petosa Newsletter


May Newsletter

Business Hours:
Wednesday - Saturday  10am to 4pm
Private appointments available Tuesday

Special Closure: Saturday May 27th
Always available by email:
Visit petosa on google for updates

 A R T I S T    S P O T L I G H T
Johanna Juhola

Johanna Juhola’s work to date has revolutionized our common perception of the accordion as a musical instrument. Her peers have named her an accordion superhero, a pearl of world music and a daring reinventor of tango music as we know it. Her highly original output and collaborative work with top names from the classical, jazz and electronic music scene has sealed her reputation as a groundbreaking and genre-transcending visionary.  

Johanna is well-known on the Finnish music scene through her influential involvement with bands such as Tango-orkesteri Unto, Las Chicas del Tango, Troka and Spontaani Vire, duo collaborations with Timo Alakotila, Pekka Kuusisto and Milla Viljamaa, music for theatre, circus, film and television as well as at the helm of her own projects, she maintains an impressively busy work schedule; an indefatigable explorer of her instrument's potential.

Q: Dancing to Finnish folk music first introduced you to the accordion. How old were you and what drew you to playing the instrument? 

JJ: Finnish folk dance was my hobby since I was 3 years old. We always had live accordion music in the rehearsals and I thought that the accordion was a very exciting mechanical machine with the moving bellows and buttons. I started on piano at the age of six and I got my first accordion when I was 9.  I studied classical music in music school for many years and only later was drawn back to folk music again. When I was a teenager I was inspired by composer Timo Alakotila and musician Maria Kalaniemi and many other folk music bands that were considered new and innovative at that time. 

Q: How would you describe Finnish Folk music? 

JJ: There are many different kinds of Finnish folk music. Right now in the Finnish folk music scene, there is both looking back to archives and old melodies as well as combining folk music with other music styles and composing new music. As an instrumentalist I’m most familiar with instrumental dance-type folk music; meaning waltz, schottis, polska, polka, jenkka, menuetti etc. Typical instruments for this kind of music used to be fiddles, harmonium, kantele, clarinet, double bass and accordion and nowadays guitar, mandolin, piano, saxophone or any other instrument. The most successful Finnish folk music artists are unique and finding their own way to use traditional elements in their music. 

Q: Is there a traditional Finnish style of accordion?

JJ: In Finland we use both diatonic accordions, chromatic 5-row and piano accordions with free and standard bass. Many ”diatonic” accordionists have custom accordions specially made for them with 2, 3 or 5 rows and they have the chromatic notes on the extra row as well as extra chords on the bass side. 

I guess until the 80s free bass was not used in folk music, but Maria Kalaniemi started using it and after that it has been common to use both free and standard bass in folk music. Free bass is used more by educated folk musicians and standard bass is popular amongst amateur accordionists. I play mostly free bass in my own compositions. My accordions are custom made instruments by Pigini. I have also played diatonic accordions, because that’s part of folk music accordionists education in The Art University / Sibelius Academy.

Q: You just released a new album with pianist Timo Alakotila called Amicum.  The album features compositions by you and Alakotila that are inspired by tango and tinged with folk music. What is your composition process like? 

JJ: I like to compose based on stories, images or ambiences I imagine in my head. I’m a very visual person and images help me to create music. It’s a bit like composing for a film or theatre piece that doesn’t exist, but in the end, everything happens on the terms of the music. When I was younger, I used to compose based on folk music rhythm types, but using images and stories as a source of compositional inspiration lead me to compose more freely, ignoring certain rhythm types. Nowadays I like combine these two things and I enjoy composing for example Schottish rhythm-type so that it will become some kind of short story and hopefully create some images in the listeners mind. 

I mostly compose by playing accordion, sometimes I have piano or harmonium as starting point but anyway, I like to compose by playing and improvising. 

Q: How do you approach playing tango music on the free bass accordion? Are there specific registers, articulations, split melodies on the right and left hand that you use in your arrangements? 

JJ: I use both Argentinian and Finnish tango as an example when arranging tango for accordion. The bandoneon register refers to the Argentine tango and the musette register to the Finnish tango. I also take influences from both tango cultures for the melodic decoration and phrasing. The unison on the treble and bass sides is more reminiscent of Argentinian tango. My background in classical and folk music is also part of my tango playing. I believe I am so much at home in the world of tango that there is no need to stick strictly to its stylistic features, but can freely mix influences and have fun musically in this way. Improvising and reacting to Timo's playing also defines my playing style on the Amicum album. 

Q: I notice that you have a MIDI system on one of your instruments, do you use MIDI in your compositions or performances?

JJ: I’m using midi for playing samples or different synth sounds combined with acoustic accordion sound. Right now I’m using midi in concerts with Johanna Juhola Trio. It’s a small band and using effects, samples and synths makes it sound bigger. I am particularly interested in bringing ”storytelling" to music through different sounds and samples. 

Q: Do you have any practice routines or rituals? 

JJ: I'm always rehearsing for something, whether it's a performance, a recording or a new repertoire. Since I mainly play my own music or music that I arrange for myself, much of the practice is actually creating or arranging music, and the technical practice happens sort of on the side. 

Q: Who are 3 musicians you recommend we listen to? 

JJ: Right now we are listening to accordionists Teija Niku: Momentarily and Tuulikki Bartosik: Playscapes. Their music is wonderfully peaceful and evocative of landscapes and images. Singer Aili Järvelä is an incredible singer-songwriter and her new album Älä pelkää (Don't be afraid) has just been released. The songs are in Finnish, but I'm sure the emotions will still be conveyed. 

Q: What is the best piece of advice that you've received about playing the music/accordion? 

JJ: Maria Kalaniemi has said that the bellows is the soul of the accordion. Through her I have learned detailed, melodic, lyrical use of the bellows. 

Q: Anything else you'd like our readers to know?

JJ: Currently in progress: 

I've just returned home from the Shetland Folk Festival, where I performed with Johanna Juhola Trio and Lena Jonsson & Johanna Juhola Duo. My next solo album is currently in post-production and will be released in November. I´m also composing music for two different stage works, one combining poetry and music and the other a dance piece. 

Johanna Juhola Reaktori: Road Assistance
Timo Alakotila & Johanna Juhola Duo: Lupa tanssia
Sam Reider - Quintet for Accordion and Strings, Movement 1

Quintet for Accordion and Strings Composed by Sam Reider

Premiere with Del Sol Quartet at San Francisco’s Center

“This piece was the culminating project for my graduate degree in composition. My goal was to explore the various textures and colors that could be created with this unique combination of instruments. Although the work was written for a classical string quartet, you’ll hear some of the same folkloric rhythms, melodies, and techniques that imbue my work with the Human Hands.”

-Sam Reider

SAM REIDER is a pianist, accordionist, composer, and educator from San Francisco, California. His work brings together various streams of American music, from jazz and folk tunes to popular song and contemporary composition. He has appeared as a bandleader and soloist at major festivals and venues around the world and his performances and original compositions have been featured on NPR, PBS and the BBC.


New Accessories for Summer

All  Straps

Artista Pro Xt ft. BlueStar® reeds

Old-World tradition becomes an Artisan Masterpiece. . .

The Artista Pro Xt is inspired by the creative professional accordionist. An elegant style that is designed for the most demanding accordionist. The aging process of our maple creates a unique timbre quality within a class of its own that will endure generation after generation. Stunning beauty and an unsurpassed warmth and resonance are the hallmarks of this fine instrument. Individually and uniquely handmade, the Artista Pro is limited in production and distinctively one-of-a-kind.

BlueStar® is a natural evolution of innovation and technology; improving on the best characteristics of the finest handmade reed, resulting in the most refined, dynamically responsive and powerful reed produced today. When joined together with special, precision-modified reed block chambers, the result further optimizes the characteristics of this new voice.

petosa Artista Pro Xt Musette ft. VA BlueStar® reeds
Remaining Artista Pro Xt Inventory
Artista Pro Xt Catalog

Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration
June 22nd-25 2023

LIAC is a world-class accordion festival in the town of Leavenworth located in Cascade mountains of Washington State. The festival features concerts with renown performers, workshops, jam sessions, accordion competitions, accordion parade, and accordion vendors. The Northwest Accordion Society, proud sponsors of LIAC, brings people together "for the love of the accordion". 

2023 Features Performers

Joey Miskulin

Alicia Jo Straka

Jamie Maschler

Gabriel Hall-Rodrigues

Andy Mirkovich

Max Kyllonen

Andy Gonzales & Juan Barco

Lyle Schaefer

Toby Hanson


AAA Festival July 12-16

The AAA festival will be held at the Marriott Philadelphia West in

Conshohocken, PA

2023 Festival will include multiple accordion orchestra’s including an orchestra led by world-renowned conductor, Joan Cochran Sommers! Performances by Grayson Masefield, Joey Miskulin, and the United State Air Force Strolling Strings Band. And lastly, live competitions for students of all ages and abilities! Solos, duets, ensembles, and bands. Download the full list of categories, competition rules, and entry forms at: 2023AAARules.pdf

AAA Website

ATG Festival July 19-23rd

Chicago, Illinois

The annual festival is held in a different location each year and students, teachers and enthusiasts travel from all parts of the United States and abroad to attend this event.  The emphasis is on excellence with competitions for all ages including adult hobby.  Categories include solo, original compositions, polkas, duets, pop duets and combos, ensembles, orchestras, and show bands.  Other events include a banquet for all participants, workshops, displays, a grand concert and other special activities providing the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with fellow accordionists from around the world. 

Featured Performers:

Grayson Masefield (New Zealand)

Duo Kollektiv (Austria)

The Polyphonia Orchestra (French Island of Reunion)

Nikolay Bine (Canada) 

Stas Venglevski 

UMKC Accordion Ensemble, directed by Joan Sommers

Kevin Friedrich will present a new work for accordion, organ and timpani

ATG Website

 Dwayne Dopsie Rhythm @ Winthrop Blues Festival

Sunday July 23  Winthrop, WA

Winthrop Blues Festival

Featured Certified Pre-owned Accordions

Certified Pre-owned Accordion:  petosa SM-150 ESM (19 3/8" LMM)

Certified Pre-owned: 
Petosa SM-150 ESM

Built in 1982, the popular SM-150 model features a full-size 19 3/8 inch keyboard, 3 sets of highest-quality Tipo a Mano reeds, all leather valves, mahogany cabinet and reed blocks, LMM Musette tuning and amplification.  Completely service, Certified & Warrantied for 3 years.  


More Info
Certified Pre-owned Accordion:  petosa AM-1100 American Musette (19 1/2" LMMM)

Certified Pre-owned:  

Petosa AM-1100 Musette w/ Interchangeable Grilles

The ultimate musette accordion… Referred to as the Stradivarius of the accordion; each AM-1100 is uniquely individually handcrafted from the highest quality materials and four generations of craftsman. Pioneering perfection; a mahogany wood cabinet, 100% solid walnut keyboard action and lucite key tops. Precision chromed bass mechanics for everlasting smooth silent action, reed blocks skillfully shaped from solid-aged Mahogany; a spruce core and three-piece walnut base.  Finest Antonelli handmade reeds with genuine calfskin reed leathers. Tone chamber milled from a solid piece of aged mahogany. Interior wood varnished to a high gloss mirror finish. Bellows with stainless steel corners. Finely finished solid walnut bellow frames and genuine leather gaskets. For those with a musical passion, you will simply feel the quality. The AM-1100 is second to none in sound, endurance, and quality that will last a lifetime. As versatile as a four reed accordion gets - specializing in Jazz, Zydeco, French, Italian genres and more.  This like-new 2007 model is a rare find. 


More Info
Certified Pre-owned Accordion: petosa SM-300 (16 3/4" LMM)

Certified Pre-owned:  

Petosa SM-300 

Built in 1962, this SM-300 is pristine and has been lightly used over the years.  Featuring a compact 16 3/4" keyboard, 3 sets of treble reeds and MM+6  tremolo tuning. Completely serviced, Certified and Warrantied for 3 years.  


More Info
An American Accordion Story


Required fields are indicated by an asterisk


206 632 2700


View our shipping procedures — returns, exchanges, and more


View all our policies — financing, trade-ins, and more


Want to learn more about petosa? — discover it here