What is SkwzBox? It is a contraction of "Squeeze Box." The squeeze box, like the tuba, is the most maligned instrument a person could imagine. For instance, "What is the definition of a gentleman?" "A guy who plays the accordion, but when asked to play, doesn't." I'm here to bring the accordion back to respectability.
The History of the SkwzBox
Many people believe the accordion is an Italian-invented instrument. Actually, archeologists have found ancient remains of an instrument using bellows to produce musical notes in China. The Italians did invent what we consider the modern-day accordion in 1776. My supposition is Marco Polo brought the idea back from his oriental excursions. The accordion is designed as a portable organ with reed settings comparable to the pipe settings on an organ. Many accordions now are MIDI-compatible and will produce five or more levels of different sounds at one time, i.e., solo, orchestrator, chorus, organ, rhythm, and bass. The Encyclopedia Britannica states the accordion is the easiest instrument in the world to play. This may be so, with the average student learning to play 16 bars of music in less than a half-hour, but to master the instrument takes a lifetime of practice.
Throughout my career, I have performed with many fine musicians:
Stan Galli - percussionist extraordinaire
Bob Olson - superior trumpeter and teacher
Luigi - jazz percussionist and really nice guy
Gary Vajgrt - the best trumpeter I've every known
Jeff Hammer - a very fine young drummer, accordionist
Lenny Adams - sax man, band leader
Bob Gaddy - sax, "licorice stick"
Joe Spellerberg - "Moostash Joe"
Elmer Nemec - tuba, baritone, vocals (German, Czech, and English)
Gary Berka - trumpet, trombone, peck horn, vocals, (Czech and English)
Charlie Jirkovsky - trumpeter, who loved to play (deceased)
and many others.