Famous Accordion Musicians

Famous Accordion Musicians

Who Made the Accordion Famous?

The accordion has been around for many years. Its origins can be traced back to ancient China. It was invented around 5,000 years ago. The instrument’s components are made up of a resonator box, wind chamber, and reeds. Like the accordion, harmonicas are free-reed instruments. The instrument became popular both in Europe and America.

In the 1920s, the accordion gained popularity in the rock and pop genres. For example, John Linnell of the band They Might Be Giants used the instrument in his earlier works, and it continues to make appearances in live concerts and studio albums. Other popular artists that have used the accordion include the Dropkick Murphys and Gogol Bordello.

The accordion, while best known as a folk instrument, has also become popular with classical composers. Pietro Deiro, who began playing the instrument when he was six, was a member of the Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit. He and his brother, Guido, were both influenced by Louise Reisner’s music.

Accordion fans should take note of the fact that musicians from all walks of life made the instrument famous. Some of them were renowned for their technical skills and sensitivity. Counting Crows and Bruce Springsteen both played accordions in their songs.

In addition to that, KONGOS, a homegrown band from the Phoenix Valley, formed by 4 brothers who were born in the Philippines and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, influenced the genre. Their song “Come With Me Now” broke piano accordion records. It earned them fame and inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The accordion was first documented in 1829 in Vienna, Austria. Its inventor, Cyrill Demian, was Armenian. His description of the instrument stressed the ability to play whole chords on one side. Early accordions had only one or two keys and were known as akkord. Later, accordions were known as concertinas, a construction style with melody buttons on both sides of the bellows.

Despite its humble origins, the accordion has become a popular instrument in modern times. Its history of use dates back to the 19th century and includes American president Abraham Lincoln, a pioneer of the instrument. The instrument is still central to some folk music styles today, such as zydeco and cajun music, and the bandoneon is a staple of the Argentinian tango.

Accordions come in two basic styles: the chromatic button accordion, which uses a buttonboard with chromatically arranged notes, and the Russian bayan. The piano accordion is the most popular type of accordion. Many conjunto musicians prefer the diatonic version, which requires no sheet music. Learning to play the accordion can be difficult, so it is advisable to learn the basics from an experienced musician.

The accordion is popular throughout the world, and its enchanting tone is a part of nearly every culture. From English morris dancing to punk folk to classical music, the accordion can be found in many styles. This versatility makes it an essential instrument in any genre, from country music to opera. Its melodies have become familiar across continents, and it has a lasting impact on people of every generation.

Who Made the Accordion Famous

There are many famous accordion players, but who are they?

This list of accordion players includes the likes of Pietro Deiro, Kimmo Pohjonen, Victor Prieto, and Mairtin O’Connor. Each has a unique playing style and a rich discography. Read on to learn more about these musicians. They’ve all made their mark on the music industry.

Pietro Deiro

Among the most prominent accordionists of the 20th century is Pietro Deiro. A native of Salto, Italy, Deiro emigrated to the United States in 1907 and first began to play the diatonic button accordion professionally in Seattle, Washington. He eventually became a naturalized American citizen in 1931. In fact, his accordion playing was so influential that he won the first ever Accordion World Championship in the 1920s.

In addition to winning several international accordion competitions, Deiro has also won a variety of awards for his work. His lifelong contribution to the instrument is recognized by a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Accordionists Association. In addition to his numerous awards, he created a scholarship fund in honor of his achievements, which supports promising young accordionists and commissions new compositions for the accordion. A former president of the American Accordionists Association, Carrozza was also a board member of the organization’s governing board and continued to promote the accordion through educational workshops.

Pietro Deiro’s reputation in Italy is well deserved. His reputation grew so large that students of the instrument purchased plaster busts of him. Some accordionists even considered him the “Daddy” of the accordion. However, this claim is not definitive. Accordion News welcomes any enlightening data regarding the instrument’s history. So far, neither Pietro nor Guido has made a direct statement regarding the controversy.

Kimmo Pohjonen

Countless people are devoted to accordion music and its history. But how does a man from Finland get to the top of a list of famous accordion musicians? Pohjonen has reinvented the accordion as we know it.

Kimmo Pohjonen
Photo credit: Thorsten Krienke

He has changed its sound and performance through the use of technology. He has designed a custom accordion instrument that incorporates MIDI, effects, and lighting into the instrument’s sound. His concerts often feature a light show and surround sound systems.

Kimmo Pohjonen pushes the instrument to its extremes, sometimes sounding like a pipe organ or full orchestra. His work spans several genres, including folk music, avant-garde electronica, and even Finnish wrestling showcases. His extensive background in improvising and conceptualizing has earned him a place on the list of famous accordion musicians.

Victor Prieto

If you love the accordion, you’ve probably heard about Victor Prieto. A native of Galicia, Prieto started studying the instrument at age nine. The accordion is deeply ingrained in Galician folklore. While studying classical accordion at the Orense Conservatory, Prieto also studied improvisation and harmony. He later earned a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music where he took performance classes.

In addition to his compositions, Victor Prieto has performed with a variety of world-class artists, including Paquito D’Rivera and Vince Cherico. He is now a teacher and prolific performer, performing with jazz greats such as Donny McCaslin, Viatcheslav Semionov, and Chris Cheek. His music has garnered him awards and accolades at major music festivals around the world.

According to The New York Times, “Prieto is a Grammy-winning accordionist who has worked with many world-renowned jazz artists.” The concert lineup will include international stars Richard Galliano and Victor Prieto. The trio’s music combines the accordion’s unique sound with a range of instruments. During a concert, they’ll be framed by Jason Ennis’ guitar and Victor Prieto’s accordion. Souter’s voice, meanwhile, has been developed to be richer and more expressive.

Mairtin O’Connor

Born in Barna, County Galway, Ireland, Mairtin O’Connor began playing the accordion at a young age. His grandparents, both accordion players, encouraged him to learn how to play. He began taking lessons at the age of nine, learning from old 78s and radio programmes.

Although he initially planned to pursue a career in electronics, O’Connor’s interest in music was nurtured by his parents. He joined Irish bands De Dannan and Skylark and was a member of both groups for more than a decade.

Despite a lack of formal training, O’Connor has forged a career as a session musician, having played on several recordings by the Waterboys. He has toured with Christy Moore and Lunny, and collaborated on projects by international artists such as Rod Stewart and Elvis Costello. In addition, he has composed music for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and the world-famous Riverdance.

Mairtin O'Connor
Photo Credit: Maybesometime

Richard “Dick” Joseph Contino

The addition of Richard “Dick” Contino to the list of famous accordion players honors the legendary accordion player who was drafted during World War II and spent the next five years serving in the Army. Despite his long military service, Mr. Contino was pardoned in 1954 under President Harry S. Truman’s general proclamation, which covered convicted criminals before they are inducted into the military. Despite his troubles with the military, Contino continued to play and even acted in movies.

In the 1940s, Dick Contino was a star, earning up to $4,000 a week playing nightclubs. However, he was caught in the draft and served a year in jail. Despite his imprisonment, Contino’s music career continued, and he played for a variety of audiences, including the Queen Mary. Dick Contino’s musical talent was hailed by Time magazine, which said: “Accordion playing with Dick was like talking to someone you love.”

Myron Floren

Myron Floren is a world-renowned accordion musician who first gained international recognition on the television show The Lawrence Welk Show. His frequent appearances on the show propelled him to stardom. Peter Friello nicknamed him “the happy Norwegian” and he was highly regarded by Lawrence Welk. He also acts as the second-in-command for Welk, and is often called his assistant. In his autobiography, Floren mentions the logistical challenges that he had to handle to perform on a regular basis for the show.

Myron Floren is considered one of the most famous accordionists, with a long career spanning five decades. He played the instrument on the Lawrence Welk Show, where he received two Grammy awards for his work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His music also received accolades from the American Society of Composers and he worked with Placido Domingo and many other top musicians. His works have made an indelible impression on audiences worldwide.

William Schimmel

William Schimmel is a virtuoso accordionist, philosopher and composer. He has credited himself with bringing the accordion back into vogue and has been hailed as the “World’s Greatest Accordionist” by NPR. In addition to playing accordion in concert halls, he has performed with almost every major symphony orchestra and chamber ensemble.

The music that Dr. Schimmel composed and played has been recorded over four thousand times. Some of his work is featured in movies and television shows. One of his most notable works, Portrait No I, was composed for orchestra conducted by Leopold Stockowski. He is also a collaborator with the renowned accordionist Micki Goodman. A great deal of his work is inspired by theatre, and his collaborations with other musicians have made accordion history.

In addition to being an accordion master, Dr. Schimmel has also served on the faculties of several universities and conservatories around the world. He has lectured on accordion-related subjects at numerous universities including Brandeis University, the University of Arkansas at Jonesboro, and Cornell College. His recordings have also appeared in film and television soundtracks. His career has spanned almost every genre of music, from classical to jazz to rock.

Laure Chailloux

Laure Chailloux is an accordionist and composer from Paris, France. She studied classical guitar for 15 years before taking up the accordion. Since 2004, she has been performing professionally as a solo artist and with various groups. Her music has a mixture of influences, including baroque, minimalist, and musette. Laure Chailloux’s programmes are very theatrical, and she is often invited to play in huts in the park. Her work has also included performances with numerous theater groups, and she has been performing in duo with Didier Demarq.

Martin Green is another accordionist on the list. This musician grew up playing English and Irish music. He has worked in both genres, creating ensembles and recording music. In the 1940s, he performed at Carnegie Hall. His music was commissioned for Celtic Connections, and he has also performed in a trio called LAU. This ensemble uses traditional music to create a modern sound. He also plays in a duo with Jos Valster.