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Paul Betken and Jerry Cigler


Paul Betkin and Jerry Cigler


Paul mentored under the blind jazz accordionist, Leon Sash, at age 15. Their friendship blossomed into a life long relationship with Leon’s gifts of wisdom and music. He has performed for many years (as a soloist, with small groups and orchestras) throughout Metro Chicago. His experience is anchored in most all musical genres in extensively varied venues. He has performed in shows, private parties, theatres, country clubs, hotels and lounges, etc. He was a former resident accordionist in Chicago for Bobbi Vinton. Residing in Tempe, AZ for the last 10 years, he enjoys casual engagements and jam sessions all around town. He keeps active at national events and festivals.

His latest CD, “Paul’s Turn – Jazz Accordion,” June, 2014 showcases the accordion in a Pop/Jazz mode featuring songs which one would not expect to be heard played on the instrument. The Chicago Tribune’s Music critic, related that it “…stand[s] out for inventiveness and originality…[the music has] plenty of finese and driving swing…” Howard Reich, August 12, 2014.


Jerry Cigler

Jerry Cigler, Wood Dale, Illinois, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, is a life­long full­time professional accordionist. In his youth, he studied with local accordionists, Casimir Senowicz and John Sulin. In his early 20’s he joined a local television station as a staff musician then, in 1961, he began commuting to Chicago to study with the legendary blind jazz accordionist, Leon Sash. He eventually moved to Chicago where he has been a very active full­time professional accordionist performing for all types of clubs, lounges and venues. Recently, he finalized an 8 year weekly performance engagement at a famous Dick Portillo restaurant in the Chicagoland area.

His recording career commenced in the 60’s with an album featuring him as a member of the Leon Sash accordion trio on the Delmark label; he has recorded, “The Jerry Cigler Trio” album as commissioned by the Guilietti Accordion Co. and “One of a Kind” on the Jerryatric Jazz label, 2011. Most recently, in addition to performances at the Las Vegas Accordion Convention 2012 and 2013, he has made special appearances at concerts and conventions for the Ohio Accordion Teachers Association, The Illinois Music Teachers Association, the American Accordion Association (A.A.A), the Accordion Teachers Guild (A.T.G.) and the National Accordion Association Convention.

Performing: Tuesday Lunch


Jazz Accordion Tips
A sampling and potpourri of simple performance tips based on the craft of the legendary Leon Sash. This will be a practical and performance presentation of basic techniques and advice geared toward the casual accordionist for the performance of simple lead sheet music. The presentation will be performance oriented, down-to earth, informative and fun. Questions and comments through audience participation is highly encouraged. The information to be presented is a stand-alone art and craft for the accordion not taught anywhere today in the USA. 
  Wednesday 9:00 – 9:50 Room B  
Jazz Accordion Tips 2
More examples of using and interpreting  lead sheets
  Thursday 9:00 – 9:50 Room B  

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The 20th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

October 14 - October 17, 2019


Key Benefits of Attending the Convention

  • Join the fun and make new friends from all over the World.
  • See the latest in new accordions with factory exhibits.
  • Hotel accommodations are very inexpensive.
  • Be inspired by some of the finest.
  • Learn from the masters.

• USA: 1-800-472-1695 •

• Outside USA +01 801-486-1695 •