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Gordon Kohl


May  2018

President’s Message by Gordon Kohl

   San Diego is a great place for Accordionists to meet. We had a very nice first Accordion camp experience since the days of Maestro Gallarini. Thank you to all the participants. I look forward to another camp next year.

May your time with family and friends be fun and eventful. I hope that those of you Accordionists find a time and place to share your music with others.
   Our previous meetings have been filled with music and cheer. Let us keep it going.

    Spring is a great time to organize your music into sets, practice bellow phrasing and add some new reed switch changes to add freshness to your song arrangements.

  A surprise for us all at our February get together at Mangia Italiano Restaurant. We had a full house, authentic Italian home cooking and spumoni ice cream to finish it off. Every accordionist played so expressively. This fun day, according to everyone, must happen again.

We will do a special meeting later this year, so all of you who were missed can attend. Thank you all for your club support. Have fun and enjoy seeing your friends at ALSI, with music and friendship.

All the best, Gordon




February's   PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE - by Gordon Kohl


Hello ALSI accordion club friends:

            A very special thank you to everyone of you accordionists and friends for making an

accordion club possible and successful in San Diego.  So many faces have graced our club for 30

years.  From the very first meetings at Frank Mezanics’ trailer park in Lakeside, accordionists

have enjoyed good times together.

            I (Kjell) remember driving to this get-together in my old yellow truck with my old

Excelsior accordion, to play for people the Beer Barrel Polka and my favorite Hambo dance piece.  

The time arose that a few accordionists were getting together monthly and some of us played  Happy

Birthday on Channel 8 TV.  It would not take long and the beginning of today’s ALSI came to be. -  


            Helen and Harold Estok became very involved and brought the club new faces and the

beginning of even an ensemble.  Later, nearly 30 accordionists played in this group.  Gloria

Ensign, Marian Sowell and Vicki Eriqat vivaciously carried on for years the duty of building and

helping this band—Wow!.

            Local professional accordionists Al Jacobs, Smiling Jack, Ron Griffin,  Louis Fanucchi

and Gordon Kohl drove the club forward to new heights and experiences.    The prominence of an

accordion community was present in San Diego.  ALSI was so inspirational in bringing concerts to

our club and city.  The club worked to bring Dick Contino, Myron Floren, Jorgen Sundeqvist, Staz

Venglevski and the noteable Frank Moracco (jazz artist), and the stage man of accordion Tony

Lavello to San Diego over the years of the club!

The ideas for club activities came to us one by one.  We created the Day of Accordion in Balboa

Park, a Heritage Music Festival, and a picnic, which are still part of the club activities.

            Thanks to all of us, who have participated in our club.  We share our love of the

accordion and enjoy friendships with other squeezers that seems to endure and bind us together.  

So many thanks to Helen and Harold Estok for driving ALSI forward.  As the years passed, new

friends continued to arrive at  ALSI.  Most of these members are people you know today.  Some of

them are:  Jerry O., Richard S., John C., Roni P., Vicki E., Sharon and Jack M., Bob W., Rena W.,

Marian S., and so many others.

            We were all so blessed to have the Maestro Galla-rini accordion camp for years in San

Diego.  Galla-rini was such an inspiration, a friend with a smile, and a driving force for players

of the accordion.

The club newsletter, the Reed Block,  became an excellent means to attract members and give

direction to the club.   Roy Wirta was the first publisher and helped make it a success.   It was

originally a short newsletter in black and white.   Today the newsletter is in full color and

still displays the original accordion icon that  instantly reminds you what you have in hand.  

Sharon Marotte has authored the Happiness section of the newsletter for over 20 years! Bob Warner

has written many-many reviews of artists that have performed at the club.  Bob Page has maintained

the computer data and website for the club.  He was also the publisher for 15 years and much of

the current format is his design.

            Past presidents of the club that has keep the club alive and enthusiastic have been

Harold Estok, Ron Griffin, Kjell Holmes and Gloria Ensign.  Gordon Kohl is now in the hot seat and

doing a great job of keeping things alive and well in the accordion world.  Gordon’s wish is that

you all help one another including the ALSI committee to bring fun and music to us all for years.

Thank you all so very much for being there:   Kjell Holmes

   P.S.  Thanks, dad, for getting me my first accordion as a child and giving me lessons with Hugo Helmer.

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