Al Battistelli, born in Pine Run, Pennsylvania, was influenced by his father and two uncles who played the accordion. Al started playing at the age of 7 and instantly fell in love with the instrument.
When Al was 13, he took lessons from Mario Mosti, who became the single largest inspiration in his life. Al had great respect and admiration for Mario. Al started playing that same year with the Twilighters, a 4-piece combo, based out of Pittsburgh.
In 1956, Al joined the Bill Tarr Quintet and stayed with the band until 1962. Al met his wife LeEtta that year and moved to Lorain, Ohio, where he continues to reside today.
Al worked for Ford Motor company for 30 years and retired at the age of 49. During that time, he played with numerous bands until he joined the trio called the “Counts” in 1964. Al met Frank Yankovic in 1965 and played consistently at Frank’s Steakhouse in Cleveland. That’s where his love for Cleveland-Style Polka originated, which led him to tour with Frank in 1981.
Al started the “Al Battistelli Orchestra” in 1982, which continued for 22 years. When the band broke up in 2004, he played with the PUB HAUS 4 until 2010. Since then, Al plays regularly as a single 4 to 5 times per week.
Al has had the opportunity to play with many of the accordion legends such as Dick Contina, Joey Miskulin, and Tony Dannon. He has recorded numerous albums throughout the years, releasing his first one in 1981 and his latest one (his 10th), in 2019.
Al has created over 50 original compositions, teaches accordion, and had a franchise with Sano corporation (a well known accordion manufacturer). He started playing the Roland FR-7x in 2010 and then fell in love with the Roland FR-8x in 2013. He continues to play and perform with the 8x on a regular basis in conjunction with the Roland BK-7m arranger sound module. Al uses Logic Pro X to create real-time transcriptions of his playing, which served as the foundation for his 24-book score/composition series.