Dave Hartl playing accordion  

Yes, I am serious about the accordion!

I started my musical life at the age of 5 with an accordion. I won the Pennsylvania State Virtuoso Champion title with it when I was 16, played my way through college and then put it away for decades. But those hardwired childhood skills serve me well now that I've taken it up again.

In addition to classical pieces, my work in theater, jazz, R&B and pop gives me a huge repertoire on this instrument. In addition to solo performance, my other outlets for accordion is in the service of The Night Café and other projects, most recently sitting in with The Hot Club of Philly playing gypsy jazz and with the Brazilian ensemble Minas. These days I play a Roland FR-7 virtual accordion that gives me access to the worlds of MIDI and electronic music as well as serving as a great regular accordion. Click on the links below to hear what I do with the chest organ!

Solo performances

"Meeting of the Spirits" by John McLaughlin

click to play

"4 Nocturnes" by Robert Russell Bennett

Just click on the title to hear the file:
1st movement
2nd movement
3rd movement
4th movement

"Everything Happens to Me" by Tom Adair and Matt Dennis

click to play

Non Dimenticar/ Mala Femmena

click to play

The Divine Hand Ensemble

I started with Mano Divina and The Divine Hand Ensemble as an arranger and was asked to become their accordionist as well. Click here to go to their website to see how a group consisting of a string quartet, 2 harps, 2 percussionists, accordion, and led by a thereminist can play everything from Mozart to Black Sabbath. I'm sort of the Frank Zappa and Astor Piazzolla specialist, and we've been doing very well with concerts and recordings. Here's the kind of gigs we play, this one at the Philadelphia Masonic Hall.

candlelight concert at Philly Masonic Hall

The Night Café

This is my accordion/mandolin/bass group specializing in light classics, film scores, and European café ambiance. Click here to go to the dedicated website for the group with lots of examples, but here's a little taste of what we're about, a recording of Astor Piazzolla's "Chiquelin de Bachin":

click to play

The Hot Club of Philadelphia

Most recently I've been playing accordion with Barry Wahrhaftig and his great gypsy jazz group, The Hot Club of Philadelphia. Modelled after the jazz played by Django Reinhardt and associates at The Hot Club of France in the 1930's, this is an incredibly popular and fun group that I'm honored to be part of. Here's a taste of the group playing "Joseph Joseph", recorded at a live concert in Pastorius Park in Chestnut Hill, PA on June 17, 2015:
click to play

Updated January 21, 2024.

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