Cotati Accordion Festival is Proud to Announce
2018 Honorary Director
Paul Rogers came by his position as unwitting champion of the accordion in a rather roundabout way.
A native of Dearborn, Michigan, he earned a degree in music composition from
Ohio Wesleyan in 1975. Heading west to San Francisco, Rogers became
immersed in the local pop music scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He played
keyboard and fronted New Wave bands The Dinks, The Baxter Brothers and The
Jimmy Knight Band. He also joined the now-legendary Christmas Jug Band,
penning some of the group’s best-known holiday hits (including NPR’s 2002
Christmas Song of the Year, “Santa Lost a Ho”).
Then came the unlikely meeting that turned him into a squeezebox rocker. In
1990, he fell in with an impromptu group calling itself Those Darn Accordions. The
ragtag group's frenzied accordion raids attracted media attention in San Francisco
and beyond. Soon, TDA was performing throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
Rogers assumed the role of TDA musical director in 1992. The band began
recording and touring the United States, including an unprecedented 10-year run
at Milwaukee's massive Summerfest.
The band’s six releases include many of Rogers’ songs, many of which have
shaken the gazebo at the Cotati Accordion Festival. With TDA, he has appeared
on numerous television shows, including “The American Music Awards,” “Penn &
Teller’s Sin City Spectacular” and “The Donny and Marie Show.”
In 2016, Rogers wrote a song to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Cotati
Accordion Festival. He and the festival headliners performed “We Came to
Squeeze” at the Grand Finale that year.
Rogers continues to promote the versatility of the accordion in traditional and
popular music. In 2016, he began co-producing an accordion festival in Port
Townsend, Washington. The PT Deep Squeeze features TDA, plus many other
local and touring accordion players each Labor Day weekend.