Accordion hero.

Accordion Master of Cotati

Field review by the editors.

Cotati, California

Jim Boggio was the self-proclaimed "King of the Stomach Steinway" and "Ruler of the Waistline Wurlitzer." He was a master accordionist who'd played in bands in Nevada's swankiest showrooms. He could play three instruments at once. He could play, fall asleep, and somehow keep on playing.

But Boggio was best known as the co-founder of the Cotati Accordion Festival, which was held annually in the town's outdoor plaza beginning in 1990.

It quickly became the go-to event for accordionists nationwide. The highlight of every festival was the "Lady of Spain-a-Ring," where anyone with an accordion was invited to join Boggio and play in unison the instrument's unofficial anthem.

Boggio died unexpectedly in 1996. A year later a life-size bronze statue of him, strapped to a stomach steinway, was sculpted by Jim Kelly and unveiled in La Plaza Park at the center of town.

The Accordion Festival survived Boggio's death, held around the third week of August in La Plaza Park. Every year on its first morning Boggio's statue is dressed in a red cape -- the kind used in bullfights in Spain.

Jim Boggio statue.

Also see: Town Ambassadors

Accordion Master of Cotati

Address:
60 W. Cotati Ave., Cotati, CA
Directions:
In La Plaza Park at the center of town, at the corner of Old Redwood Hwy and W. Sierra Ave.
Hours:
Always visible. Festival in August. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Athena's Hollow HeadAthena's Hollow Head, Cotati, CA - < 1 mi.
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Gravity HillGravity Hill, Sonoma, CA - 5 mi.
In the region:
Steel Bunny Foo Foo, Napa, CA - 18 mi.

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