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Central Florida Accordion Club
 
Featured Member
 
Manfred (Fred) Foge
 
Fred has had a fascinating accordion career.  Read Fred's
biography in his own words below.
 
Me & my Excelsior.  Taken for Hudson
Dispatch Paper, July 1957.  A thank you
from paper's editor for playing at his party.
 
In my studio.  Bloomfield-Glenridge Press photo.  To coincide
with story of me, instrument, family & affiliation w/ Titano
Accordion Co.  circa 1972
 
1948 – Started accordion lessons.  Had pestered my parents for about a year.  They finally
gave in.  First three teachers were primarily piano teachers w/ knowledge of accordion.

1954 – Participated in my first student recital.

1955 – First time I sat in w/ a trio.  Restaurant w/ live music and a dance floor.  We knew the
accordionist.  He let me sit in for him.  Sent out on my first gig and never played a note.

1956 – Parents bought second 120 bass accordion, an Excelsior Grand – my graduation present.  
Booked and played first wedding.  Played my first cocktail party hosted by a doctor.  Our band
auditioned for the Ted Mack Talent TV Show, but did not make the show.

1957 – Played grand opening for a club restaurant in North Bergen, N.J.  This was MC’d by
radio/TV personality Dennis James.

1957 – Joined USAF, stationed in McCoy AFB, FL for entire enlistment.  Played in a Western
swing band for part of that time.

1961 – Discharged from USAF, moved back to N.J., worked and resumed lessons.  Resumed
playing club dates.

1962 – Started studies w/ Bruno Amato after hearing him at area accordion school concert.  
Also heard & met Charles Magnante for the first of many times.  Formed my own trio.

1963 – 1970 - Studied accordion & theory w/ Joe Biviano.  Hustled for club dates and
accordion students.  Full time teacher & musician.  
 
My students & me pose for newspaper
photo/story.  Taken after NJ State
Contest.  Circa 1967
 
Playing a "One Man Band" at
The Manor, West Orange, NJ
for a Pharmaceutical Group.  
Circa 1975  
 
May 06.  Can't play.  Too much glare
from lights on grill.  CFAC gig at
South Orange Branch Library.  
 
1964 – Mr. Biviano invited me to join the Accordion Symphony Society of New York.  Played my
first concert, trumpet section, at Town Hall Concert Hall, NYC, w/ 45 other accordionists.  
Tony Mecca as concert master.

Mid 60’s – Joined the American Accordionists Association, Accordion Teacher’s Assoc.,
Accordion Teacher's Assoc. of NJ & American Federation of Musicians.

1964 – 1965 - Played the World’s Fair, Singer Bowl in N.Y.  w/ the AAA massed band.  

Late 1960’s - After joining ATA of NJ as a general member, I took and passed examination
offered in order to gain status as a "Certified Teacher".  This qualified me to advertise as such
and to judge at state, regional & national contests.  Foge's Accordion School began to flourish.  
We held yearly recitals complete w/ bands, solos & guest artists.  Many of our students entered
contests, competed & won trophies.

1969 – Began an affiliation w/ the Titano Accordion Co.  Started studies w/ Tony Mecca, a
master of the jazz idiom, in addition to Mr. Biviano.  I did this to develop a modern, commercial
sound & help round out my studies

1970 – Mr. & Mrs. Deffner ask me to demo Titano version of the accordion-organ at the NJ
state Accordion Contest.  I had been playing and selling their instruments for 2 - 3 years.

1971 – Joined the ATA of NJ Board Of Governors.  It was quite an honor to know and work
with people like Charles Nunzio and many other artists, nationally recognized teachers and
notables in the accordion field.

1971 - NY Accordion Symphony Society performed at Hunter College, NYC.  Guest artist
Carmen Carrozza, Tony Mecca & Joe Biviano played solos as well and played a date at NYC's
Rainbow Room in Rockafeller Plaza.

1972 – I got my third new Titano Accordion-Organ.  

1976 – Summer of America’s Bicentennial celebration.  N.Y. Accordion Symphony Society
performs at Connecticut State-wide Contest.  We even had a banjo player!

August, 1977 – Played my last gig.

2003 – Joined the Florida Accordion Association

2005 – Joined the Central Florida Accordion Club.

March 2006 - Diane encourages me to start playing again and buys me a reedless MIDI
instrument.    THANK YOU Diane.  
 

 

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