Many Americans associate the month of June with Summer Solstice, the NBA finals, and finally Candy Month! Nonetheless, 22 years ago San Francisco native Tom Torriglia decided that June was the perfect month to educate and spread the word about the resurgence in popularity of…the accordion!
Favored by Steven Q. Urkel of the Family Matters sitcom, the accordion is a member of the reed family and commonly mistaken to be a part of the keyboard family. Billy Joel and Barry Manilow are two popular musicians who became proficient with the accordion. Guitarist Nils Lofgren lists the accordion as the first instrument he learned to play.
Accordions that have keys on them are called piano accordions and were first manufactured in the United States in 1907, in San Francisco.
However, China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of accordions in the world.
The accordion family includes five instruments:
Although accordions are popular for being used at Bar Mitzvahs and weddings, Canadian country singer Shania Twain used the accordion on her third studio album, Come On Over, and accumulated triple platinum sales.
All Things Accordion, in San Francisco, will host the Polka Band and Bella Ciao to kick off their entertainment celebration for National Accordion Awareness Month.
Detroit will not miss out on any of the excitement this month as hometown band, the Hot Club of Detroit, has local concerts planned in:
- Kalamazoo – June 21st, Fontana Chamber Arts
- Ann Arbor – June 23rd, 8 p.m. – Kerrytown Concert House
- Detroit – June 24th, 9:30 p.m. – Cliff Bell’s
So try something new and engage in the spirit of National Accordion Awareness Month by learning and listening to the sounds of the accordion this June.