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Accordions

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 1989 | MARITA HERNANDEZ, Times Staff Writer
When the curtain parted, 32 youthful musicians appeared on the crowded stage, each clutching a small accordion to his or her chest. Never mind that when the band of fourth-graders began playing, some had forgotten to unclip the leather strap that releases the instrument's bellows. The simple tunes, learned during a 10-week program at four Los Angeles public schools, were music to their parents' ears.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2012 | By Don Heckman, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Frank Marocco, a rare jazz accordionist, a first-call studio musician and one of the most recorded accordion players in the world, has died. He was 81. Marocco died Saturday at his home in the San Fernando Valley, after having been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for complications following hip replacement surgery, according to his daughter Cynthia. Marocco's wide-ranging career embraced every genre of music. His accordion can be heard on hundreds of movie soundtracks, recordings, musical theater, television series and specials, commercials, video games and theme park music.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 1993 | MIMI KO
A local accordion ensemble, which returned this month from performing at the White House, is practicing to defend its reputation as perhaps the country's best student accordion group. The nine musicians, who specialize in jazz, spent a recent evening perfecting arrangements they will play at the Accordion Federation of North America's prestigious competition, which takes place in August.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2011 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Before she morphed into the ruby-lipped, hip-shaking diva La Marisoul, Marisol Hernandez lived in alternate musical realities as an L.A. teenager. She spent weekends among the tourist emporiums of Olvera Street, where her grandfather owned a shop, singing traditional Mexican boleros for spare change. Then, during the week, as a Hollywood High School student, Hernandez says, "I would dress in black, I was all about the Doors and the Beatles, and I was all dark. It was like two different lives.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1997 | JOHN ROOS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"What do you call 10 accordions at the bottom of the ocean? "A good start." (For more accordion humor, check out http://www.cs.cmu.edu/ afs/cs/user/ phoebe/mosaic/ accordion.html). Myron Floren, the veteran accordionist best known for his days as the creative backbone of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, takes the jokes in stride.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 2001 | AGUSTIN GURZA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Tex-Mex performer Joel Guzman confesses an odd musical secret in the opening minutes of "Accordion Dreams," a new documentary about the instrument he's played all his life. "Before, [people would] say, 'Only geeks play the accordion,"' he explains. "So you always practiced in a room and by yourself. Don't let anybody know."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2003 | Josef Woodard, Special to The Times
Although it may not register high on most cultural calendars, one Los Angeles debut next weekend will have an offbeat distinction: In a small but fervent corner of the musical cosmos -- European free improvisation -- Germany's Rudiger Carl qualifies as a bona fide celebrity because of his prowess on the accordion. Yes, the accordion. The instrument that for some evokes folklore, polkas, wedding music and, occasionally, jazz and classical tunes has a much richer tradition than stereotypes allow.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 1995 | CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
To outsiders, it may recall "The Far Side" cartoon in which St. Peter is handing out harps at heaven's gate while Satan, standing at the depths of hell, is dealing out--what else?--accordions. But to players and fans, the Accordion Federation of North America's 40th Annual Music Festival, being held at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach, is paradise. Where else can you see squeeze-boxes of all shapes, sizes and ages? Or hear children gleefully comparing accordion stories?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 1991 | JIM WASHBURN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
To fans and scholars of Cajun music, Amede Ardoin and Adam Fontenot are legendary names, founders of the infectious accordion-based Cajun music that has grown from a regional backwater style to find a worldwide audience. To Wilfred Latour, though, the long-departed Ardoin and Fontenot aren't sketchy chapters in a musicologist's treatise. They were neighbors and family friends, who sat a 7-year-old Latour on their knees and taught him the rudiments of his instrument.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2011 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Before she morphed into the ruby-lipped, hip-shaking diva La Marisoul, Marisol Hernandez lived in alternate musical realities as an L.A. teenager. She spent weekends among the tourist emporiums of Olvera Street, where her grandfather owned a shop, singing traditional Mexican boleros for spare change. Then, during the week, as a Hollywood High School student, Hernandez says, "I would dress in black, I was all about the Doors and the Beatles, and I was all dark. It was like two different lives.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2010
Monsters of Accordion Tour When: Sunday, 8 p.m. Where: The Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd. Price: $10 advance, $12 at the door Information: http://www.monstersofaccordion.com
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2010 | By Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times
The Petrojvic Blasting Company, the Los Angeles nouveau-gypsy band started by brothers Justin and Josh Petrojvic, has always let chance play a divine role in its day-to-day survival. "There are connections you make that you would never expect," Josh Petrojvic said on the phone while the band was driving from Seattle to Portland, Ore., on the Monsters of Accordion tour, a roving folk-music circus organized by Seattle musician Jason Webley. "You meet someone and they know someone and the next thing you know, you're playing at a wedding in front of 300 people," said Petrojvic, the younger of the brothers at age 21. "Being out in the world and meeting people is important to us. " There are few bands in Los Angeles that are as visible, as woven into the fabric of the city as the Petrojvic Blasting Company, currently claiming five members on a hodgepodge of instruments ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
Aleah Nahue drags a chair onto the sidewalk and pulls her accordion from its case. All around her, Los Angeles is singing. Helicopters hum, sirens bray, busses wheeze. With nimble taps of her 10-year-old fingers, Aleah adds her melodies to the soundtrack of the street. She plays melancholy German waltzes and upbeat Mexican ranchera ballads. It's old-fashioned music, not what you'd expect from a middle-school girl in skinny jeans and pigtails, and it makes the people who travel this block smile.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2009 | Chris Barton
The accordion isn't exactly one of the more common instruments in jazz. Yet in the context of the genre-shifting mix of New York's Claudia Quintet, the accordion sounded so natural at REDCAT on Wednesday night that it's fair to start questioning just why it doesn't make an appearance more often. Of course, the same can be asked of the quintet. Composed of veterans from New York City's jazz scene, the Claudia Quintet doesn't make its way west very often. But the audience of CalArts students and older jazz heads were treated to an evening with a versatile band that deserves mention among the top ensembles in jazz today.
NATIONAL
August 18, 2008 | Cynthia Dizikes, Times Staff Writer
. -- When he was 5, John Moceo announced that he wanted to play the accordion. Chalking it up to childhood whimsy, his mother pushed him to play something else, anything else -- guitar, piano, even baseball. "He came home from school, shoving this paper in my face, saying that a music teacher was offering lessons," Deanna Moceo said. "He had already checked off 'accordion,' and I said, 'No. What's an accordion?' " But Moceo persisted, his kindergarten tenacity besting his mother's uncertainty.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 2008 | Constance Meyer, Special to The Times
MOST people think of the accordion, if they think of it at all, as a social instrument, wheezing out polkas and folk tunes. The sound of it brings to mind French cafes, Mexican plazas, German beer gardens, Argentine nightclubs. Nick Ariondo, perhaps the premier accordionist in Los Angeles, notes that the instrument's portability and its ability to play "everything: melody, chords and accompaniment" have made it popular all over the world.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2010
Monsters of Accordion Tour When: Sunday, 8 p.m. Where: The Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd. Price: $10 advance, $12 at the door Information: http://www.monstersofaccordion.com
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 1989 | RANDY LEWIS
Perhaps it was a crime of need. Or of desperation. Maybe even a crime of passion. But whatever incited the burglary of my car last weekend, it was, in the parlance of all those pithy TV detectives, "a senseless crime." When I returned to the car from a concert I had attended, I didn't detect any damage right away. Such was the level of the thieves' expertise.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2007 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Describing the music of Norwegian accordionist Frode Haltli in a few words is like trying to do a miniaturist painting of one of his country's magnificent fiords. The quartet he brought to the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center on Friday night may have seemed like a modest chamber group ensemble: Haltli playing accordion, Darryl Harper on clarinet, Nils Okland on violin and Hardanger fiddle, and vocalist-composer Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2006 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Finland's Maria Kalaniemi has been called "the queen of the accordion." There are, of course, many who would have difficulty assigning any regal aspects to an instrument more often ridiculed than admired. But Kalaniemi's performance Thursday at the Skirball Cultural Center was an impressive display of its extraordinary, too often unappreciated qualities. In Kalaniemi's hands, the two button accordions on which she alternated became -- like the piano -- virtual orchestras in themselves.
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