It’s Not a Party Without an Accordion

One of the ideas we try to promote here is that the accordion isn’t just a polka instrument, or a Cajun instrument, or a Tex-Mex instrument: it’s all those things and much, much more. For well over a hundred years now, accordions have been an essential player in genres ranging from avant-garde jazz to zydeco, in countries from Albania to Zimbabwe.

This past weekend, I stumbled across a great video that captures this idea. “The Accordion Party” is a medley of songs showing how the accordion has been a key player in party music the world over since its invention in the 1800’s. It’s by no means complete, but it’s a fun survey of the accordion’s global reach.

The video was created by cdza, a group of musicians in New York who create “musical video experiments.” They’re incredibly talented and I highly recommend checking out their other videos, including “Journey of the Guitar Solo” and “An Abridged History of Western Music in 16 Genres”.

1 Comment:

  1. So happy to see you back!

    Funny bit in that film, they have Dale Wimbrow down for writing the song “Accordion Joe,” but I thought the accordionist who played with Ellington, Cornell Smelser wrote it. It seems like it might have been some kind of co-writer thing, I don’t know. Wish we could ask him, but he died about ten years back.

    According to Cornell’s family a jazz writer interviewed Cornell in the 1980s, but we haven’t figured out who that might have been yet. I’d love to interview that interviewer.

    Great to hear from you!