John Accamondo teaches Italian at Saddleback College. Students’ encouragment inspired him to record. (Photo credit/Facebook)
There’s a re-emerging talent at Saddleback, Italian instructor John Accomando who is also an alternative rock singer.
Although Accomando had not performed for almost 14 years, his students began pushing him toward the pursuit of a musical career so his music would be spotlighted in the community.
“After teaching my students songs in Italian,” he said, “they began to persuade me to record an album.”
He went to the University of Florence in Italy to study European history and after nine years, he found himself stuck at a crossroad.
He could either continue his studies in Italy or travel to the U.S.
Accomando chose to leave Italy, and received his master’s degree in romance linguistics from UCLA, and a doctorate in Italian studies.
His most recent album “One More Chance” is now number one in 12 countries on the website reverbnation.com, and is also 44,000 out of the 2 million artists on the website.
Reverbnation.com is a website where musicians can display their albums and become noticed.
“Our album is 24 out of 700 in Orange County,” Accomando said.
He also performs in the annual “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” musical at Saddleback.
Their music has been put in the same genre as Adele on reverbnation.com.
“I work with my two producers, Roland Jenster and Sam Sorenson,” Acommando said.
Jenster was the number one pianist in 2011 and Sorenson has done several film tracks.
It costs approximately $1,500 to record a song in a studio, and it could take up to 40 studio hours to finish a song.
“Sometimes I get home at 2 a.m. after working in the studio,” Accomando said.
He generally uses a guitar and vocals, but the producers will add in parts and a drummer, Ray Weston, will sometimes be included in the songs.
ly taught myself how to play guitar,” Accomando said. “I started playing guitar when I was seven.”
A few musicians who inspired him were Cat Stevens and Paul McCartney. He also likes newer musicians like Adele and Katy Perry.
“Cat Stevens was so unpredictable, had great originality, and was a great songwriter,” Accomando said, “He was more than a performer.”
Accomando’s number one goal is to one day perform at the Hollywood Bowl. His most recent event was at County Hospital in Chicago, where he sang and performed for the patients.
Incidentally, Accomando was born in Chicago, fairly close to where Al Capone had lived, he said. But it isn’t his favorite place.
“My favorite place is Italy,” he said with a smile.
In recognition of his love for Italian culture, he sometimes uses a flauto dolce in his music, which in Italian means “sweet flute.” It looks like a recorder.
Accomando has never accepted money for performing.
“I have a lot of passion about the music and the creative process,” Accomando said. “I’m not a starving musician, and I’m able to enjoy the music.”