The President’s Message

Tony Mustaro

Dear Friends,

I hope you were able to  attend the pasta feed and hear some great accordion music at last month’s meeting.  We have another evening of great music lined up for you again this month.  After we hear a few of our members (maybe one of them will be you!) play during the first half of this month’s meeting we are fortunate to have Joe Domitrowich as our featured entertainer for our June meeting.  For those of you who haven’t heard Joe play you are in for a treat.  He blends acoustic accordion sounds with digital electronic technology for full melodic and complex musical arrangements.  His repertoire runs the gamut of musical styles and ethnic musical genres which include Italian, French, Russian, Alpine,    Slovenian, Gypsy, Latin, and Cajun along with some interesting novelty pieces.  This would be a good night to invite your friends to come to the meeting and hear some great accordion music.  Joe will have some of his CD’s available for purchase at the meeting.

On a less cheerful note, I have just spoken with Jerry Sbragia whose wife Eve Marie is feeling poorly and is currently staying at the Golden Living Center at 4650 Hoen Avenue in Santa Rosa.  Phone: (707) 546-0471.  Eva Marie is a professional accordionist, a past officer of our club and a very nice lady.  She would welcome a visit from her friends while she is a resident at Golden Living Center.  Eva Maria we send our wishes for a speedy recovery and hope to see you out and about soon.

Just a brief reminder regarding membership.  If you have not yet submitted your yearly dues to John Pordon your membership has lapsed at this point and I urge you to attend to it.  Our club is the best social and entertainment deal available and a great place to see old friends and relax and unwind and listen to good music and have a bite to eat all – at an incredible bargain price.  Even if you can’t attend all of the meetings you will certainly get your money’s worth by renewing your yearly membership. As I mentioned last month we have a great new venue for our annual club picnic this year.  Jeanie and Finn are hosting our picnic this year and we will have a much better facility than we have had in past years.  Please try to get your reservations in as early as possible this year.  It makes things so much easier for the wonderful volunteers who work so hard to bring you a good time, and saves waste by allowing us to prepare for the right number of attendees when purchasing food and drink.  Please feel free to invite your friends to attend.  We will have a great wooden dance floor and completely covered area for dancing.  Remember there is no regular monthly meeting in July. I hope to see all of you at this months meeting as well as at the picnic in July.

Tony Mustaro
Accordion Club of the Redwoods

Meeting May 21st, 2012

player-01aThis month’s entertainment was led off by young Anthony Berger, a very talented young man who shows great ability a very short time after starting lessons.  Anthony came to us after playing that same day for his school He performed Up and Down, Frank the Firemen, and Push and Pull Waltz showing a very good understanding of his instrument.  We are looking for big things from this young man.

player-02bOur next performer was Joe Graverman who was joined by Dorothy Nadale on her harmonica after Joe’s first selection.  Together they performed crowd pleasing renditions of Red River Valley and You Are My Sunshine. Thanks for sharing your music with us Joe and Dorothy.


We were pleased to have Ed Burgle play for us this month.  It’s been too long since you came over to play for us Ed.  Ed was performing on his new Roland FR-7 V accordion.  He has a very nice touch with his instrument and he gave us three great numbers:  Beer Barrel Polka (Rosamunda), Peg O’ My Heart and 12th Street Rag. We hope you won’t wait so long to come play for us again Ed.


Our next performer was our own Keith Church who also played a Roland FR-7 V accordion.  Keith was in a kind of Bluesy mood this month and he gave us Alabama Avenue Blues, House of the Rising Sun and Just Strollin’.  Keith keeps exploring musical choices and we thank him for sharing his voyages of discovery with us.

players-01a-steve-and-carloThe final performer of the first half was a surprise visitor, Carlo Solivan, an old friend who has a marvelous voice which he is always willing to share.  Carlo, whose range goes from baritone through tenor was accompanied by Steve Albini on his Roland FR-7x for impromptu arrangements of Con Te Partiro and Torna a Surriento. As usual Carlo wowed us with his vocal skills.  He also joined our club after the meeting so I welcome him and look forward to seeing and hearing him at our meetings.

players-03c-tatiana-and-steveOur featured performers of the evening were Roland artists Tatiana Semichastnaya and Steve Albini accompanied by Jim Lehmann on percussion. The trio performed a variety of musical and vocal selections using a variety Roland V  accordions which have brought digital accordions to a new level. Tatiana is a virtuoso player who studied at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory and Steve is well known to us as a past club president and professional accordionist and vocalist. Their selections included Astoria, Por Una Cabeza,Light and Shadow, Libertango, Maruzzella, Sway (Quien Sera), Guaglione, Guarda Che Luna, Fly Me to the Moon, and Besame Mucho.  It was a great show featuring some great new instruments and some great musical talents. We hope you folks will let us know when you can come and play for us again.

News, June 2012

Mark Your Calendars!
The ACR annual Picnic is on July 21st
Directions: From Highway 101 take the Highway 116 West Exit (Gravenstein Hwy towards Sebastopol) after about 3 miles you will see a sign for Hessel Rd and Blank Rd on the left.  Go past this for about another mile and a half.  You will see another sign for Hessel Rd on the left.  Turn left onto Hessel Rd.  Go about a quarter of a mile.  You will see McFarland Rd on your right and just past this you will turn left onto a long driveway to Finn and Jeanie’s place.

Also Cotati Accordion Festival
We have a new ticket seller this year.
Don’t forget to get your tickets from Cathy Patton at     (707) 792-0944 for this event, check out at for the entertainers  and specials.

Bring in a New Member.
Spread the word and tell your family and friends about the Accordion Club of the Redwoods. We could always use more fine folks like you!  Bring in two new members and get a one year membership for free.

Lets wish her Well
Eva Marie Sbragia used to be our Secretary many years ago. Well she is having a somewhat serious health issue. She is in rehabilitation at Golden Living Centers on 4650 Hoen Ave Santa Rosa Ca 95405, 707-546-0471. If you could find the time to visit, she would really appreciate it.

Play for the ACR, Get in Free.
The ACR board has voted to admit all performers into the monthly meetings for free.
As long as the musicians sign up and perform a minimum of three songs, they will admitted without the normal donation at the door.

ACR Band Update
The ACR Band will have its next meeting on June 18th, 6:30 before the ACR general meeting. If you would like to play in the band, please contact Steve Balich at 707-874-3494.

Remember Eddie Blazonczyk
Remember Grammy Award-winning polka great Eddie Blazonczyk, who began playing the lively music in the 1950’s and went on to earn the nickname “Polka King” after starting his own band and label, has died. He was 70.

Cotati Accordion Festival
Mark your Calendars for August 18 & 19, 2012
9:30 – 8:30 both days.
Announcing the return of Dick Contino and a host of others.

Here is a partial list below (in no particular order).
Dick Contino, Santiago Jimenez & Chris Rybak,The Mad Maggies, Alicia Baker, Amber Lee Baker, Circus Finelli, Polkacide, THAT Damned Band, BlackEyed Dempseys, Chervona, The Sansa and Shiri Show, Gator Beat, MotorDude Zydeco, Copper Box, Roxanne Oliva & KAZAMOZe, Big Lou’s Dance Party, Chuck Berger, Tatiana Semichasnaya, Steve Albini, The Great Morgani, The Golden State Accordion Club Band, Future Accordion Stars, The Steve Balilch Sr. Polka Band, Jim Gilman, The Accordion Babes Showcase, The Wild Catahoulas, Mark St. Mary, and Peter Robuffo.

Remember When you buy your CAF tickets through the ACR we get a donation from the festival!