Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.
Editor's Noteby Rita Barnea
|The month of April is filled with special accordion events, concerts, celebrations and news about new young accordionists. |
Are these names familiar to you? Peter Soave, Cory Pesaturo, Roland, Dr. Willard Palmer, Joey Miskulin, Nathan Chapeton, Karen Fremar, Lucas Stachurski, Kevin Friedrich plus more.
Read the USA News this month to gather interesting information about them which may inspire YOU to learn the accordion, practice more, or make that special effort to attend an amazing accordion event in your area.
I am still waiting to hear from you!…. please send your comments, ideas, association news, etc.
I am always available to respond to your emails. Please email Ritabelll@aol.com
Passing of Ray Battaniby Rita Barnea
|AWW is sad to report that Michigan Accordion Society Honorary Member Raymond Norman Battani passed away on March 25, 2014. The funeral was on Sunday, March 30, 2014. Beloved husband of the late Elaine for 59 years. Loving father of Rayleen (Bill) Bradley, Nancy (Mike) Martin, Andrea (Scott) Bittinger and Lois (Paul) Bouford. Proud grandfather of Eric and Mitch Bradley, Jessie Willinger, Jeff Martin, Jacob, Haley and Ashley Bittinger, Jeremy and Erica Bouford. Dear brother of George & Lorraine Lozovoj. Also many nieces, nephews and cousins. Preceded in death by sisters Joann Rossman & Sylvia Bianc|
Ray had a remarkable life. Ray got his hands on a button accordion at the age of five and played Jingle Bells for his kindergarten class and that started it all. Ray had perfect pitch which made his advancement on the accordion go at a rapid pace.As a youth, he was a winner on the Horace Heidt Show, was on staff at WJR Radio in Detroit, and logged in over 200 hours of musical entertainment for the USO "SERVICE SERENADE."
Ray was a music major at Cass Tech High School in Detroit and then went on to Wayne State University to further his musical studies playing baritone horn and piano. Ray was too young for World War II service but was one of the first draftees called in for Korean War duty and after basic training, was transferred to the 330th Army Band at Fort Mc Coy, Wisconsin, where he was made Band Director. Ray's Army Band had reunions every year!
After two years of Service, it was back to Detroit and many years of accordion work with his "GOTHAM TRIO" playing all the top supper clubs in the area and also recording with his other group "THE SUNSETTERS."
Ray also taught Accordion for the Gus Zoppi Accordion Center.Ray accompanied many singers when called upon, namely: Tennessee Ernie. Ray was a member in good standing of The Detroit Federation of Musicians Union for over 50 years.
Raymond was the owner of Macomb Tool & Manufacturing in Fraser, past president of the Michigan Accordion Society and veteran of the Korean War, band director of the 330th Army Band and an avid hunter and outdoorsman.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the "Michigan Accordion Society". The proceeds will be used toward the Michigan Accordion Society Scholarship Fund. For more information please visit this link at http://www.bcfh.com/obituaries/Raymond-Norman-Battani1922272891/
New date for Accordion Pops Orchestra is November 2, 2014by Rita Barnea
|The date for the New Jersey based Accordion Pops Orchestra's tribute to the late great classical accordionist Carmen Carrozza has been changed from Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 2:PM at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton, New Jersey to the new date of November 2, 2013.|
Lenny Feldmann will be the commentator and master of ceremonies. Norway's accordion virtuoso Håvard Svensrud, who performed with the orchestra at Kean University in October 2013, will return as a featured soloist.
Dinner and concert tickets are $50. All proceeds will benefit the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund.
For tickets and information:
Rosemarie Cavanaugh 732-257-8198
For information about the Accordion Pops Orchestra: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Friedrich joins A World of Accordions Museum Board of Directorsby Helmi Harrington
|A World of Accordions Museum is proud to announce the appointment of Kevin Friedrich to its board of directors during his visit in January, 2014. Kevin’s breadth of expertise extends to many fields which we expect will greatly benefit this institution. |
As past-president of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) he is respected in accordion circles worldwide, also serves on the board of the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) with which the museum is affiliated, and is a performing artist of renown.
As founder/curator of the New Zealand Accordion Gems museum, he is intimately familiar with operations and requirements of this type of organization. His regard for our museum and friendship with its curator (Helmi Harrington) has been solid for decades. The board unanimously welcomes his involvement in our future.
52nd ATAM Music Festival April 4-6 in Massachusettsby Rita Barnea
|Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts (ATAM) will sponsor their 52nd Music Festival at the Boston Newton Marriot in Newton, Mass. April 4-6, 2014.|
Chairman, Peggy Falcetti (picture left) states that this years’ event will be as large as last years with over 700 contestants.
President, Johanna Lewis, is happy to announce the special performance on Sunday afternoon by Rachel Quirbach who represented the U.S. at the 2013 Coupe Mondiale.
During the festival, contestants up to 22 years, take part in accordion, guitar, bass guitar, drum, percussion, piano, violin, and voice competitions. Solo, duet, and group categories are also offered. Non Competitive Categories include evaluation solos and festival group divisions. There are suitable categories regardless of experience. Contestants must be students of ATAM teachers.
On Friday evening and Sunday, over 20 “Battle of the Bands” groups compete in the hotel ballroom. The solo championships are held Friday evening.
On Saturday and Sunday continuous group competitions are held in the hotel ballroom and solo and duet categories are ongoing. An awards banquet is held on Saturday evening with more than 500 in attendance. More than $4,000 in cash is awarded to winners.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in workshops, compete in age-level categories, perform for evaluation, attend concerts and have fun at a Dance Party on Saturday evening.
For further information view the ATAM website at: Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts (ATAM)
12th Annual Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Event on April 6by Rita Barnea
|The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) presents the 12th Annual Afternoon of Music, Food, and Fun to benefit the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Fund for the advancement of promising young accordionists on Sunday, April 6th, 2014 from 12:PM until 5:PM at the Magnanini Farm Winery, 172 Strawridge Road, Walkill, New York.|
The AAA evening will feature: Dr. Joseph Ciccone, Chairman, Lenny Feldmann, Master of Ceremonies, Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini, Frank Toscano, Manny Corallo, Mary Tokarski and Julie Cardona (The “K” Duo). Frank Carozza, Ray Oreggia & Dominic Karcic, Beverly Roberts Curnow, Emilio Magnotta, Anita & Bob Siarkowski, Plus the CT Accordion Orchestra with Linda Soley Reed, Conductor.
Special young guest artists will include Albert Manginelli, Cody McSherry, and Rachel Quirbach.
RESERVE NOW! Donation of $65.00 per person includes wine tasting at 12 noon, complete dinner including Antipasto, Homemade Soup, Homemade Tagliatelle with tomato/basil cream sauce, Mixed Garden Fresh Salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, Roast Veal and Chicken (or Pork Roast and Chicken), Vegetable, Potato, Dessert and Coffee.
For further information and reservations: Dr. Joseph A. Ciccone
FAX: (914) 238-0393
Passing the Torch: Jewish Music Archives and the Future of Yiddish Songby Rita Barnea
|A special symposium will take place on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 11:AM at the YIVO Institue for Jewish Research, 13 W. 16th Street, New York, New York 10011. Phone number: 212-246-6080|
The Chair for the event is Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University
Admission: General - $10 | YIVO members, seniors and students - $7 Tickets: 212.868.4444
Accordionist and Klezmatic member Lorin Sklamburg will participate in a roundtable discussion sponsored by the YIVO Institute for Jewish research in NYC. See photo.
Around 1900, East European Jews became acutely aware of the impact of modernization and urbanization on their culture: on their songs, their tales, and customs. They set in motion a wide range of projects and institutions to gather, archive, and study fading folklore. YIVO was a pioneer in this push, along with a galaxy of Polish and Russian (later Soviet) activists. Today, with the loss of the original population and the huge demographic and cultural shifts of world Jewry, the surviving archives both preserve and channel a rising tide of interest, even a hunger, for what’s called “Yiddish” music and folklore.
This symposium brings together archivists, scholars and performers to discuss the history and creation of Yiddish folk music archives, and the future of the study and performance of Yiddish song today. What is the role of Jewish music archives in fostering new scholarship and Yiddish music?
The event is dedicated to the memory of Chana Mlotek, YIVO’s Music Archivist from 1978 until her recent passing at age 91 in 2013. This program is made possible with the generous support of the Mlotek family. It is co-sponsored by the American Society for Jewish Music.
The symposium consists of:
Panel 1: Jewish Music Archives: Structuring a Passion for Folksong
In the Beginning Were Ginzburg and Marek: A Brief History of Yiddish Folksong Collecting with Robert Rothstein, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
“Hobn Mir A Nigndl”: The Songs Our Israeli Grandchildren Don't Sing
Yiddish Song Collections at the National Library of Israel as a Source for Research with Gila Flam, National Library of Israel
Rediscovering Yiddish Folk Songs in Ukraine: History, Archival Access and Future with Lyudmila Sholokhova, YIVO Institute
Songs of Generations: Contributions of Chana Mlotek with
Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University
Performance and Presentation of Materials from the Ruth Rubin Archive at YIVO
זאָג מיר, מײַן שוועסטער
Zog mir, mayn shvester/Tell Me, My Sister: Working with the Ruth Rubin Archive with Lorin Sklamberg, The Klezmatics, YIVO Institute
Panel 2: Passing the Torch: Archives and Activism in the 21st Century
Roundtable discussion with: Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University (Moderator); Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College, Columbia University; Ethel Raim, Center for Traditional Music and Dance; and Lorin Sklamberg, The Klezmatics, YIVO Institute.
Mark Slobin is the Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music at Wesleyan University and the author or editor of many books, on Afghanistan and Central Asia, eastern European Jewish music, and ethnomusicology theory, two of which have received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award: Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World (Oxford University Press) and Tenement Songs: Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants (University of Illinois Press). He has been President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Asian Music.
Roland's 15th Semi-Annual V-Accordion Event April 13 in Massachusettsby Rita Barnea
|On Sunday afternoon, April 13, 2014, the Roland 15th semi-annual workshop and performance event will take place at Falcetti Music, Springfield, Mass from 2-4 PM.|
The workshop topic will be on “How to more effectively control bellows & keyboard velocity for maximum expression on orchestral sounds (treble keyboard)."
Also included will be instruction on the left hand bass and chord controls for both orchestral and percussion sounds.
Using these features correctly adds passion and musicianship to your playing.
The New England V-Accordion Orchestra, organized and conducted by Sam Falcetti (picture right), was recently featured in the German accordionists' magazine, "Akkordeon" with a two page spread about the Orchestra.
Above is a video of the orchestra performing in 2013. Other videos are online - search “Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra”.
Be sure to set aside April 13th for an exciting workshop and performance event. Refreshments will be served.
For further information email: Peggyf1944@gmail.com
2014 National Button Accordion Festival May 23-25 in Pennsylvaniaby Rita Barnea
|The 2014 National Button Accordion Festival will take place May 23-25, 2014 at the Croatian Club, 601 E. Poland Ave. in Bessemer, Pennsylvania. A partial list of the 2014 Attendees includes: Mahonging Valley Button Box Club, Ron Pivovar, Mike Caggiano and Jack "6-pack" Preisner. The committee for the festival includes Joe Godina, Ron Pivovar, and Paul Mirkovich.|
The National Button Accordion Festival began in 2007. It is the successor to the Fontana Button Box Jamboree that was held in Fontana, California, for 26 years and was discontinued in 2004. The original Jamboree was sponsored and developed by the Fontana Slovene Button Accordion Club, of Fontana, CA.
The re-birth of the Jamboree began with the help and support of the Fontana Slovene Button Accordion Club. The new event was first held at Yukon Czech Hall, Yukon, Oklahoma, over Memorial Day Weekend, 2007. The National Accordion Association (NAA) of Dallas, Texas, and the Yukon Czech Hall were joint sponsors.
In 2008 the National Button Accordion Festival was re-located to Bessemer, Pennsylvania. The new sponsors are the Bessemer Croatian Club and Otter Creek Enterprises. Maintaining the long established tradition of the Jamboree, the Festival is held annually over Memorial Day Weekend. Much of the original format of the Fontana Jamboree remains intact.
The Festival follows the traditional three-day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday schedule, always on Memorial Day Weekend. A jamming format is used including a posted time schedule board for performers or groups on the main stage.
A formal program and concert begins Sunday, the last day of the Festival. Following the concert, the jamming format resumes for the remainder of the day. The most unique characteristic of the Festival is that no bands are hired. The music comes from the people attending the event. In 2008, players, music fans, and dancers attended the Festival coming from 17 different States across the country.
For further information: Rpivovar@verizon.net
Peter Soave in Concert on April 27by Rita Barnea
|On Sunday April 27, 2014 accordionist and bandoneonist Peter Soave will perform with our Michigan Accordion Society Members Michele Ramo (8 string guitar/violin/mandolin) and Heidi Hepler (singer/actress)in Ann Arbor at the KerryTown Concert House at 4:00 PM for one show. This show is expected to sell out quickly as KerryTown only holds 100 seats. Plan on buying tickets early.|
Recognized worldwide as a master of the bandoneon and concert accordion, Peter Soave has established himself as the leading soloist of his generation. The hallmark of his performances is his unique combination of commanding stage presence and the excitement of his vibrant virtuosity.
Of Italian descent, Peter Soave's earliest memories are of music played on an accordion. By age three, he was certain of his life's work. He began music studies at five, and quickly gravitated towards classical music.
From sixteen, he started entering international competitions and eventually won first place four times, confirming his reputation as a virtuoso of the highest order: Grand Prix in Neu Isenberg, West Germany; Klingenthal Wettbewerb in East Germany; Coupe Mondiale in Folkstone, England; and the Trophée Mondiale in Arrezano, Italy.
In 1987, Peter Soave was the inaugural recipient of "Voce d'Oro," the international award honoring those who have given prominence to the accordion in the world of modern music. Deeply inspired by the music of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla, Mr. Soave's impassioned musicianship motivated him to include the characteristic bandoneon in his performances.
Soave's engagements include performances as a soloist and with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout North and South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Russia.
He has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony, Flint Symphony, San Salvador Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Lubbock Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Walla Walla Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Williamsport Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho and The Zagreb Soloists.
Soave collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, Neeme Jarvi, Thomas Wilkins, Robert Spano, Leone Mageira, Hermann Michael, Duilio Dobrin, and Guillermo Figueroa. For the only North America appearance in 1999 of the "Three Tenors," Soave performed as the featured bandoneonist. He has also appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America."
In 2007, Soave premiered Astor Piazzolla's oratorio "El Pueblo Joven", written for symphony orchestra, voice recitative, soprano, bandoneon, choir, and percussion, with the Radio Romania Chamber Orchestra, Romania.
Peter Soave has had numerous compositions written for him by the Venezuela's foremost composer, Aldemaro Romero: "Piazzollana-Homage à Piazzolla" for bandoneon and full orchestra; "Suite de Castelfidardo" for bandoneon and string orchestra; "Soavecito" for accordion and string orchestra; and "Tango Furioso" for bandoneon and string quartet. Romero's "Five Paleontological Mysteries," for accordion and string quartet, received its American premiere in Detroit in February 2008 and its European premiere in Italy in July 2008.
Peter Soave's discography includes a solo album "Pride and Passion," "Five Tango Sensations" with The Rucner String Quartet, a double CD "Undertango 2," and "Peter Soave & Symphony Orchestra," featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla and Carmine Coppola. His recording awards include the Detroit Music Award for Best Classical Recording in 2001 and Best Classical Instrumentalist in 2003. Eager to harmonize nature and music, Soave founded the Peter Soave Music Academy in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy in 2010, welcoming music lovers to convene and share.
Michéle (pronounced "Me-kel-ay) Ramo was born in the Italian Mediterranean fishing town of Mazara Del Vallo, Italy - on the coast of Sicily. He grew up in a small village of 300. His playgrounds were vast grape-vineyards, rocky hillsides and olive orchards. Michéleplayed guitar with the barbers in the little town square and hid his school books in the fields of ancient volcanic caves because he only wanted to 'play music' - not go to school! At age 13 he entered a music conservatory where he began violin studies.
By 17 he had his first professional contract with the Italian State Opera House "Teatro Massimo" in Palermo. At age 23, after five years in various Italian state symphony orchestras, Michéle made musical shockwaves within his circles by quitting and moving to the United States to pursue his work as a composer and instrumentalist in jazz. His first stop: New York City. Unable to speak English and soon out of money, he went to Detroit where he knew a friend from his hometown.
For the next twelve years Detroit was his home where he was befriended by Jazz greats such as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave; pianists Harold McKinney, Ken Cox and Teddy Harris Jr.; and drummers Roy Brooks and Lawrence G. Williams. It was here he continued on the guitar and put the violin away for ten years.
Ramo has performed at Jazz Festivals such as: The North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Molde Jazz (Norway), Fano Jazz (Italy) Montreal Jazz (Canada) Ottawa Jazz (Canada), Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Freiburg (Germany), Paris, Ile Del Re, Souillac, (France), Montreux-Detroit Jazz (USA), Cork Jazz (Ireland), Barcelona, Madrid (Spain), Republica de Andorra, International Jazz Guitar Festival (Wales, U.K.), Burlington Jazz, Arkansas Jazz (USA), Athens, Corfu, Corintos, Patras (Greece) and many more.
Singer, lyricist and actress Heidi Hepler, grew up in the Midwest outside of Detroit in Livonia, Michigan. At the age of nine she began singing in her church choir and studying cello. Always involved in school plays and vocal groups, Heidi would eventually meet and begin advanced vocal training with New York lyric coloratura soprano - Marjorie Gordon, who, lucky for Heidi, had moved to Detroit when her husband, the great violist Nathan Gordon became first violist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Heidi spent time in Los Angeles where she worked with the renowned vocal coach Seth Riggs. Theater and voice studies were continued with the University of Michigan Opera Theater at Interlochen National Arts & Music School. A former Miss Michigan who represented the state at the Miss America pageant, Heidi's musical theater/light opera, regional theater and summer stock include the roles of Marietta in "Naughty Marietta", Lauretta in "The Music Master", Fiona in "Brigadoon", Julie Jordan in "Carousel", Luisa in "The Fantastiks", Miss Fancy - Sly Fox', Veronica - 'Veronica's Room', Eve -'Apple Tree', Belinda in "Dido & Aeneas". She has sung with various opera/opertta groups including The Michigan Opera Theater, Piccolo Opera Company and the Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor.
Heidi Hepler is known for her lively spirit and beautiful voice as she combines the theater background and love of languages into her exquisite song
Kerrytown Concert House is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
For further information: email@example.com
AAA Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars)by Rita Barnea
|Mark your calendar for the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Master Class and Concert Series on August 1-3, 2014 with Master Classes from 3-5:PM and Concerts from 7-9:PM. It will be held at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City. You can choose any or all of three consecutive days of seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions and performances with accordionist-composer-author-philosopher, Dr. William Schimmel as Moderator/Curator.|
Mayumi Miyaoka is the Founder of the Brooklyn Accordion Club which was formed last year. Through her efforts, the club has been selected as a Community Arts Fund grantee this year. The Brooklyn Accordion Club is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). Mayumi answered the following questions:
How did you find out about the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) seminar? And what motivated you to attend one?
"I've been playing accordion for about ten years, and I've always enjoyed being involved in the communities of accordion players and enthusiasts. As my husband and I were relocating to the East Coast at the end of the year 2010, my former accordion teacher from San Francisco Accordion Club, Sharon Walters recommended that I con- tact Dr. William Schimmel. Soon after we settled in Brooklyn, I contacted Dr. Schimmel, and he informed me of his Summer Seminar. I immediately registered for the seminar because it sounded like a lot of fun, and I wanted to meet accordion players and enthusiasts in NYC area."
Tell us about the seminar. What are they like?
"The seminar covers all things accordion; history, philosophy, techniques... The seminar is opened with an introduction by Dr. Schimmel, and leads to topical presentations. The previous presentations include introductions to Claviola, accordion look-alike instrument.
Sheng, the oldest ancestor of the reed instrument, and sound textures that you could create on an accordion etc. After the presentations, the floor is open for informal performances. You can perform a piece or two and receive critique from the audience. I've found the audience very friendly and supportive, and the comments received from them have been very helpful in improving my performing skills."
You have been attending the seminar every summer ever since. What do you like about it?
"Each summer, I learn something new from the presentations by Dr. Schimmel and his fellow musicians. It is inspiring to find out about the projects and the experiments that others have been work- ing on. The concert in the evening is a must see, too!"
Do you recommend the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) seminar to others? And why?
"Yes, definitely! It is a great way to meet with accordionists and other musicians, and to learn about the infinite possibilities of the instrument. Regardless if you are new to the accordion or an expe- rienced player, you will leave the William Schimmel led seminar with inspiration to squeeze more!"
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cory Pesaturo's Newest Projects and Accomplishmentsby Rita Barnea
|Video: First ever HeadCam of Accordion: Cory Pesaturo and Chris Southiere play some funk and jazz together.|
Cory Pesaturo was recently featured in the International Musician Official Journal of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. As a member of Local 198-457 (Providence, RI), he hopes to expose new audiences to the accordion.
Cory Pesaturo appeared on March 29th at the TEDxBeaconStreet2014 where he gave his first TED talk sharing his accordion music with the world since the talks are live streamed. It was an evening of feature talks from an impressive lineup of speakers.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
Cory's future projects include:
Working with Lady Gaga people and family on a collaboration in 2014.
International Festival of Brazil in Belo Horizonte in May;Pilot for a Reality TV Show in Los Angeles in March;Episode of Chasing Classic Cars later in the year for his work in finding Classics for Wayne Carini (Show is on Velocity);House of Blues on April 12th in LA; ACZENT: With capabilities of midi, CPez's electric accordion, Yasmine's highly creative and unique compositional skills, creating new music on the spot.
Cory's music has been played for various Formula 1 races on SPEED TV starting in 2007, on the Velocity program "Chasing Classic Cars", and also at various Concours around the United States ranging from the Newport Concours d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
He has also combined his interest in statistics and sports with his appearance on the "100 Year Anniversary of Fenway Park" album in 2012, with current and past Boston Red Sox players, and journalists. Pesaturo is also respected for his statistical work in meteorology, writing articles about hurricanes and winter weather for companies such as Accuweather, and most famously his 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season Records list.
His upcoming shows include:
1.Vibrato's Jazz in Bel Air on April 22 at 7:PM in Los Angeles. Cory will team with Ricky Dee Di Piro for a night of Jazz at Bel Air's Jazz Club and Vibrato's
2. Leavenworth Accordion Festival: June 18-24, 2014, Leavenworth, WA. Cory will return to Leavenworth to judge and present a concert.
3. Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance Week: August 13-18, times to be announced, in Monterey, CA. This is the gathering place for car people. Future details to be provided soon.
For further information: email@example.com
Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.
Nathan Chapeton Wins Virtuoso First Place in MAMTG Competitionby Rita Barnea
|13 year old Nathan Chapeton from Connecticut won first place in the Virtuoso Solo Division of the 2014 MAMTG ( Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild) Competition held in East Hanover, New Jersey on March 29, 2014.|
Nathan studies accordion with American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Board Member and concert accordionist, Mary Tokarski. He also plays the guitar and loves entertaining, playing at local events and regularly participates at church events with his accordion.
Nathan will perform Sunday, April 6th at the Magnanini Winery for the AAA Carrozza Scholarship Event, and on April 27th at the CAA 10th Anniversary Concert at Vasi's Restaurant, 1700 Watertown Avenue, Waterbury, CT at 1:00 p.m.
In addition, Nathan will participate at the Annual AAA Festival in Tarrytown, NY where he is planning on competing for the privilege of representing the U.S. and the AAA at the Coupe Mondiale in Salzburg, Austria.
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.
The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG) was founded by a group of professional music educators from the Tri-State area to establish and maintain high professional teaching and ethical standards, exchange music-related ideas, information and fellowship among colleagues, promote music education and to provide a platform for area music students to display their talents in a competitive environment. The Guild has been recognized as a viable musical organization throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England States.
Look out world, here comes Nathan!
Photo: Nathan Chapeton and his teacher Mary Tokarski
For further information about Nathan: Mary.firstname.lastname@example.org
World Premiere of Film, "Dizzy Fingers" about Joe Sopraniby Rita Barnea
|Accordionist Joe Soprani performed to a sell out enthusiastic crowd on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the World Cafe Live Philadelphia-Upstairs, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this time the world premiere of "Dizzy Fingers: The Life of Joe Soprano" took place. |
It was an amazing evening. Why? To see and hear Joe Soprani who will be 80 years old this summer perform is a lesson to everyone who is involved in playing and learning music. Music is a life long hobby or vocation. Playing an instrument is something everyone can do throughout life, no matter what level.
The musicians in the ensemble were: Musicians: Joe Soprani, accordion; Len Oranzi, guitar; Ed Hagopian, piano; Bill Zinno, bass; Patrick McHenry, drums. The audience was delighted with the selections offered. Joe's performance was lively and inspiring.
After the musicians performed, film producer Brendan McGeehan introduced the world premiere of "Dizzy Fingers: The Life of Joe Soprani" which explores a remarkable life filled with music. With the help of interviews with people in Joe's life, including Obie O'Brien (Bon Jovi), Susan Ashbaker (Opera Company of Philadelphia), and Joe Parente (president, Local 77), the film examines the true talents of a masterful musician. With the accordion seeing a great resurgence in contemporary pop and indie music, the time is now to recognize the man who never left it behind.
Film producer Brendan McGeehan is a true utility player in the music industry. A trained recording engineer and studied musician, he is adept and comfortable behind the board, in the producer’s chair, as well as performing bass, piano, guitar, or ukulele on the other side of the glass.
After the program, both Joe Soprani and Brendan graciously greeted their audience. I highly recommend that you see this important documentary. Excerpts are in the video clips above.
For further information: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Sommers Performs with Tango Group, Cucharadaby Rita Barnea
|Joan C. Sommers performed at the Lawrence, KS Arts Center on Saturday, February 22, 2014. The group Cucharada included guitar, violin, flute, piano, string bass and Joan Sommers on accordion.|
Included in the program performed by the complete group were the tangos: “La Yumba” by Pugliese, “Toda Mi Mida” by Troilo, Az- abeche by Stamponi, “Ilusion de mi Vida” by Brunelli, “Comme il faut” by Arolas.
In addition, Joan and the flute player were presented in a special duet of Tango pour Claude by Richard Galliano and were given continued resounding applause of approval by the audience.
Founded in December of 2011, Cucharada is anchored by a trio of artists including Guitarist Sean Mawhirter, violist/violinist Kelly Bohling and flautist Guy Montes. Together they enjoying bringing Tango music (and its various subtypes) including some of the time- tested material, as well as more recent "Nuevo-Tango".
2014 National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention Reportby Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
|The National Accordion Association (NAA) Convention was held at the Southfork Hotel in Plano, Texas on March 6-8, 2014. Norman Seaton, President of NAA, welcomed the crowd. |
There were over 300 participants in this yearly festival which gathered accordionists from across the US and beyond. The three-day event featured an Accordion Band Camp (both Youth and Adult Orchestras), Jazz Training Workshops, Gulf Coast JamFest Competition, & Youth Competition for Accordion, Piano and other instruments, as well as a host of other workshops, and concerts.
To read a full report and photos about this very successful National Accordion Association (NAA) convention click: 2014 NAA
All photos were taken by Bruce Lawrie.
Tony Mecca at CAA Meetingby Rita Barnea
|The recent Connecticut Accordionists’ Association (CAA) meeting attendees were surprised by an unexpected appearance by accordionist Tony Mecca, a well known jazz accordionist, originally from Waterbury, CT. Tony, now 91, recently relocated back to the area from Florida.|
Tony’s accordion career saw him in New York, while his brother Domenic ran the Mecca School of Music in Waterbury, CT. Local accordionists, Bob and Anita Siarkowski both studied at this school at various times, meeting at a later date as part of Dom Mecca's all accordion orchestra concert!
Several of the CAA attendees enjoyed meeting up with Tony again including Bob Siarkowski who was Tony’s jazz accordion student for a couple of years in New Rochelle, New York, Don Gerundo of Westchester, NY, who also studied jazz with Tony Mecca and Gerry Hertel who remembers hearing Tony play at Carnegie Hall. Tony's son, Bill, commented that Tony was the first accordionist to perform at Carnegie Hall.
In photo above seated Left to Right: Mary Tokarski, Julie Cardona and Marilyn O’Neil. Center: Karen Buccitti, Ginger Grider, Dorothy Gondek and Michael Dran. Top row, Dennis Maxfield, Mark Schaarschmidt, Art Piel, Steve Balog, Bob Czarnecki, Art Daigle, Fred Schwinger, Don Gerundo, Bob Vitale, Ralph Corbo (guitar) and Linda Soley Reed, conductor.
Absent from photo: Sandy Zera, Gerry Hertel, Jeanine Cariri, Pam D’Angelo, Mary Mascolo, Kathy DiCocco, Ken Reed and Mike Rasimas (percussion)
Video: Sharon Shannon and Alan Connor on Joanie Madden's Cruise - USAby Harley Jones
|Sharon Shannon and Alan Connor. This was taken on Joanie Madden's Folk 'n Irish Cruise 2013 Next cruise is in 2015.|
Lucas Stachurski Performs for Michigan Accordion Societyby Rita Barnea
|The Michigan Accordion Society's featured performer for their March Music Event on Tuesday March 18, 2014 at the Forestre Banquet Center was 9 year old Lucas Stachurski from Macomb Township, Michigan. Lukas presented an outstanding program. He comes from a family of impressive accordionists. His uncle is Grammy Nominated and professional accordion player Kevin Solecki and Lukas's instructor is Grammy Nominated Accordionist and current Michigan Accordion Society member, Mike Zawojsky. Lukas has performed at School and Church events as well as performing with his Uncle Kevin and Big Daddy Lackowski’s performances in the area.|
The Michigan Accordion Society, was established in June, 1996, by a group of accordion enthusiasts and professionals as an association for promoting and sharing the music of the accordion. Currently there are over 200 members. Their first purpose is to promote the accordion as a beautiful and versatile instrument which is capable of accompanying music of all types, from classical, jazz, and rock, to the more traditional polkas and folk songs. Their second purpose is sharing accordion music within our communities and beyond. Our monthly music events include professional artists and amateurs playing a variety of music. All members and guests are encouraged to participate in our "ACCORDION JAM".
For further information: Jrecchia@comcast.net
Stolen Black Roland FR7X, Portland, Oregon - USAby Harley Jones
|On Saturday March 22nd, between the hours of 5.20pm and 8.20pm on NE 10th and Couch, Portland, Oregon, a car was broken into. Two leather cases were stolen, one containing a Black Roland FR7X midi accordion, serial number ZY90380, with a black and white keynote throw blanket.|
In the second leather case, the contents were two black medal foot controllers Roland FBC-7 with 5 foot switches with black power cord, a Roland FC-7 with 6 foot switches with black power cord. Also, a black 19 pin heavy duty cord, 2 sets of black dual l/r audio cables, a grey midi cable cord, and white household extension cord.
For further information email: email@example.com
Jazz Track Program at NAA Conventionby Rita Barnea
|Video above: Paul Betken accompanied by Devon Lowe (bass) and Max Schauenstein (double bass) on Jobim's fabulous tune at the National Accordion Association (NAA) convention concert on March 8, 2014. Paul Betken was also a tutor for the Jazz Track Program seminars.|
Jazz accordionist Paul Betken was an active participant in the NAA Convention in Texas. He contributed this interesting information about the jazz activities which took place: "In addition to many other great accordion events and activities, the National Accordion Association held a “Jazz Track Program” consisting of workshops for the jazz accordion enthusiasts at the National Accordion Association Convention at the Southfork Hotel, Plano, Texas on March 6 – 8, 2014.
There were three presenters with four different programs held on Thursday and Friday. Each presenter assisted the other presenters by all three performing together in the workshops. Paul Betken from Phoenix, AZ presented Jazz 100 which was a practical creative approach on reading, interpreting and the practical performance of songs from a regular a lead-sheet; John Simkus from Chicago, IL presented Jazz 101 which was a hands-on workshop concerning the understanding and performance of the blues; and Denny Malmberg from Minneapolis, MN presented Jazz 102 introducing the accordionist attendee with a practical playing approach to jazz chords and Jazz 103 which demonstrated the role of the accordion in a trio and small group performance setting. The performing presenters were accompanied by outstanding music students from the University of Northern Texas School of Music (UNT).
On Friday, after the conclusion of the workshops, the attendees had an opportunity to perform their jazz skills learned by performing on a program called the “Jazz Step-Up” Event coordinated by Paul Betken.
On Saturday, two NTU students from the Jazz 103 workshop accompanied the individual performances of Paul Betken and John Simkus on the evening concert program. Without the benefit of any rehearsal, Devon Lowe on the bass and Max Schauenstein on drums proved to be a wonderful accompaniment to the performances. (See video attached).
At the conclusion of the “Jazz Track Program” all of the attendees who successfully participated were given Certificates of Attendance signed by Norm Seaton and all of the jazz workshop presenters."
Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts Commissionby Kevin Friedrich
|Julie Gettler Silfverberg (Kansas Accordion Champion) will be the featured guest artist on the upcoming “Music & Merlot'” concert presented by the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts on June 1st, 2014. The concert featuring “The Accordion & Film Music” will feature popular Kansas City-based group, Vivant with musicians Dr. Karen Fremar, Dee Sligar, Janne Silfverberg, Melody Stroth and Brian Steever, with musical guests Judy Johnson (flute) and Beth McCallum (cello). The concert will be held at the All Souls Unitarian in Kansas City on Sunday, 4:30 PM with cocktails being served at 4:PM.|
Julie Silfverberg grew up in Ft. Scott, Kansas. When Julie was 8, her mom came home one day and asked her if she would like to learn how to play the accordion. Julie said, “Sure!”.... a couple of years later, she added piano lessons. Margie Fremar (mother of the renowned composer and artist, Karen Fremar) was her teacher. Julie successfully participated in many music festivals and she was the Kansas Accordion Virtuoso Champion for three consecutive years.
In 1980, Julie received her Bachelor of Music degree in Accordion at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) where she also met and married Juha Silfverberg from Finland, the first foreign student to study accordion at UMKC. They lived in Helsinki for the next five years and then moved back to the States in 1985.
Julie Silfverberg is a member of the accordion group, The International Trio (with her husband Juha and Kevin Friedrich) that has toured in Finland, New Zealand, Estonia and the USA. Julie runs a very successful music studio in Overland Park, KS., where she teaches accordion and piano to students five years to adult. Julie serves on the Board of Directors of the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts. Julie and Juha were former competition chairpersons of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG), and Julie was also a former President of the Federated Teachers of Fine Arts., Inc. and the Mid- America Music Association (M.A.M.A.)
The Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts has commissioned composer Jason Schuefler to compose a collaborative work that includes the accordion, also to be presented at this concert. Scheufler has previously scored for the accordion in his music for Theater. Mr. Scheufler's original music and sound designs have been heard on film and locally at the New Theatre Restaurant and the Coterie and Unicorn Theatres. Commercially, his original music has been placed on MTV, VH1 and A&E among others. His music cues are signed with national and international production music libraries.
Vivant! who will host and perform at the concert, recently per- formed a program of tango and new classical works for the Kansas City Musical Club on February 3, 2014. Members Karen Fremar and Julie Silfverberg (Accordion), Melody Stroth (Piano), Judy Johnson (Flute), Beth McCollum (Cello), Dee Sligar (Bass), and Janne Silfverberg (Hand Drums), performed three new Piazzolla arrangements by Karen Fremar and Fremar's The Java House. Julie Silfverberg performed a new solo work by Fremar assisted by Dee Sligar, Bass and Janne Silfverberg (Bongos).
The group was appreciated with a standing ovation and a reception given by the club. KC Music Club Program Chairman, Sanna Cass, invited Vivant! to return for a second year to perform for the club after their popular performance last season.
For more information, please visit: www.fremarfoundation.com
2nd Annual Festival Celebrating Dr. Willard Palmerby Helmi Harrington
|A World of Accordions Museum is proud to announce the May 3-4, 2014, second annual festival celebrating Dr. Willard Palmer, whose musical estate is preserved in this institution. A slate of over twenty performers playing accordions, violins, piano and folk drums in solos, ensembles and orchestral settings of original works for accordion by Hans Brehme, and Hugo Herrmann, as well as Palmer editions of Bach, Beethoven and others. |
Palmer’s great Titano Super Emperor, will be featured accompanying vocals by lyric soprano and MM candidate Amanda Bush, along with two unpublished Palmer manuscripts.
Event highpoints will be entertainments by Willard Palmer, III, master of magic, mystery and mirth, who has delighted royalty and commoners throughout the world. This multifaceted entertainer combines music, humor and encyclopedic knowledge in ways that remain highpoints for all who heard him at last year’s festival. He and his wife Julie, generous donors of the Palmer estate, will also entertain on banjos and accordions.
A curator-guided tour of the museum will include evolving displays in The AAA’s Archival Collection room and a concert-setting lecture/demonstration of two-dozen historic instruments explaining cultural and repertory differences that spurred and inspired their inventions, tuning specialties and pitch organizations. Our research into the dissemination of Equal Temperament through accordion-family instruments will be explained.
The noted author Anthony Bukowski will read segments from his works related to the musical and cultural history of the Midwest.
The focus of this event involves presentation of Palmer’s magnificent 10-foot’, two-manual, six-plectra, eleven-pedal harpsichord built by A. Cecil Taylor (Houston, 1979). It’s extraordinarily beautiful encasement is ornamented in gold leaf and vermillion; the soundboard was hand painted by southwest artist Grant Tinkler. The first round of restoration was undertaken by engineer Roger Schmitz, an accomplished accordionist from our studio, who was watched by AWAM's newest appointee to the Board of Directors, Kevin Friedrich who was visiting the Museum at the time.Top left photo)
The instrument (Bottom photo: Soundboard painted by Tinkler) was transported to the museum in the summer of 2013 and installed at stage-center in AWAM’s Hanni Strahl Concert Hall. Both the instrument and its surroundings showcase the serious musical interests of this institution, the confidence imbued in its continuance, and its importance among musical instrument collections.
Accordionist Dominic Karcic and Tenor Rinaldo Togliaby Rita Barnea
|Accordionist Dominic Karcic and romantic tenor Rinaldo Toglia will perform at Antonette's Classico Restaurant on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 7:PM.|
They will perform music from the American Song Book, Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, Opera, Operatta plus much more. Plan your special event, birthday party, Anniversary, club function or seniors' event around this evening of great music from the great composers.
Originally from Astoria, NY., Dominic Karcic attended New York College of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and continued his education at the City University of New York (CCNY) where he received his Masters Degree in Music.
Dominic and his wife Rita, have three adult children and five grandchildren. He has lived in Commack, Long Island for thirty-seven years. Dominic was a public school music teacher for thirty-two years focusing on vocal and instrumental instruction in the Long Island towns of Valley Stream, Freeport, and Baldwin. He has always played professionally in the New York metropolitan area and continues to do so today.
His love for the Valtaro Musette music was instilled in him through his years of study with noted accordionist Peter Spagnoli. In recent years he has been involved in the preservation and documentation of this musical style. He collaborated in writing a biographical article on the life and career of accordionist John “Scudlein” Brugnoli (founder of the Valtaro Musette Orchestra) which was published in the Gazzetta di Parma (Parma, Italy) on September 10, 2002. He has continued writing articles about Valtaro Musette music and several have been published in the Borgo Val di Taro web-site.
In June of 2003 Dominic joined the Board of Governors of the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA). His love for the accordion has only grown over the years. His greatest interest lies in musette music and he hopes that he can contribute to the enrichment and preservation of this very festive music.
Rinaldo Toglia is a versatile performer whose romantic tenor voice has brought him great success from operatic stages to his popular solo act. He is in great demand not only for his charismatic and entertaining performances, but his commanding stage presence and charm. Often referred to as "The King of the High C's," his voice has been heard throughout the nation in innumerable regional companies in roles ranging from Rodolpho in "La Boheme" to Calif in "Turandot."
Equally at home with classical as well as cross-over music, Rinaldo is a popular guest artist in many resorts throughout the country from Florida to Phoenix .Rinaldo's night club act has been show-cased at New Yorks famous Cabaret clubs "Feinsteins at the Lowes Theatre" and the" Birdland." Rinaldo has toured the world as a headliner for major cruise lines such as Holland America and Cunard.
Come and join them for a wonderful evening. Antonette's Classico Restaurant, Rockville Centre, NY, 11570. Phone: 516-764-1900
AAA Valtaro Celebration Recognizes Frank Toscanoby Kevin Friedrich
|On Sunday, September 28, 2014 the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) will host a Valtaro Celebration featuring musc of the Val-Taro region of Northern Italy and recognizing one of the performers of the music known as Val-Taro, Frank Toscano. The event will be held at Ric- cardo’s in Astoria (Queens) New York on Sunday, September 28th from noon until 5 with non-stop music for listening and danc- ing. Information will be available shortly. See the AAA website, www.ameraccord.com for details.|
Born and raised in New York, Frank Toscano came from an Italian family who valued the idea of music being played in the house constantly. Without a choice from his father, Frank took lessons on the accordion under the direction of Emilio Chiesa and never dreamed that it would became the passion of his life! “Emilio provided me with a solid classical foundation, for which I am forever grateful. I was very fortunate to have such a great teacher who was also a Virtuoso Accordionist.”
As Frank continued through the years practicing, he mastered the instrument and it was only natural for him to become a professional musician. He wanted more though...more music... and so he learned, studied jazz and mas- tered the art of playing the piano (taught himself) and at the age of twenty-one opened the Frank Toscano Music School.
Now some 50 years later, the school continues to flourish with young and not-so-young talent. Still teaching everyday, his undying passion for music and performing never seems to subside.
He has performed live with, and for, many artists including Michail Baryshnikov and Aidan Quinn and can also be heard on many recordings of other artists too numerous to mention. Frank per- formed for Steve Schirripa and the entire Soprano’s cast to help launch an up-and-coming new T.V. show, He has also had the pleasure of performing with Joe Piscoppo and Vocalist, Debra Toscano. Frank has performed many steady engagements at many prominent clubs in the Tri-State area such as the Playboy Club, North Hemp- stead Country Club, Rockland Country Club and many more. Currently you can hear Frank perform solo at the Magnanini Winery and also in concert with the newly formed “Amazing Accordion Kings”.
Among his accomplishments Frank has just finished arranging, conducting & performing on three great CD’s. “Accordion To Frank”, a solo CD which embraces the flavor of Traditional styled music laced with a hint of Modern Jazz paying homage to his Accor- dion heritage. The “The Amazing Accordion Kings” Volumes One and Two were arranged, performed and conducted with two other great Accordionists, Angelo DiPippo and Manny Corallo. These lat- est CD’s contain compilations of Opera to Jazz. Frank Toscano, a true musician, a true professional...and most certainly a true artist.
Video: Joey Miskulin, Riders in the Sky: Future Performances - USAby Harley Jones
|Video: Riders In The Sky perform "Cool Water" written by Bob Nolan. Released: 7th September 2013|
The band ‘Riders in the Sky’, featuring accordionist Joey Miskulin, have just been performing at the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tennessee on March 28th and 29th.
Future Tour Dates are:
5th April 2014 Rainbow City, AL Alabama Chocolate Festival
11th April 2014 Calgary, AB, Canada Calgary Folk Club
12th April 2014 Calgary, AB, Canada Saturday Night Special
26 May 2014 Pigeon Forge, TN Dollywood's Celebrity Theatre
27 May 2014 Pigeon Forge, TN Dollywood's Celebrity Theatre
31 May 2014 Des Moines, IA Temple Theater
31 May 2014 Des Moines, IA Temple Theater
Milwaukee Accordion Club to Feature Eric Noltkamperby Rita Barnea
|Join the Milwaukee Accordion Club (MAC) on Monday, April 28, 2014 for their featured program and the Dance music of Eric Noltkamper and the Sidemen Reunion.|
Eric has performed in at least 27 different states, Mexico and Canada. He has performed on three polka cruises and toured the country with bands such as, Frank Yankovic, Herb Eberle, Gordon Hartmann, Verne and Steve Meisner, Jeff Winard, Grant Kozera, Bob Doszak, Jack Tady, The Versatones, Lynn Marie, and count- less others. He has appeared on at least 20 recordings outside of his own, performing on the bass, banjo, button accordion, drums, guitar, piano accordion, chromatic accor- dion, and piano.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org,