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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Oct-2013
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Titano Accordion Company


Note from the Guest Editor
Roland Announces 2013 US V-Accordion Festival Winner
Peter Soave performs Piazzolla
Join the spectacular Carnival of Venice in Las Vegas
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Long Island Accordion Alliance features The Amazing Accordion Kings
Marco Lo Russo Eclectic Accordion World Tour
Håvard Svendsrud to appear with Accordion Pops

Voci Armoniche

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

Joe Cerrito performs in Jazz Quartet
Julian Sutton (Melodeon) features on Sting's 'The Last Ship'.
25th Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon
Remembering an Accordion Friend 'Amy June Hatfield'
'Play Your Accordion Without Pain', New Chapter Released
Scientists Find Musicians Musicians 'have sharper minds' - Scotland
The 5th annual The Big Squeeze
Annual 'Squeeze-In' in Massachusetts

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Oktoberfest Celebration in Gilmanton, NH
Guy Klucevsek to appear at Jalopy & La Mama in New York
Accordionist Magda Giannikou and Banda Magda
200 plus Accordionists in Minot, ND
The Pine Leaf Boys in Concert
The Mahones release new CD "Angels & Devils"
USA to Represent at IMC-UNESCO Conference
Lower East Side Accordion Arkestra in New York
AJ Castillo in Concert
Le Vent du Nord in Minnesota
William (Bill) Cosby to appear at West Virginia Accordion Concert
Those Darn Accordions at Mystic Lake Casino
Leonard "Skeets" Langley brings Oktoberfest Joy
Cory Pesaturo and Zulu Time
Alex Meixner keeps busy October Schedule
Celebrate Accordion Day in November
Milwaukee Accordion Club to feature Honky Tonkitis
American Accordion Musicological Society 2014 Festival

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Kevin Friedrich



Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Note from the Guest Editor

by Kevin Friedrich
Kevin FriedrichWe are so sorry to inform readers that after a fairytale marriage just four months ago, Rita Barnea (Editor of the United States National Accordion News) has sadly lost her new husband and love of her life Asher, who tragically passed away after a very short battle with cancer, a disease that had unknowingly spread throughout his body.

It was only a few weeks ago, that Rita and her late husband Asher were in attendance at the 75th Anniversary of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA), where Rita had the great pleasure of proudly introducing her new husband to many of her accordion family and friends. After she recently moved to Florida to begin her new life with Asher, it is almost unimaginable that such tragedy has struck.

On behalf of all the accordion world and the many friends from around the globe that Rita has made during her years as editor of the United States National Accordion News, we offer our sincerest condolences, as she copes with this incredibly sad time in her life.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Rita at:

Rita Barnea
9858 Glades Road, #229
Boca Raton, Florida 33434

It is my great pleasure to help my dear friend Rita out this month by "Guest Editing' the October edition of the US News. I had the honor of inaugurating the US National Accordion News 'last century' in December 1999, and producing it monthly for 10 years. As my commitments with various accordion activities changed over the years, I was thrilled when Rita was able to take on this big task for me. During her term as Editor, she has not only excelled in her role, but she has taken this monthly publication to new heights, working tirelessly to promote accordionists and accordion events across the United States.

I enjoy joining the tens of thousands of viewers each month, as I read about the varied and interesting array of accordion activities taking place from coast to coast.

We look forward to welcoming Rita back in November when she will resume her position, as she celebrates the completion of her 5th Anniversary as Editor.

Once again, my sincerest sympathies to Rita during this most difficult and sad time.

Kevin Friedrich, Guest Editor

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

Roland Announces 2013 US V-Accordion Festival Winner

by Roland USA
Video: Roland Corp. U.S. Qualifications. The three finalists were:
Sergei Teleshev, Joe Natoli and Cory Pesaturo.

Los Angeles, CA, September 20, 2013 - Roland Corporation U.S. is pleased to announce that Sergei Teleshev of Eugene, Oregon is the winner of the 2013 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival. The talent showcased by this year’s contestants was strong, and Roland applauds all who participated. As the U.S. Champion, Sergei advances to compete with regional winners from around the world during the 7th Roland International V-Accordion Festival, taking place in Italy on October 19, 2013. Sergei also received two prizes: a new FR-8x, Roland’s latest flagship V-Accordion, and a trip to the International festival in Rome.

Accordionist and 2009 U.S V-Accordion Festival winner Alicia Baker was one of this year’s U.S. judges and called Sergei to share the good news with him. “I was so honored to be the person to tell Sergei he’d won. I remember how inspired I was, and delivering that same good news to him was extremely cool,” said Alicia.

U.S. contestants entered the contest one of two ways: YouTube® video submission or participation within the 66th Coupe Mondiale. Both amateurs and professionals were eligible and encouraged to participate. Audition videos were accepted online this summer for the U.S. “pre-selection round,” and entrants performed on either an acoustic or digital accordion during this round. U.S. contestants chosen from the top U.S. video submissions and the top-placing U.S. contestants at the Coupe Mondiale then advanced into the “final selection round.” $300 individual scholarships were also awarded to the top U.S. contestants at the Coupe.

Since stakes were much higher during the “final selection round,” the U.S. finalists were loaned V-Accordions and required to use the instrument exclusively during this round. Roland V-Accordions combine the familiar nuances of a traditional accordion with the versatility of a modern digital musical instrument and faster response, higher sensitivity and precision.

With the growing number of accordion enthusiasts in the U.S. and around the world, competing in this one-of-a-kind annual event sponsored by Roland gives unique musicians a chance to share their music across borders. Pictured below is winner Sergei Teleshev from Eugene, OR.
Sergei Teleshev

Titano Accordion Company

Peter Soave performs Piazzolla

by Kevin Friedrich
Peter and Mady SoaveWorld Champion accordionist Peter Soave will perform several concerts in the USA and Canada in October.

He opens his October schedule performing with the Midland Symphony Orchestra, in Midland, MI on October 5th as part of the orchestra's opening night. The Midland Symphony Orchesta is comprised of professional musicians from throughout the state providing Mid Michigan with excellence in Symphonic music since 1936. Peter will perform Astor Piazzolla's Aconcagua, Concerto for Bandoneón.

Moving to Canada, he will then perform with the Palm Court Symphony Orchestra and the DieMahler Chamber Ensemble. In addition to his Canadian performances, he will also present Master Class and Private Lesson opportunities while in residence in Victoria, BC.

The concerts with the Palm Court Orchestra, titled 'Flying Down to Rio' with Peter as soloist, will take listeners on a journey to Latin America. The concert program includes: The Golden Tango (Silvester); Estrellita (Ponce); Peanut Vendor (Simons); Milonga, Song of Elizabeth, and Angela (Romero); El Choclo (Villolda); Cinema Paradiso (Morricone) ; Jealousy (Gade); El Relicario (Padilla); The Girl from Ipanema and Desafinado (Jobim); Brazil (Barroso); Selections: West Side Story (Bernstein); Ave Maria, Oblivion, and Libertango (Piazzolla).

Recognized worldwide as one of the foremost masters of the concert accordion, Peter has established himself as one of the leading soloists of his generation. The hallmark of his performances is his unique combination of commanding stage presence and the excitement of his vibrant virtuosity.

Of Italian descent, he has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony. He has also performed with "Three Tenors," and appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Joining Peter for his Master Class and Private Lesson sessions will be his wife, Madeleine Soave. Madeleine is internationally renowned professional accordion teacher and musical artist, offers world‐class lessons in person and through Skype.

Mady has won many awards, including the prestigious Astor Piazzolla Prize in Italy (1994 and 1995), organized by Piazzolla's longtime producer/manager Aldo Pagani. Since 1995, Mady has worked closely with Aldo Pagani in the presentation of Piazzolla's music.

Together with her husband Peter, the couple offer artistically enriching and inspiring annual musician workshop retreats at their highly popular Peter Soave Music Academy in the Italian Alps.

Peter's October appearances are as follows:

Peter Soave with the Midland Symphony Orchestra
October 5, Midland, MI 8:00 pm
Midland Center for the Arts
1801 W. St. Andrews Rd. Midland, MI
Phone: 989-631-5930

Peter Soave with the Palm Court Orchestra
October 19, Victoria 7:30 pm
October 20, Duncan 2:30 pm
October 22, Sidney 2:30 pm
Info: or call (250) 748-9964

Peter Soave with the DieMahler Chamber Ensemble
October 26 (Victoria) 2:30 pm
St. Mary the Virgin Church
1701 Elgin Road, Oak Bay
Tickets at the McPherson Box Office (250-386-6121)

Peter and Madeleine Soave Master Classes and Private Lessons
October 24 - 26 (Victoria)
45 minutes duration, all levels from beginners to professionals welcome.
Booking: 250‐721‐1101

For all other information about Peter Soave, please visit

Voci Armoniche

Join the spectacular Carnival of Venice in Las Vegas

by Kevin Friedrich
Joey MiskulinThe upcoming Las Vegas International Accordion Convention will feature four fun filled nights with two Themed nights with prizes at this year’s event! Held at the Gold Coast Hotel from October 28-31st, 2013, the event stars Joey Miskulin (pictured right), Gee Rabe, Dick Contino, Stas Venglevski and Jeff Lisenby. Guest artists also include Peter and Mady Soave, Mary Tokarki, Gordon Kohl, Gina Brannelli, Liz Finch, Pete Barbutti and many more. If you would like some hands-on experience, attendees are invited to participate in the 6th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra conducted by Professor Joan C. Sommers.

Wednesday evening, October 30, will feature the Venetian Costume Party in the Italian Venetian tradition! Attendees are invited to plan their attire accordingly, as prizes will be awarded for the best costume! Thursday, to continue the celebration, will be the fancy Gala dress night. Winners of the Accordion Star Search will be announced, and featured in concert. The evening will come to a spectacular Italian crescendo with the performance of the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of Joan C. Sommers!

Among the many featured guests this year will be Hall of Fame accordionist & Grammy Award-winning Producer Joey Miskulin. Joey is a true legend whose career has spanned more than four decades. Joey has collaborated and performed with Paul McCartney, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Williams, John Denver, Ricky Van Shelton, Emmylou Harris, and many others.

Joey’s legendary music history starts at age four when he picked up a 12-bass accordion and began playing simple melodies. At five, he began formal music training, and at ten, Joey was performing publicly. At eleven he joined the Ronnie Lee Band, and at age twelve he made his first record album with Chicago’s Roman Possedi. At thirteen, Joey met and began performing with “America's Polka King," Frank Yankovic, thus beginning an association lasting over 35 years. Yankovic, who had a contract with Columbia Records,took a chance insisting that Joey be allowed to record with the band. "It was that first recording session with Frank that made up my mind. I wanted to make music my career." During this period he met many of the biggest names in the music world, all of whom encouraged the young lad to pursue his musical dream.

At nineteen, Joey left Yankovic to tour with the Hawaii Internationale Revue, entertaining throughout Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Okinawa. A call from Yankovic brought Joey back to the band where he recorded five albums for RCA Records. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, Joey’s reputation as a studio musician and producer grew. He recorded with celebrities such as Andy Williams, Doc Severenson and Charlie Daniels, as well as with many bands throughout the U.S., Canada & Europe. In 1985 Joey produced the first record to win a polka Grammy: "70 Years Of Hits" with Frank Yankovic.

Since moving to Nashville in 1987, his recording projects included U2, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, Alison Krause, Hank Williams Jr., John Prine, Alabama, Garth Brooks, and Emmylou Harris, to name a few. After recording and becoming a regular on NPR’s "Rider’s Radio Theater," he became a member of Riders In The Sky. He produced their multiple Grammy-award winning recordings and performed an average of 185 shows each year, including the"Grand Ole Opry." In addition, he oversees other studio and production projects as a respected and soughtafter member of the music industry community.

Some of Joey's movie projects include writing, producing, and/or performing songs appearing in Disney's "The Wild", Disney/Pixar's "Cars", "Rattle and Hum" with U2, and Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story 2". We’re thrilled to have Joey with us performing, teaching, and as the recipient of the 2013 Honorary Directors Award! Come join this once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate and be a part of hearing and learning
from the legendary Joey Miskulin!

For full details of this exciting annual Las Vegas event, please visit for the latest guest artists, registration and contact information.

Accordion Jazz Chords

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

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

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

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

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

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


Long Island Accordion Alliance features The Amazing Accordion Kings

by Kevin Friedrich
The Amazing Accordion KingsThe Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) sponsored by La Villini Restaurant presents an evening of accordion music with featured guest artists “The Amazing Accordion Kings” on Wednesday October 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM.

The Amazing Accordion Kings comprises three outstanding and popular accordionists including Angelo Di Pippo, Frank Toscano and Manny Corallo. Combining the magic of three diverse and expert accordionists, The Amazing Accordion Kings are just that, 'amazing'.

Angelo Di Pippo has played accordion since the age of eight years old and is a graduate of Holy Cross College with a Master’s degree from C.W. Post College and an honorary Doctorate from Five Towns College. Angelo has played in thousands of recording sessions. Over the years Angelo has recorded and concretized with score of famous such as artists as: Peggy Lee, Harry Belefonte, Debbie Reynolds, Frankie Avalon to name a few. has also appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Regis Philbin Show and many more too numerous to mention.

Besides being voted by Keyboard Magazine “best accordionist in America”, Angelo has appeared in many movies where he can be seen and heard in films such as the wedding scene in the Godfather. He has also played in several Broadway productions. Angelo is an accomplished arranger and conductor and for over twenty years has conducted and arranged for the eminent Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert Merrill. Today Angelo is actively arranging and performing New York.

Frank Toscano has made music his entire life. For more than 47 years Frank has been a music educator and professional musician. For over four decades Frank has headed the “Frank Toscano School of Music” Born and raised in New York, Frank came from an Italian family who valued the idea of music being played in the house constantly. Without a choice from his father, Frank took lessons on the Accordion under the direction of Emilio Chiesa and never dreamed that it would became the passion of his life! Frank’s passion is both education and performing. Frank is an accomplished pianist, accordionist and jazz musician who has performed with many artists. He can be heard on many recordings of other artists too numerous to mention. You can hear Frank's arranging/performing on his the his recording “Accordion to Frank” as well as Accordion Kings & Accordion Kings Volume 2.

Composer, arranger and music editor Manny Corallo started at age four playing the drums and soon switched to the accordion. Manny took lessons from his father’s accordion teacher, Frank Toscano! As Manny says, it was at first a father-son bonding things but soon Manny had a lifelong love affair with music. At age 13 he also began piano lessons with Frank and has gone on to compose and arrange music, first for commercials and then he began arranging for various artists. Manny then had a chance to score a children’s cartoon, which led him to scoring music for the movie Pokemon. Manny has gone on to score and arrange music for many projects including recordings and live productions. Manny attributes his success to a great music education from Frank Toscano and is very proud of his musical relationship with Frank and Angelo as the Accordion Kings.

La Villini Restaurant is located at 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731. Please call (631) 261–6344 for reservations.

The next Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) will take place on November 6th and will feature the great Paddy Noonan!

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

Marco Lo Russo Eclectic Accordion World Tour

by Kevin Friedrich
Marco Lo RussoInternationally acclaimed accordionist, composer, and recording artist Marco Lo Russo continues his 2013 Eclectic Accordion World Tour in the USA and Canada this month.

New York City sets the stage for Marco at Universal Studios, and several engagements in Manhattan performing with Julio Botti, saxophonist and 2013 Latin American Grammy Nominee, and Diane Cameron from Atlanta.

In Canada Marco will be performing for several Fiddich Productions including the Tango Project - in collaboration with painter Peter G. Goral, and Stretch & Breathe - a collaboration of modern accordion and modern dance with Canadian-based Saral Felschow.

Over the past 25 years, Marco Lo Russo has emerged as an internationally acclaimed and extraordinary accordionist, concert musician, composer, arranger, professor, conductor and musicologist. Marco is internationally regarded as one of the leading contemporary Italian musicians. Eclectic, diverse and extremely fond of diverse multi-ethnic and contemporary sound and rhythm, he has received top reviews by critics and continues to collaborate and innovate with top international talent including Ennio Morricone, Nicola Piovani, and Leo Brouwer amongst others.

Marco worked in collaboration with Nicola Piovani (an Academy Awards winner) on the soundtrack of the movie “Life Is Beautiful/La Vita e Bella” starring Roberto Benigni as well as collaborating with Leo Brouwer in Cuba, and delivering outstanding performances at Chiara Civello (Festival di Sanremo 2012), Dulce Pontes, and In-Grid (Europe) to name a few. He has also performed as a soloist in the USA, Europe, Canada, Cuba, and throughout Latin America including performances at some of the most prestigious theaters, festivals, international clubs (including Blue Note) and various international cultural events including the Rome National Opera Theatre, and World Vision for Pope Benedict XVI.

Some of Marco's guest appearances have been:

• Rome National Theatre of Opera
• Radio RAI • Radio Vaticana • InBlu/TV 2000 • Palcoscenico – Rai2 TV,
• Italia Rai –Rai International TV,
• Stella – Sky TV, • 42.12 Mediterraneo d’Europa - TV2000 (more than 200 television episodes
• La Bibbia Giorno e Notte – Rai EDU TV and Rai1 TV (worldwide broadcast from Rome)
• Al Centro della Vita – Rai1 at the XXV National Eucharistic Congress
• International TV channels in USA, Cuba, Canada, France, Kosovo, and Switzerland.

Upcoming performances include:

October 16, Marco Lo Russo LIVE with Julio Botti @ SOMETHIN Jazz Club, NYC
October 19, Universal Studios New York City - Montreux Jazz Fesitval Tribute
October 21, Marco Lo Russo LIVE at NuBlu with Julio Botti, Saxophonist
October 22, Marco Lo Russo Live at NuBlu Jazz Club NYC with Diane Cameron Elam
October 25, Homage to Sardinia - Montreal

For more information, please visit
Marco Lo Russo

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Håvard Svendsrud to appear with Accordion Pops

by Kevin Friedrich
Håvard SvendsrudThe Accordion Pops Orchestra (APO) under the direction of conductor Al Terzo will perform at Kean University, "Wilkins Theatre" 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM. The concert will feature performances by the orchestra as well as guest soloist Håvard Svendsrud from Norway.

The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970, when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey. Over the next ten years it performed at various community functions throughout the state under the direction of its first conductor, Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.

In 1980 the orchestra members took a leave of absence, but four years later the membership was reorganized under the direction of the late Eugene Ettore of Livingston, New Jersey. In 1985, Daniel Desiderio was invited to act as a guest conductor of the orchestra and a few years later the A.T.A. of NJ appointed him as conductor in residence. The name of the orchestra was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra and its membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Maestro Desiderio retired as conductor in May 2011 and turned over the baton to Al Terzo.

Most of the twenty-five plus members of the orchestra are professional musicians or teachers. Many are soloists in their own right. The orchestra performs a repertoire of light classical, Broadway, big band and popular music. It has entertained audiences at concert halls, county fairs, festivals, schools, and playhouses at many locations primarily in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Guest soloist for the concert, Håvard Svendsrud (Norway) studied music at the Barratt Dues Institute of Music in Oslo with the accordion as main instrument. He lives in Oslo and is a professional freelance musician with both a classical and traditional repertoire.He won in several categories in the Norwegian Accordion Championship in 1992, 1993 and 1994. He also won the Nordic final of Frosini Grand Prix in 1993.

He was one of the engaged artists at Oslo city’s 1000-year jubilee, giving a separate concert August 12th, 2000. He has been soloist with different orchestras including the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and The Norwegian Army Band.

Håvard Svendsrud was appointed ”Cultural Ambassador” for the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, involving a long-term commitment in Venezuela in 1995. He has also performed in the USA, Iceland, Finland, The Czech Republic, Italy, England and Scandinavia. Many of his concerts have been supported by Fund for performing artists, Arts Council Norway and Music Information Centre Norway / Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information about the concert and the APO:

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

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

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Joe Cerrito performs in Jazz Quartet

by Kevin Friedrich
joe cerrito
joe cerritoThe Connecticut Accordion Association featured renowned Jazz accordionist Joe Cerrito in concert at their recent gathering on Sunday, September 29th, 2013. Joe was joined by fellow Jazz musicians Ralph Corbo on bass, Mitchell Guido on sax and Mike Rasimas on drums.

Joe Cerrito began studying accordion at age 12 with Joseph Petteruit and then with Joseph Biviano and also Bob Wilbur. He began playing small jobs at age 14 and has played professionally since. Joe was a member of the 1st Army Jazz Band directed by Claude Thornhill and also played in the 56th Army Band while in Korea. Throughout his career, he backed up greats such as Sarah Vaughn , Steve Allen, Harry Belafonte, Bob Wilbur and most recently, Dick Hyman.

Joe owned his own music studio "Cerrito School of Music" from 1955 until 1997. The studio was very active in AAA and ATAM contests. Joe still teaches a few students in his home. He appeared in the movie "True Lies" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a member for he 17 piece orchestra and accordion soloist as well as numerous television programs and radio performances over the years. He has performed many jazz concerts with the renowned Tony Dannon. Joe released a recording titled 'Dedication" in the early 1990's with his trio and quartet. Tony Dannon and Joe also recorded a Jazz CD entitled "Jam Session" in the 1990's.

Spending the winter months in Sarasota, Florida, Joe performs weekly at various restaurants in the Sarasota, Venice area as well as theatre in the Sarasota Opera House and the Asolo Rep Theatre. He has performed at the Ringling Museum and at various other restaurants and house parties while in Florida. he is still very active performing in clubs, restaurants, house parties, and doing seminars and concerts for accordion clubs in the New England and Florida area.

His most recent publications are a recording "Ave Maria and Popular Accordion Solos" and a book of "Modern Accordion Arrangements" with accompanying CD.

Joe is currently preparing his personal website, which will have information on ordering his music and CD's, meanwhile further information is available by contacting Joe at:

The following article 'Drummer Gets Squeezed' appeared in the Republican-American on September 20, 2013, and was reproduced with permission by the author Brynn Mandel. To contact the newspaper: Republican-American, 389 Meadow St., P.O. Box 2090, Waterbury, CT 06722-2090. Phone: (203) 574-3636 or Toll-free: (800) 992-3232.

Titano Accordion Company

Julian Sutton (Melodeon) features on Sting's 'The Last Ship'.

by Kevin Friedrich
Sting and Julian SuttonA new musical 'The Last Ship' will soon sail onto a Broadway stage after a stop in Chicago. Producers announced that the show, inspired by Sting's memories of growing up in a shipbuilding community in northeast England, will appear on Broadway in the fall of 2014 after it makes its world premiere next summer at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre.

The musical has a story by 'Red' playwright John Logan and 'Next to Normal' writer Brian Yorkey. It will be directed by Joe Mantello, who directed Wicked and have choreography by Steven Hoggett, who did the same for Once.

The move comes amid a surge in singer-songwriters from the worlds of pop and rock aiming for theater stages. Sting is joining a list that includes Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Edie Brickell, David Byrne, Fatboy Slim, Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello.

The Last Ship will come on the heels of Sting's wife Trudie Styler's off-Broadway debut as actress and producer. She will star as the fading actress Irina Arkadina in an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull at the Culture Project.

Sting, a 16-time Grammy Award winner and former lead singer of The Police who was born in Newcastle, has just released his latest album called The Last Ship, inspired by the forthcoming musical.

The Last Ship is the eleventh studio album by English musician Sting, released on 24 September 2013. It is his first release of original material since his 2003 album Sacred Love.

It's a collection of songs for the original play about the destruction of the shipping industry in Newcastle, the English port city where he grew up, as well as a meditation on mortality, community and fatherhood. It will explore the themes of homecoming and self-discovery, drawing upon Sting's memories of growing up, and reminiscing universal truths – the complexity of relationships, the passage of time and the importance of family and community.

The album features guest artists with roots in the northeast of England, including Brian Johnson from AC/DC, Jimmy Nail, The Unthanks, The Wilson Family and Kathryn Tickell and melodeon artist Julian Sutton, who features throughout the album.

Brought up in the well-known musical hotbed of Newcastle upon Tyne, Julian has been playing melodeon for longer than he cares to remember. He is probably best known for playing in a band with the renowned Northumbrian piper and composer Kathryn Tickell, with whom he has been working since 1998. He also has a growing reputation as a fairly decent accompanist of traditional song, having recorded and performed with amongst others Scottish singer and songwriter Karine Polwart, The Unthanks, Nuala Kennedy, and multi-award winning Barnsley songstress Kate Rusby.

From time to time Julian steps out of his comfort zone in order to work with musicians from beyond the folk sphere. Recent projects have involved performing alongside classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie, jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard, Norwegian brass legends the Brazz Brothers and Anglo-Indian tabla master Juljit Bhamra. his most exciting music adventure to date has been recording with fellow Geordie and celebrated musician Sting for the project 'If On a Winter's Night' and now 'The Last Ship'.

Other on-going musical adventures include The Auvo Quartet (an Anglo-Finnish group rotted in traditional music with a wide range of other influences), the Wendigo (with Stephen Tyler and Anne-Marie Summers of medieval music duo Misericordia) and most recently a duo with French bagpiper Fabrice Besson, playing new compositions influenced by English and French traditional music. He current teaches at The Sage Gateshead Music Education Center.
Julian Sutton, Melodeon

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

25th Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon

by Harley Jones
Carrefour logo
The 25th Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon took place from August 29th to September 2nd in Montmagny, Quebec. The sun shone, large numbers attended, and the event was like a reunion of accordion friends from many places. The festival was visited by spectators from as far away as Estonia!

There was a festive atmosphere, public places were crowded, and on some occasions it was necessary to add extra seating for indoor concerts. Two concerts were held, for the first time, at the Accordion Museum.

The audiences responded enthusiastically to the quality and the great variety of music on offer. Artists included international stars such as Jérôme Richard (France), Pietro Adragna (Italy), the highly accomplished Paris Moscou Duo (picture left, France), concertina virtuoso Alistair Anderson (England), Gary Blair (Scotland), Hector Del Curto Trio (Argentina), Michèle Boudet and Diego Serrano (France), Vladimir Dennissenkov (Russia), diatonic accordion wizard Roberto Lucanero (Italy) and the Irish traditional music trio John Whelan, Haley Richardson and Paddy Keenan (Ireland/USA).

Canadian guests were well represented by Accordeons, Brabec et Rumpel, Marie-Jeanne Brousseau and Jérémie Roy, Clément Bérubé, Alexandre B. Caron, Club Carrefour, Keven Desrosiers, and many more.

The Carrefour Mondial de l’Accordeon is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to showcase the accordion in its many forms and across genres.

For further information on this or upcoming festivals, please e-mail:
Roberto Lucanero,  Jérôme Richard and Alistair Anderson

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Remembering an Accordion Friend 'Amy June Hatfield'

by Kevin Friedrich
UMKC Accordion Ensemble
Amy June HatfieldRecently, members of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra gathered in Thayer, KS to pay a musical tribute to their cherished friend and accordionist Amy June Hatfield (1965-2013.)

Amy June Hatfield, 47, of Thayer, Kansas, passed away September 7, 2013 in Houston, Texas. She was born September 29, 1965, in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Carol June Marsh Hatfield and Garcell 'Buddy' Hatfield. On March 2, 1998 she was united in marriage to Robert Daniel Hayes, however they later divorced.

Amy graduated high school from Bishop O'Hara High School in 1983, and later from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she completed her BM in Accordion Performance with a minor in Psychology. She worked as a paralegal in Kansas City, Missouri and Houston, Texas. She was a volunteer girls basketball coach at St. Regis Grade School for 15 years and was an official basketball referee. She was very active with her two young children Kaley and Ryan in home schooling, Boy Scouts, basketball, soccer and 4-H activities.

Amy was a long time and valued member of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, having joined the group at the young age of 11 years old! She performed in concert with them throughout the United States as well as on many overseas concert tours. Her most recent appearance was with the UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble in concert at the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) festival in Chicago in July, 2013. She competed in many national accordion competitions winning her age categories in solo and also in duet, when she won the US Open Duet title with her duet partner Brett Gibson. Amy played both piano accordion and C system chromatic accordion with ease. Amy had recently lost both of her instruments when a fire destroyed her family home, however she felt extremely fortunate that none of her family where hurt. She secured another instrument and continued her love of music, performing in the UMKC Orchestra and at other functions, including a moving performance at her own father's funeral.

It was at the recent ATG Festival in Chicago, and the lead up during rehearsals, that Amy noticed some pain in her back and neck areas but attributed it to a recent car accident. Upon her return home after the performance with the UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble, she eventually spent several days in the KU Medical Center in Kansas City where she underwent many medical tests, and incredibly, was diagnosed with cancer in many parts of her body.

Amy is survived by her daughter, Kaley Irene Hatfield-Hayes, 12, her son, Ryan Allen Hatfield-Hayes, 11; (who will live with their father Dan in Texas) her mother, Carol June Hatfield of Thayer, her brother, Raymond Hatfield of Kansas City, Missouri and her significant other, Joe Showalter, to whom she had a lifetime commitment. Amy encouraged her children to share the joys of music, with her daughter Kaley playing guitar and her son Ryan playing violin.

Her father, Garcell 'Buddy' Hatfield and her brother Michael Wayne Riggs preceded her in death.

In a celebration of Amy's life, 10 members of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra from New York to Oregon and California joined together to provide the music for her funeral service which was held at the Thayer United Methodist Church, 203 N. Okmulgee, Thayer, Kansas, on Tuesday, September 17, at 2:00 PM.

As with many such occasions, although quite somber, humorous moments also come to light. The Reverend conducting Amy's Funeral, Reverend Myron D. Stover, spoke of her delightful spirit and personality. Much to everyone's amusement, and obviously everyone in attendance at the funeral knew her quite well, he mentioned her trait of arriving 'just in time'. He said he could judge the start time of his weekly service by Amy's arrival. Just a minute before the service was to start, he could set his clock by looking up and seeing Amy walking in, full of life with coffee in hand.

As you can see in the words below, this aspect of her personality was reflected in the words of her teacher Joan Cochran Sommers.

Sept. 17, 2013
remarks by Joan Cochran Sommers, Amy’s accordion teacher

Amy’s mother, Carol, asked me to say a few words about her daughter. Amy June Hatfield came to me for accordion lessons at the age of 11 after having begun the study of the accordion with another teacher in the greater Kansas City area. Her mother told me that Amy was playing pretty much by ear rather than reading the notes on the music page, something which I soon found out. I honestly cannot remember exactly what took place after that discovery; however, I suspect it became my duty to encourage, cajole, and even use some trickery to convince this talented young lady that she absolutely had to learn to read and to do this without being discouraging in any manner. After all, it is indeed important for any musician to be able to use their ears to great advantage, too, as well as to read the printed music. Carol told me that Amy made her first accordion orchestra trip soon after that to a competition in Los Angeles where she played in the group as well as entering in a solo competition. Thus began many years of traveling in both the USA and Europe to various music festivals, competitions, and on orchestra concert tours.

The most recent of these appearances took place less than two months ago on July 18 when she playing a a sextet along beside four of her fellow former UMKC students and me, their teacher. She also played in a couple of large accordion orchestras two nights later. Needless to say, Amy contributed greatly to each of these performances, just as she always had throughout the years, both as a young person and as an adult.

I had to laugh out loud when Carol wrote something to us about how Amy used to come to this very church on Sunday morning, being somewhat tardy perhaps and carrying a coffee cup with a small demi-tasse spoon in it, and looking beautiful, perhaps in a long flowing dress and heels. Yes, that indeed could have been Amy! I guess we really don’t know how each of us has an internal clock which either keeps us ahead of time, on time, or even a bit behind the time which is on our schedule to be someplace. But, with Amy, I can tell you that her internal clock was set just a wee bit on the slow side; she always made it, but it was often just by a hair! I can remember standing in my Conservatory studio teaching room and waiting … well, perhaps waiting and waiting . . . for this young college student to park her car and arrive to take her weekly private lesson with me. It was touch and go sometimes, but she usually made it.

And several of us in this group of accordionists here today remember well the times when our large UMKC Accordion Orchestra would perform on the very popular American Family Christmas Concerts in White Recital Hall. Amy normally sat to my immediate right and to get to that chair she often either had to squeeze in and around the other members of the orchestra or she had to get there early…and, believe me, that just wasn’t in the cards. We were on a stage down in a pit in front of the regular stage and we had to get into the pit and onto our assigned positions before the doors were locked as a safety measure before we would begin our short hydraulic trip up to just a few inches below the regular floor of the stage. So it was absolutely necessary for everyone to be seated and ready to take that short ride up. Amy never missed a performance! But I must admit she gave some of us, particularly me, a few minor heart attacks until she actually sat down in her very important chair in the orchestra.

I say “very important chair.” Well, every chair is important, of course, but some people who occupy those chairs are leaders while others tend to more of the follower types. Amy, without a doubt, was a leader in her section. She was an excellent sight reader, as well as being one who knew how to play with all the proper rhythms, and with the expression and dynamics required of a fine musician. She used her innate musical abilities to the fullest extent.

I knew Amy a very long time as a student and fellow musician and always as a good friend. I didn’t know that she would turn into such a wonderful mother of two sweet, friendly, warmhearted young children; I didn’t know she would home-school them, see to it they had music lessons, learn to ride horses, play basketball, use computers, or become the fine young people they are today. Amy was a good person and she did her best for her friends and family. All of us who have played music alongside her over all these years will miss her forever. She will always be remembered as our good friend, a beautiful young woman who graced us with her presence and numerous abilities for a long time…just not long enough.

We will always love Amy June Hatfield.

The members of the UMKC Ensemble comprised Joan Cochran Sommers, Catherine E. Sommers Tiritoglu, Kevin L. Friedrich, Liz Finch, Michele Boddicker Scheffler, Joyce Davis, Betty Jo Simon, Cathy Sue Weiss, Julia Cortinas and Ron Barrow. Their musical offerings were as follows:

-Forgive us, Lord (Pomiluy nas, Gospodi) by A. Archangelsky, arr. by Ed de Boer
-Evening Prayer (from “Hansel & Gretel”) by Engelbert Humperdinck, arr. Anthony Galla-Rini
-Pastorale (from “Six Preludes, Op. 38”) by Paul Creston, arr. by Alfred Mayer
-Once in Love with Amy by Frank Loesser, arr. by Liz Finch in Loving Memory of Amy
-Awakening of Spring (Romance) by Carl Philipp E. Bach, arr. by Anthony Galla-Rini
-The Last Spring, Op. 34 by Edvard Grieg, arr. Anthony Galla-Rini

-How Great Thou Art arr. Anthony Galla-Rini, performed by Betty Jo Simon (solo)
NB: Amy performed this at her father's funeral

Interment was held at the Thayer Cemetery. Cards of sympathy may be sent to her mother, Carol Hatfield, 111 N. Julia Street, Thayer, KS 66776 and Memorial Contributions may be made to her children's college funds c/o Bill Hensley, Edward Jones, P.O. Box 922, Chanute, Kansas, 66720.
UMKC Accordion Orchestra

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

'Play Your Accordion Without Pain', New Chapter Released

by Harley Jones
John Bonica PT CMP NZRPJohn Bonica (PT CMP NZRP) has released the 6th and 7th chapters of his book 'Play Your Accordion Without Pain'. An e-book, readers can enjoy the convenience of having the chapters e-mailed in Acrobat .pdf format.

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

Chapter 1 - An Overview
Chapter 2 - Learning to Read Your Body’s Signals
Chapter 3 - Neck and Neck-Related Symptoms
Chapter 4 - The Shoulder
Chapter 5 - The Amazing Brain and What It Does For You
Chapter 6 - The Elbow
Chapter 7 - The Great Accordion Myth Uncovered

This latest chapter stresses the importance of choosing the right accordion and the factors you must consider carefully in order to protect yourself from potential injury by buying an accordion that is inappropriate for your body type or age, or mechanically unsound, heavy or out of balance. This is important and most interesting information for those considering purchasing an accordion.

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

For more information, and to purchase the e-book: John Bonica

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Scientists Find Musicians Musicians 'have sharper minds' - Scotland

by Harley Jones
Research scientist Ines JentzschIn an article published by the Press Association, Scientists found that playing a musical instrument helps fight mental decline.

"Playing a musical instrument could help protect against mental decline through age or illness, according to a new study. Musicians have sharper minds and are able to pick up and correct mistakes quicker than non-musicians, researchers at St Andrews University found.

They measured the behavioral and brain responses of amateur musicians compared with non-musicians when performing simple mental tasks. The results showed that playing a musical instrument, even at moderate levels, improves a person's ability to detect errors and adjust responses more effectively. Musicians also responded faster than those with little or no musical training, with no loss in accuracy, the study found.

The research was led by psychologist Ines Jentzsch, a reader in the University's School of Psychology and Neuroscience. "Our study shows that even moderate levels of musical activity can benefit brain functioning," she said. "Our findings could have important implications as the processes involved are amongst the first to be affected by ageing, as well as a number of mental illnesses such as depression. "The research suggests that musical activity could be used as an effective intervention to slow, stop or even reverse age or illness-related decline in mental functioning."

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychologia, builds on previous work showing the benefits of musical activity on mental and physical well-being. Pianist Dr. Jentzsch said: "Musical activity cannot only immensely enrich our lives but the associated benefits for our physical and mental functioning could be even more far-reaching than proposed in our and previous research."

For more information on the author and a link to the complete article, please visit:

Titano Accordion Company

The 5th annual The Big Squeeze

by Rob Howard
The 5th annual The Big Squeeze festival took place on Sunday September 29th in Costa Mesa, CA. The festival featured a variety of accordion based bands and soloists performing everything from Jazz and Blues, Rhythm and Funk, to Cajun and Tex- Mex, to Latin and Tango.

Featured bands included Grammy nominated Lisa Haley & the Zydekats, featuring accordionist Gee Rabe, who also performed with Porterhouse Bob and Down to the Bone, an eight piece New Orleans influenced funk and rhythm and blues group. In addition to playing, Rabe also offered a free lesson workshop for amateur diatonic button and piano accordion players. Rabe was joined by Otono Lujan, also a teacher and accordionist for the band Conjunto Los Pochos.

Another featured band, Los Fabulocos, performed music from their Mexican-American heritage, plus Zydeco, Conjunto, and Cumbia rhythms.

Highly accomplished and versatile Cory Pesaturo, recent winner of several competitions performed as soloist. Other soloists included Peter Robuffo, Lou Fanucchi, Gordon Kohl, and Jim Gilman.

The popular festival also featured free zydeco dance lessons, an Accordion Road Show with Jeffrey Iacono, Borsini Accordions, Accordion Apocalypse accordion and accessory sales as well as free accordion repair and rebuild tips by Skyler Fell.
Big Squeeze Poster

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Annual 'Squeeze-In' in Massachusetts

by Kevin Friedrich
The Annual 'Squeeze-In' was held from September 27th through 29th in Western Massachusetts.

The Squeeze-In is a relaxed and laid back weekend gathering of players and their partners where participants attend just for the legendary fun of it. Held at the Chimney Corners, a fabulously well appointed year round camp and conference center in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, 30 minutes from the Lee exit off the Mass Pike and close to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), attendees play, dance, jam and celebrate the big finale on the Saturday evening. Beginners and the talented advanced musicians alike are welcomed to the annual event.

Meet old friends and new as free-reed aficionados play an eclectic assortment of bellows instruments in addition to having a trade show where they have their bellows driven paraphernalia for sale, swapping and hagglement.

During the event, you might be involved in a tango workshop, learn Klezmer or Breton or Scottish or Irish or Balkan, see how to fix your concertina or accordion, talking to people that repair and make them, browse and "test-drive" all kinds of instruments (they're as different as people; take this opportunity to find your musical soul mate!), ask questions and get answers (that you'd never find anywhere else!) and learn some new subtleties of your squeeze box and find out, finally, how to play that tricky passage that's had you stumped.

For pictures of this years event, which will be added soon, or details on the 2014 gathering, please visit
Squeeze In Poster


Future events

Oktoberfest Celebration in Gilmanton, NH

by Kevin Friedrich
logoThis month the New Hampshire, Massachusetts Accordion “Cousins” will gather for their Annual Reunion of Music-Making and Friendship as they jointly celebrate Oktoberfest.

The New Hampshire Accordion Association (NHAA) is delighted to welcome again the Massachusetts Accordion Association for a joint Oktoberfest celebration 12:30- 4:00 PM Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Accordion Connection LLC in Gilmanton NH.

This reunion of accordion “cousins” continues an enjoyable tradition begun several years ago when the Massachusetts and New Hampshire associations decided to get together for a fun musical time. Since the inaugural visit, the month chosen has varied between spring and fall and the host location has usually rotated between the two states. In each instance, attendees have had such a good time that the annual tradition continues.

On this year’s agenda: informal jam, open mike session, Oktoberfest musical celebration with the MA and NH groups playing together and for each other, plus social time and refreshments.

The event is open to all accordion fans, especially non-members, who are welcome to attend and invited to participate.

The schedule for October 19:

12:30 PM: Informal Jam Session/Warm-up
1:00: Open Mike - all welcome to play including solo, duet, trio, etc.
1:30: Very Brief Business Meeting
1:45: Refreshments/Social Time – Snacks, beverages by NHAA, Accordion Connection
2:15: Oktoberfest Celebration, MA & NH groups play together and for each other

The New Hampshire Accordion Association meets monthly, usually the third Saturday at Accordion Connection LLC, 136 Route 106, Gilmanton, NH.

For further information please contact: Donna Maria Regis, Music Director 1-603-216-9582 or Suzanne Welch, Executive Secretary 1-800-328-5227.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Guy Klucevsek to appear at Jalopy & La Mama in New York

by Kevin Friedrich
Guy KlucevsekNew York accordionist Guy Klucevsek will come together with Sandy Silva, Cleek Schrey and Nic Gareiss for an evening of traditional music, percussive dance, improvisation, and original composition. The show will be held at Jalopy in New York on Thursday, October 3rd at 9:00 PM, with a $10 cover charge. Jalopy is located at 315 Columbia Street Brooklyn, New York 11231, phone: (718) 395-3214.

Four pioneers of music and dance convene October 3rd for a night of new explorations in sound and movement. New York musicians and composers, Cleek Schrey and Guy Klucevsek will welcome percussive dancers Sandy Silva (Montreal) and Nic Gareiss (Michigan) to the city for a show at Brooklyn’s Jalopy Theater. The quartet will spend a week in residence at Jalopy, combining the sounds of step dancing feet on floor, hands striking body, blistering free reeds, and 10-string fiddle to create new musical compositions, as well as new arrangements of traditional dance music from Ireland, America and Eastern Europe. The combination of artists and instrumentation promises a dazzling night of new and exciting collaborations.

Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has released over 20 recordings, and performing on John Williams’s scores for the Steven Spielberg films, “The Terminal,” and “The Adventures of Tin-Tin.” He has performed or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Brave Combo, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, and John Zorn.

For the show he will be joined by other well known musicians. Sandy Silva, whose work draws on percussive dance practices from many geographies, including Hungary, Appalachia, Cape Breton, and Andalusia, as well as the idioms of circus, contemporary dance, and theatre, is well-known for her work with Kevin Burke’s Open House and now regularly tours with Quebecois mega-stars La Bottine Souriante. Fiddler, composer, and dancer Cleek Schrey plays with the old-time string band Bigfoot, Ghost Trio (with Iarla Ó Lionáird and Ivan Goff) and has collaborated with Anonymous 4's Jacqueline Horner and the Sonnambula viol consort. His fiddling has graced many stages, including Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Shetland Folk Festival, UK, The Kennedy Center, DC, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, Geneva Arena, SUI, and the Lyceum Theater, NY. Nic Gareiss, described by the Irish Times as “the human epitome of the unbearable lightness of being,” and "the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald, has performed with many of the luminaries of traditional music and dance from Ireland and America, including The Chieftains, Solas, Darol Anger, Dervish, Buille, Liz Carroll, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Bruce Molsky, Alasdair Fraser, and Martin Hayes. In 2011,Gareiss was commissioned by the Cork Opera House to create two new solo percussive dance pieces to celebrate the 75th birthday of composer Steve Reich.

Next, from October 17 - November 3rd, Guy will be performing at La Mama, each Thursday - Sunday at 7:30 PM in a show called B. Madonna.

Internationally acclaimed performer, Maureen Fleming brings her contemporary unveiling of the myth of Persephone to the stage of the Ellen Stewart Theatre. With text by David Henry Hwang and music by Philip Glass (performed live by pianist Bruce Brubaker), original accordion music by Guy Klucevsek, and Taiko drumming by Kaoru Watanabe, this beautiful, multimedia meditation on 'miracles' juxtaposes Fleming’s new and repertory works with three-dimensional video projections designed by longtime collaborator Christopher Odo.

This event is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and Mertz Gilmore Foundation for the Late-Stage Production Stipend Grant.

The Ellen Stewart Theatre is laocted at 66 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue & The Bowery (212) 475-7710.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Accordionist Magda Giannikou and Banda Magda

by Kevin Friedrich
Magda Giannikou of Banda Magda
Popular group Banda Magda will perform two shows in New York in October, including October 16th at Casa Mezcal and October 17th at Rockwood Music Hall.

Led by greek-born singer, accordionist, film scorer and composer Magda Giannikou (pictured above in a photo by Martin Cohen of, Banda Magda moves from baiao to jazz manouche, from Greek dance rhythms to samba beats. Their songs, sung in French (with forays into six other languages), hearken back to the golden age of Brazilian bossa, the best of cinematic arranging, and the lush chic of vintage French pop, all while drawing on the band’s global background. Trained in film scoring at Berklee, Giannikou’s film music finesse has won her awards and caught the attention of everyone from Kronos Quartet to Louis CK (she sang a duet with CK for the comedian’s TV show).

Live, Banda Magda bursts with humor and quirky sensibility, powered by a unflagging energy. The New York-based group unites an Esquivel-loving vibes player from Japan; an Argentinean jazz guitarist, a Nagasaki-born percussionist with contemporary classical cred; a hand drummer with every South American rhythm at his fingertips; and a rock-solid Greek multi-instrumentalist/bassist, all led by the sweet-voiced Giannikou. Together, these close musical friends turn Giannikou’s songs into engaging romps that have won them a spot with Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers Series, as well discerning venues like Joe’s Pub, Celebrate Brooklyn, Millennium Stage-Kennedy Center, The Jefferson Center and more.

Magda Giannikou is a pianist, an accordionist, a singer, a composer, an orchestrator, a songwriter, a music producer, an aspiring dancer and a very good chef. Born and raised in Athens, Greece, she very soon discovered that music was the coolest thing on earth and began her musical training in classical music and jazz. In 2003, after having taught elementary schools all over the map of Greece, written music for TV and Theatre in her native Athens, and having participated in more than fifty Greek children’s productions, the forces of nature took her to Boston, where she studied film music at the infamous Berklee College of Music.

A winner of multiple awards, such as the Georges Delerue Award for achievement in Film Scoring, and the BMI Film Scholarship, she moved to New York just after her studies. Bedazzled by the wonderful world of live jazz and world music, she took some time and made songwriting, singing, playing accordion and gigging a significant part of her life. An immediate result was the formation of her band “Banda Magda”.

After taking a short break from her NY life to attend the Sundance Composer’s Lab 2009, and under the inspiring guidance of Lab advisors such as George S.Clinton, Walter Murch, Osvaldo Golijov and Harry Gregson-Williams, the spark of her love affair with music-locked-to-picture was reinforced. She soon found herself orchestrating for the Spanish 3D animation feature “La Tropa del Trapo” with composer Zeltia Montes (Jerry Goldsmith Award), collaborating with iZLER (World Soundtrack's Discovery of the Year Award) and Curt Schneider for “Natural Selection” directed by Robbie Pickering.

Among other things, she is currently arranging and producing a Children’s Musical in her native Greece, composing for “Watchers of the Sky” by Oscar nominee and documentary filmmaker Edet Belzberg, producing an album in Patois language for Swiss artist Sylvie Bourban, preparing an orchestral piece commissioned by the Greek Embassy in Canada, writing string arrangements for the acclaimed Kronos Quartet, singer-songwriter Will Knox and the South African rock group “The arrows”.

She recently released the debut album of “Banda Magda” titled 'Amour, t'es là?' to coincide with her 2013 Concert tour in US, Canada and Europe.
Magda Giannikou of Banda Magda

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

200 plus Accordionists in Minot, ND

by Kevin Friedrich
Norsk Høstfest Accordion Club
The Norsk Høstfest Accordion Club will gather more than 200 hundred accordionists on October 03, 2013 at 9:00 AM as part of the annual Norsk Høstfest which takes place from October 1-5, 2013, at 2005 Burdick Expy E, Minot, ND, 58701.

The accordionists representing some 20 states and Canadian provinces assemble once a year at Høstfest to perform. Norsk Høstfest has become known for many traditions, one of which is the Accordion Club gathering. Norsk Høstfest is a nonprofit Scandinavian Festival held annually in the fall in the All Seasons Arena on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot, N.D., USA.

The festival was founded in 1978 by the late Chester Reiten and a group of friends who shared his interest in celebrating their Nordic heritage. The festival, now entering into its 36th year, has grown into North America’s largest Scandinavian festival with tens of thousands of people attending from all over the world.

The festival features world-class entertainment, lost of accordion music, authentic Scandinavian cuisine, Scandinavian culture on display, handcrafted Norsk merchandise, plus a fine dining establishment lead by guest chefs. Norsk Høstfest celebrates Scandinavian culture from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. For more information, please visit:
Norsk Høstfest Accordion Club

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

The Pine Leaf Boys in Concert

by Kevin Friedrich
Pine Leaf Boys
On October 19, 2013, the Pine Leaf Boys will perform at the Clovis Civic Center in Clovis, NM.

Louisiana’s finest, the four-time Grammy Nominated Pine Leaf Boys have made a name for presenting their own inimitable brand of Cajun music with youthful exuberance. Hailing from southwest Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys, known for their wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand.

Being described as, “… the link that connects the young and the old generations,” and, “the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time,” the Pine Leaf Boys play the old-fashioned dance hall standards while making a priority to bring many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and play them with gusto. Their mission is to present the real Cajun music of their ancestors to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life.

All five members, in their early 20s - Wilson Savoy, Courtney Granger, Jon Bertrand, Drew Simon, and Thomas David - have been steeped in music since childhood. Hailing from farms and villages in Cajun country, the Pine Leaf Boys have been making a name for themselves not only for their youth, but also by preserving the traditional Cajun sound while allowing it to breathe and stretch. They present their music on twin fiddles, accordion, bass, and drum.

“The live performances of the Pine Leaf Boys are a revelation of anarchy and reverence and manic exuberance funneled through traditional musical forms. Full-throttle and wide open, The Pine Leaf Boys heat the tubes of the old music until they break up into the sweetest distortion imaginable.”

The Clovis Civic Center is located at 801 Shepps Blvd., Clovis, New Mexico 88101. For more information, please phone (575) 935-5000 or visit:

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

The Mahones release new CD "Angels & Devils"

by Kevin Friedrich
The Mahones
Katie Kaboom! McConnellKeeping a busy October schedule promoting their new CD and performing throughout Canada, the Mahones comprising Finny McConnell (Guitar, vocals), Dom "The Bomb" Whelan (Drums, vocals), Katie "Kaboom!" McConnell (Accordion, vocals), Sean Winter (Mandolin, banjo, vocals) and Eryk "Chainsaw" Chamberland (Bass, vocals), have enjoyed much success over the last 23 years!

Heralded as pioneers of the Irish punk scene, and internationally recognized as one of the best and hardest working punk outfits around, The Mahones are back with Angels & Devils, their eighth studio album. Created in 21 days in several different countries, Finny McConnell produced Angels & Devils at Red Rhino Studios in Montréal after recording sessions with his band mates in both Belfast and Amsterdam. The Mahones’ last album, The Black Irish, was voted Best Punk Album at The Independent Music Awards, and the band was determined to follow it up with an even bigger, better sound. It was the recording sessions in Montréal that made the cut for their latest studio release.

"The Montréal sessions had the biggest sounds," said Dublin–born front man Finny McConnell of the brand new recordings. "We recorded the album from start to finish in Montréal and the band’s vibe was amazing. We had just returned home from The Black Irish World tour, where we headlined all over the world, making our way through 30 countries — the band was extremely tight and ready to rock in the studio!"

The album features very special guest appearances from friends, family, and musical greats: Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphys), Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers) and Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo) to name a few.

The Mahones formed on St. Patrick's Day in 1990, and have been working on their own brand of Irish punk ever since. With a working class ethic and a love of classic punk, Finny McConnell formed the band to combine his love of punk rock and his Irish culture. "It was fun to be around before there was an actual Irish punk scene, because it was new, and no one really knew what to think of it. Now, it’s worldwide! It’s fantastic! When we started, the only bands we really knew at the time were The Dubliners and The Pogues. We’re really proud to have been a part of it from the start," stated Finny.

With songs that have become the essential soundtrack to every Irish punk out there, young and old, The Mahones have found themselves growing with every year, and are now headlining festivals around the world and sharing the stage with their musical heroes. It’s really no wonder that their hit song "Paint The Town Red" was featured in the climactic final fight scene of Academy Award–winning film The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams. The Mahones are proud to have a long list of TV and movie appearances from their growing repertoire of Irish punk classics.

For the past 23 years The Mahones have released a slew of successful albums, and are world–renowned for an energy–packed, electrifying live show that has garnered them a worldwide base of dedicated fans.

Upcoming performances include:

Friday, October 4, 2013
Collingwood, ON @ The Casbah

Saturday, October 5, 2013
Vankleek Hill, ON @ Beau's Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Thunder Bay, ON @ Crocks

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Regina, SK @ O'Hanlon's

Friday, October 11, 2013
Moose Jaw, SK @ Bobby's Place

Saturday, October 12 & 13, 2013
The Mahones - Moose Jaw, SK @ Bobby's Place

Sunday, October 13 & 14 2013
Banff, AB @ Wild Bill's

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Edmonton, AB @ The Pawn Shop

For further dates and more information on their newly released CD, please visit:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

USA to Represent at IMC-UNESCO Conference

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
World Music ForumIn November, Kevin Friedrich, Board of Director for both the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) and CIA Ambassador will travel to Brisbane, Australia, as a Delegate to the 35th General Assembly of the International Music Council (IMC-UNESCO) and 5th World Music Forum. Also in attendance will be CIA Public Relations Manager Harley Jones from New Zealand. As a CIA member, the ATG and AAA enjoy affiliation with this prestigious music organization, the largest non-governmental division of UNESCO.

The IMC was founded in 1949 at the request of UNESCO as a non-governmental advisory body on musical matters. It currently comprises national music committees in 74 countries on all continents as well as 34 organizations representing most fields of musical activity; membership also includes Members of Honor chosen among the world's outstanding musicians, a few individual members and supporting members in recognition of their individual or corporate generosity.

Members elect a 12-member Executive Committee that meets regularly between General Assemblies. A permanent Secretariat is located at UNESCO House in Paris. IMC members benefit from a wide range of professional services and extensive possibilities for exchanges at many levels.

The International Music Council is the main global music organization. It works in close association with UNESCO and has a membership of national music committees and music organizations.

The CIA’s membership to the International Music Council (IMC-UNESCO) opens the door to work with leaders and members of the largest and most important musical associations and organizations in the world. The CIA was the first instrument specific group to be a member of the International Music Council.

When the CIA applied for IMC membership in 1975, there was some skepticism about the accordion being accepted into the International Music Council from one of the member nations. The President of the IMC at the time put everything into perspective by asking the General Assembly if they agreed that the accordion was an instrument, and that the instrument was capable of making beautiful music, and if composers were excited to have the opportunity to write for the accordion, and if the IMC should not be an umbrella over all musicians? When this was agreed on, the President then gained tremendous support for the CIA to enter into the IMC and it was overwhelmingly accepted as a new member. That IMC president was famous violinist, the late Yehudi Menuhin!

The IMC considers that the experience of music and music-making is a vital part of the everyday life of all people. It is a basic right for all people to express themselves and communicate through music. A world expert organization, a forum for exchange and reflection, an observatory in the field of music thanks to its geographic extension and the variety of competence of its membership, the IMC is an organization habituated to speak to governments, institutions and regions.

It is the IMC's objective to contribute to securing the following basic rights:

· the right for all children and adults to express themselves musically in all freedom
· the right for all children and adults to learn musical languages and skills
· the right for all children and adults to have access to musical involvement through participation, listening, creation and information
· the right for musical artists to develop their artistry and communicate through all media, with proper facilities
· the right for musical artists to obtain just recognition and remuneration for their services

The IMC aims at contributing to the development and strengthening of friendly working relations between all the musical cultures of the world on the basis of their absolute equality, mutual respect and appreciation. It concerns itself with musical creativity, education, performance, broadcasting and promotion, research and documentation, the status of musicians and various other aspects of musical life. This is made possible through the unparalleled range of expertise of its membership.

The IMC comprises national music committees in more than seventy countries on all continents, over thirty international and regional organizations representing most fields of musical activity as well as individual members and members of honor chosen among the world's outstanding musicians; it also appoints supporting members to recognize generous individual or corporate donors.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Lower East Side Accordion Arkestra in New York

by Kevin Friedrich
Lower East Side Accordion ArkestraOn Sunday, October 27, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, you are invited to join the Lower East Side Accordion Arkestra and come and hear the music of the immigrants who made the Lower East Side their home and whose cultures merged into the rich soundscape of New York City.

This joyous concert features accordion virtuosi Lou Fanucchi, Cory Pesaturo, Peter Stan, and Lower East Sider Walter Kuhr, with accompaniment by violin and bass, as well as two original accordion compositions by Yale Strom.

Held at the Museum at Eldridge Street, the mission of the Museum is to strengthen, support, protect and promote the 1887 landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue as a dynamic cultural and educational center that tells the story of Jewish immigrant life at the turn of the last century, explores architecture and historic preservation, inspires reflection and cultural continuity, and fosters inter-group exchange.

The Museum is located at 12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002. Please call: (212) 219-0888 or visit: for ticket information.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

AJ Castillo in Concert

by Kevin Friedrich
AJ CastilloA three time award winner, AJ Castillo is known for his unique accordion sound and style will appear in October in Austin, Hereford and Midland, Texas.

Combining his energetic performances and style with his line of extraordinary custom made accordions, he has become a sought after addition to many concerts. Having lent his musical talent to many artists through countless studio recordings and performances, in late 2008 he felt it was time to step to the front of the stage and introduced a fresh new sound that expands the boundaries of accordion music. With the release of his debut CD “Who I Am” followed by “On My Way,” “The MixTape,” and the DVD “Up Close And Personal,” AJ has embarked on a new journey as a well-known accordionist, singer, performer, and producer.

AJ is a native of Austin, TX, and is a recent graduate of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Born to a musical family, he was introduced to the accordion by his grandfather. He started playing the accordion at the age of 9/10 and began his professional music career at 13. Today, this young talented musician is reaching Latin music fans all over the world and is being recognized by professionals in the Latin music industry. In a short period of time, he has accomplished many great things: he has released two hit CDs; he is receiving airplay on stations across the nation; within the first seven months of his solo career AJ was asked to perform at the 2009 Tejano Music Awards and a year later in 2010 he was named the Tejano Music Awards Best New Artist and the Tejano Academy’s Best Accordion Player and Best Emerging Artist; and most recently became endorsed by Hohner, Inc. USA.

With the release of each consecutive project, AJ has taken his music to the next level and continues to amaze people with his ability to infuse different styles of music to create his new unique sound. Joining him on this journey is his younger brother and promising vocalist, Sergio Castillo. Sergio brings another level of versatility to the group with his strong vocal ability. Together, they are committed to producing high quality music that can cross boundaries and appeal to fans in all genres of Latin music…we call this “The New Movement.”

10/5/13 - Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Fest in Hobbs, NM
10/18/13 - Tejano Ranch in Austin, TX
10/19/13 - Acapulco Tropical in Hereford, TX
10/26/13 - Cabanas in Midland, TX
AJ Castillo with accordions

Le Vent du Nord in Minnesota

by Kevin Friedrich
Le Vent du Nord
Réjean BrunetLe Vent du Nord featuring accordionist Réjean Brunet will play in Minnesota on October 3rd, and then again in St-François, Quebec on October 18th.

Mouth music and musical families. Deep history and playful innovation. Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord knows how to turn the lost past into intense and beautiful performances that push their roots in striking global directions. The group is blazing a path that connects their Québecois roots to the wider world, in both arrangements and on stage.

Considered a driving force in progressive folk, Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air. Since its founding in 2002, Le Vent du Nord have become compelling Francophone ambassadors, winning critical acclaim and audience adoration across Europe and North America. The quartet has performed well over 1,000 concerts, racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Canadian Folk Music Award, and 'Artist of the Year' at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.

The band delivers catchy songs and tunes, some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire while others are original compositions. The group has a rich and varied instrumentation, well-polished musical arrangements, and wonderful vocals. In addition to their traditional repertoire, the group exhibits great finesse and flexibility, appearing regularly on Canadian, American, French, and UK television and radio, and participating in a wide variety of special musical projects. They’ve collaborated and performed with Harry Manx, Väsen, The Chieftains, Breton musical pioneer Yann-Fañch Kemener, Québecois roots legend and master storyteller Michel Faubert, hip Scottish folk band Breabach, and the trans-Mediterranean ensemble Constantinople.

Not content with standard approaches to tradition, Le Vent du Nord have also created a symphonic concert, presented by the respected Portland Symphony Orchestra and Québec Symphony Orchestra, that “puts all traditional folk naysayers to shame” (Voir Montreal). This concert will be presented again with The Victoria Symphonic Orchestra (March 2014).

Having given the La Part du Feu concert 250 times in North America, Europe, South America, and Scandinavia, Le Vent du Nord presents a new show with the songs of Tromper le temps (Fooling Time), its 7th album (released in Spring 2012). Made up of 4 singers and multi-instrumentalists, Le Vent du Nord returns to its roots, drawing from yesterday and today to give us a glimpse the hopes of possible tomorrows. Through songs meant to resist the march of time, the Tromper le temps concert evokes often forgotten episodes of Québec’s history with provocative texts and poetic descriptions destined to endure throughout the ages. A way to fool time, while there is still time! It is a concert that stirs emotions and touches the heart and soul.

Accordionist Réjean Brunet started playing québecois traditional music as a very young boy. After performing with his brother (André, well-known for his work with la Bottine Souriante and the Celtic fiddle festival) as a duo and recording three albums, Réjean joined La Volée d’Castors. He toured with them for 8 years, performing in Europe, Canada and the U.S. as they released 5 albums. Réjean is also frequently invited by traditional musicians such as Sabin Jacques, Richard Forest and Gaston Nolet to join them on stage or in the recording studio. Réjean grew up in the village of Lacolle, Québec; he is, since 2007 showcases his great talent around the world with Le Vent du Nord.

Their October performances are as follows:

03 octobre 2013, 7.30 pm
Sanford Center, 1111 Event Center Drive, Bemidji, MN

18 octobre 2013, 8:00 pm
Moulin du Portage, 1080 St-François, Quebec

For more information about the band including November and other performances, please visit:
Le Vent du Nord

William (Bill) Cosby to appear at West Virginia Accordion Concert

by Kevin Friedrich
William 'Bill' CosbyFive time National Champion William H. (Bill) Cosby will appear in concert on Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 7:00 PM at the Life United Methodist Church, 1564 Mary Lou Retton Dr., Fairmont, VA.

He will be joined by fellow accordionists from Canada and the United States including Luciano De Fazio, Tom Fabinski, Connie Mantini, Mike Takash, Dale Wise and the West Virginia Accordion Club Ensemble.

William Cosby entered the accordion world at the age of 7, at a time that is called the Golden Age of the Accordion. At the time, the accordion was more than a popular instrument; it was a presence that permeated 1950’s American culture. It was also a time when the United States dominated nearly every part of the accordion world.

William attacked his study of the accordion with an unrelenting passion and persistence that has continued throughout his life as a trademark for almost anything of value that earns his attention. His efforts were complimented with the support of his parents who made every effort to ensure he had regular lessons, the best instructors and a succession of accordions that would match his increased physical size and musical requirements. For a family of modest income, it was a considerable investment of money and time.

A partnership with Tito Giudotti, possibly one of the accordion’s most under-valued geniuses, was intensified with the introduction to the Giulietti Free Bassetti system accordion in 1961. As one of the first US pioneers on the left hand free bassetti system, William quickly became a muse and life-long friend of Julio Giulietti, a renowned and innovative accordion builders. Inspired by the expanded musical and technical capabilities, Tito composed for William. In response, William pushed the technical limitations of the instrument, and Julio was always making the instruments better. Some details in the evolution of the Giulietti Bassettis came from feedback of the early pioneers, like William Cosby and Stephen Dominko.

After Tito and a short period of study with Oakley Yale, Julio insisted that William study with Anthony Galla-Rini. It also came to be a close friendship in addition to a professional collaboration. From Galla-Rini came the attention to detail and appreciation of the accordion’s tone production. But perhaps the most important lesson from Galla-Rini was his role model as the consummate gentleman, always an ambassador for the accordion. William and Tony often performed in concert together and occasionally conducted workshops. Galla-Rini suggested that William also be coached by Donald Balestrieri in the performance of baroque repertoire.

Coming from a family of athletes, competitions were accepted as a natural part of the musical experience. William’s titles include 3 consecutive ATG National titles, two Silver and one Bronze medal in the Coupe Mondiale, 2 National AAA Jazz titles. However, musical competitions were not limited to accordion venues. He was also one of the original winners of the Frank Sinatra Musical Performance Awards at his alma mater, UCLA – an event open to all instruments. Judges in the final rounds included Zubin Meta and Sonny Burke. He was also a winner of UCLA’s Atwater Kent Performance Scholarship Award. Though accordion was not an ‘accepted’ instrument at UCLA, William performed as much as any other music major, often being requested to play for special performances by the Dean of Fine Arts.

After a lengthy 30 year hiatus from performing, in 2009 he started playing again. It started when he became the curator of a Rocker Switch Excelsior that had been the prized possession of General William Knowlton who had been the Superintendent at West Point when William arrived in 1969. The General was an avid enthusiast. As part of his new journey, he has completed a book that tells of his accordion adventures, why he left, and the experience of returning. From the day he put on the General’s Excelsior he has not stopped playing. William Cosby brings a wide range of musical styles to his performances on accordion. His repertoire includes classical, jazz, and pop styles in addition to selections representative of the accordion’s greatest performers over the past 80 years.

Admission for the concert is Adults: $15.00/ Children FREE. Contact: Mike Takash at: 304-366-1456. For more information on Bill, including his many recordings, please visit

Those Darn Accordions at Mystic Lake Casino

by Kevin Friedrich
Those Darn Accordions
Those Darn Accordions (TDA) is performing at The Mystic Lake Casino Oktoberfest in Prior Lake, MN on October 4th and 5th as part of the Casino's Oktoberfest Celebrations.

Two nights of music, beer, great food and Hammerschlagen! The fun starts at 5 pm each night and TDA invites friends and guests to join them in last Midwest appearance this year while in the Minneapolis area.

San Francisco's accordion-fueled rock 'n' roll band pumps out polkas, rock classics and catchy originals chronicling life in the weird lane. Fronted by singer-songwriter/squeezebox wizards Paul Rogers and Suzanne Garramone - promises to forever rearrange your understanding of the accordion. TDA's extreme squeezeboxers mix solid keyboard chops with a groundbreaking use of guitar effects pedals and amps to produce a super-cool sound like nothing you've ever heard emanating from an accordion.

Behind the amazing wall of wheeze, drummer Michael Messer and bass player Lewis Wallace anchor the band, providing a firm foundation upon which the manic TDA accordionists can layer huge slabs of sonic mayhem.

With a sense of humor that just won't quit, the one-of-a-kind band blazes through a variety of musical genres - from rock and funk to polka - and torches timeless classic rock tunes along the way. You won't believe your ears.

For more information, e-mail:, phone: (360) 531-0276 or visit

Voci Armoniche

Leonard "Skeets" Langley brings Oktoberfest Joy

by Kevin Friedrich
Skeets Langley
Former World Accordion Champion Leonard "Skeets" Langley will share his music for all to enjoy at the upcoming Oktoberfest Celebrations, sponsored by the Friends of the Rogers Library to be held at the Rogers Library, 21300 John Milless Drive, Rogers, MN 55374 on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 1 PM.

Leonard "Skeets" Langley started taking accordion lessons when he was 6 years old. His parents, who never played any musical instruments, guessed right that Skeets "had rhythm." Family vacations centered on accordion contests that took him all over the country. Langley excelled, as did his two siblings. It wasn't long before the accordion turned into an "avocation as opposed to a vocation," he said. As a nod to that, Langley, 70, who lives in Champlin with his wife, Rosemary, was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, based in New Ulm, in 2012 for his positive influence on the Minnesota Music Industry. Other 2012 inductees include Koerner, Ray & Glover, a blues band; Leroy Glazier, the late country guitarist; Jerry Minar, a concertina maker and a musician; the Chord-Ayres, a male chorus; and Canoise, a rock band.

Dodie Wendinger, who heads the New Ulm-based Hall of Fame that originated in 1989, said musicians are chosen for the honor based on "their effect on the Minnesota music industry."

In 1963, at the age of 21, he earned the gold medal at the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships held in Baden-Baden, Germany. The year before he had placed second in the competition in Prague, in the Czech Republic, losing by only one point. He still has the telegram his parents sent to his grandmother which simply states, "Skeets won." It was a life-changing event. Since then, Langley has performed all over the world, from local Oktoberfest celebrations to the well-known Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif.

In the mid-1980s, he played with Luciano Pavarotti in St. Paul. One of his favorite stories is about how Pavarotti reprimanded the conductor for trying to change Langley's expressive approach. "He said, 'Leo, let the man play!'" he said. Langley also collaborated with Norway's Princess Martha Louise on the musical accompaniment for her children's book, "Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns."

For more information please call the Rogers Library at: 612-543-6050.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Cory Pesaturo and Zulu Time

by Kevin Friedrich
Cory PesaturoCory Pesaturo and Zulu Time will present 'A Global Music Sequel' on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Wakefield, MA. with fellow musicians Gabriel Solomon and Richey Talley.

Zulu Time is the latest collaboration of Word Champion Accordionist Cory Pesaturo with violinist Gabriel Solomon and bassist Richey Tally. As a dynamic acoustic trio, they have cemented a magnetic onstage chemistry that is both serious and slightly irreverent. The band has an omnivorous musical appetite, with repertoire spanning genres from jazz, musette, tango, klezmer, folk music of Bulgaria and Macedonia, classical, and original compositions.

Cory, from Cumberland, Rhode Island, is an accordionist, who also plays the piano, clarinet, and saxophone. He began playing at the age of nine, and in 2002, became the youngest person to win the National Accordion Championship. He most recently won the 2011 Primus Ikaalinen World Championship and was the first American contestant. Additionally, Pesaturo won the International Compeition for Digital Accordion at the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, and became the first American to win a World Accordion Championship title since Peter Soave 25 years ago. In June 2009, he won the Leavenworth International Championship, and International Jazz Championship. Pesaturo performed in 5 different continents during 2009; some countries included Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Tunisia and Japan. Cory is one of only four accordionists in history to win a World Championship on both acoustic and electronic accordion, and is the only person to also win a world championship in jazz.

Cory was accepted on the accordion at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA where he studied Contemporary Improvisation and a variety of music styles, including Italian and French folk music, Bulgarian and Jewish music, Classical music and Jazz. He became the second person to major in and graduate as an accordionist at the New England Conservatory.

His past performances have included filling in for an ill Myron Floren, the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show at the age of 12, performing on four occasions at the White House, and playing at six other public events and private functions for President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. In 1999 he performed at a State Dinner held for the President of Hungary. President Bill Clinton remarked: "I've been inspired by your ability, talent and heart."

His music has been played for various Formula 1 races on SPEED TV starting in 2007, on the Velocity program "Chasing Classic Cars", and also at various Concours around the United States ranging from the Newport Concours d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. He has also combined his interest in statistics and sports with his appearance on the "100 Year Anniversary of Fenway Park" album in 2012, with current and past Boston Red Sox players, and journalists. Pesaturo is also respected for his statistical work in meteorology, writing articles about hurricanes and winter weather for companies such as Accuweather, and most famously his 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season Records list.

For more information, please contact:
Cory Pesaturo and Zulu Time

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

Alex Meixner keeps busy October Schedule

by Kevin Friedrich
Alex MeixnerOktoberfest season is in full swing and popular accordionist Alex Meixner will be sharing his high spirited music to many venues throughout the month of October.

Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 50 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.

Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world. His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004. Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December, 2007.

Currently based in Palm City, FL, Alex is performing as a solo artist and with numerous touring ensembles. His solo programs- “Fascinating Rhythms of the World” focus on the fusion of Slavic folk music and Jazz, but also include the inflections of folk, pop and classical styles from Latin America, Africa and other sections of Europe. This music is the basis for a series of multi-cultural music education seminars and performances which are currently available through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts “Artists in Education” program.

Alex also leads The Alex Meixner Band in performances throughout North America. Whether you are looking for sure fire crowd pleasing family entertainment, something for the senior audience, classy jazz for a reception or a unique party band- Alex Meixner will work tirelessly to provide the perfect mix for your event.

When Alex is not performing with all of these groups, he is devoted to bringing music to students through educational clinics, as well as his private teaching.

Alex's October performances are as follows:

Callicoon, NY Villa Roma US
Address: 356 Villa Roma Road. Venue phone: 800-533-6767. 1:30 pm to 2:40 pm

Lindenhurst, NY Village Lanterne US
Address: 143 N. Wellwood. Venue phone: 631-225-1690. 7 pm

Reading, PA Reading Liederkranz US
Address: 143 Spook Lane. Venue phone: 610-373-3982. 6-10 pm

Hunter Mountain, NY Oktoberfest US
Address: Hunter Mountain. sets at 11am, 12:15 pm, 1:30 pm – alternating

Bear Mountain, NY Oktoberfest US
Address: Bear Mountain Inn. 12:30 to 5:30 pm

Paterson, NJ Ace in the Hole Oktoberfest – “German Show” US
Address: The Brownstone 351 W. Broadway. Venue phone: 800-831-9801. Daytime Show 11:30 am to 3:30 pm

Bethlehem, PA Sands Casino – Molten Lounge US
Address: 901 Daly Ave. Venue phone: 1-877-726-3777. 7 pm to 10 pm

10/08/13 - 10/10/13
Garfield, NJ Ace in the Hole Oktoberfest – “German Show” US
Address: Royal Manor 454 Midland Ave. Venue phone: 800-831-9801. 11:30 am - 3:30 pm each day

10/11/13 - 10/13/13
Richmond, VA Richmond Folk Festival US
Address: Historic Riverfront. Venue phone: 804-788-6466.
Friday: 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Saturday: 12:15 to 1:15 & 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm 2-3 pm Accordion Traditions Group, Sunday: 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

10/19/13 - 10/20/13
Oldsmar (Tampa Area), FL Oldsmar Oktoberfest US
Address: Tampa Bay Downs.
Alex Meixner Band, Saturday: 6:45 pm to 11:00 pm/ Sunday: 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm

10/21/13 - 10/27/13
Helen, GA Helen Oktoberfest US
Address: Festhalle 1074 Edelweiss Strasse. Venue phone: 706-878-1619. Alex Meixner Band

For more information, please visit


Celebrate Accordion Day in November

by Joanna Arnold Darrow
The Acme Accordion School, celebrating its 65th year, invites you to Accordion Day, celebrating November as the National Accordion Month. Everyone is invited to attend all events, free of charge as Acme Accordion School, hosts their annual Accordion Day Events on Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 10:30 AM thru 3:00 PM at the Acme Accordion School, 322 Haddon Ave., Westmont (Haddon Township), NJ 08108.

This is a family friendly event, great for all ages, and events begin at 10:30 AM where accordionists may sign up to perform a solo or two until 11:30. At 11:45 to 12:30 will be the setting up for the Accordion Day photo for all accordionists who wish to participate. Bring your accordion if possible. Our goal is 150 accordion players or more. All ages invited. Enjoy meeting new friends. Bring your family. The traditional and annual photo taking, will be followed by a concert that will feature guest performers: Suzy Andrew, Tom Groeber and Jim Cantor, all from Pennsylvania.

Jim Cantor will feature the accordion in the jazz style, Tom Groeber will perform German Bavarian fest music on the piano accordion as well as a button box especially designed for this type of music and Suzy Andrew will perform literature from the standard accordion repertoire, including the famous Rhapsody in Blue. To conclude the performances, The Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra and the Westmont Accordion Club will perform the famous Diamond Music - "Palladio" of Karl Jenkins, Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla and more.

For more information, please contact Joanna Darrow - 856-854-6628.

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Milwaukee Accordion Club to feature Honky Tonkitis

by Kevin Friedrich
Honky TonkitisThe Milwaukee Accordion Club (MAC) will feature Honky Tonkitis on October 28th, during their monthly concert series.

Honky Tonkitis brings back that honky tonk music your grandpa and daddy listened to when you were a kid and brings back the glory days of life spent plugging the jukebox. They have been playing live shows in the Wisconsin area since 2008. Along the way they’ve hit such big name venues as Wisconsin State Fair and Bastille Days, as well as your favorite watering holes such as Bay View Brew Haus and Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall, to name just a few. ‘Our live shows have a reputation for being obnoxious, cantankerous, and confrontational, and that's just the audience!’

Members of the band include Johnny Maplewood (Vocals, Upright Bass); Bruce Dean (Electric/Baritone guitar, Vocals); none other than our own Milwaukee Accordion Club President, Don Turner (Accordion); Tom Hanson (Fiddle) and Kurt Weber (Drums).

Admission is $3 for MAC members; non-members: $5. Please visit for more information.

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

American Accordion Musicological Society 2014 Festival

by Kevin Friedrich
James VandelyThe American Accordion Musicological Society proudly announces that their 26th Annual Festival is to be held from March 28-30, 2014 at the Marriott Hotel in Whippany, NJ. There will be many activities and workshops galore, plus an Honoree Banquet presenting James Vandelly (pictured) as Guest of Honor, followed by a Gala Concert.

The AAMS holds an annual Accordion Festival and Symposium each March in conjunction with the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG). As the festival nears, the web site will be updated to provide the current information about the actual Festival with information such as downloads for registration, hotel, and competition information. The site will feature the Festival Headliners, information about the upcoming Honoree, and Workshop information.

For more information, please contact the American Accordion Musicological Society, 322 Haddon Ave., Westmont, NJ 08108, phone Joanna Darrow at (856) 854-6628 or visit

Titano Accordion Company

New and Updated Sites

Voci Armoniche

Mike Middleton

by Kevin Friedrich
Mike MiddletonTexas based accordionist Mike Middleton is beginning preliminary promotions of his upcoming CD releases with information and a link to an entertaining promotional YouTube video.

After many years of requests, Mike says "I am finally doing it, recording my music. These albums feature songs from many of my performances over the years that have become personal and local favorites. These are performed on acoustic accordions, midi enhanced accordions, and some with Tuba."

The new CD's will be:

-Around the World and Back To Texas: Accordion Solos
-Accordion & Tuba Favorites: with Clayton Capps, Tuba

Scheduled for release this fall (2013), please visit for more information.

Accordion Jazz Chords

Don Grzanna

by Kevin Friedrich
Don Grzanna MusicAccordionist and Composer Don Grzanna has released a new series of original compositions to compliment his already vast catalogue of work. Included in the new titles are:

Grades 2 - 3: Rudolph's Polka, George's Polka , Peter's Polka, Octoberfest Polka, Lake Lucerne, Summer in Venice, Redbird Polka, Rockin and Rollin Accordion, Tarantella Roma, Packard Avenue Polka 5,
Layton Avenue Polka, Argentine Tango.

Grades 4 -5: Argentine Tango (Advanced), Raindrops, Tarantella Roma, Nocturne, Switzerland Polka Variation, Napoli Tarantella, Dancing Polka, New Tarantella, Silver Streak Polka, Spanish Tango, Italian Moon Rhumba, Bavarian Polka Variations.

Please visit for more information.


Kevin Friedrich

by Kevin Friedrich
Kevin Friedrich with Kapa Haka GroupUpdated information and pictures about the production and more recently, the debut of the world's first Kauri Accordion.

The site has been updated to show the creation and subsequent debuut of the small but magnificent instruments crafted in Finland by Aaro Luukinen in a joint international project between New Zealand and Finland, and the debut of the first instrument 'K1 - Birth' in Dargaville, NZ.

The first notes heard on the Kauri accordion were that of a traditional Maori song, in respect for the native New Zealand heritage pertaining to the project. Kevin is pictured performing Po Kare Kare Ana (trad. Maori love song) with the Dargaville Primary Shcool Kapa Haka (Maori Culbture) Group directed by Danielle Te Waiti.

Please visit for more information.
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