GREENWOOD VILLAGE (CBS4) – More than 100 passionate accordionists are gathering in Colorado to celebrate the 79th annual Accordion Festival. The festival is hosted by the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International, or ATG.
A few of those musicians woke up early on Wednesday to give CBS4’s Mekialaya White a preview of what audiences can expect at the event.
“It’s all kinds of music from all over the world. We’ve got orchestras, we’ve got soloists, ensembles. Every facet of this instrument that you could possibly imagine,” said ATG President Joe Natoli.
Natoli has been playing since the age of 7 and, naturally, brings his skills to the festival every year.
“I started playing with my father. I loved the sound of it and just wanted to be involved with it,” said Natoli.
World-class accordionist Cory Pesaturo shared a similar story of how he fell in love with playing the instrument.
“My dad played back when the accordion was very popular in the 50s. He saw Dick Contino on the Ed Sullivan show, for those who remember ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’” Pesaturo laughed. “And I said, ‘I want to play accordion!’ I was only 9 years old.”
Pesaturo was joined by Gail Campanella, and the pair performed a brief medley of tunes. Campanella was also raised playing accordion locally.
“I grew up in Weldona, which is northeast of Denver, a little farming community. Took lessons there and went on to study all through college,” Campanella said.
The festival is being held from July 24-27 at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel. Everyone is welcome to check out the sweet sounds. There is no charge for festival events, but if you’d like to be treated to concert performances, tickets are $15. Day passes are $20.