Thank you to our kind Accordion USA News Sponsors

Worldwide gathering in Las Vegas
Cafe Accordion Orchestra at Lincoln Center
2003 International Accordion Festival in Texas
Victor Prieto busy in New York
Jay Landers at McClean County Fair
Janet Todd - a Salt Lake Secret
13th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival
Savoy-Doucet Band in Berkeley, CA
Guy Klucevsek at Frieght and Salvage Stage

Rocky Mountain Accordion Festival in Montana

Accordion Federation of North America Festival
Jubilee Klezmer CD
Dr. Schimmel with Grand Rapids Symphony
The 'Other' Accordion the Contemporary Scene
August Dates at a Glance

Accordionists from around the World meet in Las Vegas!

This year 484 people were in attendance at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. Featured where seven concerts featuring American legends Myron Floren, Dick Contino and Art Van Damme. Plus international artists including Renzo Ruggieri, Mirco Patarini, Mario Pietrodarchi and Jean-Marc Fabbiano with featured artists Kenny Kotowitz and Don Lipovac. This was an all star international show.

An added highlight to this years event was the actual presence of several Italian Accordion Manufacturers. Present were Andrea Burini from Ballone Burini, Bruno Casali from Piermaria, Mirco Patarini from Scandalli & Paolo Soprani (pictured right) and Renzo Ruggieri from SEM. This brought an additional highlight to the event in which attendees could actually talk with factory representatives and learn more about accordions and their construction.

June 22 – 25 marked the fourth annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. This year nearly 500 attendees were in attendance from all over the World. We had people from Australia, Portugal, England, Italy, Canada and almost every state in the USA in attendance.

Registration began Sunday with a reception featuring Gina & Romany Rye performing from 2 to 5 PM. Sunday evening was a Gala Prime Rib Buffet during which Joe Vento played dinner music - followed by a Dick Contino playing in concert with Corky Brumble on keyboard and Pete Contino (Dick’s son) on drums.

Monday classes began at 9 AM and ran all day. Over 40 workshops, classes and master classes were offered over the next three days. Monday lunch we heard from Gordon Kohl and featured "Lunch with the Legend" Myron Floren . Myron talked about his career and answered the audiences questions. Of particular interest was when Myron explained he grew upon a farm in rural North Dakota and never had a music lesson in his life. Yet he went on to become the most recognized accordion player of all time. Monday evening after dinner we heard from Mirco Patarini, Janet Todd and Don Lipovac which was an exciting and varied concert.

After the Concert everyone headed off to Concerto where Gina & Romany Rye provided Dance music and hosted guests who wished to perform. This fun event went on into the early hours of the morning and was repeated each night. Club Concerto has grown in popularity every year and allowed everyone a chance to unwind at the end of the day and make new friends.

Tuesday, we heard from Ron Borelli as we ate lunch and then lunch with the legend was Art Van Damme. Art answered a few questions and performed for a full hour with drums, bass, vibes and guitar. If ever there was a bit of heaven this was the hour. Art was in rare form having just completed several engagements many were saying Art was better than ever. Thanks Art our 2000 honorary director who has returned every year with great enthusiasm for the event.

Also on Tuesday was a rare photo opportunity as our host Paul Pasquali called up Art Van Damme, Dick Contino, and Myron Floren (2000, 2001 & 2002 honorary directors). It was a rare opportunity to see these three accordion legends all together. It was at that moment that the 2003 honorary director was asked to join this special circle. Gina Brannelli , was given the honor and title of the 2003 honorary director. Gina who is currently president of the NAO in the UK and serves on the World Cup Organization, teacher and performer was recognized for her great contribution to the accordion.

Tuesday evening we heard from our Deiro Scholarship winners Brian Wong and Daniel Jakolich followed by and amazing Italian artist Mario Pietrodarchi (left) only 22 years old who stunned the audience. Mario was awarded the 2003 Guido Deiro Performance Award for outstanding young performer. Next was a wonderful performance by Julien Labro and Mady Soave and then it was time for some laughs – Pete Barbutti favored us with a few short pieces on his “CORDEAN” but brought the house down with laughter. The final artist was Myron Floren who entertained the audience and brought the house down with applause.

Wednesday we heard from father and son duo Steve & Michael Trucco during lunch. As lunch concluded that Count Guido Diero Junior – son of the famous vaudeville accordionist Guido Diero (and sponsor of the Guido Deiro Award) took the stage the present a Premier Showing of the first musical motion picture recorded every. A very memorable moment for everyone in attendance. You actually felt like Guido Deiro was there playing for us. The process was known as a Vida Phone and the project was restored to pristine picture and audio. The Count was kind enough to provide the audience with a Giant Screen presentation of the original performance by his father. He then told the history of his father the first to Play and coin the term Piano Accordion who was a top vaudeville performer and married to Mae West. Then we heard from Pete Barbutti as our lunch with a legend series came to a conclusion.

Wednesday night the Crystal Frosini Awarded was presented to Golden State Accordion Club for its contribution to the accordion, its music and culture for the year 2003. Also this evening Dr. Shireen Moors announced she will make an annual pledge to the Las Vegas Intentional Accordion Convention to present an Excellence in Teaching Award to be named after Lawrence T. Pino.

The Wednesday concert began with French accordionist and maestro at the Marseille Conservatory of Music – Jean-Marc Fabbiano. Ginny Mac once again wowed the crowd with her homespun Texas charm and talent. She was joined this year by a guitar violin combo. Next from Italy, Renzo Ruggieri who stunned the audience with his brilliant performance – Renzo’s brilliant performance of American Standards in his wonderful Jazz Style was incredible. Next on was Kenny Kotowitz – what a wonderful smooth sound this artist projected. Mady Soave then closed the evening with a short but wonderful performance. Then it was off to Club Concerto to celebrate and say good-bye to friends.

June 13 , 2004 was announced as the date for the 2004 event . Over 100 people signed up for next years event Wednesday when the date was announced. Those who signed up early will sit in the special reserved patrons seating section. The 2004 event will take place again in Las Vegas at the Plaza Hotel. The event will run Sunday June 13 through Wednesday June 16 2004 late night. We suggest you mark your calendar and make your reservations early.

GOOD NEWS - The price for the convention will remain the same. To register early for the event e-mail the convention office at

Look for more information about the 2004 event soon. And a great big thank you to Paul Pasquali for sponsoring this event and especially to all the performers, educators and hard working staff that made 2003 flow so smoothly.

Cafe Accordion Orchestra at the Lincoln Center in NY

The Café Accordion Orchestra made their debut performance in New York on Thursday night July 17 when they performed at Lincoln Center in New York City.

They'll be performed on the Plaza as part of Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing series.

On Friday August 29th, Café Accordion Orchestra will being performing for the Couple Dance
at Tapestry from 8:00 - 10:30 PM.

A quartet from the Twin Cities premier dance orchestra, Café Accordion Orchestra, will play their usual delightful mixture of French Musette, vintage swing, and Latin and European dance music styles. Their repertoire includes waltz, fox-trot, swing, tango, polka and rhumba, etc. CAO injects their music with good humor and expressive abandon. They play it for what it truly dance party music. The members of CAO have a combined total of over a century of experience with the best of the local ethnic and world music groups. More info. about The Café Accordion Orchestra can be found at their web site,

During the band breaks, a similar eclectic mixture of recorded couple dance music will be available for continuous dancing.

Admission: $8 general/$7 members; admission to this dance will allow you to join International folk dancing in the other hall next door; International folk dancers pay an additional $2 to join the fun with CAO in the small space. Special thanks to Jan Morse and Sandy Lipsky for their help organizing this event.

For more information on upcoming performances, please visit their website at

2003 International Accordion Festival in San Antonio

HERE IT COMES AGAIN! The International Accordion Festival for 2003. October 18-19 in San Antonio. It's big, it's outdoors, it's two days and multiple stages of dancing mayhem for the whole family, and it's FREE!

Cumbia, step dance, tango, waltz! That's right, put on your dancing shoes. The International Accordion Festival (IAF) was a tremendous success in 2001, followed by even more fun in October 2002. For 2003, we will feature close to twenty ensembles playing music from around the globe: Cajun, Merengue, Zydeco, Conjunto, Klezmer, Vallenato, French Canadian music, Basque music, Irish music, and more. Check our growing roster of artists as we schedule more appearances by regionally, nationally, and internationally-noted performers.

The International Accordion Festival proves the truly global appeal of the accordion and the many dynamic musical forms of which it is a part. The accordion comes in many flavors - the bandoneón, the concertina, the piano accordion, to name only a few - and all are a source of vital and thriving musical traditions. The festival takes place at the beautiful La Villita Plaza, on the banks of the San Antonio River in historic downtown.

Among the roster of artists is Cedryl Ballou. Born in Lake Charles, LA, 19-year-old Cedryl Ballou of Waco started playing the accordion just five years ago but is bursting into the zydeco scene. His first professional gig was as the drummer for his grandfather, famed blues guitarist Classie Ballou, at age 11. Classie Ballou now plays lead guitar for Cedryl in the Zydeco Trendsetters. The band is completed by Cedryl's father Cedric Ballou on bass, aunt Cacean Ballou on drums and Michael Edney on washboard. The spiritual heir to the legendary Rockin' Sydney, Cedryl is carrying on the zydeco legacy by putting together his own family band and winning converts all over Central Texas and beyond.

The IAF is currently looking for volunteers to help with many aspects of the festival, including setup, manning the merchandise and information booths, beer and soda sales, cleanup and other very important Festival jobs. Volunteers will be invited to a post-Festival party (closed to the public) with food, drink, and live music. Plus, you will get an IAF t-shirt. We are asking all volunteers to commit to working 4-hour shifts.

For more information about this fun opportunity to get involved, e-mail or call 210-865-8578

The International Accordion Festival is organized by International Accordion Festival staff in partnership with the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Witte Museum It is made possible in part by funding from the following sponsors: The National Endowment for the Arts, San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs, Budco, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Please visit:

Victor Prieto busy in New York

Accordionist Victor Prieto has been busy in New York city finishing off a recording of Electronic Music for Duke Hollan Productions.

Performing on accordion as well as using voice, the recording is being made in advance of the live concerts beginning in November which will be presented in Clubs around New York.

Victor recently recorded for Sandrine Ligabue singer of Trip Hop (electronic music). Each Wednesday at Allioli. Victor is playing with E. J. Rodriguez who is Herbie Hancok's percussionist. Herbie Hancock is one of the most important recording artists and performer of today.

In September he will be playing at the Williamsburg Jazz Festival with three different bands led by trumpeter Jessy Holman. The performances will be on the 18-20 of September.

Performances in August include concerts in Central Park, New York on the 10th, 24th and 31st from 11:00 - 2:00 PM, at the Art Gallery in Manhattan on the 3rd and 17th.

On the 15th he will be at the Bistro Restaurant in Smith Street - Brooklyn, NY and every Tuesday at The Pink Pony (174 Ludlow, Lower East Side) from 7:00 PM -10:00 PM. The Concerts each Wednesday at Allioli (291 Grand Street, Williamsburg) from 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM feature E. J. Rodriguez on percussion.

Other regular performances scheduled are those every Thursday at Cafe Moto (394 Broadway, Williamsburg, 718-599-6895) from 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM and every Saturday at Les Deux Gamins, 132 W. Houston at Sullivan Street in New York from 7:00 PM -11:00 PM.

For more information on Victor, please visit or you can contact him at Phone:1-718-384-7644.

Jay Landers at McLean County Fair
Jay Landers will be making his third annual appearance at the McLean County Fair, located at the Interstate Center, 2301 West market Street, Bloomington, Illinois, just west of Interstate 55.

Jay will be presenting four 60-minute performances on five consecutive days from July 30-August 3, at 1.00 PM, 3.00 PM, 5.00 PM and 7.00 PM each day in an air conditioned entertainment area adjacent to the exhibitors.

Jay will present his programs using his two Excelsior 960 accordions, each with different acoustic reed configurations and tunings, with one being further equipped with the King Major MIDI. For his sound module, Jay uses an ORLA XM800 orchestra module and Polytone amplification.

Presenting a variety of styles, his sets will include American Popular Song standards in light jazz arrangements, Italian music, tangos and polkas, all suitable for both dancing and listening.

A native of Louisville, KY, Jay has lived in Springfield, IL for the last six years where he has been a member of the Peoria Area Accordion Club for four years; newsletter editor for 18 months and president of the club for seven months. As a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) he was recently appointed as the Editor of their publication entitled "The Bulletin."

Jay has recently completed his first-ever CD 'SIDE BY SIDE with Jay Landers.' It has 23 tracks and 77:00 of material, mostly light jazz arrangements of standards, some tangos, swing, Latin and a movement of Eugene Ettore's "Accordion Miniatures". Seventeen tracks are solo acoustic accordion. Six additional tracks feature the solo accordion's MIDI capabilities. There are twelve arrangements by Gary Dahl and this is the first recording for many of them, The CD also contains Roberto Carreno's arrangement of "Jalousie" and my Jay's own edited version of "Star Dust" which incorporates portions of arrangements by Charles Nunzio and Anthony Galla-Rini. The title track is an arrangement by Charles Magnante. Jay has also included a medley of a portion of Art Van Damme's "Blue Moon" and Frank Marocco's original "In Walked Wolfie".

The CD is available by contacting Jay via e-mail:

Janet Todd - A Salt Lake Secret

Janet Todd, prominent Utah accordionist, presented one of Salt Lake City's hour-long summer-evening "Concerts in the Park" on Tuesday July 8 at Brigham Young Historic Park, 100 North State & 2nd Ave.

Accompanying Janet for three numbers will be the 25-member Salt Lake Accordion Club Band of the newly formed Salt Lake Area Accordion Club. Janet, who has traveled 250,000 miles performing in 22 countries and 26 states, is returning to public performances after years of hiatus.

Janet was born in 1941 in Spanish Fork, Utah, but moved with her parents at age seven to California (Compton; later to Lakewood) where she was introduced to the accordion at age eight. Gifted and excelling quickly, she soon became a top child-teen-competition performer, winning numerous awards/championships at the Western States Accordion Festivals, precursor of today’s Accordion Federation of North America (AFNA), in the great 1950s heydays of the accordion in America. A frequent radio, TV, Miss Universe Pageant regular performer for years, solo stage performance work dominated her early/mid/late teen years.

At 19, a new performance-direction occurred in Janet’s life when she finally accepted her parent’s repeated requests to set aside a mushrooming Southern California performing and studio accordion teaching career and attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Greeted at the bus station by campus directors of BYU’s highly nationally-regarded student entertainment program, Janet soon found herself a major entertainer at Brigham Young University and prominent in the area for the next five years. For the university she toured the USA (1961), a one-month tour; Far East (1962), U.S. Defense Department two-month tour; Europe (1963), US Defense Department three-month tour; and an around the world (1965) five-month US State Department tour.

Marrying Jay M.Todd in 1964 and settling in Salt Lake City, Janet continued to perform for major conventions and special events throughout the western US during the next decade and do audience warm-up for stars traveling through the Rockies (Glen Campbell, Johnny Mathis, Bobby Vinton, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, among many). Performing hours diminished each year, however, as she turned attention to rearing her five children.

In the early 1980s, serious health challenges put Janet’s performance career on hold, permanently it was thought. But after a strong health upswing occurred during the late 1990s, in 2001 Janet again put on her accordion to “see what might happen at this point in my life.” A year later, she was again being showcased at major US venues emblematic of accordion excellence and musicianship: TAA’s National Accordion Convention, the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, and Cotati’s acclaimed Accordion Festival.

Today she performs at many diversified venues, truly enjoying playing again.

Janet has just released a new CD entitled 'ACCORDION DIGITAL MAGIC' a Virtuoso musical experience with the accordion both electronic and acoustic.

Included on Janet's CD are:

  • Dancing Eyes (Arab traditional)
  • Dance of the Comedians (Friedrich Smetana)
  • Just the Way You Are (Billy Joel)
  • The Cow that Ate the Blanket/Gravel Walk (Irish traditional)
  • Clementi Sonatina #6 (Muzio Clementi)
  • One Hand, One Heart (Leonard Bernstein)
  • Orange Blossom Special (Ervin Trouse)
  • Kingsfold (English traditional)/The Star of County Down (Irish traditional)
  • 12th Street Rag (Euday L. Bowman)
  • Barefoot Girl (Arab traditional)
  • Rhapsody in Blue (George Gershwin)
  • La Mangave (Jo Privat, Willy Staquet)
  • Toccata in D Minor (Bach)/The Phantom of the Opera (Webber)
  • Prospect of Heaven (Traditional)
  • Persian Wedding Dance (Traditional)
  • Cabaret (John Kander)/Up the Lazy River (Sidney Arodin)
  • Use Kobi (Willi Valotti)
  • American Battle Hymn Trilogy:
    Shenandoah (American folk)
    When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Louis Lambert)
    The Battle Hymn of the Republic (American folk)
  • Havah Nagilah (Israeli hora)

To order your copy of this new CD, please visit or e-mail:

13th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival

For those with a love of the accordion, the relaxing setting of the northern Californian countryside and nonstop music, then Cotati is the perfect weekend away for you!

The thirteenth annual Cotati Accordion Festival will be held on August 23-24th, 2003 in Cotati California where thousands are expected to turn out for the spectacular weekend of fun and music.

The gates open at 9:30 AM each day, with the music starting at 9:45 AM. One day admission is $15.00 and two day admission is $25.00 with children under 15 being admitted free of charge with an accompanying adult.

Among the lineup are:

Saturday performers:

  • Golden State Accordion Club Band
  • Marcelo Tango (Odile Lavault)
  • Lou Jacklich with Jeremy Jeans
  • Fancy Pans Steel Drums
  • Sev Garcia
  • K Trio
  • Alex Meixner
  • Julio Morgani
  • Jimmy Hillman
  • Lady of Spain with Ruth Peckham
  • Tocanto
  • Guy Klucevsek
  • Those Darn Accordions
  • Mark Growden & the Electric Pinata

    Sunday Performers:
  • The O'Grady Family
  • Salaam.Shalom
  • Jason Webley
  • Len Wallace
  • Trio Paradiso (Rich Kuhns)
  • K Trio
  • Janet Todd
  • Patricia Bartell
  • Julio Morgani
  • Alex Meixner
  • Lady of Spain with Ruth Peckham
  • Danial Thonon
  • Guy Klucevsek
  • Georges Lammam Ensemble (Elias Lammam)
  • Dr. Loco & Sus Tiborones del Norte (Jose Cuellar)

Among this varied lineup you might see everything from the believable to the not so believable. Among the more unusual items you might see is an appearance by Morgani. His bio includes:

The Seeing is Believing Department... What will this man come up with next?

Even under normal circumstances, you can’t be sure what this
ACCORDEONESTE will come up with, so it’s best to be ready for anything.

Have your eyes open, cameras at hand, and be prepared for an unusual performance from MORGANI Saturday and Sunday afternoons. For more information, please visit

Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band at the Freight and Salvage
On Friday, August 1, 2003 Louisiana's Cajun band Savoy-Doucet will appear at the The Freight & Salvage Coffee House Stage at 8:00 PM. (Doors open at 7:30 PM) with advance tickets being priced at $18.50.

Savoy-Doucet provides a mixture of Raucous Dance Hall tunes, heart-rending ballads, and ridiculous nonsense, liberally spiced with fiery instrumental breaks and warm, congenial humor: the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band present the full spectrum of traditional Cajun life, transforming the Freight stage to a screened-in bayou porch for the evening with their down-home style and amazing virtuosity.

In the trio, Marc Savoy provides invigorating traditional accordion work, Michael Doucet adds incendiary fiddling, and Ann Savoy holds everything together with her sure-fingered rhythm guitar and earthy, passionate vocals. Not only are the band members acclaimed musicians (Marc won a National Heritage Fellowship in 1982, Michael also plays with Fiddlers 4 and Grammy winners Beausoleil, and Ann appeared in the film and soundtrack of last year's "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood"), they're also authorities on southwest Louisiana history.

The trio adds further depth to their shows by providing glimpses into Cajun culture, demonstrating the evolution of Cajun music through early French ballads and double fiddle-triangle numbers, and peppering performances with anecdotes and translations of song lyrics. On albums like their 2002 Arhoolie release, The Best of the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band and in performance, Savoy-Doucet presents the true soul of Cajun music-and defies listeners to remain chair-bound!

The Freight & Salvage Coffee House is an all-ages, nonsmoking, alcohol-free performance venue located in Berkeley, California. Coffee, teas, sodas, desserts, and light snacks are available at the Freight food counter. Children under 12 years of age are admitted at half-price. Senior discount is $1.00.

The Freight & Salvage Coffee House (Berkeley Society for the Preservation of Traditional Music) is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to promoting public awareness and understanding of traditional music. We are supported by your continuing attendance, grants (California Arts Council, Alameda County Arts Commission, Berkeley Civic Arts Program, Zellerbach Family Fund, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation), musicians' benefit performances, volunteer efforts, and tax-deductible gifts. Join with us to assure the Freight's future, and the future of the music we love.

The Freight's superb sound system is composed of speakers and amplifiers exclusively designed and installed by Meyer Sound Labs of Berkeley. We offer our sincere thanks to the folks at Meyer Sound for the generous support and assistance they have provided year after year. Their contribution has been indispensable in establishing the Freight is a premier listening room.

The Freight & Salvage Coffee House is located at 1111 Addison Street, Berkeley CA 94702. For information, please phone: 510/548-1761 or e-mail: You can also see a full concert lineup at

Guy Klucevsek - Godzilla of the Accordion?

On Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 8:00 PM accordionist Guy Klucevsek will appear at the The Freight & Salvage Coffee House, 1111 Addison Street, Berkeley CA 94702.

The Freight Stage promo advertises "jaw-dropping virtuosity" from the Godzilla of accordionists. It goes on to ask: Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, "Subvert the dominant paradigm: play accordion"? Guy Klucevsek is probably the man they were talking about when they wrote that. Combining pokerfaced wit and a wild imagination with amazing command of his instrument, this New York-born virtuoso has spent the past few decades championing the oft-maligned accordion as a serious artistic tool.

Exploring the soulful depth of his chosen instrument with a warm romanticism and daring sense of rhythm, Guy's remarkable repertoire ranges from original Bela Bartok tributes to Shostakovich fugues, from post-modern polkas by Fred Frith to what New York's Village Voice referred to as "criminal infractions on 'The Blue Danube'," with plenty of side trips to Argentina, Slovenia, and the Middle East along the way.

Widely recognized as one of the world's top accordion players, Guy has collaborated with folks like Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, and the Kronos Quartet, as well as Brave Old World's Alan Bern, with whom he recorded his most recent album, Accordance. Don't miss this rare opportunity to witness the future of the accordion!

Doors open at 7:30 PM for the 8:00 PM concert with advance tickets: $15.50. For more information, please call 510/548-1761, e-mail: or visit:

RMAC Festival in Montana

Should your travels take you to Montana from July 31st - August 3rd 2003, a cultural surprise will await you in Philipsburg, Montana.

From its beginning in August of 1997, the Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration has been a rousing weekend of dancing and listening to music, steak barbeques and outdoor pancake breakfasts, concerts in the 1892 Opera House and a parade of homemade pies.

With the Platzl and the tented dance floors in the center of this picturesque 1890's town, visitors, residents and participants alike find fun, food and frolic. Dance or tap your toes to the music, in the sun or shade, by starlight or streetlight

Philipsburg lies in the Flint Creek Valley between Anaconda and Drummond. A quiet little village, Philipsburg has streets dressed in 1880 vintage paint and exterior. It is surrounded by ranches, the Pintler Mountain Range and superb fishing on Flint Creek and George Town Lake.

Accordion enthusiasts, players, and dancers come to strut their stuff. Concerts are held in the 1892 Opera House Theater. Accordions of all shapes and sizes perform on the streets, in the pubs, and all over the campgrounds. Waltz, Polka, Two-step, Fox-trot or Tango to Ethnic music as well as ragtime and jazz. If you sort of forgot how or have never danced, instruction is available. The Celebration is one of sharing dancing, apple pie and the love of accordion music.

Full Service hook ups are limited. Open Parking available at Sunshine Station & the City Park, or anywhere else in Town. Residents will share space and even rooms if necessary. Free Dump Station, Gas & Water available at Sunshine Station

Come early. Stay late. Fish, hike, explore the old mining towns or hunt for sapphires.

Among the lineup of performers this year are:

Christian Family Accordions
Dan and Kim Christian have been teaching accordion for 26 and 23 years respectively. Dan is the four time winner of the RMAS Virtuoso Solo, Kim is the 1984 US Champion and winner of an honorary bronze medal at the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) World Accordion Championships. They have directed numerous 1st place winning bands and virtuoso accordion orchestras.

The Christians were invited to China to perform and judge the 8th International Accordion Festival in Beijing. Joining them in concert at the Opera House Theatre will be their two daughters, Camille (1) and Cerissa (13) who have won countless awards in their own right, most recently at the Texas Accordion Association Convention in 2003.

Five Valley Accordion Association - composed of concert masters, accordion competition winners, teachers and playing companions, they have been entertaining dancers and toe tappers in the Montana Northwest for a decade or more. Having a love and appreciation of the accordion, this group initiated the even and contributed all of the music for the first Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration seven years ago. We applaud them and you will too on Saturday August 2nd, from 7-11 p.m. at the Platzl for Montana's best jam and dance.

Radoslav Lorkovic - drawing from a multitude of influences ranging from elegant classical and jazz to the rawest most basic blues, country and soul, Radoslav Lorkovic has taken on a n unusually broad musical spectrum and refined it into his own distinctive style. His twenty year touring career has led him from the taverns of the upper Mississippi River to the castles of Italy, the Yup'ik villages of Alaska, and Carnegie Hall. Born in Zagreb, Croatia, raised in Iowa, Rad plays his own distinctive style of Tex Mex and Zydeco Accordion, along with an occasional Croation-Slovanian and Czech folk song.

Sammy Thomas - student prodigy extraordinaire, picked up his first accordion at age ten. Sammy plays in the style of Nick Ballarini, the fast flowing fingers and targeted expression. At age thirteen, his repertoire includes difficult numbers such as Bach to the Future, Roumanian Rhapsody, and Mosaico Espanol. He has been a feature performer with the Accordia Nova Diamonds, RMAC concert performers, 2002. Sammy will be playing on the Platzl and in the Sweet Palace.

Al Aman brings back the flavor and zest of old time accordion music in his performances. A home grown musical talent, he developed his style by playing for town dances in the Dakotas with his father and uncles. While living in Germany, he rekindled his love of the accordion. Today his style reflects the influence Floren, Yankovic, Whoopie John and Six Fat Dutchmen, and harkens back to the days when people held each other while dancing.

For information, please call Toll Free: 1 (888) 680-1344 or E-mail: for more detailed information.

Annual AFNA in Los Angeles

The Accordion Federation of North America will celebrate their annual festival from August 22 - 24, 2003 at the Radisson Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Holding competitions and concerts, the festival features a Free Saturday night concert open to Accordion and Piano Enthusiasts. The concert will take place in the Grand Ballroom on the 2nd Floor of the Radisson Hotel at 5:00 PM.

On October 30, 1955, Anthony Aretta and Andrew Ferraro called a special luncheon meeting to discuss the formation of a new accordion organization which went on to be called the Accordion Association of Southern California.

It didn't take long for the AASC to decide to participate in the Western States Accordion Festival. A co-ordinating committee was formed, consisting of members from both organizations: AASC's members were George Howell, Anthony Aretta, Andrew Ferraro and Peggy Milne; Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) members were Sidney Dawson, PhD., Nik Nevel, Sylvia Prior and Ann Randall.

The ATG members had experience in structuring the competitions, but the AASC members also had experience in nationwide competitions, having visited and judged in several. They all agreed to include procedures which had proved successful for others.

The annual Festival proved to be popular and in 1972 the association adopted its new name the 'Accordion Federation of North America' which reflected its far greater reach to the accordion population than Southern California which was implied by its former name.

AFNA hosted many events in addition to its annual Competition and Festival, such as the Spring Concerts and the International Grand Prix.

For information on the Accordion Federation of North America, please contact AFNA President Randall Martin at: 1101 W. Orangethorpe Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833. E-mail:
or visit:

Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble Releases CD

The Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble will celebrate the release of their new CD "Raisins and Almonds" with a concert at Copperfield's Books in Petaluma on August 1st.

The ensemble features Sonia Tubridy (accordion), Paul Alexander (clarinet), Phil Lawrence (mandolin) and Mark Peabody (bass).

The CD includes tracks such as "Der Nayer Sher", "Terk in Amerika" and Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen (Raisins and Almonds). For further information email:

Accordionist Sonia Tubridy, a Guerneville resident, grew up in Israel on a kibbutz, imbibing Israeli music at its source. She is a classically trained pianist, choral conductor, and student of the cello. Sonia directs the River Choir and is a frequent performer and impressario at the Coffee Concerts in Guerneville. She is an avid participant and performer in various chamber music workshops and is active as a classical piano teacher and accompanist in Sonoma County.

Klezmer, a joyous and celebratory music, has its roots in the Middle Ages and combines musical styles found in the Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldavia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, the Balkans, Trans-Caucasus, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Rumania to name a few.

Deeply influenced by the khazones, the old Hassidic cantorial melodies, it has always been closely associated with the traditions of the Jewish wedding ceremony and all of the Jewish holidays. It became an integral part of daily life in pre-World War II Jewish culture.

Klezmer music was brought to the United States by Eastern Europeanimmigrants in the early twentieth century, where it was modified to some extent by American swing, and more recently, contemporary jazz. It disappeared after the Holocaust, but has been experiencing an enthusiastic revival in Western Europe and the United States since the 1970's.

Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble brings klezmer and Israeli dance music to Bay Area weddings, celebrations and concerts. The Ensemble was recently featured on Rane Richardson's world music program, Crossing Borders, on KRCB radio in Sonoma County, California.

Bill Schimmel Performs with Grand Rapids Symphony
Accordionist and composer Dr. William Schimmel will be the featured soloist on July 24th and 25th with the Grand Rapids Symphony in a summer series entitled "Romance Under The Stars".
Schimmel will play his own works as soloist with the orchestra including "Empty World" (critically acclaimed by the New York Times), Bizet's Carmen Fantasy (the entire opera in six minutes) and Bachianas Argentinas (Bach Meets The Tango).

Schimmel will also improvise with the orchestra in such works as The Godfather Theme, Gone With The Wind, Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. He will solo in a special orchestration (by Michael Sahl) of "Por Una Cabeza" - the tango that features the famed Grammy nominated Tango Project in the films "Scent of a Woman" and "True Lies". Dr. Schimmel will also perform the immortal La Cumparsita. The concerts will take place at the Cannonsburg Ski area just outside Grand Rapids, Michigan. The conductor is John Varineau. For information please e-mail:

“The ‘Other’ Accordion: The Contemporary Music Scene”

On October 10th, 2003 a concert of contemporary music for the accordion; music by the late Paul Creston (pictured right), Pietro Deiro, Pietro Frosini, Ernst Krenek, James Lentini, Robert Young McMahan, William Schimmel, Alexander Tcherepnin, and others will be performed by noted classical accordionists Carmen Carrozza, Robert Young McMahan, Beverly Roberts, and William Schimmel; with cellist Madeleine Shapiro of Modernworks and singer Alyssa Lamb.

Held at Elebash Recital Hall at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 34th Street & 5th Avenue in New York City, the 7:30 PM concert will be preceded by an informal panel discussion beginning at 6:30 PM, with Robert Young McMahan, moderator; James Lentini and William Schimmel, panelists; the discussion will focus on the works played at the concert. Ticket holders are invited to attend the discussion.

A native of Washington, DC, panel moderator, composer and performer Dr. Robert McMahan earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Robert Hall Lewis, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, and Stefan Grove'. He also holds a master's degree in the Great Books program at St. John's College.

Dr. McMahan's primary instrument is classical accordion. He has tirelessly promoted the instrument in serious contemporary music across his entire career through recitals, concert appearances, teaching, recordings, publication of his music, journal articles, participation in contemporary music organizations, and including it in many of his own compositions. He has been instrumental in convincing other composers, such as Lukas Foss and Robert Hall Lewis, to use it in their music and has, himself, been commissioned to write works for it by various individuals and organizations, including the American Accordionists’ Association and the New York State Council on the Arts.

He has recorded on the CRS and Orion labels, was accordionist for the Baltimore Symphony during his years of residence in that region, and his music is published by Ernest Deffner Music. Presently, he serves on the Board of Governors of the American Accordionists' Association, is an officer for that organization, and serves on its Composers Commissioning Committee.

In addition, he has written articles concerning contemporary music for the accordion for The Free Reed Journal, published by the Center for the Study of Free Reed Instruments, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY). He was invited to join its editorial board in 2001. Besides his writings, he has been featured in articles by others in Keyboard Magazine, The Music Connoisseur; High Fidelity, The Baltimore Sun, Accordion Arts Magazine, Contemporary American Composers, and Who's Who in American Composers: Classical.

This concert and panel moderated by Dr. Robert Young McMahan is cosponsored
by the American Accordionists’ Association and the Graduate Center’s Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments, and with additional funding from Meet the Composer.

For information about tickets ($20; $10 for seniors and students), call (212) 817-8215 or e-mail:


August Dates at a Glance
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