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April 21, 2015


It was lovely to see some old, familiar faces at our April 19 meeting, people we hadn’t seen in years. But they weren’t there for us so much as to hear guest artist Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton. Due to frequent appearances on the National Public Radio show “Prairie Home Companion,” Dan just might be the most popular accordionist in the country. He certainly entranced and inspired our crowd, leading us on a journey around the world via its mostly vernacular musical styles: French musette, Columbian and Panamanian cumbia, Tejano conjunto, Finnish tango, Louisiana zydeco and Cajun, English “folk tunes” (a Beatles medley), a Minnesota polka, and much, much more. Dan’s wife Elizabeth stepped in as percussionist on a few of the tunes, playing the guïro, triangle, and rub board in, respectively, cumbia, Cajun, and Zydeco style.

If you missed the Sunday concert or want to catch Dan again before he and Elizabeth return home to Minneapolis, he’ll be at the VFW hall at 6420 Orchard Avenue in Takoma Park on Thursday evening and two other venues in the area on Wednesday (tomorrow) and Friday; see http://www.daddysqueeze.com/calendar.html.

Greeters Joan Grauman and JoAnn Pankow opened the meeting with a nice little set. They’re always a delight. By the way, if you’d like to serve as greeter at an upcoming meeting, please check the calendar on our website, www.washingtonaccordions.org, to see when there’s a free date, then let us know at accordionsociety@verizon.net.

Thanks go to everyone who made the day a success, and to all of you who filled the room, eager for MORE LIVE ACCORDION MUSIC! We know you went away happy!

Next Month

Our next meeting, on May 17, will be a button-box extravaganza, featuring Silvia Eberly, Frank Vidergar, Cody McSherry, and Rik Kaplan, with assistance from Joan Grauman. Here’s your chance to learn how the one- and two-row Cajun boxes differ from each other and from other diatonic accordions: the three-row Slovenian and four-row Austrian Steirische harmonikas (and not just in number of rows). Better yet, you’ll get to hear how much great music those boxes can put out. You might want to bring your dance shoes, by the way.

June Member Concert

June 14 will be our annual member concert, so polish your best piece and sign up to play it at the June meeting. As you make your choice of tunes, please keep our 5-minute rule in mind; we need to make time for everyone.


Robert Ford and Rocio Ford on April 26

Robert Ford and his daughter Rocio are among the performers in a benefit concert for breast-cancer research on April 26 at The Lyceum in Old Town, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tickets are $50; seniors pay $40; and children under 15 pay $25.

Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra Concerts

The Washington Balalaika Society will be presenting its Spring Concerts at 8 pm on Saturday, May 30, at the Washington-Lee High School Theater, 1301 North Stafford St, Arlington, Virginia, and on Sunday, May 31, at 3 pm at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, Maryland. This wonderful program is performed by the largest (55-piece) Russian folk orchestra in the United States, and will feature world-acclaimed domra soloist Tamara Volskaya and balalaika virtuoso Andrei Saveliev. Contact Peter DiGiovanni for $15 group-rate tickets, at 703-242-2160 or peter@musicisforever.com



In general, WMAS sends out mass emails twice per month: a reminder about a week before each meeting, and an update afterwards. Occasionally, there will be an extra mass email to correct an error, report a cancellation, or the like. In addition, during the end-of-year holiday season, WMAS will send out emails regarding holiday concert rehearsals and concert planning.

If you would like to include an announcement of your accordion-related event, please send the information to accordionsociety@verizon.net.


Please include all pertinent information in the body of your email:

  • Name of event
  • Date and time
  • Name of venue
  • Street address, city, state and zip code
  • Contact for more information: website, email address, and/or phone number

WMAS may or may not include your PDF flyer with the mass email. Please do not ask WMAS to copy and paste information from your flyer.

Depending on the volunteer webmaster’s availability, your event may also (or instead) be posted on the WMAS website.

The above rules do not apply to gig announcements.

If you are in search of an accordionist for an event, or someone contacts you about a gig and you can’t take it, please send all pertinent information to accordionsociety@verizon.net. WMAS will send out an announcement to the performers on our list. Please remember to include contact information, as WMAS does not want to broker these gigs.