Garrett Tatano began taking accordion lessons at the age of seven. He was inspired by his grandfathers while growing up, who both played accordion and instilled a love for the instrument in him. By the time he was ten, he was making regular appearances at countless jam sessions in and around the city of Pittsburgh, PA, his hometown area. Soon after, he joined a local button-box group, the SNPJ International Button Box Club. Garrett fell in love with the Cleveland-Style polka music that the group played. He appeared with them at many local and tri-state events, festivals, and picnics.
Once Garrett made it to high school, he caught the eye of a popular Cleveland-Style polka band leader, Jack Tady. Garrett joined Jack’s band, Jack Tady and his JTB, when he was 15, and by age 16, he was Jack’s full time accordionist. While Garrett was playing with the JTB, he won two awards from the United Musicians Polka Association of Pennsylvania and was nominated for multiple other awards by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.
Mr. Tatano is currently in his final semester at the University of Maryland where he is studying electrical engineering, with a concentration in power systems. At school, Garrett proudly serves as the Drum Major for the University of Maryland’s marching band, the Mighty Sound of Maryland. Upon his graduation, he will return to the Pittsburgh area to start his career with the Duquesne Light Company, Pittsburgh’s electric utility provider.
Being a proud owner of a Roland FR-4x, Garrett is excited and honored to have been asked to join the IDEAS faculty. He is looking forward to working with many of you at this year’s symposium.