Bringing the accordion to a new generation!

About The Accordion Apocalypse Repair Shop

The accordion is a musical instrument of the handheld bellows-driven free reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox.
The accordion is played by compressing and expanding the bellows, while pressing buttons or keys to allow air to flow across reeds, thereby producing tones and chords.

(literally: the lifting of the veil), is a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the majority of humankind.
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 Skyler Fell is an accordion repairwoman, owner, inspirator, and mentor at San Francisco's Accordion Hub, The Accordion Apocalypse Repair Shop. Professionally trained by master craftsman and repair technician, Vincent Cirelli of Cirelli Accordion Service, and Boaz of the former Boaz Accordions. Skyler offers accordion sales & online store, hand tuning & repair, accordion workshops, rentals, lessons, accessories, and awesome monthly jam sessions.

 Skyler plays accordion and sings with her various bands 'The Hobo Goblins', 'The Accordion Babes', and 'Skyler Fell, Justin Boot, & The Goddamn Ranch Hand Band'. She has performed at many festivals & venues including Slims, Amnesia, The DNA Lounge, The LA Accordion Festival, The Orange County Big Squeeze, The SanFrancisco Accordion Festival, The High Sierra Music Festival, Burning Man Centercamp, Symbiosis, The Castelfidardo Accordion Festival of Italy, The San Francisco Accordion Club, Silicon Valley Accordion Society, Circo Romani at Cell Space, Lucid Dream Lounge, The Dreamtime Circus, The Autonomous Mutant Festival and the world famous Cotati Accordion Festival.
  Skyler has recently served on the board of directors at The San Francisco Accordion Club (since 1912) bridging past and future generations of accordionists and variety of genres demonstrating just how versatile the Accordion can be!

How the Accordion Apocalypse Started:
  In the late 90's after seeing badass accordionists playing in punk bands at Gilman, including Oakland's all accordion creepy carnival band the dreaded Accordion Plague, The Hobo Goblins, and the all girl psycho-billy circus punk band Cypher in The Snow. I was hooked. "Where do I find such a beautiful and emotion producing instrument?....and so close to my eastern european roots." I soon discovered Boaz Accordions in Oakland, and started a work/trade cleaning and organizing accordion reeds by pitch for my first lessons and rental accordion to practice on.
  Later during my travels in Europe, I stayed at this amazing artists space, and played at a free winter circus class in Amsterdam. At school we learned juggling, accordion, massive jump ropes, stretching, unicycle, and all kinds of fun stuff. We would go out and busk on the town squares and busy streets. What FUN!
   Upon my return to the Bay Area, I found a broken accordion that had fallen off some tall speaker stacks in an artists warehouse in the industrial district of San Francisco. I once again visited Boaz Accordions, and asked for some advice and a got repair estimate. Then I started a payment plan bringing them $20/week payment plan for my first accordion repair. After a cordial visit from me every week, and learning of our shared metalworking background, interest in fixin' stuff, and love of Klezmer music, eventually Boaz took me under his wing and offered me an accordion repair apprenticeship. Boaz put me to work first turning little tiny brass buttons on the jewelers lathe for a concertina, doing bellows repair, and refreshing the wax and leathers on older accordions.
  Between 2008 & 2012 Skyler studied & repaired with accordion guru, master repairman, and builder Vince Cirelli, December 21, 1920 - September 29, 2012.  Vince Cirelli recently passed away. The life of this master accordion craftsman, repair technician, shop owner, teacher, father, husband, and excellent musician has left us all with heartfelt gratitude for a life of dedicated service to the accordion and the community surrounding it.  Vince Cirelli was an amazing accordion guru and a guide who inspired and enriched Skyler's journey through life as an accordion shop owner and repair technician. Throughout his life he was a dedicated promotor of the accordion whether he was teaching accordion lessons to his students or being a world renowned repair person. Through Skylers 5 year apprenticeship, he shared with the knowledge, procedure, organization, and 'know how' necessary to continue this noble tradition. His deep understanding of accordions and repair will live on through Skylers hands and mind, and be used and appreciated by her skilled apprentices as well as the greater accordion community every day. For this we are forever grateful. Vince will be truly missed by his loyal apprentice, family, friends and accordionists around the world. Thank you Vince, may you rest in peace.
We have found true passion in the accordion and the friendly surrounding community. We love to work hard here at "The Accordion Apocalypse Repair Shop", blossoming since our move out of a farm house garage in Oakland, into a larger warehouse studio in SF (Opened October 2005), and finally to our current upstairs location at 255 10th St. in San Francisco's booming SOMA district, where we have continued to service the accordion community by performing accordion repairs and community based events, and specializing in hand tuning and antique rebuilds.

Since we have been at our downtown San Francisco location, The Accordion Apocalypse Repair Shop has expanded to include a large showroom with both new and used accordions, accessories, an online store, museum cases with beautiful antiques, a well organized repair center, group workshops, a rental program in conjunction with SFAC benefiting accordion scholarships, books and sheet music to peruse. Our specialties include antique re-builds, professional hand tuning, new and used piano accordions, and high quality handcrafted Italian accordions.

For 5 years Skyler studiously apprenticed with accordion guru Vince Cirelli.
  Here is a link to an NPR interview with Vince & Skyler:
  Here is some interesting information written by Vince Jr. about this talented, amazing, and warm hearted accordion hero:

Skyler's Mentor Vincent J. Cirelli of Cirelli Accordion Service-
Master craftsman Vincent Joseph Cirelli began to develop his skills early while growing up in the North Beach District of San Francisco. In 1920, the year of his birth, North Beach was considered the hub of the accordion culture and San Francisco was the center of a flourishing accordion manufacturing industry. Vince remembers the accordion factory of Guerrini & Company located within walking distance from the house where he lived as a young boy.

His informal introduction to the instrument began at the early age of ten. He recalls the sound of an accordion emanating from an open window while playing outside one day. "I liked the melodic sounds that I heard coming from the accordion". Shortly thereafter, he began accordion lessons with Emilio Civita, a graduate from the Conservatory of Music in Milano, Italy.

By age 12, his growing enthusiasm for music and dedication to the instrument caught the interest of Faust Piatanesi of Colombo & Sons. Vince was offered a part-time job after school, and with his father's permission began working as a shop helper at Colombo & Sons Accordion Corporation. This event would eventually direct young Vincent's future to the accordion making industry.

During his attendance at Galileo high school in San Francisco, Vince continued to develop and refine the skills crucial in becoming an accordion maker. Attending both day and evening classes at Galileo's woodworking and cabinet shop, he utilized every available resource for making accordion parts. Upon graduating in 1939, Vince once again returned to Colombo & Sons. This time however, working alongside master craftsman Mario Zanoni, Angelo Pietri, Chuck Zanoni, and master tuner Eric Gylling.

Returning home after serving four years in the U. S. Coast Guard, Vince established Cirelli Accordion Service in 1946. Initially, he began making accordion parts including bass and treble shells for Pacific Accordion. Later that year, Caesar Pezzolo, the well-known composer and teacher, appointed Cirelli Accordion Service to upgrade his imported accordion line specifically for the American market. The design revisions incorporated by Vince greatly improved the instrument and these changes were communicated to the factory in Italy. The accordion, La Melodiosa, was a success and considered by many artists, one of the finest accordions produced at that time. Vince also managed to complete the first of seven Cirelli accordions later that year. Deciding to "road test" his new instrument, he signed with the popular train tours of that time to entertain onboard while traveling across America.

Married in 1949, Vince moved his expanding business to another location in San Francisco. He focused primarily on repairing, tuning, and teaching the accordion. Contracted through West Coast Wholesale Music, H. C. Kessler, and Pacific Music Supply Co., Vince inspected and serviced virtually every new Frontalini, V. Soprani, and Galanti accordion received by these companies. If you have ever played or currently own one of these instruments from the bay area, chances are that the master craftsman himself subjected it to a thorough going-over.

In 1963, world-renowned recording artist, Michael Corino introduced Vince to Lee Deiro, owner of Pietro Derio Publications of New York. After several discussions, Cirelli Accordion Service became the exclusive West Coast distributor for Pietro Deiro Publications, one of the world's largest accordion music publishing houses. That same year Mario and Edward Pancotti, of the Excelsior Accordion Company, established a full service bay area dealership through Cirelli Accordion Service. Vince sold and serviced the Excelsior accordion line to many fine musicians and recording artist for more than twenty-seven years.

  Vincent J. Cirelli was truly a master craftsman and many people throughout the entire accordion industry recognized him & his incredible work.

"I am eternally grateful to the San Francisco pioneers of the accordion manufacturing industry. Without their generosity and support I would not have been able to learn this fascinating trade. My life has truly been enriched by the many talented artist and kind friends that play this remarkable instrument." - Vincent J. Cirelli