Fritz’s Polka Band from Verona, along with special guests Rocko Dorsey and Rick Szczyt performed Nov. 29, 2019, in the grand ballroom of the Marriott Downtown at Key Center in Cleveland, Ohio. As a surprise, Fritz’s Polka Band were joined on stage for three songs by three-time Grammy winner, Walter Ostanek (Canada’s Polka King). Additionally, Frank Buda performed some songs with FPB that same night, as well as the next night in the Lake Superior Room of the Marriott Downtown at Key Center.
Both gigs were part of Thanksgiving Polka Weekend hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.
“Although my band and I did not win any national awards, performing again at the Thanksgiving Polka Weekend was a blast,” said Fritz Scherz, band leader of Fritz’s Polka Band. “An added bonus for the first night in Cleveland was having my friend of more than 35 years, Walter Ostanek, sit in on three tunes with my band. Additionally, during both nights, my band was joined on all button-box accordion tunes by a friend of the Scherz family for well over 40 years, Frank Buda.
“While there were many musical highlights, some favorites of mine were Rocko playing his guitar solo on Johnny B. Goode while standing on a table in the audience and having former FPB drummer of 24 years, Rick Szczyt drum with us again. Thanks to the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame for booking us. Many thanks to our friends that went on the bus with us. Of course, a big thanks to Rocko Dorsey and Rick Szczyt for helping us out at these gigs.”
Oct. 14, 2018, marked the 40th anniversary of Fritz’s Polka Band. FPB made history in 1999 by becoming the first polka band to play at a Woodstock Festival. FPB appears on “The Manchurian Candidate” DVD, released in 2004. In 2011, FPB had two songs (‘Grandparent’s Polka’ and ‘Here is Fritz’s Polka Band’) included in two episodes of the TV show, ‘Breaking Bad.’ In November 2018, FPB released its 19th recording, “Hey,” which featured Rocko Dorsey, Ron Keck and Todd Kerns (from Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, TOQUE, Age of Electric and more.) as special guests.
For more information on Fritz’s Polka Band, visit fritzspolkaband.com, facebook.com/fritzspolkaband, twitter.com/fritzspolkaband or instagram.com/fritzspolkaband. For details on the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, visit polkafame.com or call 866.66P.OLKA.