SLOVENIAN STYLE POLKAS - CLEVELAND STYLE POLKAS - BUTTON BOX MUSIC - HARMONIKA MUSIC - OBERKRAINER MUSIC
POLKAS.NL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the web site.

Since 2007 polkas.nl has been "on the web". Since it first was launched this web site has grown to the largest polka web site in the world. It has more than 1,000 web pages containing information about polkas and the musicians that have been so involved with this style of music. More and more polka lovers from all over the world have been able to find this web site. Most visitors are from the USA followed by Slovenia, The Netherlands, Germany and Canada. To my amazement the web site has had visitors from almost every European country.  And, most of these visitors keep on coming back and brining more new visitors with them every month.  But the love of polka is not just limited to the US and Europe as the web site also has visitors from Asia - Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, India - the Middle East - Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and Israel - and South America - Brazil, Peru and Panama.  I cannot believe how far polka has reached and how many different countries have polka lovers.

 

In the five years this web site has been live it has already had more than a half of a million visits.  And, we're rapidly on our way to having a million visits. Not too long ago the web site had its busiest day . On April, 20, 2010 when polkas.nl celebrated the 75th birthday of Walter Ostanek we had more than 10K visitors. The special message from Joey Miskulin and Tony Petkovsek was listened to more than 6K times. In November 2009 with the 80th birthday celebration of Slavko Avsenik brought another record. That day the web site had visitors from more than 100 different countries.

 

In case you've not figured it out, I'm John, the avid collector and promoter of Slovenian and Cleveland-Style polkas through this web site. This site is mainly based on my personal collection. I really just want to promote the polkas that I have, know and love. The discographies of the artists are not yet complete as I only intend to put the ones I have and listened to on the web site. I do have a rather large collection, but I've not been able to find everything.

 

The biggest obstacle I have with my passion for polkas is that I live in Europe. Yes, not in Slovenia or in Cleveland, Ohio, not even in the US but in Europe. But... I did grow up with polkas. My father, but really more my uncle (his brother), constantly played and listened to polkas and waltzes. My father's favourite artist, still to this day, is Frankie Yankovic. My uncle was also a Yankovic fan and collector, but his taste was much broader. He also had the music of Eddie Habat, Johnny Vadnal, Kenny Bass and many others. My uncle really gave me the passion to listen to the music and, more importantly, to collect it! When he got ill he gave his entire collection to me so it would not be lost. He was also the person who brought Walter Ostanek into my life. When I first heard Walter, I thought "yeah OK, nothing special" but my uncle was adamant. I had to learn to listen to Walter's music. He was always telling me that Walter was so very special. My uncle felt that Walter played all music the way it was written and meant to be played in the traditional Slovenian style. When you listen to it you might get the feeling that it is played too perfectly and not with his own interpretation. But for my uncle, and now for me, it's the way I like to hear the music.

 

You might find it hard to believe but Slovenian and Cleveland-Style polkas are very popular in the Netherlands. For years we had a wonderful team, Roel Muntinga and Kor Knol, who worked very hard on promoting polkas to the general public. Both of them sold and promoted polkas throughout the entire country,  It's through their hard work we're lucky enough to have more than just me as an avid polka collector. Actually there are 100s of collectors in the Netherlands. There are also polka musicians in The Netherlands. At the moment we have an accordion player who can play second accordion just like Johnny Pecon did for Frankie. It's hard to believe but when you hear him it's hard to imagine that he's not a "Clevelander". Another friend also plays the accordion and button box in the Slovenian style. He Americanized the polkas and waltzes that he loves just so he could use a banjo in his accompaniment.

 

Another passion of mine is to "save the music" as I am busy almost every week filtering and digitizing my entire collection of polka records. I don't mind as it means that I get to listen to my favourite music while doing something to promote it to those who've not got our passion. And now with this web site I've taken one more step forward to promoting polkas the entire world.

 

Starting in September 2010, and every month thereafter, I will be creating for polkas.nl a monthly music program - 15-minutes of Slovenian & Cleveland-Style polka music - called Polka Time. This program will be made available in an English and Dutch version of the program.  This should make all of the visitors to polkas.nl happy.

 

Thank you for visiting the web site and sharing my passion. Please come back soon as I add more and more information, new artists and new programs to it as time goes by!

 

Regards, John.

 

Welkom op de website.

 

Sinds 2007 is polkas.nl op het internet. Inmiddels is de website uitgebroeid tot de grootste polka website in de wereld. Met meer dan 1000 webpagina's polka informatie. De bezoekers van polkas.nl komen vanuit de hele wereld. Steeds vaker weten de polka liefhebbers de website te vinden. De meeste bezoekers komen uit de USA. De Top 5 van de landen met de meeste bezoekers zijn 1 USA, 2 Nederland, 3 Slovenië, 4 Duitsland, 5 Canada. Landen zoals Oostenrijk, Frankrijk, België, Kroatië, Polen, Spanje, Portugal, Zwitserland, Mexico, Argentinië, en Italië doen het ook goed. Maar er zijn nog veel en veel meer landen waarvan de website bezoekers registreert. Hier zijn een paar voorbeelden van enkele niet voor de hand liggende landen: Japan,Thailand, China, India, Hongarije, Brazilië, Denemarken, Noorwegen, Rusland, Israel, Luxemburg, Sri Lanka, Litowen, Letland, Finland, Monaco, Peru, Bahamas, Groenland, Panama en Saudi Arabië. Zelfs vanuit Bagrein, een woestijneiland/oliestaat in de Perzische Golf zijn er terugkerende bezoekers.

 

In vijf jaar zijn er inmiddels meer dan een half miljoen bezoeken geregistreerd, we gaan op naar het miljoen. De drukste dag met meer dan 10.000 bezoekers op de website was op 20 april, 2010. Polkas.nl  stond toen uitgebreid stil bij de 75e verjaardag van Walter Ostanek. De special waaraan Joey Miskulin en Tony Petkovsek meewerkten werd alleen die dag al meer dan 6000 keer beluisterd. De 80e verjaardag van Slavko Avsenik in november 2009 bracht een ander record. Die dag dat Slavko op de website in het zonnetje werd gezet waren er bezoekers uit meer dan 100 verschillende landen.  

 

Voor wie het nog niet wist, ik ben een fanatieke verzamelaar van Sloveense en Cleveland-Style polka’s. Deze site is gebaseerd op mijn persoonlijke verzameling. Ik wil graag de polka’s promoten die ik mooi vindt. De discografie gegevens van de artiesten zijn nog niet volledig. Ik ben van plan datgene er op te zetten wat ik heb. Ik heb wel een vrij grote verzameling, maar heb nog lang niet alles kunnen vinden.

 

Het grootste obstakel met de passie voor polka’s is dat ik in Europa woon. Jawel, niet in Slovenië of in Cleveland, Ohio, zelfs niet in Amerika, maar gewoon in Europa. Ik ben wel opgegroeid met polkas’s. Mijn vader, maar eigenlijk meer mijn oom luisterden en speelden constant polka’s en walsen. Mijn vader's favoriete artiest, nog steeds is Frankie Yankovic. Mijn oom, de broer van mijn vader, was ook een Yankovic verzamelaar, maar zijn smaak was veel breder. Hij had ook Eddie Habat, Johnny Vadnal, Kenny Bass en vele anderen. Mijn oom gaf me echt de passie om te luisteren naar de muziek, en nog belangrijker, het te gaan verzamelen! Toen hij ziek werd gaf hij zijn hele collectie aan mij zodat die niet verloren zou gaan. Hij was ook degene die Walter Ostanek in mijn leven bracht. Toen ik dat voor het eerst hoorde dacht ik, "ja ok, niets speciaals", maar mijn oom was vastbesloten. Ik moest leren om te luisteren naar de muziek van Walter. En steeds vertelde hij me dat Walter zo heel bijzonder was. Mijn oom was van mening dat Walter de muziek speelde op de manier waarop het geschreven is, bedoeld om het te spelen in de traditionele Sloveense stijl. Wanneer u nu misschien gaat luisteren bestaat misschien het gevoel dat het te perfect gespeeld is, en niet met zijn eigen interpretatie. Maar voor mijn oom was, en nu voor mij is het is de stijl waarin ik de muziek graag hoor.

 

Niet iedereen weet dat Slovenian en Cleveland-Style polka’s zeer populair zijn in Nederland. Jarenlang hadden we een geweldig team, Roel Muntinga en Kor Knol. Beiden hebben hard gewerkt wat betreft de promotie van polka’s aan het grote publiek. Beide verkochten en bevorderden polka’s in het hele land. Door hun werk ben ik niet de enige fanatieke polka verzamelaar, er zijn momenteel honderden verzamelaars in Nederland. Er zijn zelfs polka muzikanten in Nederland. Momenteel hebben we een accordeon-speler die tweede accordeon speelt, net zoals Johnny Pecon deed voor Frankie. Het is onvoorstelbaar, wanneer je hem hoort is het nauwelijks voor te stellen dat hij niet een "Clevelander" is. Een andere vriend speelt accordeon en button box in de Sloveense stijl. Hij geeft een Amerikaans tintje aan de polka’s en walsen waar hij van houdt door gebruik te maken van een banjo in zijn begeleiding.

 

Een andere passie van mij is "de muziek te bewaren", ik ben bijna elke week bezig met het filteren en het digitaliseren van mijn  collectie van polka platen. Dat is leuk om te doen, en het betekent dat ik kan luisteren naar mijn favoriete muziek. Ik wil iets doen om mijn passie te promoten. En nu met deze website neem ik nog een stapje voorwaarts, promotie van polka’s over de hele wereld.

 

Vanaf september 2010 is er maandelijks een muziek programma op polkas.nl te beluisteren. Het heet Polka Time, met kwartiertje Slovenian & Cleveland-Style. Van het programma wordt een Engelse en Nederlandse versie gemaakt.  

 

Dank u voor het bezoeken van de website. Kom nog eens gauw terug, ik hoop in de loop der tijd nog meer informatie, artiesten en programma's toe te voegen!

 

Groeten, John.

 

 

"Let's Have a Party"

Polka greats wow crowds at Polka Party 2009 in The Netherlands

 

May 18, 2009 - The polka capital of the world temporarily moved from Cleveland, Ohio to The Netherlands last week when industry greats like Walter Ostanek, Eddie Rodick and a host of other polka luminaries performed at the Polka Party and Button Box Festival 2009.  

Organized by Jelse Vos and polka archivist John Hasper, manager of the website Polkas.nl, the event aimed to introduce Slovenian & Cleveland Style polka music to new audiences in The Netherlands. It was the third consecutive year for the event, which drew talent and au-diences from the U.S. and Europe.

 

Joining Ostanek and Rodick on stage during the two-night event was piano accordion notable Frank Moravcik and up-and-comer Brian O'Boyle.  Accompanying the Button Box accordionists Linda Hochevar, Ron Pivovar, 2008 individual Button Box Ron Likovic, Grammy nominated musician / producer Alex Meixner and world champion Denis Novato during the evening of button box music was the The Klancnik Orchestra led by Ed Klancnik.  Kim Rodick , 2008 vocalist of the year and drummer, and bassist Phil Srnick joined with Eric Stehle on saxophone and Ed Klancnik on drums and banjo to support both evenings.

 

 "The ongoing mission for the event is the same for polkas.nl - and that's to continue to bring the Slovenian and Cleveland-style polka music to current and new audiences," said Hasper, who helmed the event. "Every artist who performed helped to advance that mission by serving as a musical ambassador abroad."

Praise from the Artists

"Our trip to Holland was the best one that I can remember," said Canadian Polka King Walter Ostanek. "It is a great honor to have people get excited about what we do. It was so amazing that everyone knew the words to "La Ronda on my Honda," considering the fact that I have not performed the song on stage in over 30 years."

 

"The Dutch people have a love for this music that is remarkable, and their support and enthusiasm for our style of polkas are unmatched anywhere else in the World," said Klancik. "Polka music is a common bond that many of us share, and it shows that no matter where you are from, we can all have something in common."

"I was very impressed with the wide range of ages that came to our shows and the enthusiasm we found from all of our fans," said Moravcik. "They truly love polka music with a passion."

 

About Polka.nl

The brainchild of polka enthusiast John Hasper, polka.nl has been called the most compre-hensive and definitive archive of Slovenian and Cleveland Style polka music. Featuring in-depth, comprehensive discographies of hundreds of industry performers, today polka.nl is among the most visited web site in the trade.

 

What a success!

The Polka Party 2009 was enjoyed by everybody - public and musicians.

No one could believe the enthusiasm of the Dutch fans. Every artists was received a warm welcome and crowd went wild for the music. The audians ranged from young to old with most being in there 20s or 30s. But let's not forget that some of Holland's oldest and most trusted fans also enjoyed the shows. The artists were amazed and thrilled with the reaction of the crowds to there music. It was said that it was a long time since people come just for the music. Every artist hopes that the Dutch fans want them to come! Back as almost everyone of them left Holland with a tear in there eyes. Walter & Irene, Alex, Eddie, Frank, Ed, Brian, Ron, Ron, Linda, Kim, Phil, Eric and Denis like to thank everyone!

 

Comments from Walter Ostanek.

Our trip to Holland was the best one that I can remember. It is a great honor to have people get excited about what we do, and I hope this trip happens many times over and over again in the near future. It was so amazing that everyone knew the words to "La Ronda on my Honda," considering the fact that I have not performed the song on stage in over 20 years. I would like to thank everyone in the Netherlands for coming to see us and I hope that we get the chance to do it again. Thank you my family in Holland!

Canada's Polka King Walter Ostanek.

 

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Polkas.nl presents Frank Novak - 75th Birthday Album - Tony Petkovsek Golden Jubilee CD

 

 

 

 

Double Golden Jubilee

 

It was in 2008 when I met Tony Petkovsek at my first ever Thanksgiving Polka Party in of all places Cleveland, Ohio.  It was not the first time I was in Cleveland.  No, that was ten years earlier.  That’s when I made my pilgrimage to I visit the city where my very favorite music started - Cleveland-Style polkas.  I could not get enough of polkas so I visited the Polka Hall of Fame, Kollander Travel and Frankie Yankovic’s grave.  All of that came rushing back to me as right in front of me was standing one of my heroes – Tony Petkovsek.  That night I had the opportunity to have a drink, relax and talk to him after another successful Polka Party.  It amazed me to learn that he had been on the radio every day for 47 years bringing polka music to the public.  And, in addition to the radio program he was the person behind this wonderful annual Polka Party!  The first year he was on the radio the idea of the Polka Party spontaneously started with the Frankie Kramer Orchestra. From that moment the Polka Party just grew and grew until it became what it is today. It was during that conversation I decided I had to do something very special for Tony’s 50th anniversary, his Golden Jubilee.  I didn’t know what but I knew that he deserved something special for sharing his love of polka music with me and everyone else who listened every day to his radio show. Last year, again while attending the annual trek to Cleveland like so many other polka lovers, I was having lunch with Tony and Cilka when the idea came to me.  My idea was sparked by our conversation with Tony sharing his memories of the early years of polkas in Cleveland when on every corner you could hear polkas floating out onto St. Clair Street.  I learned that Frank Novak was one of Tony’s very dear friends and that he loved to listen to Frank play.  So with that in the back of my mind I embarked on the journey of producing this CD so Tony could listen to Frank anytime he wanted.  Dear Tony, Congratulations on your double Golden Jubilee – 50 years radio and 50 years of Polka Party!!  

 

Best Wishes and Let’s Have a Party!

John Hasper (www.polkas.nl)

 

 

 

 

 

Disk Jockey Polka

Jubilee Polka

Down Under Polka

Old World Plaza Waltz

Romance Waltz

Happy Australian Waltz

Pensioners Polka

USS Polka

Light And Lively Polka

Wildwood Waltz

Fantasy Waltz

Mellow Moments Waltz

 

Bonus Tracks

Jackpot Polka

Retirement Waltz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRANK NOVAK

The Cleveland Polka All Stars

 

Tony Petkovsek

Golden Jubilee CD

 

75th BIRTHDAY ALBUM

Original Master Recording

 

Polkas.nl

TPCD-001

(2011)

 

 

 

 

Frank Novak - Button Box

Paul Yanchar - Saxophone, Clarinet

Robert McGuire - Banjo, Guitar

Joey Miskulin - Piano

Tony Vadnal - Bass

Al Tercek - Drums

 

Photo - John Kausek

Arrangements - Norm Novak

Recorded at Audio Recording Studios

Engineer - Vlad Maleckar

Digital CD mastering - John Hasper

© John's Music

Tracks #13 #14 - Licensed from Walter Ostanek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polkas.nl presents Polka Party 2009 in The Netherlands

www.polkas.nl

John Hasper

Jávea, Spain

Email@polkas.nl

 

2015. www.polkas.nl - 03739 Jávea, Spain.