Matt Tolentino began his love for the accordion at the age of ten, when he first tuned into the reruns of the Lawrence Welk Show. An instant devotee of Myron Floren, Matt took an immediate interest in the instrument - within five years he had purchased his first accordion, an eBay purchase funded by a summer's worth of neighborhood lawn care. 

Since then, Matt has worked hard at perfecting a sound and approach to the instrument all his own, setting his focus on a combined repertoire of traditional polkas and ethnic music, as well as traditional jazz, ragtime, and the pop tunes of the 1920s and 1930s. Both styles work well together, and along with his vocals, Matt has created a truly unique sound for himself, bringing to the instrument a repertoire previously ruled by pianists and jazz bands. Enjoy some of this accordion music right here!
Matt performs accordion in a wide variety of settings, including with his very own polka band, The Royal Klobasneks. Matt's love of traditional European folk music speaks for itself - in addition to the band he fills a lot of solo engagements performing this great traditional sound. His selections include German, Czech, Austrian, Swiss, Hungarian, Russian, Polish, Spanish, and Mexican, as well as the traditional American 'Dutchman-Style' polkas and waltzes. You may have noticed, too, that Matt plays vintage accordions - part of his all-around salute to tradition.
In addition to the great ethnic sounds of old Europe, Matt also enjoys bringing ragtime and traditional jazz to the instrument. While the piano dominates the ragtime field, the accordion is quite capable of handling the repertoire and delivering it to the audience with all the excitement of a full band - and Matt enjoys demonstrating just how good these timeless pieces sound on the accordion. Here are a few samples of his work...
Unlike the piano, the accordion possesses no sustain pedal, which rules out the ability to perform intricate and ambitious works like Joplin's 'Bethena.' Thus the accordion is a natural candidate for the ragtime music that was favored by the 'rag bands' of the period - those storied bands who performed countless concerts in the park on Sunday afternoons. Their repertoire included one steps, two steps, marches, cakewalks, and other spirited pieces that Matt loves to play and bring to the instrument and to his audience. Comic songs of the era also work great on the instrument, as seen in 'Palesteena' and 'Marituch.'