Joseph Natoli makes his home in Northeast Ohio with his wife, JoAnn, and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven (inspired to play the instrument by his grandfather -- also Joe Natoli, and his father, Frank Natoli). Joe started his studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio, and won the 1972 AAA US Virtuoso Accordion Championship under Mr. Bisilia’s tutelage, while placing first runner-up several months later in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition in Caracas, Venezuela. More recently, Joe won the grand prize for the first Roland US V-Accordion competition held in Los Angeles, California, in 2008.
Joe’s education includes Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Toronto Faculty Of Music in Toronto, Canada, where he was the first student accepted there to use the free bass accordion as an applied major instrument, studying with renowned Canadian accordionist, Joseph Macerollo. Mr Natoli started his musical career mostly as a performer, but had always been interested in composition, and has focused on his compositional craft even more in recent years. Joe has written many original pieces in all musical styles and genres for standard and free bass accordion, all of which are available by inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org, including his latest pieces, Children’s Suite for accordion solo, Smooth (a Latin jazz piece for solo or accordion quintet), a 2018 commission for the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) 80th anniversary entitled Sonata in F Major (in the Classical Style), and a new AAA commission for 2019 entitled Child's Play (for 2 accordions, cello, and percussion).
Some of his most recent recordings include an all-acoustic accordion CD called Omaggio, which is dedicated to the many musical influences in Joe’s life from various composers, musical friends and family members. Joe has also released an all-digital Roland V-Accordion CD entitled, Waltz for Ron, which contains a bevy of original compositions and arrangements of classical, light classical, ethnic and jazz pieces fully exploiting the orchestral possibilities of the Roland virtual accordions. Both CDs are available on the JANPress website listed above. A new CD was released in 2018 called Chameleon (Vol 1) which focuses on the widely diverse styles of Joe’s original compositional output (much of which you will hear at this Symposium), and in 2019 Chameleon (Vol 2) was released which includes the new commission from the AAA Child's Play, mentioned above. Soon to be released in 2023 is Chameleon (Vol 3).
Joseph, along with Michael Soloway, is the co-founder and co-director if IDEAS.