The Box That Made Milwaukee Famous
People of German and Polish descent have been ethnically and historically connected to the accordion, therefore it should come as no surprise that areas that are of predominantly German and Polish heritage have the most experience with acccordians. Wisconsin, having been dominated by immigrating Germans and Poles in the 1800's, has the vibrant and flexible sounds of the "squeezebox" at many festivities.
Heavy Metal Accordion: An Introduction to Turisas
An accordion can turn the most straightforward and mainstream compositions into wholly unique works. The instrument almost demands a kind of "What if...?" approach to considering genre:
What if... you constructed a rap beat from an accordion loop?
What if... you covered some mainline pop hits with a Polka band?
Or even "What if... you added an accordion to heavy metal?" Well, that's what "folk metal" is all about!
One of the top bands in the sub-genre is Turisas. Although the band has been active since 1997, it's their post-2004 work, starting with the album "Battle Metal", that accordion players should consider giving a listen, even if you've ever been interested in heavy metal.
This is when Turisas started including Finnish accordionist Janne Mäkinen on their studio work.
Spotlight on Yann Tiersen
Unless you're a fan of independent foreign films, there's probably a good chance you've never heard of Yann Tiersen. Yann Tiersen is an eclectic musician whose instrument choice ranges from his signature accordion to the ondes martenot. He composed the soundtracks for critically acclaimed films such as "Goodbye Lenin! " and "Amelie ." Because of his unconventional ideas about composing, one could call him the beat poet of the music world, the James Joyce of classical music.
Spotlight on Frank Marocco
If you're listening to Frank Marocco play accordion and your mouth starts to water, you are not experiencing a bout of synesthesia, you're probably just having flashbacks to Disney Pixar's award-winning film, Ratatouille . But that's not the only place you’ve heard Frank Marocco before. It seems if anyone in Hollywood is in need of an accordionist, Marocco is the go-to guy. You may know his music from other popular films, such as Pirates Of The Caribbean - At World's End, Something's Gotta Give, and Matchstick Men.
Louis Stanisha, Pittsburgh's Master Accordion Personality
Louis Philip Stanisha is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania master of the accordion. He has been playing since he was seven years old. That's more than 75 years ago. He learned from his uncle Louis Skerlong, the young Lou Stanisha playing with his right hand while Lou Skerlong played the base. Over the years, Lou trained with Tony Rozaze, who later went on to create an Accordion Major at a college in Texas.
When Louis Stanisha was still in high school, he was chosen to perform with the Duquesne Tamburitzans, which is now America's longest-running multicultural song and dance company. The Tamburitzans are dedicated to the performance and preservation of music, songs, and dances from Eastern European folk cultures.