CAO Presents CINEMA, March 23, 7:30pm

3 weeks from tonight, order your tickets now! Cafe Accordion Orchestra presents  Cinema, a fun evening of songs, tunes, stories and film clips! Sponsored by the Wildwood Artists Series at the Chauutaqua Fine Arts Center in Mahtomedi, MN. Reserve your tickets now!
800 75th St N, Mahtomedi

Mid-Winter Update

Thanks to all of you who have helped get 2012 off to a great start with a sold-out concert at the Cedar and packed houses on the Left Coast Domination Tour!

On January 7 Cafe Accordion Orchestra presented our 7th annual concert at the Cedar Cultural Center, and this was our first sell-out! The show was titled “Midnight in Paris”  and featured sultry sounds from the city of light with guests Diane Jarvi and Tony Balluff. Highlights of the evening were Diane’s stunning rendition of “C’est si bon”, and Tony’s presentation of Sidney Bechet’s “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere”. (The latter being the theme heard in the Woody Allen film also titled Midnight in Paris) Thanks again to all our fans and friends who packed the Cedar on a January night. We’ll find chance to reprise this show soon.

More thanks are due to all the presenters and fans who helped make my 2012 solo tour in California a great success! Packed houses (literally houses) were the rule from Eureka to Palo Alto, Sacramento to Mendocino. Special thanks to all the hosts, Stephen and Lorna, Andrea and Mike, Ellie, Robin and Paul, Daniel, Catherine and Anthony, Debra, Patty, Frannie and Peter. A big thank you to Alan Keith, Gary Breitbart and Daniel Steinberg for playing with me in Palo Alto. Also to the Larkies, Debra, Penny, Geoff, Chad, Peter and Frannie who helped close the tour with sets of traditional French and hot cumbia dancing!  See some photos here:

CAO Pesents “Cinema” March 23
CAO will reprise it’s popular Cinema show on March 23 at the Wildwood Artists Series in Mahtomedi, MN. This show features sounds from the movies, and film clips to go with the music. Check out some of the sounds on CAO’s CD “Cinema”. Music from movies and film clips will make for a delightful evening.
Chautauqua Fine Arts Center 651-269-9888
(adjacent to Mahtomedi High School, 800 75th St N, Mahtomedi)

Looking for venues….
I am currently searching for venues near/in Iowa City. This could be for the whole band or a solo (house concert?) in early May. Also looking for solo-appropriate venues near Philadelphia, DC, Boston, and in the Seattle-Portland region. Please let me know if you have any leads, thanks!

Winter Update

Winter Update

New Book from Daddy Squeeze

Just in time for the holidays….More Cafe Accordion! That’s right, my latest book with Mel Bay Publications is now available. 20 “cafe-style” tunes including waltzes, tangoes, polkas, cumbias and swing, with a full-length CD included. Order from or ask for it at your favorite music store.

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ the Cedar

January 7 is CAO’s annual concert at the fabulous Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. This year’s theme is “Midnight in Paris”. We’ll be joined by sultry songstress Diane Jarvi, and clarinet king Tony Balluff for an evening of dark sounds from the City of Lights. Tickets available now at

Daddy Squeeze’s 2012 Left Coast Domination Tour

January 2012 brings me and Elizabeth back to California for another tour. We have shows and workshops from the 13th to the 21st in Eureka, Palo Alto, Sacramento and Mendocino, with a possible additional date in Santa Cruz. Visit my calendar page for all the details.

Cinema Concert at Wildwood Artists Series

On March 23, 2012 CAO will present Cinema: Sounds and Sights from the Movies for the Wildwood Artists Series in Mahtomedi, MN. This reprise of our highly successful 2007 performance at the Fitzgerald Theater features clips from some of our favorite films, and tunes from flicks such as Charade, A Shot in the Dark, Exodus, Horse Feathers, Singin’ in the Rain, Kill Bill, From Russia with Love, Amelie, and many more. Chautauqua Fine Arts Center 651-269-9888

Fall Update

Mel Bay Presents MORE CAFE ACCORDION! The book and cd package should be available any time now. Look for it at, or ask for it at your favorite music store.

The 14th annual Northeast Accordion Festival is set for November 11-12, in Minneapolis. Details to follow. Performers include Patrick Harrison, Dee Langley, Daddy Squeeze, and many, many more!

Had a great weekend tour to Lincoln, Ne, and Kansas City, Mo! Mark Walker’s Kenwood Maison du Musique is a tremendous new house concert venue in KCMO. LAFTA sponsored a fine house concert for me in Lincoln, and the PlainSong Folk festival in tiny Martell, NE was a real treat as well!


CAO is still playing the Loring Pasta Bar everyTuesday from 6-9. Some fun shows in November include solo appearances at the Sail Away Cafe in Afton (11th), St Barney’s Legends series in Plymouth (19th) and a trio gig at the Grand Kaberet in New Ulm (18th) . I will  be playing every Thursday in December at the new Crooked Pint pub in Minneapolis. Music runs 8-10, and I’ll have a different band every week. There’s also the annual CAO concert at the Cedar on January 7. My California solo tour has shaped up with house concerts in Eureka on Jan 13 and 14,  Palo Alto on the 19th, Sacramento the 20th, and the Mendocino Music and Stories series on the 21st. Would sure love to find a couple more places to play on the 17th or 18th!

California Tour Jan 15-24

Daddy Squeeze’s Left Coast Domination Tour!

Dan will be in California this January, performing in a series of house concerts, accordion clubs, and community centers. The solo tour  runs from Jan 15-24, and includes dates in Berkeley, San Francisco, Petaluma, Eureka, Oakland, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. All the details can be found on my calendar page:

Hope to see you and/or some of your Califoria Dreamin’ friends at one of these gigs!

Accordion Lessons via Skype

Study accordion via SkypeIf you would like to take an accordion lesson from Daddy Squeeze, but don’t get to Minnesota often, here’s the answer. You can get lessons lessons via Skype! A simple email or phone call to set up the time, and a PayPal deposit is all it takes. If you don’t have a Skype account, they are free, and easy to set up. Just go to to get started. It’s an easy, quick, and efficient way to learn the accordion!

Here’s a testimonial from one happy customer:

Dan, thanks for another fabulous lesson! It’s so cool to learn not only the songs and techniques, but the stories behind the music.  I think it really helps to understand where the music came from or why it’s played a certain way.  I’m really having fun with this and you’ve given me lots of great stuff to work on.

- Monte Schaffer

Purchase Skype Accordion Lessons
Sold in 20 minute sessions


Cafe Christmas CD Review

Accordions for Christmas? Seriously? Put aside any prejudices you might have about the accordion, and lend your lucky ears to Cafe Christmas. This is an outstanding holiday release; even the accordion-phobic will stand up and cheer!

First things first. Although an accordion is definitely involved, the Cafe Accordion Orchestra is oh-so much more! The Cafe Accordion Orchestra (CAO) consists of five talented guys playing, yes, the accordion (Dan Newton), and a whole host of (largely) string instruments and percussion. Newton and Brian Barnes contribute the occasional vocal (on perhaps 1/3 of the tracks), and their singing is inspired and inspiring. The CAO’s self-described style is Bal-Musette, a style of French music particularly popular in the 1940s. Think of it as gypsy music, culturally rich and enthusiastically diverse. As a result, CAO’s Cafe Christmas exudes international pizzazz; the traditional holiday pieces are creatively reconfigured as waltzes, polkas, and cha-chas, to name a few. This may sound crazy, but the formula works exceedingly well.

The opening Christmas Waltz put me at a Paris sidewalk cafe along the Seine, all moonlight and stars, wine glass in hand, a huge smile on my mug. The “Paso Doble” Jingle Bells takes the traditional number to an entirely fresh dimension, with minor chord changes and castanets. Too cool! A Holly Jolly Christmas is a brilliant Burl Ives imitation in the “Greek Style.” The intensely beautiful instrumental Christmas Time Is Here reveals CAO’s softer side. And I could go on and on–every track is a gem!

Now I have lived in Minnesota since the mid-80s, and CAO is based in Minneapolis. As a result, some jaded readers might say that I have a chauvinistic bias towards these boys. Absolutely not! CAO’s eclectic Cafe Christmas is indisputably the real deal. Charged with exquisite creativity and world-wide flair, it’s my favorite CD so far this holiday reviewing season. Hip, Hip, HURRAY!

–Carol Swanson, 2008,

Chicago Accordion Club – Sept 08

Sept 15th, 2008

Chicago Accordion ClubFrom the land of sky blue waters came an accordionist refreshing to the Chicago Accordion Club. As summer turned to fall, he portaged a finely bejeweled Planet Squeezebox instrument into the hall and instantly gained the close attention of the crowd. Dan Newton had come without his well known Cafe Accordion Orchestra, but he was ready to cast a solo autumnal spell.

Throughout his performance Dan delivered an entertaining and instructional monologue in introduction to his songs. He cared to begin with “Indifference” from the French cafe musette scene of the 1930′s. He then explained that Duke Ellington incorporated the accordion into such jazz compositions as “Accordion Joe,” before singing and playing the swinging number.

Daddy Squeeze at the Chicago Accordion ClubDan related his journey from Lincoln, Nebraska to St. Paul, Minnesota and the founding of the Cafe Accordion Orchestra. He continued to sing “Downtown Strut” in a Memphis jug hand style in which the “old folks started it, the young folks got it.” What else could he finely grind out next but a strong “Cuppa Java the Size of My Head,” a tune about coffee with a calypso beat.

Explaining that he did not get his first accordion until he was thirty, Dan offered to take everyone to the swamp for marshmallows with the “Cherokee Waltz” and its lilting Cajun French lyrics. He continued to amaze the members and guests by crooning in zydeco Creole manner “Jete sa Bal.” Everyone stayed alert when the talented accordionist singer moved “Under the Table Again” and up country for the drinking song. Read the rest of this entry »

Hi-Top Sneakers – Dan Newton – Review

Hi-Top Sneakers
self-released DN0048 (2008)

It’s hard to imagine a bad time with Daddy Squeeze (a.k.a. Dan Newton) in the house. On his latest, the Minneapolis accordionist is joined by 14 of his closest pals, who play everything from guitars. fiddles, mandolins, and Dobros to string basses, harmonicas. tubas, and even a guiro. a hollow wooden rhythm instrument from Latin America. With such a rotating lineup. Newton tackles everything from a tribute to his favorite foot­wear (hi-top sneakers). caffein­ated odes to that morning-saving brew, old folks struts to how cheap suits can make one feel like S3.50 when only S3.00 was spent at the thrift store. The lyrics are usually clever, such as Put Your Snout to the Spout, which isn’t about drinking but keeping one’s spirit alive with passion.

While several songs feature tuba player Tom Wells, who completes the bouncy jugband/hokum flavor, Brand New Fiddle finds Gary Raynor bowing his upright bass to emulate the tuba’s rumbling sound. If you want a little sexy Latin dancing. Newton’s got infectious instrumentals for that, too: the cumbia-inspired Elizabeta and Cumborro, which combines the Columbian cumbia and Brazilian forro.

But everyone knows that those who swear by the sneakers are really rockers at heart. regardless of their music. Newton is no exception. transforming Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode into its plausible Minnesota counterpart. The Yohnnie B Goode Polka. replete with a fakey foreign accent. It’s hysterical. really, an accordion-tuba splattered bi-sonic tune that can’t decide if it’s a rock ‘n’ roller or a polka at heart. What’s not to like?

- Dan Willging (Denver. CO) Dirty Linen 2008

Ken Mahler – Accordion store is his main squeeze

Ken Mahler - Accordion Heaven

Ken Mahler has long known the ins and outs of the business; now, with an assist from an old friend, his store has an online revival.

Reprint from Minneapolis Star Tribune

As kids, Bruce Pastorius and Ken Mahler made an odd pair: Mahler, the quiet kid who dutifully practiced his accordion 45 minutes every day as his excitable friend from parochial school impatiently waited to go play in the streets of St. Paul’s West 7th Street neighborhood.

But the sound of that accordion kept a link between them as they went to different high schools and pursued disparate career paths. Now, it has turned the lifelong friends into co-workers. Read the rest of this entry »