On the eve of my show, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the accordion that I will be performing with.
Back when I was a homeopathy student at Teleosis Homeopathic Collaborative, I had an incredible teacher there named Peris Gumz. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Peris and I were probably the only two people on the planet who shared a mutual passion for both homeopathy and Balkan accordion music. 😉 Peris was Croatian, and grew up playing Croatian music with some members of her family, jamming in the kitchen. She was an incredibly vivacious woman, creative, passionate, friendly, engaged, an outside-the-box thinker, and just plain fun. I’ll always cherish the memory of going to her house to pick up something that I’d left at class and that she’d collected for me, and we ended up hanging out and having wine, cheese & crackers and chatting about all manner of things in the middle of the afternoon. 😊
She did some amazing things in her multifaceted life - volunteering in Bosnia, translating for Croatians navigating the US court system, working as a nurse - and had a way of making all those with whom she crossed paths feel accepted and loved. Sadly, she passed away nearly a year ago from glioblastoma. Her wonderful partner Annie reached out and asked if I’d like to check out her accordion... and what are the chances that Peris’ accordion would be just what I was looking for, something light enough to perform with while standing up, but still with all 120 bass keys... it’s not the easiest combination to find. I feel so touched and honored every time I play it, and am so grateful to both Peris and Annie. I first played it out at Peris’ memorial last month, and I feel very much that this accordion was one of the catalysts for Minouchka coming into fruition at this juncture.
I wanted you all to know the provenance of this beautiful instrument, and that it carries some of the spirit of an amazing, inspiring person whose memory I honor every time I play it.
S. Peris Gumz, September 9, 1956 - November 13, 2017