THE BIG SQUEEZE – An Accordion Summit

The Historical Society of Rockland County invites you to celebrate the region’s best musical traditions at the “Big Squeeze,” an Accordion Summit. The event will take place Sunday, April 28 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Nyack Library.

“The Big Squeeze” has been made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  The Summit will take place at the Nyack Library’s Community Room at 59 South Broadway, Nyack, NY.

Building on the past successes of other similar summits featuring drums and fiddles, this year’s event presents three Rockland-based ethnic accordion traditions: Traditional Irish, Ukrainian and Mexican Norteño.

Invited participants include:  Patty Furlong (Cherish the Ladies), Stanislav Kosiv and Agustin “Guty” Lopez. We are also delighted to welcome Dr. Marion Jacobson, ethnomusicologist and author of the new book  Squeeze This!  A Cultural History of the Accordion in America (University of Illinois Press, 2012). The program will be hosted by Eileen Condon, guest folklorist.

The afternoon event will begin with a book talk by Dr. Jacobson and will continue with the musical artists demonstrating and speaking about the musical styles they play in, their relationship to Rockland Communities and musical traditions in context.  They will also play selections of music individually and together creating a unique musical experience.

Space is limited and advance tickets are $5 and can be purchased on-line by visiting:

For further information contact The Historical Society of Rockland County:
Phone:  845-634-9629
Fax:  845-634-8690

Special Thanks to ARTSROCK for their help with this program — visit them at

Additional Information about the Accordion Summit Participants

Marion Jacobson: Guest Curator and Ethnomusicologist
Marion Jacobson holds a Ph.D. in music and ethnomusicology from New York University. An accordionist herself, she has performed with klezmer bands and accordion bands, and in old-timey jam sessions, but her favorite spot for gigs is the New York City subway. No other instrument has witnessed such a dramatic rise to popularity–and precipitous decline–as the accordion. Squeeze This! is the first history of the piano accordion and the first book-length study of the accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon. Ethnomusicologist and accordion enthusiast Marion Jacobson traces the changing idea of the accordion in the United States and its cultural significance over the course of the twentieth century. From the introduction of elaborately decorated European models imported onto the American vaudeville stage and the instrument’s celebration by ethnic musical communities and mainstream audiences alike, to the accordion-infused pop parodies by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jacobson considers the accordion’s contradictory status as both an “outsider”instrument and as a major force in popular music in the twentieth century.

Patti Furlong: Performer
Traditional Irish
Rockland county musician Patty Furlong, originally from the Bronx, New  York, plays the Irish button accordion in the key of C#/D and B/C.  In her teen years, as a student of Martin Mulvihill, Patty won numerous New York and All-Ireland titles. She has played with The Chieftains and is one of the founding members of Cherish the Ladies.  Patty and her band, Coolmagort, have performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Ireland. Her first solo recording, Patty Furlong:  Traditional Irish Music on Button Accordion, was named one of the top recordings in 1999 by the Irish Voice.  Her forthcoming release is a CD with Sean Quinn. Patty is certified as a traditional Irish music teacher by the world Irish Musicians’ Association, CCE (Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.  She teaches students weekly and has taught previously at the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat, Swannanoa, the Augusta Heritage Center, and Catskills Irish Arts Week.

Stanislav Kosiv: Performer
Stanislav Kosiv is a Ukrainian-born accordion player who has played with the New York City-based Cheres Ukrainian Folk Ensemble since its inception in the United States in the early 1990s.  His repertoire on the piano accordion includes the folk dance tunes of multiple regions in Ukraine, as well as neighboring countries in the Carpathian mountain region, such as Hungary and Romania.  Stan was born in the Ukrainian village of Perekhody but his family moved to the city of Lviv when he was a toddler.  He grew up hearing his father play the accordion at home and at weddings.  As a teenager he attended a musical preparatory academy in Lviv and graduated from Lviv’s Lysenko Conservatory in 1976.   After working as a professional musician and music teacher in Ukraine after graduation, Stan found himself longing to explore the musical and cultural worlds outside the Soviet bloc, and made the daring decision to seek political asylum at the American Embassy in Rome during a 10-day performing tour in 1977.  He was granted asylum and with it, the freedom to travel freely and pursue his career in the United States.  He emigrated to New York City in 1978.  Stan performs regularly as a solo accompanist for numerous Ukrainian dance groups in New York City and its environs, and continues to play in dances and concerts with Ukrainian-American clarinetist Andriy Milavsky and other members of the Cheres Ensemble.

Agustin “El Guty” Lopez – Performer
Mexican Norteño
Guty Lopez plays Mexican Norteño style button accordion with the New York-based Norteño band, Controversia Norteña. His wife, Maria Paramo, is the band’s lead singer.  The group has been performing around the New York metro area over the last six years, in addition to playing festivals and club appearances in Chicago, Washington, DC, Virginia, and Boston.  Guty grew up in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.  His father played Norteño style music on bass and guitar, and pushed Agustin to learn to play the accordion at an early age.  Guty was not interested, but ultimately complied.  Eventually, he learned to play saxophone, guitar, and bass, as well as the accordion. These are the instruments that characterize the typical Norteño conjunto, or ensemble. Maria and Guty have a six-year-old daughter, Destiny Lopez, who now plays la musica Norteña on the accordion as well.  Destiny pushes her parents to teach her more, rather than resisting, as her father once did at her age. The band plays a mixture of the traditional  Norteño outlaw and border-crossing ballads and folk songs (corridos and rancheras) and covers of hits by major Norteño bands such as Los Tigres Del Norte, Conjunto Primavera, Los Huracanes Del Norte, K-Paz De La Sierra, and Los Montes De Durango.  The group also performs songs that Maria has composed herself in Norteño style.  One distinguishing feature of Norteño music (which originated in Mexico’s northern states but is played all over rural and urban Mexico and throughout the United States today) is the adorno—the line of accordion playing that appears as an echo/enhancement of the singing, between the verses of the songs.  Norteño bands and accordionists become known for their distinctive variations on the adorno.

Eileen Condon, PhD:  Guest Folklorist
Eileen Condon is the Project Director/Folklorist at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Manhattan, NY.  In this role she conducts fieldwork, coordinates planning group meetings, and organizes music and dance programs for the Center’s Ukrainian, Haitian, and Chinese Community Cultural Initiatives. In addition, she contributes master artist biographies to the Center’s electronic publications, and assists in coordinating the biannual New York World Festival held at Central Park, Summerstage.
Condon holds a B.A. in Italian Language and Literature, University of Michigan, 1984; extensive credits in English and ESL and a M.A., Ph.D. in Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1992 and 1999.  She has been widely published and has received numerous awards including the 2006 Parsons Award for Ethnography, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.  Award supports research in Puerto Rican song/music collections at the Library of Congress in October 2006, toward establishing an informative, historical website and discussion list for women musicians and improvisational singers in Puerto Rican traditional music.

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