Honorary Director of the 2002 Cotati Accordion Festival
Most of you know something about the guy who is both the idea man and the presenter for the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention ... Paul Pasquali. He has developed the Concerto Accordion, he lives in Salt Lake City, and he’s very easy to get along with. You probably already know those things.
But do you know that he began playing the accordion because he couldn’t compete at piano lessons with his sister, who was ten years older? He had to play something else, and he picked “that big thing” that Myron Floren played on TV’s The Lawrence Welk Show. Paul was eight years old.
Soon Paul’s mother decided she was willing to drive Paul to the big city—Salt Lake City—so that her son could take lessons from the best teacher in Utah, Larry Pino. That worked beautifully for Paul, and he continued the lessons for ten years. By that time he was in college and playing professionally at clubs and for private parties. In college, by the way, Paul studied Graphic Arts, which explains the marvelous artistic quality of the information about the Convention he has been sending you.
In graduate school in 1984, Paul began bringing electronic accordions into the Western United States from a company called ELKA in Italy. Paul has a good command of the Italian language, having spent two years in Italy while in his early twenties.
In 1987, Paul moved to California and became a partner with Gordon Piatanesi, who owned Colombo Accordions. He remained there for six years. While with Gordon, Paul expanded his knowledge of the accordion business, specializing in, of course, electronic instruments. Meantime, though, he had been recognizing that there was a lot of room for improvement in the electronic accordions which were being marketed, and he began dreaming of building and marketing his own instrument.
In 1992, Paul returned home to Utah and spent two years developing and refining his state-of-the-art electronic instrument, which he christened the Concerto. The Concerto is, as he says, the world’s first true digital accordion using optical sensors to effect sampled waveforms. At the same time, it is easy to use, and delivers remarkable sound quality. It is even offered in custom models, to satisfy the requirements of his many talented customers.
In addition to all this, Paul has found the time to handle all the details of presenting a top-notch international convention! But what a great job he has done, creating a week of fun for accordion enthusiasts the world over!
ED—Paul Pasquali has made a significant contributed to the success of the Cotati Accordion Festival. Before moving to Utah in 1992, he served on the Board of Directors for three years. Paul has taught workshops most years and been a welcome addition to the festival. We wish him continued success in his future endeavors. Thank you Paul.