By Kennedy McJunkin
The Alabama Accordion Association is presenting a concert by Grayson Masefield, a seven-time world champion accordion player.
The free concert will have two showtimes: Saturday, May 18, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Both shows will be at Brookwood Baptist Church in Mountain Brook.
Masefield was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and travels the world as a musician and juror for music competitions.
“We have been working on getting him here for two years,” said Craig Funderburg. Funderburg was Alabama Accordion Association president for six years and now acts as the concert master for the concert series.
“We want to showcase the power and versatility of the accordion,” Funderburg said.
The accordion is described as an orchestra in a box.
“The accordion is the most perfectly designed instrument because, when you learn the fingering for one scale, the same fingering is used for all 12 major and minor scales,” Funderburg said.
This is the third free concert the club has sponsored.
“The Alabama Accordion Association is offering what no other accordion association has, world class concerts for free,” Funderburg said.
Two years ago, it hosted Michael Bridge at Samford University. Bridge is receiving his Ph.D. in accordion from Toronto.
Currently one cannot get a Bachelor of Accordion in the United States.
“In other parts of the world, the accordion is held in high esteem and often is the sole instrument behind the orchestra,” Funderburg said.
AAA started in the 1990s because the popularity of the accordion had diminished. It has members from Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama.
“Up until the 1950s the accordion was the most popular instrument in the United States – before the invention of the electric guitar,” Funderburg said.
In recent years the invention of the digital accordion produces infinite sounds mimicking guitars, violins, drums and other instruments.
“With the creation of the digital accordion, we are starting to see more power. The digital is going to open another area for the accordion interest,” Funderburg said.
For more information, visit bamaccordionists.com.