GLOW Traditions at GO ART! presents "Accordions ‘round the World" -- the melodious sounds of accordions and concertinas from diverse musical traditions found in Western New York. It will take place under the tent at Le Roy Country Club starting at 7 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 18. A $5 donation is suggested.
The country club, which is cosponsoring the event, is located at 7759 E. Main Road, Le Roy. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs! A full menu is available in the Club or on the deck, so guests are invited to come early and enjoy a dinner, or snacks throughout the concert.
SUNY Geneseo Professor of Music Jim Kimball is the concertmaster.
As an ethnomusicologist focusing on traditional music of our region, Kimball has documented numerous old time and ethnic musical cultures in which the accordion takes a lead role. These include Irish, Italian, Danish, Polish, German, and old-time square dance music.
The concert will feature musicians from these communities: Ted McGraw, Marta Driscoll and John Ryan (Irish), Alex Alexandrov (Bulgarian and Eastern European), Ken Machelski and Casey Kliszak (Polish), and Frank Reino (Italian).
Each of the musicians have perfected their craft primarily in the context of their particular community: trading tunes at weekly Irish music sessions in and around Rochester; serving as concertmaster for the National Accordion Orchestra of Bulgaria; playing in nationally recognized Polish polka bands from Buffalo; or learning the accordion at a young age from an Italian uncle.
The performers collectively illustrate the breadth of experience found in traditional expressive culture in our region. They each perform on their own finely crafted and often unique instruments.
The accordion is a reed instrument developed in Germany in the 1820s. After traveling around Europe, it became popular in New York by the 1840s. As it moved through Europe, its form and sound changed in response to different musical cultures.
Accordions use a “free reed” system to produce their sound, similar in concept to the metal reeds in a harmonica, where the player blows air across the reed to produce musical notes. The accordion was the technical marvel of its day, and its portability enabled many an immigrant to carry his music along with him to New York, Louisiana, Argentina, Mexico, Asia and the Middle East—virtually everywhere.
Rose Caccamise at Roxy’s Music in the City of Batavia has provided additional promotion. Founded in 1934 by Roxy and Nellie Caccamise, accordion virtuosi in their own rights, Roxy’s Music has promoted the instrument throughout the region for more than 80 years, and remains a hub for accordion sales, repairs, information, players and enthusiasts.
The event is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.