08 February 2014

A nice suprise nationwide!

I receive a publication each month as a member of the Twin Cities Musician's Union, Local 30-73. It has news from all genres of professional musicians and orchestras that keeps me connected at an International level.

I was so pleased to find this article today, Cory is a friend and has agreed to be my jazz coach during the NE 2 NE Accordion Expedition. I think I chose wisely.

Excerpt reprinted from the International Musician article, February, 2014
Cory Pesaturo
When it comes to mainstream music, Cory Pesaturo of Local 198-457 (Providence, RI) does not currently consider the accordion to be part of that mix. As an independent musician who books all his own gigs, even potential agents tend to scratch their head, wondering where to place him

“It’s been a problem,” he says. “It’s kind of caused me to do all this innovation and to keep pushing, which is why I have a flame-painted accordion with lights in it.”

In his early days, Pesaturo played folky European ethnic styles with vast arpeggios and riffs. With influences ranging from Igor Stravinsky to Art Tatum, Freddie Hubbard, and Stevie Wonder, today he strives to create a sound unlike any accordion player he has ever heard.

He says he found his passion in improvisation. “When I found jazz, is when I really started to love playing the accordion, because it fit so well on the instrument,” Pesaturo explains.

In 2002, Pesaturo was the youngest person to win the National Accordion Championship, and in 2011 he won the Primus Ikaalinen World Championship as the first American contestant. He is one of only four accordionists in history to win a world championship on both acoustic and electronic accordion.

07 February 2014

Accordion and Merovingian Kings

Part of the NE 2 NE Accordion Expedition is about performing on the AAMS Friday night concert in Whipanny, New Jersey.

Although my workshop will be Rroma, I've been asked to provide a program of French music on the concert. I've been researching and soul searching to see which tunes (old and new) make my heart shine since I believe the best concert is given with music from your heart.

I have been particularly taken with French musette "Valse Merovingienne" written by Andre Verchuren and Georges Ghestem ca. 1955. The chord structure is more Celtic than French and the melody is a bit melancholy while oddly calming.

The name was even more intriguing. With a little help from Wikipedia I learned this:

The Merovingians were the first Germanic tribe to resettle on Roman land. Their dynasty came to rule the Franks in a region known as Francia in Latin for 300 years from the middle of the 5th century.

This is a picture of one of the Merovingian Kings. He reminds me of what the basic melody of  "Valse Merovingienne" sounds like. I do believe I will enjoy making a new arrangement of the original waltz to play on the concert!
Dagobert I (629 - 638)

Pledge support for the NE 2 NE Accordion Expedition. Thank you!

04 February 2014

Musette - a lovely way to smile

Often I hear the someone say, "The party has started, the accordion is here!" when I get to a gig. I would love to think they think I'm an awful lot of fun personally, but I believe they are referring to the type of music the accordion plays.

The Friday night concert at AAMS (American Accordion Musicological Society) during the MAMTG (Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild) convention will feature French music. Here one of my favorites, "Jeanette" by Guy Viseur on YouTube.

Guy Viseur and his Cavagnolo accordion