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Accordion BeatlesBackground & Info

Me and Bellini 120 in July '68Domenic at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto in July of 1968 during the annual Canadian Music League Festival (photo at right). In 1970, Domenic won third in duet and first in solo accordion for his age group at the CML Festival.
Check out the vintage Accordion Awards.

How It All Began
One day when he was about 6, a guy came to the door with a small red accordion. He had a trunk full of them.Anyways, he spoke Italian, a nice guy. He talked D's folks into letting him try it out, and they all loved it. They bought that little 12-bass (gone now), and along with it, lessons every week - for 25 cents! Once he started getting pretty good at it, it was time for a new box. The Bellini 120-bass came along in 1968, and it was enormous!
D. was a student at the Royal Ontario Conservatory in Hamilton, Ont. for six years up to 1972. His last teacher was the famous Silvio Camilleri. He rarely played it after quitting that year, taking up guitar and other instruments during his teens and twenties.
He also spent five years on the road as lighting director and roadie for a number of bands during the eighties (click on "The Roadie Years" link at left to find out more).

Happily, Domenic has picked up the squeezebox again. He still has that old Bellini 120-bass, and ouch! it's still heavy! He plays the polkas, waltzes, tangos and other traditional accordion stuff, but nowadays, he's more into rock, zydeco, blues, etc. etc. See the Repertoire page (link at left) for a partial list of the songs he plays on the accordion.

Why D. quit the accordion for many years
In 1972, he was a member of a 42 -piece accordion orchestra, playing classical music such as "Williiam Tell Overture". Accordions played all the orchestral instrument parts, with different reeds for different sounds. The orchestra had a fully equipped percussionist, though, with bell chimes, timpani, and gong.
The orchestra was scheduled to go to Europe on a 4-week tour as opening act for the Vienna Choir Boys. D. was rehearsing on his own for up to 4 hours per day, and 2 or 3 times weekly with the whole orchestra for 4 hours. This went on for weeks before one day, practising in his room on a late summer day, he stopped to turn the page. That's when he heard his younger brother and their neighbourhood friends enjoying a game of football in the schoolyard next door. That was the exact moment he decided to quit.

How D. got into playing Beatles on accordion
He started by learning some of their songs on guitar over the years. In 1992, while attending Queen's University in Kingston, he met Spencer Evans, who at that time, had just come off of a lengthy tour with the Cowboy Junkies as their keyboardist (which included the Albert Hall and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno). D. had just reacquired his accordion after years of not touching it, except sometimes briefly at Christmas or other special occasions when he was home visiting his family. Of course, they encouraged him to keep his performances short.

Back to The Big Smoke
After graduating, he moved to Toronto, and in late 1994, hooked up with Spencer again, who was living there as well. He asked D. to play guitar in a band he was putting together. They played two shows at Clinton's on Bloor St. in Toronto the last week of December, playing mainly R&B, blues, Ray Charles, Aretha, that sort of stuff. D. and Spencer did an accordion interlude during the band's break,which included "Beer Barrel Polka", theme from "The Godfather", and the "Barber of Seville" overture. He came over to visit one day, and he put on D.'s Bellini and dazzled him with Cajun and zydeco material that he had gleaned from his then-recent stay in New Orleans. You may have noticed that D. is a HUGE Beatles fran, so he asked if Spencer could play any. He launched into "In My Life", and the rest, as they say, is history...

His Own Flaming Pie Moment
At that moment, Domenic decided that he had to learn the entire Beatles catalogue on the accordion. No other single instrument can capture bass, rythm and melodies simultaneously, not to mention harmonies, as can an accordion. It is so lyrical that vocals aren't even necessary - as instrumental Beatles, it's truly sublime. The accordion really is an orchestra in a box.

Since then, D. has sorely neglected all his other instruments to bring this plan to fruition. Along the way, he has performed for all sorts of people, at formal and informal events, and has received a generally good response, at times verging on enthusiastic! D. believes the accordion's popularity has never been higher, and is glad that he can once again play the first instrument he learned (and loved) in public.

winking happy face Brief Bio & Background
"The Accordion Beatles Guy"
flashy sunny face

Domenic Amatucci was born and grew up in the Steel City, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has held jobs as a furniture salesman, truck driver, bar manager and bartender, lighting director/roadie, musician, and janitor - all before going back to university and finishing his education. After graduating from Queen's University at Kingston with an M.B.A. in 1993, Domenic took a business & management consulting position with a provincial government ministry, which led to private practice with government and non-profit organizations, consulting with staff and their clients on matters relating to small, home- and community-based business start-ups and funding. This led him into general business/management, marketing and communications consulting through his company, Market Vision Unlimited, established in 1990.

Domenic in the home studio Dec.2009Domenic plays guitars, keyboards, drums, accordion, harmonica and trumpet. He has been a member of SOCAN since 1990 (when it was still called CAPAC), and has composed and recorded a number of his original works, also playing most of the instruments. For five years, he travelled and worked with many bands as a lighting director and roadie.

The photo at right was taken on Dec.02.09 at Domenic's home studio/conservatory in Kingston ON.,Canada, where he is currently recording the AccBtls CD.And playing a hell of a lot of guitar. And jazz piano. Distractions, distractions.

Other Interests

D. also enjoys cycling, live-release fishing, canoeing, and camping. He went on an Outward Bound wilderness experience for 23 days in September '96 that was way beyond anything he'd ever done before - truly primitive! He really loved hiking the Rockies in the summer of '94. And of course, his love of cooking goes hand in hand with an appreciation of fine wine and these elements - nature, food, music, wine and love - are to Domenic, what make life interesting and meaningful.

Mtn Biking in Whistler BC
Cycling in Whistler B.C.
Hiking the Kokanee Glacier in BC
Hiking the Kokanee Glacier, B.C.
Veggie skewers on the BBQ
Veggie skewers on the BBQ
Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass returned to lake
Roughing it with Outward Bound
Solo camp deep in the wilderness
Canoeing on Black Sturgeon Lake
Paddling with Outward Bound



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