enjoy an hour to MEET & GREET Boni (Snack Furnished)
1:30 to 3:30 - 2 hour workshop featuring the NEW ROLAND FR18 Diatonic Digital Accordion.
From 4-7 PM, Heritage will host their annual Cinco de Mayo / World Accordion Day Parking Lot Party. Bring your instrument and JOIN in - Boni is going to stick around and play a little!

One of the major figures in Tex-Mex border music,Santiago Jimenez, Jr. is a singer and accordion virtuoso of the first rank. Santiago Jiménez, Jr. (born April 8, 1944) is a folk musician who has won a National Heritage Fellowship in 2000 for lifetime achievement in traditional Tex-Mex/folk music. His father, Santiago Jiménez Sr.was a pioneer of conjunto music. His older brother Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez is considered by many the most well known Tejano accordionist. Santiago's style is more traditional than that of his brother Flaco, who is noted for mixing his music with many styles outside the Tejano genre.

Santiago performed at the 2006 National Folk Festival in Richmond, Virginia. In 2011 he performed at the 50th Anniversary Concert for Arhoolie Records, held in Berkeley, California. Portions of that performance appeared in the July-4th-Weekend, 2011 edition of the public radio program American Routes.

Santiago is a 3 time Grammy nominee, has toured all over Europe, in countries such as Germany, Austria, Holland, United Kingdom, France, Russia. He has also performed over the United States. Santiago started playing at the age of 15, and by the age of 17, he was doing his first recordings. He has a total of 70 different albums and CDs to his name. Santiago is a welcomed addition to the Roland V-Accordion team,. Santiago is also now performing with Roland V-Accordion artist and Product Specialist Chris Rybak.

His father virtually invented the conjunto instrumental style, and Santiago’s playing follows in that tradition while at the same time incorporating much of the more modern approach made popular by his brother Flaco. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has honored Santiago Jimenez Jr. with two Grammy nominations. Some of Santiago Jr.’s first recordings were on local labels — Lira, Magda, Discos Grande, Corona — and were sold on 45 rpms. In 1960, at age 17, he recorded a full-length album with Flaco. Recent recordings, including Corazón de Piedra and Canciones de Mi Padre, have appeared on Watermelon Records, in Austin.

The songs, in Spanish, are lively and direct and deal with real-life situations — work, love and dance. More than a revivalist, Santiago Jimenez Jr. is a living memory of a time when the living Mexican-American people Of South Texas were making their presence known amid social oppression, forced assimilation and economic difficulty.
The music represents the experience of a people and is celebrated for having helped shape a society that remains strong in its identity and cultural presence.

Chris has been surrounded by music since birth. His father, Leroy, has performed with his own polka band throughout the state of Texas.. As a child, Chris’ mother brought him to all of the band dances. Chris fell in love with music and the accordion while watching his father perform. At 8 years old, Chris began piano lessons. By age 12, he started playing the accordion. During his teenage years, Chris played trumpet for the high school marching band By age 14, he was often a requested guest of country music shows all over Texas. At the age of 18, Chris realized he wanted to make his living playing music!

Performing with passion, fire, commitment and skill, his high-energy style of accordion music has attracted much attention. He has recorded numerous albums and continues to record. Chris Rybak’s past performances includes festivals of all types, country clubs, college dances, picnics, state and county fairs, weddings, corporate functions, country music parties, cruise ships and more – basically anywhere there’s a stage. He also has performed throughout Europe.

Chris joined the Roland team as a V-Accordion® Product Specialist in February of 2008 and is currently looking forward to working with Roland's newest member, Santiago Jimenez Jr. on a new multicultural CD coming out soon!

For further information:
Steven Albini
V-Accordion Product Manager
Roland Corporation U.S.
323.890.3700 x 2353

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

Cory Pesaturo and Boston Red Sox Players on New CD Celebrating 100 Years of Fenway Park

by Rita Barnea
Cory Pesaturo2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Boston Red Sox’s famous Fenway Park.The baseball team has put together a festive and fun album of songs recorded by current and former players, along with the help of some notable guest musicians. Cory Pesaturo is the accordionist on this unique CD!

Officially sanctioned and licensed by MLB, the recording is a collection of songs familiar to Red Sox fans, the type of music commonly heard at games, as well as some songs from iconic Boston-area acts.

Red Sox players who participated in the project include David “Big Papi’ Ortiz, who provides background vocals and improvises on “"Sweet Caroline".” Ryan Kalish and Darnell McDonald can also be heard on background vocals. Additionally, Clay Buchholz plays acoustic guitar on the track. Jarrod Saltalamacchia lends some additional guitar licks to “"Dream On”" and Alfredo Aceves handles co-lead guitar on “"Dirty Water". ”Also on the CD are Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis who provides percussion on the track,"“2007" a musical celebration of the team’s most recent World Championship. Daniel Bard plays acoustic guitar on the album’s debut single, "Let the Good Times Roll".”

Former pitcher and fan favorites Curt Schilling and Kevin Millar, both key members of the team’s 2004 World Series run, are on the CD. Musical guests include one-time Van Halen vocalist Gary Cherone, Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys, World Accordion Champion Cory Pesaturo, J. Geils Band keyboardist Seth Justman, Mike Mushok of Staind, Dicky Barrett of Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and MLB journalist Peter Gammons.

Here’ is the track list:

1. "Tessie"......Kevin Millar
2. "Let the Good Times Roll"…..Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt & Daniel Bard
3. "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)"…Dicky Barrett & Rico Petrocelli
4. "Dream On"......Jon Butcher & Jarrod Saltalamacchia
5. "Meet Me at Mary’s Place"......Peter Gammons & Seth Justman
6. "Knights of Bostonia"......Ken Casey, Nora Parkington & Cory Pesaturo
7. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"......Jerry Remy & Mike Mushok
8. "Sweet Caroline"......Mark Salling, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Ryan Kalish & Darnell McDonald
9. "2007"......Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury & Dustin Pedroia
10. "Dirty Water'......– Dick Dodd, Alfredo Aceves & Barry Goudreau
11. "Fenway Park"...... Mark Lennon
12. "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" ......Jim Lonborg, Mike O’Malley & Curt Schilling

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnaya in Spring Performances

by Rita Barnea
Steve Albini and Tatiana SemichasnayaTatiana and Steve will be performing together at numerous events and festivals throughout the country during May. Their performances are exciting, entertaining and educational.

The Italian phrase "passione e fuoco," "passion and fire," truly describes the music of singer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Albini. His performances of Italian music fused with jazz and world rhythms have brought him international acclaim. He has enchanted audiences throughout the United States and Italy with a blend of musical virtuosity and artistic passion. Steve's live performances span Italian, world, jazz and Latin American genres.

As a studio musician, he is often called upon by artists, composers, and producers to add his touch to their projects. Steve is currently the V-Accordion Product Manager for Roland U,S. 

Originally from Moscow, Russia, Tatiana currently performs as an accordionist in the Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show KA. Tatiana is a former student of the Gnesin Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia) 1992–1997 where she studied with world-renowned accordionist and professor Friedrich Lips. She also studied at the Queens Conservatory of Music (Netherlands, Holland) in 1999.
Tatiana has competed in and won first place in numerous competitions including, champion of VI Competition in Cherepovets, Russia, in 1991; first place at the Russia National Competition in Astrakhan, Russia, in 1994; champion of the IVth International Festival in Daugapils, Latvia, in 1995; first place at the International Competition “Astor Piazzolla” (Castelfidardo, Italy) in 1995; winner “Best of Russia” in Jakarta International (Jakarta, Indonesia) in 1997; winner of competition in Singapore in Duo “Golden Girls”; winner of International Children Festival “Musical Spring” (Russia) in 1999, and many more. She has performed at the Kremlin in Moscow and throughout the world.

In July 2011, Tatiana was a finalist in the Roland U.S. V-Accordion® Festival competition. Since December 2011, Tatiana has been a Roland V-Accordion Artist Recently, Tatiana introduced and premiered the new Roland FR-1X V-Accordion at the 2012 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.

Their performance schedule:

May 11 at 7:PM: Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnaya perform with drummer Stephen LaPorta at A Taste of Rome in Sausalito, CA.

May 12 at 1:PM: V-Accordion performance and clinic with Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnaya at Best Music in Oakland, CA.
May 12: Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnaya perform at Nonni's Ristorante in Santa Rosa, CA

May 17-20: Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnaya perform  Lawrence Welk Resort Theater, Branson, MO. as part of the Branson Accordion Festival. 

For further information:
Steven Albini
V-Accordion Product Manager 
Roland Corporation U.S.
323.890.3700  x 2353

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

Chubby Carrier in San Diego Zydeco Blue and Crawfish Festival: May 11-13

by Rita Barnea
Bator by the Bay Festival
Chubby CarrierThe 11th Annual Gator By The Bay Festival, Zydeco Blues and Crawfish Festival will be held in San Diego, California from May 11-13, 2012. The festival is presented in part by the Lousiana Office of Tourism. The star filled lineup included Grammy Winner, accordionist Chubby Carrier, Grammy Nominated Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band.

Other groups which including the accordion are: The Bayou Brothers, Theo and Zydeco Patrol, Billy Lee & The Swam Critters, Joe Fontenot Creole Cajun Band, R.A. Richard, Bon Temp Pappion, and Mark Shensa.

Grammy Winner, Cubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band will perform on:
Friday, May 11 ~ 7:40 PM
Saturday May 12 ~ 3:00 PM
Saturday May 12 ~ 6:30 PM
Sunday May 13 ~ 12:30 PM

Chubby Carrier is considered by many to be one of "The World's Premier Zydeco Showman." Born on July 1, 1967 in Churchpoint, Louisiana, Chubby is the third generation of zydeco artists with such famous relatives as Roy Carrier (father), Warren Carrier (grandfather), and cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier who are presently considered legends in zydeco history. 

Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band have recorded ten CDs over the past 22 years of Chubby's professional career. His band has traveled all over the world, performing to audiences in all parts of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada. North Africa and Europe. Chubby and the band travel, taking his act to big festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Chicago Blues Fest. Summerfest (Milwaukee), Memphis in May, and several festivals in Europe. This sound will take you places.

Gate Prices are: 
Friday "Gator by Night" 3:30 - 10:30 PM - $25 at the gate
11 bands, 3 stages, dancing, great Supper Club atmosphere & More

Saturday All day - 10:30 - 8:00 PM - $30 at the gate
35+ acts, 5 stages, dance lessons, kids activities, food demo, more...

Sunday All day - 10:30 - 8:00 PM - $30 at the gate
35+ acts, 5 stages, dance lessons, kids activities, food demo, more...
Saturday Evening Dance at the Sheraton - $15 
Dance held at the Pavilion by the Bay adjacent the Marina Tower

A 3 Day Festival discount package will also be available
Three day package $75 at the gate
That's over 85 performances over three days!

Children 17 and under are admitted FREE
with a ticketed parent or guardian. 
Food and Beverages are not included in ticket prices.

For more information: 619-234-8612 or 337-288-8893

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Pine Leaf Boys

by Rita Barnea
Pine Leaf Boys
The Pine Leaf Boys is a Cajun and Creole band from South Louisiana. Members include: Wilson Savoy, Cajun accordion and vocals; Courtney Granger, fiddle and vocals; Jon Bertrand, guitars; Drew Simon, drums and vocals; Thomas David, bass.The band is known for playing traditional Cajun and Creole music from Southwest Louisiana, inspired by bands dating from the 1920s such as Amédé Ardoin to modern bands such as the Mamou Playboys, Jason Frey, Paul Daigle and Cajun Gold all the way up to Wayne
Toups. The Pine Leaf Boys are an "international Cajun band," performing many shows each year in Europe.

Four-time Grammy-Nominated, world-renown Pine Leaf Boys have made a name for presenting their own inimitable brand of Cajun music with youthful exuberance. Hailing from the southwest Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys, known for their wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand. Being described in the New York Times as, "... the link that connects the young and the old generations," and, "the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time," the Pine Leaf Boys play the old fashion dance hall standards while making a priority to bring many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and play them with gusto.

The Pine Leaf Boys have been invited on two occasions by the U.S. State Department to tour the world and present true music to Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Jerusalem in 2009 and again to Latvia, Denmark, and Slovenia is 2010. The variety and energy they release evolves through their shows, bringing multi-faceted angles to Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco.

Their mission is to present the beautiful, powerful music of their ancestors and present the real Cajun music to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life. The Pine Leaf Boys have preserved the traditional Cajun sound, while allowing it to breathe and stretch with those who play it.

The accordionist in the group is Wilson Savoy who plays Cajun accordion and vocals. He was born and raised near Eunice, Louisiana in 1982. Wilson began playing boogie-woogie piano at ten years old after becoming becoming completely enthused about the wild-piano-playing Louisiana-native, Jerry Lee Lewis.

While in his early teens, Wilson's father, Marc, gave him a homemade accordion built from the wood of a Sassafras tree that his grandfather planted. Wilson intensely studied the styles of his musicial heroes Amede Ardoin and Iry Lejeune, as well as his father (known well for being one of the masters of the Cajun accordion) and soon developed a style of his own, full of punch, syncopation, and energy.

When not on the bandstand, Wilson is a frequent visitor at jam sessions at his father’s music store or the Blue Moon Saloon, or he is teaching at music camps all over the world including Fiddle Tunes, Augusta, and Tikendalch in France. Wilson has played in many groups over the years like the White Mule Boys, the Red Stick Ramblers, the Savoy-Family Band, the Church Point Aces avec Paul Daigle and Mitch Reed, and his heart has always been with Cajun music. In 2006, Wilson debuted in the film “All the King’s Men” as a piano player alongside actor Sean Penn. In 2010, Wilson had a speaking role in the HBO Series "Tremé" playing himself.

Their schedule includes:
April 27: Festival International,time 7:30pm
April 28: Jazz Festival : New Orleans, Fais Do Do Stage
May 2: Mercredi Show,Pelican Park | Carencro, LA
May 4: Live @ 5, Baton Rouge, LA
May 5-6: Artosphere: Arkansas Arts & Nature Festival
Fayetteville, Arkansas
May 12: Affiliated for the Blind Festival, Lafayette, LA
June 1: Blue Moon Saloon, Lafayette, LA
June 2: La Poussiere, Breaux Bridge, LA
June 7-8: Strawberry Park, Preston CT
June 9: Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield Maine
June 13: US State Department Tour of Central Asia
June 14-18: US State Department Tour of Central Asia
June 19-25: US State Department Tour of Central Asia
June 26-July 1st: US State Department Tour of Central Asia Tajikistan

For further information on bookings in Louisiana:
For all bookings outside of Louisiana:

Titano Accordion Company

Joe Soprani's Future Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Joe Soprani and Sgro BrothersPhiladelphia accordionist, Joe Soprani, will appear as soloist with well known harmonica players the Sgro Brothers (Dom and Tony) on May 18, 2012 in celebration of Veterans day in Binghamton, NY. They are the remaining members of the world famous Harmonicats. 

Joe will also be featured on the Don Giovanni radio shows on May 19 and 20. Joe is the in-house accordion player for the Don Giovanni show which is on Saturdays, 7-11 AM and Sundays 8-11 AM on WINR 680AM. 

Joe Soprani is a noted accordionist, educator, arranger-composer who has dominated the accordion scene in Philadelphia for over forty years playing in major concert halls, theaters, TV Shows and Hotels. His arrangements are available from eSheet.

He holds the distinction of being the only accordionist in the history of the Philadelphia Orchestra to appear as a featured soloist under Eugene Ormandy. While accordion soloist with the USAF Band in Washington, DC under Col. George S. Howard, Joe Soprani won the "The Air Force Roger", the most prestigious entertainment award in the US Air Force. 

He also was the first accordion soloist with the PA Army National Guard Band "The Adjutant General's Own" for over eight years. On five occasions, Soprani appeared with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and also performed for President Eisenhower at the White House. To add to his impressive list of credentials, Joe Soprani was invited to arrange the opening selection for Rock star Jon Bon Jovi's 1996 world tour and has also written the official song for the International Rotary Club.

In addition to performing in Broadway shows such as "Fiddler on the Roof", "Zorba", "Cabaret" and "Erma la Duce", he has performed in world premieres of "Frida", a musical that called for a virtuoso accordionist and "Another Kind of Hero", a musical which featured Soprani on stage for an entire scene.

Joe Soprani, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and won the Arthur Godfrey Show, appeared with TV Star Nell Carter in a "Colors of Freedom" Production at the Convention Center in Philadelphia in 1995. He also appeared with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops playing a special arrangement by Nero with Soprano Evelyn de LaRosa.

In November of 1997, Soprani became the first accordionist to perform in "La Traviata" by Verdi presented by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.  Klaus Arp, the opera conductor from Germany, decided to use the accordion in the small ensemble on stage during "La Banda" sections. On five occasions, Joe Soprani appeared with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and  has performed for President Eisenhower at the White House. 

Joe Soprani, who performed with Russell Watson on Good Morning America, continues to promote the accordion as a serious instrument at various clubs and organizations. His workshops at schools and colleges where he demonstrates his skills as performer and arranger to young composers and arrangers have been well received. Programs are being planned by his newly formed Concert Trio (Accordion, Piano and String Bass) and Italian Folk Trio (Accordion, Mandolin and Guitar.)

"The Sgro Brothers, Dom and Tony, nationally famous harmonica duo, have presented their unique show for years at venues all over the country, as well as entertaining on cruise ships and television. Harmonica aficionados will recall the dynamic duo as part of the famous Harmonica Rascals with little Johnnie Puleo, making music on instruments ranging in size from the size of a pea to several feet wide. Coming from an Italian, musical family, they have played the harmonica since the age of four and now in their seventies, they are still busy performing.

They have performed on stages as diverse as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the London Palladium, and have shared spotlights with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and others. The talented pair also currently performs at many ethnic festivals and shows. They have been called back every year for the Italian Festival in Milwaukee.

Dom plays the 64 Chromonica and Tony plays the chord harmonica. "We play music from operas and, of course, the vocals like 'Oh Marie,' 'Return to Sorrento,' 'Mala Femina,' and 'O Sole Mio,'" Dom pointed out. They play a broad repertoire that includes both Broadway and pop tunes. The Sgro Brothers are still very active in show business. They appear on many cruise ships such as the Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Holland American, Costa, NCL and currently Princess Lines. They do Conventions, Festivals, work in Atlantic City and every year they play the NY State Fair. In June of 2004 The Sgro Brothers were guests of the White House playing for President Bush and members of Congress.

For further

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

RESCHEDULED: First Annual Branson Accordion Festival: May 17-20

by Rita Barnea
Myron Floren and Lawrence WelkDue to tornado damage this event has had to be rescheduled. The new date will be announced soon. All deposits and registration fees will be returned in full.

The First Annual Branson Accordion Festival will unite accordion players from around the world May 17 – 20 at the Lawrence Welk Theater and Resort in Branson, Missouri. Activities include: accordion workshops, competitions, and concerts showcasing wonderful accordion performers including Gordon Kohl, Bruce Gassman, Nick Ballarini, Debra Peters, Steven Albini, Matt Tolentino, Tatiana Semichasnaya plus more.

Vendors from the accordion industry will be available offering new and used accordions, music, accessories, clothing, and other specialty items. Repair service will be available as well as a “swap shop” for those wishing to buy, sell, or trade an instrument.

Instructors will conduct workshops geared for all levels of skill from the beginner to advanced student. Students 18 years of age and younger are admitted free to all events. Lawrence Welk's accordions and other memorabilia will be on display.

A panel of celebrity judges, including Jo Ann Castle from the Lawrence Welk show, will select the best performer from the competition to open for Tony Orlando at the Welk Theater later this year. There will also be a speed contest in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest accordion player.

Evening concerts on May 18 and 19 will feature all styles of accordion music on stage at the Welk Theater. “People should not expect to hear only polka music at this event”, says Rodney Williams, event organizer.“Everything including classical, blues, jazz, country, pop-rock, and more can be played on this versatile instrument.” There will be a special guest appearance by Jo Ann Castle on May 18th and 19th. On Friday night, Jo Ann Castle will judge the competition as well as be available after to meet and sign autographs. On Saturday she will make several appearance throughout the day and during the evening concert.  Come and see this living legend as she recounts her times with Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, and  the Welk Family.

On Sunday, the 1st Annual Branson Zydeco Fest will take place from 10:AM to 4:PM. A Cajun Cook-off will also take place. All proceeds from the ticket sales to this event will go to Branson Tornado Relief.

Accommodations are available at the Welk Resort conveniently connected to the Welk Theatre.Mention that you are attending the 2012 Branson Accordion Festival to receive the lowest rate. Contact the Welk Resort directly by calling 1-800-505-9355 and ask for the accordion festival discount.

To find out more or to register for this event: or call (417) 336-6060.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Accordion Heroes Festival: June 20-23 in Virginia

by Rita Barnea
Christopher GortonThe Accordion Heroes Festival will be held from June 20-23, 2012 at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Accordion Heroes honors the accordion artists, teachers, craftsmen, family and friends who have enriched lives by sharing the gift of music. It also celebrates the American Tradition by preserving the music, heritage and pedagogy of America's accordion culture.

Featured artists and educators include:
Jamie Maschler, Hannah Jane, Michael Bridge, Jorgen Sundeqvist, William Cosby, Stas Venglevski, Tony Lovello, Patricia Bartell, Lena Rist Larson, Bruce Gassman, Lou Coppola, Corky Bennett, Pete Contino and more.

The 2012 Showcase Artists confirmed to date are: Michael Bridge, Jamie Maschler. Cory Pesaturo, Hannah Jane, Alicia Baker, and Christopher Gorton.

The event will have a Galla-Rini Banquet, Master sessions, Contino Caberet, workshops, bands, teacher workshops, special events, artist performances, and vendors.

Also coming soon will be more information on sign-up and participation in a showcase band at Accordion Heroes 2012 including the first ever Accordion Heroes All Female Accordion Orchestra. Check future USA News issues.

Accordion Heroes 2012 will include activities presented by the Accordion Heroes Staff in addition to activities and special events hosted by sponsors.  Unique to this event will be numerous presentations by participants in the Young Artist Workshop and Showcase.

Individual 'Small Group Sessions' are currently scheduled to include: Basic Tone Production,
Basics of rhythm
Learning and how to learn quickly
Exercises and Building Technique through repertoire
Bellows Shake Technique
Introduction to Musical Styles
Introduction to Ethnic Styles
Paths to learning accordion repair and maintenance
Playing with other instruments

The goal of Accordion Heroes is to encourage increased integration of the accordion in the musical culture of the America’s by embracing the instrument’s versatility and diversity. Accordion Heroes will host activities specifically designed to enhance the capabilities of those with a professional interest or passion for the accordion, including the enthusiast, professional, accordion club & organization, teacher, and the industry that supports them. Accordion Heroes is looking to mentor the next generation of young accordionists. More info in future issues of the USA news.

For more information:
To register: 1-855-266-9847

Photo of Christopher Gorton

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Competition in Honor of Frank Marocco

by Rita Barnea
ATG Logo
Frank Marocco was to have been one of the adjudicators for the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) special competition to be held during its 2012 Festival. He was to perform as well as to receive a special award from the ATG in recognition of his contributions to the accordion throughout the world.

It was decided the special competition in his honor would be held in spite of his untimely death on March 3, 2012 at the age of 81. For rules and fees please visit the ATG website.

Featured guest artists this year are Alicia Baker, Jeff Lisenby, Iosif Purits (Russia) and Stas Venglevski.

The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival which takes place in Lisle (Chicago), Illinois July 25-29th, features the ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra. This year will be no exception, with the exciting addition of ANIMA, a renowned Youth Choir from Chicago joining the Festival Orchestra for a moving performance of "Let There Be Peace on Earth".

ANIMA means breath, life, soul, spirit and mind and reflects the Choir's mission to transform young lives through excellence in music education and choral singing. ANIMA is a world class youth choral organization, founded in 1964, which is internationally renowned for the quality of choral education and performance it provides. Formerly the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, ANIMA welcomes young people from Kindergarten through High School in various ensemble programs.

The Choir will have just returned from a major Concert Tour of Europe, and we are excited that they will be part of the Saturday Evening Concert singing with the ATG Festival Orchestra.

Director of the ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra, Prof. Joan C. Sommers has had many years of experience as a teacher and conductor of prize-winning accordion orchestras and ensembles of various sizes. She welcomes you to take part in this year's ATG Festival Orchestra.

You are invited to bring your accordion and play in the group, either for the first time or once again, and since there are parts suitable for everyone, playing abilities of all levels can be accommodated. Many players rarely have the opportunity to sit and play exciting music alongside others from all over the USA and abroad. You are encouraged to take part in this popular and musically rewarding experience.

If you wish to participate in the ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra, please contact Joan C. Sommers and she can provide all the information you need.

E-mail Joan C. Sommers:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

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

Titano Accordion Company

Cory Pesaturo in Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Cory PesaturoAccordionist Cory Pesaturo continues to travel the world demonstrating the versatility of the accordion. In March of 2012 he attended a competition in Dublin, Ireland at the Irish Open Accordion Festival sponsored by the Irish Accordion Association. His first time in Ireland, Cory presented a concert and also adjudicated there from March 27th to April 2nd. Cory judged 200 contestants in over 30 categories. Cory said, "This competition brought back so many memories of being on the OTHER side of the table!". After presenting a successful concert, Cory hopes to return to Ireland and England soon. In March 2012, Cory also was featured at the NAA in Texas.

Presently, Cory is appearing at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO in La Bella Musica which is a stunning tribute to Italian music and heritage. La Bella Musica features classically trained tenor and recent Carnegie Hall performer Aaron Caruso, soprano Melanie Goerlitz and Cory Pesaturo backed by a 10 piece live band, The Gondoliers, in a musical journey through Italian and Italian-American classics. The show takes place at: Red Gold Heritage Hall
 from April 12 - May 6, 2012
Shows are: 11:30, 2:00, 4:15
For tickets: 1-800-475-9370

Cory Pesaturo, from Cumberland, Rhode Island also plays the piano, clarinet, and saxophone. He began playing accordion at the age of nine. He most recently won the 2011 Primus Ikaalinen World Championship, broadcast on National TV, and was the first American contestant. Additionally, Pesaturo won the 2009 Coupe Mondiale World Digital Accordion Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, and became the first American to win a World Accordion Championship since Peter Soave 25 years before. In June 2009, he won the Leavenworth International Championship, and International Jazz Championship. Pesaturo performed on 5 different continents during 2009; including Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Tunisia and Japan.

After graduating from Cumberland High School, he was accepted on the accordion at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. where he studied Contemporary Improvisation and a variety of music styles, including Italian and French folk music, Bulgarian and Jewish music, Classical music and Jazz.

He became the second person to major in and graduate as an accordionist at the New England Conservatory. His past performances have included filling in for an ill Myron Floren, the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show at the age of 12, performing on four occasions at the White House, and playing at six other public events and private functions for President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. In 1999 he performed at a State dinner held for the President of Hungary.

Pesaturo has also performed with different symphony orchestras around the country, including the Brockton Symphony Orchestra in 2003. He frequently is a featured guest artist at accordion and jazz festivals.

Pesaturo is also heavily involved with meteorology, even though he holds no formal meteorological qualifications. He has compiled statistics for weather events such as what occurred in the Mid-Atlantic during the 2009-2010 winter. He also compiled the lists of records set by the hurricane seasons of 2005, 2007, and 2008. His music has been played for various Formula 1 races on SPEED TV starting in 2007, on the Velocity program "Chasing Classic Cars", and also at various Concours around the United States ranging from the Newport Concours d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

For more information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Falcetti Music Hosts Roland Event On World Accordion Day

by Rita Barnea
Sam FalcettiiOn May 6, 2012, World Accordion Day, the 11th semi-annual Roland Workshop for 50 Roland V Accordion owners and guests will take place at the Falcetti Music Corporate Headquarters and Showroom in Springfield, Mass. The workshop will be at 1:30 PM in the Falcetti Music Performance Roon, 1755 Boston Rd., Springfield, Mass.
A special clinic by Sam Falcetti on performing and entertaining for friends, nursing homes and all types of gigs will be discussed. Jim Avedisian will also perform.
Most important will be discussions on the ease of setting up different models and how to MAKE IT FUN!! The new proto-type FR1X will be demonstrated and everyone will have an opportunity to try it. 

For further information email Peggy Falcetti:  or  call Sam Falcetti:  1-413-204-5522

Stas Venglevski to Perform in Paris with Flute Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Stas VenglevskiBayan virtuoso Stas Venglevski will perform music by composer Yehuda Yannay with the Orchestre de Flutes Francais on May 14, 2012 in Paris. The group consists of twenty four flutes. The composition is:
"Plus Avec Moins" (PAM) (2011-12)
"More From Less" (MFL)
1. "Coming Up For Air" 
2. “...I Felt As If I’d Been Singing It A Long Long Time!” (Humoresque) 
3. "Flirting With Spring"

Composer Yannay said, " For my American colleagues and friends, the concept and sound of a professional flute orchestra of OFF’s caliber is completely unknown. Skeptics become admirers after they listen to a recording by this ensemble……For me as a composer OFF is like a very large lung.: an organ in both senses of the English word, the body part and “l’orgue”. Including the accordion with its “breathing” bellows in this context is entirely logical. In “Coming for Air” the accordion repeats and gradually expands a melody as it builds tone-clusters. In the background, long, sustained notes are played with possible interruption for breathing. The second movement, a kind of humoresque, gets its title from a line spoken by Alice, the famous heroine of ”Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll. “Flirting With Spring” is a “meteorological” movement. In the colder climate where I live, nature turned green and loud by the sound of birds much sooner than expected. As it turned out, March of this year was the warmest in the recorded in the USA."

Yehuda Yannay is a prolific and versatile composer and media artist of international reputation whose list of about 120 works include: music for orchestra, electronic, live electronic and synthesizer pieces, environmental compositions, film, music-theater, and a large body of vocal and chamber music pieces. In the early 1960s, when his works started to attract attention in Europe, Yannay was considered Israel's most challenging composer. His musical style evolved through the years to a distinct personal language that synthesizes some of the essential ideas of the prevailing trends in contemporary musical parlance. Yannay’s contributions to contemporary music literature are documented in major textbooks and music encyclopedias.

In 1970 he was appointed to the theory and composition faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he served as Professor of Music Composition and Technology until 2005. In 1971 he founded the Music From Almost Yesterday contemporary series in Milwaukee and premiered hundreds of new works. He continues to receive numerous commissions and grants from prominent performing groups, soloists and foundations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Cleveland Chamber Symphony. The Innova, Electronic Music Foundation, Vienna Modern Masters and Albany labels issued five CDs with his works. He toured extensively as composer, lecturer and conductor in Western and Eastern Europe, Brazil and Israel. He was Resident Artist in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts in 2010 and he is returning to Paris to work on new projects. i

Stas Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, enjoys increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the bayan. A two-time first prize winner of bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian bayanist, Friedrich Lips. Having immigrated to the United States in 1992, Stas now makes his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Stas' repertoire is an astonishing collection of virtuoso works by Bach, Weber, Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, as well as contemporary and ethnic music. 

Stas has toured extensively throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada and the United States, including performances with the Concord Chamber Orchestra, and the Chicago, Dayton, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras and is a regular participant in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education (ACE) program. He has recorded television commercials, performed in theater productions, produced several recordings including a transcription of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" for bayan, and recently released a CD of original compositions, as well as published a book of original compositions. Working with Stas in mind, Yehuda Yannay has composed, so far, five works for various ensembles that include the bayan.

Stas tours the USA/World as a concert artist and conductor. He will be guest artist at the Accordion Heroes event in Fredericksburg, Virginia, June 20-23 and also be guest artist/conductor at the AAA Festival in Baltimore July 11- 16.

For further information:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

ATAM Presented New England Music Festival's 50th Anniversary Event

by Rita Barnea
Michael FalcettiMichael Falcetti, President of the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts welcomed contestants and their families, past members and over 35 past champions at its' Gala Awards banquet, Saturday evening April 14th in celebration of the New England Music Festival's 50th Anniversary Grand Event on April 13, 14, 15, 2012.
The magnificent Air Force Strolling Strings from Washington, D.C. entertained throughout the evening to a capacity crowd of over 500 guests. Everyone was amazed by the precision, musicianship and virtuosity they displayed leaving the crowd in awe. 
New England Cup, Entertainment and Championship trophies were awarded.  A gift from the ATAM was presented to the members, judges, charter members and special guests. Roger Latulippe was honored and given a special gift for his 40 years as contest co-chairman. He announced his retirement as co-chairman. Peggy Falcetti was also honored and given a special gift for her 35 years as contest co-chairman and will be the chairman of next years Festival. Over $11,000.00 in scholarships, cash awards and trophies were awarded over the weekend.
Linda Reed, President of the AAA presented a Certificate of Merit to the ATAM for their continued support of accordion activities for 50 years.
After the Gala Awards Banquet, a Dance Party was held for all of the contestants.The Strolling Strings performed a mini concert on Sunday in the Ballroom for over 800 people. 
The 84 page 50th Anniversary souvenir journal contained many historical facts about the New England Music Festival and several congratulation letters from Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, Scott Brown, U.S. Senator, and Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops.
A highlight of this special weekend was performances by several reunion accordion orchestra's including: the Miguel School of Music Orchestra under the direction of Donna Michael, the Springfield Accordion and Guitar Orchestra conducted by Sam & Michael Falcetti who performed a James Bond Medley and the Rosita Lee Showstoppers Orchestra and dancers under the direction of DeeDee Latulippe.
Now that this fabulous event is over and over 2000 score sheets have been given to the contestants, planning has begun for the 51st event to be held on April 5,6,7, 2013 continuing the Festival for many years to come.

For further information:

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

Sylvia Marie Barber (1938-2012), California - USA

by Rob Howard
Sylvia Marie BarberSylvia Marie Barber, born in Indiana in 1938, sang and played the piano and from a young age. By the age of six she was playing for local gatherings and concerts. She won several talent contests on the accordion and was playing professionally before she was a teenager.

Her early appearances included Don McNeil's Breakfast Club, two tours with the Horace Heidt Show, Grand Old Oprey Show at Buck Lake Ranch, Indiana, and the Lawrence Welk Show for a summer.

Sylvia’s teachers included Jim Dumato, who she described as “a wonderful teacher”, of whom she said, “It took the poor man, half a year of teaching me many difficult selections including ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ with ‘Bumble Boogie’ and ‘Carnival of Venice with Variations’, to discover I couldn't read a note of music.

He always played it for me first, my ear would pick up most of it, and he'd correct what I didn't hear correctly each week when I brought the song back for lesson. Needless to say, Jim made sure I could read as well as hear the music in short order!”.

Sylvia worked as an air stewardess, then married and had a son, Scott. She opened a music studio in the San Francisco Bay area, moved to Los Angeles and began entertaining in a restaurant before working as an accordionist for Disneyland in Florida. Moving back to California, Sylvia continued to perform, appear as a guest at accordion festivals and also to make recordings.

Sylvia Marie Barber was held in high regard by fellow accordionists in the USA. She died on April 23rd 2012, and is survived by husband Bob and son Scott.

The San Diego Club will be honoring the memory of Sylvia Marie Barber on July 8, 2012 at Mt. Miguel Covenant Home from 1 to 4 PM:

Mount Miguel Covenant Village
325 Kempton Street
Spring Valley, CA 91977

Sylvia's dear friend, Gloria Ensign (San Diego Accordion Club past-president), will be coordinating the musical program with solos, duets, etc. playing songs in tribute to Sylvia. A few Sylvia's favorite tunes (key of C or F) will be distributed on site for the accordionists present to perform in unison.

Additionally, Gordon Kohl, current San Diego Accordion Club President and one of the Silver Falls (Oregon) accordion camp directors will have the Silver Falls group also dedicate a song for her at the camp this year.

Please contact Gloria Ensign by phone (1+ (619) 465-0543) or e-mail (, if you are planning to attend the event. Also, if you have any photos that you can email to Gloria, she is going to compile a collage. Photos of Sylvia's youth would especially be welcome. Please share this information with others who might know Sylvia.

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

2012 Texas Folklife Big Squeeze Accordion Competition Semi-Finals and Finals - USA

by Rita Barnea
2012 Texas Folklife Big Squeeze Accordion Competition Semi-Finals
Early in April, Texas Folklife announced the names of the eight young squeezeboxers who had advanced to the semifinal stage of the sixth annual Big Squeeze accordion contest. These were:

Peter Anzaldua, 15, of Brownsville;
Candice Cerda, 17, of San Benito;
Omar Garza, 17, of Mission;
Luis Gonzales, 16, of Grand Prairie;
Zeth Lara, 12, of San Benito;
Juan Longoria III, 11, of Brownsville (son of 2007 champion!);
Michael Ramos, 16, of Dallas;
Isaiah Tellez, 13, of Pasadena.

The Big Squeeze 2012 semifinals for up-and-coming musicians was held in Austin at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum on Saturday, April 28.

Emceeing this year’s semifinals contest will be Joe Nick Patoski, iconic Texas author and Texas Folklife’s emcee for the annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival.

Each semifinalist played two songs and the judges then choose up to four finalists. The finalists then compete before the large, enthusiastic audience of accordion fans at the Accordion Kings & Queens Festival on June 2 at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

The 4 finalists selected were (left to right, photo below) Michael Ramos, Luis Gonzales, Peter Anzaldua, Omar Garza. Photo by Michelle Mejia.

This is the 23rd annual "Accordion Kings & Queens," and it just might be the very best, ever! So put on your dancing shoes and bring your friends, family and a picnic to Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston for the best, free squeezefest on the planet! The finals and the Accordion Kings and Queens Festival is on 2nd June.

For further information, email:
2012 Finalists

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

Rocco Jerry Presents New Works for Accordion and Cello At MAMTG Festival

by Rita Barnea
Rocco Anthony Jerry and Marina Jerry
Accordionist Rocco Jerry and his daughter, Marina, performed new works for the accordion and cello at the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild Festival on March 31, 2012 in Whippany, New Jersey.

They performed works by composers by Peter Machajdi, Max Simoncic, Bjorn Borstad Skjelbred, Tuji Takahashi, and Christina Wolff. presenting the following program (More about these composers in future USA news issues):

CHRISTIAN WOLFF – “Accordionists (and possibly others)” (2010) for accordion, cello, and pre-recorded accompaniment * (Movements 1, 2, and 4)
YUJI TAKAHASHI – “snow/wind/radios” (2010) for two accordions and narrator (poems by Diane di Prima)
PETER MACHAJDIK - “Early and Late Clarities” (2011) for accordion**
MAX SIMONCIC - “Reminiscence” (2011) for accordion and cello
BJORN BORSTAD SKJELBRED – “The Verge of Understanding: Playing Wittgenstein” (2011) for two accordions**
*World Premiere
**US Premiere

Rocco Jerry has given solo concerts throughout the US including New York City, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, at venues including the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institute (Washington D.C.), the National City Christian Church (Washington D.C.), and other churches and halls in the US. He has performed with several chamber music groups including the Downtown Ensemble and the Flexible Orchestra and premiered new works by Peter Machajdik, Daniel Goode, Conrad Kehn, Arthur B. Rubinstein, Max Simoncic, and Robert Young McMahan, and has given the US premieres of many other pieces.  

Rocco Jerry performs each year at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City, during the annual AAA Concert Series , organized by Dr. William Schimmel. In 2009, Rocco premiered Conrad Kehn’s multi-media work “Maximinimal” for Accordion, Electronics, and Video at The Festival of Firsts, at The Brick Elephant in Valley Falls, New York (presided by composer, Mary Jane Leach). In May-June 2004, he worked closely with Hollywood film composer, Arthur B. Rubinstein, and performed accordion in the premiere run of Rubinstein’s new musical “He Who Gets Slapped”, with the next run scheduled for the Mark Taper Auditorium in Los Angeles.

After being awarded a SPAF Project Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts in 2000, Rocco Jerry premiered Robert Young McMahan’s “Mists and Mountains” in solo concerts in upstate New York. In 2007, Rocco began the Accordion Ensemble Project , which was awarded an SOS Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2008. In this ongoing project, Rocco is recording all parts of accordion ensemble works, so that they may be performed as a solo, accompanied by his recording of the remaining parts.

To date, he has performed the accordion ensemble works of Bjorn Borstad Skjelbred, Peter Machajdik, Magnar Am, Kjell Perder, Jacob ter Veldhuis, and Yuji Takahashi, with more works added each year.

Marina Jerry studied cello with Karen Russell of Stevens School  and Heather Walker at O'Rourke Middle School in Burnt Hills, NY. She performs with her school orchestra, and has also performed with All-County and other community orchestras, and as a member of her church ensemble.  She enjoys playing a variety of music. The March performance at MAMTG was her first opportunity to perform with her father. She will perform the third movement of Max Simoncic's Accordion Concerto later this year. In November 2011, Accordion virtuoso Peter Soave gave the World Premiere of Max Simoncic's "Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra" with the Stockton Symphony Orchestra in California.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Dr.Howard D. Van Orden to Perform on World Accordion Day

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Howard D. Van OrdenHoward Van Orden will perform at the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Professional Musicians of Arizona Local 586 event on May 6th, World Accordion Day 12 Noon to 7:PM. The event takes place at The Musicians Hall, 1202 East Oak Street, Phoenix, Arizona. Admission is free. Food and refreshments are available. Donations will be accepted but are not required.

The program consists of the string quartet, Quarte Sabaku, Mariachi band, Mariachi Colonial De Lupe Esparza, Young Sounds of Arizona, Kandu Band,Herndon Brothers, Chuck E, Baby and the All Stars, Armand Boatman, and Open Jam.

Howard was born in Paterson, NJ and began playing the accordion at age 7. He also plays organ and was Pipe Organist/Choir Director/Minister of Music at St. Anthony's RC Church in Butler from 1960-1973. Howard owned an Accordion Studio, Dr. Van Orden's School of Music, from 1954-1977 in Butler and Bloomingdale,NJ. He was house band at Lydecker's Northwood Inn, Butler, NJ for 8 years. From 1978-1980, he played accordion for Holiday Inn, the Concord and Bali Floating Restaurant on the island of Aruba. Since 1980, he has performed in Miami Beach,Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Savannah, St. Augustine and Phoenix. He holds a Doctor of Sacred Music degree.

Howard is a longtime Professional Member of the American Accordionists Association, the Accordionists and Teachers Guild and Musicians Local 586. Previously, he was a member of the Paterson, NJ Local and the Hollywood Local Musicians Union. He is also a Professional Member of the American Guild of Organists.Howard's music style includes Big Band, Latin and Ethnic, Irish, Polish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Gypsy, French, Spanish, Israeli, and Mexican

For further information:
Dr. Howard D. Van Orden
Tel.: 602-633-1518

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Future events

American American Accordionists' Association 18th Master Class and Concert Series

by Dr. William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelRemember to mark July 27, 28, 29th on your calendar. Those are the three days for the 2012 Accordion Master Class and Concert Series-The Seminars_ sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association moderated by Dr. William Schimmel at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York.


It's a new kind of Radar!! Yes, and trust me, it's a new way of Redemption! It's the Radar off the Radar! The Seminars are 18 years old this year and they have found their own place in the marketplace of ideas in a new zone – off the Radar!! Yes, I say again – The Radar off the Radar!! It's a new kind of Radar – and it's looking for you!! It really is!! yes!

And you can find Redemption right smack in the middle of the accordion community. If I sound excited, I am – and it's OK to be excited

– Am I going too far with my enthusiasm? I don't think so but stay with me – I really mean what I SAY – and It's OK to be meaningful – it really is – I'm losing perspective – but that's OK – because perspective is relative to being in the radar – and we're talking about a new kind of radar – The Radar that's off the Radar!! Yes! - It's a new kind of Radar!! And Redemption is waiting for you there. Is it Salvation?? No, not exactly – It's Redemption – sort of like the Halleluia Chorus played by Dozens and Dozens of Accordionists – sort of like that – but not exactly –

Here's what our weekend will be!!
Here's what it will really be like – or something like it! And I really mean it – and that's OK.

Master Classes in the afternoon at 3 - you can play! Concerts in evening at 7 – distinguished lineup! Installations in the lobby.

Books – cds – dvds and other stuff sold in the lobby

Time to network and schmooze in the middle

Post concert fellowship at the end of the evening

JULY 27, 28, 29 – 2012 – and it's at

Concert No. 1 on July 27, 2012 at 7 PM includes:
plus much more……. creative musical performances!

MASTER CLASS NO.2 on July 28, 2012 at 3 PM includes the following:


These are just some of the programs offered during the seminars.For more information:

Jeff Lisenby to Perform at ATG in July

by Rita Barnea
Jeff LisenbyJeff Lisenby will be guest artist at the 72nd Annual Competition and Festival of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) which will be held in Lisle, Illinois (Chicago) from July 25-29th, 2012.

Jeff Lisenby, is an accomplished accordionist and musician who is highly qualified as a performer and teacher. He earned a Master’s degree from The Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has twice been the national accordion champion and a bronze medalist in the Coupe Mondiale International Classical accordion competitions.

Classical music wasn’t the only style he practiced and excelled in. “When I was a kid,” Lisenby said, “my goal was to win the world accordion championship, which was for ‘serious’ music. So I was practicing 7-8 hours a day when I was a teenager. I would get tired of practicing the ‘heavy’ music, and then I would start playing pop or jazz standard tunes and improvising on them. It was a good musical mix for me.”
Lisenby used his expertise on the accordion and keyboards to carve a niche market for himself, and gained performances with the Nashville, Kansas City, and Los Angeles Symphonies, the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra, and a gig accompanying Luciano Pavarotti during part of his U.S. tour.
Not limited to classical music, Lisenby toured extensively with the Mills Brothers, Boots Randolph, and Brenda Lee, and has accompanied Lee Greenwood, Donna Summer, Tricia Yearwood, Three-Dog Night, the Coasters, David Cassidy, Marty Stuart, Jo Dee Messina, Pam Tillis, Loretta Lynn, Roy Clark, and Dolly Parton, to name a few. Recently, Lisenby was honored to be the music director on Broadway for RING OF FIRE: The Music of Johnny Cash, for which he pulled from his extensive experience backing country artists in Nashville.
Jeff is also one of the first-call accordionists for recording sessions in Nashville. Projects he has worked on include the Grammy-winning album: “Songs from the Neighborhood; the Music of Mister Rogers”, and jingles for Budweiser and Sutherland’s Lumber (which he also wrote and produced).
When he’s not on the road performing around the country, Lisenby teaches for Belmont University’s School of Music and is active in the Nashville recording scene.

ACCORDIONS NOW 2012! Admission Discount:Now till May 31st

by Rita Barnea
Tony Lovello and Cnris GortonThe fifth annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival, co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC, will be held August 17-18, 2012 at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott in Nashua, New Hampshire. It will be high-spirited weekend filled with warm friendship and great music. 

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 is extending its Early Bird Discount through May 31 because a broken link, discovered in last month’s announcement, may have prevented people from registering. The link has now been repaired.Throughout May, everyone will be allowed to register as a New Hampshire Accordion Association [NHAA] member to get the special $99.00 All Events Package. Non-NHAA members should take advantage of this outstanding opportunity and value!! The All Events Package covers admission to every ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 event, including the Festive Luncheon Buffet and Gala Dinner.

Artists performing include: Tony Lovello, Christopher Gorton, Brent Buswell, Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra [piano], Gary Morin, Donna Maria Regis, the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, and others to be announced soon. Workshops will be presented by Sam Falcetti, Chris Gorton, Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra.

BE PART OF THE MUSICAL ACTION -- BRING YOUR ACCORDION! You have many opportunities to participate: Open Mike Night (to guarantee your spot, sign up when you register), Informal Jam Sessions, ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] (sign up by July 20), and – new this year – Play Along Groups [no rehearsal].

Special 2012 Milestones to celebrate include: Frank Sinatra’s centennial, Tony Lovello’s 80th birthday, and the 5th year of the ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival and ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO].

Tony Lovello’s magnificent musical tribute – simply entitled “Sinatra” – was written especially for, and will receive its world premiere by, the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, Donna Maria Regis, conductor. You can be part of this special, once-in-a-lifetime musical experience! Register for ANFO by July 20. The parts are now ready for distribution to fully registered ANFO participants. Sound clips will also be available shortly. Don’t miss this chance to be involved in something wonderful.

Special hotel rates are available: $91 per room [+ tax] through July 27. Call Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211 or Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100. Mention "ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Courtyard Nashua." 


For more information: ACCORDIONS NOW! (603) 216-9582
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