Squeezing out those tunes

Main squeeze: Bob Goldberg is a composer and accordionist and bandleader of the Famous Accordion Orchestra.
Photo by Hugh Crawford

This ensemble calls itself an orchestra, but only one percussionist will join five accordionists at Park Slope’s Barbes on July 8, performing tunes that span the globe — just like their instrument of choice.

They may play the accordion, a mainstay of folk music from Mexico to Brazil to Poland, but the Famous Accordion Orchestra is not your traditional musical act — they can do the big band jazz of Duke Ellington, the thrilling and dramatic can-can of Offenbach, and the eletro-robotic funk of Kraftwerk, among others, along with the original compositions by their band leader and long-time accordionist, Bob Goldberg.

“If I hear a song and I like it, I try to learn it,” said Goldberg, who has performed for over 20 years, and prides himself on playing from a wide range of musical styles, from Irish blues to Johann Sebastian Bach.

“No request is too unusual,” he writes in his bio.

The musician and composer might have a natural disposition to dabble in many different kinds of music (or maybe a busker has to take all kinds of requests), but it’s clear the accordion itself inspires him to constantly find new ways to play the squeezebox.

“The accordion has a full sound, “ said Goldberg. “It is an expressive and physical instrument. Its reeds allow accordionists to play at both the highest and lowest keys. Since it can reach a large range of sounds it can lend itself to a whole number of styles such as Jazz and Dance.”

The Famous Accordion Orchestra at Barbes [376 Ninth St., at Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, (347) 422–0248. www.barbesbrooklyn.com] July 8, 7pm, strongly suggested donation $10.

More from Around New York

>