Well, Thanksgiving is over and it's on to Christmas, although I've seen Christmas decorations for over a month now. We (at Old World Restaurant) have had a lot to be thankful for. As you may recall, Bernie, the owner and my boss, was severely burned in that electrical vault explosion. He is now out of the hospital, and even showed up to the restaurant on Thanksgiving. Truly, something to be thankful for. He went through a lot of pain enduring skin grafts but is now much better. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and best wishes.
Speaking of the restaurant, I just added a number of dates for December. I never really know when I'm going to be there until the last minute so keep checking the calendar.
Speaking of which, it's time to start thinking of 2020. Dates are starting to come in so I've updated January and February. Also, be aware of a couple of changes. Buena Park dances are moving to Sunday afternoon from noon to 3 pm. A number of seniors don't like to drive at night so we're trying something different in hopes we can get more people out. Spread the word.
For all the members and guests who dance at the Colony Dance Club, remember, as of the first of the year the location has changed to the De Anza Community Center. I have a map on my map page if you need it. (click on the purple underlined link)
I hope you had a joy-filled Thanksgiving and here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We'll see you on the dance floor.
10/28/19 11:57 a.m.
I told you things move quickly. I've just added 3 dates to my November calendar at the Old World Restaurant - 22nd, 23rd and 29th. As an update, Bernie is still in great pain and not expected to leave the hospital until mid-November. I'll pass along news as I get it.
10/28/19 11:50a.m. -
I can't believe it's been 2 months since I lasted been in touch with everyone. Well, maybe I can. September and October have been hectic to say the least. In regards to the number of gigs, records have been tied and records have been broken. I just finished 11 days in a row with gigs - 3 of those were doubles, requiring drives to Yucca Valley, Santa Clarita, and Vista. Sometimes I think I'm not so much a musician as I am a truck driver. I always look forward to November when things are a little more relaxed. I've just updated the calendar through the end of the year. There will be more dates entered as Marko (who has been entertaining at Old World during October) will be soon returning to Slovenia and hopefully I'll be back there soon. Keep checking the calendar for updates.
In regards to the Old World Restaurant, some of you may be aware that 2 weeks ago an underground electrical vault caused 3 major explosions there. It was only due to the quick thinking and actions of the owner, Bernie, that no one was killed. He had evacuated the area just before the explosions took place. He, however, was caught in the first explosion and suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 25% of his body. He has been in the hospital receiving skin grafts. I don't know much more than that at this time. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. I was extremely lucky as they had wanted me to play that evening but I was previously booked in Yucca Valley and couldn't be there. Thank God for a full calendar. We'll see you on the dance floor real soon.
I just got through updating the calendar through the end of the year and I'm pooped just thinking about all the gigs coming up and I'm sure there'll be more before the end of the year. I thought the summer was going to be on the slow side (it has been in the past) but things just kept coming in. Adrian, Mick & I are thankful for all our loyal fans that come out to our dances. It's what keeps us going.
In looking back a bit, it's been 11 years since I started to play gigs as a single. I just wasn't confident that I could pull it off. Now, over 50% of the gigs I play are as a single. I've even been invited to play at the Cotati Accordion Festival for the last 10 years. For those of you who are not familiar, it's the largest accordion festival in North America and brings in some of the best players in the world. There are only 4 accordionists in the world who have won all three world accordion championships (Digital Accordion, Acoustic Accordion and Jazz Accordion) and 2 of them were on our stage. One, (Cory Pesaturo) is a good friend of mine. Make it a mini-vacation some August.
While I enjoy playing as a single, I enjoy even more playing with Adrian on sax and Mick on guitar. I've been extremely lucky in finding such talented musicians to work with. I've been playing with Mick for 10 years and with Adrian for 6 and look forward to many more to come.
I hope you're checking the calendar regularly. There've been a couple of last minute emergency changes. Buena Park had a slip up and booked 2 bands for Saturday, July 29th. To rectify that problem, we won't be playing that evening. They did, however, give us 2 dances in July - the 6th and the 27th. Check it out. Also, Old World Restaurant had a last minute emergency so I'll be playing there tonight (Friday, June 21st) in addition to Sunday the 23rd. Sometimes things can change quickly so it's good to check the calendar regularly.
Oops. I was made aware of some major errors that I obviously didn't know about. They've been corrected and now I think everyone can access all the dates in the calendar. Thank you Mrs. Tunes.
I know it's only been a couple of weeks but I wanted you to be the first to know. Old World Restaurant has asked me to play every Sunday from June through August. In the past we've booked it one month at a time but I decided to take them up on their offer. There are a couple of Sundays I'm already booked (don't forget The Cotati Accordion Festival is coming up) so make sure you check out the calendar as there could be a couple of times I might have to fill in on a Friday or Saturday. Keep supporting live music and I'll see you on the dance floor.
Hola on this Cinco de Mayo. It's taken me most of the afternoon but finally got the calendar up to date through the end of the year. Of course there'll be corrections and additions to be made so check back often. I don't book Old World Restaurant until the end of the previous month, many cities don't do their booking until the end of their fiscal year (June?), and hopefully we'll get to come back to Seal Beach Leisure World - if they come to their senses. I've already started booking Oktoberfests. So, as I say, stay tuned and we'll see you on the dance floor. Now - it's time for a margarita.
Not so good news. In the music business, if you have a gig that lasts for 6 months you're thrilled. Well, we've been playing the first Saturday night at Seal Beach Leisure World for over 15 years. And while we were the most popular band playing there, nothing lasts forever. The Recreation Committee decided to stop using all the bands (including us) that have been playing there on
Saturday nights. They talked the agent into hiring all new bands. Obviously, I don't think it was a wise decision but it wasn't mine to make. The new talent they're bringing in have been contracted for 6 months to see how they'll do. Hopefully, the Recreation Committee will see the error of their ways and decide to bring us back - stay tuned.
In the meantime, July will mark 1 year of playing at the Ontario Sr Ctr and this year, starting Friday, July 26th, they've been kind enough to provide a little extra so that we can play that gig as a 3 pc, so I'll be bringing in Adrian on sax to play with us. That'll be a big improvement.
If you've been lucky enough to catch us playing for the California Club at Clubhouse 5 in Laguna Woods the past couple of years, you've noticed a 4th piece added to the band - James Sherry on trumpet. He is fitting in wonderfully. We played there last night and we had a blast. He and Adrian, on sax, were doing some amazing harmonies off the cuff. I loved it and so did the audience. I just wish I could use him more often.
In the meantime, keep dancing and thanks for supporting live music.
Big news - my calendar has had a major overhaul. I've responded to an overwhelming demand (o.k. - one person) to optimize my calendar so that it's readable on a cell phone. I didn't realize how difficult it was until I was asked to view it for myself. Whoa - it was near impossible. The task is not finished yet - only through June. The rest will be done as needed and as more gigs come in. In the meantime, if you've been trying to find a place to hear us, you can now use your cell phone. There may be other pages that need updating as well but I wanted to concentrate on my calendar first. I'll keep you updated on my progress. In the meantime, I'll see you on the dance floor.
I'm way overdue to check in and update the calendar. Well, it's now up to date through March. There will be more to come as Old World books me on a month by month basis, so stay tuned.
As to our trip to Italy, I won't bore you with all the details but I did get to check off an item on my bucket list. Thanks to the kind support of Joe Petosa at Petosa Accordions in Seattle, I was invited to take a tour of the factory in Castelfidardo - the small town where my accordion was crafted. Alessio Gerundini, CEO, met us at the train station and took us to the factory where we were introduced to Roberto Ottavianelli, President of Zero Sette, who gave us the tour through the factory. Thousands of parts all have to come together to make a fine, world-class accordion and every person who works on them is a craftsman in his own rite. It amazed me that the company has already bought the wood for the accordions they'll be making in 2028. The wood has to cure for 10 years before they start using it. It's an amazing place and it gave me a new appreciation for my accordion. I certainly want to thank Alessio and Roberto for their graciousness in taking us around their factory. I can certainly see why the instruments they craft have such a fine reputation.
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