[Accordion Appreciation Month]

Outreach Librarian Erica Charis (L) & winner Alisa Apreleva (R)

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to our Facebook discussion in honor of Accordion Appreciation month! Our randomly selected winner of the prize toy accordion was Alisa Apreleva, so once she's had a chance to familiarize herself with her new instrument, be sure to place your Berklee Beach serenade requests with her. Be sure to watch our display case this fall for our next contest!

Accordion Music Recommendations

During the month of June, some of our Facebook fans listed their favorite tracks that featured the accordion. Many of the ones they chose were from CDs in the library’s collection, and the few that weren’t are going to be hunted down and added where possible. Here is the full list of recommendations!

Recommended by: Jamie Peipon

Even though it is well known, I can't NOT recommend this whole album... but especially the last track.

Piazzolla, Astor and Gary Burton.  "La Muera del Angel."  The New Tango.  Atlantic, 1987. Call number: CD 178

And for something a little less well known:

Claudia Quintet.  "Drewslate."  Semi-Formal.  Cuneiform Records, 2005.  Call number: CD 29363


Recommended by: Alisa Apreleva

My favorite one is:

Laforet, Marie.  "Voyages au Long Cours."  Voyages au Long Cours .  Polygram, 1998.



And - I know, it's not quite modest, but I just love accordion and use it a lot in my own compositions. Here is one:

Apreleva, Alisa.  "Dikie Tancy (Wild Dances)."  Domoj! (Home!).  N/A, released expected Jan 2011.



Recommended by: William Thomas Gianetta

I feel as though this selection is imperative to any person's understanding of the instrument.

Yankovic, Weird Al.  "Polka Power."  Running with Scissors.  Volcano Entertainment, 1999. Call number: CD 15728



Recommended by: Gabriel Nava Rodrigues

Well as a Brazilian and a lover of Brazilian music I have to choose a Brazilian accordion player. I will start out with the LEGEND, Luiz Gonzaga, who was the most influential accordion player in Brazil.

Gonzaga, Luiz.  "Subindo ao Céu."  Sabido.  Iris Music, 2002.


Continuing with Brazilian accordion players, I'll now show a second legend, Sivuca, who was known for mixing the jazz language into the Brazilian folk music.

Sivuca.  "De Bom Grado." Terra Esperança.  Kuarup Music, 2007.


(This is a live recording and not the same from the CD)

To finish, I've chosen an accordion player called Dominguinhos that is still making the best out of Brazilian folk music.

Dominguinhos. "Joao e Maria/ Feira de Mangaio." Yamandu + Dominguinhos. Biscoito Fino, 2007.


(This is a live recording and not the same from the CD)

Note from the Library:  While we don’t have any of those recordings that Gabriel Nava Rodrigues recommended, all three of those musicians are represented on this recording:

Asa Branca: Accordion Forro From Brazil. Ryko, 1990.  Call number: CD 6684


Recommended by: Camilo Gómez

You can't talk about accordion and leave behind Colombian Vallenato... here is an example of this excellent rhythm.

Celedon, Jorge and Jimmy Zambrano.  "Me Dejo Solito."  Juepa Je!.  Sony Music, 2004.



Recommended by: Alex Tierney

One of my favorites. Great zydeco right here, and I believe the band played a Berklee picnic not too long ago... Really a great song

Zydeco, Buckwheat.  "Cryin’ in the Streets."  Our New Orleans .  Nonesuch Records, 2005.  Call number: CD 27354



Recommended by: Chad Gray

The hip-hop duo Madvillain released a track appropriately titled "Accordion," featuring nice accordion sample loop. The accordion is a beautiful instrument and I'm happy it's being accepted more by all genres!

Madvillain.  "Accordion."  Madvillainy.  Stones Throw Records, 2004.  Call Number: CD 23893


Electronic producer "Socalled" brings a sound described as "klezmer hip-hop." He takes frequent accordion solos on his album. The song "These are the Good Old Days" is the first track I heard by this guy and it's catchy and feels good. This live video linked features him performing it "live."

Socalled.  "(These Are the) Good Old Days."  Ghettoblaster.  Jdub Records, 2007.


Note from the Library:  Socalled is featured on the following album in our collection:

Krakauer, David.  Live in Krakow.  Label Bleu, 2003.  Call number: CD 26883

The movie "Amelie" has a soundtrack featuring a whole lot of accordion! The movie is wonderful and Yann Tierson wrote a wonderful soundtrack to accompany it. The piece is called "La Valse Des Vieux Os" for what sounds like accordion duet.

Tiersen, Yann.  "La Valse des Vieux Os."  Amelie.  Virgin Records US, 2001.  Call number: CD 200045

I've been listening to early Duke Ellington a lot lately, and I discovered a track called "Accordion Joe" featuring an accordion solo with big band accompaniment and vocals. It's a very fun piece like most early swing music!

Ellington, Duke.  "Accordion Joe."  Early Ellington (1926 – 1931).  Decca Jazz, 1994.  Call number: CD 3415-3417 Disc 3


Recommended by: Betsy Yu-Hua Hsu

I like the sound of accordion in jazz tune like this:

Van Damme, Art.  "How About You?"  Accordion a la Mode / Perfect Match.  Collectables, 2000.

And also some rock tunes that featured accordion are cool too!

Those Darn Accordions!  "Citizen Contraire."  No Strings Attachec.  Globe Records, 1996.


Recommended by: Patrick Cochrane

A professor of mine showed me these guys a little while back. Crazy awesome Romanian folk. Great players.

Taraf de Haïdouks.  "Rustem." Taraf de Haïdouks.  Nonesuch, 1999.  Call number: CD 19651

Note from the Library:  If you like that group, you may want to watch this film in which they are featured:

Latcho Drom (Bonne Route).  Dir. by Tony Gatlif. 1993. Videocassette. Bourque-Moreau Associes, 1998.

And Gama Viesca (one of the librarians) showed me this guy, who is quite obviously the man. I think he's on the display.

Jimenez, Flaco.  "Ojitos Negros."  Squeeze Box King.  Compadre Redords, 2003.  Call number: CD 23907