National Accordion Association's 2006 convention, held in Richardson, Texas, March
9-11, was a smashing success!
While the organization's convention has
been an annual event for many years, this convention was the first held under
the new name, National Accordion Association. (pictured right is Phantom, Jim
As always, there were a large number of workshops from which
to choose, concerts, a polka festival, banquet music by attendees, and opportunities
for impromptu performances and jam sessions.
Perhaps the key difference
in this convention, however, was the focus on the diatonic accordion and polka
NAA featured diatonic accordionists Fred Ziwich (left), Alex Meixner, Joel Guzman,
and the Pivovar Trio. NAA attendees and planning committee were also delighted
with a surprise visit by Marge Ford and the Alaska Polka Chips.
was very fortunate to secure Denis Novato of Trieste, Italy, as a featured performer.
Denis is the National Button Accordion Champion of Italy, and nobody hearing him
would ever doubt his claim to the title. He did some amazing feats-and on a three-row
diatonic accordion! He also heavily utilized the basses-all 12 of them.
NAA planning committee received many positive comments about the wonderful dance
music performed on Thursday and Friday nights. The dance floor was constantly
filled with animated couples, and those who simply sat and listened certainly
got their money's worth, too. Polkas and waltzes were the theme of both evenings,
and Joel Guzman provided a bit of diversion with his spicy Hispanic music. (Pictured
right is young accordionist Elliott Micaiah).
The 2006 convention offered
workshops covering a wide variety of content. One new, very popular workshop was
an overview of the physiology and well-being of the accordionist's hands. This
workshop was presented by Ian Fries, MD, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in
Langley and Shirley Johnson (pictured left) collaborated on two separate workshops
introducing Balkan music on the accordion. Shirley even taught beginning dance
steps to workshop participants.
If you have attended the NAA conventions
in the past, you know that each one is different from the previous years'. Next
year will be no exception, so don't miss it!