The International Polka Association is a proud sponsor of "Polka!," a documentary of the history of polka music in Wisconsin. If you missed the initial viewing in March or are outside the Wisconsin viewing area, you can watch it via the link below. ... See MoreSee Less
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Wally Dombrowski’s journey into music began when he started taking trumpet lessons at five years of age. Once he got the basics of the instrument down, it was evident that he could play by ear and would play along with recordings at home without the aid of any written music. His perfect pitch assisted him in teaching himself how to play concertina at the age of six. At the age of nine, Wally’s brother Rich organized the Polka Country Musicians and the band started performing at local functions around Connecticut in September, 1977.
Along the way, Wally also took piano lessons, but used his ear and innate God-given musical gift to teach himself other instruments. As the popularity of the Polka Country Musicians grew throughout New England and the northeastern United States, Wally was featured not only on concertina and trumpet, but eventually on bass, drums, violin and clarinet.
In addition to being a musician, vocalist, music arranger, bandleader, songwriter and music publisher, Wally has appeared on 18 recordings with the Polka Country Musicians and two solo recordings, as well as other recordings by Eddie Blazonczyk’s Versatones, Stas Bulanda, The Brass Connection and the Polkas For Charity recording, the proceeds of which were donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Wally’s passion for music knows no bounds by fusing influences from other forms of music, such as country and classic rock. He acknowledges the roots of Polish polka music from yesterday and bridges it to today with an eye on advancing the music into tomorrow.
This year marks the 5 year anniversary of Wally being inducted into the IPA Polka Music Hall of Fame. Enjoy this Flashback Friday video from 2006. ... See MoreSee Less
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Scheid inducted into Polka Music Hall of Fame Local News Aug 30, 2017 Clay Schuldt Staff Writer email@example.com NEW ULM — This Saturday, New Ulm native Elmer Scheid will be inducted into the Polka Music Hall of Fame by the International Polka Association. Scheid was considered the best concer...
One of the best-loved American Slovenian performers on the button accordion was Matt Arko Hoyer, the “granddaddy” of the button accordion players and pioneer performer of Slovenian polka and waltz music. Matt was born in Slovenia in 1891. He came to the U.S. in 1911 and settled in Cleveland.
As he learned to build, repair and tune accordions while in Slovenia, he continued this work in America. He formed the Hoyer Trio, which enjoyed immense popularity in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania. They recorded for Victor Talking Machine Co. in 1919, following to the Columbia Gramophone Co. and then for Okeh Records. In 1925, Victor introduced the new electrical process of making records and Columbia followed. One of the Hoyer Trio’s biggest selling discs was “Dunaj Ostane Dunaj,” taken from the German-Austrian march “Vienna Forever.”
Matt Hoyer continued to play well into the twilight of his years. In 1959 he became ill and succumbed to cancer on December 20, 1960. This year marks 30 years since Matt Hoyer was inducted into the IPA Polka Music Hall of Fame. ... See MoreSee Less
Antoinette Blazonczyk was born and raised in the southern mountainous part of Poland in a village called Chocholow.
Back in the 1940’s Antoinette Blazonczyk recorded four 78 rpm records as a vocalist featuring authentic “goralska” music on the Podhalan Record label. In 1948 she had purchased the Pulaski Village located at 17th & South Ashland Avenue. It was here where Antoinette began promoting and strictly enforcing polka music exclusively. Music, dancing, and polka lovers filled Pulaski Village five days a week.
Antoinette became temporarily inactive when the popular Pulaski Village was destroyed by fire in 1966. However, a year later, in 1967, she purchased the Club Antoinette at 4559 S. Richmond Street in Brighton Park. It was here that polka music again resumed on weekends.
The Polka field as well as the Polish community was shocked in June of 1972 by the sudden death of “Gazdzina” Blazonczyk. Antoinette was the proud mother of two children, daughter Louise Kurek, and son, Eddie Blazonczyk, one of the founders of the International Polka Association.
This year marks 30 years since Antoinette was posthumously inducted into the IPA Polka Music Hall of Fame. ... See MoreSee Less
Antonina Blazonczyk – Deceased Category – Inducted 1987 Portfolio Categories: 1987 and B. Antoinette Blazonczyk was born and raised in the southern mountainous part of Poland in a village called Chocholow. Also known as “Gazdzina z Chocholowa” – Antoinette was a “goralka” and extremely proud of her…
Wesoły Stas was born Stanley Joseph Lyskawa in Chicago on March 15, 1920, to immigrant Polish parents. In the 1940s, he was a drummer and vocalist with the Joe Pat Band. With this experience he started his own band—Wesoły Stas [Polish for Jolly Stan], a name bestowed upon him by many of his followers who enjoyed his jovial spirit.
Throughout the years, Stas incorporated various gimmicks, gags and humor along with his music to the enthusiastic approval of his audiences. Who could forget those flashing blue Mars lights and police siren attached to his drums going off at various times to get the people motivated. Stas loved entertaining the large crowds that followed him. He was often referred to as the Polish Spike Jones, the Polish Mitch Miller, the Polish Red Skelton, on which many of his antics were based.
Wesoły Stas made many recordings on Chet Schafer’s Chicago Records. His “Sing Along With Stas” albums and CDs were extremely popular, as were his “Happy Birthday” polka and “Do You Remember” song. He composed many of the songs.
This year marks 10 years since "Wesoły Stas" Lyskawa was inducted into the IPA Polka Music Hall of Fame. ... See MoreSee Less
Stanley “Wesoły Stas” Lyskawa – Deceased Category – Inducted 2007 Portfolio Categories: 2007 and L. Wesoły Stas was born Stanley Joseph Lyskawa in Chicago on March 15, 1920, to immigrant Polish parents. He grew up in the Back of the Yards community and attended St. John of God, St. Joseph, St. Cas...
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I.P.A. 2017 Membership Goal!
Join the IPA for $15.00 per year!!!!
The International Polka Association is a non-profit organization whose purpose is the advancement of polka music. Your membership dues allow the IPA to continue its mission. Join today and be a part of this exciting organization!