Vicki (My Accordion)

I own several instruments but in a tan, leather soft case rests Vicky.

Vicky is an auburn Victoria Poeta — an Italian masterpiece carved and shaped of birdseye maple and made in Castelfidardo, Italy. When I put her on my body, her bellows become my lungs and the accordion becomes an extension of myself. To ease air through her reeds with a squeeze, to push her buttons with my left while fingers cascade down her right, is an unmatched unity of rhythm, harmony, and melody.

Even my fellow Massachusetts Accordion Association (MAA) members who are acoustic players — Lewis, Penny, Tony, and James — tell me they like the sound and feeling of the accordion and are mesmerized by the vibrations that it causes against the chest.

Acoustic accordion seamlessly fits in with Polish, Balkan, Jewish, Swedish, French, Brazilian, and Irish music. It sounds just as exceptional playing jazz or an Argentine tango. It is a world instrument for all to behold and admire.

I first saw a Poeta in the hands of Frank Marocco and later met up with a Poeta on the streets of New Jersey when I traveled there with Tony Marini and James Gerke. On that trip I flirted with others — a Midi Siwa, a Roland Fr7x, a Scandalli, a Borsini, an Excelsior, a Bell; they all sounded wonderful to me, but not as good as the Poeta.

In my head I was hearing Frank Marocco’s “With a Song in my Heart.”

To me, the pleasure and sound created by the accordion free reed cannot be matched. You cannot imitate Toninho Ferraguti’s “Migo,” Renzo Ruggieri’s “Terre,” Richard Galliano’s “Valse e Margeaux,” Ricardo Taddei’s “Tu Novembre,” Cathie Travers’ “Oblivion,” or Zoe Tiganoria’s “Antigoni” on any instrument other than an acoustic accordion.

My Vicky puts a song in my heart.

(Originally written for the MAA newsletter)

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