Browse By


Paulino Bernal con su Acordion en la Villita


This event is a MUST for me. I have attended every year. I look forward to this one. It is a musical smorgasbord, capitoratada and gumbo. I am always fascinated by the musical varieties and enlightened by it all: the music, the people, the food that this eclectic, wonderful, multi-faceted accordion is able to bring together.
Thank you sponsors, organizers and volunteers for keeping this alive.

PS After I sent this I decided to volunteer and it turned out to be a MORE memorable event and recommend any true IAF fan to volunteer at least once for the event.
– Rodolfo Yebra, San Antonio,Texas

Every year this event gets better grows bigger, and becomes a wonderful learning opportunity offering a peek into musical influences for cultures from around the world. Thanks for staying the course and doing the heavy lifting to provide a one-of-a-kind experience.
– Danita Nelson
Culture and Arts Education Coordinator
Carver Museum & Cultural Center

"What a gift to and from accordion music the world over. And to all of us who are privileged to listen. Where else will you weep at an Azerbaijani’s musical plea for peace and the safety of his culture, then, moments later, leap about in a joyous French Canadian line jig"
– Rosemary Catacalos, Executive Director, Gemini Ink

"As artists, it is enlightening to hear and see fellow musicians and craftsmen from other parts of the world as they present their art and culture. When it comes to festivals such as this one, there are no language barriers — it is a positive way to learn from one another. And that is a lesson that is priceless."
– Mingo Saldivar, Conjunto artist and National Heritage Fellow

"The IAF is one of the richest musical experiences you could hope to find in the country. Both for it’s world class selection of music and unique workshop offerings as well as the FUN factor. It’s one hell of a good time for ALL… artists, volunteers, audience members, dancers, families and children all have a blast in a free, beautiful, relaxed setting… I have not missed for the past 5 years."
– Rose Reyes, Music and Film Coordinator, Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau

"Playing at the San Antonio International Accordion Festival was like entering a world like but unlike our Cajun scene-instead of boudin there were Mexican delicacies of all sorts, instead of French speaking Cajuns dancing to their own music there were people from all over the globe dancing like crazy, going wild over accordion music of every kind."
– Ann & Marc Savoy, Cajun musicians & cultural ambassadors



The alamo city is transformed, as the accordion players perform, people listen, people dance,
people go into a trance.

The bands play to please, they play with so much ease, from all corners of the earth,
they come to prove their worth.

Polkas, waltzes, and cumbias, the accordions show no bias, they come to tango,
they come to Zydeco.

Desde el atlantico, hasta el pacifico, this is the International, accordion festival.
– Antonio Portillo
San Antonio Tx


Playing at The San Antonio International Accordion Festival was the most exciting time of my Life!!! Playing a Big Stage for a crowd of people like the crowds at the festival is a dream come true! The Accordion holds no bounds!! Thanks For Inviting us from Southern Arizona!! Was a memorable experience Never to Be Forgotten!!!
– Chris Lopez, Southern Scratch, Tucson, Arizona

"Playing the big stage at the International Accordion Festival was great, but to my surprise, I think I enjoyed the intimacy of the workshops more; peaceful, but intense. Brave Combo gives the International Accordion Festival five thumbs up!"
– Carl Finch, Brave Combo founder and band leader

"It is a great event (our 2nd year to go). All the bands had people dancing in the aisles. The best thing was the diversity, and the way so many ages and types of people gathered to enjoy so many kinds of folk music. No matter the age – nobody could resist dancing to the waltzes and the polkas."
– Sara Puig Laas, audience member

"The International Accordion Festival, most fabulous annual music event in San Antonio, dazzles the ear and soul with great musicians from all over the globe. It’s a rich mingling of cultures, tempos, languages — threaded together with high energy and relaxing fun. The fact that such a terrific weekend can be FREE to the public is miraculous. Plan to spend the entire weekend drifting happily from stage to stage, or at least, a whole day. Recommended for all ages and moods!!"
– Naomi Shihab Nye, poet

"The International Accordion Festival in San Antonio is the most wonderful accordion event I have ever experienced… If someone you love still thinks the accordion is just for squares and polka dancers, do them (and yourself) a favor, bring them to the IAF in SA this October. It will be a life-changing experience, and one they will thank you for! "
– Accordionist Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton and regular guest on Prairie Home Companion

"This was our second year to attend and we had a blast…Thanks for a great weekend of pure music discovery and fun. We’ll see you next year for sure."
– Susanne and Greg Harm, audience members

"The accordion festival is the most enjoyable and informative vehicle of cultural appreciation in our town. I am in awe."
– Jules LeMelle, audience member


Paulino Bernal

Ask any true aficionado of Tejano conjunto music about the greatest accordionists in the genre and maestro Paulino Bernal’s name will always be on the short list. Yet, his name is unknown to many in the contemporary conjunto audience because he walked away from a stupendously successful career in 1972, preferring instead to turn his music toward a Christian ministry. Despite his absence from the conjunto scene, however, his legend persisted and his music continued to be emulated and admired by players and fans alike.

Now, in 2008, Paulino Bernal will release his first instumental recording since the 1970s, El Maestro del Accordeón y Sus Polkas, and it is an historic return, indeed. With his trills, diminished chords, rapid fire delivery, incredible mastery of keyboard, and complete bellows control, the maestro is back! Working closely with producer (and accordionist himself) Armando Lichtenberger, Jr. of La Mafia, Bernal is seeking to preserve his music for future generations. And, since classic conjunto is the essential underpinning of the modern sound, Bernal makes a profound contribution to both the history and contemporary reality of the conjunto genre.