Michael Matousek – Living Category – Inducted 2008

Portfolio Categories: 2008 and M.

Michael Matousek

 

Michael T. Matousek was born in 1956 into what would become one of Baltimore’s most prominent polka families. His father Al is regarded as one of Maryland’s most celebrated polka accordionists, and his mother, Connie, is recognized as one of the noted polka dance instructors who helped bring the “polka hop” to Charm City. Because of their influence, at the age of eight Mike was already singing in Polish and dancing the polka along with his sister Ellen and brother Stephen. The young trio often entertained at church functions and ethnic events to share their Polish culture.

 

After developing his skills on bass guitar, at the age of 14, Mike, along with his brother on drums, sister on guitar and cousin David Jankiewicz on accordion, formed their first band known as The Polka Cousins. This was the beginning of Mike’s continuing 38-year professional polka music career. In 1973, Mike joined a six-piece polka band called The Royal Cavaliers and recorded his first original polka on his first album in 1975. In 1976, Mike reunited with his brother and cousin along with Fred Bulinski and Dave Korch and formed The Brass Works. This vibrant group dominated the Baltimore polka scene and broke into the national spotlight in a few short years. Mike is featured on three of the bands recordings. The Brass Works’ success helped launch “Polkamotion By The Ocean,” a major polka festival that celebrates its 29th anniversary in 2008. In 1980, Mike and his brother Steve, along with the Borzymowski cousins Ted and Frank on accordion and sax, and Bob Kuhn and Don Miller on trumpets, cofounded the legendary Boys from Baltimore polka band. This innovative group immediately recorded their Boys Are Back album and went on to set a new polka standard for style and professionalism. After a couple of years, Mike did another stint with The Brass Works and then formed his own versatile group called Choice.

 

In 1984 Mike and Ted reunited to reform The Boys, then with Al Puwalski on accordion and Ron Lesniewski on drums. This group recorded another creative album entitled Boys Just Want To Have Fun, which featured Mike’s original “Yukon Jack” polka. After Frankie Liszka joined the group on trumpet in 1987, the popularity of the band continued to grow. The Boys won the bronze and silver music awards at the National Polka Festivals in Hunter Mountain, New York, in 1987 and 1988. After their hit records Boys Nite Out and Boys Will Be Boys, The Boys established their place among the elite polka bands in the nation. Jeff Yash joined the band on drums and the group went on to win Favorite Album and Favorite Band awards by the United States Polka Association in 1988 and 1989. The band also made national headlines in 1989 when Mike facilitated their appearance in Paramount Studio’s major motion picture “He Said, She Said,” starring Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins.

 

After The Boys disbanded at the end of 1990, Mike reunited with his brother and cousin to perform with a group called the Hylites. After several years, the band evolved into what is now known as Charm City Sound. Under Mike’s leadership, the band continued to develop its own polka sound and unique style. Mike’s original compositions are featured on five of CSS’s recordings. The group was recognized by the United States Polka Association by winning the 2001 Favorite Song and 2003 Favorite Band awards. The Baltimore City Paper also deemed Charm City Sound to be “Baltimore’s Best Polka Band.” Current members include Nicky DiSebastiano, Mike Ziemski, John Miconi, Stephen Kaminski and Dave Burnatowski.

 

For 38 years, Mike’s engaging personality and distinctive voice has charmed audiences across the country. He is recognized as a premiere polka bassist and has shared the stage with the finest polka performers in the business. To date, Mike has performed on over 20 polka albums and has appeared on many polka radio and TV broadcasts. Currently he enjoys performing with polka legends Lenny Gomulka, Jimmy Weber, Al Piatkowski, Mike Stapinski and Roger Malinowski in a specialty polka ensemble called Full Circle. In addition to his musical endeavors, Mike co-promotes Polkamotion by the Ocean held each September in Rehoboth, Delaware, with his partner Mike Ziemski. Both Mikes also host a internet polka show called “The Mikes Are On” heard four times per week on http://www.247polkaheaven.com . For more than 16 years, Mike has proudly served as an International Polka Association Director, representing both Virginia and Maryland. He remains true to his mission to be a positive, unifying force within the polka industry and an effective polka ambassador to the world at large.

 

Mike and his wife, Ann Marie, were married in 1988 and have three children, Amanda, Matthew and Amy. They make their home in Millersville, Maryland. Mike is employed as a program manager at the corporate headquarters of the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C., and has 32 years of federal service.