My Musical Biography
I was raised with accordions from birth. My father, Joseph Zampiceni, was a noted accordionist, teacher, composer, arranger, and accordion music publisher, so accordions were part of the Zampiceni household from day one. I began formal study of the piano at age 7, then the accordion at age 8, and had my first series of paid engagements at the age of 11 when I played for San Jose area parades on the back of a promotional flatbed truck.
When I was 14, I advanced to my father’s orchestra where I played either the accordion or drums. I began leading my own band at the age of 17 when I joined the musician’s union. During high school I discovered I had a beautiful tenor voice, and was encouraged by my choral teacher to compete in a regional high school music competition. After winning first place in the vocal category, I started taking voice lessons at 16. I received the Bank of America Achievement Award in music upon graduating from high school.
I entered San Jose State University as a music major. My performance concentrations were voice, piano, and organ. After graduating with a B.A. in music, I returned after a year and worked on an M.A. in music. It was during this time that I was chosen as tenor soloist with the San Jose Symphony in a performance of a Bach cantata.
After teaching, performing, and selling pianos and organs for about five years, I decided that I needed to switch careers and became a technical writer for thirty years before retiring in 2014. Nevertheless, I had never left the music profession and continued to play engagements and teach students. For example, I've played for special performances with accordion selections in the San Jose Symphony and San Jose Civic Light Opera.
Major Accordion Festivals
Cotati Accordion Festival - California
Concert artist - 2018, 2021
Concert artist and clinician - 2016, 2017, 2018
Performer and clinician - 2016, 2017
Leavenworth Accordion Festival - Washington
Concert artist, clinician, and adjudicator - 2016
O Sole Mio Restaurant - Millbrae
Sunday evening entertainer - 2017 to 2020
Tee Nee Thai Restaurant - San Jose
Friday evening entertainer - 2015 to 2019
Paesano Restaurant - San Jose
Weekend entertainer - 2012 to 2016
Isabella's Italian Seafood Restaurant - Monterey
Weekend entertainer - 2010 to 2012
A' Bellagio Restaurant - Campbell
Weekend entertainer - 2001 to 2004
Di Cicco's Restaurant - San Jose
Weekend entertainer - 1999 to 2009
I also play and sing for private engagements at home parties and various restaurant venues.
Local 6 of American Federation of Musicians
Accordionists and Teachers Guild
San Francisco Accordion Club
Silicon Valley Accordion Society
Northern California Accordion Society