Paul Pergolese

Paul Pergolese, former Vice President of The Musicians Union Of Australia (Victoria Branch), hardly needs an introduction. His popularity as a musician and band leader spans more than three decades and still today his trio is widely in demand to perform at functions and gala events in numerous Melbourne clubs and reception centres.

Paul began studying the piano accordion at the age of fourteen and within a couple of years had already won major talent quests including "Swallows Juniors" staged on television by Network Seven.

At one stage, Paul was the only accordionist from Victoria invited to perform on what was then the very popular and much loved television series "Showcase". It was also during this period that he was a regular Sunday morning performer on Dick Cranbourne's Country & Western Show providing accompaniment for guest vocalists.

It wasn't long before bands started fretting for his services and at nineteen Paul joined "Estrellita", one of Melbourne's top Latin American combos playing regular gigs at the legendary San Remo Ballroom in North Carlton.

His appetite for competition, however, was still rife and upon entering a major event held in Bendigo and at which over thirty accordionists participated Paul once again demonstrated his exceptional technique and was duly awarded the prize as "Best Accordionist In Victoria".

With increasing experience it was only natural that Paul would become a band leader in his own right and, beginning in the seventies, he first led a ten piece band at the Myer Music Bowl during Melbourne's iconic Moomba Festival and in the same period moved on to conduct a twenty piece orchestra for the Festival Of Italian Song which that year featured guest vocalist Matt Flinders.

Throughout the nineties and until recently Paul often organized special "theme" dinner dances such as tango nights and big band tributes in which he would typically not only play the accordion but also conduct a fifteen piece orchestra.

These evenings were frequently held at the Casa D'Abruzzo Club, a popular entertainment venue in Melbourne's northern suburbs where Paul and long time companion and vocalist the late Bruno Matricciani performed for many years as the regular house band.

Along the years Paul has also provided accordion and keyboard lessons to willing students and was on a number of occasions invited to sit on judging panels for various talent quests and song competitions, a task always undertaken with relish and carried out with the utmost integrity and professionalism.

Paul's academic achievements include passes in six grades of the theoretical requirements for Stage 1 of an Associate Diploma with the London College of Music, and the completion of an arranging course done by correspondence with the world renowned Berklee College Of Music in Boston U.S.A.

Lately Paul has been dedicating more time to composing despite his multiple performing engagements and has managed to pen several new songs which have promptly become not only a standard feature of his trio's performing repertoire but also a welcome addition to the ever increasing catalogue of works represented by Groovy Music Publishing.


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