Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charles Nunzio, R.I.P., 97

In January 2009, we offered a free pdf of Scott's "Powerhouse" arranged for accordion by Charles Nunzio. The offer still stands; just drop us an email.

Comes word now from a squeezebox aficionado that Mr. Nunzio passed away on October 19 at the age of 97 (obit here). Mr. Nunzio had a long and distinguished career, commencing with a 1933 debut recital at New York's Town Hall, followed by a performance at Carnegie Hall the following year. He co-founded the American Accordionists Association, and served in the Navy during World War II.

Following his discharge, Mr. Nunzio invented his own custom-designed accordion, the Nunziola (photo, R), and he held a patent on the Kuehl Free-Bass accordion (which he co-developed with William "Bud" Kuehl).

During an 80-year musical career, Nunzio was a composer, arranger, performer, teacher, inventor, and tireless proponent of his instrument. We're honored to keep his arrangement of Scott's most well-known composition in circulation for future generations of accordionists.

Here, the master discusses the 20th century evolution of his instrument.

Here, in 1990, as he approaches age 80, Nunzio performs a spirited solo rendition of "El Cumbanchero."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the respectful article on my father, Charles Nunzio. I discovered a small typo in the article by Jay Landers which I corrected in dad's obit. The AAMS award refers to dad as " inspiring idol..." not an aspiring idol. I'll add that he always aspired to elevate the accordion, its artistry and appreciation. - Charles M. Nunzio