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The accordion is an instrument that evokes beer halls rather than concert halls, but Joseph Petric may change that.
Petric plays classical accordion, and has performed with the Toronto Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestra. This weekend he brings his squeezebox to town for the second weekend of the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival. The 10-day festival continues through Sunday with five concerts, three workshops and a dance.
``If there's anything in the festival that's underrated, it's the accordion. You hear accordion, you think polka, but this guy is unbelievable,'' festival administrator Greg Cohen said. ``I got a demo video and one of his recordings and it was like nothing I ever imagined the accordion could do.''
Petric will join pianist and trumpeter Guy Few for a free brown-bag concert at noon Friday at the Nugget Mall. Friday night Petric teams up with violinist Linda Rosenthal and Bruce Paulson's L.A. Big Band for a concert featuring the music of Bach, Chopin, Evan Solot and Vaughn Williams. The concert, titled ``Bach to Blue,'' starts at 8 p.m. at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium.
From 1 to 3 Saturday afternoon he'll offer a demonstration and discussion on the accordion at the University of Alaska's Hendrickson building, showing the range of the instrument in different styles of music.
Trombonist Bruce Paulson will also be a featured artist at this year's festival. Paulson has recorded with singers as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Natalie Cole, as well as rock guitarist Steve Miller. Paulson was the lead trombone player in Buddy Rich's band until 1972, when he joined the Tonight Show band for a 20-year engagement.
In addition to the concert Saturday, Paulson and his L.A. Big Band will play a dance at 9 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall. He'll also give a free performance demonstration called ``How Jazz Works,'' from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Egan Library at the University of Alaska Southeast.
Tonight, he strips the ensemble down from a big band to a five-piece for an evening of jazz with the Bruce Paulson Quintet at 9 p.m. at The New Penthouse.
The festival closes Sunday night with a concert by the San Francisco-based group, Mingus Amungus. Named for the American jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus, the group features the compositions of its namesake as well as those of its founder, bassist Miles Perkins. The 12-piece band combines funk, classical, jazz and be-bop. West African and Haitian dance also compliments the music.
Mingus Amungus performs at 8 p.m. Sunday at the JDHS auditorium.