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“We Are Back and Ready to Party!

2022 Convention Presenters and Workshops (scroll down the page or link to the information):
2022 is the year to experience "play along sessions with the presenter!"

2022 Group Activities:
2022 Private Training Activities:

Presenter's names are listed in reverse sequence as in "the last shall be listed first."

Name and Link Workshop 1 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 Bio Info
Hank Thunander World Of Polkas Assistant in McPeck Swap Shop Learn Creative Bass Runs by Ear Hank Bio
Michael Soloway Unlimited Music Using Editors Take me to the Movies So, You Want to Play the Blues Michael Bio
Sharon Seaton Circle of Confidence Playing by Ear (Panel monitor) Available for more Circles Sharon Bio
Jim Rommel "Dude . . That Accordion Rocks!" "Huh? How Am I Going to Play for That?   Jim Bio
Richard Noel Owning Your Own Music Preparing and Playing for all Occasions Richard Bio
Gene Neyer Modulations Gene Bio
Eddie Monteiro American Songbook: Harmonizing
Life is an Improvisation Hands on with Soloway and Monteiro Eddie Bio
Mike Middleton Enhance Your Music With Midi Texas Folk Music
Mike Bio
Randy McPeck Swap Shop Manager Minor Accordion Repairs Accordion Tuning/Bellows Randy Bio
Dee Langley Musical Arrangements Play Along with Dee Langley
. Dee Bio
Jerry Jacoby "There is Music in the Air" Manager/Scheduler Enhanced 15-minutes of Fame Jerry Bio
Shelia/Parker Memorial Dance Band Friday Evening Performance Lorenzo Bio
Gordon Kohl Beautiful Music from Austria Dance Standards with Musical Flair Gordon Bio
Tris Gour Playing with Lead Sheets #1 Playing with Lead Sheets #22 Accompany Techniques for Singers Tris Bio
Ian Fries Stradella Bass & Jazz Chords Medical School for Accordionist Are Digital Accordions for You?
Ian Bio
Bob Donovan Introduction to the Ketron Arranger Advanced Programing (FR4x/FR8x) Create Video Recordings Bob Bio
Paul Betken Technology for Learning Music Gigging for Money, What are You Playing or What am I Hearing? Paul Bio
Dick Albreski NAA Youth Program NAA Fun Band Albreski Plays Albreski
Dick Bio
. . . . .


Convention Business Partner Advertisements:

Accordion Orchestras


Mr. Albreski image
Dick Albreski

Oklahoma City, OK




NAA Convention Band Director: Dick Albreski (Oklahoma)
NAA Famous Fun Band and COVID Stretch Out!
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Shelia Lee image
In Memory of Shelia Lee:

www.SheliaLee.wordpress.com/



Lorenzo Parker
Shelia Lee Memorial NAA Dance Band 2022 (1939 to 1992 songs!)
Directed by Lorenzo Parker, Garland, Texas
2022 NAA Dance Band Music (blue words link to YouTube)
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Jerry image Music in the Air image


Jerry Jacoby Writes . . .
Come and show us your accordion skills. Play your favorite music to a nonjudgmental group of enthusiasts. Perform solo or with your friends and make new friends. Musicians playing other instruments and vocalists are also welcomed to accompany the accordionists, if desired. It does not matter if you are a novice or experienced player. The possibilities for fun are endless! Hang out here, socialize, and take a break between sessions.
We will offer this session multiple times throughout the convention.

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Logo for Private Lessons Sabine Baggio image
Private Lessons with the Professionals:
The 2022 conventions offers conventioneers the unique opportunity of taking private lessons with a convention leader. The non-negotiable price is $50 for a 50-minute session. The private sessions will be conducted in the Bluebonnet room located on the second floor away from other convention activities.

If you are interested, contact Sabine Baggio, Convention Coordinator either prior to the convention Sabine.Baggio@gmail.com, or during the convention.



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Workshop Information


Dick Albreski image
Dick Albreski:

Oklahoma City Accordion Club   

www.OklahomaAccordionClub


Workshop Description: 
Albreski plays Albreski, an opportunity to listen and discuss my compositions.
Inspiration led me to capture melodies ringing in my head. Inspiration allowed me to associate certain melodies with people and circumstances. Inspiration now leads me to share these melodies with others. Join with me to review and discuss how and why I became a composer.

Presentation only, interactive, hands-on etc.

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Paul Betken
Paul Betken

Arizona




Workshop Session 1: Technology for learning music: Music Notation Software - This is Your Best Practice Buddy
    This is a practical demonstration how to use your computer with music software. Although there are other brands, this is a workshop using Sibelius notation software. Have you ever forgotten a few good notes or a phrase that you used to play that sounded so good? By developing the habit of using notation software, you will be breezing through your practice session. What you played and worked on today can be saved forever on your own sheet music. You will never forget tomorrow what you played today. Songs and ideas that you created can be kept until you want to play them again or even share with friends or teachers.

    A very practical introduction to the basic elements of writing, arranging and composing music by using your computer and music notation software. We will concentrate on simple elementary steps to get you going by showing you how to write, “Monkey and the Weasel.”

    Presentation workshop
Workshop Session 2: Let’s go gigging for money as a professional musician!
    This workshop is an informative source to answer all of your questions on how to start performing for the public and making money as a result. This is intended to be a soup to nuts approach where all of your questions and individual suggestions are encouraged. You will be instructed on many topics including but not limited to:
      1. What type of functions do I play for?
      2. What to do when I arrive?
      3. Should I perform alone or with others?
      4. What songs do I perform/how to develop a repertoire?
      5. Monitoring audience reaction.
      6. What to wear?
      7. How long do I play/what to do on my breaks?
      8. How much do I charge/deposit?
      9. How do I collect my money?

    Presentation only

Session 3: When you play like that—what are you playing and what am I hearing?
    This workshop is a practical hands-on instruction session. We will cover many small changes which can be made to your song performance. Actual songs on a beginner to medium player level will be used to demonstrate small techniques which will enhance your performance and how you are heard by others. We also encourage all to bring their accordions to become introduced to the instructions. The attendees are encouraged to share with the group any small techniques or related ideas which they feel important to share with fellow accordionists.
    Hands-on Workshop
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Bob Donovan image
Bob Donovan, Nashville, TN:

www.Facebook.com/Bob.Donavan.73




Workshop Session 1: Introduction to the Ketron SD90 Arranger
    This presentation will provide a high-level overview of the usage of a Ketron arranger module with a digital accordion:
      • How to use the auto-accompaniment with styles
      • Embellish your performance with additional sounds
      • Practical tips and sharing my experience.
    This is a demonstration workshop only
Workshop Session 2: Advanced programming with the editor using the Roland FR8x and the FR-4x
    This workshop will focus on advanced editing of the FR-8x and FR-4x using the program editor. This session will focus on editing voices, reverb, chorus, delay, and multi-effects to get the desired sound for your performances.
      • Connecting the editor to the 8x
      • Editing a User Program, changing the voice and other sound characteristics
      • Copy a user program
      • Creating a user program bank for performing genres of music
    This is a demonstration session only

Workshop Session 3: Create a video Recording for Facebook or Youtube with DaVinci Resolve
    This workshop will show how to create with a few simple steps a semi-professional recording of yourself and your musical performance.
    This presentation will highlight equipment and procedures:
    Recording equipment (camera, backdrop, lights)
    • Recording process
    • Post-production
    • Publishing results
    Demonstration session only
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Ian Fries image


Ian Fries, MD.:
East Coast area



    Ian Fries will be conducting the following three (s) workshops.
    He is also available for the Private Lesson with the Professionals (50 minute session).


Session 1 Stradella Bass and Jazz Chords
    Playing an accordion bass is not restricted to major, minor, seventh and diminished chords. Constructing complex bass chords; half diminished, ninths, flatted ninths, minor sevenths, minor sixths, major sevenths etc. is not difficult. These are chords typical to jazz are often seen in lead sheets. As this is a hands-on seminar, please being your accordion - acoustic or digital - as long as it has a Stradella bass. Again, it is important to have an accordion on your lap as the fingering must be felt and the chords not just heard.
    Interactive presentation

Sesson 2 Medical School for Accordionists
    I am honored to present a medical school lecture on the accordionist's hand - anatomy, physiology, pathology, and treatment. This is a hands-on session. You are requested to bring to class two hands and at least one thumb (preferably the right thumb) for demonstration and experimentation. How your hand functions while playing and how it may be affected by arthritis, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytren's contracture, injuries, and musician’s dystonia will be discussed.
    Presentation only

Session 3 Digital Accordions – right for you?
    Should I consider a digital accordion? Is a digital accordion difficult to play? What will it bring to my repertoire? If you currently play a digital accordion, you are welcome to bring it to the seminar. The concepts of sets, user programs, banks, layered tones, reverb, chorus, and editing will be discussed. Roland and Proxima models will be compared.
    Presentation only

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Tris Gour image
Tris Gour: Indiana

www.AccordionMusicAndLessons.com/TrisGour




Workshop Session 1: You CAN Play from Lead Sheets - Part 1:
    This course will provide attendees with a basic understanding of how to play using lead sheets (i.e. Fakebook). For this course, a lead sheet will be provided to all attendees with notated descriptions and other important tips at least 60 days prior to the convention date.

    This class will introduce or review for the attendees, using both instructor lead and additional descriptive materials, the basic concepts of:
      1. Chord Symbols - The defining characteristic component of a lead sheet
      2. Tempo, Styles, Clef, Key and Time Signatures - These provide a basic orientation of the lead sheet
      3. Melody - An explanation of the single-line melody and how to effectively incorporate it into your performance
      4. Roadmaps, Repeats, and Arrangement Direction - An explanation of why lead sheets are kept concise using multiple passes through a section, multiple ending systems, codas, and even segnos
      5. Lyrics - How to incorporate this common addition to clarify communication between the performer and additional performers and/or a vocalist
    The instructor will assist the participants in understanding the most common information contained in a lead sheet and using it to maximize their performance. A demonstration will be provided showing participants how to achieve an improved level of creative freedom with lead sheets.

Workshop Session 2: It's YOUR Turn - You CAN Play from Lead Sheets - Part 2:
    Part 2 of this workshop will provide interested participants the opportunity to demonstrate to others what they've learned as they interpret a lead sheet. Once the first attendee has demonstrated what they've learned and accomplished, it's likely that others will do the same. The goal of Part 2 is to show that any person can become a good accordion player without necessarily being the greatest music notation reader. It's important to understand that becoming a good notation reader does not equal, nor is it a requirement for, becoming a good accordion player.

Workshop Session 3: Accordion for Singers - Quickly Learn to Accompany Yourself and Others:
    This workshop will enhance the attendees' ability to accompany themselves or other vocalists with confidence. Most attendees also notice an improvement in their singing due to an increased knowledge of harmonics and timing. This course is focused on learning to be able quickly to perform live, record videos for YouTube or Facebook, and find engagements that are suitable for the performer’s level of experience.

    This course will cover:
      1. Music theory introducing harmonics and rhythm
      2. Creating a 'bed’ for your vocal
      3. Selecting the appropriate key to enhance your vocal ability
      4. Playing to a level that will entertain your audience
      5. Choosing and adapting repertoire
      6. Obtaining appropriate lead sheets
      7. Equipment needed
      8. Reading an audience and playing what they want

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Gordon Kohl image
Gordon Kohl: California

www.GordonKohlAccordions.com/




Workshop Session 1: Playing the Beautiful Music of Austria
    This music workshop will present a variety of songs to be played on the accordion while visiting the towns and cities in Austria. Music examples will include Strauss, a Viennese folk song, a Tyrolean tune, a landler from a small town named Karlstadt and of course a Mozart favorite. The purpose of these workshops is to bring the accordionist and the music styles loved by the Austrian culture together.

    This is an interactive session with the attendees playing-along with one song in each of my workshops.

Workshop Session 2: Playing Dance Standards With Musical Flair
  • Success for a dance band is not left to chance, the music must have energy, drive and bring dancers to the dance floor. A jumping dance arrangement needs a good dance tempo and exciting rhythm that does not drag. Expression enhances a melody, voicing a song with high and low reeds gives color and excitement to a song. Accordion arrangements with harmonic chords add depth and fullness to songs. That big sound helps put an audience in a dancing mood. Wild and fancy intros and ending drive a band’s music style.

    All good music arrangements need personality.
    Gordon will give you a list of tools he uses from his “musical tool box”. They work for listening music and great songs played on stage for dances and public events. First and foremost, have an extensive library of music to build great accordion arrangements too. Song arrangements will be demonstrated and given out in workshops.
    Songs include:
      My Melody of Love
      Love
      You are the sunshine of my life
      Return to me
      Rhinestone Cowboy.

    This is an interactive session with the attendees playing-along with one song in each of my workshops.
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Dee Langley image
Dee Langley
Minneapolis, Minnesota

AirAccordion - Where Time and Music Fly.



Workshop Session 1: Musical Arrangements

    Creating more freedom within diverse musical genres, Dee Langley will teach and demonstrate accordion techniques for composing and/or arranging music from the 60s to current times. Prior to the convention, Langley will select musical arrangements to be used during both workshops.
This workshop is interactive in concept and with Hands-on playing

Work Session 2: Play Along with Dee Langley
    Dee Langley’s second workshop is a play along session where Dee will enhance the musical selections covered in the first workshop by either “holding her accordion” or directing the musical selections. Notice that this is to be a play-along band, not a performance band.
Interactive session while playing your accordion.

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Randy McPeck
Randy McPeck: Minnesota

www.Facebook.com/Randy.Mcpeck

RandyMcPeck.com



Randy is the Room Coordinator for Longhorn II that includes the responsibility for scheduling activities in that area.


    Workshop - Accordion bellows in’s and outs
    Accordion bellow repairs, bellow tape repair, bellow corner service, repair bellow leaks, and bellow gasket repair


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Mike Middleton image
Mike Middleton, Temple, TX

www.accordions.com/MikeMiddleton/




Work Session 1: Enhance your accordion music with Midi
    Mike will showcase how to enhance your acoustic accordion using MIDI sounds. He will include in his presentation such numbers as his popular Amazing Grace Accordion Variations, his Jesus Loves Me Medley, and other selections. A discussion of why Mike feels MIDI enhancement offers the best of both types of accordion worlds (the acoustic accordion and virtual/electronic accordions).
Session 1 includes a presentation, arranging techniques, and a play-along on one musical selection.

Workshop Sesson 2:Texas Folk Music
    Mike will demonstrate some of the popular Texas Folk Songs he plays routinely. Some will include acoustic only and some with Midi enhanced demonstrations. As part of the teaching discussion, he will show some of the techniques and styles he utilizes in arranging his music to give them a Texas flare. Some samples include Ghost Riders in the Sky, Red River Valley, San Antonio Rose, and others.
Session 2 includes a presentation, arranging techniques, and a play-along on one musical selection.

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Eddie Monteiro image

Eddie Monteiro

www.facebook.com/Eddie-Monteiro



Workshop Session 1 Harmonizing the American Songbook:
    Eddie will show how to find alternate chord changes to enhance performance. This will provide you with some of the basic musical theory that Eddie uses as a basis for his playing. It will help you in building new and exciting harmonies to enhance the songs that you love to play.

    Please bring your instrument to follow the session (10 people max, others can only listen)
    Workshop / Hands-on

Session 2: Life is an Improvisation:
    In this session Eddie will interrelate some of his fabulous tunes with a remarkable and fascinating international life in the musical world ranging from Broadway shows to European tours, teaching and endless jazz gigs. As he plays (performs) some of these for you, he will informally share their origins and the interesting people involved as only Eddie can. He will welcome all questions, both musical and about those experiences, taking this session to wondrous places that only an improvisation can provide. If only we had unlimited time!

    Presentation
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Gene Neyer image

Gene Neyer

No website, retired and living on a lake in East Texas




Modulations
    Gene wants to make the topic as simple as can be. Instead of using terms like tonic and supertonic, let's just say how to change a key two or three notes higher and how to change to a key one, two, or three notes lower. Also, 1/2 note progression will be used to get us there along with bass runs. This is intended as a non-complicated way to learn some musical bass notes.
Interactive workshop for both the ear and note player.

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Richard Noel image
Richard Noel (Bakersville, CA):

www.NoelAccordion.com




Work Session I: Owning Your Music: Putting the "YOU" into Your Music
    Richard will be showing how to make a music arrangement your own: Starting with a lead sheet, develop your own arrangement by experimenting with tempo, chords, rhythms, bellows control, key changes, voicing on your digital accordion, bass lines, fills and improvisations, and more. Richard will also share tips for playing with passion and style--your style. As a result you should have an arrangement which is truly “yours”.
Presentation

Work Session II:Preparing and Playing Your Digital Accordion for All Occasions :
    The Roland V-Accordions come with factory sets and user programs, but these are frequently not adequate for each performer's needs and preferences. To be able to play a wide variety of music without taking extensive time to search, it is essential to create and organize your programs so that you can get to the desired sounds quickly and accurately. Those sounds should be appropriate to the type or genre of music you are playing, which may involve significant research and programming. Additionally, you may need to adjust your playing style to present different instruments in an authentic and effective way. This session will focus on ways of organizing and playing the v-accordion, with an emphasis on my "Styles" system, so that you can quickly and effectively play a wide variety of music for any occasion.

    Presentation
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Jim Rommel image

Jim Rommel: Allen, Texas (Dallas Texas Area)

Jim Rommel facebook



Workshop Session 1: “Dude…That Accordion Rocks!”
    How do we make the accordion appeal to a younger generation that’s getting older? Even folks 80 and older grew up listening to Rock n’ Roll of the 50s. Almost everyone enjoys Pop, Country, or classic Rock n’ Roll music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, etc., and then there are those “classics” which everyone knows! Why don’t we play these on the accordion more?

    Jim Rommel does it all the time and will demonstrate & teach you how to play pop, rock & country hits, while preserving original spirit, essence & attitude of the original song, and avoid making it sound “hokey”. We will discuss how to present the accordion to a younger generation, so that even polkas can be “cool”. Jim loves to surprise audiences with his performances. You may have seen him perform as the Phantom, the “Folsom Prison Blues”, the “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, even some Led Zeppelin! Jim’s specialty is finding a way to make people say, “Wow, I didn’t know an accordion could do that!” or as some like to express themselves, “Dude…That accordion rocks!” Come find out how he does it.
Norman says: Jim's presentations always involve the audience. While you will not be holding an accordion, you will still be involved.

Workshop Session 2: “Huh? How Am I Going to Play for That?”
    (Gearing Your Performance to the Right Audience)
    Have you ever played your accordion for either a large or small gathering of people, and it really went well? …and then another time you did the same thing, and it was a bust? Sometimes it just clicks… and sometimes… it just flops! All musicians, professionals, and amateurs alike, who have played for others have experienced both good and bad with different audiences.

    Whether you are playing professionally for a large crowd, or just playing for a small informal gathering of friends, this workshop, “Huh? How Am I Going to Play for That?”, led by Jim Rommel, will teach you tricks and techniques on how to size up your audience and give them the best you have to offer.

    We will cover topics such as:
      Formal vs. Informal Settings
      • Assessing the environment / Reading the room
      • Pacing yourself, your audience, and your repertoire for long gigs
      • Getting the most out of very short performances
      • Audience stereotypes
      • Advanced prep & music selection
      • How to present yourself (besides the actual playing)
      • How to engage the audience (besides your playing)
      • What to do… when everything is going wrong!

    Jim will mix in a lot of playing, singing, and a few humorous real-life stories from his own experiences as an entertainer. Players of all skill levels can benefit from this workshop. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn some great tips in this fun-filled session.
    Presentation
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sharon Seaton image
Sharon Seaton: North Texas

www.SharonSeaton.com




Circle of Confidence
    Accordionists will come prepared to play one or two short musical selections for a small group of peer players. Dr. Sharon Seaton is encouraging each performer to play pieces needing some type of improvement. Prior to playing the music, the performer is to state the reason this music was selected. Then the other participants will be invited to comment on the performance, offering positive encouragement, and possible suggestions for improvement as related to the performer's opening statements.

    Participation in this workshop will be limited to 8-10 musicians but will be repeated as desired by the conventioneers. Skill level? The ability to hold an accordion and to play a minimum of one musical selection. Interactive session with all participants

Playing the Accordion by Ear
    This workshop will encourage attendants to play simple, straight-forward melodies and accompanying harmonies without the use of written musical notes. It is designed for any level of musical ability, from beginner to advanced accordionist. A brief introduction will explain the advantages of being able to play by ear. In advance of the workshop, Sharon Seaton will select three panelists who have varying degrees of experience in playing by ear. These three musicians will speak about their ear-playing experience and how they became ear players. Each of the three will be invited to demonstrate playing a simple tune and adding harmony in the left hand.
    Workshop participants should bring their accordions to participate in playing a simple, well-known selection by ear. Presentation, demonstrations, and a panel discussion.
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Michael Soloway image

Dr. Michael Soloway

The Soloways live in TN now instead of NJ.




Workshop Session #1 Owning unlimited Accordions using the Roland Editor
    On Roland digital accordion you can create personalized and unique "perfect" accordions for your own style and pleasure. This is best done on the computer using the Editor Software and can ONLY be done with the Editor on the FR-4x. Time permitting we can explore adding orchestration as well - all in real time on the computer connected to your Roland V accordion.
Presentation

Workshop Session #2 Take me to the Movies
    The digital accordionist has unique access, in many ways, to the fascinating world of sounds representing beauty. It can and will take you to a special personal place of IDEAS (pun intended) - merging that special slice of technology into your artistic pie. Here Michael uses music from the movies to represent these possibilities - to help guide you to these different, simple and comfortable forms of expression.
Presentation.

Workshop Session #3 So, you want to play the blues?

    This session began with a magical all night jam session a few years ago right here at the NAA that changed the musical lives of those present! This is not about technique or detail or study because the Blues are a feeling - a visceral, physical experience that began and evolved right here in the USA. Never played in or with the blues? Perfect! Want to indulge in a completely safe environment and leave dancing? Then bring your accordion - ANY accordion - because it is essential to this participative improvisational session. Michael will open up your comfort zone and Eddie will back you up no matter what. Bring your soul and a big smile!
This interactive hands-on workshop session will be guided by Eddie Monteiro and Michael Soloway

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Hank Thunander image

Hank Thunander

www.HankThunanderPolka-World



Polkas from across countries
    Hanks’s workshop will show the different types of Polkas from various countries and how to Segway into different styles of music thinking while you are playing one song! I will also cover things to practice making it fun and to learn new things in one’s music. This will include some ear training and breaking down a song you want to learn without music!
      Presentation, with a minimum of one "play-along" song with Hank.
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Dick Albreski Bio:
Albreski image
    When I was 6 years old my dad asked me if I wanted to play the accordion. At 6, your answer is sure. Well for 6 weeks I loved my dad and for 7/1/2 years I hated him. In those days, when Dad gave you an instrument you practiced each and every day.

    My first teacher was Harry Osiecki who gave me a lot of incentive and encouragement. After several years of instruction, I was promoted to a junior teacher in his school. AS I progressed, I was able to study with Russ Messina from Buffalo, NY. I had to audition, prior to be accepted as a student. I was informed that I really played all wrong, but I was told I have talent and that I should overcome my imperfections, so I was accepted after all. Russ turned me around and allowed me to become a more respected accordionist.

    I joined a small trio and began playing shows and weddings. With my polish background it was relatively easy for us to play the traditional music. I continued to play in a quartet.

    I continued to teach accordion, manage a music store and play a lot of evening and weekend jobs. This was great for me, but with my wife and 2 kids and a third on the way something needed to change. So, I went to industry where I achieved my college degree. After many years working I was told that I no longer had a job. Soon I became the master for my own and returned to the accordion.

    I teach, I play, I repair, and I buy and sell. The accordion has kept me young and I intend to squeeze all the remaining years of my life out of the accordion.
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Paul Betken Accordion Bio:
Betken image
    Originally from Chicago, Paul Betken studied with Leon Sash and performed in the Chicago-land metro area for over 30 years. Now, residing in Phoenix, AZ for the last 17 years, he enjoys casual engagements and jam sessions all around town. Subject to the adversity of the pandemic conditions imposed on entertainment activities in general, Paul has kept active performing at local music venues, recording, and writing composition books. In the last 10 yrs., he has appeared in duet format with the re-knowned accordionist, Jerry Cigler, at numerous concerts in Las Vegas, NV and Dallas, TX.

    Paul’s past concert appearances include the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018; Florida Smash, Southeast Accordion Association, Orlando, Florida, November, 2012; Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati, CA, August, 2015 and 2021; Cotati Accordion Scholarship Concert, Cotati, CA, August, 2015--2021; National Accordion Association Convention Concert, Dallas, 2014; 2015; 2018 and 2019; 78th ATG Festival, Lisle, Illinois, 2017. He participated in the Mesa Accordion Event 2012, 2013, and 2014.

    Paul has played in concert for many accordion organizations including the North Hollywood, CA Accordion Club, July 2012; Silicon Valley Accordion Club, San Jose, CA, January, 2015, the Chicago Accordion Club, Elmhurst, Illinois, July, 2017, Napa Valley Accordion Assn, 2019, and the Arizona Accordion Club.

    Paul has given numerous national accordion workshops at national events including the National Accordion Association Convention, Dallas, 2014 through 2019; Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, Las Vegas, NV, June, 2015; 2018; ATG Festival, Lisle, Illinois 2017; and at the Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati, California, August 2017. He is a judge for the Cotati Festival Youth Scholarship Fund (2019 and 2021).

    Paul has published music books for jazz accordion instruction, "JAZZ ACCORDION ARRANGEMENTS” with CD, Paul Betken Productions, © 2017; "JAZZ ACCORDION ARRANGEMENTS” with CD, 2nd Edition, © 2019, Paul Betken Productions. His CD RELEASES consist of “PAUL’S TURN – JAZZ ACCORDION,” Paul Betken Productions, © 2014 which achieved international recognition and “BEYOND MY COMFORT ZONE – ECLECTIC JAZZ ACCORDION” Paul Betken Productions, © 2018
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Bob Donovan Bio - Tennessee:
Don's image
    Bob has been playing accordion for more than 10 years and lives in Nashville, TN. Bob has performed at various Oktoberfest events as well as beer houses in Cincinnati and Nashville. Also, Bob has performed with various bands that play Classic Rock, Country, TexMex, Zydeco, and Celtic music. He has always focused on the Digital Accordion and had shown excellent presentation and teaching skills at the Gr8Ideas Symposium in Ohio.
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Ian Blair Fries:
Ian image
    Ian Blair Fries, an orthopedic and hand surgeon, was taught accordion as a teenager by Paul Martell sitting on the Roseland Ballroom bandstand in New York City. He returned to the accordion about 15 years ago and shortly thereafter became enamored with digital accordion sounds. For more than a decade he hosted the Digital Accordion Suite at the annual National Accordion Association meetings. He has entertained at venues in the United States and France. He enjoys playing French musette and the American songbook on Roland accordions. An accordion (or two) accompanies him in the TBM 940 turboprop aircraft he flies about the United States.
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Tris Gour makes his home in Northern Indiana with his wife Gloria.
Tris' image
    He has been a musician, performer, and accordionist from a very young age. Tris began his studies at the age of 8 with the prestigious Gene Van Accordion Conservatory of Northern Indiana. Tris won numerous state accordion championships in several divisions and went on to receive the first runner-up in the AAA US Open Pop Solo division and winning the US Open Jazz Combo division.

    Tris started playing professionally at the age of 13 and by age 15 was playing 50 weeks per year. During his later teen years, Tris led a top tier band that performed throughout the Midwest at popular hotel chains, night clubs, and private and corporate events in addition to being featured as a guest act for famous entertainers. More recently, Tris performed with a prominent R&B Tribute Band that included musicians who toured with Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Curtis Mayfield, Junior Walker, George Michael, and Aretha Franklin.

    Tris currently owns and operates August Dream Studios LLC, through which he has provided music for commercial and film scoring projects, music equipment manufacturers, and has aided in the development of software sample libraries. After the unexpected passing of his last teacher Gary Dahl, Tris began managing Gary Dahl - The Legacy www.facebook.com/cordovox/ and continues and teaches accordion to students located all over the globe.
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Gordon Kohl
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    Gordon has been teaching music since high school. He has been teaching accordion, piano, keyboard, music theory, music arranging and workshops on a variety of music study topics. He especially enjoys teaching in the topics of chord usage and electronic voicing for the digital accordion. He also has a passion for being a musician.

    At the age of thirteen, he began playing the accordion professionally. From his high school years to the present he enjoys gigging in a combo. Teaching music and being a musician has been his passion and journey. Gordon continues to write music arrangements, new compositions and educational materials for individual and group instruction.

    He chose as a teen to develop his sounds using both the acoustic and digital musical instruments along with the accordion. He really has a passion for expression and dynamics on the reed accordion.
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Lorenzo Parker Bio
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Jerry Jacoby Bio:
Jerry image Jerry grew up in southern Minnesota at a time when it seemed like there was a polka band around every corner. It was a time when everyone had a wedding dance where all the community was invited or just had a dance for any old reason. So, he grew up loving music and having fun being around it. He always had wanted to play an instrument, so later in life he took up playing an accordion and joined accordion clubs and started coming to conventions. He quickly figured out most people came to a gathering of accordionists wanting to play their instruments, but weren’t quite comfortable in a concert setting, and maybe were a little hesitant to start playing with others. He assumed the role of encouraging players to get together with others, play some of their favorite tunes, and have a little fun, because that’s what it’s all about.
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Dee Langley Bio
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    Dee Langley is winner of the 2011 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and the 2012 Minnesota Emerging Composer Award (World Music). In 2019 Dee was honored at the American Accordion Musicological Society and by the American Accordion Association for her lifelong dedication and service to the accordion as a performer, educator, director and composer. In 2020 she was inducted into the American Accordion Hall of Fame. Founder and coordinator for the NE Accordion Festival, Professor Langley is also a former president of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International, and teaches accordion for Minneapolis Community and Technical College as well as privately at her home in NE Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Sir. Randal McPeck
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Randy McPeck - Owner/Operator of Castle Accordion

    Randy began playing accordion around age 8 Studying at Professional Music Center. He played during the golden age of accordion which crashed and burned when the Beatles debuted. Randy's accordion went in the closet when he was 12 (with the rest of the country's). He rocked and rolled until the mid 80's when he dicovered a treasure hidden in his closet; An Accordion!!! Randy played accordion on and off until he opened Castle Accordion. Since 1999 he has been studying with local accordion great Larry Malmberg. Randy enjoys playing Cajun, Irish & Polka music on his accordion.

    Randy Studied the art of accordion repair with master technician Oscar Lindberg and has serviced over 5000 accordions since 1996. Randy's background as a jeweler also aids in fabricating and repairing difficult parts. Castle Accordion's quality repair department can address any and all issues you might be having with your accordion. From minor repairs to full restorations, we service all makes and models.

    Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess an instruments repair needs over the telephone or internet. Upon inspecting you instrument, we will provide you with an accurate estimate of it's repair needs and costs. We charge a $40 minimum for all repairs.

    If you're ready to plug in, call us up. We can amplify your accordion with a variety of different microphone systems. Castle Accordion offers the elite Sennheiser internal condenser system for crystal clear, un-distorted sound reproduction.
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Mike Middleton Bio: Temple, Texas
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    Dr. Mike Middleton, an award-winning Texas accordionist, will be interacting in various convention activities that include Midi enhanced Accordion music and other accordion favorites from his recent albums and from his participation at the World Accordion Museum, where he serves as a Board Member. He also leads a popular band, “Mike & The Middletones”.
    Dr. Mike's music is unique in that he utilizes Midi to enhance and modify his acoustic accordion sound. Selections could include various Texas folk music pieces such as Ghost Riders in The Sky, Red River Valley, Yellow Rose of Texas, Waltz Across Texas, San Antonio Rose, and others featured with the 2017 Temple Symphony (Temple, Texas), as well as his unique Amazing Grace Accordion Variations. Mike is always ready to provide 30 minutes or 1 hour of polkas/waltzes and Texas folk music suitable for dancing.
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Eddie Monteiro Bio
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    Eddie Monteiro is an internationally recognized musician and educator with more than 30 years of musical performance in classical, jazz, dance, theater, cabaret, and choral ensembles. He won several accordion championships as a youth and was also the youngest honoree elected to the American Accordionist’s Hall of Fame. The musician recently returned from Italy where he was performing and teaching.

    Eddie often takes the time to discuss his music and his involvement with the accordion. Monteiro explained that the instrument itself has often been misrepresented. “The accordion has been maligned far too often in the numerous jokes and cartoons,” he said. “The Lawrence Welk image with Myron Floren showed the accordion but in a somewhat 'corny' musical idiom. In addition, I think there are many accordionists who have continued to play at less than professional level. Others are just so outlandish in their presentations that people take note and think they're great. The accordion, far too often, isn't played for the public in a very positive way.”
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Gene Neyer Bio:
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    I started lessons on the accordion in the 50’s but have had no formal training in music other than what I learned at conventions and mail order classes. After the navy and during college, I was involved with polka bands, and played for weddings and special events during my working years. I rely mostly on sheet music, and I am at the entry level for playing by ear.
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Richard Noel, Bakersfield, California:
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    Richard Noel, from Bakersfield, California, has been in the forefront of promoting and programming the Roland digital accordions. His YouTube channel, Bakersfieldaccordion, is devoted entirely to demonstrating the digital accordions, and he has acquired more than 13,000 subscribers and over 8 million views. Richard plays a wide variety of music while demonstrating the amazing versatility of the digital accordion.
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Jim Rommel Bio:
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    Jim Rommel is a professional accordionist & singer who has dazzled audiences with his excellent musicianship and dynamic entertainment style for years. He is an accomplished musician, who also plays many other instruments, including Piano, Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Euphonium and Tuba.

    Jim has been a featured entertainer at the Bavarian Grill in Plano, TX on the first weekend of every month for the past 28 years. Aside from that, Jim enjoys simply jamming with other musicians on different instruments. Jim has spent many hours in the recording studio, singing or playing accordion for other musicians, as well as a few TV and radio spots (some of which were through Milo). Jim’s own CD, Prost! A German-American Celebration, has been widely acclaimed in the accordion and polka community, including wonderful endorsements from Myron Floren and Frank Yankovic.

    Jim's repertoire covers a wide spectrum of musical styles. In addition to ethnic German and Czech music, he performs genres such as French, Italian, Jazz, Swing, Big Band Standards and Classical music. But most of all, Jim loves to surprise audiences by playing and singing those musical styles they would never dream of hearing on an accordion...such as Pop, Rock, Country, and Musical Theatre.

    Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from The University of North Texas, as well as a master’s degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M at Commerce. He spent his early years as a high-school band director prior to beginning his career in Information Technology, which is where he has made his living for the past 30+ years.

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Dr. Sharon Seaton Bio:
Sharon image Sharon Seaton is a professional accordionist in the Dallas area. She teaches music at El Centro College, including private piano lessons. When working with private students, she incorporates technical skills, memorization, preparing for performance, and sight reading into student lessons. She has bachelor’s and master’s from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education.
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Michael Soloway Bio
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    Michael Soloway is the co-founder of the International Digital Electronic Accordion Society – known as IDEAS.

    Originally a jazz pianist, Michael was introduced to the accordion later in life while living and playing jazz and cabaret in the New York scene. He fell in love with the uniquely personal and physical feel of the instrument. Trained at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, he recorded and played piano and keyboards in the 80’s with the jazz fusion group Orpheus; but he was drawn to the digital accordion when introduced to it by Alex Chudolij (Music Magic) and jazz accordion great Eddie Monteiro (teaching here at the NAA) and has made that direction his musical pathway ever since.

    In mid-career Michael focused on becoming a world-renowned cosmetic dentist in Manhattan, NY. Having since moved on, Michael is now more engaged in the world of Gr8IDEAS, music, arrangements, and the technology of the digital accordion that has fascinated him. Studying technique and orchestral arrangements extensively with Joe Natoli, Michael is now teaching and playing in his own rite while traveling to carry the message and working to provide an artistic and cultural home for other digital accordionists around the world.
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Hank Thunander:
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    This is Hank's 70th year performing professionally. My mission has always been to show how versatile the Accordion is and play all the different genres of music. Frankie Yankovic was my Godfather and my inspiration to learn the Accordion from the time I was 2 1/2 years old.


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