Accordions Around the World is a four-week series that brings more than 50 accordionists - as well as bandoneón, bayan, concertina, and harmonium players of different musical genres - from around the globe to perform at Bryant Park.

Accordion Picnics, each Wednesday between July 14 and August 14, spotlights 12 musicians at each performance and offers audiences the chance to experience the range of this often-overlooked instrument. Featured performers include Eva Salina and Peter Stan with vintage Balkan Roma ballads and Phoebe Legere for an "Acadian joyride" (July 24); New York avant garde songstress Rachelle Garniez and Lila Downs' accordionist George Saenz (July 31); Irish rock from Gregory Grene of The Prodigals and Yuri Lemeshev, formerly of Gogol Bordello (August 7); and, Klezmer music from T-Klez and renowned subway busker Melissa Elledge (August 14).

The series culminates on Friday, August 16, with the Accordion Festival. This special five-hour event features Aces of Rhythm (Tango from Argentina), Fedor Chistyakov (Russian Rock & Roll), Los Texmaniacs (Texas-Mexican Conjunto), Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica (Vallenato from Colombia), and more to be announced soon. The evening will be hosted by Emmy Award-winner Mickela Mallozzi, host of the PBS travel and dance series Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi.

Ariana Hellerman, series curator, says, "Accordion is often confused for yesteryear kitsch in America; but, in many parts of the world, it's one of the most important instruments that convey the sound of the region. In New York, we are lucky to have access to many of these cultures. In addition to showcasing the versatility of the instrument and providing an intimate and accessible performance experience for audiences and passers-by alike, a priority for Accordions Around the World is to give communities where the accordion is played, a space and platform for sharing their cultures in the heart of Manhattan. We aim for the artists in this series to be reflective of the city. This year is particularly special; for the first time we feature conjunto tejano, music from the Texas and Mexico border. Los Texmaniacs, annointed by the legendary Flaco Jimenez as the next generation purveyors of conjunto, join us direct from San Antonio. We also have El Rey de Vallenato, a winner of one of the most important accordion festivals in the world, Colombia's El Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata, which was an inspiration for the creation of Bryant Park's Accordions Around the World series."

Photo Credit: Matthew Eisman Photography

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From This Author Sarah Hookey