Quartetto Gelato

quartetto Gelato 
Virtuosic showpieces, romantic tenor arias, pyrotechnical solos, blazing gypsy show pieces, multi-instrument mastery and a World Accordion Champion – this is Quartetto Gelato.
For 25 years, this dazzling ensemble has enchanted audiences and critics worldwide with their exotic blend of musical virtuosity, artistic passion and humor. Classical in training – eclectic by design – Quartetto Gelato (QG) not only thrills its audiences with its multi-instrument mastery, but also offers the bonus of a brilliant operatic tenor. With a performance repertoire that spans the globe including classical masterworks, operatic arias, the sizzling energy of tangos, gypsy and folk songs, the group’s theatrical stage presence and relaxed humor establishes an intimate rapport with audiences worldwide.
QG established themselves as dominant forces on the music scene early in their career by winning the coveted title of NPR Performance Today’s Debut Artist of the Year. The selection panel concluding the quartet was “an amazing ensemble that achieves the nearly impossible: they play salon music with real style and classical music with real precision; Great chops and a commitment in all that they play.” In 2007, the group’s first DVD Quartetto Gelato: A Concert in Wine Country! was picked up by PBS throughout the U.S. for broadcast. Most recently, QG won the honor of Best Classical Ensemble at Canada’s 2010 INDIE awards
QG is regularly heard on CBC, Classical 96.3 FM, NPR, PRI, and NUR networks. Their Concert in Wine Country DVD is seen regularly on PBS. Their eight CDs have sold over 150,000 units to date and they have been featured on the Hollywood soundtrack “Only You.” The music of QG can be heard on radio stations in over 20 countries!

Rustic Chivalry”, and their debut recording, simply entitled “Quartetto Gelato” have literally been heard around the world, since they accompanied Canadian astronaut, Dr. Robert Thirsk, during his NASA flight on board the space shuttle Columbia.


Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 50 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.
Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world.
His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004. Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December 2007.
Currently based in Palm City, FL, Alex is performing as a solo artist and with numerous touring ensembles.

Paul Betken is a jazz accordionist who mentored under the legendary blind jazz accordionist, Leon Sash. Their friendship blossomed into a life long relationship. During that time, Leon blessed him with the gifts of his wisdom, music and philosophy.
Paul was also a former resident accordionist in Chicago for Bobbi Vinton and his concert shows. He has performed for many years (as a soloist, with small groups and larger ensembles) throughout metropolitan Chicago and the Phoenix metro area.
In June, 2014, Paul released his latest CD, "Paul's Turn - Jazz Accordion". The CD has drawn International recognition and impressive reviews from critics such as Paolo Picchio, President of Consorzio Music Marche, Castelfidardo, Italy, and Howard Reich, music critic for the Chicago Tribune.
umkc ensemble 
The University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) Community Accordion Ensemble is delighted to appear in Lisle, IL (Chicago) again, as part of the 77th Anniversary Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival.
The musicians are both alumni of the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and former members of the renowned UMKC Accordion Orchestra. The players make their living in various careers, but each have remained devoted to promoting the accordion and its varied repertoire, which includes transcriptions, commissions and other original works.
The UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble under the direction of Joan C. Sommers, has recently performed in Chicago, San Francisco and most recently in Conception, MO, in honor or World Accordion Day 2017. Members of the group for the ATG Concert are Betty Jo Simon, Ron Barrow, Cathy Sue Weiss, Joyce Davis and Joan Cochran Sommers.
We are sure you will enjoy their concert performance which will include a variety of repertoire to meet all musical tastes!
Murl Allen Sanders is a musician, composer, teacher and recording artist who has been active in the Seattle area music scene and across the United States, Canada, England, Brazil and Japan. Murl has worked with such diverse artists as Chuck Berry, Etta James, Il Divo, Glenn Yarbrough, Seattle Symphony, Brazilian accordion virtuoso Chico Chagas, virtuosos Stas Venglevski and Gary Blair, Leroy Bell, Peter Duchin, Alarm Will Sound, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Cascade Symphony, Everett Philarmonic, Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, The Von Trapp Children, Theodore Bikel, Leslie Gore, Barbara Lamb, Susan Pascal, Warren Rand, Pearl Django, Michael Tomlinson and Kelly Harland, among many others.
Murl teaches piano and accordion privately and is also adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts and Shoreline Community College in Seattle. He has received two grants from The Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to compose “She Blows Hot and Cold” for chorus and symphony orchestra which premiered May 2, 2010 and a grant to compose his “Accordion Concerto No. 2” which premiered in 2007 with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers. His “Accordion Concerto No. 1”, a commission from Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, premiered in 2003. Murl received a 2010 and 2009 ASCAP plus award for his concert compositions from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

ATG President, Amy Jo Sawyer, has invited some members of the ATG Board to perform on an ATG Concert.  1st VP, Joe Natoli (Ohio), 2nd VP & Treasurer, Liz Finch (Calif), Kenn Baert (Chicago) and Murl Allen Sanders (Seattle, WA) will perform some original selections written by Amy Jo, Joe and Murl. They will be accompanied by outstanding Chicago area sidemen, bassist Jim cox, and drummer Phil Gratteau. 


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