Thomas J. Cordoni

2012 Honorary Director

“Music You Will Remember” and a man we won’t forget.

Thomas J. Cordoni passed away peacefully on February 23, 2012. The only son of Fred and Ruth Cordoni, Tom was a native of San Francisco. He worked for many years for the City and County of San Francisco, retiring as a Maintenance Gardener. He also served as a Field Representative for the Laborers Union, Local 261, for several years. He was a lifetime member of Musician’s Union, Local 6.

Tom was an accordionist for 60 years, playing for Italian, Irish, German, French and Basque events in the San Francisco Bay Area. After moving to Petaluma in 2000, Tom, through the City Council, had the accordion declared the first musical instrument of Petaluma. For seven years, Tom organized and presented a free community accordion festival showcasing accordionists of all ages, amateur and professional.
Tom was the loving husband of Jeannette, devoted father of Virginia Mendoza, Linda Cordoni, Denise Cordoni and Nicole (Brent) Wallingford; loving grandfather of Frederico and Sergio Mendoza, Vanessa and Tom Bautista, and Cole and Jake Wallingford.

“He was a very loving, fun and giving man,” said Jeanette. “He was very outgoing and loved people. If there was something he could do for you, he would. He had a tremendous sense of humor. My kids and grandkids all say that he made things fun.”

In Tom’s Own Words:

My name is Tom Cordoni. I have been a professional accordionist for over 50 years.

My band and I have played for many parties, political gatherings, parades and weddings (including Robin Williams’ first wedding). I also spent many years teaching accordion. At one time I was director of the San Francisco Accordion Club Fun Band. I played for 15 years at LeMontmartre, a French bistro in North Beach, and for eight years at Mulcrevy’s, an Irish-American pub. I have played German music at William Tell in San Francisco, Little Switzerland in Sonoma, the Germania Club in San Jose, the Gasthaus in Milpitas and the Pine Brook Inn in Belmont. I played at the Italian-American Social Club, the Italian Athletic Club and the Sons of Italy in San Francisco. I have also played for many Basque festivities.

After moving to Petaluma in 2000, I appeared before the Petaluma City Council several times on behalf of the accordion and was successful in my endeavor as the council named the accordion, “The First Official Musical Instrument of Petaluma” and named the 4th Saturday in June as “Celebrate the Accordion Day.”
I am a proud member of three accordion clubs: The Accordion Club of the Redwoods (Petaluma); The San Francisco Accordion Club (San Francisco); and the Golden State Accordion Club (Vacaville).