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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jan-2009
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Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editors Note
Mary Tokarski releases new CD!!!!
New Accordion Orchestra Work by Leonard Stack
Passing of Tom Bruno:Change of viewing times and funeral date
New CD released by Frank Toscano
"The Amazing Accordion Kings"....newly released CD
Dominic Karcic: Valtaro Musette Specialist

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

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

Triumphant Frank Marocco, John Simkus and Stas Venglevski Concerts in Russia
New Accordion Non-Fiction Book Published!!

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

Future events

American Accordionists' Association Master Class and Concert Series
CIA Announces May 6th as World Accordion Day
AAA 2009 Festival .....changed to July 15-19 Memphis
Lidia Kaminska in Sung Trio in Florida
January Concerts for Joey Miskulin of "Riders in the Sky"
40th Annual Chicago Festival of Polka Bands
Mary Tokarski and Stas Venglevski: Guest artists at 2009 Frank Morocco Accordion Event!
2009 Frank Morocco Accordion Event
Victor Prieto performances in January
Michael Ward-Bergeman Performs in NYC on January 28


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

Highlights


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

Editors Note

by Rita Barnea
Happy New Year to all our readers. 2009 looks like a great year for accordion activity and the USA News will be bringing you all the information direct to your computer screen.

Remember to make 2009 the year of the accordion…....support accordion artists by attending concerts, accordion festivals, competitions and conventions, purchasing CD’s and, most importantly, sharing YOUR gift of music. Learn new music, go out and play for other people. Not only will you make people happy, but you will feel good about yourself knowing that you have contributed something positive and wonderful to our world!

If you have any news, please send me an email: Ritabelll@aol.com

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Mary Tokarski releases new CD!!!!

by Rita Barnea
Music with Mary Tokarski, new CDMary Tokarski, Concert ArtistConcert accordionist, Mary Tokarski, has recently released her second solo CD :”Music with Mary…….with my friends.”

Mary is an internationally renowned accordionist. Mary began her music career at 7 with Michael Fernino of Ansonia, Connecticut, and performed and competed at local, state and national events throughout early adulthood.

She won over 185 trophies and awards, including two U.S.Championship Titles, a 3rd place in the 1973 Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) Coupe Mondiale, and a 2nd place in that year's Coupe Mondiale Pop Category.

In 1983, Mary Tokarski founded the Tokarski Music Center, where she served as owner and Director of Music Education for twenty years, taught piano and accordion, conducted the choral & ensemble programs, and supervised the pre-school programs. Mary currently teaches accordion and piano at her home in Northford, Connecticut, and serves as a Music Educator in the North Haven Department of Education's Early Childhood Development Program at Green Acres Elementary School Her students have also compiled an impressive list of awards in competition.

Mary's teaching started at an early age, before finishing high school. Over the years Mary has fine-tuned her teaching skills by taking music and education courses studying Early Childhood Education through Kindermusik International at Princeton University and Boston University at Lowell. She is currently a music teacher in the North Haven Department of Education Early Childhood Development Program at Green Acres Elementary School, where she teaches music for the 3 and 4 year old programs. Her students have included many "special needs" children over the years, and she developed a successful Kindermusik program at Tokarski Music Center.

Holding memberships in the Music Teachers National Association, the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association, the New Haven Chapter of CSMTA, the North Haven Rotary Club, and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Mary is a Board of Directors member for the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) as well as the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG).

As a member of the internationally reknowned K Trio, Mary performed in concert throughout the United States and internationally with her sister Julie and brother Walter. The K Trio included a wide variety of musical genres, and has been acclaimed as one of the world's finest accordion ensembles.

Mary is a "regular" on the workshop circuit in the musical associations where she regularly presents workshops on Precision Ensemble Techniques, Technical Development and Virtuoso Performance Preparation. Mary currently teaches accordion and piano at her home in Northford, Connecticut, and serves as a Music Educator in the North Haven Department of Education's Early Childhood Development Program at Green Acres Elementary School.

Her 2 solo CDs, “Music with Mary . . . for my friends!” and “Music with Mary . . . with my friends!” have received international acclaim. Mary was chosen by New Zealand composer Gary Daverne to perform many of his compositions for accordion and symphony orchestra on his new CD release “Rhapsody”.

For more information about booking a presentation, concert, or to order a CD, view the Mary Tokarski website. Order online from MusicForAccordion.com “Music with Mary . . . with my friends!” or “Music with Mary . . . for my friends!”.

PANcordion

New Accordion Orchestra Work by Leonard Stack

by Rita Barnea
Lenny StackLeonard Stack - accordionist, composer, publisher, performer and music writer, has released a new work for accordion orchestra available for purchase online called “Lest We Forget” scored for accordion, bass, percussion, and tenor.

Leonard (Lenny) Stack, a native of Los Angeles, is a highly successful composer, arranger, musical director and conductor. He won an Emmy for arranging and an Emmy nomination as musical director for his work in television specials. He is a member of ASCAP and the Television Academy holding a Bachelor of Music in Composition.

Artists such as Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick have recorded his songs. His musical scores have been used in many feature films and movies made for TV. The lengthy list of Leonard Stack's publications includes classical compositions for various ensembles as well as Big Band Jazz originals.

"Lest We Forget" for Accordion Orchestra was commissioned by the UMKC Accordion Orchestra especially for the 2007 Coupe Mondiale performance and is Leonard Stack's first composition for accordion orchestra.

'Lest We Forget' received its World Premiere Performance by the World Accordion Orchestra at the Closing Ceremony concert under the direction of Joan C. Sommers. When approached by WAO member, Liz Finch, to write something for the orchestra, the highly successful and Emmy award-winning composer, Lenny Stack waived his usual commission fee and attended the premiere by the World Accordion Orchestra.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Passing of Tom Bruno:Change of viewing times and funeral date

by Rita Barnea
We are sad to report the passing of Tom Bruno, on Monday, Dec 29, 2008. Tom was an accordionist and repairman who had a shop in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. http://www.brunoaccordions.com/

Tom was a great Charles Magnante fan, and specialized in performing Magnante's music. He was the featured artist when the Magnante Estate was donated to the World of Accordions Museum in Superior, Wisconsin in 2000.

Founded in 1997, upon his graduation from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Tom was the owner of the Bruno Accordion Company specializing in accordion repair, tuning and full restorations on all makes and models.

Mr. Bruno began his accordion repair apprenticing at the age of 12 under Mario Mosti, his teacher and mentor. Mr. Mosti trained Thomas in all of the many facets of accordion repair and restoration. Thomas enjoyed such a warm rapport with Mr. Mosti, Mr. Bruno took over Mr. Mosti’s accordion repair business upon his retirement in 1997.

Our condolences to his family, friends, and fellow accordionists.

The viewing has been changed to Sunday, Jan.4 2-4 PM and 7-9PM at the funeral home, 2877 Leechburg Rd, New Kensington, PA 15068.
See http://www.insiderpages.com/b/4225865094

The funeral is Monday, Jan. 5 at 10 am at Mount Saint Peters. See http://www.mountsaintpeter.org/
Spread the news to your e-mail accordion friends, especially in Pittsburgh vicinity.

Shaler Township accordionist Joe Coniglio has volunteered to help the family to make sure Tom's customers all get their accordions back. If you know anyone who had sent Tom Bruno their accordion, call Joe at 412-487-6098. You will need model numbers, serial numbers, etc. to make sure no con artist comes in and attempts to make off with some expensive accordions.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

New CD released by Frank Toscano

by Rita Barnea
Frank Toscano has released a new solo CD, “Accordion To Frank", that embraces the flavor of traditional styled music laced with a hint of Modern Jazz paying homage to his accordion heritage.

Frank Toscano, a professional musician since the age of eight, has made music his entire life. Born and raised in New York, he came from an Italian family who valued the idea of music being played in the house constantly. Frank took lessons on the accordion under the direction of Emilio Chiesa never dreaming that it would became the passion of his life.

At the age of twenty-one, he opened the Frank Toscano Music School. 46 years later the school is flourishing. Still teaching every day, his undying passion for music and performing continues.

Frank has performed live with and for many artists including Michail Baryshnikov and Aidan Quinn. He can also be heard on many recordings of other artists. He performed for Steve Schirripa and the entire Soprano’s Cast to help launch an up & coming new T.V. show. He has also performed with Joe Piscoppo, vocalist Debra Toscano and performs at prominent clubs in the Tri-State area such as the Playboy Club, North Hempstead Country Club, Rockland Country Club etc. Currently you can hear Frank perform solo at the Magnanini Winery and with the newly formed “Amazing Accordion Kings”.

Frank has also just finished arranging, conducting and performing on a second CD entitled “The Amazing Accordion Kings” with two other great accordionists: Angelo DiPippo and Manny Corallo. This CD contains a variety of music from Opera to Jazz.

To purchase his CD and view upcoming concerts please check his web site: www.franktoscano.com

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

"The Amazing Accordion Kings"....newly released CD

by Rita Barnea
The Amazing Accordion Kings CD“The Amazing Accordion Kings” features three world renowned accordionists: Angelo DiPippo, Frank Toscano and Manny Corallo.These master musicians have created beautiful arrangements covering the spectrum from opera to jazz.

Angelo DiPippo, a graduate of Holy Cross College, with a Master’s degree from C.W. Post College and an honorary Doctorate from Five Towns College, has played on thousands of recording sessions having recorded and concertized with such artists as Peggy Lee, Billy Eckstein, James Earl Jones, Judy Collins, The Ramones, Robert Merrill, Harry Belafonte, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Randy Newman, Theodore Bikel, The Four Lads, Roberta Peters, Don Sebesky, Mary Duff and Gilbert Becaud.

Angelo and his Jazz Group have made appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival and many other Jazz venues. His appearances include: The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Regis Philbin Show, The New York City ballet, Sesame Street, The New York Pops with Skitch Henderson, Jackie Gleason Show, etc.

Angelo was voted best accordionist in America in the prestigious “Keyboard Magazine Poll.” Angelo may be seen and heard playing accordion in the wedding scene of Godfather I. He has also appeared or played in “Lovers And Other Strangers”, “Wiseguys”, “Wait Until Spring Bandini”, “Cookie”, “Playing For Time”, “Tuff Turf”, “Johnny Skidmarks”, “The Dangerous Hero”, “Johnny Skidmarks”, “The Dangerous Hero”, etc. Angelo has played in several Broadway Productions including: “Carnival”, “Fiddler On The Roof”, “Irma La Douce”, and “Follies Bergere”. Angelo conducted and arranged for the eminent Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert Merrill and is presently active in New York City as an accordionist and arranger.

Manny Corallo is one of the Amazing Accordion Kings. At age 4 he started playing drums, switching soon after to accordion, taking lessons from his father’s music teacher, Frank Toscano. By age 13 Manny began piano lessons and continued to study with Frank who provided Manny with proper classical training in addition to a love for jazz. Manny met another great musician, Angelo DiPippo. Inspired by Angelo’s accomplishments,, Manny began his career arranging for tenor Peter Colombo and accompanying him on his tours as his piano conductor later arranging and recording two albums for Peter. Manny met record producer and engineer Gerry “Doc” Comito of Sonic Sound Recording Studio in Freeport,N.Y.who gave him many more projects.

Manny has played accordion on various ethnic albums, and scored “Mr. Men & Little Miss”, a children's cartoon. The producer was so pleased with Manny that the next project he was given was the famous “Pokemon”. This led to Pokemon’s motion picture followed by the animated television series “ Tama & Friends”, “Kirby Right back at ya”, Sonic X etc. Recently Manny had a dream come true recording with Frank Toscano, and Angelo DiPippo and continues to work as a composer,arranger, and music editor.

Frank Toscano, coming from an Italian family who had a deep love for music, took lessons on the accordion and it became the passion of his life. He continued his studies on both the accordion and piano, and at the age of twenty-one opened the Frank Toscano Music School which continues to flourish with students of all ages. In his professional career, Frank has performed for many artists including Peter Columbo, Mikhail Barishnikov, and Aidan Quinn. He can be heard on many recordings of other artists. Frank appears at the Magnanini Winery as well as the North Hempstead Country Club and various other well-known clubs around the tri-state area. For more info about Frank, please refer to the article in this issue.

For info on the artists and purchase of the CD Email: franktee@amazingaccordionkings.com

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Dominic Karcic: Valtaro Musette Specialist

by Rita Barnea
Dominic KarcicDominic's love for the Valtaro Musette music was instilled in him through his years of study with noted accordionist Peter Spagnoli. In recent years he has been involved in the preservation and documentation of this musical style. He collaborated in writing a biographical article on the life and career of accordionist John “Scudlein” Brugnoli (founder of the Valtaro Musette Orchestra) which was published in the Gazzetta di Parma (Parma, Italy) on September 10, 2002. He has continued writing articles about Valtaro Musette music and several have been published in the Borgo Val di Taro web-site: www.valtaro.it/valtaro_musette/index.htm


Originally from Astoria, NY Dominic Karcic attended New York College of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and continued his education at the City University of New York (CCNY) where he received his Masters Degree in Music. Dominic was a public school music teacher for thirty-two years focusing on vocal and instrumental instruction in Long Island, N.Y.He has always played professionally in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today.

In June of 2003 Dominic joined the Board of Governors of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and writes a column “Heard It On The Gig” for the AAA Newsletter. He and fellow accordionist Ray Oreggia have given workshop presentations on the Valtaro Musette style for the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and Connecticut Accordion Association (CAA). In June of 2005 he was one of the participants in Mario Tacca’s CD titled “Nostalgia / Mario Tacca and Friends.”

His love for the accordion has only grown over the years. His greatest interest lies in musette music and he hopes that he can contribute to the enrichment and preservation of this very festive music. Dominic has also recently released a CD called "Let's Dance" which features valtaro musette accordion music with waltzes, polkas, tangos, mazurkas and meringues and is great dance music especially for people who love ballroom dancing.

Dominic Karcic can be reached at: DKarcic10@optonline.net

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

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


4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Triumphant Frank Marocco, John Simkus and Stas Venglevski Concerts in Russia

by Harley Jones
Frank Marocco appeared on stage at the Gorki State Academic Theater in Rostov-on-Don, with the famous Rostov Jazz Quartet ‘New Sentropezn’, led by Aram Rustamyants.
John Simkus and Stas VenglevskiAt the 20th International Moscow Festival "Bayan and Bayanists" the final concert on December 14th featured Stas Venglevski and John Simkus who scintillated with Venglevski's self-compositions and transcriptions of Russian folk melodies, which were refreshed with musical quotations in honor of Friedrich Lips.

The concert finished with legendary American accordionist Frank Marocco. According to the tradition (since 1993) "Silver Disks" are conferred for accordion artistry and Frank Marocco was presented one of these highly regarded Russian awards.

Friedrich Lips had his 60th birthday celebrated many times during this festival and was the focus of much of the event. A full report XX International Festival “Bayan and Bayanists”, with photos, is online.

The area of Rostov-on-Don has a strong Jazz following with many Jazz Festivals held in the area and has become quite a center for Jazz in recent years.

On December 16th Frank Marocco appeared on stage at the Gorki State Academic Theater in Rostov-on-Don, with the famous Rostov Jazz Quartet ‘New Sentropezn’, led by Aram Rustamyants.

The 1,000 seat hall was full for this concert organized by the International Music Foundation ‘Harmony’. Performing with Frank Marocco were the American accordionists John Simkus and Stas Venglevski. This duo performed the first part of the concert to a very appreciative audience. Also performing was Alexander Poeluev with the ‘New Sentropezn’ Quartet enjoying strong acclaim.

For the second part of the concert, Frank Marocco - the king of improvisation, along with the ‘New Sentropezn’ Quartet were a sensation, which the audience loved. These wonderful jazz musicians spoke without the words! Frank Marocco was moved to tears by the rapport between the musicians and the audience was very joyful and moved by the performance too.

A triumphant concert by Frank Marocco, his American friends John Simkus and Stas Venglevski, the ‘New Sentropezn’ Quartet and Alexander Poeluev.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

New Accordion Non-Fiction Book Published!!

by Rita Barnea
Blair KilpatrickAuthor, musician, psychologist Blair Kilpatrick is proud to announce the publication of her first book, “Accordion Dreams, A Journey into Cajun and Creole Music”

The book is the author's memoir of her life-changing passion for Louisiana French music and her unlikely obsession with the accordion. Blair's mid-life journey begins on a birthday trip to New Orleans and ends up in Northern California's vibrant Louisiana French music community. Along the way, the once-shy psychologist learns to dance, convinces her husband to pick up the fiddle, and discovers she really can carry a tune.

Blair has a series of adventures during her travels to Louisiana, to music camp in West Virginia, and to a Cajun festival in France. She finds an accordion mentor in renowned Creole musician Danny Poullard, the guiding spirit of the San Francisco Bay Area's Cajun-zydeco scene. Finally, Blair forms a band of her own, Sauce Piquante. And she learns the most important lesson of all: it's never too late to follow your dreams!

You may order the book from: University Press of Mississippi: http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1120 or
www.blairkilpatrick.com

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Future events


Jon Hammond CD's for Sale

American Accordionists' Association Master Class and Concert Series

by Dr. William Schimmel
Dr.William Schimmel is the Moderato/Curator of the 15th AAA Master Class and Concert Series entitled:
WELCOME HOME SKINNY!
(almost)not(t)here

It takes place on JULY 24, 25 AND 26 2009 at the
TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK
43A WEST 13TH ST – BETWEEN 5TH AND 6TH AVE.

MASTER CLASSES 3PM – CONCERTS 7PM
$25.PER CONCERT:Performances will be in a staggering variety of styles, genres and angles
$20.PER MASTER CLASS: Each master class will contain workshops, lectures and an INTERACTIVE segment – those wishing to participate in the interactive segment(s) should contact Dr. Schimmel directly – bringing one’s own accordion is required.

Each day will cover a specific subject or area(s). Participants may also take the “hot seat” and perform for criticism, advice and encouragement.
$40. PER DAY for both master class and concert - $110. PER ENTIRE WEEKEND

RESERVATIONS AND INFORMATION – 212- 876-0827 www.billschimmel.com
www.ameraccord.com

CIA Announces May 6th as World Accordion Day

by Rita Barnea
World Accordion Day logo, 6th May annually
The Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) is pleased to announce the official launching of World Accordion Day.

At the recent 120th CIA General Assembly of Delegates in Glasgow, Scotland, members representing almost 30 nations, unanimously voted to declare World Accordion Day as May 6th (the day the accordion was patented in 1829). On this day, the CIA will coordinate an annual world wide celebration, in a unified global crusade to promote the diversity of the accordion and the outstanding artists that play it.

Already existing on a national basis, on various days, in many countries around the world, World Accordion Day is a unique global opportunity to promote public awareness of the accordion, an instrument without boundaries, one that spans all cultures and musical genres.

From a solo performance to a Concerto with a 100 piece Symphony Orchestra, from a Duet or Trio to a 40 piece Accordion Orchestra, from the majestic sounds of the handmade acoustic reeds to the latest in Digital Technology, from newly commissioned original works to dazzling transcriptions of the classics, from Classical to Jazz, from Ethnic to Pop, from the pit orchestra in a Broadway Show to the background music in a TV Commercial, from Tchaikovsky to Gubaidulina, from the tiny diatonic instruments to the multi octave concert models, from the shelves of a Museum to center stage at Carnegie Hall, from Private Music Studios to the most esteemed and respected Conservatories in the world, there is no limit to where one might find the accordion, or have the opportunity to enjoy the variety of ways in which it is utilized.

The CIA’s first World Accordion Day will be held on 6th May 2009, the 180th birthday of the accordion. Accordionists from around the world are invited to join this inaugural celebration, while paying homage to the accordion. This International event will serve as an exciting means to bring everyone together in a unified effort to promote public awareness of the accordion and its many capabilities.

Please visit the World Accordion Day website for more information, and an event registration form, which will be activated in mid January. We look forward celebrating this event with you!

For information, please contact Harley Jones - CIA Public Relations Manager, e-mail: harleyaccordion@yahoo.com

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

AAA 2009 Festival .....changed to July 15-19 Memphis

by Rita Barnea
American Accordionists' Association (AAA) logoThe dates and place of the 2009 AAA Festival have been changed to:
July 15-19, 2009
University of Memphis / Holiday Inn Suites

This is an all-suite hotel on the campus of the University of Memphis. Rates will remain at $99 per room.
More details to follow.

Rules and standard solo/ensemble selections will be available soon. Special categories will highlight this year's Festival as well as a trip to Graceland.

More information will be available next month on the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) web site and the USA News next month.

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

Lidia Kaminska in Sung Trio in Florida

by Rita Barnea
Lidia Kaminska, accordionistOn January 5, 2009, Sung Trio, A Florida Debut will perform at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, FL. The performance will take place at the Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. Playhouse at 7:30 PM
Hugh Sung performs on piano, Lidia Kaminska on accordion and bandoneon, and Doug OConnor on saxophone.

Since his debut at age 11 with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Hugh Sung has attracted international recognition as a soloist and recitalist at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Wigmore Hall and The National Gallery of Art. A winner of Astral Artists’ 2003 National Auditions, Doug O’Connor recently captured Second Prize at the Second International Jean-Marie Londeix Saxophone Competition in Bangkok, earning him concert engagements with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra.

Accordionist Lidia Kaminska, the winner of Astral Artistic Services’ 2007 National Auditions, has performed extensively in both the U.S. and Europe. Her chamber music, concerto, and solo performances explore the complex and expressive range of the accordion as a classical instrument, and her repertoire includes a broad range of classical, contemporary, and avant-garde music.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Ms. Kaminska received First Prize in the 2002 Accordion Teachers Guild International Competition in Florida, the Special Prize in New York City’s International Tango Music Competition, with the Argentine tango ensemble Tango Lorca, and recently received Second Prize at the 2007 Coupe Mondiale International Competition for Ensemble Music.

She has researched and performed the works of Astor Piazzolla extensively. Also possessing a special interest in new music, Ms.Kaminska has premièred works by Julia Alford Fowler and Paul Rudy, and has appeared with the contemporary music ensembles New Ear and Musica Nova. She has also performed with both the Owen/Cox Dance Group and at the world première of BalletX; she went on to collaborate with Mathew Neenan of BalletX, and with dancer/choreographer Jorge Laico, for Pennsylvania Dance Theatre.

Ms. Kaminska has been a featured soloist with the Kielce Philharmonic Orchestra of Poland, the Strings of Lodz, the Concord Chamber Orchestra, the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. Recently, she was presented at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Philadelphia Magazine also featured her in its 2006 Best of Philly issue, and her interview with Marty Moss-Coane was recently broadcast on WHYY and NPR.

For tickets: 561-832-7469 or 800-572-8471 or http://www.kravis.org

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

January Concerts for Joey Miskulin of "Riders in the Sky"

by Rita Barnea
Riders in the Sky, Joey Miskulin (accordion)
Joey Miskulin (accordion)Rising “hats and shoulders” above other C&W (”Comedy and Western”) acts, Riders in the Sky have been playing original and classic cowboy songs for more than thirty years. They are keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, reviving and revitalizing the genre. And while remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they have themselves become modern-day icons by branding the genre with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit, and all along encouraging buckaroos and buckarettes to live life "The Cowboy Way!"

In the late 1980s, the group added accordionist Joey Miskulin known to many as the accordion prodigy who joined Frankie Yankovic’s band when he was only thirteen. Joey Miskulin,"The CowPolka King!", is no stranger to any medium or genre. Accordion in hands, he's garnished audio and video recordings, movie tracks and live performances for rock 'n roll artists and polka bands alike. Though he's played the gamut of musical homefronts, Joey specializes in two areas that represent our rich culture: polka music and Western music. (That's "Western" as in Gene Autry.) This unlikely marriage has brought a special, wonderful sound to Joey's most recent projects.

Riders In The Sky proclaimed him "Joey The Cowpolka King" after he appeared on their recordings and their radio show, Riders Radio Theater. Joey then began touring with Riders In The Sky, now touring as part of the group, performing more than 200 shows per year throughout the U.S. and other countries. With Riders, Joey's skillful musicianship rounds out the groups' fine sound on the road and on recordings, and it garnishes the drama in Riders' Radio Theatre.

Their January 2009 schedule is:
Sun 1/11/09 12:00 PM @ Portland, OR,Oregon Convention Center
River City Bluegrass Festival
Wed 1/14/09 7:30 PM Arvada, CO Arvada Center Main Stage Theater
Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Sat 1/17/09 2:00 PM McLean, VA,Alden Theatre
Sat 1/17/09 8:00 PM McLean, VA, Alden Theatre
Mon 1/26/09 7:00 PM American Falls, ID American Falls High School
Call 208-226-2309 for tickets and information
Wed 1/27/09,1/28/09.1/29/09TBA Elko, NV National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Sat 1/31/09 8:00 PM Victoria, TX, Victoria College Auditorium

For further information, email: management@ridersinthesky.com

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

40th Annual Chicago Festival of Polka Bands

by Rita Barnea
International Polka Association (IPA) logoThe Chicago Festival of Polka Bands will be held on January 18 at Glendora House, 10225 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago Ridge, Illinois. The event is sponsored by the International Polka Association.

The bands include Music Company, Tony Blazonczyks's New Phaze, Downtown Sound, Stas Bulanda & the Old School Review, Joe Walega & the Happy Hearts, Jimmy Kilian & Honky Chicago, Jake Mikrut & the All Stars, Ampol Aires, Freeze Dried and Stas Golonka & the Chicago Masters.
Doors Open 11:00 a.m.; Music from 11:30 a.m.
Tickets $10 advance; $12 at door; $1 door discount for IPA Members

The concept of a national polka convention had been developed and pioneered originally in Chicago. From the popular yearly moonlight dances starting in 1960, which attracted thousands of polka lovers from all sections of the United States and Canada -- the first polka convention emerged in 1963. This developed into the International Polka Convention which was presented each succeeding year in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo, New York.

The International Polka Association was organized as: "An educational and charitable organization for the preservation, promulgation and advancement of polka music and; to promote, maintain and advance public interest in polka entertainment; to advance the mutual interests and encourage greater cooperation among its members who are engaged in polka entertainment; and to encourage and pursue the study of polka music, dancing and traditional folklore."

For more info contact the International Polka Association: 800-TO-POLKA or www.internationalpolka.com

Mary Tokarski and Stas Venglevski: Guest artists at 2009 Frank Morocco Accordion Event!

by Rita Barnea
Stas VenglevskiMary TokarskiFrom January 21-25, 2009, Mary Tokarski will be one of the featured guest artists at the Frank Marocco Accordion Event at the Best Western Dobson Ranch Inn & Resort, Mesa, Arizona.

Mary has performed internationally in Australia, Belgium, Canada,China, theCzech Republic, France, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland – as well as extensively here in the United States.

As a two-time United States Champion, Mary represented the U.S. in the Coupe Mondiale(World Championship) events in Belgium and France. She now serves on the Board of Directors for both the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) which are the two national member organizations of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes, (IMC-UNESCO), the sponsor of the Coupe Mondiale. In addition, Mary Tokarski presents Workshops and Master Classes on improving musical skills, and coaches on all aspects of performance throughout the U.S.and Canada. Connecticut.

Stas Venglevski will also be a featured guest artist at the Frank Morocco Accordion Camp. His artistry, sensitivity, creativity, and dazzling technical command, have brought Stas Venglevski, who stems from the Republic of Moldova, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the bayan. His repertoire includes his original compositions and a broad range of classical, ethnic, and contemporary music. He has toured extensively as a soloist, as well as with symphony orchestras throughout many countries and the US. Stas has produced numerous recordings and has published several books of original compositions.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

2009 Frank Morocco Accordion Event

by Rita Barnea
Frank MoroccoThe 2009 Frank Marocco Accordion Event will take place from January 21-25, 2009 at the Best Western Dobson Ranch Inn & Resort, Mesa, Arizona. The event brings together over 50 accordionists from around the U.S. and Canada, who, after four full days of instruction, rehearsal, and recreational activities, present a full concert of accordion music arranged by Frank Morocco.

The FMAE director and conductor is Frank Morocco. Internationally recognized performer,conductor, and prolific composer, Frank Marocco is one of the world’s leading accordionists. He has had a career spanning nearly 60 years and is one of the most recorded accordionists in the world. He has conducted orchestras and has worked with many well-known artists and conductors. Other credits include hundreds of movie tracks, TV series, shows, specials, and commercials. He has composed and arranged classical, jazz, and other genres of music for accordion solo, duet, and orchestra. Frank has received numerous awards throughout his career.

This year’s hands-on workshops will be led by guest artists, Mary Tokarski and Stas Venglevski, both of whom are experienced workshop presenters.

Included in the FMAE activities will be daily three-hour orchestra rehearsals, sectional rehearsals and a dress rehearsal prior to the Saturday evening concert. Special evening activities will include performances by our guest artists, individual, duet, and group performances, a jam session, dancing, and just having a good time with friends.

There will also be Master classes with Ilmar Kuljus. Back by popular demand, this true accordion “master” (and teacher of 2007 US champion, Sammy Thomas) will hold 2 hours of 20 minute individual sessions Thursday and Friday. Participants will have an opportunity to sign up for these sessions.

This annual event is once again being directed by Dan and Joan Grauman from Maryland. At this time reservations are filled up: however, if you would like to be on a wait list or be included in a mailing for the 2010 FMAE or want further information, you may phone 301-279-8716 or email: f-m-a-e@comcast.net.

Please visit www.azfamily.com/video/?z=y&nvid=323874 to see Frank Marocco’s appearance on Good Morning Arizona.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Victor Prieto performances in January

by Rita Barnea
Victor PrietoAccordionist and composer, Victor Prieto is revolutionizing the way that the accordion is played by creating new sounds and techniques for this instrument. His music embraces different tendencies that come from Jazz, Tango, Classical and Celtic Roots enriched with new rhythms and colors. He is the creator of a new technique for the accordion called “chord approach on both hands”, which creates rich and elaborate harmonies.

Victor Prieto,born in Spain, pursued his studies in Classical accordion at the Orense Conservatory while taking harmony, arranging and improvisation classes at Estudio Escola de Musica. After receiving a scholarship by the highly respected Jazz school- Berklee College of Music- Victor decided to pursue the performance major under the direction of Joanne Brackeen. During his stay at Berklee Victor became friends with one of his mentors, Oscar Stagnaro.

In 2002 Victor moved to New York where he quickly established himself as one of the most prolific and versatile accordionists on the music and Jazz scenes. As a leader Victor has performed at many prestigious venues and events such as Berklee Performance Center, Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Blue Note NY, New Jersey Performance Art Center, Three Rivers Musical Festival, Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

Victor has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Jeff Ballard, Chris Cheek, Paquito D’Rivera, Regina Carter, Donny McCaslin, Lionel Louke among others and is involved in projects such as Pablo Aslan’s Avantango, Emilio Solla’s NY Jazz Tango Project, Alexis Cuadrado’s Trio Iberico and Fernando Otero X Tango.

He teaches Master Classes in Spain, Italy, Portugal, USA and has headed the jazz accordion studies at the Brooklyn Conservatory (2003 – 2004). He is a recipient of numerous awards and prizes for excellence in accordion performance and composition, among them are: the Creative Performer award from the Spanish Association of Artists and Performers, and the first prize at CMZK’s Concourse of Composition (Argentina).

Victor now lives in New York City dividing his time between performing, teaching and recording. He has recently introduced his new CD, "Persistencia", Foxhaven Records.

His January concerts are:
JAN 10 La Lanterna 9:00 pm New York, Victor Prieto Trio
JAN 11 Smalls tba New York
JAN 13 Blues Alley Washington DC, US Pablo Aslan Trio
JAN 14 OLEA 8:00 pm Brooklyn, USA Solo
JAN 22 Tea Lounge Brooklyn, NY Victor Prieto Trio + One

For more info: www.victorprieto.net

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

Michael Ward-Bergeman Performs in NYC on January 28

by Rita Barnea
Metropolis Ensemble and Artistic Director/Conductor Andrew Cyr will present an evening of artistic collaboration with the UK-based roots trio The Groanbox Boys (Cory Seznec, Michael Ward-Bergeman and Paul Clifford) on January 28, 2009 at Le Poisson Rouge.

This exciting genre-bending concert will feature the world premiere of “GROANBOX”, a new work by London-based composer David Bruce for accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, The Groanbox Boys, and the Metropolis Ensemble. Also on the program: “Kicking Up Dust”, a world premiere by Michael Ward-Bergeman featuring Paul Clifford on freedom boot and chamber orchestra; “Gnarly Buttons”, a folk-infused work by John Adams featuring clarinetist Tibi Cziger and small orchestra and a performance by The Groanbox Boys celebrating the CD release of “Gran Bwa”, their latest album. The concert will be followed by an after-party in the Gallery.

Michael Ward-Bergeman is a passionate performer, songwriter and composer. His sensitive and creative approach to music making has led to performances and collaborations with world-class musicians and composers from across a wide range of genres. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he is the founding member of the American Roots music trio, Groanbox Boys.

Michael aims to remain faithful to the spirit that unites many of the world’s richest music traditions while continuing to develop his own unique voice. On the accordion, he has created innovative performance techniques that work in harmony with his inspired use of 21st century music technology. His vision has reached its culmination in the hyper-accordion, an acoustic accordion with extended range and expressive capabilities.

Michael has enjoyed a close friendship and working relationship with composer Osvaldo Golijov over the past decade. His work with the hyper-accordion has been featured in many of Golijov’s compositions, including the Grammy nominated “Ayre” written for soprano Dawn Upshaw, “Tekyah” written for BBC 2’s “Holocaust - A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz”, “Azul”, a cello concerto written for Yo-Yo Ma, and on the soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth”.

Michael is committed to sharing his music making with as wide an audience as possible. To this end, he has performed in pubs, bars, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, metro stations, village halls, churches, festivals, concert venues, and on street corners throughout the world.

For more info: http://www.mjwb.co.uk
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