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On The Road: Musicians Making The Accordion “Cool”

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The old squeeze box know as the accordion is not known for being a hip instrument but in today’s On the Road in Texas I met two young maestros’ of the accordion that are on a mission to make the accordion “cool”.

Most people don’t know there is a National Accordion Association and that it holds the annual convention right here in Dallas.  During the convention, accordion players from all over the country converge on Dallas for four days of accordion music and fun.

It becomes quite apparent the accordion is a very versatile instrument when you hear all the different types of music people play.  From old French music, to polka, to Mariachi, there is something for everyone, but it doesn’t stop there.

otr accordion 2 On The Road: Musicians Making The Accordion Cool

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

I met Cory Pesaturo who is in his 20′s and recently crowned the World Accordion Champion — I didn’t even know there was a competition for that.  He decided to show me what he could do with a digital accordion so he played Tom Sawyer by Rush and then broke into some techno music.  He said the only music he could think of that you can’t play on an accordion is rap and even that he said he could play background beats if asked.  It sounded like he was playing three of four instruments at once.

otr accordion 1 On The Road: Musicians Making The Accordion Cool

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

I also talked to Jamie Maschler, a woman in her early 20s, who has been playing the accordion since she was four years old.  A door-to-door sales man that came by her house introduced her to the accordion.  He must have been one heck of salesman to sell accordions door-to-door.  Maschler said the accordion almost died out because it was only the older generation playing the instrument until recent years when some of her generation started to breathe life back into the bellows of the one man band instrument.

I’m not sure if the accordion will ever be “cool” but it is fun and one man told me it’s a party in a box, one that can play whatever type music you want… except rap!

Photojournalist,
Mike Kinney

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