Bringing Accordion to the People

Los Angeles Accordion Festival takes you on a musical journey from 1920's Paris to Mexico and Louisiana

Published on LatinoLA: June 23, 2009

Bringing Accordion to the People

Can the Los Angeles Accordion Festival turn LA into an accordion festival town? What's an accordion festival town? Well, try visiting Cotati, California in late August for it's annual squeezefest. Or visit San Antonio, Texas for the Conjunto Festival in May. How about Canada for the Old Time Accordion Championship in July. In fact, San Francisco has even declared June, Accordion Awareness Month. These cities have found that accordion music is good for their communities as it brings people together and helps the local economy as accordion enthusiasts travel far and wide for all things accordion.

Los Angeles Accordion Festival organizers were able to share the amazing attributes of the accordion with LA's diverse community at the first annual festival in May 2008. One of the objectives of the LA Accordion Festival was to present different musical styles such at Cajun/Zydeco, Irish, Polka, Tex-Mex, Classical and everything in between and beyond such alt-experimental. With over 15 bands throughout the weekend, the formula proved successful for the inaugural event as it sold out for three days of non-stop accordion bands.

SqueezeFestLA, scheduled for Sunday, June 28, 2009 is sponsored in partnership with the John Anson Ford Theatre in Hollywood through a grant from Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The event kicks off with pre-show picnic at 5:30 pm with Gee Rabe, LA's accordion diva. Featured bands are Portland's Vagabond Opera, LA's Conjunto Los Pochos and Louisiana's Feufollet.

Fusing traditional and modern genres with innovative accordion playing, each group has created unique sounds that draw inspiration from the melting pot of American rhythms. Don't be fooled though, it will get hot, fast and furious and we dare you to sit in your seat when the bellows start to blow!

Vagabond Opera delivers passionate offerings of Bohemian cabaret for young and old. Paris hot jazz, gut bucket swing, tangos, Ukrainian folk-punk ballads, klezmer and vigorous originals meet a world of riverboat gambling queens, Turkish belly dancers, and the enigmatic Marlene Dietrich

Conjunto Los Pochos, lead by Oto??o Lujan, is Los Angeles Tex Mex at its best. Conjunto Los Pochos has lived this music at dance halls, weddings, concerts and a variety of venues from the Eastside to the Westside, throughout Southern California and across the country. They have developed their unique sound that combines elements of both Texas and Mexico Conjunto styles with original music as well as classic favorites.

Louisiana's Feufollet was formed in 1995 when accordionist/singer Chris Stafford was 8 and fiddler Chris Segura was 11. Feufollet quickly became known as one of the most exciting Cajun bands in Acadiana, not because of their youth but because of their obvious musical ability and the vivacity with which they approached the traditional music of the area.

For more information about SqueezeFestLA and the Los Angeles Accordion Festival, visit www.losangelesaccordionfestival.com www.losangelesaccordionfestival.com and www.myspace.comlosangelesaccordionfest.

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