BYU accordion playerto host benefit concer



    A benefit accordian concert, including an authentic Italian pasta dinner, is being hosted by a BYU student in an effort to help raise money for a cancer research institute in California.

    Tom Cimarusti, a graduate student from Los Angelos, Calif., studying musicology, is hosting the Second Annual Tribute to Dick Contino concert Saturday at 7 p.m.

    Cimarusti’s brother Paul has been fighting leukemia during the past year, Tom said. After a second bone marrow transplant, Paul’s leukemia is in remission.

    During Paul’s treatment, the City of Hope National Medical Center offered its facilities and services to the Cimarusti family. Tom said he hopes to raise $2,000 from this benefit concert to donate back to the research center.

    “During the evening I will present a check to the cancer awareness club president,” Tom said. “And it’s all a surprise for Paul.”

    Paul and the rest of the Cimarusti family will be in attendance at the event.

    Tom said when he was 9 or 10 years old he heard Dick Contino perform, known to be the best accordian player in the world: “Then I wanted to be the world’s best accordian player.”

    Contino will also be performing at the benefit concert. Contino is from Las Vegas, Nev., and has been playing for about 60 years, Tom said.

    The accordian concert will include all types of music, including jazz, polka and real rock music, Tom said. “But it’s not a Lawrence Welk show.”

    Accordian music is different and often students are taken back and surprised when they hear this type of music, Tom said.The concert will include performances by Contino, Tom and also several pieces which they will perform together, Tom said.

    Tom said he has been playing the accordian for about 20 years, “And I would like to play the accordian for the rest of my life.”

    He said he hopes to continue his education next year and receive his doctorate degree in music and become a professor.

    Tom has participated in musicals in Salt Lake City and Provo, such as “The Fiddler on the Roof.” He also has performed at the Comedy Club in Hollywood, Calif., and at other places in Utah and California.

    Tom said about 90 percent of the food and door prizes have been donated by local companies.

    The concert will be held at the Sharon East Stake Center, located just north of the Provo Temple at 1060 E. 2400 North. Tickets are available at the Fine Arts Ticket Office or can be obtained by calling 374-4728. Ticket prices are $7 for students and $10 for the general public. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Thursday evening.

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