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steve mobia"Behind the Bellows" is an hour long documentary about the accordion - it's history and effect on popular culture. Made over a period of 7 years (from 2002 to 2009), the movie includes interviews and commentary with luminaries of the instrument such as Anthony Galla-Rini, Frank Marocco, Carmen Carrozza Dick Contino, Stefan Hussong, and Guy Klucevsek among many others. Visit an accordion museum and a factory where the instrument's many parts are created. Explore several types of concertinas, button boxes as well as high tech MIDI accordions. See historic clips of Guido Deiro, Art Van Damme, Lawrence Welk and Frankie Yankovic. Discover why "Lady of Spain" is associated with the accordion. See the first attempt to make a rock-in-roll accordion and listen to where the accordion might be headed in the future.
Steve Mobia (writer, director, cameraman, narrator, editor) has studied film at California State University at Long Beach and San Francisco State. He has made several short fiction films and written accordion music among other activities. He will be present at the screenings to answer questions.

joan grauman

joan graumanJoan Grauman from the greater Washington DC area, will present an exciting workshop "The Rhythms and Harmonies of Bulgarian and Macedonian Folk Music." This workshop is designed for accordionists who enjoy the unusual rhythms and beautiful melodies of the Balkan region, but need a little "push" to try to tackle this music on their own.  Joan will introduce accordionists to the "mathematical system" of Balkan rhythms.  Within minutes, what seemed difficult and confusing will become exciting and fun.  She will give out music for two lovely Macedonian songs, so bring your accordions and music stands!  The art of the hauntingly beautiful Balkan harmonies will also be introduced and dances demonstrated.
Joan Grauman, a piano performance major, international folk dancer and choreographer, switched to the piano accordion in her early 20s to play the beautiful music of the Balkan countries.  She loved the exciting melodies and the intricacies of the region's rhythms and dances.  Joan was the accordionist in the popular Balkan dance band, BAMCO from 1983 to 2001.
Today, Joan is the music director of the Potomac Accordion Ensemble (Washington, DC), the archivist for the American Accordionists' Association and the co-director, with her husband Dan, of the Mesa Accordion Event (former Frank Marocco Accordion Event), since 2006.

jeff title

jeff lisenbyIn The Improvising Accordionist we will discuss: various ways to voice chords, what scales to play with what chords, how to make a good walking bass line, and how to make a solo swing.
Jeff Lisenby won bronze and silver medals for the U.S. in the Coupe Mondiale international accordion championships, and has performed with the Nashville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Lexington, and West Palm Beach Orchestras. He also music directed and performed onstage in Ring of Fire, the music of Johnny Cash, on Broadway and in many subsequent versions. Jeff played keyboards with the touring shows of: Wicked and Jersey Boys, and has accompanied: Brenda Lee, Pavarotti, Blake Shelton, Dolly Parton, Lee Greenwood, and Donna Summer.
Currently, Lisenby: teaches music at Belmont University in Nashville, instructs singers for cruise ship production shows, and plays on many recordings, including the Grammy-winning Songs from the Neighborhood - the music of Mister Rogers, and his own CD’s: Walkin’ the Winter Wonderland and A Spy in Tortuga, available at www.jefflisenby.com.


reno title

reno di bonoCalifornia based accordionist Reno de Bono will present a Bass Workshop. The purpose and goals of the Bass Workshops include:

  • End the stagnant and stale use of the simplified bass. The expectation is to make bass playing interesting and moving through the use of subtle changes of BASS CHORDS.
  • Participants will be able to utilize the “CIRCLE OF FIFTHS,” “TRITONE SUBSTITUTIONS,” “HALF STEP CHROMATICISM,” “II V I,” “I VI II V I,” “II V” progressions and principles to create “MOTION”, “MUSICALITY,” ”INTEREST,” as they pertain to SOLO accordion playing.
  • Workshop Participants will be given a complete packet of these principles along with ready to use exercises for students.
  • Participants will COMPLETE THE WORKSHOP by creating a bass arrangement to a common popular song. It will employ the principles given above and will be turned in for evaluation.

Born in the Italian community of San Francisco, Reno has been married to Anna Maria for 52 years, with three sons and 9 grandchildren. Reno resides in Cupertino, CA. He began accordion lessons with a Giulietti 115 accordion in 1951. After suspending his musical education for a College education and baseball scholarship at Santa Clara University in 1960, Reno became a High School Teacher (1964 to 2002) and Baseball coach (1964 to 1974).

All of a sudden, in 1973 his desire to play accordion again began to arise. Reno began a professional accordion career in 1973 playing and singing the music he knows so well, Italian. “I love Italian music. I call myself “the Italian Accordion.” However, Reno always loved to listen to Art Van Damme while growing up in San Francisco in the 1950’s.” “I wished I could play like Art.“

In addition to Art Van Damme, Reno’s Accordion idols are Ernie Felice and Frank Marocco. He has devoted his accordion life to workshops and the development of solo jazz accordion skills as well as a continuing his focus on his beloved Italian style of music. Since 2002, Reno has been a member of the San Francisco Accordion Classical Ensemble.


steve title

steve albiniSteve Albini will present a workshop titled Orchestration for the Digital Accordion. In this workshop Steve will present a systematic approach to orchestrating with a digital accordion (such as the Concerto Digital Acoustic Accordion or Roland V-Accordions).
Topics covered will include breaking down a song, mapping out the form or parts, choosing the right sounds, layering sounds and more.
Steve is a multi-instrumentalist and singer. He has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. His southern Italian roots are strongly reflected through his music. As a studio musician Steve is often called by producers and artists to add his touch to their projects.  Steve's current project is IL Sole,  a world music duo with accordionist Tatiana Semichastnaya. 
When not on the road with Tatiana or working for Roland Corp. U.S., Steve can be found performing solo at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, CA or performing for Coppola family events.


michael title

michael zampiceniDo Your Students Have Bellows Hiccups and Other Maladies?  Do your students engage in playing that detracts from instead of enhancing music phrases due to improper bellows usage? Michael Zampiceni will demonstrate techniques to slay this musical demon, plus show simple but effective exercises that will enable your students to master dynamic principles, such as crescendos, decrescendos, and accents. He has gained insights into techniques that work after having taught the accordion for over 40 years. If time allows, he will also delve into techniques other than bellows usage that can benefit your students. Mike will provide handout materials at the workshop. You are encouraged to bring your instruments to try out these techniques.

Mike was raised with accordions from birth. His father, Joseph Zampiceni, was a noted accordionist, teacher, composer, arranger, and music publisher, so accordions were part of the Zampiceni household from day one. Mike has received Bachelors and Masters Degrees in music from San Jose State University in California, where his concentrations were voice and classical organ.

Although he has been working in a career as a technical writer for over 30 years, Mike has found time to continue performing and teaching. For instance, he has played for special performances with accordion selections in the San Jose Symphony and San Jose Civic Light Opera. He has performed in a wide variety of settings, ranging from strolling accordion engagements to wedding and memorial services on church organs. His extensive repertoire includes American standards from the 30’s to the 70’s, commercial jazz and European music.

Mike has had several long-term engagements playing and singing on weekends at Italian restaurants in the San Jose area. He is currently performing Friday nights at Paesano Restaurant in downtown San Jose.
jana title

jana maas“The Best Things I Learned at Camp” will be an overview of key ideas and techniques I’ve learned while attending over 25 accordion camps. Techniques covered will include: appropriate fills, expressive bellows, clean performance, bass patterns, articulation, Tex Mex style and much more. Bring your accordion to this hands on workshop.
Being Italian, at age 6, Jana took her first accordion lesson. Little did she know, those accordion lessons would continue for 15 years. It didn’t take long before Jana was playing for social events, rest homes and area restuarants. Jana continues to play professionally in California’s central valley. She enjoys performing and composing and has several compositions and arrangements to her credit.
After receiving her BA in music, majoring on accordion, and her teaching credential from CSU Stanislaus, Jana has been teaching public school music in Modesto for the past 27 years. In 1999, she and two friends founded the very successful “Good Time Accordion Club” and Jana has been president of the club since it’s inception. Jana continues to be in demand as an ensemble player and guest artist for California accordion clubs.

In this new world of accordion, Antonio Spaccarotella will deal with the several lines of thinking related to the Modern Tango.  He will illustrate the evolution of the Tango as it pertains to the accordion and the styles of Jazz and World Music, since these two styles have influenced this immortal 'Tango'.
He started his musical education in jazz accordion with Professor Renzo Ruggeri at the Conservatory G. BRAGA in Teramo (IT), where he had the possibility to study jazz history and contemporary arrangements for electronic music performances.
He recently began his new career as a teacher of modern, jazz and classical accordion at the Nuove Armonie Musical Institute (Italy). he also takes care of the jazz department in the Conservatory (Stanislao Giacomantonio) in Cosenza (Italy), and is also one of the first accordion teachers on Campus AFAM-MIUR Santa Severina Kr. In 2013 he served as the educational coordinator of Accordion Advance, a project aimed to a mixed professional training between Italy and Brazil. Antonio will also appear as one of ATG's featured guest artists at the festival.
jamieJamie Maschler from Seattle will present The Brazilian Workshop.
Brazil has a rich tradition of complex rhythms and music theory. In the workshop we will discuss specific types of music from different regions in Brazil, focusing primarily on Forró. This music from the northeastern region of Brazil has the accordion at the center. This is a hands-on workshop so please bring your accordion.
As a professional musician she plays venues such as The Paramount and Act Theatres, teaches master classes and private music lessons, accompanies dancers, and is one of the first call accordion session musicians in Seattle. She has recorded at some of the top studios in Seattle including London Bridge, Elliot Bay, Studio X, Avast, Litho and Clatter and Din. Jamie has played in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, St. Lucia in the Caribbean and all over British Columbia. She will be back in Brazil December 2014 to host jam sessions with Brazilian Band, En Canto (www.encantobrazil.com) at the Choro Jazz Festival in Jericoacoara, Brazil.
Music will be provided.
gary blair

gary blairRenowned Scottish accordionist Gary Blair will present an exicintg workship giving "Tips and Tricks on playing Celtic Ceilidh Music "
The workshop will show how to obtain that authentic sound using a combination of Bellows techniques, Ornamentation, Keyboard Touch and other forms of articulation. Many of these tips can be used in other forms of ethnic music. The workshop will cover Waltzes, Jigs, Reels etc.

He has Performed at many of the World's biggest Accordion Festivals including The Las Vegas Accordion Convention, KIOTAC, The Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, Carrefour Mondial De L'accordeon (Quebec) and the annual United Kingdom Accordion Championships.
His band performed for the Gala Finale of the 2008 Coupe Mondiale, a night that has gone down in history as one of the most spectacular and fun finishes for the young contestants and visitors alike, who were able to participate in a traditional Ceilidh evening when the Coupe Mondiale was held in his home town of Renfrew (Glasgow). Scotland.

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