Accordion Jazz 101
Workshop presented by Paul Betken

 Held in the SOCIAL HALL behind the Church of the Oaks corner of W. Sierra and Page St.
(about ½ block from the polka tent)
Both Days August 19 & 20, 2017
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Paul Betken, as host/instructor conducts an accordion-centric music workshop in the fundamental and practical aspects of jazz accordion performance. As a consummate jazz accordionist, Paul shares his opinions, observations and comments on being a professional jazz accordionist with more than 50 years experience in concert performance.

This workshop has been successfully crafted and delivered on several occasions at other major accordion festivals. The workshop promises to be informative and entertaining for all musical skill levels from the novice to the professional. Non-accordionists will learn more about the role that the accordion plays as an instrument used in the musical genre' called jazz.

This informal presentation of jazz accordion topics covers a wide range of interests, including jazz accordion history, the variety of playing styles and philosophies of outstanding jazz accordionists such as Art Van Damme, Leon Sash, Frank Morocco, Matt Mathews, Tommy Gumina and others. While Paul shares jazz accordion teaching philosophy and sources, he concentrates on the basics needed in jazz performance skills, how-to-practice tips, hand and mind coordination and development, the use of lead sheet music, the art of chord voicing, scales and inversions and his own personal technique of "full chord sound."

Paul offers methods for memorization, guidance on arranging song lists, and suggestions on how to perform jazz accordion with other jazz musicians. A nod to music fundamentals, and harmonic theories of improvisation enhances basic tools needed for the complete jazz performer and enthusiast.

A major segment of the workshop is devoted to jazz accordion performance of several jazz classics. Paul has selected specific songs from the great American Songbook to demonstrate his unique accordion arrangements. These examples and techniques are explained and demonstrated using iPad accompaniment which allows him to be creative and improvisational as well. All of his jazz accordion arrangements (10 songs) are in a booklet format and CD of Paul's stylized demonstrations on how they should be played--the booklet and CD will be available for purchase. In addition, three separate handouts are available to anyone attending the workshop. They cover melodic chord progressions, transposing songs, and a list of 10 brilliant jazz solos and what you can learn from them.

 "Accordion Jazz 101" is offered for the first time on both days during the Cotati Accordion Festival! It's the newest addition to the festival. No need to reserve your seat. This introductory workshop-demonstration serves players wanting to experience the art of playing jazz accordion and wanting to learn the elements of what makes a great jazz accordionist. All attendees are encouraged to ask questions and offer their own insights where appropriate. The major outcomes of attending the workshop include generating greater audience enthusiasm for the accordion, and for the jazz accordionist, these workshops teach you how perform better as a jazz accordionist.