According to neighborhood lore, ten years ago Walter Kühr, the German-born owner of the Main Squeeze Accordion shop on Essex Street, had a dream that he was conducting an all-female accordion orchestra. Not just any all-female accordion orchestra, but an orchestra of unsurpassable quality. “I dreamt I was conducting all these women playing the accordion in pigtails, and I was the only man there. It was beautiful,” says Kühr.
Well, dreams can come true. The next morning he frantically began recruiting among his female students, and the rest is accordion ‘herstory.’ Main Squeeze Orchestra — the Western world’s only 14-piece all-female accordion orchestra — was born. The orchestra’s musical numbers, mostly arranged by Kühr, are far outside the typical accordion repertoire. Hits include the Brandenburg concertos and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Walter Kuehr of Main Squeeze Orchestra. Photo by Jesse Jiryu Davis, 2009.
We’ve been following Walter Kuehr of Main Squeeze Accordians, 19 Essex Street, since The Lo-Down’s Jesse Jiryu Davis photographed him more than a year ago. So we were interested to hear the profile that just aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
If you’re looking for some exotic fun on Valentine’s Day weekend, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, (also known as the “Western World’s Only 14 Piece All-Female All-Accordion Orchestra”) will be celebrating their annual Valentine’s Day concert with a special performance from Last of the International Playboys and a snazzy debut CD release party at Drom on Feb. 13th. A talented squeezebox ensemble directed by accordion guru Walter Kuhr, plenty of Cabaret camp, plus some Latin jazz with Vegas Lounge music (not to mention a free CD) – should all add up to a lot of fun. $12 // Doors at 7p, show at 8p // 85 Avenue A.
There’s plenty to do this Halloween Weekend. Along with our Halloween Guide, our Weekend Music Picks and the last weekend of the season for the Hester Street Fair, here are a few more special events you might want to check out:
From Warner Brothers 25 anniversary release of Poltergeist - playing this weekend at the Sunshine.
- Stop by the Midnight Movie at the Sunshine for some classic horror on the big screen. Director Tobe Hooper (the original Texas Chainsaw Masacre) and co-producer/writer Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist is showing this weekend. “They’re here.” $9.99 // Fri. and Sat. at midnight // 143 E. Houston Street.
Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this week:
Tall Tall Trees
TALL TALL TREES – Friday, July 30 at 10pm
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last 10 years, it’s that banjos do have a place in New York music. Tall Tall Trees are a clever band that has created an attractive fusion of twangy traditional instruments, modern sound processers, and gut-driven rock & roll.