Michigan Accordion Society

Honorary Member

Mr. Gus Zoppi
August 20, 1913 – March 1,1991

Honored by MAS on November 5, 2000

When Gus was a small boy he began his first job sweeping the floors at the Borsini Accordion Factory in Castelfidardo Italy. Gus often said this was a great start to his career because he was able to see how the accordions were constructed and he became interested in learning more about accordions. After a short time working as a sweeper, Borsini Company taught Gus how to place reeds into the reeds blocks and Gus was hooked and this is how Gus started his trade as a very well-known accordion builder, accordion promoter and very successful business man.

In 1920 Gus' father Nunzio Zoppi and the famous Mr. Soprani came to America to work at the Universal Accordion Company. Seeing how the accordion market was booming in America, Gus' father Nunzio decided to call for his three sons to come to America. His three sons were Fernando, Mario & Constantino. His name was later changed by a school teacher who had a very hard time pronouncing Constantino and the teacher said from now on we will call you “Gus”.

When Gus turned the age of 16 he started working at the Universal Accordion Company, and then in 1934 Gus Zoppi started his very first Accordion Factory in Hamtramck, MI naming it the Gus Zoppi Accordion Factory. His staff consisted of his wife who was the bookkeeper, his brother-in-law who helped build the accordions, and his father who was the accordion tuner and he also took care of the accordion sales. The company grew over the years and they were forced to move to a larger location.

In 1948, Gus decided build a larger store. He moved his business to 8 Mile Road in Warren, MI. They then hired their very first accordion teacher who was the famous Tony Dannon. As the customer based increased and accordion sales grew they added more and more accordion teachers such as George Kudurpa, Ray Lowel, Ben Lupo, Tony Rossi Sr., his son Anthony Rossi, John Iannucci, Ray Battani, Richard King, Bob Kraft, Richard Robison (who later became Gus' son-in-law) as well as many other great music teachers.

In late 1950’s and early 60’s the accordion climate changed and Gus' son started to run the store. They brought in other instruments in order to keep the company profitable, and they changed the name to the Gus Zoppi Music Center. They went on to sell instruments and musical equipment to many of the top bands in and outside Detroit, MI.

In 1993 Gus Zoppi Music Center was moved to its third and present location in Sterling Heights, MI. Gus' daughter Vicky Zoppi Robinson and son-in-law Tom Chludzinski who is also an accordion player ran the company until Vicky’s passing in May of 2014. Gus Zoppi remains open and is now run by Vicky’s son-in-law Tom Chulidzinski. Tom continues to keep Gus' Zoppi’s legacy going as accordions are still sold and serviced and accordion lessons are still given along with many other musical instruments.

Vicky Zoppi Robinson was the Michigan Accordion Society promoter of our annual Youth Night were several dozen young musical students from the Greater Detroit Area performed for the Michigan Accordion Society members and friends on an annual basis. The Michigan Accordion Society would like to thank the Gus Zoppi family for always helping as our Business Supporter, Youth Night Coordinator and always being there for us. Thank you to Gus Zoppi and the wonderful legacy your left us at Gus Zoppi Music Center in Sterling Heights, MI!