Thursday, May 8, 2008

Slovenian-American Style Polka

Slovenian-style polka bands usually perform using the following instruments:

  • piano accordion or button box accordion
  • saxophone (or clarinet)
  • banjo (for polkas) and/or guitar (for waltzes)

Slovenian-American polka is generally played at a faster tempo than Polisj-American.

Cleveland and northeast Ohio is the main center of Slovenian-style polka music - along with Pennsylvania and many other cities in the Great Lakes region. No wonder Slovenian-American polka is often referred to as "Cleveland-Style" polka.

Bands, playing Slovenian-style polka music have also expanded their repertoire by including a variety of elements and styles from other kinds of genres like polkas, waltzes, standards, Latin dances (cha chas, tangos, etc.), line dances, and even rock 'n roll.

Video below: Frank Yankovic - "Hoop-Dee-Doo Polka" from circa 1960

Video below: Lou Trebar with Joey Miskulin and the Frank Yankovic Orchestra - "Knaus' Waltz" and "Argentina Waltz"

Video below: Johnny Vadnal Orchestra - "Round Up the Gang" & "Teach Me How To Yodel" from Polkatime USA TV Show hosted by Joey Miskulin in the early 1980s

Video below: Walter Ostanek & Eddie Habat (Live 1994)
Two polka kings of Canada and Cleveland perform on the 30th anniversary concert of Lojze Slak's ensemble on TV.


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