Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.
New and Updated Sites
Editor's Noteby Rita Barnea
|Welcome to the 2016 July USA news! There is more and more news each month because the accordion is truly everywhere in the world performed not only as a solo instrument but also performed with many other types of instruments. |
Read about new CD's, accordion cruises, festivals in the USA and Canada, performers, concerts, competitions and much more. Plan your summer and fall accordion activities now.
Enjoy the photos, videos and articles. Comments/ideas can be sent to me at Ritabelll@aol.com
BREAKING NEWS: Passing of William Cosby on July 7by Rita Barnea
|AWW is very sad to report that the accordion world lost a great man and world class accordionist. Bill Cosby passed on July 7, 2016. Bill was National Champion (ATG, 1964, 65, 66, 67) winning the Silver Medal at the Coupe Mondiale in 1964 and the Bronze Medal in 1965. |
William Cosby, Cosby, an accordionist since 7, was the winner of three Accordion Teachers Guild national titles and two American Accordionists Association titles. He was also the Instructor of Cadet of Music and the Music Director and Conductor of the West Point Glee Club during his time at the United States Military Academy.
Cosby played both pop and classical jazz styles as an accordionist. He also played the piano, conducted symphony orchestras and produced demos for Warner and Atlantic record labels. Originally from California, Mr. Cosby was an organist, pianist, and five-time National Champion Accordionist.
In 1971 COL William Shempf, Professor of Music at West Point, turned the Cadet Glee Club over to Mr. Cosby, and he continued to serve as director for the next 17 years. He then moved on to become the Founding Musical Director of the West Point Alumni Glee Club in the D.C. area, and returned to playing his beloved Knowlton accordion in recordings and live concerts.
The William H. Cosby Award—was established by the West Point Alumni Glee Club and presented for the very first time at the Glee Club Graduation Concert in May 2015.
This award highlights another unique connection between the band and glee club, which is that William H. “Bill” Cosby was himself a former band member. He joined the West Point Band as a specialist in 1970.
Mr. Cosby influenced hundreds of United States Military Academy graduates with his zest for life, music, fun and support of the military.
The William H. Cosby Award is awarded annually by the West Point Alumni Glee Club to the Most Valuable Member of the West Point Cadet Glee Club. Selected by the members of the Cadet Glee Club, it is awarded to the individual who best exemplifies the spirit of the motto: “No fun without music; no music without fun!”
Bill will be greatly missed both in and beyond the accordion world. More information and videos will be included in the August www.accordionusa.com news.
"Scarlatti Sonata in E Major L 430 " performed by William Cosby.
Published on Jul 20, 2014: William Cosby said, "In memory of one of the accordion world's most cherished matriarchs, Sylvia Prior. In my 30-year absence from accordion Sylvia was the only person I always stayed in contact with. She was a spiritual mentor - and someone I always respected for doing the right things for the right reasons. Thinking that Sylvia and Tito were only about 'jazz' would be missing a huge part of what they were about. They weren't merely accordionists, they were musicians in the true sense of the word. In all the years I knew them, I never heard a discouraging word spoken to a student. Music was something to be enjoyed and cherished throughout a lifetime. And life was worth living to the fullest. So for Sylvia, I offer this Scarlatti Sonata on the 50th anniversary of my first ATG National title in 1964. And thank you for all you shared with me"
"Mephisto Waltz, Franz Liszt" "Mephisto Waltz, Franz Liszt" performed by William Cosby, Accordionist. Published on Mar 15, 2014: The arrangement was done by Anthony Galla-Rini and William Cosby. William Cosby was a student of both Tito Giudotti and Galla-Rini. Recorded March 14, 2014
It was the wishes of Bill Cosby that there be no funeral, no memorial, that Bill's ashes will be scattered in a place Bill loved.
For further information: Ritabelll@aol.com
2016 World Accordion Day Successful Promotionby Harley Jones
|Accordion Day is an annual Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) promotional event on 6th May, the date the accordion was first patented in 1829.|
The 2016 World Accordion Day resulted in accordion promotion in 27 countries (in alphabetical order): Austria, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA. Thank you to all participants.
Read the report of the many activities at: 2016WAD
For 2017, every association, group, orchestra, performer and teacher, is asked to actively supp World ort this international event and promote accordion in their country.
So please think about - what YOU might do, to help promote the accordion for 6th May 2017?
2016 American Accordionists’ Association Festival SQUEEZES INTO BUFFALO/NIAGARA JULY 6-10by Mary Tokarski, President American Accordionists' Association
|Festival Time is here! I hope you are planning on joining us as we host accordionists and accordion aficionados from across the U.S., Canada and Slovakia in Buffalo, the gateway to Niagara Falls – one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. |
Major events include:
"Meet and Greet" Party - Wednesday, July 6, 7 PM – accordionists will perform music for attendees and press alike to spread the joy of accordion music!
Luncheon and Concert Extravaganza – Thursday, July 7, 11:30 AM – amazing guest artists from Canada, Rhode Island, New Zealand and Texas will entertain us with music from all genres!
“An Evening with the Stars” at The Tralf Music Hall, Fri, July 8, 7:30 PM – Experience the most amazing accordionists performing amazing music – Grayson Masefield, Cory Pesaturo, Ginny Mac, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Nora Sirbaugh and Alexander Sevastian with Quartetto Gelato. As a special treat – Guy Klucevsek will present a “world premiere” of his new AAA Commissioned Solo – “Three Tributes”. A program you don’t want to miss!
Tickets are still available – contact Mary Tokarski at
email@example.com or 203-484-5095 to get yours!
Be sure to register for the incredible array of exhibits, workshops, and competitions at the Adams Mark Hotel on Church Street. Contact Mary for reservations.
This year also features an “After Hours Club” at 9:00 PM every evening (except Friday), where accordion amateurs and aficionados can participate with other accordionists to entertain, jam and even play with the pros! Each evening hosted by a different guest artist.
Saturday will continue with competitions, rehearsals and the Awards Concert at 1:30 PM, featuring the AAA’s Youth Involvement Program Jazz Ensemble with accordionists performing with local musicians on other instruments making music together; the Junior Festival Orchestra, conducted by AAA President Mary Tokarski, which combines young accordionists into an incredible orchestral experience for the performers and the audience; performances by the winners of the Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition; plus this year’s AAA Representative to the Coupe Mondiale, Nathan Chapeton from Connecticut. The Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championship) is being held in September in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
The Gala Banquet on Saturday evening will feature a performance by the Festival Orchestra, this year conducted by former AAA President Frank Busso, and the weekend will culminate in a Farewell Breakfast on Sunday morning before we all get “on the road again” to head home!
Hope to see you there!
Check out the AAA YouTube Channel too!
Grayson Masefield USA Concert Tourby Rita Barnea
|Grayson Masefield will perform for the 76th Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival to held in Lisle (Chicago) Illinois from July 20-23, 2016. Grayson will also perform for the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival to be held in Buffalo, New York from July 6-10, 2016. Info from the ATG website:|
In 2009, Grayson became the first person to win the Coupe Mondiale top classical category and the Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Entertainment category in the same year! In 2009 he also won the Roland International V-Accordion Competition & Festival, Rome and the Primus Ikaalinen International TV Competition, Finland, showing his amazing musical versatility.
In September 2010 Grayson won the Trophée Mondial Classique World Accordion Championships and retired from competitions. At the 2010 Coupe Mondiale in Varaždin, Croatia, Grayson was elected to the prestigious Music Committee of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) and was re-elected to this position in 2014.
He currently serves as a regular member of the Jury for numerous competitions around the globe. Grayson Masefield was born in Auckland, New Zealand on the 10th September 1987 to accordion playing parents Ian and Heather Masefield. His musical career began at 3 years of age with Fay Schaw, then focused his studies in the entertainment field with Maurice Jones, while also playing in the North Shore Accordion Orchestras. Grayson began classical training at Auckland University with Stephanie Poole and then went to France for seminars and tuition with Frédéric Deschamps in 2007.
He is currently undertaking his post graduate studies in Switzerland at the HEMU (University of Music Lausanne) with Prof. Stéphane Chapuis. Grayson has been invited to perform in many countries around the world, including France, Spain, Germany, UK, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy, USA, Canada, Russia, Lithuania, Portugal, China, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, Australia and Finland. Grayson will perform two programs, one on Friday evening and one on Saturday evening, one featuring concert works and a second one featuring virtuoso entertainment music.
The AAA and ATG are privileged to have Grayson Masefield as their Guest Artist.
Grayson's 2016 Summer Concerts Include:
6-10 July AAA Concerts Thursday & Friday
17th July University of Massachusetts Boston 4pm, full details on poster above
20-23 July ATG Concerts Friday & Saturday
24th July, 4pm, Accordion Effects’ Workshop with Grayson Masefield. 313 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105. $20 Workshop presented by Petosa Accordions. Grayson’s ‘Accordion Effects’ workshop will be detailing practicing techniques, bellow shakes, tremolos, note bending, methods and much more. Limited space available – pre-order tickets only – no door sales. For further information email Jamie Maschler: firstname.lastname@example.org
29th July Victoria Int Accordion Festival, Victoria BC,
For further information: email@example.com
Sign Petition to Support USA Military Band Fundingby Rita Barnea
|The House has voted to spend less on brass and woodwinds so there's more money for bullets and bombs. |
From the AP: With little debate, lawmakers on Thursday approved an amendment by Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., that restricts the Defense Department from footing the bill for military bands to play at dinners, dances and other social events.
McSally, a retired Air Force fighter pilot, said upward of $430 million a year goes for military musicians' instruments, uniforms and travel expenses. At the same time, budget pressures have caused a sharp decline in the combat readiness of the armed forces. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are short of pilots and aircraft, she said, and the Army is heading toward having the smallest number of soldiers since World War II.
Yet there are 99 different bands in the Army alone, she said, who may have 20 or more performances scheduled on a given day around the world. "For every dollar that is spent on our bands to entertain at social functions, that is a dollar we are not spending on national security, on our troops, and our families," McSally said. "Do we want to have aircraft parts funded or musical instruments?"
Lest she be thought of as an enemy of the arts, McSally noted she's not pulling the plug completely. Military bands will continue to perform ceremonial duties, including the funerals of service members and other special ceremonies.
Her amendment was added to the annual defense spending bill, which also passed the House on Thursday. McSally won the backing of an important ally: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., the chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee.
"The bands play an important role during ceremonies recognizing the sacrifices of the fallen, but they are not appropriate at every event," Frelinghuysen said.
The amendment to the proposed Department of Defense budget for 2017 (H.R. 5293) that would severely restrict funding for military band performances states that "none of the funds made available by this Act may be used for performances by a military musical unit (as defined in section 974 of title 10, United States Code) described in paragraph (2)(B) or (3) of subsection (a) of such section."
This would limit band performances so that they could not participate in: patriotic parades or concerts (including July 4th), official receptions and banquets, concerts for troops in war zones, state funerals, even the national anthem at almost any event.
If these events were contracted to civilian musicians the cost would be significantly higher.
“These servicemen and women set one of the highest examples of musical achievement, pride in nation, and further the aspirations of all citizens, including young American music students across the nation,” Mike Blakelee, executive director of the National Association for Music Education said in a statement.
“They provide music throughout the entire spectrum of operations, to instill in our forces the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote America's interests at home and abroad.”
Just days after the latest House vote, supporters set up a petition on the White House website urging the president to support continued funding for the bands, arguing “if these events were contracted to civilian musicians, the cost would be significantly higher.”
Click on this link to access and sign the petition:
The goal is 100,00 signatures. It needs to be signed by July 19, 2016 to get a response from the White House.
At the time of this publication almost 25,000 individuals have signed on to the effort, although 100,000 are needed before the White House is required to issue a response.
Lt. Col. Domingos Robinson, commander and conductor of the Eighth Army Band, took to his personal blog last week to blast the thinking behind the new pressure on the military performers.
He said, “The people who think that limiting military bands to ceremonies and funerals is a good idea have no idea what we do,” he wrote. “We make Americans feel good about their military and their country; we create connections between cultures; we set the stage for strategic talks; we bridge the gap; we provide context; we help people celebrate and we help people mourn.”
Editor Rita Barnea said, "I think that it is very important to be supportive of musical groups in the military. It is uplifting for people to hear music. Many of the groups feature the accordion to people who otherwise would not see the accordion being played or realize how versatile the instrument is. The accordion plays a very important part in the music and performances by the military.
Sgt. Major Manny Bobenrieth is the accordionist in United States Army Band's "Pershing's Own." and in charge of army strings.
As accordionist with The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," SGM Bobenrieth has performed for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, at numerous White House State Dinners in honor of foreign dignitaries such as Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and The Emperor of Japan.
In addition, he has written numerous arrangements for The U.S. Army Strings, which have been featured at Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the State Department, the Vice President’s residence, and the White House. Since 2004, SGM Bobenrieth has been the Group Leader for The U.S. Army Strings.
Master Sgt. Frank Busso Jr. is the accordionist with the Air Force Strings, The United States Air Force Band, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. Originally from Staten Island, New York, his Air Force career began in 2005. Busso attended Boston University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 2001. He studied accordion with Frank Busso Sr. at the Staten Island Music School in New York.
Prior to joining the Air Force, Busso was an instructor and arranger with the Boston University Athletic Bands. He was also an instructor at the Staten Island Music School, where his students earned many regional and national titles in competition.
Signing the petition is a positive way to show your support of musical groups in the military.
For further information: Ritabelll@aol.com
Don Gerundo and Dallas Vietty Assist the 2016 WQXR Instrument Driveby Rita Barnea
|Don Gerundo and Dallas Vietty Assist the 2016 WQXR Instrument Drive|
The WQXR Radio Instrument Drive debuted last year with the modest goal of collecting 1,000 gently used instruments to distribute to New York City public school music programs. New York’s only classical music station exceeded its aim spectacularly—collecting 3,000 instruments—triple its initial goal!
In the spring of 2016, WQXR launched its second Instrument Drive to collect and distribute gently used musical instruments for New York City and Newark's under-resourced music and arts programs. This year, more than 2,000 instruments were collected. The donations ranged from staples of orchestra and band programs,to nearly 100 accordions and everything in between!
Accordionists Don Gerundo and Dallas Vietty volunteered their time and traveled to NYC on July 1,2016 to help WQXR personnel to inventory the instruments. Dallas said, "The WQXR staff is amazing. We met the two people in charge, Kathleen and Crystal. In ten days, one hundred accordions were donated! " See the video above!
The instruments are earmarked to go to NYC based learning programs. Dallas and Don are hoping to get some of the accordions for the Youth Outreach Program.
Don Gerundo is Chairman of the AAA Youth Outreach Program. Dallas Vietty and Marilyn O'Neil are working with him on this important project of the AAA whose 2016 Festival and Competition will be held in Buffalo, New York from July 6-10, 2016.
Dallas Vietty is Philadelphia based jazz accordionist and accordion educator. As a musician he has performed throughout the USA and recently at Jazz at Lincoln Center in May 2016. As an educator Dallas is a pioneer in online education through his learning website rebelreed.com as well as one of the most in demand workshop and music camp instructors.
The Youth Promotion Committee is a relatively new committee belonging to the American Accordionist’s Association. The goal of the Youth Promotion Committee is to increase the number of youth that are playing and learning the accordion. To date the committee ran a successful pilot program in May at a Bethlehem, PA public school and is working on bringing more outreach programs to the NY, CT, NJ, PA areas.
Don is an active versatile accordionist and pianist who performs various styles in the New York metropolitan area. Don began accordion studies at age 10 and studied with Tony Mecca in his teen years. Tony introduced him to popular and Jazz music working with him on harmony, theory, chords and improvisation.
Don continued to perform during his college years attending Ithaca College where he joined the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha as the first accordionist to be offered an invitation in that chapter. For the last several years Don has focused on the Free Bass Accordion and exploring its use in the Pop and Jazz Idioms by utilizing its flexibility in chord voicings, bass lines and general accompaniment.
Because of his expertise in Finale, many colleagues consult with Don as a resource to seek guidance using Finale as well as troubleshooting technical issues. A member of the Board of the AAA, Don has served as the musical arranger for the Youth Jazz Program.
You will read about the latest updates on this program in future publications.
If you missed the window to drop-off instruments, not to worry! Pledge your instrument online at wqxr.org/kids and drop it off with their partners at Sam Ash Music Stores in New York and New Jersey anytime!
Don't have an instrument to donate, but want to help? Sam Ash can recommend student instruments that you can buy to donate.
Apply for Instruments:
Are you a community music program in the NYC area looking to receive instruments from the WQXR Instrument Drive? Or have questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't have an instrument to donate, but want to help? Sam Ash can recommend student instruments that you can buy to donate.
USA News Editor Rita Barnea said, " You can read the updates on this important program in future USA publications. I will interview WQXR Kathleen Drohan, Project Manager of the Instrument Drive who worked with Dallas and Don. The interview will be in the weekly news on July 8, 2016 and also in the August USA news including updated details."
For further information: Dgerundo@verizon.net
Flaco Jiménez with Los Texmaniacs at Smithsonian Annual Folklife Festivalby Rita Barnea
|The Smithsonian’s Annual Folklife Festival starts this week, and accordions are featured in at least two concerts: the Basque wonder Kepa Junkera performed on June 29 and legendary conjunto artist Flaco Jimenez is part of the lineup on Sunday, July 3, at 6:30 PM. |
In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the 2016 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert features extraordinary musicians from across the country who have received the NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest award for excellence in the folk and traditional arts.
From the Smithsonian website: "These artists are not only masters of their tradition; as teachers, innovators, and advocates, they have made significant contributions to the living cultural heritage of their communities. Together they represent a remarkable portrait of the diversity of cultures and artistic traditions that enrich our nation.
Flaco Jimenez, legendary conjunto musician, one of the featured performers, will play on Sunday, July 3, 2016 at 6:30 PM with Los Texmaniacs.
Born into a family of musicians, five-time GRAMMY-winning accordionist Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez has led the way in expanding Texas-Mexican conjunto music from his community in San Antonio, Texas, to new audiences in the United States and worldwide.
Conjunto is a uniquely Texan tradition, with influences from German, Polish, and Czech immigrants who settled in the predominantly Mexican region of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Over the years, Jiménez has expanded conjunto to include influences from country, rock, and jazz music.
Los Texmaniacs will join their mentor and friend on stage with their own spirited style of conjunto. The group is led by Max Baca on bajo sexto, with Josh Baca on button accordion, Noel Hernandez on bass and vocals, and Lorenzo Martínez on drums. Jiménez and Baca are featured on the Smithsonian Folkways album Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies."
“The artists we honor as part of our NEA National Heritage Fellowship awards are testament to the diversity, ingenuity, and creativity that characterize this nation. We are so grateful for the gifts they have brought to all our lives.” said Jane Chu, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts.
The July 3, 2016 concert offers a preview of the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. For the 50th anniversary, a full program on the NEA National Heritage Fellows will be featured. It is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts
The performance takes place on the Ralph Rinzler Concert Stage. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the last week of June and first week of July. In 2016, the Festival will take place between Fourth and Seventh streets, north of the National Air and Space Museum, from June 29 to July 4 and July 7 to 10. The Festival is free of charge.
For further information: email@example.com
Photo of Flaco Jimenez by Tom Pich
Photo of Los Texmaniacs by Michael G. Stewart, courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Semer Ensemble Releases First CDby Rita Barnea
|Video: Semer Ensemble - Live Recording Of A Rescued Musical Treasure [Gorki Studio Я]|
Semer Ensemble "Rescued Treasure" is available now. Alan Bern said, "This important project opens a time tunnel between Berlin today and Berlin of the 1930's. Very proud to be part of this historically important project that opens a time tunnel between Berlin today and Berlin of the 1930s….Read Lorin Sklamberg's wonderful notes about the original recordings, and bios of the band. Many thanks to everyone who helped make this happen!"
This CD is a A Golden Age of Jewish music almost forgotten - the songs captured in 1930s' Berlin by Hirsch Lewin on his Semer label. The Semer Ensemble brings this astonishing music back to life with critically acclaimed concerts and their first album, recorded live at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, in November 2015.
From their FB page: "The Semer label, founded by Hirsh Lewin, existed in Berlin from 1932-38, producing a treasure trove of recordings of Jewish music at the very time that the Nazis were preparing to destroy Jewish life. For many of us, it is impossible to listen to the recordings on the Semer label without an underlying sense of tragedy.
What happened to the voices, the hands and fingers, the souls that made these sounds? But when we listen more closely, inviting the disembodied voices to travel through time and pop out of speakers or headphones into our rooms and stand in front of us, we meet people in the middle of life, not death. They sing about love, jealousy, war, justice, the Torah, settling Palestine, socialism, Zionism, dancing girls, affairs, player pianos. They sing in Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Polish, Russian. They sing popular songs, folk songs, art songs, cantorial music. They fight, laugh, boast, seduce, cry, threaten, provoke, scorn, inspire.
Directed by Alan Bern, the band chose from the many dozens of possibilities those pieces that touched them the most in some way. In some cases, they aimed to recapture the original spirit and sound of the chosen recordings as closely as possible. In others, the original recording was just a starting point for the band's own musical creations.
This non-purist approach is inspired by the Semer label itself. The program is therefore an homage to the label and its artists, not only to preserve their memory but also to celebrate and continue what they stood for in life.
Accordionists on the CD:
Alan Bern - piano, accordion, musical director
Founding director of Brave Old World, The Other Europeans & Yiddish Summer Weimar. Also performed with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, The Klezmatics, Kapelye, Itzhak Perlman, Guy Klucesvek, to name but a few. Born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1955, living in Berlin since 1987. Bern has an M.A. in philosophy and a D.M.A. in music composition and is the founder, driving force and director of Semer Ensemble.
Lorin Sklamberg - voice, accordion
Hailing from California, the founding member of The Klezmatics – his singing often described as transcendental – turned to Yiddish music in his teens. He went on to become one of the most famous singers of the genre and - being openly gay – a considerable force in developing concert formats successfully bringing together both Yiddish music and the gay lifestyle.
Daniel Kahn - voice, accordion
Based in Berlin, the American is the leader of Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird. The band was founded in 2005, has released four successful albums to date and is known for its special mix of Klezmer, radical political views and Punk attitude.
Additional members of the group are:
Sasha Lurje-voice; Fabian Schnedler- voice, electric guitar; Mark Kovnatskiy-violin; Paul Brody- trumpet; Martin Lillich-basell
"The Semer Ensemble’s depth and virtuosity can and does match the entire breadth of Hirsch Lewin's original Semer label recordings. Its fresh interpretations and provocative, contemporary arrangements open a time tunnel between 1920s Berlin and today’s New Jewish Music: Berlin cabaret, Russian folk songs, Yiddish theater hits, operatic arias and cantorial music are just a small sample of this remarkable repertoire." from piranha records and publishing.
Photo of group: Adam Berry — with Alan Bern, Sasha Lurje, Martin Lillich, Lorin Sklamberg, Mark Kovnatskiy, Jacobus Thiele, Daniel Kahn, Paul Brody and Fayvish Schnedler.
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
To book Semer Ensemble: email@example.com
AAA Masterclass and Seminars July 29-31 in NYCby Rita Barnea
|THE AMERICAN ACCORDIONISTS’ ASSOCIATION MASTER CLASS AND CONCERT SERIES|
OUR 22ND SMASH YEAR - DR. SCHIMMEL’S 70TH
PARTICIPANTS WILL INCLUDE:
Micki Goodman, Paul Stein, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Will Holshouser, Art Bailey, Doug Makofka, Brian Dewan, Yoichi Fukui, Gene Pritsker, Melissa Elledge, Mark Nathanson, Benjamin Ickies, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson-Wolf, Dragica Banic-Curcic, Peter Flint, Erica Marie Mancini, Dave Soldier, Mayumi Miyaoka, Tomoka Sugawara, Dan Cooper, Rachel Swaner, Milica Paranosic, Michael Dames, Peter Jarvis, David Stoler, David First, Mary Spencer Knapp, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Lee Mc Clure, Ken Laufer, John Foti, Kathleen Tipton, Marni Rice, Bob Goldberg, Corn Mo, Rachid Eladlouni, Carl Riehl, Linda Reed, Rita Barnea, Dr. Denise Koncelik, Alicia Svigals, Elizabeth Brown , Ted Nash, Jeanne Velonis, Devon Tipp, Sydknee, Michiyo Suzuki, Dr. Thomas Massucci, Bactopus, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, The Famous Accordion Orchestra and many others and a few surprise guests
Master Classes at 3 pm - Concerts at 7
July 29, 30 and 31, 2016 at
TENRI CULTURAL CENTER - 43A W 13TH ST - BETWEEN 5 AND 6 AVE
Reservations and Information -
Download form and information: 2016AAAmc.pdf
212 - 876 - 0827 or 203 - 484 - 5095 -
NO PLACE LIKE HOME! - NO PLACE LIKE THE SEMINARS! - COME HOME THIS YEAR!
10th Victoria International Accordion Festival and Competitions in Canadaby Harley Jones
|Special Guests: Grayson Masefield (New Zealand), Tian Jianan (China) and Jelena Milojevic (Canada).|
The 2016 Victoria International Accordion Competition on July 30, 2016 has 1 ensemble and 6 solo categories. Entries have been received from from Europe, South America, China and North America with the entry closing date being: Postmarked no later than June 30, 2016.
This year the Victoria International Accordion Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary. During the previous 9 years, the festival has become strongly established with probably the greatest achievement being the hosting of the 66th Coupe Mondiale in 2013, involving hundreds of accordionists from all over the world showcasing their talents to large audiences and very large worldwide internet video audiences.
Guest artists in previous festivals include (alphabetical order): Ludovic Beier, Concertino Ensemble, Quartetto Gelatto, Frank Marocco, Grayson Masefield, Jelena Milojevic, Renzo Ruggieri, Alexander Sevastian, Trio Voronezh, World Accordion Orchestra (conductor Joan Sommers) being just some of the names who thrilled the audiences in Victoria during the last decade.
This year's celebratory festival is welcoming back two great accordionists of our young generation, Grayson Masefield from New Zealand and Tian Jianan from China. They will be joined by Jelena Milojevic, the Artistic Director of the Festival, who has also been a winner of international competitions. These three performers have won over 50 highest international prizes in their careers and their concert will be a night to remember.
As for the ensembles, the festival has invited the famous Concertino from Moldova, but their participation is still uncertain. The ensemble Los Del Mapocho from Chile will come to Victoria for the first time and will be presenting Chilean traditional music. The BC Accordion Orchestra, Maureen Jarosh Accordion Ensemble, Victoria Accordion Club Band, Bucan Bucan, Mary Ross-Klektau and many other local groups will also contribute to the celebration.
The BC Accordion Society, organiser since 2010, has provided many reasons for accordion lovers to spend an unforgettable week in beautiful Victoria BC, from July 26-31, this year. Download poster/schedule: 2016Victoria.pdf
For further information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ATG Festival July 20-23by Amy Jo Sawyer, ATG President
|As the new President of ATG, I would like to welcome everyone to our 76th annual Festival. We have a wonderful lineup of fabulous musicians, two orchestras, workshops, luncheons with concerts, entertainment, banquet and exhibitors.|
Headlining our guest artists will be Grayson Masefield, from New Zealand. Grayson won both the Entertainment and Classical Categories in the Coupe Mondiale in 2009 and has performed in every continent of the world except Africa since then. Grayson Masefield will perform on both the Friday and Saturday night concerts and will present a workshop: “Building a Piece of Music – Practice and Memorization.”
Xia Gang, renowned Chinese artist, will also be a featured guest artist. He won 1st place in the Baltica-Harmonica International Accordion Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1999. He is associate professor at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music; director of Chinese Accordion Association and chairman of the China Accordion Club. He will present a workshop: “Accordion Activities in China”.
Jerry Cigler is a Jazz Artist from Chicago. He has recorded with the Leon Sash Quintette and has performed on TV, Radio, Jazz Clubs, Las Vegas, and many accordion clubs. He describes himself as a “straight ahead jazz player” with Bebop & Blues influence. He will present a workshop: “How to Freshen Up Your Improvising”.
Murl Allen Sanders is a musician, composer, teacher and recording artist who is very active in the Seattle, Washington, music scene. He has performed in the US, Canada, England, Brazil and Japan and is a very “versatile performer of all genres”. His workshop is entitled: “Strategies for Learning, Reading, Playing and Teaching Tricky Modern Rhythms.”
Other outstanding performers will be Joe Natoli (Ohio), Gail Campanella (California), UMKC Ensemble directed by Joan Sommers (Kansas City), Soundscape Trio (Denver, Colorado), and the ATG President’s Quartette (Amy Jo Sawyer, Joe Natoli, Gail Campanella, and Kenn Baert). Joe Natoli will also present a workshop: “Everything You Wanted to know about the Roland V-Accordions”. George Secor (Illinois) will present a workshop: “The Moschino Free Bass system”.
Dr. Helmi Harrington will display a collection of various models of historical accordions from her World of Accordions Museum in Duluth, Minn. Dr. Harrington will also present two workshops: “Fun in Playing a Button Diatonic Accordion”, and “Left Hand Organizations in Accordion-Family-Instruments: Accordion Bass Section Varieties.”
Joan Cochran Sommers will conduct the ATG Accordion Orchestra which features the music of Rossini: “Semiramide Overture”, symphonic arrangement by A. Galla-Rini, “Over The Rainbow” (Harburg/Arlen) arranged by Joan Sommers, and a Funk-Rock tune, “Springtime” by Hans-Gunther Kolz. A new “Prep Orchestra” will be conducted by Shelia Lee. Selections include: “Hey Jude”, “Sweet Caroline”, “The Sound of Silence”, “Lollipop” and “Surfin’ USA”.
Four performers from the Polish American Accordion Association of Chicago will entertain during opening Wednesday evening event “Meet & Greet”. They are: Ed Smollen, Lester Rossner, Mike Basin and Marek Lichota. Fabulous entertainer, Cory Pesaturo, will entertain during the banquet on Friday night. There are many opportunities for contestants of all ages to enter competitions in many categories.
Please check the ATG Website for all of the festival information. www.accordions.com/ATG
Alexander Sevastian to be Featured in The Peninsula Music Festivalby Rita Barnea
|Video: Alexander Sevastian plays Organ Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by J.S. Bach |
The Peninsula Music Festival in their 64th season, Door County, Wisconsin will feature accordionist Alexander Sevastian in concert on Saturday, August 6, 2016. Victory Yampolsky is conductor and Benjamin Firer, emerging conductor. It will be Alexander's first performance at PMF.
The program includes:
Massenet: Overture to Phédre *
Galliano: Accordion Concerto *
Frank Ticheli: Blue Shades
Dvorak: Slavonic Dance, Op 46, No. 2 in e minor +
Weber: Invitation to the Dance
Weber: Konzerstück, Finale *
Grindin: Gypsy Rhapsody *
Enesco: Romanian Rhapsody, Op. 11, No. 1, A Major
* PMF Premiere
From Alexander's website: Alexander Sevastian is a winner of the prestigious Coupe Mondiale International Accordion Competition in 2007 in Washington, DC. He is also a winner of three other competitions such as The Oslofjord (Norway 1998), Cup of the North (Russia 2000), Antony Galla-Rini (USA 2001).
A native of Minsk, Belarus where he finished the Glinka College (class of Miron Boula) Alexander went to Moscow to study with famous Friedrich Lips. While he was a student, Mr. Sevastian joined a Russian TV folk instrument orchestra and with a great support from the conductor Nikolai Nekrasov he became a featured soloist.
After graduating from the Gnessin Academy of Music and getting a Master Degree in performance, Alexander moved to Toronto, Canada. Soon after he got an Advanced Certificate in Performance from the University of Toronto (class of Joseph Macerollo) and joined famous ensemble Quartetto Gelato. With this group Alexander has toured every province in Canada and almost every state in the USA. They will perform at the 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo, New York taking place from July 6-10, 2016.
After his triumphal victory at the Coupe Mondiale in 2007 Alexander 's solo career began to thrive. He has had several solo tours of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Prairies. He was invited to perform recitals at several prestigious festivals in Vancouver, Victoria, Mont-Treblant, Montmagny, Las-Vegas, Stresa (Italy), Kraguevac (Serbia), Castelo Branco (Portugal), Samara (Russia).
Alexander was featured soloist with several leading North America symphony orchestras, including The Toronto Symphony with a very successful debut in 2008.
Alexander became a Canadian citizen in 2005. He is married and lives in Thornhill, Ontario with his wife Anna and son Vova.
Photos by Vladimir Kevorkov.
For further information: email@example.com
"Accordions Rising" Festival Presentationsby Rita Barnea
|Roberta Cantow will present her film, "Accordions Rising" at both the 2016 Las Vegas Accordion Convention August 8-11, 2016 (Rooms and times to be announce at the event) and the 2016 Cotati Accordion Festival on Saturday August 21, 2016 at 2:30 PM and 5:PM and on Sunday, August 22 at 2:30 PM. |
There will also be a presentation of the Highlights of the film at the 2016 Accordion Noir Festival in Vancouver, BC in September and a screening of the full film at the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle the following week. (Times and dates to be announced in later publications.)
Joe Petosa of Petosa Accordions in Seattle, Washington offers his review: "I watched the film in its entirety. I thought it was exceptional and a refreshing updated version of the present accordion market and it's foreseeable future. We congratulate you on a film well done."
Robynne Snow, who presented on Roberta's behalf at the Silver Falls Accordion Camp, sponsored by the rose City Accordion Club early in June and at the Leavenworth International Accordion Festival, sponsored by the Northwest Accordion Club on June 17, 2016 reported: "I have had occasion to watch this film in front of several audiences, mainly accordionists. People laughed, they clapped, they nodded, they were rapt with attention.
This is a movie about art and the accordion: about musicianship, about different genres of music and styles of playing, about the past and about the present revival of accordion playing.
"Accordions Rising" captures the lure of the accordion as a folk instrument and its versatility as an instrument of classical and contemporary music. It is a remarkable achievement as Roberta Cantow is not an accordionist. She has a keen eye for what appeals to people of all walks of life about music and art in general and specifically how the accordion engages that appeal. Bravo!"
Roberta said, "The information about "Accordions Rising" is now in the on-line catalog for Filmakers Library's Academic Video Store: https://www.academicvideostore.com/video/accordions-rising where it is available for educators, libraries and academic institutions who would want to make use of it in those settings vs. my (or a distributor's) future DVD or Bluy Ray sales, which will be for home/personal use exclusively."
From the Accordions Rising Documentary website:
"The film provides a tapestry of fascinating individuals, their attitudes, deep passions, and above of all else, profound dedication to the instrument. We learn that though still a rebellious lot, these music makers have an audience in some of the hippest hideaways and most sought after mainstream venues.
The film makes clear that the so-called “accordion world” is actually a curious continuum that includes everything from wacky and kitsch to sophisticated, serious, meditative and post modern. As Dr. William Schimmel points out, “The accordion is the icon of the 21st century.”
If you would like to be informed of the film's formal release on DVD: Go to the website: www.accordionsrising.com - Click on Contact and join the mailing list or Contact Roberta:firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information:
Canadian Slovenian Button Accordion Championshipby Rita Barnea
|All nationalities are invited to participate in a Button Accordion Championship to be held on Canada Day, the weekend of July 2nd and 3rd, 2016, at Slovenski Park, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. |
There will be two categories in the competition: one for youth up to the age of 16, and one for adults 17 and up.The button accordion organization hopes to inspire a new generation of musicians to take up this quintessential Slovenian instrument and music, and to rekindle an old tradition that has been cherished and nurtured by parents and grandparents.
Their goal in this competition is not only to crown a champion, but to make every Button Accordion Musician feel like a Champion!
All musicians of button, chromatic or piano accordions, whether you participate in the championship or not, are welcome to bring your instruments and perform for the audience on a special stage that will be available for showcasing your talent.
A special performance will be presented by Champion Marin Tezak visiting toronto for the first time. Martin Težak was born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia in 1977 and at the age of 8 he picked up the diatonic accordion for the first time. Within six months he was already performing in front of an audience. Since then he has achieved impressive success in numerous endeavours.
Within a short span of years, Martin won the highest ranking in all international competitions for the diatonic accordion, and by 2010 achieved the ultimate World Championship in Roccagorga, Italy. Leading up to that pinnacle, Martin was European champion in both 2009 and 2010, won first place in the International Avsenik competition, and won two gold medals at the Slovenian national competitions in Ljubečna, Celje.
In the same period, he won a series of top rankings in local and international competitions, received more than six awards for authorship, and was honoured for his cultural contributions.
In the Guinness Book of Records, Martin was recognized as conductor of the largest Accordion ensemble consisting of 1,137 accordionists at the Panonika Harmonika Festival in Cerklje ob Krki, in Slovenia in August 2011. Martin also holds the record for continuous accordion playing over 37 hours, during which he performed more than 450 musical pieces.
As an organizer of the Accordion Olympics Martin hopes to encourage, inspire, and connect accordionists from around the world.
Martin established Melodiart, a private music school offered in four locations throughout Slovenia, where he teaches and mentors many Slovenian accordionists. He has developed and copyrighted a unique, musical notation system called Tablature Symphony, an intuitive, language-indendent learning tool that can be used by new accordionists from any corner of the world.
Waterfront Blues Festival July 1-4by Rita Barnea
|The annual Waterfront Blues Festival, featuring many Cajun and Zydeco artists, takes place in Portland, Oregon, from July 1-4, 2016. |
The guest performers include Chubby Carrier (picture left) and the Bayou Swamp Band, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, California Honeydrops, Tedeschi Trucks Band, ZZ Ward, JJ Grey & Mofro, Jimmie Vaughan and the Tilt-a-Whirl Band, Maceo Parker, Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, Curtis Salgado Band, The Soul Rebels, Samantha Fish, and more.
For further information email: email@example.com
Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.
Django in June: The Swing Accordion Camp Nobody Knows Aboutby Charlie Schueller
|At Django in June (DiJ), held at Smith College in Northampton MA, the amazing swing music literally goes non- stop from about 9:00am till about 3:00am (in the early morning) every day! From classes to jams to concerts to ensembles, there isn’t much this swing music camp doesn’t have. If you want to learn there are classes, if you want to play there are people ready to jam and play tunes at the drop of a hat, if you want to watch you’ve got two amazing nights of concerts, as well as world class international and US musicians jamming all around (a level of access you wouldn’t get anywhere except those artists’ living room). Then there’s the wine tasting and vintage instrument demonstrations. |
The camp is geared to music of the gypsy jazz tradition (very simply just swing music without drums), which is a French guitar based swing/jazz tradition. Django Reinhardt was a genius gypsy jazz guitarist who invented the genre, but although it is called gypsy jazz, it is mostly swing music drawn from American standards: All of Me, Sweet Georgia Brown, Honeysuckle Rose, etc. Guitarists are by far the predominant instrument and the organizer (Andrew Lawrence) makes sure that there are amazing instructors and students for: accordion, violin, bass, mandolin and wind instruments.
The wind instrument section was new this year, and there was even a bassoon player shredding swing tunes! This was my third year at DiJ, and based on my experiences the last two years, my anticipation had been building for months. There are 180+ guitarists, 20+ violinists, 20+ mandolinists and bassists but only about 8 accordionists, so I decided that I needed to share the word about the amazing experience that is DiJ. Here is a little bit about my experience on the ground at Django in June:
After an easy drive from the D.C. area, my friend and I arrived in beautiful Northampton, MA. We breezed through the check-in process, and then quickly setup in our rooms. The music camp is held on the campus of Smith College. Those college dorms are old and charming but short on amenities. Shared bathrooms, dorm beds and quaint old living room furniture, but most are equipped with a grand piano and a coffee machine, and individual dorm rooms are only used for sleeping (of which there is very little during the week). We had time for a quick jam session with our neighbors and then it was off to orientation.
Orientation is really the only time that the 240 campers are all together. Camp Director Andrew Lawrence went over the week’s program and ground rules and we were given a preview of the talents of some of the wonderful guest musicians who would spend the week with us. Tcha Limberger and les Violons de Bruxelles, Sammy Daussat, David Gastine, Antoine Boyer and Sebatien Giniaux.
For accordionists the instructors were Dallas Vietty and Spanish accordionist Victor Prieto. After orientation, the non-stop music begins with impromptu jams sprouting up all over the Smith campus and continuing into the wee hours.
Classes for accordionists were divided into two experience level (lower and upper) and since there were two lesson periods per day, the two groups switched instructors for the morning and afternoon lessons so we got exposed to both teachers. The eight accordionists at DiJ this year each got a good deal of personal attention.
The instruction was a blend of theory, technique, and vocabulary ( i.e. gypsy jazz) with a focus on giving us tools that we could apply directly in the various jam settings taking place over the Smith campus. The classes had us playing as a group, singing, improvising and even working on some non-swing genres that overlap with gypsy jazz.
There are players of all abilities at DiJ and no matter what your skill level, you should be able to find someone to play with. For the newbies there are facilitated “slow jams” and for the adventurous, the world class instructors are jamming in the open spaces and willing to give campers a chance to join in. It’s usually pretty easy to determine if a jam is at your level and I’ve never seen anyone who asked, turned away from joining a jam.
After the formal instrument classes there is a period of facilitated jams where the various instructors lead groups of mixed instruments through special topics such as ensemble playing, playing instrumental breaks, or arranging specific songs. I chose to attend Dallas’ facilitated jams on songs in 3⁄4 time. This was new at DiJ and very well attended by all instruments. Dallas introduced us to the three most common 3⁄4 forms in the gypsy jazz repertoire; chansons, Django waltzes, and musettes. The groups did a great job with these tunes and it was a new offering since most of the guitar players focus on swing music.
The week of music culminates in two concerts on Friday and Saturday night when the star instructors perform at the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton. It’s just a short walk from the Smith campus and it’s an amazing 19th century venue that has been fully restored. The acoustics in the theater are so good that Les Violons de Bruxelles decided to play their show without any amplification. Les Violons delivered both a powerful and sweet sound that made us all wonder why we think we need amplifiers.
As an accordionist, the highlight for me was when Dallas Vietty performed along with Giacomo Smith on clarinet, Renaud Crols on violin, Damien Levasseur on guitar and Sam Gerstmans on bass. This group was put together just for this show but you could not tell because the musicianship was that good. Covering a wide range of tunes from the musette standard “Indifference” to Sonny Rollins’ “Pent Up House” and blazing rendition of Django’s “Place de Brouckere”, the combo performed with an incredible tightness. Of course, Django in June being a guitar event, the headliners for the shows Sammy Daussat, David Gastine, Antoine Boyer, and Sebastien Giniaux delivered high energy crowd pleasing performances that kept the crowd on their feet begging for more.
Making New Friends:
One of the best parts of attending Django in June is meeting new people and seeing old friends who are all drawn to this special music. Django in June draws musicians from all around the world and this year there were people from all over the US, Canada, and Europe. I even met musicians from Australia and Thailand. I myself found some kindred spirits in a group from Chicago called the Radium Swing Band I and spent a good deal of time jamming with them. For people into social media, DiJ is also a great way to expand your network of friends and contacts. I now have many more musical Facebook friends all around the world.
Camp is over, and now comes the hard part of synthesizing all of the learning and experiences into my everyday playing. Last year, Dallas recommended that at the end of camp we should make a list of 10 things to accomplish before the next DiJ. I managed to achieve 7 out of 10 but added a few more accomplishments not on my original list (does that count?). Only 51 weeks to go before we do it again!
Django in June is for accordionists of any level. If you have an interest in swing, jazz, gypsy jazz or musette, Django in June is the best place in the US for you to go to learn, play and be around your peers. Django in June happens in the middle of June, usually the third week. You can learn more at the website djangoinjune.com.
If you have any questions about attending you can contact the organizer, Andrew Lawrence, through his website, or long time teacher:
Dallas Vietty: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo right: Charlie Schueller
Guy Klucevsek: Interview and Performanceby Rita Barnea
|Guy Klucevsek talks about his career and performs his composition,"Clarissa" which is part of his composition, Four Portraits".|
The interview is with Lake Effect's Bonnie North on Milwaukee public radio on June 16, 2016. You will learn about Guy's background, his philosophies, attitudes, and music.
Plan to attend the 2016 AAA Festival and Competition in Buffalo, New York, July 6-10, 2016 where you will hear the world premier of his new composition, "Three Tributes" for stradella bass accordion to be presented by AAA President Mary Tokarski.
Guy will present a concert on Oct. 1, 2016 at 9:PM, at Spectrum, NYC, as part of John King's "Born Into Flames" series. The concert will celebrate the release of his latest composer recording on the Starkland label, "Teetering on the Verge of Normalcy," and will feature Todd Reynolds, violin, Kamala Sankaram, voice, Phillip Bush, piano, and Guy on accordion.
For more information: email@example.com
Victor Prieto Offers Summer Master Classes in Jazz and Harmonyby Rita Barnea
|The International Jazz Accordion and Modern Harmony Master Classes with Victor Prieto takes place in Ourense-Spain. July 9th - 10th, 2016.|
Ourense City will become once again the center of the Jazz accordion world wide with attendees coming from Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, Philadelphia-USA, Washington-USA, Brasil, Navarra, Zaragoza y Barcelona.
It will be an unforgettable musical and fun experience for all the attendees. "Organize Diputacion Ourense, Victor Prieto with the help of Concello de Toen".
The following topics will be covered in the Master Classes:
-Improvisation: in different styles and understanding scales. (Pop, rock, bolero) not only in jazz.
-Comping: How to form chords, close position, open position, Upper structures. Poly-Chords: My technique "Chord Approach on both hands.".
-Styles ,How to frase and comp: Jazz, blues, Brazilian, traditional tango, new Tango and other styles of modern harmony.
-How to work and what to do in a recording studio when you get only chord changes.
- Videos will be shown and analyzed. How the accordion interacts with other instruments depending of the instrumentation of the groups. (Duo, Trio, Solo, singer, piano)
-Material will be given for further studies and review (to take home).
-On the last day the students will practice and perform with a rhythm section (bass and drums) so everyone can apply all the information they learned.
-How to use the registers and voices of the accordion to orchestrate and and have a bigger variety of colors and sounds.
If you have any question please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the organizers at:
Victor will also teach at the IKFEM, IV International Keyboard Festival and Masterclass, Eurocity Tui-Valencia July 25-30, 2016. IKFEM offers a unique masterclass setting because students live together during 6 days along with the family of keyboard instruments: classical and jazz piano, organ, harpsichord and accordion.
IKFEM stands for International Keyboard Festival & Masterclass of the Eurocity Tui – Valença, located on both sides of the Miño river, between the southeast of Galicia and the north of Portugal. IKFEM was created by pianist Andrea González in 2013, through an association named Xuventudes Musicais de Tui along with clarinettist Esteban Alonso and engineer Laura Rodríguez. This summer 2016, IKFEM will celebrate its fourth consecutive edition from July 25 to July 30.
The masterclasses in accordion are new in this IKFEM edition and they will take place on July 28 and 29, 2016 with accordionist and professor Victor Prieto. Lessons will in group and are intended for professional accordion players and to those who are acquainted with the instrument and wish to explore this field.
You can also participate in the workshops which can expand your knowledge. New music-related themes are introduced every year. Enrollment also includes free admission to the concerts during IKFEM. One of them will feature students chosen by the professors during the festival. Students will receive a diploma and a recording of the student recital.
For further information: email@example.com
To contact Victor: Masterclass@Victorprieto.Net
Excelsior Symphony Grand Accordion Stolen in Rhode Islandby Joan Grauman
|On Monday evening, June 27, a 1960s Excelsior Symphony Grand was stolen from a car in Providence, Rhode Island. It belongs to Bill Moretti, a professional accordionist who has owned this instrument since was new. |
The accordion has mics, one foot missing and a wooden piece added to the bass strap area. Please be on the look-out for this accordion on Craig’s List, pawn shops, etc. If you are approached by someone trying to sell one of these instruments, please try to get the make, model and license plate number of their vehicle and alert the police.
For further information: Joangrauman@verizon.net
2016 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration Resultsby Rita Barnea
|This year’s annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration took place from June 16th to 19th in Leavenworth, Washington. Guest performers included Bonnie Birch, Gary Blair, Caryl Schaffter Dowell, Max Kyllonen, Rod Miller, Jelena Milojevic, Doris Osgood, Eileen Webber and many more.|
Amongst the event’s performances and workshops were the Slight Confusion 4tet honoring the memory of jazz accordion great, Frank Marocco, and the premiere of the award-winning movie "Accordions Rising" by Roberta Cantow. See article on Roberta in this publication.
The LIAC includes an accordion competition, with full results at: 2016LIAC.pdf
Sam Thomas, Emmanuel Gasser and Rebecca Bracewell (picture left) enjoyed a number of successes. Group picture below.
Bryant Park, NY, Presents Accordions Around the Worldby Rita Barnea
|Accordions Around the World is a weekly series that regularly features six accordionists as well as|
bandoneon/bayan/concertina/harmonium-players of different musical genres performing in various locations around Bryant Park in New York City.
The series, produced with Ariana's List, represents many cultures and genres, offering audiences the chance to experience the various styles of accordions and accordion music.
Scheduled concerts include:
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Throughout the Park
A weekly series featuring a total of over 75 accordionists, as well as bandoneon/bayan/concertina/harmonium-players, representing a vast spectrum of musical genres from many corners of the globe.
Eva Salina – Balkan
Laren Droll – Cajun + Zydeco
Papa Bavarian – German Oktoberfest Peter Flint – Ragtime + Classical
Foncho Castellar – Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato Madeline Solomon – Children’s Songs
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Throughout the Park
David Hodges – Argentine Tango
Mindra Sahadeo – German South Asian
John Sherman – Cajun, Appalachian + Blues
Ismail Butera – Middle Eastern, Balkan + Afican
Jody Kruskal – Old Americana Bachtopus – Contemporary Classical
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Throughout the Park
Jody Kruskal – Old Americana
Rob the Accordion Man – Doo Wop + Classic Rock
The Dolomites – Avant Garde Japanese + Romanian
Uri Sharlin – Brazilian + Balkan
Nathan Rivera + Jesse Andra – Gypsy Blues
Jet Black Pearl – French Waltzes, Dutch Rap + English Pop
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Throughout the Park
Barry Adler – German + Austrian
Gregorio Uribe – Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato
Dan Gurney – Irish Traditional
Melinda Fields – Balkan
Ivan Filipchyk – 17th Century Baroque
Julie Winterbottom – Cajun Music from Louisiana
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
6:00 PM– 8:00 PM | Throughout the Park
Albert Behar – Gypsy Jazz + Waltz Musette
Ariel Iud – Argentine Tango
Rob Curto – Brazilian Bluegrass
Lacey Anderson – Indie
Phil Racz – Classical + Brazilian
Shoko Nagai – Japanese + Jewish
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM| Throughout the Park
Maestro Tito Castro – Argentine Tango
Melissa Elledge – Pop + Rock
Jenny Luna – Balkan + Turkish
Jaroslaw Palylyk + Walt Syzonenko – Ukranian Folk
Vitor Gonçalves – Brazilian Choro + Forro
Sadys Rodrigo Espitia – Columbian Cumbia + Vallenato
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
6:00 PM– 8:00 PM| Throughout the Park
Yumbell Donato – Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato
Suzanne Davenport – French Musette
Tony Kovatch – French Musette + Gypsy Jazz
Mary Spencer Knapp – Cabaret, Soul + Pop
Uri Sharlin – Brazilian + Balkan
Niall O’Leary – Irish Traditional
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
6:00 PM– 8:00 PM | Throughout the Park
Christina Crowder – Klezmer
Gregory Grene – Irish Rock
Alma Mia – Colombian Vallenato
Mario Tacca – French Musette + Waltz
Yuri Lemeshev – World, Classical + Jazz
Brooke Watkins – French Musette + Standards
Wednesday, August 31, 2016:
5:00 PM – 10:00 PM | Fountain Terrace
Six exemplary NYC bands playing music from a range of cultures, each featuring an accordion, perform to thousands on the lawn. Produced with Ariana’s List.
Silver City Bound (American Roots)
Barynya Balalaika Trio (Russian)
Pistolera (Latin Alt Party)
Golem (Klezmer Punk)
Fidelina Pascual (Dominican Perico Ripiao)
Brooklyn Qawwali Party (Pakistani inspired Party Funk)
Soloists: Ismail Butera with Natalia Perlaza: Epyllion
Eva Salina & Peter Stan and
All events are easily accessed and there are no lines or tickets. All events are free.
Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenue.
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Farrell: Accordionist and Composerby Rita Barnea
|Video: "Urloyb" from "Two Worlds / Tsvey Veltn"
text by Mordechai Gebirtig
music by Benjy Fox-Rosen performed by the Yiddish Art Trio at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.|
Patrick Farrell is an accordionist, composer and bandleader from the United States who has been described as a “wizard” (Feast of Music) and as a player of “mordant wit and blistering speed” (Lucid Culture).
Excerpts from his website: Patrick is an integral part of the international klezmer community as a performer and teacher, plays with "new music" and improvisational groups, and enthusiastically toots on an alto horn in various brass bands.
Farrell has appeared on over 40 recordings, recently with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble and Never Enough Hope, and also enjoys working with dance and theater ensembles as a composer, music director and accompanist.
Current projects include the avant-garde/traditionalist klezmer group Yiddish Art Trio (with Michael Winograd and Benjy Fox-Rosen), unique and unusual duets with trumpeter Ben Holmes, New Yiddish Song duets with Berlin-based vocalist Sveta Kundish, chamber-folk ensemble Ljova and the Kontraband, and cross-cultural project from Lahore, Pakistan and Brooklyn, NY, Sandaraa.
Until recently he led and composed for the circus/new-music group Stagger Back Brass Band, releasing one acclaimed album in 2009. Farrell also maintains his membership in Panorama Brass Band, from his former home of New Orleans, LA, during the annual Mardi Gras season. He plays in Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars and Alicia Svigals' Klezmer Fiddle Express, and also often works as arranger for various ensembles and friends. Farrell has studied accordion in Macedonia, Serbia, Germany, and Romania, and has played in clubs, concert halls, streets, and serenades all over Europe and North America.
Yiddish Art Trio Upcoming Performances:
North America Summer Tour August 13-18, 2016
August 13, 14, 2016
Festival des traditions du Monde de Sherbrooke
August 15, 2016 7:PM
Woodstock Jewish Congregation
1682 Glasco Turnpike
Woodstock, NY 12498
August 16, 7:30 PM, $18 Presented by Kulturfest NYC in cooperation with the Museum of Jewish Heritage
Sergei Teleshev to Perform in Guemes Island Music Seriesby Rita Barnea
|Welcome to the Guemes Island Chamber Music Series|
Summer Concert: Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 3:PM at the
Guemes Island Community Center.
Special Event Fundraiser: Saturday, July 9, 2016, 4-6pm
Meet the musicians, enjoy food, wine, and about 45 minutes of inspiring music that will be over and above the pieces planned for the concert. Semmy Stahlhammer will also introduce his book: "My Father's Story, Codename Barber"
Classically trained at the Academy of Music in Voronezh, Russia, Sergei Teleshev has won many regional and international accordion competitions. Being the accordion player of Trio Voronezh and Valinor Quartet, he collaborates with many internationally recognized artists, ensembles, and orchestras (including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, Halie Loren, and many others…), composing and arranging music, participates in recording projects of different genres.
Sergei has been a jury member at International accordion competitions in Russia, Canada and the USA. Recently, he won the National V-Accordion Competition. As the U.S. champion, Sergei represented the United States at the 7th Roland International V-Accordion Festival, in Rome, Italy, where he received a special prize for most online votes on the festival’s webcast.
Concert tickets are available at the event, held at the Guemes Island Community Center, a 10 minute walk from the ferry dock. Reservations for fundraiser ($30) and concert tickets ($20) can be purchased by calling (360) 588-8206.
Musicians for the event are:
Semmy Stahlhammer, violin
Isabel Blomme, cello
Atida Munthe Stahlhammer, cello
Karie Prescott, viola
Sergei Teleshev, klezmer accordion
Concert to Feature Music of Bach,Tor Aulin,Schubert,
Dohnanyi and various klezmer pieces.
The Guemes Island Chamber Music Series debuted in 2007 to a packed Community Center that was filled with music of the highest caliber. Each year, a Summer and Winter concert are held with professional musicians hailing from the Northwest as well as Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.
Bring your loved ones to experience an evening of beautiful, classical music.
UMKC Accordion Ensemble to Perform at ATG Festivalby Rita Barnea
|The University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) Community Accordion Ensemble is delighted to appear in Lisle, IL (Chicago) again, as part of the 76th Anniversary Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival July 20-23, 2016 in Lisle (Chicago). Il.|
The musicians are both alumni of the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and former members of the renowned UMKC Accordion Orchestra. The players make their living in various careers, but each have remained devoted to promoting the accordion and its varied repertoire, which includes transcriptions, commissions and other original works.
The UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble under the direction of Joan C. Sommers, has recently performed in Chicago, San Francisco and Kansas City. Members of the group are Betty Jo Simon, Ron Barrow, Samantha Wagner, Cathy Sue Weiss, Kevin Friedrich, Joyce Davis, Sherry Carroll and Joan Cochran Sommers.
Their Thursday evening concert performance on July 21, 2016 will include a variety of repertoire to meet all musical tastes. Be sure to attend!
Music Students Earn Accordion Music Scholarshipsby Joseph Recchia, Michigan Accordion Society President
|As the Michigan Accordion Society (MAS) celebrates its 20th year anniversary, they have made significant financials donation commitments within their community and beyond to help promote youth Accordion programs. They have already issued $4,000.00 in scholarship programs with both the National and America Accordion Association earlier this year and on June 21st, 2016 MAS issued another $3,500.00 in student music scholarships to seven lucky Accordion students in Michigan. |
The June 21st Scholarship event was located at Cripsellis Bakery & Pizzeria in Berkley, MI in their Club Room which was made possible by Crispelli’s proprietor Mr. Joe Morrelli who loves the instrument and graciously supports the MAS organization. Each scholarship winner performed a number of various music selections to a large audience.
The scholarship was made possible through the “Tony Dannon Music Student Scholarship Fund” in which MAS manages, proceeds of that funs were generously provided through the “Tersigini Family Foundation” as well as many musicians throughout the US who helped make the donation possible during a Tony Dannon dinner tribute (http://www.michiganaccordion.org/dannon.html).
Accordion Students (some who drove all the way from Grand Rapids, MI) were selected to participate were, Vincent Volpone , Jessica Fligger , Piper Teasdale, Anthony Wiederhold, Stevan Krstevski, Emilia Jasinski, & Lukas Stachurski. Students ranged in age from 5 years to 15 years old. Eachstudent received $500.00 to be used for future Accordion Lessons. Proceeds were payable directly to their instructors, Pavel Vasliv from the Music Authority School of Music in Dearborn Heights, MI., Yakov Todoromovich private instructor from Troy, MI & Michael Schaffer Private Instructor from Grand Rapids, MI.The instructors will use the funds as credit towards their future music lessons.
Joe Recchia, MAS president who hosted the event told us “This kind of event just does not happen overnight, a lot of up front planning is required which includes making our society a 501c3 tax deductible organization, then working with generous financial supporters who unconditionally donate to our organization, then work at securing accordion& music donations, instructors and accordion students as well as working with community business leaders to find a location to host our events. It’s a huge undertaking and our MAS Board and MAS members, teachers, students and their parents are a very big part in making this annual event successful………and we still have more money to give out this year as we try to bring the total to Scholarship funding to $10,000.00 and this will be the most our organization has ever issued within a 1 year period.”
John Orischak from Dearborn, MI was also present at the event as a featured Accordion soloist. He volunteered his time to share his talent with the other students. John was a past MAS Scholarship award recipient who has benefited from our program. John has become a very busy accordionist’s performing a variety of events in the Detroit area and is heading to Wayne State University to earn 2 degrees in both music and business.
Joe Recchia adds…”this is one of the main reasons why our Society exists, our Scholarship program does work and its there to benefit students like John, we are very proud of his accomplishments and he has a very bright future ahead of him and it’s great to know that the Michigan Accordion Society helped just a little to make a difference”.
For more information on the Michigan Accordion SocietyScholarship program and upcoming events, please visit their website at www.michiganaccordion.org
In July 2016 MAS will be bringing in three time world accordion champion Cory Pesaturo from Rhode Island, to hold an Accordion workshop and perform at several events….on July 14th at Stahls Auto Museum in Chesterfield Township, MI, then on July 15 at the Detroit Italian Festival at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights, MI, then at Jenuwine’s with Michele Ramo on July 19, 2016 in Sterling Heights, MI. Cory will also be recording with international renowned Bassist Mr. Ralph Armstrong
Photo Left– Former Scholarship Winner John Orischak performs for MAS
Photo Top – Michigan Scholarship Winner’s From left to right: Emilia Jasinski, Vincent Volpone , Stevan Krstevski, Jessica Fligger, Piper Teasdale with their scholarship certificates and MAS president Joe Recchia with the $3,500 Scholarship award check
Photo Right – Michigan Scholarship Winner Lucas Stachurski receiving his scholarship award from MAS president Joe Recchia
Immigrant Sons in Concertby Rita Barnea
|The Immigrant Sons performed for the German Park Recreation Club in Ann Arbor on June 25, 2016.|
The inception of Immigrant Sons is the culmination of all the musical history and heritage of the band members. Immigrant Sons allows all the Band members to come together and provide a wonderful blend of cultures. Most importantly, it allows them to continue what they enjoys most… playing a variety of music that makes people want to dance and tap their feet, creating the kind of fun that builds life long memories.
Immigrant Sons specialize in International Music for Festivals, Weddings and other Special Events, performing a wide variety of German, Italian, Polish, Austrian, Spanish, French and Contemporary Music.
The band members are:
Horn and Vocals - Stephan Lang ( son of German Immigrants )
Guitar & Vocals - Dave Accomando ( son of Italian Immigrants )
Drums & Vocals - Chris Gassel ( son of German Immigrants )
Accordion, Bass & Vocals - Joe Recchia ( son of Italian Immigrants )
Message from the band members: "Most of us are descendants of immigrants. For some of us that journey involves generations. For others it is a more recent if not a personal experience. Regardless of the distance in time, our family traditions reflect some influence from our cultures of origin.
While we are encouraged to assimilate into American culture, our homes retain the traditions and customs of our ethnic heritage. Not through rigid enforced activities but through the ever-present music echoing through the rooms. There were also many boisterous and happy melodies encouraging a lust for life and laughter.
Simple, yet lyrically powerful and poignant, these songs have provided a glimpse into the heart of the immigrant allowing us to experience the longing for a home left behind. These experiences instilled within each of us, the love and appreciation for the music that remains with us today.
Our band "Immigrant Sons" is a tribute to those in our families, past and present, distant and near who immigrated to the United States and to thank them for their sacrifices."
Accordionist Joe Recchia is a first generation Italian and very proud of his heritage. Joe is thankful for sacrifices that his Immigrant parents and grandparents have made to provide a better life for his family. Joe currently holds the office as President of the Michigan Accordion Society and is a dedicated ambassador and promoter for the accordion. (See article in this publication about MAS scholarships).
Joe's accordion DNA comes from a long line of famous accordionists; his grandfather was Henry Ford’s personal accordionist and music director at the Ford Mansion in Dearborn, MI and was labeled as “The Famous Accordionists of the Ford Motor Car Company”.
Joe's uncle Tony Dannon world famous Jazz Accordionists, teacher, composer, promoter as well as one of the owners of the “Modern Accordion School” in Dearborn Michigan which was well known for the most successful accordion school in the nation.
His cousin also an accordionist is baseball legend hall of famer and former Atlanta Braves Pitcher John Smoltz. Music has been a part of Joe and his family all his life and Joe is excited to be part of a this wonderful ethnic band the "Immigrant Son".
For more info: email@example.com
Texas Accordion Cowboy Chris Rybakby Rita Barnea
|Video 1: Chris Rybak Band performs at the Houston Polish Fest 2016 Orange Blossom Special with Keith Junot. |
Video 2: Chris Rybak performs the 7 STEP POLKA for the KJZT Youth Camp. Watch as the kids join in on dancing the Seven Step Polka! Publishes on June 30, 2016.
Chris Rybak is a popular and versatile accordionist in Texas with a very busy schedule. From his website: "Chris Rybak - is one of the most popular accordion entertainers in Texas and can be found performing on the national and international level throughout the year. He has about 150 dates a year, about 100 of which are public shows and about 50 or more private shows for birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, weddings and other special occasions.
Chris Rybak said, ""I've been playing the accordion full time for over 20 years now and I've seen the ups and downs in the popularity of the accordion. I've noticed in the last few years, however, a remarkable resurgence in the interest of the accordion once again by the young generation. From the accordion clinics and classes in schools to the performances at festivals, the accordion is coming back ... and we are so proud to be a part of that movement in bringing it back!"
Combining his love of music, proud Czech heritage and magnetic personality, this "Accordion Cowboy" has what it takes to entertain audiences of all ages through his showmanship and fresh enthusiastic musical style. Chris's shows utilize his special talents on the digital accordion along with keyboards, trumpet and his vocals. You can book him as a "one-man show" or with his band. Chris's music includes Country & Western, Polka, Cajun, Tex-Mex, Folk, Gospel, Classical and other styles. Some of the dates of Chris's performances include the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio, the German Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Caldwell Kolache Festival, Labor Day's Czech Fest in West, Texas, Oktoberfests in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, California and other states.
Chris has done NAMM shows in Austin TX, Nashville TN, and Anaheim CA, Branson MO and the Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston TX. Chris has even taken his music shows multiple times to the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia (the homeland of his wife Edita). Also, he has played on several cruise ships going to Alaska and the Caribbean Islands. Chris's music has been influenced by the varied music styles of Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, Flaco, Santiago Jimenez, Myron Floren, Floyd Cramer, and George Strait. This variety has captured the hearts of thousands of people across Texas.
Chris began his love of music at the age of 8 with piano lessons and by the age of 12, developed a love for the accordion after being inspired by the members of his father's band (Leroy Rybak's Swinging Orchestra in Texas). Chris played accordion and trumpet in his high school band and won many competitions. By the age 14, he was an often requested guest entertainer at country music shows all over Texas. After many requests for an album, he recorded his first cassette tape at the age of 15. In 1993, he was honored when given the New Dawn Award from the Texas Polka Music Association. In 1999, Chris signed a record contract with Mike Daily, who is the Best known in his role as steel guitarist for country western legend George Strait. After signing with Daily's Glad Music Co record label, Chris recorded his self-titled debut album which was released in 1999. Since then he has recorded 9 additional albums and is currently working on a new one.
Chris and his wife Edita organize European Tours every year for their fans. Chris and Edita Rybak of Hallettsville, TX invite everyone to join their 2016 Europe Tour to the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Vatican and Germany! . More information on accordion cruises in this publication and future publications.
The tour is scheduled from September 11-23, 2016 and will feature the beautiful scenery of Europe, an audience with the Pope, churches, castles, Munich Oktoberfest, wine and beer tastings, shopping for souvenirs and music by Chris Rybak while travelling. There will also be polka parties with local bands and a dinner cruise in Prague. Chris and Edita are also engaged in the development of an educational website designed for Texas Czechs teaching the Czech language, music and culture.
Chris and Edita are organizing a Valentine Polka Cruise from February 12-19, 2017. The cruise will go to the Western Caribbean on Carnival Breeze out of Galveston, TX. They usually bring about 200 of their Polka fans and have Polka parties and dances. More details will be available in future USA news publications.
Chris and Edita Rybak are established polka promoters in Texas, and Chris Rybak, sometimes referred to as the "Accordion Cowboy", performs regularly solo and with his own band all across Texas and the US!
In the spring of 2011, Chris became the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Kristina Nicole Rybak who is already walking in her father's footsteps. She is showing much interest in music and has even appeared in national newspapers. She has already traveled to over 500 performances across Texas, The USA, and over 10 times to Europe!
Upcoming performances for Chris:
July 1, 2016 - Fairchilds, TX - Annual Fairchild Freedom Fest Fundraiser 6:30 - 10:30 PM. Music by Chris Rybak Band featuring Jonathan Satsky on drums. Proceeds benefit the Fairchild Volunteer Fire Department.
July 2, 2016 - Three Rivers, TX - Big Bang Sala Fest 11:AM-3:PM
July 16, 2016 - Goliad, TX - Schroeder Hall Dance. 7-11:PM Music by Chris Rybak Band
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cody McSherry Performs his First House Concert - Marylandby Dan & Joan Grauman
|Cody McSherry just turned thirteen last week. He is a seventh grade student at Resurrection Catholic School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He began his musical studies with piano at age four and accordion at age six. |
Cody also studies button accordion, pipe organ, theater organ, saxophone, viola, and voice. He enjoys performing regularly throughout the Lancaster area as a soloist and also with his band, Polterabend.
He has performed onstage with the renowned Alex Meixner Band and the Walt Groller Orchestra, and he is the youngest member of the Accordion Pops Orchestra under the direction of Al Terzo.
Very active in his church, Historic St. Mary’s in Lancaster, Cody is an altar server, sacristan, plays in the instrumental ensemble and sings in the adult choir. Last year, Cody played the role of Gavroche in Les Miserables and Flick in A Christmas Story, The Musical, both at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster.
He was recently cast in Servant Stage’s Old Time Gospel Radio Hour, where he sang and played accordion.
Last Saturday, Cody gave his first house concert performing on piano, button accordion and piano accordion for over an hour. The 35 guests in the audience enthusiastically received Cody’s efforts on the three instruments and were amazed at his virtuosity, versatility and his ability to engage an audience.
This concert was held at our home as he and his parents were staying with us for the weekend. Cody wanted to learn Balkan rhythms on the accordion, so they drove to Maryland where I demonstrated Balkan melodies and educated Cody on the mathematical patterns of the Balkan meters.
I was shocked and delighted as he learned one after another: 7/8, 9/8, 5/8, 11/16, 15/16, with total ease and surety. In thirty minutes, he could play all of the above accurately and he even learned a few Balkan melodies – and one was in 15/16 – no problem at all for Cody!
It has been a joy for us to watch Cody grow musically (and physically – he is now taller than Joan) over the years. Join us for the 2016 AAA Festival in Buffalo, NY where you can watch Cody play in the Youth Jazz Ensemble, the Youth Orchestra, and hear him play his competition pieces.
Cody recently started studying the piano accordion with former US Virtuoso Accordion Champion and current AAA President, Mary Tokarski.
Cody and his band will be performing at the 2016 Reading Liederkranz Button Box Festival, which will take place in Reading, Pennsylvania on September 17, 2016.
Gary Blair Presents Workshopby Rita Barnea
|Accordionist Gary Blair presented a workshop, "Accordion Tips and Tricks" on June 20, 2016 at the Petosa Accordions in Seattle, Washington.|
Gary Blair started learning accordion at the age of 8 and was taught by his father, who had a large accordion school in Glasgow, Scotland. He was a regular at competitions throughout Europe and was crowned UK accordion champion in 1978.
Gary tours the world performing concerts, workshops and dances – with recent performances in China, Russia, India, UAE, USA, Quebec, France, and Italy. Gary has also been a judge at many festivals around the world. He is a historian and has an enormous collection of vintage accordion magazines, photos, and recordings.
Gary was also the featured artist for the Leavenworth Accordion Celebration held in June.
John McDonald: Special Talentby Rita Barnea
|The gift of music is for everyone of every ability and level. We are always reading about young students, hobbyist accordionists, and professional accordionists. It is also important to acknowledge those musicians with special needs. In this article, you will learn about a wonderful accordionist, John McDonald who amazes all with his accordion playing.|
John McDonald, who has the developmental disorder Asperger's syndrome, which affects his ability to socialize and communicate effectively, recently performed on the accordion at the Kendall House Retirement Home in Boerne.
Excerpts from an article for the San Antonio Express News by Richard Marini, March 2016: John McDonald is a good example of what autism experts advise all parents of autistic kids to do: Identify and cultivate their child’s special interests and talents as early as possible to improve the odds they’ll be able to make their own way in the world.
Born two months premature, John McDonald was in and out of the hospital several times as an infant. To help him thrive, his mothers, Marilyn Haider and Kathleen Kean, who adopted him as a baby, often would play classical music while he was in his crib.
When he was about 1, they noticed John tapping his finger to the beat of the music. Later, after learning to walk, John found the family piano and began picking out notes. Later still, it was discovered he had perfect pitch.
It was the beginning of his blossoming interest in music. John, who is from the San Antonio area, also has the developmental disorder Asperger’s syndrome, which often affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively.
Haider says she sees little of John’s Asperger’s day to day, in part because she and Kean have done all they can to nurture and develop John’s special talent.Today, John, 24, has gigs playing the piano and accordion at five nursing homes, Mama’s Café in Boerne and parties and other occasional engagements.
Haider and Kean have been successful at doing just what autism experts advise all parents of autistic kids to do: Identify and cultivate their child’s special interests and talents as early as possible to improve the odds they’ll be able to make their own way in the world.
“An intense absorption and interest in one subject is a defining characteristic of a diagnosis of Asperger’s or what’s known as higher-functioning autism,” said Jennifer Allen, who is the president of San Antonio-based Asperger’s 101, a resource center for those on the autism spectrum, their parents and advocates. “Parents need to harness that interest into something constructive.”
Discovering the special interests and talents of these children isn’t that different from doing so for a child without autism. Parents just have to be more observant.
“You need to expose the child to as many experiences out in the community as possible,” said Lisa Goring, New York-based executive vice president of programs and services for the nationwide organization Autism Speaks. “It can be hard when the child is already involved in special education programs or therapy in and out of school. It feels like it’s one more thing to do.
Photo by Rom Reel from the San Antonio Express News.
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Brooklyn Accordion Club Hosts Happy Summer Social Hourby Rita Barnea
|The Brooklyn Accordion Club will host their Happy Summer Social Hour #21 on Sunday, July 7, 2016 from 3-5:PM at 61 Local Upstairs, 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY. Admission is: Pay what you can. Suggested is $3-5.|
It will be a casual meeting to hang out and network with fellow accordionists and accordionists to be.
All are welcome to perform or listen. Meetings are kid friendly and open to all. Some of the BAC members will be participating in the photo shoot for a project from 2:30-3:30 in the same room during the social hour. Feel free to come early and watch the photo shoot. It was surprisingly very entertaining the last time!
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accordion Pops Orchestra Performs on October 23 in New Jerseyby Rita Barnea
|Video 1: Accordion POP's Orchestra performing "The Trolley Song" at Seabrook Village, Tinton Falls NJ, May 1, 2016 - Al Terzo conducting.|
Video 2: Accordion POP's Orchestra performing "Sing Along with George M. Cohan" at Seabrook Village, Tinton Falls NJ, May 1st, 2016 - Al Terzo conducting.
The Accordion Pops Orchestra presents "An Afternoon of Music on October 23,2016 at 2:PM at the Veterans Hospital, 151 Knollcroft Road, Lyons, NJ.
APO conductor, Al Terzo is a teacher, arranger, and conductor who has been with the orchestra since its inception in 1970. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and National Association of Music Educators. Mr.Terzo serves on the governing board of the American Accordionists Association and is a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He his an accomplished accordionist who has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark's Symphony Hall. Currently Mr. Terzo teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.
For further information: email@example.com
Gabe Hall-Rodrigues with Jared & The Millby Rita Barnea
|Jared and the Mill with special guests Edison will perform on the Keep Me Going Tour on Thursday, September 1, 2016 at the Mercury Lounge, 217 East Houston Street, New York, New York. See poster above for tour locations and dates.|
Jared and the Mill was created in June 2011. Band members are Jared Kolesar, Michael Carter, Larry Gast III, Chuck Morriss III, Josh Morin, Gabe Hall-Rodrigues all from Phoenix, Arizona.
From their FB page: "We are Jared & The Mill. All of us were born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and we still call it home today. When we first got started in the summer of 2011 we just wanted to play some music with our best buds, have a few shows, and have a good time.
Jared and Michael had been buddies and playing music together since they were kids, and after they met up with another childhood duo, Josh Morin and Larry Gast III, after that they realized they needed a bass player, so along came Chuck Morris III.
Some months later, Jared ran into Gabe Hall Rodrigues, a local accordion and keys player at a coffee shop. Gabe joined, and as it goes we were soon hammering along in the local scene, playing alongside the bands of new friends and old throughout Arizona.
The wheels kept turning, and before we knew it we had over three years of touring under our boots; playing in the living rooms, dive bars, venues, theaters, music festivals, and even arenas of this big ol’ country of our’s alongside fellow upcoming bands, and with some of the biggest acts we had always looked up to."
Accordionist Gabe Hall-Rodrigues bio from his website: "
Originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, Gabe began playing piano and singing at the age of 7 and, throughout his younger years, performed often for community organizations and school events. Gabe received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from Arizona State University in 2011. He continued on to graduate school at ASU and received the Jazz Bird Scholarship to study jazz piano under Professor Mike Kocour. He graduated with his Master’s Degree in Jazz Piano Performance in 2013.
Gabe is an active performer and, when in Arizona, frequently plays as both a leader and a sideman in various ensembles on accordion, piano, the Hammond organ, and as a vocalist. Some of the groups and organizations he has worked with include the ASU Concert Jazz Band, Salt River Brass Band, The Paradise Winds Chamber Ensemble, 2Tone Lizard Kings, Bad Cactus Brass Band, ASU Dixie Devils, Som Brazil, Radio Brazil, Red Mountain High School Concert Band, The Samba Project, Perry Allen, Casey Hurt, Beat Creep Recording Studios, Ocotrillo, Jump Jive and Wail, Jared and the Mill, Blue Skies Events, and several others, including various ASU Chamber groups highlighting the works of Astor Piazzolla.
In 2010 Gabe won first place in U.S. Virtuoso Solo Competition at the American Accordionists’ Association Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
He has performed throughout the country as a soloist as well as with several of the groups mentioned above. In 2011, his jazz accordion trio, Ocotrillo, toured the east coast and performed at the American Accordionist’s Association Annual Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2012, the Paradise Winds Chamber Ensemble performed works of Astor Piazzolla at the International Double Reed Society Annual Conference in Oxford, Ohio.
In 2013, Gabe toured the country with Jared and the Mill, a recently developed folk rock group that is quickly gaining national attention, playing in various venues as well as at Austin, Texas’ South By Southwest Music Festival. Gabe was recently featured at Phoenix jazz venue The Nash for their Catch A Rising Star concert series.
As a teacher and music therapist, Gabe has taught private lessons at Diamond Music School and Arizona Piano Lessons for 8 years. Gabe also taught in the music classroom at Gateway Academy with fellow music therapist Michael Plunkett, MT-BC, for the past 8 years. Gateway Academy is a K-12 school in Scottsdale, Arizona for children with high-functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and PDD-nos. Gabe and Michael co-created and developed a music curriculum that included a rock band and an electronic music classroom, as well as incorporating several other creative ways to implement music therapy in a classroom setting.
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris and Edita Rybak Accordion Cruisesby Rita Barnea
17th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Conventionby Paul Pasquali Event Organizer
|Vegas Nights – Celebrate with the Stars!|
The 17th Annual 2016 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention will be August 8-11, 2016 at the Gold Coast Hotel located at 4000 West Flamingo Blvd., in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we celebrate the classic Las Vegas theme bringing you four nights and three full days of the finest accordion entertainment Las Vegas Style!
From the Monday opening night “Welcome to Las Vegas Concert” to the “Grand Finale Concert” Thursday night featuring the International Accordion Orchestra with Las Vegas Mass Choir under the direction of Professor Joan Sommers. You will find at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention - entertainment and dining at its BEST!
This year’s featured artists will include the legendary Joey Miskulin, 2007 Coupe Mondiale Champion Alexander Sevastian, Honorary Conductor Mario Pedone, virtuoso duet accordionists Kim and Dan Christian, educator and world traveling artist Mary Tokarski, and MORE.
Additional artists and clinicians will include Mike Zampiceni, Gordon Kohl, Steve & Michael Trucco, Nancy Leonard, Pete Barbutti, and independent filmmaker Roberta Cantow, at this years event!
Registration fee for the event includes 7 superb Las Vegas banquet meals with concerts plus over 40 workshops and master classes taught by top experts. SPECIAL PRICING for Accordions Worldwide readers. We will extend the Early Bird pricing with a savings of between $25 and $40 per registration (depending on registration option). Simply let us know you read this article on Accordions Worldwide. Registration form with discount: 2016Vegas.pdf
Special group room rates are only $34/$42 (Deluxe/Premium) per room Sunday thru Thursday nights (weekend nights slightly higher) and special lowered resort fee of only $9.99 with group block (resort fee off block $14.99) a night per room – but you must use group code ACCORD6 to get these lowest guaranteed rates. Rates valid until the block fills or until July 8, 2016. The Gold Coast has cautioned that the hotel will fill rapidly this year.
Recommended stays -- check in before 3pm Monday, August 8 and check out Friday morning, August 12, 2016.
Why Las Vegas – we invite you to compare total pricing between other events. The total price with hotel room, airfare and event fee will be lower and you will experience why so many registrants return year after year and say the best place to be is Las Vegas!
See our website AccordionStars.com for complete pricing options, or contact the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention at +1 801-486-1695 for personal assistance – and simply mention you read this article on Accordions Worldwide and we will deduct $25 off Option 1, $30 off Option 2, or $40 off Option 3. OR if you register online simply type Accordions Worldwide in the comment field and we will adjust your pricing. We would love to have our Accordions Worldwide readers join us and experience why the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention is such a wonderful event!
Registration form with discount: 2016Vegas.pdf
Phone: +1 801-486-1695
Cotati Festival 2016 August 20-21 in Californiaby Rita Barnea
|The 2016 26th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival will be held on August 20 and 21, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 8:PM at La Plaza Park, Cotati, California. Lou Jacklich is Honorary Director.|
A partial list of artists includes: The Doo-Wah Riders, Michael Bridge , Cory Pesaturo , Debra Peters and the Love Saints , Jelena Milojevic - Croatia/Serbia/Canada, Jianan Tian - China, Vivii Maria Saarenkylä - Finland, The Vivants, Future Accordion Stars Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong, Those Darn Accordions (TDA, ) The Steve Balich Polka Band , Jim Gilman, Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton , Skyler Fell, The Mad Maggies, The Great Morgani , Haute Flash Quartet, The Golden State Accordion Club Band, De Colores, , MotorDude Zydeco, Mark St. Mary , The Wild Catahoulas, and Lou Jacklich. Artists will be added as they are confirmed.
A free concert scholarship fundraiser will be held at the Redwood Cafe in downtown Cotati on Friday, August 19, 2016 at 4:PM.
For further information: 707-795-7868.
Contact Sheri Mignano at
For further information on Cotati: 707-664-0444
Dallas Vietty's "Jazz Mondays" at Acme Accordion School in NJby Rita Barnea
|Dallas Vietty shares: "Starting in September I’ll be running a program we are calling ‘Jazz Mondays’ at Acme Accordion School.|
Jazz Mondays are three fantastic events for players of all levels.
First, each month I am running compact group jazz classes. The classes lasts only 3-4 Mondays, depending on the month, so they are really easy to fit into people’s schedules. Everyone has too many commitments these days, so it is designed for accordionists to jump in for a month when they can, and then take a month off if they have to deal with other things.
Each class will be bite size, and each month will have a theme. I am running two of these classes each Monday, a lower level from 6-7p and an upper level from 8:30-9:30p. The classes are priced very affordably. These group classes are something I have been asked about providing for years, and I’ve just never had the time or space to provide them.
The group classes are going to help accordionists who are curious about what jazz is, and ultimately help accordionists find their own voice. After all, jazz is about personal expression above all else. And why else do we play music, if not for personal expression?
The other aspect I’m really excited about is an accordion orchestra I’ll be directing called the ‘Joe Mooney Jazz Ensemble'. (The name is a very respectful tribute to the great Paterson, NJ jazz accordionist who has inspired me and so many others.) The Jazz Ensemble will be open to all levels, and you don’t have to attend the group classes to come and participate in the jazz ensemble. I’m really excited to position this ensemble both as a vehicle to play beautiful jazz arrangements, and also to give the accordionists an opportunity to try skills and approaches from the group jazz classes.
On some songs they will have the opportunity walk bass lines, accompany, embellish melodies, and improvise. Although I’ve lead groups professionally for years, this will be my first time as a director of an all accordion ensemble. I’m very excited, and I want to make sure people know that everyone is invited to participate. We will have small fee to cover materials, facilities and my time, but it will be more than worth the experience.
Registration by phone is required, and interested parties can call:
Acme Accordion School at (856) 854-6628.
Or email me at email@example.com.
The first Jazz Monday will be September 12, and they will run nearly continuously until further notice.
9th Annual Accordion Noir Festival Sept. 9-10by Rita Barnea
|The 9th Annual Accordion Noir Festival will be held from September 8-11, 2016, 2016 in Vancouver, BC. |
Thursday Sept 8, 2016, “Kissing Everything in Sight” Lanalou’s Rock n Roll Eatery (all ages welcome), doors 7:30. Tickets $10 at the door only, no online or advance sales. Featuring Magic in the Woods (Pemberton), Breaking Boundaries (Columbia/Vancouver), Kael Vincent (standing on top of things), Battle of the Buskers (Artists TBA) and the intoxicating Alexa Fraser (The Plodes) as emcee and bon vivant.
The September 9, 2016 program, "Love Potion Cabaret" takes place at 8:30 PM at the York Theatre, Accordion Noir presents an intoxicating elixir of world class artists. Headliners Nefertiti in the Kitchen (Rennes) channel the bite of Kurt Weill and the dreaminess of Radiohead with their eccentric multi-lingual cabaret. Patrick Farrell and Ben Holmes (Brooklyn) premier “The Conqueror Worm”, a suite of music, visuals and text based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe.
Jet Black Pearl (Belgium) delivers a masterful mix of accordion, vocals, beatboxing, looping and flute. Duo Finelli (San Fransisco), combines acrobatics, clowning with Tex-Mex flavored squeezebox, and local composer Nathan Shubert premiers a new work for accordion and sheng with Tim Chan.
The September 10, 2016 program, "Move the Mess Around" Dance Party takes place at 8:30 PM at The Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver, BC. Accordion Noir presents a dance party mixer of epic proportions. Pinata Protest (San Antonio) brings shredding lead accordion to a mix of old school punk rock and traditional Latin border music.
Local squeezebox superstar Jack Garton with his roots roller-coaster band the Demon Squadron celebrate the release of their new album “Move the Mess Around”. Featured square dance, button box rocker Gunther Kablutsiak (Arviat) teams up with local Metis dance troupe V’ni Dansi. Duo Finelli brings accordion clowning and acrobatics to a new level and Dirty Grace limbers everyone up with cheeky and soulful songs from the heart.
Sunday Sept 11th, “Accordion Crimes” Spartacus Books (all ages), 2-6pm. Admission by donation. This community afternoon event includes our Youth Incentives Showcase, an extended performance of the new work for sheng and accordion with composer Nathan Shubert and sheng artist Tim Chan, the Squeezebox Circle Orchestra with special guests, a highlight reel screening for “Accordions Rising” by Roberta Cantow (San Diego), a comedy repair workshop by Melodona (Montreal) and cameo performances by visiting festival artists.
**Note: Sept 15th at 7pm there will be a feature length screening of “Accordions Rising” at Spartacus Books.
For ticket and information call: 604-251-1363
New and Updated Sites
Updated Site, Available Again, Frank Marocco 3 CD Set & Bookby Harley Jones
|Now available again is the Frank Marocco 3 CD set and a beautifully presented book titled "Jazz On The Road, Volume 1-3" Catalog: ks550|
The book describes Frank Marocco's musical life in extensive texts enriched with many never-before published photos and significant interviews.
The author is accordionist, conductor and music historian Thomas Eickhoff.