ACCORDION

Music from Daccordeon Quartet





 

Note


Questa pagina è dedicata all'accordeon jazz, senza la pretesa di voler aggiungere nulla a quanto non si non si trovi gia' a disposizione di tutti su Internet. La mia personale sensazione è che i "vecchi" fisarmonicisti di cui leggerete qui sotto abbiano detto e fatto in passato meglio e piu' di quanto si stia facendo oggi. Contrariamente a quanto si vuol far credere a proposito di una presunta "rinascita" dello strumento, in verita' la fisarmonica è pressoché scomparsa dalle grandi orchestre jazz, forse non a caso. Credo la colpa sia da ricercare soprattutto nelle nuove generazioni di fisarmonicisti, troppo impegnati nella ricerca spasmodica di consensi, ed ancora in inutili competizioni, concorsi, premi e altre aberrazioni che poco hanno a che fare con la musica, e con la crescita di questo strumento, molto altro ancora ci sarebbe da dire su chi da anni ci propina quel mix di tango e musette alla "francese" venduto e spacciato per jazz d'autore. Nulla in contrario verso questi altri generi, pero' la "sofisticazione" che si è fatta forse "affascina" un certo pubblico, o meglio giova a certi organizzatori, ma personalmente la trovo insopportabile. E' chiaro che quanto affermo è opinione personale, e comunque delle distinzioni possono e devono essere fatte. Ma il passato supera ampiamente il presente. Non occorre certo grande esperienza per rendersene conto, credo sia sufficiente scorrere questa pagina.

 


Please note that the musicians above are listed with no intended order of priority or importance !
Do not hesitate to inform me of any error, inaccuracy or omission in this page.







About Tommy Gumina LP & CDs:

Sound Project – The Joe Pass-Tommy Gumina Trio – Polytone Productions LP #1600-101

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Presenting The Buddy DeFranco-Tommy Gumina Quartet – Mercury LP SR-60685 (Stereo)

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Polytones – DeFranco & Gumina – Mercury LP - SR-60833 (Stereo)

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Polycolors – Tommy Gumina Trio-Ron Eschete – Polytone Productions

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Polycolors

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Pacific Standard (Swingin’!) Time – The Buddy DeFranco-Tommy Gumina Quartet- Decca LP - DL-74031 (Stereo)

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Mood Italiano – Tommy Gumina – Decca LP #DL-8630

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Love Walked In – Joe Pass-Tommy Gumina – Polytone Productions

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Kaleidoscope – DeFranco & Gumina – Mercury LP - SR-60743 (Stereo)

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Hi-Fi Accordion – Tommy Gumina – Decca LP #DL-8404; EP #DL-8404

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Hi-Fi Accordion

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Here’s To Veterans Radio Program – Tommy Gumina & Gloria Lynne – The Veteran’s Administration 16" Transcription Record Program #684

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The Girl From Ipanema – DeFranco & Gumina – Mercury LP - SR-60900 (Stereo)

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Autumn Leaves – Joe Pass-Tommy Gumina- Buddy DeFranco – Polytone Productions

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Accordion - Italian Style

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The Virtuoso Accordion – Tommy Gumina – Decca LP #DL-8877 (Mono) DL-78877 (Stereo)

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About Tommy Gumina "Special Guest":

The Best Of Willie Smith – GNP Crescendo LP # GNPS-2055

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I’ll Remember April – Art Pepper – Trio LP #PAP-25041

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"Honey West" starring Anne Francis-Line-up includes Tommy Gumina – ABC Paramount LP #532 (Mono)

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Breathless – Sue Raney – Studio West CD #107 - Vol. 1

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Sue Raney, Vol. 2 – Studio West CD #108

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TOMMY GUMINA


Tommy Gumina was born on the 20th May 1931 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I would define Tommy Gumina's musical approach as a "philosophical" approach: each one of his solos shows a precise pattern in sound and in the astounding harmony of electronics. The avantgarde he represents probably never fully understood him.
I had just finished performing one night in Sicily, when I was approached by an old man; the guy had been a jazz enthusiast for years and had had the chance to listen to Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker performing live. He said, "You sure have been working on Tommy Gumina's music for a long time, I can tell by the way you play". I had him repeat that name twice, and finally admitted I had never heard of Tommy Gumina. Some days after I was at his place, a real shrine to the history of jazz music with over 1000 vinyls. He put on an old LP of Willie Smith, and just said, "Here is Tommy".
My passion for his music has never faded since. I was quite frustrated at first, as everything I had been working on, everything I thought I'd accomplish had in fact already been done some 40 years before. In the Sixties already, Gumina had offered his public that "modern" approach to jazz accordion I had been looking for for years. As far as I'm concerned, Tommy Gumina is simply the greatest accordionist of all times.


www.tommygumina.com


He has also released two videos about Tommy Gumina. The first features his discography, the second includes a gallery of great pictures. I am deeply grateful to Joe for allowing me to show these videos here on my page.




Tommy Gumina Photo Gallery

Source: youtube by Jgreenst1409



Tommy Gumina Album Cover Slide Show




Source: youtube by Jgreenst1409




Tommy Gumina - A Television Performance from the Mid-1950s










Tommy Gumina & Joe Pass - Studio Recording









Jimmy Smith, Cliff Woolley, Tommy Gumina, Art Pepper and Gary Michaels









Tommy Gumina with Polycorus instrument







 



Special Thanks:


My friend Joe Hartka created a website which is entirely dedicated to this great musician. I thank him very much for his friendship and for letting me use his material.








About Russ Messina:


Russ Messina Books:


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Russ Messina CDs:


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RUSS MESSINA


I can't deny I do like the guy's name! Although some of my relatives did emigrate to the States some decades ago, I'm afraid there's little chance that this great musician and I belong to the same family. Mister Russ Messina is one of those great American accordionists who got the accordion into jazz music and are now unknown or, worse, forgotten.

Russ Messina was one of the greatest jazz accordionists. He performed as a professional Jazz accordionist for more than 60 years. Messina's other musical talents included composition, arranging and teaching.

Russ was born in Jamestown Virginia. In the late 1940s, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in music from the University of Buffalo in New York. was a World War II Army veteran who served in North Africa, Italy and Germany.

After his service in the military, Russ began offering private lessons in piano theory and the accordion. He performed with various musicians, including members of both the Buffalo and Niagara County musicians unions and the Buffalo Jazz Ensemble. He also appeared in such venues as Kleinhans Music Hall and Artpark, as well as clubs on the West Coast and in Toronto.

Russ wrote music for both piano and accordion and produced albums featuring his own compositions. One of Messina's proudest moments, according to his family, was when he coached a music student to a gold medal in an international competition. Messina retired from playing in 1997 after suffering a series of strokes and passed on in 2000.

Text and Picture belong to Accordia Records.




Special Thanks:

Thanks to Joe Madison for his kindness in allowing me to reproduce these contents.

 








About Art Van Damme CDs:

The Van Damme Sound (Columbia, CL-544)

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Accordion a la Mode

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A Perfekt Match

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Four Brothers

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The Art Van Damme Quintet

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Two Originals

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1968 Art In The Black Forest (MPS, MPS 15172)

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1970 Blue World (MPS 15277)(Pausa, PR 7027)

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Cocktail Capers (Capitol, H178)

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1967 Ecstasy (MPS 15115)(SABA, SB 15115 ST)

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Everything's Coming Up Music (Columbia, CL-1382/CS-8177)

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Invitation

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1970 Keep Going (MPS 15278)(Pausa, PR 7104)

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Lover Man (Pickwick, SPC 3009)

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1968 Lullaby In Rhythm (MPS, MPS 15 171)

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Martini Time - Art Van Damme Quintet CL-6265 - (1953)

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Martini Time

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Martini Time

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Music For Lovers Harmony (Columbia, HS 11239)

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Squezing Art - Tender Flutes

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Art & Liza (Svenska Media AB, SMTE 5003)

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State Of Art (MPS, 841 413 2)

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Swings weetly

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Manhattan Timelarge product photo

mit Art in San Francisco

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The gentle art of art

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Art Van Damme & Friends (Pausa, PR 7151)

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Art Quintet

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Live in Finland

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Art in Sweden

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More Coktail Capers

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Swinging the Accordion On MPS

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ART VAN DAMME


born April 9, 1920 in Norway, Michigan, was a world renowned jazz accordionist and one of the most famous accordionists of all time. The hippest cat ever to swing an accordion, Art Van Damme dared go where no man had gone before: jazz accordion. He started taking accordion lessons at the age of nine, and moved on to classical studies after his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1934. After leaving school. he played in a trio in local clubs under big band leader Ben Bernie hired him in 1941. He soon returned to Chicago, though, and continued to work the club circuit there throughout World War Two. Van Damme was inspired by swing recordings, particularly Benny Goodman's, and in the late 1930s, he began experimenting, adapting Goodman solos to the accordion. Throughout his career, he would often be compared to Goodman, since the two were both classically trained, technical masters of their instruments, and versatile and creative jazz soloists. He formed a quintet with several of his studio colleagues, and recorded his first album, for the small label, Music Craft, in 1944. He joined the staff of NBC Radio in Chicago in 1945 and remained a studio musician for over 15 years, even after he became a recording artist in his own right. His early style fits into a small but at the time quite popular niche between the cocktail piano sound and the accordion/guitar/organ sound of the Three Suns. In fact, his earliest albums for Capitol and Columbia all had titles that made this connection explicit: "Cocktail Capers"; "Martini Time"; "Manhattan Time." Despite liner notes that described this music as "background for badinage," these are excellent albums, if far more subdued that the bebop they shared the record bins with. Van Damme's introduction of the accordion as a featured jazz instrument was well-received critically, and in 1947, Downbeat magazine put his photo on the cover of one of their issues. He would go on to voted "Top Accordionist" in Downbeat's annual poll of jazz musicians for ten years in a row. Later, he was similarly recognized by Contemporary Keyboard magazine for five years in a row. As time went on, Van Damme moved into more adventurous territory, closer to mainstream jazz. His later Columbia albums feature him at the lead of small, tight combos, and include a mix of standards and Van Damme's own slightly bebop-ish originals. "Accordion a la Mode" may be his best album, although "A Perfect Match," in which he pairs with the fine jazz guitarist Johnny Smith, is a favorite among fans of what's been called "light jazz." Van Damme never had a problem finding a gig, and performed at clubs and hotels throughout Europe and the U.S. Over the course of over fifty years of performing, he traveled to Europe nearly 40 times and played everywhere from the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, to the Blue Note in New York, to Disney World in Florida. He also appeared on numerous television shows, from "The Tonight Show" to "The Dinah Shore Show." In the early 1950s, his quintet also recorded over 130 15-minute segments for NBC Radio. He claims that his performing kept him so busy he never needed to practice, and says that he probably played his accordion at home less than six hours total in all that time. After leaving NBC Radio in 1960, Van Damme opened a music store and accordion studio in Chicago, but he continued to tour regularly. He left the recording mainstream when his contract with Columbia Records ran out in 1965, but was quickly signed by the German jazz label, MPS, and went on to record 16 albums for them. Since 1980, he has recorded less frequently, usually for small jazz labels, including an excellent album with the group Singers Unlimited on the Pausa. He gradually shifted his focus from clubs to accordion and jazz workshops, telling one interview that, "The audience is more attentive and listens more intensely." Although a number of other accordionists ventured into jazz territory after Van Damme broke the trail, he remains the acknowledged master. As one reviewer recently wrote, he dispatches "Right-hand runs with a velocity and lightness of touch that defied the presumed limitations of the instrument," while at the same time, "Consistently emphasizing the lyric contours of a melodic phrase rather than the lightning technical flourishes that led up to it."

Credits: www.spaceagepop.com




Sadly, on February 15th, 2010, Art Van Damme passed away. His death is a huge loss for the world of jazz accordion.

 


Art Van Damme Live in Chicago 1951


 


Source: youtube by ctngama




Art Van Damme plays Lonesome Road on his 75th Birthday, 1995


 

Source: youtube by Pietro Deiro




Art Van Damme and Johnny Smith playing Bye Bye Blackbird.







Source: youtube by Credico

 


Art VanDamme: You Stepped Out of a Dream, 2001





Source: youtube by Pietro Deiro




 


Art VanDamme: Cute, 2001





Source: youtube by Pietro Deiro







Excelsior Accordion Model "Art Van Damme":





 





Art Van Damme Quintet





 




Art Van Damme with Frank Marocco, kenny Kotwitz and Pete Jolly


 

 





Uno degli Standards piu suonati da Art

 

 






Art Van Damme and Excelsior Accordion









Art









 
Special Thanks:


Many thanks to Walter Gisler for the precious and rare audio and video material (particularly about Art Van Damme) that he's been generously giving me in the last months.










About Ernie Felice:


Ernie Felice article:







Ernie Felice Accordian Model:






About Ernie Felice:


Accordion World
 













About Ernie Felice:


DVDs and CDs available! Contact:  


ERNIE FELICE ON YOUTUBE by Dan Filice




ERNIE FELICE


(Accordion World, April 1949) - Ernie Felice, young accordionist with an extraordinary "swing" style, makes music which is vastly different from the work of other accordion virtuosos. This is partly due to the use of a special mute, designed and patented by himself, and partly because he patterns his playing after a "full band" style. As Ernie explains it, "I play several notes at once with my right hand, progressing harmonically as in Brass, string or Sax section of a full Orchestra." The result is exciting, unusual music, of such original concept that Bing Crosby and Benny Goodman have frequently featured Ernie on their air shows, and Capitol Records in 1947 signed him and his quartet to a long-term contract. The evolution of Ernie's style came as a result of much experimentation and study. Ernie first studied Piano. His father was a ranch foreman at Campbell, California, near San Jose. When his father's employers presented the Felice family with a large, old-fashioned upright piano, Ernie's older sister Louise began to take lessons. Five year old Ernie "listened in" at every lesson. He learned so fast and showed so much natural musical talent, that the family soon decided to spend lesson money on him too. Young Ernie used to watch older musicians playing accordions at weddings and other festive occasions. He was completely absorbed by this different type of music. His parents, noting his interest, bought him a junior-size accordion. When he was eight, they gave him a full-sized instrument. He took lessons from a San Jose instructor 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, Ernie continued to study music until he finished grammar school. He often played at parties, either solo or with a drummer. A neighbor boy 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. Following his 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. 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 then 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 caught their act and gave Ernie more praise and encouragement. The group then disbanded because of enlistment. Ernie entered the Air Corps, and was assigned to an entertainment unit, which toured the country helping to sell bonds and to promote recruitment. Up to this time Ernie's test recordings had sounded harsh and tinny to him. He now experimented with a home-made mute designed to filter the tone. Results were excellent. Adding a bass, snare drums and clarinet, he formed a quartet that could provide variety of tone and an entirely new sound, similar to the late great band leader Glenn Miller's reed section.Progress was rapid from then on. Radio star Bill Thompson introduced him to many people important in the field of music. Johnny Thompson, arranger for Benny Goodman, took him to a Goodman rehearsal. Benny listened, tried Ernie on his next radio program, and added the young accordionist as a regular member of his group. Capitol's executive heard test recordings of Ernie's quartet and he was quickly brought under contract. He is also heard on Capitol records as a member of Benny Goodman's sextet. Ernie is featured with his quartet in several motion pictures, including Paramount's "The Big Clock" and a musical short feature, "Smooth Sailing." In Radio, his quartet's regular programs have included a half-hour ABC Saturday show, "Stars In The Afternoon," with commentator Frances Scully. Ernie is married to a lovely blonde, the former Pauline Kaspinski. They met in San Francisco when Ernie was playing at Tom Harris' club, and were married on November 30, 1941. They have two small sons, Ernie Junior, and Gary.


Ernie Felice



Ernie Felice, playing Blue Skies on his Sonola accordion on his own TV show. He is considered the best jazz accordion player of our generations. Ernie did four 15-minute TV shows on KRCA that aired just before the evening news.





Accordion Giulietti Model "Felice":





Here is a unique Guilietti accordion. This was specially built to copy the design of the famous Ernie Felice Model (by Sonola). This is a full size accordion with only 2 treble sets of handmade reeds in the tone chamber, 4 sets in the bass. What a great sound! Price includes stereo mic system, new straps & backpad, hard case, our complete servicing/tuning, 1-year warranty & a Giulietti amplifier! Great for Jazz artists or strolling

Source: www.accordionconnection.com.





Ernie & Benny Goodman during the Live Bill Goodwin NBC Radio Show.


 



Ernie Felice Quartet





Special Thanks:


My very special thanks to Dan Filice, Ernie Felice's son, for his kind availability and for letting me use the material.

 







About Kenny Kotwitz:


About Kenny Kotwitz CDs & Book:

The Moon is Blue

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Front Street

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Book available:

Broadway Favorites arranged for accordion by Kenny Kotwitz

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Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber - Ten of his most beloved songs, arranged for accordion by Kenny Kotwitz

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Mood Swings für Jazz-Acc. 6 Kompositionen

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Accordion Waltz Favorites - arrangements of 17 classic waltzes

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Accordion Polka Favorites - 16 standards arranged for accordion

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Disney Movie Favorites

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KENNY KOTWITZ


Words are not enough to describe how great Kenny is both as a musician and as a human being. His mastery of accordion, the class of his touch, his sense of swing are known to all. His intelligence and kindness of heart, the magic of his presence, are apparent as soon as you approach and talk to him. I was lucky enough to get a chance to meet him on September 2, 2010. I had the immense pleasure to listen to him and I even got the honor to play along with him for a while. That evening will stay in my memory forever as one of the most beautiful and exciting experiences of my entire life. 'Thank you' just doesn't quite express my gratitude to Kenny and to his wonderful wife Mary (who also is a superlative jazz singer). They certainly do not realize how precious a gift I have received from them. I so hope to see them both again soon.

by Antonello Messina


Kenny Kotwitz is an experienced professional pianist, composer, and jazz accordionist. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he now lives in Simi Valley, California.. Kenny began his career in his teens and continues to entertain with originality and musical discrimination. His portfolio includes scores for publishing houses and many recordings in motion pictures and television, working with some of the very best in the music profession, and he is often invited to play at festivals and gatherings. He has appeared in the US, Finland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, and Central America. His first CD, Front Street, was a breakthrough in accordion musicianship, composing, and arranging, blending the instrument with others in an exciting jazz setting.

from Bluesbox.biz


Kenny Kotwitz raised in Milwaukee & now living in California, was influenced by the jazz greats of New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles & the locals by the Milwaukee River. One of his teachers was Art VanDamme, so one can hear a mix of Art, Woody Herman & ... in his style. He's a very smooth player with a very pleasant tone. Check out his excellent very modern sounding CD, "Front Street". Here in Detroit USA, in 1995, I caught him playing several tunes for VanDamme's 75th birthday bash

Credits: Pietro Deiro

 

Kenny Kotwitz: The Nearness Of You, 1995


 

Kenny Kotwitz: The Shadow of Your Smile 1997




Antonello & Kenny


 



Antonello & Kenny


 


 

 


 
Special Thanks:


Many thanks to Blues Box and Mister Pietro Deiro and "afropic79" for the material on youtube.






About Carmelo Pino:


About Carmelo Pino CDs and other:

"Carmelo, Celebrating the Accordion"

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CARMELO PINO


Carmelo Pino, Jr. was born in the coal mining town of Kilsyth, West Virginia on October 25, 1934. Kilsyth was a small, picturesque community of predominately Italian immigrants. The youngest of five children, Carmelo's earliest memories are of a very happy, nurturing home filled with music. His father played guitar, one brother played the clarinet, the other played violin, and his two sisters sang in harmony.

Credits: www.accordions.com

 

Carmelo Pino: Jazz Medley for Art's 75th, 1995


 

Carmelo Pino is a brilliant American composer, arranger & accordionist. He has performed solo & with leading chamber & symphony orchestras across USA. His compositions have won awards. Here in 1995, in Detroit, I caught him performing a jazz medley for Art VanDamme (present in the audience)who had just turned 75. You'll notice how Carmelo sneaks in the Happy Birthday theme to Art's delight. Go on to the American Accordionists' Association site for information on Dr. Carmelo Pino, including his fine CD.


 

Carmelo Pino: Gershwiniana, 1995, part 1 of 2


 

Carmelo Pino: Gershwiniana, 1995, part 2


 


 
Special Thanks:


Many thanks to Accordions.com, Free reed and Mister Pietro Deiro for the material on youtube.







About Peter Piccini CDs:


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Peter Piccini Photo Story:

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PETER PICCINI


Peter Piccini was born in Sydney and from the time of his birth music has been his natural background. He made his first solo appearance as an accordionist at a school concert when he was only seven years old and although he showed promise on this occasion he did not begin studying seriously until he reached the age of fourteen. Peter began earnestly to learn the secrets of the accordion from his father Peter Piccini Snr - known as the "Daddy" of the accordion in Australia since he was the first to introduce the piano keyboard on the accordion in this country. Peter Jnr started broadcasting for national and commercial radio stations at the age of fifteen and appeared in many state performances. He subsequently went to Europe to broadcast for the BBC, made several television appearances and also performed at the famous club Pigalle as accompanist for the French singer Line Renuld. During this time Peter also toured Italy with the famous Claudio Villa, one of Italy's most respected and much loved popular singers, appearing together on television, radio, stage productions and of course recordings. Later in the sixties Peter, now also playing piano and joined by his wife Fina, was to return to Europe for a long stint performing with leading orchestras throughout the continent. On return to Australia Peter was appointed Musical Director of the Channel 9 Television Network and also began broadcasting for the ABC. In the late sixties he toured Vietnam with an all Australian concert party entertaining Australian and US forces and this was followed in the seventies by further tours of Europe and the USA. Peter has performed in many prestigious venues not only overseas but of course also in Australia and particularly in Perth where he has always been very much in demand as a leading arranger and conductor. Numerous recordings of covers and originals have been released by him along the years on various labels including Cetra and Clarion Records. The list of artists with whom Peter has worked is endless and just to name a few includes Frank Ifield, Gerry Gee, Graham Kennedy, Samantha Sang, Johnny Young, John Farnham, Denis Walter, Matt Monro, Bettie Curtis, Debra Byrne, Normie Rowe, Col Joy, Barry Crocker, Max Bygraves, The Deltones, The Drifters, Ricky May and the BBC Variety Orchestra. Peter is still composing music particularly for the accordion and amongst his recent works is "Cool Change", a CD which features the instrument in ten jazz-swing style original compositions performed by the Peter Piccini Jazz Trio. Needless to say the recording has met with critical acclaim and has been enjoying air play on many jazz radio shows throughout Australia. In late 2004 Perth outfit Trio Alegra released a CD comprising of fourteen songs all composed by Peter. These three professional musicians, Eddie Staszak, Laura Mitchell and Corinne Brokken, perform regularly at concerts, festivals and functions and Peter's works have become a constant feature of these performances.

Credits: www.groovymusic.com.au

 

Peter Piccini: Body & Soul - (1959)


 

Peter Piccini: Georgia (Live- 2002)


 

Peter Piccini: Solitude




 
Special Thanks:


Peter Piccini is an extraordinary person. I had the pleasure to exchange some messages with him, and I warmly thank him for his kindness, as well as for letting me open this special space dedicated to him.

 









Leon Sash Books:

Rockin' Blues by Leon Sash and Lee Morgan

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Leon Sash'n' Jazz

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Leon Sash CDs:

Live at Newport (Verve - 1957)

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I Remember Newport (1967 Delmark DL-416)

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Live at the Velvet Heart Club (Chicago 1962)

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The Studio Recordings

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This is the Accordion Jazz (1956 -Storyville Records)

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The Master with Lee Morgan and the Meadowlarks

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LEON SASH


Leon Sash is unique not only in his choice of instrument but also in his aprroach to modern popular music: Usually associated with weezy polka accompaniments or virtuoso (?) displays, or amateur hour pawings, the difficult instrument has been mishandled, misused, and misunderstood. In the jazz world, there have but a handful of non-corny type players, who have really among them Art Van Damme, Mat Mathews, and Leon Sash. A look at his background and personal heritage may help provide an insight to his perseverence with an unaccepted instrument, even at the expense of many lucrative non-jazz jobs. Leon , now 45, went permanently blind at age 11. Despite this he lists among his many non musical accomplishments such difficult endeavors as ice skating, water polo, bowling, fishing and medalist swimming. His musical accomplishments have brought him high praise from many of the jazz world's most respected writers and critics, including Nat Hentoff in Down Beat and Barry Ulanov in Metronome, as far back as 1954. He has published a highly regarded music folio called "This Is Jazz Accordion".
Also in '57 he appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival and received a thunderous ovation from an amazed crowd who previously had never heard of Leon. From that concert came an album, shared with pianist Toshiko, which ranked high in Jazz sellers that year, and which gave Leon a very fine boost in audience. He has since appeared at Cafe Bohemia in NYC, Storyville in Boston and the Blue Note in Chicago, as well as on the Mutual Broadcasting System's Bandstand USA. " Although he is more in demand now than ever before Leon still finds tine and energy to devote to many accordion schools and bands, where he forcibly demonstrates, through his own considerable talents, the possibilities and plausibilities to youngsters of playing Jazz on his favorite Instrument.
Leon's regular working trio is with him in this date. All of the selections, excepting Leon's fugue-like original "Newport," are well know standards, some not heard very often, others heard more frequently. All are interpreted by Leon Sash with a sprightly personal touch, and all convey the original feeling and intent of the composer. Although Leon's style is greatly influenced by the approach developed during the creative BeBop era of the 40's and 50's, he picked three tunes usually associated with the Swing era's great tenor sax champion Lester "prez" Young to include in this album, an up-tempo "Pennies From Heaven," a beautifully voiced "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," and a "Our Love Is Here To Stay" is a head shaker at medium tempo, and "Aren't You Glad You're You" is nice and bouncy. "Misty," Erroll Garner's classic gift to the world of music, is given a treatment completely in keeping with the Erroll's famous rolling tremolo as a special tribute. Two of standards not heard very often, a slow and mellow "Easy To Remembe," and the one Art Tatum made famous, "Lullaby Of The Leaves," also done slowly, are two of my particular favorites in the album. I'm sure you'll find yours.
I'm also sure you'll find that the talent of accordionist Leon Sash is real, earthy and sincere. And, that after listening to his group with an open ear and open mind, that you'll agree with me and those who already are aware of him, that his a major Jazz talent. Under his inspiration the down-trodden accordion may some day flourish as a creative Jazz intrument.


Joe Segal's critic to "I remember Newport"



Leon Quintet


 

 




Art Van Damme, Charles Magnante, Joe Vento, Leon Sash and Myron Floren


 

 



Source: www.fbc-accordion-club.org





Leon Accordion: Giulietti Model "Fintopiano ":






Source: www.letterbeeld.nl/


 


Special Thanks:


Many thanks to Paul Betken (from Arizona) and Walter Gisler (from Switzerland) for the precious and rare audio and video material that he's been generously giving me in the last months.







About Frank Marocco:



Frank Marocco Books:

JAZZ ON THE ROAD - Book'n'Sound - 3 CD - 2009

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50 Original Jazz Melodies

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Frank Marocco CDs:


CHANGES Ed. Artist Signed Records 2010

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TURNS UP THE FLAME Ed. OC Records 2010

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GIANNELLI SQUARE Ed. Artist Signed Records 2010


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APPASSIONATO Ed. Barvin 2008

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A NITE IN MAROCCO

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CAMMINO DRITTO -Frank Marocco - Marea - Venetojazz 2008 2010

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JUST FRIENDS Frank Marocco Group 2006

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BE-BOP BUFFET Frank Marocco - Simone Zanchini Wide Sound Jazz Prod. 2006


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MADE IN GERMANY Frank Marocco Group

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FREEDOM FLIGHT Frank Marocco Quartet 1995

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LIKE FRANK MAROCCO

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FRANK MAROCCO


Frank Marocco (born January 2, 1931) is an American piano-accordionist, arranger and composer. He is recognized as one of the most recorded accordionists in the world.
Frank Marocco grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, near Chicago. At the age of seven years, his parents enrolled him in a six-week beginner class for learning to play the accordion.

Marocco's first teacher was George Stefani, who supervised the young accordionist for nine years. Although they began studying classical music, Stefani soon encouraged young Frank to explore other musical genres. In addition to the accordion, Frank studied piano and clarinet, as well as music theory, harmony, and composition. Later on, he studied with Andy Rizzo, a well-known American concert accordionist and teacher.

At the age of 17, Frank Marocco won the first prize in the 1948 Chicago Musicland festival, and was rewarded with a guest performance with the Chicago Pops Orchestra playing Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu. His success encouraged him to embark on a professional music career. He established a trio, which toured in the Midwestern states. After he met his wife, Anne, in Indiana, the couple moved to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1950s.
In the Los Angeles vicinity, Marocco created a new band, which toured hotels and clubs in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Palm Springs. Later on, he began working in Hollywood, where television studios and movie production companies provided him a successful career.
In the 1960s, Frank Marocco recorded a solo album released by Verve, a legendary jazz record label. In 1966, he worked together with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and performed on the world-famous album Pet Sounds.
Marocco performed on a USO tour in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Guam, and other countries in the Pacific, appearing onstage with Bob Hope. He also played in the Les Brown big band, during six Love Boat cruises.
Marocco has performed in collaboration with hundreds of world-famous artists and conductors during his career, both on stage as well as in studio. As a musician, he has contributed to hundreds of movie soundtracks, television shows and TV-series. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominated him as the most valuable player eight years in a row.
In addition to his career as a musician, Marocco has written and arranged music for solo, duet, and orchestra in a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz, popular standards, international, Latin, religious, and classical.
He is the musical director and conductor of an annual "music camp", the Frank Marocco Accordion Event, which is held in Mesa, Arizona in January. The event brings together over 50 accordionists from around the U.S. and Canada, who, after three full days of instruction, rehearsal, and recreational activities, present a full concert of accordion music.

Recordings:
Jazz and Evergreens"CHANGES", Artist Signed Records 2010 "Jazz on the Road", Karthause-Schmülling 2009
"Cammino dritto", con Marea 2008
"Be-bop buffet", 2006, together with Simone Zanchini
"Just Friends", 2006
"Back in Time", 2006
Frank Marocco "Beyond the Sea" 2004-1-CD (Acoustic accordion, including French and Italian music)
Frank Marocco Group "Appassionato" 2003-1-CD
Frank Marocco Group "Made in Germany" CD
Frank Marocco Quartet "Freedom Flight" SAB-010-CD
"Brazilian Waltz" -Discovery-DS949-CD
"Ballad for Anne" -Discovery-DS950-CD
"A Nite in Marocco" AMNFM-03-CD
"Frank Marocco Quintet Live" CD
"Turn out the Stars" AMNFM 04 CD
"Evergreens" Frank Marocco-AMNFM 02-CD, 1992
"Like Frank Marocco", Verve
Classical RecordingsRecorded Kammermusic #1 (Hindemith) Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Gerard Schwarz conducting on Nonesuch #79077
American Ballet Company - "The Informer" with Mikhail Baryshnikov
Pavorotti concert - Pacific Symphony
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra concert, conducted by Gerard Schwarz
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra concert - Maxim Shostakovitch
San Diego Symphony concert - Maxim Shostakovitch
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra concerts - Johnny Green, conducted by John Mauceri
Roger Wagner Chorale concerts - Los Angeles Music Center
Recorded the Music for Chekov plays, - Amundson Theater Los Angeles Music center
Recorded Classical / Jazz Chamber Group concert - Chistopher Calliendo, Shoenberg Hall, University of California, Los Angeles
Three Penny Opera - Los Angeles Philharmonic - conducted by John Adams
La Scala Ballet Co. "Amarcord" Ballet- Orange county performing Arts Center
Kurt Weill concert - John Anson Ford Theater Hollywood with Roger Kelloway and Robin Ford
PDQ Bach concert with Pasadena Symphony - conducted by George Mester

Videos: Jazz Accordion in Concert, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2003 Four volumes with Ken Olendorf and Merle Allen Sanders


Sadly, on March 3th, 2012, Frank Marocco passed away. His death is a huge loss for the world of jazz accordion.



Source:
Bio: Wikipedia
Pictures: Frank Marocco's website




Frank Marocco


 

 




Frank


 

 



Source:
Bio: Wikipedia
Pictures: Frank Marocco's website




 
VIDEO:

 

Frank Marocco plays Stella By Starlight (2007)


 

Frank Marocco - Ellington Medley (Moscow) 16 october -2010)


 

 
Special Thanks:


Many thanks to "oleg45120" and "AMNFM" for the material on youtube.









About Jerry Cigler:



Jerry Cigler CDs:


One od a Kind by Jerry Cigler
with Rusty Jones and Nick Tountas

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JERRY CIGLER


Jerry was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied with a few teachers before meeting the great Johnny Sulin. Sulin was quite famous in Cleveland and was an amazing talent. Johnny is remembered for his unrivalled technique and incredible arrangements, many improvised on the spot. Jerry's repertoire included classical as well as popular standards and by his late teen years, he was established as a professional musician performing at many local places. Jerry then began tutelage under the amazing Leon Sash of Chicago, where Jerry eventually moved. Under Leon, Jerry began his deep study of jazz as it relates to the accordion. Some of his accomplishments included both 5-part blocks and open harmony inversions (major6, minor7, minor9, dominant7, dominant9, diminished, half-diminished) inversions in all 12 keys at a staggering 400 BPM. Jerry went on to record with Leon as well as releasing his own album in the 70's.



Source:
Bio:jazzaccordion.com




Jerry with Trio Live December 2010


 




About "One of a Kind"


 



 
Special Thanks:


My very special thanks to Jerry Cigler, for his kind availability and for his friendship !



Please note that the musicians above are listed with no intended order of priority or importance !
Do not hesitate to inform me of any error, inaccuracy or omission in this page.