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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jun-2014
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Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editor's Note
BREAKING NEWS: Passing of Faithe Deffner
Faithe Deffner
Faithe Deffner Obituary
Passing of Joseph Grkman
Balkan Accordionist Lauren Broday
AAA Festival July 9-13 in Tarrytown, NY
Joe Soprani to Perform in Operetta in Philadelphia
Vladimir Mollov to Perform at the 2014 AAA Festival
Great Morgani at the ATG Festival in July
Rob Reich Performs for the San Francisco Accordion Club
ATG Festival in San Francisco July 23-26, 2014
Trio Voronezh to Perform at Cotati Accordion Festival
Mario Tacca and Friends to Perform at AAA Festival in July
Bruce Gassman in Summer Concerts
Paul Betken Releases New CD

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

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

Guy Klucevsek in Concert in Brooklyn Delights All
Don Gerundo Presents Workshop at AAA Festival
Juha Silfverberg performs on Unsuk Chin's work with Kansas City Symphony
Accordion Pops Orchestra Releases New CD
Dallas Vietty Presents Workshop and Concert
Santo Endrizzi Receives Legion of Honor Medal

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

Future events

AAA Annual Master Class and Concert Series
Accordion Pops Orchestra in June Concerts and Beyond
7th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! in New Hampshire in August
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 19-22, 2014


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

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
It is time to make your summer accordion plans. There are festivals, concerts, and competitions on both coasts! The AAA in New York and the ATG in San Francisco.

What can you learn from the June news? An accordionist will perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! An accordionist arranged music and performs in an operetta in Philadelphia! Young accordionists continue to amaze us! Plus more!

This month's news contains articles about the many performers and workshop presenters. Now is the time to attend accordion events where you can see, hear, meet, and socialize with outstanding accordionists.

Feedback is always important to a musician (and an editor, too!). Your thoughts and opinions are significant and valuable. Send comments to Ritabelll@aol.com

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

BREAKING NEWS: Passing of Faithe Deffner

by Rita Barnea
Faithe DeffnerAccordions Worldwide is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Faithe Deffner, a legendary figure in the accordion world who received many awards for her enormous contribution to the development of the accordion.

Faithe Deffner died today, June 3 2014, after a lengthy illness. 

We extend our deepest sympathy to her family and her many friends in the accordion world.

The funeral took place on Friday, June 6, at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach, Florida. Internment was at Beth David Cemetery in Hollywood, Florida.

A full obituary will be completed this weekend and put online and linked from here.

PANcordion

Faithe Deffner

by Kevin Friedrich
The accordion world is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Faithe Deffner.

A dynamic personality in the accordion world, Faithe Deffner (1932-2014) translated her passion for accordion into action as she devoted her life's work to elevating and advancing the instrument worldwide.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Faithe Deffner attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri. She subsequently worked as a trade publications reporter in New York City and went on to become an advertising copywriter and account executive.

She opened her own Chain Advertising Co. on Liberty Street in Manhattan. Among her clients was the musical instrument firm owned by Ernest Deffner, for whom her first assignment was a 380-page catalog of musical merchandise ranging from castanets to vibraphones. The large section dealing with accordions introduced her to the fascinating world of a musical instrument destined to become her lifetime passion. She studied with studio accordionist and recording artist Billy Costa.

Throughout her career, Faithe Deffner has participated in almost every aspect of the accordion world. Together with her late husband, Ernest Deffner, the Deffners set the standard for high quality accordion manufacturing, innovative design, publishing and music education. Their clients and collaborators are truly a Who’s Who in the accordion world.

The Deffner businesses will celebrate 80 years in September of this year. The firm includes Pancordion, Inc., Titano Accordion Co., Pigini Accordions and Ernest Deffner Publications, which Faithe Deffner has directed since 1971 when her husband passed away, until her recent retirement when the business under the same names came under the directorship of Frank Busso Junior.

The real hallmark of Faithe Deffner's work has been her vision to bring together accordion enthusiasts of all ages and from all corners of the world. Working on behalf of the American Accordionists’ Association as the organization’s president, Faithe Deffner introduced new concepts to bring public attention to the accordion.

Whether helping to fill the decks of a cruise ship with 700 participating accordion enthusiasts playing Anchors Aweigh as they sailed past the Statue of Liberty, or staging the 2007 Coupe Mondiale in Alexandria, Virginia where it was attended by over 1,000 accordion enthusiasts, or arranging for Myron Floren to conduct six busloads of accordionists performing at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, or collaborating with Lawrence Welk Resorts in a two-year “Search for the Hottest” accordionist, Ms. Deffner created numerous significant opportunities to publicly showcase talented accordionists.

She has also served on numerous boards and committees in many accordion organizations including American Accordionists’ Association (AAA), Accordion Industry Council, Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA), Accordionists and Teachers Guild (ATG), International and the Accordion Federation of North America (AFNA). For over 50 years she has been a staunch supporter of AAA as a member of its board and serving longest as the association's President, becoming President Emerita.

In the mid 1960's, the Deffners purchased the Titano Accordion Company from Dorothy and Edward Traficante of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The firm moved to New York City and Faithe Deffner worked with Bill Palmer and Bill Hughes in the development of their extraordinary Titano concert instruments.

Over the years, Faithe Deffner worked to interest colleges and universities in the accordion as a major course of study. The first such program originated in 1946 at the University of Houston in Texas, where Bill Palmer introduced it to scores of young accordionists who majored on the instrument. Through Palmer's wide experience in the arena of higher education and his memorable concert work with the late Bill Hughes, the perfect beachhead was established as an example for other institutions to follow.

Always a strong exponent of accordion student bands and studio activity, Faithe worked closely with music schools in the US and abroad, developing unique programs for student enrolment and creative teaching procedures. In 1978, she embarked on yet another career, collaborating with Lindy Baumgarten, a distinguished accordion teacher and past president of the Canadian Accordion Teachers Association.

Together, they founded Keyboard Study Centers in New York. Ms. Deffner became educational director and Mrs. Lindy (as she is fondly called) utilized her teaching skills to develop outstanding accordion students, accordion bands and orchestras. The school grew rapidly and took many top honors at national music events.

A computer enthusiast of many years she has long been an exponent of the internet, prodding her friend and associate, Harley Jones of New Zealand, into launching Accordions Worldwide, the cyberspace home of all things accordion, which has become a wonderful resource.

In 2005, internationally acclaimed composer and bayanist, Viatcheslav Semionov dedicated his new work, Divertimento, to Faithe Deffner, in honor of her many years as AAA's president.

Culminating a glorious career in the accordion world, Faithe Deffner was elected vice president of the Confederation Internationale Des Accordeonistes for 2007 when she coordinated a memorable Coupe Mondiale in Alexandria, Virginia as a joint venture sponsored by the AAA and ATG. The event was a singular success attended by more than 1,000 accordion aficionados and occupying three hotels.

Two ballrooms were constantly working and a gala concert was presented every evening. Orchestras and competitors came from many countries. The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC invited accordionists to do a half-hour program every evening throughout the week.

The first World Accordion Orchestra took place under Joan Sommers' baton, and has become an annual event since. Participants were all delighted with the high musical caliber and great camaraderie, which permeated this Coupe Mondiale.

Faithe's legacy will be remembered with profound respect and will be sadly missed by the entire accordion community.

Faithe Deffner is survived by daughter Verne Leven.

The funeral took place on Friday, June 6, at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach, Florida. Internment was at Beth David Cemetery in Hollywood, Florida.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Faithe Deffner Obituary

by Dr. Helmi Harrington, Curator, A World of Accordions Museum, USA
Faithe Deffner, 83, of East Williston, NY, and Boynton Beach, FL, born in Worcester, Massachusetts; deceased June 3, 2014, in Florida. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother Yale Weisblatt, and husband, Ernest Deffner. She is survived by her daughter, Verne Deffner Leven Uvezian, sister-in-law, Florynce Weisblatt, nephew, Gary Weisblatt, nieces Wendy Warwick and Terry Gross, and friend of long-standing, Angelica Bargou. Private burial services were held Friday, June 6, at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach, FL. Interment was at Beth David Cemetery in Hollywood, FL.

Faithe Deffner’s life was marked by the brilliance of her accomplishments in manifold directions that improved the accordion industry and its popularity, as enabled by her profound intelligence. Despite gender prejudices and jealousies, she rose to world prominence as influential spokesperson on behalf of the instrument family and its players, was known for manufacture of fine accordions and ethical business acumen, was respected for her eloquence and her breadth of insights. With legendary foresight, she strove ceaselessly to enhance the social impact of her industry. With unstinting energy, often against personal interests, she gave of herself in associations that shared her ideals. She was a whole and integrated personality, able to unite life-experiences into the goal-filled path that mention of her name elicits.

Only summarized here, details of her life and work can be found in 15,000 citations on the internet, most notably at www.accordions.com/fdeffner.

Faithe was introduced to music in an Orthodox Jewish family that supported youthful violin studies. Later, she studied accordion with Billy Costa and accordion construction as a by-product of opportunity. Decades later, in 1978, she supplemented her experiences by joining with Lindy Baumgarten, past president of Canadian Accordion Teachers’ Association, to form their New York studio called Keyboard Study Centers. Their students won many top awards in national competitions. Faithe’s incredible intellect absorbed evaluative criteria that positioned her among the driving forces of the American Accordionists’ Association and Accordion Teachers Guild.

Her education in journalism and advertising at University of Missouri School of Journalism lead to formation of her own advertising company in Manhattan which lead to her work for the Ernest Deffner Company, established in 1934 as distributor of multifarious musical instruments. She became acquainted with accordions and eventually influenced the company to focus exclusively on the accordion industry. A then-waning field, her marketing insights led to effective campaigns that brought it new life. Their Italian-made Crucianelli, Video, and PANitalia instruments satisfied thousands of studios while the excellent American hand-made PANcordions appealed to artist professionals of national renown like Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, Maddalena Belfiore among many others.

Ernest and Faithe formed an exceptionally close team with complimentary skills and compatible personalities. Her marriage to Ernest produced, in 1953, their only child, daughter Verne, who was periodically involved in the firm’s business activities. Around 1960, Angelica Bargou became a trusted life-long friend to the family. Faithe took over increased administrative duties as her husband’s health declined because of a terminal illness that resulted in his death in 1971. She mourned his loss the rest of her life.

Faithe came into her own as the first female head of a major accordion manufacturer when she assumed the company’s presidency. She brought the firm to international prominence, renamed it Ernest Deffner, Inc., and while acquiring other interests as a US government contractor, as Ernest Deffner Affiliates. Along the way, Faithe broke ground for acceptance of women of accomplishment. It was not an easy path in male-dominated fields. Her ability to persuade or failing that, to subvert objections, probably strengthened her resolve to accomplish any goals she undertook.

She recognized brilliance, worked with people of exceptional qualities, and formed solid friendships with those she respected. For example, she worked closely with the great educator-artists Dr. Willard Palmer and Bill Hughes, whose teaching skills developed in their large Houston, TX, studio. The Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course provided students a methodology and repertory that was appealing as well as pedagogically sound, which in turn enhanced public appreciation for the players’ instruments.

Faithe constantly worked to improve the lines of her accordions through the decades. The free-bass converter system for the Titano accordion models was easy to learn and caught on like wildfire. Simultaneously, Palmer’s exceptional teaching had developed advanced students that deserved university status. Thanks to the union of teacher and instrument, the University of Houston (headed by Willard Palmer) and the University of Missouri Kansas City (headed by Professor Joan Cochran Sommers) admitted accordionists into the music major program. In wider circles, Titano accordions became the standard and were played by more national champions than all other brands combined. They were performance instruments for artists such as Robert Davine, Dr. Carmelo Pino, Pauline Oliveros, Joan Cochran Sommers and many others.

Always attuned to popular trends, Faithe collaborated with Palmer in construction of the Titano Tiger, a 17”, amplified, lightweight accordion with quint reeds that would speak through the raucous sounds of rock bands. Its back-slated keyboard was ideal for standing players; its keyboard color-reversal of black and white keys and its brightly colored body offered eye-appeal to both players and audiences. She also produced a similar model colored black, the PANcordion Combo, for orchestral use.

Aware of the need for printed materials, Faithe added another division, Ernest Deffner Publications. When the market for O. Pagani and Pietro Deiro music publications declined and the companies closed, she included their stock in her offerings. Her inventory maintained slow-selling 20th century concert compositions and provided new or little-known composers the recognition of publication. Eventually the available titles numbered 6,000. In the late 1970s, she engaged the firm to produce a high-level magazine called “Accord” in which she was named as editor but in fact did most of the writing.

Neglecting her personal or business interests was not uncommon when it came to contributing to the work of worthy organizations. For this she received many honors among which she particularly valued those listed next. She was named honorary vice president of the Accordion Federation of North America. For more than 30 years she was a USA delegate to the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes, sponsors of Coupe Mondiale. In 2000, the CIA presented her their Merit Award which added her name to world luminaries. As a long-standing member of the Accordion Teachers Guild (now renamed Accordionists and Teachers Guild International), she assumed the post of vice president and served as member of the governing board. A 15-year member of the board of directors, A World of Accordions Museum named her “Friend of the Museum” and Emerita in 2002.

Faithe’s association with A World of Accordions Museum actually began before it had a name, rather, when it was still subsidiary to Accordion and Concertina Repair Technicians’ School, begun in 1991 and reorganized in 1993. Although initially skeptical, after her first in-person viewing she was impressed by the breadth of the 750 displays that students studied and appreciated the repair curriculum that resulted in her hiring a graduate, Chad Walker, as head repair person for her accordion companies. She visited several times to participate in special events, notably the 1999 Charles Magnante concerts celebrating acquisition of his musical estate. Behind the scenes, she had persuaded Magnante’s son, Dr. Peter Magnante, to make this donation. She saw the building’s overcrowded conditions and encouraged relocation to a larger facility. When several properties were under consideration, she toured them with me to offer her advice. In the new Harrington ARTS Center (ARTS being acronym for the repair school), the main foci were on the by-then 1,000 instruments that created AWAM’s name and the magnificent concert hall in which they and many world-renowned performers would sound. Again behind the scenes, Faithe’s friend Helen Miller had been encouraged to make a large donation. Separate large rooms were designated for library holdings of accordion reference books, recordings and music. Dozens of scholars have used these resources in research for books and documentaries. In time, the AAA Archival Collection was installed as a public face for the organization to show its social import. In 2002, she pushed to hold the AAA Festival in Minnesota and to include a day-trip to the museum. As expected, the publicity was front-page, but more significantly, accordionists were awed by their instruments’ noble heritages. Despite conventional prejudices against free-reed predecessors, she was the first national figure to recognize the importance of accordion history and all the genera of their taxonomy. She urged Dr. Carmelo Pino’s presidency to affiliate AWAM with the AAA, which was celebrated during the museum’s formal reopening in 2004. In subsequent years, Faithe was responsible for several of the many major acquisitions that added credibility to the institution. The museum is currently outfitting a room named “The Deffner Legacy” in her honor.

Without question, Faithe’s principal affiliation was with the American Accordionists’ Association. She wholeheartedly threw herself into their projects despite the time consumption that was nothing short of altruistic. She encouraged their 1985 competition be held in Orlando, FL, where a massed band appearance at Disney World provided fun for participants and public visibility. An incomparable fund-raiser while always seeking new ways to further popular acclaim for the instrument, she envisioned and organized the 1986 Fantasy Cruise to Bermuda in which 700 participants massed in on-deck performance. Thousands of press kits had been distributed to the media which responded with reports of an accordion “renaissance” that included pop bands and fringe music. In 1987, the “Keyboard” magazine cover followed up proclaiming “Accordion power” as “rock’s new main squeeze.” In 1988, her campaign raised $30,000 for AAA’s international competition that drew 29 entrants from 10 countries. In 1995, she initiated the first Accordion Summit Meeting to discuss the expanding role of accordions in modern music. The meeting drew national speakers. It was considered a great dissemination of thoughts and experiences which had the expected by-product of positive publicity. Also in 1995, she planned the Houston, TX, AAA festival to honor her friend Dr. Willard Palmer who was in failing health yet accepted the invitation. Many of the University of Houston’s Accordion Symphony Orchestra participated to resound one of his arrangements and his composition “Ombo.” It was his last public appearance.

Faithe worked tirelessly to have 1996 declared the “Year of the Accordion”. The AAA focus during this year was on renewing accordionists’ enthusiasm for their instrument. They could not have chosen a more popular figure for festival honors--Myron Floren, whose weekly appearances on Lawrence Welk’s 27-year television show made the “Happy Norwegian” America’s most sought-after entertainer.

In 2005, the AAA hosted another innovative step inspired by Faithe—a search to find “the” new accordion “star” performing pieces of modern-pop appeal in an attempt to bring more young people to the instrument. Financed by her friend, Steve Stolaruk, the campaign named “Search for the Hottest Accordionist,” offered significant cash awards along with other benefits to promote accordion careers of the three top winners.

The AAA-ATG co-hosted 2007 Coupe Mondiale was a crowning moment of organization for Faithe. It was the largest international accordion event in the history of the USA, attracting over 1,000 participants and putting accordionists everywhere from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to the steps of the Capital Building, and the inaugural World Accordion Orchestra. During that time, Faithe was CIA Honorary Vice President.

Faithe decided to retire around 2007. She sold Ernest Deffner Affiliates to Frank Busso, Jr., son of her dear friends, Carmela and Frank Busso, Sr. Frank (Sr.) and Faithe worked closely together for many years in organizing AAA events.

When asked about a memorial for her years of AAA service, Faithe requested a commissioned work for piano accordion from Russian composer, Sofia Gubaidulina. This wish could not be fulfilled, so in 2005 she personally commissioned Viatcheslav Semionov’s three-movement masterpiece, “Divertimento.” It was premiered by the composer at the AAA supported/hosted CUNY Concert on March 11 and AAA Master Class and Concert on March 12, 2005 at Greenwich House Music School, Renee Weiler Concert Hall, in Greenwich Village and repeated throughout his nationwide concert tour.

In recognition of her years of service and her status as president of the organization in 1985-86, 1995-2000, the AAA presented her with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in an elaborate 2009 banquet at New York City’s Tavern on the Green, attended by national and international figures. Surrounded by dear friends and respected associates she heard her legendary accomplishments extolled as she was presented with the esteemed “President Emerita” recognition by the American Accordionists’ Association.

On a personal note: Faithe asked me to write her obituary during an October, 2010 conversation, saying that she hoped it would not be needed for a long time because she still had many things to complete. It was an unexpected honor I took with utmost seriousness wrought from deep affection and esteem. I knew it would be a difficult task to summarize her life so filled with accomplishments. With new eyes, I began to reread everything I found written by and about her; to rethink our years of conversations, letters and emails; to listen differently when associates mentioned her name. Without fail I noticed a tone of respect and often the assumption of friendship. However, her polished, professional façade and articulate speech could also disaffect, obscuring the depth of her heart. Only occasionally did a glimmer of hesitation encroach on her stolid, determined bearing. Look again at photos of the young woman to see that she fostered a dichotomy between professionalism and her self-assessed intrinsic romanticism. Against any obstacles, she stood with her friends and defended their interests.

It has become trite to speak of celebrating a life when in reality we mourn its loss. There will be many who write about Faithe, uncounted others who will quietly acknowledge her influence, myriads who will never know her impact on their lives, and a world-wide public who bid farewell to this giant of our time. She used her passion to achieve what four people might not equal. Her presence is irreplaceable and loss of her brilliant intellect leaves us all reduced. Many have set out to improve the accordion world, but she did it with aplomb.

A memorial service will be held July 13, 2014 hosted by Angelica Bargou, following the American Accordionists’ Association Festival, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown, NY.

Dr. Helmi Harrington

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Passing of Joseph Grkman

by Rita Barnea
Joseph GrkmanAWW is sad to report the passing of accordionist Joseph M. Grkman Sr., 89, of Yukon, Pa., on Friday, May 23, 2014, at Paramount Senior Living in McMurray. Born April 19, 1925, in Yukon, he was a son of the late John and Mary (Hobat) Grkman. Prior to his retirement, he was employed by Consol Coal. He was a veteran of World War II, having served with the Army.

Joe played his accordion and performed Slovenian polka and waltz music for more than half a century. He was a 1997 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship recipient, recognizing his lifetime achievements in cultural preservation through musical performance.

He was a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Nominee and had been inducted into the American Slovenian Polka Foundation Hall of Fame as a Lifetime Achievement Honoree and was on the Trustees' Honor Roll. He was a member of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Yukon and a member of the SNPJ Lodge No. 117 of Yukon, having served as secretary and treasurer of the Lodge.

 
The Joe Grkman Band included three generations of the Grkman family.  Polka dancers voted them winners of the first Western Pennsylvania "Band of the Year" Award in 1998.  The group featured traditional Slovenian polkas and waltzes along with their original "GRKMANIA" style Slovenian button box accordion music.  They have released several albums which have received international critical acclaim.  The Joe Grkman Band composed and recorded on Grammy nominated albums both in 1997 and 1998.

Joe Grkman Jr. was a 1998 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship recipient and was proclaimed the "Button Box King" by the United Federation of Polkas in California.  The International Polka Association in Illinois defined Joe's music as "the ultimate in button box music."  The Grkman Band was selected to represent Pennsylvania folk arts and honored in a featured "Grkmania" concert in 1997 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers, John, Frank, Tony and Lou; and a sister, Mary Grkman. Surviving is his wife of 65 years, Elsie (Lazar) Grkman; two sons, Joseph M. Grkman Jr. and his wife, Denise, of Venetia, and Steven G. Grkman, of Greensburg; granddaughter, Lindy Grkman; grandson, Michael Grkman and his wife, Allison; and three great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Luka and Niko.

Mr. Grkman's funeral Mass was held at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Yukon, with Father Jonathan Wisneski as celebrant. Interment was in the West Newton Cemetery.

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

Balkan Accordionist Lauren Broday

by Rita Barnea
Lauren BrodyLauren Brody will present a workshop and concert at the 2014 American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival in July in Tarrytown, New York. In the workshop, "The Trill of Balkan Music", Lauren will present a survey of the gorgeous but finger challenging ornamentation in Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia.

Lauren Brody was born in New York City, and has been involved with music since early childhood. A classically trained pianist, she received a B.A. in music from the City University of New York, and pursued a Master's Degree in Music before changing course to devote herself to the restoration and tuning of pianos.

Lauren first became aware of Bulgarian music as a teenager, and was so deeply impressed with what she heard that, in 1969, she made her solo first trip to Bulgaria. That initial trip sparked a life-long interest and commitment to the music and the culture, despite the fact that Lauren has no Bulgarian ancestry. In 1971, during the Communist era in Bulgaria, when visitors from the West were not welcome in the region, it is remarkable that she received a stipend from the Bulgarian government to do post-graduate study in Bulgarian folk music at the State Music Conservatory in Sofia.

It was during this period that she was first introduced to old 78 rpm recordings of Bulgarian folk music. These recordings were to become a subject of great future interest for Lauren. In 1990, Lauren returned

to Bulgaria for a year, funded by a Fulbright scholarship, to do historical research and recording from original 78s from the late 1920s through the early 1940s. Because of her efforts, a substantial body of excellent old recordings were recovered, preserved and superbly re-mastered. “Song Of The Crooked Dance” (Lauren’s website bears the same name) and her 4 CD set, “Outsinging The Nightingale”, which includes eight pages of informative notes, are a heartwarming and enlightening must for anyone interested in the delightful folk music of Bulgaria.

In addition to her research activities, Lauren has been an active performer and teacher of Bulgarian folk music and singing. She appears on two CDs as vocalist and keyboard player with the Yuri Yunakov Ensemble, and has been teaching at seminars since the early 1970s. Lauren has just started a blog on Balkan accordion playing called “Lauren Brody’s Accordion Bytes”. She leads a dual life as a Klezmer musician, and has been a member of the Klezmer bands Kapelye and Mikveh, with whom she has appeared in films, recorded and toured extensively through the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

AAA Festival July 9-13 in Tarrytown, NY

by Rita Barnea
AAA Poster
The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) will hold their 2014 Festival from July 9-14, 2014 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Tarrytown, New York. The festival will showcase the great versatility of the accordion with fascinating, informative workshops and performers. Read the June news for details about the participants.

Some of the guest artists include: Vladimir Mollov, Guy Klucevsek and violinist Todd Reynolds, Dr. Robert YOung McMahan, Steve Albini, Don Gerundo, Frank Carozza, The Plainville Plaids, Dallas Vietty, Julie Cardona, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Mary Tokarski, Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini.

The festival will include workshops, competitions, concerts, and a banquet. Make sure you are there for an exciting, entertaining and memorable event.

For ticket information, contact ameraccord1938@gmail.com or phone the AAA office at 203-335-2045.

The Luncheon Concert will take place on Thursday, July 10, 2014 beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Conference Center Ballroom at the Double Tree by Hilton in Tarrytown, New York. Performers include local accordionist and entertainer, Frank Carozza of Hopewell Junction, New York and a presentation by the Plainville Plaids of the timeless off-Broadway show, “Forever Plaid.” Excerpts of the show include Johnnie Cash, Frankie Valle and the unforgettable entertainers of the Ed Sullivan Show.

There will also be a Gala Concert on Friday, Thursday, July 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Center Ballroom at the Double Tree by Hilton in Tarrytown, New York. Headliners include: Guy Klucevsek, Vladimir Mollov, Steve Albini, Dr. Robert Young McMahan and Mario Tacca and Friends. Guy Klucevsek will be joined by violinist Todd Reynolds. Vladimir Mollove will perform both classical and jazz stylings as well as some of his original compositions. Digital accordion specialist, Steve Albini, will entertain with a wide array of special effects inherent to a digital instrument. Local artist, Mario Tacca, will be joined by Julie Cardona, Beverly Roberts Curnow and Mary Tokarski – all are past United States Champions and Ms. Roberts Curnow is a past World Accordion Champion. Mario will conclude the program accompanying his talented wife, Mary Mancini.

Performers will have their CDs, videos and original compositions/arrangements available for sale following the Friday night concert and during their Workshops.

The exhibits will open on Wednesday, July 9 at 5:00 p.m. and will be located in the Hudson Conference Suite at the Double Tree by Hilton in Tarrytown, New York. They will be open daily from 9 to 5 with an hour break at noon. (Titano, Pancordion, Pigini, Roland, Ernest Deffner Publications, Busy Fingers, Emilio Magnotta, Dino Baffetti, Bugari, Giulietti, Music Magic, Squeezin’ Art, NE Accordion Museum)

This year’s conductor of the Youth Program is Vladimir Mollov. Vlad has prepared two selections for the group – Manha de Carnaval and All the Things You Are. Many members are returning from last year’s program and include: ACCORDION: Rachel Quirbach, Liam Mc Cool, Nathan Chapeton, Tor Stumo, Cody McSherry and Will Comer. TRUMPET: Matt Buckley/ SAXOPHONE: Mitch Guido (Alto), Deanna Forella (tenor). CLARINET: Rebecca Poole. BASS GUITAR: Kaitlin D'Amico. PERCUSSION: Mike Rasimas. The ensemble will perform on Saturday afternoon at the Awards Concert which is open to the public without charge.

For further details please visit the AAA website: www.ameraccord.com
Email: ameraccord1938@gmail.com

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Joe Soprani to Perform in Operetta in Philadelphia

by Rita Barnea
La GiaraJoseph SopraniAccordionist/composer/arrange Joseph Soprani will perform in
"La Giara" ( The Water Jug) Concert Premiere of the Operetta by Patricia King on Friday June 20,2014 at 8:PM at the World Cafe Live Philadelphia.

"La Giara, the Water Jug", merges Italian Folk music and Opera with Brazilian Choro and Jazz, telling the story of Patricia’s family’s emigration from Sicily to Philadelphia. Comprised of compositions, both dramatic and comedic, La Giara expresses themes relevant to gender oppression, migration and cultural losses that families experienced in adapting to a new world.

Music & Lyrics by Patricia King
Musical Director: Orlando Haddad
Artistic Director: John Nicholas Peters

With Patricia King, piano; Orlando Haddad, guitar; Jessica Lennick & Martha Stuckey, sopranos; Mike Dorsey, tenor; John Nicholas Peters, baritone; Jim Stager, bass; Joe Soprani, accordion. Narrated by Charlotte Blake Alston.

The World Cafe Live Philadelphia is located on 3025 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, PA. 19104

Joe Soprani is a noted accordionist, educator, arranger-composer whose reputation among professionals places him in the first ranks of contemporary accordionist. He has dominated the accordion scene in Philadelphia for over forty years playing in major concert halls, theatres, TV Shows and Hotels. He holds the distinction of being the only accordionist in the history of the Philadelphia Orchestra to appear as a featured soloist under Eugene Ormandy.



While accordion soloist with the USAF Band in Washington, DC under Col. George S. Howard, he won the "The Air Force Roger", the most prestigious entertainment award in the US Air Force.  He also was the first accordion soloist with the PA Army National Guard Band "The Adjutant General's Own" for over eight years. 

On five occasions, Soprani appeared with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and  has performed for President Eisenhower at the White House. 

To add to his impressive list of credentials, Soprani was invited to arrange the opening selection for Rock star Jon Bon Jovi's 1996 world tour and has also written the official song for the International Rotary Club. 

In addition to performing in Broadway shows such as "Fiddler on the Roof", "Zorba", "Cabaret" and "Erma la Duce", he has performed in world premieres of "Frida", a musical that called for a virtuoso accordionist and "Another Kind of Hero", a musical which featured Soprani on stage for an entire scene.


His future performances include:
June 1: 2:PM Rose Tree Park in Media, Pa, for the annual Italian Festival with the Coro Gabriele D'Aunnunzio.
June 1: 4:30PM, performance with the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Simeone Tartaglione
June 8: 3PM, Wilmington, Delaware..featured with the DSYO at St. Anthony of Padua Church for the opening concert in the church.
June 21: Astral Artists at the Barnes Foundation, Phila to accompany Kathryn Guthrie, soprano, in a variety of French selections.
June 28: 1PM,performance and workshop on "Arranging for Accordion" at Liberty Bellows in Phila.
July 15: Capital Steps with the US Air Force Band, Washington, DC
July 21: Citizens Bank Park, Performance with the Philly Phanatic, third consecutive year

For further information: sopranimusic@comcast.net

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Vladimir Mollov to Perform at the 2014 AAA Festival

by Rita Barnea
Vladimir Mollov   Photo by Bruce LawrieVladimir Mollov will be one of the featured performers at the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) 2014 Festival which takes place from July 9-13, 2013 at the Double Tree Hotel in Tarrytown, New York. Register now. The last day for discounted hotel rates is June 16th.

Born in Bulgaria on the 13th of January, 1983 to a family of self‐taught wedding musicians, Vladimir was inspired by the sounds of the accordion since early childhood. At eighteen months old, he “played” his little accordion alongside his father at weddings.

At the age of seven he started taking formal accordion lessons with the nationally recognized pedagogue Nadejda Nicheva in Kazanluk, Bulgaria. At his later stages of musical development he studied with Dr. Peter Marinov at the National Music Academy, internationally recognized accordion artist Hristina Danova, and Nedelcho Dimitrov, a laureate of national and international accordion festivals and competitions.

At the age of thirteen Vladimir placed fourth in an accordion competition in Vladivostok. Two years later he placed first in the International Competition for Accordion and Guitar in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria, and received fourth place at the International Accordion Competition in Castelfidardo, Italy. Since then, Vladimir has been recognized at several national and international accordion competitions including first place at the 2002 National Competition for Variety Music and Jazz in Novi Pazar, Bulgaria, and second place with a special award for virtuosic performance of folk music in the National Accordion Competition 2000 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In 2002 he joined the Duquesne University Tamburitzans and performed more than three hundred and fifty shows with the ensemble over a four year period. Vladimir still continues to arrange dance and instrumental music for the Tamburitzans.

In 2009, Vladimir released his first album, Dreams, featuring all original instrumental pieces combining Balkan folk, jazz and fusion styles. He is a founding member of the Argentinean tango quintet, Cuidado, with which he recorded an album featuring traditional and modern tangos as well as two of his original compositions. Vladimir has performed with the Kruno Spisic Gypsy Jazz Ensemble, Bulgarika, and numerous other bands. He is featured as a guest on Babik’s 2008 gypsy jazz album, American Gypsy.

For further information: ameraccord1938@gmail.com

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Great Morgani at the ATG Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
The Great MorganiThe Great Morgani will be a featured performer at the 74th Annual Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Competition and Festival to be held July 23-26, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, San Francisco, California.

THE GREAT MORGANI, a.k.a. Frank Lima (accordionist) has been playing the accordion since 1951. About 17 years ago, he started street performing in Santa Cruz, California, in some of the most outlandish, costumes you can imagine.
 
He has collected 42 accordions and assembled more than 130 costumes, which he entitles with names such as "Touluse Morgani" and "Glyn-duh", reflecting themes inspired from literature and historical figures. The Great Morgani is pictured here in an act called 'Everything IS Black or White.'
  
Just think of The Great Morgani as a cross between 'Alien' and 'Cirque Du Solei', and "IT" plays music, also!

THE GREAT ONE, will be performing , Thursday, July 24th, from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM, outside the Plaza Ballroom, at the 74th Annual Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Rob Reich Performs for the San Francisco Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
Rob ReichThe San Francisco Accordion Club presents accordionist Rob Reich on Sunday, June 22nd, at 2:PM at the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco.

Rob Reich is an acclaimed accordionist, pianist, and composer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A talented instrumentalist and an inventive composer, Rob is steeped in many traditions.

In addition to being a versatile solo performer, Rob can be heard playing with many top notch ensembles. He is a member of Tin Hat, Gaucho and The Nice Guy Trio, and freelances with many other Bay Area bands.

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

For further information: info@sfaccordionclub.com

Jon Hammond CD's for Sale

ATG Festival in San Francisco July 23-26, 2014

by Rita Barnea
ATG 2014 Poster
Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) President Betty Jo Simon welcomes all to the 74th Annual ATG Festival and Competitions will be held in San Francisco at the Crowne Plaza International Airport Hotel from July 23-26, 2014.

Among the featured artists this year will be Stas Venglevski, Frank Petrilli Quartet, XiaGang (China), Antonio Spaccarotella (Italy), Jeff Lisenby, and Peter Di Bono Trio. There will be two Festival Orchestras directed by Joan C. Sommers and Beverley Fess.

International guest artists are from China and Italy. Xia Gang is a well known Chinese Bayanist who has many international titles. Antonio Spaccarotella is a young Italian Accordion artist who has won numerous international competitions. He teaches modern and classical accordion at the Nuove Armonie Musical Institute in Italy. More info in future USA news publications.

Some of the topics which workshop clinicians will present include: Bellows Techniques, Left Hand Bass Workshop, Balkan Styles, Evolution of the Modern Tango, a Jazz Workshop and Effective use of the Digital Accordion. Steve Mobia will show his video "Documentary on the Accordion". More will be added so keep checking the website for updates.
 
ATG wants to encourage new composers for accordion and is featuring an original accordion composition concert on Friday afternoon. Included will be several guest artists, ensembles and the winners of the original accordion composition category newly offered this year. Competitions provide an excellent opportunity for students to excel by preparing for a contest! ATG is offering solo, duet, and ensemble categories and even some with cash prizes. There is something for everyone. All competition rules, regulations and forms are listed under “Competition Information” tab on the ATG website.
 
For those of you who want to participate in the Festival Orchestra, there are two opportunities: Joan C. Sommers will conduct the advanced Festival Orchestra and Beverley Fess will conduct the Junior Festival Orchestra for those who have not had as much experience with playing in an accordion orchestra.
 
Register early and make your hotel registrations before the July 2nd deadline not only to secure the room discount but to be assured of a room. Be sure to mention ATG when making reservations. Call: 650-342-9200

For more information on guest artists, workshop clinicians, registration and competition rules and forms, visit the website: ATG

Trio Voronezh to Perform at Cotati Accordion Festival

by Rita Barnea
Trio Voronezh
Trio Voronezh will be featured at the 2014 Cotati Accordion Festival on Sunday August 17, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Trio Voronezh is a musical ensemble that produces incredibly exciting sounds and compelling arrangements of classics across a variety of musical styles, all played upon Russian folk instruments. Trio Voronezh's virtuosity and delightful artistic innovation give the trio the ability to alter the way audiences experience classical, folk and contemporary repertoire.

The diverse repertoire of the Trio includes the works of Vivaldi, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninov, as well as Russian folk songs, Argentine tangos, gypsy dance music, bluegrass and popular songs by Gershwin. The ever-expanding concert material is arranged by the members of the Trio, and performed with extraordinary virtuosity and musical lyricism entirely from memory.

The musicians of Trio Voronezh have been playing and performing since they were young children, around the age of six. They continued their classical training and pursued further study at the Conservatory in Voronezh, Russia.

Trio Voronezh made its U.S. debut at the 1996 Oregon Bach Festival. Earning critical praise and held in high regard by the crowds, they were the sleeper-hit of the summer. The musicians were immediately invited to return. They followed with concert appearances in Europe, a music video filmed in the USA and performances in the 1997 and 1999 Oregon Bach Festivals.

The first U.S. tour of the group, in the fall of 1998, began by bringing down the house at NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor. The Trio went on to perform at Houston's Society for the Performing Arts; the cities of Ann Arbor, Chicago, Portland, and St. Louis; and the Universities of Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Nebraska, and Los Angeles; as well as Amherst, Dartmouth, New York's Rockefeller University, and Stanford. Topping it off, the Trio Voronezh was signed by the prestigious EMI Angel label, and went into the studio to record their first CD, self-titled, "Trio Voronezh."

The trio made its orchestral debut with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in a highly successful collaboration with Doc Severinsen. Since then the Trio has performed with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., Canada and Russia.
 
Vladimir Volokhin, Valerie Petrukhin and Sergei Teleshev formed the Trio in 1993. The folk trio named themselves after the working-class city from which they studied and perfected their craft, a city of over a million people, and approximately 350 miles south of Moscow. In 1995, Trio Voronezh sprang onto the international stage after they were discovered playing classical favorites and folk tunes in a Frankfurt, Germany subway station.
 
Sergei Teleshev won many regional and international accordion competitions and recently became the US V-Accordion Champion by winning 2013 US Roland V-accordion festival.
 
Valerie Petrukhin has performed with many famous Russian folk orchestras and ensembles and currently is being an honored member of the Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society.
 
Vladimir Volokhin went on to win the title of National Champion in the All-Russia Domra Competition in 1986 and 1990.
 
In addition to five Albums released in the following years, the Trio was featured on a 2007 release of "Peter and the Wolf, along with the London Symphony. It was selected by Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, as one of 2007's "10 Best." Stevanne Auerbach is one of the nation's and world's leading experts on play, toys, and children's product. The recording was also selected by National Parenting Publication Awards "NAPPA Gold Award."
 
 For further information: info@cotatifest.com

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Mario Tacca and Friends to Perform at AAA Festival in July

by Rita Barnea
Mario Tacca and Friends
Accordionist Mario Tacca will perform at the 2014 AAA Festival to be held in Tarrytown from July 9-13, 2014.

Mario Tacca was born in Italy. During his childhood, his family moved to the Alsace Lorraine region of France where he began his musical studies.  This is where his love and intense desire to play the accordion began. He loved the sound! He would pick up the accordion and imitate some of the songs his mother used to sing. The desire and love never diminished, despite having to walk three miles weekly to his teacher with his instrument strapped to his back!

While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions. He went on to become a world champion, winning the World Cup of Italy, the Grand Prix of Paris, the US National Competition and the International Accordion competition held at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
 

Mario Tacca dazzles audiences across the US and around the world with his unmatched virtuosity on the accordion and his exciting interpretations of international music, the classics and pop. The Journal News (NY) calls Mario “one of the pre-eminent Accordion Virtuosi in the world” and the New York Times writes that he makes the instrument “sound like a gift from heaven.” 

Among his many accomplishments, Mario has twice been the guest of the Chinese Minister of Culture, touring several cities in China (along with his wife Mary Mancini, and tenor Douglas Song) and performing with several symphonies. He is very active in the accordion community and currently serves as a vice president for the American Accordionists Association. He spends about 200 days out of the year touring and performing with his wife, Internationally Acclaimed Vocal Artist Mary Mancini.

Mario will be joined by past AAA United States Champions, Julie Cardona, Mary Tokarski and World Champion, Beverly Roberts Curnow. In addition, Mary Mancini will join Mario with a few vocal selections.

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

Bruce Gassman in Summer Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Bruce GassmanRock and Roll accordionist Bruce Gassman has several apprearances planned for this summer. On August 16th at 12:PM he will perform at the 24th Annual Cotati Festival in California. He will also be a featured performer at the 15th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, August 18-21st.

Mr. Gassman's extensive accordion background began at age 9. He performed his first Senior Recital at age 11 and his first guest appearance as soloist with a symphony orchestra at age 12. In 1961, Bruce won the National Boy's Club of America Music Scholarship Award and for the next 4 years he studied with Maestro Joseph Biviano of New York City (1961-65). Also in 1961, Bruce formed his first band, The Metrotones.

In 1962, at the age of 15, Bruce became the youngest member of the Accordion Symphony Society of NY, and at his first concert on December 2, of that year; they performed at Town Hall featuring the immortal Charles Magnante as guest soloist. Bruce also performed with the orchestra at the Singer Bowl - New York Worlds Fair on August 7, 1964.

While in college, (1965-69) and playing rock & roll, he toured the Mid-West with the Escorts, Doc & the MD's and The Broadway Clique. Once back East, and now playing a Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes piano, his 1969-70 Jersey Shore rock scene experience involved performances at many area night clubs including The Pandemonium, The Student Prince and The Upstage; jamming with stars such as James Cotton and B.B. King and several future stars including Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny. For the next three years, Bruce traveled throughout the North-East with the then famous cover band, Waterfront.

Returning to his accordion roots in 1974 and with electronic accordions becoming more current, he formed The Bruce Gassman Orchestra.

For the next 18 years Bruce performed at more than 2,500 private parties. In 1992 he stopped playing to focus on his family and his real estate career. After a 15 year sabbatical, Bruce knew it was time to "get back on the field". He attended an AAA meeting in 2007 and that started the come-back. First, Bruce joined Dan Desiderio and the Accordion Pops Orchestra.

In 2008 he became the first accordionist ever to perform with Holiday Express, a group of 100 professional musicians and 1,500 volunteers who, from Thanksgiving till Christmas, bring the gift of human kindness to those less fortunate. Each year, Holiday Express performs more than 55 shows at Developmental Centers, Psychiatric Hospitals and Children’s Special Schools.
 
Bruce also finds joy in performing every year for the “Light of Day Foundation”, which raises significant amounts of money for research to cure Parkinson’s disease. Bruce was also a guest performer at the “Restore The Shore” benefit concert, which is the official Charity formed by NJ Gov. Chris Christie, to help those in need after Superstorm Sandy.



Since 2009, Bruce has presented workshops, conducted and been a featured performer at numerous accordion clubs, conventions and festivals. They include LVIAC (Las Vegas International Accordion Convention), NAAC (National Accordion Association Convention), and ATG (Accordion Teachers Guild, International, AAA (American Accordionists’ Association), MAMTG/AAMS (Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild – American Accordion Musicological Society), CAA (Connecticut Accordion Club), WMAS (Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society), Wallace, Idaho Accordion Festival and The Edmonton, Canada Accordion Extravaganza.
 
In just a few short years, Bruce has shared a stage with such legends as the late Art Van Damme, Dick Contino, the late Frank Marocco, Tony Lovello and Peter Soave. In addition, he has performed with young stars, such as Cory Pesaturo, Sam Thomas and Michael Bridge. You can also catch Bruce playing in Jersey Shore night clubs and at private parties. Most recently, he has performed with the Stormin’ Norman Seldin Revue, which always features some of New Jersey’s top rock musicians and most recently, Bruce is featured with Howard Parker’s “Hot Takeout Zydeco Band”. On top of all that, Bruce has become the accordionist of choice for many of the top Jersey artists’ recording sessions.

For further information: accordion2bruce@gmail.com

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

Paul Betken Releases New CD

by Rita Barnea
CD cover
Paul BetkenAccordionist Paul Betken has released a new CD called “PAUL’S TURN – JAZZ ACCORDION.” This CD has been over 2 years in the making. Featured on the recording is Paul Betken on a Classic 127 Guilietti acoustic accordion and on a Roland FR7X digital accordion accompanied by three other fine musicians. Paul is a widely-known jazz accordionist who will perform at the Cotati festival this year. Originally from Chicago, and now residing in Phoenix, he is a favorite at many national festivals and accordion events which has enabled him to achieve national recognition.

Among the selections on the CD are: "If I Only Had a Brain", "Hey Jude", "Line for Lyons", "Sweet Caroline", "Watch What Happens", "You Make Me Feel Brand New". "Robinsonia", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Meditation", "Nuages", "Oblivion:, and "Bye bye Blackbird".

Accompanying Paul are the following musicians:

Sean Brogan is a first-call acoustic bass player from Phoenix and a graduate from the Herberger School of Music at ASU. As a Performance Major Sean‘s education focused heavily on Theory, Performance, Ear Training, Arranging, Composition, and Improvisation. Being well versed in many musical styles has led Sean to work alongside other great artists like the great jazz accordionist Frank Morocco. He appeared with Frank on numerous occasions at the Mesa Accordion Event in Mesa, Arizona.

Stan Sorenson is a professional guitarist and a native of Phoenix, Arizona and the busiest guitarist in the Phoenix Metro. Stan has performed locally and internationally, working with such greats as Nancy Wilson, Jimmy Smith, Rosemary Clooney, Vic Damone, Jeffrey Osborne, The Fifth Dimension and many others.

Rust Jones is a world-class drummer/ percussionist originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and residing for many years in Chicago. He is from a very musical family—his Uncle, Isham Jones wrote “It Had to be You” and I’ll See You in my Dreams.” As a member of the George Shearing trio, he toured Europe and the US (72’ to 78’). Afterward, he toured for several years with Marian McPartland and Stephane Grapelli. In addition, Rusty has performed with Buddy DeFranco, Art Van Damme, Anita O’Day, Lee Konitz, Flip Phillips, Kai Winding, and a host of other great musicians too numerous to mention.

The songs on this album stretch many genres. One of the goals of this CD was to showcase the accordion on more contemporary songs which are seldom thought of as instrumental material for the accordionist. For this CD, Paul has arranged some extraordinary favorites like “Hey Jude” (the Beatles); “Sweet Caroline” (Neil Diamond) and “Good Bye Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John). However, there are some additional favorites such as “Oblivion” (Astor Piazzola) and “If I Only Had a Brain” (Harold Arlen) among others. The contemporary songs are presented in a fashion which strives to maintain the beauty of the acoustic accordion.

The CD is $15.00 which includes shipping. For further information on ordering:
pdbetken1@msn.com

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

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


Guy Klucevsek in Concert in Brooklyn Delights All

by Rita Barnea
Guy Klucevsek
A very memorable and enjoyable experience for me on May 18th, was a solo concert presented by accordionist/composer Guy Klucevsek at Barbes in Brooklyn, New York. Each time I hear Guy in performance, I am always intrigued, educated, and entertained by his unique style and personal anecdotes about his compositions.

The venue was a packed standing room only program attended by almost 50 people. Guy's musical creativity is so very expressive and enjoyable revealing many emotions and his sensitive nature. I also loved his fun side .... titles of the pieces and use of percussive capabilities on the accordion.

Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned.

His program included:
• Altered Landscapes (1993), commissioned by David Dorfman Dance Company.
• Three Microids (1991), in memory of Béla Bartok.
1. My Right Foot, on the Other Hand
2. Eleven Large Lobsters Loose in the Lobby
3. Bustin' Broncos in the Balkans
• And Then There Were None (1987), commissioned by Karen Bamonte Dance Company.
• Samba D Hiccup (1986), in honor of Dominguinhos, Brazilian composer, accordionist and singer.
• Return of the Microids (2001), in memory of Béla Bartok.
(This suite is a sequel to "Three Microids")
1. Ala Béla
2. The Tortoise Knows How to Make Love to his Wife
3. The Aerialist Somnambulates
4. Many Happy Returns
• Shimmer (2013), commissioned by Keith LoBue for his video piece, "Poetry in Motion/Music for Mobiles, and dedicated to the memory of composer William Duckworth.
• The Return of Lasse (2005), written for a dance by Sandy Silva, and dedicated to Lars Hollmer.
• Larsong (2009), in memory of Guy's dear friend and Accordion Tribe colleague, Lars Hollmer, who passed away on Christmas Day, 2008.
• Burt Bacharach:  One Less Bell to Answer, arranged by Guy Klucevsek.

Guy and violinist Todd Reynolds will be featured performers at the AAA 2014 Festival and Competition to be held in Tarrytown, New York from July 9-13th. Their performance takes place on Friday evening, July 11, in the Grand Ballroom of the Double Tree by Hilton. Guy will also present a "Meet the Composer/Performer" workshop.

For further information on Guy: gklucevsek@mac.com
For further information on the AAA Festival: ameraccord1938@gmail.com

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Don Gerundo Presents Workshop at AAA Festival

by Rita Barnea
Don Gerundo
Accordionist Don Gerundo will present a workshop, "Learning the Language of Improvising" at the 2014 AAA Festival and Competition in Tarrytown, New York, July 9-13, 2014.

Learning to improvise is similar to learning a language. This workshop discusses an approach to learning the art of improvising.  Many musicians have a strong desire to improvise but just don’t know where to start.  Sometimes they are told to practice various types of scales and learn chords but it doesn’t seem to help them learn this craft and they become frustrated and give up. This workshop presents practical method consisting of exercises and tasks to help a beginner start to build a vocabulary of ideas and apply them to songs.  Bring your instrument since this will be an interactive workshop that will welcome your participation or you may decide to just listen. Either way, all are welcome.

Don is an active accordionist and pianist performing in the New York metropolitan area.  He is a versatile keyboardist who plays various styles ranging from popular American Standards from the American Songbook, Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll.  He works with the Bensen-Scott Big Band, an 18 piece Jazz Band, has worked with a Rockabilly small group as well as society combos and Top 40 groups.   He has performed and accompanied Lenny Welch (hit record “Since I Fell For You”), Joe Piscopo and has performed at Swing 46 in New York City, White Plains Theatre for the Arts, Coney Island Park and other large venues.
 
Don starting playing the accordion at age 10.  During his later teens he studied with Tony Mecca (a native of Waterbury, CT.)  Tony introduced him to popular and Jazz music and worked with him on harmony, theory, voicing’s and improvisation. During this time he started to perform club dates with some of the local leaders in the New York metropolitan area, as well as working at resorts in the New York Catskill area.   This “On the job” training helped hone his Jazz skills, as well as build his repertoire.  He continued to perform during his college years, while attending Ithaca College where he joined the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha as the first accordionist to be offered an invitation in that chapter.  For the last several years, Don has focused on the Free Bass Accordion and exploring its use in the Pop and Jazz idioms by utilizing its flexibility in chord voicings, bass lines and general accompaniment.

Don is an active teacher of piano and accordion and focuses on jazz improvisation, harmony and chord voicings.  He studied with advanced improvisation with Adolph Sandole, the brother of Dennis Sandole from Philadelphia who mentored many Jazz greats such as John Coltrane, James Moody, Michal Brecker and Pat Martino.

For further information: ameraccord1938@gmail.com

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Juha Silfverberg performs on Unsuk Chin's work with Kansas City Symphony

by Kevin Friedrich
Juha
Juha SilfverbergKansas City based accordionist Juha Silfverberg recently performed with the Kansas City Symphony in the music of Unsuk Chin's new Opera  'Alice in Wonderland'.   Under the direction of Aram Demirjian, the concert was held at the new State of the Art Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  The concert was the final in this years popular series "Classics Uncorked", with the focus of this particular concert celebrating great women of classical music.
 
Unsuk Chin was born in Seoul, Korea. She studied composition with Sukhi Kang at Seoul National University and won several international prizes in her early 20s. She studied with György Ligeti at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg from 1985 to 1988. In 1988 Unsuk Chin moved to Berlin, where she worked as a freelance composer at the electronic music studio of the Technical University of Berlin, realizing seven works.
 
Unsuk Chin's works have been performed by conductors such as Kent Nagano, Simon Rattle, Alan Gilbert, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Neeme Järvi, Peter Eötvös, David Robertson and George Benjamin as well as by leading orchestras and ensembles. Commissioners include the Kronos Quartet, Radio France, the BBC, the London Sinfonietta, South Bank Centre, Los Angeles Opera, IRCAM and the Bavarian State Opera. Chin's music has been highlighted at major music festivals such as Festival Musica in Strasbourg or Settembre Musica in Italy.  Since 2006 she holds the position of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra's composer-in-residence and artistic director of its Contemporary Music Series.
 
Born into a musical family in Helsinki, Finland, accordionist Juha Silfverberg began his accordion studies at the age of seven with Lasse Pihlajamaa, a pioneer in the accordion field. Playing the Finnish C System button accordion, he was both Finnish National Accordion Champion and Scandinavian Accordion Champion, earning the right to represent Finland when the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships were held in Helsinki. Later, he moved to the United States to study accordion performance at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. 
  
A sought after accordionist, Juha is regularly found entertaining professionally in the Kansas City area, where he freelances in a wide variety of ensembles. He has toured Finland, Estonia, New Zealand, Japan and throughout the USA with diverse musical groups ranging from Zydeco to Klezmer, from Classical to Pop.

3 CD's online at: Juha Silfverberg

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

Accordion Pops Orchestra Releases New CD

by Rita Barnea
DVDConductor Al TerzoThe Accordion Pops Orchestra has just released their second CD, entitled "pop" Goes the Bellows with Al Terzo, conductor and Eugene DeBellis, assistant conductor.

The selections include several arrangements by Al Terzo including "Pop Goes the Bellows", "Disney Remembered", "Phantom of the Opera", "Donkey Serenade", and "Frankfurter Polka". Other works include "Rhapsody #2" by Frosini with Justin Patterson, soloist; "Caramba (Paso Doble) by Jos. Rixner; "Concerto in D" by Desiderio with Albert Manginelli, soloist; "Mozart Flute Concert" with Laura Addeo, soloist and "Concerto in A" by Deiro with Havard Svensrud, soloist.

The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970, when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey.  Over the next ten years it performed at various community functions throughout the state under the direction of its first conductor, Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.
In 1980 the orchestra members took a leave of absence, but four years later the membership was reorganized under the direction of the late Eugene Ettore of Livingston, New Jersey. 

In 1985, Daniel Desiderio was invited to act as a guest conductor of the orchestra and a few years later the A.T.A. of NJ appointed him as conductor in residence.  The name of the orchestra was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra and its membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Maestro Desiderio retired as conductor in May 2011 and turned over the baton to Al Terzo.

The largest professional accordion orchestra of its kind on the East Coast, the group consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments.  In addition, the orchestra often accompanies guest soloists including pianists and vocal artists. 

Photo of APO Conductor Al Terzo

To order: AccordionPops@hotmail.com

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Dallas Vietty Presents Workshop and Concert

by Rita Barnea
Dallas ViettyDallas Vietty will be a featured performer at the 2014 AAA Festival July 9-13 to be held in Tarrytown, New York. He will also present a workshop, "Musette Style's Development An Intellectual Journey from Emile Vacher through Richard Galliano and Beyond…" This workshop will be an intellectual exploration of the Musette style, with an emphasis on the development of embellishments and the Musette form. By no means a comprehensive or scholarly presentation, but rather I aim to present the styles of the greats together in one timeline. This workshop is for those interested in the history of Musette, ornamentation, Musette form, melodic improvisation and harmony. This workshop is not for those who do not appreciate French Musette style, jazz music, swing music, improvisation or intellectual discussions of theory and harmony.

Dallas Vietty is an American jazz accordionist specializing in the Parisian swing-waltz style of Musette and Gypsy Jazz. He began playing the accordion in 2001, and has studied jazz and arranging at California State University Northridge and accordion performance with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at Acme Accordion School. 

As a soloist he performs widely, and won first place in the Free Bass category at the American Accordionist Musicological Society Festival in 2011.  As a band leader, his groups have performed at Musikfest 2012, Djangoary Festival 2011 and 2012, Djangofolies Festival 2012, Djangology Festival 2012, TEDxPhilly 2010, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and many other concerts around the country. As an educator he has taught at the famous Django music camp Django in June, led workshops at the American Accordionist Association Conference 2012, and has a prolific private studio and growing online teaching presence. He is one of a few who have a curriculum and knowledge of Musette and Gypsy Jazz for the piano accordion.

He currently leads Musette Project, a contemporary take on the modernist waltz compositions of the mid-century Parisian accordionists, and Hot Bijouxx, an early 20th century inspired  hot swing group. 

For further information: ameraccord1938@gmail.com

Santo Endrizzi Receives Legion of Honor Medal

by Marion Endrizzi Whelpley
On Friday, May 9th, 2014, Santo Endrizzi, a member of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA), was bestowed a special honor. This 93 years young World War II veteran received the prestigious Legion of Honor Medal (Ordre national de la Légion d'Honneur) from the French government at the West Point Military Academy, West Point, NY "in front of cadets who will be making up the next generation of U.S. military officers."

On this day, thirty-four USA veterans were knighted by the French government in a special ceremony overlooking the majestic Hudson River. Lieutenant General Robert Caslen welcomed the group and Mr. Bertrand Lortholary, the New York French Consul General and Mr. Guy Wildenstein, President of the American Society of the French Legion of Honor, presented the veterans with their prestigious medals. 

Santo, also known as Sam, was honored and humbled by the award ceremony and was very grateful for the recognition he received. He served in Pontois, France from 1944 to 1945 in the 9th Army Air Force, 344th Bomb Group, 495th Bomb Squadron.

Santo was born in a small town named Cavedago in the Trentino (Trentino-Alto Adige) region of Italy. His parents were born in the same town but it was then under Austrian rule. The people there refer to themselves as Tyrolians.

In 1936, at the age of fifteen, Santo and his older sister left from the port of Genoa and sailed to New York where their father was waiting for them. The family resided at164 Wyckoff Avenue, Ridgewood, NY.

Although his first love was the accordion, he started taking music lessons on the violin because the family couldn't afford to buy an accordion. He started his musical studies at the age of sixteen at the State School of Music which was located at 1397 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY. The cost for lessons at that time was twenty-five cents. In November of 1937 Santo's father purchased a second hand, full size, 120 bass accordion for him for $300.00. Because he loved the instrument so much Santo practiced for hours at a time. His teacher, known as "Mr. Brown," was really Mr. Cacioppo. "Mr. Brown was easier to pronounce."

His competing and performing in various competitions and recitals, some of which were held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, resulted in his winning several medals. It was at these events that Santo met his fellow Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) colleague and eventual life long friend Phil Franzese. In the 1940s Santo played the accordion at a resort in the Catskills called the Grandview Mountain House in East Windham, NY.  

In 1942 he was drafted into the Army Air Force. He was stationed in Fort Meyers and Lakeland Florida and was assigned to the 344th Bomb Group, 495th Bomb Squadron as a flight engineer on a B26. They practiced dropping bombs over the Everglades. Before going overseas Santo requested to become a mechanic. He went overseas on the Queen Elisabeth which was traveling unescorted and carrying 18,000 soldiers. He volunteered to help serve meals to the English gunners that were manning the battle stations. As a result, he was given free reign of the ship unlike his peers who were confined to their specific area.  They landed safely in Glasgow Scotland. 

The war took him to England, France and Belgium. He met many paesani along the way. On returning home after spending three years in military service he became a citizen of the United States and in the summers months returned to playing the accordion at the Catskill resort on weekends.

Santo held several different jobs after his return home. One of these was owning a saloon business with his brother-in law. He married his wife, Ida, in 1954 and they had four children (Marion Whelpley, Donald Endrizzi, Julie Rooney and Joan Woodbury). At the age of forty-eight he became a car inspector for NYC Transit Authority and retired as a supervisor at the age of sixty-eight. He has ten grandchildren. 

The family keeps him busy as also does the Tyrolian Club he belongs to. His becoming a member of the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) brings Santo back to his original love and passion - the accordion. Santo plays on the first Wednesday of every month at La Vilini Restaurant in East Northport, NY with the Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA). This is the "tonic" that keeps him young and enthusiastic and he especially enjoys the camaraderie of his fellow accordionists.
Endrizzi Family

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

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AAA Annual Master Class and Concert Series

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) is proud to announce the annual Master Class and Concert Series – "THE SEMINARS" The Everyday Accordion: Ordinary x Proper = Radiant"

Dr. William Schimmel is the moderator and curator. The 20th Anniversary year takes place on August 1, 2 ,3 at The Tenri Cultural Institute, 43 A West 13th St –between 5 and 6 Avenues.
Master Classes 3:PM – Concerts 7:PM

The distinguished participants will include:
Micki Goodman, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Paul Stein, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Rita Barnea, Will Holshouser, Ken Laufer, Lee Mc Clure, Kathleen Tipton, Mayumi Mayaoka, Doug Makofka, Bob Goldberg, Melissa Elledge, Mark Nathanson, Art Bailey, Mary Spencer Knapp, Erica Marie Mancini, Benjamin Ickies, Corn Mo, John Foti, Rachid Eladlouni, Rachel Swaner, Mark Nathanson, David First, David Stoler, Brian Dewan, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Dr. Rocco Jerry, Dave Soldier, Milica Paranosic, Dan Cooper, Noah Creshevsky, Demitrius Spaneas, Peter Jarvis, Tomoka Sugawara, Yoichi Fukui, Michael Dames, Linda Reed, Dragica Banic-Curcic, Peter Flint, Ingrid Kvale, Marni Rice, Genevieve Leloup, Bjorn Skjelbred,Carl Riehl, Ralph Crispino and Dr. Schimmel.

For reservations and information: 212-876-0827
Download complete information including prices and applications at: 2014AA-Seminar

Schimmel compositions and CD's at: William Schimmel

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

Accordion Pops Orchestra in June Concerts and Beyond

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Pops Orchestra Poster
The NJ based Accordion Pops Orchestra under the direction of Al Terzo will present a concert on Sunday June 15, 2014 at 2:30 PM at Seabrook Village,
3000 Essex Road,Tinton Falls, NJ 07753.

The program includes the following selections, all arranged by Al Terzo except for "Old Man River" and "Pietro's Return".

"Pop" goes the bellows - medley of Hollywood songs;
"Old Man River" - arr. Anthony GallaRini; "Disney Remembered" - medley of classic Disney themes; "Les Miserables" - selections from the musical - featuring guest vocalist - Shanice Aquino who is the 2014 Mid Atlantic Idol Champion; "Phantom of the Opera" - selections from the musical; "O Mio Babbino Caro" and "Se Tu M'ami"- Shanice Aquino - Vocalist; "Ladies of Broadway" - medley of Broadway songs; "Latin Holiday" - medley of Latin American songs; "Donkey Serenade" - from the musical opera "Firefly"; "Pietro's Return March" - Pietro Deiro.
 
Future concerts of the Accordion Pops Orchestra include:
Sunday September 21, 2014 at 2:PM at Shannondell at Valley Forge - Auditorium,10000 Shannondell Drive, Audubon, PA
Sunday November 2, 2014 at 2:PM at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse,
88 Route 173 West,Hampton, NJ 08827



The Accordion Pops Orchestra will present a tribute to the great classical accordionist Carmen Carrozza, who passed in June 2013. Lenny Feldmann, former assistant conductor of the orchestra, will be the master of ceremonies. Norway's accordion virtuoso Håvard Svensrud, who performed with the orchestra at Kean University in October 2013 , will return as a featured soloist.



Dinner and concert tickets are $50 and may be obtained through our website contact page.  All proceeds will benefit the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund.

For further information: alterzo@hotmail.com

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

7th Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! in New Hampshire in August

by Donna Maria Regis
Catfish HowlYou, your family, and friends are cordially invited to the 7th annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association [NHAA] and Accordion Connection LLC, August 8-10, 2014 at the beautiful Courtyard Nashua [NH]. You will have many opportunities to play. Bring your accordion!

Tony Lovello, the “living legend of the accordion world” dubbed "King of the Bellow Shake" by the great Galla-Rini, will delight fans with his inimitable razzle-dazzle style. Following Tony's “don't miss it!” performance, expect more fun – and bring your accordion! Catfish Howl Blues Band will play a set of blues, Cajun, country and original tunes, then welcome YOU to “sit in.” Glen Robertson, Catfish's accordionist, will give a brief coaching session, then invite you to join in. Watch the sparks fly.

Brent Buswell, always popular with audiences, returns to perform opening night. If you've ever heard Brent play, you know you're in for a treat. If you haven't heard him yet, come find out what you've been missing.

Workshop presentations – bring your accordion! – include Dorean Kimball on “Music in Healing,” with examples from her studies at Concord [NH] Hospital; Sam Falcetti on "Layering and Voicing" using the Roland virtual accordion, and a special technique demonstration by Lynda Fish, "The Secret to Prize-winning Speed."

At ACCORDIONS NOW! you have more opportunities to participate than ever, including the chance to “sit in with the band” and the hands-on workshops mentioned above. You are warmly invited to participate in those plus any or all of the following..

· ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra
You can be part of the ever-popular ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] in a concert of arrangements by conductor Donna Maria Regis. Sign up no later than July 11 to receive the sheet music and sound clips.

· Just-for-Fun Play-Along Ensemble
Another annual favorite, the Just-for-Fun Play-Along, returns with arrangements by coordinator Dan Mackowiak. Music is sent in advance, but there is no rehearsal, just the enjoyable play-along session. 

· Open Mike Cabaret
All registered attendees are welcome to perform at the Open Mike Cabaret on opening night.

· Jam Sessions
Informal Daytime and Night Owls Jam Sessions weave their way into the fabric of this all-welcoming gathering of accordion aficionados.

Also on tap are performances by Lynda Fish, Nancy Leonard, Richard Messina, Rachel Quirbach, Donna Maria Regis, Jerry Tramontozzi, Carmen Vitanza, and a presentation by Paul Ramunni of the New England Accordion Museum. 

All-Event package admission includes all concerts, workshops, open mike cabaret, play-along and jam sessions, accordion museum exhibit, vendor displays, welcome and cocktail receptions with live entertainment, door prizes, festive luncheon buffet, gala dinner, and more. If you can only come for part of the fun, admission options are available to suit your busy schedule

Come to beautiful New Hampshire in August to experience the ACCORDIONS NOW! motto:
LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN !!

For more information: AccordionsNow@yahoo.com or
call 603-216-9582

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration June 19-22, 2014

by Rita Barnea
Leavenworth 2014 POSTER
Make sure you attend the 21st Annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration which will be hosted by accordion friends of the Northwest Accordion Society. 



The Northwest Accordion Society has been sponsoring accordion events in the Northwest for over 25 years.

Included in it's accomplishments are monthly accordion socials, the annual "Day of the Accordion" at the Seattle Center, accordion scholarships, and it's elegant quarterly publication "The Northwest Accordion News".



Leavenworth is Washington’s “Bavarian Village” and a perfect setting for this celebration. Nestled in a cozy narrow valley at elevation of 1100 feet surrounded by wilderness of rugged, majestic mountain ranges, over 2 million visitors per year from all over the world come to experience magical Leavenworth. 



With the Northwest Accordion Society as your host and Leavenworth as the setting, why not plan to join enjoy four wonderful days of everything accordion. Whether you are a competitor, participant or just love great accordion music, there is enjoyment and participation for everyone. 



Here is a partial list of what is happening:
• Accordion Competitions
• Workshops
• Concerts with World Class Performers
• Free Performances at the gazebo, grange, and restaurants
• Free Accordion lessons
• Accordion Parade on Saturday
• Accordion Vendors
• Opportunity for all accordion players to play
• Jam sessions and much more!

Workshop presenters include: Tony Lovello, Bruce Gassman, Andy Mirkovich, Cory Pesaturo, Patricia Bartell, Kim Jacobs, Cooksie Kramer, Jim Tobler, Max Kyllonen and Kory Tideman, Bonnie Birch, Toby Hanson, and Jim and Shirley O'Brien.

For further information:Chairman Bonnie Birch: bonniebirch@msn.com
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