Nick Ballarini, accordionist, pianist, and bandleader is one of the areas most versatile musicians. Nick served our country as a U.S. Navy musician and is a favorite of accordion clubs around the country. As well as playing weddings, corporate events and jazz festivals as a pianist and bandleader, he also plays his accordion at Irish, French, Italian and German themed events. His repertoire ranges from classical to pop to the many ethnic styles associated with the accordion. Nick is available to play solo or with a band.

Nick has performed with Luciano Pavarotti (2002), Enzo Stuarti, Leon Sash, Matt Matthews, Gary Morris, Anita Bryant, Mel Torme, Princess Grace, The Chieftans.

He has also performed for Dr. Bill and Gabriella McCrae, Ross Perot, Trammel Crow, Foleys, Macy's, Zales, Brinker International, The Schlicting Group, JC Penney, Kodak, Bloomingdale, Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, Rizolli International, French American Chamber, French Consulate, Italian Consulate, Dallas Symphony, SMU Meadows School of Music, Fort Worth Symphony, Richardson Symphony, Dallas Opera Guild, Texas City Managers, Country Clubs, Major Hotels, The Child Care Group, St. Mark's Lutheran School, and Crystal Charity Ball.

Nick is available to play music for fund raisers, dancing, easy listening, business, banquets, kid's parties, weddings, confirmation parties, ethnic festivals, and jazz concerts.

His Accordion

Nick Ballarini plays a model AM1100 Petosa accordion with MIDI and American Musette tuning.

Click here for photos of Nick.


An Article on Nick from The Dallas Morning News:

Accordion bellows at his command

Addison: Musician brings genuine sound, 50 years of skill to Oktoberfest

11:09 AM CDT on Monday, September 18, 2006
By JACKIE LARSON / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

Nick Ballarini has enough accordion knowledge to match a local sound to each beverage in the Biers of the World pavilion where he's performing this weekend.

Nick Ballarini captivates (from left) Jason Lee, 6, Peter Pham, 13, and Teresa Pham, 7, with a bit of music from Sesame Street . But it's Oktoberfest in Addison, so all Mr. Ballarini needs is lederhosen.

Mr. Ballarini will be decked out in the short, suspendered britches of the traditional German costume when he lends a half-century of accordion expertise to one of his favorite events.

"It's fantastic. The town of Addison has done a great job with it. They have more things going on than any other festival I've ever seen," Mr. Ballarini said.

The Dallas accordion great shares a gift honed over 50 years of playing. He teaches at accordion camps and has played with luminaries including Mel Torme and the Chieftains.

Luciano Pavarotti gave Mr. Ballarini some memorable advice.

"I wasn't used to working with a conductor, and I had a solo," Mr. Ballarini recalled. "The conductor lowered the baton at the rehearsal, and all of a sudden I played the opening solo twice as fast as it should have been played. So Pavarotti says, 'Hey, take it easy – it's-a your solo.' So I took it easy and I had-a my solo."

His early musical roots trace to years spent in Chicago.

"I had taken dance lessons, piano and clarinet lessons, and none of that took. Then my father took me to see Dick Contino at the Chicago Theater," he said. "I was so impressed, I started taking accordion lessons."

He later did a concert with Mr. Contino in Washington, D.C., to mark the 80th birthday of accordion company founder Joe Petosa. The event gave Mr. Ballarini an opportunity to mark how far he'd come since that moment he fell in love with the accordion – and to thank the man who was his inspiration.

Mr. Ballarini will conduct an accordion camp in Phoenix in January. Details will be on his Web site, www.accordionartistry .com.

It's amazing how many people have the desire to learn the instrument, he said. He has had students who were doctors and dentists who wanted to retire and play the accordion in beer joints.

Each of Mr. Ballarini's four Petosa accordions has a unique sound. One of his most requested sounds is the musette – an ethnic tone that can come across as a German, Italian or French sound. He also can do jazz accordion.

"It's a great way to express yourself. You can get a different feeling out of it by controlling the bellows or even the way you attack the keyboard. If you want to sound like a Frenchman, you put on a beret," he said.

He has been playing the Addison Oktoberfest for years, and he loves it.

"The musicians are there to create atmosphere," he said. "But the organizers don't realize they're paying for my therapy, because playing accordion there is like therapy for me."

Jackie Larson is an Ennis-based freelance writer.




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Nick's Booking Information

To book Nick for your event, contact:

Dallas-Fort Worth Professional Musicians Association

Fax 817-469-1448

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