AAA Festival July 12-16, 2023

Join the AAA for our 85th anniversary in-person celebration this summer!

2023 AAA Festival

Prof. Joan SommersGrayson MasefieldSave the date for this special event as the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) celebrates its 85th Anniversary! The festival will be held at the Marriott Philadelphia West in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, July 12-16, 2023.

I am sure I speak for all when I say that accordionists cannot wait to get back together, in person, to celebrate our beloved instrument! Speaking of our accordions, make sure you bring yours along to play in the 2023 Festival Orchestra. We are very excited to announce that the delightful, dynamic and brilliant world renowned conductor, Joan C. Sommers **, will be conducting this year’s Festival Orchestra!

The AAA Festival committee is busy adding new events constantly, so please check the website regularly: Registration forms will be online soon as well. Meanwhile, below are just a few of the exciting events we have planned.

After two years of virtual competition, we are excited to return to live competitions for students of all ages and abilities! Solos, duets, ensembles, and bands. Download the full list of categories, competition rules, and entry forms at: 2023AAARules.pdf
Hotel room reservations link:

We are very pleased to announce that New Zealand born Grayson Masefield will be joining us for performances and workshops. Very personable and well-spoken, Grayson has won and been laureate at over a dozen international accordion competitions around the world in classical, virtuoso and digital categories. He is currently the instrumental music teacher for accordion at the University of Auckland, NZ. Please visit Grayson’s website for more info:

Another special guest performer will be accordion legend Joey Miskulin **. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018 for his extraordinary accomplishments with the piano accordion, Joey continues to delight listeners with his “flying fingers” and ability to engage audiences.

Conducting our Youth Orchestra for this year’s festival will be Joanna Darrow. Joanna has dedicated her entire life to performing, teaching and promoting the accordion. She has performed several times with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and performed all over Europe, for over 30 years, with her accordion teacher/husband, the late Stanley Darrow. Joanna has accordion students of all ages and has conducted ensembles and orchestras for many years.

At our festival’s Saturday banquet, the AAA will award its coveted Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time AAA Board member Frank Busso Sr. ** Frank has been an educator, performer, conductor and all-around ambassador of the accordion for decades.

Again, keep checking our AAA website for announcements of additional performers, workshop presenters and events!

** To read more about Joan Cochran Sommers, Frank Busso Sr., Joey Miskulin, and to learn more about the events that led to the formation of the AAA, please see the articles listed below. For many other articles of AAA History, go to “History” then “Articles AAA History”.

Article #1 — AAA-Formation.htm What events led to the formation of the AAA?
Article #9 — "Spotlight on Frank Busso Sr."
Article #18 - Joey Miskulin
Article #25 - Prof. Joan Cochran Sommers

Be sure to save the date July 12-16, 2023. More information will be available shortly.

Joey Miskulin, Joanna Darrow

Frank Busso Snr

Frank Busso, Sr. to receive the AAA Lifetime Achievement Award at the AAA Festival 2023.

By Joan Grauman, AAA Historian.

I am sure I speak for all when I say that accordionists cannot wait to get back together, in person, again SOON!! The members of the AAA Governing Board are no exception.

As we are enthusiastically planning the 2023 AAA Festival, we are very excited to announce that the AAA will be honoring long-time AAA Board member, Frank Busso, Sr., at this event with the 2023 AAA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Frank has faithfully served the AAA as Treasurer, Vice-President, President (1981, 1992-94), and has also chaired many committees including the annual national festivals, and the Young Artists Concert Series. He held the position of the Comptroller of the AAA for many years. For decades, Frank has been an educator, performer, conductor and all-around ambassador of the accordion.

View the feature article from the 2017 AAA Festival Journal now online at: “Spotlight on Frank Busso”. It is an enjoyable, heartwarming and enlightening biography of a man whose life revolved around his love of the accordion, the national accordion community, and his family.

You might ask, “What has happened since 2017?” One delightful bit of news: Frank’s twin granddaughters, Julianna and Francesca, are now studying the accordion with their father, Frank Busso, Jr. All of the Busso grandchildren are now accordionists! Let’s hope we can hear the “Busso Octet” perform for us at the 2023 AAA Festival!

Busso Family L to R: Christina Busso Lammers, Alexander Lammers, Frank Busso, Sr., TV reporter from Washington, DC, Caroline Lammers, Frank Busso, Jr., and Nicholas Busso at the 2018 AAA Festival, Alexandria, VA.