LIAC Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration

June 18 - 21, 2015







Click here for the Official LIAC flyer


Past Concert Performers in Festhalle


Watch for information on our 2015 lineup!



Patricia Bartell Gary Blair Cory Pesaturo Murl Allen Sanders

Patricia Bartell

Gary Blair

Cory Pesaturo

Murl Allen Sanders


PATRICIA BARTELL-- Patricia Bartell holds a B.A. in Music Education and Performance.  She teaches accordion and piano full time in Spokane Washington and travels worldwide as an adjudicator, professional performer and teacher. She conducts the Spokane Accordion Ensemble, is involved in an Argentine Tango Quartet (Tango Volcado) and is the guest artist for the Hot Club of Spokane – a fantastic swing jazz group. She performs and teaches a wide variety of music. Patricia is now the permanent USA delegate (a member of the jury) for the international competition of the C.M.A (World Confederation for the Accordion – World Trophy) one of the top accordion competitions in the world.


GARY BLAIR-- Gary Blair has appeared at LIAC a number of times now due to popular demand. He will be welcoming celebration-goers with a concert on Thursday night. He will also be a competition judge.
He started playing accordion at the age of 8 and won many prizes throughout his career including the UK accordion championships. He has appeared many times on Radio and TV and has recorded several CD's. Gary likes to play all styles of music and puts emphasis on entertaining the audience.
He was awarded the titles "Honored friend of the Accordion" by the CIA (accordion world governing body) and "Veteran of the Accordion", by the Rossini institute in Italy.

CORY PESATURO-- 2009 World Digital Accordion Champion Cory Pesaturo is a graduate of
the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, where he was the first musician to major and graduate in the accordion.  Upon winning the Championship, he became the first American to win any World Accordion Championship in 25 years.  Accordion Legend Dick Contino said, "Of all the accordionists I've seen over the years, Cory is the one to pass the torch to, the only one who has all the tools to bring the accordion back to its former glory."  2009 was also a fantastic year for Pesaturo, as he won the four International Competitions he entered, including 2 International Jazz Accordion competitions. He also performed in many different countries including Japan, New Zealand, and Tunisia.


MURL ALLEN SANDERS--   Murl Allen Sanders is a free-lance musician, composer, teacher and recording artist who has been active in the Seattle area music scene and across the United States, Canada, England and Japan for over twenty-five years. He performs and records regularly with his own bands, as a soloist, and with numerous bands in the Northwest.  Murl plays piano, accordion, B-3, keyboards, harmonica, sings, teaches and composes music.

Murl has worked with many diverse artists and most recently has been performing his jazz-influenced  orchestral compositions “Accordion Concerto #1” with Cascade Symphony and  Everett Symphony and “Accordion Concerto #2” with Orchestra Seattle. 


Workshop Presenters



Bonnie Birch Jim and Shirley O'Brien Kory Tideman Johnny V

Bonnie Birch

Jim and Shirley O'Brien Kory Tideman

Johnny Vukonich


BONNIE BIRCH – Bonnie began studying the accordion at age 7 and focused mainly on classical-style playing. She entered and won many WATA competitions which resulted in a performance in Carnegie Hall. After a computer career, Bonnie resumed accordion playing with a whole new approach. She has studied jazz with many prominent teachers and incorporates those elements in all her playing. Bonnie plays professionally for many types of events in the Northwest including restaurants, dances, French, German, Italian festivals, Seattle Art Museum, etc. She plays solo, has her own band, and accompanies singers.


MAX KYLLONEN and KORY TIDEMAN – Max and Kory will together present the workings of the buttonbox accordion. Both have many years of experience on their instruments and Kory performs regularly with the Happy Hans Band. All accordionists will benefit by having some knowledge of other types of accordions even if they don’t play them.


JIM O’BRIEN --   Jim and his wife Shirley are both accordionists from Tucson Arizona and call themselves the SouthWest Volksband. Jim founded the Accordion Club of Tucson (ACT) in 1998. Both are retired from the University and travel in their motorhome.  “When we travel, Jim and I play festivals throughout the summer (we even played on the Leavenworth Gazebo and the Rathskeller Restaurant several years ago), have played on Mt. Angel's Oktoberfest Gazebo for the past four years and added the Scandinavian Festival in Junction City Oregon in August  and Festa Italiana in Coeur d'Alene in October.”


JOHNNY VUKONICH - Johnny is a one-man, all-inclusive band, playing a reeded or reedless accordion with countless styles, rhythms, instrument sounds, drummer and accompaniment. All musicians have their individual style of play but Johnny has a unique style all his own and watching him, as well as listening or dancing, is a fascinating experience. Because of his signature style of lively toe-tapping music audiences are drawn immediately to his wonderful music.