CAA Blog

Recap of September 24th

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-10-04

On Sunday, September 24, at the Waverly Tavern in Cheshire, CT, the Connecticut Accordion Association dedicated its gathering to Bob Vitale, who passed away last July 15. The crowd of some 75 CAA members viewed a slide show dedicated to Bob and heard tributes from his 2 sons, Michael and Mark Vitale.

They were entertained by Eddie Monteiro, joined by Mitchell Guido on Sax and Jack Varanelli on drums. All 3 of these musicians had the pleasure of knowing Bob personally as well as professionally and shared a mutual respect for each other as musicians.  Eddie paid a visit to Bob during his last days, coming to Bob's house and delivering a private concert to Bob just days before he passed. Mitchell Guido, Conductor of the AAA's Youth Involvement Jazz Ensemble in 2016 and 2017, played under Bob as a participant of that program. Jack Varanelli is a well known and respected jazz percussionist who played alongside Bob in their younger days as well as with the CAA orchestra.

The program closed with a video of Bob leading the AAA's Youth Involvement Jazz Ensemble, which he directed in Alexandria, VA in 2015. Finally, AAA Vice President Joe Ciccone presented a declaration from the AAA officially naming the Youth Involvement Program after Bob.

Accordion World Loses Another Icon

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-09-07

Accordion icon Tony Lovello passed away on Sunday, September 3. A number of us in the CAA had the pleasure of hearing Tony play over the years at various AAA functions, at the Florida Smash and most recently at the New England Accordion Museum, compliments of Paul Ramunni. It was an honor to know and hear Tony. He will be greatly missed....

NICHOLASVILLE -Tony Lovello, 84, died Sept.3, 2017, at St. Joseph Hospital. Born in Buffalo, NY, he moved to Los Angeles, Ca. at the age of 12. There he became a Master of the Accordion and consummate showman. Tony played with "The Three Suns", and such stars as Eddie Cantor, Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante and many others. He was a Korean War Veteran and spent his time entertaining the troops. In later years, he managed the Campbell House Inn for 31 years. He continued performing and teaching throughout his life. He taught students all over the world via Skype. He is survived by his wife Jo Ellen, daughters: Lee Gehefer, Louise Lovello, Toni (Gary) Comeaux, and Jill Hartfield; 8 grandchildren: Jessica, Olivia, Jolene, Ryan, Natasha, Nicole, Jason and Michael, 5 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother Joe (Dianne) Lovullo, sister-in law, Grace Lovullo and numerous nieces and nephews.

Coupe Mondiale in Italy

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-09-07

The 70th annual Coupe Mondiale is currently in progress in Osimo, Italy. It started on September 5th and runs through September 12th. This is an international accordion competition held each year, and it is run by the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes. Our very own Nathan Chapeton, student of Mary Tokarski is there with Mary representing the United States.

Following are links to the appropriate sites for viewing the competitions and daily reports:

Competition videos: - simply click on the link in the “Category/Concert” column, and the page with the videos will appear

Daily reports: - click on the specific day at the top of the page to see that day’s report

In Memory of our Bob

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-07-17

Bob Vitale
April 8, 1937 - July 15, 2017

If love alone could have healed you, you never would have left us...

Deeply missed by the Connecticut Accordion Association and the accordion world.

Latest Happenings and Upcoming Events!

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-06-12

Hey Everyone!

Excerpts from our fabulous concert at the Mattatuck are available for your personal viewing!  This concert was held on May 21, and was a huge success!  Press the video button in the left menu here on the webpage and give a look and listen to our wonderful orchestra, fabulous young soloists and guest artists from Wolcott High. We were graced with the talent of Mitch Guido on sax, too!

A very special thank you to Ray De Brown for the arrangement of "Fly Me To The Moon."


If you have not made your reservations, you still have time!  The festival will be held from July 12-16 at the Westin Princeton Hotel at Forrestal Village in Princeton, New Jersey.  Come and hear lots of concerts, go to workshops, After hours Club performances (that means you, too!) and a special Meet and Greet on Wednesday night. Check out the exhibitors and watch the competitions, hear our youngsters perform at the Awards Banquet.  Join the festival orchestra under the baton of William Morse and play at the Gala Banquet on Saturday night. SO MUCH FUN!!

Go to for all the details and forms!

Bellows Open: The Great Squeeze Project gets NATIONAL ATTENTION!

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-05-17

On Saturday, May 13, Drew Larson, a Reporter from the Waterbury Republican American came to the final rehearsal for the Connecticut Accordion Association's concert at the Mattatuck Museum. Students from Wolcott High School's Band Class joined us for rehearsal, and several of us present at rehearsal were interviewed.

A fantastic story appeared in the Monday edition of the Waterbury Republican! The Associated Press picked up the story, enabling us to get NATIONAL ATTENTION for our grant funded program and concert that will take place this Sunday at 3:00 at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT.

Here's the link to Drew Larson's article:

3:00 PM

This program is supported in part by the Arts and Culture Collaborative, Waterbury Region, in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

tart Them Young!

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-04-30

The Connecticut Accordion Association orchestra, led by Peter Peluso, performed at the Carmen Carrozza Scholarship Dinner, Sunday, April 30.  A star studded series of performances followed the orchestra opening the event.  Included on the program:  Frank Busso, Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini, Frank Toscano, Eddie Monteiro, Frank Carrozza and sons.  Performances by young accordion stars included Gia Ciccone, Cody Mc Sherry and Cory Pesaturo.

Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble Concert May 13, Dobbs Ferry

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-04-30

Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble

liver playing hide n seek!

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-04-30

Mary Tokarski presented a program for children titled "An Accordion: What is That?" at the Mattatuck Museum on April 26. She enlisted the help of Patricia Zaretzky to play the role of Buzz Treble. The program is based on a book written collaboratively by Mary, Joan Grauman and Karen Malan Uribe. Buzz Treble is the book's mascot.

The children enjoyed a creative educational experience complete with music as well as opportunities to get to know what the instrument is all about.

Oliver playing hide n seek!

Marilyn ONeil - 2017-04-22

CAA Orchestra member Fred Schwinger's cat found a good hiding place:  Fred's accordion case!