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When baby boomers were growing up, they all too often associated the accordion with Lawrence Welk and ethnic music—both genres that the first rock and roll generation viewed as old-fashioned and nerdy.


But to many young people today, the accordion is something new, different, and interesting. It shows up more and more frequently in popular groups such as indie rock groups Arcade Fire and the Decemberists, Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, alternative rock band They Must Be Giants, hard rock band Styx, the rock band E Street, and instrumental and vocal ensemble DeVotchKa, to name just a few. And of course, no one can forget Weird Al Yankovic and his parodies.

CAPA founder Cheri Thurston, age 5, with instructor Mern Reitler at a Colorado Rural Electric Company banquet. This was Cheri's first public appearance with an accordion.

Closet Accordion Players of America was founded by accordionist and writer Cheryl Miller Thurston (usually known as Cheri) in 1992. For many years, she collected and printed accordion information for members, through the newsletter the "CAPA TIMES." But after selling her publishing company, she could no longer use company resources and staff to manage subscriptions, printing, and gathering information. 


She didn't forget her accordion, though! Soon she was writing musicals and made it a rule always to include the accordion as part of the band.

Cheri changed along with the times. Now she is able to use the magic of the internet to keep CAPA alive. She has collected and updated some of her articles ( called "blogs" now) from the CAPA Times and will publish occasional updates and relevant information. If you have information you would like to share, please email

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