Paddy O'Brien will be our special guest this Saturday 3 pm on "Folk Music & Beyond." Paddy will demonstrate his mastery of the accordion and talk about his remarkable musical memory for traditional tunes. He has collected more than 4,000 compositions—jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs, and marches, including many rare and unusual tunes. Paddy will open the Crossroads Irish-American Festival in San Francisco this weekend.
This weekend, hundreds of people from across the state, and from as far away as Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State will be coming to Northern California to get a little taste of Texas. That’s because this weekend is the seventh annual Tejano Conjunto Festival in Sacramento, a celebration of Latino music from Texas that made its way across the West. Julie Caine and Lisa Morehouse visited a band playing the festival and bring us this preview.
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.
The accordion has been recognized as the San Francisco’s official instrument. Back in the early part of the 20th century, San Francisco’s North Beach was a Mecca of accordion building (and playing) in the United States.
Vince Cirelli was an Italian American accordion repairman in his 90s, and Skyler Fell, a woman in her early 30s, was his apprentice. Tattooed, pierced, and part of the “steam punk,” DIY, Burning Man scenes, Fell now owns her own accordion repair shop in San Francisco, where she says an “Accordion Revolution” is happening among people of all ages.