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July 26, 2009


Meeting Notes

Everyone knows they’ll have a good time if Ken Kunec has anything to say about it. Even though it was the height of vacation season, more than 50 people turned out to hear Ken’s concert at the July 12 WMAS meeting.

In introducing the concert, Ken stated his goal: to play songs that people don’t usually think of as accordion songs. Many of these fell into a broad genre he invented called “rockordion”: Ritchie Valens’s hit “La Bamba” (before that it was a standard in the Mexican genre known as Jarocho, from Vera Cruz); Roy Orbison’s (and later Linda Ronstadt’s) hit, “Blue Bayou”; Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”; Billy Joel’s “She’s Got a Way About Her”; the Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk”; and Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” among others. In addition, Ken treated the audience to a Calypso song (Harry Belafonte’s “Down the Way Where the Nights Are Gay”); a Broadway hit (“Memories”); a country and western hit (Hank Williams’s – and later Charlie Pride’s -- “Kalija”); a Greek song (about flying the description of a love dream from the mast of a boat); an Italian song (“We’ Marie”); and the Mexican classics “Volver Volver Volver” and “Cielito Lindo” (for the latter, accompanied by Robert Ford and Luis Uribe). There was even an original polka named “Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy” in honor of Ken’s one-time teacher Lefty, who later hosted a radio show and often uttered that phrase.

Ken was accompanied by his sense of humor and, on most numbers, his usually trusty Alesis drum machine, “Al.” Al offers 50 different rhythms, and Ken can adjust the speed on each.

We hope portions of the concert make it onto YouTube. Stay tuned!

Next Meeting

Please remember we will not be meeting in August. Our next meeting, on September 13, will be a concert by guest artist Anthony “Tip” Ciotti, from Virginia Beach. Here’s his story:

Anthony “Tip” Ciotti, DMD

I was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and began my accordion studies with the Laravela Music School. I played in my first recital at age 5 at the Children's Theater on Delaware Avenue and met the famous Charles Magnante, who was our guest artist. Shortly afterward, I completed my studies with Magnante's friend and fellow premiere artist, composer, and director Dan Desiderio of Parkside, Pennsylvania. During this time I competed in and won several local and national competitions while also playing with my quartet throughout the Wilmington area.

After graduating from Salesianum School, St. Joseph's College, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, I had the privilege of serving a full career as a dentist in the U.S.Navy. Throughout this time, I performed in a wide range of venues including solo concert work as well as television throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East.

Since retiring from the Navy, I have lived in Virginia Beach with my wife Caroline, also a retired Navy dentist, and our three children. My wife and I perform locally in the Tidewater Virginia area where she accompanies me on variety of percussion instruments including a unique bass instrument called a marimbula.

In October 2007, a fellow local accordionist and I established the Accordion Lovers Club of Virginia here in Virginia Beach. We are an informal group that meets on the first Sunday of the month at my home from 2 to 5PM. Currently it's a small but dedicated group that always welcomes anyone who shares our joy in the accordion.

If anyone from WMAS is interested in joining us for a visit they may contact me at ceciotti@cox.net.



Accordionist Needed

Hi everyone,

My friend Carol Collins is looking for an accordionist on September 19 from 3 to 6 pm for her Octoberfest in Dumfries. Please contact her directly at 703-283-5771 or www.partyco-op.com. Thanks!

Silvia Eberly

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Bandoneonista at Rumberos in Columbia Heights, DC

Bandoneon Virtuoso Emmanuel Trifilio
Wednesday, July 29, 8 pm - midnight
3345 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

See him now because he’ll be returning home to Argentina August 3 and won’t be back in DC until October.

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Faithe Deffner to Be Honored September 20

Faithe Deffner will be honored at a very well-deserved “AAA Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner” on September 20, at the famous Tavern on the Green, in Manhattan. The elegant meal (afternoon) will be followed by a star-studded concert. Please join us! Several WMAS members will be attending the event, so car-pooling is possibility. Please see: http://www.letspolka.com/calendar/2009/09/20/concert-for-faithe-deffner for more information.

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Thoughts on Buying Accordions by Jim Vandelly

I took my Russian-made bayan to Frank Busso for repairs. Before I left, I had a chance to play a new PIGINI Super-Bayan Sirius. Price: $25,000. The Euro is killing us with imported goods. But that PIGINI has changed my mind about whether PIGINI's are the same quality as BUGARI's. No question that the PIGINI is the superior accordion. FAR SUPERIOR to my conservatory model BUGARI.

Now I'm trying to figure out if I can come up with more than $20,000+ before I die of old age.

I pity the folks who need to buy a new Italian-made accordion at present prices. So, our members should consider buying used instruments, and if SELLING them, consider asking much MORE for their instruments.

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From Dominic Karcic of AAA

The young man in this video was part of the AAA Festival in Memphis, TN in mid-July.

Please see:



These performances look to be about two years old. He has improved quite a bit since these were made. He is currently 19 years old. Check it out.