Henry Doktorski presented a lecture/recital titled Vaudeville Accordion Classics: The Lives and Music of the Deiro Brothers at the 60th Annual Coupe Mondiale at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, on Thursday August 16, 2007.
The two Italian-American brothers, Guido (1886-1950) and Pietro (1888-1954) Deiro are considered by many to be the two greatest pioneers of the piano-accordion, because they introduced the instrument to probably hundreds of thousands of people throughout North America and abroad by their vaudeville performances, sound recordings, and published music during the early twentieth century.
Guido, the elder brother, who coined the name “piano-accordion,” was the first piano-accordionist to play solo on the vaudeville stage (May 1910), the first to make records (Columbia Records, 1911), and the first to play on radio (Detroit 1922). Pietro, who learned to play the instrument from his brother, followed in Guido’s footsteps and also became a famous vaudeville star, and later, after the demise of vaudeville during the Great Depression, established an immensely successful accordion music publishing company, Pietro Deiro Publications.
Doktorski performed four pieces by Guido: My Florence Waltz, Deiro Rag, Deirina Mazurka and Sharpshooters March, and four pieces by Pietro: Beautiful Days Waltz, Celestina Polka, Quick Silver Novelette and Imperia Overture.
Audience members were enthusiastic:
"I grew up listening to my father play Guido and Pietro Deiro's compositions on his accordion and have enjoyed listening to Henry Doktorski's CD recordings of the Deiro brothers' music over the last several years. So, it was a special treat to hear Henry talk about the brothers' history and then listen as he played their songs 'live' at the 2007 Coupe Mondiale."Doktorski said, "I was honored to be chosen to present a program at the 60th annual Coupe Mondiale: the World Cup for Accordionists. I especially thank Faithe Deffner and Linda Solely Reed, officers of the American Accordionists' Association and principal organizers of the event, for inviting me to contribute--in my own humble way--to the monumental success of this festival/competition. "
Henri "Biff" Asta"Henry's workshop was a fitting close to two magnificent days of accordion faire in Alexandria--like a good cup of coffee after a wonderful meal. It was nice blend of Deiro history and music; just enough to whet the appetite for more but not overwhelm."
Member, Atlanta Accordion Club
Photos by Michael.