Steve Jordan Profile on NPR

Steve JordanDoing its part for Accordion Awareness Month, NPR’s All Things Considered had a piece today on accordion legend Esteban “Steve” Jordan. Over the course of his lengthy career, Jordan has brought styles and techniques to the button accordion that no one had ever imagined.

“‘What Steve Jordan did was, he electrified the accordion,’ says Sunny Sauceda, a rising star on the squeezebox. ‘He used pedals, he brought in jazz influences to the accordion playing. He brought in the effects that had never been done on the accordion — to this day, nobody does it.’

Then there’s the whole jazz thing, says Joel Guzman, an acclaimed traditional accordionist from Austin, Texas. ‘He’s playing flat-fifths and raised 11ths, rhythmically so deep… So, from a musical standpoint, he’s a genius.'”

Today, Jordan is 70 and, despite fighting cirrhosis of the liver and cancer, he’s hard at work with nine albums worth of unreleased material (where he plays every instrument) that he’s preparing for release through his website later this summer. I’m looking forward to hearing what El Parche has up his billowing sleeves this time.

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