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Accordion Magic: Cotati Festival

Be drawn in by the bellows-sweet ballads at the August sound summit.

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    The Mad Maggies
    Be drawn in by the bellows and ballads at the August-sweet sound summit. (Pictured: The Mad Maggies)

    MAKING MUSIC TOGETHER: Summer, it might be said, ever so tritely, means many things to many people. (Okay, a lot tritely, is the case here.) But we can agree on the fact that alfresco sound-makery, the kind seen in parks and at bandstands and from the stands at county fairs, pretty much rules the stretch from June to August. For while all seasons plenty of lovely concert action, summertime takes it outdoors, to the festivals and fairs, and musicians can often be seen jamming together.

    AND... one of the most famous of summertime jams, or at least heartfelt play-togethers, happens in Cotati each August, and the song revisited is always, as Led Zeppelin says, the same: It's "Lady of Spain." If you just shouted out "accordions!," because accordions always deserve a shout, and an exclamation point, too, you'd be correct: Accordionists do join a charming "Lady of Spain-a-Ring" each year, while also putting on their own shows. And those shows will wheeze and lilt, bellows-style, on...

    AUG. 20 AND 21, 2016: If you're simply an aficionado of the instrument, you can still attend and enjoy the tunes. A bevy of acts, from The Mad Maggies to The Great Morgani, will play a part over the weekend. Some artists are solely about the instrument, some bands incorporate it into a larger vibe, but anyone who loves that specific accordion sound wins in the end. As single instrument parties go, this long-runner is full of quirk, talent, and so much "Lady of Spain"-o-sity.