The accordion is a crazy instrument. From its complex mechanics to its versatility in music played all around the world, the squeezebox is a unique and intriguing sight to see and is sure to put a smile on your face.
Believe it or not, the accordion was the most popular instrument here in America at one point, even more so than the guitar and piano. It peaked in its popularity during the 50's & 60's through a huge marketing push from companies overseas, with door to door salesmen leaving no stone unturned.
The market was thriving with accordion teachers and lesson books that gave students the necessary tools to excel at the instrument. Accordion icons on television such as Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren and Dick Contino provided the America people with entertainment and inspiration, giving children and adults something to strive for at home.
The accordion's progression came to an abrupt halt with the introduction of rock music from The Beatles, leaving countless accordions in basements and attics for years to come. In the following years, the comedy works of Weird Al along with national television references such as Steve Urkle's "dueling accordions" from the show Family Matters, cast a lasting stigma on the instrument that's finally beginning to fade.
Over the last couple decades we've seen a new found interest in the accordion from bands such as Flogging Molly, Arcade Fire, and The Decemberists, along with a slow and steady increase in participants across the nation. But there still seems to be an overall lack of presence with the accordion in America's pop culture.
"Squeeze & Thanks" is an accordion project that aims to fill that void, making the accordion fun and relevant to a younger audience, clashing modern pop songs of today with this timeless instrument. We also provide free educational tools that welcomes newcomers to the accordion, making it accessible and understandable to anyone interested, removing the complexities that are often anticipated.
I would love for you to enjoy the accordion as much as I do and having you here today is a complete honor. I look forward to connecting with you and I thank you for joining me in the accordion's evolution!