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.
One such area in Wisconsin is Milwaukee. Known for its baseball and breweries, this large Midwestern city even has its own Accordian Club. That's right! The club plays accordians for fun as well as profit in an attempt to promote this Old World music box.
The club meets monthly to savor the music they produce on their accordians and plan events to showcase what an accordian can really do. Anyone who's an accordian player or just an accordian enthusiast can join for what it costs to attend a single afternoon of Brewers' baseball, and the membership is for an entire year.
Their accordian ensemble, which consists of eight members and a conductor, meet weekly for practice. (All play piano accordians, which bear a sharp contrast to most traditional accordians, in that they use a small keyboard in place of the older button or key press accordians.) They play at all kinds of gigs, but predominantly at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and yes, even the occassional funeral. They strive to educate today's youth about the accordian, history, and the ancestral connections overall. Accordian music, as they see it, is living, breathing, history.
When they're not playing a gig, they publicize public events of their players and members through regular shows. When they're not performing for any of the above reasons, they're there for the biggest German festival of all: Oktoberfest! No Oktoberfest is complete or legitimate without accordian music and no one knows that better than Wisconsin's Milwaukee Accordian Club(MAC)!
If you check out their website, they list upcoming events and other useful info about the club, the players, and of course, accordians. They encourage even non-residents of Wisconsin to join and enjoy the melodious sounds of the accordian.