Artist-Musician Jason Eoff Squeezes and Paints to Communicate
09/18/2011

Accordionist and Fine Artist Jason Eoff brings Tex-Mex and accordion together on stage as he performs with the Vaquetones on October 9, 2011 at 3rd annual The Big Squeeze Orange County Accordion Festival.

Online PR News – 18-September-2011 – – Costa Mesa, CA (September 15, 2011) --- Painting and playing the accordion make Jason Eoff feel he’s multi-lingual. As a fine artist and squeezebox player, Eoff, an Eagle Rock resident, believes that music and art are universal languages that help express one’s history, experiences, values, principles and desires.

Eoff, 42, is one of the featured accordionists, playing with the Orange County based Miguel Garcia and the Vaquetones, at the 3rd Annual Orange County Accordion Festival aka “The Big Squeeze” on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011 at the Orange County Market Place, Costa Mesa. The band performs Tex-Mex, Honky-Tonk and Roots songs and are among the many musicians coming together to show the diversity of the accordion.

Though he doesn’t speak Spanish, he can play it!

Texas-grown Eoff is both a self-taught musician learning accordion and piano.

His early music influences come from ragtime, boogie-woogie New Orleans piano music his mother exposed him to, particularly the bohemian French café culture, along with her interest in art. This soon dovetailed into his young adulthood life in Louisiana where Zydeco and Cajun music spoke a language that won his affections.

“My fascination with the accordion came to fruition when I joined Miguel Garcia and the Vaquetones in 2008,” he added.

When performing a few Texas Tornado songs he began to pay attention to their accordionist’s work which was that of multi-Grammy Award winning Tejano music accordionist, Flaco Jimenez. He was captivated by the sound.

“Then after I heard the song Rose Hills written by Garcia about his father, I was completely committed to this band‘s music style,” Eoff said.

“Rose Hills is a bittersweet song that recounts the story of a drunken son climbing into the cemetery in the middle of the night and sleeping next to his late father - happy music with a sad true story. It is a beautifully understated and touching song. I lost my father in 1998 when he was 56, so I feel a great resonance and empathy with this yearning song,” explains Eoff who is married with a six year-old son, Truman.

“The Vaquetones have exposed me to some very old and beautiful Mexican songs. Singer Miguel Garcia, often charmingly reinvents these songs by singing in English for part of the song, “Eoff said. “Playing throughout the Southwest, I’ve been amazed at the sincerity, appreciation and gratitude shown to us by the Hispanic crowds for remembering and reinvigorating songs their parents and grandparents grew up listening too. We’re helping them to rediscover the beauty from times past,” he adds.

Aside from the Vaquetones, Eoff also performs and records with other bands including Karling Abbeygate’s rockabilly band, which will be releasing a Christmas in November.

When Eoff isn’t playing the accordion, he is focused on his other language: fine art. He is currently an adjunct art and art history instructor at various colleges in the Southern California area by day, and moonlights in music. Eoff studied art at Claremont Graduate University and after that his art was featured at the Patricia Faure Gallery for about 9 years until it closed and Faure died.

Eoff’s paintings are abstract typically done in oil and resin, and sometimes wax and other mediums, and on panels ranging from three to eight feet. His motifs include starburst explosions and dots, and his vision of pop culture icons including old retro video games. He has done a “Pop Rocks” series, depicting the candy product that explodes in your mouth.

“They are somewhat abstract but have an industrial finish or fetish surface because they are slick as glass and made of resin, often painted in elevated slabs of paint on the surface so they are raised off the surface ," explains Eoff.

Eoff believes that art and music helps communicate what might often be hard to express otherwise.

“They (art and music) help to satisfy our human yearning for empathy. We create and express to connect, remember, reflect, and if only for a fleeting moment, glimpse beneath the surface to behold the mysterious nature of things and be astonished,” elaborates Eoff.

Eoff looks forward to astonishing audiences when he plays the accordion with
Miguel Garcia and the Vaquetones from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Big Squeeze on the Tex Mex Stage, one of five stages showcasing a diverse menu of accordion based music.
 
The purpose of the event could be likened to creating a new language for the accordion. Often Lawrence Welk and polka music come to mind when this instrument is mentioned, but the accordion is more than that.

“I think events such as The Big Squeeze do a great service by commemorating, celebrating and exposing the rich variety of musical traditions and players to the next generation of accordion aficionados. The accordion is such an earthy, intimate instrument capable of amazingly rich and dynamic sounds. It is an instrument that literally breathes. In the right hands, it sings,” adds Eoff.

More than 50 accordionists and musicians will be squeezing out everything from Zydeco, Cajun, jazz, blues, salsa, opera and cabaret to German, Irish, Italian, Latin and more.
Among the other featured bands is Los Fabulocos also a Tex-Mex band along with Lisa Haley
and the Zydekats, Bonne Musique Zydeco and Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, all showing a variety of Cajun and Zydeco music.

A complete schedule is available at www.ocmarketplace.com

The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., encourages the public to bring their accordions for free Zydeco and line dance lessons and open jam sessions There will also be a Mardi Gras style parade, Accordion Road Show for free accordion appraisals, free face painting and mask crafts, gourmet food truck alley (also representing equal amount of food flavors and styles), strolling entertainment in addition to many other activities.

The Festival and admission to the O.C. Market Place, is included in admission, which is $2 or FREE with a canned food item donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Children 12 and under are free. Parking is Free, and preferred lot available for $5.
 
In its 42nd year, the Orange County Market Place is held every Saturday and Sunday, except during the Orange County Fair, at the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive. The outdoor swap meet includes nearly 1,000 merchants offering a variety of products and services, farmer’s market, luxury used car lot, hair salons, gourmet foods to go, kid’s play area and food concessions. In addition to the website (www.ocmarketplace.com) more info is available by calling 949-723-6660.
 
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