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


Editor's Note
Stas Venglevski and Misha Litvin in Concert on November 5
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Concert by Ludovic Beier in NJ on Nov. 8th
Dr.William Schimmel in NYC Premiere in December
Steve Bach, Accordionist with "ZAIA" Macau Cirque du Soleil
Cory Pesaturo Featured in the Boston Globe
William Cosby to Give Master Classes in November
John Simkus and Stas Venglevski Tour Austria
Accordionist Guy Laliberte is Out of This World!!!
Daniel Desiderio conducts Accordion Pops Orchestra on November 15
Chicago Accordion Club Presents Concert on Nov. 16th
Henry Doktorski Performs with Pittsburgh Opera Theater

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

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

A Delightful Evening of Music with Friedrich Lips, Stas Venglevski and John Simkus
Meet an Accomplished Young Musician: Michael Bridge
How an Accordion Saved a Man From the Khmer Rouge
Jay Landers: Accordion Activity From Illinois: Abridged Version
William Cosby Saves the Day! (Concert)
Arizona Accordion Festival: A Big Success
The 10th Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

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

Future events

Dr. Schimmel Produces New CD – “Accordion /Piano/Piano/Accordion”
Wilson Savoy and the Pine Leaf Boys
Copper Box to Perform for Milwaukee Accordion Club and More!
2010 National Accordion Convention to be Held in March 2010
AAA 2010 Festival Will Take Place in Hershey, PA.
Peter Stan Performs with Slavic Soul Party in New York
FR-7X Premier Event in NY

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


Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
In this month's edition, you will see that USA Accordionists are performing not only in the USA but all over the world! It is amazing how mainstream the accordion has become! Everyone, everywhere is listening to all kinds of accordion music.

Please remember that the USA News is here for you! If you as an individual or your accordion club, band, group is planning an event, please send the information and photos to me at If you have questions, please call me at 201-675-4861. I will be happy to include an article in future editions.

It really isn’t a big secret, just send the info to me. We want to know what YOU are doing out there in the accordion world! So, enjoy the November edition of the USA News and best wishes for continued successes in all your accordion endeavors!


Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Stas Venglevski and Misha Litvin in Concert on November 5

by Rita Barnea
Stas Venglevski and Misha LitvinOn November 5, 2009 at 7:30 PM, Misha Litvin on mandolin and Stas Venglevski on bayan,will present a concert, “Russian Masters & Favorites". Misha and Stas have thrilled audiences worldwide with their dazzling renditions of Russian music. As an additional treat, Misha will perform “Beethoven’s Variations for Mandolin” (with the bayan playing the piano part). The duo will also delight audiences with many of Stas’s original compositions.

Stas Venglevski and Misha Litvin are both musically stunning and have a wonderful stage presence and incredible rapport with the audience. Their music ranges from classical, to folk, to traditional. Stas plays the bayan, a Russian version of the accordion. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States including numerous performances. Additionally, Stas has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. Stas has recorded two CDs with Misha, as well as 8 other CDs. He has also published 6 books of his own compositions for solo and duet accordion.

Misha Litvin is a master mandolinist and a master of the domra (a Russian mandolin). He has soloed with chamber orchestras in Russia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and the U.S. Misha is a professor of mandolin at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in orchestral conducting and music education, Misha taught guitar and mandolin and led many student musical groups in Minsk, Belarus. Misha was the General Manager of the Belarus State Choral Group and the National Symphony Orchestra for over ten years where he selected repertoire and coordinated international tours for both ensembles. Misha is a faculty member of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and featured soloist for the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra.

Stas Venglevski and Misha Litvin, originally from Eastern Europe, now live and teach in Milwaukee. They perform all over the United States and their music easily fits both classical music events and folk/traditional music festivals.

The concert takes place at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 North Prospect Avenue. Milwaukee, WI. The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For further information: or

Accordion Jazz Chords

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Paul PasqualiNewsletter cover, Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion FestivalI am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Paul Betken & Jerry Cigler are newly added to a great line up of stars (list below) with lots of great seats still available! Want to hop a plane to come and enjoy this exciting festival?

Newsletter (picture right) with full information: 2018LVACnews.pdf
Picture left: Event organizer Paul Pasquali

The lineup starts with visionary accordionist Cory Pesaturo and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of the legendary Prof. Joan Sommers.

You can register online at or contact Paul Pasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email:
Footer Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival


Concert by Ludovic Beier in NJ on Nov. 8th

by Rita Barnea
Ludovic BeierMusic Magic USA and Roland US proudly present a special concert event, “Variety, Virtuosity and the V-Accordion” featuring France’s Ludovic Beier on Sunday, Nov. 8th from I - 4:00 PM at the Holiday Inn,1 Rt.46W, Totowa, NJ.

Ludovic Beier will present an International Musical Program. In addition, CD's will be available. The entire Roland V-Accordion line will be on display including the NEW FR-7x. Accessories, Roland Amps, and door prizes will be available. You can browse the new midi auto-arranger gallery featuring the latest Italian modules for your midi or V-Accordion including Ketron, Orla, & GEM.

Born in 1978, Ludovic Beier learned the accordion from his father and benefits from being part of a musical family. He was brought up in the French tradition of the instrument and turned to jazz a few years ago. He has a spirited, adventurous style which strays into all kinds of byways and is playing on the French and European scene with some of the top players of the Django/Swing Jazz style including Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmitt, Florin Niculescu.

Ludovic Beier is giving the accordion a new name as his fingers go across the keys in an almost unbelievable way, both swinging and amazingly creative in his improvisation. Along with his virtuoso playing, he composes and arranges, and has his own band, Ludovic Beier Quartet, to perform his "cool and latin" French jazz.

Besides playing around Europe at top festivals and clubs, he appeared in the States with the Django Reinhardt Project, performing at Birdland (NYC) with guests such as Paquito D'Rivera, at Lincoln Center with Joe Lovano, at Yoshis (CA), and last summer at the Montreal International Jazz Festival with Angelo Debarre and James Carter where he brought the house down. Recently he shared the stage with Toots Thielemans, Hervie Hancoch and Ivan Lins at Carnegie Hall.

Music Magic USA is the first dealer in the USA to media advertise the new Roland V-Accordion both on the web as well as in full color Keyboard Magazine advertisements. They are among the initial charter group of accordion specialty retailers who were selected by Roland Corporation to become a nationwide authorized V-Accordion dealer and upgrade center and have recently visited the Italian Roland factory and design center to discuss customer feedback and suggest future improvements and additional accessories for the V-Accordion line.

After the concert, questions will be answered regarding midi and your accordion. Admission is free to MMUSA's VIP members and their guests. Call or write for a reservation number and door prize entry. Admission for Non VIP members is $10.

For tickets and information, please call Music Magic USA toll-free at 888-887-0975 or via e-mail at

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Dr.William Schimmel in NYC Premiere in December

by Rita Barnea
Dr.William SchimmelOn Wednesday, December 2, The Cell and the The Center for contemporary Opera present the world premiere of “Discord-Accord”, a cabaret program of music for mezzo-soprano, accordion and strings at The Cell, 338 West 23rd Street, at 8:00 PM featuring Laila Salins, the renowned Latvian-American mezzo-soprano, and world-class accordionist William Schimmel. “Discord-Accord” will take the audience on a musical journey from Eastern Europe to North and South America.

A major focus of the evening is provided by the New York premiere of Salzman’s “Brecht Suite”, taken from a French-language production of the Brecht “Good Person of Szechuan (La Bonne Ame de Sezuan”). Originally commissioned and directed by Antoine Laprise, this suite will be performed by Ms.Salins with Mr. Schimmel and a string trio.

Another highlight is “Accord,” a theatrical solo written by Eric Salzman for Schimmel with an impact that turns into a musical and emotionally deconstructed climax – performer included. The program begins with Schimmel's striking reinterpretation of the familiar “Poet & Peasant Overture”, complete with Latin and Latvian rhythms, a new and off-beat version of an old warhorse. This will be followed by a set of Latvian drinking songs, featuring poetry of some of Latvia’s most beloved poets, among them Ms Salins’ father Gunars Salins. Also included is music by the Latvian tanguero Oscar Strok whose dance music was a huge success all over Europe and the Far East in the 20s and 30s. The program ends with instrumental and vocal tangos by Osvaldo Pugliese, one of the greatest and most original of the Argentine tango masters. The set is made up of several of Pugliese’s creations including neglected masterpieces such as “La Yumba”, “Recien”, “ and “Una Ve”z. Pugliese was the tanguero who re-created classic tango by taking it out of the dance hall, turning it into a contemporary art form featuring biting dissonance, heart-stopping rhythm and heart-breaking melody.

Eric Salzman received widespread acclaim for the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble’s recent
performances of his work “Jukebox in the Tavern of Lov”e – on a text by Valeria Vasilevski – at The Flea Theater and Bargemusic. According to the New York Times, this ‘modern madrigral comedy’“…effectively blends elements of barbershop-quartet harmonizing, cabaret, Renaissance sacred music, polyphony, Tin Pan Alley and avant-garde effects”.

Salzman is Artistic Director of The Center for Contemporary Opera and his book on “The New Music Theater: Hearing the Body, Seeing the Voice” with Thomas Desi was recently published by Oxford University Press. One of the pioneers of the new music theater, he has been working in the field since the 1960s. His “True Last Words of Dutch Schult”z premiered and toured in the Netherlands and had a hugely successful New York premiere at Symphony Space’s Wall-to-Wall Opera in 2007. Salzman has worked in France, Québec, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Norway and elsewhere.

Eric Salzman became acquainted with the authentic Argentine tango years ago when he was artist-in-residence at the Instituto Torquato di Tella in Buenos Aires where he was teaching and performing his multi-media and music-theater works at the invitation of Alberto Ginastera. It was at this time that Salzman became acquainted with the works of Astor Piazzolla and Piazzolla's great predecessor Osvaldo Pugliese. On his return to the U.S., Salzma organized two organizations, both of them with William Schimmel as a founding member: Quog Music- Theater and The Tango Project paved the way for the development and revival of new music-theater and classic tango.

Dr.William Schimmel is a virtuoso accordionist, author, philosopher and composer and AAA Board member. He is one of the architects of the tango revival in America, the resurgence of the accordion and the philosophy of Musical Reality (composition with pre-existing music). He received his diploma from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music and his BM, MS and DMA degrees from Juilliard. He has performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra in America and has had a longstanding relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra as well as virtually every chamber music group in New York including Ensemble Sospeso and the Odeon Jazz Ensemble.

His film work includes Scent of a Woman, True Lies, Kun Dun and documentaries for the Nature Conservancy, which have won numerous prizes. His own music ranges from the concert hall to Broadway and off-Broadway and he has composed many accordion pieces for himself and others, including a test piece for the Coupe Mondiale, the accordion’s most prestigious world competition. His Portrait No. I for orchestra was conducted by Leopold Stokowski. He heads the Neupauer Conservatory Order of the Shield program, a private studies program for gifted graduate students. Every July he conducts a 3-day master class and concert series sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association where he is distinguished lecturer in residence.

The Confederations International of Accordionists have awarded him a distinguished merit award for the AAA Master Class and Concert Series as well as his contribution to the international accordion scene. Dr. William Schimmel received the American Accordionists' Association Distinguished Service Award for 50 years of activity and his work as Lecturer in Residence. Dr.Schimmel, and his wife, choreographer, director, filmmaker Micki Goodman, co-direct the Institute for Private Studies, a pluralistic think-tank.

For further information:
Laura Malick 917 339.7183 and

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

Steve Bach, Accordionist with "ZAIA" Macau Cirque du Soleil

by Rita Barnea
Steve Bach
Steve Bach was born in New York City, lived there until the age of 4 and then moved to Long Island, New York. After a few years he moved to Los Angeles. Currently he lives with his family in Macau, China.

Steve began taking lessons because of his sister who was taking lessons on accordion. She showed him how to play some songs and he became very interested. At 6 Steve began studying with a teacher. His favorite accordion teacher was Ray Rizzo from East Meadow, New York who taught him not only traditional accordion but also jazz and improvising. When he was younger he competed for about 8 years in New York and won the title of New York Jazz Accordion champion.

His very first accordion teacher used to have his students perform at schools and charity events. Steve was 7 years old at his public performance and by the time he was 15, was playing regularly in a band at weddings and other social functions. His first professional paid performance was at a Sweet 16 party when he was 14 years old. The trio consisted of drums, accordion and guitar. The gig paid $15!

Basically since his teens he has always made his living through music whether playing, composing, accompanying, recording, or teaching. At the age of 16 Steve decided to learn the piano. At that time universities were not accepting the accordion as a "real" instrument. He began studying piano and was accepted as a composition major at The Crane School of Music at State University of New York at Potsdam where he received a BS Degree in Music Theory and Composition. Afterwards he lived in New York City for a few years and studied jazz concentrating mainly on piano and synthesizers.

In 2003, Cirque du Soleil Casting was in Los Angeles interviewing potential Music Directors (also known as Bandleaders). A friend recommended Steve for an interview. He went down and talked and played for the casting department for about an hour. Over the next few years there were some offers to participate as a keyboardist and accordionist but the timing wasn't quite right for him.

In 2006, Steve began negotiating for the Macau show. It seemed to work well for Steve and his family so he signed on. Rehearsals in Montreal started in 2007 and he has been in Macau since March of 2008.

The show, “Zaia” is a wonderful, exciting yet highly spiritual show. There are 75 artists performing in a very large, beautifully designed theatre. "ZAIA” is the dream of a young girl who journeys into space on a strange, yet familiar voyage of self-discovery. As she travels, she encounters the beauty of humanity and eventually brings it back with her to share with the inhabitants of earth". The talented band was handpicked by Violaine Corradi, the composer. The band members are:
Conrad Askland - Keyboards and Assistant Bandleader
Olivier Milchberg - plucked strings and flute
Maria Andersson - vocalist
Rose Winebrenner - vocals and melodica
Eduard Harutyunyan - Percussion
Jay Elfenbein - bowed strings including Bass and Treble Violin
Racheal Cogan - recorders
Darrin Johnson - drums
Steve Bach- Accordion and keyboards

At first, Steve wasn't really sure what to do about an accordion at all. Violaine had written a beautiful score with many accordion parts, but she hired him as the bandleader to conduct and play keyboards and expected the accordion parts to be played as samples. When she realized that Steve was not just a keyboard player but also an accordionist she was thrilled and she encouraged him to get a good instrument and play the parts on it, which is what he now does with the Roland FR-2.

Steve had been reading about the V-Accordion for some years in publications. Then a couple of years ago he had the opportunity to hear and play one when a Roland specialist visited a show he was working on. He thought that he instrument was fantastic but he was focused only on piano at the time so he put off getting one.

After arriving here at Cirque du Soleil, Steve became interested once again in the V-Accordion. A friend suggested that he get in contact with Mr. Luigi Bruti, who is the Marketing Director of Roland Europe. Steve said that it took a bit of time to get used to the difference in the way the bellows work, but now after a few months he feels very comfortable and is able to really get a good sound and feel from the instrument. He did not even bring an acoustic accordion here to Macau because the humidity is such that he felt the maintenance required would be quite a problem here.

The FR2 is lightweight and that really helps him in performance. He has to switch quickly between keyboards and accordion 3 or 4 times during the show. The FR2 is featured on 5 songs and Steve plays in the window of the musician's booth and also out on the balcony where the audience can look up and see him playing and interacting with the other musicians.

Cirque has just released the soundtrack album of Zaia. It is being sold worldwide and also available on Itunes and Steve used the FR2 quite a bit in the recording. He feels that it was wonderful to be able to pick the right virtual sound specifically for each song. He is very impressed with the flexibility the instrument offers. He plans to get an FR5 or 7 soon to have access to more features and the larger keyboard.

Steve Bach has played and recorded with some wonderful and talented artists over the years including Stanley Clarke, Sergio Mendez, Kitaro, Andy Williams, Robby Krieger of the Doors, and many others. As a leader he have recorded 7 CDs. Some are out of print but you can find most of them on Amazon or Ebay.He is in the process of getting them on Itunes as well. The playing is primarily multi-keyboard but accordion is featured as well.

His solo artist recordings as multi-keyboardist and accordion player are:
Now and Then, Valley Vue Records
City Magic, Valley Vue Records
Nice Moves, Valley Vue Records
More Than a Dream, Soundwings
Zero Gravity, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
Holiday, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
Child's Play, Eagle Record

You can read his interview by clicking on Celebrity Interviews.

For more information:

Titano Accordion Company

Cory Pesaturo Featured in the Boston Globe

by Rita Barnea
Cory Pesaturo on the cover of the Boston Globe, 10/27
Cory Pesaturo was recently featured on the cover of the arts section of the Boston Globe (Oct.27).He also received a congratulatory letter from former president Bill Clinton who heard that he won first place in the Digital Accordion Category at the 2009 Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championship in August in New Zealand.

Cory Pesaturo will be one of the featured performers at the 9th Annual Florida Smash from November 13-15 in Orlando, Florida at the Holiday Inn International Drive Resort, 6515 International Drive, Orlando, FL.

At 23, accordion wizard and Roland artist Cory Pesaturo has already enjoyed a career full of achievements that would make any musician proud. He’s won numerous U.S. and international accordion championships and performed to receptive audiences all over the world, including four appearances at the White House, the first at age 12.

As a graduate of the esteemed New England Conservatory of Music, he was the first musician in the institution’s long history to major in the accordion. His discography includes two solo jazz CDs, backed up by sax legend George Garzone and his band The Fringe.

Long recognized as an accordion prodigy, Pesaturo took up the instrument at age 9, inspired by his Italian-American father, who played a little accordion, too, and by an uncle who once played jazz saxophone in Frank Sinatra’s band. At 12, Pesaturo made his professional debut opening for Floren at the Warwick Musical Theatre. When the headliner canceled because of illness, Pesaturo became the featured performer. Later that year he was invited to play at a White House reception, beginning a fruitful relationship that has led to nine more playing appearances in front of the Clintons in Washington and elsewhere.

In August 2009, Cory added “world champion” to his already impressive resume with a win in the Digital Accordion category at the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships. The annual event, hosted by a different country each year, is the most prestigious of all accordion competitions, attracting the finest accordionists from around the globe to compete and perform. 2009 was the inaugural year for the Digital Accordion category at Coupe Mondiale, and its inclusion is a testament to the growing popularity of Roland’s V-Accordion technology among the international accordion community.

For further information:

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

William Cosby to Give Master Classes in November

by Rita Barnea
William CosbyWilliam Cosby brings a unique combination of experience to his two-day Introductory Master Class. The master classes, sponsored By Dale Wise, will be held on November 7th and 8th on his farm in Burr Hill, Virginia.

Cosby’s personal training and background provide direct lineage with some of the accordion’s greatest legends including Anthony Galla-Rini, Tito Guidotti, Oakley Yale, and Donald Balestriei in a wide range of musical styles. Designed for accordionists of all levels, there are five major sections that include: Effective Selection and Use of Exercises for Improving Technique; Basic Concepts of Tone Production and Bellowing; Understanding Tempo and Rhythm; Open Session discussion topics; and group fun!

Presented using the principals of adult learning, it is a hands-on experience with opportunities for everyone to participate. In the introduction, William says, "It will be great fun for people on all levels of expertise, and very hands on. Please bring your accordion and be prepared to play! Our classes will focus on finding ways to improve your performance skills in a very non-threatening environment. Bring songs that you are working on, lots of questions, and we'll go from there."

In addition to musical seminars, William is considered a master train-the-trainer in a variety of non-musical performance based physical skills including motorcycles, cars, and the operation of emergency vehicles. Participants will find connections with not only these skills, but might even discover how they may apply skills they use on a daily basis to improve their playing.

For further information:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

John Simkus and Stas Venglevski Tour Austria

by Rita Barnea
Stas Venglevski and John SimkusFrom November, 14-22, Stas Venglevski and John Simkus will tour Austria for the third time. Concerts will take place in five different regions including cities like Vienna, Neunkirchen, St. Stefan, Lienz, Rottenmann, Graz and Perg. Their program will include not only works by J.S.Bach, I.Albeniz, E.Derbenko, V.Gridin and S.Venglevski himself but also arrangements of Russian folk themes, French Musette and a medley of favorite melodies.

Stas Venglevski receives wonderful reviews and appreciation from his audiences. Originally from Moldova, he completed his studies at the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow Gnessin with Prof. Friedrich Lips, and immigrated in 1992 to the United States. His repertoire ranges from Bach, Weber, Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, to virtuosic and ethnic music. Currently he lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he performs frequently with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as well as in theater productions.

Stas also performs as a member of the A Sta_Sera Duo where he combines talents with accordionist, John Simkus, known primarily for his smooth jazz renditions. Their musical partnership has resulted in a unique repertoire and as a duo they have toured the United States and Europe extensively and collaborated on a CD of original compositions called “Seasonings“. John Simkus previously served as president of the Chicago Accordion Club from 1993 to 1998 and 2001/2002.

For further information:

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Accordionist Guy Laliberte is Out of This World!!!

by Rita Barnea
Guy LalibertéGuy Laliberté, French Canadian accordionist, stiltwalker, fire-eater, and founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cirque du Soleil, has just become Canada's first space tourist! Along with professional astronauts Jeff Williams and Maksim Surayev, spaceflight participant Laliberté successfully flew to the International Space Station. He reached orbit on September 30th 2009 aboard Soyuz TMA-16, and returned to Earth on October 11th aboard Soyuz TMA-14.

Laliberté's flight marks the third space flight by a Canadian in the same year, after Robert Thirsk and Julie Payette. He is also the third Québécois in space, and the first accordionist.

Cirque du Soleil, founded in 1984, has become a worldwide company, with spectacular regional circus shows set to musical backgrounds. Many of the shows involve accordionists. You can read an article and Celebrity Interview in this month’s news about Steve Bach, Cirque du Soleil accordionist in Macau, China.

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Daniel Desiderio conducts Accordion Pops Orchestra on November 15

by Rita Barnea
Daniel Desideriio, Conductor of Accordion Pops OrchestraThe Accordion Pops Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Desiderio will perform on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, New Jersey. This concert will be a benefit for Project Child. The purpose of Project Child is to provide humanitarian relief to the forgotten children with special needs in the orphanages, streets and hospitals of the Dominican Republic .

The Accordion Pops Orchestra is a unique accordion orchestra performing in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970, when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey.

In 1980 the orchestra members took a leave of absence, but four years later the membership was reorganized under the direction of the late Eugene Ettore of Livingston, New Jersey. In 1985, Daniel Desiderio was invited to act as a guest conductor of the orchestra and a few years later the A.T.A. of NJ appointed him as conductor in residence. The name of the orchestra was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra and its membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island.

The only professional accordion orchestra of its kind on the East Coast, the group consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments. In addition, the orchestra often accompanies guest soloists such as pianists, tenors, etc.

Most of the twenty-five plus members of the orchestra are professional musicians or teachers. Many are soloists in their own right. The orchestra performs a repertoire of light classical, Broadway, big band and popular music. It has entertained audiences at concert halls, county fairs, festivals, schools, and playhouses at many locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Daniel J. Desiderio is one of the country’s foremost accordion artists. Well known in the accordion field for his compositions and arrangements, Mr. Desiderio has recorded on the Ampco and Cormark labels and has performed in concerts throughout Europe and America, appearing at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Copenhagen’s Radio House, Munich’s Congress Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, Philadelphia's Academy of Music, and the White House.

During his four-year military service, he was featured soloist with the Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Accordionists Association.

Mr. Desiderio began his formal musical training at the age of 9 under the late Pietro Deiro, Sr. He also studied arranging and composition with Dr. William Hoppich. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he began his concert career at age 17.

In addition to serving as conductor of the Accordion Pops Orchestra, Mr. Desiderio continues to perform in concerts and private affairs in the Philadelphia area. He also operates a music studio in Media, Pennsylvania where he teaches accordion and piano students.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Chicago Accordion Club Presents Concert on Nov. 16th

by Rita Barnea
Chicago Accordion Club
The Chicago Accordion Club presents a concert called “President’s Night” on November 16 at 6:30 PM at the the Elmhurst American Legion Hall, 310 W. Butterfield Road, Elmhurst, Illinois. The phone at the hall is 630-833-7800. The Chicago Accordion Club is dedicated to the wonderful fans of all varieties of accordions and accordion music in Chicagoland and around the world.

The concert will feature performances by all of the Chicago Accordion Club board members including President Lenny Leto, VP Joe Pekareck, Treasurer Matt Geraldi, Secretary Rolf Agner, and Board of Directors Mike Alongi, Jerry Cigler,Ron Grenda, and Don White. The program will consist of surprise selections enjoyable to all.

Doors open at 6 PM. The concert begins at 6:30 PM. The bargain price for a wonderful evening of outstanding accordion music is only $7.00 which includes a slice of pizza!

Available at the concert will be CD’s of the performers. The Chicago Accordion Club will be selling their CD’s “Chicago Accordion Club Music Volumes 1 and 2”. One CD is $10 or two for $15. The proceeds of all Chicago Accordion Club CD sales benefit the Chicago Accordion Club Scholarship Fund. Artists on Volume One are: Mike Alongi, Stas Venglevski, Lindy Kao, Peter Soave, Dick Caldwell, Don White, Don Komar, Brian Erickson, John Simkus, Joe Vito, and Frank Marocco. The artists on Volume Two are: Mike Alongi, Lindy Kao, Dick Caldwell, Don White, Mort Herold, Stas Venglevski, John Simkus, Mario Tacca, Martin Doyle, and Ernie Sandquist.

For further information: Ron Grenda 630-243-9876 or

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Henry Doktorski Performs with Pittsburgh Opera Theater

by Rita Barnea
Henry DoktorskiOn Friday, November 6 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, November 7 at 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm; and Sunday, November 8 at 2:30 pm noted accordionist Henry Doktorski performs on accordion with the Pittsburgh Opera Theater and Pittsburgh Youth Symphony in four performances of Brundibár, the one-act children's opera by Hans Kraša at the CAPA Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The CAPA Theater is located at 111 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Krása’s charming work is about two children who are determined to get milk for their sick mother. With the help of townspeople and animal friends, they stand up to the town bully, Brundibár, and prevail, proclaiming as they go that you need only “be brave and bullies will behave!” This production is must-see for all the family.

The Czech composer, Hans Krása, in collaboration with Adolf Hoffmeister, wrote “Brundibár” for a government competition in 1938. The competition was cancelled due to political turmoil, but rehearsals for the opera began in Prague in 1941 at an orphanage for Jewish children. By the time of the first performance in winter 1942, Krása had been arrested and sent to Theresienstadt. In 1943, nearly all of the children at the Prague orphanage would follow him to the concentration camp. Hoffmeister, who wrote the opera’s libretto, managed to escape Prague before the Nazis could arrest him.

In the camp, Krása reconstructed the opera, based on memory and a partial piano score he rescued before his deportation. He adapted the opera to the resources in the camp, and the original scenic designer, Frantisek Zelenka, reprised his role. On 23 September 1943, "Brundibár" premiered in Theresienstadt. Zelenka directed the production, with choreography by Camilla Rosenbaum.

Over the course of the year, "Brundibár" was erformed 55 times. "Brundibár" was performed with rotating casts of inmates at Terezín. Most of the participants in the productions were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz.

"Brundibár" was filmed for a Nazi propaganda film later that same year. Footage from the film was used in the documentary, “Voices of the Children”, directed by Terezín survivor Zuzana Justman, who sang in the original chorus. Ela Weissberger, another survivor who played the part of the cat, appears in the documentary. The film won an Emmy in 1999.

Henry Doktorski is one of the leading concert accordionists in the United States and a recognized figure in international classical accordion circles. He was the first-place winner in the American Accordion Musicological Society Virtuoso Solo Competition (1990: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) and since then has delighted all with his tasteful and sophisticated musical interpretations, including performances on accordion with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the New Philharmonic Orchestra (Glen Ellyn, Illinois), the Northwest Indiana Symphony (Merrillville, Indiana), the Loudoun County Symphony (Leesburg, Virginia), the Butler County Symphony (Pennsylvania), the Wartburg Community Symphony (Waverly, Iowa), the McKeesport Symphony (Pennsylvania), the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, the Duquesne University Contemporary Ensemble, the River City Brass Band (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Pittsburgh's Civic Light Opera Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, in addition to radio and television appearances.

Besides classical music, Mr. Doktorski is equally adept at popular and international music as well, and performs for private parties, receptions and special events such as Oktoberfest celebrations. His extensive repertoire ranges from Bach, Brahms and Piazzolla to Gershwin, Mancini and tunes from hit Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies like The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof and Titanic.
He has recorded with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony (you can hear him on the Sony Classical hit CD Cinema Serenade with violinist Itzhak Perlman) and was the featured soloist on six compact discs.

The Pittsburgh Opera Theater production of Brundibár is directed by Jonathan Eaton, with musical direction by Stephen Nealy. Performances are: Friday, November 6 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, November 7 at 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm; and Sunday, November 8 at 2:30 pm. The CAPA Theater is located at 111 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For tickets, contact the Box Office at Theater Square at 412-456-6666.

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A Delightful Evening of Music with Friedrich Lips, Stas Venglevski and John Simkus

by Joan Grauman
On Saturday, October 10, my husband, Dan, and I took a short trip to Chicago for a visit with my elderly cousin, Jack. We heard from Stas Venglevski that he was bringing in his beloved professor from the Gnessin Institute in Moscow, the world-renowned bayanist, Friedrich Lips, for two performances that same weekend in Milwaukee. We could only attend the one on Saturday, and Stas said that he and his duet partner, jazz accordionist John Simkus, would also be playing that night. How perfect! We arrived in Chicago, picked up my cousin, and off we went to Milwaukee for the 7:30 concert. We were very excited that we would be hearing some of our all-time favorites perform that night. Well, not everyone was excited. Cousin Jack groaned, “Oh no, a WHOLE evening of wheezing accordions…” Dan and I just smiled.

The whole evening was pure delight! Lips performed beautifully with his inimitable delicate, yet intricate, style that is always breathtakingly flawless. He received a well-deserved standing ovation. Then, just before intermission, Stas brought the mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, to the microphone. The mayor presented Lips with a plaque that read, “The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin declares this day, October 10, 2009, Friedrich Lips Day.” The crowd was on its feet again cheering!

The second half of the program was a stellar performance by Stas Venglevski and John Simkus, accompanied by bass and drums. As many times as I have seen these two wonderful musicians perform, I must say that I have never heard them sound better. It was pure joy! They played Stas’ original compositions from his new CD, “Accordion Blend”, to a very appreciative audience that was, once again, on its feet cheering.

The most amazing thing that happened that evening was the transformation of my cousin, Jack! “I have never enjoyed a concert as much as I have enjoyed this one. Thank you so much for bringing me here!!” said Jack, the new “lover of the accordion”. He bought several CDs and plans to invite Stas and John to perform at his upcoming “big” birthday celebration.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Meet an Accomplished Young Musician: Michael Bridge

by Rita Barnea
Michael BridgeSharon's Song CDMichael Bridge is a sixteen year old bayanist, accordionist, and pianist from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Michael began piano lessons at age four and piano accordion lessons at age seven. His wonderful, long-time teachers are Beverley Fess (accordion) and Donna Holoboff (piano). Michael has two years of high school remaining but plans to study music at university. He is preparing for his grade ten Royal Conservatory of Music piano exam in June of 2010 and his grade eight RCM bayan (free bass chromatic accordion) exam in January. He has completed advanced RCM theoretical studies in harmony, history and counterpoint and is now focusing on analysis.

At the age of fourteen, Michael released the first CD of his own original compositions entitled "My Stuff." He has also published a book of sheet music to match this CD. His second CD of original works, "Sharon's Song," was released in October 2009 in Las Vegas, USA.

In August 2008, Michael attended the International Music Accordion Camp in Italy conducted by Peter and Mady Soave and their colleague Jean Louis Noton. It was a fabulous week of workshops and camaraderie. At this camp, he began his study of a new, more complex instrument, the bayan. Michael won the Open Championships in 2008 at the Edmonton and Kimberley competitions and also won the Virtuoso Championship at the Calgary Festival. In 2009, he was invited to perform at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration in June.

In early July, he represented Canada in France performing in three cities as part of a touring group of international artists. Then, in October, he appeared in concert and taught workshops at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. Michael was also chosen to perform in a Honens Master Class on the piano, which also took place in October, 2009.

Michael is a gifted and engaging young musician who is determined to raise the profile of the accordion and bayan for the next generation. He is passionate about classical music but also loves to perform as a one-man band playing popular, dance or jazz tunes.

Sharon's Song is in memory of Michael’s friend, Sharon Hann, who started him on accordion when he was four. It is currently available for $15 CAN plus shipping and handling.

To order the CD and for further information:

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How an Accordion Saved a Man From the Khmer Rouge

by Rita Barnea
It was a glimpse into evil that occurred millions of miles from their homes and decades before they were born. Perched on a small stage in the Central Kitsap High School library on Friday, Daran Kravanh told students the story of how in the mid-1970s Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed his entire family and took the lives of three million more Cambodians. The Khmer Rouge ravaged Cambodia and nearly took Kravanh’s life too.

Today the 55-year-old Kravanh is a social worker for the state of Washington and a Tacoma resident. He’s also a candidate for Cambodian prime minister with the Cambodian Anti-Poverty Party. The election will be held in 2013.

Kravanh’s story begins during peaceful times, before the Khmer Rouge, when he taught himself to play his older brother’s accordion. The accordion isn’t exactly a traditional instrument in Cambodia but Kravanh was drawn to it.

The Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in 1975. Cities were emptied; intellectuals, artists, government officials and educated people were executed. If you wore glasses, the Khmer Rouge labeled you as “educated” and you were immediately killed. Books and musical instruments were destroyed. Music was illegal. Children were trained to spy on and turn in their parents for misconduct. Everyone was forced to be educated into the “Angkar” or “Big Brother” way, Kravanh said.

After his family was killed and he fled his home, the 21-year-old Kravanh spent eight months in the forest trying to survive. Near death from starvation, Kravanh and other survivors turned themselves over to the Khmer Rouge. One day, Kravanh was assigned to chop up log for a Khmer Rouge leader’s house. When he finished, he walked into the nearby forest. Unbelievably, he found an accordion on a tree stump. Playing the instrument soothed him in the ensuing years.

In 1978, while Kravanh was working as a grave digger for the Khmer Rouge, he was told that he would be executed. That night, despite the ban on music, Kravanh began to play every song he knew. A Khmer Rouge soldier sent to kill him heard the music and asked Kravanh to teach him how to play. Kravanh did and the solider left without killing him.

After the Khmer Rouge’s reign in Cambodia ended, Kravanh spent several years in a refugee camp in Thailand. He made his way to the United States in 1988. He and Lafreniere met in 1990 when she worked with refugees who were served by Catholic Community Services in Tacoma.

On Friday, Kravanh played several songs on an accordion for the CKHS students, tearing up and unable to speak after one piece he wrote honoring his dead parents. One student asked whether it was the accordion he found so long ago in the forest. No, Kravanh said, after more than 30 years it’s not usable anymore. But he still has that instrument at his home in Tacoma.

He and Lafreniere, a social worker for Head Start in Bremerton, are trying to get Kravanh’s story made into a movie. And they talk about it whenever they get the chance.

The accordion saved his life.

for further information:

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

Jay Landers: Accordion Activity From Illinois: Abridged Version

by Jay Landers
Jay Landers is approaching his 52nd anniversary with the accordion. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he took lessons for ten years. His primary source of instruction came from Central Conservatory of Music. In addition to the weekly private lesson, which never cost more than $3-4 for a half hour, there were instructional rehearsals for a fee that included small ensembles, an accordion orchestra…and a dance band. This is what “did it” for Jay.

Jay went on to pursue Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mass Communications and Speech at Murray State University, in Kentucky and took his accordion with him. It didn’t take long for him to realize that other people in the dormitory didn’t appreciate Jay’s nightly practice sessions. Even though he wasn’t a music major, the Music Department granted him access to their small rehearsal studios and gave him a secure place to store his accordion.

Commutes between Murray and Louisville to continue to play gigs were steady throughout Jay’s years in Murray where he met and married Pat, a Music Education major. Jay’s early career in public radio took them to Milwaukee, WI, and then back to Kentucky for a prolonged period of time in Louisville where their three children were born.

During this time Jay and Pat became founding members of “Drowsy Maggie”, a group devoted to authentic Celtic music. Pat taught herself the penny or tin whistle and provided the vocals, and they performed regularly alongside “fiddle”, guitar, bag pipes, flute and bodhran (drum). There were folk music festivals, concert stage appearances, “pub” gigs, wedding receptions and banquets, and broadcast appearances associated with Jay and Pat’s indoctrination to Irish and Scottish music. They formed a duo, Donnybrook, and continue to play gigs and released a CD, “Smiling Eyes”, in January, 2008.

Jay released a CD in 2003, “Side By Side”. He has performed solo programs for accordion clubs in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, and is a member of the Peoria Area Accordion Club. He has played accordion for many musical theatre productions. Many times over the decades Jay has found or created opportunities to incorporate his music with his “day job”. Jay’s career has included FM public radio station management at state universities, a local arts council, a for-profit university, marketing and photo management for a global retail corporation, two national voluntary health organizations…and now a residential intermediate care facility for 98 developmentally disabled men founded by the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross and called Brother James Court (BJC).

As Director of Development, Jay has the dual role of creating fundraising and awareness opportunities in support of the facility’s operation and its ability to empower individuals with special needs to fulfill their highest potential through life skill training.

Soon after joining BJC, Jay was introduced to Tim Kiesow, a 30-year old man and a resident for over 10 years. The word was that Tim could sing and there was encouragement to give Tim an opportunity to showcase his talent. His mother, Maureen Bradish, would later say: “Tim’s rough beginning in life was caused by hydrocephalus, very low kidney function, mild cerebral palsy and autism. He cried a lot from his small hurting body. I would sing to him and play recorded music to calm him. The Beatles had a special effect on Tim and their music worked best to calm him. As he got older, and received a kidney transplant at 16, the Beatles’ music became his focus and friend. Tim began to sing along with the music and wore out many drum sets and pretend microphones.”

Jay created the theme for BJC’s 15th Annual Benefit Auction & Dinner around the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends”, which Tim sang before 360 patrons on April 9, 2009, in the grand ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, IL.

Subsequently, a CD project was developed. The studio space, recording, and post-mix were donated by the drummer on the CD, Shane Denney. Brandon Montgomery, Social Services Director at BJC and Tim’s mentor in charge of his overall program, which includes music, played keyboard. Jay played his accordion and merged that acoustic sound with several MIDI instruments from his ORLA orchestra module. Tim spent hours in the recording session on June 28, which was documented by Springfield’s ABC affiliate WICS-TV NewsChannel 20.
There are five Beatle songs on the CD.

Jay’s performance schedule in November includes the Walnut Street Winery in Rochester, IL, on the 14th , 7-9pm, and the “Krannert Uncorked” weekly wine tasting series at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois in Urbana on the 19th, 5-7pm. He’ll perform with his wife on the 27th from 10-11am and 5-6pm at the 20th Annual Memorial Medical Center Festival of Trees at the IL State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

Jay doesn’t hesitate to say that the opportunity of a lifetime came along for him with his new job at Brother James Court. He volunteers and plays his accordion in a monthly program of music for “the guys”

To be able to help tell the story of a man such as Tim and his journey and that of his supportive family and to experience first-hand what a facility such as BJC can really accomplish for an individual who’s developmentally disabled…well…Tim said it best: “That was a special recording. A blessing it truly is.”

For further information: or call 217-747-5905.

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

William Cosby Saves the Day! (Concert)

by James Pollara
I believe that General McArthur once said," Old soldiers never die they just fade away" Apparently someone forgot to tell William Cosby this. Fade away he did for thirty years, but I can tell you this, boy, is he ever back!

He replaced a jazz quartet that cancelled at the last minute, for the Lake of the Woods concert series in Locust Grove, Virginia on October 17th. When he was announced, Mr. Cosby walked onto the empty stage save for a piano bench. Still fit and confident, he sat down with a single spotlight on him and you knew you were in for something special.

With his accordion shining like a black onyx, Mr. Cosby went into an hour of accordion history, playing songs ranging from “Ragtime”, up through Pietro Deiro concert pieces, through jazz pieces by Leon Sash, a rendition of “Dizzy Fingers”, a wonderful Bassetti piece, and finishing off with “Konzertstuck” arranged by one of his teachers, Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini.

You were pinned to your seat as he played this piece, drenched in sweat, fingers flying up and down his 45 key Giulietti like a tornado and then he finished, threw his hands off the accordion, breathed a sigh of relief and the audience jumped to their feet with applause. Dazzling virtuosity, supreme artistry and a warm rapport with the audience, it was truly a musical event. You did not want him to stop playing. Thank you Mr. Cosby for this wonderful evening!

Arizona Accordion Festival: A Big Success

by Rita Barnea
Hot Original Polkas CDThe Arizona Accordion Festival was a fun and music-filled annual event. It was held on October 17th at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Phoenix. It was held in combination with an Oktoberfest and featured many of the Arizona Accordion Club members. Carnival games, rides, food and a beer garden provided fun for the entire family!

Performers at this year's festival included: Los Valley Boys and Joey Avila, the Hurricajuns, the Arizona Accordion Ensemble, and many members of the Arizona Accordion Club.

The Arizona Accordion Club has monthly meetings and holds an annual festival and even sponsors scholarships for young accordionists.

This year, the club went even further with the release of “Hot Original Polkas”, an album of original polkas written and performed by members of the club. Each polka has its own flavor and the players range in age from 19 to 80+. The album kicks off with a track composed by club member, John Smoltz. (Not the baseball .player,although he used to play the accordion, too!) The CD is now available. To order it, please call 480-575-0534

For further information email:

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

The 10th Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

by Rita Barnea
The Ten Year Celebration for the the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention took place from October 19th-23rd at the Gold Coast Hotel.

Organizer Paul Pasquali put together another successful and star studded event which included such names as Dick Contino, Art Van Damme, Peter & Mady Soave, Stas Venglevski, Mary Tokarski, Mario Tacca & Mary Mancini, Gina Brannelli and many more wonderful performers.

Joan Sommers conducted the Last Vegas International Accordion Orchestra and there were many workshops. With great hotel prices and numerous attractions, the 10th Anniversary event was a great success.

For further information email Paul Pasquali:

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Future events

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

Dr. Schimmel Produces New CD – “Accordion /Piano/Piano/Accordion”

by Dr. William Schimmel
Dr. william Schimmel
Dr. William Schimmel, fascinated by the combination of accordion and piano, has produced a new CD entitled “ACCORDION/PIANO/PIANO/ACCORDION”.

The CD will contain four new works which utilize this novel combination in unusual ways:
The first piece is: “TANGO SONATA” by William Schimmel – for piano and shadowed accordion. This three movement piece features the Argentine Pianist Dr. Hugo Goldenszweig with Dr. Schimmel on shadowed accordion, much like an aura or apparition. The second piece: “DIMITRI 15” by William Schimmel features Robert Young McMahan on accordion with Dr. Schimmel on piano. The work is based on all of the existing Shostakovich Symphonies. The third piece: “HEAVEN’S WAR” by Mark Birnbaum and William Schimmel turns Dr. Birnbaum into Lucifer Bach and Dr. Schimmel into Anonymous Bach in a real time composition that breaks all compositional and performance boundaries producing an end result based on conflict. The fourth piece: "THE SKINNY" by Ken Laufer features the composer as pianist and vocalist. Dr. Schimmel plays a supporting role as accordionist and vocalist. The work has a cabaret vibe.

The CD is on the IPS/STUDIO MUSE label and will be available within a few weeks at before it moves into stores. It is produced by Dr. Schimmel and Sydknee (Micki Goodman Schimmel). The performances were live performances from the Schimmel/AAA Seminars.

Dr. Schimmel continues his busy schedule with:
A performance of Adam Mirza’s “Being Nothing Becoming” on November 24 at The Tank in New York.
Three performances of “Accord/Discord” at The Cell Theatre in New York on December 2, 3 and 4. The concert will include works by Dr. Schimmel (Pauten Peasent and new arrangements of “Five Tangos” by Osvaldo Pugliese), Eric Salzman (“Brecht Suite and Accordion” which was written for Dr. Schimmel in 1974) and Laila Salins, soprano (Latvian folk music and tangos).

A performance of Hindemith’s “Kammermusik No 1” on December 7th at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia Pa. featuring The Network for New Music Ensemble with Leon Fleisher conducting. A performance of “Curvilinear” by Jocelyn Morlock at The America’s Society on December 8th. This concert features new Canadian composers and is sponsored by Continuum.

Dr. Schimmel is also happy to announce the dates for his upcoming Master Class and Concert Series. They will take place on July 30, 31 and August 1 2010 at The Tenri Cultural Institute of New York. This will be the 16th year. The title is: “DON’T LIKE OPERA!?”

For further information:

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Wilson Savoy and the Pine Leaf Boys

by Rita Barnea
Pine Leaf BoysThe Pine Leaf Boys are a new generation of Cajun musicians from Louisiana who not only grew up with the music but live and breathe it. The young PLBs play authentic, traditional Cajun, Creole and zydeco music while adding some updates of their own.
Pine Leaf Boys play Cajun/Zydeco music like no other twentysomethings ever heard.

Musical polygamists, they frequently swap accordions, guitars, fiddles midshow and sound good no matter who is playing what. The experience of a good zydeco show is like being in an unruly bar brawl without all that pesky fighting. Rowdy dancing and a sense of communal inebriation are the order of the evening, so polish up those alligator boots and get ready to romp.

Louisiana's finest, two-time Grammy-Nominated Pine Leaf Boys have made a name for presenting their own inimitable brand of Cajun music with youthful exuberance. Hailing from the southwest Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys, known for their wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand. The Pine Leaf Boys play the old fashion dance hall standards while making a priority to bring many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and play them with gusto. The variety and energy they release evolves through their shows, bringing multi-faceted angles to Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco. Their mission is to present the awesome music of their ancestors and present the real Cajun music to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life.

Wilson Savoy, Cajun accordion and vocals, was born and raised near Eunice, Louisian and is heavily inspired by high-energy Cajun accordion playing from his father, Iry LeJeune, Amede Ardoin and many others. Steeped in Cajun music as a child from his parents, Marc and Ann Savoy, as well as friends of the family, such as the legendary Dennis McGee and Dewey Balfa, Wilson learned songs many years before he even touched the accordion or the fiddle. In his early teens, his father gave him a homemade accordion built from the wood of a Sasaffras tree that his grandfather planted. Wilson intensely studied the styles of Amede Ardoin and Iry Lejeune, as well as his father and soon developed a style of his own, full of punch, Creole syncopation, and energy.

When not on the bandstand, Wilson is a frequent visitor at jam sessions at his father’s music store or the Blue Moon Saloon, or he is teaching at music camps all over the world including Fiddle Tunes, Augusta, and Tikendalch in France. Wilson has played in many groups over the years like the White Mule Boys, the Red Stick Ramblers, the Savoy-Family Band, the Chuch Point Aces avec Paul Daigle and Mitch Reed, and his heart has always been with Cajun music. In 2006, Wilson debuted in the film “All the King’s Men” as a piano player alongside actor Sean Penn.

Here is their updated schedule for November:
Nov 1 KBON Fan Appreciation Party 11:15am - 12:15pm Civic Center in Rayne, LA.
Nov 13 Blue Moon Saloon,Lafayette, LA.
Nov 14 Vermilionville,10 AM-1pm | Cajun Brunch
Nov 14 Nick's on Second, Eunice, LA.
Nov 19 Sportsman's Tavern, Buffalo, NY
Nov 20 Thunderbird, Café, Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 21 Happy Days Lodge, Boston Hts, OH
Nov 22 Old Town School of Music, Chicago IL

For further information:

Copper Box to Perform for Milwaukee Accordion Club and More!

by Rita Barnea
Copper BoxBased in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Copper Box is a "New Age Polka Group" with a very lively Party Band style. They last played for the MAC in September 2007, and the club looks forward to their return November 23rd. Admission is $5 for MAC members; non-members pay $10. The performance will be held at the Root River Center in Franklin, WI.

With a slammin’ button accordionist and multi-instrumentalist, Danny Jerabek, and his other half, Michelle Jerabek, on baritone and tenor sax, vocals, guitar, washboard, etc., backed by a great rhythm section, Copper Box is a force to be noticed! The talented group draws inspiration from many types of Americana, roots music and beyond, resulting in a distinctive musical melting pot that is easy on the ears and good for the soul. Performing many originals, this band has been touring through the US promoting their highly acclaimed 5th CD release, “In the Summertime!”

Copper Box is highly recommended if you like to dance and/or listen to music that makes you feel good—and that it does! Performing over 140 shows a year for Mardi Gras, Oktoberfests, music festivals, performing art centers, and community concerts throughout the US, Copper Box has been racking up the miles and gaining momentum and fans. They have shared the main stage at festivals across the nation with artists like, The Little River Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, Little Feat, Little Big Town, Little Texas, Peter Frampton, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lou Gramm, Marcia Ball, C.J. Chenier, and W.C. Clark.

Copper Box received several WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) awards (“Americana Artist of the Year” and “People’s Choice Award”) and other nominations to date. Copper Box’s music video was selected to be shown at the NAB (National Association for Broadcasting) worldwide. In 2007, a video clip of Copper Box was selected for an American Band commercial from the producers of American Idol.

Copper Box was also selected to represent American Traditions at The Southern Arts Conference in Atlanta, GA and the following year in Louisville, KY. They have received several awards--“Horizon Artist of the Year”, “Artist of the Year”, and Michelle was the first female to receive the award for “Side person of the Year” from the WPHF (WI Polka Hall of Fame). Danny Jerabek of CBx was featured on national television on “The Early Show” and was a featured performer at the National Accordion Convention in Dallas, TX in 2008 and also performed with Grammy-winning artists, such as Terrance Simien and Brave Combo.

Danny Jerabek received his first 3-row button accordion, commonly referred to as the "button box," from his grandfather when he was 9 years of age. He was asked to learn a few Czech and German songs for his family and was later inspired by Don Cialkoszewski and the accordion legend, Steve "Esteban" Jordan to take his accordion playing to the next level and beyond.

Danny is one of the few that can tastefully put the accordion into a diverse range of music from jazz to rock and everything in between.

Danny shares the lead with his other half, Michelle Jerabek (saxophones, guitar, flute, vocals). Michelle's vocals can be sultry one moment like a Norah Jones, but she can also belt out something like, Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good,” and give you something good.

Danny and Michelle formed Copper Box (‘copper’-referring to a natural element, like music to them, and ‘box’ refers to the button box) shortly after they were married. They took all their wedding money to buy an old, used, gutted-out, granny-smith apple color, utility van for their band so they could get to their gigs with all their equipment. They were later joined by Jason Van Ryzin (drums) and Kevin Junemann (bass).

Their upcoming performance dates are:
Nov.5 Minneapolis Eagles Club, Minneapolis, WI
Nov. 13 Chestnut Ave. Center for the Arts, Marshfield, WI
Nov. 14 Cedarburg Cutural Center, Cedarburg, WI
Nov. 23 Public Concert - Milwaukee Accordion Club ,Franklin, WI
Dec.4 Winter Dance Party, Stone Toad Bar and Grill, Menasha, WI
Dec. 19 Copper Box's Christmas Show!, O'Marro's Public House,Oshkosh, WI
Dec. 31 New Year's Eve Party!, Al 'n Al's Stein Haus, Sheboygan, WI

For further information about the Nov.23rd show:
For more info about Copper Box:

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

2010 National Accordion Convention to be Held in March 2010

by Rita Barnea
NAA Logo
Esther LantingThe 2010 National Accordion Convention will be held from March 10-14 at the Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Greg Klugiewicz is the 2010 National Accordion Convention Chair. Workshops, seminars, orchestras, bands, jam sessions, dealers, and a swap meet are scheduled. This year, all events, including dealers, are on one floor.

For Thursday, March 11, 2010 “Galla-Rini Appreciation Day” is scheduled. NAA officials have declared Thursday, March 11, 2010 as “Galla-Rini Appreciation Day” because of his dedication to the accordion. True to Galla-Rini’s commitment to training accordionists to perform high quality music, numerous group training sessions are being scheduled which will emphasize group dynamics, expression, coordination, and musicality. Esther Lanting, ATG board member, will direct the Galla-Rini orchestra music and manage the related workshops.

While the planning sessions are just beginning, NAA will continue with traditional workshops. The Roland Accordion Company is expected to be actively involved with Virtual Accordion training sessions. Various folk music workshops will also be planned. Friday and Saturday will be jam-packed with activities. The Banquet will be on Saturday evening. Every evening event ends with a public event.

National Accordion Association (NAA) has established a tradition of seeking information from other accordionists before planning a convention. For 2010, officials are experimenting with modern technology and are requesting information from all over the world. This is your chance to tell convention planners what you think should occur at the National Accordion Conventions. Officials will monitor your suggestions between now and March 2010. The NAA will share the appropriate information with other accordion organizations. Individual names will be removed before sharing with others.

The cost is $189.00 per conventioneer, $95 per night with two people per room – breakfast included. The new address for the NAA is: National Accordion Association, Inc., P.O. Box 940165, Plano, TX 75094-0165.

For further info email: or Greg Klugiewicz:

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

AAA 2010 Festival Will Take Place in Hershey, PA.

by Rita Barnea
AAA Logo
The American Accordionists’ Association announces that the 2010 AAA Festival will be held at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, PA from July 14-18 2010. Performances will take place at Hershey Park.

Room rates are $109 for single, double, triple, and quad.

More details will be announced next month.
For further info:

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

Peter Stan Performs with Slavic Soul Party in New York

by Rita Barnea
Slavic Soul Party
There is a Balkan Party every Tuesday featuring fiery Gypsy brass, soulful Balkan anthems, and hip-grinding American funk. Slavic Soul Party is the name of the band. The nine musicians have forged a virtuosic new brass band music in the heart of New York City.

Slavic Soul Party performs at Barbès which is a bar and performance space located in the South Slope part of Brooklyn. Barbès is also a neighborhood in northern Paris famous for its discount stores, its large North African population as well as the record stores which helped launch the Rai music explosion of the mid 80's. Owned and operated by two French musicians and long-time Brooklyn residents, Barbès functions as a neighborhood community center of sorts.

With Mexican, Asian, Jewish, Gypsy, and American roots, SSP! makes new music out of the unplanned results of immigration, proximity, and globalization, pumping a strong Balkan brass sound through the filter of life in New York's outer boroughs. SSP! plays over one hundred times a year in the USA and Europe.

Peter Stan, an accomplished professional accordionist who both performs and teaches, is the accordionist for Slavic Soul Party. His heritage is Romani Balkan, although he was born and raised in Australia prior to coming to the U.S. when he was 12 years old. At an early age he began to learn how to play the accordion and was taught by his father, also an accordionist, for many years. His entire family is musical and they enjoyed playing together. Peter then went on to further studies with Matthew Aldini (Queensboro Institute of Music), Dr.Jacob Neupauer, Stanley and Joanne Darrow. He has won prizes in several accordion competitions including those sponsored by the American Accordion Musicological Society and the Long Island Music Teachers Association.

Peter does a wide variety of performing as a soloist, with small groups, and with bands. He plays a broad range of musical styles including Balkan, classical, French favorites, Klezmer, popular, and contemporary. He has also performed in movies, appearing with James Earl Jones and Armando Assante, and has done numerous studio soundtrack recordings. Peter has performed on radio, cable television, off-Broadway, and for the famous Mark Morris dance group. When his schedule permits, Peter entertains (alone or with a group) at celebratory functions such as weddings, Bar Mitzvah’s, birthdays, and anniversaries.

Peter has been the lead accordionist with many bands including Slavic Soul Party, Harold Seletsky, The West End Klezmorim, and Hot Pstromi (Yale Strom). His wide range of performances includes playing at Carnegie Hall (1st Jazz and Jewish music concert), Merkin Hall, Irving Plaza, and Joe’s Pub in New York City; the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas ; and the two-week annual Mayim Mayim Project in Fuerth, Germany.

Peter Stan’s music studio is located in the Ridgewood section of Queens, New York. He teaches private students of all ages, with skills ranging from beginner to advanced professional. He is regularly engaged as a music therapist and has received great reviews for teaching accordion at Eastern European folk life workshops.

SSP!'s last three CD's ("Teknochek Collision", "Remixed", and "Bigger") are available from Barbès Records. The musicians are: John Carlson & Ben Holmes (trumpet), Peter Hess (sax/clarinet), Roland Barber and Tim Vaughn (trombone), Ron Caswell (tuba), Peter Stan (accordion), Matt Moran and Chris Stromquist(snare/bubanj/darabouka), Eva Salina Primack (voice).

Slavic Soul Party performs at Barbes every Tuesday from November 3rd through December 8th.
The show begins at 9 PM. Admission is $10.00

For further information: or

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

FR-7X Premier Event in NY

by Rita Barnea
Eddie Monteiro, Roland ArtistRoxy's Music Store presents a Roland Accordion FR-7x Premiere Event on Sunday, November 8th from 10am - 5pm at the Homestead Events Centre, Batavia City Center, Main St, Batavia, NY. You can see exclusive demonstrations of the all new Roland Digital FR-7x V-Accordion.

The Special Guest artist will be Eddie Monteiro who has over 30 years of musical performance in classical, jazz, dance, theater, cabaret and choral ensembles. He was also the youngest honoree elected to American Accordionists' Association Hall of Fame! Other guests will be Ron Lankford who is Roland's National V-Accordion Director of Marketing, and Iskra Alex Alexandrov , World Champion Accordionist.

If you have an accordion to trade or sell, bring it with you and put it on the table for sale or trade.

For further information: Call 585-343-7222
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