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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-May-2023
Previous News | Past News Index | Next News


Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editor’s Note
What are You Doing for World Accordion Day on May 6?
World Accordion Day (WAD) Festival at A World of Accordions Museum
AAA 85th Anniversary Festival and Competition: July 12-16, 2023
Time to Register for the 2023 AAA 85th Anniversary Festival!
ATG Festival Important Information
Groupo Frontera Wins Prestigious Awards
Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues Receive Artist Grant
Texas Folklife Hosts Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Championships
Elena Fainshtein: Featured Performer at the Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Championships on May 13
Branson Accordion Extravaganza on May 20
Will Holshouser Presents Concert at Brooklyn Accordion Club
Alex Meixner Band Tour
Powell River Academy of Music Presents Accordion Fest Preview on May 5

Voci Armoniche

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

The Latest Addition, Updated Articles About AAA Commissioned Works
Dr. Mike Middleton Presents World Accordion Day Program at AWAM
Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs on May 20 in NJ
2023 ATG Festival Workshop Descriptions
Only 2 spots available VIII International Jazz Accordion & Modern Harmony Master Classes
Joe Cerrito's 90th Birthday Celebration
Atlanta Celebrates World Accordion Day
My First Accordion Lesson
41st Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival May 19 - 21
Brooklyn Accordion Club Orchestra 2023: Call for accordionists!
Bernadette Conlon Zabawa: Over 500 Videos Online!
Rob Reich Quartet in Concert at Fifth Street Farms and More!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

ATG Final Concert, July 22: Joan Cochran Sommers & the ATG Festival Orchestra
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in June
ATG Concert on July 20: UMKC Accordion Ensemble, Nikolay Bine, Das Duo Kollektiv
Join the Rybak Europe Tour July 8-21
ATG Concert on July 21 with Stas Venglevski, Kevin Friedrich, and More!
Dr. William Schimmel’s 2023 Seminars and More!
Cotati Festival 2023 on August 19 and 20


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

Highlights


PANcordion

Editor’s Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
WAD LogoMay is an amazing month for the accordion everywhere! Don’t forget to attend or view the many online and live celebrations of WAD (World Accordion Day) happening on or about May 6.

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

Enjoy reading about the accordion events that are taking place in May and on through the summer months.

Send comments and ideas to Ritabelll@aol.com

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

What are You Doing for World Accordion Day on May 6?

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Accordion Day (WAD) Festival at A World of Accordions Museum

by Jane Christison, Secretary, A World of Accordions Museum
AWAM
A World of Accordions Museum will hold the Dr Willard Palmer Festival, a fundraiser for A World of Accordions Museum, 501(c)(3) at the Harrington Arts Centre in Superior, Wiscomsin, USA to celebrate World Accordion Day (WAD). The festival will run from May 5th to 7th, 2023 and include a variety of concerts, seminars, exhibits and a museum visit. See poster for details.

A World of Accordions Museum (AWAM) have released their full schedule of events for World Accordion Day and the Willard (Bill) Palmer Festival from May 5th to 7th, 2023.

Download schedule: WAD_2023_Schedule.pdf

Select events from the Hanni Strahl Concert Hall will be live streamed. Please register online to receive live video links by email. To register: 2023FestivalRegistration

The first WAD was held on 6th May 2009, marking the 180th birthday of the accordion - 6 May 1829, the date the accordion patent was filed. WAD is organized by the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) and has been very successful, generating a lot of positive publicity for the accordion.

Who was Dr. Willard Palmer? You can learn about his great contributions to the accordion/musical world by reading the article, “In Memory of Dr. Willard Palmer” by Faithe Definer, am important person in accordion history. Link: http://www.accordions.com/memorials/mem/palmer_willard/index.shtml

Every accordionist is asked to actively support this event by encouraging national and local accordion activities to happen in their country on May 6, 2023 or the weekend either side of WAD if that should be more convenient.

Register your WAD event today at: World Accordion Day.

For more information:
Helmi Harrington, Ph.D. Curator, Executive Director Harrington ARTS Center (HARTS) and AWAM,
For more information call (218) 393-0245 or email: aworldofaccordions@gmail.com

3-Day Event - May 5-7, 2023
Friday, May 5 - Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival
Saturday, May 6 - World Accordion Day
Sunday, May 7 - Non-denominational Polka Service
 
Donations: Donations will be gratefully accepted.

AWAM Schedule:
Thursday, May 4, 2023:
1:00 Accordion Concertina Music Band (ACM) Rehearsal
____________________________________________________________
Friday, May 5, 2023:
Dr. Willard A Palmer Festival
10:00 - 10:30 Welcome to the Dr. Willard A. Palmer and World Accordion Day Festival
Welcome from the CIAKevin Friedrich
Welcome from A World of Accordions President – Helmi Harrington. Ph.D.
Reason for this Celebration
Available Resources at A World of Accordions
Introduce the A World of Accordions Board of Directors
Welcome by City of Superior Mayor Jim Paine
10:45 - 11:45 Museum Tour and Instrument Demos –Helmi Harrington, Ph.D.
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch – Deli sandwiches available for purchase.
1:00 - 1:45 Willard A. Palmer III – Finding YOUR Lady of Spain
2:00 - 2:45 Intro to Diatonics and Concertinas – Helmi Harrington, Rob Dingmann, Shelby Setnikar, Nina Ford
3:00 - 3:45 Art Bjorngjeld – Scandinavian Humor - story-telling, traditional folk music, and good-natured “Poke Fun at Minnesota” tales -
sponsored by Yvonne Marts
(Friday, May 5, 2023, continued)
4:00 - 4:45 Jose Curbelo – Transitioning Teaching Traditions
5:00 - 6:45 Dinner Break (on your own)
7:00 Mihoko Goto and Chiharu Ebihara Concert. Donations to assist with their travel expenses would be gratefully accepted.
____________________________________________________________
Saturday, May 6, 2023
World Accordion Day
8:30 - 9:30 ACM Band Rehearsal
10:00 - 12:00 Janie Next Door® - Music for Kids! – Jane Christison
Kansas City’s accordion-playing children’s musician, Janie Next Door, starts off World Accordion Day with a performance of songs from her
award-winning children’s CD. Then, kids, teenagers, adults – anyone! – will be given the opportunity to “test drive” an accordion. And with over 2,250 accordion-family instruments, we’ve got plenty to go around. This is a FREE EVENT. (Donations to A World of Accordions would be gratefully accepted.)
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch – Deli sandwiches available for purchase.
1:00 - 1:45 Moog Synthesizers - Influence and Future – Kenneth Bressler
2:00 - 2:45 Florian Chmielewski - The Great Entertainer
3:00 - 3:45 A Myron Floren Tribute Concert – featuring Dr. Mike Middleton on accordion with Clayton Capps, tuba;Lance Middleton, drums
4:00 - 4:45 ACM Band and Friends: World Accordion Music – Dee Langley, Conductor
5:00 - 6:45 Dinner Break (on your own)
(Saturday, May 6, 2023, continued)
7:00 An Oompa for the Home-comers – Dr. Anthony Bukoski and Bart Sutter with Art Bjorngjeld
____________________________________________________________
Sunday, May 7, 2023
10:00 - 11:00 Non-denominational Polka Service – Dr. Mike Middleton, accordion; Clayton Capps, tuba;Lance Middleton, drums; and Friends –- This is a FREE EVENT (Donations to A World of Accordions would be gratefully accepted.) Bring your accordion to join in as part of the service and stay after for an open mic/jam session.
____________________________________________________________

COMING ATTRACTIONS!
Friday, July 28, 2023 - A World of Accordions will be welcoming international visitors to the museum this week. While they are in town, AWA is planning a summit with the City of Superior Mayor, Jim Paine, as well as members of the ATG (Accordionists’ and Teachers’ Guild), CIA (Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes), and board members of AWA (A World of Accordions) to discuss the accordion in the world and how the museum fits in it.

Sunday, July 30, 2023, 2:PM – Accordion superstar Grayson Masefield will be in concert at A World of Accordions. Tickets will be available on our website as well as at the door. This is a concert you won’t want to miss. New Zealander Grayson Masefield is the first person to win World Championships in Classical, Virtuoso, and Digital accordion categories. He is the Instrumental Music Teacher for Accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is the founder of AOTANGO.

Grayson studied in France with Frederic Deschamps, completed a Master in Specialized Music Performance at HEMU Lausanne, Switzerland with Stephane Chapuis, and a Masters of Studio Pedagogy from the University of Auckland. He is regularly invited to adjudicate and/or appear as Guest Artist at international competitions. Over the years, Grayson has been invited to perform in many countries including France, Spain, Germany, UK, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy, USA, Canada, Russia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Portugal, China, Switzerland, Chile, Czech Republic, Singapore, South Korea, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, and Finland.

For more information:
Jane Christison, Secretary
A World of Accordions Board
janec@musicwithasmile.com
913-492-3883

Titano Accordion Company

AAA 85th Anniversary Festival and Competition: July 12-16, 2023

by Frank Busso Jnr, AAA President
AAA Festival Poster
AAA GuestsJoin us live to help celebrate the 85th anniversary of the American Accordionists' Association! The AAA festival will be held at the Marriott Philadelphia West in Conshohocken, PA, July 12-16, 2023. Visit https://www.marriott.com/events/start.mi?id=1678315148565&key=GRP to book your hotel room today!

We are sure we speak for all when we say accordionists cannot wait to get back together - in person! - to celebrate our beloved instrument. And speaking of accordions, make sure you bring yours along to play in the 2023 Festival Orchestra led by world-renowned conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers!

Grayson Masefield (New Zealand) will join us for performances and workshops. Very personable and well-spoken, Grayson has won and been laureate at over a dozen international accordion competitions around the world in classical, entertainment, and digital categories. He is currently the instrumental music teacher for accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Another special guest will be accordion legend Joey Miskulin (USA). Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018 for his extraordinary accomplishments with the piano accordion, and a recent recipient of the AAA's Lifetime Achievement Award, Joey continues to delight listeners with his "flying fingers" and ability to engage audiences.

Looking for even more entertainment? Look no further than Mario Tacca, past AAA champion and AAA Artist in Residence, who will perform as a soloist at Friday night's gala concert, and with famed vocalist Mary Mancini at our Thursday night dinner.

Several accordion orchestras are already slated to perform, including the Accordion Pops Orchestra conducted by Al Terzo, the Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra conducted by Joanna Darrow, and the Busso Festival Orchestra conducted by Frank Busso Jr.

Conducting this year's Youth Orchestra will be Joanna Darrow, who has dedicated her entire life to performing, teaching, and promoting the accordion. She has performed several times with the Philadelphia Orchestra and performed all over Europe for over 30 years with her accordion teacher/husband, the late Stanley Darrow.

The United States Air Force Strolling Strings, with AAA President Frank Busso Jr. on accordion, will perform at our Saturday night banquet. Also at the banquet, we will present our coveted Lifetime Achievement Award to longtime AAA Board member Frank Busso Sr. Frank has been an educator, performer, conductor, and all-around ambassador of the accordion for decades.

After two years of virtual competition, we are excited to return to live competitions for students of all ages and abilities! Solos, duets, ensembles, and bands. Download the full list of categories, competition rules, and entry forms at: 2023AAARules.pdf

Keep checking www.ameraccord.com for announcements of additional performers, workshop presenters, events, and registration information!

2023 AAA Registration information and links, next article.
US Air Force Strings

Voci Armoniche

Time to Register for the 2023 AAA 85th Anniversary Festival!

by Frank Busso Jnr, AAA President
AAA logoIts now time to register for the 2023 AAA 85th Anniversary Festival! We hope to see all of you there!!

Download the schedule: 2023AAASchedule.pdf
Download the Registration Form: 2023AAARegistration.pdf

Please visit the AAA website for the registration forms and all updates: http://ameraccord.com/festival.php. Online registration and online payment by credit card or Paypal is also available on the AAA Shopping Cart. Alternatively, post in a check and the above 2023 Registration Form.

Hotel: The AAA festival will be held at the Marriott Philadelphia West in Conshohocken, PA, July 12-16, 2023. Visit https://www.marriott.com/events/start.mi?id=1678315148565&key=GRP to book your hotel room today!

Download 2023 AAA Festival Invitation to Advertise Package: 2023AAA-Advertiser.pdf
Download 2023 AAA Festival Exhibitor Invitation Package: 2023AAA-Exhibitor.pdf

Accordion Jazz Chords

ATG Festival Important Information

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
ATG 2023 Festival Poster
ATG logoOur Festival last year was so fabulous, as reported by you, our members, that I thought there was no chance we could ever equal or exceed that event. Well, I believe this year we ARE doing exactly that! ATG will present seven workshops, four concerts (all in the beautiful Armerding Center for Performing Arts at Wheaton College), our fabulous Festival Orchestra playing selections from musicals, Astor Piazolla's Libertango and some classical (very familiar) selections!

Our featured artists are coming from all over the world - Grayson Masefield from New Zealand, Duo Kollektiv from Austria, The Polyphonia Orchestra from the French Island of Reunion, Nikolay Bine from Canada and of course our own Stas Venglevski and the UMKC Accordion Ensemble, directed by Joan Sommers, will be with us as well. We also have a special treat this year with Kevin Friedrich presenting a new work for accordion, organ and timpani.

This is not the year to skip attending the ATG Festival. If you are sitting on the fence I encourage you to jump over to the side of attending the Festival. Remember, the price of all events goes up on May 1 when early bird pricing ends. Your early registration helps us to better plan our events, so we provide a benefit for your kind assistance.

Festival Pricing Information and Registration: 2023ATG-Festival
To make hotel reservations: 2023ATG-HotelRegistration

Description of the Concerts:

Thursday, July 20, 2023:
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Festival presents the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Accordion Ensemble, directed by world-renowned conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This year’s group, assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, presents an interesting and musically demanding repertoire which we know will be appreciated by all audiences! The UMKC Ensemble will be followed by Nikolay Bine, of Canada, presenting an all-jazz program featuring music by contemporary French accordionists as well as well-known jazz standards.  Finally, Das Duo Kollektiv, from Vienna, Austria, brings a unique combination of accordion and flute music to the program. Das Duo Kollektiv has placed itself among the best innovative ensembles of classical music throughout Europe and is gaining recognition in the United States. They bring craftsmanship and a flair for new colors, dynamics, and refined interpretations of classical music to their program shaped by their travels throughout the world.
 
Friday, July 21, 2023:
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Festival continues with the presentation of the dynamic energy of Stanislav Venglevski and Nathaniel Holman as they combine the warmth of the marimba and wide range and sparkle of the bayan to create an unforgettable performance.  The visual and auditory elements of these two instruments present listeners with new and exciting ways of hearing both new and classic works. The duo will be followed by Accordionist Kevin Friedrich who will be joined by Wheaton College’s own Dr. Tony Payne, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Special Programs and Artist Series at Wheaton College, on organ; Ron Dake (bass accordion) and Nathaniel Holman (percussion) in a performance of a newly commissioned work titled ‘Dargaville Impressions’ by a well-known English accordionist and composer, Ian Watson. The program culminates with a performance by The Polyphonia Orchestra, from the French Island of Reunion, under the direction of Pierre Varo. This is an unforgettable group that combines accordions, singers, and multiple orchestral instruments made up of young musicians from the French Island of Reunion who have shared their eclectic program from classical to pop across four continents.  

Saturday, July 22, 2023:
As a final concert to close the Festival, Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International, presents the ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra, directed by Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This is a long-standing Festival activity involving accordionists from all over the USA plus other countries such as Canada, Austria and New Zealand and Australia.  Assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, the program will include classical selections, medleys from musicals and tango nuevo.  This program culminates with soloist, Grayson Masefield, a New Zealand born accordionist, and the first person to win World Championships in Classical, Virtuoso and Digital accordion categories. He is currently the Instrumental Music Instructor for accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and is regularly invited to perform concerts, give masterclasses and serve as an adjudicator at festivals and universities around the world. His program of classical transcriptions, original works, and nuevo tango will also include a world premiere of “Meditatio” (a meditation on the irrationality of human barbarish) from Spanish composer Gorka Hermosa, commissioned by the ATG.
 
Visit our website at www.atgaccordions.com to see the schedule and for addtional information. I look forward to seeing you in July!

Best regards,

Mary Ann Covone
President of Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International

PANcordion

Groupo Frontera Wins Prestigious Awards

by John Henry Medina
group Frontera
Video 1: Grupo Frontera x Bad Bunny - un x100to (Video Oficial)
Video 2: Grupo Frontera - No Se Va (Official Video )

Author John Henry Medina who is Managing Editor at TejanoNation.net and host of the syndicated Tejano Nation radio show heard on great stations across the nation every weekend wrote in a special article about Grupo Frontera: “Tejano music legend David Lee Garza offered his congratulations to Grupo Frontera on the Rio Grande Valley band’s recent success including the top song on the Spotify Global Chart for their collaboration, “un x100to,” with Bad Bunny, a win at the Latin American Music Awards for Best Regional Mexican Song, and topping the Regional Mexican Airplay chart for the second time.

“The Godfather of Tejano Music” shared a video on his official Facebook page with a message for Grupo Frontera. Garza said, “I want to say congratulations to our good friends, we don’t know them, pero (but) congratulations Frontera. All the guys from Frontera, we’re super proud of y’all, man, being from Texas, keep it up! Don’t worry what they say, Frontera forward. We’ll see you soon. Let’s work!” Could a David Lee Garza and Grupo Frontera collaboration happen soon?

The band from Edinburg, Texas formed in early 2022 achieving success almost overnight with the release of “No Se Va,” a cumbia cover of the folk-pop from Colombian band Morat. The song won Best Regional Mexican Song at the Latin American Music Awards earlier this month.

The Bad Bunny collaboration on the romantic cumbia “un x100to” released last week topped many streaming charts in less than a day and the group performed with the Puerto Rican singer during his set at the famous Coachella music festival.

Grupo Frontera’s most recent achievement is “Di Que Si,” the collaboration with Grupo Marca Registrada, which reached number 1 on the Regional Mexican Airplay chart this week and debuted at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Grupo Frontera made history as the first Regional Mexican act to place three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, pushing the genre to new places while breaking records.

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

Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues Receive Artist Grant

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News

FoleadaArtists selected for the 2023 Artist Support Program includes Foleada with Jaimie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues. Jaimie Maschler shares, “Just in!!! Foleada was selected by Jack Straw Cultural Center for their Artist Support Program. This is my first grant award and I'm beyond excited to make this album. It's an honor to be selected among such great artists! This is such great news paired with a full schedule of Forró in April. Come celebrate and hang out with Foleada!!”

Announcing the 2023-24 Jack Straw Artist Support Program Artists: Jack Straw Cultural Center is pleased to announce their resident artists for the 30th year of the Artist Support Program. 2023 Artist Support Program residencies were awarded to 18 artists and artist teams spanning multiple disciplines and genres. Eight artists/teams were awarded 20 hours of recording and production time with an engineer in our studio. Ten additional artists/teams will receive matching awards. All artists are provided with training, events, and other opportunities as part of their residencies.

A traditional Forró ensemble features accordion, triangle and Drums.  Foleada is a sextet featuring two accordionists: Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, two percussionists: Jeff Busch and Sam Esecson, Michael Catts on bass, and Brazilian vocalist Adriana Giordano.  All our members are active in the Seattle music scene and are veteran performers.Foleada partners with @ForroinSeattle to host regular dance events for the Brazilian and Forró community. Their largest cultural event Festa Junina draws 400+ people. 

Excerpts from their website: Foleada is a Seattle-based Forró band with a focus on Pé de Serra style. Forró is the heartbeat of Northeast Brazil and it draws on many musical styles, from Afro-Brazilian music like samba and baião to European polkas. On the other hand, Forró dance borrows from Cuban salsa and Samba de Gafieira, a Brazilian ballroom dance. In other words, it’s a partner dance and it’s a lot of fun!

Look for Foleada's new album Summer 2023!

For further information:
Jamie Maschler
jamie.maschler@gmail.com>
Foleander schedule poster

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Texas Folklife Hosts Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Championships

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Big Squeeze Championship
Would you like to know what is happening with young people and the accordion? If so, plan to attend the Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Championships. Texas Folklife hosts the Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Championships on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 1:PM at the Bullock Museum in Austin, Texas. The championship round of the 17th annual statewide Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Contest features talented young accordion players from across Texas. The event is free and open to the public.

Held in the museum’s Texas Spirit Theatre this year, the Big Squeeze Finals will also feature performances from Josh Baca & the Hot Tamales, fronted by Los Texmaniacs’ Grammy-nominated accordionist Josh Baca, and North Texas accordion teacher and musician Elena Fainshtein. Our principal focus with The Big Squeeze is working with youth musicians, their families, teachers, and supporters from across the state to support and sustain Texas accordion music traditions”, said Charlie Lockwood, Executive Director of Texas Folklife.  “These young tradition bearers are ensuring the continued flourishing of these accordion genres and styles that are central to not only Texas music history, but also to the living cultural traditions practiced in communities statewide.  We are thrilled to invite these talented and passionate youth contestants to our state’s capital to showcase the wealth and diversity of Texas accordion music. We are so proud of each and every one of them.”

This year’s finalists will compete live in the categories Polka, and two Conjunto categories: ages 16 and under and ages 17-21. The age 17-21 Conjunto category contestants will vie for the Anthony Ortiz, Jr. Grand Prize, named after the Austin-area former contest finalist and friend of Texas Folklife who passed away in 2017. 

With the largest number of contestants, the Conjunto group went through a semi-final round of judging on April 15th at the Promenade Park Amphitheater in Edinburg. The following semi-finalists were chosen to move onto the Finals:

2023 Big Squeeze Conjunto Finalists:
 
Conjunto Finalists: 16 and Under
Adiel Emmanuel Vazquez, Pasadena (14)
Chelsea Campos, San Benito (16)
Giovani Guerrero, Mission (15)
Roberto Martinez III, Edcouch (13)
Conjunto Finalists: 17-21
Eligio Martinez, San Benito (19)
Gilberto Treviño, Palmview (17)
The following contestants have been chosen to advance in the other categories:

Polka
John Hickl, Elmaton (22)
Levi Burroughs, New Braunfels (15)
Timur Didych, Southlake (16)

Cajun/Zydeco Honorable Mention
Kevin Hillbun, Scott, LA (24)

Each of the genre category champions will receive a cash prize, a new Hohner accordion valued at more than $1,500, performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development, and other opportunities.

Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze Finals Saturday, May 13th (1 pm - 4 pm) Bullock Museum Texas Spirit Theatre 1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 More event info will be online.

The Big Squeeze is presented by Texas Folklife as part of its mission to preserve and present Texas’ diverse cultural heritage. Since 2007, Texas Folklife has promoted Texas accordion music genres through the Big Squeeze program. More than 300 young, talented players from dozens of Texas communities have participated in the program, which supports these vital community-based accordion music traditions.  

Sponsors

The 2023 Big Squeeze is supported in part by the generosity of H-E-B, a Squeezebox Legend Sponsor, who has contributed to worthy causes throughout Texas and Mexico for 115 years. We also are grateful to the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board for their long-time support. This project is made possible in part by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor, as well as contributions from Hohner Accordions, Museum of South Texas History, The Bullock Museum, The City of Edinburg, Rancho Alegre, and other regional partners.

About Texas Folklife

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

Media Contact: Maya Williams-Britton, Texas Folklife Outreach and Marketing Coordinator
(512) 441-92550; memberships@texasfolklife.org
Program Contact: Joshua Thomson, Big Squeeze Program Director
(313) 258-0378; bigsqueeze@texasfolklife.org

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

Elena Fainshtein: Featured Performer at the Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Championships on May 13

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Elena FainshteinElena Fainshtein is a well known and respected teacher, musician and an inspiration to all. The accordion is an integral and highly important part of Elena Fainshtein’s life. She encompasses all aspects of the accordion and musical world: Performer, Teacher, Arranger, Mentor, valued member of accordion organizations such as ATG and more. She helps her students actualize their musical potential in a meaningful, kind and practical way.

Elena is a warm and approachable person. She shares, “I was born in Belarus, which was part of the Soviet Union. I never knew my grandparents who died in World War 2. My parents met in the orphanage they grew up in & both dedicated their lives to teaching.

As a child, I liked to read, draw, and have kid fun like every other child. At the age of five I was stung by a hive of wasps, and lost my ability to speak after having a horrible reaction & being in a complete state of shock I became mute. I remember my dad taking me to many doctors & therapists, trying to find any possible way to help me get my voice back. For a whole year he was seeking the best doctors while hoping for a miracle. The verdict he received was troubling to him, but as a child I did not realize the seriousness of the matter…”Your daughter will never speak again…” He was told.

I remember taking the train with my father from Moscow to Minsk one day, I remember seeing tears running down his cheeks and seeing a lady approach him to hear our story. The lady, who I have never met since, advised him to buy a musical instrument, believing that music can help restore my ability to speak. A few days later he brought home a suitcase; I was thinking that it was time to go to see another doctor so I started to cry. He then opened the suitcase and I looked in and saw the button accordion for the first time in my life! I grabbed it, pressed the buttons & to my delight the accordion made a sound so I repeated this sound with my voice, and shouted to my dad “thaaank yyoouu.”

I remember my mom, when I was trying to say something and started stuttering, she was telling me “Elena, take your accordion and sing everything that you want to say” and I did.

I first took private lessons and then attended the School for Gifted Kids in Minsk, Belarus, where my second instrument of choice was piano. Then, I went to the Minsk Music College, graduating with the highest grades possible. After music college, I attended the Academy of Music in Minsk, from which I graduated in 1987. At the age of 17 at music college I began playing as an Accordion Duo with my classmate, Gregory Fainshtein, who became my husband and music partner for life and the rest is history!”

Since their school days, Gregory and Elena have performed concerts all over the world, including Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, and the United States. They performed at all NAA conventions, and in 2013 and 2015, performed together at the ATG. In 2014, they performed at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention (LVIAC). In 2019, Elena was able to take one of her top accordion students, Elijah Clements to LVAC, where Elijah received a scholarship and they performed a half-hour solo and duet concert.

Elena Fainshtein has been teaching piano and accordion successfully for over 30 years, giving lessons in three different languages. She currently resides in Plano, Texas where she maintains a private home studio called Musical Expressions.

Elena has a very interesting and varied career. Recently she was contacted by professional trombonist Lucas Kaspar who commissioned a composition for trombone and accordion by Michael Johnson entitled, “Opa’s Yodel” in memory of Johann Kaspar. Elena and Lucas will perform this new composition at the International Trombone Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 12, 2023. Elena is very excited about this unique project. A recording will be made soon and available to view.

Elena is involved in so many musical endeavors that it is difficult to know where to begin since she is happy and passionate about all of them, ranging from her accordion and piano students to her own projects. Several of her top students participated in the ATG Zoom Recital on April 30, 2023. On May 13, 2023, Elena will be a featured performer at the Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Championships at the Bullock Museum in Austin, Texas. (See article in this month's Highlights publication). At the Big Squeeze concert, Elena will perform a varied program of Eastern European music including Ukrainian, Finnish, Belarusian, Gypsy, Jewish, and generally global music, a mixture of all types and genres. Her student, Elijah Clements will also be included in the program. Elena is also proud to announce that her student, Timur Didych, 16 years old from Southlake, is a finalist in the Polka Division of the Big Squeeze Championship.

On May 6, 2023 - World Accordion Day, Elena will celebrate this special day with all of her students (and accordions) at an informal get-together at her home in Texas.

On June 10, 2023 there will be a student recital (Musical Expressions) at the local concert hall with more than thirty students participating. Elena is proud of all of her students, especially her "Big Squeeze" champions - Elijah Clements, Elayne Doggett, Alex French, and Peter Gresser.

So much more can be said about Elena but her accomplishments speak for themselves. Wishing her continued successes.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Branson Accordion Extravaganza on May 20

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Kim and Dan Christian
Kim and DanVideo: "Flying Theme from ET" Performed by Kim and Dan Christian. John Williams full orchestra score that has been arranged by Dan Christian for 2 accordions.

The performance will take place Saturday, May 20, 2023 at the Hughes American Family Theater in Branson, Missouri. The show will be professionally lit and will have a professional sound technician as well!! An Accordion Orchestra will have never looked so amazingly good! All the participants have been working very hard to get ready for this awesome one of a kind accordion concert!!

These are the pieces to be performed this year:
·      Gonna Fly Now (theme from Rocky)
·      Espana Cani (for select advanced players)
·      Corazon (groovin’ Jazz tune)
·      Dvorak Slavonic Dance #8
·      Nickelodean Rag
·      Theme from Schindler’s List
·      Rock a Jimmy (fun swing tune)
·      Conflict Overture (Collection of fantastic Patriotic Songs)

Kim and Dan would like you to know: “Since we are holding Band Camp in Branson, MO where there is so much to do, we will have several group fun activities which will be optional but strongly suggested so that all accordionists, spouses and family members will have a blast! Some of these include excursion to the Branson Landing, Table Rock Lake, The Branson Strip and group show prices to see the fabulous Hughes Family Show and Shanghai Circus and more. We are so excited to be able to hold this event at the hotel voted #1 in Branson by Trip Advisor - The Lodge of the Ozarks!!”

For further information about tickets, etc: kdcstudios@gmail

Titano Accordion Company

Will Holshouser Presents Concert at Brooklyn Accordion Club

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Will Holshouser
Video: “Redbud Winter”
The video above is the new commission from the American Accordionists' Association composed by Will Holshouser, the first commission to be performed on a world tour."Redbud Winter" is performed by Eric Vloeimans, trumpet and Will Holshouser, accordionist and composer. “Redbud Winter”: a cold snap in early spring when the redbud trees begin to blossom (expression used in Tennessee). In memoriam Cynthia Shoemaker (1939 - 2021).This piece was commissioned by the American Accordionists' Association (2021), and premiered at the AAA Seminars - Dr. William Schimmel, Curator - on July 30th 2021.

On May 14, 2023, Will Holshouser will present a solo accordion concert in Brooklyn. Will shares, “In an afternoon set of music at a lovely acoustic space. I've written a collection of solo accordion pieces over the years, many involving counterpoint and improvisation. I'll include a couple of the folk tunes and hymns that are a constant inspiration to me in my composing and that have been especially meaningful to me over the last couple of years. A free glass of wine is included with admission (while supplies last). Space is limited so advance tickets are recommended: see Evenbrite ticket link posted in event discussion on Facebook.”

Will has also played with David Krakauer, Antony and the Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright, Andy Statman, Phillip Johnston, Matt Munisteri & Brock Mumford, the Raymond Scott (tribute) Orchestrette, Roberto Rodriguez, Mark Morris Dance, New York City Ballet, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others. Will studied composition with Anthony Braxton and Bill Barron at Wesleyan University, where he received a grant to research Cajun and Creole music in Louisiana. After moving to New York in the early 1990s, he studied accordion with Dr. William Schimmel. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.

Will Holshouser is a veteran of the New York music scene who has performed all over the world with artists including violinist Regina Carter, clarinetist David Krakauer, and improvisers Han Bennink & Michael Moore as well as with his own projects. He has also performed with Antony & the Johnsons, Kiran Ahluwalia, Uri Caine, Guy Klucevsek, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright, Suzanne Vega, and others. Will studied accordion and composition with his mentor Dr. William Schimmel, and composition with Tania León, Dalit Warshaw, Anthony Braxton, and Bill Barron. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family and teaches at Brooklyn College.

Concert location:
Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 2:PM
A.R.T. South Oxford Space, Great Room
138 S. Oxford Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718-398-3078

$20 ($10 students/seniors)
includes a free glass of wine, while supplies last 
tickets at this Eventbrite link

For further information:
Will Holshouser
holshouserwill@gmail.com

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

Alex Meixner Band Tour

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Alex Meixner
Alex MeixnerVideo: Alex Meixner at the Illinois Polkafest in Schaumburg. Feb. 4, 2023

Alex Meixner is happy to announce his upcoming performances during May and June. Alex shares, “We start off at Bavarian Brauhaus in Hanover, MD on Wednesday, May 3. Max and Sandra's hospitality and food are always great. The venue is a super intimate spot for the band to play your favorites and try all kinds of new stuff. Limited seating is available, please order tickets early at the restaurant or online via my web store!

Thursday, May 4 is a special one for me as we're playing the 75th Anniversary of WMUH- Allentown, 91.7 FM.  I started on the radio here with my Dad in 1982 and the event is taking place at the Coplay Saengerbund, a club that was founded by Burgenlander immigrants in my hometown including my Great Grandfather, Leopold, and Jimmy Meyer's grandfather, Julius. We'll be making sure to get a bunch of the old traditional songs in honor of our families in addition to the requests of ya'll. Advance tickets are available through WMUH. 

Friday, May 5 is Maifest at the Reading Liederkranz or perhaps we should call it Cinco de Meixner? The band and I always enjoy returning to the Liederkranz and hope to see all of our Berks County friends and one of the great venues for our music. More info about the event can be found on the venue's website.

Saturday, May 6 you will find us at Maifest at Germania Park in Rockaway Township, NJ. This is the first time I'm performing at this wonderful German club/ pavilion. The food and gemütlichkeit is renowned throughout the region so we're super excited to be performing for some of our friends from the other area German organizations.  Tickets are available on my webstore!

Sunday, May 7 it's possibly Lori's favorite gig of the year, the Sly Fox Bock Fest/ Goat Race in Pottstown, PA. Rain or shine. Mud or soggy grass, this is always an awesome show! The goats and the people. The food and the beer. Don't miss out on a fun time! Tickets are required and bundles include beer/merch/food. Join us!"

Alex Meixner is a nationally acclaimed musician, performer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of polka music. Formally trained in classical, jazz and ethnic music, Alex has cross-pollinated his versatile playing styles through pop music, funk, jazz and polka. He is an active ambassador for polka music, revitalizing interest coast to coast resulting in sold-out shows, renewed cultural interest, and growing mainstream acceptance. For Alex, it’s more than playing energetic shows; it is a mission to provide positive experiences that pull communities together to celebrate history, culture and genuinely good times.

Alex Meixner is one of the most dynamic accordionists on the scene today. Meixner has performed around the world, notably at American festivals like The National Folk Festival and Central Park SummerStage, as well as at uncountable community celebrations and accordion-centric events. He has worked with Jack Black on the Sundance-screened, Netflix movie "The Polka King", with Post Modern Jukebox, and as an on-screen spokesperson for Hormel Pepperoni.

Additional Upcoming Performances:
May 12, 13 & 14 - Knoxville, Tennessee Schulz Brau Brewing
May 16 - Asheville, North Carolina* The Grey Eagle Music Hall Alex Solo - Sitting in with I See Hawks in L.A.
May 27 - Ennis, Texas National Polka Festival - Opening for Mike Ryan
May 28 - Ennis, Texas National Polka Festival - Alternating with Czech And Then Some
June 2 - Moravia (Schulenburg), Texas Moravia Store Tickets on Sale at Venue or online at Alex Meixner site.
June 3 - Houston, Texas Accordion Kings & Queens Concert for Texas Folk Life
Miller Outdoor Theatre

For further information: info@alexmeixner.com

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Powell River Academy of Music Presents Accordion Fest Preview on May 5

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Powell River
WAD LogoWalter and KarinaCelebrating World Accordion Day, Walter Martella and Karina Inkster are excited to bring you Powell River's second annual Accordion Fest! Including a concert performance; workshops for beginners and advanced players alike; and a wide range of musical genres for our audiences to enjoy, mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, 2023! 

Two days of assorted accordion antics, celebrating one of the world's most versatile instruments is happening at the Powell River Academy of Music. The Accordion Fest planning team along with the Powell River Academy of Music, is planning an incredible 2023 event. Walter Martella and Karina Inkster are excited to bring you Powell River's Second Annual Accordion Fest! Including a concert performance, workshops for beginners and advanced players alike and a wide range of musical genres for their audiences to enjoy. Mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, 2023!

Check out their full schedule of events. Joint them for two days of diverse events celebrating the accordion! Fun fact: May 6th is World Accordion Day, marking the anniversary of the day its patent was filed on May 6, 1829.

Some highlights of this year's Fest include:
9 special guest musicians
Opening night concert: tango, jazz, classical, and more (featuring at least 6 accordions!)
Workshop: introduction to klezmer music
Masterclass for intermediate/advanced students
Accordion 101 for complete beginners
General merriment
Squeezebox Night closing party On March 5, 2023 there will be a preview concert. Tickets are by donation at the door. Accordion Fest tickets will be on sale soon -- stay tuned!

Walter Martella is a musician, conductor, instructor, Music Director of the Powell River Academy of Music (PRAM). He has recorded 6 studio albums. Bench presses your body weight and makes a mean apple cider. He is also conductor and Music Director of the Powell River Academy of Music (PRAM), Walter is an accomplished pianist, accordionist, and trumpeter. He earned a Diploma in Jazz Trumpet from Malaspina College (VIU), a Bachelor of Music Degree from UVic, and attended the Banff School of Fine Arts.

Karen Inkster is a recreational accordionist, author, podcast host, vegan fitness and nutrition coach. She is the author of 5 books, magazine writer, and host of the No-B.S. Vegan podcast. Founder of K.I. Health & Fitness, she and her online coaching team work with vegan clients all over the world. Karina holds a Master's degree in Gerontology, specializing in health and aging.

Karina and Walter share, “Our First Annual Accordion Fest was a success! We thank our performers, special guests, and audience members for making Accordion Fest 2022 a huge success! Virtuoso accordionist Nikolay Bine performed to a full house, our various afternoon events were well-attended, and we sold out our kitchen party to close the Fest. We hope to see you at our second fest on May 5 and 6, 2023!"

The Powell River Academy of Music is a not-for-profit community music school offering excellence in arts education to students of all ages. The community is enriched by the Academy Concert Series and the Academy's international festivals.

All 2023 events take place at the Powell River Academy of Music (7280 Kemano Street in Powell River), except our Squeezebox Night, which is held at the Forest Bistro and Lounge:
Friday, May 5:
All day May 5 and 6] Accordion Repairs and Sales:
Tempo Trend, a Victoria-based speciality accordion store that's been in business for over 60 years, will be on site for all your accordion needs! Tune-ups, repairs, and sales. Bring the old squeezebox languishing in your closet, or purchase your first (or seventh) accordion.

7:PM Accordion Fest Main Concert: The main concert, featuring a wide variety of musical genres, special musical guests, co-directors Walter and Karina, and at least 5 accordions! Enjoy a 5-piece tango band featuring guitarist Budge Schachte and bassist Boyd Norman, klezmer music featuring accordionist Ronen Segall, as well as classical and jazz. Not to be missed!

Saturday, May 6:
10:30-11:45am Accordion Masterclass:
Internationally renowned accordionist Jelena Milojević provides critiques, insights, and suggestions. A learning opportunity for both performers and observers. Zoom participation available. Please email Karina to participate) Audience: By donation

12:15-1:45pm Courtyard Performances: Local and visiting performers share music in a casual environment. Sign up to play, and/or come and enjoy what's on offer. By donation.

2-3:PM Accordion 101: This workshop introduces accordion-curious folks of any (or no) musical background to the instrument. Bring your own accordion, or borrow one for the session (generously provided by Tempo Trend). By donation.

3:15-4:PM: Introduction to Klezmer Music Led by Ronen Segall of Accordion Love, intermediate players will learn the klezmer scale, and some improvisation basics.By donation.

7:PM Squeezebox Night at the Forest Bistro:
May 6th is World Accordion Day! Celebrate with us at this year's Accordion Fest closing party. Featuring Ron Campbell's band, Scout Mountain Bluegrass Band, and Ronen Segall and Walter Martella on accordions, enjoy an evening of lively popular music during dinner + drinks. The Forest Bistro & Lounge is a 19+ establishment. However, minors are welcome before 10:PM with a parent/guardian.

For further information: karina@karinainkster.com

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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


Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

The Latest Addition, Updated Articles About AAA Commissioned Works

by Dr. Robert Young McMahan Chair, AAA Composers Commissioning Committee
AAA Header
Dr Robert McMahanThe Latest Addition to the Updated and Expanded Articles on AAA Commissioned Works That Originally Appeared in the AAA Festival Journal from 1997 to 2019 is:

Works by three composers: Henry Cowell, Otto Luening, and Paul Pisk updated and expanded from the 2002 Edition.
http://www.ameraccord.com/aaacommissions14.php

This installment discusses three strongly contrasting works by three similarly diverse and highly acclaimed composers of the twentieth century:
• the eccentric, experimental Henry Cowell, creator of the “tone cluster” and the first to create works for the piano that involved playing “inside” the instrument (plucking and strumming the strings and other such unusual actions);
• Otto Luening, a normally conservative composer who in his mid-career at Columbia University (where, in fact, he was one of Elsie Bennett’s professors), was nevertheless among the first generation of composers to experiment with electronic music;
• and the less well-known, but highly respected Viennese and later naturalized American composer and musicologist Paul Pisk, once a student of Arnold Schoenberg, but highly diverse in his compositional language throughout his career.

All three compositions were commissioned by Elsie Bennett in 1960.

Cowell contributed the second accordion concerto, Concerto Brevis, to the AAA commissioned repertoire, the first being Paul Creston’s concerto, commissioned in 1958. The Concerto Brevis is in five movements, and highly modal and melodic in structure, though employing gently dissonant tone clusters in a few places.

Luening wrote a humorous, fast-fingered novelty he entitled Iridescent Rondo. It is full of amusing musical impishness and is in no way like his contributions to electronic music.

Pisk’s curiously titled Salute to Juan (referring to San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico) is imbued with Latin rhythms, again uncharacteristic of this Teutonic composer. He later wrote a full and non-ethnic work for two accordions and orchestra that is more representative of his contemporary style. It is examined in the updated, expanded version of the 2005 AAA Festival Journal article and may be read and sound sampled at http://www.ameraccord.com/aaacommissions8.php.

The Cowell and Luening works may be heard on the AAA CCC home page (http://www.ameraccord.com/aaacommissions.php). Enjoy!

Titano Accordion Company

Dr. Mike Middleton Presents World Accordion Day Program at AWAM

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dr. Mike Middleton
WAD LogoDr. Mike Middleton is excited to announce his Myron Floren (famed accordionist from the Lawrence Welk show) Tribute Concert on May 6, 2023 at 3:PM (World Accordion Day) at A World of Accordions Museum, Superior Wisconsin. The accordion performance and stories will be told by Texan Mike Middleton MD.

On April 19, 2023 the Longhorn Council, Boy Scouts of America honored Dr. Michael Middleton, “Congratulations, Michael Middleton, MD on being selected as a member of the Longhorn Council's 2023 Silver Beaver Class. We look forward to celebrating your many accomplishments at our Recognition Banquet on Wednesday, April 19.

An early memory for Mike as a child was going to Philmont where his father Forrest attended leadership DE training. Mike developed 2 passions there: he saw an older scouter playing the accordion during a campfire ceremony and developed a passion for accordion music, and he also developed likewise a passion for all things Scouting.

He enjoyed Boy Scouts but what was unique was his Eagle Scout Service Project in Austin where he performed accordion music as a 13-year-old scout for 20 Sr. Citizen and Childcare Centers. At his 1977 Eagle Board of Review, he was commended for doing a unique project they knew his parents could not do for him. He gained confidence and a passion for performing during this time and eventually became Texas State Champion Accordionist after high school. As a Scout Mike developed other interests including science, and chose to become a Physician, attending TAMU COM and later doing his residency in Nuclear Medicine. Together with his wife, Darla, they moved to the Bronx, and started a family during their NYC residencies. They returned to Texas in 1994 and Mike wanted to encourage his sons to start scouting, as well.

Mike founded a new Cub Scout pack in 2000 with his first son Lance and became Pack 122 Cubmaster. Known as “The Big Akela”, Mike grew his Pack from about 10 boys to over 65 serving as CM for 8 years, and concurrently as ASM for the new Troop 122. Notably, about 20 of his former cub scouts became Eagle Scouts, including both his sons, Lance and Mitch. The Pack camped twice a year, sometimes at his ranch in Belton, Texas where many earned their Polar Bear Awards and friendships developed.

By 2012 Mike began serving countless hours as a leader both professionally, musically, and within the BSA; and eventually was asked to become the District Chair for the Chisholm Trail District further developing friendships with many of his fellow adult scout leaders. Along the way, Dr. Mike performed the accordion at many events, including Scouting events, and has become internationally recognized.”

Mike shares, “I’m honored and humbled to receive this Silver Beaver recognition tonight. It would not have been possible without support of other friends and scout leaders, and my wife & family.”

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

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

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

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

Future 2023 Performances Include
May 6, 2023 A World of Accordions Museum, World Accordion Day. Superior WI, USA… A MyronFloren Tribute Concert
May 7, 2023 A World of Accordions Museum, Sunday Polka Service, with Mike & The Middletones & Friends
June 11, 2023 Sun 4-7 pm in San Antonio, TX ... Dreams Fulfilled Through Music Concert with Mike & TheMiddletones, Magik Theatre
July 9, 2023 FUMC Belton Polka Sunday
Sept 21,22, 2023 Ft. Worth Oktoberfest
Sept 23, 2023 Missouri City Oktoberfest, Mike & The Middletones
Nov 4,5 2023 and/or Nov 11,12, 2023 WURSTFEST, New Braunfels TX, Mike & The Middletones ( Pending)
Summer or Fall 2023 - Austin Accordion Club - date pending

For further details email: mmiddleton@sw.org

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs on May 20 in NJ

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
APO logo
APO Concert posterThe Accordion Pops Orchestra, conducted by Al Terzo, presents their next concert on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 5:PM in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the South Presbyterian Church where the concert takes place. The address is 150 West Church Street, Bergenfield, NJ.

The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970 when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey.  Its first conductor was  Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.  In  1980 the orchestra was reorganized under well-known accordionist and composer Eugene Ettore.  

In 1985 the orchestra was again reorganized under Daniel Desiderio and the name was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra.  The membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Maestro Desiderio retired in 2011 and turned the reins over to the current conductor, Al Terzo.

The orchestra consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments.  The accordions are divided into five main sections (first through fifth accordion), each playing different parts.  In addition, there is a bass accordion with special deep reeds and a midi accordion with electronic capabilities to simulate hundreds of other instruments.

There are about 30 members including professionals, teachers, and amateur musicians.  The orchestra performs a repertoire taken from a wide range of music categories, including Broadway, popular music, movie themes, and light classical compositions.  The orchestra performs in concert halls, festivals, playhouses, clubs, churches, and retirement homes.

Conductor Al Terzo is a music teacher, arranger, and conductor.  He has been a member of the orchestra since its inception in 1970. Mr.Terzo is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and the National Association of Music Educators.  He is a member of the governing board of the American Accordionists' Association and a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark Symphony Hall.  Mr. Terzo currently teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.

Al shares,”Referring to our new website, several orchestras from around the world have asked for some of our arrangements listed on the repertoire link. Groups from the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Belgium, South Korea, and Malta.”

Future APO concerts include:
July 14, 2023 performance at the AAA Festival in Conshohocken, PA.
For information: www.ameraccord.com

August 26, 2023 at the Bright View Senior Living in Wayne, PA.

For further information on the APO: webmaster@accordionpops.com

PANcordion

2023 ATG Festival Workshop Descriptions

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
ATG2023Here are the ATG Workshops, Presenters, and Descriptions for July 26 to July 29, 2023:

Wednesday, July 26, 3:PM. Fake Book Ideas for Soloists and Accompanists, Frank Busso, presenter:

Ever wonder what to do with your left hand when reading from a fake book?
How can an accordionist make a simple melody line sound like a traditional arrangement? This workshop will present ideas on using lead sheets to play simple solos, sound like a seasoned ensemble member, and even how to take advantage of basic music theory.

Wednesday, July 26, 4:PM. Ethnic dance music: it’s more than just playing the notes! (and understanding Balkan meters),
Joan Grauman Morse, presenter

How can an international folk dancer instantly know that you’re playing a Swedish hambo, an Austrian Ländler, a Bavarian Schupplattler, a Russian waltz or an Irish waltz? They’re all in 3/4 time. We will learn the subtle nuances that immediately determine the dance and its country of origin. We will then move on to Bulgaria and Macedonia and learn the meters that create this hauntingly lovely dance music.

Thursday, July 27, 2:PM. Jazz basics: How to build a jazz improvisation
Nikolay Bine, presenter

This workshop has been prepared for learning the necessary fundamentals of jazz. Based on the material given during the workshop, participants will be shown a break-down of an advanced jazz improvisation. This knowledge will be used later in a little interactive session.

Thursday, July 27, 3:PM. A brief history of the accordion,
Helmi Harrington, presenter

Friday, July 28, 9:AM. Bellows/Bellow Control -
Grayson Masefield, presenter

How bellows action and control of air flow can interfere or help with the learning stages of new pieces and how utilizing the bellows will affect
phrasing, articulation and technique in the left and right hand.

Saturday, July 29, 9:AM. Hand care for the musician,
Lynda Griffith, presenter

Learn about care and feeding, strength and flexibility of musician’s hands. What
to know. What to teach.

Saturday, July 29, 10:AM.
Part 1: Update from ‘Downunder;’
Part 2: Aural awareness: Have you ever wondered if there’s more to the page than meets the eye (or ear)?,
Anthony Schultz, presenter

In Part 1, Accordion Society of Australia Vice-president, Anthony Schulz will briefly present the current state of the Accordion in Australia.

In Part 2, contemporary accordionist and educator Anthony Schulz will discuss how to listen to music and transfer the experience to a deeper understanding of what it means to play ‘by ear.’ The focus of this workshop is to assist accordionists of any level to explore and develop their aural awareness through listening, and as a
result of this process, engage with repertoire with a greater sense of style, nuance and confidence.

**Schedules subject to change

Only 2 spots available VIII International Jazz Accordion & Modern Harmony Master Classes

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Victor Prieto
There are only 2 spots still available for VIII International Jazz Accordion & Modern Harmony Master Classes in the city of Ourense, Spain, July 15th - 16th, 2023. Victor Prieto informs that the 2023 Master Class will be entirely in English. He will translate to Spanish and Russian in case is needed as in past years. The Registration - Audition for The International Jazz Accordion Master Classes City of Ourense, July, 2023 began in January.

Send a video recording just playing alone or with your group to info@victorprieto.net. You will be notified if you have been selected to participate in the Master Classes in April - May.
You will receive information about transportation, hotels and lodging.
NOTE: The hotel and meals will be free for all the participants
If you have any question please write to the organization office:
Xohán Manuel Xil Páxaro
Phone: +34-665-629-110
info@victorprieto.net

Registration and Dates:
-The registration is not open yet.
-The master class will be held on 15th -16th of July and will take place at Centro Cuntural Marcos Varcarcel (Ourense - Spain)

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

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

Victor Prieto holds a Degree in Jazz Accordion Performance from Berklee College of Music (Boston), where he studied with a full scholarship and a Diploma in Classical Accordion from Ouresnse - Spain Conservatory. Grammy Winner Victor Prieto is hailed by The New York Times as "A fiendishly skilled accordionist and composerHe has changed the way musicians and spectators view accordion by revolutionizing both technique and sound (Chord approach on both hands). His love for the traditional Galician music and classical education enriches his compositions with explosive rhythm and colors uniquely combining Galician Roots, Celtic, Brazilian, Jazz, Tango, and Classical music. Victor continues collaborating on world stages with Yo-Yo Ma (Songs of Joy and Peace, Sony BMG Masterworks. "2010 Grammy Winning Album"), Arturo O'Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra, Cristina Pato, The Maria Schneider Orchestra, Valinor Quartet ("Second Half" 2014 Grammy Nominated album) Paquito D’Rivera, Chris Cheek, Christian Howes Group.

He teaches Master Classes in US Berklee College of Music, "Playing outside the Box", Spain, Italy, Portugal and has headed the jazz accordion studies at the Brooklyn Conservatory, New York and he also was the Chairman of the Accordion department at Adagio Conservatory, Lugo (Spain).Some of Victor’s awards and prizes are: The Creative Performer award from the Spanish Association of Artists and Performers, and the first prize CMZK’s Concourse of Composition. Victor created his own study program applying the expertise offered by educators at Berklee to the accordion. His students are internationally renowned accordionists and teachers.

For more information: masterclass@victorprieto.net

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Joe Cerrito's 90th Birthday Celebration

by Dan Grauman
Joe and Manny
Photo above: Joe Cerrito with retired accordionist for the US Army Strolling Strings, Manny Bobenrieth.

Surrounded by family, musician friends and many former students, accordionist Joe Cerrito celebrated his 90th birthday in his former hometown, Warwick, Rhode Island on April 15th.

Joe, who now resides in Florida, is still very active, performing regularly in a restaurant (where he strolls), as well as at senior centers, a variety of other venues and private parties. Joe has been playing professionally since the age of 15. He performed in a variety of combinations (duos, trios, quartets and more). He owned two accordion schools in Rhode Island, which produced many individual and ensemble champions.

You can read much more about Joe on his website at: Joe Cerrito
and also, in an article written by American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Historian, Joan Grauman Morse at: http://www.ameraccord.com/articles/CerritoJoe.htm

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Atlanta Celebrates World Accordion Day

by Rob Howard
CIA Poster
AccordionologyAtlanta, Georgia, USA will celebrate World Accordion Day (WAD) with a special live music presentation, organized by Village Music and Accordionology on May 6th, 2023 from 11:AM to 3:PM.

The event will be held at the Wild Heaven Beer Garden, Avondale Estates, Georgia with performances by Gabe Granitz, Dan Coy, Nick Edelstein and more.

Other events include an “Open Jam” session, with accordionists invited to bring their instruments and join in as well as a “Mini-museum” with instruments on display from 1840 to 2022.

For details email: info@accordionology.com

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

My First Accordion Lesson

by Renee Mendenhall
Renee Mendenhall and teacher Joseph Soprani
Many events in our lives are pivotal and affect us forever. One such moment, for me, Rita Barnea, and many others, was our first accordion lesson! Do you remember yours? How did your first accordion lesson and your teacher impact your life? Please share this moment with our readers. Please send me your thoughts and feelings etc. about your first accordion lesson, your teacher, and how it influenced your life.

Renee Mendenhall, student of the great Joseph Soprani, kindly shares her memorable experience with Joe, her first accordion teacher:

“One evening in December, 2011, I was searching for music resources on the internet to share with my school students. I stumbled upon a video of a young man playing a beautiful French tune from the movie, Amelie, on his accordion. I was immediately captivated and thought with excitement, “I have to play this instrument!” I knew little about the accordion, even though I was well versed in many other instruments as a middle school band director.  

I was fortunate to have a colleague whose husband owned a music store. Within a few days, I had my first accordion in my hands, a small black and white Excelsior Accordiana model. My colleague and her husband suggested I contact their friend, Joseph Soprani, to inquire about the possibility of taking accordion lessons.

Within a short time, I was sitting in Joe’s office ready for my first lesson. The walls were covered in certificates and newspaper articles, evidence of an accomplished career. I was grateful to have the opportunity to study with such a skilled musician. Every two or three weeks, Joe and I met on Saturday mornings for music lessons. He was generous with his time, often keeping me longer than expected. I could tell he was genuinely interested in my progress, and I came to view him as a grandfatherly figure. He was warm and friendly and always excited to share his wealth of knowledge on the accordion. We worked through the classic Palmer Hughes Accordion Series. I looked forward to the occasions when Joe demonstrated the lesson material on his personal instrument.

Life became busier, and I stopped taking lessons from Joe. I would check in every now and then on the phone and go to lunch with him and his lovely wife, Jennie. In the meantime, I had many fun experiences with the accordion: busking on the streets, using it to accompany my original songs in song-writing events, playing for church congregations and retirement homes, performing for a local volunteer stage company, and playing in a mandolin orchestra.

Several years passed, until Joe reached out to me with a proposition. He declared, “How about I give you accordion lessons if you help me write a book about my life?” I was in need of a creative project and wanting to get more serious about my accordion playing, so I happily agreed to the idea. We started collaborating. I came to his home for lessons and interview sessions. He brought out many boxes of photographs, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, and programs. Initially, the task seemed daunting with the question of “Where do we begin?” but as time went by, the story began to unfold.

As we discussed the direction of this book, Joe admitted, “I find it very difficult to talk about myself;” therefore, it only seemed natural for this book to be told from one of his student’s perspectives. I am honored to be chosen for that role and happy to give him the praise and recognition he deserves!”

For further information about Renee Mendenhall::
Alarlm301@gmail.com

You are invited to submit your story with photos on your first accordion lesson. We at AWW are interested! Please submit your article to: Ritabelll@aol.com

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

41st Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival May 19 - 21

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Tejano FestivalThe 41st Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival lineup has just been announced! The line-up for the 41st Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio will feature “Puro Conjunto Pesado: Lo Mejor de Tejas” with three days of the very best in conjunto music.

On Friday, May 19, 2023 the festival kicks off with Joe Zimmerle y su Conjunto, Los Tellez, Javier Solis y los Unikos, Ruben de la Cruz and Ruben Garza, the South Texas Homies, and Ricky Naranjo y Los Gamblers.

On Saturday, May 20, 2023 the festival features Conjunto Cats, Isaac De Los Santos y La Sangre Chicana, Ricky Guzman y Los Tres Ases, Conjunto Baraja de Oro, Los Cucuys de Rodney Rodriguez, Los Fantasmas, Los Monarcas de Pete y Mario Diaz, Lazaro Perez y su Conjunto, Los Garcia Brothers, and Tony Tigre Saenz.

On Sunday, May 21, 2023 the Tejano Conjunto Festival closes out with an incredible old school line-up, made up of Cindy Ramos y su Conjunto, Grupo Azido, the Tejano Boys, Los Badd Boyz Del Valle, Santiago Garza y Naturaleza, Los Conjunto Kingz de Flavio Longoria, Edgar Vasquez y su Conjunto, Eva Ybarra, Los Texmaniacs featuring special guest Flaco Jimenez, and Boni Mauricio y Los Maximos.

In addition to the live music and dancing over three days at Rosedale Park, the 41st Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival will feature a free Wednesday, May 17th seniors dance with music from Santiago Jimenez, Jr. and Eddie Lalo Torres, and new inductions into the Hall of Fame with a special dinner and dance on Thursday, May 18 at the historic Guadalupe Theater. See future publications for updates.

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

Brooklyn Accordion Club Orchestra 2023: Call for accordionists!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
BAC USA Tour
BAC logoThe Brooklyn Accordion Club is forming a pop-up accordion orchestra in 2023 and you are invited to join! Accordionists of all levels –– especially beginners and intermediate-level accordionists –– are welcome to join! 

The first rehearsal is scheduled for Sunday, May 21 from 4:45 PM–6:PM in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (specific location will be emailed once registered). The rehearsal space is indoors on the 2nd floor. There is no elevator. Rehearsals will take place once a month in May, June, September, October, and November. The concert will be scheduled for early December. The rehearsal schedule includes a mix of weekend and weekday evenings, depending on the month. Do not worry if you cannot attend all rehearsals. 

There will be a $5.00 participation fee at each rehearsal to help cover the rental fee for the space (free for students/seniors). You will need to bring your own accordion, music stand. (there might be some extras at the rehearsal space), and enthusiasm! If you are interested in joining email: brooklynaccordionclub@gmail.com

Brooklyn Accordion Club is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Bernadette Conlon Zabawa: Over 500 Videos Online!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News

WAD LogoBernadette Conlon ZabawaVideo 1: Bernadette - "Play Violinist Tango (Graj Skrzypku Tango)" for accordion

Bernadette shares, “”Play Violinist Tango (Graj Skrzypku Tango)" was composed by W. Lidauer and S. Zdrojewski in 1936. The song was a big hit for the Polish Revelers 'Juranda Choir' in pre world war two Poland. The revelers' choirs had become popular in Poland in the 1900s. These were harmony ensembles similar to the barbershop quartets. When the jazz age blossomed in the 1920s, it prompted a wave of vocal groups to form who included hot syncopated songs in their repertoires. 'Juranda Choir' was one of many such groups prior to world war two. This song was introduced to me by my husband. It was my mother-in-laws favorite tango and my husband grew up listening to her singing it often. I thought it was such a beautiful tango that I wanted to play a duet with my husband. After posting more than 500 videos, I finally got my husband to play it with me. I hope you enjoy our interpretation.”

Video 2:  "Danny Boy"

Bernadette shares, “"Danny Boy" is an Irish ballad. The lyrics were written by English songwriter Frederic Weatherly in 1910 and set to the traditional Irish melody of "Londonderry Air" in 1913. There are several controversial versions regarding the development of this song. What we do know is that Weatherly gave the song to the vocalist Elsie Griffin who made it one of the most popular songs of the new century. However it came about is of little consequence since it has become and remains one of the most popular and beloved Irish songs. I hope you enjoy my interpretation.”

Bernadette Conlon Zabawa celebrates World Accordion Day with over 500 videos online at this time. Bernadette shares, “I would love to be a part of World Accordion Day. I don't have any special events or concert planned but I can certainly dedicate my videos in May to World Accordion Day. This is all new to me, so I'm not sure how else I can participate, but I do hope to promote the accordion through my videos, with a special emphasis on diversity of music, especially in genres where the accordion is not usually prominent. I also try to play a lot of main stream repertoire,”

Australian accordionist, Bernadette (nee Conlon) Zabawa, is now living in Rockford, Il. Married, with a daughter, Stasha, who is 7, she has taken to Youtube as an artistic outlet. The multi South Pacific and Australian Champion says “In the midst of turmoil, caused by the pandemic, I have found a way to hopefully bring joy to people and have fun, while growing musically. I aim to continue on my mission to promote the musical capabilities of the accordion." She now has over 500 videos, which range in style from classical, light classical, folk and traditional accordion music, pop and even heavy metal. "I am inspired by the comments and encouragement I have received. I try to take the accordion to places and genre it has never been before. I love the challenge of trying new styles of music and I don't like the idea that here in the US, we are stuck playing one style of music and expected only to play polkas. I love polkas, but there is so much more to the accordion and I love the challenge of working out suitable bass lines and arrangements." 

During the lockdown, Bernadette studied bandoneon and has several duets with herself, accompanied by the accordion, a trio with her husband, Ed and daughter, Stasha and Stasha's solo debut. "I aim to encourage her to play and feel the joy of music. I played at local concerts when I was her age.

By the time she was 15, Bernadette was the Australian National Champion and Open Age Champion of both the Australian Accordion Teachers' Association and the Accordion Society of Australia - and has since gone on to win the National Championship at both organizations.

Bernadette was born with retro-lentil fibroplasia and is legally blind. This hasn't prevented her from achieving some remarkable accomplishments. Having less than one per cent sight, Bernadette has had to memorize all of the thousands of pieces in her repertoire. She even memorized the entire score to Fiddler on the Roof, while studying for her top accordion exam.

“My goal has always been to bring the accordion to a wider audience and, for those who have already discovered the joys of accordion music, bring a fresh, new approach as we go forth into the future.”

Bernadette Conlon, who loves to perform and promote the accordion, is an inspiration to all, bringing positivity, joy and happiness with her accordion.

For further information: bernadette.zabawa@hotmail.com

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Rob Reich Quartet in Concert at Fifth Street Farms and More!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rob Reich
The Rob Reich Quartet will perform at Fifth Street Farms on Friday, May 19, 2023. Door open at 7:PM. The show begins at 7:30 PM.
Rob Reich - accordion, piano
Ben Goldberg - clarinets
Spencer Hoefert - guitar
Daniel Fabricant - bass

Join them for an intimate evening of music-making at this treasured house concert series in Berkeley, CA.
Reservations are extremely limited!

Rob Reich is an accordionist, pianist, composer, educator who has performed in concert halls, circus tents, dance clubs, and chapels. His broad experience has made him a foremost performer and composer in the San Francisco bay area.

Rob is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory with a degree in Composition. He is best known for his work with Tin Hat, Gaucho, and Circus Bella. Rob Reich has over 15 years experience providing unique, memorable music for events of all kinds: weddings, corporate parties, house concerts, backyard barbecues, etc. Rob can provide everything from solo piano or accordion, to small jazz combos, to large dance bands, and everything in between. Rob works closely with the musicians to ensure the music is of the highest quality. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Future 2023 Performances include:
MAY 3 at 6:PM: Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 5 at 6:PM: Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 7 at 3:PM: Rob Reich duo The Page 298 Divisadero St San Francisco CA 94117
MAY 7 at 6:PM: Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 10 at 6:PM Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 13 at 6:PM Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 14 at 6:PM Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 17 at 6:PM Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 18 at 6:PM Rob Reich (solo piano & accordion) Zuni Café 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
MAY 19 at 7:30 PM Rob Reich Quartet Fifth Street Farms 1517 Fifth St, Berkeley, CA 94710, United States
MAY 21 at 3:PM Rob Reich duo The Page 298 Divisadero St San Francisco CA 94117

For further information: rob@robreich.com

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Future events


ATG Final Concert, July 22: Joan Cochran Sommers & the ATG Festival Orchestra

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
ATG Poster
As a final concert to close the Festival, on July 22, 2023 at 8:PM, the Accordionists & Teacher’s Guild, International, presents the ATG Festival Accordion Orchestra, directed by Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This is a long-standing Festival activity involving accordionists from all over the USA plus other countries such as Canada, Austria and New Zealand and Australia.

Assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, the program will include classical selections, medleys from musicals and tango nuevo. This program culminates with soloist, Grayson Masefield, a New Zealand born accordionist, and the first person to win World Championships in Classical, Virtuoso and Digital accordion categories.

Grayson is currently the Instrumental Music Instructor for accordion at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and is regularly invited to perform concerts, give masterclasses and serve as an adjudicator at festivals and universities around the world. His program of classical transcriptions, original works, and nuevo tango will also include a world premiere of “Meditatio” (a meditation on the irrationality of human barbarism) from Spanish composer Gorka Hermosa, commissioned by the ATG.

For ATG information: www.atgaccordions.com

Here is a link to the Wheaton College Artist Series where all concerts can be found and tickets purchased. 
ATG is proud to be a part of the Wheaton College Artist Series: https://www.wheaton.edu/life-at-wheaton/arts/artist-series/
Festival Pricing Information and Registration: 2023ATG-Festival
To make hotel reservations: 2023ATG-HotelRegistration

MusicForAccordion.com

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in June

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
LIAC Poster
The Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration happens from June 22nd-25 2023. LIAC is a world-class accordion festival in the town of Leavenworth located in Cascade mountains of Washington State. The festival features concerts with renown performers, workshops, jam sessions, accordion competitions, accordion parade, and accordion vendors. The Northwest Accordion Society, proud sponsors of LIAC, brings people together "for the love of the accordion". 
 
2023 Featured Performers Include:

Joey Miskulin is a multiple Grammy Award winning American accordionist and producer. In a music career spanning more than six decades, Joey has collaborated with a range of artists including Frankie Yankovic, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Paul McCartney, Ricky Skaggs, U2, Shania Twain, as well as many others. He is a member of the Grammy Winning Grand Ole Opry  quartet "Riders In The Sky." 

Alicia Jo Straka (previously Alicia Baker) is a professional accordionist, singer, pianist, and composer from Portland, OR, currently residing in Denver, CO. Throughout her career, Alicia has won multiple International accordion competitions, worked as an artist for the prestigious Roland Corporation, sung leading operatic roles, and has performed at many notable venues including Carnegie Weill Hall and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. 

Andy Mirkovich studied accordion starting at the age of five. He was the featured performer at the Space Needle Restaurant in Seattle, for 11 years, and has performing experience in radio, television, movies and concerts. He has performed with or for many artists, including Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, Dick Contino, Frank Yankovich, Liberace, Burl Ives, The Vienna Boy's Choir, King Hussein of Jordan, and the King and Queen of Norway.

Lyle Schaefer and Toby Hanson are each accomplished bandleaders and accordionists in their own right.  Toby and Lyle switch off effortlessly to create a whirling flurry of notes, reminiscent of the finest accordion duos in the Cleveland-style tradition going all the way back to Yankovic and Pecon.  Die-hard polka fans and newcomers alike will both love the polka stylings of Lyle and Toby.

Creosote is the accordion duo of Jamie Maschler and Gabriel Hall-Rodrigues based out of Seattle, WA. Together they play a dynamic array of original and world music. Maschler and Rodrigues are both seasoned musicians and have individually and collectively mastered their craft of performing, composing and arranging on the accordion.  Expect to hear elegant and clever arrangements of new and old Brazilian and world music. 

Andy Gonzales and Juan Barco Singer and songwriter Juan Barco, born in Lytle, Texas, brings an enormous wealth of experience to the Tejano folk music for which he is so well-known in the Northwest and his native Texas. His songs are colored by his childhood experiences in the migrant labor camps of the South and the Midwest, his service in the military at the Army Firing Range in Yakima, his rich musical family background, and by his twenty years as a caseworker for the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services.

Max Kyllonen was raised in the Andreas Keller Restaurant in Leavenworth, WA. Having embraced the inherent Bavarian tendency to seek harder paths after years of piano accordion playing, he switched to the Alpine Style Button Box following periods of wandering through the alps. Many songs and a few pilgrimages back to visit his Bavarian Folk music teacher just north of Berchtesgaden, Bavaria later, Max can be found continuing to fan the flames of tradition at the Andreas Keller and around Leavenworth.

2023 LIAC Workshop Summary:
Workshops are $13 if paid by June 12 or $15 at Leavenworth
#1 Conjunto Music and the Button Diatonic Accordion
With Andy Gonzalez & friends
Fri 10:00am Grange/Upper

#2 Accordion Gym
With Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues
Fri 11:30am Grange/Upper

#3 How to Play Together
With Toby Hanson and Lyle Schaefer
Fri 1:00pm Grange/Upper

#4 Varying Your Performance
With Grammy Award Winner, Joey Miskulin
Fri 4:30pm Grange/Upper

#5 The Difference Between Demonstrating and Communicating with your Audience
A Master Workshop with Andy Mirkovich
Sat 10:00am Grange/Upper

#6 Ask A Teacher
Workshop with Cooksie Kramer (Kaserzon)
ABCA, LBCA, Member ABRSM Trinity College London, UK
Sat 1:30pm Grange/Upper

#7 The Art of the Musette
With Alicia Jo Straka
Sat 4:30pm Grange/Upper

Be sure to attend the FREE Sessions!
Playing in a group; performing at the gazebo
with Toby Hanson and Lyle Schaefer
Thurs 3:00 – 4:30 PM Grange/Upper

The Button Box Across the Centuries with Tom Tilton
Fri 12:30 – 1:15pm Festhalle by Button Box display

ATG Concert on July 20: UMKC Accordion Ensemble, Nikolay Bine, Das Duo Kollektiv

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
(UMKC) Community Accordion Chamber Ensemble
ATG logoDas Duo Kollektiv, Nikolay BineThe Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Festival presents the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Community Accordion Chamber Ensemble (picture above), directed by world-renowned conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers, to open the program. This year’s group, assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion, presents an interesting and musically demanding repertoire which we know will be appreciated by all audiences! 

The (UMKC) Community Accordion Chamber Ensemble will be followed by (Nikolay Bine picture lower right), of Canada, presenting an all-jazz program featuring music by contemporary French accordionists as well as well-known jazz standards. Finally, Das Duo Kollektiv (top right), from Vienna, Austria, brings a unique combination of accordion and flute music to the program. Das Duo Kollektiv has placed itself among the best innovative ensembles of classical music throughout Europe and is gaining recognition in the United States.  They bring craftsmanship and a flair for new colors, dynamics, and refined interpretations of classical music to their program shaped by their travels throughout the world.

For ATG information: www.atgaccordions.com  

Here is a link to the Wheaton College Artist Series where all concerts can be found and tickets purchased. 
ATG is proud to be a part of the Wheaton College Artist Series: https://www.wheaton.edu/life-at-wheaton/arts/artist-series/
Festival Pricing Information and Registration: 2023ATG-Festival
To make hotel reservations: 2023ATG-HotelRegistration

Voci Armoniche

Join the Rybak Europe Tour July 8-21

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Chris Rybak
Chris Rybak TourThere still are openings for the Rybak Europe Tour featuring Alpine Mountains, July 8-21, 2023. You will visit 7 European Countries within 14 days including Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland. It will be a fun and adventurous tour with parties, cruises, Slivovice and accordion music.

Come and join one of the biggest parties in Europe!

Chris Rybak and his wife, Edita, lead the tour. Excerpts from his website: Chris Rybak is a very popular accordion entertainer in Texas and can be found performing on the national and international level throughout the year. He has about 150 dates a year, about 100 of which are public shows and about 50 or more private shows for birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, weddings and other special occasions.  Combining his love of music, proud Czech heritage and magnetic personality, this "Accordion Cowboy" has what it takes to entertain audiences of all ages through his showmanship and fresh enthusiastic musical style.  Chris's shows utilize his special talents on the digital accordion along with keyboards, trumpet and his vocals.  You can book him as a "one-man show" or with his band. Chris's music includes Country & Western, Polka, Cajun, Tex-Mex, Folk, Gospel, Classical and other styles.

Some of the dates of Chris's performances include the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio, the German Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Caldwell Kolache Festival, Labor Day's Czech Fest in West, Texas, Oktoberfests in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, California and other states.  He has done NAMM shows in Austin TX, Nashville TN, and Anaheim CA, Branson MO and the Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston TX.  Chris has even taken his music shows multiple times to the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia (the homeland of his wife Edita).  Also, he has played on several cruise ships going to Alaska and the Caribbean Islands.

Chris began his love of music at the age of 8 with piano lessons and by the age of 12, developed a love for the accordion after being inspired by the members of his father's band (Leroy Rybak's Swinging Orchestra in Texas).  Chris played accordion and trumpet in his high school band and won many competitions. By the age 14, he was an often requested guest entertainer at country music shows all over Texas. Chris has been featured multiple times on various television stations, including RFD-TV and CBS News in Austin and has had several radio interviews including NPR (National Public Radio).

Chris and his wife Edita organize European Tours every year for their fans.  Since 2008, they have organized over 20 tours and brought over 1,000 people to Europe - visiting the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Vatican, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta, England, Croatia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia and Hungary. 
 
For more info on this tour, please contact:
Edita Rybak at (512) 963-6660 
Email: editarybak@hotmail.com

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

ATG Concert on July 21 with Stas Venglevski, Kevin Friedrich, and More!

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
Kevin Friedrich, Tony PayneStas VenglevskiOn Friday, July 21, 2023, the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International’s Festival continues with the presentation of the dynamic energy of Stas Venglevski (picture above right) and Nathaniel Holman as they combine the warmth of the marimba and wide range and sparkle of the bayan to create an unforgettable performance. The visual and auditory elements of these two instruments present listeners with new and exciting ways of hearing both new and classic works.

The duo will be followed by Kevin Friedrich who will be joined by Wheaton College’s own Dr. Tony Payne, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Special Programs and Artist Series at Wheaton College, on organ; Ron Dake (bass accordion) and Nathaniel Holman (percussion) in a performance of a newly commissioned work titled ‘Dargaville Impressions’ by a well-known English accordionist and composer, Ian Watson. 

The program culminates with a performance by The Polyphonia Orchestra (picture below), from the French Island of Reunion, under the direction of Pierre Varo. This is an unforgettable group that combines accordions, singers, and multiple orchestral instruments made up of young musicians from the French Island of Reunion who have shared their eclectic program from classical to pop across four continents.

For more ATG information: www.atgaccordions.com 

Here is a link to the Wheaton College Artist Series where all concerts can be found and tickets purchased. 
ATG is proud to be a part of the Wheaton College Artist Series: https://www.wheaton.edu/life-at-wheaton/arts/artist-series/
The Polyphonia Orchestra

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Dr. William Schimmel’s 2023 Seminars and More!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Bill Schimmel
Video: “Consider Yourself” First Day Rehearsal with The Encores! Orchestra | New York City Center. Hear the 21-piece Encores! Orchestra capture the infinitely hummable “Consider Yourself!” in this first playthrough of Lionel Bart’s “Oliver!” May 3 – 14, 2023 only at New York City Center. Tickets from $35. Bill Schimmel, accordionist shares, "I am proud to be part of this great orchestra."

The 2023 Accordion Seminars will be curated by Dr. William Schimmel. It is their 29th smash year sponsored by the Accordion Global Association. - AGA. Dr. Schimmel shares, “We go in a global direction - a global synthesis in a single instrument anywhere or anyplace. Welcome to the ominous side of the accordion - shadowed - mysterious - intimate - subdued - gorgeous - in the background - highlighting - classical - - out front and center - and also can be: (like new york) too surreal to love, but ….. What about the baroque aspect - or baroqueness - finding oneself in the fertile reality of some really bon merde. There is so much to explore - and even more!”

There is so much to digest - and to jest!

There is …….. yes, the built in ironic duality as Dr. Schimmel states: “Hip/square, beautiful/ugly, elegant/vulgar, old/new, classy/ain’t got no class” - never one without the other and two new ones - “terribly sad/ wonderfully hilarious” Tune into the seminars this year - with accordion philosopher, Dr. William Schimmel - and the seminar team. We will give you some really cool presentations and some wonderful hot new pieces - all premiers and some remakes - they will be great fun and make for some really good discussions

“We”ll explore the visual arts, dance, video, music theatre and concept art in the midst of this - what is the goal? as always, content on the highest level
And like the last three years - they will be virtual, July 28 29 30 2023 - Master Class 3 to 4 - Concert 4 to 5. Links will be provided prior to each day.”

$165. entire weekend:
Checks can be made to:
William Schimmel
345 E 85th st 4re
New York, NY 10028
paypal - accordionbill@gmail.com

A sample of the Master Class and Concert topics includes:
How to be your own DJ - How to play a proper Reggae - Asian Culture and Bluegrass - The Choral Dimension, AccordioFear/The Diminished Chord, The Chotscka, Unpublished Ettore - The Left Hand, too much or two little - Three Shades of blue -  Improving your technique Physically - The Classical Accordion in America - Accordio - Ranting - Pugliese (the other "Piazzolla") A soloist and orchestra in one box - The Art of Humor and it's levels - and much more to follow.

Dr William Schimmel has recently appeared with Sound Icon in Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art. Sound Icon is a group devoted to innovative new compositions.The composition was “Hyena”, composed by the Viennese Composer, Gerg Friedrich Haas with text written and performed with his wife, Molina Williams. The text deals with the writers' dealing and recovering from addiction..The piece calls for a chamber orchestra which includes a large accordion part. The performance received a 15 minute standing ovation.

Haas is noted for a genre called  "Spectral Music". Much of the writing explores extended techniques and performing in microtones giving the ensemble an electronic effect. Haas and Williams both teach at Columbia University. Haas received international fame with his 70 minute work, “In Vain”. Much of the work is performed in total darkness and can be seen and heard on Youtube. Again, the work has a large accordion part, performed by Schimmel. A major performance took place in 2010 at New York's Park Avenue Armory to an audience of a thousand plus people.

Dr. Schimmel can be seen and heard in the following new films: “The Good Fight” - Honoring Eric Bentley - “The Quantum Leap”, “Halmoni's Pot”, and “Atemis and the Astronaut” - “Hyena” (soon to be released)

Dr. Schimmel will perform in New York City’s Encore Series in “Oliver” in a two week run starting May 2 and ending May 14, 2023. The Encore Series was founded to bring back short runs of previous Broadway shows of the past both well know and not well known.

For reservations and information: accordionbill@gmail.com

PANcordion

Cotati Festival 2023 on August 19 and 20

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Cotati Poster
Get ready for the 2023 Cotati Accordion Festival! It will be at La Plaza Park, La Plaza, Cotati, CA 94931, on August 19 & 20, 2023. Make sure to attend the Cotati Accordion Festival Zydeco Dance Party. Starting at noon on Saturday, August 19th, the Zydeco Dance Party opens up at Spanky’s, adjacent to the park and our festival. There is not only dancing inside the club, but there is a lot of dancing space outside on the wide sidewalk adjacent to  the club which was full of dancers last year. On top of that, we get to start things off with the incomparable Mark St.Mary.

Mark St.Mary has been awarded the “Best Zydeco Band” by the Bay Area Blues Society and the “Delta King” never fails to bring the best in traditional Louisiana zydeco music. Mark closes out his set at 5:00 only to be followed by more dancing in the zydeco tent which starts up at 5:15 on Saturday with Iko Ya Ya and their “swamp rock and roll”. Iko Ya Ya will be mixing a lot of genres in with their zydeco and it all ends up in a stew that has everyone dancing for another couple of hours.

On Sunday the Zydeco Dance Party starts anew with the California Blue Runners at Spankys. Andrew Carriere, Haywood Douresseau, Tom Stewart, Andre Nigoghossian and David Hymowitz bring their deep Louisaniana experience to Cotati for all of us to enjoy. Once again, the party continues at 5:15 in the tent with long-time  local favorites The Wild Catahoulas creating the ultimate in an upbeat vibe and the perfect dancing environment. 

Partial List of Cotati Festival Performers:
Cory Pesaturo
Tracey Collins (New Zealand)
Elena Stenkina (Russia/New Jersey)
Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists)
Those Darn Accordions
Faleado Forro (Jamie Maschler)
Carlos Mehia Godoy (Nicaragua/Cal.)
Jet Black Pearl
Mad Maggies
Erica Mancini (New York City)
Junk Parlor
Mariposa Del Alma
Courtney Von Drehle
Hernandez Hideaway
Mike Danner
Sourdough Slim
Paper Bellows (Oregon)
Wind Weavers
Five Cent Coffee
Zla Vila
Amber Lee Baker
Barn Swallows
Juniper Djinn
Future Stars
The Steve Balich Band
Sheri Mignano
Mark St Mary
California Blue Runners
Iko Ya Ya
The Wild Catahoulas The Grand Finale…..and more to be announced.

The Cotati Accordion Festival is a non-profit organization established in 1991 to promote the love of the accordion and to support local youth service organizations. To date, they have contributed in over $500,000 to the youth of the community.

For further information: email: info@cotatifest.com
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