Bringing the Accordian Back

Cory Pesaturo is the only accordian graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Cory showcases his talent along with his goal to revolutionize the accordian and make it cool again.

one of the things I love about coming here every year and I hope I can keep coming for as many years as Randy will have me is that and one of the things people ask me what do you like about your job well what I like about my job is that I learned something new every day but being here is like learning through a firehose there is so much stuff coming at you and one of the things I learned today that I did not know is that there are world champion accordion estándar meet one of them and in fact he has three World Championship accordion titles in different genres of accordion who even knew well I learned that today and you just learned it as well kori peso Toro is a world champion according this he is going to end our proceedings today with a burst of energy because I know he's got energy he spent 32 hours one time in an accordion marathon it is a world record please welcome Corey pezoo Toro and thank you all once again thank you
darling it is really quite something as one of my original hobbies of being a little kid was not watching cartoons but watching the stock market and CNBC so to be introduced by Tyler who I've seen a million times as I was a kid is truly an honor and give a hand for Tyler on his own conference alright so yes I am an accordion player hence why as an accordion on me if you didn't know we were just added to the endangered species list at least need to be in this country so before I give you an idea of what I've been doing with the accordion let me first give you a little lecture on accordion history the abridged version so the accordion was originally developed in the 1820s 1830s as kind of a debate on that and it came to America in 1909 by the way of this man we know Daryl why luckily got to know his son very well and I just
even have one of widowed arrows accordions so we don't came here playing the piano accordion which was really made for the American market because if you put buttons on this side no one knows what it is he put a piano uh we could understand that and we know became so popular that by 1915 he was one of the biggest acts in vaudeville around the country and his opening act and actually wife for a time was Mae West how many people know Mae West and he was wildly popular pretty much until around the Depression when vaudeville went down in the movies and everything went up and the accordion didn't die it was just kind of a normal instrument brought over especially by immigrants and then in 1948 a man by the name of dick and Tino went on the Horace Heidt show what's for most people in here that is was the American Idol of 1948 and dick became a huge sensation around the country and there's actually a picture in his biography where he was in big letters at the Sands Hotel in Vegas and Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin Lawrence small letters that's how big he
was for that time and the accordion was about the most popular with in the United States in the early 50s but even as the accordion kind of came off that peak and the guitar was coming up there was actually a magazine that was around called was it here according in Guitar World so it's hard to imagine that even then the accordion in the katar were equally as popular and what's funny when I found this picture that's loo ticklish I know him he's 92 years old in San Francisco still playing gigs which is quite incredible so now of course the accordion falls off his rock becomes a thing and the parents want the kids to play accordion the kids are like right an accordion that's what you did I'm playing guitar and the accordion really died by the time the Beatles came out and if you wanted a gig or a date by 1965 you had to play piano or something else and we started getting things like this welcome to heaven here's your harp
welcome to hell here's your accordion I actually know what the original drawing of this is because Gary Larson did it send it to the only remaining accordion Factory in the United States potosi in Seattle and signed it with apologies Gary Larson and has this original nothing funny so when I started playing really the nineties there's a little kid I'm Italian you know my dad you got a prior court in you good Italian boy you got to play accordion so that's what I did little known that the accordion was so unpopular and well who remembers the Lawrence Welk Show I was forced to watch the Lawrence Welk Show of course Myron Floren was the accordion player well as I began playing my first big gig actually was sitting in for Myron Floren who got sick for this gig in Rhode Island I am from Rhode Island this is the work done musical theater that was my first gig as a 11 year old playing for Myron Floren now what since
we mentioned Myron people know that what music do you usually associate with the accordion polka polka polka polka okay so this is what you're used to everybody know what that tunas ah okay what what else others some other genres tango yeah yeah that's good now the ones obviously Italian okay maybe what else gypsy yeah that's it Nord let's hold on [Laughter] [Music] [Laughter] French thing but how about techno music
associate techno music with accordion at all maybe possibly [Music] [Music] something like that so this is not a normal accordion we will get into that in a bit so as we go on my career kind of kept going with this as gigs here and there then I was offered here we go I played at the white house four times around the end of the the Clinton administration bill loves music and he kept having me come back had me play at a state dinner for the president of Hungary because he's like oh if you played some polkas that'll be perfect for the president robbery which is funny because that's not really a polka country but that's a kind of a that was like of course yes we'll do that so then I I continued on and was continually trying to push to
get the accordion to be a thing as I notice as I get older condi accordion is just not really well people would say you know who are you're a great musician you should switch to piano you'd get many more gigs of you switch to me I'm trying to make the accordion a thing and I want a national championship at 15 I went on to win so I said the world championships and things it still was not going I wasn't getting a you know big national article and you know world champion accordion player is doesn't doesn't really work in LA Times or New York or something like that so then I started playing electric accordion as you can tell this is electric it does a lot more than a usual acoustic there are no Reed's in here for people that know what I want an accordion works it's basically like a big harmonica this is all computer chips so I don't even know quite how it works I'm that's quite an engineer then I skinned the accordion to have a flame on it because I'm a big racing guy so I was like hmm let me take a note from that and and put a whole skin and it's still the only according in the world with a skin on it then
wasn't quite enough so I said let's see can do this and especially when I play at clubs I like to play with DJs because then I have people dance to me and they think they're dancing to the DJ but they are actually not so if I do this you can see maybe you see the lights with the lights on it but possibly and be like this at a club and people have no idea is actually an accordion but they see the lights you know it's something completely different this accordion is kind of taken on a mind of its own there are festivals around the country that have used this accordion as their poster this is the catotti accordion festival in California it's the biggest one in North America and they were like can we use your accordion for the poster
which is which is quite neat so the accordion is kind of taking on something of its own I have had a couple of moments on national TV this is when CBS was doing something for the Super Bowl and one of the million times my Patriots are in the Super Bowl yay and they wanted talents from LA and Boston to go again so they they had me do something there I play a lot for kids all the time because there really is none of the stigma against the accordion with young kids because the accordion has been dead like I said since the late 60s surely by the 70s for so long now that there's there's no like oh you must play polka they just don't know the like accordion what is that they don't really know so it's kind of this a new beginning of young people that see all the movement in the playing and like wow and you know of course I have to play baby shark if I play for young people well first I was like what the heck is baby short so I'm still trying to you don't make it a thing it is quite a challenge in every country it's different I know some of you guys I have talked to over the day and yesterday and probably tonight about how every
country's history of the accordion is is pretty different so still was trying to get things to happen so I said well let's break a Guinness World Record so I played 32 hours and broke the Guinness world record for the longest accordion performance if I do anything like that Randy will kill me I think even 32 minutes so we did this in Austria I had Red Bull actually sponsor it because I you know we thought that was a good idea I've done stuff with the Red Bull Formula One team so I was like you guys wanna you know sponsor a Guinness world acted with accordion so that's that's kind of what we did so let me pause there for that and play you some various genres because of course during that record I didn't want to play just mary had a little lamb for 32 hours so I tried to just play all kinds of different music and you can even call out some different things that you might want to hear some kind of a tango thing
of course thank you thank you this one's a good patch on here [Music]
thank you this one is always a wacky one that you would not expect give me give me some standard mala going is not quite a standard although I could do that but not on this pad necessarily a faster one to start us is a great one I just need a faster one hey train oh there we go [Music] [Music]
[Music] [Music] [Music] I have many rehearsals with my small people inside my accordion at all times I'm doing all that you can even do you know you don't need a rock band anymore no reason for that you can just hire an accordion player and do something let's
see maybe like this and like this so I have a little screen up here so I can see what in the world I'm doing [Music] [Music] so know that there are no tracks here
everything you hear is coming from my 10 fingers it is all if I played that song on no sounds it would actually sound I don't know probably wouldn't sound all that fun so get Apollo sounds of it so let me over a couple of random other things here that I do that some of you may have seen at the the Rhode Island Conference does anyone know what this is it is a vorticity map this is from a star a couple of years ago this is just showing that we might get three to six inches per hour in southern New England so this is my favorite thing to do actually I'm a nut for weather and snow specifically I know you guys don't get snow here in Florida I'm enough for snow usually people come to Florida to get away from snow I'm kind of the opposite in in that way what else and usually I try to combine my hobbies and my actual career so I do weather reporting for the
national weather service and when I do a video for my local news you know reporting 8.5 inches I usually send in a video of me playing something in an all-white outfit I'm known as the Snowman in the weather world known as si PES in the accordion world and I usually send in videos like this and a lot of times I get on TV because no one else is playing a flaming accordion playing some rockered electronic thing reporting his snowfall and excited about his snowfall so this is my random random this year now on the weather boards which there are only a couple of us that you know probably a thousand of us that are really nuts for snow and we have all weather boards they made an emoji for me so and it's going to snow a lot in my area of Rhode Island I usually post this it's a moving emoji yay now anybody at work sir and Jordan and Apple can we get an accordion emoji who is no accordion emoji what's going on with that we're gonna give out that's anybody a Formula one fan no Formula One people that is that's my first love since I was 2 years old I've watched every form of on race
and said I do music for the Red Bull Formula One team and I've had a bunch of drivers here's just three of them play this accordion so I want to try to get the entire grid of the Formula one this circuit to play this accordion and and again combining my career with all my hobbies and do different things in racing and Formula One IndyCar Lemar I actually went to the 24 Hours of lomar and was supposed to play for the hospitality tent and I told the team I was there for I said you know I'm gonna get really bored just playing up there so if you need any help with the team I'd love to do something and I'm like okay sure and two hours into the 24 hour race they actually said we do you know how to run tires we need somebody to run tires which means when the tires come off the car they need them to go to Dunlop and change them and then come back and I did this for 22 hours which was much more fun than just playing some background music going by so again trying to combine everything but the benefit of why I've been able to
achieve all this and you know striving to win the world championships then do the Guinness World Record have this very unique accordion lights everything is you know you keep trying you keep tryin still nothing's happening accordions still is in there yet so it's kind of loved the failures in a way because it just keeps pushing you more and more I don't know what other Guinness record I could work on though there is one I'll just tell you guys and I guess the cameras we're working on doing something at the nad 500 this year where I play a small accordion in the back of the two-seater that Mario Andretti does but the day before the race and break some kind of a record where I'm playing as he's doing 200 miles an hour at Indianapolis and I have to have a small accordion because to get in the seat is is quite small so we're me and Dallara are working on this world record do something else give me another genre of music as I will play why is that what oh that's actually a good one but maybe with the trumpet and then give me give me another one I'm gonna mix a
couple things together Phantom of the Opera I've done that in a million years let's see if I do tada where's my symphony patch [Music] there's really nothing that you kind of can't do on this issue let's see
here's another - that's a tune I haven't played in a million years I'm thinking back to the Lawrence Welk days when I was learning all these different dudes I wasn't allowed to watch football at 7 p.m. it was Lawrence Welk time oh let's see and with someone with something really crazy here and then we have to march out to the after parties here [Music] [Music]
[Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] thank you guys so much Thank You Randy bring me in I hope I have changed the image a little bit of the accordion that it is not just the
Pennsylvania polka although that's a good tune but I'm we're gonna play a lot more or the rest of the day I'm pretty much not gonna take this thing off I think for the rest of the day so there will be much more have your requests sweaty and we'll try to play a bunch of our music but thank you guys so much it's been so fun to be here Thank You Randy