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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2012
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Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editor's Note
AAMS Honors Beverly Roberts Curnow in 2013
'Play Your Accordion Without Pain!' by John Bonica
Accordion Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends and Family
Ian Mitchell Performs with Brockton Symphony Orchestra
Bruce Gassman: Busy with Benefit Concerts and New CD Release
Directions for Submitting a Video to the USA News
Stas Venglevski Releases New CD: "Stas & Sam-Two Step"
December with Chris Rybak, the Accordion Cowboy
Jane Christison's CD Wins 2012 Tillywig Toy & Media Award
First Accordion JamFest and Competition: A Success!
Murl Sanders Releases New CD
Video of National Heritage Fellow Marc Savoy
Joan Grauman performs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

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

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

Mental Activity May Keep Older Brains Healthy
Accordionist Jack Swenningsen: An Inspiration to all Musicians
Joe Recchia Creates Video/Composition "Castelfidardo"
Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra in concert on December 1
Cathie Travers, Siren of the Accordion
Hear Nick Ariondo On 'Life of Pi' Movie Soundtrack
Holiday Happenings: The Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS)
"Gangnam Style" Accordion Rap by Lenny Feldmann
Connecticut Accordion Association Holiday Concert on December 15th
Regis Honors Lovello at Florida SMASH Birthday Bash
The Great Morgani to Perform for the San Francisco Accordion Club
The Accordion Babes are Back

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

Future events

National Accordion Association (NAA) 26th Anniversary Celebration, March 6-10, 2013
19th AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 26-28 in NYC
The Amazing Accordion Kings in January at the LIAA
Put ACCORDIONS NOW! 2013 on Your Calendar

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

CD Reviews

Stas Venglevski Releases New CD


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

Highlights


Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita Davidson, USA News EditorI would like to wish all of the readers of the USA News and AWW websites a happy and healthy holiday season.

Living in these turbulent times, we are all very fortunate that we have the gift of music within us and the ability to share, no matter what our level of performance is. We all could brighten someone's day sharing our musical abilities. Have you noticed how people smile when you play a song for them? Never did that? Now is a good time to begin!

As I say each year, it does not really have to be a holiday or special time for us to share our music. Any time would be greatly appreciated by so many people.

Perhaps you can take the time from the busyness of holiday shopping and preparation……. and you could visit a senior facility, church or synagogue group, classroom to play holiday songs and lead a sing-a-long. You do not have to be perfect in performance…… just take a deep breath, play, and you will see how appreciated your accordion playing will be.

And….. please remember to support the accordionists who have CD's for sale. They are wonderful gifts and will be enjoyed all year. In this issue you will read about the new CD's released by professional accordionists Stas Venglevski, Bruce Gassman, Jane Christison and Murl Sanders who have distinctly different styles. Expand your musical horizons and purchase them for yourself, friends, or family.

On behalf of the AWW staff, we extend to all of you best wishes for a peaceful, joyous, and musical season!

PANcordion

AAMS Honors Beverly Roberts Curnow in 2013

by Rita Barnea
Beverly Roberts Curnow
Beverly Roberts Curnow will be the 2013 Guest of Honor at the American Accordion Musicological Society event which will hold its 3 day annual Festival of Workshops, from March 15 to 17, 2013 at the Hanover Marriott, 1401 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ.

A very special Banquet and Concert will be held on Saturday March 16, 2013 honoring Beverly Roberts Curnow, a student of Carmen Carrozza and winner of the 1965 AAA national competition and the Confederation of International Accordionists Competition in Valletta, Malta (the first female contestant to do so). She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Music Education from New York University and Columbia University. Following graduation, she taught choral, instrumental, and general  music at all levels  in the Wilson Area public school system of Easton. Pennsylvania for thirty-five years.

Remaining an active accordionist throughout her teaching career, she continues to make many guest artist and concert appearances for the American Accordionists’ Association. She also plays in pit orchestras for Broadway musicals and shows, and performs as soloist with the Allentown (Pennsylvania) Band. In 2008, she presented the world premiere of Samuel Adler’s “Canto XVIII at the AAA 70th Anniversary Concert in Valhalla, New York.  She presently serves as a member of the AAA Governing Board, and in that capacity, is a member of the Composers Commissioning Committee.

Workshops will be held all 3 days of the festival. Bring your accordion and learn how to do the Russian Bellow Shakes, Meet Dr. Marion Jacobson, author of “Squeeze This”, learn about the Life and Times of Pietro Deiro Sr, “Daddy of the Accordion” and much more.

For more information, contact Joanna Arnold Darrow or phone 856-854-6628

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

'Play Your Accordion Without Pain!' by John Bonica

by Harley Jones
John BonicaThis ebook (able to be emailed to you, Acrobat pdf format). John Bonica PT CMP NZRP (New Zealand and USA) writes: "This book is exclusively for accordionists, written by an accordionist, about accordion related problems and injuries, based on 50 years of professional clinical experience."

"Over my long career I have had the pleasure of meeting, personally treating and advising many accordion luminaries.  Among them, to name just a few, are Anthony Galla-Rini, Viatcheslav Semionov, Myron Floren, Jorgen Sundeqvist, Frank Marocco, Harley Jones and my good friends, Stas Venglevski and John Simkus, plus many more who have emailed, phoned or made the journey to my clinic for help."

"What works for one individual may not work as well for others, but the symptoms typically experienced by accordionists will be described in this book and may allow readers to identify the contributing cause of their problem or injury.” 

John Bonica has also released several CD's during his musical career and is writing this book, to become "The definitive reference for players of all ages, teachers and professionals."

This exciting ebook will be published chapter by chapter, at least one chapter per month. There will be a minimum of 24 chapters. You can purchase the whole book as a special introductory offer for only US$22 (or Euro equivalent) and be sent each chapter by email as it is released.

Further information is at: John Bonica

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Accordion Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends and Family

by Harley Jones
Christmas GiftsChristmas Gift ideas for friends and family at: 2012 Xmas Gift Ideas.

These ideas have been compiled to hopefully attract your Xmas gift money to be spent with accordion artists, composers, arrangers and publishers.

Please support accordion artistry and choose from over 2,100 eSheet pieces, 270 CD/DVD’s, 990 eTracks, 1,000 plus printed works and numerous books (text) to choose from. 2012 Xmas Gift Ideas

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

Ian Mitchell Performs with Brockton Symphony Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Ian Mitchell taking bow with conductor Dr. Emilian Badea
Ian MitchellDr. Emilian BadeaBrockton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr.Emilian Badea, presented their Holiday Pops Concert on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 3:PM at the West Middle School, Brockton, MA with more of your holiday favorites and joyous music from around the world with Brockton's own Kennedy School Chorus, back by popular demand! The concert featured 12 year old accordion soloist, Ian Mtichell, and soprano, Kimberly Moller. Ian performed the "Hungarian Dance No. 5" by Brahms, with the symphony and was enthusiastically received by the audience. See the video of his performance above.

Ian Mitchell, began studying the accordion with Dr. Emilian Badea at age 9. He has competed at the New England Music Festival in Newton, MA, and at several AAA Festivals. At the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore, Ian placed first in his age group in the categories of Jazz, Folk, Classical and Pop. Ian's hobbies include math and trains. His future goals are to enter the Roland competition and eventually compete in the Coupe Mondiale. Ian said, " I really like playing the accordion. I enjoy my lessons with Dr. Badean and his talks to me about music, in general. I feel relaxed about my performance with the orchestra because I am well prepared. " Ian currently lives in Brookline, MA where he is in seventh grade at the Pierce School.

On March 24, 2012, Ian will play this selection again with the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra in a Family concert conducted by Emilian Badea who will perform a duet of Monti"s "Czardas" with the concert master.
 
Bassoonist, accordionist, musicologist, and educator Emilian Badea graduated from one of Romania's most prestigious Music Academies. He earned a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree, both as a Dean's scholar, from Boston University. Emilian Badea has performed most of the symphonic repertoire with the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra and as a freelance musician in the Boston area. He has performed with the Boston Ballet, the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Classical Players, the Boston Academy of Music, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Brockton Symphony, and many other New England ensembles.

Emilian Badea is a member of The National Music Honor Society Pi Kappa Lambda of the American Federation of Musicians, The International Double Reed Society, the American Accordionists' Association, and the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts. Dr.Badea is currently on the music faculty of the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Brookline Music School, and the New School of Music In Cambridge. He also maintains his music studio in Natick, MA with many successful students at local and national levels.

Dr. Badea said, " I conduct 65 wonderful musicians of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra who accompany my accordion student, Ian Mitchell,..........this is TOTAL HAPPINESS for me!"

The program for Dec 2, 2012 Holiday-Pops concert of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra included:Tchaikovsky, "Polonaise”  from "Eugene Onegin"; Anderson, “Suite of Carols”;“O Holy Night", Kimberly Moller, Soprano;  Leopold Mozart “Sleigh Ride”;"Feasts of Light"; Brahms "Hungarian Dance No 5", solo accordion w/ orchestra Ian Mitchell; Brahms, "Lullaby", "Rudolph the red nosed Reindeer:"Jingle bells forever"; Josef Strauss, "Ohne Sorgen" Schnell Polka; Luigini, "Ballet Egyptien" I-III-IV.; Anderson, "The Typewriter"; Puccini, "O Mio Babbino Carol", Kimberly Moller, soprano; Charles J. Orth, "In a Clock Store"; Selections from "My Fair Lady", Kimberly Moller, Soprano; Anderson, "A Christmas festival" audience singalong; Johann Strauss Sr, "Radetzky March".

The Brockton Symphony Orchestra is recognized as Brockton's leading performing arts institution, one of the leading community symphony orchestras in Massachusetts, and one of the best regional orchestras in the country.

The Brockton Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council; and grants from the Brockton Cultural Council, Abington Cultural Council, Bridgewater Cultural Council, Easton Cultural Council, Sharon Cultural Council, and Stoughton Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Their generosity is gratefully acknowledged.

For further information: emilian@emilian.org,

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Bruce Gassman: Busy with Benefit Concerts and New CD Release

by Rita Barnea
Restore the Shore

Benefit Concert Local TV Promotion
Bruce Gassman CDAccordionist Bruce Gassman will perform on Sunday December 9th, 2012 at the “Restore The Shore Benefit Relief Concert” at Branches, 123 Monmouth Road,West Long Branch NJ. Bruce Gassman is always generous with his time and talents sharing his music to raise funds for those less fortunate. By doing this, he also puts the accordion in the forefront entertaining and educating everyone about the great versatility of the accordion. His specialty is Rock “n Roll accordion.

Bruce receives much positive feedback due to his lively performances delighting people with his accordion renditions of popular tunes both new and old. Since there are so many needy people due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Bruce's talents are welcome during these difficult times.

The concert will feature the following entertainment: ROCK 'N RHYTHM, SOUNDS OF THE STREET, Stormin' Norman Seldin, Bruce Gassman, Patsy Siciliano and PS IV, Sidewalk Serenade, Clamdiggers, Selfish Profits, Ray and The Darchaes and more!

Ticket price $25.00 per-person, Cash Bar, cocktail hour 5 to 6PM. The show starts at 6:PM. All checks made payable to : Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. This fund was set up by Governor Christie and his Wife. The Relief Fund is a registered 501(c)3 organization.

For tickets contact Steve Siciliano at rnrsteves@gmail.com or Frank DiRobella at Doowop3Nam@aol.com.

Special thanks to John Lombardo (Branches), Scott Sprengel, (Coach USA Suburban Transit), Linda DiRobella, Robert Labella (Jamm Printing), and everyone who is participating in this fund raiser to help New Jersey get back on track.
 
Bruce will be featured with pianist, Stormin' Norman & the ALL STAR BAND at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on Saturday, January 18, 2013.  He will also perform with the New Jersey based APO ( Accordion Pops Orchestra) at the March 2013 MAMTG event. ( see article about Beverly Roberts Curnow in this issue), many local Jersey Shore Clubs and restaurants as well as National Accordion Events around the country in 2013. More details in future issues.

As he has done for many years, Bruce continues to perform in many of the 60 Holiday Express concert taking place throughout New Jersey during the Holiday Season
Now in its 20th season, Holiday Express is a traveling Christmas party, a from-the-heart troupe of musicians bringing music, friendship, help and hope to those too often left out in the cold at the most special time of the year. Playing far from the limelight, in sometimes desperate circumstances, and all for absolutely no pay, more than 70 of the best musicians on the Jersey Shore play more than 50 shows between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and with several dozen support staff in tow, deliver not only music, but toys, clothing, food and fun to children with cancer, people living with AIDS, the mentally ill, disadvantaged families, the isolated elderly and the desperately homeless.

The annual benefit concert at the Count Basie Theatre is a significant source of support for the all-volunteer, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization, and with more than 50 musicians and singers on the stage, playing everything from “White Christmas” to “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” (with the Grinch himself in attendance) to Chuck Berry’s “Run, Run Rudolph,” the annual benefit concert is an always-sold-out season tradition in itself. Holiday Express will be collecting food donations for St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Newark.

The public performances are: Count Basie Theatre , Red Bank, NJ, on Thursday, Dec 13 at 7:30 PM. and NJPAC, Newark, NJ at 7:30 PM on Dec 20. If you are interested in attending any of the performances, please contact Bruce at accordion2bruce@gmail.com for more info. Lift your holiday spirits by hearing entertaining music. The price of the ticket will help to make someone's holiday a happier time.

Bruce has also performed for the Light of Day concerts for the past few years. The Light of Day series of concerts, which also includes performances in Canada and several countries in Europe, raises money for the ongoing fight against Parkinson's disease by supporting research into more effective treatments and a cure for people who suffer from Parkinson's and other degenerative neuromuscular disorders including PSP and ALS. Bruce will perform on Friday, January 18, 2013 at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ and on January 19, 2013 with Stormin" Norman at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

Light of Day's New Jersey weekend will kick off on Thursday, Jan. 17 at The Saint at 5pm and at Asbury Lanes on Fourth Avenue, with a Rock N Bowl-a-Thon that will pair participants with celebrity bowlers for a night of fun that will also include lots of music at 7pm.

On Friday, January 18, 2013, Asbury Park’s legendary Stone Pony, the oceanfront club where Light of Day got its start 12 years ago, will feature the second annual tribute to the “Asbury Angels,” significant members of the Asbury Park music scene who have passed on and will announce its second set of inductees.

Performers who will be appearing throughout the weekend at this year’s Light of Day include Dramarama, Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings), Bebe Buell, The Tangiers Blues Band, Billy Hector, Bruce Gassman and ldin and the Asbury All-Stars, the Upstage Jam Band, Vini Lopez (E Street Band), Slim Chance &The Gamblers and many others to be announced over the coming weeks.

Bruce's new CD, "CLASSIC ROCK Accordion to Bruce Volume II" will be available for the holidays. There is a "bonus track" which is a special dedication to Dick Contino. The price is $18.00 which includes shipping and handling. A wonderful CD, it would be a special holiday gift. To reserve and purchase this CD, please email Bruce: accordion2bruce@gmail.com

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Directions for Submitting a Video to the USA News

by Harley Jones
USA News logoIf you have any interesting concerts of new compositions for accordion, new performers (such as a new trio or orchestra), or new arrangements, competition winners, something unusual, then we would like to have a video of that performance.  

You may send videos to us in three ways for possible publication:
1. We can supply you with a youtube address to upload the video to.
2. You can upload to your own youtube address.
3.  Using your browser, you can send the video file from the camera direct to a dropbox: Write to Rita Davidson at Ritabelll@aol.com for the dropbox address.

Please email: Ritabelll@aol.com when you upload a video to dropbox so we know to look for the video.

Youtube video upload site information:
www.youtube.com
Username:  harleyaccordion
Password: AccordionsWorldwide

Videos must be submitted before the 25th of the month to allow time for possible editing.

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Stas Venglevski Releases New CD: "Stas & Sam-Two Step"

by Rita Barnea
New CDStas Venglevski recently released his new CD. It is now available and would be a great holiday gift . Selections include: "Winter
from The Four Seasons", Antonio Vivaldi
 ; "Selections from Animal Suite", Stas Vengelvski
; "Minuet and Fuga" 
from "Suite In The Old Style", Alfred Schnittke;
 "Machine Gun Tango", Mark Mantel
; "Two Step", Alexander Tzigankov;
 "Spring Dance", G Diniky
; "Summer" 
from "The Four Seasons", Antonio Vivaldi.

His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

Stas Venglevsky is an accordionist, a musician, an arranger, an entertainer and a teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show.

Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts. He is a regular participant the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education Program (ACE); has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra; has done television commercials and performed in theater productions; produced numerous recordings including a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite for Bayan as well as one of original compositions. He has published several books of original compositions.

Stas founded Accordion XXI Century Series in 2010 so that the Midwest audiences can experience the amazing range of the Accordion and Bayan by bringing gifted artists from all over the world. In a concert setting, these gifted musicians share their skills and cultures to provide the audience with a unique musical experience. The performances feature the Accordion or Bayan in solo presentation and, when possible, in concert with other instruments.

The brilliant artistry and musical virtuosity of Stas afford an expanded dimension in music and an innovative musical adventure to the audience.

Stas has rereleased his popular CD, "Tschaikovsky's Nutcracker". All selections are arranged and performed by Stas on the Bayan. Another wonderful Christmas gift.

See the Review of "Stas & Sam" by Joan C. Sommers in the CD Reviews section of this issue.

For further information on ordering the CD's:
stasvenglevski@wi.rr.com
Nutcracker CD

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

December with Chris Rybak, the Accordion Cowboy

by Rita Barnea
Chris RybakChris Rybak has a busy holiday season planned. He 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. 

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.  His "one-man show" includes Country & Western, Polka, Cajun, Tex-Mex, Folk, Gospel, Classical and other styles or at certain events, includes his band.



Chris has performed at many events including 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.  He has done NAMM shows in Austin TX, Nashville TN, and Anaheim CA, Branson MO and the Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston TX.  Chris has 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). He has also 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.  In July 2006, he was honored by being asked to demonstrate Roland's V-Accordion (the world's first all digital accordion) at the Summer NAMM Session in Austin, Texas. 

Since then, he has been working for Roland as "Product Specialist" traveling across the U.S. and Europe.  Chris has heen featured multiple times on various television stations, including RFD-TV and CBS News in Austin and has had several radio interviews including NPR (National Public Radio).

Chris and his wife Edita organize European Tours every year for their fans.  For 2013, they are planning two tours visiting the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, France, Slovakia and Hungary.

Future performances include:
Sat. 1 La Grange, TX - Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum - Memorial Celebration/Open Haus
(Fair Pavilion) 10 am - 4 pm Click here for more info
Sat. 1 Private - Austin, TX - KJT & KJZT Christmas Party
Sun. 2 Yorktown, TX - Community Hall Dance 2 - 6 pm
Tues. 4 Private - Ellinger - History Channel & Larry the Cable Guy Party
Thur. 6 Private - Flatonia, TX Christmas Party
Fri. 7 Tomball, TX - German Christmas Market 6 - 10 pm
Sat. 8 Tomball, TX - German Christmas Market 10 am - 10 pm
Sun. 9 Tomball, TX - German Christmas Market 12 - 6 pm
Thur. 13 Private - Round Rock, TX - Party with Nolan Ryan
Fri. 14 Private - Hallettsville, TX Christmas Party
Sat. 15 Private - Caldwell, TX - Wedding Anniversary
Sun. 16 Private - San Antonio, TX - KC Hall Christmas Party
Thur. 20 Private - Schulenburg, TX - Christmas Party
Fri. 21 Private - Rockport, TX - Christmas Party
Sun. 23 Sweet Home, TX - Dance (Community Hall) 2 - 6 pm
Mon. 31 Da Costa, TX - New Year's Eve Dance - Polka & Waltz Club 8 pm - 12:30 am
@ Herman Sons Hall $15 adm. PUBLIC!

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Jane Christison's CD Wins 2012 Tillywig Toy & Media Award

by Rita Barnea
Jane ChristisonCD CoverJane Christison released CD "Come Sing Along with Janie Next Door" was awarded a Tillywig Toy & Media Sterling Fun Award in their audio category. In order to be selected as a Tillywig award winner, a product submitted to them must be determined by their testing team to have high entertainment and/or educational value.

Each year, the Tillywig Toy Awards Program delivers to consumers, retailers, and the media the best new toys, games, and other products available in the United States.In addition to the evaluation of products, the Tillywig program also awards a small number of retail stores each year for their ongoing contributions to promoting high quality, innovative new products.

Product awards are given on the basis of group play tests, the primary purpose of which is evaluating the entertainment and/or educational value of the products submitted.Retailer awards are given on the basis of information procured through online research as well as interviews with manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

Tillywig's evaluation of "Come Sing Along with Janie Next Door":

For the very young, every day contains landmark moments, and even the simplest daily routines can be a source of wonder. One of the remarkable things about this CD is the degree to which the music captures and conveys that magic. It is also why children are drawn to and connect with it so well. While many of the songs evolve around simple childhood activities and events (riding a bicycle, getting new shoes, waking up in the morning, a loose tooth), there's a visceral and visual quality to the lyrics and melodies that plays much like the soundtrack to an exciting motion picture. It is this quality - experiencing the spectacular in the ordinary - that sets the songs apart. That and accordionist Jane Christison in performance (she also wrote all the music and lyrics).

It's easy to imagine, while listening to her strong, clear voice and spirited delivery, that you're listening to the audio portion of a new PBS children's show, one that celebrates the innocent pleasures that permeate the lives of young children. The songs are upbeat, dramatic, well-written (with strong, catchy, verse-chorus-verse structures), and elicit interaction and activity in listeners of all ages. Lyrics booklet is included.

For further information:janec@musicwithasmile.com

Jon Hammond CD's for Sale

First Accordion JamFest and Competition: A Success!

by Rita Barnea
Accordion JamFest 2012MecaEdwin De Leon Performs his 1st Place Solo at the first Gulf Coast Accordion Jam. He performed 2 selections of different styles in round 1 and the judges asked for a huapango for round 2. He won a large trophy and a Hohner Corona II.

The first Gulf Coast Accordion JamFest & Competition was held on Saturday Nov. 17, 2012  at  Meca - Meca,1900 Kane Street Houston, TX. An entire day was devoted to competitions and jam sessions. Professional and Youth Bands performed. Contestants and attendees were encouraged to bring their accordions and play on the jam stage and outdoor gazebo area.

The organizers of the first Gulf Coast Accordion JamFest were: Shelia Lee with Heritage Arts Productions (Director for Houston), Estevan Azcona with MECA, Gilbert Reyes with Hohner US, Steve Albini with Roland US, and Willard Palmer III. Directors for Dallas and Austin for 2013 are needed.

The competition was open to
1. All ages (4 to 99 yrs old - there is category for 61 and older!),
2. All accordions (Button, Chromatic, Piano Keyboard, Cajun/Zydeko),
3. All styles (Norteno, Conjunto, Vallenato, German, Italian, Bohemian, Celtic, Zydeco, Cajun, etc.)
4. Semi-Professional and amateur!
 
It was actually two competitions in one:
First - SOLO COMPETITION:compete on your accordion by type accordion and style music - by your age
Second: JamFest OPEN TITLE - compete within your age bracket - with multiple songs!
 
Accordion JamFest was sponsored by: Roland, Hohner, Meca, Houston, Heritage Arts Productions. Houston Accordion Performers, Master the Accordion Workshops.
There were 35 - 40 entries in the competitions. For this first competition – the judges selected two winners from each category for the JamFest Category which requires the accordionist to perform with backup musicians – of their choice or they provide the group.They perform 2 selections and can be invited back – where the judges will ask for a style – such as a two-step for Cajun, Schottisch for Keyboard or chromatic, Huapango for button.

For this first competition – the judges, Steve Albini and Tatiana Semichastnaya selected two winners from each category for the JamFest: Phto: L to R – Meg Hada 2nd Keyboard, Tatiana Semichastnaya – Judge from Roland, Miguel Chavez Jr, 2nd Button Over 16, Edwin DeLeon, 1st Button under 16, Anthony Castillo 2 Button under 16, Yesenia Garcia 1st Button over 16 and Sweepstakes Winner, Steve Albini – Judge from Roland, and Willard
Palmer III, 1st Keyboard

The 2012 JamFest Winners:
1st Place – 13 Year Old Edwin DeLeon who won a free Hohner Corona II donated by Hohner.
2nd Place – 13 Year Old Anthony Castillo who won a free Roland Fr18 donated by Roland.

Sweepstakes Winner – Top Honors and Recipient of Sweepstakes Trophy AND $500 Scholarship went to 17 Year Old Yesenia Garcia

The goal is to unite the Accordion World of keyboard, button & Cajun Zydeco players and promote MORE than just solo artists!

Winners in other categories were:
5 yr olds - 1st Place Button Solo - Mia Montemayer [Photo of Mia & Ethan – 1st place winners under 9 with organizer Shelia Lee
9 & Under - 1st Place Button Solo – Ethan Hernandez, 2nd Place  - Samantha Montez- 3rd Place Alex Gomez
Over 10 yrs old - 1st Place Keyboard Solo – Eliliano Himari - 2nd Place – Kane Rodriguez, 3rd Place – Juan Martinez
Over 12 yrs old - 1st Place Button Solo – Anthony Catillo  
Over 16 yrs old - 1st Place Button Solo – Yesenia Garcia, 2nd Place – Tie Rene Montes Jr. & Miguel Chavez Jr.,  3rd Place  - Brenda Martinez
Over 21 yrs old – 1st Place Cajun Solo – Christine Garbs, 2nd Place - Maryjean Sargent
Over 40 yrs old - 1st Place Keyboard Solo – Brian Berkin, 2nd Place – Megumi Hada, 3rd Place Ann Sliter
Over 69 yrs old – 1st Place Chromatic Solo – Willard Palmer III, 2nd Place – Tom Bassett

Photo of JamFest Winners: L to r – Tatiana, Miguel, Edwin, Yesenia, & Anthony)

Future plans include holding the competition 3 times a year in different cities with San Antonio as the early summer location. The goal is to unite the accordion world of keyboard, button & Cajun Zydeco players and promote solo artists and groups. Check future issues of the USA news for more details.

For further information: slee@shelialee.com

Murl Sanders Releases New CD

by Rita Barnea
Murl SandersAccordionist Murl Sanders has just released his new 2012 CD, "Stories of Lucille". All tracks are original and feature some of the best jazz musicians in Seattle including Warren Rand, Clipper Anderson, and Mark Ivester. It would be a wonderful holiday gift for accordion enthusiasts.

Selections include:
1. Stories of Lucile (feat. Warren Rand)
2. Let's Get Crackin'
3. Drop It Here, Drop It Now
4. Gosta Major
5. Springin' Hope (feat. Mark Ivester)
6. Fields of Gold
7. Still Laughing in the Hall (feat. Clipper Anderson)
8. Shawn's Second Half
9. We Couldn't Resist It
10. Estamos Ai (feat. Warren Rand)
11. It's New Year

Murl Allen Sanders is an independent, modern accordionist, pianist, composer, teacher and recording artist who plays pop, rock, zydeco, country, jazz, blues and various ethnic styles on piano and accordion. He has worked with such diverse national and international artists as: 
Chuck Berry, Etta James, Glenn Yarbrough, Merrilee Rush, Theodore Bikel, Peter Duchin, Leslie Gore, The Von Trapp Children, Lee Oskar, OhNo, Underground Resistance, Leroy Bell, Clare Fischer, Todd Simon, and composer David Matthews.

Murl has also worked with a host of regional luminaries including Terry Lauber, Ken Boynton, Danny Deardorff, Kelly Harland, Susan Pascal, Barbara Lamb, Geoffrey Castle, Orchestra Seattle, The Seattle Chamber Singers, The Everett Symphony, Nancy K. Dillon, Leon Lishner, Magical Strings, Tim Noah, Papaya, Michael Powers, Ellen Lippman Finn, Renee Redeker, Nadine Shanti, Tickle Tune Typhoon, Michael Tomlinson and Jim Valley, Billy Mac, Warren Rand, Chuck Deardorf, Wendy Marcus and Shawn Weaver among many others.

Recent notable performances include performances with orchestra, at national and international festivals, and accordion clubs, conventions and associations including Texas, Arizona, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Leavenworth, ATG, Silver Falls plus more.

Murl is an award winning ASCAP composer and adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts. Murl's "Accordion Concerto No. 2" for accordion and orchestra was supported by a grant from the City of Seattle's Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. It was premiered on March 18, 2007 with Orchestra Seattle conducted by George Shangrow. Murl's “Accordion Concerto No. 1” was premiered on June 6, 2003 with Orchestra Seattle at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus.

Murl's versatility has led him to be in demand as a concert artist, workshop presenter and freelance artist in numerous bands and studio work for MUZAK, television and radio commercials as well as sideman work on many CD projects in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. He also leads his own band, does solo work, composes and arranges music, sings, plays piano, harmonica, Hammond B-3 organ, electronic keyboards and teaches privately.
Murl's "Accordion Concerto No. 2" for accordion and orchestra was supported by a grant from the City of Seattle's Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. It was premiered on March 18, 2007 with Orchestra Seattle conducted by George Shangrow.

Murl's "Accordion Concerto No. 1" had a world premiere June 6, 2003 with Orchestra Seattle conducted by Maestro George Shangrow at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus. It has since been performed by the Clear Lake Symphony in Texas conducted by Dr. Charles Johnson with accordionist Dr. Joe Pouzar.

You can currently hear Murl's music in retail stores on the MUZAK network and in Nordstrom's own background music system. Recently Murl has played piano, accordion, organ and harmonica on soundtracks for the films:
"Georgia Rule" 
"Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants"
"Eulogy"
"Moonglow"
"It's Only Temporary"

The Chicago Accordion Club and Milwaukee Accordion Club featured Murl in 2003. In 2004 Murl played a tour of California Accordion Clubs including San Diego, San Francisco, Escalon and Vacaville. Murl is a member of the Northwest Accordion Society and performs regularly at Seattle's Day of the Accordion and has been featured at the Forest Grove Accordion Club as well. Murl was also a featured artist at the Cotati Festival.

Murl's introduction to jazz piano and the "American Songbook" was through his friend and teacher, John Wittwer. John was a superb pianist in the traditional jazz and ragtime styles and an intellectual who inspired his students with great literature and humor. Murl was recruited in high school to play jazz piano in the Nathan Hale big band and Seattle Community College big band by John Moawad, another high-energy motivational teacher.

Joe Petosa and his family have been very supportive of Murl's accordion endeavors and W.D. "Blackie" Blackstone for encouraging Murl early on to be serious about pursuing music.

Murl's earliest accordion influence was Stan Boreson, a local children's television personality, accordionist and comedian still working in Seattle. Stan inspired hundreds of kids to play the accordion. The Lawrence Welk show on TV also imprinted accordion music in Murl's brain and Myron Floren was Murl's hero when he was age six.
Aside from his first basics instructor, Leo Furman, Murl had only one truly influential accordion teacher as a child, Doug Middendorf in Seattle. However, Murl's musical education has included many wonderful and inspirational teachers: John Wittwer, Jerome Gray, George Peckham, Dave Peck, Terry Moore, Kenneth Benshoof, Robert and Gerald Kechley and Barbara Lundquist most notably.

Murl has a B.A. in music education from the University of Washington and teaches private lessons in accordion, piano and voice for individual adults and children. Murl has also taught choral music at Chinook Middle School in Bellevue, Washington.

His important accordion influences include Brazilian accordionist Sivuca, jazz accordionists Art Van Damme, Frank Marocco, Leon Sash and Tommy Gumina, Astor Piazzola, the Argentine bandoneonist, Richard Galliano, Ken Olendorf, zydeco/cajun players Clifton Chenier, Geno Delafose, CJ Chenier and Bruce Daigrepont, celtic and European players Maria Kaliniemi, Joe Derrane, Ivo Papasov's band, Phil Cunningham, various Brazilian and African accordionists, Los Lobos, Flaco Jiminez and various Klezmer players.

Some of Murl's other musical influences are pianists Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson, organists Billy Preston, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Richard "Groove" Holmes and Jack McDuff, saxophonists John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz and many others, guitarists B.B. King, Freddy King, Eric Clapton and others. The list could go on and on. All have played a role in expanding his accordion consciousness and style. His friend and colleague, FRANK MAROCCO was a great influence on him and Murl considers him to have been the best jazz accordionist.

Murl has been an active member of the Pacific Northwest music scene for over thirty years playing concerts, festivals, recording sessions, nightclubs, churches, synagogues and private clubs.

Pupils play an important role in Murl's life providing inspiration, energy and motivation to continue to improve both musically and personally. Teaching is a two-way street enriching the life of both teacher and student.
For more information: murl@murlallensanders.com
Phone: Tel: 206-781-8196

Accordionist Murl Sanders has just released his new 2012 CD, "Stories of Lucille". All tracks are original and feature some of the best jazz musicians in Seattle including Warren Rand, Clipper Anderson, and Mark Ivester. It would be a wonderful holiday gift for accordion enthusiasts.

Selections include:
1. Stories of Lucile (feat. Warren Rand)
2. Let's Get Crackin'
3. Drop It Here, Drop It Now
4. Gosta Major
5. Springin' Hope (feat. Mark Ivester)
6. Fields of Gold
7. Still Laughing in the Hall (feat. Clipper Anderson)
8. Shawn's Second Half
9. We Couldn't Resist It
10. Estamos Ai (feat. Warren Rand)
11. It's New Year

Murl Allen Sanders is an independent, modern accordionist, pianist, composer, teacher and recording artist who plays pop, rock, zydeco, country, jazz, blues and various ethnic styles on piano and accordion. He has worked with such diverse national and international artists as: 
Chuck Berry, Etta James, Glenn Yarbrough, Merrilee Rush, Theodore Bikel, Peter Duchin, Leslie Gore, The Von Trapp Children, Lee Oskar, OhNo, Underground Resistance, Leroy Bell, Clare Fischer, Todd Simon, and composer David Matthews.

Murl has also worked with many regional luminaries including Terry Lauber, Ken Boynton, Danny Deardorff, Kelly Harland, Susan Pascal, Barbara Lamb, Geoffrey Castle, Orchestra Seattle, The Seattle Chamber Singers, The Everett Symphony, Nancy K. Dillon, Leon Lishner, Magical Strings, Tim Noah, Papaya, Michael Powers, Ellen Lippman Finn, Renee Redeker, Nadine Shanti, Tickle Tune Typhoon, Michael Tomlinson and Jim Valley, Billy Mac, Warren Rand, Chuck Deardorf, Wendy Marcus and Shawn Weaver among many others.

Recent notable performances include performances with orchestra, at national and international festivals, and accordion clubs, conventions and associations including Texas, Arizona, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Leavenworth, ATG, Silver Falls plus more.

Murl is an award winning ASCAP composer and adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts. Murl's "Accordion Concerto No. 2" for accordion and orchestra was supported by a grant from the City of Seattle's Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. It was premiered on March 18, 2007 with Orchestra Seattle conducted by George Shangrow. Murl's “Accordion Concerto No. 1” was premiered on June 6, 2003 with Orchestra Seattle at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus.
Murl's versatility has led him to be in demand as a concert artist, workshop presenter and freelance artist in numerous bands and studio work for MUZAK, television and radio commercials as well as sideman work on many CD projects in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.

He also leads his own band, does solo work, composes and arranges music, sings, plays piano, harmonica, Hammond B-3 organ, electronic keyboards and teaches privately.
Murl's "Accordion Concerto No. 2" for accordion and orchestra was supported by a grant from the City of Seattle's Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. It was premiered on March 18, 2007 with Orchestra Seattle conducted by George Shangrow.

Murl's "Accordion Concerto No. 1" had its world premiere June 6, 2003 with Orchestra Seattle conducted by Maestro George Shangrow at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus. It has since been performed by the Clear Lake Symphony in Texas conducted by Dr. Charles Johnson with accordionist Dr. Joe Pouzar.

You can currently hear Murl's music in retail stores on the MUZAK network and in Nordstrom's own background music system. Recently Murl has played piano, accordion, organ and harmonica on soundtracks for the films:
"Georgia Rule" 
"Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants"
"Eulogy"
"Moonglow"
"It's Only Temporary"

The Chicago Accordion Club and Milwaukee Accordion Club featured Murl in 2003. In 2004 Murl played a tour of California Accordion Clubs including San Diego, San Francisco, Escalon and Vacaville. Murl is a member of the Northwest Accordion Society and performs regularly at Seattle's Day of the Accordion and has been featured at the Forest Grove Accordion Club as well. Murl was also a featured artist at the Cotati Festival.

Murl's introduction to jazz piano and the "American Songbook" was through his friend and teacher, John Wittwer. John was a superb pianist in the traditional jazz and ragtime styles and an intellectual who inspired his students with great literature and humor. Murl was recruited in high school to play jazz piano in the Nathan Hale big band and Seattle Community College big band by John Moawad, another high-energy motivational teacher.

Murl is grateful to Joe Petosa and his family who have been very supportive of Murl's accordion endeavors as well as W.D. "Blackie" Blackstone who offered encouragement to Murl early on to be serious about pursuing music.

Murl's earliest accordion influence was Stan Boreson, a local children's television personality, accordionist and comedian still working in Seattle. Stan inspired hundreds of kids to play the accordion. The Lawrence Welk show on TV also imprinted accordion music in Murl's brain and Myron Floren was Murl's hero when he was age six.
Aside from his first basics instructor, Leo Furman, Murl had only one truly influential accordion teacher as a child, Doug Middendorf in Seattle. However, Murl's musical education has included many wonderful and inspirational teachers: John Wittwer, Jerome Gray, George Peckham, Dave Peck, Terry Moore, Kenneth Benshoof, Robert and Gerald Kechley and Barbara Lundquist most notably.

Murl has a B.A. in music education from the University of Washington and teaches private lessons in accordion, piano and voice for individual adults and children. Murl has also taught choral music at Chinook Middle School in Bellevue, Washington.

His important accordion influences include Brazilian accordionist Sivuca, jazz accordionists Art Van Damme, Frank Marocco, Leon Sash and Tommy Gumina, Astor Piazzola, the Argentine bandoneonist, Richard Galliano, Ken Olendorf, zydeco/cajun players Clifton Chenier, Geno Delafose, CJ Chenier and Bruce Daigrepont, celtic and European players Maria Kaliniemi, Joe Derrane, Ivo Papasov's band, Phil Cunningham, various Brazilian and African accordionists, Los Lobos, Flaco Jiminez and various Klezmer players.

Some of Murl's other musical influences are pianists Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson, organists Billy Preston, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Richard "Groove" Holmes and Jack McDuff, saxophonists John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz and many others, guitarists B.B. King, Freddy King, Eric Clapton and others. The list could go on and on. All have played a role in expanding his accordion consciousness and style. His friend and colleague, Frank Marocco was a great influence on him and Murl considers him to have been the best jazz accordionist.

Murl has been an active member of the Pacific Northwest music scene for over thirty years playing concerts, festivals, recording sessions, nightclubs, churches, synagogues and private clubs.
Pupils play an important role in Murl's life providing inspiration, energy and motivation to continue to improve both musically and personally. Teaching is a two-way street enriching the life of both teacher and student.

For more information: murl@murlallensanders.com
Phone: Tel: 206-781-8196

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Video of National Heritage Fellow Marc Savoy

by Harley Jones
National Heritage Fellow Marc Savoy shares his story of how he came to love the accordion, build them, and lead a revival of Cajun music and culture.

From the moment he heard the instrument to when he began building them, and 51 years later, his passion for the instrument and Cajun music continues to entertain audiences around the world.

Produced by Garry Kling and Joshua Sawicki, Directed by David Marin, Lighting by Lora Winship, Edited by Joshua Sawicki, Artist Coordinator: Patrick Murphy, Many thanks to the Savoy Family.

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Joan Grauman performs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

by Rita Barnea
Musicians play for silent movie
QuintetComposersOn November 10, an audience of approximately 350 was treated to a delightful 70 minutes of restored silent films by world cinema’s first woman director, Alice Guy Blaché, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.  While the films, which dated from 1899 to 1912, were mesmerizing, the real gem was the music that was composed for and premiered at this event. 

Composers Kim Allen Kluge and Kathryn Vassar Kluge wrote a musical score for these films “that was beautiful and lyrical from start to finish”, said Joan Grauman, a member of the quintet that performed as the films were shown on a large screen behind the musicians.  The instrumentation the Kluges chose for this score consisted of: violin (Jeffry Newberger), cello (Benjamin Wensel), accordion (Joan Grauman), guitar (Srdjan Kolarevic) and percussion (Joe Connell).  Also present was a “ghost piano”, played by Kim and Kathryn Kluge, that was recorded and put through a “vinylizer” to sound like an old 78 rpm recording. 

 “Working with the Kluges was a total joy, and their sweet music still plays in my mind weeks after our performance”, said Joan, who was thrilled and honored when asked by the Kluges to join them in other cities for future performances of this work. In Kim Kluge’s words, “We both love Joan’s soulful sound and approach to her instrument.  She has amazing musicianship.” 

Joan was pleased that a well-known composer and conductor would choose to write for the accordion.  “I didn’t know what I was going to be playing.  From the moment we were handed our music at the first rehearsal, I was so charged. There was the playful piano rag, the sweet French musette and the gentle Philip Glass-style passages – all beautiful.  This was a wonderful experience for me.”

Photo credits:1.Peter DiGiovanni 2. Alison McMahan

For further information: Joangrauman@verizon.net

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

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


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Mental Activity May Keep Older Brains Healthy

by Harley Jones
Konstantinos ArfanakisSimple mental activity such as reading, writing, playing games and doing puzzles may protect brain health in old age, according to a new study being presented at a meeting in the USA this weekend.

The study, presented at the 98th scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, is the work of Konstantinos Arfanakis and colleagues, from Rush University Medical Center and Illinois Institute of Technology.

"Reading the newspaper, writing letters, visiting a library, attending a play or playing games, such as chess or checkers, are all simple activities that can contribute to a healthier brain" says Arfanakis.

Editor: What could be even better is playing the accordion. You have the extra mental and physical stimulus of playing a different keyboard with each hand (assuming your accordion has standard bass), co-ordinating the bellows and your fingers, so you are also stimulating both brain activity and brain to muscular activity as well, all while you enjoy your music.

Therefore, NEVER stop PLAYING the accordion. Play in groups, orchestras or solo. Our older readers might not play like they did many years earlier, but the pleasure of music can still be fully enjoyed plus the benefits of musical practise are becoming recognised as medically ever more important to your brain health.

Accordionist Jack Swenningsen: An Inspiration to all Musicians

by Lenny Feldmann
Jack and LennyJack SwenningsenJack Swenningsen is a 96 years young accordion player with the Gulfport (Florida) Senior Citizen's Harmonica Club. Here is his performance of the beautiful theme from the movie, Dr. Zhivago (Lara's Theme- Somewhere My Love) taped live at a concert on the afternoon of November 12, 2012.

A 96 year old accordion player got a new lease on life back in 2007 after a 5-day hospital stay with all the tests for a possible heart attack and with a new "stent" in one of his heart arteries. Two weeks later he just finished a gig where he played to over 200 senior citizens who gave him a standing ovation after he played "Dr Zhivago’s – Somewhere My Love" theme song.

Jack Swenningsen from St. Petersburg, Florida, says it’s possible because of his special electronic accordion where he employs various voices or sounds to gain effect. (Jack plays the Petosa Millennium Ciao Digital Reedless Accordion – only weighs 14 lbs).

Jack is a fanatic accordion buff who became mesmerized with the accordion when he was only ten years old. Jack and his family were going to Grandpa’s house on Staten Island from Brooklyn. That is where he heard the vibrating ‘singing’ reeds of Charles Magnante’s accordion playing on the Ferry Boat (Staten Island Ferry) that plied the waters of New York harbor. The great ‘Magnante’, soon to become world famous, became Jack’s idol and mentor.

An accordion was always lying around in Jack’s houses and he was always picking one up to play even though he couldn’t play very well, but he became self taught using Magnante’s music instrumental instruction book. In the hey day of accordion popularity, Jack went to all the Accordion National Festivals and NAMM Shows around the country through the years… even going once with the AAA and ATG to Stockholm, Sweden (1974) to see and hear the world’s Coupe Mondiale of world competition.

Jack’s "no claim to fame" is that he has, in his travels, shaken the hand of such ‘giants’ of yester years accordion virtuosos like… Myron Floren, Anthony Galla-Rini, Dick Contino, Carmen Carrozza, Matt Mathews, Joe Biviano, Charles Magnante, Bill Palmer, Danny Desiderio, Art Metzler, Veikko Ahvenainen, Pietro Frosini, Tony Mecca… just to name a few of the old timers (pardon him if he left you out). He idolized all of them because of their musicianship.

Jack doesn’t let his numerous other hobbies (radio controlled model airplanes and photography) interfere with his music because he claims music is "therapy for the soul" and is what keeps him going. Jack, at 96 years of age, still does a couple gigs each week and at present belongs to the Florida Accordion Association and attends their yearly festival (SMASH) held in Orlando, Florida.

And now a few stories you might find interesting… It took a long time to hit 95 years of age, with about six escapes where Jack cheated death. For example… motorcycles, snakes, serious illness, WW II overseas in Infantry, civilian shooting accident, etc… so he’ll mention a few here…

The German U-Boat Incident:

Emigrating from Denmark with Danish parents during World War One in 1917 to escape the German invasion; his passenger ship was stopped in the North Sea between Denmark and England heading for America by a German U-boat. The North Sea is a graveyard of sunken ships, and German U-boats were sinking them galore. The German U-boat commander ordered them to ‘heave to’ and boarded them to search for contraband (munitions) and found nothing. He told the ship’s Captain, “If I had found any, I would have torpedoed you – proceed!”. So Jack, who celebrated his one-year old birthday while on board the ship, lived to tell this tale as told to him by his Father… and ever since Jack has lived a charmed life to write this little saga for you!

The Wurlitzer Incident (Jack’s first accordion):

It was 1939. Jack, now 23 years old, was working and earning $25.00 per week. One drizzly night, working overtime, he passed the Wurlitzer Music Store in New York City... and there in the large window, flanked by pianos, sat this big black shinny Wurlitzer Accordion. What demon possessed him to want to own it he’ll never know, but he went into the store, and before he knew what was happening, a devilish salesman was wrapping up that Wurlitzer Accordion and saying "it’s only $800.00 and you must have your Mother and Father co-sign for it!".

Now $800 in those days (1939) was like $8000 today! Jack’s Mother threw a fit and told him to "wear it around his neck" and his Father, being a gentle man asked him, "What is it about you and accordions, Jack?" and almost ordered him out of the house. It took Jack over 3 years to pay it off, and in the meantime he got married... and his dear wife, Amelia, had to run over to New York City from Brooklyn and plead for Wurlitzer to extend the payments!.

The Overseas Army Incident:

Jack was drafted into the Army Infantry and was sent to Northeast Italy in 1945 on the Yugoslav border where the enemy was Marshall Tito who was trying to take over Trieste, a deep water port of great importance, and the war had just ended with Japan. Jack terribly missed his dear wife, his two babies, and his accordion. Even though he was going to Army school in Lido, Venice in 1946, he had time on his hands. He discovered that everybody was indulging in ‘black market’ activities.

He had stopped smoking while in the service. However, every G.I. received a carton of cigarettes every week. Jack saw a chance to help his poor starving wife (literally) and babies due to the awful shortages back in the States. Jack sold his carton of cigarettes on the ‘black market’, converted the Italian Lira into $20 American dollars which he was able to send back home. He continued to do this for the rest of his stay in Italy. It was another dizzily, miserable night in Venice. He was billeted on the Island of Lido and came across the bay to Venice via gondola. His cocky Boston buddy suggested they do a ploy or ruse to cheat the black marketers and make more money by carefully emptying the khaki colored wax-coated carton of cigarettes and stuff cardboard back in the now empty box to fill it. Then they could sell the cigarette packs again for more money.

To simulate an unopened carton they lit a candle to put back the waxed end so it looked normal again. How stupid!! Like a Hollywood setting in some dark, damp, drizzly side street under a dimly lit lamp post, with the fog rolling in, they eagerly waited for their prey to arrive. Quietly a swarthy dark coated person slithered up from nowhere and proceeded to ask: "Quanto?" (How much?) They said 20,000 Lira and gave him the carton whereby he immediately whipped out a large Stiletto Knife and, with a flip of the wrist, opened the carton before their eyes while handing over the money to them.

Out falls all the cardboard… and with their eye balls bulging with fear and astonishment with what was going to happen next…. Well, you never saw two G.I.’s turn and run the quarter-mile back to safety any faster… at the same time tossing the 20,000 Lira bills up in the air like paper rain coming down.

Lesson learned… greed is one’s downfall in any country! But there is a moral to this story... and you might have guessed… with all the surplus funds Jack amassed, he bought a fine, brand new Scandelli Accordion and took it home on top of his Infantry Pack. He and 32 other G.I.’s trucked over to Leghorn (the Port of Departure – the men in the service called it the "Repple-Depple") and waited for an old banana freighter, a 10,000 ton vessel, which took 16 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean in mean seas, to return them to the U.S.

Jack was in seventh heaven with his new accordion…. At times sitting on a hatch cover entertaining the guys playing "Stars and Stripes Forever". He was coming home to his family after being drafted at age 29… some of the fellows even called him "Pop".

Jack has other stories he could tell in other fields of endeavor; but, music and being in the world of accordions he feels, has extended his life span. He has owned at least 15 or more really fine brand name accordions and has always enjoyed the thrill of "trading up" for a newer or better model. It was always exhilarating!

Plus the challenge of learning to read music and then committing a piece to memory is endless. Some of the bands Jack has played with included the "Happy Notes", "Recycles", and the "Musical Rascals" and at present the "Senior Citizens Harmonica Band" of 36 members, median age of 80, in which Jack leads them on his accordion (see special video presentation at the end of this article). To date this one-hour of entertainment musical group has done 650 performances in 15 years… that’s a lot of setting up of equipment and miles to travel… they must be doing something right!

A Coincidence? Maybe…

Jack and Amelia had a son, Peter, born to them in December, 1941. Unfortunately Peter passed away from a grave illness in 1971. However, life goes on, and one never knows what the future may bring. In the early Fall of 1987, Jack met with several other local musicians who were forming a new organization called the Tampa Bay Harmonica Club (TBHC). At that time, Jack was experimenting with playing the big bass harmonica and had even traveled up to Michigan and attended the recent SPAH (Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica) Convention.

The meeting took place at a member’s home in St. Petersburg. The eight musicians in attendance were to become the founding members of the TBHC. Among other’s at this meeting was a gentleman whom Jack had met at the recent SPAH Convention who played chromatic harmonica and had a son who played the Chord harmonica (the big harmonica about a foot-and-a-half long), also at this founder’s meeting.

The ‘gentleman’ was Alfred Feldmann (soon to become one of Jack’s partners in the band called the "Recycles") and his son was Lenny Feldmann... who, as Jack was to find out, was born in December, 1941 almost on the very same day as Jack’s departed son, Peter. Coincidence? Maybe… And to make things even more exciting, Jack discovered that Lenny also played the accordion! As you can probably guess, a strong friendship developed amongst the three men. After the passing of Al Feldmann in 1995, it became even stronger between Jack and Lenny. Now, Jack always refers to Lenny as his "adopted son" and Lenny calls Jack his "adopted Father". They have attended many AAA, ATG, and SMASH accordion events together over the past years and Lenny always makes it a point to visit Jack and Amelia in St. Petersburg each year.
 
Jack feels blessed to have Lenny (the exact same age as Peter) as his "adopted son". Jack says that Lenny is truly an inspiration to him down through the years and is privileged to call him his adopted son. Jack states: "Just how lucky can a 96 year old coot be? I hope to be around for a while longer. God Bless all accordionists!"

For more information: Lenny Feldmann:lenn@lennfeldmann.com

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Joe Recchia Creates Video/Composition "Castelfidardo"

by Harley Jones
Published on 20th November and titled "Castelfidardo" is a video by Joe Recchia recorded performing his Roland at the Borsini Accordions home studio in Castelfidardo, Italy.

Joe writes that the video: "release of (his composition) "Castelfidardo" is dedicated to all my friends in the music and accordion business and features many of the great accordion players I had an opportunity to meet over my entire accordion career thanks to my Uncle Tony Dannon! including Charles Magnante, Myron Floren, Art Van Damme, Joe Cerrtito, Cory Pesaturo, Joe Natoli, Count Basie, Dick Contino, Carl Fortina, Peter Soave and others such as Aaron Caruso, Lisa Agazzi, Dolores Reyes Aquino, Simone Rodona, Christine Corolla, Edsel Ford, Buddy Valsatro "aka the Cake Boss", the Borsini Brothers and many others, Thank you!!!!"

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra in concert on December 1

by Rita Barnea
Westmont Accordion Orchestra Flyer
The Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra (WPAO) will perform a Free Concert 2:00 PM Saturday, December 1, 2012. This concert is sponsored by and will be held in the William G. Rohrer Library on MacArthur Blvd, Haddon Township, NJ 08108. Attend this unique concert presented by the Haddon Township Branch of the Camden County Library System.

The program will present the accordion through many of its popular genre, but most especially in the area of Symphonic Literature written exclusively for accordion orchestra.

Included in the program will be the Symphonic Tone Poem by Gerhard Mohr, entitled "Nordische Sonate", a three-movement tone poem describing the beautiful landscape of Germany. Concerto Soloist, Robert Lijana, will be featured in one of the very first concertos written exclusively for Accordion and Accordion Orchestra.

Please attend with your family and friends. It will be an exciting and informative afternoon.

For additional details about this concert call 856-854-2752 (Haddon Township Library) or 856-854-6628. For more information about the orchestra contact Joanna Arnold Darrow.

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

Cathie Travers, Siren of the Accordion

by Rita Barnea
Cathie TraversRecently, Facebook accordion friends ( your editor included) discovered a very gifted accordionist/composer…Cathie Travers from Australia.

Comments on the above video:
Cathie Travers said, "This composition is the second in a series of tunes I'm writing for a neat bunch of people - players in the USA & Canada. This one is dedicated to David Magliozzi. A very small compositional 'plan' was to feature the 4th and 13th - to reflect the numbers of Dave's initials in the alphabet. So both those intervals are sharpened in one of the sections over the 'D' bass pedal groove thingy....makes the chord selection a little more juicy and out there - but only for a few bars. I like the flavor of the sharp 13 :-)."

Who is Cathie Travers? Her favorite quotation on her Facebook page: "If you can't be a shining example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning!" Listen to Cathie's sensitive compositions/performances. You will immediately know that she is a shining example to accordionists and musicians everywhere showing that dedicated practice, talent, and personality yields success as a musician and a person.

Cathie Travers is a composer/ performer from Australia, and holds a Bachelor of Music (hons) from the University of Western-Australia. She has worked for 36 years in a whole range of music genres. During the 1970’s she was a singer-guitarist, and then keyboard-player in rock bands [strictly analog at that time]. From 1980 Cathie worked as a classical pianist, and specialized in avant-garde repertoire including the use of digital technologies (late ’80-’90), and for the last 10 years as an accordionist in primarily gypsy/tango and other more folkloric settings. As well as writing and performing in concert settings, she has also worked quite extensively with dance and theatre companies.

As a composer, performer and arranger Cathie Travers has received many awards and commissions, which allowed her to explore music, theatre, and dance from many ethnicities all around the world. Her creative journey all started when her Opus 1 “In search of the gods” was awarded a National Youth Composition prize by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1975.

Over the years she has worked with many artists and several dance-theatre companies from all around the world, such as the WA Ballet Company, the Black Swan theatre, El Quattro, Luciano Pavarotti,…Diverse, passionate, groundbreaking, eclectic, Cathie Travers’ musical journey has taken her across the spectrum of contemporary music, roaming from rock to classical, from the avant garde to the Tango, from esoteric electronica to electro-acoustic, jazz, gypsy and folk, with many other stops, ethnicities and adventures along the way.




Travers’ work has been featured in major arts and music festivals across Australia - Sydney (Festival and Mardi Gras), Perth, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Adelaide and Fairbridge - and in concerts around the world: Canada, USA, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan. Her compositions have been included in many Australian and international TV and radio broadcasts, while choreographers and film-makers have often incorporated her concert pieces into their dance works and films.




She has performed with and composed for many Australian orchestras and concert artists, appeared as a session player on albums ranging from the avant-garde classical scene, through Latin-jazz to Celtic-influenced folk, composed for and performed live with dance-theatre companies, been Musical Director for many music-theatre productions, and now leads the Gypsy-tango quartet, Saggezza.

Cathie will perform/collaborate with a new orchestra in Perth in February 2013. Later in 2013, they will launch a small chamber orchestra. Cathie said, "I'll be playing in the first launch concert and we're working on another project together too - which we're hoping we'll be able to do in a planetarium theatre - with visual displays." Her gypsy and tango music quartet called Saggezza will perform in 2013 at the Centenerary celebrations of her alma mater, The University of Western Australia.

Her university commissioned her to compose a new work which she recorded a few months ago for accordion and live electronics using similar principles to two pieces on her You Tube channel "Aerial Ballet 2" and "Elegy". Her new composition "Procession" is bigger and more elaborate than either of those two works and is especially written for her Pigini Super King, making use of many of the different registrations. The recording is included on a CD which the Vice Chancellor of the university will be using as a gift presentation to visitors etc throughout 2013.

Cathie has formed a new trio consisting of guitar, violin, and accordion playing repertoire from France... the gypsy-jazz manouche style, plus some of Cathie's originals. Cathie said, "I'm an ex-classical musician who has fallen deeply and madly in love with the accordion. Prior to studying at university and becoming a classical musician I had been a singer/guitarist and keyboard player in folk and rock bands around Perth. Now as an accordionist I've returned to the non-classical forms of music and I am enjoying myself so very much."

Cathie is looking forward to her trip to the USA in August 2013.

For further information: accordion@westnet.com.au

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Hear Nick Ariondo On 'Life of Pi' Movie Soundtrack

by Harley Jones
Life of Pi PosterAccordionist Nick Ariondo can be heard in the latest film released called 'Life of Pi' by the Academy Award winning director Ang Lee with music composed by Mychael Danna. Based upon the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, 'Life Of Pi' tells the story of a young man's incredible survival at sea against impossible odds.

The recording session took place at 20th Century Fox Studios, Century City, California. The movie was released on November 23, 2012.

This is not the first film soundtrack by Nick Ariondo who was also featured in the blockbuster movie 'Bridesmaid' (on screen appearance), 'Five Year Engagement', 'Knight and Day', 'Happy Feet 2' and 'Ice Age 4'.

Holiday Happenings: The Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS)

by Joan Grauman
Dublin
Jim VandellyFor the past nine of its almost ten years, WMAS has enjoyed two traditions: the November concert by our own Jim Vandelly and the December Holiday Concert/Potluck Dinner. Jim’s performance on November 11 was yet another success and, as always, he left us wanting more. He played beautiful, beloved Russian folk tunes on his bayan, gave us a few pointers on triple bellows shaking (which Jim makes look simple and it is NOT) and on Russian ornamentation and variations, and then switched to piano accordion for more lovely music. 

The popular Holiday Concert will be on December 16 at 4:PM and is open to the public (see flyer). The club’s ensemble, the Potomac Accordion Ensemble, has started a few traditions of its own.  They will perform at the Brookside Gardens Light Show in Wheaton, Maryland on December 8 at 6:30 PM. This will be the fifth year the ensemble will be bringing holiday music to the gardens. On December 15, the ensemble will once again be playing holiday music at the lovely Dublin Roasters Coffeehouse in Frederick, Maryland, from 1 to 3:PM (see flyer).
 
WMAS wants to wish all of you a very happy holiday season!
WMAS

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

"Gangnam Style" Accordion Rap by Lenny Feldmann

by Rita Barnea
Lenny FeldmannWho says you can't play RAP on an accordion!!!? This is a video of accordionist Lenny Feldmann as recorded by his 13 year old granddaughter. According to Lenny: "A few months ago she asked, 'Grandpa, can you play RAP on your accordion?' I, of course, replied, "No!" But... that was before I got my new all electronic Roland Digital accordion which is an amazing instrument. Take a look at this video and see for yourself."

Lenny Feldmann is an accomplished accordionist, virtuoso competition winner who received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree using the accordion as his major instrument. He studied with Stephen Harer, Mort Herold and Mario Moschino. He taught for many years and played professionally throughout the New York area.

Lenny then pursued a professional business career for the next 13 years, ending with his retirement in 1987. He returned to his first musical love, the accordion, and began a new professional career in Florida. The Lenny Feldmann Show performed regularly in Florida and for special accordion events - The Galla-Rini Honorary Concert and Festival of the Accordion Teachers Guild in Chicago - as guest soloist and adjudicator for the American Accordion Musicological Society in Valley Forge, PA - the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey - in Lake George, NY for the American Accordionist Association.

One of Lenny's career highlights in 1989 included being the accordionist with the world-famous Mantovani Orchestra on the Mid-West tour, as well as a nine week engagement performing in Yokohama, Japan at their World's Fair Lenny is the former assistant conductor for the Accordion Pops Orchestra now directed by Al Terzo.

Lenny is always expanding his accordion career, previously studying technique and repertoire with the great Carmen Carozza. Lenny currently resides in Walkill, NY with his lovely wife, Marie Elena who is a retired Elementary School Art Teacher.

He has participated as a performer, workshop presenter, and adjudicator in music festivals held by AAA in Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, and ATG in Kansas City and Chicago, ATA of NJ  and the American Accordion Musicological Society (AAMS) who, in 2007. presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He regularly performs in the New York area, at the Florida SMASH, and other accordion festivals/events.

For further information: lenn@lennfeldmann.com

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

Connecticut Accordion Association Holiday Concert on December 15th

by Rita Barnea
CAA Banner
The Connecticut Accordion Association proudly presents their Annual Holiday Concert featuring the Connecticut Accordion Orchestra on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:PM at the Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main Street, Branford, CT.

The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra consists of twenty accordionists conducted by AAA President Linda Soley-Reed. The program includes a medley of Christmas songs entitled, "On Christmas Eve", Joan Sommers' arrangement of "Phantom of the Opera and Music of the Night", selections arranged by Don Gerundo including "Charlie Brown Medley," and "Carol of the Bells," and "Serenata,"arranged by Frank Marocco. Concert artist Mary Tokarski will also perform.

The Annual Holiday Party takes place immediately following the concert at POMPEO's RESTAURANT, 458 West Main Street, Branford, CT. The dinner is $35.00 per person including dinner served family style: bread, salad stuffed breads, rolled eggplant, sausage and peppers, roast beef and roasted potatoes, roast chicken, ziti with sauce and meatballs, Italian pastries. Cash bar.

Please call to register by December 10th. Make checks payable to CAA and mail to:
Marilyn O'Neil, 1025 Marion Road, Cheshire, CT 06410
Call Marilyn at (203) 272-1202
Email: Marilyn@CTAccordion.com

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

Regis Honors Lovello at Florida SMASH Birthday Bash

by Rita Barnea
Donna and TonyDonna Maria Regis, Music Director of New Hampshire Accordion Association, added another 2814 miles to her car's odometer with her recent trip to Orlando to appear at the 12th Annual SMASH, where Florida Accordion Association President Karen Adam Kasprzyk hosted a fabulous birthday celebration honoring their dear friend, “living legend” Tony Lovello, in anticipation of his 80th birthday on December 17.  
 
In a solo concert, Donna Maria performed transcriptions of two beautiful Lovello originals, "Amore Mio" and "I've Never Cried Before." Additionally she played his arrangements of "Twilight Time" and "Cumana” plus some of her own. The audience responded enthusiastically, spontaneously echoing Lovello's trademark phrase, "Don't miss it!"
 
Donna Regis, artistic director and co-founder of the ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival, later conducted the 2012 SMASH Orchestra, which received a standing ovation for its outstanding performance of several Lovello solo arrangements which she had transcribed for the ensemble. Clearly pleased with the players’ musical efforts, Donna Maria warmly invited them all to New Hampshire to be part of the 2013 ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, which she conducts each year.
 
Tony Lovello, the birthday honoree, was gratified by the musical tributes to him and publicly thanked Donna Maria Regis during his own performance.ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 also celebrated Lovello's special birthday early with music, cake, and good times last August.

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2013, with Tony featured again as guest artist, will be held August 9-11 2013 at Courtyard Nashua.

We all wish Tony Lovello a Happy 80th Birthday and many more!

For more information on the 2013 ACCORDIONS NOW! event:
NHAA Music Director Donna Maria Regis regisdonna@yahoo.com
NHAA Executive Secretary Suzanne Welch
1-800-328-5527

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

The Great Morgani to Perform for the San Francisco Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
The Great MorganiGreat MorganiSFAC President Lynn Ewing invites all to hear and see the Great Morgani, featured performer for the December 16th program of the San Francisco Accordion Club.

The Great Morgani is a one man show, entertaining not only with his accordion, but with the imagination and ingenuity of his hand crafted costumes (over 50 different ones) which he designs and creates.

Frank Lima (the man behind the mask) is an ex-stock broker turned street musician. You can find him performing regularly on the streets of Santa Cruz and he boasts a repertoire of over 1,000 songs. Frank says, "I play everything... except ‘Lady of Spain’ and Metallica." He also wrote a book, The Creative Madness of a Middle Aged Stockbroker, Turned Street Musician."

The concert takes place 2:PM at the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco.

The San Francisco Accordion Club is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization whose purpose is to enhance, promote and stimulate an appreciation for the accordion within the membership and throughout the general public. Membership is open to any individual expressing interest in the accordion and accordion music and wishing to join. The only qualification for membership is the payment of annual dues as established by the Executive Board.

For further information:
info@sfaccordionclub.com
thegreatmorgani@hotmail.com

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

The Accordion Babes are Back

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Babes
Accordion Babes are pro-level women musicians who are out there proving that the accordion is sexy. The project, begun by musician Renée de la Prade, started with the mission to take the accordion from Lawrence Welk and give it to Sophia Loren. 

The Accordion Babes are back! An Accordion Babes Revue takes place at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda, CA, on Saturday December 1st at 8:30 PM. There's also a price-fixed dinner ticket option. On Friday December 7th, 7-9pm, the Accordion Babes perform at Smythe's Accordion Center in Oakland, CA.

Their 2013 Calendar and CD are also available now. The CD includes Accordionistas playing folk, French cabaret, jazz, Latin cumbia, Irish, and more on a 13 song compilation CD.  See the November USA news for details.

For further information email: squeezeboxgoddess@gmail.com

PANcordion

Future events


Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

National Accordion Association (NAA) 26th Anniversary Celebration, March 6-10, 2013

by Rita Barnea
NAA Team
2012 National Accordion Convention Youth Day Saturday, March 17, 2012The National Accordion Association (NAA) 26th Annual Festival will be an informative and fun event for all accordion enthusiasts taking place from March 6-10 at the Westin Park Central in Dallas, Texas.

The convention offers an exciting and educational event including concerts, workshops, trade shows, band camp, jamming all day and night, "Circle of Champions", and much more. All types of accordions are welcome.

For 2013, Convention Manager Gordon Kohl returns to the National Accordion Association Convention as a rock 'n roll band director that features the accordion! Gordon Kohl will direct a "Tribute to the American Bandstand and Dick Clark"

NAA President Norman Seaton says,"It is time for the accordion world to join the guitar-driven music and have just as much fun as they do. This event will be a merger of music, rhyme, and vocals. Musical selections will be "Ring of Fire", "I Walk the Line"", Kansas City", "Rock Around the Clock", "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain", "Great Balls of Fire", "Wake Up Little Suzie", "Love Letters in the Sand", and "Que Sera Sera".

Dick Albreski will direct both the youth band and the adult "recreational music fun band." This is a traditional accordion band that is designed for beginner to intermediate players.

Photo on the left is of participants in the 2012 National Accordion Convention Youth Day Saturday on March 17, 2012.

Further information will be included in future articles in the USA News.

For information please contact:
Greg Klugiewicz, NAA Convention Manager 
GKlugie@Verizon.net 
Cell:214-538-5651

Home: 972-272-2359
Nick Ballarini, NAA National Trade Show Manager and Vendor
Ballarini@sbcglobal.net

Phone: 972-247-5000
Norman Seaton, NAA President, Email: NatlAccordion@sbcglobal.net   
Cell: 214-938-5984

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

19th AAA Master Class and Concert Series July 26-28 in NYC

by William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelRemember to mark July 26, 27, 28, 2013 on your calendar. Those are the three days for the 2012 Accordion Master Class and Concert Series-The Seminars: ""The Accordion is 3D! No Glasses Required!" sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and moderated by Dr. William Schimmel at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, 43A West 13th Street, New York City.

THE ACCORDION IS 3-D!!!

OUR 19TH SMASH YEAR!!! – Exploring the three dimensional aspects of the accordion – NO GLASSES REQUIRED
THE ACCORDION IS THE PERFECT COMPOSERS' ORACLE – It filters the music from the composer to the performer who sends it out the the listener – in that order – There is no ruling class
THE ACCORDION NEEDS NO COMPOSER(S) – There is enough music in the marrow of the accordion to make the composer a thing of the past – or a thing of the present – or a thing of the future- or a thing of past, present and future – or a thing of past, present, future in an ever present tense

THE ACCORDION HAS ITS OWN MEMORY BANK (DIASPORA) – making memorization and sight reading and learning any kind of music from classical to global a natural breeeze – in three easy steps: stare at the page – make a mental photograph – and play – let the accordion do the rest – for non readers – skip the first step

AS CONEY ISLAND IS HARSH REALITY - THE ACCORDION IS HEIGHTENED REALITY - making everything a bit riper, a bit buzzzier, a bit larger than life, a bit too wonderful, a bit too much to take in one evening, a bit too nasty, a bit too punk in the pastoral settings and a bit too folksy in the pre classic dance forms – a touch of acid - everywhere
WEBERN CAN EXPRESS A NOVEL IN A SINGLE SIGH – THE ACCORDION CAN EXPRESS AND OPERA IN THREE MINUTES – one for each act – and still be “too long”

IT'S A NATURAL THING FOR ANY ARTISTS TO WANT TO COMMUNICATE – When they decide to, many (especially former avant gardists) get a little too bouncy bouncy bounce – THE ACCORDION CAN STOP THAT - FOREVER

THE ACCORDION IS THE ARCHITECTURE OF TRAVEL – anywhere - from accordion to accordion case and finally - taxi
THE ACCORDION CAN TAKE ONE ON A JOURNEY PROVIDED THAT THREE STEPS ARE TAKEN
acquiring a poetic license – moving to a drivers license – and finally, a fishing license
THROUGH THE ACCORDION - THERE ARE THREE STEPS TO COSMIC TRUTH
act like you know what you're doing – clench your first – and say: more lyre!
MYRON FLOREN WAS A ZEN MASTER – THREE REASONS
He chose to be a third banana, a member of the band – he stood out when he soloed – and always referred to Mr Welk as “the boss”
THE ACCORDION CAN DE-CAMP ANYTHING BY:
creating the style – relaxing the style – allowing ideas to flow

Master classes begin at 3:PM. Concerts begin at 7:PM.
$20.00 per Master Class. $25.00 per concert. $40.00 per day includes Master Class and Concert. $110.00 for the entire weekend!

For more information Dr William Schimmel email: billschimmel@billschimmel.com

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

The Amazing Accordion Kings in January at the LIAA

by Rita Barnea
The Amazing Accordion Kings
The Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) sponsored by La Villini Restaurant presents an evening of accordion music and featured guest artists – The “Amazing Accordion Kings” on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 7:PM.

What happens when three Brilliant Accordionists get together on one stage in a collaboration created to ignite and excite your senses? The world renowned Accordionists, Angelo DiPippo, Frank Toscano and Manny Corallo, Three Master Musicians, have created beautiful arrangements and cover the spectrum from opera to jazz with amazing dexterity and virtuosity, often moving with flashing, lightning speed solos and blazing phrases played by all in precise unison. Come see and listen to the Amazing Accordion Kings and experience the most passionate emotions and colorful music from around the world, taking you on a Musical Tour of Italy with side trips to Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Paris, Arabia and American Jazz.

Angelo DiPippo is one of the work's fantastically talented musicians who just happens to play accordion. From Garden City, NY, the legendary Angelo Di Pippo has played the accordion since the age of eight years old and is a graduate of Holy Cross College with a Master's degree from C.W. Post College and an honorary Doctorate from Five Towns College. He has played in thousands of recording sessions.

Over the years, Angelo has recorded and concertized with many famous artists such as Peggy Leee, Harry Belefonte, Frankie Avalon, etc. He has also appeared on the Tonight Show, the Today Show and many more. He can be seen and heard in films such as the wedding scene in "The Godfather". Angelo is an accomplished arranger and conductor. For over twenty years he conducted and arranged for the Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert Merrill. Today Angelo is actively arranging and performing in the New York area.

Frank Toscano has made music his entire life. For more than 47 years, Frank has been a music educator and professional musician. For over four decades, he headed the "Frank Toscano School of Music". Born and raised in New York, Frank came from an Italian family who valued the idea of music being played constantly in the house.Without a choice from his father, Frank took lessons on the accordion from Emilio Chiesa and never dreamed that it would become the passion of his life!

Frank's passion is both education and performing. He is an accomplished pianist, accordionist, and jazz artist. He can be heard on many recordings of other artists too numerous to mention. You can hear Frank arranging and performing on his recording, "Accordion to Frank" as well as "Accordion Kings" I and !!.

Composer, arranger and music editor Manny Corallo started at age four playing the drums and soon switched to the accordion. Manny took lessons from his father's accordion teacher. At age 13 he also began piano lessons with Frank and gone on to compose and arrange music, first for commercials and then for various artists. Manny then had a chance to score childrens cartoons which led him to scoring music for the movie, "Pokemon". Manny attributes his success to a great music education from Frank Toscano and is very proud of his musical relationship with Frank and Angelo as the Accordion Kings.

Future performances of the Amazing Accordion Kings also include their concert on February 17, 2013 at 2:PM at the Dix Hill Performing Arts Center at Five Towns College in Staten Island, NY.

The February meeting of the Long Island Accordion Alliance will feature Croation accordionist, Paolo Bellaich.

For a fantastic evening of music please join the Accordion Kings on Tuesday, January 2, 2013 at 7:PM at La Villini Resaurant in East Northport, New York. Reservations are recommended. Call: 631-261-6344.

For more information on the LIAA: dkarcic10@verizon.net

For more information on the Amazing Accordion Kings: franktee@amazingaccordionkings.com

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Put ACCORDIONS NOW! 2013 on Your Calendar

by Rita Barnea
ACCORDIONS NOW! LOGOThe 6th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Co-Sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association & Accordion Connection LLC, will be held August 9-11, 2013 at the Courtyard Marriott, Nashua, New Hampshire.

This high-spirited weekend organized by ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival co-founders Donna Maria Regis and Suzanne Welch is always filled with warm friendship and terrific music. Bring all of your family and friends to enjoy it – the concerts, workshops, open mike, jam sessions, Play-Along Ensemble, ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, reunions with your accordion friends old and new, festive meals, cocktail reception with entertainment, vendor displays of the latest instruments for you to try – and so much more – DON’T MISS IT!

Special hotel room rates are available: $95 per room [+ tax] through July 12, 2013. To reserve your room, call Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211 or Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100. Mention

More information will be released in future USA news issues.

For the latest ACCORDIONS NOW! information, phone: (603) 216-9582 or Email: AccordionsNow@yahoo.com

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

CD Reviews


4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Stas Venglevski Releases New CD

by Joan C. Sommers
Accordionist Stas Venglevski has released a new CD. Please see CD Reviews Index for the Review of "Stas & Sam - Two Step CD" by Stas Venglevski, in English language, reviewed by Joan C. Sommers.
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