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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-May-2024
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Breaking News: Passing of Russell Cerminara : Former President of ATA of NJ
AAA 2024 Annual Competition and Festival July 12 - 14 in Pennsylvania
Kansas City to Host International Accordionists & Teachers Guild Festival, July 23 - 27, 2024
What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day? - International by Harley Jones
2024 World Accordion Day and Willard Palmer Festival - USA
Kevin Friedrich Celebrates Launch of his Album “The Journey” Online Download
One-month Extension of AAA Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition Deadline Date - USA
3rd Annual Qathet on May 10 - 11 in Canada
Conjunto Apprenticeship Showcase on June 15 in Texas

Voci Armoniche

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

The Alex Meixner Band on USA Tour
Sam Reider's New Album, “ The Golem and Other Tales”
Stas Venglevski in Maryland – 8 gigs in 4 days
Latest Expanded Article About AAA Commissioned Works Now Published
“Halmoni’s Pot (Grandma’s Pot)”  Film by A. Lauren Lee Receives Two Audience Awards
Accordionist Aaron Collis Receives Canadian Folk Music Award - Canada
Squeezebox Circle Meeting Dates

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

The 2024 Accordion Seminars - Dr. William Schimmel, Curator
3nd Anniversary of the New England Accordion Connection & Museum on July 1
Lost Bayou Ramblers on Summer Tour
2024 Cotati Festival August 17th and 18th in California

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
WADMay is an amazing month for the accordion everywhere! Don’t forget to attend or view the many online and live celebrations of WAD (World Accordion Day) happening on or about May 6.

Visit the WAD site created by Harley Jones, Public Relations for Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) to celebrate the accordion’s versatility, importance and influence all over the world.

Enjoy reading about the accordion events that are taking place in May and on through the summer months.

Send comments and ideas to

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Breaking News: Passing of Russell Cerminara : Former President of ATA of NJ

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Russell cerminaraRussell Cerminara passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 in Cherry Hill, NJ. Born in Philadelphia to Angelo and Angelina Cerminara, Russell was 80 years old. He grew up in South Philly and was a long time resident of Cherry Hill.
 Husband of the late Patricia (nee Schrufer). Dear father of John R. Cerminara and his wife Wendy, grandfather of Raeanna, McKenna and Tessa, brother of Robert (Laura) Cerminara, Angelo Philip (Barbara) Cerminara and Karen Marie (Howard) Mehrer. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

Russell was an entrepreneur later in life, and he was the owner of Russell School of Music in Cherry Hill for many years. He was the President of the New Jersey Accordion Teachers Association of NJ ( ATA of NJ). He organized many successful accordion competitions over the years. Russell always enjoyed going out for lunch with friends and hearing about his granddaughters.

Jeanne Marie Brunozzi, cousin of Russell Cerminara, shares, “It is with a heavy heart that my oldest cousin, Russell Cerminara, passed away on Tuesday, April 23. He was an excellent musician playing the accordion and opened a successful school of music, next to the Rickshaw Inn in Cherry Hill having over 30 music teachers. He also had a magazine, called ‘Steppen Out’ which featured local talent in the Jersey and Philadelphia area. He was a pioneer in the heart transplant process at Jefferson Hospital in 2007.

He also had a TV show too..doing commentary on different restaurants in our area. It was a show on cable TV. He had always a pleasant personality along with his cute dimples was certainly a handsome man. Rest in Eternal Peace, Cousin…look after us down here and give all the others a hug from us."

A gathering of family and friends will be held Thursday, May 16th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Christ Our Light Church, 402 North Kings Highway, Cherry Hill, NJ. Russell's Memorial Mass will follow at 11:AM.Inturnment will take place at Calvary Cemetery in Cherry Hill. Afterwards you are welcome to attend a luncheon at Caffe Aldo Lamberti 2011 Marlton Pike W Cherry Hill NJ 08002.

If so desired, memorial contributions in Russell's name may be made to the JDRF Greater Delaware Valley Chapter. Mailing Address/Check Donations: Greater Delaware Valley Chapter
PO Box 1532 Hagerstown, MD 21741-1532
. To share your memories of Russell, please visit To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.

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

AAA 2024 Annual Competition and Festival July 12 - 14 in Pennsylvania

by Frank Busso Jnr, AAA President
AAA Logo
AAAWelcome to the American Accordionists’ Association! Exciting news about the upcoming 2024 AAA Festival in Conshohocken, PA.

Download the 2024 AAA Festival Registration Form 2024AAARegistration.pdf to pay by check.

You may register online and pay with credit card: AAA-Store

Link for reserving hotel rooms:

Competition rules and entry forms are now online at AAAFestival.

The AAA Board has been busy making many exciting changes and additions to this year’s festival, which will take place from July 12-14, 2024. This consolidated schedule will be packed with events, performers, workshops and food functions beginning with a gala luncheon on Friday, July 12. This will cut down the amount of hotel nights needed, but not the amount of wonderful activities!

We are delighted to announce our incredible guest artists: Hanzhi Wang, Joseph Natoli, Dallas Vietty, Nikolay Bine and this year’s festival orchestra conductor Frank Busso Sr. More performers will be announced as plans firm up.

Meanwhile, please save the date and join us for this special event! Along with performances and workshops, there will be competitions for students of all ages and proficiency levels. There will be performance opportunities for all attendees, three festival orchestras, vendors, exhibits and several food functions with live music.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Musically yours,
Frank Busso Jr. AAA President

Titano Accordion Company

Kansas City to Host International Accordionists & Teachers Guild Festival, July 23 - 27, 2024

by Marty McIntyre and Mary Ann Covone
Click each poster to see full size
Kansas City's vibrant music scene is set to take center stage in a whole new way as it welcomes the Accordionists & Teachers Guild (ATG) for its annual Festival from July 23 to 27, 2024. While the city is renowned for its rich and diverse musical heritage, this event promises to transform it into a global mecca for accordion enthusiasts and music lovers alike.

Spanning five days of festivities, the ATG Festival will showcase the incredible versatility and artistry of the accordion, drawing participants and performers from not only the United States and Canada but from around the world. Audiences can expect to be treated to a breathtaking array of performances that will redefine their perceptions of the accordion.

The evening concerts will begin Wednesday, July 24th, with Stas Venglevski premiering a new composition he wrote for Joan Cochran Sommers followed by Das Kollektive Duo (flute and accordion) from Austria. Thursday evening will feature the UMKC Accordion Ensemble directed by Joan Sommers, Mirco Patarini from Italy (President of the Confédération Internationale Des Accordéonistes), and Nikolay Bine, jazz accordionist from Canada.

Friday evening will be an evening of Tango and Fusion. Bridge and Wolak (Dr. Michael Bridge on accordion and Kornel Wolak on clarinet) will lead off with a concert of classical, jazz and world music fusing various genres of music to create a life-affirming concert full of beauty, virtuosity and humor. Next, Grayson Masefield (New Zealand) will be joined by a group of prominent Kansas City musicians, “Ensemble Iberica,” to present an all-tango program.

The Festival will culminate on Saturday evening with a concert by the incredible ATG Festival Orchestra, conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers. Among other works, the orchestra will premier two new works commissioned by the ATG. The first is composed by Gorka Hermosa entitled OPAROA, which means in the Basque language “Truly full” (referencing the “truly full life’ that Professor Joan C. Sommers has had, giving so much to the accordion world in America). The second commissioned piece is ETERNAL composed by Ian Watson (United Kingdom) in honor of Joan C. Sommers’ 90th birthday.

"The ATG Festival is more than just a celebration of the accordion; it's a testament to the instrument's enduring appeal and its ability to transcend cultural boundaries," says Mary Ann Covone, president of the ATG. "We're thrilled to bring together accordionists and enthusiasts from across the globe to share in the joy and excitement of this special Festival honoring our Joan Sommers.”

Beyond the captivating performances, the festival will also feature workshops, networking opportunities for accordionists of all levels, an accordion petting zoo for youngsters looking to learn about accordions, sessions geared toward music educators and will feature the World Accordion Cup competition. Each evening will include concerts at the UMKC - White Recital Hall.

Whether you're a seasoned accordion aficionado or simply curious to explore the instrument's vast potential, the ATG Festival in Kansas City promises an unforgettable experience for all who attend. This is one NOT TO BE MISSED.

For more information, please visit

Voci Armoniche

What Are You Doing For May 6th World Accordion Day? - International by Harley Jones

by Harley Jones
Click picture to see full size
CIA side bannerWhat are you doing for World Accordion Day (WAD) to promote the accordion in your country? World Accordion Day (WAD) is on May 6th, which is the day the accordion was patented in 1829.

WAD was started in 2009 by the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) and has been very successful, generating a lot of positive publicity for the accordion. A key part of this event is the WAD website.

Every association, group, orchestra, performer and teacher, is asked to actively support WAD by encouraging national and local accordion activities to happen in their country on this day or the weekend either side of WAD if that should be more convenient.

Everyone can register their WAD activity on the WAD website and send a report of their event after, for that website.

No event is too big or too small. ALL accordion events celebrating WAD are welcome. This is a CIA promotion for the accordion in which every accordion enthusiast can participate and help bring our accordion world together as well as strongly promote the accordion.

Accordion Jazz Chords

2024 World Accordion Day and Willard Palmer Festival - USA

by Jane Christison, Secretary, A World of Accordions Museum
Click picture to see full size
Download printable poster: 2024AWAMposter.pdf

A World of Accordions will be celebrating World Accordion Day 2024 and the Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, 2024, at A World of Accordions Museum, in Superior, Wisconsin. We will be honoring George Curletto, an accordion innovator, Willard A. Palmer III, son of Dr. Willard Palmer, and Professor Emerita Joan Cochran Sommers.
The weekend will include a free concert on Thursday, May 2, 2024, 6:PM by Kansas City children’s musician, Janie Next Door® - also known as accordionist Jane Christison. The concert is A World of Accordion Museum way to celebrate the local Home Grown Festival.
Friday night, May 3, 2024, 7:30 p.m., the Accordion & Concertina Music Band and Friends (anyone who wants to bring an accordion and play), will rehearse some world accordion music. Please email if you’re coming and would like music to be emailed to you.
Saturday, May 4, 2024, starts at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome, presentations, and a chance to ask Helmi Harrington Ph.D., any and all accordion-related questions as well as find out how she started the A World of Accordions Museum. The afternoon includes a world premiere of the ATG (Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International) sponsored documentary, “A World of Accordions . . . a Harrington Legacy.”

There will be a workshop by Joan C. Sommers, a performance by the Chicagoland Accordion Academy, directed by Mary Ann Covone, and a performance by the ACM Band and Friends before breaking for dinner. The dinner will be capped off with a performance by Mike Middleton & the Middletones, which is sure to be a fun evening.
Sunday, May 5, 2024, is a non-denominational polka service with Mike Middleton & the Middletones. If you’ve never been to one of these, familiar hymns are played as polkas or waltzes. Dance in the aisle, sing along, or bring your accordion and join in on the performance. Willard A. Palmer III will talk about his Dad, Dr. Willard A. Palmer of Palmer-Hughes fame. After lunch, George Curletto will talk about innovative accordion concepts.

Jane Christison – Music With A Smile® - will play music from around the world along with Kevin Friedrich. Dee Langley will lead a rehearsal of Beatles music, so bring your accordion and join us. After the rehearsal, there will be a short performance to perform the pieces just learned. The event will be topped off with a celebration toast.
Here is the link to purchase tickets:

Hope you can join us!!


Kevin Friedrich Celebrates Launch of his Album “The Journey” Online Download

by Harley Jones
Kevin Friedrich,Mal Smith, Gary Daverne
To co-ordinate with World Accordion Day on May 6th, Kevin Friedrich has just released his album "The Journey" as an online download.

Download online where Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube are linked. download album link is: JourneyAlbum Only US$10

Marking a 30 year collaboration between Kevin and renowned New Zealand composer Gary Daverne. The album is performed both live and as pre-recorded items by Kevin solo and Kevin with symphony orchestra and various supporting artists.

View further information, track list and sound samples at: JourneyAlbum

Picture below: Kevin Friedrich (left), Sound Engineer Mal Smith and Gary Daverne (right).
The Journey album cover

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

One-month Extension of AAA Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition Deadline Date - USA

by Dr. Robert Young McMahan Chair, AAA Composers Commissioning Committee
Elsie BennettThe deadline for submission of entries for the AAA 2024 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition has been extended from the original date of April 12 to May 12, one month later.

Entries are welcome from all countries. Winners will be notified by email on or about July 01, 2024.

As announced before, If you plan to enter, go to for the entry form and information guidelines.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

3rd Annual Qathet on May 10 - 11 in Canada

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
QVideo: Qathet Accordion Fest 2023 Highlights.

Walter Martella and Karina Inkster are excited to bring you the Qathet region's third annual Accordion Fest! Including a concert performance; workshops for beginners and advanced players alike; and a wide range of musical genres for our audiences to enjoy, mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, 2024! It is also known as the Powell River Accordion Fest.

The event will feature a variety of concerts, a Fest Accordion masterclass with guest clinician Jelena Milojevic and an accordion orchestra conducted by Walter Martella.

Picture below: Musicians featured at the Opening Night Concert, plus guitarist Stephen Nikleva (of Petunia & the Vipers) and accordionists Kosta Bozhinov and Henry Slam.

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

Conjunto Apprenticeship Showcase on June 15 in Texas

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Be sure to attend the Conjunto Apprenticeship Showcase’s featured performers include La Reina Del Acordeón, Eva Ybarra alongside her apprentice, Iliana Vásquez, as well as the esteemed Juan Longoria Jr. accompanied by his apprentice, Manuel “Manny” Tovar.

The program takes place June 15, 2024, 6 PM at the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum located at 402 West Robertson Street, San Benito, TX ! This event is made possible by the generous support of the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame.

Don't miss the opportunity to experience the rich traditions of Conjunto music and celebrate the talents of these exceptional musicians!
Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms of conjunto music as the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum proudly presents a spectacular evening of music featuring some of the genre's most renowned artists.

This event is made possible by the generous support of the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame. Their commitment to preserving and promoting conjunto music ensures that audiences have the opportunity to experience the magic of this unique musical genre.

Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to witness the talents of La Reina Del Acordeón, Eva Ybarra, and Juan Longoria Jr., as they come together to celebrate conjunto music at its finest.

About Texas Folklife:Texas Folklife is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of Texas. Through events, educational programs, research, and advocacy, Texas Folklife promotes understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural tapestry that makes up the Lone Star State.

For media inquiries, please contact: 
Mariela Freire 
Communications Director, Texas Folklife 

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

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

Titano Accordion Company

The Alex Meixner Band on USA Tour

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Alex Meixner Tour
The Alex Meixner Band is hitting the road for some return engagements in the Northeast. Everyone had so much fun on these gigs last year that they are making the trek back to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey for all their friends up there!

2024 Upcoming Tour Forecast:

May 1 - Hanover, Maryland 
Bavarian Brauhaus - Tickets

May 2 - Coplay, Pennsylvania
Coplay PM Saengerbund Presented by WMUH 91.7 FM - Tickets

May 3 - Reading, Pennsylvania
Reading Liederkranz Maifest

May 4 - Rockaway, New Jersey
Germania Park of New Jersey’s Maifest - Tickets (online sales end 4/30)

May 5 - Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Sly Fox Bock Fest & Goat Race

May 23 - New Braunfels, Texas
Krause’s Cafe - Tickets

May 25 & 26 - Ennis, Texas
National Polka Festival

June 7 - Moravia/Schulenburg, Texas
Moravia Store - Tickets

June 8 - Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg Craft Beer Festival - Tickets

August 2-4 - Glendale, Wisconsin
DasFest - Bavarian Bierhaus NEW LOCATION

August 22 & 23 - Cedar, Michigan
Cedar Polka Fest

August 24 & 25 - West Bend, Wisconsin
West Bend Germanfest

For further information:
Alex Meixner

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

Sam Reider's New Album, “ The Golem and Other Tales”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sam Reider
Sam Reider happily shares, “I’m beyond excited to officially announce the release of my new record, "The Golem and Other Tales", available worldwide on June 21st, 2024. Even better, the first single from the record, “Ancient Technology” is streaming today!

"The Golem and Other Tale"s features a through-composed suite of music based on the medieval Jewish legend of a clay man brought to life—alongside five other short compositions. “Ancient Technology” is one of the latter.

It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since the Human Hands released Too Hot To Sleep. To be able to gather (and expand) this incredible musical family for a new recording last year was a total thrill and an honor: Alex Hargreaves (violin), Eddie Barbash (saxophone), Duncan Wickel (violin, cello, and bouzouki), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Roy Williams (guitar), and Andrew Ryan (bass). Jon Seale and Jacob Blumberg recorded and co-produced this project with me at Mason Jar Music in Brooklyn last March.

We’re putting out both CDs and a deluxe vinyl featuring original artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Andrew Benincasa. The gatefold vinyl opens up to reveal a beautiful two-page spread of hand-cut paper illustration of the golem story. I can’t wait for you to hear the whole record. I’ll be writing much more about the compositions and music in the coming weeks. For now, enjoy “Ancient Technology”!

This special concert will feature the entire Human Hands crew that played on the record: Alex Hargreaves on violin, Dominick Leslie on mandolin, Roy Williams on guitar, Duncan Wickel on violin, cello, and bouzouki, Eddie Barbash on saxophone and Andrew Ryan on bass.

June 26th, 2024
Sam Reider and the Human Hand Album Release Celebration
The Jalopy Theatre - Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY
Doors open at 8 PM, Show takes place at 8:30 PM
Tickets: $25 Advance / $30 Day of Show

Sam’s work brings together various streams of American music, from jazz and folk tunes to popular song and contemporary composition. He has appeared as a bandleader and soloist at major festivals and venues around the world and his performances and original compositions have been featured on NPR, PBS and the BBC. Reider has performed, recorded and collaborated with a range of artists including Jon Batiste, Jorge Glem, Sierra Hull, Laurie Lewis, and Paquito d’Rivera. As Mark Corroto writes in All About Jazz, “Reider has a knack for writing new music that has a familiar sound. Let's say he has an old soul encased in some sprightly fingers.”

Reider is a passionate and dedicated educator and a lifelong student. He has studied piano with Grammy-award winning pianist Fred Hersch, been mentored by legendary composer/conductor David Amram, and studied counterpoint and harmony with composer and Juilliard Professor Kendall Briggs. Reider holds a B.A. in American Studies from Columbia University and an M.A. in Music Composition from San Francisco State University. He is on faculty at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA where he teaches about jazz and improvisation. Whether he’s performing, teaching or composing music, Reider brings the same high level of dedication to his craft and an exuberance for sharing his love of music with the world.

For more information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Stas Venglevski in Maryland – 8 gigs in 4 days

by Dan Grauman
StasRenowned accordionist, Stas Venglevski, will be visiting Maryland during his “free week” between major performances in the Williamsburg, Virginia area on the last weekend of April and first weekend of May. 2024. Stas will not have much time to relax, as he has eight gigs during the four-day visit – two per day!

Seven of the gigs are private (Frederick, Ellicott City & Silver Spring in Maryland, Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC). The eighth gig, which is public, will take place on Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 8:00 PM local time at An Die Musik Live in Baltimore. If you're not in the area, no worries, because the performance is also Live Streamed.

An Die Musik’s video and audio are superb for live streaming. Go to, or point your phone at the QR code in the upper left hand corner of the photo, and scroll down to May 2 for details.

The concert will include classical music, original compositions, American favorites, Eastern European folk music, and Old Classical Argentinian Tangos. If you haven’t experienced a Stas Venglevski concert, you’re in for a real treat.

If you are familiar with his music, you should also join – Stas may surprise you with some new selections. Let’s get a great turnout for this concert!

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Latest Expanded Article About AAA Commissioned Works Now Published

by Dr. Robert Young McMahan Chair, AAA Composers Commissioning Committee
AAA header
Dr Robert Young McMahanNow published is the expanded article from the Past Annual Series of Articles for the AAA Festival Journal:
2015: Four of the Five Commissioned Works for the Intermediate Level Student
Solos by David Diamond, William Grant Still, Carlos Surinach, & José Serebrier.

View the expanded article at:

This article continues the progress in expanding the annual articles I wrote between 1997 and 2019 on the AAA commissioned “classical” repertoire of the late twentieth century.

The AAA Composers Commissioning Committee founder and first Chair, Elsie Bennett, decided during the mid-to-late 1960s to re-commission four previously AAA engaged composers, namely Paul Creston, David Diamond, William Grant Still, and Carlos Surinach, as well as a first-time contributor, José Serebrier, to supply solo works at the intermediate rather than the normally assumed advanced/professional level. The results were Creston’s Embryo Suite, (released in web format in January 2024), Diamond’s Sonatina, Still’s Lilt, Surinach’s Prelude to the Sea, and Serebrier’s Danza Ritual.

Elsie’s stated purpose for this project was to expose promising young students who through hard and earnest work had achieved a solid intermediate level of performance, usually via their other more traditional tonal repertoire (which was often accordion transcriptions of other instruments’ works), to the “New Music” of their own time. This gateway into original “classical” and idiomatically conceived music for the accordion was and continues to be vitally important since the accordion’s late invention during the previous three-century “Common Practice” era and slow technological evolution in the nineteenth century delayed the creation of its own classical repertoire well into the twentieth century.

To be sure that this endeavor would succeed, these little masterpieces were often required as test pieces in the AAA competitions of the 1960s and later and were admissible in the separate “Original Solo” contest divisions as well. As is the mission of this expanded series of past articles, this current one on these four very diverse compositions (that excludes Creston’s contribution which was covered in the 2017 article) are discussed both historically and theoretically in much greater detail and well beyond the scope, of its original publication in the 2015 AAA Festival Journal.

View the expanded article at:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

“Halmoni’s Pot (Grandma’s Pot)”  Film by A. Lauren Lee Receives Two Audience Awards

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Bill SchimmelDr. William Schimmel is proud to have been on the Musical Team for “Halmoni’s Pot”. (Grandma’s Pot) The film is by A. Lauren Lee. The festivals that awarded the prizes are:
Vero Beach Film Festival Fla. and the DisOrient Film Festival in Eugene, Oregon.
This 10 minute film is about a dutiful Korean grandma who agrees to pick up pot for her grandson who broke his leg. But pay full price? Never! Every screening was filled.
Dr. Schimmel also worked with Ms. Lee on Artemis and The Astronaut. He looks forward to more projects with this brilliant filmmaker.

For more information:

Titano Accordion Company

Accordionist Aaron Collis Receives Canadian Folk Music Award - Canada

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Aaron collis
Aaronrum raggedVideo: Aaron Collis and Rum Ragged live at Celtic Colours International Festival
"I Didn't Drink the Rum: I Didn't Drink the Rum / All the Way to Connickmore / Jackson's Fancy / Jim Rumboldt's Too”

This lively set of Newfoundland tunes is from the ever-entertaining and always energetic, award-winning traditional group Rum Ragged. Aaron Collis sets the pace with his enthusiastic accordion playing and is joined by Colin Grant on fiddle, Mark Manning on guitar, and Zack Nash on bouzouki.

Accordionist Aaron Collis was thrilled to receive the “Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year” award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada from April 3rd to 7th, 2024.

A multi-instrumentalist and singer from Appleton, Newfoundland, Aaron Collis is well known as one of the finest exponents of the island's rich tradition of button accordion playing. His virtuosity, as well as his repertoire of music unique to central and northeastern Newfoundland, have quickly garnered him a reputation as one of the province's outstanding interpreters of traditional music.

Aaron has brought the music of his home province to stages throughout North America, the U.K, Ireland, Australia, and the Caribbean as a member of award-winning bands Rum Ragged and The Dardanelles.

Aaron is a member of the four piece band “Rum Ragged”, who are currently touring Canada. See picture below for concert details.

For further information:

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Squeezebox Circle Meeting Dates

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Squeezebox CircleSqueezebox Circle

More accordions than you can shake a stick at! Every month, you are invited to join the monthly Squeezebox Circle accordion drop-in and song-sharing session. It's held on the first Wednesday of each month which will be on Wednesday May 1, 2024 from 7-9:PM. The location is at East Vancouver's Longhouse Church, 2595 Franklin (corner of Penticton), There is free parking in a large parking lot right across the street.

The past few months, they have been assembling a list of songs that will be played in a group - with songs (mostly from the library online at the Squeezebox Circle website where you will find our website the list for the May Circle near the top of the website's Music page if you want to try out the tunes beforehand.

You are welcome to play la song show off a song that is not on that list - or just watch and listen if you prefer.

There will be other events featuring accordion during May.

The calendar of the Squeezebox Circle website includes:
• May 4, Jack Garton and his Dream Band , Guilt & Company, 1 Alexander Street
• May 4, 2-4 pm: The Gram Partisans - Mayday Social Justice Info Fair, Grandview Park (Commercial & Charles)
• May 8, 8-11 pm - Royal Cajun Band - Princeton Pub, 1901 Powell
• May 10-11 - qathet Accordion Fest (formerly Powell River Accordion Fest)
• May 18 - The Gram Partisans open for Portland singer-songwriter David Rovics- email for details

You can also hear the popular Accordion Noir radio show on Vancouver Co-op Radio every Wednesday from 10 - 11:PM on CFRO 100.5 FM or anytime online at the Accordion Noir website.

For further information:


Future events

The 2024 Accordion Seminars - Dr. William Schimmel, Curator

by William Schimmel
William SchimmelOur 30th Anniversary Year: “More is Better” This has been our Philosophy for 30 years - and we’re proud of it: Staggering Variety, Overflowing Ideas, Developed Ideas, Ideas in process, Success, Failure, Encouragement, Styles, Brands - and we’re still working to improve our art in every way. We cover everything, including all of the ISMS around - yes, even (would you believe) outdated Minimalism (ironic statement of course).

We’ve build a culture. We’ve built a community. Some call it a non culture - some call it a non community. Some call us Weird - Some say it’s all been said and done. We do still do weird - and we do new takes on old stuff ( most of them new to the Music Community - Non Accordionists at large - therefore new to them ), which still raises the question: “What is this thing called “New Music ?” There are a few points to ponder:

Great director Peter Brook talked greatly about “The Empty Space”. Accordionists start with a “Full Space” and add more and more s - - t.
Great artists start practicing slowly until they are ready to play at tempo. Great Accordionists start faster and eventually slow down due to tangled fingers. We think they all lead to the same place. We’re not a Fringe Group - We never were. We put on our lab coats and get to work.

and so can you - virtually.

Topics will include: The Art ofAudience Participation/The Sing - a - Long; Embracing the Maximallst Dimension (The Art of Clutter); Faking/Improvising - are they the same?; Working In the Video Dimension; The Varieties of The Mexican Hat Dance and The Hokey Pokey; Classical or Classic; Cassettes are back - giving “Ye Olde Accordion Sound” a return; The Artificial Intelligence of the Accordion before Artificial Intelligence; the Pot of Gold at the end of The Rainbow; Practicing by Real Time Continuity; The Five Minute Ear Training Course; Klezmer from a Non - Jewish perspective and more to follow and much more to follow - with participants, in future articles to follow,

Our team will include Micki Goodman, Paul Stein, Will Holshouser, Dr. Denise Koncelik, Dr. Robert Young Mc Mahan, Corn Mo, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, Bachtopus, Carl Riehl, Mary Spencer Knapp, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Melissa Elledge, Doug Makofka, Rita Davidson, Erica Marie Mancini, Benjamin Ickes, Dan Cooper, Dr. Thomas Massucci, Gene Pritsker, Peter Flint, Mayumi Miyaoka, Robert Duncan, Jeanne Velonis, Bob Goldberg, David Stoler, David First, William Komaiko, Sari Kalin, Jack Di Bennidetto, John Foti, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Brian Dewan, Lee Mc Clure, Peter Jarvis, Elliott Sharp, Hanzhi Wang, Milica Paranosic and others to follow.

July 26, 27, 28, 2024 - virtually
$165. Entire weekend: Master classes are from 3 to 4:PM. Concerts from 4 to 5:PM

Please make checks payable to:
Dr William Schimmel
345 E 85th St - Apt 4RE
New York, NY 10028
PayPal -
Leave e- mail address for confirmation

A link will be sent to you prior to each event. For registration info:

This event is sponsored by the Accordion Global Association. “The Seminars, They never Bore - Our Favorite Words are: More! More! More!”

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

3nd Anniversary of the New England Accordion Connection & Museum on July 1

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
accordion museum
Paul Ramunni, founder and curator of the New England Accordion Connection and Museum shares, “This coming July 1, 2024 will mark 3 years since we opened our New England Accordion Connection & Museum Co. here in the railroad station in downtown North Canaan, Ct. We are also approaching a milestone of having been visited by almost 6,000 people. And yes, we are selling accordions as well. We plan to celebrate this success in the coming weeks. In the movie “Field of Dreams,” we were introduced to the idea of “…if you build it, they will come.” Well, we built it, and visitors have indeed been coming.

In addition to the over 600 accordions in our museum and sales rooms, we’ve added Thomas Edison’s early phonograph players, a Gem roller organ, an Edison Diamond Disc player and several Victrolas. And they all work! People are amazed to hear the quality of the sounds, and the fact that they were made at a time when there were no computers, hardware stores, supply lines, or instruction manuals. Many comment on the ornate decorative beauty of each instrument.

But there is something else happening that is no longer new, and it continues to surprise me, no matter how many times I witness it. The stories reported in the NEWS these days all seem to revolve around our differences. As we well know, much sadness comes from all of the hate and divisiveness.

But picture this…the door to our museum opens and two small groups of people enter. They do not know each other. Everyone is shocked by what they see before them, a room with 400+ antique accordions. They all smile, some laugh, others are speechless, but everyone wants to know how this collection became a reality. As I explain and conduct a tour, within 10-15 minutes, we are all laughing and enjoying each other’s company and the music. We are happy. I find out that some of the people are Democrats and some Republicans. How can this be? Aren’t we supposed to be divided and angry with one another?

Then I see what is happening. It’s the music and the memories we each have of times in the Past when we gathered with family and friends, focused on one another, and built relationships, and precious memories. The music of that time acts as the “glue” that helped us come together in these happy experiences. The accordion was a major contributor to these happenings because its sound is so memorable, and with millions of units being made, it was perfect for such times. With almost 6000 visitors and 3 years of experience, each of these visits have become like miracles when they happen. There is something very special happening here at our museum and shop. Come and experience it for yourself. You will be amazed.”

For Paul, he Accordion Museum is a labor of love. Paul adds, “We want to do something that makes people happy and shows folks that we can enjoy one another. The accordion is an old way of doing that, but effective. I put it on and play for you and all of a sudden there’s a friendship.”   

Be sure to schedule a visit to the New England Accordion Connectionand Museum Co. very soon!

For further information:
Paul Ramunni… owner and curator….860-833-1374
New England Accordion Museum
75 Main Street, North Canaan, CT

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Lost Bayou Ramblers on Summer Tour

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Lost Bayou Ramblers
Video: Lost Bayou Ramblers - Full Performance (Live on KEXP) recorded live in the KEXP studio.

Lost Bayou Ramblers, presented in collaboration with City Winery, will perform at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY on July 12, 2024 at 7:30 PM.

Excerpts from their website: The Grammy Award-winning Lost Bayou Ramblers’ evolution as a perversely progressive band, rooted in Cajun traditions, continues to excite, challenge, and redefine both genre expectations as well as cultural preconceptions. The group was founded in 1999 by brothers Andre and Louis Michot, and the last five years have brought LBR a feature on Jack White’s American Epic, score contributions to the Oscar-nominated film "Beasts of the Southern Wild", a Grammy Award for their latest album, "Kalenda", and tours with both Arcade Fire and the Violent Femmes.

Lost Bayou Ramblers stands at the crosscurrents of Louisiana culture by inhabiting the gray area between Cajun and Creole, convention and innovation, mystery and a revelation, experimenting and growing the show to what it’s become today: an eclectic mix of modern sounds and rhythms with ancient Cajun melodies and lyrics.  According to World Café, “The Grammy-winning group plays a revved-up version of Cajun music, shot through with punk energy and psychedelic fuzz.” To learn more about Lost Bayou Ramblers, please visit their website.

Treat yourself to a taste from the Cajun music melting pot with the Lost Bayou Ramblers. This Grammy-winning band stirs the unique energy of Louisiana’s music and culture in with the modern sounds and rhythms of punk and psychedelia, serving up a musical gumbo sure to please all palettes.

Future 2024 Performances include:
May 8 @ 5:PM: YLC NOLA Wednesday at the Square 2024, New Orleans, LA
Jun 8, Lost Bayou Ramblers @ Louisiana Summer Fest, Natchitoches LA
Jul 4, Lost Bayou Ramblers @ Waterfront Blues Festival 2024Fri,
Jul 12 @ 7:30PM: Lost Bayou Ramblers @ Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

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

2024 Cotati Festival August 17th and 18th in California

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
CotatiGet ready for the 33rd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival on August 16-18, 2024! at La Plaza Park, Cotati, CA. What is the Cotati Festival?
It is a non-profit, multi-generational, multi-cultural, musical extravaganza held annually in La Plaza Park, California.

Mission Statement: The Cotati Accordion Festival is a non-profit organization established in 1991 to promote the love of the accordion and to help fund music programs in the local schools. To date, they have contributed over $500,000 to the youth of their community.

Attention Vendors: There are just 20 vendor spots left open for the 33rd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival this coming August 17th & 18th. You can apply by on the website or by email
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