Together, Jerry and Paul have performed many concerts over the years in accordion
duet format at major accordion conventions, especially in Las Vegas, NV and in Dallas, TX. Jerry Cigler, originally from Cleveland and Paul Betken, originally from Chicago never planned to perform as an accordion jazz duo. They each studied under the masterful blind jazz accordionist, Leon Sash, for many years. As a result, each was familiar with the other’s musical style and they were already great friends at the time the duo was born. Then, 10 years ago while attending the International Accordion Convention in Las Vegas, they received a surprising special request to perform a concert as a duo on the following day. They did so without rehearsal and since then have been performing in concert together ever since; they haven’t looked back.

After studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the 60’s, Jerry, moved to Chicago; he went on to perform in night clubs and miscellaneous venues for the next 30 years. During this period, he also recorded with the “Leon Sash Trio” and in subsequent years for other recording labels including Delmark, Neophonic, and Jerriatric Jazz. Throughout the years, he has shared performance tips at various accordion workshops regarding his unique technique. Jerry is a master of the “Block Chord” technique and integrates it in his unique stylistic performances. He is a member of the ATG and Chicago Accordion Club.

Paul has resided in Phoenix, AZ for the last 17 yrs. In addition to his concert performances with the accordion duo, he has performed in concert as a soloist at the Cotati Festival (2015); the ATG (in Chicago, 2017), and at the North Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Nappa Valley and the Arizona Accordion Clubs. He is a regular at sit-ins at the Nash and Opa Life Jazz Series in Phoenix. He has published music books for jazz accordion instruction, “JAZZ ACCORDION ARRANGEMENTS” with CD, 2017 1 st Ed. “JAZZ ACCORDION ARRANGEMENTS” with CD, 2 nd Ed. He has released two CD’s, including “PAUL’S TURN – JAZZ ACCORDION,” 2014 (with international recognition from Muisc Marche, Italy) and “BEYOND MY COMFORT ZONE – ECLECTIC JAZZ ACCORDION.”

Paul and Jerry are pleased to announce joining the duo at the Cotati Accordion Festival are two local and very prominent local musicians—Bobby Belanski on drums and Tom Shadur on string bass.

Many examples of the duo’s musical style are posted on You Tube for your enjoyment.

See Jazz Accordion – Paul Betken and Jerry Cigler Bye Bye Blackbird – YouTube