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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-May-2014
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Passing of Accordionist Don Lipovac
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience 2014 Grammy Award
2014 AAA Festival in Tarrytown, New York
World Accordion Day (WAD) Online - Finland
33rd Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival
ATG Festival and Competition: July 23-26, 2014 in San Francisco
Connie Mantini: An Inspiration To All Musicians
Texas Folklife Announces 2014 Big Squeeze Contest Winners
Guy Klucevsek 2014 Summer Concert Schedule
Meet Lauren Brody! Workshop Presenter at 2014 AAA Festival
Fred Ferino: Accordion Repairman and Much More
Michigan Accordion Society Presents Frank Petrilli on May 20, 2014
Bryant Park in NYC Features Accordionists All Summer
VBC, Very Be Careful, in Cinco de Mayo Event

Voci Armoniche

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

Classical Music That Rocks… Accordion and Clarinet… Acclarion
AAA Report
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society’s Spring Happenings
Renowned Hollywood Composer is Crazy About Accordion!
Amazing Dan Newton: Daddy Squeeze
Steve Albini Performs for Hollywood Elite in California
Low Back Pain, An Accordionist’s Worst Nightmare! - USA
Dominic Karcic Performs at Valtarese Foundation Gala
The 2014 AAA Seminars

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

International Digital Electronic Accordion Symposium: Oct. 24-28 in Ohio
Long Island Accordion Alliance features Smörgåsbandet
SFAC May Concert on May 18, 2014
National Button Festival on May 23-25, 2014
Music & Merlot Concert on June 1, 2014
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 19-22, 2014
2014 AAA Annual Master Class and Concert Series
7th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! 2014 August 8-10 in New Hampshire

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita Barnea, USA News EditorToday is the perfect time to plan all of your accordion related summer activities. This month's USA news is filled with fun, educational and motivational festivals and competitions.

Don't forget that World Accordion Day is May 6th. Celebrate Mother's Day and World Accordion Day by purchasing a CD, book or DVD by your favorite accordion artist. Maybe you will discover a new favorite after you have read this month's news.

To shop for accordion related items, please visit is the largest eSheet accordion music internet site in the world! There is a huge selection of accordion music, CD's and DD's plus many accordion text books on all subjects, and site provider for accordion music publishers.

There are so many festivals/competitions to attend and fascinating and inspiring accordion personalties to learn about.
For the latest accordion news, read the May USA news.

As always, please contact Editor Rita Barnea at with your comments/ideas.

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

Passing of Accordionist Don Lipovac

by Rita Barnea
Don LipovacAWW is sad to report the passing of accordionist Don Lipovac (April 3, 1935 - April 26, 2014).

Published in Kansas City Star on Apr. 29, 2014:

"On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the area lost the man once described as a "cultural treasure" by the Kansas Art Council when he was named artist in residence in the Kansas City, KS school system.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 AM, Thursday, May 1, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 274 Orchard St., KC,KS. Burial in Mt Calvary Cemetery. Visitation was 5 to 8 PM, Wednesday, April 30 at Holy Family Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Holy Family Church.

Don was born April 3, 1935 to Anthony Joseph and Agnes Julia (Mayerle) Lipovac and was a lifelong area resident. His career in music started in childhood playing Slovenian songs on the button accordion that his grandfather used to sing.

Through classical training he developed into a renowned accordion artist winning the national virtuoso competition at Carnegie Hall in 1958, going on to represent the United States in the world competition in Brussels, Belgium.

Don studied the piano accordion under Alfred Vacca of Kansas City, MO and earned degrees in music theory and music education at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He taught accordion students both privately and at the Vacca School of Accordion. He also gave solo concerts around the country and performed as a soloist with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra.

Don leaves a great legacy in his home town where he developed a deep appreciation and love for the folk music of his Slovene and Croatian neighborhood that extended to the other ethnic groups.

Inspired by the international folk concerts of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, he became an expert in folk music with the hope and intent of preserving their music and cultural heritage. He taught and directed over 200 students of St. John's School Tamburitza orchestra, and with the constant help of his wife, JoAnn, led them over 25 years in concerts traveling and in making records. For this accomplishment, he was inducted into the Tamburitza Hall of Fame.

The Don Lipovac Polka Band and their records are well known and appreciated around the world. Don's Polka style was inspired by his friend, Frank Yankovic. The band became frequent performers at local events and festivals around the country. Their popularity earned recognition and induction in the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Iron World USA Polka Hall of Fame in Chisholm, MN. Locally the group became so popular a booster club was formed to add support and travel with them to out of town events. That loyalty lasted for over 30 years.

Don is known to other audiences for his more contemporary solo performances, as a member of combos at social events, local clubs and restaurants, notably the Alameda Plaza Rooftop Restaurant and Italian Gardens. Don graduated from Wyandotte High School and the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He served his country in the US Army. He was an organist and lifelong member of the Holy Family Catholic Church as well as a member of the American Slovenian Catholic Union (KSKJ) Lodge, St. Martin's Croatian Fraternal Union, and the American Federation of Musicians Union.

Preceding him in death were his parents and niece, Janet Bernstein. Surviving is his beloved wife of 52 years, JoAnn (Yocuis) Lipovac, his brother, James Eugene Lipovac, sister, Agnes Phelps (Don), two nieces, Laura Krzyzanowski (Bill), and Donna Coldren (Jeffrey), also five great nephews. Arrangements: Skradski Funeral Home, KC, KS. 913-371-1404

Titano Accordion Company

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience 2014 Grammy Award

by Rita Barnea
Terrance SimienVideo: Concert at Dnipropetrovsk, The Summer Theater at Gorky Park, Kiev, Ukraine, April 25, 2012.

Terrance Simien (picture right) and the Zydeco Experience won Best Regional Roots Music Album at the 2014 56th Grammy Awards which took place in Los Angeles, CA. on April 6th, 2014.

Other nominees in the category were:
- The Life & Times Of...The Hot 8 Brass Band by Hot 8 Brass Band
- Hula Ku'i by Kahulanui
- Le Fou by Zachary Richard
- Apache Blessing & Crown Dance Songs by Joe Tohonnie Jr.

The Grammy Awards, for more than 50 years, are the only peer-presented award in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.

On June 4, 2013 Simien independently released his 9th recording, Grammy winning ‘Dockside Sessions” featuring four traditional zydeco songs (sung in French), a contemporary French tune, three Bob Dylan covers, and a song each originally by the Grateful Dead and Toots & the Maytals.

According to Wikepedia:
Terrance Simien (born September 3, 1965 in Mallet, Louisiana) is an American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter. He and his band won the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for 2008.

Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish.He was introduced to music via the piano at home, the Catholic Church choir, and in school band programs where he played trumpet.

While in his teens, he taught himself to play accordion and formed his first band Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, and began to play the regional zydeco club and church hall circuit. In the early 1980s, Simien was a youth in his early 20's and one of only two (Sam Brothers was the other) emerging zydeco artists leading a band and performing their indigenous zydeco roots music. This was a pivotal time in zydeco music history since the pioneers of the genre were aging and the music was in jeopardy of dying off without the critical presence of emerging artists perpetuating the traditions.

Upon being asked about his opinion of his debut album in a 1991 interview, Simien said: “I think we’ve done what we set out to do, and that is catch the energy of the live performance. Also give the audience something new that we couldn’t do live. But we basically stayed true to what we were doing; we didn’t try to make a hit song. We just put out what we’ve been doing for the past five years on the road, and it couldn’t have come out any better than it did. There are some disappointments. You always wish you had more time, more money, more everything.”

Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting over 7000 live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with the likes of Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and the roots rockers Los Lobos.

Simien has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials. He appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film, "The Princess and the Frog" set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring authentic Louisiana music scored by Randy Newman.

He has also contributed to the soundtracks of movies, such as, "The Big Easy", "Exit To Eden" and "A Murder Of Crows".

Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, are active in Creole music education and advocacy. They created the "Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco" performing arts program, which provides informational performances to K-12 students, teachers and parents. Since it was created in 2001, Creole for Kidz has reached nearly 500,000 students, parents and teachers in more than 20 states, Mali, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, Canada and Australia. The Simiens understand the importance of mentoring emerging artists and created MusicMatters, Inc., a non-profit for education and advocacy.[9]

In 2007, the Simiens helped establish a new Grammy voting category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. His group, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, were the first ensemble to win a Grammy in that same category in 2008.
He is considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists, engaging performers and innovative recording artists in American roots music.

Voci Armoniche

2014 AAA Festival in Tarrytown, New York

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
AAA Poster
Announcing the 2014 American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival, which will be held in picturesque, historic Tarrytown, NY on the Hudson River, July 9-13, 2014. Get your reservations now at the Doubletree Hotel (on the waterfront!) in Tarrytown (914-631-5700) for the AAA special group discount.

Featured artists include Vladimir Mollov, who will perform and also lead the Youth Jazz Ensemble; Dallas Vietty; Guy Klucevsek accompanied by violinist Todd Reynolds; Steve Albini on Roland accordion & vocals; Mario Tacca and Friends (Julie Cardona, Beverly Roberts Curnow and Mary Tokarski); Dr. Robert McMahan; Frank Carozza and others.

There will be exciting workshops, including one on Balkan ornamentation by Lauren Brody (see separate article on Lauren), and one on Chinese music and musical notation by Yimeng Huang. The festival orchestra will be conducted by our AAA President, Linda Soley Reed, and our youth orchestra will be conducted by Mary Tokarski. There will be many exhibitors of accordions and accordion-related material, an accordion museum exhibit and the AAA Archives.

Download competition rules, required composition list, festival registration forms, entry forms and other information at: 2014Tarrytown

Registration forms and more info is now online at: Hope to see you there!

Accordion Jazz Chords

World Accordion Day (WAD) Online - Finland

by Rita Barnea
World Accordion DayWorld Accordion Day - Celebrate the Accordion!

May 6th will see the celebration of World Accordion Day by many accordionists around the world. A project of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA), coordinated by CIA Music Committee Member Grayson Masefield, ths 5th annual celebration has taken on several interesting formats during its short evolution.

Beginning with coordinated celebrations from around the globe, the last two years have seen a 24 hour live streaming. While initial plans thought of a live streaming this year, the CIA has decided instead to collect footage from around the world of CIA member activities, to be made available to member associations and interested accordionists for use to publicize the accordion with media, fellow musical associations, the International Music Council as well as for other opportunities to promote the accordion in the field of music as appropriate.

The CIA is blessed to be supported by more than 30 nations spanning all corners of the world, and with its competition winners alone, features some of the world's most outstanding accordionists performing a diverse array of musical styles, while representing many countries and musical cultures. Combined with World Accordion Orchestra, the composers portfolio of new works for accordion and representation at the International Music Council, the CIA is truly the epitome of 'World Accordion' and so by compiling all these exciting activities into one source, the CIA hopes to celebrate World Accordion Day itself, along with the rest of the world!

We invite those celebrating World Accordion Day to submit video and pictures from their activities to the CIA, so that as we correlate the various activities we have a wonderful cross section of the many faces of accordion found around the world.

During World Accordion Day, members of the CIA Executive will be in Finland at the CIA headquarters, working on plans for publicising this years events, as well as exploring possibilities for a live event next year, which will be discussed by the CIA Delegates at the upcoming General Assembly in Salzburg, Austria later in the year.

To submit your information, please send your videos, pictures, or links to online performances to the CIA General Secretary Kimmo Mattila at e-mail, with World Accordion Day in the subject box:


33rd Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Video above: Guacamole by The Texas Tornados. Published on Jan 12, 2014 The Texas Tornados at Nick's A Taste of Texas.

May 14, 16-18, 2014
Rosedale Park – 340 Dartmouth, San Antonio, Tx 78237

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center was founded by a group of San Antonio artists who were determined to play a critical role in shaping the artistic and cultural experiences of San Antonio’s residents and visitors alike. Nearly thirty-four years ago this band of artists formed a pro-active group called the Performance Artists’ Nucleus (PAN). They represented different organizations that were seeking municipal funds to support their work and to preserve and promote the rich traditions of Latino culture.

Time Schedule:
Wednesday, May 14 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.Eva Ybarra y su Conjunto - Free Seniors Conjunto Dance
Friday, May 16 6 p.m. Opening Ceremonies/Poster Contest Awards
6:30 p.mthe Texas Sweethearts (Weslaco)
7:30 p.m.Miguel A. Pérez del Conjunto San Antonio (Spain)
8 p.m.Dwayne Verheyden (Montford, Netherlands)
8:40 p.m.Los Texmaniacs de Max Baca (San Antonio)
9:45 p.m.Joel Guzmán Sarah Fox y Conjuntazzo (Austin)
11 p.m.The Texas Tornados (Austin/San Antonio)
Saturday, May 17
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Accordion Tuning, Maintenance & Repair Workshop
Tim Schofield, Hohner Accordion Repair and Parts Supervisor, will teach you how to tune the reeds of your accordion and maintain it in tip-top playing shape. Accordion tuning kits will be available for purchase.
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Button Accordion & Bajo Sexto Workshops
Master Button Accordion and Bajo Sexto maestros, and Grammy Award-winning recording artists, Joel Guzmán and Max Baca, will conduct this concurrent two-hour workshop. Basic accordion and bajo sexto playing techniques and chords/scales will be explored,
along with the accompaniment of different conjunto rhythms. The two separate workshops will come together at the end for an impromptu performance and conjunto jam.
12 p.m.Conjunto Juan Seguín/Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguín * Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center * Conjunto Heritage Taller * Estrellas de Acordeón/Houston Accordion Performers * La Joya Independent School District * Conjunto Palo Alto/Palo Alto College
2 p.m.Conjunto Los Pinkys featuring Isidro Samilpa & Chencho Flores (Austin)
3 p.m.Susan Torres y Conjunto Clemencia (Austin)Special Presentation by Lala Garza
4 p.m.Johnny Degollado y su Conjunto (Austin)
5 p.m.The Conjunto Kings de Flavio Longoria (San Antonio)
6 p.m.Conjunto Los Leones de Alberto Solís (Laredo)
7 p.m.La Naturaleza de Santiago Garza (San Antonio)
8 p.m.Lázaro Pérez y su Conjunto (Kingsville)
9 p.m.Los Monarcas de Pete y Mario Díaz (Houston)
10 p.m.Los García Bros. (Eagle Pass)
11 p.m.Los Dos Gilbertos (Edinburg)
Sunday, May 18
1 p.m.Fruty Villarreal y Los Mavericks (La Feria)
2 p.m.Conjunto Senzzible (Houston)
3 p.m.Da Krazy Pimps (Eagle Pass)
4 p.m.Randy García y Conjunto Estrella (Corpus Christi)
5 p.m.Tejano Boys (Harlingen) Special Presentation by Peter Anzaldúa (Brownsville)
6 p.m.Conjunto Romo (Kyle)
7 p.m.Bernardo y sus Compadres (Baytown)
8 p.m.Los Fantasmas del Valle (Mercedes)

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

ATG Festival and Competition: July 23-26, 2014 in San Francisco

by Rita Barnea
ATG 2014 Poster
ATG President Betty Jo SimonAccordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) President Betty Jo Simon welcomes all to the 74th Annual ATG Festival and Competitions will be held in San Francisco at the Crowne Plaza International Airport Hotel from July 23-26, 2014.

Among the featured artists this year will be Stas Venglevski, Frank Petrilli Quartet, XiaGang (China), Antonio Spaccarotella (Italy), Jeff Lisenby, and Peter Di Bono Trio. There will be two Festival Orchestras directed by Joan C. Sommers and Beverley Fess.

International guest artists are from China and Italy. Xia Gang is a well known Chinese Bayanist who has many international titles. Antonio Spaccarotella is a young Italian Accordion artist who has won numerous international competitions. He teaches modern and classical accordion at the Nuove Armonie Musical Institute in Italy. More info in future USA news publications.

Some of the topics which workshop clinicians will present include: Bellows Techniques, Left Hand Bass Workshop, Balkan Styles, Evolution of the Modern Tango, a Jazz Workshop and Effective use of the Digital Accordion. Steve Mobia will show his video "Documentary on the Accordion". More will be added so keep checking the website for updates.
ATG wants to encourage new composers for accordion and is featuring an original accordion composition concert on Friday afternoon.  Included will be several guest artists, ensembles and the winners of the original accordion composition category newly offered this year.  Competitions provide an excellent opportunity for students to excel by preparing for a contest!  ATG is offering solo, duet, and ensemble categories and even some with cash prizes. There is something for everyone.  All competition rules, regulations and forms are listed under “Competition Information” tab on the ATG website.
For those of you who want to participate in the Festival Orchestra, there are two opportunities: Joan C. Sommers will conduct the advanced Festival Orchestra and Beverley Fess will conduct the Junior Festival Orchestra for those who have not had as much experience with playing in an accordion orchestra.
Register early and make your hotel registrations before the July 2nd deadline not only to secure the room discount but to be assured of a room.  Be sure to mention ATG when making reservations. Call: 650-342-9200

For more information on guest artists, workshop clinicians, registration and competition rules and forms, visit the website: ATG

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Connie Mantini: An Inspiration To All Musicians

by Rita Barnea
Connie Mantini
Connie MantiniWhen we read stories about young and talented musicians we marvel at their abilities and potential. Reading the following article about 88 year old accordionist and composer Connie Mantini, you will not only be inspired but also feel great respect and awe for a person who realized his potential and continues today to achieve and attain new heights in musical accomplishments.

Connie Mantini has been playing his accordion since he was eight years old. His first accordion, a little button box, which his father purchased for him cost $15.00 at that time, With lessons and continued interest in learning to play the accordion, Connie progressed to the 120 bass and played for high school functions and local benefits. At the age of 13, he won first prize in a Pennsylvania amateur show.

As a member of special services while in training during World War II, Connie entertained troops while in this country and in Europe and while crossing the Atlantic back and forth in a Liberty Ship. Connie was a featured accordionist in company USO shows. From 1950 to 1985, Connie and his brother, and 4 other musicians formed their own combo playing for local parties and events.

Connie always loved his accordion and loves to perform for others. "When I grew up in a coal town, there was an accordion player on every block! At that time the accordion was very popular." The local miners included Italiens, Lithuanians, Slovakians, Slovenians and the accordion was their favorite instrument."

"I like to make people happy. If they enjoy the music, it gives me a thrill. If they get bored, then I get bored." Connie never gets bored!

"I must have been eight years old when I saw this little button box accordion in the window o f a pawn hope in my hometown of Mahnoy City, Pennsylvania. I cam home and told my mom about it and she told my dad when he came home from work at the coal mine. He took me to town and I showed it to him in the window. We went inside. The pawn shp owner wanted $15 for it, but it had been scorched in a fire. My dad talked him onto selling ti to us for $7. It had two buttons o the left side and about 20 on the right side."

"I bought it home and started playing things by ear, simple melodies that were popular at the time." Noticing his son's great enthusiasm, his dad bough an 80 bass accordion and he took lessons from Philip Marzullo. A few years later he switched to the 120 bass. He and his brother, Johnnie, who played the guitar began to play at dances and minstrel shows. A promotor took them to baseball games in the 1930's and they would perform with a violinist, performing at beer gardens and park picnics.

While growing up, Connie worked in the family grocery business. In 1945, he entered the military. "I had no idea my accordion skills would figure in my military duties. While training at Camp Fannin, I had some spare time during the weekends. I wanted to start playing again so I got my family to ship my accordion to me. We were an infantry company and I was playing in the barracks and a Special Services officer heard me and said, "You are very good with that accordion" . Connie was invited to join the Special Services. The officer said, "All you will have to do is play the accordion for special musical functions, including being a solo accordionist at the locl company shows and parties. You will get exempted from things like KP." Connie accepted.

Mantini formed a 6 piece orchestra and performed at the USO, playing every weekend at the Army base. "I played in each show. When we shipped overseas, I was able to check out an accordion. On that troop transport ship, I was the only one of 3,000 GI's who could play the accordion and I played for them. During the voyage I was able to pick up a half dozen very good musicians and we entertained the troops and ourselves.

Connie was in Germany for a year where he formed a trip playing for the troops doing occupation duty. After serving in the army for two years, he played accordion on a liberty ship returning to the USA.

Back home in West Viginia, the brothers formed their own orchestra, including Connie on accordion, Johnnie on bass guitar and singing, Ralph Bennet on guitar, Richard Akerson on drums and Gino Barzanti on the saxophone and clarinet. All arrangements were done by Connie. When his parents died, Connie continued the business. In 1955, he married Betty Claudio of Star City. Although very busy, he always found time to practice.

Connie is also an accomplished composer. He was invited by Chip Buck, the band director at Westwood Middle school to write an arrangement of his original composition, "Marching Lively" for the 100 piece school band.

"Mr. Buck gave me the honor of directing my composition during the 2003 spring concert. This was the first time I ever directed a marching band." He also had the opportunity to perform on the Metronews Statewide Sports Line radio show. His favorite accordionists included Phil Marzullo, Charles Magnante, Arite Dunn, Myron Floren and Dick Contino.

Connie feels that the effort and energy expended in playing the 120 accordion keeps you in very good shape. "It gives you a good upper-body workout. It moves the blood around!". Connie credits the accordion for keeping him renewing his strenghth and health after having undergone heart surgery.

Connie and his wife are retired and still live in the apartment above the store. You can hear him practicing his accordion when the windows are open. We wish him many more happy years of playing his accordion and bringing musical happiness to others. He says, " Thank God for the people who continue to love the accordion."

According to his good friend, accordionist Tip Ciotti, "Connie Mantini is a treasure of the American accordion community whose story is inspirational." . It is important for everyone to know how wonderful it is to learn music and that it can be a life long source of enjoyment no matter what one's level of playing.

Photos by Melissa Chesanko:
For further information:

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

Texas Folklife Announces 2014 Big Squeeze Contest Winners

by Rita Barnea
Winners Garrett Neubauer, Grand Prize Winner for Polka; Randall Jackson, Grand Prize Winner for Zydeco; and Aaron Salinas, Grand Prize Winner for Conjunto.
Texas Folklife is pleased to announce the names of the talented young accordionists who were chosen as the 2014 Big Squeeze Champs. They are Garrett Neubauer, Grand Prize Winner for Polka; Randall Jackson, Grand Prize Winner for Zydeco; and Aaron Salinas, Grand Prize Winner for Conjunto.
Photo above.

The winners were chosen at the Big Squeeze Finals and Concert held on the Lone Star Plaza at the Bullock Texas State History Museum last Saturday. Nine finalists and three honorable mentions performed before the large, enthusiastic Texas roots music loving crowd. The program featured Grammy Award-winning Sunny Sauceda, Curtis Poullard and the Creole Zydeco Band, the Austin-based Fabulous Polkasonics, and Michael Ramos, the reigning Big Squeeze Champ.

This year was the eighth annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians. In order to better nurture young Texas talent, Texas Folklife has expanded the popular contest. Instead of one Big Squeeze Champ, three Final Grand Prize Winners were chosen to represent the three main accordion genres—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. The polka genre includes German, Czech, and Polish traditions. Zydeco includes Creole and Cajun musical traditions. And conjunto includes norteño and Tejano.

There were eight talent showcases scheduled around the state that were free, open to the public, and featured performances by local musicians. Six showcases have already occurred: Houston Creole Festival (February 1); La Joya High School (February 8); McDonald Public Library in Corpus Christi (February 9); Texas Polka Festival and Symposium in Schulenburg (February 22); MECA in Houston (February 23); the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas (March 23); and Los Fresnos High School (March 29), and the Gallista Gallery with Conjunto Heritage Taller in San Antonio (April 4).

This year saw a large increase in the number of participants and the number of audience members throughout the state for the contest. There were 49 contestants and over 3,000 individuals who attended the eight talent showcases. There were over 500 in the audience at the Final Playoffs and Concert, with many getting up to joyously dance and root for the young the squeezeboxers.

All three winners will perform at Texas Folklife’s highly acclaimed annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

The three young winners will hit the jackpot because this will be a special year to perform at Accordion Kings & Queens as it will be the 25th anniversary! In addition, the three Big Squeeze 2014 Grand Prize Winners received a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion, performance opportunities in Austin and Houston, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities.

“The Big Squeeze contest has turned a corner,” said Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “This year, throughout the state, thousands of Texans have come out to see the next generation of culture bearers. We are grateful to our partners in the contest who have helped us make a difference in these young people’s lives and their communities by encouraging the state’s traditional music scene. In addition, we are glad to have broadened the scope of the contest by creating three Grand Prize Winners, because we had the largest number of young squeezeboxers in the contest and all of them are fine young musicians with incredible talent. I guess you could say that accordions are taking over the world!”

The Big Squeeze is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife and by Hohner, Inc.; by grants from Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Music Office, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Houston Endowment, Humanities Texas, H.E.B., Texas Gas Service, and Central Texas Accordion Association. Additional support is provided by regional businesses including SugarHill Recording Studios, Antone’s Records, Hacienda Records, and Frank+Victor Design.

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences. It is located in Austin, Texas, in the SoCo neighborhood—one of the city’s vibrant commercial and arts district.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Guy Klucevsek 2014 Summer Concert Schedule

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekWell known accordionist and composer Guy Klucevsek has a busy summer planned on both coasts. His unique compositions and style of playing should not be missed.

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

Guy 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.

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

His 1987 project, Polka From the Fringe, a collection of commissioned polkas by Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Bobby Previte, Carl Finch, et. al., toured around the world and was released on 2 CDs on the eva label, and were named “best recordings 1992” on WNYC-FM’s “New Sounds” program.

 In 1996, he founded Accordion Tribe, an international ensemble of composer/accordionists Otto Lechner (Austria), Maria Kalanemi (Finland), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia) and himself. They toured internationally from 1996-2009, are the subjects of Stefan Schwietert’s award-winning documentary film, Accordion Tribe: Music Travels, and released 3 cds on the Intuition (Germany) label.

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

Klucevsek has released over 20 recordings as soloist/leader on Tzadik, Winter & Winter, innova, Starkland, Review, Intuition, CRI, and XI. Stereo Review cited his Starkland recording, Transylvanian Software, as a recording of special merit" (1995).

He can also be heard on John Williams’s orchestral scores for the Steven Spielberg films, “The Terminal,” "Munich," “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and “The Adventures of Tin-Tin,” and on A. R. Rahman’s score for “People Like Us.”

HIs performances include:
1. May 18, Sunday, 7 PM, Barbes, Brooklyn, NY. This solo concert, features Klucevsek's compositions Altered Landscapes, Three Microids, Samba D Hiccup, The Return of Lasse, Larsong, And Then There Were None, Return of the Microids, Shimmer (for William Duckworth)
2. May 30, Friday, 7:30 PM, San Francisco, CA, Walking Distance Dance Festival. This program includes excerpts from "Ruth Doesn't Live Here," with Lionel Popkin Dance Company (LA), featuring Klucevsek's score for accordion and violin, performed live with Guy on accordion and Mary Rowell, violin.
3. May 31, Saturday, 7:30 PM, Berkeley, CA, Fifth Street Farms.
In his solo house concert.  Klucevsek performs selections from his vast catalogue of solo accordion works, 1982-2012.
Reservations are necessary (to assure a seat) and made by calling (510) 525-9248 or via email at
4. June 8, Sunday, 7:30 and 9 PM (separate admission).  Los Angeles, CA, Museum of Jurassic Technology.  Solo concerts at Guy's favorite museum in the world.  This is an intimate space, with limited seating, so advance reservations are strongly recommended, as concerts at this venue generally sell out within days of being listed, which should be by mid-May.
5. June 12-15, Los Angeles, CA, Red Cat Theatre.
"Ruth Doesn't Live Here Anymore," with Lionel Popkin Dance Company, performed live with Sara Parkins, violin, and Guy on accordion.
6. Aug. 2,3, 2014, Chatham, NY:  
Ruth Doesn't Live Here Anymore, inspired by the life and work of modern dance pioneer, Ruth St. Denis. Choreography by Lionel Popkin, music by Guy Klucevsek, performed live. PS 21 Performances

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Meet Lauren Brody! Workshop Presenter at 2014 AAA Festival

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Lauren BrodyWe are excited to announce that well-known New York City accordionist and singer Lauren Brody will be presenting a workshop at the 2014 AAA Festival in Tarrytown, NY. In her workshop, “The ‘Trill’ of Balkan Music”, Lauren will present a survey of the gorgeous, but finger-challenging ornamentation in Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia.

Lauren Brody was born in New York City, and has been involved with music since early childhood. A classically trained pianist, she received a B.A. in music from the City University of New York, and pursued a Master's Degree in Music before changing course to devote herself to the restoration and tuning of pianos.

Lauren first became aware of Bulgarian music as a teenager, and was so deeply impressed with what she heard that, in 1969, she made her solo first trip to Bulgaria. That initial trip sparked a life-long interest and commitment to the music and the culture, despite the fact that Lauren has no Bulgarian ancestry. In 1971, during the Communist era in Bulgaria, when visitors from the West were not welcome in the region, it is remarkable that she received a stipend from the Bulgarian government to do post-graduate study in Bulgarian folk music at the State Music Conservatory in Sofia.

It was during this period that she was first introduced to old 78 rpm recordings of Bulgarian folk music. These recordings were to become a subject of great future interest for Lauren. In 1990, Lauren returned to Bulgaria for a year, funded by a Fulbright scholarship, to do historical research and recording from original 78s from the late 1920s through the early 1940s. Because of her efforts, a substantial body of excellent old recordings were recovered, preserved and superbly re-mastered. “Song Of The Crooked Dance” (Lauren’s website bears the same name) and her 4 CD set, “Outsinging The Nightingale”, which includes eight pages of informative notes, are a heartwarming and enlightening must for anyone interested in the delightful folk music of Bulgaria.

In addition to her research activities, Lauren has been an active performer and teacher of Bulgarian folk music and singing. She appears on two CDs as vocalist and keyboard player with the Yuri Yunakov Ensemble, and has been teaching at seminars since the early 1970s. Lauren has just started a blog on Balkan accordion playing called “Lauren Brody’s Accordion Bytes”. She leads a dual life as a Klezmer musician, and has been a member of the Klezmer bands Kapelye and Mikveh, with whom she has appeared in films, recorded and toured extensively through the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Lauren can be reached at:

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

Fred Ferino: Accordion Repairman and Much More

by Rita Barnea
Roberta CantowEmmy Award winning filmmaker, Roberta Cantow, filmed the above clip of Fred Ferino, which features him as a shop owner, player/composer and accordion repair man. Roberta said, "There is a charming 'old world' quality' about him." Fred is also known to the world as an inventor. He passed away in October 2013.

Roberta is working on a new documentary on the accordion expected to be released in December 2014. She describes her film , "The A Word, " as being about a maligned musical instrument. For some, it is the forbidden one. For others in the know, there has been an explosion of interest over it and its many faces and facets. Let the accordion music story begin!"

Due to the contemporary focus, the clip featuring Fred Ferino may not be able to be included in the film, but Roberta wanted to honor him with this post.

Roberta is an accomplished filmmaker. Her most recent film, "Not a Still Life" was featured on April 29, 2014 at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival. It was also featured on April 14, 2014 at the Athens International Film and Video Festival in Athens, Ohio.

Her other films include: "The Book of Laughs, " an experimental narrative; "Moon Festival, "about the Vietnamese Harvest Moon Festival, "Clotheslines", about the symbolic and artistic role of laudry in women's lives; "Doctor Clown," featuring Dr. Patch Adams and his clown entourage in Russia and "If This Ain't Heaven," a portrait of a man who speaks to and for his cat.

For more information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Michigan Accordion Society Presents Frank Petrilli on May 20, 2014

by Rita Barnea
Michigan Accordion Society Jazz Night
The Michigan Accordion Society proudly presents "Jazz Night" on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 7:PM. Among the featured jazz greats will be accordionist Mr.Frank Petrilli, protege of Frank Marocco.

Also appearing on the program will be three great Detroit Jazz masters: Guitarist, producer and write Mr. Angelo Primo; Made in the Big D Bass Master Mr. Ralph Armstrong and World Class Drummer Mr. Billy Carlo.

The event location is the Forestre Banquet Center, West End of the Concorde Inn, 191 Starr Batt Drive, Rochester Hills, Michigan.

The event is open to the public. There will be pizza, snacks and a cash bar. Tickets are available at the door. $10.00 for member. $15.00 for non members.

For more information:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Bryant Park in NYC Features Accordionists All Summer

by Rita Barnea
Bryant Park accordionsVisitors and residents of New York City alike are invited to relax in Bryant Park after work as New York City offers “Accordions Around the World” from 5:PM each Tuesday evening from May 6 to July 29, 2014. Admission is free.

Each summer for many years now, accordionists have performed to throngs of New Yorkers relaxing in the open air haven of Bryant Park, and this year listeners will enjoy a cross-cultural musical journey from France to Colombia, from the Balkans to Louisiana, from Cumbia to Jazz and more, with accordions, harmoniums, concertinas, and bandoneons. Accordionists will perform throughout the park while a band with different infectious, global beats performs each week on the Fountain Terrace.

Bryant Park kicks off its “Accordions Around The World” series on Tuesday, May 6.The evening features accordion musicians performing Argentine Tango, Old American Tunes, French Chanson, Balkan Music, Brazilian Bluegrass and Japanese/Jewish music.

Attendees of the 75th AAA Festival in New York City last year will remember the magnificent massed accordion orchestra conducted by Frank Busso performing in Bryant Park, as well as numerous other performances by International Guests such as Alexander Poeluev (Russia) and Lionel Reekie (New Zealand), as well as numerous American accordionists who were stationed in all areas of the park for visitors to enjoy.

Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park or take the 7 to 5th Avenue. ■

For further information: 212-768-4242

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

VBC, Very Be Careful, in Cinco de Mayo Event

by Rita Barnea
Caribbtion and Downtown Pijao present the group, Very Be Careful, in a Cinco De Mayo event. It takes place on Monday, May 5, 2014 at the Blipsy Barcade, 369 N. Western Ave. Koreatown, LA. Doors open at 9:PM. Admission is $10 for 21+.

Very Be Careful (VBC) is a Los Angeles band that plays Colombian vallenato music, a traditional cumbia sound that centers around the accordion, backed with percussion and bass. The group was started in 1998 in Los Angeles by accordionist Ricardo"Ricky G" Guzman and his bass playing brother Arturo "Brickems" Guzman. They were soon joined by Richard "Mil Caras" Panta on Caja Vallenata, Craig "Peabody" Martín on Guacharaca and Dante "The Rip" Ruiz on Cowbell.

They have independently released 7 full length studio albums mixed with equal parts traditional covers and original material. They have also toured Japan playing one of the largest festivals there with over 100,000 people attending in 2005, The Fuji Rock Festival as well as one of London's largest, The Glastonbury Festival. In 2006, Very Be Careful completed a European tour. The May 5th program includes VBC plus Resident DJs Mas ó Menos, Rastagari and very special guest, Chips!

Honoring and celebrating Benito Juarez and the Battle of Puebla at the original Koreatown Barcade featuring 20 video and pinball games such as Joust, Paper Boy, Spy Hunter, 720, Gauntlet, Off Road, T2, Twilight Zone; delicious handmade cocktails such as Mojitos, Margaritas, Micheladas; and dance inducing jams from the Caribbean to Oblivion para que se den sus chanclazos toda la santa noche.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

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

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Classical Music That Rocks… Accordion and Clarinet… Acclarion

by Rita Barnea
Acclarion, Canada's premier accordion and clarinet ensemble, is giving classical music a makeover! Since 2003, with virtuosic flare and entertaining banter, accordionist David Carovillano and clarinetist Becky Sajo-Carovillano have charmed audiences with their unique arrangements of classical masterpieces, sultry tangos, popular folk tunes, and original compositions in concerts that are fun for all ages.

In 2004, they recorded their debut self-titled album, featuring works by Handel, Faure, and Puccini, as well as original compositions by David, Charles Cozens, and Walter Buczynski. Regularly featured on CBC radio shows such as Disc Drive, the Vinyl Café, and Studio Sparks, the CD has sold in countries around the world, including Italy, Australia, and Puerto Rico and remains popular on iTunes. Acclarion’s distinctive sound is perfectly suited to film music and has been featured in the Canadian-produced documentary "Sing Me to Sleep."

Individually, David and Becky both hold Masters degrees in music from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, and have played with major ensembles including the Stratford Festival, ArrayMusic, members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tapestry Music, and the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. Television appearances include City TV's Breakfast Television, HGTV's Design For Living, Global TV’s Ready Or Not as well as several Roger’s television programs. 

In 2006, Becky and David tied the knot at Walter Hall, University of Toronto, where they first met, with a concert-wedding, featuring special guest performers, harpist, Erica Goodman, and pianist, Angela Park. Acclarion was also the featured classical ensemble for the annual Carrefour Mondiale, an internationally renowned accordion festival which draws thousands from around the world to Montmagny, Quebec.

Acclarion has dazzled audiences throughout Ontario including concert series in Barrie, Toronto, Elliot Lake, Huntsville and Oshawa and in 2007 enjoyed a tour of eleven states throughout the American Mid-West. Acclarion’s second album, "What if…?", released in 2008, received rave reviews and enjoyed performances on new CBC Radio 2 programs including Farrago and In the Key of Charles as well as American Public Radio. It features new classical arrangements and compositions, stretching the duo to include a variety of instrument combinations. 

Recently, Acclarion enjoyed a return tour of the United States, debuted in British Columbia, and completed a two week tour of communities in the Northwest Territories, alongside internationally renown bassoonist, and Order of Canada recipient, George Zukerman.  Acclarion is currently in production on their third CD, and has released an iPad Interactive Children's Book App through the Apple Store. 

David Carovillano holds a Masters degree in performance from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music. David has performed on numerous television and radio shows, including City TV's Breakfast Television, Insight Productions' Ready or Not, HGTV's Design for Living, Global TV/MTV’s My Fabulous Gay Wedding and CBC’s Music Around Us. Having competed in various music festivals throughout North America, he has received over 140 awards for his playing. He has received several scholarships from the University of Toronto. David participated in master classes held in Venice Italy, studying under noted accordionist, Hugo Noth.

He was an accordionist with the Stratford Festival's production of Fiddler on the Roof and the new Mozart musical, The Magic of Love for which he appears on the original cast recording. David has performed in various chamber capacities with members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Toronto Winds, and I Furiosi, as well as being featured in new music concert series presented by Collaborations and Array Music. As a composer and arranger, his music has been featured on radio, recordings, and live concert performances in North America and Europe. 

Becky Sajo-Carovillano holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music. She majored in multiple woodwind performance. Becky is proficient on all clarinets, bassoon, saxophone, and flute. She has studied with clarinetist Peter Stoll, saxophonist Alex Dean, and bassoonist Kathleen MacLean as well as playing in masterclasses for James Campbell and Sabine Meyer.

She was a finalist for two years in the Canadian Music Competitions, and received top honours from the Royal Conservatory in Tenor Saxophone and Clarinet. She has played with the National Youth Band, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the  Toronto Philharmonia. She has also been a musician in the pit for productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls,  Into the Woods,  The Music Man, and West Side Story. She recently participated in the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles where she played with musicians such as Paul McCandless, Randy Newman and Arturo Sandorval. Becky’s musical versatility was displayed through performances of classical, jazz, pop and film music with some of LA’s finest musicians.

Acclarion's future performances include:
Friday, May 9th, 2014: Extendicare Tecumseh
Acclarion Matinee Concerts - 2:30 PM
2475 St. Alphonse St. Tecumseh Ontario Canada [map]
Lighter program of classics by Mozart, Handel, and Puccini, as well as original compositions including Twilight of Shadows, Klezmerized, and the Kenortango.

Thursday, May 15th, 2014: University of Windsor, School of Dramatic Art
"Creating" Creativity...University Workshop on Nurturing the Creative Spirit - 5:30pm
Windsor Ontario Canada
Acclarion has been invited by Professor Barry Brodie to present a workshop to students in the Schoolof Dramatic Art, University of Windsor, focussing on how to nurture and sustain creativity in the performing arts. 
Closed to the general public.

Saturday, June 7th, 2014: Art in the Park
Acclarion at Art in the Park - 3:PM
Willistead Manor Park Windsor Ontario
Join Acclarion by Ottawa Street at the North Gate, where we'll perform some of our favourite concert repertoire, surrounded by some of Windsor's finest visual artists and a unique gallery display.

Sunday, June 8th, 2014: Art in the Park
Acclarion at Art in the Park - 3 PM
Willistead Manor Windsor Ontario
Join Acclarion by Ottawa Street at the North Gate, where we'll perform some of our favourite concert repertoire, surrounded by some of Windsor's finest visual artists and a unique gallery display.

Sunday, June 29th, 2014: Sprucewood Shores
Sips, Sounds, and Bites - 1:PM
7258 Country Rd. 50 W. Amherstburg Ontario N0R 1G0 Canada (519) 738-9253
Price: Free
Acclarion is the featured group for this annual summer food and wine spectacular!  Enjoy some of our "luscious" musical offerings while sipping on fine wine and culinary delights from the Essex region.

AAA Report

by Linda Soley Reed, AAA Second Vice President
AAA President Linda ReedLinda Soley Reed, AAA President summarizes many recent events: Is winter over yet? Hopefully the last “blast” of snow and ice arrived surprisingly on April 16th. Those of us on the East Coast had the worst winter imaginable and I’ve never been so happy to see my daffodils and semi-green lawn!

The Carrozza Scholarship Dinner was a huge success and we were delighted to have a few of our young performers participate. Thanks to Cody McSherry, Rachel Quirbach, Nathan Chapetan and Albert Manginelli and their families for their participation and the young musicians even took part in the Grand Finale when all the pros and the youngsters performed the “Jolly Caballero!”

Thanks to the musicians who gave of their time and music for the Scholarship Dinner: Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini, Frank Toscano, Manny Corallo, Frank Carozza, Ray Oreggia, Dominic Karcic, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Julie Cardona, Mary Tokarski, Emilio Magnotta, Anita & Bob Siarkowski, the Connecticut Accordion Orchestra conducted by AAA President, Linda Soley Reed, and Master of Ceremonies – Lenny Feldmann. Let’s not forget our amazing percussionists: Mike Rasimas, Phil Battiston and Ricci Saracino. Thank you – your talents are appreciated!

Dr. Joe Ciccone chaired the sold-out event and it was great to see Carmen’s family (Marianne and Carmen Jr.) and friends join us on this beautiful day.

Mary Tokarski, Frank Busso, Sr. and I have been working on the 2014 Festival at the Double Tree by Hilton in Tarrytown, NY. Reserve your hotel accommodations early – last day for discounted hotel rates is June 16th. The Contest Rules, Entry Forms, Journal Ad Forms and Registration Forms are online. Please review them and if you have questions, feel free to call or email.

While the workshops and artists are still being planned, we are pleased to have Guy Klucevsek and Violinist, Todd Reynolds join us this year, as well as Vladimir Mollov, Steve Albini, Mario Tacca and Friends, Dallas Vietty and Hot Bijouxx, Dr. Robert Young McMahan and Frank Carozza,

The Junior Festival Orchestra will be conducted by Mary Tokarski and the AAA 2014 Festival Orchestra will be conducted by yours truly. Marilyn O’Neil has been working with the Youth Involvement Jazz Group and Vladimir Mollov has some wonderful arrangements already prepared.

We hope you will join us in Tarrytown – July 9-13 at the Double Tree!

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society’s Spring Happenings

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
WMAS Members in costume
Pat RacioppaNataliya and VolodymyrThe Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) enjoyed excellent and well-attended programs so far this spring, and is looking forward to May’s Guest Artist Series Concert featuring Russkie Musicanti on May 18. This ensemble from the Washington Balalaika Society has been performing locally for years. On May 18, they will be joined by renowned Ukrainian artists, Natalija (domra) and Volodymyr (bayan) Marunych. The concert will be held at 4 pm at the Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia. We hope to see you there!

In March, we held our first, and very successful, International Folk Festival. Five WMAS members presented short programs: Mike Rubin, Jewish music; Yimeng Huang, Chinese music; Joan Grauman, Bulgarian and Macedonian music; Robert Ford, Bolivian music; and Frank Vidergar, Slovenian music. Jim Vandelly brought a terrific display of Russian costumes, instruments and music books, and Joan Grauman brought costumes of Eastern Europe. Of course, the music featured the accordion!

In April, we were treated to an excellent presentation by Pat Racioppa on “emergency accordion repairs”, something we all need to know and hope we will never need to do. Then, Pat played for us – lovely music on a beautiful spring day!

In June, WMAS will hold its annual spring concert with solos, duets and ensembles performing for each other and for the community. This will be our 11th annual spring concert.

For more information, please contact Joan Grauman at or Peter DiGiovanni at

1. Members in costumes, International Festival, March, 2014: l to r: Donna and Val Zadnik (Slovenian), Paul Aebersold (Bavarian), Mike Rubin (Klezmer), Jim Vandelly (Russian), Joan Grauman (Bulgarian), Yimeng Huang (Chinese).
2. Pat Racioppa
3. Russkie Musikanti, Peter DiGiovanni, accordionist
4. Nataliya and Volodymyr Marunych
Russkie Musikanti, Peter DiGiovanni, accordionist

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

Renowned Hollywood Composer is Crazy About Accordion!

by Kevin Friedrich
McCrearyBear McCreary is an American composer and musician living in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for his work on the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” television series and for the TV series “The Walking Dead” and more recently McCreary won an Emmy for his role in “Da Vinci's Demons” for which he composes all the music.

McCreary, of Irish and Armenian descent, was born in Fort Laud- erdale, Florida, and spent most of his formative years in Belling- ham, Washington. He is the son of author Laura Kalpakian and professor Jay McCreary of the University of Hawaii.

McCreary earned degrees in Composition and Recording Arts from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, and is a classically trained pianist and avid accordionist. He studied under the renowned film score composer Elmer Bernstein during which time he reconstructed and reorchestrated Bernstein's 1963 score for “Kings of the Sun.” Their collaboration allowed for the complete score to be available as a soundtrack album for the first time in forty years.He has also directed and produced several music videos for his brother Brendan McCreary's band, Young Beautiful in a Hurry.

McCreary has composed all the music for “Da Vinci's Demons”, an American historical fantasy drama series that presents a fictional account of Leonardo Da Vinci's early life. The series premiered in the United States in 2013 and was renewed for a second season, which debuted March 22, 2014.

As an accordionist, “Prelude to War” for Accordion Orchestra, in which he plays all the parts, is a project he initiated after seeing fans uploading performances to YouTube of his piano compositions for the series, on instruments other than piano. He wondered if he could contribute something himself and he picked up his accordion and started playing around with some of his “Battlestar Galactica” tunes.

Bear says: "The only piece from the “Battlestar Galactica” (BSG) score that actually featured accordion was “The Dance” from Season 3, and of course, making a video of that was always an option. But, that piece is fairly repetitive and not a good example of all the sounds an accordion can create. So, I wanted to try something a little more ambitious, well, actually a LOT more ambitious. I decided to try one of the most complex and dynamic pieces I ever wrote for Battlestar: “Prelude to War.”

“My first plan was to arrange it in such a way that it could be played in one take. While this is technically possible, it required dramatic alterations to the music and there were elegant contrapuntal lines that would have had to be completely removed from the music. So, I opened the door to al- lowing ‘a few’ over- dubs. ‘A few’quickly escalated!

“Eventually, I decided that I’d try to recreate EVERY SINGLE NOTE from “Prelude to War” and transcribe them exactly as they existed in the original recording to the accor- dion. The percussion was especially challenging, and I had to get clever with my mic placement to get something even vaguely re- sembling a taiko drum sound out of my antique instrument.

“But, I think it worked. Every sound you are hearing in this song is coming from my accordion. I recorded it all through a Sennheiser MZX 8000, and used minimal EQs. I ran the final mix through a simple Altiverb concert hall setting. There are no samples, no hidden instruments, no trick edits."

For more information on this engaging young Hollywood composer and accordion lover, please visit:

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

Amazing Dan Newton: Daddy Squeeze

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
Dan Newton“I was dying to hear Dan Newton in person. He’s been my favorite guest on the Prairie Home Companion radio show for years, but the few minutes he’s allotted on the show always leaves me wanting more. Well, this show more than made up for the wait. In concert Dan is funny and charming, and he plays like a dream – and can sing, too. He’s equally at ease with American Blues, French Musette, Colombian Cumbia – and lots more -- and I loved all of it.”   These are the words of Mara Cherkasky who joined us at a Dan’s house concert this past Saturday, and these words say it all. 
Dan Newton and his wife Elizabeth Rowan left their home in Minnesota to play 8 concerts in a 9-day tour of the east coast.  One of those concerts was held in the home of a friend of theirs in Silver Spring, Maryland, who is also a good friend of mine.  How lucky we were!  I was asked to gather up a handful of accordion friends (the house could only hold a small crowd), and we were treated to one of the most enjoyable musical events I have ever attended.
Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton is a self-taught musician.  One would never guess this while watching Dan flawlessly and effortlessly play delightful, skillfully executed arrangements of the music he so obviously loves. He is an entertainer. His music delights and brings the audience into his world. He describes the pieces he is going to play, sometimes by telling an amusing story, sometimes by describing the history of the song’s musical style. Dan’s wife joined him on triangle and washboard in a few pieces. Elizabeth’s excellent rhythm and terrific smile lit up the whole room.
For over 30 years, Dan Newton has been composing, arranging and dazzling audiences, with his accordion, all over the world.  He has produced 25 CDs, performed at the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Kennedy Center, in Washington, DC, music festivals in the US, Finland, Canada and Austria and is a frequent guest on Garrison Keiller’s Prairie Home Companion.  He spends most of his time playing his accordion with his group Café Accordion Orchestra, performing vintage Swing, Latin, American and French Café music. Dan also leads a number of bands including Jumbo Ya-Ya, Rockin’ Pinecones, The Daddy Squeeze Band and The Hula Peppers.
For more information, contact Dan at:

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

Steve Albini Performs for Hollywood Elite in California

by Rob Howard
Steve and TatianaWell known performer Steve Albini recently gave a private performance at the residence of Hollywood film producer and director Francis Ford Coppola.

Steve later commented, “I had a great performance today at Mr. and Mrs. Coppola's. I performed a program of Italian music with a few Latin and American standards. I used my FR-7X and Concerto accordions. Besides the Coppolas and their family, I performed for about eighty people including Nicolas Cage, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, Carrot Top and George Lucas. I was very happy with how it all turned out”.

IL Sole featuring Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnova will be appearing at the San Diego Sicilian Festival on May 18. The duo has been performing together since 2011.

Tatiana is a former Cirque Du Soliel accordionist and former student of Friedrich Lips at the Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow. Tatiana performs regularly at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Steve has been with Roland Corp. U.S. since 2010. When not traveling with Tatiana or for Roland, he performs weekly at the Francis Ford Coppola winery, in Geyserville, CA. Steve also works as a studio musician in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be heard on recordings by musicians such as cellist Marcie Brown. Steve will be appearing this summer at both the AAA and ATG festivals.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Low Back Pain, An Accordionist’s Worst Nightmare! - USA

by Harley Jones
'Play Your Accordion Without Pain' book coverJohn Bonica PT CMP NZRPThe latest chapter released of the book 'Play Your Accordion Without Pain' by John Bonica (PT CMP NZRP) is on the topic of Low Back Pain, a problem that over 80% of accordionists will experience in their lifetime.

The first words of the chapter are: "An accordionist’s worst nightmare!" Another quote is: "hence the recurring nature of the condition, which tends to happen more frequently with less and less provocation. This reinforces the theory that once a back is injured it will never be the same again. Nothing could be further from the truth!"

This exciting eBook is being published chapter by chapter, with about one chapter being released each month. Released chapters to date are:

Chapter 1 - An Overview
Chapter 2 - Learning to Read Your Body’s Signals
Chapter 3 - Neck and Neck-Related Symptoms
Chapter 4 - The Shoulder
Chapter 5 - The Amazing Brain and What It Does For You
Chapter 6 - The Elbow
Chapter 7 - The Great Accordion Myth Uncovered
Chapter 8 - The Elbow Revisited
Chapter 9 - Wrist and Fingers
Chapter 10 - Caring for our Ten Precious Digits
Chapter 11 - Low Back Pain

There will be a minimum of 24 chapters. As a special introductory offer, you can purchase the whole book for US$22 (or Euro equivalent) and be sent each chapter by e-mail as it is released.

For more information, and to purchase the eBook: John Bonica

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Dominic Karcic Performs at Valtarese Foundation Gala

by Rita Barnea
Dominic Karcic and Mario GabelliAccordionist Dominic Karcic and his “Continental Sound Orchestra” have performed for over a decade and a half for the Valtarese Foundation Annual Gala dinner-dance which took place on Sunday, April 27th,2014 at Maestro’s Caterers in Bronx, NY.

The Foundation over a period of almost twenty-five years has raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships for college bound students and also for hospitals and nursing homes in the Borgo Val di Taro area of Parma, Italy.

Dominic is seen here with one of the Foundation’s top benefactors, Wall Street’s noted financier, Mr. Mario Gabelli, whose family originates from that area of Parma, Italy - the town of Solignano.

For further information:

The 2014 AAA Seminars

by Erica Marie Mancini
Erica Marie ManciniErica reports, "Each year that I attend The American Accordionists’ Association Master Class and Concert Series, I fall in love. It’s not the crisp white piano keys, the smooth varnish, and shiny metal adornment, nor is it the beeswax, wooden blocks, or little round buttons that make my heart ache. It’s not the physical object that enchants me, but rather the spirit of the accordion that captivates me.
One year ago, I had just graduated from NYU Gallatin, The School of Individualized Study. I was passionately looking for a job, wearing a sundress, and playing my accordion. Now, one year later, my job is my passion—wearing sundresses and playing accordion. While at Gallatin, my main focus delved deep into the study of subcultures, music, and identity. I explored many fields, spanning from ethnographic research to critical theory to the accordion. I studied privately under Dr. William Schimmel, who mentored me through my whole college experience not only as an accordionist, but also as a scholar. He was able to bring cohesion to the wide breadth of my studies through his keen ability to piece together seemingly unrelated concepts, oftentimes through the familiar lens of the accordion. His pedagogy proved to be a perfect fit for my education because of the vast amount of interdisciplinary knowledge needed to create challenge and innovation.
An oily and distorted reflection looks back at me from the slick, licorice lacquer of the accordion nestled on my lap. The shiny metal clasps are like miniature fun house mirrors, making my gazing face as well the surrounding room of The Tenri Cultural Institute distort, like a glass fishbowl. It is at The Seminars, now celebrating it’s twentieth year, with Dr. Schimmel as a curator and moderator, that the otherwise parallel tracks of our individual journeys collide, and the collective identity of the community has a chance to incubate.

Though our paths only cross for a short moment in time, we have the privilege to share with one another valuable knowledge and experiences gleaned from the past year. We divulge secrets and dreams, questions and uncertainties to one another. Without fail, I always leave the weekend of The Seminars injected with a magic tonic of inspiration that reawakens the spirit of self-motivation, education, passion, experimentation, and determination that to me represents the spirit of the accordion that I love so much."

Erica Mancini, a Chicago native, has been playing music and performing in New York City for over five years. These days, Mancini focuses on a wide variety of solo and group performance as an accordionist and percussionist, though she also works in cabaret, modeling and circus. She studied music and urban studies at New York University, where she specialized in ethnomusicology and designing research frameworks. You can find her around the city and occasionally across the country playing venues big and small, from intimate old-world French cafés and raucous whiskey bars to Le Poisson Rouge and Mercury Lounge.
Erica Marie Mancini will be appearing in the Mannes Opera production of  Il Postino at the Danny Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on May 9 and 10, 2014.

Future events

International Digital Electronic Accordion Symposium: Oct. 24-28 in Ohio

by Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway
]Michael Soloway and I (Joe Natoli) are pleased and proud to announce the results of a year’s worth of planning and effort regarding our new visionary organization entitled International Digital Electronic Accordion Society (IDEAS).

This group is for ALL digital accordion enthusiasts and is a place where deep and profound knowledge sharing discussions can carry on continually in our new Facebook group (“GR8 IDEAS”). Since the GR8 IDEAS Facebook group became open and available only one week ago, the level of discussion taking place is already impressive and will continue to expand.

The faculty of the GR8 IDEAS International Digital Electronic Accordion Symposium, Oct. 24-28, 2018 will include Eddie Monteiro, Joe Natoli, Richard Noel, Alex Chudolij, Don Gerundo, Cory Pesaturo, Michael Soloway, Gordon Kohl, Dr. Ian Fries, Tony Monaco, Steve Albini and more! The symposium will take place at the Avalon Inn Resort and Conference Center in Warren, Ohio. There is no other accordion event in the US like this. Space is limited so don’t miss out!

In addition to the free Facebook discussion page, we offer a $45 yearly membership (for the duration of 2018) that will get you access to other benefits only paid members will receive (which includes discounts to the Oct 24-28, 2018 Symposium -- also called IDEAS for “International Digital Electronic Accordion Symposium, as well as access to members-only pages that will ultimately include educational webinars, user programs, orchestrations, online workshops, etc.).

The IDEAS group is a completely inclusionary gathering for professionals and amateurs alike, where everyone is welcome to share in the joy of owning and performing on these instruments, no matter the manufacturer, make or model. We also encourage discussions on any peripherals related to the digital accordion (amps, recording equipment, music notation software, music display software and tablets, pedal boxes, Bluetooth devices, wireless devices……well, you get the IDEA!).

Come visit our Facebook page (again search for “GR8 IDEAS”) and mark your calendars for Oct 24-28, 2018. It’s going to be an amazing gathering of some of the best digital accordion artists and faculty in the world, where you will be immersed in meaningful and extended workshops, hands-on knowledge sharing, individual lessons, daily concerts, jam sessions, and wonderful surroundings that will feel like you are in a beautiful scenic secluded retreat.

It is intended to be a one of a kind event, different from anything being offered currently in the accordion world, enabling you to acquire immediately applicable, useful, and deeper knowledge of your instrument and its peripherals on many levels.

This is the 21st century and digital accordion is here to stay!! Our expectation is that the impetus of this organization will demonstrate to manufacturers globally that there is a huge demographic out here wanting to use and purchase this technology well into the future so that they can be motivated to manufacture and market to that demographic -- which is all of YOU!

Request/complete the membership by contacting Michael Soloway or Joe Natoli:

Voci Armoniche

Long Island Accordion Alliance features Smörgåsbandet

by Rita Barnea
The next meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) sponsored by La Villini Restaurant will be held on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 6:PM. Attendees are invited to enjoy the festive music of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) and featured guest artists “Smörgåsbandet."

Smörgåsbandet features Jeanne Eriksson Andersen and Wayne Söderlund (Accordion and Vocals) and Chad Widman (Drums and Vocals). Attired in their Scandinavian folk costumes, Smörgåsban- det is bound to bring back memories or make new ones with their extensive repertoire. They love what they do and they do what they love!

Jeanne is the daughter of the late well-known accordionist Walter Eriksson, and was brought up in the very Scandinavian community of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. She has been dancing since age 5 and playing accordion and piano since childhood. Swedish-American of the Year 2005, Jeanne was knighted by the King of Sweden in 1996 with the Order of the Polar Star medal. Her grand-parents immigrated to America in the early 1900s from Sweden and Finland.

Wayne’s paternal grandparents were from Sweden, and Wayne has been playing accordion all his life. Specializing in jazz, Wayne discovered Scan- dinavian music through the Scandinavian Accordion Club of NY, where he met Jeanne and Chad.

Chad is Jeanne’s son and is a "natural" and very animated percussionist. Smörgåsbandet has performed at the
Norst Hostfest in North Dakota; the Scandinavian Festival of Atlanta, Georgia; Scanfest of New Jersey; Sweden Day of New York; Scandina- vian Night at Eisenhower Park, Long Island, NY; and countless Scandinavian events on board yachts, in restau- rants, banquet halls, picnics and private backyards!

The LIAA meets at La Villini Restaurant on 288 Larkfield Road in East Northport, NY 11731 beginning at 6.00 PM.

For reservations, please contact: 631-261-6344.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

SFAC May Concert on May 18, 2014

by Rita Barnea
Joe D
Grigorly KrumikReno Di BonoPresident Lynn Ewing of the San Francisco Accordion Club extends an invitation to all to attend the May 18, 2014 SFAC meeting at 2:PM at the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco. Featured performers include Joe Domitrowich and Cafe Vienna.

Café Vienna (top photo) is a unique group that plays the romantic music you would hear in the famous Grinzing quarter of Vienna, the music capital of the world. The many Gasthauses and Cafes are adorned with the music of accordion and violin playing in an intimate setting the music of Vienna, from the music of Johann Schrammel to the gypsy music of Hungary, while local patrons and tourists sample the latest harvest in this wine-making region of Vienna.

With musicians dressed in formal attire and a repertoire including classical music from Europe, this chamber-like group is an excellent choice to provide the music for elegant public or private events, such as the cocktail hour preceding the dinner at your wedding or anniversary celebration, or a gala ballroom filled with dancers to a Strauss Waltz. Café Vienna is led by accordionist Joe Domitrowich along with Dave Dally on Violin and Matthew Medeiros on percussion!

Reno Di Bono (right photo) will also be featured at the May meeting. Reno is well known for playing Italian music in the Northern California and San Francisco Bay area. His musical styles include Louie Prima, Dean Martin, Jerry Vale, Pavarotti and Bocelli. He recently released a new CD, "Songs of My Father".

Grigorly Krumik (left photo) will perform on bayan accordion at the May event. His playing style includes classical, American oldies, Latin, country and more. He is a member of the Accordion Chamber Ensemble of San Francisco (ACE) that is directed by Joe Smiell, Jr. and also participated in the Accordion Orchestra Project II.

For further information:

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

National Button Festival on May 23-25, 2014

by Rita Barnea
National Button Box FestivalThe 2014 National Button Accordion Festival will take place May 23-25, 2014 at the Croatian Club, 601 E. Poland Ave. in Bessemer, Pennsylvania. A partial list of the 2014 Attendees includes: Mahonging Valley Button Box Club, Ron Pivovar, Mike Caggiano and Jack "6-pack" Preisner. The committee for the festival includes Joe Godina, Ron Pivovar, and Paul Mirkovich.

The National Button Accordion Festival began in 2007. It is the successor to the Fontana Button Box Jamboree that was held in Fontana, California, for 26 years and was discontinued in 2004. The original Jamboree was sponsored and developed by the Fontana Slovene Button Accordion Club, of Fontana, CA.
The re-birth of the Jamboree began with the help and support of the Fontana Slovene Button Accordion Club. The new event was first held at Yukon Czech Hall, Yukon, Oklahoma, over Memorial Day Weekend, 2007. The National Accordion Association (NAA) of Dallas, Texas, and the Yukon Czech Hall were joint sponsors.

In 2008 the National Button Accordion Festival was re-located to Bessemer, Pennsylvania. The new sponsors are the Bessemer Croatian Club and Otter Creek Enterprises. Maintaining the long established tradition of the Jamboree, the Festival is held annually over Memorial Day Weekend.

Much of the original format of the Fontana Jamboree remains intact.

The Festival follows the traditional three-day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday schedule, always on Memorial Day Weekend. A jamming format is used including a posted time schedule board for performers or groups on the main stage.

A formal program and concert begins Sunday, the last day of the Festival. Following the concert, the jamming format resumes for the remainder of the day. The most unique characteristic of the Festival is that no bands are hired. The music comes from the people attending the event. In 2008, players, music fans, and dancers attended the Festival coming from 17 different States across the country.

For further information:


Music & Merlot Concert on June 1, 2014

by Kevin Friedrich
Fremar Poster
Julie SilfverbergJulie Gettler Silfverberg (Kansas Accordion Champion) will be the featured guest artist on the upcoming “Music & Merlot'” concert presented by the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts on June 1st, 2014. The concert featuring “The Accordion & Film Music” will feature popular Kansas City-based group, Vivant with musicians Dr. Karen Fremar, Dee Sligar, Janne Silfverberg, Melody Stroth and Brian Steever, with musical guests Judy Johnson (flute) and Beth McCallum (cello). The concert will be held at the All Souls Unitarian in Kansas City on Sunday, 4:30 PM with cocktails being served at 4:PM.

Julie Silfverberg grew up in Ft. Scott, Kansas. When Julie was 8, her mom came home one day and asked her if she would like to learn how to play the accordion. Julie said, “Sure!”.... a couple of years later, she added piano lessons. Margie Fremar (mother of the renowned composer and artist, Karen Fremar) was her teacher. Julie successfully participated in many music festivals and she was the Kansas Accordion Virtuoso Champion for three consecutive years.

In 1980, Julie received her Bachelor of Music degree in Accordion at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) where she also met and married Juha Silfverberg from Finland, the first foreign student to study accordion at UMKC. They lived in Helsinki for the next five years and then moved back to the States in 1985.

Julie Silfverberg is a member of the accordion group, The International Trio (with her husband Juha and Kevin Friedrich) that has toured in Finland, New Zealand, Estonia and the USA. Julie runs a very successful music studio in Overland Park, KS., where she teaches accordion and piano to students five years to adult. Julie serves on the Board of Directors of the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts. Julie and Juha were former competition chairpersons of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG), and Julie was also a former President of the Federated Teachers of Fine Arts., Inc. and the Mid- America Music Association (M.A.M.A.)

The Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts has commissioned composer Jason Schuefler to compose a collaborative work that includes the accordion, also to be presented at this concert. Scheufler has previously scored for the accordion in his music for Theater. Mr. Scheufler's original music and sound designs have been heard on film and locally at the New Theatre Restaurant and the Coterie and Unicorn Theatres. Commercially, his original music has been placed on MTV, VH1 and A&E among others. His music cues are signed with national and international production music libraries.

Vivant! who will host and perform at the concert, recently per- formed a program of tango and new classical works for the Kansas City Musical Club on February 3, 2014. Members Karen Fremar and Julie Silfverberg (Accordion), Melody Stroth (Piano), Judy Johnson (Flute), Beth McCollum (Cello), Dee Sligar (Bass), and Janne Silfverberg (Hand Drums), performed three new Piazzolla arrangements by Karen Fremar and Fremar's The Java House. Julie Silfverberg performed a new solo work by Fremar assisted by Dee Sligar, Bass and Janne Silfverberg (Bongos).

The group was appreciated with a standing ovation and a reception given by the club. KC Music Club Program Chairman, Sanna Cass, invited Vivant! to return for a second year to perform for the club after their popular performance last season.

For more information, please visit:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 19-22, 2014

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth 2014 POSTER
Welcome to the 21st Annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration hosted by your accordion friends of the Northwest Accordion Society. 

The Northwest Accordion Society has been hosting accordion events in the Northwest for over 25 years. Included in it's accomplishments are monthly accordion socials, the annual "Day of the Accordion" at the Seattle Center, accordion scholarships, and it's elegant quarterly publication "The Northwest Accordion News".

Leavenworth is Washington’s “Bavarian Village” and a perfect setting for this celebration. Nestled in a cozy narrow valley at elevation of 1100 feet surrounded by wilderness of rugged, majestic mountain ranges, over 2 million visitors per year from all over the world come to experience magical Leavenworth. 

With the Northwest Accordion Society as your host and Leavenworth as the setting, why not plan to join us and enjoy four wonderful days of everything accordion. Whether you are a competitor, participant or just love great accordion music, there is enjoyment and participation for everyone. 

Here is a partial list of what is happening:
• Accordion Competitions
• Workshops
• Concerts with World Class Performers
• Free Performances at the gazebo, grange, and restaurants
• Free Accordion lessons
• Accordion Parade on Saturday
• Accordion Vendors
• Opportunity for all accordion players to play
• Jam sessions and much more!

Workshop presenters include: Tony Lovello, Andy Mirkovich, Cory Pesaturo, Patricia Bartell, Kim Jacobs, Cooksie Kramer, Jim Tobler, Max Kyllonen and Kory Tideman, Bonnie Birch, toby Hanson, and Jim and Shirley O'Brien.

For further information:Chairman Bonnie Birch:

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

2014 AAA Annual Master Class and Concert Series

by William Schimmel
The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Annual Master Class and Concert Series will take place from August 1-3, 2014 with Master Classes from 3-5 PM and Concerts from 7-9 PM. The Everyday Accordion: “Ordinary x Proper = Radiant” will be held at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City. You can choose any or all of three consecutive days of seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions and performances with accordionist-composer-author-philosopher, Dr. William Schimmel as Moderator/Curator.

Cage: Everything we do is music
Schimmel: The accordion is music everyday.

Columbus: The world is round.
Friedmann: The world is flat.
Schimmel: The world is bellows pleated – full of ins and outs

Stockhausen: A composer using an old form is enlisting a corpse.
Schimmel: Lets make miracles and raise the dead.

Streep: Gee Mr. Nichols, what do I get to do next? (re: Silkwood)
Schimmel: What do I get to do today? The more variety, the happier I am.

Welcome to the 20th anniversary year. It seems that every year, the accordion descends on New York – usually at the end of summer. And then everyone goes home until next year – or so it seems. What about the accordion in everyday life? In your home? In the Concert Hall (proper)?, the performance space? The bar and grill (ordinary)? At your sweet sixteen or 65th birthday? Or at a new music concert? At the strip mall? (or the strip club?), or at your place of worship? Why can't the accordion be an everyday affair? In our lives 24/7 – part of an actual radiant culture – sophisticated! strategic! real! unreal!

Join us for a weekend of our greatest hits, new ideas, old ideas made new and bold angles. Find out how the accordion fits into your daily life – everyday. In ordinary life – in proper life – in radiant life!

For further information: or call 212-876-0827

Titano Accordion Company

7th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! 2014 August 8-10 in New Hampshire

by Rita Barnea
Tony LovelloYou, your family, and friends are cordially invited to ACCORDIONS NOW! 2014, the 7th annual music festival co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC, August 8-10 at the beautiful Courtyard Nashua [NH].

Register by May 31 to take advantage of the special value $99.00 ALL-EVENTS PACKAGE [$129 starting June 1]. Admission to all concerts, workshops, open mike, jam sessions, displays, cocktail reception, exhibits, etc. is included as are Saturday's Festive Luncheon Buffet and Gala Dinner.

More playing opportunities than ever are open to you this year, including a chance to “sit in with the band” Saturday night. You are warmly invited to participate!

Tony Lovello, dubbed "King of the Bellow Shake" by the great Galla-Rini, will kick off the Gala Concert with his inimitable musical merrymaking. Fans travel from far and wide to witness Tony's high-octane razzle-dazzle shows.

Following Tony's “don't miss it!” performance, expect more fun – and bring your accordion. Accordionist/keyboardist/vocalist Glen Robertson & Catfish Howl will perform a concert of blues, Cajun, and country tunes, then invite YOU to “sit in with the band.” Glen will first give a brief coaching session, then watch the sparks fly!

At ACCORDIONS NOW! you have more opportunities to participate than at any festival we know.

You can be part of the ever-popular ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO]. ANFO 2014 will celebrate the Beatles' 50th anniversary with a medley arranged by conductor Donna Maria Regis. Sign up by July 11 to receive the sheet music.

The Just-for-Fun Play-Along Ensemble, fast becoming another annual favorite, returns with entertaining two-level arrangements by coordinator Dan Mackowiak. Music is sent in advance, but there is no rehearsal, just the enjoyable low-key play-along session. 

Informal Daytime and Night Owls Jam Sessions will also weave their way into the fabric of this all-welcoming yearly gathering of accordion aficionados.

Also on tap: performances and educational presentations by Lynda Fish, Nancy Leonard, Richard Messina, Rachel Quirbach, Jerry Tramontozzi, Carmen Vitanza, Sam Falcetti, Paul Ramunni and New England Accordion Museum, plus door prizes, vendor displays, and more. 

Register now and come to beautiful New Hampshire to experience the ACCORDIONS NOW! motto: LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN !!

For more information: (603) 216-9582
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