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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Oct-2023
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Donald Balestrieri, Principal, Music Graphics Press, Passed Away, San Diego
Semer Ensemble Performs in Canada and the United States in October
Grayson Masefield World of Accordions Museum Fundraising Concert
ATG Commissions Documentary to Highlight the Accomplishments of Dr. Helmi Harrington
Sam Reider and Jorge Glen: Nominated for 2023 Latin Grammy Award
”Arietta” – New Free Bass Accordion Composition by Richard Romiti
Intocable Evolution Tour 2023
Amal Quartet with Guy Klucevsek to Perform on October 7.
“Lou Jacklich Plays!” Free eTrack MP3 Download Album, Limited Offer
Stas Venglevski Concert & Workshop at A World of Accordions Museum – USA
Grupo Frontera Performs on Good Morning America (GMA)
Future Concerts and Profile of Michael Bridge
Will Holshouser and Eric Vloeimans on Fall USA Tour

Voci Armoniche

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

Latest Article on AAA Commissioned Series, Aria by William Grant Still
32nd Cotati Accordion Festival 2023
Accordionist Dr. Bill Schimmel Performs with Musical Guests
Dominic Karcic and Frank Toscano Perform for Octoberfest Celebration
“Duo Two Accordions” Sergei and Maria Teleshev
Set The Stage And Jazz It Up at the Pequot Library!
Rachel Bell Fall Update
Annual NorthEast Squeeze-In

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

Stas Venglevski and Murl Allen Sanders in Concert
Vladimir Mollov to Perform with the Cleveland Orchestra
5 Day Cruise with Flogging Molly
Rob Reich Events

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rita and TulaWelcome to the October USA News! Each month there are so many fascinating events to report! This month features many videos of great accordion performances.

It is very encouraging to see so many young people learning and enjoying the accordion. Remember that it is never too late to begin to study the accordion at any age!

Please remember that the USA News is here for you! If you as an individual or your accordion club, band, group is planning an event, please send the information and photos/videos to me at We want to know what YOU are doing out there in the accordion world! So, enjoy the October edition of the USA News and best wishes for continued successes in all your accordion endeavors!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Donald Balestrieri, Principal, Music Graphics Press, Passed Away, San Diego

by Harley Jones
Donald Balestrieri
Tutor book, Donald BalestrieriDonald BalestrieriDonald Balestrieri, a noted music editor and publisher, accordionist and former faculty member of San Diego State University in California has passed away.

Donald Balestrieri, Principal, Music Graphics Press (formerly named Ars Nova) published many Anthony Galla-Rini accordion arrangements during the last 67 years and also published an accordion course by Donald Balestrieri and considerable music for accordion arranged by Donald Balestrieri.

Donald Balestrieri had suffered poor health for some time and was 86 years of age. CV and obituary at: Donald Balestrieri

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

Semer Ensemble Performs in Canada and the United States in October

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Semer Ensemble

Semer CDVideo 1: Preview of Semer Ensemble 2023 in Toronto

Video 2: “Beyond All Memories”

Ashkenaz Festival and the Toronto Holocaust Museum is excited to welcome Germany’s Semer Ensemble back to Toronto, following tour de force performances in 2016 and 2017. The Semer Ensemble tour in Canada and in the United States starts in October. The videos above are a small sample of what is waiting for you in Toronto on October 5, 2023 presented by Ashkenaz Festival!

Founded in 2012, the Semer Ensemble is dedicated to music recorded by Jewish artists during the Nazi period on the almost unknown Berlin-based Semer record label. Destroyed by the Nazis in 1938, the entire Semer catalogue of hundreds of precious, unique recordings was considered lost forever until it was rediscovered in the early 2000s. See “Beyond All Memories” for an excellent explanation.

The Semer Ensemble features an all-star lineup of Yiddish music artists led by accordionist and pianist Dr. Alan Bern, of Brave Old World, and including acclaimed singer, accordionist and mandolin player Daniel Kahn; violinist Mark “Stempenyuk” Kovnatskiy, who performs with many of the most prominent ensembles of the Yiddish cultural revival; world music polyglot and bassist Martin Lillich; Forshpil singer and leader Sasha Lurje; Fayvish singer and leader Fabian Schnedler; and Grammy-winning singer and accordionist Lorin Sklamberg, of the Klezmatics.

Plan to attend a performance of the Semer Ensemble featuring songs in Yiddish, German, Hebrew, and Russian accompanied by English subtitles. Supported by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and Lufthansa.

Upcoming performances include:
Montreal: Oct. 2, 2023, 7:30 PM at Shaar Hashomayim, co-presented by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic in Germany Montreal. More Information and Tickets: Here.
Ottawa: Oct 4, 2023, 7:00 PM at Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, co-presented by the Embassies of Israel and Germany. More Information and Tickets: Here.
Toronto: Oct. 5, 2023, 8:00 PM at the Meridian Arts Centre, Lyric Theatre, co-presented by Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto Holocaust Museum and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Toronto. More Information and Tickets: Here.
New York City: Oct. 9, 2023, 7:00 PM at YIVO Institute, co-presented by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany New York City. More Information and Tickets: Here.
Washington D.C.: Oct. 10, 2023, 7:30 PM at Edlavitch DCJCC, co-presented by the German Embassy Washington. More Information and Tickets: Here.

On October 6, 2023 in Toronto don't miss this rare opportunity to work directly with the world-class singers and instrumentalists of Semer Ensemble. Learn more about the extraordinary music and stories behind the Semer Ensemble. The three-part program is open to all, not just for musicians and singers. The program takes place at the Toronto Holocaust Museum. Tickets are $25. Participants are welcome to attend all three components or pick and choose which to attend, all for a single price. Registration for the workshops includes free access to explore the Museum (which is normally closed on Fridays). Here is the program:

10:30 am – Instrumental workshop, with Alan Bern (accordion/piano, musical direction), Mark Kovnatskiy (violin) and Martin Lillich (bass) - Geared to musicians of any kind, but open to observation by non-musicians as well, the artists will teach instrumental repertoire from their concert program, and explore the roles of instruments when accompanying the vocal repertoire in the program.

12:PM – Lunch break - bring your own or purchase from Eisenberg’s onsite location in Prosserman JCC.

12:30 pm – Q & A with the members of Semer Ensemble. In this informal session, the group will be open to discussing anything and everything about the Semer project: the original label and artists, what happened to the recordings, how they were recovered, how/when the members of Semer Ensemble first encountered them, how they went about arranging and performing them, the musicians’ experiences playing them in different times and places, and whatever else audience members might like to know.

1:30 pm – Song workshop, with Alan Bern and the four vocalists in the group, Lorin Sklamberg, Sasha Lurje, Daniel Kahn and Fabian Schnedler. The artists will teach some of the songs in their program, providing lyrics, translation and notes about the repertoire to all participants.
The program will end at 3pm

The Toronto program is presented by Ashkenaz, in association with Toronto Holocaust Museum, with support from the Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany, Lufthansa, Toronto Workmen’s Circle Foundation, and UJA Committee For Yiddish.

For further information visit the Semer Ensemble Facebook page and and

Titano Accordion Company

Grayson Masefield World of Accordions Museum Fundraising Concert

by Harley Jones

Video 1: Concert introduction by Kevin Friedrich, Bach Chorale (BMV 659) performed by Grayson Masefield.
Video 2: One of several encores and standing ovation, speech about the enormous value of the World of Accordions Museum, encore performance of Tango for Claude composed by Richard Galliano.

Thanks to sponsorship by USA News, American Accordionists' Association (AAA), Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG), Grayson Masefield and his family, every dollar of the ticket sales for the Grayson Masefield Fundraising concert was donated to the amazing World of Accordions Museum in Superior, WI.

An enthusiastic audience were treated to an exciting concert featuring a range of music from Bach, Scarlatti to original works and popular entertainment music ending with encores and a standing ovation from the audience.

Museum Curator Helmi Harrington expressed her grateful thanks to Grayson Masefield, the sponsors and the audience for their support.

Voci Armoniche

ATG Commissions Documentary to Highlight the Accomplishments of Dr. Helmi Harrington

by Mary Ann Covone, ATG President
ATG logo
Dr. Helmi HarringtonDr. Helmi HarringtonThe Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) is very proud to commission a documentary memorializing the work of Dr. Helmi Harrington, a scholar and expert in all things accordion, at The World of Accordions Museum in Superior Wisconsin.  The film will highlight the collection of accordions at the museum as well as tell the story of the history and development of the accordion through the years.  

The production team is from Chicago - Mobula Productions and Nikola Stojkovic (a student at Chicagoland Accordion Academy and a writer and film producer) is directing the action!  Filming at the museum began on September 30, 2023!  

Watch for the release of the final product in the coming months.  
View pictures at:

For further information:
Dr. Helmi Harrington

Accordion Jazz Chords

Sam Reider and Jorge Glen: Nominated for 2023 Latin Grammy Award

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sam Reider
Video: Jorge Glem and Sam Reider: Tiny Desk Concert

Pianist, accordionist, composer, and educator Sam Reider shares, “I’m so happy to share that Brooklyn-Cumaná, my record with Jorge Glem, has been nominated for Best Instrumental Album for the 2023 Latin Grammy Awards! I’ve been working on this project along with Jorge and our team for over four years—it is really exciting to see this music getting out there. The awards ceremony is in Seville, Spain in November. Time to get a new tux…”

Tiny Desk Producer, Felix Contreras, shares, "It’s a very special thing when two musical cultures come together to create something that didn’t exist before. That’s exactly what we got to witness in this performance from Venezuelan cuatro master Jorge Glem and extraordinary accordionist Sam Reider, as they set up behind the Desk for a set of highly creative, original music from their project Brooklyn Cumaná.

Glem’s dexterity on the small, traditional guitar-like instrument is evident from the very first notes of “Skeleton Rag,” as he plucks out a percussive, staccato pattern that is more Brazilian than the sweeping strums of Venezuelan folk music, as Reider leans into a melody that could easily be folkloric if it wasn’t something he dreamed up. Even as they end the tune at a breakneck speed, it’s only the beginning of the fireworks. “Sábana Blanca y Fuga con Estribillo” which follows, is based on a traditional Venezuelan folk tune and eventually erupts into a rustic exhibition of Glem’s vocals.

After a brief explanation in Spanish about the traditional song forms they work from, the duo eases into “Malagueña Cumanesa,” a lament based on a memory from Glem’s childhood.“Coroticos” is a fiery exercise in an odd time meter that is actually part of Venezuelan tradition and it’s a showcase for how these two virtuoso musicians test the limits of their instruments while they expand our expectations of the accordion and cuatro. The magic of this music is watching both artists completely enjoy each other’s playing, with knowing glances and spontaneous vocal encouragement."

Set list includes:
“Skeleton Rag”
“Sábana Blanca y Fuga con Estribillo”
“Malagueña Cumanesa”

Upcoming 2023 Programs Include:
9.27 - Portland, OR: Abbie Weisenbloom House Concert (w/ Jorge Glem)

9.28 - Ashland, OR: Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show (w/ Jorge Glem)

9.29-31 - Sisters, OR: Sisters Folk Festival (w/ Jorge Glem)

10.12 - New York, NY: Jenkins House Concert (solo)

10.13 - West Whately, MA: Watermelon Wednesdays (w/ the Human Hands)

10.14 - Kent, CT: Music in the Nave (w/ the Human Hands)

10.15 - Scranton, PA: House Concert (w/ the Human Hands)

10.27 - San Francisco, CA: 405 Shrader (solo)

10.28 - Online: Piano Americana Workshop

For further information:


”Arietta” – New Free Bass Accordion Composition by Richard Romiti

by Joseph Natoli

Richard RomitiVideo 1: Arietta (Richard Romiti, 2022), World Premiere performed by Joe Natoli

Video 2: Here is one of Richard’s very beautiful choral compositions, “Adoramus Te, Christe” (

Video 3: Richard Romiti’s transcription of Chopin’s “Piano Concert in E Min.”

Listen to the emotional, sensitive composition, "Arietta" by Richard Romiti for free bass accordion. This world premiere performance is by Joseph Natoli who shares, “It is my pleasure and honor to release this world premiere performance of a beautiful composition written by my dear friend, Richard Romiti from Massachusetts. Richard and I did a great accordion duo vinyl album in 1972 called Accordion Masterworks. He is a fabulous musician, accordionist, composer, duet partner, and friend for 54 years. Bravo Maestro!”

Richard Romiti, 1973 United States American Accordionists Association (AAA) Champion is possibly one of the accordion world’s greatest but lesser-known composers because for the last 40 years, he has mainly exploited his talents in choral compositions.

Richard Romiti however is a superb accordion composer as well and when he was just a young man of about 22, he wrote his monumental solo free bass accordion work called “Permutations” which he used as his original selection to win that previously mentioned 1973 AAA competition and compete at the Coupe Mondiale that year. He has also written a lovely solo work called “Introspection,” and as a young man composed an extremely mature and accomplished work for free bass accordion and cello called “Sonic Eclipse.” Additionally, Richard has written many transcriptions of famous symphony works, solo piano works, and piano concertos including Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite”, Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy”, Ravel’s “Piano Concerto in G”, “Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto”, and Chopin’s “Piano Concerto in E min to name a few, all of which he performed in AAA competitions over the years in his youth.

Richard also performed in 1972 on a duet album with Joseph Natoli called “Accordion Masterworks” (published by Julio Giulietti’s Neofonic record label and engineered by Charles Magnante). On that album can be heard many duet masterpieces, but also Richard Romiti’s ground-breaking “Permutations” mentioned above.

Fast forward to the present day to hear this 2022 tonal free bass accordion composition by Mr. Romiti called “Arietta”, a moving composition for which Joseph Natoli reflects: “Ever since Richard was kind enough to send this new score to me last year, I was resolved to learn and record it. It deserves to be heard and appreciated by the accordion world for its beauty and depth. So, I became resolved Tuesday 9/26/23 to learn and record this piece and get Richard’s approval on the result, as well as permission to release it to the public at large.” Joseph was thrilled to create this recording because Richard and Joseph have been close friends since 1969 when they first met at the AAA competitions.

Richard subsequently attended Boston University majoring in Music Theory & Composition and studying with the world-renowned Gardner Read, where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Mr. Romiti then attended the University of Toronto Faculty of Music in Toronto, studying with two of Canada’s top composers (John Weinzweig and Lothar Klein) where he achieved his Music Doctorate degree in Music Theory & Composition. Richard has also won various composition awards nationally, especially notable is the Eastman Hanson Composition Prize for his wonderful “Palingenesis” for flute and small orchestra. If you would like to purchase a copy of this new composition, you can contact Richard Romiti at his personal email address:

Richard Romiti studied accordion with Tulio Gasparini in his youth and competed in the American Accordionists Association festivals and competitions, winning that prestigious championship and the right to represent the USA in the Coupe Mondiale in Vichy, France in 1973. Mr. Romiti had just achieved his Master of Music degree in Music Composition at Boston University in 1975 and later that year started his Music Doctorate degree at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music where he later completed his doctorate in 1982.

Aside from the AAA championship award, Mr. Romiti has been a most deserved recipient of the following awards related to music composition:
Award of Special Distinction, Nissim Composition Competition (ASCAP), 2001.
Composer Assistance Grant, American Music Center/National Endowment for the Arts, 1985.
Eastman-Hanson Composition Prize for Palingenesis for flute & small orchestra, Eastman School of Music/American Institute of Music, 1984. ($5,000 Award)
Composer Fellowship Award, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, 1984. ($3,000 Award)
Individual Grant-in-Aid (Composition), Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, 1979 and 1983. ($3,000 Awards)
University of Toronto Open Doctoral Fellowship, 1975 – 1976.
First Prize for Suite for Flute and Harp, International Composition Competition sponsored by the Pittsburgh Flute Club, 1975. (Southern Music Publishing Co., 1976).
Honorable Mention for String Quartet No.1, 1985 International Composition Competition for String Quartet (Friday Morning Music Club, Washington, D.C.).
Student Composition Prize, Boston University, School for the Arts, 1971.
Mr. Romiti’s professional experience includes:
Director of Music, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Hopkinton, MA (1991-2015)
Piano Instructor/Choral Director, Enter Stage Left Theater/Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Hopkinton, MA (2007-2020).
Lecturer in Music, Rhode Island College, Providence RI (graduate and undergraduate theory), 1986-1987.
Lecturer in Music, Providence College, Providence, RI (theory, history & literature, music appreciation, twentieth century music, class piano), Providence College (1978-1987)
Artist-in-Residence, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (Artists in Education program), 1984 – 1987.
Instructor in music theory, University of Rhode Island, 1984.
Instructor in music theory, University of Toronto, 1976 - 1977.
Instructor in music theory, Performing Arts School of Worcester (Worcester, MA), 1977 - 1979.
Music Panelist, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (Project Support, Artists in Education and Fellowship Programs; member of Long Range Planning Committee, 1986 – 1987).

Recent Choral Publications include:
“Hail Mary, Full of Grace for SATB” voices and keyboard (World Library Publications)
“Adoramus Te, Christe” for SATB voices, unaccompanied (Oregon Catholic Press)
“Ding Dong! Merrily on High” for SATB voices and keyboard (Oregon Catholic Press)

Joseph Natoli, makes his home in Northeast Ohio with his wife JoAnn and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven. Joe started his studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio. Joe later attended and achieved Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music where he also studied free bass accordion as his applied major instrument with Canadian virtuoso, Joseph Macerollo.

Joe is the co-founder and director of GR8 Ideas, an organization dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge of digital accordions and digital peripherals via its web page and Facebook page. Joe has released 6 CDs, including Omaggio, Waltz For Ron, Merry Christmas, and Chameleon Vols 1 & 2, and 3. The Chameleon series CDs are 70-75 minutes each of completely original compositions in every imaginable genre including Classical, light Classical, Latin jazz, jazz ballads, contemporary, orchestral, cinematic, tango, and more (including his latest compositions including accordion orchestra pieces like Accordion Fanfare, Smooth, A New Beginning and Nine Children’s Pieces, plus solo pieces like Nostalgic Suite, Homage & Offspring to the Bumblebee, Fantasy On a Well-Known Melody, Fragments - dedicated to Richard Romiti, & We’ll Dance Again – dedicated to Donna Dee and Dennis Ray, along with many others). Joe writes for both acoustic and digital accordions, but he uses his orchestrational knowledge to exploit the coloristic possibilities of the digital accordion.

For further information, email or
Joseph Natoli

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

Intocable Evolution Tour 2023

by Christine Johnstone
IntocableVideo: Intocable performing “No Se Vuelve a Repetir”. The group from Zapata, Texas, has achieved a new milestone on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay chart. Their latest single, “No Se Vuelve a Repetir,” has climbed to No. 4 on the chart dated August 26th, 2023, extending its record for the most top 10s on the list to 47.

Tejano/Norteño group “Intocable” will tour USA from September 28th, beginning with a concert at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California, USA.

Group members are Ricardo Javier “Ricky” Muñoz (vocals & accordion – picture left), René Orlando Martínez (drums), Sergio Serna (percussion), Johnny Lee Rosas (vocals & bajo sexto), Alejandro Gulmar (bajo sexto) and Felix Salinas (bass).

October 2023 tour dates as follows:

October 1st: Santa Barbara
October 5th: Boise
October 7th: Las Vegas
October 8th: Los Angeles
October 13th: Bakersfield
October 14th: Phoenix
October 19th: Coliseo Centenario, Torreon

For details email:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Amal Quartet with Guy Klucevsek to Perform on October 7.

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Amal QuartetVideo: Little Amal Walks NYC: “Little butterfly, don’t be afraid” - Music by Guy Klucevsek & Max ZT
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, October 2022
Guy Klucevsek - Accordion, Compositions
Doug Wieselman - Bass Clarinet
Jeff Hudgins - Alto Saxophone
Volker Goetze - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Music Curating, Film Editing & Directing
Max ZT - Dulcimer, Solo Performance and final composition "Sense"
Lina Montoya - Butterflies
Helga Hansen - Cinematography
Melissa West - Curator for "Little butterfly, don't be afraid"
St. Ann's Warehouse - Producing Little Amal's visit to NYC

The Amal Quartet with Guy Klucevsek will perform on October 7, 2023 from 7-9:PM at the Snug Harbor cultural Center and Botanical Garden. The Amal Quartet project is a collaboration between Volker Goetze and Guy Klucevsek, originally formed for the historic “Little Amal Walks NYC” event a year ago at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. This program reunites the group for the first time since then, with the same personnel, to present new compositions and arrangements of Guy’s and to reprise some of the tunes from Little Amal Walks NYC.

Where: Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Main Hall Gallery, Building C
Admission: General admission $10.00 (includes gallery admission), Snug Harbor Members $8.00 (includes gallery admission)

This is Guy’s first performance since then, or, as he refers to it, his “second annual post-retirement concert.” His music has been described as “endlessly inventive, witty, moody and heartbreakingly beautiful.” Trumpeter Volker Goetze creates live performance narratives that support peace and cooperation in this turbulent era with a “remarkable sense of cultural diversity… showcasing an uncanny ability to listen and respond… in an exquisite musical beauty.” (JAZZIZ)

This performance is made possible by a DCLA Art Fund Grant from Staten Island Arts, with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs enabling the creation of new material and a recording, which the quartet is making the week leading up to the concert, and the concert as well.

Newhouse After Dark is made possible through generous support from the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

For further information:

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

“Lou Jacklich Plays!” Free eTrack MP3 Download Album, Limited Offer

by Harley Jones
San Francisco
album coverAs a special celebration of his 95th birthday, Lou Jacklich has authorized that his mp3 album “Lou Jacklich Plays!” and updated history be sent free (zipped file for downloading) to all requests received by November 15, 2023. Send request with your name and email address for this excellent eTrack album to Pamela Tom:

Thank you to Lou Jacklich,, and Pamela Tom for making this very fine gift of accordion music available free.

Testimonial: Dear Pam, I am so impressed with Lou’s recordings. They are wonderful and demonstrate so much talent and skill. I am a true admirer of Lou. Thank you for sending the recordings. Signed, Bonnie Birch. Bonnie Birch is Chairman and Producer of the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, Producer of Seattle's Day of the Accordion, President of Northwest Accordion Society.

The “Lou Jacklich Plays” 33-1/3 RPM LP record album (available on Amazon, Discogs and eBay) contains 1950s unique electronic accordion arrangements on the Melodiosa accordion with a Lovell organ attachment. Accordionist Lou Jacklich (31 yrs old at the time) artistically arranged classical and standard pieces as part of his professional act on tour. Twelve of his numerous pioneered arrangements have been well-preserved thankfully through recordings. Lou Jacklich is a highly respected and well-known West Coast teacher and performer with nearly eight decades to his credit.
Lou Jacklich birthday party online meeting

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Stas Venglevski Concert & Workshop at A World of Accordions Museum – USA

by Rob Howard
AWAM poster
Stas Venglevski will perform at A World of Accordions Museum Harrington Arts Centre in Superior, Wisconsin, USA on October 15th at 2pm.

Part of the proceeds from the concert will go to support A World of Accordions Museum.

The following day, October 16th, Stas will give a free workshop at 2pm on original music for accordion.

See poster above for details.

Titano Accordion Company

Grupo Frontera Performs on Good Morning America (GMA)

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Grupo Frontera

Grupo FronteraVideo 1: Groupo Frontera live on GMA, Good Morning America on Sept. 27, 2023

Video 2: Grupo Frontera x Bad Bunny - UN X100TO (Video Oficial)

Grupo Frontera, is an American South Texas band that has taken the Latin music scene by storm. They performed their hit song “un x100to” on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. The band, which consists of six members, delivered a lively and energetic performance. The band includes Adelaido "Payo" Solís III, Juan Javier Cantú, Julian Peña Jr., Alberto "Beto" Acosta, Carlos Guerrero, and Carlos Zamora. The group began recording locally in 2019, releasing covers of Latin pop and Norteño songs. Writer ELizabeth Souder shares, “It’s hard to square the idea of cowboys on stage at Coachella, the indie rock festival that boasts the biggest names in popular music. But there they are in YouTube videos, six guys in cowboy hats, jeans, and boots, on stage playing a cumbia with Bad Bunny.

The story of how Grupo Frontera, a Tejano band from South Texas, caught the attention of the Puerto Rican rapper, producer, and global sensation Bad Bunny and went on to record a song together that rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Global 200, and to make a music video that has amassed almost 150 million views in just a few weeks, isn’t your typical country music tale. Not long ago, Grupo Frontera was a local band playing traditional ranchera music, with guitars and an accordion, at parties around their hometown of Edinburg, Texas. They liked to play covers of the Mexican-style country music they grew up with. But with their distinctive, smooth style, Grupo Frontera outgrew party gigs and soon began recording with top Tejano talent.

The group has since become a catalyst for a movement of northern Mexican regional music that is sweeping Latin charts and, now, mainstream music.“I really love Grupo Frontera because I think they have a lot of feelings in their songs,” said Bad Bunny (the stage name for Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. “This authentic music made by young people, that’s what I love. They have the authentic sound, the essence, but with a new color, a new sound. It’s fresh. It’s totally different.”

When songwriter and producer Edgar Barrera discovered Grupo Frontera in his hometown of McAllen, Texas, they were playing for the opening of a tire shop, he told Variety. At the time, the band couldn’t have envisioned playing Coachella. What they aspired to, they told Barrera, was to work with Mexican ranchero artist Carin Leon. Barrera made it happen, and the collaboration landed the group on the Billboard Hot 100 early this year with the song “Que Vuelvas.” After that initial success, Barrera told Variety, Grupo Frontera had significant offers from record labels, but the group chose to stick with the Barrera partnership. It would soon pay off.

They recorded “Un x100to,” a love song about a man who uses the final  1 percent of his phone battery life to reach out to a lost love.
“When our grandparents were dating, they would send letters; when our parents were dating, they would make phone calls. Now that we’re in a different era, we send text messages,” percussionist Julián Peña Jr. told the Los Angeles Times. They planned to make a video for the song and chose a ghost town in Nevada as the location. On the day of the video shoot, producer Barrera told the band he had a surprise. As they were on set, Barrera suddenly said he wanted to change the song to a new version. As the band grappled with that odd direction, Bad Bunny strolled in. And Grupo Frontera made a video of a version of their song they’d never heard before, with a new verse sung by a major recording star, who was right there dancing next to them.

As Grupo Frontera vocalist Adelaido “Payo” Solis III told podcaster Lowe, he had to focus on making the video, but he couldn’t stop staring at the superstar standing next to him.“We actually didn’t know we were going to work with him until the day of the video,” Solis said. “We recorded the song without knowing he was going to be on the song.” As the band told Lowe, if you watch the video closely, you can tell something special is happening: They can’t stop smiling.

The song “un x100to” is from their debut album, “El Comienzo”, which was released in August 2023. The album has been a huge success, earning the group 15 nominations for the Billboard Latin Awards. The album also spawned three songs that reached the Billboard Hot 100, making Grupo Frontera one of the few Latin acts to achieve this feat in their first year together.”

In December 2022, a collaboration with Fuerza Regida titled "Bebé Dame" reached number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs charts and peaked at number 25 on Billboard Hot 100, becoming their first top 40 hit. Excerpts from Wikipedia: By May 2023, the band achieved its first top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the Bad Bunny collaboration "Un x100to". In response to this, Grupo Frontera announced a 23-date tour to begin in mid-2023. An article in Billboard considered the band's success integral in the breakthrough of the regional Mexican genre.The band achieved fame through their norteño cumbias, but upon the release of their full-length debut album in August 2023, they proved they could delve into other regional Mexican styles, as well as outside the genre.

The band blends various genres of Latin music, such as cumbia, Tejano, Norteño, reggaeton, and pop, creating a unique and catchy sound that appeals to a wide audience. Grupo Frontera has been praised for their talent, charisma, and authenticity. They have also been recognized for their positive message and their representation of the Latino community in the US. They have said that they want to inspire other young Latinos to pursue their dreams and to be proud of their culture.

The band is currently on a nationwide tour that will end in December 2023. They have also announced that they are working on their second album, which they hope to release in 2024. They have promised that it will be even better than their first one. Grupo Frontera is definitely a band to watch out for. They have proven that they have what it takes to conquer the music industry and to make history. With their catchy songs, their amazing performances, and their passionate fans, they are unstoppable.
Grupo Frontera

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

Future Concerts and Profile of Michael Bridge

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News

Michael BridgeVideo 1: Michael Bridge Profile
Video 2: Oblivion (Piazzolla) on Digital Accordion - Michael Bridge

Michael Bridge is at home with jazz, folk and classical music. Michael has premiered 53 new works. If pushed, he’ll say he likes Baroque music best because of its unforgiving demand for clarity of intent and execution.

He began playing when he was 5 and growing up in Calgary. His mom bought an accordion at a garage sale for $5. A family friend started teaching him to play by ear. Formal lessons began at 7. At 15 he attended the World Accordion Championship as a spectator. For the first time he heard classical accordion and fell in love with it. He started all over again, mastering a completely different kind of accordion and a whole new technique. He was soon offering a hundred community concerts a year as a soloist with orchestra or string quartet or with his two ensembles.

He’s also a serious academic having received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Toronto studying with Joseph Macerollo (the first Canadian to do so), and is a Rebanks Fellows at the Glenn Gould School. Bridge (along with his clarinet partner Kornel Wolak) performs on a digital accordion - essentially a computer housed in a conventional accordion case. This extraordinary piece of technological wizardry imitates the sound of just about any instrument you can imagine. He can single-handedly shake the rafters with a convincing “1812 Overture”, canons and bells included. Bridge & Wolak concerts capture the energy and panache of stadium rock with the discipline and finesse of chamber music. Think Bach on steroids. 

He’s also mastered the more familiar acoustic accordion, a soulful, highly expressive instrument, essential to the music of Toronto-based Ladom Ensemble. Along with cello, piano and percussion, the Ladom quartet creates a sophisticated blend of everything from traditional Persian melodies, to Bach and Piazzolla, to Radiohead.

Upcoming 2023 Performances include:
Cobourg, ON: October 21, 2023 @ 2:25 PM
Vintage Film Festival
Michael will accompany “Phantom of the Opera” (1925) silent film on digital accordion.

Brockville, ON: October 28, 2023 @ 7:PM
TANGORIUM: Bridge & Wolak and the Queen’s University Symphony Orchestra
Brockville Concert Association 75th Anniversary Season Opener (Brockille Arts Centre)

Toronto, ON: November 11-18, 2023
National Ballet of Canada: Emma Bovary

Edmontonn, AB: November 27 - December 9, 2023
University of Alberta - Dept. of Music, Distinguished Visitors masterclasses
University of Alberta - Dept. of Theatre, production of “Indecent”
On-stage musician with Kornel Wolak and Guillaume Tardif

ATG TeachTalk (online): November 19, 2023, 3pm Central Time
An open discussion for accordion teachers (free). Info:

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Will Holshouser and Eric Vloeimans on Fall USA Tour

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News

CDWill and EricVideo 1: Eric Vloeimans & Will Holshouser, "Innermission 11" composed by Eric Vloeimans

Video 2: "Deep Gap" (for Doc Watson), Eric Vloeimans & Will Holshouser

Accordionist Will Holshouser and trumpeter Eric Vloeimans have a very busy fall season. Try to attend one of their performances, An adventurous trumpet and accordion duo, Eric Vloeimans and Will Holshouser play evocative original music that blends jazz, classical and folk music: rich harmonies, catchy melodies, and energetic improvising span the range from emotional to fun. These two virtuoso musicians use the intimacy of the duo setting to full effect, taking listeners on a journey through a variety of musical landscapes.

Their latest album, “Two for the Road (V-Flow/Challenge Jazz)” is available on Bandcamp and other online platforms. Eric Vloeimans (trumpet) is one of the Netherlands’ best-known musicians and has just won his eighth Edison Prize (the “Dutch Grammy”). Will Holshouser (accordion) is a veteran of the New York scene and has played all over the world with a wide variety of artists.

“An accordion and a trumpet. They brought a sold-out house . . . to ecstasy.” –JazzNu (NL)

Excerpts from Will and Eric’s website: “Will Holshouser is an accordionist, composer and improviser whose music draws on a wide variety of inspirations, from traditional accordion folk styles to jazz, hymns, classical and experimental music. Embracing clear melodies, pulsating rhythms and contrapuntal textures, Will’s music relates to many different musical languages.

As a working musician in New York who plays with artists in many genres from around the world, he distills these experiences into his own compositions, exploring new sounds while staying in touch with the accordion’s expressive qualities and sense of fun.  Three albums of music for his trio were released on the Portuguese label Clean Feed. A collaborative trio with Matt Munisteri and Marcus Rojas, Musette Explosion, made an album that received widespread acclaim. Will has performed all over the world with artists such as Regina Carter, David Krakauer, Antony & the Johnsons, Han Bennink & Michael Moore, Uri Caine, Andy Statman, Mark Morris Dance, Guy Klucevsek, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Suzanne Vega, and others. Will studied accordion and composition with Dr. William Schimmel, and composition with Tania León and Dalit Warshaw at Brooklyn College.

Trumpeter Eric Vloeimans has led a wide variety of ensembles over the years and is a frequent guest soloist with bands and orchestras of all kinds. He has won several Edison prizes (the “Dutch Grammy”) for his recordings. His own projects have included his "chamber-jazz” Fugimundi trio, Gatecrash, and Oliver’s Cinema. These groups perform a wide range of highly original music and have toured throughout Europe, Asia and the USA.

Vloeimans' versatility, easy-going attitude and great sense of humor have brought him to play with artists such as Mercer Ellington, John Taylor, Peter Erskine, The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Wayne Horvitz, Nguyên Lê, Jimmy Haslip, Joey Baron, the Holland Baroque Society, the Matangi Quartet, Bojan Z., the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and many others. He has played all over the world, and experiences from his travels can be heard in many of his compositions. Eric Vloeimans is a musician who plays from the heart; he has shown a remarkable power to create bridges and connect with audiences all over the world.”

Upcoming 2023 Performances Include:
Fri. Oct. 13 / Los Angeles at The Unwrinkled Ear series at Beyond Baroque
8:00 PM, $10 - $20
681 Venice Boulevard Los Angeles CA, 90291

Tues. Oct. 17 / Phoenixville, PA at Musicivic at St. John's Lutheran Church
7:30 PM, free
355 Saint Johns Circle, Phoenixville, PA 19460

Weds. Oct 18 / Philadelphia at Musicivic at Temple Ambler
7:30 PM, free
580 Meetinghouse Road, Ambler, PA

Thurs. Oct. 19 / Rochester, NY at The Bop Shop
8:PM, $20
1460 Monroe Avenue, Rochester NY

Fri. Oct. 20 / West Fulton, NY at Panther Creek Arts
7:PM, $20
1468 Sawyer Hollow Road, West Fulton, NY 12194

Sat. Oct. 21 / Brooklyn, NY at Barbes
8:PM, $20 suggested
376 Ninth St., Brooklyn NY

Sun. Oct. 22 / Southern Pines, NC at The Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities
7:00 pm, $30 members, $40 non-members
555 East Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines NC

Photo credit: Reuben Radding

For further information:
c. 347-439-2480

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Latest Article on AAA Commissioned Series, Aria by William Grant Still

by Dr. Robert Young McMahan Chair, AAA Composers Commissioning Committee
AAA Header
Dr Robert Young McMahanWilliam Grant StillThe original version of my article on Aria, the first of two delightful AAA commissioned solos by the famed and popular African American composer, William Grant Still (picture right), appeared in the 2001 issue of the American Accordionists’ Association Festival Journal. The expanded article is now online.

As with all my updated, expanded articles, this one includes new historical information, more photos from Elsie Bennett’s historical photo albums, and the new and very important feature of musical examples accompanying far deeper analytical descriptions of the work.

View the latest article about Aria by William Grant Still at:

Note: Readers, particularly those in the New York area, who would like to hear live performances of AAA commissioned works are encouraged to attend a free annual afternoon concert by Dr. William Schimmel and associated accordionists to take place in the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, at Lincoln Center, on October 14, at 1:00 pm. Included in this year’s program are two AAA commissions, Lilt, by William Grant Still, and Lamentations, by Virgil Thomson, to be performed by Dr. McMahan. See article titled: "Accordionist Dr. Bill Schimmel Performs with Musical Guests" in this news for more information.

Titano Accordion Company

32nd Cotati Accordion Festival 2023

by Tracey Collins
Cotati Poster 2023
Cotati 2023Cotati 2023Report by professional accordionist Tracey Collins (picture above) about her trip to California: I was invited to headline at the 32nd Cotati Accordion Festival in Cotati, California, USA on August 19th and 20th. It was excellent to finally perform in person as I was unable to attend due to the 2020 lockdown, however, I still managed to perform online.

Scott Goree (Executive Director) and Cory Pesaturo, a great friend whom I had met in Auckland, New Zealand at the Coupe Mondiale in 2009 made all this happen.

Following my flight, it was a long 2.5 hour wait at customs and Cory Pesaturo was kind enough to pick me up at the airport. We had just enough time for a little tour of San Francisco, then we went to visit Steve Albini at his gig. Steve Albini kindly loaned me his Petosa accordion over the weekend. I had never played this model before so was a little nervous at first about performing with it (like driving a new car!).

Every year Cory Pesaturo is invited to do a pre-festival performance for a lovely bunch of locals, so I managed to give it a test run there. Cory also performing with his very talented friend Yasmine Azaiez on violin. An excellent first day/night before the festival even started!

I performed two sets over two days at the Cotati Festival which went super well and was a lot of fun. The audience was very receptive and really love and appreciate the accordion!

Cory and I managed to perform a couple of duets during each of our sets. We played Volare and La Cumpersita (picture above left). Every year they present an Honorary Director for the festival and this year it was Frank Lima “The Great Morgani”, who has since retired but it was a nice acknowledgment for his contribution to the accordion world.

There were many excellent performers at this year’s festival – Erica Mancini, Foleada Forro, Those Darn Accordions, Elena Stenkina to name a few, showcasing the diverse range of genres you can play on an accordion.

On Sunday August 20th, we had the finale show and many of the performers all got together to perform, a great way to end the festival (picture below).

The whole Cotati team were so organized and the festival ran super smoothly. They certainly made you really feel a part of the community, for this very special event.

Following the festival, Cory, myself, Elena, and Yasmine along with 3 x instruments and luggage crammed ourselves in the hire car enroute towards LA. We couldn’t take the coastal route due to flooding, so the only other alternative was one loooong straight road! But thanks to good music, banter and roadside Pistachios, Fresh Strawberries and Garlic Ice Cream, we made it in 12 hours to stay with Liz Finch who was so lovely and accommodated us over the next few days.

Tuesday night, August 22nd, Cory arranged a house concert at his friend Leah Zeger’s place (another very talented violinist). We were surrounded by an amazingly talented group of artists and supporters and were lucky enough to perform and jam with everyone. It was a superb night! Wednesday 23rd, was our last night in LA and Cory surprised Elena and I with tickets to see Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl which was terrific. Joni Mitchell, Santana also made guest appearances.

I enjoyed a fantastic trip and I wish to extend a big thanks to Cory for being a terrific tour guide and host and to Scott Goree and the team for arranging my Cotati performances.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Accordionist Dr. Bill Schimmel Performs with Musical Guests

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dr. Bill SchimmelDr. Bill Schimmel will perform on Saturday, October 14, 2023 from 1 - 3 PM (End times are approximate. Events may end early or late.) The location is the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium. Admission is free but reservations are required:

Accordionist Dr. William Schimmel and his team are back once again with a provocative array of new accordion works as well as new takes on old ones. Accordionist Dr. William Schimmel and his group perform songs from all across the globe. From The Mexican Hat Dance, to Wozzeck, to Zen Blues, Schimmel and company will cross all borders. Dr. Schimmel will be joined on stage by performers Brian Dewan, Corn Mo, Benjamin ickies, Melissa Elledge, Dr. Denise Koncelik, William Komaiko, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Dan Cooper, Lynn Bechtold.

William Schimmel holds BM, MS and DMA degrees, with a doctorate from the Juilliard School. He has performed with virtually every ensemble in New York, from the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, many contemporary ensembles, and on Broadway as well as on numerous European tours. His Tango Project albums have reached #1 on the Billboard charts along with Stereo Review Album of the Year and Grammy nominations.

He has performed in many movie soundtracks, and can be seen and heard in "Scent of a Woman" starring Al Pacino. His current album, "The Theater of the Accordion" features trumpeter Wynton Marsalas and has reached #2 on the Amazon charts. Dr. Schimmel resides in Manhattan with his wife, Micki Goodman, a dancer/choreographer and video artist. Together they have produced numerous videos that can be seen and heard on YouTube. Dr. Schimmel’s works are currently being archived at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Photo Credit; Paul Crisanti

For further information:


Dominic Karcic and Frank Toscano Perform for Octoberfest Celebration

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dominic and FrankAccordionists Dominic Karcic and Frank Toscano will entertain from 3:PM to 6:PM on October 30, 2023 in an Octoberfest Celebration at the Six Harbors Brewing Company, 243 New York Ave.,Huntington, NY 11743. Make your reservations for this fun evening very soon.

AAA Board member, accordionist, pianist, and band leader, Dominic Karcic attended St. Francis of Assisi grammar school, William Cullen Bryant high school, New York College of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and continued his education at the City University of New York (CCNY) where he received his Masters Degree in Music.

Dominic (Photo right) was one of the founders and first president of the Adriatic Islands Charity Committee and served as its president for thirteen years during his tenure the committee raising thousands of dollars for senior citizen homes, hospitals and churches in the Mali Losinj (Lussin Piccolo) area of Croatia. The organizations first fund raiser at the Oyster Bay caterering house in Astoria, NY attracted nine-hundred and fifty people and Dominic and his orchestra supplied the music for the monumental event.

Dominic has always played professionally (accordion and piano) in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today. He and his musicians “The Continental Sound” have been house musicians at the Columbus Citizens Foundation (NYC) for over twenty-five years and he has played for organizations like the Valtarese Foundation (Parma, Italy), Fubinese Society (Piemonte, Italy), Italian Charities of Queens, NY, Italian Heritage Association of Long Island, La Pace Restaurant (Glen Cove, NY) and also at Magnanini Winery in Wallkill, NY.

His love for the Valtaro Musette music was instilled in him through his years of study with noted accordionist Peter Spagnoli. In recent years he has been involved in the preservation and documentation of this musical style. He collaborated in writing a biographical article on the life and career of accordionist John “Scudlein” Brugnoli (founder of the Valtaro Musette Orchestra).

Dominic founded the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) The wide spread success of LIAA events has endeared it to accordionists and accordion music lovers from all over the New York Metro area and has made it (LIAA) and its events the “Voice of the Accordion on Long Island.” He also created and performs with various singers in a program titled "From Broadway to the Met” which features the music of the American Song Book and Opera.

Noted accordionist Frank Toscano who was featured in the movie “The Many Saints of Newark” was asked to arrange and perform music for the soundtrack for the movie which was released in 2021. Frank recorded eight songs and performed in the movie. Frank appears in the film with guitarist, Steve Lucas, in the scene of the confirmation party for Janice, Tony’s sister. The movie is a prequel to the popular series “The Sopranos”.

Among the songs he played were “Ferry Boat Serenade”, “Volare”, “The Nearness of You” and “Core Grate”. For the scene Frank wore a red tuxedo jacket and slicked back hair, He played a Verde acoustic accordion. Frank said the director and cast enthusiastically applauded him at the end of the scene. The music/soundtrack was recorded at The Hit Factory in New York City. The challenge, according to Frank, was to play the song during filming exactly as it was recorded at The Hit Factory since that recording was used during the filming of the movie, Of course, Frank was able to easily accomplish the task.

A professional musician since the age of eight, Frank Toscano has made music his entire life. 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 said, “Emilio provided me with a solid classical foundation, for which I am forever grateful. I was very fortunate to have such a great teacher who he himself is also a Virtuoso Accordionist.” As Frank continued through the years practicing, he mastered the instrument and it was only natural for him to become a professional musician. He wanted more though...more music... and so he learned, studied jazz and mastered the art of playing the Piano (taught himself) and at the age of twenty-one opened the Frank Toscano Music School.

Now some 50 years later the school continues to flourish with young and not so young talent. Still teaching everyday, his undying passion for music and performing never seems to subside. He has performed live with and for many artists including Michail Baryshnikov and Aidan Quinn and can also be heard on many recordings of other artists... too numerous to mention. Frank performed for Steve Schirripa and the entire Soprano’s Cast to help launch an up and coming new T.V. show.

He has also had the pleasure of performing with Joe Piscopo and Vocalist Debra Toscano. Frank has performed many steady engagements at many prominent clubs in the Tri-State area such as the Playboy Club, North Hempstead Country Club, Rockland Country Club and many more. Currently you can hear Frank perform solo at the Magnanini Winery & also in concert with the newly formed “Amazing Accordion Kings”. Among his accomplishments Frank arranged, conducted, and performed on three great CD’s. “Accordion To Frank”, a solo CD which embraces the flavor of Traditional styled music laced with a hint of Modern Jazz paying homage to his Accordion heritage. The “The Amazing Accordion Kings” Volumes One and Two were arranged, performed and conducted with two other great Accordionists, Angelo DiPippo and Manny Corallo. These latest CD’s contain compilations of Opera to Jazz. Frank Toscano, a true musician, a true professional...and most certainly a true artist.

For further information:

“Duo Two Accordions” Sergei and Maria Teleshev

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sergei and Maria
Video: Sergei & Maria Teleshev Father/Daughter Duo Two Accordions

Family "Duo Two Accordions" is a unique collaboration between father and daughter, both well known musicians. Being a Live on Stage 2023-2024 season artist, the Vocal/Accordion Duo Two Accordions is a successful and popular group in this genre.

Their versatility, musicianship, and creativity, stage presence and finesse, make their show a “must-see”. Sergei Teleshev's sensational performance of “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by J.S. Bach reached 3 million views and is very popular on YouTube. Maria’s talent is not limited to her exceptional duet and solo accordion performances. She plays other instruments and is also a talented dancer and award-winning singer in both Russian and English. Duo Two Accordions is among the most striking duos in the United States.

Duo Two Accordions maintains a busy fall schedule presenting a memorable program that you will enjoy. Classically trained at the Academy of Music in Voronezh, Russia, Sergei Teleshev has won numerous regional accordion competitions. In addition, he collaborates with many internationally recognized artists, ensembles, and orchestras, composing and arranging music and participating in recording projects of different genres. Sergei is also available for online accordion lessons, master classes, and educational school programs for all ages.

To view the artistry of this father/daughter team, please visit their YouTube playlist: Duo Two Accordions

Upcoming Concerts:

Upcoming 2023 performances include:
October 13, 14: Lyndon Music Festival in Lyndon, WA
October 17: Beaverton, Or O,R. Center for the Arts
October 19, 20, 21, 22: Sergei performs with Ballet Fantastique at the Hult Center-Soreng Theater in Eugene, OR.

2024 performances include:
1/25/2024 Borger Senior High School, Borger, TX
1/27/2024 TBA, Dallas, TX
2/8/2024 State Theatre, Oroville, CA
2/21/2024 Arts Center, Polson, MT
3/19/2024 Performing Arts Center, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
3/22/2024 First United Methodist Church, Lompoc, CA

For further information or to order Duo Two Accordions CD:

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Set The Stage And Jazz It Up at the Pequot Library!

by Marilyn O'Neil, Connecticut Accordion Association President
CAA orchestra
RileyPeter PelusoJoin the Connecticut Accordion Association at the Pequot Library in Southport, CT on October 28, 2023 from 2-4:PM when the Connecticut Accordion Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Peter Peluso, will perform a variety of pieces from musical theater and classic jazz. Added to the repertoire will be Mary Jane Peluso on piano in a superb rendition of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Vocalists from within the orchestra will perform. In addition, the orchestra will accompany a young vocal student of Peter Peluso's. Riley Lincavicks will perform "What I Did For Love," from the musical “A Chorus Line” and "Maybe This Time," from “Cabaret”.

Peter Peluso has long been a teacher and mentor of successful young vocalists. A teacher of the arts in Hartford, CT for years, Peter has been a mainstay in musical theater and choral groups in and around his hometown of Plainville, CT.

Riley Lincavicks is a prime example of the collaboration between teacher and student. Riley has been taking voice lessons for 15 years. She attended Shenandoah Conservatory, where she graduated with her BFA in Musical Theatre and her Masters in Performing Arts Leadership and Management. She has performed in regional theaters and theme parks across the country. Some of her favorite roles include Olive Ostrovsky ( Spelling Bee) and Wendla Bergmann (Spring Awakening). Up next she will be performing on the Essex Steam Train for their holiday season.

List of pieces on the program:
“In The Mood”
“Fly Me To The Moon”, with vocalist and CAA Accordionist Charles Fanghella
“A String Of Pearls”
“Cheek to Cheek”, with vocalist and CAA Accordionist Brenda Hui
“Rhapsody In Blue”, CAA Orchestra accompanying pianist Mary Jane Peluso
Theme from "Rocky" arranged by Ray De Brown
“Ferryboat Serenade”, arranged by Al Terzo
“What I Did For Love”
“When I'm 64”
“Maybe This Time”
“Beer Barrel Polka”
“Sweet Caroline”, with vocalist Charles Fanghella
“God Bless America”

General Admission:  $15.00
Mattatuck Museum Members: $10.00
Age 18 and under: $5.00

For further information:

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Rachel Bell Fall Update

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Eloise and Co

Video 1: Eloise & Co.: “Bottle This Stuff” Tune by Rachel Bell
Becky Tracy: fiddle, octave fiddle, vocals
Rachel Bell: accordion, piano, vocals
Video by Dylan Ladds:
Filmed at Scott Farm Orchard. Enormous thanks to Scott Farm and the Stone Trust for sharing this magical place with us!

Video 2: Eloise & Co.: “We're Not Broken” Tune by Rachel Bell
Becky Tracy, fiddle
Rachel Bell, accordion
Bethany Waickman, guitar
Video, audio recording, and mixing by Dylan Ladds
Filmed at Jared Flynn's Moon Bridge on the grounds of Green Mountain Orchards, Putney, VT, on September 24, 2022.

This project is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Community Foundation. Rachel shares, “Thanks to the Artist Development Grant for making it possible!”

Accordionist Rachel Bell is a versatile musician, sought after for concerts, contra dances, French BalFolk dances, English country dances, workshops, and festivals. Her playing spans an enormous range of emotion, from nuanced and sensitive to exhilarating and powerful, pushing the boundaries of what is expected from an accordion. “Bottle This” is their latest video.

Her group, Eloise & Co., features the combined creative force of two of the country’s most sought-after acoustic traditional musicians, Becky Tracy and Rachel Bell on accordion, piano, and vocals with Becky Tracy on fiddle, octave fiddle, and vocals.These two, sometimes playing as a duo and other times joined by one of several powerhouse backup players including Owen Morrison, Bethany Waickman, Rachel Aucoin, and Andrew VanNorstrand, crank out dance and concert music with unbridled energy and soaring beauty.

Rachel’s work is infused with a contagious enthusiasm for her instrument and a deep respect for the musical traditions she carries. She loves to create authentic connections with audiences everywhere—from packed, energized dance halls to small, intimate house concert settings. She is passionate about sharing with others the delight she finds in this music.

Excerpts from her website: Rachel draws her inspiration from Celtic, French, English, New England, and Quebecois traditions. She cranks out new material while deeply respecting and cherishing the melodies that have been around for hundreds of years. She thrives on ensemble projects—especially with her bands Eloise & Co., Peregrine Road, Alchemy, and Old World Charm School—and feels most alive when she’s exploring creative intersections and breathing life into tunes crafted with others. One of Rachel’s most fulfilling projects is a collaboration with choreographer Susan Kevra. Together, they are writing new dance and tune compositions for the English country dance repertoire, and they plan to publish a book and recording of these compositions.

Rachel and Becky sometimes playing as a duo and other times joined by one of several powerhouse backup players including Owen Morrison, Bethany Waickman, Rachel Aucoin, and Andrew VanNorstrand, crank out dance and concert music with unbridled energy and soaring beauty.

Originally thrown together at a gig where Becky led the contra dance portion of the evening and Rachel led the French dance part of the evening, they have continued to fuse these two elements into their concerts and dances, as well as adding songs and original compositions to the mix. Their first recording, “More, Please” was released in July of 2018, and as it name suggests, they are already dreaming of the next recording. Follow Eloise & Co. on Facebook.

Upcoming 2023 Gigs:
Sep 29 Fri.:Alchemy @ Adirondack Dance Weekend @ 6:00pm
Silver Bay, NY, United States

Oct. 5 Thu. Bal folk musicians' workshop and dance w/Susan Kevra @ 6:30pm
Minneapolis, MN, United States

Oct. 6 Fri. English Country Dance Weekend w/Alchemy & Susan Kevra @ 7:00pm
Minneapolis, MN, United States

Oct. 13 Fri. Eloise & Co.: Harvest Moon Contra Dance Weekend @ 7:00pm
Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Oct. 19 Thu. Alchemy Yarmouth, ME concert @ 7:00pm
Walnut Hill, ME, United States

Oct. 20 Fri.. Alchemy Ellsworth, ME concert @ 1:00pm
Ellsworth, ME, United States

Oct. 21 Sat. Belfast Alchemy Concert @ 4:00pm
Belfast, ME, United States

Oct. 22 Sun. Alchemy Camden, ME concert @ 4:00pm
Camden, ME, United States
Tickets RSVP

Parlor Room bal folk tune workshop series: Learn a set of hanter dros @ 5:00pm
Northampton, MA, United States

Parlor Room Workshop: Piano Accordion-Learn a tune from Rachel's book @ 7:00pm
Northampton, MA, United States

Oct. 26 Thu. Eloise & Co.: Double duo Boston house concert w/ Casey Murray & Molly Tucker @ 7:00pm
Cambridge, MA, United States

Oct. 27 Fri. Eloise & Co.: Double duo Peaks Island concert with Casey Murray & Molly Tucker @ 7:00pm
Peaks Island, ME, United States

Oct. 29 Sun. Eloise & Co.: Brattleboro Bal Folk @ 6:30pm
Guilford, VT, United States

For further information:

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

Annual NorthEast Squeeze-In

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
NE Squeeze In
The Annual NorthEast Squeeze-In will be held at the Wisdom House Retreat & Conference Center in Litchfield, Connecticut, USA from September 30th to October 3rd, 2023.

The event is a gathering of free-reed players and their partners—not a festival, not a tutorial camp, but a laid-back music-filled weekend organized and led by volunteers who play concertina, button accordion, piano accordion, and the like. Participants range from absolute beginners to seasoned professionals.

They offer each other workshops, play tunes and songs in an amazing assortment of genres, jam from early morning until late at night, and present an eclectic concert on Saturday in which performers of every level and any instrument are welcome. The concert is followed by a contra dance, along with informal sessions that take place in every nook and cranny of the venue.

For more information email:

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

Future events

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

Stas Venglevski and Murl Allen Sanders in Concert

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Stas and Murl in Concert
On November 11, 2023 at 7:PM, Stas Venglevski and Murl Allen Sanders will perform together for the first time. The program will feature classical, jazz, original music and more.

The concert honors the 100th anniversary of Petosa Accordions. The concert takes place at:
Chapel Theater
Good Shepherd Center
4949 Sunnyside Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103

Adults: $25 in advance. $30 at the door
Seniors: $10 in advance. $15 at the door
Students: Free

You can learn about the 100th Anniversary of Petosa in the December 2022 USA news.

For more information: Megumi Hada:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Vladimir Mollov to Perform with the Cleveland Orchestra

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News

Vladimir MollovVideo 1: Vladimir Mollov performs a rendition of Richard Galliano's "A French Touch”. He shares, “Exploring some features of my Roland digital accordion. In this video I use the looper for the drum part and an upright bass to try and approximate the sound of a jazz trio.”

Video 2: “Breeze From Paris” is a French Musette composed by Vladimir Mollov

Accordionist Vladimir Mollov will be joining the fabulous musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 7:30 PM for a few performances of Johannes Maria Staud's "Whereas Reality Trembles". The program also features works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Franz Welser-Möst is the conductor.

Vladimir is part of a family of self-taught wedding musicians. Vladimir shares, “As my father is also an accordionist, I was inspired by the sounds of the accordion since early childhood. At eighteen months old, I "played" my little accordion alongside my father at weddings – go to the photo gallery for proof! When I was seven I started taking formal accordion lessons with the nationally recognized pedagogue Nadejda Nicheva in Kazanluk, Bulgaria. Later on I studied with Dr. Peter Marinov at the National Music Academy, the internationally recognized accordion artist Hristina Danova, and Nedelcho Dimitrov, a laureate of national and international accordion festivals and competitions. Looking back I consider this to be a period of great musical growth and inspiration for me.

Thanks to the impeccable guidance of my teachers and long hours of practicing, I received recognition at several Bulgarian and international accordion competitions. At age thirteen I placed fourth in an accordion competition in Vladivostok. Two years later I placed first in the International Competition for Accordion and Guitar in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria, and received fourth place in the World Accordion Competition in Castelfidardo, Italy. I also won first place at the 2002 National Competition for Variety Music and Jazz in Novi Pazar, Bulgaria, and second place with a special award for virtuosic performance of folk music in the National Accordion Competition 2000 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In 2002 I came to the United States to continue my education at Duquesne University. I joined the DU Tamburitzans with whom I performed more than three hundred and fifty shows over a four-year period. I still continue to arrange dance and instrumental music for the ensemble and still keep in touch with the many friends I made there.

The years following graduation have been filled with multiple musical projects and endeavors. In 2009, I recorded my first album, Dreams, featuring all original instrumental pieces based on Bulgarian ethnic music as well as French musette and jazz. I am a founding member of the Argentinean tango quintet, Cuidado, with which I recorded an album featuring traditional and modern tangos as well as two of my original compositions. I have performed with the Kruno Spisic Gypsy Jazz Ensemble, Bulgarika, Daphne Alderson, and numerous other bands and artists. I was also featured as a guest on Babik's 2008 gypsy jazz album, American Gypsy.”

The October 5 program includes:
Mozart:  "Symphony No. 29"
Johannes Maria Staud: “Whereas the Reality Trembles” [World Premiere; Cleveland Orchestra co-commission}
Tchaikovsky:”Symphony No. 2” Tchaikovsky considered Ukraine a second home and refuge, and he began work on this symphony while staying just outside of Kyiv. One of his most joyful compositions, this symphony creatively incorporates Ukrainian folk songs. The concert features a percussion concerto commissioned for Christoph Sietzen, who has been praised as an outstanding talent, “a refreshingly natural musician notable for his technical mastery and powerful stage presence.”  
This program’s Concert Preview lectures will be presented by James Wilding, Professor of Composition and Theory, The University of Akron 
The program takes place at the Severance Music Center,11001 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio. For tickets: 216-231-7300

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

5 Day Cruise with Flogging Molly

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Flogging Mollt
Matt HensleyVideo: Flogging Molly - The Croppy Boy '98 (Official Live Video)

Flogging Molly is hitting the high seas once again and bringing you along! This year’s Salty Dog Cruise is sailing from Miami to Harvest Caye, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico aboard the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. From insane concerts, to professional skaters flying high to soaking up the sun with a cocktail from the open bar in hand, this now 5 day event has it all!

Matt Hensley is the accordionist for Flogging Molly Matt Hensley’s art reflects a wide spectrum of passions and motivations. He is an influential member of the skateboarding community and accordion player of the Celtic Punk Band Flogging Molly. Matt’s hands are constantly in a creative motion, working to build, create and learn. His art not only reflects his passions through block prints and paintings, but also his craftsmanship, as they are each presented within a handmade frame. They are available for sale.

Flogging Molly will be rockin’ the pool deck with two unique sets just for you. You can also join them for wine tastings, whiskey tastings (of course!) and more! They’ll be bringing back crowd favorite Family Feud but this time they’re going head-to-head with their own crew. And don’t forget, the first 400 cabins to book will have access to an exclusive Flogging Molly acoustic set performed on the ship!

With five days at sea, the cruise will be heading out to two new Salty Dog ports. The first stop is Harvest Caye, Belize. This exclusive private island offers beautiful beaches and pools for relaxing, local crafts to snag a souvenir and incredible excursions, including snorkeling the second largest barrier reef in the world. Up next is Costa Maya, Mexico. This amazing destination includes delicious local food, gorgeous beaches and ancient Mayan ruins in an area rich with archeological sites!

For further information:
Flogging Molly

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Rob Reich Events

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rob Reich
Rob Reich has a busy fall season ahead. Rob Reich is an accordionist, pianist, composer, educator who has performed in concert halls, circus tents, dance clubs, and chapels. His broad experience has made him a foremost performer and composer in the San Francisco bay area.

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

On Sunday October 1, 2023 he will be making his debut at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, playing music with a puppet show. He will join up with "Raining Chainsaws", a SF based performance group opening the day at 11:45am on the Horseshoe Hill Stage.

Sunday 10/1: Trio at Oktoberfest, a wonderful free street fair in the Dimond district. Additional musicians are Daniel Fabricant (bass) and Aaron Kierbel (drums) playing at 3:45 PM on the "Family Stage”.

Wednesday 10/11: Quartet in Salesforce Park for a free outdoor concert from 1130am-1:30pm. Additional musicians are Kasey Knudsen (sax), Dexter Williams (bass) and Tim Bulkley (drums)

Sunday, Oct. 15, SF Music Day which is a day of free music with 25 local groups in the War Memorial building. Rob will bring his quartet with Daniel Fabricant, Tim Bulkley and Ben Goldberg. We play at 3pm in the Education Studio. More info here

Rob will be on tour with a fantastic band playing Todd Sickafoose's compositions. Here's the personnel and their schedule:
Todd Sickafoose's BEAR PROOF:
Jenny Scheinman - violin 
Adam Levy - guitar 
Carmen Staaf - piano 
Ben Goldberg - clarinet 
Kirk Knuffke - cornet 
Rob Reich - accordion 
Allison Miller - drums 
Todd Sickafoose - acoustic bass 

Upcoming 2023 performances:
Thu Oct 19 – Holocene (Portland OR)
Fri Oct 20 – Earshot Jazz Festival @ Town Hall (Seattle WA)
Sat Oct 21 – Palo Alto Art Center (Palo Alto CA)
Sun Oct 22 – Angel City Jazz Festival @ Moss Theater (Santa Monica CA)
Nov. 12- Maybeck Studio

For further information:
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