Tony Dannon is a jazz legend in USA. He has played with the best, taught thousands of students over the years, and released jazz books & recordings. Here in Detroit USA, he is celebrating his 60th birthday with friends in 1997. – YouTube/Heinz Siemens
Tony Dannon is a jazz legend in USA. He has played with the best, taught thousands of students over the years, and released jazz books & recordings. Here in Detroit USA, he is celebrating his 60th birthday with friends in 1997. This friend is Jim Monahand on the bones. He’s brilliant. – YouTube.com/Heinz Siemens
Detroit Free Press, April 18, 2011 – The captivating sounds of accordionist Tony Dannon will continue to resonate thanks to his innumerable contributions as a composer and arranger and through the hundreds of students he tutored.
Mr. Dannon, one of the music industry’s foremost jazz accordionists and former part-owner of Modern Accordion Studio in Dearborn, died Tuesday of complications from dementia at the home of his nephew in Sterling Heights. He was 87.
“Watching him perform was truly a mesmerizing experience,” said his nephew Joe Recchia. Dannon had lived with Recchia for two years. “He had such amazing ability, and he touched the lives of so many people in the accordion industry.”
Born in Villa Latina, a small town in central Italy, he was introduced to the accordion at the age of 3 by his father, Augustino D’Annunzio, who also played the instrument.
After the family came to the U.S. in 1935, his father was frequently hired by Henry Ford to entertain guests at the Ford mansion in Dearborn.
During World War II, Mr. Dannon served as a musician in the Army band.
Mr. Dannon and his business partner, Oliver Petrini, opened the studio in 1957. At its peak, the school had nearly 1,000 students, and many competed in and won national competitions, Recchia said. Besides giving lessons, the duo sold custom-built accordions made in Italy.
Mr. Dannon continued to perform in metro Detroit with his accordion bands and ensembles at Italian restaurants and clubs, including frequent performances at the Lido in St. Clair Shores.
“I would often sit in awe as his fingers fluttered over the keys,” said Linda Reed, president of the American Accordion Association. “He knew how to = make an=20 accordion talk.”
Mr. Dannon also spent time as a house musician with WXYZ-TV, performing on a few locally produced shows, including the late night Soupy Sales variety show.
The studio closed in 1982.
His wife of 22 years, Lillian, died in 1995.
Besides his nephew, survivors include his sister, Mary Recchia, and brother, Joseph D’Annunzio, along with many nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass is at 10 a.m. today at St. Paul of Tarsus Catholic Church, 41300 Romeo Plank, Clinton Township. Visitation will precede the mass at 9:30 a.m.
Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.