Archives for May 2013

The Presidents Message

Tony Mustaro

Dear Friends,

This is a good time to talk a bit about some of the events and changes which are taking place in our club. The first big change is that founding member, board member, past president and current vice president of our club, Steve Balich will get to sit with his wife Jennie at this years annual Christmas dinner dance. After year after year of working in the kitchen to prepare our dinners before going on stage with his band to play for our dancing pleasure, Steve is finally hanging up his apron. So at our next dinner dance he will be able to sit with his family and enjoy a catered meal. We are now in the process of searching for a caterer to take over these kitchen duties and I promise that we’ll find a good one. One of the side effects of this change is that you must purchase your tickets in advance to be sure that you have a meal available. Don’t worry about the music though. Steve and his band will continue to provide us with the mix of dance music for which they are so well known.

Another change is something which I announced at our last meeting. After years of performing the arduous task of preparing the deli trays for our meeting sandwiches Jan Terribilini is no longer able to continue with this work. I have asked for volunteers to fill this position but as of this writing the response has been underwhelming, ie; negative. Art and Carola Clark filled in last month but that was a one time event. This month I have volunteered to prepare the trays. This will also be a one time event. If the member would like to see the tradition of sandwich snacks continue at our monthly meetings someone will have to volunteer to help do this work.

We are also planning to have a Saturday daytime meeting in July this year for those of you who would rather not come out at night. More on that in the future.

For those of you who have access to a computer or who have friends or relatives who are computer literate I invite you to go online and visit our website a Ron Slyh has designed a great website for our club and we can all be proud of it. There will be more content added as we go along including access to video and audio relating to the accordion. We will also welcome articles of interest to the accordion community for submission and publication on the website. Right now there is a great slide show of photos taken at our annual Spring Fling dinner dance.

I am looking forward to seeing more of our membership at the meetings as the weather improves. Please think about what you can do to make our club better. Every little act of assistance helps to move us forward.

Tony Mustaro
Accordion Club of the Redwoods

May 2013 Entertainment


Wes Smith

Wes was in fine form, his retinue was Lordags Valsen (saturday waltz), Just a Closer Walk With Thee and Somewere My love. Great job Wes we look forward to more.


Steve Balich

Steve was in his regular superb form with Medlis Snow Waltz Daj Daj, You Belong to My Heart, Alley Cat and ended with La Paloma. Great Job Steve.


Guy Richards

Just what can this Guy not do or play? It is impossible to list off the music that Guy performed for us. It may be easier to list off what he did not play for us, just joking, just saying…. Guy enlisted Wes to play with him on Guy’s accordion, it was beautiful and I was to engrossed to take pictures of this, so sorry. If you missed this, you missed a great show.

Oh, and on my way in to the meeting that evening, I noticed a Honda Civic Vertuoso in front of me. I had never heard of or seen a Honda Vertuoso, then I noticed a treble clef note on the bumper. I said that could only be Guy Richards, and it was. Who else would have the hutzpa to display that and the talent to back it up?

Life Time Membership


Frank and Jane Tripi

Frank and Jane Tripi were awarded Life Time Membership for their dedicated service to the club. They are always ready to assist and the first ones to serve. I personally do not know if the club would survive without them. I have done a little volunteering and know how back breaking the work is. Do not hesitate to show them your appreciation and thank them!

A Tribute to this Year’s Honorary Director John Volpi


Photo© and article submitted by Sheri Mignano

Unless it’s the opening weekend of deer hunting season, you’ll find John Volpi strapped into his recently restored vintage Excelsior, playing and singing the Old Italian songs. His cherished accordion provides him with more than just memories; it’s his way to connect with people who visit Volpi’s Ristorante & Bar, in downtown Petaluma.

On weekends John holds court in what was once a 1920s speakeasy during Prohibition. In the evening, a parade of cowboys, farmers, Goths, baby boomers, and flirtatious women begins. The men offer to buy him drinks (he likes Old Fashioned cocktails), and the women leave behind traces of perfume and kisses on his cheek. By the time midnight rolls around, he’s strolled through the dining hall a few times playing Happy Birthday and “La Bionda” for the celebrants.

Volpi’s has been a musical hub for decades thanks to John’s father Silvio who taught a generation of accordionists. It has almost singlehandedly kept Italian accordion music alive in the North Bay. It has fostered a legacy of Italian classics and nostalgic northern Italian Alpine songs as well as Italian-American pop standards heard on jukeboxes.

Even before the Cotati Accordion Festival was hatched in 1991, John’s accordion-centric restaurant nourished many squeezers; and over the years, John established a friendly, relaxed environment, graciously embracing hundreds of accordionists, including myself, in the restaurant. Both John and his sister Silvia have been entertaining guests and friends for decades. The Volpi siblings, with familial ties to the Sebastiani winemaking tradition, maintained a gig schedule at many other Italian venues, too. Sharing the love of the accordion has been their top priority.

I salute John’s warm hospitality in welcoming accordion festival participants year after year. It’s been quite a journey. In 1970, I arrived with the San Francisco State Concert Band to recruit Petaluma’s high school music students, and visited the historic restaurant. In 1998 when I moved to Sonoma County, my first accordion club meeting was at Volpi’s. It’s now 2013 and I’m happy to say that the squeeze goes on! Thank you, John. Congratulations! Tanti Auguri!

Sheri Mignano Crawford

Accordion Orchestra Project in the Bay Area

Rehearsal dates are:

Rehearsal – Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Rehearsal – Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Rehearsal (Power Rehearsal with Breakout Sessions) – Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Rehearsal – Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Final Rehearsal – Saturday, July 20th, 2013

PERFORMANCE at SFAC – Sunday, July 21st, 2013 at 2 PM

Proposed music pieces:

  • “Blue Tango” by Leroy Anderson
  • Frank Sinatra’s hit “Strangers In The Night”
  • “España” by E. Chabrier
  • possibly Hungarian Dance No. 5 and/or No. 6 if time permits.
  • Other pieces may be introduced depending on overall rehearsal progress and capabilities.

Download PDF below


News, May 2013

ralph muscatell

Ralph Muscatell

May 15, 1927 to May 22, 2013 Ralph passed away about 3:00 PM May 22 2013. He had just turned 86 on May 15 2013. He battled with cancer for quite some time after suffering a stroke 4 years ago. He was one of the most fun, sarcastic and vivacious button boxers I have ever played with. Having only learned the accordion at the age of 69, he went on to play with the Golden State Accordion Club band for many years after having attended Joe Smiell summer music camps. His wife Ann will be staying in the house in Windsor and has help, she has MS. Ralph was a longtime member of ACR and GSAC.

His channel on YOUTUBE is “Musky527”. He has uploaded about 130 videos (almost all accordion but also my mandolin ensemble) which he took himself, having also learned to record and upload using the latest in MAC technology! Not a simple thing to do in your early 80s!

Click here to view Press Democrat Memorial

Submitted by
Sheri Magnano


The Fontana Button Accordion Club has a new free advertising list.

You can find this at just copy this link into your search bar and help your self. Our member, George Bachic, has taken advantage of this.

The Cotati Accordion Festival

Start looking for information about the upcomming Accordiuon Festival at and dont miss the John Volpi write up by Sheri Mignano.

ACR Band Update

The ACR Band will have its next meeting on May 20th 6:30 before the ACR general meeting. All levels of players are welcome. It helps if you can read sheet music. Bring an accordion and a good measure of enthusiasm. If you would like to play in the band, please contact Steve Balich at 707-874-3494.

2013 Coupe Mondiale Accordion Competition and Festival

August 17th-25th

The 66th Annual Coupe Mondiale to be held in in Victoria, BC and Hosted by the BC Accordion Society. This years prize budget exceeds over $50,000. For information about tickets to events, all inclusive “Early Bird” discount packages, accommodations please contact via e-mail:

For more information visit the Coupe Mondiale Website