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Hello from Bolivia, North Carolina, USA

Al DiMarco

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Hello, everyone!

I was introduced to this website by Jim Dascanio (Jim D.) who has been mentoring me in accordion repair for more than 2 years. I have a workshop setup and have been developing my repair and tuning skills, soon to put it out to the world that I am accepting business. I also teach accordion and play out live.
Here is a video of my playing that you might like:
I started playing at age 6 and Im now almost 61 years old, so its been while! Im also a keyboardist and singer/songwriter. There are various You Tube videos of me playing on either accordion, piano or keyboard, in various styles and situations, should you be interested.

In the year 2001 I was contracted by Disney Entertainment to play accordion at a new Disney theme park (Tokyo DisneySea) opening in Tokyo. I played there 6 shows a day/5 days per week for almost 1 1/2 years. It was quite an amazing experience after which I stayed in Tokyo, playing piano and singing in hotels, bars and nightclubs, spending a total of 7 years in Japan . (Yes, I speak Japanese.)

I returned to the USA in 2008 and have been living in the area of Wilmington, North Carolina for almost 6 years now. Feel free to say hello!

With best regards,
Al DiMarco
 

Soulsaver

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Konnichiwa (I'll get in first) Al, welcome. Any friend of Jim's... is especially welcome here. Sounds like a great life with the accordion & hope it continues for many years to come. What model(s) do you play? Is there a main squeeze?
 

JIM D.

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Hi Al; And most certainly -- WELCOME -- Its about time you join.
You might of mentioned your original recording -- -- as our European members might find it entertaining.
 
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BrandyD

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Welcome!!! I love the youtube that Jim D posted above! I like your style!!!

Glad to have another member from the East cost of the USA!

Sounds like you have had a wonderful life with your accordion. Looking forward to seeing your posts on this forum.

Brandy
 

Al DiMarco

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Soulsaver said:
Konnichiwa (Ill get in first) Al, welcome. Any friend of Jims... is especially welcome here. Sounds like a great life with the accordion & hope it continues for many years to come. What model(s) do you play? Is there a main squeeze?

Konnichiwa, Soulsaver! Genki desuka? Thanks for the welcome. Yeah, Jims a good guy. I live very far from him but did have a chance to meet and spend some time with him last year during a road trip through parts of the northeast US. I didnt play the accordion much for many years, my focus being on keyboards but then circumstances brought me back to it and I fell in love with the instrument. When I was very young, it was just an instrument I played but later it became something I am passionate about.

As for what model I play: I have a 17 Excelsiola that was modified years ago to have two middle reed sets, instead of the original LMH. My parents bought it for me when I was 13 years old. It has a good sound because it was made quite well back in the golden age of accordion manufacture. It has mahogany reed blocks. Its OK but Im not satisfied with the small keyboard and I would like to have 3 middle reeds. I love the sound of the 3 reed musette. (I have a very old Excelsior Concert Grand that has 3 middles and I loved the sound when I used it. It is now a wreck and not worth repairing.) I did manage to acquire...thanks to Jim D.s eagle eye for a good buy on a box...a full sized, 4 treble reed, Excelsiola. It is the same era as the one I now perform with but full sized (19 1/4 inch keyboard) with the 4 treble reeds. I love the construction but not happy with the tuning. It is LMMH and Im seriously considering modifying it to LMMM. It might be my dream accordion if I change the high set to middles and tune it the way I want it. That is a project waiting for me to find time to pull off. Thanks for asking! I hope that wasnt too much detail. :D
 

Al DiMarco

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JIM D. said:
Hi Al; And most certainly -- WELCOME -- Its about time you join.
You might of mentioned your original recording -- -- as our European members might find it entertaining.

Hey, thanks Jim. Im glad you pushed me to get registered here. It looks to be a great site. And thank you for posting the link to that video of My New Neighborhood. I appreciate that! I hope that folks to find it entertaining. :D
 

Al DiMarco

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BrandyD said:
Welcome!!! I love the youtube that Jim D posted above! I like your style!!!

Glad to have another member from the East cost of the USA!

Sounds like you have had a wonderful life with your accordion. Looking forward to seeing your posts on this forum.

Brandy

Hello, BrandyD!!! LOL!!! Thank you for the 3-exclamation-point welcome! How sweet of you. So you are in Maryland. I have done a lot with the accordion, yes. I didnt mention a lot of what Ive done. Ive played on many recordings and worked with some very fine musicians and bands. Im still going!!

I travel past your way 2 or 3 times each year when I head up to Connecticut to visit family. (Im originally from Connecticut.) Maybe well have a visit?

All the best!
Al
 

Glenn

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Hi Al, as already said, welcome to the forum.
It's always good to swell our ranks with experienced accordionists.
I look forward to hearing of your adventures.
What sort of repertoire were you playing in Japan by the way?
 

Al DiMarco

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Glenn said:
Hi Al, as already said, welcome to the forum.
Its always good to swell our ranks with experienced accordionists.
I look forward to hearing of your adventures.
What sort of repertoire were you playing in Japan by the way?

Hello, Glenn and thank you for the welcome!

The gig at DisneySea was a trio format, always acoustic bass, originally with an Irish flute player, then later with a guitarist. We sang and played sea shanties, Irish jigs, reels, hornpipes, etc. It was mostly music from the 1800s that might have been played or sung by the men on the whaling ships. That was the concept, anyway. Of course, the Disney tune A Sailors Life For Me was in the repertoire.

Best,
Al
 

Soulsaver

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Genki Desu. And that's about as much as I know... Detail is fine. In my collection I have a 1304 LMMM Excelsior 96, 2005. I also have a 320 Multi Musette, c 1960 beautiful sounding reeds - they don't look hand made but they certainly sound it. Good luck with the project. When you have time, I'd love to read about your tuning set-up & how you develop(d) your tuning skills, .
 

Al DiMarco

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Soulsaver said:
Genki Desu. And thats about as much as I know... Detail is fine. In my collection I have a 1304 LMMM Excelsior 96, 2005. I also have a 320 Multi Musette, c 1960 beautiful sounding reeds - they dont look hand made but they certainly sound it. Good luck with the project. When you have time, Id love to read about your tuning set-up & how you develop(d) your tuning skills, .

Genki desune! Yokatta! :) Sounds like you got a couple of nice boxes there, Soulsaver, particularly the Multi Musette. It was a good time for accordions! The Excelsior I perform with at this time was made somewhere around 1960 as well.

Ill be happy to fill you in on what I have together with regard to tuning. Im still new at this but it seems to be going well. I am using the less costly tuning software from Dirk Wolton. It works very well. I have a test bellows setup that I made from a set of used bellows which I bought from Jim D. about 2 years ago. That is how I came to be in contact with Jim and when he started mentoring/teaching me. We talk regularly and he has been immensely helpful and generous with his time and expertise.

Other than those basic things, I have a small Dremel type tool that I like to use for tuning most reads and I will use a scratcher in some cases. I dont know how much more I can share except to write that the information on George Bachichs Accordion Revival site has been very, very helpful. Honestly, I dont find tuning difficult at all. The tuning software makes it pretty easy. There are all the considerations of the reed clearances, leather positioning/quality, etc., that affect the tuning but that has become pretty obvious too, after tuning a bunch of reeds.

Now, Jim D. makes an excellent point about reeds and tuning and I hope Im not misrepresenting his point of view: he doesnt like to tune reeds because they dont go out of tune, once done at the factory, and to remove metal weakens them. He would rather replace a reed that is out. This makes complete sense, and I agree with him in theory, but, so far, I have chosen to tweak the tuning of reeds unless the have slipped beyond a certain point. I know from experience when playing 5 days a week at DisneySea, that when a reed is suddenly way under pitch, it is going to break. Time to replace it, for sure. Another thing that has me tuning reeds is that I dont like my accordion tuned sharper than A440. I play in bands or with backing tracks often and I am very sensitive to pitch. I dont like the way an accordion tuned above A440 sounds when played with instruments tuned at A440. So you know Ill change an entire accordion if it is tuned sharp. This is one of the big reasons Im not yet performing with the full sized Excelsior I have. It is much better for me than my 17 1/2 inch Excelsior but I really dont like the tuning! Its going to be a big job when I get to that one, especially if I choose to modify the piccolo reed block and make it a 3rd clarinet set for a 3 reed musette.

I dont know if Ive answered your question sufficiently but you more than welcome to ask questions, Soulsaver.

Best regards,
Al
 

geirvild

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I know this post was years ago, but I figured I would give it a shot.

I live north of Wilmington, in Maple Hill.

Do you do repairs still? I have two bayans that need some work.
 

knobby

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It may be an idea to send a PM to him as he hasn’t been on here for nearly a year.
 
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