Accordion Apocalypse Now

Opening your own small business can be incredibly challenging; even more so if your business is in the underappreciated field of accordion repair. Fortunately Skyler Fell, who runs the Accordion Apocalypse Repair Shop in San Francisco, is up to the challenge.

Skyler started out as an apprentice at Boaz Accordions in Berkeley (where I bought my used Weltmeister) and, after they closed, opened her own shop in an Oakland garage before moving to a warehouse studio in Hunter’s Point earlier this year. There, she rebuilds and repairs old accordions, sells accordions, books, sheet music, cases, and stands, and dispenses free accordion advice to all. The San Francisco Examiner recently profiled Skyler and she talked about her passion for old, hand-built instruments:

“It’s really a rich history, and I feel blessed to be carrying the new torch… I really like these older accordions. They’re from the 1940s. Each accordion has so much chutzpah, charm and personality.”

In addition to selling and repairing accordions, Skyler hosts a monthly music jam/potluck at her shop; the next one is this Sunday at 7pm. Accordionists are especially encouraged to attend, but all instruments are welcome. Kielbasia, San Francisco’s favorite Accordion-Playing Drag Lunch Lady, will make a special guest appearance at 8pm. Check the Accordion Apocalypse site for directions and more info.

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