What They're saying!
I have known Corky for several decades, both personally & professionally. He's always been an extremely dedicated & focused musician. Throughout all my years in entertainment, I have found Corky to be a determined & knowledgeable professional.
Roger Lowe (President & CEO of Roger Lowe Productions)
Of all the entertainers I have known and been associated with over my years involved in music, Corky has always been at the top of the pyramid for me in his consistent progressiveness, professionalism and talent. His vast experiences with various aspects of music and variety of involvement with other professionals has kept him close to me as a fellow entertainer and friend. Consistentently honest, knowledgeable and an easy temperament, which is sometimes out of the ordinary in this arena. And, a great sense of humor, always looking at the bright side of life. Love this guy!
Billy Mac (McCubbin) - President. Bay Music Wine Country.
I've known Corky for many years. After leaving the Harry James Band, I decided to move to Seattle, my wife's home town. I was fortunate enough to meet and play with Corky, and was impressed by his musicianship. While playing with his group, whenever I wanted to add a solo, it was Corky who knew the best changes (chords) to use. He always made me sound good. His knowledge of music theory is unsurpassed, and I recommend him to anyone who wants to improve their playing. As an added bonus, you may learn a few new jokes.
Pete Bellomo - Professional Trumpet Player: Alumnus of the Harry James Band, Henry Mancini, Woody Herman, and many others.
Corky is one of the most versatile, talented and hard-working musicians I have had the pleasure of knowing. He is always on the cutting edge of new ideas in music, production and entertainment and is a prolific writer and outstanding entertainer. Plus he plays the-best-in-the-world Jazz Accordion!"
CeCe Gable - Jazz vocalist and national recording artist.
As a musician, I appreciate this man’s advice and talent! A true legend in this Industry!
Glenn Miller - The Big One Man Band
Hi, my name is Buddy Raymond. I sing, play guitar and perform a single act just like Corky. I met Corky in Reno in the summer of 1963. I joined the group he was playing with and we continued to work together until 1971. It was a pleasure for me to make music with a musician of his caliber. I have been purchasing Corky’s tracks for some time now and the response from my audiences is overwhelming. His tracks have added so much to my play lists. I would recommend his tracks to any single or group that wishes to enhance their performance.
Buddy Raymond - Veteran entertainer and musician.
Corky - That was a great and memorable night and you shined brighter than ever. It was so nice to hear all the nuance and subtlety in your playing. The ghost notes and your great phrasing in other words. That's the gorgeous stuff that you might only hear when it's someone like you who has been playing for 50 years and more. Can't wait for the next time, my friend!
Joe McKenna - Reno Bassist & Staff Instructor, Brumblebee Music
I was born in 1946 in Sequim, Washington. So was Corky, only he was four years old. He was my big brother then and he is still my big brother 76 years later. When we were kids, he taught me what was cool. He was already cool. I am still a work in progress. I love my brother Corky, the best brother anyone could ever have.
Bo Brumble - Boxer, writer, painter, litte brother, living legend
I especially like that you have created resources for teaching some theory! I also really like that you are handling the business end so all I would have to do is teach, that's a wonderful system, and having a worldwide platform is absolutely amazing!
Eric Stern - Vilolinist & Staff Instructor, BrumbleBee Music
I first met Corky in 1983 at the South Chicago Heights Festa Italiana. I was scheduled to perform earlier on the stage with my accordion & keyboard with my saxophone player.
I met Corky, Dick Contino, Pete Contino & Eddie Alton - and hung out with them afterwards. Dick actually invited me to play a song with the band which is a highlight in my life. Afterwards, I knew I had to be in show business. Corky made the entire audience feel so great with his mastery of his keyboard, his amazing accordion skills and his way of bringing humor to all - literally reaching out to make us feel great & laugh. I loved how he & Dick shared the stage. Because of meeting Corky, I have become a full time entertainer in Chicagoland.
To me Corky has and will always be “THE BENCHMARK OF SHOWBIZ ENTERTAINMENT”
Frank Rossi - Chiacago based accordionist/pianist
I was searching for an understanding piano teacher and Corky Brumble more than fills the bill. He is an insightful musician who shows me how to become a complete musician--and quickly! I heard an immediate increase in my musical technique and I was performing in recitals in no time. Corky zeroes in on what I need to do with a particular song and helps me get to the heart of the matter right on the spot. My family loves listening to me play and I wholeheartedly recommend Corky Brumble to everyone I know.
Teresa Alford, Tracy, Ca.
Corky Bumble is my Yoda! I found him at a time when my music had reached a plateau in my technique, repertoire, and music theory. Corky showed me how to focus on all three aspects, and my music has climbed upward ever since. He advises me on everything--arrangements, backing tracks, song selection, you name it. If you are fortunate enough to find an open time slot with him do yourself a favor and grab it.
ACCORDION RISING: UNVEILING THE MELODIC PATH WITH CORKY BRUMBLE, KING OF RENO, by Rocky Howard
This is the story of how my musical journey took a significant turn thanks to Corky Brumble, the esteemed King of Reno. It was the 1980s when I had the privilege of becoming one of Corky’s students and little did I know that this encounter would be the catalyst for my musical growth. Corky, renowned for directing and arranging music for the legendary Dick Contino for over three decades, had become the Obi Wan Kenobi for many aspiring musicians like me.
It all began when I mustered the courage to reach out to Dick Contino himself, the accordion virtuoso often referred to as the “Elvis of the Accordion.” I had managed to track down his phone number and nervously dialed it, hoping for a chance to learn from the master. To my surprise, Dick graciously expressed his flattery at my request but humbly declined, explaining that teaching wasn’t his forte. Instead, he directed me towards his trusted music director, Corky, assuring me that spending time with him would guide me towards my desired musical destination.
When the greatest popularizer of the accordion advises you, you heed the words without hesitation. So, without passing “go” or collecting two hundred dollars, I found myself in Corky’s studio. As I settled down, he had me play a couple of tunes, including an original composition. Once I finished, Corky inquired about my warm-up routine.
To my admission that I didn’t really warm up and instead almost always simply jumped “…straight into my set list, you know?”
Corky replied with conviction, “I do know. Big mistake. Big.”
And so, my introduction to Hanon for the Accordion began. The first lesson turned out to be quite wild as Corky instructed me, “Rocky, you play pretty well on a couple of tunes, but you have got to start working on your technique. We will start with Hanon For the Accordion this week, and I am giving you an assignment that will probably become difficult for you. But you must follow my instructions completely to get the results you are looking for.”
Then came the unexpected twist. Corky warned me, “Don’t play any songs this week. Any. You are going to be tempted to dip into your set list. You are going to want to play maybe just one song a day for a little melodic relief. Everything in you as a musician is going to say ‘I have to play songs. Just one or two today.’ And it’s right there where we separate the pros from the amateurs. Do. not. give. in.”
Of course, being the musical director for the esteemed Dick Contino, Corky’s words resonated deeply, and I decided to follow his instructions to the letter. Throughout the week, I diligently focused on practicing Hanon for the Accordion, resisting the urge to play any songs. It was undoubtedly challenging to abstain from my usual repertoire, but I reminded myself that Corky’s guidance was invaluable.
When I returned for my second lesson, I expected to dive straight into the Hanon exercises that I had meticulously worked on all week. However, Corky surprised me once again. Instead, he said, “Okay, let’s hear that original song of yours you played me last week.”
To say that I was taken aback would be an understatement. I was momentarily at a loss for words, much like Ralph Kramden’s famous exclamation, “Hahmana Hahmana Hahmana…”
Undoubtedly, the credit for my progress belonged primarily to my diligent adherence to Corky’s instructions and my disciplined daily rehearsals. However, I must note that Hanon for the Accordion played a crucial role in delivering immediate results. Each exercise in the book focuses on specific finger patterns, allowing for both ascending and descending movement on the keyboard.
As I look back now on this truly transformative experience, I am reminded of the Icelandic proverb, “He who lives without discipline dies without honor.” It serves as a reminder that discipline and dedication are the cornerstones of achievement and growth in any field, especially music. My encounter with Corky Brumble, the King of Reno, opened my eyes to the importance of technique and practice, guiding me towards a path of musical excellence. And of course, it leads back to the great Dick Contino for putting me and Corky Brumble in the same room together.
Rocky Howard, (Rocky Howard Music), Northern California
Rocky's correct. I've seen the light with Hanon & feel all students should adhere to your tenants. They will progress much more quickly.
John Gagliardi, accordion student in Reno, Nevada