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

Highlights

Editor's Note!
The World Accordion Orchestra III in New Zealand, August 25 – 29!
The UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble in Concert on May 31st
Kevin Friedrich Performs "Gem of the Kaipara" by Gary Daverne
2009 AAA Competition and Festival in Memphis July 15 - 19
15th Annual American Accordionists’ Association Master Class and Concert Series
Young Accordionists: New Champions!
Accordion Renaissance In Minnesota Presented By The ATG
2009 National Button Accordion Festival in May
Klezmerfest! - New CD Release Party

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

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

WMAS Spring Concert on May 17th
Dr. William Schimmel - A Busy Month
Mario Pedone - In Concert In May
Main Squeeze Orchestra Performs in NYC
"How to Play Diatonic Button Accordion, Vol. 2 " is Published
Lenny Feldmann in Concerts

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

Future events

The Accordionaires Orchestra Performs with Symphony in May
Betty Jo Simon in Symphony Orchestra Performances
2009 Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio
MECA Accordion Band in World Accordion Day Events
Texas Folklife’s 2009 “Big Squeeze” Accordion Contest Semi-finalists
Gator By the Bay Festival 2009
"The Big Squeeze" Documentary To Have Houston Premiere!
2009 Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration: July 31st
Second Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! August 7 – 8


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
www.accordionusa.com is released on the first of each month.

I am sure you all cannot wait for each new issue!!

I would like to suggest that readers check this web site several times during the month for updates on stories plus late breaking news. Very often we add additional information about festivals, concerts, and artists, during the month.

This month begins our new series of articles which will feature young American accordionists who are involved in bringing the accordion to the forefront of the musical world! We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to hearing them perform and encourage them to continue their musical education! These articles will feature accordionists who play all types of accordions and accordion music! Please read the article: "Young Accordionists: New Champions".

I appreciate your comments, suggestions, and contributions! Please send them to Ritabelll@aol.com.

www.accordionusa.com is your best source for accordion news on the North American continent!!

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

The World Accordion Orchestra III in New Zealand, August 25 – 29!

by Joan C. Sommers
Coupe MondialeOnce again during the Coupe Mondiale competitions, concerts, official meetings and the many social events, the World Accordion Orchestra will have two rehearsals and then perform on the Grand Finale Concert on the last evening.

For the third time, accordionists of all levels and ages, both professionals and amateurs, will share their passion for the accordion by performing in an orchestra representing countries from all over the world. Already confirmed are about 80 players out of the expected 144 participants.

The orchestra will perform three compositions led by three different conductors from three different countries. Gary Daverne (NZ), Joan Sommers (USA), and Fritz Dobler (Germany) have all had much experience and success in the field of the accordion orchestra. The music is now ready to send out via the internet to each registered player. Register now and begin learning your own part for this enjoyable, high quality musical event.

Have some fun; join old friends and make new ones by sharing in the performance of great music together. Performing with the 2009 World Accordion Orchestra III will be one of those musical experiences never to be forgotten and you are invited to take part.

You may register online right now by visiting the official 2009 Coupe Mondiale website at www.coupemondiale.org/2009/registration_euro.htm

Remember, too, that August is an ideal time for travel to New Zealand and it is especially true right now due to the value of the dollar in that country! Everything is in our favor.

Sign up for a visit to a wonderful country and the exciting opportunity to add your accordion to the glorious music of the 2009 World Accordion Orchestra III.

PANcordion

The UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble in Concert on May 31st

by Joan C. Sommers
UMKC Accordion Ensemble
Joan C. SommersThe UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble will present its Annual Concert on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 2:30 PM in White Recital Hall on the University of Missouri-Kansas City Campus, 4949 Cherry Street.

The Accordion Ensemble is a continuation of the many accordion concerts conducted by UMKC Professor Emerita Joan Cochran Sommers over the past 48 years at the university. It was formed upon the retirement of Professor Sommers from full-time university teaching and administrative service. Membership has varied but this year’s event will have 13 accordionists, a timpanist and 2 percussionists, all of whom have had extensive musical training.

During these past 48 years, there have been small ensembles such as the popular Accordionaires, a prize-winning USO/Department of Defense/National Music Council touring group of 15 members which performed widely in the European, Northeastern, and Pacific Military Commands for periods of 10 weeks. There also have been numerous chamber groups presenting more intimate concerts, and, of course, the large UMKC Accordion Orchestra with as many as 76 members which competed in innumerable accordion festivals throughout the USA, winning more First Place Awards than any other virtuoso accordion orchestras. At other times members of these groups were joined by fine accordionists from throughout the USA for overseas performance tours, thereby providing several musical tour experiences to players other than UMKC students.

This year’s concert will again offer a repertoire of outstanding arrangements as well as newer music originally composed for accordion orchestra.

Featured will be UMKC graduate Kevin Friedrich who serves as President of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes, the world accordion association which sponsors the yearly Coupe Mondiale for accordionists. Kevin will perform as soloist in "Gem of the Kaipara" written by the New Zealand composer and conductor, Gary Daverne, and will have just returned from performing the piece several times in New Zealand.

Serenade, Op. 39 (Andante cantabile) is written by the contemporary Dutch composer Alexander Comitas. It is the first movement of a larger composition and is very beautiful, something that is sometimes not quite so apparent in newer repertoire. One of the absolute musical delights of the program will be the 4 movement Keniade written by the German composer, Fritz Dobler. The music describes the composer’s visit to the country of Kenya with the movements aptly titled Allegro moderato (With Herbert on Safari), Valse lento (Love Play of the Hippos), Capriccio (Jumping Gazelles), and Moderato (Meeting of the Maasai Warriors).

Also featured will be a new arrangement by Joan Sommers, a Suite from Video Games Live. A newly-prepared original video by UMKC Professor Caitlin Horsman will be projected while this exciting music from the five well-known and very popular video games is being performed by the accordion ensemble.

Other selections to be performed are Film Noir: City at Night by Hollywood composer Leonard Stack written especially for the World Accordion Orchestra performance in Glasgow, Scotland last October; Tambourin from Fêtes d’Hêbê by Jean Philippe.Rameau-Felix Mottl and arranged by Galla-Rini; Waltzes from the opera Faust by Charles Gounod, arranged by Willi Munch; and the Latin American medley Brasilia Potpourri featuring Brasil (Barroso), El Cumbanchero (Hernandez), and Mambo Jambo (Perez Prado) arranged by Willi Műnch.

Everyone is invited to attend an afternoon of interesting and exciting music presented by the UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble under the direction of UMKC Professor Emerita Joan Cochran Sommers. The concert is a free event but donations will be requested to help cover costs.

Further information may be obtained from Joan Sommers at sommersj@umkc.edu or calling (913) 722-5625.

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Kevin Friedrich Performs "Gem of the Kaipara" by Gary Daverne

by Rita Barnea
Kevin Friedrich and Gary Daverne, World Accordion Day logoNew York-based accordionist Kevin Friedrich has registered the first event in celebration of the newly established CIA World Accordion Day. Kevin Friedrich will perform as soloist in “Gem of the Kaipara” composed by the New Zealand composer and conductor, Gary Daverne. The performance, with the UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra conducted by Joan C. Sommers, will take place on May 31st, at 2:30 PM, at the White Recital Hall at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Campus, 4949 Cherry Street.

Kevin, who is president of the CIA, the world accordion association which sponsors the yearly Coupe Mondiale for accordionists, will perform the “Gem of the Kaipara” by Gary Daverne on May 3rd and May 10th with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra in Auckland, New Zealand. All the performances are in celebration of World Accordion Day(May 6). “Gem of the Kaipara” was written in honor of long time accordion and arts supporter and lifetime member of the New Zealand Accordion Association, the late Mrs. Jenny Maioha Cocurullo. A respected and loved citizen of Dargaville, Jenny always promoted the Kaipara region of New Zealand as the 'Gem of the North', however, she, in turn, was considered 'The Gem of the Kaipara' thus the title of this new work by Gary Daverne. Kevin asked Gary to write this work for solo accordion with string orchestra and percussion to serve as a musical tribute to his long time friend and mentor Jenny Cocurullo.

Born and raised near Dargaville, New Zealand, Kevin began playing the accordion at the age of nine. Mesmerized by the visual appeal and unique sound of the accordion during a performance of the Ben Emmett Accordion Orchestra (BEA), Kevin took advantage of group lessons being offered by the late Ben and Doreen Emmett at the Dargaville Primary School. Kevin progressed quickly through the ranks, and after the passing of Mr. Ben Emmett in December 1976, Kevin began the weekly six hour round trip drive to Auckland to study with the late Mr. Alan Jones and his son, Harley.

After earning the title of New Zealand Solo Accordion Champion for two years, and representing New Zealand at the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) World Championships three times (the last time attaining 5th place) Kevin moved to the United States to study accordion with Joan C. Sommers at the University of Missouri, Kansas City where he obtained his Bachelor of Music. Kevin has also competed in competitions such as Klingenthal in Germany as well as competitions hosted by the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International and the American Accordionists' Association. In addition to the piano accordion, Kevin has mastered the Bayan (Button accordion), and it is with this instrument that he furthered his studies at the Conservatoire Paul Dukas in Paris, France studying with CIA World Accordion Champion, Max Bonnay and also participated in Master Classes with the famous Russian accordionist, Friedrich Lips.

Kevin has performed in concert, on radio and on television in many countries as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra and as a member of The International Trio, the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra (formerly the North Shore Accordion Orchestra) and the Musicale Accordion Orchestra from Auckland, New Zealand and as concert master of the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC) Accordion Orchestra.

After serving as a Vice-President for eight years, Kevin was re-elected to his second four year term as President of the Confédération Internationale Des Accordéonistes (CIA), the umbrella organization for member accordion associations worldwide. Since the CIA formed in 1935, this is the first time ever that a non-European has held this title and only the 3rd President elected in more than 40 years, with the last President having held office for over 20 years. Hosting the annual World Accordion Championships, the CIA meets twice a year in various countries around the world. Acknowledging the ability of the Internet to keep accordionists in touch with each other and informed of worldwide activities, his association with the world wide web includes being the USA Manager for Accordions Worldwide, the largest accordion site on the Internet. He was also the editor of www.accordionusa.com for ten years.

On two occasions, Kevin was invited by the Finnish Ministry of Culture to report on the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival in Finland. Additionally, he has been invited to adjudicate and appear at International accordion festivals, competitions and TV productions in various countries around the world including the 2006 Shanghai Spring International Accordion Festival in China and the Norske Trekkspilleres Landsforbund (NTL) National Festival held in Bodø, Norway. His accordion activities also include serving on the Board of Directors for the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG).

The CD with 'Gem of the Kaipara' is available for purchase. For further info: Kevinfriedrich@hotmail.com

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

2009 AAA Competition and Festival in Memphis July 15 - 19

by Rita Barnea
The Jeff Lisenby Ensemble
1. Riders in the Sky 2.Joe Natoli 3. Tony Lovello 4. Frank Busso 5. Randy MartinMary Tokarski, Chairman of the 2009 AAA Competition and Festival in Memphis, TN. from July 15-19, 2009, has announced that several new categories will be included in this year’s events including: AAA Digital/Electronic International Entertainment Competition, as well as a solo category honoring “The King”, Elvis Presley.

There will be an International Piano Accordion Competition with prizes funded by the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund, Maddalena Belfiore Entertainment Competition for Female Accordionists. This competition is sponsored by the Mauro Greco family, under the auspices of the AAA.

Another category will be the Elsie M. Bennett Composition Category whose general purpose is to encourage young students of the accordion and those who just enjoy the sound of the accordion, to create literature for accordion either as a solo instrument, or with other instruments. There is no directive for the style of the composition, ONLY that it is written for the acoustic accordion, not electronic accordion.

There will be cash awards. A performance at Graceland will take place followed by a Graceland tour with, additional sightseeing time afterwards.

The events will take place at the Holiday Inn Suites at the University of Memphis, TN. The Holiday Inn is an all-suite hotel located on the campus of the University of Memphis and adjacent to the Fogelman Executive Conference Center.

Headline performers include Tony Lovello, {Liberace of the Accordion}, Joe Natoli { winner of the recent Roland V Competition in Los Angeles} and Randy Martin,director of the Martin School in Fullerton, California, who will conduct the AAA Festival Orchestra.

Frank Busso, Sr. will conduct the performance at Graceland which will include “Love Me Tender” and “Blue Suede Shoes”. Frank is a noted accordionist and educator, First Vice-President of the American Accordionists’ Association and Director of the Staten Island Music School in New York.

The Thursday evening entertainment will feature “Riders in the Sky” who 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. 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.

The Jeff Lisenby Ensemble will perform on the Friday evening concert on July 17. Lisenby holds a master’s degree from The Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His experience runs the gamut of styles. He has twice been the national accordion champion and a bronze medalist in the Coupe Mondiale international classical accordion competitions.

But classical music wasn’t the only style he practiced. Lisenby used his genius on the accordion and keyboards to carve a niche market for himself, and gained performances with the Nashville, Kansas City, and Los Angeles Symphonies, the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra, and a gig accompanying Luciano Pavarotti during part of his U.S. tour.

Certainly not limited to classical music, Lisenby toured extensively with the Mills Brothers, Boots Randolph, and Brenda Lee, and has accompanied Lee Greenwood, Donna Summer, Tricia Yearwood, Three-Dog Night, the Coasters, David Cassidy, Marty Stuart, Jo Dee Messina, Pam Tillis, Loretta Lynn, Roy Clark, and Dolly Parton, to name a few.

Most recently, Lisenby was honored to be the music director on Broadway for RING OF FIRE: The Music of Johnny Cash, for which he pulled from his extensive experience backing country artists in Nashville.

Lisenby is also one of the first-call accordionists for recording sessions in Nashville. Projects he has worked on include the Grammy-winning album: “Songs from the Neighborhood; the Music of Mister Rogers”, and jingles for Budweiser and Sutherland’s Lumber (which he also wrote and produced).When he is not on the road performing around the country, Lisenby teaches for Belmont University’s School of Music and is active in the Nashville recording scene.

Steve Stolaruk has been a generous supporter of AAA activities and has contributed the prizes for the Vivian Vivio Stolaruk International Entertainment Competition in divine remembrance of his late wife, Vivian. Steve has written a song in her memory, “We Shall be Forever,” which will be sung by Jaclyn Brown, Jeff Lisenby’s daughter, at the Friday night concert.

Come to the 2009 AAA Festival! You will hear some of the best accordionists in the country! Enter the competitions! Play your accordion with the band at Graceland! Attend the workshops! Meet new accordion friends!

For more info: www.ameraccord.com

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

15th Annual American Accordionists’ Association Master Class and Concert Series

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelDr.William Schimmel is the Moderato/Curator of the 15th AAA Master Class and Concert Series entitled:
WELCOME HOME SKINNY! (almost)not(t)here” The concerts and workshops take place on July 24, 25, 26 at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, 43 A West 13th St. – between 5th and 6th Ave.

AAA Master Classes will begin at 3PM and the concerts will begin at 7PM. The fee is $25/Concert. The performances will be in a staggering variety of styles, genres and angles. The fee for the AAA Master Classes is $20/class. Each master class will contain workshops, lectures and an interactive segment. Those wishing to participate in the interactive segment(s) should contact William 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. The fee is $40/day for both master class and concert and only $110 for the entire weekend.

For press release and participants: "WELCOME HOME SKINNY! (almost)not(t)here” or for further information call 212-876-0827.
For full Master Class and Concert program info: www.billschimmel.com click: visit our 2009 Seminar page

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Young Accordionists: New Champions!

by Rita Barnea
Danielle Renzi and her teacher, Bob Paoli, Lenore DelPonteDanielle Renzi is a fifteen year old accordionist who has been taking lessons at the Robert Paolo Music Studio since she was seven. She has won the New England Cup each year in her age division from eight to twelve years old. She won the New England Championship at thirteen and fourteen years old, the youngest contestant to have that honor.

Recent rulings excluded her from competing in the championship for a third year so Danielle entered the New England Entertainment Championship which she won at fourteen years old and again this year at fifteen. She has also been part of the Paolo Studio Band for the past eight years which has won many first place trophies.

Danielle has traveled to six different national competitions. She was the 2008 runner up in the Maddalena Belfiore contest held in Washington, D.C. and also has many age division wins at the national level. Danielle has always loved the challenge of the accordion and has found it to be a wonderful focus for her energy.

Danielle loves the travel opportunities and band camaraderie it has brought. Currently, she is a high honors student at LaSalle Academy where she runs varsity for the schools championship track and cross country team. She lives with her parents and three siblings in Johnston, R.I. and looks forward to a future where music will continue to enrich her life. We look forward to hearing about her future successes!

Lenore DelPonte recently achieved the title of 2009 New England Champion at the Accordion Teacher’s Association of Massachusetts’s annual accordion competition and music festival in April. Lenore began studying accordion with Bob Paoli at age seven. She has competed in other national competitions and has received numerous awards and prizes over the years including three first place trophies at the 2008 National Accordion Competition in Washington, D.C..

Lenore is an honors graduate of La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island and will enter Boston University this fall. We wish Lenore continued successes in her musical and academic pursuits!

For further information: Call Bob Paoli 401-942-1322

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Accordion Renaissance In Minnesota Presented By The ATG

by Rita Barnea
ATG Banner
World of Accordions photo  © fo2:2re  and © trekkspill.no; Randy McPeck photo by Robb Long;Dee Langley, ATG PresidentNew Accordionists and Teacher Guild, International President, Dee Langley, the members of the ATG Executive Committee, ATG Board of Directors and the ATG Festival/Competition Committee invite you to attend ‘Accordion Renaissance' presented by the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International, August 13-15 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

A few of the many highlights of the "Renaissance'" festival include a special exhibit of historical free-reed instruments by Dr. Helmi Harrington, curator of the World of Accordions Museum, on-site accordion repair and appraisal provided by Castle Accordion, Randy McPeck, and a hands-on educational session with the v-accordion (virtual, reedless) by Roland Corporation.

The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International was established in 1940 by a group of 29 founding members (including ATG President Emeritus, the late Anthony Galla-Rini) with the purpose of furthering the progress of the accordion by improving teaching standards, music, and all phases of music education. "Accordion Renaissance" will continue with this mission offering competitions, educational workshops, concerts, forums, displays, and professional performances on button box, concertina, chromatic and piano accordions, and electronic v-accordions.

The 2009 ATG Competition and Festival "Accordion Renaissance" will be held August 13-15, 2009 at the Hilton Minneapolis/St.Paul Airport Mall of America, 3800 American Boulevard East, Bloomington (Minneapolis), MN.

Registration information will be online soon.

For more information, please contact:
Dee Langley, President of the ATG
E-mail: dlangley@airaccordion.com

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

2009 National Button Accordion Festival in May

by Rita Barnea
The rebirth of the famous Fontana Jamboree, the National Button Accordion Festival (NBAF) will feature three fun-filled days of music, dancing, and jamming over Memorial Day weekend, May 22 to May 24. The festival will take place at the Bessemer Croatian Club, 601 East Poland Ave., Bessemer, PA. The Festival is the successor to the Fontana Button Box Jamboree that was held in Fontana, CA for 26 years. Using the same format, attendees provide the music with musicians taking the stage on a rotating schedule.

Many kinds of accordions (piano, bayan, chromatic, concertina, button box, etc.) and ethnic music styles (Czech, Polish, Slovenian, German, Austrian, Italian, etc.) will be represented.

Bring your accordion and jam with other accordionists! Admission is $10/day, or $25 for a three-day pass. Children 13 and under are free.

For further info: Rpivovar@verizon.net

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Klezmerfest! - New CD Release Party

by Rita Barnea
The Klezmer group, Klezmerfest, is celebrating the release of their second CD, “LIFE OF THE PARTY” on May 17 from 11AM-2:30PM at the City Winery, 155 Varick Street (between Spring and Vandam Streets), NYC. Call: 212-608-0555

Klezmerfest! consists of Jordan Hirsch (trumpet), Greg Wall (clarinet), Zevy Zions (accordion), Brian Glassman (bass), and Aaron Alexander (drums).

The accordionist, Zevy Zions, is a student of Charles Nunzio. Zevy released his own CD, "Olive Blossoms", and is currently performing and recording in the NY and NJ area. For further information, he may be contacted at kvetcher@oliveblossoms.com.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

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


Jon Hammond CD's for Sale

WMAS Spring Concert on May 17th

by Rita Barnea
Anne Johnson, one of the founders of WMASThe WMAS Spring Concert will take place on May 17th at 4 PM at the Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, Va.

At this concert, members are encouraged to perform solos or duets. It is an informal and fun concert. A student of one of the members will tap dance while he plays his accordion.

The Potomac Ensemble, under the direction of Joan Grauman, will perform. The ensemble is a group of ten accordionists who are all members of WMAS.

Admission is free and open to the public.
For further info: mcherkasky@verizon.net

Dr. William Schimmel - A Busy Month

by Dr. William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel will perform in two new operas on May 1 and 2 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, New York as part of New York City Opera’s Vox Festival, a yearly festival that promotes the development of new innovative operas and presents them in the form of staged readings. He is performing in “Ratland” by Gordon Beeferman-an opera about a dysfunctional family and “Crescent City” by Anne LeBaron – an opera about New Orleans focusing in on Hurricane Katrina. Both parts were written especially for Dr. Schimmel.

“Ratland ”is a brutal modernistic piece which requires much physical and psychological energy in performance and “Crescent City” was written in such a way that Dr. Schimmel could utilize his many eclectic skills through various style shifts as well as improvisations.

On April 25, William Schimmel performed in Gerard Grisey’s Partiels with the Ensemble ACJW conducted by Mathais Pintscher at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. The work is scored for chamber ensemble with accordion and features the accordion in a highly textural manner. The late Gerard Grisey, whose early career in the 1960’s included being a Coupe Mondiale third place winner, was the forerunner of the Spectral School of music composition which is to create music based on the overtone series producing an end result which makes acoustical instruments almost sound electronic.

On May 16, William will perform a series of songs by composer Eric Salzman to texts by Bertolt Brecht set in French. Eric Salzman was the producer of the Tango Project, a series of hit recordings that included Dr. Schimmel on accordion. The performances will take place at the Southampton Public Library in Southampton, New York.

William also is featured in the upcoming film: “New York, I Love You” which should be in theatres in May. The music is by Paul Cantelon, composer of such films as “W” and “Everything is Illuminated”. The film is a series of short films by various directors. Shekhar Kapur directed the segment starring Julie Christie in which Dr. Schimmel can be heard. A new book on Tom Waits entitled “Lowside of the Road” by Barney Hoskyns will be released in May. It will contain some interviews with Dr. Schimmel and his time with Mr. Waits.

For further info: billschimmel@billschimmel.com

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Mario Pedone - In Concert In May

by Rita Barnea
Mario PedoneAccordionist Mario Pedone will return to Canada on Sunday, May 3. The Victoria Accordion Club will be hosting a concert by Mario at the Edelweiss club,108 Niagara Street, at 3:30 p.m.

Mario is very well-known in music circles. He is an accomplished accordionist and keyboardist who plays every style of music including jazz, Latin, European, country, folk, big band, traditional and much more.

Mario was a member of the Valencia Accordion Club and co-founder of the Orquest Latina. Together with the famous Spanish singer, Esteban Abarca, the Orquesta Latina performed across Venezuela. Mario has performed professionally in many countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Sweden, Italy and Canada.

Mario has his own recording studio in Sugar Land, TX where he has arranged and recorded hundreds of tunes including many of his own compositions. He teachers accordion and produces CDs and background music for other musicians. Mario founded the Fort Bend County Accordion Club and is currently the president of the Houston Accordion Club.

For more information: midimary@shaw.ca

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

Main Squeeze Orchestra Performs in NYC

by Rita Barnea
Main Sqeeze Accordion OrchestraOn May 6, 2009 at 8:00 PM, the Main Squeeze Orchestra will perform at The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY.

The Main Squeeze Orchestra, the New York 14-piece all-ladies all-accordion ensemble created by Walter Kuhr, will be playing the Found Magazine Party ! Join them on WORLD ACCORDION DAY for what will promise to be a socks knocking-off night of entertainment.

FOUND is a magazine that celebrates found stuff: love letters, birthday cards, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles and any tender or tantalizing artifacts that provide a glimpse into someone else's life. FOUND shares their amazing discoveries live in Brooklyn!

The party starts at 8.00 PM. A special performance by the Main Squeeze Orchestra, inspired by mystery, spy, and thriller movies begins at 9:30pm.

For further info: info@mainsqueezeorchestra.com

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

"How to Play Diatonic Button Accordion, Vol. 2 " is Published

by Rita Barnea
Henry DoktorskiAuthor Henry Doktorski’s new book, “How to Play Diatonic Button Accordion, Vol. 2” is now available. It comes with a CD which contains all of the music in the book played by Doktorski on a one-row button accordion. The book includes button charts, diagrams, and photographs of historic accordions and sheet music covers.

In volume two, accordionists can increase their knowledge and abilities, learning to play in third, fourth, fifth and sixth position and becoming acquainted with the entire range of the one-row button-accordion. Although the ability to read music is not required to study this method book, it would be helpful. Speakerphone lessons with Henry Doktorski as your teacher are available.

Henry Doktorski’s articles and letters have been printed in many prestigious publications. His reviews and articles can be read on The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. website. His pioneering research work, “The Classical Squeezebox -- A Short History of the Accordion in Classical Music” was published by the British international journal, “ Musical Performance”. His most recent work, “The Brothers Deiro and Their Accordions”, is available from the The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. eBay Store.

Mr. Doktorski is a member of the advisory and editorial board for The Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, and Pi Kappa Lambda, the academic honor society in the field of music.

For further information: Henrydoktorski at gmail dot com

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

Lenny Feldmann in Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Lenny FeldmannAAA Board member Lenny Feldman performed in concert for the M.A.C. (Maryland Accordion Club) on April 18th. The concert was well received as was his concert on April 19th for the WMAS organization.

The audience was very responsive, and especially enjoyed “The Darkside of the Moon Suite for Stradella Accordion” arranged by Lenny Feldmann. For more info: www.cordeenman.com/darkside

There were copies of the arrangement available for sale. CD's were made available at only $5 each. Lenny provided a varied and entertaining program and gave out free copies of some of the music to the attendees.
Dan and Joan Grauman hosted Lenny at their beautiful home in Silver Springs, MD and they provided the transportation for the Sunday WMAS workshop and concert.

Lenny Feldmann, also known as the Cordeenman, is a former accordion State Champion (both in New Jersey and Illinois) and has performed as solo accordionist with the world famous Manotvani Orchestra.

Lenny currently performs concerts and workshops at accordion festivals across the United States, most recently at the Florida Accordion Association "Smash" (FAA) and the American Accordion Musicological Society (AAMS) festival in Valley Forge, PA. as well as at previous AAA Festivals and the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International conventions.

For more info on the Maryland Accordion Club please contact Joe Fertitta at (410) 744-3352.
For more info on the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society: wmas2002@cox.net

Future events


Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

The Accordionaires Orchestra Performs with Symphony in May

by Rita Barnea
Accordionaires Orchestra
Janet Hane, ConductorThe Accordionaires Orchestra performs with the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra on May 31, 2009 at 3:00 PM at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in the Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks, CA.

The title of the concert is "Eurofest". This concert will be a unique and eclectic concert featuring Janet Hane and her 22 piece Accordionaires Orchestra. They will join musicians of the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestras to perform fun and familiar music.

The Accordionaires, based in Los Angele, Ca., was founded in 1996 by former members of FOTA (Friends of the Accordion). In 2001 Carl Hane became director and Janet Hane joined the ensemble. When Carl Hane passed away in 2004, Pat Striplin temporarily took the baton until Janet became director later that year.

Janet Hane is an accordion performer, teacher and conductor of the Accordionaires. Currently residing in Westlake Village, CA., Janet is nationally known for her mastery and command of the piano accordion.

For further info: accordionconnect@sbcglobal.net

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Betty Jo Simon in Symphony Orchestra Performances

by Rita Barnea
Betty Jo Simon has been asked to perform the accordion part in Howard Shore's "The Lord of the Rings" Symphony with the Kansas City Symphony, May 7 & 8 at the Music Hall in Downtown Kansas City.

Howard Shore wrote his six-movement "The Lord of the Rings" Symphony for symphony orchestra, adult and children's choirs, as well as solo instrumentalists and vocalists, totaling more than 200 musicians on stage.The musical experience is heightened with projected illustrations and storyboards projected above the stage in a spectacular multi-media production.

The piece had its premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, which is the home of Middle-earth. Since the premiere, the symphony has played in sold out performances in North America, Europe, Far East, and Australia." Shore takes particular pride in the fact that performances of "The Lord of the Rings Symphony" all over the world have been given not by a single touring orchestra but almost entirely by local performers.

On April 29, 2009, Betty Jo Simon performed the accordion part in a brass orchestra of Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" as a requirement for KU's Doctoral Conducting Student Frank Perez's senior recital. It was held at 4:30 PM at Swarthout Recital Hall on the Kansas University Campus in Lawrence, KS. Probably the most famous composition to come out of this opera was "Mack the Knife" and made popular by such artists as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Bobby Darin.

Betty Jo Simon’s musical aptitude and love for the accordion appeared early. As a high school student, she became the first accordionist to win the instrumental division of the Youth Talent Auditions of the Topeka Civic Symphony. Betty Jo earned a Bachelor of Music in Accordion Performance from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, (UMKC), where she played the world premiere of Paul Creston's “Fantasy for Accordion and Orchestra” with the UMKC Civic Orchestra.

She participated in USO tours to Greenland, Newfoundland, Labrador and Germany, and did a two-year stint with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. Betty Jo now performs as a soloist throughout the United States and internationally. In 2000 she appeared on a Chinese satellite TV musical variety program aired on Chinese New Year and went on to give concerts in Beijing and Shanghai.

In 2007 Betty Jo won the Maddalena Belfiore Entertainment Competition for Female Accordionst and currently leads a German polka band called The Alpen Spielers. In August 2009 she will be making three appearances with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, one being the opening concert of the 64th Coupe Mondiale. (World Championship Accordion Competition)

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

2009 Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio

by Rita Barnea
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center presents the 28th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio which will be held from May 5 to May 9, 2009 at Rosedale Park, 303 Dartmouth, San Antonio, TX.

In the late 1800’s, the Mexican population of South Texas and northern Mexico adopted the lively button accordion from the German settlers and combined it with the Spanish guitar, or bajo sexto (a 12-string bass guitar), to develop a new style of music known as conjunto.

By synthesizing European rhythms, such as polkas, waltzes and schottishes, with indigenous Mexican musical forms, a highly stylized and unique expression of American music was born.

The first conjuntos, usually comprised of an accordion and guitar or bajo sexto duo, were formed in the 1920’s. The first recordings of conjunto music were made in San Antonio in the late 20’s to mid 30’s at which time the radio industry popularized conjunto music among the Mexican-American people. To this day, San Antonio continues to be the hub of Tejano Conjunto music.

Some of the groups that will perform include: Los Hermanos De León, Los Badd Boyz del Valle, Sunny Sauceda, Joel Guzmán & Sarah Fox, Special Tribute to Esteban Jordán, Bene Medina y el Conjunto Águila, Los Monarcas de Pete y Mario Díaz, Ricky Naranjo y Los Gamblers plus many others.

There also will be button accordion and Bajo Sexto Workshops with a special session on accordion tuning, maintenance & repair which will be offered at the Guadalupe Theatre. These workshops will be conducted by conjunto greats, Oscar Hernández and Jesús “Chucho” Perales.

For information call 210.271.3151 or info@guadalupeculturalarts.org

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

MECA Accordion Band in World Accordion Day Events

by Rita Barnea
MECA Accordion BandThe MECA Accordion Band will participate in the World Accordion Day event with several programs. Their major event is Saturday, May 2, at the Cinco De Mayo Festival at Olde Mexico, 3103 S. Ft. Hood St.,Killeen, Texas at 2:30 PM. Their program includes Mexican, Hispanic, and the music of Texas.

The MECA accordion band will be marching in the Harker Heights Texas Stars & Stripes Memorial Day weekend parade on Saturday, May 23, at 10:00 AM. They will be accompanied by the MECA Stars & Stripes Band drummers. The parade starts at Harker Heights High School and ends at the Carl Levin Park near the City Hall building. The parade kicks off the start of the Memorial Day weekend activities.

Dr. Daniel Kott and his MECA accordion band members will also participate on Saturday, June 6, in Houston, Texas at the Big Squeeze event sponsored by the Texas Folklife Association.

For more info contact Daniel Kott: dfkott@aol.com

Texas Folklife’s 2009 “Big Squeeze” Accordion Contest Semi-finalists

by Rita Barnea
Texas folk Life
Juan Longoria, Jr with Chubby CarrierTexas Folklife is pleased to announce the names of the young accordion players who will advance to the semi-final stage for its third annual Big Squeeze accordion contest. The semi-finalists will perform in a free concert open to the public on Saturday, May 2, at the Mexican American Cultural Center at 600 River Street in Austin. It will be an afternoon filled with music as the Austin-based cumbia-playing band, Cerronato, will perform as well as Conteño, with its mix of conjunto, norteño, and Tejano music featuring former Big Squeeze winner Juan Longoria, Jr. from the Rio Grande Valley. Dancing will be encouraged at this family-friendly event.

The Big Squeeze semi-finalists range in age from 15 to 25 and represent both rural and urban areas in the state, with four hailing from South Texas. They are: Gloria Jean Cantu, 16, from San Benito; Rogelio (Roger) Guerra, Jr., 16, from Mission; Issac Ledesma, 16, from Belton; Anthony Ortiz, Jr., 15, from Austin; Eduardo Ozuna, 17, from Penitas; Heriberto Rodriguez, 16, from Edcouch; and Jorge Vásquez, 25, from Houston. They were chosen by musicians and music industry professionals who served on the judges panel and were selected based on their song interpretation, technical skill, originality, execution, and stage presence. Texas Folklife congratulates these young musicians and appreciates their participation as well as all of those who entered the contest.

“The Big Squeeze contest allows us to fulfill our mission to preserve, promote, and celebrate Texas culture in a very real way,” said Texas Folklife Executive Director Nancy Bless. “By supporting these young musicians we hope to encourage them to continue playing the accordion, an instrument that is central to Texas traditional music. It is gratifying to help inspire a younger generation of musicians, literally put them on the stage, and help assure the future of ‘the national instrument of Texas.’” Each semi-finalist will perform two songs at the May 2 concert and a panel of judges will choose three players to go on to the finals at the 20th annual Accordions Kings & Queens concert in Houston on June 6th.

Jorge Vásquez, in the 19-25 year old category, has already been selected by the judges to move on to the finals. The finalists will open at the widely acclaimed and wildly popular evening of squeezebox at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre. Last year the audience numbered over 6,000, and this year’s concert promises to be a hit with an all-star line up including Santiago Jimenez, Jr., Sunny Sauceda, and Cedryl Ballou and the Zydeco Trendsetters.

The grand prize winner of The Big Squeeze accordion contest 2009, chosen at the Accordion Kings & Queens concert in June, will receive a prize package valued at $7,000, including an all expense paid trip to perform in Trossingen, Germany, the home of Hohner’s German factory, a day-long recording session at the historic SugarHill Recording Studios in Houston, and promotional support from Hohner, Inc., SugarHill, and Texas Folklife.

The Big Squeeze and Accordion Kings & Queens are funded in part by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, Hohner Inc., Houston Endowment, and the Still Water Foundation with generous support from SugarHill Recording Studios, Embassy Suites Hotel, Austin and The Raven Grill. Additional support is provided by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Now celebrating its twenty-fifth year, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities and explored their importance in contemporary society and has been called “one of the state’s true cultural treasures” by the Austin American-Statesman.

For more info@texasfolklife.org

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

Gator By the Bay Festival 2009

by Rita Barnea
Gator By The BayBrian Jack and the Zydeco GamblersThe eighth annual Gator By The Bay, San Diego’s Zydeco, Blues and Crawfish Festival will take place from May 8 May 10, at the Spanish Park Landing at Harbor Island, San Diego, California.

The festival will feature Cajun and Zydeco and blues bands, more than twenty bands performing on five stages, with wooden dance floors and a comfortable festival seating. There will also be accordion workshops, Cajun and Creole food, cooking demonstrations, dance lessons, heritage presentations, a kids activity center, costumed New Orleans style daily parades as well as strolling entertainers.

The featured zydeco bands will include: the Pine Leaf Boys, Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble and many more.

For more info: gator@sandiegofestival.com

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

"The Big Squeeze" Documentary To Have Houston Premiere!

by Rita Barnea
Step Rideau; below, John RamirezProject Row Houses will screen "The Big Squeeze" at the Eldorado Ballroom on May 8th at 6:45p.m.at Eldorado Ballroom Rowhouses, 2310 Elgin St, Houston, TX.

The screening will include a special live performance by 2008 winner John Ramirez and Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws who also appear in the film. The film is produced and directed by renowned filmmaker Hector Galán, and documents Texas Folklife’s annual accordion contest for the newest generation of players.

"The Big Squeeze" is a joyful leap into the heart of Texas, from the urban barrios of Houston to the colonias along the U.S.-Mexican border where we find young musicians carrying on a passionate musical legacy fueled by family, friends and food, then follow as they do battle at the statewide throwdown.

The 26-minute film follows the 2007 and 2008 contestants and their families as they prepare for the contest, interviews seasoned performers and judges, and concludes with footage of the contest held at Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens concert in Houston.

Some of the prominent musicians featured in the film are Zydeco greats Chubby Carrier and Step Rideau, Tejano star Mingo Saldivar, and Country Western singer/songwriter Ginny Mac.

Rideau is a native Louisianan who merges influences from Creole to rhythm ‘n’ blues and urban rap. Though Rideau didn’t start playing till he moved to Houston, he absorbed the rich black Creole culture and musical rhythms of his birthplace, LeBeau, La. Unlike many zydeco “shouters,” he brings a singer’s sensibility to his vocals, delivered in English and Creole French. He also never fails to provide a rockin’ good time, which is why he and the Outlaws are festival favorites nationwide. John Ramirez is a 17 year old junior at Houston’s Reagan High School who has been playing accordion since he was four.

The Big Squeeze Documentary broadcasts and screenings will be on: KUHT Houston: Sunday, May 3 @ 9:30 p.m. (check listings for future air dates) www.houstonpbs.org and KLRU Austin: Thursday, May 7 @ 8 p.m. & Monday, May 11 @ 9:30 p.m. (www.klru.org)

Project Row Houses is a nonprofit arts organization, established by African-American artists and community activists to create a positive presence in Houston’s Northern Third Ward community.

For more information contact: Sheree Scarborough
(512) 922-5483 or sheree.scarborough@gmail.com

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

2009 Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration: July 31st

by Rita Barnea
Accordion enthusiasts from all over the U.S. and Canada will again be taking that scenic trip to Philipsburg, Montana for the Rocky Mountain Accordion Festival. The event will take place this year, July 31 and August 1. This gathering has happened every year for the past 13 years.

Fiddlers, guitar players, harmonica players and drummers team up with a host of accordion players to create some of the best jammin you will ever hear.

There is a dance floor and tented seating for dancers and spectators. The jammin and dancin begins on Friday and ends when the last player goes home on Sunday. A performance by headline entertainers takes place on Saturday afternoon in the HighSchool gymnasium.

Pack up your camper, throw in your lawn chairs, grab the kids and gramma and grampa. Come on down to Philipsburg to have the best footstompin time of your life.

For more info about the festival call : 1-406-859-3812 or e-mail: quigleybb@yahoo.com

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

Second Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! August 7 – 8

by Rita Barnea
1. Eddie Monteiro 2. Tony Lovello 3. Vladimir SidorovCo-sponsors New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC are pleased to present the second annual ACCORDIONS NOW! 2009 Festival on August 7-8, 2009 at the Highlander Inn and Conference Center, Manchester, New Hampshire.

Tony Lovello, “Liberace of the Accordion,” returns by popular demand to headline Saturday evening’s exciting Gala Concert which will also star jazz wizard, Eddie Monteiro, and Russian bayan master, Vladimir Sidorov. Each artist will present a daytime workshop as well.

Also returning by popular demand is the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra conducted by Donna Maria Regis. Accordionists of all levels of ability are invited to participate. Prior registration is required so that parts can be assigned and music sent in advance.

The fun starts Friday evening with Open Mike Night in the Inn’s Veranda Room. Play, listen, or just mingle with accordion-loving friends old and new while enjoying a meal or beverage.

Concerts, workshops, jam sessions, vendor displays, demonstrations, door prizes, and more will fill the Conference Center with musical activity from morning till night on Saturday. Accordion entertainment at the luncheon, cocktail reception, and gala dinner will add further zest to the weekend’s festivities.

Come to beautiful New Hampshire and discover why the motto of ACCORDIONS NOW! is “Lots of Accordions, Lots of Music, Lots of Fun!!”

To register for ACCORDIONS NOW! 2009 or for more information, please contact Donna Maria Regis, Artistic Director, at regisdonna@yahoo.com or Suzanne Welch, Executive Director, at 1-800-328-5227.
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