United States National News (2024)

U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Oct-2015
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United States National News (1)

Editor's Note
Carmen Carrozza Memorial Concert and Dinner October 2-4 in New York
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Passing of Ernie Felice (1922-2015)
Vivant! to Perform on October 4
Alex Meixner and Oktoberfest 2015
Spend Oktoberfest with Those Darn Accordions!
Accordionist Michael Bridge
Rob Curto at the Brooklyn Accordion Club
“From Broadway to the Met … Oct 21st
Latest News on "Accordion Rising" Documentary

United States National News (2)

99 Year Young Accordionist Jack Swenningsen
Cotati Festival 2015
1965 Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Champion Beverly Roberts Curnow Performs for WMAS
Tribute Concert to Ilmar Kuljus and Surprise Anniversary in Spokane, WA
Meet Washington, DC’s Own Joyce Palmer – A beautiful Story!
Michigan Accordion Society to Hold Oktoberfest Fund Raiser
Accordion Cool TV Show
Accordionist Jane Christison
27th Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon
Tom Izzo Plays Accordion Ending Michigan State's 4 Game Trip to Italy
Bill Anderson Performs for Milwaukee Accordion Club

United States National News (3)

Prieto-Vietty Accordion Workshop: All levels in November
National Accordion Symphony Orchestra with Gene Van, Conductor
San Francisco Accordion Club to Feature A²TV on October 18
Honors Accordion Retreat in Houston in November
Michael Arnone's 27th Annual Crawfish Fest

United States National News (4)

CD Review: Paul's Turn - Jazz Accordion

United States National News (5)

Updated Site: Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni Additional Information

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United States National News (7)

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (8)The upcoming seasons bring more exciting concerts, workshops, and festivals to choose from. Plan now to attend several.

Your comments and ideas are always welcome. Send to Ritabelll@aol.com

United States National News (9)

Carmen Carrozza Memorial Concert and Dinner October 2-4 in New York

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (10)
The AmericanAccordionists'Association (AAA), on October 2-4, 2015, hold the Carmen Carrozza Memorial Concert and Dinner to benefit the Carrozza Scholarship Fund. This event will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton, 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591.

Download Carrozza Poster and Reservation Form: 2015Carrozza.pdf

Download Carmen Carrozza Memorial Award Competition Information and Entry: 2015CScholarship.pdf

The Carmen Carrozza Memorial Award Competition will be held during this weekend – a weekend of musical activities highlighting the life of revered accordion artist Carmen Carrozza. It begins with an Open Meeting on Friday evening, an Exhibit of his memorabilia, and a competition where young artists will vie for $6,500 in prizes.

Dr. Joseph Ciccone is chairman of this event which will include a Dinner/Concert on October 4, 2015. The festivities will culminate with a Memorial Concert and Banquet Sunday afternoon – all at the Doubletree by Hilton in Tarrytown, NY – Carmen’s home territory.

Performers include: The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra, Linda Soley Reed, Conductor; The “K” Duo with MaryTokarski & Julie Cardona; Eddie Monteiro & Frank Toscano; Mary Mancini & MarioTacca; Gia Ciccone; BeverlyRobertsCurnow; The Busso Trio; Enzo Pizzimenti & Dominick Karcic; Mary Tokarsk;i Winners of the Carrozza Competiton Dinner; Entertainment provided by Emilio Magnotta and Frank Carozza Group; Performance of Flight of the Angels.

Schedule of events:
Friday, October 2 - 7:00 p.m.
AAA Open Meeting
Saturday, October 3 - 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Competition
Join us at Westchester’s Fabulous “Blaze” on Saturday evening.
Sunday, October 4 - 12 noon
Carmen Carrozza Memorial Concert and Dinner Westchester Ballroom

Fall Foliage Getaway Package includes:
Saturday night hotel stay (10/3) at Tarrytown Double Tree and 2 Sunday (10/4) concert/dinner tickets $325. Must be booked thru AAA by Sept. 2nd

RESERVE NOW! Donation of $75.00 per person includes dinner and concert if purchased before September 15th, 2015. After September 15th seating will be on a first-come, first served basis at $85.00 per person Children under 10 years of age - $45.00.

Hotel Accommodations at the Double Tree available for Friday 10/2 and Saturday 10/3 at the discounted rate of $172 per night (double, single, triple, quad) Code ACC must reserve on or before Sept. 1st (regular rates during this season are $224).

Hotel Reservations: 914-631-5700 Code ACC - $172 S D T Q (except AAA Getaway Package which must be booked thru AAA)

Make checks payable to AAA and mail to:
AmericanAccordionists'Association (AAA) • c/o MaryTokarski, President • 15 Maplewood Lane • Northford, CT 06472
Phone/Fax (203) 484-5095
E-mail: ameraccord1938@gmail.com or mary.tokarski@comcast.net

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Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
United States National News (12)
United States National News (13)United States National News (14)I am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

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

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

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

You can register online at www.AccordionStars.com or contact PaulPasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email: paul@accordioninfo.com.

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Passing of Ernie Felice (1922-2015)

by Rob Howard
United States National News (17)Ernie Felice, one of America’s all-time famous jazz accordionists and singers, has passed away at the grand age of 93.

Born in Campbell, California, 1922, young Ernie used to watch accordionists playing at weddings and other festive occasions. He took lessons from Earl Sylvester and won the California Juvenile Championship for two successive years, when he was nine and ten years old. When the Felice family moved into San Jose, California, Ernie continued to study music until he finished school. He often played at parties, either solo or with a drummer.

A neighbour who played saxophone asked Ernie to work out some sax arrangements for him. Ernie, who was studying arranging in school, experimented on his accordion, playing up to four different sax parts simultaneously. He liked the different effect, promptly adopting it in his attempt to modernize his style. San Jose State College gave a yearly show called the Spartan Revelries.

The Musical Director of the event, a friend of Ernie's, invited him to do the show score in 1936. It featured a large orchestra. Ernie's score was sensationally successful. After that, Ernie associated all his accordion arrangements with the music of a large band.

After graduation from High School in 1937, Ernie joined a small group in San Francisco, known as the Four Sharps. They played at Tommy Harris' club on Geary Street (Tommy's). Duke Ellington, then appearing at the Golden Gate Theater, used to drop by often. He encouraged young Ernie to stick to his original style and develop it.

The Four Sharps stayed in San Francisco almost two years. They were booked at the Los Angeles Town House, where they remained for six months. At their next engagement, the Colorado Springs Broadmoor Hotel, they were equally successful. Bing Crosby saw their act and gave Ernie more praise and encouragement.

The group disbanded because of enlistment following Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, and Ernie entered the Army Air Corps, and was assigned to an entertainment unit, which toured the country helping to sell bonds and to promote recruitment.

When the war ended Ernie met Benny Goodman, and joined his sextet. "As a kid, I listened to Benny Goodman for inspiration. I loved the way Benny's full saxophone section played, and that's how I followed with my style of swing. The clarinetist in my groups played lead and I played what would have been four or five instruments underneath on the accordion.

My voicing emulated how Benny's sax section sounded.” The couple of years spent performing and recording with Goodman strongly influenced the way Ernie Felice played thereafter. Working mostly with his quartet - accordion, clarinet, guitar and bass - Ernie had a long and very successful career.

He played and sang in cabaret, recorded for Capitol, appeared in the Hollywood movies The Big Clock (1948), Smooth Sailing (1947), Panic in the Streets (1950), and With A Song In My Heart (1952), and was often featured on the radio and TV. His many accomplishments are detailed on an interesting website www.erniefelice.com, maintained by his son, Dan Felice.

Ernie Felice died peacefully in his sleep on September 13th 2015 at the age of 93.

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Vivant! to Perform on October 4

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (19)
United States National News (20)This year Vivant! will be performing on the Fremar Foundation's popular Music & Merlot event which will be presented on Sunday, October 4, 2015 at Bishop Spencer Place near the Country Club Plaza at 4301 Madison which is easily accessed off of Southwest Trafficway at the intersection of 43rd Street.

Vivant! members include:
JulieSilfverberg – accordion; Melody Stroth – piano; Dee Sligar – bass; Judy Johnson – flute; KarenFremar – accordion; Janne Silfverberg - trombone/Latin percussion, and Brian Steever - drums.

The group will perform a variety program of Fremararrangements including popular standards: ‘Come Fly with Me’, ‘Don't Get Around Much Anymore’, Latin works: Jobim's ‘One Note Samba’, Piazzolla's ‘Libertango’; Stevie Wonder's ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ & ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’, and more...including ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’, ‘More Today Than Yesterday’, ‘You Keep Me Hangin' On’, and Karen Fremar's haunting original to honor Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans: ‘Grasping for the Wind’.The Fremar and Silfverberg Accordion Duo will be featuredperforming Fremar's ‘Monroe’.

Plan to join Vivant! and their musical friends in this intimate and comfortable setting for a 4:30 PM concert featuring some of their favorite music that includes the accordion. Grab a glass of Merlot and a soft chair and enjoy an afternoon of music and fun.

Vivant! pictured left, was featured in an hour-long show at the recent Roosterville Airshow and Flying Competition, part of the Roosterville International Airport 50th Anniversary Bellows, Bi-Planes & Beverage Event in Kansas City, Missouri.Their program featured swing, blues and pop music on a beautiful September day. Picture left is KarenFremar, the founder of Vivant!

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Alex Meixner and Oktoberfest 2015

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (22)Alex Meixner has a very busy Oktoberfest month. His first stop was on September 30 at Onalaska High School where he conducted a day of master classes and rehearsals with their concert and jazz bands. They then performed together on the program. Alex always tries to incorporate master classes and teaching in his tours to schools.

On October 1-2, Alex will perform at Oktoberfest USA which is in the top five Oktoberfests in the country accordion to a poll conducted by USA Today.

Alex's performances include:
October 1-2
La Crosse, WI

October 3
Indiana, PA
Yarnick's Farm

October 4
Reading, PA
Reading Liederkranz

October 6-7
Garfield, NJ
Royal Manor

October 7 & 8
New York, NY
Reichenbach Hall

October 8-9
Paterson, NJ
The Brownstone

October 9
Asbury Park, NJ
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

October 10
Hoboken, NJ
Pilsener Haus

October 11
Adamstown, PA
Stoudt's Brewery

October 12 & 13
Callicoon, NY
Villa Roma

October 14 & 15
New York, NY
Reichenbach Hall

October 16
Asbury Park, NJ
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

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Spend Oktoberfest with Those Darn Accordions!

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (24)
TDA have scheduled several Oktoberfest shows. The 3 day Oktoberfest in the midwest at The Mystic Lake Caisno in Prior Lake, MN (Minneapolis area) at 8:PM on Thursday , Oct 1, and at 6:45 PM on Friday and Saturday, October 2nd and 3rd.

They will also perform at the Northwood Public Hourse Oktoberfest on Oct. 10 and 11, 2015 in Battleground, Washington (Portland, OR area).

TDA consists of singersongwriter/accordionists Paul Rogers and Suzanne Garramone; drummer Michael Messer and bass player, Lewis Wallace.

For further information: tda@thosedarnaccordions.com

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Accordionist Michael Bridge

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (26)Michael is a big fan of new music. From his website: Canadian accordion champion and winner of the University of Toronto Concerto Competition, Michael Bridge uniquely fuses classical, pop-rock, jazz and world music. He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at age 17, and has performed in Asia, Europe, and North America, now giving over 100 concerts per year. In 2013, he placed 2nd at the world digital accordion championships.

Michael recently finished his Bachelor’s of Music in Accordion Performance at the University of Toronto with Professor Joseph Macerollo and began his Master’s degree at U of T in the fall. He is a captivating young musician— boldly redefining the sound and image of his traditional instrument.

The accordion is still a relatively young instrument and exciting new compositions involving it are being released every week around the world. As the body of original music for accordion continues to grow, new music is both exciting and important since the establishment of new repertoire has a huge impact on young instruments' recognition in major concert halls."

While studying at the University of Toronto, Michael has had the privilege to work with many professional and student composers in this rare environment, and he continues to premiere and perform new works involving the accordion.

Premiers include:
Arteaga, Patrick“The Magic Iffektor” Commission by FAWN Opera, for clarinet, cello, electric guitar, digital accordion, percussion and electronics (2014)
Bayefsky, Sammy“No Exit” (Play by Jean-Paul Sartre.) Original score for solo accordion. Victoria College Theatre, directed by Ivana Dizdar. (2013)
Bridge, Michael“Sharon’s Song” Scores and CD of 11 original compositions. (2009)
Caron, Jason“Insomniac” written for U of T Gamut Ensemble (2012)
Dupuis, Sophie“There Are Also People Outside” written for U of T Gamut Ensemble (2013)
Emami, Keyan“Star” ICOT orchestra (2014)
Finley, Ben “The Red Balloon” (Film by Alberta Lamorisse.) Original score for accordion, guitar, bass and percussion. (2012)
Hamidi, Pouya“Three Interactions” accordion, orchestra and soprano. ICOT (2014)
Hamidi, Pouya New Work for accordion and string quartet. Commissioned by Michael Bridge, to be performed with the Ontario Philharmonic String Quartet (pending, Oct. 2015)
Heidari, Maziar“Lead Me from Darkness into Light” ICOT orchestra (2014)
Hewer, Trevor “Repentance” Commission by FAWN Opera, for clarinet, cello, electric guitar, digital accordion, percussion and electronics (2014)
Lowrie, James“Markings” Commission by FAWN Opera, for clarinet, cello, electric guitar, digital accordion, percussion and electronics (2014)
Lowry, Amanda “The Storm” Commission by FAWN Opera, for clarinet, cello, electric guitar, digital accordion, percussion and electronics (2014)
McGraw, Patrick“Lyca” written for U of T Gamut Ensemble (2013)
Pigdorona, AnnaNew Work commissioned by SoundStreams for accordion and saenghwang (pending, Feb. 2016)
Shahi, Saman“Overture and Postlude” ICOT orchestra (2014)
Taylor, Robert“Opticks”. Text by Sir Isaac Newton. Written for Michael Bridge, accordion, and Maeve Palmer, soprano (2014)
Taylor, Robert"Carnivalesque". Commissioned by Michael Bridge and Johanna Weinholts. Harp and accordion (2015)
Thornborrow, Christopher“Recomposition” Commission by FAWN Opera, for clarinet, cello, electric guitar, digital accordion, percussion and electronics (2014)
Todd, Matthew-Carl, new work written for U of T Gamut Ensemble (2012)
Versluis, Tyler“Canzona prima della Fantasia”and “Fantasia” written for U of T Gamut Ensemble (2013)
Versluis, Tyler“Harbinger” written for U of T Gamut Ensemble (2012)

Future performances include:
October 17, 2015 - Oshawa ON
“Virtuosity Unbound”, presented by the Ontario Philharmonic
Michael will perform with the Ontario Philharmonic String Quartet.
**Featuring a world premiere by POUYA HAMIDI**

October 23, 2015 - Woodbridge ON
Emma Rose Foundation - Night of Enchantment Gala

October 24, 2015 - Barrie ON
Barrie Concerts -Highway Pentacostal Church, 7:30pm

October 26-30, 2015 - Loja, Ecuador
Festival International de la Música - Concerts and Masterclasses

November 7, 2015 - London ON
Ontario Contact Conference and Artist Showcase

November 16, 2015 - Lethbridge AB
Michael Bridge performs with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.
- William Bridges: Concerto“A Saturday Night in Canada"
- Astor Piazzolla: Oblivion & Libertango

November 21, 2015 - Toronto ON
Small World Music Centre - 180 Shaw St. - 7:30pm - $20

For further information: michael@michaelbridgemusic.com

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Rob Curto at the Brooklyn Accordion Club

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (28)United States National News (29)Brooklyn Accordion Club BAC workshop series #11, a participatory workshop "Brazilian Music and Groove Creation on the Accordion" by Rob Curto is happening on Sunday, October 18th, 2-4:PM at 61 Local
, Brooklyn, New York.

Admission: $3-$5 (Suggested. Pay what you can!)
Not an accordion player? Come enjoy the music!

From Rob Curto's website: New Yorker ROB CURTO brings passion, energy and musicality to the accordion. The LosAngelesTimes writes that, “Curto’s originals..combine traditional authenticity with persuasive dashes of jazz.” An early devotee of North American swing music, bebop piano, funk, rock and blues; Curto combines these influences with his mastery of their South American counterparts forró, chorinho, samba, maracatu, frevo and the many other styles that belong the Brazilian accordion tradition.

His discography includes two recent CD’s by the great Mexican/American singer Lila Downs; “Shake Away”, which was nominated for a Grammy as the best World Music CD and the successful CD and DVD, “Live in Paris”. He is a regular member of the Lila Down’s band.

Curto grew up playing jazz piano and studying with musicians such as pianist/composer Gitta Steiner, the great pianist Barry Harris, Brazilian percussionist/educator Vanderlei Pereira, composer/arranger from Rio de Janeiro Leandro Braga, and master of the Brazilian style of music, choro, Alencar 7 Cordas.

After graduating from Princeton University with a degree in Politics, which opened his thinking to the world beyond national borders, he has completely dedicated himself to music as a performer, composer, arranger and teacher.

Curto is a product of New York City’s diverse musical culture and has played with artists such as Lila Downs, David Krakauer, Frank London, the Chieftans, Omar Faruk Tekbilek and Cyro Batista. However, he has also spent years living and playing in Brazil, completely absorbing and interpreting that country’s musical traditions.

Most recently he participated in a project, “American Roots Music”, organized by the United States consulate in Recife, with the group Matuto, of which he is an integral member. The band gave workshops to students at various schools and community centers and played at the Jazz Festival in Garanhuns and on the stage of the Rec Beat Festival during Carnaval 2009.

He has studied and performed with some of Brazil’s great accordionists such as Dominguinhos and Camarão. He has also played with artists such as star Brazilian mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda, guitarist Rogerio Souza from Rio’s seminal choro band No Em Pindo D’Agua, Gaúcho guitarist Yamandú and drummer Márcio Bahia (Hermeto Pascoal).

He also performed with the legendary Brazilian singer Elza Soares, and in 2006 recorded a CD of original music and Brazilian classics with musicians from Brasilia, Brazil with production by the important mandolinist Dudu Maia. An original member of the band Forró in the Dark, he is one of the principal musicians who established a strong presence in New York City for forró, the dance music of northeastern Brazil, which has become one the city’s most important cultural movements. Through his workshops and performances he has also introduced many people to the life and work of the great Brazilian singer Luiz Gonzaga.

His group has performed at major festivals and performing arts centers such as the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Minneapolis, the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, the Chicago World Music Festival, Lotus Fest in Indianapolis, the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Mass., the Festival International in Lafayette, La., the Chico World Music Festival in Chico, Ca., Festival International Nuits d’Afrique in Montreal, the Cotati Accordion Festival, the Carrefour Mondial de l’Accordeon in Montmagny, Quebec, the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Tx., the American Folk Festival in Bangor Maine, among many others. Most recently he played a successful show in Uruguay at the culturally important music venue, El Tartamudo in Montevideo.

For further information: brooklynaccordionclub@gmail.com

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“From Broadway to the Met … Oct 21st

by Rita Barnea

United States National News (31)“From Broadway to the Met …. plus”featuring vocalistCheryl Spielmanand accordionistDominic Karcic takes place on Wed., Oct. 21, 2015 at 6 PM.

Come hear the music from theAmerican Song Book, Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, Opera, Operettaplus much more with vocalistCheryl Spielmanand accompanied by accordionistDominic Karcic.

Place: La Villini Restaurant
288 Larkfield Road.
East Northport, NY 11731

Reservations are recommended. Contact: Frank 631-261-6344

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Latest News on "Accordion Rising" Documentary

by Roberta Cantow
United States National News (33)"Accordion Rising", (the documentary), is being entered in festivals andI am looking forward to its debut screening sometime somewhere. News of this event will be posted in this newsletter, on Facebook and in Facebook groups. Soon after, the film will be available for sale on DVD, for digital download and eventually for streaming.

In the meantime, please visit the website and join the mailing list.
A "like" on Facebook also provides meaningful support.

You may also request an invoice for a pre-release copy - rcantow@originaldigital.net
Doing so will assist with ongoing needs for funds.
THANK YOU ONE AND ALL. - Roberta Cantow

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99 Year Young Accordionist Jack Swenningsen

by Lenny Feldmann
United States National News (36)United States National News (37)Accordionist Jack Swenningsen celebrated his 99th birthday on September 18th 2015!

Picture right of Jack Swenningsen when 96 years.

I have heard that the St. Petersburg (Florida) Fire Department will be standing by when they light the candles on his cake!!

In addition to being a fine accordionist, Jack is an award winning (retired) photographer. Several years ago he developed a series of emails called Pic of The Day, which he periodically sent out to friends and family.

Congratulations to accordionist Jack Swenningsen on his 99th birthday.

A currently 99 year old accordion player got a new lease on life back in 2007 after a 5-day hospital stay with all the tests for a possible heart attack and with a new "stent" in one of his heart arteries. Two weeks later he just finished a gig where he played to over 200 senior citizens who gave him a standing ovation after he played "Dr Zhivago’s – Somewhere My Love" theme song.

Jack Swenningsen (St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A.) says it’s possible because of his special electronic accordion where he employs various voices or sounds to gain effect. (Jack plays the Petosa Millennium Ciao Digital Reedless Accordion – only weighs 14 lbs).

Jack is a fanatic accordion buff who became mesmerized with the accordion when he was only ten years old. Jack and his family were going to Grandpa’s house on Staten Island from Brooklyn. That is where he heard the vibrating ‘singing’ reeds of Charles Magnante’s accordion playing on the Ferry Boat (Staten Island Ferry) that plied the waters of New York harbor. The great ‘Magnante’, soon to become world famous, became Jack’s idol and mentor.

An accordion was always lying around in Jack’s houses and he was always picking one up to play even though he couldn’t play very well, but he became self taught using Magnante’s music instrumental instruction book.

In the hey day of accordion popularity, Jack went to all the Accordion National Festivals and NAMM Shows around the country through the years… even going once with the AAA and ATG to Stockholm, Sweden (1974) to see and hear the world’s CoupeMondiale of world competition.

Jack’s "no claim to fame" is that he has, in his travels, shaken the hand of such ‘giants’ of yester years accordion virtuosos like… MyronFloren, AnthonyGalla-Rini, DickContino, Carmen Carrozza, Matt Mathews, Joe Biviano, CharlesMagnante, Bill Palmer, Danny Desiderio, Art Metzler, Veikko Ahvenainen, Pietro Frosini, Tony Mecca… just to name a few of the old timers (pardon him if he left you out). He idolized all of them because of their musicianship.

Jack doesn’t let his numerous other hobbies (radio controlled model airplanes and photography) interfere with his music because he claims music is "therapy for the soul" and is what keeps him going. Jack, at 95 years of age, still does a couple gigs each week and at present belongs to the FloridaAccordionAssociation and attends their yearly festival (SMASH) held in Orlando, Florida.

And now a few stories you might find interesting… It took a long time to hit 95 years of age, with about six escapes where Jack cheated death. For example… motorcycles, snakes, serious illness, WW II overseas in Infantry, civilian shooting accident, etc… so he’ll mention a few here…

The German U-Boat Incident

Emigrating from Denmark with Danish parents during World War One in 1917 to escape the German invasion; his passenger ship was stopped in the North Sea between Denmark and England heading for America by a German U-boat.

The North Sea is a graveyard of sunken ships, and German U-boats were sinking them galore. The German U-boat commander ordered them to ‘heave to’ and boarded them to search for contraband (munitions) and found nothing. He told the ship’s Captain, “If I had found any, I would have torpedoed you – proceed!”. So Jack, who celebrated his one-year old birthday while on board the ship, lived to tell this tale as told to him by his Father… and ever since Jack has lived a charmed life to write this little saga for you!

The Wurlitzer Incident (Jack’s first accordion)

It was 1939. Jack, now 23 years old, was working and earning $25.00 per week. One drizzly night, working overtime, he passed the Wurlitzer Music Store in New York City... and there in the large window, flanked by pianos, sat this big black shinny Wurlitzer Accordion.

What demon possessed him to want to own it he’ll never know, but he went into the store, and before he knew what was happening, a devilish salesman was wrapping up that Wurlitzer Accordion and saying "it’s only $800.00 and you must have your Mother and Father co-sign for it!".

Now $800 in those days (1939) was like $8000 today! Jack’s Mother threw a fit and told him to "wear it around his neck" and his Father, being a gentle man asked him, "What is it about you and accordions, Jack?" and almost ordered him out of the house.

It took Jack over 3 years to pay it off, and in the meantime he got married... and his dear wife, Amelia, had to run over to New York City from Brooklyn and plead for Wurlitzer to extend the payments!.

The Overseas Army Incident

Jack was drafted into the Army Infantry and was sent to Northeast Italy in 1945 on the Yugoslav border where the enemy was Marshall Tito who was trying to take over Trieste, a deep water port of great importance, and the war had just ended with Japan.

Jack terribly missed his dear wife, his two babies, and his accordion. Even though he was going to Army school in Lido, Venice in 1946, he had time on his hands. He discovered that everybody was indulging in ‘black market’ activities.

He had stopped smoking while in the service. However, every G.I. received a carton of cigarettes every week. Jack saw a chance to help his poor starving wife (literally) and babies due to the awful shortages back in the States. Jack sold his carton of cigarettes on the ‘black market’, converted the Italian Lira into $20 American dollars which he was able to send back home. He continued to do this for the rest of his stay in Italy.

It was another dizzily, miserable night in Venice. He was billeted on the Island of Lido and came across the bay to Venice via gondola. His co*cky Boston buddy suggested they do a ploy or ruse to cheat the black marketers and make more money by carefully emptying the khaki colored wax-coated carton of cigarettes and stuff cardboard back in the now empty box to fill it. Then they could sell the cigarette packs again for more money.

To simulate an unopened carton they lit a candle to put back the waxed end so it looked normal again. How stupid!! Like a Hollywood setting in some dark, damp, drizzly side street under a dimly lit lamp post, with the fog rolling in, they eagerly waited for their prey to arrive.

Quietly a swarthy dark coated person slithered up from nowhere and proceeded to ask: "Quanto?" (How much?) They said 20,000 Lira and gave him the carton whereby he immediately whipped out a large Stiletto Knife and, with a flip of the wrist, opened the carton before their eyes while handing over the money to them.

Out falls all the cardboard… and with their eye balls buldging with fear and astonishment with what was going to happen next…. Well, you never saw two G.I.’s turn and run the quarter-mile back to safety any faster… at the same time tossing the 20,000 Lira bills up in the air like paper rain coming down.

Lesson learned… greed is one’s downfall in any country! But there is a moral to this story... and you might have guessed… with all the surplus funds Jack amassed, he bought a fine, brand new Scandelli Accordion and took it home on top of his Infantry Pack. He and 32 other G.I.’s trucked over to Leghorn (the Port of Departure – the men in the service called it the "Repple-Depple") and waited for an old banana freighter, a 10,000 ton vessel, which took 16 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean in mean seas, to return them to the U.S.

Jack was in seventh heaven with his new accordion…. At times sitting on a hatch cover entertaining the guys playing "Stars and Stripes Forever". He was coming home to his family after being drafted at age 29… some of the fellows even called him "Pop".

Jack has other stories he could tell in other fields of endeavor; but, music and being in the world of accordions he feels, has extended his life span. He has owned at least 15 or more really fine brand name accordions and has always enjoyed the thrill of "trading up" for a newer or better model. It was always exhilarating!

Plus the challenge of learning to read music and then committing a piece to memory is endless. Some of the bands Jack has played with:"Happy Notes"
"Recycles", "Musical Rascals"and at present "Senior Citizens Harmonica Band" of 36 members, median age of 80, in which Jack leads them on his accordion (see special video presentation at the end of this article). To date this one-hour of entertainment musical group has done 650 performances in 15 years… that’s a lot of setting up of equipment and miles to travel… they must be doing something right!

A Coincidence? Maybe…

Jack and Amelia had a son, Peter, born to them in December, 1941. Unfortunately Peter passed away from a grave illness in 1971. However, life goes on, and one never knows what the future may bring.

In the early Fall of 1987, Jack met with several other local musicians who were forming a new organization called the Tampa Bay Harmonica Club (TBHC). At that time, Jack was experimenting with playing the big bass harmonica and had even traveled up to Michigan and attended the recent SPAH (Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica) Convention.

The meeting took place at a member’s home in St. Petersburg. The eight musicians in attendance were to become the founding members of the TBHC. Among other’s at this meeting was a gentleman whom Jack had met at the recent SPAH Convention who played chromatic harmonica and had a son who played the Chord harmonica (the big harmonica about a foot-and-a-half long), also at this founder’s meeting.

The ‘gentleman’ was Alfred Feldmann (soon to become one of Jack’s partners in the band called the "Recycles") and his son was Lenny Feldmann... who, as Jack was to find out, was born in December, 1941 almost on the very same day as Jack’s departed son, Peter. Coincidence? Maybe…

And to make things even more exciting, Jack discovered that Lenny also played the accordion! As you can probably guess, a strong friendship developed amongst the three men. After the passing of Al Feldmann in 1995, it became even stronger between Jack and Lenny. Now, Jack always refers to Lenny as his "adopted son" and Lenny calls Jack his "adopted Father". They have attended many AAA, ATG, and SMASH accordion events together over the past years and Lenny always makes it a point to visit Jack and Amelia in St. Petersburg each year.

Jack feels blessed to have Lenny (the exact same age as Peter) as his "adopted son". Jack says that Lenny is truly an inspiration to him down through the years and is privileged to call him his adopted son. Jack states: "Just how lucky can a 96 year old coot be? I hope to be around for a while longer. God Bless all accordionists!"

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Cotati Festival 2015

by Rob Howard
United States National News (39)
Shirley Brim, newsletter editor of the San Francisco Accordion Club writes: We are so lucky to have the great annual accordion celebration in Cotati! As a first-time visitor I was impressed by almost everything at the festival, including the organization of the event.

Although space in the pretty little park is limited, the layout was perfect. There were friendly local folk at the gates, a separate parking for handicapped drivers and musicians, and enthusiastic people running everything, everywhere I turned. The event was just the right size and had a great mix of vendors, food, performance and seating. I will be going back!

This festival draws lovers of the accordion from many states and from a number of other countries. There were two main performing stages in La Plaza Park in the center of town, and another in the Polka Tent in the same park. In addition, there was accordion music at all three Oliver’s Markets (Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Cotati), The Redwood Cafe, Friar Tuck’s Pub and the Lagunitas Brewing Company. It was an embarrassment of riches - who could cover all that territory in two-and-a-half days?

The absolutely perfect weather gave us beautiful days for sitting in a lawn chair, eating guilty-pleasure carnival food and drinking a beer while listening to our favorite musical instrument. The charming outdoor venue drew performers and audience together for an intimate shared experience.

The Cotati Festival attracts many excellent accordionists, and this year’s schedule boasted an amazing variety of instruments, musical genres and performing styles - StasVenglevski, Those Darn Accordions (reunion), Mattias Matke, Steve Albini, Ginny Mac, and more. From Sourdough Slim to the Great Morgani and many stops in between, the accordion inspires musicians to express their most authentic selves - and we love it when they do!

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1965 Coupe Mondiale Virtuoso Champion Beverly Roberts Curnow Performs for WMAS

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
United States National News (41)United States National News (42)On September 20, 2015 members of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) and guests were treated to a dazzling concert by BeverlyRobertsCurnow. A student of legendary accordionist Carmen Carrozza, Beverly won the title of AAA Virtuoso Champion in 1965.

Although she had a full schedule as a college student, dancer, gymnast and accordionist, Beverly practiced long hours on Liszt’s " Concerto #2 in A Major", arranged for her by Carmen Carrozza, for her CoupeMondiale competition. The 28-page, 12 minute piece won her the world title that same year.

Fifty years later, Beverly relearned and memorized this piece to play for us during her concert, which also included Pietro Deiro’s “Mimicri”, “Scherzo” by John Gart, “Malaguena” by Ernesto Lecuona and several other selections.

The excitement in the room lasted throughout her very impressive performance culminating in a long standing ovation.

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Tribute Concert to Ilmar Kuljus and Surprise Anniversary in Spokane, WA

by Karen Lee, ATG 2nd Vice-President
United States National News (44)On August 21, 2015, twenty three accordionists and a percussionist gathered before a full house in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Spokane, WA, to play a concert in honor of Ilmar Kuljus and his life-time devotion to the accordion and to teaching the accordion.

The core of the orchestra consisted of the Spokane Accordion Ensemble who were joined for this event by several of Ilmar’s present and past accordion students. Ilmar was guest conductor for the evening.

The program consisted primarily of Ilmar’s own accordion ensemble arrangements of a wide variety of music. There were also solos by Barry Smith and Sam Thomas as well as a duet by those two fine accordionists.

After the concert, to the delighted surprise of the orchestra members and the audience, soloist Rev. Barry Smith announced that Ilmar would surely remember this August 21st forever, because it was about to become his anniversary.

He then asked Susan Graham to come forward and presided over a lovely wedding ceremony for Ilmar and Susan. Following the concert there was a champagne reception for all in attendance.

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Meet Washington, DC’s Own Joyce Palmer – A beautiful Story!

by Joan Grauman Morse, AAA Historian
United States National News (47)
United States National News (48)Some of you may have seen a photo of this incredible gravestone on Facebook. “Who is this person and where is this located?”, “BEAUTIFUL, I want this!”, and “??? WOW!” are the comments under the photo. Meet Joyce Palmer: a warm, generous and very much still alive person who sees problems and addresses them head on – and she loves the accordion!

Joyce plays the accordion and, in 2002, decided to bring a small group of accordionists of differing abilities together to form a little band. Joyce named the group “CHAOS”, which stands for “Capitol Hill Accordion Orchestra Society”. Living in Capitol Hill, Joyce was concerned about the future of the 200 year old Congressional Cemetery, where the celebrated composer and band leader John Philip Sousa is buried.

“It is my view that CHAOS helped in part to save Congressional Cemetery from almost certain destruction and loss,” Joyce said proudly during our interview. “I was on the Board of Directors at the cemetery for years during which it did not look as if we would survive the destruction of 200 years of decline and misuse.

This included one Cemetery manager who embezzled us back to about six dollars. Many people including our Board Chairman, Patrick Crowley, got together and worked very hard to find money to pave the roads, match a challenge from the Preservation Trust, find money to save the roof on the little chapel, etc., etc., etc.

CHAOS played five times at the Cemetery for fundraising efforts and support to save this historical property. John Philip Sousa is buried at Congressional Cemetery, so it was a natural for us to bring music to the Cemetery. Every day I thank our little group for their efforts in “the bad old days”. Incidentally, Congressional Cemetery was saved and now there is an endowment with the National Trust to save this historical property in perpetuity.”

“So, the beautiful stone accordion – what a touching tribute to our beloved instrument – what made you create this monument, years before your passing?” I asked. Joyce beamed. “I chose to have an accordion carved out of black granite as a gravestone monument on the main road of Congressional Cemetery because that was the location where our little band CHAOS had played so often to help this organization survive. Since I was on the Board of Directors and a member of the church that owns the Cemetery, the plot was sold to me.

There is accommodation in this burial plot for up to ten people. I chose to open the site up to poor musicians. There is a passel of us! Three spots have been spoken for and each person has a place for their names, dates and thoughts. My thoughts read ‘Music is the Answer’. One of the others chose ‘Musician and Composer’. The rest will be revealed.”

I have played with CHAOS occasionally at Joyce’s house parties. They are lovely people and really enjoying being together and playing music. Joyce says, “It is true that we are not really very good, so we may be asked to play a lot….but… we never get asked back.” I didn’t believe her, as they really do sound good! Joyce spoke of her wonderful house and yard. “I built a little stage in my backyard. CHAOS now plays on occasion for shut-ins and seniors. The area has been smoothed out for wheelchairs. Our little group seems to do well when the senior bus shows up at my house and we play the old favorites for our guests. It may be that we serve good sandwiches, but who cares. We get to play together and enjoy each other’s company. Thank goodness for the good people of CHAOS.”

Thank goodness for you, Joyce Palmer!

Top Photo:l to r:Joe Kulick, Lee Paulson, Chuck Silio, Joyce Palmer, Robert Ford and Peter DiGiovanni.

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Michigan Accordion Society to Hold Oktoberfest Fund Raiser

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (51)
The Michigan Accordion Society invites all on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 7:PM to the Capachin Fund Raiser Benefit Oktoberfest style event featuring the all MAS member band, the Immigrant Sons. It is presented by Santine's Knights of Selanus.

"Immigrant Sons" Band Members:
Horn and Vocals - Stephan Lang ( son of German Immigrants )
Guitar & Vocals - Dave Accomando ( son of Italian Immigrants )
Drums & Vocals - Chris Gassel ( son of German Immigrants )
Accordion, Bass & Vocals - Joe Recchia ( son of Italian Immigrants ) - See more at: http://www.immigrantsons.com/#sthash.9DX8Y3m1.dpuf

The event will take place at a great band room at "Higher Ground" which is the second floor of Hatchy's Bar in Downtown Utica.

No cover necessary, only Donations for the Capachin Soup Kitchen. A very nice Light buffet will be available for $8.00 as well as a Cash Bar.

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Accordion Cool TV Show

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (53)
United States National News (54)Accordionist Sam Falcetti from Springfield, Mass.and his granddaughter, 10 year old Angela Falcetti, performed on August 19, 2015 for the "Accordion Cool TV Show" by Coach Dave Laprise. Fifth grader Angela sings as she plays the Roland accordion. She studies with her grandfather, Sam Falcetti.

Dave began entertaining as a musician and band leader more than 50 years ago and for many years made his living as professional musician and music teacher. After a hiatus of several years, his desire to once again play music and entertain resurfaced. He worked for quite some time returning to his roots and redefining his musical abilities learned while studying at the Berklee School of Music.

"Accordion Cool" is the title of Dave's TV show on public access television. It is taped in Attleboro, MA, but if you want the show seen In Your area, call your local cable station and they are required to show it. You can find previous shows on the internet.

On a personal note do not let the cowboy hat mislead you into thinking that Dave is a country act. The hat is worn as a symbol and tribute to Dave's two brothers , who he did not know existed for more than 60 years and he met for the first time at a family reunion in Scottsdale, AZ several years ago after one brother painstakingly tracked Dave down after all the years.

Coach Dave said, "Like many things that happen in life my TV show came about by accident and being in the right place at the right time. I was playing at a farmers market in Attleboro, in June of 2014. A gentleman stopped by and complimented me on the music I was playing. We chatted for a few minutes and he told me he had a 10 to noon radio show and would I like to appear.After much consideration and thought, about two seconds worth, I said sure. As you know from being at the studio, the radio station is broadcast in the same studio as TV.

After appearing for an hour on his show, he suggested I speak with the TV people. I only thought that perhaps they had a similar show and perhaps I would appear on that. I was informed that there was no such show, but my frown became a smile when they suggested I do my own show. There was a meeting with the station manager to complete paper work, then a meeting with Emily Johnson who is the studio producer.

So before I could say it, I was producing and hosting a TV show. I wanted to call it "Making the Accordion Cool", but that was too long and the name became Accordion Cool. They had many "canned" music intros but I was asked if I had something original they could record for a theme. I had been messing around a little with "Coach Dave's Boogie." Just a blues inprov, we recorded it in one take and it is now the theme.

We taped the first show in August of 2014. We tape two shows each week as we go south for the winter and must have several shows "in the can." The show is one half hour, is shown three times per week at three different times and changed every two weeks. After that it is placed on the station's video on demand. Several shows have hundreds of hits and one has almost one thousand. None of the shows is dated in any way except Xmas and can be shown at any time.

I have had several guests and have others coming up. Accordionist, Jim Avedisian, drummer, John Kerr, three time world champion Cory Pesaturo, the great, spectacular Sam Falcetti and his similarly talented granddaughter, Angela and local radio personality Dom catoyia (sp). Upcoming guests include vocalist Linda Walden and Lou and Jan Borelli.

I have done many theme shows, ArtVanDamme tribute, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Paul Bisch (piano, organ , arranger, friend, and recording engineer who passed away last march all too soon.). Duke Ellington etc, and a country show. I did a top fifty countdown of all the great jazz and big band songs. I do two Xmas shows which air the entire month of December. I am also doing two Elvis tribute shows."

For further information: Accordioncool@gmail.com

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Accordionist Jane Christison

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (56)United States National News (57)JaneChristison is an accomplished accordionist and singer playing and singing many styles of music - with music and costumes for German, French, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latin music, Mexican, Western/Cowboy and Veteran's Day programs. She enjoys playing old standards, patriotic songs, musicals, polkas, sing along songs, Christmas music and more! 

The newest chapter in her performing career is writing songs for kids and performing as "Janie Next Door" in upbeat, entertaining, interactive, live musical programs for children at preschools, elementary school concerts, festivals, libraries, birthday parties and other special occasions.

Her award-winning children's CD, "Come Sing Along With Janie Next Door," has been 
Reviewed by School Library Journal, March, 2013
Creative Child Award - 2013 CD of the Year - Kids Sing and Dance CD's category

Approved by the Dove Foundation
Approved by Parents' Choice
 Recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award, 
Winner of a Tillywig Toy & Media Sterling Fun Award

. This bright yellow CD with its 18 original songs can be purchased online at www.janienextdoor.com, on Amazon.com, CDBaby.com and iTunes.

JaneChristison studied serious accordion literature with Joan C Sommers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in accordion performance. She has been featured as a guest artist at accordion festivals throughout the U.S., performing and presenting workshops. Video versions of two of her workshops, "Playing the Accordion for Fun and Fame!" and "Squeezing Money Out of Your Accordion" are available through her company, Music With A Smile Productions, L.L.C. www.musicwithasmile.com

Her performance schedule includes:
Faulkner’s Pumpkin Ranch

October 4, 2015 1:00 pm
October 11, 2015 4:30 PM
October 26, 2015 1:00 PM
10600 Raytown Road, Kansas City, MO 64134-2251

For further information: janec@musicwithasmile.com

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27th Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon

by Vilvi Maria Saarenkla
United States National News (59)
United States National News (60)The first weekend of September was a highlight of the Canadian accordion year as the festival 'Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon' was held for the 27th time in Montmagny, Quebec, Canada.

This year the annual festival brought together more than 70 artists from around the world and around 35,000 spectators to enjoy accordion music in all of its forms for five intense festival days.

Concerts and presentations took place in three main outdoor stages around the town center as well as in a couple of concert halls and indoor stages from early mornings until late evenings. The museum of accordion attracted visitors to learn more about the history of the instrument and the main road of the town was used for a handicraft market and street musicians.

The 3 hour Opening Concert on Friday 4th September was a thrilling overview of the festival's program. A dozen of the international artists were on stage showing what the festival offered, with accordion music for every taste. The mostly American-Canadian audience seemed to love everything - from traditional Québecois music to Vivaldi and everything in between - they stood up to applaud every artist.

Different diatonic accordionists and traditional music was widely presented at the festival. Young Canadian one-row diatonic virtuoso Timi Turmel with his trio enjoyed huge success right from the Opening Concert. He interpreted traditional Québecois and Irish music with astonishing virtuosity and speed - all with great musicality.

One of the most interesting discoveries was also a Belgian duo Didier Laloy (diatonic accordion) and Kathy Adam (cello). Connection between these two musicians having played together more than 20 years was profound and the intensity of their performance deeply captivating. Their compositions were at the same time fierce and melodic, acrobatic and original, even rock.

A French-Russian duo François Heim and Alexeï Birioukov offered a delighting and fresh mix of diatonic and balalaïka. Traditional Spanish music culture was presented by duos Erica Weigand & Elias Porter from Catalonia and A Cadiera Coixa. Irish brothers Niall and Cillian Vallely played melodies from their home country with concertina and uilleann pipes.

Frenchmen Roberto Santiago presented latin/Bolivian tradition with diatonic accordion and duo Étienne Grandjean (diatonic) and Soïg Siberil (guitar) offered a dulcet set of trad folk songs from Bretagne. The special events of traditional music of Québec and traditional dance of Québec featuring dozens of local American accordionists earned both a huge public interest as well.

Besides the ethnic music also jazz, classical music and variété was present. Russian RomanJbanov & his sister Anna (picture above) performed diverse classical repertoire with bayan accordion and piano, sensibly and purely. So did Italian piano accordionist MircoPatarini (picture below) performing rather classical melodies and well-known compositions with elegance.

New winds of virtuoso and variété music was presented by the young Finnish accordionist ViiviMariaSaarenkylä (picture below), the winner of Castelfidardo international accordion competition in 2014, who surprised public with a repertoire from Chick Corea to Tango Nuevo and Michael Jackson.

Intriguing French/Basque duo Bilika: Didier Ithursarry (chromatic accordion) & Kristof Hiriart (vocals/percussions) drew lots of attention and interest with their unique music exploring somewhere between the traditional Basque music and free improvisation. Their performance was a deep dive into the roots with a very fresh touch.

Chromatic accordion master David Venitucci together with singer-actor Annick Cisaruk offered a brand new project consisting songs of Barbara and Léo Ferré. French jazz was also played by the ensemble Quartier Libre. Overall the artistic set of the festival was so wide and diverse it is impossible to count them all.

Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon truly succeeded in showing the magic of the accordion.

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Tom Izzo Plays Accordion Ending Michigan State's 4 Game Trip to Italy

by Harley Jones
United States National News (63)The Michigan State basketball team took a trip to Italy for some overseas competition, and despite a fairly unsuccessful trip, it ended with a jolly Tom Izzo playing the accordion at the team's final dinner.

The Spartans kicked off their trip with a 98-54 win over Basket Fiorentina - but dropped their next three games to the Russian Senior National Team, the Italian national team, and Georgia's national team.

They lost to the Georgia national team by one point after Bryn Forbes missed a 40-foot shot at the buzzer to win the game.

Even though the team came back from Europe with just one win, Izzo was happy with what the team took away from the trip. "This trip was as good as anything I've done in my 20 years," he said in an article posted on Michigan State's athletics website.

The last time Izzo was seen playing the accordion in public was at last season's Midnight Madness, where he played to 'Rock All Night' dressed as a member of KISS.

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Bill Anderson Performs for Milwaukee Accordion Club

by Sherry Huiras, Milwaukee Accordion Club
United States National News (65)
United States National News (66)On Monday, September 28, the Milwaukee Accordion Club meeting had ‘Bill Anderson with a Little Bit of Heaven' as their featured program.

The band became organized when a few musicians gathered in a church in Hartland, Wisconsin about 20 years ago to provide music for special services, with the goal of every performance, being to create a pleasant experience for its audience.

‘A Little Bit of Heaven’ performs a mixture of polkas, waltzes, 2-steps, novelty songs, old

The MAC site has been updated with future events, club officials, and updated contact information. and gospel music.

Further information about the club at: Milwaukee Accordion Club

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Prieto-Vietty Accordion Workshop: All levels in November

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (69)
Victor Prieto and Dalas Vietty will present the accordion event the US has needed for years! On November 21st and 22, 2015, Victor Prieto and Dallas Vietty will bring the legendary formula of the Victor Prieto Masterclasses in Spain, to the you in the United States! Save yourself the ticket to Europe.

Dallas and Victor said: "For any and every level of accordionist, this workshop will revolutionize the way you think about accordion and music. Held over two days at Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia, your concept and approach to the accordion will be changed forever. We promise FUN, deep learning, and exposure to NEW techniques, skills and approaches. Signup today and be a part of this historical first event.


What are the pre-requisites for the workshop?

To make sure we aren't teaching an introduction to the accordion, you should have at least a year of accordion playing under your belt. That being said, we are encouraging all accordionists to attend. Because the concepts and experiences are so large and deep, all accordionists are going to benefit greatly from this workshop.

What topics will the workshop cover?

The workshop is going to revolves around three major areas:

1. Contemporary Harmony: sounds and approaches to play the music of the last 40 years, and beyond.

2. Contemporary Techniques of the Accordion: how to apply these sounds to rhythms, melodies, soloing, comping.

3. Ensemble Playing: experience, learn techniques and approaches, and get feedback on playing with an ensemble.

The workshop is customized to the attendees, so depending on who attends we will apply to various genres of interest, for example: folk, tango, jazz, pop, rock, funk, swing, gypsy jazz, Galacian, Flamenco, to name a few.

The event takes place at the Liberty Bellows Accordion Shop on 614 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

About the organizers Victor Prieto and Dallas Vietty:
Victor Prieto, NYC based accordionist, raised in Spain. is a Grammy Award Winner 2010, Grammy Nominee 2014. Extremely well known in Europe and NYC for his revolutionary approach to two hands technique, improvisational vocabulary and command of music.

Victor has recently finished up a month of masterclasses for jazz accordionists in Spain. And created and been the head of Jazz accordion departments in the US and Europe. Victor has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma, and many others, and plays festivals and concerts around with world with his own projects and others.

Dallas Vietty, Philadelphia based accordionist has performed at Iridium Club in NYC, and many other festivals, clubs, and halls with his group and other groups. Specializes in Gypsy Jazz and musette style for the piano accordion.

As well as swing and traditional American Jazz styles. Dallas has created the new accordion curriculum for Django in June over the past 4 years. Dallas teaches accordionists all over the world via Skype.

For further information:

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National Accordion Symphony Orchestra with Gene Van, Conductor

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (71)
"You'll Never Walk Alone" a Tribute to America's Veterans will be a benefit concert supporting Kernan's Heroes and featuring The National Accordion Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gene Van. The concert takes place on Friday, November 6, 2015 at 7:PM and on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 2:PM in Century Center, South Bend, Indiana.

Admission is Adults-$20; Students- $10: Children 10 and under are free. Group rates are available.

For advance ticket sales and info:
Michiana Accordion Club
574-262-0212 or

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San Francisco Accordion Club to Feature A²TV on October 18

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (73)
A²TV is an unusual quartet of two Accordions, a Tuba, and a Violin that plays music that is both familiar yet unexpected.

It combines considerable classical training with an elegant sense of fun, and а style where the sound of a 100 year old violin effortlessly blends with an electronic V-Accordion. A²TV was most recently heard as one of the featured performers at the 2015 Cotati Accordion Festival.

The concert takes place at the OYSTER POINT YACHT CLUB,911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco on October 18, 2015 at 2:PM

For further information: info@sfaccordionclub.com

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Honors Accordion Retreat in Houston in November

by Shelia Lee
United States National News (75)
Announcing a fantastic EXTENDED ACCORDION weekend – with StasVenglevski, the Russian Accordion Virtuosi Orchestra and Mario Pedone plus many more LESSON/SESSIONS! This will be an ENTENSE HANDS-ON Accordion event!

This Honors Accordion Retreat is designed for the advance BEGINNER to High Intermediate Accordionist! AND all other accordionists interested in improving their technique, public performance skills AND participate with an Accordion Orchestra that will be PERFORMING at Jones Hall’s Cullen Theater AND at WURSTFEST – the largest German Festival in Texas!

We are trying to avoid the word WORKSHOP – because these will be LEARNING SESSIONS – with ACCORDIONS ON! Honors Accordion Retreat is designed so that YOU create the schedule you want – based on your availability and budget. If you want to rehearse with the accordion orchestra – plan to attend on half day Thurs, All Day Fri-Sat. Then plan to take the trip on Sunday to the Wurstfest. If you are limited on time – plan to attend on Mon and half day Tues . Or arrive early enough to RIDE WITH US to Wurstfest on Sunday! Follow the schedule and price list at http://www.accordionhonors.com/home/accordion-retreat-2015/

Honors Accordion Retreat – Houston Texas – Thurs 1 pm Nov. 12, all day Fri. (including an evening Concert.Dance), all day Sat. (including a Master Class by Accordion Virtuosi and Concert), all day Sun – bus trip and performance at Wurstfest, all day Mon with concert, and ending 2 pm on Tues. Nov. 17.

For more information please contact:
Shelia Lee – 281-788-6667 or slee@shelialee.com or slee@accordionhonors.com

Michael Arnone's 27th Annual Crawfish Fest

by Rita Barnea
United States National News (76)
Michael Arnone's 27t Annual Crawfish Fest takes place on June 3,4, and 5, 2016 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey.

On October 1, 2016 online ticket sales will begin for all Camping, RV Hookups, Chef's Tables, Saturday/Sunday Combo, group and single day tickets. The 1st 100 Camping tickets will be discounted 10% off! Details and alltickets includingour new Chef's Table are available. Email: michael@crawfishfest.com.

There will e three days of Lousiana and New Orleans style music, food and camping.Musical styles include Cajun, Zydeco, Delta Blues, New Orleans R&B, Brass, Gospel and Jazz with twenty four bands on four stages.

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CD Review: Paul's Turn - Jazz Accordion

by Paolo Picchio

United States National News (79)CDReviewsIndex for the Review of Pauls Turn - Jazz Accordion in English and Italian languages. Accordionist is Paul Betken. Review by PaoloPicchio.

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Updated Site: Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni Additional Information

by Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni
United States National News (82)EvelynTiffany-Castiglioni

EvelynTiffany-Castiglioni, accordionist, arranger, professor has updated the information on her site.

Included is the interesting information that the owners of accordion publishing company O. Pagani, Frank and Mary Gaviani were her godparents and that her father, Robert S. Tiffany, Jr. was a student of Frank Gaviani Snr. and became a teacher of the Frank Gaviani Accordion School.

View her arrangements at: EvelynTiffany-Castiglioni

ec201 - Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Chorale from Cantata 147)
ec202 - Behold the Lamb of God (Chorus from “The Messiah”)
ec203 - Hallelujah Chorus (from “The Messiah”)
ec204 - Pastoral Symphony (from “The Messiah”)
ec205 - He Shall Feed His Flock (Arioso from “The Messiah”)
ec206 - God So Loved the World (Anthem from “The Crucifixion”)
ec207 - Evening Prayer (Treble voice duet from “Hansel and Gretel)
ec208 - Gehet in Alle Welt (Canon for two voices)
ec209 - Cantate Domino (Canon for two voices)
ec210 - If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments
ec211 - The Duke of Kent Waltz
ec212 - Corellian Gigue
ec213 - After the Battle of Aughrim
ec214 - Waltz from Norway
ec215 - Tim the Thatcher
ec216 - Connaught Man’s Rambles
ec217 - Coleraine
ec218 - Indian Point

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