The Presidents Message

Tony Mustaro

Dear Friends

I hope that you were here to listen to our special guest performer, Alicia Baker, at last month’s meeting. If you weren’t, you missed something really special and if you were you know what I mean. If you did miss Alicia’s performance, several of the members purchased her CDs so maybe you can find a friend who will share her music with you.

There are lots of activities going on this month for the Accordion Club of the Redwoods and its membership. First off, Kris Nelson will be cooking his famous GUMBO for our next meeting on October 20. I will be once again serving as his sous chef, so if you really enjoyed the meal last time you have another opportunity to really enjoy it again. Let’s try to have a good turnout for this event before the weather turns colder and the meeting time turns darker.

In addition to this our club is sponsoring a booth and a performance stage at the Italian (Rootstock) Festival on Sunday October 12 at Santa Rosa Vintner’s Square 1301 Cleveland Avenue (Between College Avenue and Steele Lane). This event replaces the Festa Italiana which in the past has been held at the Santa Rosa Veterans Building. Performers from the club who will be playing on our stage are: George Bachich, Joe Chiesa, Keith Church, Elmo Fama, and Stanko Pecavar and yours truly. We would like to see more of our members performing here for the public. If you would be willing to share your music for the benefit of the club please contact me and I will schedule you to play. If you don’t want to play but are willing to assist in setting up the booth and manning the booth please contact me as well. This is a great opportunity to promote our club to the general public to help insure that it will continue even after we are gone.

This festival should be a great deal of fun. There are several great musicians playing here on the main stage also: Steve Albini and Tatiana Seminastchaya, (Las Vegas and Cotati Accordion Festival, among many other venues) Carlo Solivan, The Coro Allegro, and a surprise wonderful female vocalist who will amaze you. Italian food and drink will be available and there will be a grape stomp for the youngsters as well as many vendors.

Hope to see many of you there. This is another chance to support your club so please take advantage of it.



Tony Mustaro

Accordion Club of the Redwoods

News, October 2014


Arthur Seebach

Arthur after a little coaxing and arm twisting, played “Irish – Man of the House (reel)”. Arthur is partial to the Irish and we are glad for the cultural input.



Janet Farris

I chose SHADOW BOXING because it was the third of the John Gart songs on my itinerary.  Gart was an accomplished player and composer who never achieved the recognition he merited.  He was born in Poland in 1905, and was an established musician at the age of 7.  He discovered the accordion in 1931, but he was primarily a radio/TV organist for the next 30 years.  He was a founding member of the AAA in the late 1930’s, but even then he was absent for the group photo.  His SNOWTRAIN SHUFFLE will always be a favorite of mine, and a lot of other accordionists. The theme from PICNIC was chosen because it’s a beautiful arrangement by Gary Dahl.  I never got into Dahl music until after the passing of Frank Marocco.  As Marocco finished a composition, I immediately started playing it, and my attention was always to his music.  With no more new music from Marocco, I turned to Gary Dahl’s compositions because I had never really experimented with his arrangements.  I can still buy them online, so am constantly trying something new by him or what is new to me.  It keeps my interest up that way.



Tony Mustaro and George Simko

Tony and George teamed up as a duo and played and sang “I Wonder Why”, “Echoes of Vienna” and finished with “Valger Allegro”. What a Treat, keep them coming!




Alicia Baker

Accordion Pickin’ Polka – This is just one of my favorite polkas.  I love starting my program off with a polka to start with high energy, and this one does the trick!

Rivalite and Sul le ciel de Paris Medley – I would play all musettes for my program if I could. =)  So I always program a fair amount of them in my concerts.  I found that by making little medleys, it’s a nice way to get a variety of different musettes in one go.  I learned Rivalite at a young age, and it still has such a beautiful melody in my mind.  I chose Sul le ciel de Paris because it’s so widely known, and I love when the audience can connect to my music since they’ve heard it before.

Santa Lucia – This is my favorite Italian folk song that I’ve come across so far in my learning. It has a simple, beautiful melody and the lyrics are lovely.

La Vie en Rose – This is my favorite french folk song. It’s fun to play, it’s fun to sing, and it’s so well known that it always pleases the crowd.

Joss’s Song – This is a newer piece to me, having learned it just a couple months ago.  I love listening to jazz, and this piece really caught my attention the first time I heard it! It has some tricky chord progressions, providing a neat opportunity for cool improvisation, and I love the quick bossa beat.

Take Five (looper – end of jazz set) – I chose this piece strictly because I was playing the Roland.  I love using the looper feature, and TakeFive is perfect for creating a little backing track and then improvising on top.  Plus, it’s a joy to play!

Reine de Musette – Xavier asked me to play this piece, having heard Michael Bridge and I perform it in Vegas. I was happy to add it to my program, as it has been one of my favorites for many years now!

Meadow Land – I included this piece so that I could share a bit of what I worked on for the Coupe Mondiale, the World Championship of accordion.  It’s an exciting piece, as it is essentially a theme and variations on a famous Russian melody. I love the drama of the tempo changes and speedy ending.

O Mio Babbino Caro – I wanted to sing some opera, so of course I had to do this classic! It’s a beautiful aria that people connect with.

Pretzel Polka – I chose to play this polka because it is my original composition. I like to try to share some of what goes on in my head – so this is a good way to do that!

After You’ve Gone – This is another jazz standard that I’ve always loved.  I heard an awesome arrangement of it, and once I got my handson the sheet music, I learned it right away! It’s lively with difficult/cool runs, and I love to play it!

Blue Paris Waltz – This piece was composed by my favorite player, Ludovic Beier.  When he sent me a bunch of his original compositions, I was ecstatic! This one stood out to me, and I learned it first. I like including one of his pieces since he’s been such an inspiration to me.

C’est si Bon – I love the old-fashioned nature of this little song.  I’m obsessed with the French language (even though I don’t speak it..), so I love to learn as many French songs as I can.

O Sole Mio – This is such a well-known, popular Italian folk song, that I like to include it in my programs for the audience.  I also really enjoy singing the chorus.

Skinny’s Polka – I wanted to finish with a polka, because it’s such a fun way to go out! I learned this polka about 7 years ago, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. I love the funky A-section, with the flying runs.

Cumana – I thought this would be a good encore because it’s short, fast, exciting, and fun!