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39th Annual

Pulaski, WI
July 20- 23

Pulaski Polka Days Grounds

15 Miles West of Green Bay on Hwy. 29 & 32

INSIDE: Polka Days Preview Weekend Schedule

Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017, The Shawano Leader and Oconto County Times Herald


The Pulaski High School band marches down Pulaski Street during the 37th annual Pulaski Polka Days parade
two years ago.


Pulaski brings back Polka Days for 39th year
By Lee Pulaski chants are friendly and open-hearted, and that means a lot, said Harold Otto,
one of the longtime coordinators for
The tranquil streets in Pulaski are Polka Days. People walk from the Pol-
quiet for most of the year. For four days, ka Days ground up to do some shopping
though, the peace is pierced with the and they comment on how the people
sounds of music. are just so friendly. That means a lot.
Pulaski Polka Days has returned. Pulaski is a lot different that out east or
The annual festival is back for its 39th out west.
year, with 21 bands providing plenty of Admission to the festival is $2 on July
opportunity from July 20-23 for young 20, $15 on July 21-22 and free on July 23.
and old alike to hit the dance floor and Twenty-one polka bands will be part
participate in a ritual steeped in local of this years festival, and its a sure bet
and state tradition. patrons wont leave without hearing the
The people love coming to Pulaski
because the residents and the mer- SEE POLKA, PAGE 3

POLKA to dance, there is no need to worry. Rob-

in and Duane Wilks, a brother-sister duo
FROM PAGE 2 from Nebraska, will offer free dance les-
sons on Friday and Saturday.
name Maroszek, or the music from one Thats awful nice of them to support
of the Pulaski-based familys bands, us and do that, Otto said. One year,
Otto said. Besides The Next Genera- they said they had 30 one day and 43
tion, which will be featured as the grand the next day just learning how to do the
marshal band in Sundays parade, there polka. They were all ages.
is the original Maroszek Brothers band, Polka Days also offers polka worship
and a third-generation of the family has services. The Lutheran-based service
started a band, TNT, which is short of starts at 8 a.m. Sunday, followed by the
The Natural Talent. Catholic service at 9:30 a.m., which will
Other Pulaski polka bands in- feature the Maroszek Brothers.
clude Concertina Rich, Aaron Sochas Coming back for its seventh year is
LIVEwire, Chad Przybylski and his Pol- the Polka Trot, a 5K run/walk at Pulas-
ka Rhythms, and the Polka Dynamics. ki Community Middle School. The run
Bands representing the rest of Wis- starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by
consin are Music Connection, Polish a half-mile kids run at 9:30 a.m. Runners
Connection, Mark Jirikovec and the Jeff can pre-register by calling 920-764-1676
Winard Band. or
The out-of-state festival headliners There will also be the Wisconsin
will include a number of bands from the State Polka Dance Championship at 6
New England area and all over the Mid- WOLF RIVER MEDIA FILE PHOTO p.m. Saturday, along with an arts and
west Polka Country Musicians, The Polka dancers move to the music at the 2016 Pulaski Polka Days. The four-day festival is back for its 39th year crafts fair on Pulaski Street from 9 a.m.
Boys, Box On, The Knewz, The IPA Trib- July 20-23. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
ute Band, Eddie Blazonczyk Reunion The adage of it taking a village really
Tour, Keith Strass and Polka Confetti, the festival during its four-day run and applies to Polka Days, according to Otto,
DID YOU KNOW? continuing after that to put Polka Days as an army of over 200 volunteers works
Craig Ebel and DyVersaCo, DynaBrass
Wisconsin designated the polka as the
and Mollie B and Ted Langes Squeeze best foot forward at other events. nonstop for the entire festival to make
official state dance in 1993. The request We had a young lady, Kayla Adams, sure everything is running smoothly
was made by a second-grade class from who said she wanted to take care of it, and everything is cleaned up when the
Its the music the people love, Otto
Charles Lindbergh Elementary School in so we gave it a chance, Otto said. We sun sets on the final day. Seven non-
said. We just have volunteers go out
Madison. Many groups supported making like to change things around. profit organizations sponsor the event
and do surveys. They dont have clip-
boards, but they ask the people what the polka the state dance. The deadline for the competition was each year: American Legion Post 337,
they like and what they dont like. Source: July 1. The crowning will take place dur- Knights of Columbus, Pulaski FFA and
One change polka lovers will notice ing opening night festivities on Thurs- FFA Alumni, Pulaski Lions Club, Pulas-
with this years festival is that all of the comfortable temperature for dance, day. ki VFW, Tri-County Optimist Club and
dancing and band performances will which had caused complaints in previ- Besides the dancing, one of the big- the Tri-County Volunteer Firemen.
take place on the Pulaski Polka Days ous years. gest Polka Days events is the annual pa- Every day, one of the clubs or
grounds at 448 E. Pulaski St. Besides The people were complaining that it rade on Sunday. The parade kicks off at maybe two or three comes to help out
the two tents, there is a building re- was just too hot, Otto said. It was hu- 11 a.m. and goes from Pulaski Commu- and clean and take things down, Otto
cently built by the Knights of Columbus mid in July, and theres no air condition- nity Middle School to the polka grounds. said.
where bands will perform for admiring ing at Zielinskis, so we figured we need Don and Diane Murdzek will lead the Each group sponsors or donates to
dancers. to take care of the people that support way as the individual parade marshals. various community items or activities
In previous years, Zielinskis Ball- us. Some of the bands dont want to play There is no cost to enter the parade, of their choice. All Polka Days proceeds
room on the other end of the village had there because its too muggy. and prizes will be awarded for the best remain in the community.
been utilized as a site for Polka Days. Making a return this year is the Miss entries. For information or to enter, call All the latest details about
According to Otto, the ballroom does not Pulaski Polka Days competition. Repre- Wayne Wood at 920-822-5456. Polka Days can be found at
have sufficient amenities to maintain a sentatives will be chosen to represent If you like polka but dont know how w w w. p u l a s k i p o l k a d a y s . c o m . -

Polka Days Events Schedule

THURSDAY, JULY 20 Polka Trot 5K begins at 8:30 taught by Duane and Robin
Dusk: Community night will a.m. at Pulaski Community Wilks in Tent 2.
Robert Middle School; a 1/4-mile
include fireworks, along with 6 p.m.: Dance competition
and Elaine kids run follows the Polka
food, music and souvenirs that includes senior, junior
Robak, of Trot 5K and begins at 9:30
at the Pulaski Polka Days and open divisions will be
Burbank, a.m. To pre-register, contact
Grounds. held in Zielinskis Ballroom.
California, or
call Megan at 920-764-1676 Registration forms must be
get in the completed and turned in
polka spirit FRIDAY, JULY 21 or Jessie at 920-850-8798.
to the registration desk at
2-3:30 p.m.: Dance lessons Sponsored by the Pulaski
at the Tent 2 at the Pulaski Polka
taught by Duane and Robin Area Swim Club.
Pulaski Grounds by 5 p.m. July 22.
Polka Days Wilks in Tent 2. 9-3 p.m.: Arts and crafts Entry forms are available at
in 2014. fair will be held on Pulaski Zielinskis Ballroom, entranc-
WOLF RIVER SATURDAY, JULY 22 es to Pulaski Polka Days and
8:30 and 9:30 a.m.: Pulaski 12:30-2 p.m.: Dance lessons online at http://pulaskipolka-

8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.: Lu-
theran service by Pastor
Larry R. Yaw. Catholic Polka
Mass follows, beginning at
9:30 a.m. Bring your own
lawn chairs for both events.
8-11 a.m.: Pancake and
porkie breakfast will be
held at the Pulaski Polka
9-3 p.m.: Arts and crafts
fair will continue on Pulaski
11 a.m.: Parade starting at
Pulaski Community Middle
School and Pulaski High
School. The parade travels
down St. Augustine Street
and Pulaski Street, and will
finish at the Pulaski Polka
Days Grounds.
5 p.m.: Cash raffle will begin.

Polka Days Music Schedule

THURSDAY, JULY 20 Polish Connection: 5:15-6 Squeezebox: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Tent 1 p.m.
IPA Tribute Band: 2:30-3:30
New Generation: 5:30-6:30 Mollie B and Ted Lange p.m.
p.m. Squeezebox: 6-6:45 p.m.
Mollie B and Ted Lange
Chad Przybylski/Polka Polish Connection: 6:45-7:30 Squeezebox: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Rhythms: 6:30-7:30 p.m. p.m.
IPA Tribute Band: 4:30-5:30
New Generation: 7:30-8:30 Mollie B and Ted Lange p.m.
p.m. Squeezebox: 7:30-8:15 p.m.
Mollie B and Ted Lange
Chad Przybylski/Polka Polka Country Musicians: Squeezebox: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Rhythms: 8:30-9:30 p.m. 8:15-9 p.m.
Polka Country Musicians:
New Generation: 9:30-10:30 TNT: 9-9:45 p.m. 6:30-7:30 p.m.
p.m. Polka Country Musicians: The Boys: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Chad Przybylski/Polka 9:45-10:30 p.m.
Polka Country Musicians:
Rhythms: 10:30-11:30 p.m. TNT: 10:30-11:15 p.m. 8:30-9:30 p.m.
Tent 2 Polka Country Musicians: The Boys: 9:30-10:30 p.m.
Maroszek Bros: 5-6 p.m. 11:15-12 a.m.
Polka Country Musicians:
Aaron Sochas LIVEwire: 6-7 TNT: 12-12:45 a.m. 10:30-11:30 p.m.
Knights of Columbus The Boys: 11:30-12:30 a.m.
Maroszek Bros: 7-8 p.m. Building (on festival grounds)
Jeff Winard Band: 4-5 p.m. Knights of Columbus
Aaron Sochas LIVEwire: 8-9
Building (on festival grounds)
p.m. Craig Ebel and DyVersaCo: Concertina Rich: 12-2 p.m.
Maroszek Bros: 9-10 p.m. 5-6 p.m.
Music Connection: 2-3 p.m.
Aaron Sochas LIVEwire: Jeff Winard Band: 6-7 p.m.
Mark Jirikovec Band: 3-4
10-11 p.m. Craig Ebel and DyVersaCo: p.m.
7-8 p.m.
Keith Stras and Polka Con-
FRIDAY, JULY 22 Jeff Winard Band: 8-9 p.m.
fetti: 4-5 p.m.
Tent 1
Craig Ebel and DyVersaCo:
New Generation: 4-5 p.m. Music Connection: 5-6 p.m.
9-10 p.m.
Aaron Sochas LIVEwire: Mark Jirikovec Band: 6-7 p.m.
5-5:45 p.m.
SATURDAY, JULY 23 Keith Stras and Polka Con-
New Generation: 5:45-6:30 Tent 1 fetti: 7-8 p.m.
p.m. Chad Przybylski /Polka Music Connection: 8-9 p.m.
Rhythms: 1-2 p.m.
Aaron Sochas LIVEwire: Mark Jirikovec Band: 9-10
6:30-7:15 p.m. Box On: 2-3 p.m. p.m.
New Generation: 7:15-8 p.m. Chad Przybylski /Polka Keith Stras and Polka Con-
Rhythms: 3-4 p.m.
Aaron Sochas LIVEwire: fetti: 10-11 p.m.
8-8:45 p.m. Box On: 4-5 p.m.
The DynaBrass: 8:45-9:30 Chad Przybylski /Polka SUNDAY, JULY 24
p.m. Rhythms: 5-6 p.m. Tent 1
Box On: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
The Boys: 9:30-10:15 p.m. Box On: 6-7 p.m.
The Knewz: 7-8 p.m. The Knewz: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
The DynaBrass: 10:15-11
p.m. Eddie Blazonczyk Reunion Box On: 2:30-3:30 p.m.

The Boys: 11-11:45 p.m. Tour: 8-9 p.m. The Knewz: 3:30-4:30 p.m.

The DynaBrass: 11:45-12:30 The Knewz: 9-10 p.m. Box On: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
a.m. Eddie Blazonczyk Reunion The Knewz: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
The Boys: 12:30-1:15 a.m. Tour: 10-11 p.m.
Tent 2
Tent 2 The Knewz: 11-12 a.m. The DynaBrass: 12-1 p.m.
Polka Dynamics: 2-3:30 Eddie Blazonczyk Reunion Maroszek Brothers: 1-2 p.m.
p.m. Tour: 12-1 a.m.
The DynaBrass: 2-3 p.m.
Polish Connection: 3:30-4:30 Tent 2
Maroszek Brothers: 3-4 p.m.
p.m. IPA Tribute Band: 12:30-1:30
p.m. The DynaBrass: 4-5 p.m.
Mollie B and Ted Lange
Squeezebox: 4:30-5:15 p.m. Mollie B and Ted Lange Maroszek Brothers: 5-6 p.m.

Pulaski Polka Days Sponsors

Gold sponsors Przybylski Mobile Storage, North Shore Bank, Pulaski Frank Wichlacz Memorial, Pu- NAPA Auto & Truck Parts, Pu- R.J. Parins Plumbing & Heat-
Wisconsin Public Service Pulaski Bronze sponsors laski laski ing, Green Bay
WE Energies Przybylski Waste Service, Pu- Algoma Motors, Algoma Furnitureland, Inc, Pulaski Napiwocki Builders & Dance Sign Solutions, Green Bay
Cellcom laski Allans Excavating, Inc., Pu- Genos Hilltop Steak House, Floor Rental, Stevens Point S & L Motors, Pulaski
Nsight Telservices Pulaski Shell, Pulaski laski Black Creek N.E.W. Solid Surface Clean- Schuh Construction, Sey-
BayTek Games Texas Polka News Assumption BVM Parish, Pu- Green Bay 7-Up Bottling, ing, Pulaski mour
Fox Valley Web Design, LLC The Pork Shoppe, Pulaski laski Green Bay North Chase Bar & Grill, So- Schwartz Siding & Roofing,
Prevea Pulaski Health Center Triangle Distributing, Green Badger Food Service, Green Golik Electic, LLC, Sobieski bieski Inc, Pulaski
Polka On! Bay Bay Grygiel Farms, Inc, Pulaski North Chase Citgo, Sobieski Smurawa Country Bakery,
24-7 Trudell Trailers, De Pere Bayland Bldgs., Oneida Hofa Park Tavern, Hofa Park Nowak Concrete, Pulaski Pulaski
Silver sponsors United Cooperative, Pulaski Bayland Insurance, Green Hot Stuff Pizza, Pulaski Nutrition Service, Pulaski South Chase Saloon, South
American Tradition Fireworks, Wagners RV Center, Inc., Bay Huntington Bank, Pulaski Oconto Fall Insurance, Ocon- Chase
Sobieski Suamico Broadway Enterprises, Green Industrial Engraving, Kunesh to Falls Stiegler Co., Electrical Con-
Bay Tek Games, Pulaski We Energies, Appleton Bay Jens Knaughty Pine, Angelica P & C Sanitation, Seymour tractor, Green Bay
Caroline Implement, Sha- Zielinskis Ballroom, Pulaski Capital Credit Union, Green Kerber Rose CPA, Shawano P & D Patz Sales, Pulaski Subway Sandwiches, Pu-
wano 24/7, Bay Kopke Auto Salvage, Pulaski Parker Freeze Dried Inc. dba laski
Dean Distributing, Green Bay Cleveland, Ohio Casa Solana, Pulaski Krumrai Chiropractic, Pulaski Parker Bros Appliances, Pulaski Super Rons Food Center, Pu-
Harters Disposal, Wittenberg Copper sponsors China Wok, Pulaski Lamers Bus Lines, Inc., Performance Auto Body, Pu- laski
International Polka Associa- American Family Insurance, Charnecke Tents, Inc, Ro- Green Bay laski The Bug Blaster, Inc, Green
tion Festival (IPA) Pulaski sholt Land Development, Pulaski Performance Excavating, Pu- Bay
Kay Beer Distributing, De Pere Angelica Tile Co., Pulaski Chris Smith Keller/Williams Laney Cheese, Pulaski laski TimeLine Saloon & BBQ,
Lamar Advertising, De Pere Berna Construction, Pulaski Realty, De Pere Robert E. Lee Associates, Perrys Seamless Gutters, Bonduel
Larsen Cooperative, New Brads Service, Pulaski Cocktales, Pulaski Oneida Bonduel Town & Country Soft Water,
London Country Pride Realty, So- Colonial Court Apartments, Link Media Outdoor Wiscon- Peters Concrete, Green Bay Pulaski
M&L Excavating, Pulaski bieski Pulaski sin, Algoma Plants of Distinction, Pulaski Townsends Rite Choice In-
MCL Industries, Pulaski Dawns Doggie Depot, Pulaski DSJ Distributors/Morning Luigis Pizza, Little Suamico Premier Community Bank, surance, Pulaski
Marquis Yachts, Pulaski Graf Creamery, Zachow Glory, Green Bay Maplewood Meats, Green FDIC, Pulaski and Marion Trailside Convenience, Pu-
N.E.W. Para-Medic Rescue, Johns Refrigeration, Green DQ Grill & Chill, Pulaski Bay Premier Insurance Services, laski
Pulaski Bay Dans Upholstery, Pulaski Maplewood Shell, Green Bay Pulaski Ullmers Dairy Equipment, Pu-
Olson Oil, Pulaski Marnocha Barbers & Stylists, Diedrich Truck Repair, Sey- Marnocha Funeral Home, Pu- Proscape Lawn Care & Land- laski
Prevea Pulaski mour laski scaping, Pulaski Ullmers Trucking, LLC, Pu-
Przybylskis Custom Metal, Maroszek Outdoor Care, Pu- Docs Harley-Davidson, Bon- Maroszek Excavating, Pulaski Pulaski Family Dental Care, laski
Pulaski laski duel McDonalds, Pulaski Pulaski U-Ride LLC, Pulaski
Raider Tire, Pulaski Dons Quality Market, Sey- McKeefry & Sons, Pulaski Pulaski Food & Gas, Pulaski United States Polka Associa-
mour McDermid Accounting & Con- Pulaski Health Mart/Pharma- tion, Ohio
Edward Jones Investments sulting LLC, Pulaski cy, Pulaski US Rigging, Green Bay
Russ Winkler, agent, Pulaski M & D Transport, Krakow Pulaski Travel, Pulaski Valley Popcorn Concession &
Elite Overhead Door, Sha- Mountain Bay Plaza, Pulaski Pulaski Warehouse, Inc., Pu- Service, Neenah
wano Mountain Bay Bar & Grill, Pu- laski Van Astens Heating & Cool-
Figaros Pizza/Cousins Subs, laski Pulaski Veterinary Clinic LTD, ing, Pulaski
Pulaski Motel 6, Green Bay Pulaski Van Astens Plumbing, Pu-
Quality Repair, Bonduel laski
Radio Shack/Sound Check, Vande Castle Sc., Pulaski
Pulaski Verns Do-It-Best Hardware,
Raiderland Mini Storage, Pu- Pulaski
laski Village Auto, Green Bay
Red Apple Cafe, Pulaski Wickas Bar, Pulaski
Riesterer & Schnell, Inc, Pu- Witts Ford, Pulaski
laski Woodys Wheels, Pulaski

Polka from the past

Vendors line East Pulaski Street at the arts and crafts fair held in conjunction with the
38th annual Pulaski Polka Days festival in 2016. The arts and crafts fair will be back July
22-23 for this years festival.

The Pulaski Community Middle School band marches down Pulaski Street during the
annual Pulaski Polka Days parade in 2015.

WOLF RIVER MEDIA FILE PHOTOS Members of the Maple Grove Countryside 4-H Club hand out candy along the Pulaski
Karissa Kosmal, of Pulaski, dances with Seth Pisarik, of Mount Vernon, Iowa, during the last day of Pulaski Polka Days in 2015. Polka Days parade route in 2015.

Polka Days Bands

The New Generation
The New Generation (polka
band) was created to provide
the best in music for live events
so people could dance. Roger
Wodkowski became the leader
in 2014 to bring the big band
sound to the masses.
Wodowski has handpicked
the musicians that make up
the group. With only five or six
guys on the bandstand, they
play 12 instruments with three
lead singers. All the guys sing
Taking a page from his roots,
the band shifted toward the Pol-
ish style music polkas, waltzes
and obereks all without losing
the big band music and sound.
The New Generation special-
izes in standards (foxtrot, swing,
ballroom, tango, two step, rum-
ba), big band, easy listening and

Chad Przybylski and

the Polka Rhythms
Chad Przybylski and the Pol-
ka Rhythms are a common sight
at many local events. The polka
band has performed previously
at Bonduels annual Lions Corn
Roast, the Mohican North Star The band consists of Pat winning musical group that per- provides vocals for The Boys. During his tenure with The
Casino in Bowler and other lo- Maroszek on trumpet, clarinet, forms Polish-American polka He has also performed with Boys, the band was recognized
cales. and vocals; A rthur Gajewski on music. The DynaBrass was orig- Polka Pioneers, Stanky and The with numerous national awards
trumpet; Rick Buechler on bass inated by Jeff Mleczko and has Coal Miners, Jan Cymans, Mu- that included Favorite Album
Maroszek Brothers guitar, guitar and vocals; Brian been performing at polka festi- sicalaires, The Dynatones, The and Favorite Band by the United
Members of the Maroszek Smith on accordion and bass gui- vals and venues throughout the Brass Connection and Chicago States Polka Association in 1989
family have played polka music tar; Aaron Socha on concertina United States and Canada for Push. and 1990 and Favorite CD in 2011
for many years in the Pulaski and saxophone; and Rick Maro- more than 20 years. Allen Puwalski provides vo- by the International Polka Asso-
area. Their love of the music has szek on drums and vocals. Currently, Mleczko is not per- cals and plays the accordion and ciation.
passed down from generations. Melissa Socha has helped out forming with The DynaBrass the clarinet. Jeff Yashs love for polka mu-
The Maroszek Brothers band the band many times by playing due to medical reasons. The Dave Morris started playing sic began at an early age, main-
consists of six members. Four keyboard. band continues to perform in his accordion in the early 1970s with ly influenced by his parents in-
of the members are Maroszek This summer will mark
absence under the interim lead- a group called The Polka Dy- volvement with polka music. He
brothers, Frank, Scott, Gene, LIVEwires 19th year anniver- ership of Joe Zalewski. namics. While playing with them, starting playing drums at age
and Al. Other members of the sary as a band that has been per- he picked up the concertina and 15 and began performing pro-
band include Bruce Brzeczkows- forming at festivals, weddings The Boys was fascinated with its sound. fessionally in 1986 with a band
ki, nephew, and John Wudtke, and church picnics throughout A musical ensemble com- In 1977, Morris joined forces called The Happy Harmony
family friend. Wisconsin, Michigan and Min- prised of two trumpets (with an with five other local musicians Boys from Connecticut. From
The band started back in 1971 nesota. occasional clarinet), accordion, forming The Sounds orchestra. there, he played frequently with
as a two-piece band, and gradu- LIVEwire started out strictly concertina, electric bass and The Sounds were together for The Polka Family band in 1988
ally more family members joined as a polka band but through the drums, the group features four six years. Morris was with them and 1989. In fall 1989, Jeff began
as they went along. years evolved its genre to in- vocalists. until they disbanded. From 1983- his tenure as a full-time Boy. Af-
clude polkas, waltzes, obereks, Frank Liszka is one the lead- 1986, Morris played with a local ter The Boys disbanded at the
Aaron Sochas LIVEwire oldies, country and rock. From ing horn men and vocalists in band called Sil Martini and the end of 1990, Jeff began playing
LIVEwire brings you a va- the chicken dance to Johnny the polka industry today. He was Invictas. with a band from the New Eng-
riety of sounds, fusing polkas Cash, from Elvis to Skynyrd, inducted into the Polka Hall of Mike Matousek began his pro- land area called The Classix
with country rock and oldies LIVEwire has something up its Fame in 1998 and continues his fessional polka career at the age (led by Jackie Libera). Over the
appealing to people of all ages. sleeve thats just your style. creativity and musical direction of 14 (the first time he got paid) past few years, Jeff has enjoyed
LIVEwire is a Polish push style to this day making The Boys one in a family band called The Pol- his time playing with The Boys
polka band with a twist of good The DynaBrass of the major players on todays ka Cousins. He later joined The again. He looks forward to see-
time rock n roll and country. Based in Toledo, Ohio, The polka scene. Royal Cavaliers and co-founded
LIVEwire is a six-piece band. DynaBrass is a USPA award- Mike Evan plays trumpet and The Brass Works in the 1970s. SEE BANDS, PAGE 10

BANDS the Grammy-nominated

Toledo Polkamotion. The
on the Mollie B Polka Par-
ty on RFD-TV. They have
was 18 and Wally was just
9. The brothers took the
FROM PAGE 9 band continued to evolve. performed all over the U.S. music their parents loved
In 2005, the band was com- to capacity crowds. and made it their own.
ing many of the friends prised of Ted Lange on ac- Polish polka split into
hes made over the years cordion/bass and vocals, Polka Country two major styles: Chicago
and to continue contribut- Dave Burner on drums and East Coast. The Polka
ing to The Boys signature and vocals, and Teds Country Musicians play
Ignoring the advice of
sound. mother, Betty Lange, on a version of the Chicago
music teachers who feared
second accordion. style called push. Push
he was too young, Wally
Polish Connection Mollie Busta added polka bands typically fea-
her talents to the Brat- Dombrowski began trum-
Polish Connection is pet lessons when he was ture double horns, accor-
described as Wisconsins wurst Boys for the very dion, concertina, bass and
first time on Dec. 31, 2005. only 5. His parents, both
most contemporary polka drums. Over the years,
Due to popular demand, of Polish heritage, brought
band. The band is based in and as players changed,
the bands number of him to polka shows as a
Mosinee. the band developed its
performances doubled toddler and he was enam-
own distinct sound and
every year, and due to ored by the trumpet by THE KNEWZ
Mollie B and Ted adopted a slightly slower
the continual evolution age 2. When Dombrowskis
tempo suited for covers
Langes Squeezebox of the band, a decision rhythmic drumming on
of country songs. When ing in Pulaski. The family vocals. Karter Maroszek
Squeezebox began in was made in May 2007 to sand pails caught their that makes up the band is provides vocals as he plays
the band is playing in top
the late 1990s under a dif- change the name of the attention, he was encour- very involved in the com- the concertina. Taylor Ma-
form, audiences can be so
ferent name, the Brat- band to Squeezebox. aged to learn polka with munity, and a few mem- roszek plays the trumpet
captivated by the music
wurst Boys, which was a To date, Squeezebox his brother, Rich. Rich bers decided to create and the alto sax, along
they stop dancing to fully
part-time spin-off band has released two albums founded the Polka Country with providing vocals. Alex
listen. their own band.
consisting of members of and is featured regularly Musicians in 1977 when he Maroszek plays the bass
Mitch Socha plays the
TNT (The trumpet and provides vo- With parents, uncles,
Natural Talent) cals. Adam Socha plays the aunts, cousins and close
The Natural Talent is accordion and keyboard, friends blessed with a
a Polish-style polka band as well as provides vocals. musical background, TNT
that has existed since May Sam Maroszek is on the members feel their Natu-
2014 with members resid- drums and also provides ral Talent of playing polka
music just makes sense.

Jeff Winard Band

Over the years, Jeff Wi-
nard has remained a favor-
ite with crowds throughout
the greater Milwaukee
area, the Midwest and
other parts of the United
States and Canada where
polka music is enjoyed. Jeff
and his band, known for
their polka and waltz mu-
sic in the popular Yankovic
style, have remained a fa-
vorite at festivals, parties
and other events where
live music is desired.
In June 1968, Jeff front-
ed his first band playing at
his parish church festival,
followed by VFW picnics
and other performances.
The early 70s brought an
association with Bill Sa-
vatskis Band, and dear
friend for over 40 years
Grant Kozera (aka Bre-
whaus Polka King).
Jeff also began per-
forming with Frank
Yankovic, Americas
polka king, in 1970 as an

BANDS be polka fans initially.

The Jeff Winard Band
Box On
Box On is the culmina-
they have extended their
performing to music fes-
pet and sings. Tony plays
trumpet on a few tunes,
packed in like sardines
leaving no room for addi-
FROM PAGE 10 continues to be a favorite tion of time in the life of tivals. They play a variety and Bella sings many tional items. Rick made a
of young and old alike and one family. Rick and Alicia of standards, from swing, crowd favorites. wooden box with a metal
accordionist and drum- has enjoyed much suc- Vinecki have been mar- rock, country to polkas and The eighth child, Nick, frame, which was at-
mer, and continued to per- cess over its many years ried for 27 years. Back Latin music. was born with Down Syn- tached on the back of the
form with his own band of existence. The band has in the days of singleness Lucas has now retired drome. He enjoys music suburban. In this box on
as well. This association produced several record- Rick had his own band as from the band. Maria plays and plays an accordion in the Suburban went lug-
would last until Franks a teenager. The Melody bass and keeps the beat his own special way. gage, portacrib, stroller,
ings currently available on
retirement in 1998. During Kings were a group of
CD. Jeff Winard has twice steady. Olivia plays key- Many people have musical instruments or
those 28 years, Jeff had young guys playing some
been inducted into the Wis- boards and sings lead on asked how the Vinecki even beach items, such as
the opportunity to travel awesome polka music
consin Polka Music Hall of many familiar songs. Julia family came to be known a cooler, chairs and tow-
extensively throughout back in the 80s. Alicia was
the country performing Fame. part of the band known as plays guitar and sings lead as Box On. For many els.
countless engagements Polka Family. She played and backup vocals. Alex years, the family traveled
plays drums and trum- together in a Suburban, SEE BANDS, PAGE 12
ranging from Las Vegas Craig Ebel clarinet alongside her
casinos to the New York and DyVersaCo brothers, mother and fa-
State Fair. Craig Ebel and DyV- ther. As fate would have it
After Franks passing ersaCo is a polka variety Rick and Alicia met at a
in 1998, Jeff continued band based out of Minne- polka dance in Detroit and
to perform many of the apolis. The band plays a were married just seven
engagements that still months later.
wide variety of music from
wanted the Yankovic mu- They are now the par-
polkas, waltzes and schot-
sic for their events. The ents of eight children.
style greatly appeals to tisches to country and Ca- Each child has shown mu-
a broader market than jun. DyVersaCo is a crowd sical ability and the desire
some other polka styles pleaser no matter where to perform. When the kids
and has a unique way of they perform, as they are were young the family be-
creating an excitement fun to watch and provide a gan playing simple music
level with audiences, unique song selection with for local assisted living and
even those that may not a solid beat. nursing homes. Recently



BANDS Perfect Blend, Polka Coun-

try Musicians and The
The Polka Family as well.
Brian has already claimed
FROM PAGE 11 Knewz. musical achievement in
Tom Picciano (trum- his short, but busy polka
The Knewz pet, clarinet, vocals) is career as the recipient of
Andy Bojczuk (drums, the leader of The Knewz. the 2004 USPA New Hori-
vocals) has been playing He has been playing pol- zon Award.
drums professionally for kas professionally for 25 Tommy Wanderlich
about 10 years. Growing years. Toms band resume (concertina, clarinet, sax,
up listening to and loving includes The New-Tones, vocals) has been playing
polkas is what drove him Scrubby and Sunshine, professionally for over 20
to play the same music to- The Dynatones, Big Steve years. Besides concertina,
day. Andy has played with and the Bellares, Pho- Tommy also plays clari-
such bands as Big Steves cus, and The Knewz. As a net, saxophone, piano, and
Bellares, The Steel City member of the Dynatones, bass. The list of bands he
Brass, The Dynatones, he was nominated for a has played with include
The Concertina All-Stars Grammy as Best Polka The New-Tones, Krew
and currently The Knewz. Album in 1991, for the re- Brothers, Take 3, John
His biggest polka influenc- cording, When The Band Gra and Gorale, The Dy-
es are Larry Trojak, Eddie Plays A Polka. natones, and The Knewz.
Blazonczyk Sr. and Frankie Brian Urbanczyk (bass) John Zelasko (concer-
Liszka. He respects them is the youngest member tina, trumpet) is a veteran
for who they are and what of the group. Although polka musician having
theyve accomplished in he played in jazz band, played with many of the
their lives. marching band, and the top polka bands in the na-
John Fomenko (accor- musical pit in high school, tion including The Brass
dion) has been playing mu- he has always had a pas- Connection, The Dynas-
sic for 28 years. A native sion for polka music. The ticks, Prime Drive, Eddie
of Stratford, Connecticut, list of bands he has played Blazonczyks Versatones,
John began his playing THE NATURAL TALENT with consist of PhoCus, Polka Country Musicians,
career with a band by the City Side and the Buffalo The Dynatones, Gerry
name of The Polka Revue. with great groups such press, Brass Dimension, Family, Big Steve and the Concertina All-Stars. He
Since then, he has played as The Bright Sound Ex- The Brass Works, Polka Bellares, The Dynatones, occasionally fills in with SEE BANDS, PAGE 13


BANDS He was inducted into the

International Polka Hall of
organization started in
Chicago, honors polka per-
The musicians are John
Krawisz, accordion and
FROM PAGE 12 Fame in 1970. He stopped formers through its Hall of vocals; Tony Blazonczyk,
performing in 2002. Bla- Fame and annual awards bass and vocals; Ray (Mel-
Kaminskis Merry Mak- zonczyk died of multiple in categories such as Best vin) Rzeszutko, drums and
ers and Change of Pace. organ dysfunction syn- Male and Female Vocal- vocals; Lenny Zielinski,
He started playing the drome on May 21, 2012. ists, Best Band, Best Song concertina; Rick Rzeszut-
accordion when he was 8 The Versatones are and Best Album. The IPA ko, trumpet and vocals;
and was a full-time mem- coming back together for is dedicated to the study Laura Mateja, vocals; and
ber of his fathers band, a reunion tour in 2017 and and preservation of polka Dan Mateja, band leader,
The Kavaliers, by the age performing in several ven- music to keep alive the on the clarinet, sax and
of 10. John was nominat- ues, including Pulaski Pol- cultural tradition of Polish vocals.
ka Days. Americans who have made
ed twice for the Grammy
award in 1993 and 1994, their music tradition part The Music
with Eddie Blazonczyks IPA Tribute Band of their heritage. Connection
The International Polka The group is a compi- The Music Connection
Association Tribute Band, lation of polka musicians originates from Wausau.
comprised of veteran Chi- from several different Chi- The band was named
Eddie Blazonczyk cago polka musicians, cago-based polka bands Band of the Year in 2010
Reunion Tour formed the summer of who offered to participate by the Wisconsin Hall of
Eddie Blazonczyk Sr. 2011 in an effort to promote in this musical tribute. The Fame. Band members are
was a Grammy award-win- polka music and, specifi- majority of band members Neal Zunker, Jeff Heinz,
ning polka musician and cally, the IPA. are leaders of their own
founder of The Versatones. The IPA, a nonprofit polka bands. SEE BANDS, PAGE 14

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741 Hwy 32 Pulaski

BANDS sic, some 1950s and 1960s

rock and roll. The band has
this band is that all the
members play more than
The band is well known
throughout the state of
and The Polka Jammer
In 2009, he ventured
into the polkas in a new
FROM PAGE 13 a number of recordings on one instrument. Wisconsin and the Midwest Stras is a member of the way, by forming Polka
the Polkaland and MJ re- In 1993, Mark was hon- and in 2004 was selected to prestigious Broadcasters Confetti, building on his
John Wudtke and Brian cording labels. ored with the Wisconsin play at the National Polka Hall of Fame. In addition, knowledge of the music,
Seehafer. Along with Mark are Orchestra Leader of the Festival in Ennis, Texas. you can see Keith on the he sought out the finest
five great friends who Year Award. He is the They will play for any oc- nationally televised Jim- musicians in the industry
Mark Jirikovec Band make up the band. They youngest person to ever casion, such as weddings, my Sturr Show where he to form the group. They
The Mark Jirikovec are Ken Ouradnik on receive this award, which anniversaries, birthdays, serves as the programs em- have appeared across the
public dances and polka cee each week on RFD-TV. country, recorded both a
Band was formed in Oc- trumpet, Gene Havlovitz is voted by orchestra lead-
festivals wherever great While the president of DVD and CD, and their ap-
tober 1985 as a six-piece on accordion, Todd Ou- ers. In 2013, the band was
music is needed. the International Polka As-
group. The band plays a radnik on bass horn, Jeff awarded Band of the Year, pearances on televisions
sociation based in Chicago, Mollie B Polka Party has
wide variety of music: Bo- Voelker on drums, and one of the highest awards
Gary Nejedlo on piano. given out by the Wisconsin
Keith Stras and he grew the membership played to rave reviews.
hemian, German, polkas
Polka Confetti rolls to over 1,000, to date Stras has been one of the
and waltzes, big band mu- One unique thing about Polka Hall Of Fame.
Keith Stras and polkas a distinction that no other most influential people in
go hand in hand. Stras has officer has matched, while
polka music for the last
worked in every aspect of on television he creatively
four decades.
polka music. mixed polka music with
He has sustained a 40- comedy, local celebrities and
year career in the genre. game show stunts earning Concertina Rich
Elected to the Polka Music him televisions prestigious No information avail-
Hall of Fame in 1999, hes Emmy Award. In 2002, he able.
been heard each week on walked the red carpet in Los
the air in Chicagoland over Angeles to pick up a Gram- Polka Dynamics
WPNA 1490 AM, nation- my Award for the Best Polka No information avail-
wide on Sirius XM Satellite Recording. able.


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