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April 2003
New CD by Frank Marocco
ATG Festival Orchestra at Arlington Racetrack
Galla-Rini Concerto No. 2 World Premiere
Lidia Kaminska and Tango Lorca
UMKC Accordion Orchestra in June Concert
Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Michael Salgado - The Golden Left-Handed Boy
Nashville-Hollywood and All That Jazz at ATG
CIA World Champion at AAA
Taco Bar Performance
Accordion Instructional Videos
New North New Jersey Club
Central Florida Accordion Club
Joseph Petric performs Yves Daoust
Kimberley to Feature Lynn Marie
Leavenworth Accordion Festival
Buckwheat Zydeco on Late Night TV
Just for Fun
Joan Sommers to Conduct at Galla-Rini Camp
April Dates at a Glance

New CD by Frank Marocco

Jazz accordionist Frank Marocco has just released a new recording entitled Appassionata.

Fellow Jazz artist Art Van Damme says that "Appassionata is a must for accordionists and people who love good Jazz. Frank gets a great sound and shows his versatility, playing different kinds of music but incorporating Jazz into each arrangement."

Frank reports that his new CD 'Appassionata' is a departure from any of his previous recordings. It is more of an eclectic collection of music from various cultures. It has everything from an Italian pop ballard to a Cuban jazz salsa original. This CD features the accordion in a variety of settings, most with an ethnic world music feel, much jazz improvisation, and many original songs with different rhythmic grooves.

In the world of accordion performance, Frank Marocco is a giant. Not only for his mastery of the instrument itself, but for his highly developed musicality. In any style, on the concert stage or in the recording studio, his playing is technically brilliant and musically superb.

Frank is the most recorded accordion in the USA (and possibly the world) having played on a vast number of movie soundtracks, televisions scores, commercial jingles and record albums, in the studios of Hollywood and beyond. He has recorded for and/or worked with artists ranging from Brian Wilson, Pink Floyd and Madonna to Luciano Pavarotti, conductor Maxim Shostakovich and composer John Williams.

He was nominated eight years in a row for the Most Valuable player Award by the National academy of recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and received that ward twice.

Frank is also a consummate jazz artist and a gifted composer with several of his own albums to his credit. He has played his music for audiences all over the world.

Frank was recently the guest of the Texas Accordion Association, and will appear this summer at the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International annual festival from June 25-29th, 2003 in Chicago where he will present workshops, conduct the Festival Jazz Orchestra as well as appear in concert.

To purchase this CD, please contact Frank at:

ATG Festival Orchestra to appear at Arlington Racetrack

The 2003 Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International Festival Orchestra will appear at the Arlington Race Track Chicago on Saturday June 28th a 1:00 PM.

In addition to following a track full of horses as they gallop around the racetrack, attendees will get to enjoy a performance by dozens of accordionists during the short, but very high profile performance on Raceday.

Each year the Festival Orchestra tries to include at least one performance in a very high profile location, to showcase the accordion. Last year they presented a performance in the heart of Walt Disney World at the Epcot Center.

In addition to this Race Track performance, the ATG International Festival Orchestra will be performing at concerts during the annual festival. Conductors will be ATG President Emeritus Anthony Galla-Rini, Joan Sommers, Jazz legend Frank Marocco, Gary Daverne conductor of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra in Auckland, New Zealand and conductor of the Concord Chamber Orchestra Janet Millard.

For further details, please visit the ATG website, or contact ATG President Joan Sommers at

Stas Venglevski to premiere Galla-Rini's Concerto No. 2

Accordionist Stas Venglevski will present the world premiere of Anthony Galla-Rini's Concerto No. 2 at a concert on April 6th with the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Becker.

Galla-Rini composed his first concerto in 1941. During this time he performed on a Galanti Dominator Accordion with multiple left hand registers. With this instrument, which did not have free bass, he exploited all these left hand registers as if it were a free bass giving him many octaves of left hand range.

He then wished to write a concerto for accordion with Free bass which resulted in his Concerto No. two composed in 1976, which took six months to complete.

The Concerto was first performed with piano accompaniment, by Rocky Frost, a student of Donald Balestrieri and later Nick Ariando performed the first movement with the Los Angeles Orchestra of the Performing Arts under the direction of Louis Palange during the annual festival of the Accordion Federation of North America.

Both the first and second concertos were composed in their original form for accordion and orchestra, as Mr. Galla-Rini said he was always thinking in an orchestral manner. Later, piano reductions were made for the orchestral accompaniment. When asked why both concertos were composed in a minor key, Maestro Galla-Rini said it was just the inspiration as the decision, perhaps taking into consideration that the minor key might have been more dramatic than the major key.

Stas's performance of the Concerto No. 2 with the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Becker will be the world premiere of the work, being the first time that the piece has been played in its entirety with Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Galla-Rini will be flying in for this momentous occasion of the world premiere performance of his work. For further information, please visit

Lidia Kaminska and Tango Lorca
Merge old world tango aesthetics with a sinuous texture of jazz, flamenco and classical music and you have the immediately distinctive sound of Tango Lorca. (Tango Lorca pictured left - photo by Nicole Cawlfield features Jeff Harshbarger - Bass, Brad Cox - Piano, Beau Bledsoe - Guitar and Lidia Kaminska, Accordion.)

Formed in 1999, this fiery quartet has created a fresh and continually growing body of original compositions and arrangements equally suited for the dance hall or the concert stage.

While evoking an undoubtedly Argentine sentiment with classics from the "Golden Age", they also create new, innovative works with a timeless sense of beauty. Tango Lorca plays their music with a deep understanding of tradition as well as an obsessive desire to evolve the art form to new plateaus.

Claudia Bozzo, founder and director of The School of Tango (La Escuela del Tango, AC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, writes: "Tango Lorca surprised us with its beautiful arrangements and execellent interpretation of the tango. We Argentines believe that we alone possess the particular and exclusive style for playing tango, and for us that's the way we like it. Tango Lorca has such a style, too, interpreting tango in the Argentine way, 'drawing out the music' as one would 'draw out' one of us in Buenos Aires to dance to it. Tango Lorca plays in a very lively style, yet dreamily danceable and modern, always uplifting, and celebrating the feeling of the tango without sacrificing its nostalgic qualities. We have used the music of this group in our classes, and it's fully appreciated by both Argentines and those from other countries. We stand ready to distribute Tango Lorca recordings here, if asked, and we would be delighted if sometime we can dance to a live performance. The doors to The School of Tango in Buenos Aires are open to them. Congratulations."

Tango Lorca accordionist, Lidia Kaminska, o
riginally from Przasnysz, Poland recently won both the entertainment and classical divisions at the 2002 Accordionists and Teachers Guild International Competition held in Orlando, Florida.

She is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in accordion performance at the UMKC - Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and performing solo concerts throughout Europe and the United States. She also performs regularly in a duo with guitarist Beau Bledsoe.

For further information, please visit or you may contact Tango Lorca at 816-471-5107 or e-mail:

UMKC Accordion Orchestra Concerts

The University of Missouri - Kansas City Community Accordion Orchestra will present its annual concert on Sunday June 1 at 2:00 PM at White Recital Hall on the UMKC Campus. The orchestra will present its concert program that is will perform as part of the ATG annual festival and other concerts due later in the year.

The Orchestra, under the direction of Joan C. Sommers recently celebrated its 40th anniversary by releasing a series of six CD recordings highlighting its 40 years of concerts, competitions and tours around the world.

The orchestra has appeared in Newspapers all over the continental US, Alaska and Mexico as a result of a recent series of interviews with the Associated Press. Whether in large newspapers like the Chicago Tribune or the Houston Chronicle or in smaller newspapers published in Springfield, MO or small towns in Iowa, the articles have brought attention to the accordion to many people both fellow accordionists and the general public.

This summer, The UMKC Orchestra will also present a concert in Milwaukee as guests of the Milwaukee Accordion Club on Sunday, June 29th 2003. This will be their debut appearance in Milwaukee.

For further information on the UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra, please visit

4th Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

The fourth annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention will take place from June 22 to 25, 2003 at the Plaza Hotel, 1 Main Street, Las Vegas Nevada.

Starring Pete Barbutti, Pino Di Modugno, Kenny Kotwitz - Featuring Don Lipovac and with Special Appearances by Myron Floren, Art Van Damme and Dick Contino. This years event will also feature Italian manufactures and several special appearance guest artists including Renzo Rugieri and Mirco Patarini to name a few.

Also our main stays are Peter Soave and Gina Brannelli. This year the event will feature 10 meals, 7 concerts and over 35 workshops all at one low affordable price. Hotel rooms are only $40 per night.

Don Lipovac will be making his first appearance at the Las Vegas Intentional Accordion Convention this year. Of Slovenian heritage, Don started his musical career at the age of four, playing traditional Slovenian melodies on a button-box accordion bought by his grandfather. He began piano accordion lessons with Alfred Vacca, who trained him thoroughly in the classics. In 1958, Don won the nation’s top accordion honor—first place in the American Accordion Association National Championship contest. Don went on to represent the United States at the world competition in Brussels, Belgium. He attended the Kansas City Conservatory of Music and has degrees in both music theory and music education.

Don has appeared on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” and as guest soloist with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also been the director of the St. John Tamburitzans for more than 35 years. Don has the unique distinction of having been inducted into both the Tamburitza Association of America Hall of Fame, for outstanding contributions toward the preservation of Tamburitza music, and the Polka Hall of Fame, awarded at Ironworld, USA, in Chisholm, Minnesota.

Also making his first appearance at the LVIAC will be Pete Barbutti. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Pete started his musical career at age eleven by taking accordion lessons, and within one year was earning spending money playing at weddings. Later, Pete formed his own group, a musical-comedy-vocal quartet called “The Millionaires,” which toured the country for six years, settling in Chicago, then Las Vegas—where “The Millionaires” quickly became the favorite of many Las Vegas strip celebrities.

After his group disbanded, Pete went on to become one of the most famous standup comedians in the United States and Canada. Pete has appeared over 1,000 times on national television, and over 90 times on “The Tonight Show.” (pictured above)

For more information contact the Las Vegas Accordion Convention hot line at 1-800-472-1695 (outside the USA +1 801-486-1695) or visit us on the web at The event has grown in size each year and attracts people from all over the World. We suggest you register early.

Michael Salgado - The Golden Left-Handed Boy

Michael Salgado began his career in music at the age of seven when he performed in a band led by his father. Salgado's unique ability to play the accordion left-handed and backwards increased his fan base and earned him the nickname "The Golden Left-handed." Salgado is the recipient of four Tejano Music Awards, one of which includes an award for Best Song of the Year in 2001 for his hit "Ya No Voy Aguantar." Some of Salgado's other awards include Tejano Music Awards 1997 Best Artist of the Year, Hispanic Awards 1996 Best Regional Song of the Year, and the 1996 Mike Chavez Award for Most Promising Band.

Born in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, but raised in west Texas, Salgado grew up listening to norteño, the south-of-the-border, musical counterpart to Texas-based conjunto music. Michael Salgado has received four "Tejano Music Awards", including Best Song of the Year for 2001's "Ya no Voy a Aguantar". Also, in 1998 he was awarded Billboard Latin Music's "Best Regional Mexican Album". With seven productions to his credit, he is expected to sell more than 2 million albums. "Sangre de Rey" is Michael Salgado's first production with Sony Discos.

Conjunto and norteño groups share two must-haves in their instrumentation: the accordion and the bajo sexto, the heavy 12-string Spanish bass guitar.

While most norteño accordionists tend to play more subtle riffs than their conjunto counterparts, Salgado says he was influenced by Los Relámpagos del Norte and its lead singer and accordion player Ramón Ayala, whose fingers could blaze across the keys.

Salgado also can set his instrument afire although he comes at it from a totally different perspective. As a left-hander, Salgado has to turn his accordion upside down to play it. "I think my music is pretty much norteño," says Salgado.

While such distinctions are important to music industry officials and genre purists, Salgado said his philosophy is, "Musica no tiene frontera," which translates to, "Music has no borders."

Michael Salgado's new album, "Tu Musica... Sin Fronteras", is available at CD outlets nationwide released by Sony Discos.

further information and upcoming concerts, and a full discography, please visit

ATG 2003 - Nashville to Hollywood and All That Jazz!
Among the guest artists at this years Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International Festival are former ATG United States Champion and popular Nashville recording artist Jeff Lisenby as well as Hollywood Jazz Legend Frank Marocco.

The theme behind this years festival will be... All That Jazz. A fitting name considering the outstanding success of the movie Chicago, also the site of this years ATG Annual Competition and Festival. Music from the movie has also been the inspiration for some of the music to be performed at this years festival, as well as the guest appearance of several Jazz performers.

Jeff has twice won bronze medals for the ATG in the Coupe Mondiale in European competitions. He also won the silver medal in the international entertainment accordion championship, and has been a keyboardist/accordionist for: Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, the Kansas City Chiefs' football games, USO European tours, shows in Switzerland with TexMex artist Rick Orozco, Norwegian Cruise Lines on Caribbean tours, and has toured extensively with artists Brenda Lee and Boots Randolph, including performances in Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, and all over the United States.

Jeff has also performed with the Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Nashville Symphonies. He has accompanied many artists in live shows including: Luciano Pavarotti, Mel Torme, Blake Shelton, Roy Clark, Lee Greenwood, Tricia Yearwood, Jo Dee Messina, Dolly Parton, Three-Dog Night, Jamie O'Neil, The Mills Brothers, and David Cassidy.

Lisenby, with a Bachelor of Music degree in accordion performance (studying with Joan Cochran Sommers) and a Master of Arts from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, currently teaches: electronic music classes, the jazz band, and several private accordion and music composition students for the School of Music at Belmont University in Nashville. He also is the conductor/musical director for Vanderbilt University's "Original Cast", a Broadway-style musical revue, that performs a new 2-hour show every semester. Jeff feels that it is because of God's blessings, that he currently is also a gigging and recording-session accordionist, playing on many CD's, jingles, industrial films, and demo sessions. He also is a Nashville session keyboardist, arranger, and producer.

In addition to Jeff, Chicago born jazz legend Frank Marocco will be featured throughout the festival.

Frank (pictured directing an ATG Workshop) began the accordion at age seven, when his parents enrolled him in a six-week trial program on the accordion.

Frank studied with George Stefani for nine years, a man who provided him with much inspiration. Studying classics, his teacher encouraged him to explore other areas. As a youngster Frank played piano and clarinet, he studied music theory, harmony, conducting and he was a member of his high school band.

Eventually settling in Los Angeles with his wife Anne, Frank found the proximity to Hollywood provided opportunities never available in the Midwest. He began a career which includes traveling with Bob Hope visiting the servicemen in many countries; being featured on the Les Brown Band, including six Love Boat cruises. He has also been very active doing studio work: movie soundtracks, TV movies, TV series , records and advertising jingles. Frank has also composed and arranged many accordion works in jazz and classical music.

Frank recently appeared in Plano, Texas as part of the Texas Accordion Association Annual Convention and at the upcoming at ATG in Chicago, Frank will conduct workshops, perform in concert and conduct the ATG Festival Jazz Orchestra.

For more information, please contact Joan Sommers at or visit

AAA to Feature CIA World Champion Alexander Poeluev

The American Accordionists Association will feature the winner of the newly established CIA International Competition for Piano Accordion, Alexander Poeluev during their festival to be held in July.

Born on 12th of January 1981, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Alexander was began to study music at the age of six. He studied at I. N. Pilipenko's class at the Children's Music School where he graduated in 1996. Later that year, he entered the Rostov State Arts at S. S. Galkin's class where he studied for one year.

In 1997 he began his studies at the Music Institute named after Schnitke in the class of the Viatcheslav Semionov. Semionov, a winner of several international competitions and renowned concert artist has the distinction of holding the title of "People's Artist".

During the years of his study Alexander became the two-time winner of the Russia Piano and Button Accordion Competition in Belgorod. He won the first prize in 1997 and 2000.

In 2002 he won Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) 55th Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championship which was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Alexander became the first contestant to ever win two categories in the same year. He won the Competition both the "Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships" and "International Competition for Piano Accordion Class".

Currently Alexander Poeluev is a third year student at the Moscow State Music Institute where he continues studying with Viatcheslav Semionov.

Alexander has performed with great success in Russia and other countries, and while continuing to participate in various International Accordion Festivals and Competitions.

Alexander is invited to appear as the International Guest Artist at the South Pacific Accordion Festival held in Auckland New Zealand as well as at the Australian Accordion Teachers Association National Festival in Sydney, Australia.

His program will be selected from:

  • J. S. Bach: Fantasy and Fuga a-moll
  • D. Scarlatti: Sonata E-dur, Sonata F-durC. Daquin: Le Cuckoo
  • J. F. Rameau: Le Rappel Des Oiseaux
  • E. Grieg: 3 parts from the Holberg suite, Praeludium, Air, Rigaudon
  • N. Paganini-F.Liszt: Hunting
  • A. Kusyakov: Divertimento in 4 parts - Prelude, Scherzo, Ballade, Improvisation.
  • A. Piazzolla: Oblivion
  • E. Bouvelle - S. Courtot-Renoux: Medley de Valses
  • V. Vlasov: Bossa-Nova
  • V. Semionov: Don Rhapsody Number 1- Finale
  • V. Semionov: Guelder Rose
  • V. Semionov: Bulgarian suite in 3 parts - Daichovo Horo, Sevdana, Gankino Horo

Taco Bar Entertainment

A "Puro Conjunto Party" was held at Guero's Taco Bar in Austin, Texas on March 13th.

Entertainers included Michael Guerra (accordion), Conjunto Los Pinkys (includes accordionists Isidro Samilpa, Chencho Flores and Bradley Jaye Williams), Chon Martinez Y Vicente Alonzo, Johnny Degollado (pictured right - accordionist and songwriter who will be inducted into the Tejano-Conjunto Hall of Fame in San Antonio this year), Mexican Roots Trio (accordionist Joel Guzman), Lala Llanos (accordion), Rosie Garza (accordion) and Susan Torres (accordion).

On March 15th the Taco Bar featured "The Gulf Coast Playboys", which features accordionist Bradley Jaye Williams. The group play traditional cajun, swamp pop and Tex-Mex music.

Mr. Williams has been playing accordion and bajo sexto for the past 16 years. He cites the music of Flaco Jimenez and the polkas of his Polish-American upbringing as inspiration for learning the button accordion.

Self taught, he has immersed himself in the musical styles of Texas and Louisiana. He has been called the "Eric Clapton of conjunto music"by the Austin Chronicle. He plays bajo sexto with Los Pinkys. He also plays the ukulele,cuatro and mandolin.

For details e-mail:

Accordion Instructional Videos
Ken Mahler has released two new accordion instructional videos entitled "Getting Started", "Bass Techniques", and "Mastering The Basses' Accordion Classroom Videos.

These two new videos are the 2nd and 3rd in a series of Accordion Instructional Videos including:
  • Accordion Classroom, Volume One: Getting Started
    This informative video will show you how to hold the instrument, bellow control, fingering positions, waltz and 4/4 time, keyboard exercises and much more. Tape length 52 minutes.
  • Accordion Classroom, Volume One Bass Techniques - Just Released!
    A must buy video designed for accordionists, organists, keyboard players and pianists who have knowledge of the keyboard, but need help understanding the bass section of the typical 120 Bass Accordion. Ken covers 3/4 and 4/4 time signature, 6/8 alternating basses proper fingering methods, major, minor, 7th, diminished chords, counter basses and much more!
  • Accordion Classroom, Volume Two Mastering the Basses - Just Released!
    The art of mastering the basses doesn't get any better this! Ken teaches C Major and C Minor Scale with the correct fingering methods, broken chords for walking bass patterns, creating shuffle beat using both right and left hands, variations on walking basses and shuffle beat, utilizing chord progressions, plus chromatic scale using chord progressions. Learn to play the bass patterns for polka, waltz, rhumba, samba, Cajun, tango with variations, classical, boogie and much more!
for further information, please contact: or visit

New Jersey Accordion Club being Formed
A new accordion club is being formed in New Jersey by accordionist Scott Douglas.

Accordionists in the New Jersey area interested in getting together monthly to share accordion related activities, fun, fellowship and education are invited to contact Scott at: 201-963-1524 or e-mail

New Central Florida Accordion Club Formed
President Thomas Yost announces the formation of the Central Florida Accordion Club which meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Established in November 2002, we are certified in the state of Florida as a nonprofit fraternal and social club dedicated to promoting the visibility and value of the accordion as a multicultural and multiethnic musical instrument in the Central Florida area.

To promote the accordion, we work with the general public, civic and community entities who may obtain some value from the accordion as a musical instrument.

The meetings are open to all accordionists and accordion music lovers. Meetings are held at the Orlando Elks Lodge BPOE #1079, 12 North Primrose Drive, Orlando, FL. For further information, please contact: or phone: 407/678-0943.

You may also check online at

Joseph Petric and the music of Yves Daoust
On April 6, accordionist Joseph Petric will be featured on the Radio Canada broadcast featuring the music of Yves Daoust.

Daoust's 10 minute work L'Entrevue (1989-1990) for accordion and tape will be played in addition to other music of Daoust. The work was commissioned by Joseph and premiered in April of 1991 in Montréal.

Born in Longueuil in 1946, Yves Daoust (pictured left) received his musical studies at the Montreal Conservatory of Music with Gilles Tremblay (composition and analyses) and Irving Heller (piano), completed his studies in France with a two year training course at the GMEB (Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges) under the leadership of Alain Savouret.

YVES DAOUST is Professor and Head of the Electroacoustic Composition Department of the Montreal Conservatory of Music.

Between 1976 and 1979, he was Audio Engineer for the National Film Board of Canada. Since 1980, he’s professor at the Quebec Conservatory of music and Fine Arts where he developed the Department of electroacoustic composition at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Very active on the professional scene, and one of the pioneers of electroacoustic music in Québec, he has contributed to the foundation and the development of different organizations dedicated to the promotion and the distribution of this music, such as the ACREQ (Association pour la Création et la Recherche électroacoustiques du Québec), which he lead for almost ten years.

His body of work touches on almost all facets of this medium: music for films, the stage (large number of collaborations notably with Mimes Omnibus), multi-disciplinarian shows, conceptual works (studio electroacoustic music, instrumental and mixed music, live electroacoustic music).

Recipient of the Euphonie D’Or prize (Festival de Bourges 1993) for his work Quatuor, now consider a "classic" in electroacoustique music.

The accordionist Joseph Petric
has received critical acclaim in major international centers for his performances. His American debut in 1986 at a sold out Kennedy Center was cited by critic Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post as the chamber music concert of the year.

Petric's goal to transform the accordion into a major solo instrument reached a landmark in 1997 when in a one and a half year period he gave 30 concerto performances of works commissioned for him in North America and Europe. He has commissioned 108 works and premiered more than 200 since 1980.

For information on the broadcast, please visit

Kimberley Festival to Feature Lynn Marie

Among the star line up performing at the annual Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships from July 7-13, 2003 will be accordionist LynnMarie.

Appearing for the second time at the KIOTAC, LynnMarie's concert is scheduled for Wednesday, July 9, 7:30 PM

LynnMarie is an artist who brings a new dimension to music. Her high energy, good looks, and a repertoire that incorporates folk, Cajun country, tex-mex, rock ‘n’ roll and even polka, make her truly unique. After you see, hear and experience her talent, you will realize you’ve witnessed something that is one of a kind!

As the first female to win a GRAMMY nomination for "Best Polka Album," Nashville recording artist LynnMarie is changing the face of polka music. Her musical blending of rock, country and pop with a high-energy performance has garnered her worldwide recognition as an established artist with her fingers on the pulse of what is considered a new generation of polka.

Her expertise as a button accordionist combined with her engaging stage presence and stunning appearance has wowed fans, critics and media alike. Jay Leno, host of The Tonight Show referred to LynnMarie as "the Dixie Chick of polka," and Austin O'Connor, writer for The Sun, said "undoubtedly the sexiest player to ever strap on an accordion!"

With her new record, affectionately titled The Polka Record, LynnMarie believes this is her best work yet. The project, produced by LynnMarie and Charlie Kelley, features new arrangements of classic polka songs such as "The Beer Barrel Polka" and "The Pennsylvania Polka" as well as newly-arranged songs like "Hooked on a Feeling" and original LynnMarie recordings. There is even a children's medley of the classics "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious & A Spoonful of Sugar," and "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah." "This is by far my best interpretation of classic polka songs that I love with a new and upbeat twist, as well as a fun collection of original songs and rewrites," said LynnMarie.

The Polka Record is a hard act to follow coming behind 11 successful recordings. SqueezeBox earned her a GRAMMY nomination for "Best Polka Album" in 2000. LynnMarie's first single, "That's What I Like About The North," from the album One Look, became the most requested song on morning shows in the Great Lakes area. She has performed live on the Grand Ole Opry, CNN, CMA Fan Fair, South By Southwest in Austin, and every major festival in between; and, in 2001, she was named "Female Vocalist of the Year," by the International Polka Association…just a few of her many recognitions. LynnMarie is pictured below with popular talkshow host Jay Lenno.

Although she is considered the new face of polka music, her roots in the traditional format run deep. Born and raised in an ethnic Slovenian community in Cleveland, Ohio, LynnMarie was destined to pick up an accordion. Her grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s and her childhood was rich in Eastern European music and culture. Singing and dancing were a natural part of life, and weekends were spent at the Slovenian National Home ("meeting hall") where everyone gathered and played music. Her father, an accomplished accordion player and bandleader, was her first inspiration. "As a child, I watched him entertain crowds of people in his tavern. The music made people so happy, and he was happy playing. I knew then that I would be an entertainer, too," said LynnMarie. Soon, she was on stage and on her way to becoming an award-winning instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter.

By the age of 13, LynnMarie was singing and playing regularly at local pubs, theaters, and festivals across the Midwest. Not only her age, but her instrument of choice set her apart as a performer. The "button box" is a difficult and rare style of accordion, and not, as she says with a smile, "traditionally played by females." Her incredible energy and vivacious alto voice quickly established her as one of the most sought after entertainers in the Midwest.

Convinced that she could expand polka music beyond its traditions, LynnMarie moved to Nashville in 1994. Collaborating with different musicians and songwriters influenced not only her writing, but her playing and her vocal style as well. She released her first independent album, One Look, in 1998. Guest musicians on the album included the legendary Chet Atkins, Riders In The Sky's Joey (The Cowpolka King) Miskulin and singer/songwriter Gary Chapman.

In the fall of 2000, LynnMarie Christmas was released followed by the release of Squeezebox, through Madacy Entertainment Group. Following the Grammy-nominated Squeezebox, she released All Over It, in 2001. The record covered a wide variety of styles that pushed the limits of the accordion. One of the highlights was a duet with country music singer/songwriter Hal Ketchum, which she performed with Ketchum on the Grand Ole Opry.

Today, she is one of the most recognized and accomplished artists in her genre. As she travels the world, she is still amazed at the loyalty of her fans, the new fans she turns on to polka music and the many people who continually say to her-"I didn't know you could do that with an accordion!"

For further information and competition guidelines for the 29th Annual 'Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships' to be held in Kimberley, British Columbia please visit: or e-mail:

Leavenworth Accordion Celebration from June 17-21

The annual Leavenworth Accordion Celebration will take place from June 17-21, 2003 in Leavenworth, WA.

The Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration has grown each year - with more cash awards, events, competitors and world-class entertainment. This year is no exception!

There is also a video series being planned – “The Accordion in Film”. This series is cosponsored by the Upper Valley Museum at Leavenworth and will be shown in conjunction with the Celebration.

The 2003 Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration will be an exciting event – full of talented musicians, enthusiastic music lovers, friendly competition and surprises! All set to the backdrop of Leavenworth, Washington’s Bavarian Village, where you will always find Old World charm and hospitality.

For full details, please visit www.accordioncelebration or contact Sherry or Bill Reitvelt at
(509) 548-5807.

Buckwheat Zydeco on Late Night TV with Craig Kilborn
A regular on TV, with many appearances on David Letterman, Today Show, CBS Morning News, NBC Nightly News, MTV, BBC, National Public Radio, Buckwheat Zydeco was featured on March 31st on The Late Show with Craig Kilborn.

Celebrating more than 20 years of performance Buckwheat Zydeco music has been heard by millions including a worldwide audience of over 3 billion people during his performance of "Jambalaya" at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Buckwheat's performances have also included other high profile settings, such for 500,000 people at an outdoor concert of the Boston Pops, the inaugural celebrations for former President Clinton (both elections) and also as opening act for Eric Clapton (including entire North American tour and a 12-night stand at London's Royal Albert Hall), U-2, Robert Cray, Los Lobos.

His list of recordings is substantial and he has also received many Grammy nominations.

For further information and upcoming concerts, please visit
Just for Fun

Joan Sommers to appear at annual Galla-Rini Camp
Joan Sommers, President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) and director of the UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra will be a guest conductor at the annual Anthony Galla-Rini Accordion Camp. The featured conductor is 99 year old Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini who holds this popular camp each year, working with accordionists from all over the United States.

The camp opens at 3 PM on Sunday, July 27 and concludes on Friday August 1st. All activities will be held at the University of San Diego.

Joan C. Sommers has directed the UMKC Accordion Orchestra for over 40 years, and has guest conducted all over the world. She has made numerous recordings and arrangements for accordion orchestra and has been instrumental in having composers write works for accordion orchestra.

For information on enrolling in the camp, please contact Kjell Holmes (858-453-5486).

April Dates at a Glance
For important dates in April, please refer to the Future Events page located on this site, by selecting from the menu to the right, or by clicking here.

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