John Volpi, who regularly serenades guests at his bar and restaurant of the same name, has been named the honorary directory of this year's accordion festival in Cotati.

For many people, their first thought of Volpi's Ristorante and Bar, the iconic gathering place at the corner of Washington and Keller streets, is of John Volpi and his sister Silvia playing old Italian songs on accordions in the back corner of the bar.

The tradition goes back a generation, though, to John's father Silvio, who founded the former Prohibition speakeasy and taught many people how to play accordion.

"Other than my wife, Mary Lee and family, the accordion has always been the other great love of my life," Volpi wrote in a statement for the accordion festival.

The festival kicks off Friday at Oliver's Markets around Sonoma County and continues Saturday and Sunday in Cotati.

Volpi will be honored at 1:40 on Saturday.

To learn more about Volpi and the accordion festival, visit: