Main Squeeze


An accordion outlet on the Lower East Side which opened in May 1996, owned by Germa artist Walter Kuhr. Rows of various accordions crowd the shelves; the walls feature vintage squeezebox photos and paraphernalia; crates of records and sheet music are stacked in the corner. There is also a piano which serves as an accompaniment for occasional performances, concerts, or readings that Kuhr holds every month. Kuhr stocks "anything with a bellow," as well as straps, cases, sheet music, neckties, cds and instructional videos. Accordions range from $250 to $3000, featuring Kuhr's own creations, the Main Squeeze Model 911, the Model 911-S and his newest line of Beauty button accordions.


Under the tutelage of his mother, Walter Kuhr began wrestling with the unwieldy squeezebox as a six-year old in Germany. Later, he studied classical music in Frankfurt, and played piano in a jazz quartet, as well as performing polkas and tangos with his accordion in local clubs. In 1988 he came to New York's Harlem to study jazz for six months. "My visa was over, and the night before I was supposed to leave," he recalls, "I met my future wife, so I decided to stay."

map it 19 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
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