Those Darn Accordions LOOK - NEW!
Remembering Robert Davine LOOK - NEW!
Gift Ideas from Sky Blue LOOK - NEW!
Rocky picture wins contest    LOOK - NEW!
Internet Radio Station
Myron Floren's Birthday
Henry Doktorski Xmas CD
Viking Festival
UMKC Doctoral Accordion Recital
Sacramento Jazz Festival
Cafe Accordion Xmas CD
Celtic Colors Festival
Santa in Concert
Happy Holidays


Those Darn Accordions
Ready to rock? THOSE DARN ACCORDIONS (pictured left - photo by Jim Merrithew) the San Francisco-based band that threatens to forever change your understanding of the squeezebox will share the stage with SF's polka punks POLKACIDE at two local holiday shows.

Toast the holidaze and join the merriment Sunday, December 23, at the Bottom of the Hill's polka-Christmas fling and feast. All-you-can-eat BBQ starts at 4 p.m.; showtime is 5:30 p.m. Tickets $7.

The Bottom of the Hill is located at 1233 17th Street (@ Missouri) in San Francisco. Call 415-621-4455 for details.

More good cheer follows on New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31, 2001, at the Hotel Utah, located at 500 4th Street (@ Bryant) in San Francisco. Festivities begin at 9:00 p.m. Call 415-546-6300 for tickets.

Those Darn Accordions' set list will be jammed with songs from "Amped," the new six-song EP that captures the veteran San Francisco band's squeezebox-fueled sonic assault in all its glory. On "Amped," the band pumps out four catchy songs chronicling life in the weird lane: "Serious World," "Mr. Slagle's Revenge," "Enter the Douse," and "Meaning of Life." Along with these originals, "Amped" includes covers of Steppenwolf's rock anthem "Magic Carpet Ride" and a raucous version of "Making Our Dreams Come True" (better known as the theme from "Laverne & Shirley").

Onstage, the five-piece band -- fronted by lead singer/squeezebox wizard Paul Rogers and bellows-pumping babes Patty Brady and Suzanne Garramone, with Bill Schwartz on drums and Lewis Wallace on bass -- roars through a variety of musical genres from heavy metal to polka and back again, torching timeless rock 'n' roll classics along the way.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Paul Rogers at (415) 765-7652 or by email at High-resolution color photos of TDA (suitable for reprint) are available for download at
Remembering Robert Davine "1924 - 2001"
As  Professor of Accordion and Theory at the Lamont School of Music of the University of Denver, Robert Davine founded the school's accordion department in the late 1950s and was still an active professor at Lamont when he died at age 77 on November 25, 2001.

At the university he developed what was to be one of the three major academic programs in accordion study in the US.  These distinguished programs were available at the University of Houston under Bill Palmer and Bill Hughes, the University of Missouri at Kansas City directed by Joan Cochran Sommers and the University of Denver under Robert Davine.

As a renowned teacher, Davine influenced the lives of countless music students, some of whom went on to fame in their own right as music educators and performers. He was viewed as a master teacher of critical analytical thinking, who encouraged his students to look beyond the notes on the page. He was an adamant supporter of all styles of music .

"He proved himself to be one of the world's greatest accordionists," said William Popp, the US Air Force accordionist who studied his instrument with Davine at the University of Denver. “Never an elitist, he taught popular accordion as well as the concert accordion,” according to Anne Culver, former director of DU's Lamont School of Music.

Davine was "a master musician and a superb instructor," says Dr. David Lindsey, music educator at North Texas State University. Lindsey began study with Davine when he was only 12 and continued as his student until he earned his master's at DU.

Robert Davine was awarded DU's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999,  at which time he was lauded for "his musicianship, his dedication and his ability to relate to students through several generations."  In 1997, he was the recipient of a certificate of Distinguished Alumnus from Northwestern University.

As the People's Republic of China broadened its program of music for the accordion it sought out master musicians within the accordion field and in 1984, Robert Davine was invited to present Master Classes. He was one of the first western music authorities to influence the development of accordionists in China and many Chinese students eventually came to Denver to study music with him and other professors at DU.

Joan Cochran Sommers, President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, says that "Davine's death leaves a void in the educational field of both the accordion and the area of  music theory. His work raised the level of accordion playing in the US and, also, in China through his influence with his Chinese students. He was a thorough musician as evidenced in all his performances as a soloist or member of various chamber groups and orchestras."

He never ceased to enjoy his work, and while most people are eager to retire in their mid-60s, Davine was still dynamic at 77, with no plans to slow down. When illness struck, he weathered surgery and critical procedures, and returned to the work he loved.

American Accordionists' Association President Dr. Carmelo Pino notes that "Robert Davine was a professor with great pedagogic skills and an accordionist of virtuoso level. He will be remembered and admired as a man of great character, beloved and respected by students and peers for his positive influences."

Davine's career as an educator ran parallel to his many performance achievements. Thus, Bill Scanlon of The Rocky Mountain News  wrote in Davine's obituary, "Colorado's unofficial accordion laureate is dead. Robert Davine coaxed sweet subtleties out of the instrument in a career that bridged Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Music Festival, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Chinese music palaces." He distinguished himself as a soloist with the Denver Symphony, the Denver Chamber Orchestra, the Mantovani Orchestra, the Flagstaff (Arizona) Festival Orchestra, the Lake Superior (Minnesota) Chamber Orchestra, the Norwegian Broadcasting Company and others.

 "Mr. Davine stayed true to the rare concert accordion," said Glenn Giffin. His performances reinforced the instrument's early elevation and its introduction to the orchestral venue. Davine was one of the first to recognize that the accordion's voice should be interwoven with those of other musical instruments and he worked with chamber ensembles and quartets in a never-ending array of concerts premiering new works by modern composers such as Normand Lockwood (who wrote 11 compositions for him), Max Di Julio, Dick Boyell and others here mentioned.

Davine had four recordings to his credit, including a current CD titled "The Concert Accordion Artistry of Robert Davine," in which he performed with the Lamont Chamber Players (Crystal Records), featuring works by Hans Lang, Cecil Effinger, Paul Creston, Ted Zarlengo, Adamo Volpi, Normand Lockwood, John Gart, Carmelo Pino, David Diamond and Matyas Seiber. At the time of his death, he had just completed a CD with the Da Vinci String Quartet, in residence at CU.

Davine enjoyed international acclaim for his musical accomplishments, in both the classical and popular arenas of music. Faithe Deffner, accordion exponent and American Accordionists' Association past president, whose friendship with Bob Davine spanned more than 40 years, referred to him as "A warm, unassuming person whose great modesty stood in sharp contrast to his virtuosity and musical achievements. Bob was a skilled and dedicated musician whose accordion performances always showed the instrument at its best. His musicality influenced a number of contemporary composers to expand the accordion's literature for ensembles and that is an important legacy for the whole accordion community."

He was born Aubrey Robert Davine April 5, 1924. As a youngster, Davine first encountered the accordion in the 30s in Denver where he heard it played as accompaniment for a Spanish dance troupe. From this early exposure grew his life-long fascination with the instrument which proved to be his personal vehicle to fame and accomplishment. He followed his passion and earned both B.M. and M.M. degrees from Northwestern University,  receiving most of his professional training in Chicago. His private teachers were Joseph Biviano, Andrew Rizzo, John Kirtland, Joseph Mann and Anthony Pennetti.

He was a genuine, yet unassuming virtuoso, as well as a tireless researcher and a life-long advocate for the accordion. An avid researcher of the tango, Davine was at work on an annotated bibliography of accordion composers and their work when he passed away.

"There are performers, professors and deans, all of whom owe a debt of gratitude to Robert Davine," said Robert Yekovich, dean of the school of music at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and one of Devine's students who chose music as his career. Over the course of many decades as an educator and a musician, Davine's imprint on the accordion world is significantly far reaching and certain to sustain itself long into the future.

He is survived by his wife Jacqueline whom he married in 1954, and his children Greg and Lynn, their spouses and four grandchildren.
Gift Ideas from Sky Blue Productions
Land Lovers - Water Play - Flights of Fancy

Music books by Valarie Morris in our "Animal Anthology" series are wonderful gifts for your accordion or piano playing friends. With beautiful watercolor covers by artist Sherry Miller, the books are great for children and adults alike. The music is fun to play and the books include information about animals and endangerment. "Land Lovers" and "Water Play", for 2nd or 3rd year players, include 18 tunes named for 18 animals with facts and music to express the unique qualities of each animal. Separate books are available for accordion and for piano.

Hot off the press is "Flights of Fancy", an intermediate/advanced book with 9 beautiful tunes. This book is available for piano only. "For those seeking original and challenging music for the accordion and piano, Valarie Morris' Animal Anthology series offers witty and finely crafted tunes designed to delight the imagination while expanding the player's skills. Highly recommended." Sharon Walters, accordionist, teacher "The creativity of each song really brings to mind the unique world of each animal." Hadley McCarroll, pianist, accompanist, piano teacher

Each book is $11.95, plus tax for California residents. Order by phone, fax, or email and pay by credit card, COD, check, or money order. For other music ideas from Sandscape Publications, please visit
Rocky picture wins Photo Contest
Accordionist and American Airlines flight attendant Mary Kay Doktorski was a winner in the 2002 Talent Search sponsored by My Three Cats & Co. Her photograph of Rocky, her pet Abyssinian, will be featured on a 2002 calendar which can be purchased from My Three Cats & Co.

Mary Kay claimed that Rocky has a general affinity for accordion music and a special taste for Magnante arrangments, as can be seen from the photograph.
Internet Radio Station ready for Launch

A new Internet Radio Station is being formed offering 168 different programs a week submitted by accordionists with the following content:

  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Rock
  • Big Band
  • Pop Music
  • Oldies but Goddies
  • Cajun
  • Zydeco
  • Tex Mex
  • Celtic
  • Klezmer
  • Polka.

Anyone interested in having their own Radio Show through is invited to contact Karen Gerlovich.

The station will begin January 1, 2002 with several long term Radio Shows already book in.

Contact: Karen Gerlovich (941) 351-7850 )or

Myron Floren's Birthday Celebration

Accordionists gathered in November at the annual Wurstfest to celebrate the birthday of Myron Floren.

This unique celebration rich in German culture and full of Texas fun takes place annually the first week of November in New Braunfels along the beautiful banks of the Comal River in Landa Park.

Families come to sample tasty sausage and strudel, pretzels and potato pancakes served up by fun-loving folks. Others come to polka and waltz to good ol' fashioned music performed by Myron Floren himself, Jimmy Sturr, Alpenfest, the Seven Dutchmen and more than forty other entertainment groups.

Proclaimed by the Mayor for the first time in 1961, the festival honoring this most delectable of local foods was a one-day affair held on Saturday climaxing a week of activity featuring sausage dishes on menus of local cafes and specials on sausage products in local meat markets and grocery stores.

The week was observed with typical New Braunfels gusto by citizens who really needed little encouragement to partake of their most famous food product. The first year it was a "Sausage Festival" ....... later "Wurst Week"....... and finally "WURSTFEST".

Appearing for the first time in 1968, Myron Floren of the Lawrence Welk TV show was a huge success. In 192, a segment of Myron's performance at WURSTFEST was shown on the Lawrence Welk show.

Next years festival will be held from November 1-10, 2002.

In 2002, Myron will also be appearing at the Las Vegas International Accordion Festival and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International festival in Orlando, Florida.

Henry Doktorski "A Classical Xmas"
Accordionist Henry Doktorski's "A Classical Xmas" album makes a great treat for the Holiday Season.

Including imaginative arrangements of traditional carols as well as original compositions, Henry displays his talents as both composer and arranger.

Among the tracks are works such as: Sleep, Baby Jesus, Dance of the Angels, Dance of the Shepards, Jingle Bells, Carol of the Bells, Ave Maria, Four Polish Carols and much more

For details, please contact: Henry Doktorksi at:
Accordionists sought for Viking Festival

Accordionists are invited to take part in next years Viking Festival in Georgetown from April 27 and 28, 2002. Volunteer for either one or both days are invited to perform 45 minute slots on one of two states.

So far three acts have signed up, including an accordion band from Sweden, a piano accordionist and guitar player from Florida, and Norwegian button accordionist Jarle Fjeldheim.

The festival is mainly looking for folk musicians - bands, duos and single players for what is a fairly new festival.

The musicians are being asked to volunteer their serives, however, a booth will be set up for musicians to sell CDs and T-shirts.

Anyone interested in performing should contact: Kay Hickman at or by phone at (512) 751 - 7612

Lidia Kaminska Doctoral Recital

UMKC Doctoral accordion candidate Lidia Kaminska will present one of her doctoral recitals on Friday, December 7, at 2 PM in White Hall on the University of Missouri, Kansas City campus.

Lidia is a student of Joan Cochran Sommers, and is the first student to work towards her doctoral degree in accordion performance. Many former students at the University have received their Doctorate degrees in subjects such as Theory and Music History while using the accordion for graduate credit, however this will be the first performance degree.

  • Rameau - Les Sauvages
  • Rameau - Le Rappel des Oiseaux,
  • Rameau - La Poule
  • Rameau - L'Egyptienne
  • Olsen - Without A Title
  • Lundquist - Duell fur Akkordeon und Schlagzeug (percussionist Tony Hundtoft)
  • Zolotariew - Espaniada
  • Khachaturian, Arr. Lips - Toccata
  • Petri Makkonen - Disco-Toccata

The concert will be free of charge. For information, please contact

Sacramento Jazz Festival

The "Jazz in Nevada County" festival took place in Nevada County, Sacramento, California on November 23rd and 24th. The event featured "Odeon" (with accordionist Dr William Schimmel), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet) and Ted Nash (saxophone & clarinet) who performed two "sell out" concerts.

Over 2,000 people enjoyed their program, which included Duke Ellington's "Ahmad", Debussy's "Premiere Rhapsody", works by Ted Nash and a blues jam. Following these concerts, jam sessions were held at Kirby's Creekside Restaurant and Bar, which continued late into the night. The band played many jazz standards and blues. Workshops were also given by Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Ted Nash and Dr. Schimmel for hand picked young local jazz students.

Prior to this festival, DR Schimmel performed at the Sonic Boom Festival on November 11th in New York. His program included "Small Hotels", written, performed and sung by himself to lyrics by George W. S. Trow, with dramatic direction by Micki Goodman. New York times critic Paul Griffith called the work "sharp and cynical". The Sonic Boom Festival is considered by many to be the world's most prestigious contemporary music festival.

Cafe Accordion Xmas CD

Caf Accordion Orchestra wishes you and yours a holiday season filled with joy and cheer. To help you celebrate, they are offering a wrapped a package full of holiday sounds from around the world. It contains enough tango, cha cha, cumbia, waltz and swing to keep you warm into the new year!

The Xmas CD includes the following tracks:
1. The Christmas Waltz 2. Jingle Bells 3. A Holly Jolly Christmas 4. Christmas Time is Here 5. When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter 6. Feliz Navidad 7. Valse Des Flocons 8. Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland 9. We are Santa's Elves 10. Snow Fall 11. Mele Kaliki Maka 12. Silver Bells/ Silver Bells Polka/ Snow Deer

Caf Accordion Orchestra is lead by Daniel Newton on accordion and vocals, with Brian Barnes on guitar and vocals, Erik Lillestol on bass violin, Joe Steinger on percussion and Eric Mohring on mandolin, fiddle and vocals. The members have a combined total of over a century of experience with the likes of Stoney Lonesome, the Bone Tones, The Nationals, Jumbo YaYa, Prairie Home Companion, the Ethnic Dance Theater and the Laketown Buskers.

Caf Accordion Orchestra (CAO) performs an eclectic mix of French Musette, vintage swing, Latin and European dance music styles. Their repertoire is that of the "Bal Musette" orchestra, through which they recreate the music that was popular in Parisian dance halls, cafs and bistros in the 1920's through 1950's. It includes a healthy dose of "Musette", the gypsy-influenced romantic dance music that filled the cafes and dance halls of Paris in the 1920's, 30's & 40's.

CD's are available at:

Bookings and information: (612) 782-8488

Celtic Colors Festival

Concertina player Simon Thoumire performed at the Celtic Colors Festival held on the island of Cape Breton (East coast of Canada) in November. A variety of concerts were held each evening in different communities.

His musical career began in his home city of Edinburgh at the tender age of nine. " I was in the Boys Brigade" he says "and I played the bagpipes. But sometimes piping is all about piping and not so much about music", he says, not altogether tongue in cheek. "My Mum and Dad used to have these old McCalmans records and we used to dance round the room to them, so thats how I really got into Scottish music."

He was impressed by the concertina playing of the Macs Hamish Bayne. "I just heard it and totally loved it." He says. Simons sister was learning accordion at the time with legendary Edinburgh teacher Chrissie Leatham. "She knew a concertina player called Tom Ward who got me a concertina and thats what happened," he says.

After a musical apprenticeship in Scotlands accordion and fiddle clubs, he played with the Hopscotch Ceilidh Band before joining Seannachioe in 1987 at the age of 17 and was with them for 5 years. Quite a lot happened in that time: the band made a record, Simon won the BBC Young Tradition Award in 1989, recorded an album with guitarist Ian Carr and then another one with Seannachie.

Celtic Colors is a Cape Breton Island-wide festival with a wide array of events ranging from square dances in intimate community halls to grand concerts at some of the island's larger venues. Each year, over 200 artists from all over the Celtic world, including Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Brittany and Canada perform at over 30 venues around the island.

Besides the nightly events, there is a full schedule of workshops that allows the visitor to be an active participant in the Celtic culture. Bob Brown, a visitor from Philadelphia, became immersed in the excitement of Celtic Colors He said, "Words can't describe Celtic Colors it touches your very soul and must be experienced to be understood." The festival is held at the height of the island's spectacular fall colors, allowing visitors to enjoy breathtaking scenery as they travel to their next event.

Traveling to an event may take a visitor around the pristine Bras d'Or Lake, Canada's largest saltwater lake, or around the Cabot Trail, often called North America's most scenic drive. Wherever you go in Cape Breton at this time of year, you are bound to find amazing scenery around every turn.

Celtic Colors showcases some of the finest Celtic musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and culture bearers from around the island and around the world. Many of the world's most beloved Celtic artists have performed at the festival, including The Chieftains, Rita MacNeil, Capercaillie, Natalie MacMaster, Altan, Sharon Shannon, Sean McGuire, Dougie MacLean, Tommy Makem, Blazin' Fiddles, the Barra MacNeils and many more.

for more information, please visit:

Santa in Concert
Happy Holidays