History of Musical Instruments of Canada
his early teens Matt De Florio took accordion lessons and studied
relentlessly. However, a visit to New York in the mid 40's changed
everything when Matt had the opportunity to meet two accordion
greats: Pietro Diero and Charles Magnante. These two players
became a great inspiration and soon after Matt decided to begin
a professional career in music. Upon returning to Toronto, Matt
got a job at the Old Mill Restaurant where he played for the
next three years. After leaving the Old Mill, Matt played in
the prestigious Imperial Room at The Royal York Hotel for two
years. Matt also took great pride in playing at the Horse Shoe
Tavern alongside Peter Appleyard: the up and coming jazz vibraphonist.
often performed at CBC radio shows and many private engagements.
However, the most memorable experience was the five years he
played on the CBC Television show Holiday Ranch with Cliff
McKay. A total of over two hundred shows were filmed in
front of a live camera between 1953-1957. Matt played many solos
and wrote his own arrangements for the group during this time.
Holiday Ranch was host to many guest artists, which included
singers Robert Goulet, Perry Como and Lorne Greene from the
TV show Bonanza. On one occasion at the Canadian National Exhibition,
Matt played a solo, after which Bob Hope made a guest appearance.
Matt also contributed to the accordion community by giving lessons
and writing three books: Studio Method I, Studio
Method II, and Fun to Play the Accordion. In 1958,
Matt left the spotlight to start his own business in Toronto
that was originally called De Florio Imports. This began after
meeting with a representative from an accordion factory in Castelfidardo,
Italy. Later in the 60's, the business name was changed to Musical
Instruments of Canada.
of the main accomplishments of MIC was the development of the
Lidovox organ accordion, which was the only one of
its kind built in Canada. Over three hundred Lidovox electronic
accordions were made up until 1978.
later went on to sell a new line of synthesized accordions called
the Iorio accorgan also known as the Elkavox.
They also had their own line of standard acoustic accordions
with the brand names: Caruso, Lido, and De Florio.
These fine lines of Italian built accordions were sold mainly
to the numerous accordion schools that existed in the 60's and
70's. During that time, MIC received up to three hundred Paolo
Soprani Accordions in a single shipment. They were packed in
50 crates made of pine and took over three hours to unload.
the late 80's, Matt along with Dixie Dean started the Canadian
Accordion Club. The CAC enabled members to meet on a Sunday
afternoon at one of the local hotels to share their common interest
in the accordion. Many dinners and concerts took place and guest
accordionist would perform regularly. Other meetings involved
videos and CDs being played to entertain the members. The club
was originally held at the Ramada Inn and remained under Matt's
control for 14 years.
has been serving the accordion community in Toronto and across
Canada for over 45 years. During this time they have had many
celebrities patronize their business, including jazz great Art
Van Damme, Kevin Hearne of Bare Naked Ladies and Walter Ostanek
(Canada's Polka King). His son Rudy De Florio joined the business
in 1966 as an accordion technician. Rudy is now the current
owner and operator.
12 MAR. 1922 - 16 OCT. 2004
2019 Musical Instruments of Canada. All Rights Reserved.
Designed by Chris De Florio.