Squeezebox Stories: the tale of one of the first global instruments

Aug 12, 2013

Squeezebox Stories, hosted by Marco Werman of PRI’s The World, is a sound-rich, narrative-driven documentary exploring the social history, multicultural adaptation and musical variations of the accordion.

The accordion is about much more than the Polka; it’s one of the first global instruments. Played all over the world – everywhere from Italy to China to Zanzibar – the squeezebox is a great vehicle for telling immigration stories.

In this hour, we visit Zydeco dance halls and Mexican Norteño clubs, punk rock apprentices and Arabic master musicians and discover what’s behind the surprisingly wide appeal of this ultimate people’s instrument.

Squeezebox Stories was produced by KALW’s Julie Caine, and ethnomusicologist and accordion player, Marié Abe. Support comes from the California Council for the Humanities and the Arhoolie Foundation. Find out more at the Squeezebox Stories website.