Accordion Festival

Friday, August 16, 5:00pm–10:00pm

The finale of Accordions Around the World is this five-hour celebration of bands with at least one accordionist.

Toot Sweet (Cabaret soul)
Aces of Rhythm (Tango from Argentina)
Fedor Chistyakov (Russian Rock & Roll)
Los Texmaniacs (Texas-Mexican Conjunto)
Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica (Vallenato from Colombia)
Hosted by Mickela Mallozzi (Emmy Award-winning host of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi)

Toot Sweet is the original cabaret soul project of Mary Spencer Knapp (of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 Broadway fame) that expertly melds French chanson, funky pop, and psychedelic rock. Echoes of Edith Piaf, Patti Smith, and Talking Heads can be heard in Toot Sweet‘s addictive melodies, gut-chucking rhythms, and offbeat harmonies. Toot Sweet has released three full-length albums and has been a constant in NYC’s DIY scene, making it an unexpected and ever-evolving live experience.

Aces of Rhythm, co-founded by producer and singer Pablo Pereyra and Grammy-winning bass player Pablo Aslán, pays tribute to the music and the style of legendary band leader, Juan D'Arienzo. Known for his very strong rhythmic condition, with noticeable emphasis on the four beat times, in the words of Tango historian, José Gobelo, “D’arienzo gave tango back to the dancers´feet,” capturing the interest of a younger generation. The septet plays D'Arienzo's original arrangements that have been transcribed from his original music. They made their debut at Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center on 2017 and play the last Sunday of the month at the Astoria Tango Club in New York.

Since the early 1990’s, Fedor Chistyakov has been known as the songwriter, front singer, and accordionist for the band Nol’ (Zero), a cult model of Russian rock music. His unique manner of singing and the fact that he played button accordion, an instrument atypical of rock music at the time, made the band stand out, to the extent of being featured as exemplary in Western documentaries on Russian Rock. He is a composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist musician, whose creative interests embrace rethinking classics and producing experimental instrumental music of many genres and styles.

Annointed by the legendary Flaco Jimenez, Grammy Award winners Los Texmaniacs are the new kings of Tex-Mex. Combine a hefty helping of conjunto, simmer with several parts Texas rock, add a daring dash of well-cured blues and R&B riffs, and you’ve cooked up the tasty Texmaniacs groove. Founded by Max Baca in 1997, Los Texmaniacs combines the traditions of Tejano music with elements of blues, rock, country. They have performed at The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, International Accordion Festival, Kennedy Center and more. They received a Grammy Award for Border Y Bailes in 2010.

Alberto “Beto” Jamaica is one of the leading vallenato and cumbia players in Colombia. Since winning the prestigious Professional Leyenda Vallenata Festival competition in 2006, he has become known as Rey Vallenato Colombia (“The Vallenato King”). His music is a vibrant mix of cumbia, paseo, porro all wrapped into his infectious accordion-driven vallenato. Originally the music of herders who combined Spanish minstrel and West African griot traditions, Vallenato, native to Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, is one of the country's most popular folk music forms.

Professional dancer and trained musician Mickela Mallozzi is the four-time Emmy Award-winning host and executive producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a dance travel series airing on PBS. From rediscovering her family’s roots in Southern Italy to dancing tango in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time. She has been featured in The New York Times, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, USA TODAY, and Forbes.

Check out the Picnic Performances page to see the full summer lineup and plan your visit!

Part of the Accordions Around The World program.