The Revolution of the Accordion Industry
Born in 1937 in Castelfidardo, Italy, Gianfranco “John” Gabbanelli* always had a natural flair to develop, build and tune accordions. He spent his youth mastering his gift under the guidance of his father who had trained with the legendary Paolo Soprani, founder of the accordion industry in Italy.
Accordions were becoming increasingly popular in the United States. John traveled to Houston, Texas on a sponsorship to assist in repairing and tuning previously sold Italian-made accordions. Upon his arrival, John discovered the ideal markets of Mexican Regional, Tejano and Cajun to introduce his unprofessed ideas of multi-colored and decorative accordions. John, alongside his wife Louise, began a small business -- Gabbanelli Accordions.
John’s youngest son Mike Gabbanelli was born. It was immediately evident that Mike had inherited John’s natural talent. Following years of working together as family and best friends, Mike began to master the dying artisanship of the accordion business.
After 30 years of working from their home, John and his family opened Gabbanelli Accordions & Imports, LLC as the one-and-only retail showroom and distribution center for all Gabbanelli accordions. The Houston mom-and-pop shop transports customers into a candy store for accordion lovers with colorful accordions and wall-to-wall autographs from celebrity fans.
Mike became CEO/ President of Gabbanelli Accoridions & Imports, LLC. Mike continues to enhance the company’s legacy of artisanship and originality by carrying out avant-garde designs and engineering state-of-the-art parts and mechanisms to continually upgrade the quality and look of a Gabbanelli Accordion.
Gabbanelli Accordions is celebrating their 50th anniversary. After half a century, the Gabbanelli family is still the heart, soul and face of the company. Mike and his wife Elia are continuing the family legacy of providing the most innovative accordions that feature the beauty, radiance and quality of the Gabbanelli brand.
* John dedicated 42 years of his life to the Gabbanelli brand before passing in 2003. Read more about John's life and passing here.