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"Valtaro" Music anyone?

Tom

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"Valtaro" or "Valtaro Musette" music is considered one of the few accordion music styles "invented" in the USA (see also Zydeco, Cleveland Style Polka, etc.).

Urban legend has it that the Valtaro style was born of Italian accordion players who came to New York City in the early 1930s from the Parma region in northern Italy (Emilia Romagna), most notably Gianod (John) Brugnoli and his friend Pietro (Peter) DelGrosso.

Parma at the time was full of accordion centered dance hall bands playing popular tunes, waltzes, polkas, etc. in the "ballo liscio" style.

Brugnoli, DelGrosso et al. developed a two accordion style based on their old country repertoire, popular tunes, jazz, latin etc. They called their style "Valtaro" because they came from the "Val di Taro" (Valley of the Taro River) and started a club called Val-Taro.

The music relies on one accordion playing the melody and a rock steady dance rhythm while the other plays fancy fills, variations, runs, etc. Obviously they switch off and maybe both play the same parts too.

Their theme song was "Tutti mi Chiamano Bionda (Everyone Calls me Blondie)," a popular Italian vocal tune.

Here you can see two second-generation Valtaro musicians talking about and demonstrating the style:

 
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Lucio76

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Wow, what a great story! Thanks Tom!

I live in Parma, I've been in Borgotaro (Borgo Val di Taro) many times and I've never heard anything about "Valtaro Musette". It's an unknown story here, in Italy.

(A little mistake: Castellina was born in Brisighella - Ravenna, not Parma. Famous accordionists from Parma were Gigi Stock, Nando Monica, Mario Barigazzi (Barimar), Iller Pataccini and many others)
 
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dunlustin

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What a wonderful programme.
The Golden Age of the Accordion-ist lives on
 
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NickC

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Very nice. Thanks for sharing. I watched a few minutes, but I'm at work (shhhh...) and I'll be sure to watch the rest when I get home.
 
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Tom

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Wow, what a great story! Thanks Tom!

I live in Parma, I've been in Borgotaro (Borgo Val di Taro) many times and I've never heard anything about "Valtaro Musette". It's an unknown story here, in Italy.

(A little mistake: Castellina was born in Brisighella - Ravenna, not Parma. Famous accordionists from Parma were Gigi Stock, Nando Monica, Mario Barigazzi (Barimar), Iller Pataccini and many others)
Thanks for the update, Lucio! A poor assumption on my part, as there seem to be several "Castellinas" in Italy. I'll edit the post....
 

Chickers

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TOM
Thanks for the info, and for sharing.
Great video, and waht a fine show of mucisianship.
Two real meastro's.
Nice melodic, enjoyable music.
I lived in Parma for a while as well----Parma, Ohio (near Cleveland) ha, ha
Take care.
CHICKERS
 

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