OUR FOUNDER – The Early Years
Music Magic / Accordions USA’s founder and President, Alex Chudolij, started his musical career on October 8, 1964 at the age of 6. For the next 10 years he studied the piano accordion as a student of well known professor, teacher and performer Tulio Gasperini in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. During the latter part of his formal training Alex earned numerous awards in solo, band and ensemble categories at Rhode Island state competitions as well as national American Accordionists Association championships held in Pittsburgh, PA, Washington, DC and Springfield, MA.
As a teenager Alex was already making numerous concert and festival appearances, pleasing the crowds with classic showpieces and his own concert arrangements.
Turning Pro at 15 in the Borsch Belt
At the age of 15, Alex became the summer resident accordionist/entertainer at a resort area located in upstate New York's Catskill Mountain “Borscht Belt” region. The following summer Alex became the resort's summer bandleader and assistant Social Director. He held this position for the next 5 years. As he became known to the thousands of vacationers, the demand for his band began to grow. In addition to the house band playing 3 or 4 nights per week, Alex also provided lounge strolling, lunchtime, campfire and concert entertainment each week.
At the age of 16, Alex teamed up with the resort's drummer, and formed a unique 2-piece ensemble. The pair performed for the next decade all over the Eastern United States including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Florida. The band played dances, weddings and festivals including the National Polka Festival at Hunter Mountain, NY and the Ukrainian Festival USA at the Garden State Performing Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. After the duo recorded their first LP, they added two new members – a sax and trumpet – to the band. Their next album was a live recording entitled, "At the Dance".
As Alex continued on to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and later to Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts where he received his Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, he continued his musical appearances as much as his schedule would allow. In Cleveland, Alex was enamoured with the degree to which the accordion was still a very popular instrument – especially among the large local Slovenian population. At Tufts, his performance at the Student Union playing his arrangement of a Ukrainian Folk Song Fantasy won him first prize in a university wide talent competition - beating out competing rock groups, folk singer/guitarists and other more typical types of college entertainment.
Records and Olympic Record Holders
In 1991, Alex recorded a unique one man band instrumental album, "Electric Kozak" which was recorded using a midi accordion. This recording made its debut at the Garden State Arts Center, where it sold over 200 copies in its first day of sales. For the next four years Alex's Electric Kozak Band had been providing entertainment for crowds of all sizes and for all occasions, including a gala reception for then Olympic gold medalists Oksana Baiul and Victor Petrenko. Alex's wife, Lillianna, performed as the band’s lead singer until 1996, when Alex retired from regular band engagements and subsequently founded one of North America’s first and largest internet based accordion dealerships – Music Magic USA.
Music Magic USA – A BETTER WAY TO SHOWCASE ACCORDIONS
Music Magic USA began as a one brand dealership doing business exclusively via internet and mail order when it was registered with the State of New Jersey as a mail order musical retailer in 1997. Mr. Chudolij had a vision of using the internet as an easily accessible medium to reach thousands of accordion lovers, regardless of their whereabouts. He tackled the problem of how to sell an expensive instrument to customers hundreds or thousands of miles away without their having the luxury of walking into an accordion shop where they could try them out before buying. Music Magic USA was the first to capitalize on audio and video digital technology to bridge the distance between the customer and the accordion for sale. With the introduction of audio/video clips on their website, Video DVD demos, full length VHS demos of every accordion sold, live telephone demonstrations for customers who called the toll-free information line, and special audio e-mail attachments which could demonstrate the sound of an accordion without the need for proprietary software by the recipient – Alex successfully grew the business into one that has made Music Magic / Accordions USA an authorized importer and representative for over a dozen different Italian accordion manufacturers. An increasing demand for accordions caused Mr. Chudolij to decide to open the unique Music Magic USA showroom adorned with some of the most original, professional quality and diverse new accordions in the world. Now also selling midi, keyboards, amplifiers, and accessories, Alex’s Music Magic USA has become known for honest advice, incredible new accordion variety, and a friendly place to learn about and shop for new accordions – with customers from coast to coast making appointments to visit the Music Magic USA showroom in Clifton, New Jersey.
In addition to being a composer, having composed several of the songs on his popular Electric Kozak album, Alex has been instrumental in promoting the accordion with library lectures, grade school appearances and other goodwill affairs where he has showcased the beauty and uniqueness of the accordion to audiences of all types.
PHILANTHROPY IS IN OUR VOCABULARY
Music Magic USA has conceived several new models including the exclusive Polka Magic authentic Cleveland Style Polka accordion (one of which Music Magic USA has donated to the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio where it is on interactive display) which is currently being played by several well know polka orchestras – including the world famous multi-Grammy award winning Jimmy Sturr Orchestra. Music Magic USA has also donated one of Pietro Deiro’s original Excelsior accordions to an accordion museum in Leini, Italy – close to the original Deiro estate.
ACCORDION INNOVATORS - we don’t just sell accordions, we play, design, manufacture, distribute, promote and support the accordion industry – just ask Italy!
Just when you thought you had seen it all – More New Models
Mr. Chudolij also introduced several unique accordion industry technical designs, foremost of which was the development of the world’s first “hybrid” accordion in 1998 – the Music Magic Plus 2, which introduced the addition of two sets of treble reeds to the concept of a reedless accordion so as to provide local sound monitoring, improved accentuation performance and a more realistic, yet still very lightweight alternative to conventional acoustic models. Also, a lightweight line of true professional quality 39/96 and 37/96 accordions weighing in at only 20 lbs despite 4 treble sets of the finest hand made reeds and an all wood body construction was the result of brainstorming sessions with an associated Italian manufacturer. Also, Mr. Chudolij has continually had input into the manufacturing process and such unique and useful improvements like external access to the internal 9V battery which powers accordion condenser microphones was a design improvement conceived by Music Magic and designed and implemented in conjunction with the Giovanni Verde Fisarmoniche factory in Italy.
In 2003, Mr. Chudolij introduced a new line of Italian-made accordions along with an “All-in-one” marketing concept. The Primo d’Oro, Pietro’s flagship model, incorporates virtually every available option as standard equipment at pricing that is competitive with other manufacturers’ top of the line models having not nearly as many exclusive design features. Thus, was reborn today’s Pietro brand of accordions – entirely and exclusively Italian made in Music Magic’s affiliated manufacturing facilities in Castelfidardo, Italy. The latest addition to the Pietro line is the new Dolomite Series of genuine wood finished models which are available in most any custom configuration including key width, size, type of body finish, and standard or Helicon bass design – each one custom made privately and exclusively for Music Magic / Accordions USA. This was yet another undertaking by Mr. Chudolij to bring more excitement, variety and innovation to the accordion world and accordion customers everywhere.
Mr. Chudolij is always searching the world for the most rare and unique accordion offerings and will continue to have design and manufacturing input into additional new models in the near future. Our exclusive ShowTime model boasts an array of features not found on any other accordion made in the world. The ShowTime is the “embodiment of all good things”: the finest genuine Binci reeds, chin register, deeper bass tuning, Sennheiser microphones, 4 sets of treble reeds but capable of both true 3 middle reed Musette as well as piccolo tuning with two middle reed sets - proving to be truly “two accordions in one” without the bulk of a 5 treble reed model. The keyboard will be among the fastest we have seen. Bellows action has been calibrated to move just at the speed necessary. The ShowTime also boasts an optional complete midi system with built-in high fidelity sounds, as well as reed cancel registers on both sides if you ever would like to turn the accordion into a reedless type of instrument for a few musical passages. Use of wood for the bass plate, valve hammers, keyboard foundation, etc. will all contribute to the sound quality of this instrument. Finally, the exterior will have bold new styling, complete with a fresh new grille design and a unique sound-activated lighting system! Basically, the Showtime is the ultimate performer’s accordion – complete with the sound, feel and looks that will be sure to set the accordion and its owner apart from the rest of the crowd.
Recently, in the summer of 2006, upon visiting its primary suppliers in Castelfidardo, Italy, Music Magic USA commissioned a brand new accordion design, the ANGLE by Ottavianelli Accordions, with amazing unique features – most notably being the redefined geometries and angles of the treble keyboard vs. the grille, the bass button floor vs. the bass plate, a most incredible Golden Touch™ keyboard (guaranteed to be the fastest and most effortless keyboard in the industry) as well as unique treble register configuration and bass bassoon reed block extended sound path design for a richer but still well-balanced bass sound. The Golden Touch™ keyboard was designed not only to our precise specifications but actually in our presence at the Ottavianelli factory and boasts meticulous valve adjustment, the lightest possible key resistance while maintaining excellent compression, and an incredibly short stroke key depression which makes this keyboard the fastest in the industry. The only other accordion which boasts the Golden Touch ™ keyboard is the Ottavianelli Super Jazz and Balkan SILA cassotto models – also because of Music Magic / Accordions USA’s specification and personal involvement with keyboard modification for this model, as well.
V Я Us!
Music Magic USA is also the first dealer in the USA to media advertise the new Roland V-Accordion both on the web as well as in full color Keyboard Magazine advertisements. We are among the initial charter group of accordion speciality retailers who were selected by Roland Corporation to become a nationwide authorized V-Accordion dealer and upgrade center. We also have recently visited the Italian Roland factory and design center to discuss customer feedback and suggest future improvements and additional accessories for the V-Accordion line. We are proud to have been invited to meet at length with the entire V-Accordion design team to review this amazing instrument. We have been among the top two V-Accordion volume dealers in the USA and our customer support is second to none.
Now that you know us better, whom would you trust better than Music Magic Accordions USA to provide you with the kind of knowledge, friendly advice, product variety and service that will guarantee your satisfaction with your accordion purchase?
Accordions USA is a subsidiary of Music Magic USA, LLC. We are members of numerous accordion clubs across the USA, as well as the American Accordionists Association, National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and financial sponsors of the American Accordionists Musicological Society Festival. Today, Music Magic Accordions USA is known to most all of the accordion and midi manufacturers in Castelfidardo, Italy and has helped to introduce new accordion models not only in the USA but also in Puerto Rico, Canada, and as far away as Finland. We are incorporated in the state of New Jersey and are a Dun & Bradstreet listed corporation.
CALL: 888.887.0975 WRITE: info@AccordionsUSA.com FAX: 973.883.0780 VISIT: NJ showroom
Copyright © 2009 Accordions USA - div. of Music Magic USA, LLC