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Happy instrument brings smiles to Forest Grove

by: COURTESY PHOTO - COURTESY PHOTO John Giuliani (right) will watch for tapping feet when he squeezes the box at Sunday's Accordion Social in Forest Grove.John Giuliani will be watching the crowd’s shoes on Sunday.

That’s how he knows if the audience is enjoying the show, he says — if they’re tapping their feet to the beat.

Giuliani, a lifelong accordion player, visits Forest Grove twice a year for the Accordion Social organized by accordion player Doris Osgood and the Northwest Accordion Society, turning down other gigs and obligations because it’s such a good time.

Giuliani likes hearing tunes he’s never heard before, and listening to accordionists the public never asks to play.

This time, he’ll be the event’s featured act.

The social invites amateur and professional accordionists to get together and jam, share music and talk craft. Performers who sign up at the event will be given seven minutes to delight the crowd with their choice of tunes.

Giuliani, a Renton, Wash. native, has been playing the ol’ squeezebox since he was 7 years old.

Giuliani recorded his first record as a child in the basement with his father, who taught him how to play.

Music has always been a source of confidence for Giuliani.

“These old ladies came up to us kids and made us feel like a million bucks,” Giuliani said of his first gigs playing for the local Pythian Sisters, a women’s service group.

“Just like using your breath with vocals, the accordion breathes with its bellows,” Giuliani says. “It’s a happy instrument.”

A man with varied interests, including his speed boat, “there’s nothing I enjoy more” than meeting up with others to play the accordion.

The spring accordion social will be at the Forest Grove Senior & Community Center, 2037 Douglas St. from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 28. Giuliani performs at 4 p.m. Admission is $5.

The Tualatin Valley Accordionists will also perform at the event. The group meets the first Saturday of the month at the Forest Grove Library, 2114 Pacific Ave., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.



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