Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.
Editor's Noteby Rita Barnea
|The August USA news includes articles about concerts, new CD's, films, conventions, fun happenings and more! |
In the September USA news, you will learn about past summer events and future fall festivals.
Be sure to read this months news. And, remember to send your news and ideas to Ritabelll@aol.com
Celebration of the Life of Faithe Deffner, July 13, 2014by Kevin Friedrich
|American Accordionists' Association (AAA) President Emerita, Faithe Deffner passed away in Florida on June 3rd. |
"A Celebration of the Life of Faithe Deffner" hosted by Angelica Bargou was held on Sunday, July 13 at the Double Tree by Hilton, Tarrytown, New York, immediately following the AAA Open Meeting and Breakfast.
Video: Slide show above prepared by Joan and Dan Grauman was shown at this important memorial event.
Messages of condolence to: email@example.com
Official Obituary by Helmi Harrington at Faithe Deffner Obituary
2014 Las Vegas International Accordion Conventionby Rita Barnea
|The 15th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention takes place from August 18-21, 2014 at the Gold Coast Hotel Casino - located at 4000 West Flamingo Blvd, Las Vegas, NV. Hotel rates from $29 a night per room!.|
Educational and Entertainment event featuring 4 nights and 3 full days of unforgettable entertainment, workshops, classes and sumptuous Las Vegas style banquets, with two full meals offered each day. Join Friends new and old for a fabulous accordion event.
Michael Bridge and Alicia Baker two of the most talented young accordionists in North American will be performing and teaching at the August 18-21 Las Vegas International Accordion Convention!
Michael, who earned the distinction of performing with the Boston Pops, astonished Keith Lockhart, the famed conductor, who said of Michael “I’m amazed what you do with this instrument, I find it totally baffling!”
Alicia Baker, 22 recently graduated in music with a triple degree in music education as well as piano and vocal performance. Alicia has been performing on the accordion since age 6 and has a long list of awards and credits to her name.
Featured performers and workshop presenters include:
Dick Contino, Joey Miskulin, Stas Venglevski, Bruce Gassman, Peter and Mady Soave, Ron Borelli, Paul Pasquali, Pete Barnutti, Gordon Kohl, Gina Branneli, Elena and Gregory Fainshtein, Liz Finch, Mary Tokarski, Shelia Lee, The Seventh Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Orchestra directed by Professor Joan C. Sommers and many more !
LVAC is pleased to announce a Costume Ball at the Wednesday evening Concert in celebration of their 15th Anniversary with awards for best costume. Also Thursday evening will feature the best-dressed awards!
Come join the FUN and be a part of the 15th Celebration and party the night away with Good Food, Good Friends, Good Music, Good Dancing and FUN!
Mention ACCORDN and get hotel rooms as low as $28/night (Sun-Thurs_ at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.
For further information:
USA Phone: 1-800-472-1695
Outside USA Phone: +01-801-486-1695
Accordionist Luis Espindola Included in the Library of Congressby Rita Barnea
|Accordionist Luis Espindola shares, "I am honored to be part of 'Jazz on the Screen' A Jazz and Blues Filmography by David Meeker (Performing Arts Encyclopedia, Library of Congress). Mr. Meeker, author of Jazz in the movies is known as one of the top jazz critics in the world!"|
*Title: LUIS ESPINDOLA JAZZ TRIO
Description: motion picture | Made-for-TV programmed or made-for-video/DVD release. Medium length film (30-60 minutes).
*Title: JAZZ (1987) (Luis Espindola Big Band)
Description: motion picture | Made-for-TV programmed or made-for-video/DVD release. Medium length film (30-60 minutes)
Jazz accordionist, arranger, composer, and band leader Luis Espindola was born in Cuba, but soon after established residence with his family in Puerto Rico. After developing an interest for the accordion at a very young age, Espindola began his studies under the guidance and supervision of Maestro George Kudirka. It was hearing Argentinean born Jazz Pianist, Maestro Atilio Bruni, which aided in Luis Espindola's determined development of skill and technique in the jazz field.
His devotion led him to study the Berklee College of Music Arranging, Orchestration and Modern Harmony Courses. Years later, he became a renowned arranger, composer, director and jazz musician throughout Puerto Rico.
Espindola is well known for playing complex poly chordal tone structures and by incorporating orchestral approach techniques for Mechanical Voicings, making him unique in achieving such a distinctive jazz sound. He has enjoyed a successful career traveling throughout Europe, the Middle East, South America, United States and The Caribbean performing to Jazz lovers and newcomers alike.
Luis Espindola has several studio work recordings with a number of artists. He has recorded multiple sessions with the late sax virtuoso Jesus Caunedo. He currently resides in Miami where he is helping to enhance the listening ears of many in the wonderful musical world of Jazz.
For further information: Luis@LuisEspindolaJazzBand.com
Video: Two World Premieres at ATG Festival - USAby Harley Jones
|Above are two World Premieres that were performed at the recent 74th Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival, July 23-26, in San Francisco.|
The world premiere of two works by two very highly regarded US accordionists Amy Jo Sawyer (picture left) and Jeff Lisenby (lower left) was held on the 25th July.
Video 1: Jazz Purr by Jeff Lisenby
Video 2: Reverie by Amy Jo Sawyer
Conductor: Prof. Joan Sommers
Ensemble members: Jeff Lisenby (soloist, video 1), Amy Jo Sawyer (soloist video 2), Wesley Anderson (drums), Sean Brogan (string bass), Gail Campanella, Beverly Fess, Liz Finch, Kevin Friedrich, Joan Grauman, Esther Lanting, Karen Lee, Donna Massey, Donna Dee Ray, Michele B. Scheffler, Betty Jo Simon, Samantha Wagner.
Thanks for the two videos provided by Mike Roche, assisted by Dan Grauman
AAA Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars) Aug.1-3by Rita Barnea
|The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) is proud to announce the 20th annual Master Class and Concert Series – ‘The Seminars’ – on August 1st, 2nd, 3rd at The Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th St, New York. This year’s theme title is ‘The Everyday Accordion: Ordinary x Proper = Radiant’. The moderator and curator is Dr William Schimmel. Master Classes are at 3:PM and concerts at 7:PM.|
The distinguished participants this year includes Micki Goodman, Dr. Robert Young McMahan, Paul Stein, Godfrey Nelson, Lorraine Nelson Wolf, Rita Barnea, Will Holshouser, Ken Laufer, Lee Mc Clure, Kathleen Tipton, Mayumi Mayaoka, Doug Makofka, Bob Goldberg, Melissa Elledge, Mark Nathanson, Art Bailey, Mary Spencer Knapp, Erica Marie Mancini, Benjamin Ickies, Corn Mo, John Foti, Rachid Eladlouni, Rachel Swaner, Mark Nathanson, David First, David Stoler, Brian Dewan, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, Dr. Rocco Jerry, Dave Soldier, Milica Paranosic, Dan Cooper, Noah Creshevsky, Demitrius Spaneas, Peter Jarvis, Tomoka Sugawara, Yoichi Fukui, Michael Dames, Linda Reed, Dragica Banic-Curcic, Peter Flint, Ingrid Kvale, Marni Rice, Genevieve Leloup, Bjorn Skjelbred, Carl Riehl, Ralph Crispino and, of course, Dr. William Schimmel.
Download complete information including prices and applications at: 2014AA-Seminar
Schimmel compositions and CDs at: William Schimmel
ACCORDIONS NOW! in New Hampshire August 8-10by Rita Barnea
|ACCORDIONS NOW!’, takes place August 8th -10th at Courtyard Nashua, 2200 Southwood Drive, Nashua, NH 03063. Phone: 603-880-9100. The event is co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC.|
An amazing variety of accordion styles will be presented at the festival. Glen Robertson and Catfish Howl invite YOU to sit in with the band. Tony Lovello, "Living Legend of the Accordion", will entertain all with his bellow shakes and enthusiasm.
Additional events include:
~Gala Concert Saturday Night ~Friday Night Prelude Performance & Open Mike Cabaret ~ ~New England Accordion Museum Exhibit/"Boxes of Stories" ~Festive Luncheon Buffet ~ ~Annual Saturday 4PM DMR Concert ~ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra Concert ~ ~Just-for-Fun Play-Along Ensemble ~Cocktail Reception ~Strolling Accordionist ~Gala Dinner ~ ~Daytime Jam Session ~Educational Hands-On Workshops ~Night Owls Jam Sessions ~ ~Instruments to Try/Buy ~Meet Guest Artists ~Photos Ops ~CD Signing ~Vendor Displays ~ ~Door Prizes Courtesy of Accordion Connection LLC ~
Meet Your Accordion Friends Old and New! ~ Opportunities Galore for YOU to Play!
ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival ~ LOTS OF ACCORDIONS, LOTS OF MUSIC, LOTS OF FUN !!
~ Open Mike Cabaret ~ Hands-On Educational Workshops ~ Daytime Jam Session ~ ~ Just-for-Fun Play-Along (no rehearsal, music sent in advance) ~ Night Owls Jams ~ ~ ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra
The final headhunt for the chef is needed by noon on Monday, August 4. For Questions and to register by phone: 603-216-9582
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan Accordion Society Features "The Immigrant Sons"by Rita Barnea
|The recently formed band, The Immigrant Sons, will make their public debut on August 2, 2014 at the Shade Grove Chalet/ Picnic Area in Owens, Ohio outside of Toledo, Ohio. The Michigan Accordion Society will feature them in their Michigan Public debut on Tuesday August 19th. You are welcome to bring your instruments as there will also be a open mic forum with the band. |
The Immigrant Sons specialize in International Music for Festivals, Weddings and other Special Events, performing a wide variety of German, Italian, Polish, Austrian, Spanish, French and Contemporary Music.
Immigrant Sons Band Members:
Horn and Vocals - Stephan Lang ( son of German Immigrants )
Guitar & Vocals - Johnny Giordano (son of Italian Immigrants) Drums & Vocals - Chris Gassel (son of German Immigrants) Accordion & Vocals - Joe Recchia (son of Italian Immigrants and President of the MAS)
For further information: email@example.com
Dee Langley in Concert on August 3rdby Rita Barnea
|Dee Langley will present a solo concert on Sunday, August 3, 2014 from 3-5:PM at Keljik's Oriental Rugs in Minnesota.|
This is a wonderful opportunity for Dee to share some of her original compositions for accordion, time-honored classical accordion favorites and International folk music complete with easy to follow instructions in dancing from International Folk Dance teacher Caren Grantz Keljik.
Get cozy on a beautiful antique rug, listen, dance, enjoy!
Sunday, August 3rd, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Keljik's Oriental Rugs 4255 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409 612-823-6338
Suggested donation $10
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.
Michigan Accordion Society Donates Accordions and Lessonsby Rita Barnea
|Michigan Accordion Society President, Joe Recchia, recently drove to meet MAS member, Gene Van, to pick up a car load of 12 bass accordions which will be used to kick off the new MAS Accordion for Kids program. Photo below.|
The accordions will be provided free of charge to students. Organization of this program is currently underway. The accordions were provided by Gene Van and also purchased, in part, by the Tony Dannon Scholarship Fund which is managed by the Michigan Accordion Society. (MAS).
Bill Palmer, who is a MAS member, is donating the Palmer-Hughes beginner books. Twenty four students have already received accordion tuition scholarships.
The Michigan Accordion Society (MAS) awarded $2,700.00 in Music Scholarship to Music Students at their Monthly Music Event on Tuesday June 17, 2014 at the Forestre Banquet Center in Rochester Hills, Michigan to a packed audience.
The evening was wonderful as many students participated playing a variety of instruments…Accordions, Guitar, Trumpet, Piano and Voice. Students ranged from 7 years to 22 years of age. Tri County Music Studio’s that participated in the program were Evola Music Shelby Township, Gus Zoppi Music Center Troy, EDB Studio’s Warren and The Music Authority School Dearborn as well as private Instructors Bob George & Yakov Todromovich.
“The Event was a big success and we are very pleased that the scholarship money was paid out directly to the student’s teachers so that the money will be used for future music lessons for these talented kids” said Joe Recchia MAS President.
Recchia also mentioned that “as a 501c3 tax deductible nonprofit Music Society we have been awarded significant funding from family’s in our community that have lost loved ones and in lieu of flowers they wanted memorial funds to be set up so that these funds can be used to promote accordions and music education programs for local area children. The proceeds that were paid out came from the Ray Battani, Jerry May and Tony Dannon Memorial Scholarship Funds that the Michigan Accordion Society Manages. This is a win/win for both the families of the deceased and the Music Students in our community”
The funds that were awarded is only the beginning as the MAS also unveiled a brand new “Accordion for Kids Program” and has already signed up several students immediately after the announcement. The program is great because MAS will supply the instrument and music educational books. Then the student’s family is provided with several MAS Accordion Teachers that they can choose from.
The student is then off to the races learning the instrument and all that is asked in return is for the student’s commitment to learn the instrument. “We have seen a very interesting resurgence in folks wanting to be around accordionists and that is great for not only the instrument but for the music students in our community as well. It’s something great for the students to do that will keep their mind sharp and stay out of trouble” said Recchia.
MAS was founded in 1996 and has grown from a small handful of members to nearly 280 members today. Our members range in age from 4 to 100 which include Guitarists, Singers, Accordionists, Wind Instruments, Bass Players, Drummers & Accordion fans and enthusiasts. MAS holds monthly music events which are always open to the public and always with an interesting line up of featured musicians.
“The key to our success has been building a positive, enthusiastic and visionary membership base along with embracing the right people that want to see the instrument and music benefit our community in positive ways” said Recchia.
Music Scholarship recipients photo’d are: (Photo Courtesy Bob Berta, MAS Vice President)
Front Row, left to right: Jaixai Reineke age 9, Karter Wells age 7, Lukas Stachurski age 9, Maria Magnoli age 10, Jessica Fligger age 9,
Back Row, left to right: Natalia Lacki age 16, Arianna Hosinski age 17, Morgan Ross age 13, Vanessa Carr 22, Sabrina Carr 18, Serafim Mazurs age 11, Johnathan Oestringer age 13, Mario Simone age 16, Anthony Wiederhold age 13, John Orischak age 17, Joey McLennan age 18, Bernadette Kathryn age 14, Andrew Oughton age 16, Emma Burgin age 18, Michael Galbenski age 13, Justina Gaynor age 12, Delaney Garron age 12 & Tara Cicillian age 12
For further information: email@example.com
Joe Soprani in Recent Concertsby Rita Barnea
|Joe Soprani recently presented several concerts. Above you will see a clip from the Phillies front office after his appearance at Citizens Band Park with the Phillie Phanatic on July 21, 2014 during the seventh inning stretch celebrating Italian Heritage Night. This was Joe's third appearance with the Phillie Phanatic.|
Joe said, "It is always lots of fun for me to see the reaction from the fans when he covers my face with his large "paw". This always gets more coverage than anything I've done over the years. Unbelievable! I have been invited to appear with him again next year, God willing."
On July 16 Joe Soprani performed at the Washington Monument concert with the US Air Force Band in Washington DC. It was in celebration of "An Italian Salute - Bella Notte" and was conducted by Captain David Alpar, assistant conductor of the band.
Joe was the featured guest soloist and premiered the "Italian Rhapsody" by Julie Giroux with the 80 piece concert band. In addition to the solos he accompanied the Singing Sergeants in "Italian Street Song" and "Finiculi-Finicula" with the concert band.
Joe said, "Col. Arnold Gabriel who for over 21 years was the commander of the band was guest conductor. I'm sure many of you know that I was the accordion soloist many years ago under Col. George S. Howard. My four years with the band really set the tone, no pun intended, for my entire career. What a great way to finish out my career. The Band facilities at Bolling field are a state of the art. You have to see it to believe the beauty of the facilities. The men and women of the Air Force are some of the finest musicians in the country. It was a thrill for me to be a part of the program. Check out the US Air Force Band on the Internet. "
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi Harris and Nathan Chapeton: 2014 USA Representatives to CIAby Rita Barnea
|14 year old Naomi Harris from Spokane,Washington, winner of the 2014 Leavenworth Competition and Nathan Chapeton, winner of the 2014 AAA Virtuoso Category have qualified to represent the USA at the 67th Coupe Mondiale to be held in Salzburg, Austria from October 27-November 2, 2014.|
Naomi Harris performed "Opale Concerto" and won 1st place in the Leavenworth Open Competition. Naomi loves both facets of the accordion. Harris likes playing pop and novelty songs with her accordion band, but also loves to play the deeply passionate music for which the accordion is especially suited.Her teacher is Patricia Bartell, widely known as an adjudicator, professional performer, and teacher is also a member of Tango Vocaldo and leads the young accordion band, The Portatos.
13 year old Nathan Chapeton studies accordion with ATG and American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Board Member and well known concert accordionist, Mary Tokarski. Nathan also plays the guitar and loves entertaining, playing at local events and regularly participates at church events with his accordion.
Nathan's plans for the future definitely include music and the accordion. He hopes to apprentice in Italy to become involved with accordion construction and repair, and desires to have an integral part of the accordion's future here in the U.S.
We wish Naomi and Nathan great success as they represent the USA in the prestigious CIA competition.
The Great Morgani at Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) - USAby Harley Jones
|The 74th Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival was run from July 23-26, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza San Francisco International Airport Hotel, San Francisco. |
The above picture, is the fantastic costumed "Great Morgani" with ATG Executive member Kevin Friedrich and ATG President Betty Jo Simon. Can you believe, that even wearing such a wonderful costume, the "Great Morgani" also makes very nice music too. Picture and video by Dan Grauman.
Victoria International Accordion Festivalby Rita Barnea
|The 2014 Victoria International Accordion Festival was very successful. It was held on Friday, July 18 through to Sunday July 20th. The BC Accordion Society organized and hosted the festival with support from the Victoria Accordion Club.|
Tian Jianan and Russian-American player Stas Venglevski headlined the festival. The movie, "Behind the Bellows" by Steve Mobia was also shown.
Jelena Milojevic was appointed Artistic Director of the Victoria International Accordion Festival. She hopes the city’s youth can bring Canada to the accordion world stage.
Raised in Croatia, Milojevic began playing accordion at nine while enrolled in Ivan Matetic-Ronjgov Music School, after she was told that she was too old to start learning piano. In 2003, she won the CMA Trophée Mondial.
Now settled in Victoria, Jelena Milojevic spends her time between teaching Camosun College’s two-year accordion program and younger students.
“There’s a strong history of accordion in Croatia, in Europe, that Canada doesn’t have,” Milojevic said. “I’m relying on these kids to make the art strong in Canada”.
This year, Milojevic joined her husband Aleksander as Artistic Director of the Victoria International Accordion Festival, which he founded in 2007.
Milojevic held a workshop alongside Tian Jianan (see video further down this news), a young Chinese player who won 2nd place, Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Entertainment category last year, when the international accordion competition was hosted in Victoria. Milojevic’s younger students also performed as the Victoria Accordion Kids Band.
Photo of Jelena Milojevic right.
For further information: email@example.com
CD and DVD's available online at: Tian Jianan
Anthony Galla Rini ‘Collectors' Edition’ CD Available Nowby Rita Barnea
|The Anthony Galla-Rini ‘Collectors' Edition’ CD includes such numbers as Begin the Beguine, Yesterday, Italian Medley, Speak Softly, Torna A Surriento, That Old Black Magic, Rhapsody in Blue, Accordion Concerto in G Minor, The Lord’s Prayer, Lara’s Theme, Fascination, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and more. |
This release includes tracks from Galla Rini’s last studio session, with half the tracks being solo recordings whilst the other half are from Galla-Rini's 1967 Accordion Symphonette Orchestra album. The CD normally costs $15, and is special offer for $10.
Anthony Galla-Rini (1904-2006) had an extraordinarily long and successful career as a professional accordionist, composer and teacher. He was one of the first in the USA to pioneer the accordion as a concert instrument performing classical music. He is considered by many to be the first American accordionist to promote the accordion as a "legitimate" concert instrument.
Anthony Galla-Rini arranged hundreds of transcriptions for accordion ensembles, orchestras and soloists, and also played a major part in pioneering the development of the modern accordion, developing the treble and bass registers, as well as standardizing the stradella bass system on the accordion.
In 1975, the President of Italy conferred on him the title of "Cavalier of the Star of Solidarity" in recognition of his efforts towards strengthening the cultural bonds between Italian and American people and for his interest in the development of the Italian accordion in America. Galla-Rini was also the first person to be inducted in the ATG Hall of Fame on his 99th birthday in 2003.
In 1976 he composed "Accordion Concerto No. 2 in E minor" (in three movements) for the free-bass system. And in 1983 he composed "Sonata in D minor" for accordion (also in three movements). The career of Anthony Galla-Rini spanned 98 years as a professional accordionist, and more than 74 years as an accordion teacher.
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suspicious Package in Columbia Turns Out To Be An Accordionby Rita Barnea
|From the Baltimore Sun, August 3, 2014 by Jessica Anderson and Andrea F. Siegel:|
"More than two hours. More than 30 police, fire and rescue workers. And more than enough police cars and big trucks to widen the eyes of three dozen youngsters in day care, all to investigate a suspicious package that turned out to be ... an accordion.
About 9 a.m. Friday, Howard County authorities were alerted to what appeared to be an abandoned suitcase in front of the Owen Brown Interfaith Center in Columbia, according to fire officials. The center, at 7246 Cradlerock Way, tucked behind a shopping center, is home to a day care center.
The area around the building was cordoned off with yellow police tape. Just outside the perimeter were police cars, an emergency services command truck, and fire and rescue trucks. "We send out equipment based on a worst-case scenario," said Assistant Fire Chief Joe Dixon.
The day care center temporarily relocated to a room in Giant Foods nearby. The experts went to work opening the package.
Inside: the musical instrument.
Owner: Unknown, said police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.
"I'm sure the police took it into custody," she said.
The children, who watched "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" during what turned out to be a false alarm, were paraded back into the Interfaith Center shortly before 11:30 a.m., as the swarm of equipment and emergency personnel left."
If you have an accordion with you, it would be a prudent idea to be prepared to play a tune, if stopped.
Video: Los Tres Tristes Tigres - Mexicoby Harley Jones
|Los Tres Tristes Tigres consists of three young Mexican men, Pedro Palacios (bass guitar), Jesus Gallardo (accordion) and Erick Ibarra (composer, guitar). They have managed millions of views of their videos.|
“Alive Inside” Film Explores Power of Music to Restore Memoryby Rita Barnea
|If you are fortunate enough to attend accordion festivals around the world, you may have noticed the varying ages of the participants and attendees. |
For example, at the recent AAA Festival in Tarrytown, NY, the youngest participant was 5 years old and the oldest was in his early 80's. Remarkable and wonderful to realize that music and accordion can be a part of ones life from infancy to old age!
Unlike sports, where the aging of the body prohibits participation in certain sports, playing an instrument or even listening to music, is beneficial both physically and emotionally.
Especially the accordion with its unique co-ordination of the two hands and the bellows with resulting in a musical mix of very beneficial mind and muscle usage.
I highly recommend your viewing of "Alive Inside". The source of the complete article below, written by Dawn Chmielewski, is from the Apple Home Page.
"Audiences first encounter Henry hunched over in his wheelchair, head down, hands clasped firmly together, unresponsive to the world around him.
As soon as a pair of headphones are placed on his head, the 94-year-old dementia patient opens his eyes, sits up straight and begins swaying and humming along with the music. Henry speaks animatedly about his favorite band leader, Cab Calloway, and even begins to emulate the jazz artist’s style of scat singing — at one point launching into a rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
The dramatic transformation, which takes place against the bleak institutional setting of the nursing home where Henry has spent the last decade of his life, is a powerful set piece for the documentary film “Alive Inside,” which opened in New York City in July 2014.
“Alive Inside” follows social worker Dan Cohen, whose nonprofit Music & Memory organization works to bring iPods loaded with personalized playlists to elderly Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. So far, Cohen’s program has expanded from three nursing homes to 489 in 42 states — with the help of private donations spurred by the film.
Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett said he was hired to create a video for Cohen’s website. The scope of the project changed as he witnessed Henry’s transformation when the music of his youth was returned to him.
“I had goosebumps over my whole body when he was waking up. I had tears in my eyes,” said Rossato-Bennett. “They say every artist only tells one story over and over again. If I had to tell my story, it’s the finding of life where you think there is none.”
“Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory” is winning acclaim on the festival circuit, collecting the prestigious audience award for documentary film at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and best documentary at the Milan International Film Festival.
Apple is lending the film a promotional nudge, as it opens to limited release in theaters throughout the U.S.
The documentary uses Henry’s story, and those of other patients, to illustrate music’s power to reach parts of the brain that remain intact, even late in the onset of Alzheimer’s, and evoke memories.
“Music therapists know all this. They practice it,” Cohen said. “But there are very few music therapists in the world of the elderly. It’s knowledge that was siloed.”
Cohen, who has spent a career working in technology, viewed the problem as one of technical limitations, and he set out to solve it, one iPod and custom playlist at a time. His goal is an ambitious one: To bring personalized music to 16,000 long-term care facilities in the U.S.
“It’s not a cure for Alzheimer’s, but it does work most of the time,” Cohen said. “And there is no downside. The worst case scenario — you don’t get a benefit. Sometimes, it’s a dramatic change in someone’s life.”
Gypsy Squeezewear Accordion T-Shirts & Tote Bags Made To Order - Californiaby Joan Grauman
|David Vallelunga (picture left), a Methodist Pastor, started playing the accordion about 20 years ago to accompany a church choral group. |
He fell in love with the accordion and began searching for accordion-related clothing. His wife, an excellent seamstress and quilter, suggested that he learn to create his own.
David’s keen eye for beautiful color and pattern combinations had people asking him to create shirts and totes for them. His business “Gypsy Squeezewear” was born.
David creates beautiful accordion-themed patchwork designs, which he sews onto t-shirts and tote bags (sample tote bag picture right).
You can choose the design from a large selection he has on hand and customize it with your own wording, and you can also select the shirt and tote style and color from the ones he has or bring your own.
I had heard about David a few years ago and have even received one of his shirts as a gift from a friend who attends the annual Cotati Accordion Festival, where David is a popular vendor. I finally got to meet him at the recent ATG Festival in San Francisco and was very impressed.
David’s artwork is unique, colorful, whimsical, lovely and very affordably priced for such high quality personalized items. Gypsy Squeezewear will have a booth at the Cotati Accordion Festival, August 16 and 17, in Cotati, California.
David does not have a website at this time, but for further information email: email@example.com
Picture Thisby Anita Siarkowsi
|The ladies’ guild of Saint Stan’s Polish church was planning their summer picnic. What better way to fill the air than live accordion music? Seek and ye shall find! I was booked (and ‘cooked’) that hot, humid day, given no shelter at the local park. To keep their cool, my fans used theirs and ‘made waves’. ‘Not an option for the accordionist.... I didn’t have a free hand. ‘And when you’re hot, you’re hot!‘Too hot to trot! |
However, aware of the weather forecast, I had ‘pre-meditated’! Theme oriented, I ‘covered’ myself with my Polish repertoire and, “for a change”, dress down attire! True to the flag colors of the audience’s native land, I wore a red wrap-around skirt, white blouse and my red treble clef earrings. Here comes Treble!
The summer sun ‘beat’ relentlessly to the tempo of “Just Another Polka”. The crowd, the breeze and I were hot - in more ways than one. I was offered a cold drink. “Do you need anything else?” asked Fran, the ladies’ guild president. Making an executive decision, I replied, “Yes, I need your help. Can you hold something for me?” “Sure, what?”, she questioned. Little did Fran know of the strings attached, lost cord, and bad wrap.
Picture this.....I untied the bow from my wrap-around skirt, handing my waistband cord to Fran, who inquired, “What should I do?” ”Just stand there and hold this. I’ll do the rest!”At that very moment, a gentleman in khaki pants and short sleeved shirt walked by. I had an “aha” moment...an action film! I had to work fast.
Handing my camera to him, I asked... ”Could you please take a picture for me? I’m gonna strip!” In obvious disbelief, the man’s instant reaction...“You’re gonna' WHAT?!?” He either didn’t hear me, or couldn’t believe his ears. I repeated the phrase in crescendo for a grand finale.....The man graciously agreed to honor my request, pronto!
Take two... A candid caper was about to be captured on camera. As the gentleman and I were conversing by the snack bar, there were the guys cooking lunch for the ladies. One of the cooks overhearing my proposal, leaned over the counter and whispered, “That’s Father Nadolny!” Oh no! ‘A man of the cloth! ‘Immaterial’ in this case, as Father Ed was cool, calm, collected, and cooperative - ready to ‘shoot’ the scene I was about to make, unaware of what I was about to “pull off”!
In this respect, Fran was in the dark as well. With ‘strings attached”, she stood nearby as I began to plunk out “The Stripper” on my accordion. I proceeded to revolve in a circular motion, my wrap-a-round skirt gradually unraveling to the big reveal....My red and white striped, knee length shorts (Polish underwear)! Given previews of coming attractions, Father Ed stayed focused the entire time, taking time-released photos! The crowd bellowed as I continued “skirting the issue”!
Alex Meixner Releases New CDby Rita Barnea
|August 8, 2014 is the official release date of Alex Meixner's new CD, ‘Happiness is a Choice!’, at the Evergreen Club in Fleetwood, Philadelphia. Guest musicians on the CD include Canadian accordionist Michael Bridge, reggae singer (and son of country legend Charley Pride) - Carlton Pride, and Tex-Mex rock icon Hector Saldana (of the Krayolas).|
Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 50 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.
Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world.
His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004. Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December, 2007.
Currently based in Palm City, FL, Alex is performing as a solo artist and with numerous touring ensembles. His solo programs- “Fascinating Rhythms of the World” focus on the fusion of Slavic folk music and Jazz, but also include the inflections of folk, pop and classical styles from Latin America, Africa and other sections of Europe. This music is the basis for a series of multi-cultural music education seminars and performances which are currently available through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts “Artists in Education” program.
Alex also leads The Alex Meixner Band in performances throughout North America. Whether you are looking for sure fire crowd pleasing family entertainment, something for the senior audience, classy jazz for a reception or a unique party band- Alex Meixner will work tirelessly to provide the perfect mix for your event.
When Alex is not performing with all of these groups, he is devoted to bringing music to students through educational clinics, as well as his private teaching.
• 08/07/14 Bethlehem, PA at Musikfest
• 08/08/14 Fleetwood, PA at Evergreen Club
• 08/09/14 Pittsburgh, PA at Teutonia Maennerchor
• 08/10/14 Bethlehem, PA at Musikfest
• 08/13/14 - 08/19/14 Edinburgh, Scotland at The Fringe – theSpaceuk
• 08/22/14 - 08/24/14 Oregon, OH at German American Festival
• 08/29/14 - 09/01/14 Berea, OH at Cleveland Oktoberfest
• 09/12/14 - 09/14/14 El Paso, TX at The Authentic El Paso Oktoberfest
Photo by Mikie Farias
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Tian Jianan in Seattle Concertby Rita Barnea
|Video above: First round (of two rounds) performance by Tian Jianan (China) competing in the 2013 Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Entertainment category (Victoria, Canada) where she won 2nd Place.|
Tian Jianan from Beijing, performs a concert, Monday August 11th, 7.30 – 9.30 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 S.W. Oregon Street, Seattle, WA 98116. Admission is $10.
Tian Jianan, born in 1994, started playing the accordion at the age of five. In 2006, thanks to her outstanding exam results, Tian was admitted to the Middle School Affiliated to Central Conservatory of Music, taught by Professor Cao Xiaoqing.
Tian has competed internationally and won first prize some 28 times, including accordion competitions in Castelfidardo (Italy), Klingenthal (Germany), Moscow (Russia), the Coupe Mondiale in 2009 in New Zealand and 2013 in Canada, etc.
The Chinese Ministry of Culture presented her four times with the ‘World First-Class Art Competition’ award.
The French composer Franck Angelis composed the work ‘Beijing 2011’ (available online: Catalog No. ang567) for her, and that work won the Best Original Solo Work Award at the 2013 Coupe Mondiale.
CD and DVD's available online at: Tian Jianan
Accordion Pops Orchestra in Concert on September 21stby Rita Barnea
|The Accordion Pops Orchestra conducted by Al Terzo will present a concert on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 3:PM at the Shannondell Performing Arts Center at Valley Forge, PA.|
Featured performers include 11 year old Cody McSherry on accordion and 2014 MAMTG Champion, Shanice Aquino, vocalist.
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 primarily in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.
Al Terzo is a teacher, arranger, and conductor who has been with the orchestra since its inception in 1970. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, New Jersey Music Teachers Association, and National Association of Music Educators.
Mr.Terzo serves on the governing board of the American Accordionists Association and is a founding member of the Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. He his an accomplished accordionist who has performed at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark's Symphony Hall. Currently Mr. Terzo teaches accordion and piano in New Jersey.
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