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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Feb-2010
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Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editor's Note
BREAKING NEWS.... ART VAN DAMME DIES...FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS
Presenting a new children’s book:“An Accordion! What Is That?"
Mary Tokarski’s Concert Rescheduled to Saturday, February 20
The Accordion Wins the Grammy Awards!
2010 Frank Marocco Accordion Event, Arizona
Guy Klucevsek Presents February Performances
Texas Folklife’s 2010 “Big Squeeze” Accordion Contest “On The Road”
Dee Langley Teaches Music at College in Minneapolis
Jorge Ferreira, Portugese-American Accordionist and Singer
Cory Pesaturo Trio To Open For Guitarist John Pizzarelli
The Accordion is Now Taught in an Arizona Charter School

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

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

2010 NAA Convention in Texas: March 10-14
Guy Klucevsek Performs with Fireworks Ensemble in NYC
Dr. William Schimmel’s Latest Accordion Activities
MAMTG Spring Festival and Competition:March 26-28
Shelia Lee and Dr. Daniel Kott to Present Workshops at the NAA
The Accordion – A Reconnection to Younger Days
Gene Van Accordion Orchestra Featured in Christmas Concert
Peter DiGiovanni Composes New Accordion Solo
New Diatonic Concertina Line Now Available in the USA

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

Future events

Dr. Emilian Badea to Conduct the 2010 AAA Festival Orchestra
ATG Festival: Celebrate with Us in the San Francisco Bay Area July 21-25, 2010!
AAA Master Class and Concert Series in NYC: July 30-August 1
2011 AAA Festival, July 13-17, in Charleston, SC
Polka Party at Sea February 21-28, 2010
Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts Features Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra

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

CD Reviews

Gene Van 50th Reunion Concert CD is Available Now


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

Highlights


Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
A new year is here already. It is time to think about and act upon our New Year's resolutions! Ready? Please let me know if you are keeping them!

1. I promise to play my accordion every day.

You can find at least 20 minutes a day to practice your accordion. If you find time for watching the news on TV, or talking on your cell phone, sending a message on Facebook or Twitter, or just sitting on your couch, you can find the time to take your accordion out of its case! With a little effort, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. Practicing your accordion is relaxing and a stress reliever and also good exercise!

2. I promise to play my accordion for friends and family at least once a month (more would be even better!)

Everyone who has ever seen an accordionist perform has always commented on the complexity of the instrument {as if there were something very magical about playing the accordion.) But it is magical, isn't it?

Going to a family dinner or having the family and friends over?....... take out your accordion and play for them. Watching someone play the accordion is a fascinating experience!

No matter what your level of proficiency is..........people will be amazed about your playing. Trust me on that one.

3. I promise to learn at least one new song every 2 months.

Expand your repertoire. It doesn't have to be a concerto! What about a popular song or one from the past that you always wanted to learn. Don't have the music? Look it up on the Internet or e-mail your accordion friends. If you want the song........ it is out there: however, if you really cannot find it, try to play it by ear, sound it out, write out the notes. It may take time, but it is a good experience to learn it on your own. You can do it! It is possible, don't be afraid to try it.

4. I promise to attend at least one accordion event in 2010.

There are many accordion festivals, concerts, accordion clubs etc. around the country.
Read the USA News and you will find an event in your area. Not only will you have a wonderful time listening to great accordionists, but you will be able to participate on any level from beginner on up. There will be accordion bands, ensembles, people who will enjoy meeting you and hearing about your experiences with the accordion. If you want to meet interesting people who share your love of the accordion, you will find them!

You will not only hear great music but you will go away with new friends.

5. I will purchase at least one accordion CD this year!

There are so many wonderful accordion CD's. Again, search the USA News and Accordions USA and you will find lists of accordion artists. It is important to show our support for these outstanding musicians by buying their CD's!

6. I will keep up to date with the activities of the accordion world on the North American continent by reading the USA News every month! You KNOW I had to say that!

More resolutions to follow. In the meantime, the above ones will keep you busy and happy!

Please send ideas, comments, etc. to Rita Davidson, USA News Editor at Ritabelll@aol.com

Make 2010 the year of YOUR ACCORDION!!!

PANcordion

BREAKING NEWS.... ART VAN DAMME DIES...FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

by Rita Barnea
Art Van DammeUSA News is sad to report that accordion jazz legend Art Van Damme died on February 15, 2010. He was 89 years old. Art had been ill with pneumonia for several weeks.

Art Van Damme, born April 9, 1920 in Norway, Michigan, was a world renowned jazz accordionist and one of the most famous accordionists of all time.

Art Van Damme began playing the accordion at age nine and started classical study when his family moved to Chicago in 1934. In 1941 he joined Ben Bernie's band as an accordionist.

He adapted Benny Goodman's music to the accordion. From 1945 to 1960 he worked for NBC, performing on The Dinah Shore Show, Tonight, The Dave Garroway Show and other radio and TV shows with Garroway.

He recorded 130 episodes of the 15-minute The Art Van Damme Show for NBC Radio.

Van Damme toured Europe and was also popular with jazz listeners in Japan and regularly won the domestic Downbeat reader's poll for his instrument. He also toured in Russia and New Zealand.

Art Van Damme had three children and six grandchildren. Although he had retired to Arizona and then moved to the Sacramento, CA area, he continued to perform nearly to the age of 90.

You can read his 2005 Celebrity Interview by clicking on his name. A nice article about his 2005 tour to Rostov-on-Don, Russia, is online too
http://www.accordions.com/index/art/historical_events.shtml

Viewing: Friday, February 19, 2010 3-5pm/7-9pm
Cochrane’s Chapel Of The Roses
103 Lincoln Street
Roseville, California 95678_
Phone: (916) 783-7171

Funeral Mass: Saturday, February 20, 2010 10am
St. Clare’s Catholic Church
1950 Junction Blvd_Roseville, CA 95747__
Phone: (916)772-4717

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Presenting a new children’s book:“An Accordion! What Is That?"

by Rita Barnea
Front cover
Three good friends and fellow accordionists combined their special talents to create a delightful children’s book about their favorite instrument entitled, “An Accordion! What Is That? Looking at the accordion inside and out”. The book includes a CD with narration and music.

Karen Malan-Uribe, award-winning author of children’s books, is the author. Celebrated artist, Joan Geller Grauman, illustrated the book and created its mascot, an animated honeybee named, “Buzz Treble”. The CD includes a wonderful narration of the book, as well as music beautifully performed by world renowned accordionist, Mary Tokarski.

In the words of American Accordionists' Association (AAA) President, Linda Soley Reed: “What a delightful early reader! Yet, it is comprehensive for the older child as well. It is definitely a unique approach to teaching, not only the workings and complexities of the accordion, but the music as well. The accompanying CD and illustrations are a treasure. This book should be included in every school’s required curriculum.”

The book is intended as an early reader, but it includes music and material that can be appreciated by older children, as well as adults.

Copies can be purchased through SqueezinArt for $17.95 plus $2.05 for shipping & handling per book (total of $20). Please send checks to: SqueezinArt, PO Box 2001, Rockville, MD 20847-2001. For volume discount (10 copies or more), please send e-mail to Joan Grauman: joangrauman@comcast.net

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Mary Tokarski’s Concert Rescheduled to Saturday, February 20

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiThe concert featuring Mary Tokarski performing with the Prince George’s Philharmonic, originally scheduled for last Saturday, February 13, but canceled due to a snow storm, will take place this coming Saturday, February 20. At 8 PM. at the Queen Anne Auditorium, Prince George's Community College, Largo, Md.

Accordionist Mary Tokarski will perform Astor Piazzolla's "Aconcagua: Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra" with the Prince George’s Philharmonic, Charles Ellis conducting.

For further information please contact: Prince George's Philharmonic, 7833 Walker Drive, Suite 430, Greenbelt, MD 20770 or 301-446-3245 or www.pgphilharmonic.org

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

The Accordion Wins the Grammy Awards!

by Rita Barnea
There were plenty of accordions among the nominees announced for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. The following groups with accordionists were winners:
The Best Cajun/Zydeco Album category:
"Lay Your Burden Down" by Buckwheat Zydeco was the winner of the Best Cajun/Zydeco Album.
The other nominees were:
"Alligator Purse" by Beausoleil Avec Michael Doucet
"Stripped Down" by The Magnolia Sisters
"Live At 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival" by Pine Leaf Boys
"L’Ésprit Créole" by Cedric Watson et Bijou Créole

The accordion is also in the Best Norteño Album category:
Los Tigres Del Norte won in the Best Norteno Album category for “Tu Noche Con”
The other nominees were:
"Dejame Soñar" by Cumbre Norteña
"El Niño De Oro" by El Compa Chuy
"Pese A Quien Le Pese" by Los Rieleros Del Norte
"Soy Todo Tuyo" by Los Tucanes De Tijuana

The Best Tejano Album was won by Los Texmaniacs.
Congratulations to all the winners!

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

2010 Frank Marocco Accordion Event, Arizona

by Lynn Ewing
Frank MaroccoThe fourth annual Frank Marocco Accordion Event (FMAE), held at the gorgeous Dobson Ranch Inn in Mesa, Arizona, was a huge success and a detailed report with pictures is now online. 2010 FMAE Report

The 2010 FMAE Report was written Lynn Ewing with pictures provided by Bruce Lawrie. 2010 FMAE Report

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Guy Klucevsek Presents February Performances

by Rita Barnea
Guy Klucevsek will present several programs in February. On Friday, Feb. 12, 7 PM, he will play in: SILENT FILMS/LIVE MUSIC: THE FILMS OF OZU Curated by WNYC's John Schaefer, host of New Sounds and Soundcheck at the World Financial Center Winter Garden, NYC. This edition of New Sounds Live celebrates the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu with a short retrospective of his silent films all accompanied by original compositions performed live. The New York premiere of “That Night's Wife “ Chamber ensemble score composed by Robin Holcomb will be given. The cost: Free – No tickets or reservations required .Seating is first come, first served. For more info: Phone: 212.945.0505

World Financial Center is the leading showcase in Lower Manhattan for visual and performing arts, presenting the work of emerging and established artists. The artistic process is made accessible in a free, open and interactive manner to workers, residents and the broader public of cultural consumers. Since 1988, year-round and free to the public, arts>World Financial Center has presented interdisciplinary arts programming with an emphasis on commissioned works, site-specific installations and premieres.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, 7 PM, Guy will perform in a solo show of original compositions at Barbes, Sixth Ave/Ninth Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn. Phone: 347) 422-0248 .The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes Guy as follow: "a musical Orient Express whose themes pass from Hungarian gypsy to Slovenian waltz to Middle Eastern wail without stopping at the borders. He is in the business of making the familiar strange and new. Bacaharach tunes are ghostly presences glimpsed through veils of invention..." Guy Klucevsek has worked with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Bill Frisell, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, John Zorn and was a member of the Dave Douglas band with whom he recorded three albums.

Guy will have concerts in Europe on the following dates:
2/19, Accordion Tribe: Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany
2/20, Accordion Tribe: Trafel-Saal, Baden, Switzerland;
2/21, Solo concert of original compositions: Vienna International Accordion Festival.

Guy Klucevsek is a versatile composer/accordionist who has worked with many prominent musicians. His solo performances have included Spoleto Festival/USA, Ten Days on the Island Festival (Tasmania), Adelaide Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Vienna International Accordion Festival, Cotati Accordion Festival and many more. As a soloist, he has premiered pieces by Aaron Jay Kernis, John Zorn, Mary Ellen Childs, Jerome Kitzke, Lois V Vierk, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, William Duckworth, and accordion concerti by Henry Cowell (Concerto Brevis) and Julia Wolfe (True Love).
Guy founded the international group, Accordion Tribe, whose members are Maria Kalaniemi of Finland, Otto Lechner of Austria, and Bratko Bibic of Slovenia, and has released three recordings on the Intuition label. They are the subject of Stefan Schwietert's documentary film, "Accordion Tribe: Music Travels," which has had a theatrical release in Europe, and has played around the world on televsion and film festivals, winning several awards as best documentary.

Guy has released over 20 recordings. Guy's latest recording is “Dancing on the Volcano”, on the Tzadik label, with a band consisting of Guy Klucevsek and Alex Meixner, accordions, Steve Elson, sax/clarinet, Pete Donovan, bass, and John Hollenbeck, drums.

You can also hear him on John Williams's scores for the Steven Spielberg films, “The Terminal”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, and “Munich”. He has performed on Broadway in “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Victor/Victoria” and “Piaf”.

For further information: gklucevsek@si.rr.com

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Texas Folklife’s 2010 “Big Squeeze” Accordion Contest “On The Road”

by Rita Barnea
Texas Folklife Winners 2009
The Fourth Annual Competition invites young Texas players to compete for $1000 cash, recording sessions and other prizes. The finalists will perform at the 21st annual Accordion Kings & Queens festival June 5 at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Texas Folklife announces its fourth annual “Big Squeeze” accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians, 21 years of age or younger. You may have seen “The Big Squeeze” film about the contest on PBS, or seen and heard the many stories on the news and in the papers statewide about the amazing young contestants these past three years. They are looking for great players in any genre of accordion-based music, including Cajun; German, Czech, and Polish polka; Tejano, Conjunto and Norteño; Western; and Zydeco.

This year the contest goes on the road to go meet the talent. Auditions will be held throughout Texas and finalists will perform at Texas Folklife’s highly acclaimed “Accordion Kings & Queens” festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on June 5th, 2010, where the “Big Squeeze” winner will be selected.
The “Big Squeeze” 2010 auditions sites are:
• San Antonio: February 5th at Casbeers in partnership with Conjunto Heritage Taller;
• Rio Grande Valley: February 8th through the 12th (La Joya ISD, Edcouch Elsa High School, and the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center);
• Austin: February 28th at the Mexican American Cultural Center;
• Dallas: March 6th at the Latino Cultural Center;
• Schulenburg: March 13th at Sengelmann Hall;
• Houston: March 27th at Talento Bilingue and March 28th at The Big Easy Club in partnership with the National Zydeco Foundation; and
• San Angelo: April 3rd at San Angelo Museum of Fine Art.

The “Big Squeeze” is open to non-professional accordionists 21 and younger. Contestants will be judged by a panel of esteemed music professionals on song interpretation, technical skill, originality, execution, and stage presence. Interested players are encouraged to reserve an audition slot at a venue in their region by contacting Texas Folklife. Those who cannot attend an audition may also mail or e-mail their entries to arrive at Texas Folklife by April 5, 2010. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available online at www.texasfolklife.org or by calling (512) 441-9255.

Semifinalists selected from the audition and mailed in tapes will be given travel stipends to take part in the Semi Finals held on May 1st at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. At that time, up to four finalists will be awarded $300 each and an expense-paid trip to Houston to compete before an enthusiastic audience of 6,000 accordion fans at the “Accordion Kings & Queens” on June 5th. The “Big Squeeze” 2010 grand-prize winner will be selected at the concert by the panel of judges with help from the audience. The grand prize winner will receive a prize package valued at $3,000, including a $1000 cash prize, travel expenses to Houston, a brand new Hohner accordion, and a day-long recording session at the historic SugarHill Recording Studios in Houston, as well as promotional support from SugarHill, Hohner, Inc. and Texas Folklife, and other professional opportunities.
“The “Big Squeeze” contest allows us to fulfill our mission to preserve and celebrate Texas culture in a very real way,” says Texas Folklife Executive Director Nancy Bless. “By supporting these young musicians we encourage them to continue playing the accordion, an instrument that is so central to Texas traditional music that it’s been dubbed, ‘the national instrument of Texas.’ It is so exciting to see a new generation carry on this heritage and to see the thrill that their mastery and extraordinary talent give to audiences.”

The “Big Squeeze” is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the Houston Endowment, the Cogburn Family Foundation, the Still Water Foundation, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Additional support is provided by regional businesses including Hohner, Inc., SugarHill Recording Studios, Embassy Suites Hotel, and Sign Effects in Austin.

What is Texas Folklife? Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For nearly twenty-five years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities and explored their importance in contemporary society. Texas Folklife has been called “one of the state’s true cultural treasures” by the Austin American-Statesman for the accessible, joyful arts experiences we provide.

Located in SoCo just south of downtown Austin, Texas Folklife can be found next door to the Continental Club, at 1317 South Congress Avenue.For further information: Cristina Balli, Program Director, (512) 441-9255 or cballi@texasfolklife.org

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Dee Langley Teaches Music at College in Minneapolis

by Rita Barnea
Dee LangleyMetropolitan Community and Technical College in Minneapolis, Minnesota is pleased to announce the addition of Dee Langley (accordion) to the Applied Music Staff. The MCTC Music Department offers a variety of challenging experiences and learning opportunities for students at all ability levels, studying in any area of the college.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is a public two-year college located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. MCTC enrolls over 13,000 credit students annually and is an active partner in initiatives designed to strengthen the social, economic and cultural vitality of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Created in 1996, under the umbrella of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system, MCTC is the result of the merger of two institutions: a technical college with a long history of vocational education dating back to 1914 and an open-enrollment community college established in 1965. Currently, the spacious campus covers 21.6 acres of land and a recent expansion includes a new science building.

Dee Langley specializes in solo and ensemble works on the accordion. In addition to premiering compositions with the Ancia Quartet, she has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Ms Langley is currently the President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International and performs with Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI) and Wild Hollow. Dee teaches accordion in the Metro area of Minneapolis / St Paul, Minnesota.

For further information: squeezermn@yahoo.com

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Jorge Ferreira, Portugese-American Accordionist and Singer

by Rita Barnea
Jorge FerreiraJorge has had a distinguished thirty year career in the pop/folk music genre and is widely known as the "Portuguese American King of Pop”. At the age of 7, he played trumpet and harmonica and later, he learned to play accordion. At the age of 12, Jorge Ferreira immigrated to the United States with his parents. Life was not easy for him. Jorge Ferreira attended Fall River schools and began working in a agriculture factory at the age of 16 and performed on the side for weddings and in clubs, to help his parents. He began to become integrated into a musical group in Fall River called “Banda de Nossa Senhora da Luz” and quickly his name spread everywhere. He sang English and Portuguese, and in a short time he became known in the U.S.A.’s Portuguese-American community. Later, one of the first Portuguese record companies in Fall River contacted him to record three songs in Portuguese. He signed a three year contract and the way to new frontiers was opened.… A new star was born!

Jorge Ferreira’s career started in 1972 at 17 years old. At this time, he was only an amateur and released several singles and maxi LP’s with his orchestra “Conjunto Venus”. In 1980, he signed his first true definitive contract with the American editor “Henda Records & Videos”, located in Mount Vernon, NY, at this time and he released the first album of his career “Amar Como Jesus Amou” (To Love Like Jesus Loved). He decided, at the same time, to sell his albums in Portugal and signed a contract with the editor “Metro-Som”, located in Lisbon. In 1983, he signed a new contract with another Portuguese editor “Radio Triunfo Internacional”, and he released the second album “Viva Fall River” (Live Fall River) which became a giant success, especially in the United States. He hit the top of Portugal’s charts with this hit song. At this time, Jorge Ferreira became a great star and a confirmed artist. In the same year, he released another album “Os Olhos De Minha Mãe” (The Eyes Of My Mother) containing the hit songs “O Pensar Dum Emigrante” and “Natal Duma Criança”. He began tio give many concerts in the USA.

Over the years, Jorge experienced many successes with hit songs, albums, and concerts. In 2001, he released a s new song “A Chupeta” (The Lollipop) which was well known in Portugal. In 2002, he worked with the famous Boston producer, Marc Soucy and released the album “Como Este Mundo Mudou” (As This World Moved). In 2003, Jorge Ferreira went to France to sign a contract with the French show production company “Nicky Lemos Productions. In 2004, he released the great album “As Velhas E Os Solteirões” (The Old Women And The Bachelors), which gave him the opportunity to perform in 3 large concerts in South Africa, at the prestigious Caesar’s Palace Gauteng of Johannesburg, becoming the first Portuguese artist to appear at this international music venue where artists such as Céline Dion performed. He created the Portuguese Music World’s official website and released his first DVD “Viagens” (Travels). Three months later, he performed for the “Katrina Event Benefit Concert”, a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser show, with an amazing lineup of several local and international artists including the Jordan Ferreira’s band “Mindwalk Blvd” raising a large sum of money to donate to the American Red Cross to help the hurricane victims and the city of New Orleans, LA.

In 2008, Ferreira performed at the musical worldwide trade show NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. He also performed in England, at one of the largest music venues of London, the Carling Academy Brixton. He participated in the first Portuguese Music Awards of America, the A.U.A. Awards Show, at the Portuguese Cultural Centre of Fall River. Ferreira won awards because ofhis two hit songs from his 2007 album “É Bom É Bom” : “Se Ela Encosta É Bom É Bom” (Best National Folk Song Award of the year) and “Deixa-me Ir Contigo” (Best Folksy Song Award of the year).

With the release of the album “Manel Aperta O Cinto” (Manuel, Pinch The Belt), Ferreira wanted to make an urgent appeal to the global financial crisis of 2008 which touches all countries of the globe. He speaks about the life of workers who experience daily difficulties and have an obligation to “pinch the belt systematically”, blending the nostalgic melodies of Portugal. On this call to democracy, Ferreira united several friends who agreed to lend their voices by participating in some songs. Featured artists are Portuguese singer/songwriter José Reza, Portuguese folk singer and accordionist Augusto Canário from the band, Augusto Canário e Amigos, and Portuguese Canadian female pop singer Jessica Amaro. The American people appreciated the musical work of this last album, which became a gold record in the U.S. two months after its North American release.

In 2009, Ferreira became the most nominated artist to the second Portuguese Music Awards of America, the A.U.A. Awards Show Gala II. He won 6 Awards, principally thanks to his triumphant and successful 2008 album, "Manel Aperta O Cinto", "Parabéns", (Best National Folk Song Award of the year), "Manel Aperta O Cinto" (Best Folksy Song Award of the year), "Velhas Com Canário E Jorge Ferreira" (Best Desgarrada Song Award of the year), "Ceia Do Emigrante" (Best Fado/Pop Song Award of the year)," Este Natal Santo" (Best Christmas Song Award of the year) and "Ao Vivo Em Ponte Da Barca" (Best Live Album of the year).

Presently, Jorge Ferreira is an author, songwriter, performer, musician, producer and graduate in musicology. He is still among the top 20 artists in Portugal and performs on about 40 records which includes 24 gold records, 8 silver records and 14 platinum records, and numbering about 600 songs written and recorded by himself. He is famous in all Portuguese-speaking countries and areas. He appears on the best worldwide stages. Sometimes, he is invited by the Americans to sing the Portuguese national anthem in the worldwide soccer championships, usually when the Portuguese National Team plays in the U.S.A. He is the most famous Portugese singer in the United States with more than 5 millions of sold records throughout the world.

The secret of the Jorge Ferreira’s success is his wonderful voice, his envious communicative talent with the public, his professional orchestra. His lyrics reflect all the sorrows, joys, nostalgias and loves of all the Portuguese immigrants in the world who, through these lyrics, search for a way to feel close to everything Portuguese. He mixes the American pop rock with the Portuguese National Folk music and the result is great. He sings in various musical styles, going through country, rock, pop, pop rock, ballads, reggae, dance, flamenco, Latin music, American folk, fado, Christmas songs, Portuguese National Folk and Portuguese folklore.

For further information: Ron@ ballaccord.com

Jon Hammond CD's for Sale

Cory Pesaturo Trio To Open For Guitarist John Pizzarelli

by Rita Barnea
Cory PesaturoJohn Pizzarelli, the internationally acclaimed guitarist-vocalist, a master in the art of reinventing jazz classics, celebrates the music of Duke Ellington, undeniably one of the most prominent musical icons of the 20th century with the release of his new CD, Rockin¹ In Rhythm.

John Pizzarelli and Swing Seven will make two area appearances: in Cranston, Rhode Island at the Park Theatre on Saturday, February 27 at 8:00 PM and in Boston, Massachusetts at the Wilbur Theatre on Sunday, February 28 at 4:00 PM.

Opening for John Pizzarelli in both venues will be the Cory Pesaturo Trio featuring Cory Pesaturo on Roland Electronic Accordion, Ron Murray on 6 and 7 string guitars and Art Dixson on drums.

Tickets at $40.00 and $30.00 for the Saturday, February 27 show at the Park Theatre in Cranston, Rhode Island can be purchased by calling 401-467-7275. Tickets at $40.00 and $30.00 for the Sunday, February 28 show at the Wilbur Theatre can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, at the Wilbur Theatre Box Office, 246 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116], or by calling. 800-745-3000.

2009 World Digital Accordion Champion Cory Pesaturo is a graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he was the first musician ever to major and graduate in the accordion. Upon winning the 2009 World Championship in New Zealand, he became the first American to win any World Accordion Championship in 25 years. Accordion legend Dick Contino said, “Of all the accordionists I’ve seen over the years, Cory is the one to pass the torch to--the only one who has all the tools to bring the accordion back to itsformer glory.”

2009 was also a fantastic year for Pesaturo, as he won the 4 International Competitions he entered. This included 2 International Jazz Accordion competitions. He also performed on five different continents including Japan, New Zealand and Tunisia, logging in over 100,000 miles for his 2009 travels.

Pesaturo's extensive resume includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on four different occasions, starting at age 12. On one of those occasions, he became the youngest person ever to perform at a State Dinner. He is also featured in Mrs. Clinton’s book “An Invitation to the White House.” His friendship with the Clintons has continued, as the twelve letters and six more appearances since the White House days prove.

Cory is an accomplished musician and accordionist. A win in a concerto competition at the New England Conservatory of Music gave Pesaturo the rare opportunity to perform at the 2003 Christmas Pops Concert with the Brockton Symphony as a featured soloist. After Roland's V Accordion came on the the American scene, Cory was backed by the Roland Corperation to promote the instrument, as the new technological advances in the V Accordion could be of immense help in bringing back the popularity of the instrument. the accordion image.

Concerning his jazz side, Pesaturo has recently recorded two CDs with saxophone legend George Garzone and his famous band “The Fringe,” and has been performing with them in the Boston and Providence areas. With regard to some of his hobbies, Pesaturo is heavily involved with the weather and motor sportsworlds as well. From 2005 to 2006, he composed the Official list records set by the inconceivable record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, and has since made the 2007 and 2008 lists. He also writes reports on winter weather for the National Weather Service. Furthermore, his music is regularly played on Formula 1 broadcasts and he is currently working on a Formula 1 book that will change the way people look upon the sports history and its champions.

For further information: CoryPesaturo@corypesaturo.com

The Accordion is Now Taught in an Arizona Charter School

by Rita Barnea
Arizona Accordion Club
The name of the school is the New World Educational Center, a K-12 public school. One of the teachers, Ramona Wright, walked into Ziggies Music, which is the accordion vendor of Arizona. Ramona wanted to organize a music program for the school. She said she always dreamed of every child having an accordion. The owner Dionne Hauke, told Ramona, “We have a program for you!”

The Arizona Accordion Club Youth Program launch was held on August 18, 2009 at the New World Education Center in Phoenix. The 4th Graders are now taking part in a 2 hr per week class for the entire school year, centered around the accordion and music theory.

President Jack Dermody said, “Equally exciting is the successful outreach we have made to young people. You have surely noticed the growing population of youngsters who begin our meetings with the latest tunes they are practicing. And one of our greatest outreaches ever is to the New World Educational Center Charter School where we are teaching 21 fourth graders the 12-bass accordion for an entire year. The new year will see the youth program grow as we plan for an expanded program in the fall of 2010. The school is ecstatic with the enthusiasm of the students for the instrument as well as the commitment of the instructors.”

The music department head, Ramona Wright has gone through the school principal to the Maricopa School Board for approval to expand the program into the 5th grade for fall 2010. This means that there will be a beginner 4th grade class as well as an advanced 5th grade class.

The Arizona Accordion Club had created, as part of its strategic plan, a goal which is to provide an accordion program for any organization or group that they could find. As part of that plan, the AAC bought twenty five 12 bass accordions, paid for with donations from the members. The club was able to recruit six members of the Arizona Accordion Club to be the music teachers. The teachers volunteer their time to teach the lessons to a class and put together a curriculum using the Howell-Aretta method. The Arizona Accordion Club is the music program for the fourth grade which has 21 children. The teachers go in twice a week to give lessons, breaking them into small groups, according to their levels of ability. President of the Arizona Accordion Club,Jack Dermody, Leigh Dechaine, Pete Donatella, Ted Lee, and Jay Stevens are the accordion faculty. Dionne Hauke is the technician who takes care of all twenty-four of the 12 bass boxes that the fourth grade class uses.

The second semester of accordion instruction has begun. While the first semester was during school hours, the second semester is an after school program. The Arizona Accordion Club is pleased to report that 98% of the students stayed in the program. Every 6 to 8 weeks there is a concert, which provides a goal, motivation, and reinforcement. All of the arts are incorporated into this program including, singing, acting, song writing, and dancing with the accordion being an integral part of the program.

The students have free use of the accordion for the year with permission to take the accordions home to practice. This is the first time that the accordion is being offered in the public schools. The ACC is very excited about this new venture and is looking forward to its further development as time goes by. We will continue to keep the readers of the USA news informed as the year progresses.

President Jack Dermody said, “As all things seem to be going great. The AZ Accordion Club Youth Program project has been successful beyond our wildest dreams and I know personally that I have heard almost every member of the Arizona Accordion Club mention at one time or another how we NEED to get youth involved. Well we did it, we have them involved. Let’s KEEP them involved !”

For further information: Jack Dermody 602-237-5627

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

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


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2010 NAA Convention in Texas: March 10-14

by Rita Barnea
NAA LogoThe 2010 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention will be held from March 10-14, 2010 at the Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The convention cost is $189/per person which includes the Saturday Night Banquet! The hotel rate is $95/per room - double occupancy. Valentine's Day (Feb 14, 2010) is the deadline for getting the lower rate!

The 2010 National Accordion Association (NAA) theme is “Accordions in Action”. The 2010 Focus: By popular demand: Return to orchestra and band workshops. It will be the convention where acoustic, electronic & Midi accordions all work together! There will be fun, workshops, jam sessions, accordion bands, swap shop,a National Accordion Party and Concert .This is a "hands-on convention" so bring your accordion. Special daily rates are available.

The 2010 National Accordion Association convention is unfolding into a three-day event you will definitely want to attend! As in past years, there will be a variety of fabulous workshops, and this year we have tapped into some new and unique talent, which will intrigue, educate, and ultimately entertain the first-timer and seasoned conventioneer alike. Combine that with the ever-popular demonstration center where, once again, both Roland USA and Ballarini Music will conduct specialized clinics in their respective dealer areas. All dealers will be showcasing their latest and greatest offerings for the accordion world. Some of the participating dealers: Roland Accordion Company, Accordion-O-Rama, Ballarini / Petosa,Kohl Music Company, Accordion Embroidery by Carol Garrision ,Accordion Stuff - Debra Peters, MECCA, and Jay Fox Band Company.

Thursday will be the “Anthony Galla-Rini Appreciation Day” directed by Esther Lanting. Among the many interesting workshops to be offered will be:

“”Digital Accordion Voices for 60s Pop & Rock Music by Bruce Gassman; “Add Singing to your Playing” by Matt Tolentino; “Relax Your Way to Superior Performances!” by Svetlana Ivanchenko; Rita Davidson is returning to the National Accordion convention! “Klezmer Music” – “Children's Music” – “Ettore Music” - and interviewing for AccordionUSA!; “The Accordionist’s Thumb” by Ian Blair Fries, M.D; “Add Spice to your playing” by Jim Rommel; Shelia Workshop #1: Learn to Play the Diatonic Button Accordion, Shelia Workshop #2: Convention Jam Orchestra – 2 hr Rehearsal on Thursday plus more; Natoli Workshops:” Compose Yourself with Natoli's Composition 101”; Kim and Dan Christian Workshop: “It is all about Musical Expressions”; Ron Lankford of Roland USA and Chris Rybak will conduct a workshop in the Roland Road Show room where they discuss the status of Roland accordions: Mark Kenneth will perform Celtic Music - Irish and Scottish; “Communication With Your Audience” by presenters Ross and Valina Witte; “Join the Band: Polka and Waltz Ornamentation” by Dick Albreski; “How to accompany anybody!" and “Improving Your Technique on the Accordion” by Mario Pedone; “Embellishment Workshop”: Dr. John Martin teaches "Tricks you can use; Debra Peter's “Hands-on Teaching Series”; Gordon Kohl's Workshops: “Exploring Left-hand Harmonies and Rhythms”; “Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame” moderated by Arlyn Visentin; “Workshops by the Central Texas Music Team”: Dr. Daniel Kott and Shelia Lee; Nick Ballarini: "One Man Band" series; Sharon Seaton's “Sight-reading Seminar”; Jane Christison (Music With A Smile) will be here in addition to many more exciting workshops given by dedicated and professional accordionists.

Throughout the evenings the truly international group of attendees will come together sharing music whether participating or attending the novice/professional group events and performances. Back by popular demand will be Friday evening’s “Circle of Champions” and Saturday evening’s program will once again be a great show. The 2010 convention is an event you will not want to miss! See you there! The general public is invited to evening events (dances and/or concert) at $10.00 per person per event .

For further information: natlaccordion@sbcglobal.net

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

Guy Klucevsek Performs with Fireworks Ensemble in NYC

by Rita Barnea
Guy Klucevsek in Fireworks Ensemble RehearsalOn Friday, Feb. 5, Guy Klucevsek played with the Fireworks Ensemble at Miller Theatre, Columbia University, NYC, in a performance of Lou Reed's 1975 piece, “Metal Machine Music", transcribed and arranged for acoustic instruments by Ulrich Krieger. Here's some background on it:

Lou Reed’s (b. 1942) music written for the Velvet Underground propelled him to rock stardom. His “Metal Machine Music", a distorted sound wall of guitar feedback, has been called the precursor to punk. Critical rejection at its first release in 1975 led to a cult-like interest. Ulrich Krieger has accomplished a feat once deemed impossible by transcribing and arranging “Metal Machine Music" for classical instruments. Ulrich Krieger is a conductor and saxophonist.

In 1996 Lou Reed was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of The Velvet Underground. He received the Heroes Award from the New York NARAS in 1997, and the French government awarded him the Chevalier Commander of Arts & Letters. In 2001 and 2002 the avant-garde German music collective zeitkratzer performed "Metal Machine Music” and other electronic music written by Reed. Reed spent much of 2003 touring, and in March 2004 released “Animal Serenade”, which was recorded live at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles.

The Fireworks Ensemble combines the talents of eight classically-trained but musically omnivorous young virtuosi who pride themselves on being able to play just about anything. Fireworks burst onto the music scene in 2002 with its rock-inspired reinvention of Stravinsky’s masterpiece, “The Rite of Spring”. Since then, the ensemble has developed a national reputation as one of the premiere ensembles of its kind with its acclaimed programs such as Dance Mix, Cartoon, and its 2007 Composer Portrait of iconoclast Frank Zappa at Miller Theatre. In the course of its seven- year history, Fireworks has premiered over 100 new works, promoting emerging composers worthy of wider recognition and commissioning works by established masters.

Guy Klucevsek was the accordionist in the February 5th performance of the Fireworks Ensemble. For his biography please read the article in the February USA News called: “Guy Klucevsek Presents February Performances.”

For further information: gklucevsek@si.rr.com

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Dr. William Schimmel’s Latest Accordion Activities

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelTwo Premieres, Meet the Artist at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Recording projects, Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Room and an Online Radio Show:

On January 12 and 13, Dr. William Schimmel appeared with Finnish flutist, vocalist and storyteller, Dr. Ulla Souka in two special program designed for pre-school children. This program was sponsored by Lincoln Center Meet the Artists. On January 29 and 30, he will record Accord/Discord, a new cd featuring music by Schimmel, Eric Salzman, Laila Salins and Osvaldo Pugliese. On January 31, Dr. William Schimmel premiered his “The Wheel of Becoming” for solo accordion and vocals at Drom in New York City to a packed house.

On February 4, 5 and 6, he will be a guest artist with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in performances in Ted Nash’s “Portrait in Seven Shades” which will also feature large projections of famous paintings by Modern Artists. The concerts will take place at The Rose Theatre. On February 2, the CD will be available on JLCO records. On February 7, he will solo in his own work for accordion and chamber orchestra : “Harold is Alive and Doing(seemingly) OK Somewhere in Lisbon” at Christ and St Stephen’s Church in New York. The work will be conducted by Max Lifchitz with the North South Consonance Chamber Orchestra.

On February 12 and 13, he will solo in Domenick Argento’s “Valentino Dances” with the Syracuse Symphony. He has recorded this work with the Minnesota Orchestra on Reference Records. On February 19, He will perform Eric Salzman’s “Opium Song” at a benefit for the Center for Contemporary Opera at the Cell Theatre . Joining him will be soprano, Laila Salins. On February 26, He will perform Chaya Czemowin’s “Die Kruezung” at the Tenri Cultural Institute. On February 18, 25 – March 4, 11, 18 – he will appear with Gay Marshall at The Metropolitan Room – Gay Marshall sings Piaf.

Dr. Schimmel is the host of a new online radio program,” The Old In and Out”, which can be heard on WS RADIO on www.billschimmel.com. His co-host is Brian Dewan. Based on all things pertaining to the accordion, it has been described by many as a combination of NPR’S Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion.

Dr. Schimmel and Dr. Mark Birnbaum’s new CD, “In Orbit” will be made available on IPS/STUDIO MUSE RECORDS sometime in the Spring. It will be the third CD in a Trilogy:“Duality Wrecks" , “Weatherwatch/Free Jazz “and “In Orbit”. Dr. Schimmel performs on accordion. Dr. Birnbaum on piano.
For further information: billschimmel@billschimmel.com

MAMTG Spring Festival and Competition:March 26-28

by Rita Barnea
MAMTG Logo
The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild(MAMTG) is happy to welcome the officers and members of the AAMS organization to our growing musical family. The American Accordion Musicological Society has been in the forefront of promoting the accordion as a serious musical instrument.

To celebrate this event, the M.A.M.T.G. is presenting an Accordion Concert featuring the area’s best and most well known accordionists. This will take place on Saturday Evening March 27th, at 7:PM in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick, NJ. This will be in conjunction with our annual Spring Festival and Competition. The Festival is a 3 day event that features competitions in all the major instruments and voice.

Among the featured accordionists will be: Mary Tokarski, Daniel Desiderio, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Eddie Monteiro, Joanna Darrow, the DeBellis Accordion Orchestra and the Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra. Lenny Feldmann will be the Master of Ceremonies.

The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG) was founded by a group of professional music educators from the Tri-State area to establish and maintain high professional teaching and ethical standards, exchange music-related ideas, information and fellowship among colleagues, promote music education in our area, and to provide a platform for area music students to display their talents in a competitive environment. The Guild has been recognized as a viable musical organization throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England States.

The deadline for all entries is February 15, 2010.
For further information: mamtg@hotmail.com

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Shelia Lee and Dr. Daniel Kott to Present Workshops at the NAA

by Rita Barnea
Shelia LeeDr. Daniel KottShelia Lee, with Heritage Arts Productions in Pasadena, Tx, is giving accordion lessons via Skype software. With high speed internet connection and a decent sized monitor with a web cam, the student can see the instructors hand, can play along with the instructor, and have a fully interactive lesson. Dr. Kott, with Mecca in Killeen, TX., arranged for two of his students to work with Shelia via Skype on music which they will present at the National Accordion Convention in Dallas, TX in March.

Dr. Kott and Shelia Lee will present several workshops to include a full demonstration of the use of lessons using Skype. Advances in technology have made it possible for music students to study with instructors via Skype.

Dr. Kott’s workshops will be: International Folk Music, Americana Music, and Play-Party-Dance (learning to play live for dancers and instruction for the dancers), Introduction to the Amazing Marching Accordion Band, and more. Shelia Lee’s will repeat several popular workshops from prior years plus a new Introduction to Diatonic Group Lesson (Hands on with GCF Accordions).

Shelia is a dynamic accordion performer. With her large repertoire, she can entertain solo or with a band for many different style venues - from formal concerts, festivals, conventions, restaurants, cruise ships to house parties, backyard barbeques, and street performer. Styles include: Italian, German, Tex-Mex, Country, Standards, and Party Songs.
Shelia has also published several volumes of accordion music for the beginner to the intermediate player. Many of these include Karaoke, DVD and CDs. She also teaches keyboard and button accordion through Heritage Arts Productions (a non-profit organization) and through Houston Accordion Performers.
When Hurricane Ike damaged her home, lost her - her job, and claimed over half of her sheet music and 2 accordions, she decided to return to what she knew best - writing, arranging, and teaching for the accordion. Together with Mark Ropel, they opened the Houston Accordion Performers selecting a location in Pasadena and specializing in teaching keyboard, button, and chromatic accordion. They are sponsored by Heritage Arts Productions - that also teaches Folk dance. In addition, she is collaborating with Dr. Kott with MECCA to develop DVD instruction for keyboard and button box accordions.

For further information: dfkott@aol.com

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

The Accordion – A Reconnection to Younger Days

by Yimeng Huang
Yimeng Huang  and Yimin Zhuang 2009In High School(Thanks to Yimeng Huang and Mara Cherkasky of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society for permission to reprint this article, which appeared in the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society Update of October 25, 2009)

A couple of years ago when I started playing the accordion again after a hiatus of 30-some years, I thought I was unique. But looking around our accordion club, I saw that half of the members have had a similar experience, picking up the accordion again after raising a family or pursuing a career. I joined the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society in 2007 and was enchanted by the friendly atmosphere and just the sight of so many accordions in the same room. There one day I met a fellow Chinese accordionist, Yimin Zhuang, and we soon realized that we both had studied at Ren Min University in Beijing in the 1970s. What a coincidence!! Well, that’s not even half of the surprise.

Yimin mentioned a small group of Chinese accordionists who get together regularly to play music. He asked if I’d like to join them. Of course I would. I asked if there were any women in the group. He said, yes, there was one. Months later, I was delighted to go to their meeting one Friday evening, in the basement of one member’s house in Herndon, VA. I was eager to meet my potential, future accordion “girl friend.” Then she arrived; I heard her talking as she walked down the stairs. Oh my god, that was unmistakably the voice of my best friend in high school! Impossible! I just had to see her face to confirm. Finally, she came into full view, and I shouted out “Ren Ling!!” That startled her. She turned toward me with a “huh??” expression on her face. I must have changed more than she had. To save embarrassment, I said “Wo Shi Huang Yimeng!” Still, it took her two seconds to realize that was true! Imagine the shock for both of us.

That evening, we probably spoiled the meeting, for the two of us just talked and talked, trying to catch up. We were best friends in high school but drifted apart after college. We both came to the U.S. in the mid-1980s. I’ve been in the DC area since 1990 and she, since 2003: 30 minutes from each other for years without knowing it. When I was 16, it was at her house in Beijing that I touched an accordion for the first time. Who could imagine that 30-some years later the accordion would bring us together again on the other side of the earth!

To me, playing the accordion again is a nostalgic experience. This miracle certainly brought back a lot of memories from our younger days! Now Ling is a cancer research scientist at NIH in Bethesda, MD, and I am a research librarian at the World Bank in DC. All of our kids are in college. We look forward to many years of playing the accordion together!

Yimeng plays with the Potomac Ensemble directed by Joan Grauman and is taking lessons with Frank Busso Jr., the accordionist with the U.S. Air Force Strings.

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

Gene Van Accordion Orchestra Featured in Christmas Concert

by Rita Barnea
Gene Van Accordion Orchestra
On Sunday, December 6, 2009, in the Battell Community Center Auditorium, Mishawaka, Indiana, the Michiana Performing Arts Association (MPAA) presented “Because It’s Christmas” featuring the Gene Van Concert Orchestra and Chorus. This special Christmas concert, with an outstanding accordion orchestra of over thirty people and combined chorus, included members of the Mishawaka parishes, St.Bavo, St. Joseph, and St. Monica.

The concert delighted all with classical, seasonal, sacred, and patriotic selections featuring the arrangements of noted teacher and arranger, Gene Van. This program brought together accordionists from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Texas, along with professional percussionists, and a chorus comprised of choir members from three area Catholic parishes.

This special event was organized to raise funds to help needy families in the area. Gene Van says, “This show of unity and support is an excellent example of how all of us in the accordion world should be working together to bring the accordion into the spotlight once again. Instead of remaining stagnant with the same old ideas, it is time to pass the torch to new ideas and lend the experience of our years to keep the torch burning. New, fresh ideas from younger voices sound like a winner to me. After all, it was our passion and our ideas that helped bring them here. The road for the accordion now needs to be repaved with a new direction. By meshing the best ideas of yesterday and today, we can all be proud to say we’ve had a part in contributing to pouring the foundation for tomorrow. With passionate and innovative accordionists, we can together bring the accordion to its rightful, long overdue place at the top of the music world!”

The proceeds of the concert benefited the St.Vincent de Paul parish funds for St.Bavo, St. Joseph, Mishawaka, and St. Monica.

For further information: Gene Van 574-360-0063

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Peter DiGiovanni Composes New Accordion Solo

by Rita Barnea
Peter DiGiovanniPeter DiGiovanni was one of the many special and talented accordionists whom I was privileged to meet at the Frank Marocco Accordion Event recently held in Arizona. It was superbly organized by the multi-talented Joan and Dan Grauman. There will be more stories online in future editions about people who participated.

Peter DiGiovanni has several original compositions to his credit, two of which have won awards in the Balalaika and Domra Association of America (BDAA) composition contest and subsequently performed for BDAA and WBS audiences. One of these, titled “Rush Hour,” received its solo accordion debut at the Frank Marocco Accordion Event in January, 2010, performed by Rita Davidson. He enjoys composing and has composed and arranged several pieces for solo accordion and the ensembles he plays with. He hopes to continue this rewarding endeavor as time permits.

Originally from New York, Peter lives in Oakton, Virginia with his wife and greatest supporter, Sally. After earning his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined Mobil Oil Corporation in 1968 for a satisfying 32-year career that took him to 5 petroleum refineries and 3 Headquarters locations. His assignments covered a broad range of business areas, including process engineering, economics, planning, scheduling, marketing, budget, finance, supply, transportation, financial analysis and management. In 1998, he became a licensed Realtor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is currently a sales agent with Long & Foster Realtors, Inc.

Peter’s musical journey started when he was a small child, with an attraction to the piano. He was soon able to pick out tunes and chords to go with them. He particularly loved the honky-tonk sound and stride style of playing, and had an insatiable appetite for listening to music. He took three years of piano lessons as a young teenager. His father had a Superior accordion which Peter was able to play by ear once he realized that the left hand was organized as the circle of fifths. His father gave him the accordion when Peter was in his 20’s, but Peter received no accordion lessons as a child, and he played it only on rare occasions at parties for the next 30 years. “I wasn’t great, but I could play a lot of songs and my friends thought the accordion really cool.”

Life changed after his 2000 retirement from Mobil , and a happy series of circumstances led Peter back to the accordion for good. In 2002, he was invited to join the Board of the ExxonMobil Potomac Annuitants Club, where he would become Vice-President and be responsible for organizing the Christmas party. While at Mobil, one of his co-workers, who was then playing in the Washington Balalaika Society (WBS) Orchestra, invited him to one of their concerts. Peter and Sally loved the music and the uniquely fresh sound of the traditional Russian folk instruments, and became regular attendees. For the Christmas party, Peter arranged for an ensemble from WBS to provide the entertainment. In addition, a traditional sing-along followed the entertainment, but the piano accompanist had moved out of the area, so Peter offered to fill in. As a lark, or so he thought, he brought his old Superior accordion with him for “The 12 Days of Christmas,” where he played and moved around the room as the group acted out the lyrics from day to day.

When the WBS folks saw this, they invited him to join the Orchestra. Peter was quite apprehensive, since he knew that his sight reading and technical skills were limited, that he was really a novice at the accordion, and that he had never played it where it mattered that he hit all the right notes! But he went to a few rehearsals, and is still enjoying his participation with the WBS after seven years. He has recently started taking lessons from Frank Busso, Jr. Peter remarked, “Frank has a great knack for building on strengths and shoring up weaknesses without tearing down the whole structure. I am still very much a student, and I get a real kick out of doing something right for the first time.”

Peter is President of the Metropolitan Washington Accordion Society (WMAS). Peter also performs with Russkiye Musikanti (an outreach ensemble of the WBS), and the Potomac Accordion Ensemble led by Joan Grauman. He is a member of the American Accordionists Association (AAA), and is an instructor for the Accordions for Kids (AFK) program offered by Dale Wise and Accordion Plus. He also performs, solo and with small ensembles, at parties and celebrations, weddings, grand openings, public and private concerts, fundraisers, and music clubs and festivals. His play-by-ear list has over a thousand songs on it, covering music for all seasons and a wide range of genres. Peter is equally comfortable sitting or strolling, playing solo or accompanying singers, playing "Name That Tune," or jamming with other musicians.

For further information: Peter@musicisforever.com.

New Diatonic Concertina Line Now Available in the USA

by Rita Barnea
Ranco Antonio Ferreira Concertina signature linePolverini Accordions, Italy and its North American Distributor, Ballaccord USA, are advertising a new line called the Ranco Antonio Ferreira Concertina signature line (two pictures left). These instruments are aimed at the Portuguese immigrant market in Europe and North America.

The 33 key diatonic accordion (known as the concertina among Portuguese musicians), was previously regarded as an instrument for older generations and folkloric association and dance troupes, has now officially made the crossover to the younger twenty-something Portuguese musicians in a popular wave.

The young, hip concertina players of Portuguese descent are attracting lots of followers through the internet and video and have become very popular by adapting traditional Portuguese folkloric tunes and melodies such as Vira's, Chula's, Corridinho's and Cana Verde's and giving the songs a contemporary twist by playing the concertina at a lightning pace.

They often play with dozens of other concertina players in a sort of accordion jam and freestyle approach. The music is attracting young people to learn concertina and it is not uncommon for families to own multiple concertinas, with their personal choices of color schemes, embellishments, regional crests or flags denoting where they are from.

One of the most famous Portuguese concertina players is Jorge Ferreira and the Polverini Accordion Company has manufactured a Ranco Antonio Ferreira Concertina signature high quality instrument especially for this market. This signature diatonic accordion line is dedicated to this beloved Portuguese American singer/songwriter.

In this news is a separate article about the life and career of Jorge Ferreira.

For further information: Ron@ballaccord.com

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

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Dr. Emilian Badea to Conduct the 2010 AAA Festival Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
Dr. Emilian BadeaThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) announces that the 2010 AAA Festival will be held at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, PA from July 14-18 2010. Performances will take place at Hershey Park. There will be a massed band performance at Hershey Park and fun for the entire family!

The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) is delighted to announce that Dr.Emilian Badea will conduct this year’s festival orchestra on Saturday evening, July 17. The orchestra is open to all registered participants and will rehearse at the Festival. There will also be a Junior Orchestra this year for younger performers who may have not had the experience of playing in a group. This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of an accordion orchestra!

Accordionist, bassoonist, musicologist, conductor and educator, Emilian Badea was graduated from one of Romania’s most prestigious music academies. He earned a master of music and doctor of musical arts degree from Boston University. He has performed as a bassoonist with the Romanian Stae Radio Symphony Orchestra and as a freelance musician with the Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Classical Players, Boston Academy of Music, New Hampshire Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Brockton Symphony in addition to other area ensembles.

Dr. Badea is a member of the National Music Honor Society “Pi Kappa Lambda”, the International Double Reed Society, the American Accordionists’ Association and the Accordion teachers Association of Massachusetts. He is on the music faculty of the University of Massachusetts. New School of Music Cambridge and Bookline Music School and maintains his music studio in Natick, MA.

Music for the Festival Orchestra, Junior Orchestra, and Massed Band will be available online very soon.
For further information: aaa1938@aol.com

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

ATG Festival: Celebrate with Us in the San Francisco Bay Area July 21-25, 2010!

by Dee Langley
ATG Logo
Great America, CA.Join accordionists from around the world are gathering for a special 70th Anniversary Celebration of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) featuring the Galla-Rini International Competition for Classical Accordion

$5,000 First Prize
$3,000 Second Prize
$1,500 Third Prize

Official Entry Forms are online on the ATG website or contact Joan Sommers at joansommers@kc.rr.com

Festivities include the International Competition, club performance stage, hospitality suite, display, workshops, concerts, banquets, sightseeing, and more. Convention registration will be online soon on the ATG website.

RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW!

Santa Clara Hilton, 408.330.0001 or 800.HILTONS

Save $100 or more a night with our convention rate of only $99 with free parking! The Hilton Santa Clara is an American Automobile Association Four Diamond hotel located adjacent to California’s Great America Park.

You must mention the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) when securing your room to be included in our room block and get this special ATG rate.

Santa Clara Hilton, 4949 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, California, United States 95054
For further information: squeezermn@yahoo.com

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

AAA Master Class and Concert Series in NYC: July 30-August 1

by Dr. William Schimmel
American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Master Class and Concert Series – 2010 Seminars: “Don’t Like Opera!?” Welcome to Our Sixteenth Smash Year!

Dr. William Schimmel is the moderator/curator of the 2010 Seminars sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) on July 30, 31 and August 1 – 2010 at The Tenri Cultura l Institute of New York, 43A West 13th St. between 5th and 6th Aves. The Master Classes take place at 3 PM. The Concerts are at 7 PM. Thefee is $20 per Master Class , $25 per Concert, or $40 per day – includes Master Class and Concert. $110 for entire weekend.
The weekend will be a fascinating and unique experience for all. Among the highlights of the weekend will be:

What better way to show the accordion’s Built in Ironic (in your face) Duality than with a performance of “Jesus G. Faust” and “Tango Mephisto” featuring King of Ragtime, Dr. Mark Birnbaum. Dr. Robert Young McMahan will take us through the history of the accordion concerto, which in reality, are more like mini-operas. He will also premiere his new yearly 12 tone work, composed for the occasion.

“La Traviaida” – an attempt to combine the two Verdi classics and to get to the essence in about 10 minutes. The accordion is the perfect force for compression of time, space and visual/sound drama. We’ll also do “Carmen” in about 4 – all of it. We’ll also do “L’odour d’espirt”, a fifty second reality on a Kurt Cobain masterpiece.

Seems like dark stuff: Anything light? Actually yes – and some of it funny. Paul Stein’s Political Satire stings, bites and at times even burns – and always laugh out loud funny. “The Tunnel of Light and Love”, a new interactive video work by the eminent choreographer,director and video artist Micki Goodman will explore the notion of nature, love and rebirth in a pastoral visual elegy – not operatic, but certainly dramatic and life affirming.“St. Mathew the Mummer” – St. Mathew’s Passion retold in a Mardi-Gras Style – in strutting upbeat tempos.

Jazz Accordion great Will Holshouser will pull you in with his non-dramatic subtlety and elegance.“Opera Josephine” – a short opera about Josephine Baker through the eyes of The Pointer Sisters – devised from a segment of “Within the Context of No Context” by George W.S. Trow. Lee Mc Clure’s digital flute will dramatize any accordion moment. “Beyond Words” – a reality on Haydn and Gubaidulina, taking the notion of “Seven Words” to new heights – dedicated to the mummer, Joseph A. Ferko, who died seconds after accepting an award for 50 years of mummer service. His Seven Last Words were: “I hope to march fifty more years.”

Humorist, Ken Laufer, making us see and “Stars, Stripes, Scars and Scrapes Forever”. “Taking Stock – A series of Realities on Stockhausen” – including “Telemix”, which includes a rap on “Surfer Bird” by the “Trashmen”. A Visual and Sound installation: “Juilliard 1960’s to Early 70’s” showing present day realities and recreations on this famous school’s most Avant Garde period- through the eyes of an accordionist who was there to experience it: CIRCLES become SQUARES, NONO becomes YES/YES, ECLAT becomes ÉCLAIR, PITHOPRAKTA becomes PITHOKRAPTA and PATIENCE becomes LACK OF IT.

Concert Virtuoso Mary Tokarski – knowing the difference between Monteverdi and Montovani. “Missa Tantra” – showing the sensual side of the liturgical dimension. Godfrey Nelson and Lorraine Nelson Wolf – new age at its highest peak. Actress Kathleen Tipton charming us with penetrating words and gestures.
.“Moritat Von Mackey Messian” – uniting Brecht, Weill and Bobby Darin as Mystics. Benjamin Ickies, the punk accordionist in your face – famous, infamous and just a dot.

“Sho West” – a work for (Japanese) sho, accordion and violin, uniting “Gagaku” with the great western violin concertos as well as Hillbilly ramblings – with Mr. and Ms. Fukui on Sho and Violin. Rock Artist John Foti – a jersey shore vibe – more Springsteen than Sopranos.“Expenses” – a work about life, death and taxes. Performance Artist Brian Dewan – the funniest person alive – and the nicest.

“Kage/Urotrasho/Pera” - one big, long, continuous melody, a nonopera, uniting whitetrash and eurotrash cultures. Drone Artist David First plays a drone – an opera emerges.

Dramatic direction for entire weekend - Micki Goodman

For more information: billschimmel@billschimmel.com or aaa1938@aol.com

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

2011 AAA Festival, July 13-17, in Charleston, SC

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
The American Accordionists' Association is proud to announce the 2011 AAA Festival from July 13-17, 2011 at the Sheraton at Charleston Airport, Charleston, South Carolina.

At this time, the International Accordion Orchestra Competition will take place. The competition is open to all accordion orchestras. There is no restriction as to the number of members in the orchestra. The minimum requirement is eight accordions. Please remember that International Orchestra Entries must be confirmed by 2/28/2011.

Join us as Joan C. Sommers is honored with the AAA's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

There will be cash awards, workshops, exhibits, concerts, and competitions for all ages. The tentative schedule includes:
Wednesday.....Registration, Press & Squeeze event
Thursday........Luncheon Concert, Cabaret Night
Friday.............Massed Band Performance conducted by Frank Musso, Gala Evening Concert
Saturday.........Awards Concert, Banquet, Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation, Festival Orchestra conducted by Joan Sommers.
Sunday...........Breakfast Meeting and Farewell

The AAA Festival Coordinators are: Mary Tokarski, Frank Busso, Linda Soley Reed.

Make sure you attend for wonderful, memorable music, friendship, and more!

For more information: aaa1938@aol.com

PANcordion

Polka Party at Sea February 21-28, 2010

by Rita Barnea
Eddie RodickSteve MeisnerNorwegian Cruise Lines is sponsoring a seven night cruise in the Western Caribbean sailing from New Orleans from February 21-28, 2010. The ports of call will be: Costa Maya, Santo Thomas De Castilla ,Belize, and Cozumel.

The Polka package price includes:
•Entrance to our 5 Private Polka Parties
•Open Bar Cocktail Receptions
•Late Jam sessions
•Optional private shore excursions
•Special On Board Events only for our group and more
•Ask about the New Orleans Pre-Cruise Package!

There will be an All-Star Musical Line Up including:
The Eddie Rodick Orchestra who were the Cleveland Band of the Year ‘07, ’08; Steve Meisner who was Wisconsin’s #1 polka artist for 4 years; The Karousels with Bob Dozak (Arizona); Marge Ford and her sister Patti, and The Alaska Polka Chips will also entertain.

The NCl Spirit will be hopping with this great line up of today’s top polka artists! Join with friends, great dancers and polka promotors from around the country.

For reservations and further information: 800-800-5981

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts Features Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra
The 48th Annual New England Music competition sponsored by the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts with feature the Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra on April 11, 2010. The group will celebrate their 40th anniversary. A reunion of members and their families will be on June 13, 2010 at the Alpine Grove, Hollis, NH from 12:PM to 5 PM.

Rosita Lee and Roger Latulippe, the Showstoppers musical directors, have owned the Rosita Lee Music Studios since 1960. During the years, they have taught thousands of young people, providing them with wonderful opportunities to perform, travel, and meet all types of people because of having a musical education.

The school originated with Mrs. Latulippe’s parents and the Rosita Lee name is her mother’s name. The Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra was organized in 1970. All three of the Latulippe children were members for many years. The group took top honors in many local, regional, and national competitions.

Jody Latulippe, a graduate of the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a member of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, was an accordion performance major and is the owner of Let’s Play Music Schools, NH. Their daughter, Holly Latulippe-Poitras won the AAA US Accordion Championship, concertized in Carnegie Hall as part of the AAA’s series, and currently teaches accordion and performs. Shelly Latulippe-Klimas, studied accordion, voice and dance and operates the Rosita Lee Dance Center in Nashua, NH. Her dance troupe frequently appears with the Showstoppers Acordion Orchestra in addition to participating in dance competitions where they have won top awards.

The Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra, well known entertainers in the New England area, has presented concerts in the USA, Italy, Ireland and Canada. They have been seen on national TV, in news articles, and performed with Myron Floren. Frequent participants in AAA Festivals, they performed six times in Disneyworld, toured Lake George, played at the Irish Festival in Massachusetts, appeared in Hershey Park, and performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington, DC. during the 2008 Coupe Mondiale in the DC area. This performance is archived and can be seen on the Kennedy Center’s web site.

For further information: rositaleemusic@comcast.net

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

CD Reviews


Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

Gene Van 50th Reunion Concert CD is Available Now

by Rita Barnea
The 50th Reunion Concert CD and DVD called “One Voice” of the Gene Van Accordion Orchestra and Entertainment Showcase with guest artists, Amy Jo Sawyer and Joe Natoli, is now available. This remarkable CD was recorded live at Bendix Theater, Century Center South Bend IN, in July 2008 to mark the 50th anniversary of Gene Van's teaching career. Former accordion students representing each of the five decades returned for this once in a lifetime concert benefiting autism.

The first half of this concert is Mr. Van's tribute to several outstanding accordionists and musicians who inspired him and many other accordionists in their careers. Some of these arrangements will be enjoyed once more by accordionists of all levels from around the world. Starting off with “The Sound Of Music Medley” (Rodgers & Hammerstein), “Bugler's Holiday” (Leroy Anderson), and “Holy City” (Stephen Adams) all arranged by Palmer-Hughes to Rimsky-Korsakov “Danse De Bouffons” arranged by Charles Magnante. Included is an original accordion piece,” Balkan Impressions” written by Gerhard Mohr. The first half concludes with a rousing version of Rossini's "The William Tell Overture" (Finale) arranged by Aretta Rodionoff.

A world premiere opens the second half of this concert, "The Patriotic Medley" an arrangement by Gene Van for this concert. This American tribute is a blend of vocals, percussion and accordions that grabs your attention from the opening “Star Spangled Banner”, the tributes to the branches of the service with Dixie, Battle Hymn, America the Beautiful and other patriotic tapestries carrying you to its climatic ending that includes “God Bless America”. It is truly inspirational and beautiful arrangement.

What would an anniversary and reunion concert be without a tribute to some of those great songs and medleys played by many of those returning members of the Gene Van Symphony of the 70's? “Young American Medley” and “Mac Arthur Park” (Jim Webb) make a welcome and refreshing comeback, proving that classic arrangements, like older students can actually stand the test of time.“Memory” (Andrew Lloyd Webber) is a beautiful arrangement that highlights some of the memories of the Entertainment Showcase era of the 80's.

Perhaps the standout of this concert, and certainly a must hear for anyone who loves hearing a good polka is Gene Van's version of "The Beer Barrel Polka" (Brown, Timm, Vejvoda). This arrangement is appreciated by young and old will forever be a standard setter for other accordion orchestra's worldwide. A beautiful wish for the future follows with "Let There Be Peace On Earth" (Sy Miller) a special arrangement prepared for this concert and a wonderful piece that when performed live brought everyone to their feet in appreciate of the musicality of the arrangement and vocalist.

Fifty years ago, Gene Van was excited about the prospect of reaching out to parents as well as students to share his passion and love of the accordion. A true champion, he has touched countless lives over the course of his active teaching and still touches lives as he reminds us in the closing number that all it takes is One Voice (Manilow).

For further information and to order: Gene Van, 574-380-0063
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