Pictured are Madison County youth enjoying activities in the Madison County Youth Bureau Youth Tent at the Madison County Fair. Confirmed so far for the Saturday, July 13, event are local libraries, Madison County Sheriff’s Office Safe Child I.D., Colgate Raider and the Chenango Canal Museum. “As always, the Youth Tent will provide a venue for our youth-serving not-for profits to promote their organizations while providing free, interactive activities for tots to teens to enjoy,” said Youth Bureau Director Joanne Eddy.
(Brookfield, NY – May 2013) Local legend Fritz’s Polka Band will lead off Friday’s musical entertainment at the Madison County Fair July 12 at 2 p.m.
FPB was formed in 1978 by lead accordionist, the late Fred Scherz Sr., and his 8-year-old son, Fritz, for whom the band was named. Sadly, Fred passed away Nov. 14, 2009, but FPB has vowed to carry on his legacy. Playing everything from modern-style polka to country to rock and even blues, FPB performs an eclectic mix of musical styles.
FPB is NOT an ‘oom-pa-pa’ band or the stereotypical “polka” band. In fact, FPB is known for breaking the “polka” stereotype. FPB is the first polka band to perform at a Woodstock Festival (Woodstock ’99).
On Oct. 7, 2010, FPB was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame.
Fritz’s Polka Band has made 17 recordings, which have achieved international airplay. Individuals of the band, and the band itself, have received some prestigious honors. As a group, FPB has performed on stage with “Canada’s Polka King,” Walter Ostanek (Grammy winner); “America’s Polka King,” the late Frank Yankovic (Grammy winner); LynnMarie Rink (Grammy nominee); and Glen Burtnik.
Individually, Fritz has performed on-stage with Steve Augeri (former lead singer of Journey) and Charles Giordano (current accordionist and keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen). FPB has performed at B.B. King’s Club (2003), The China Club (2006) and The Metropolitan Club (2007), also. FPB even appears on “The Manchurian Candidate” DVD, released by Paramount Pictures in 2004.
In 2011, FPB had two different songs appear in episodes of the hit cable TV show ‘Breaking Bad,’ which airs on AMC.
Additionally, Fritz’s Polka Band has shared the stage with Sean Kingston, New Boyz, Jimmy Sturr (Grammy winner) and BeauSoleil (Grammy winner), to name a few. In addition to Woodstock ’99, FPB has played at the New York State Fair, regional and county fairs, ethnic events, colleges, concerts, social occasions, corporate events, weddings, anniversaries and benefits.
Fritz Scherz – piano accordion, button-box accordion, vocals; Gabe Vaccaro – bass guitar, guitar, vocals; Frank Nelson – guitar, vocals; Mike Faraino – drums
Albums: “Fritz’s Polka Band,” 1982; “10 Years of Fritz’s Polka Band,” 1988; “Give Polka Music A Chance,” 1996; “Can’t Get Enough of Polka Music,” 1997; “For All Our Friends,” 1998; “Polka With All Your Might!,” 1999; “The Party’s Just Begun,” 2000; “The Party Continues,” 2001;
“A Taste of Switzerland,” 2003; “FPB On Tap,” 2005; “Live at the New York State Fair,” 2006; “It’s Christmas Time,” 2006; and “Reflections,” 2008
Singles: ‘Frankie’s Polka’ & ‘Happy Birthday Polka,’ 1985; “Jagermeister presents FRITZ’S POLKA BAND,” 2003; “Jagermeister presents FRITZ’S POLKA BAND,” 2007; and “Tribute – Jagermeister presents FRITZ’S POLKA BAND,” 2009
Television Recordings: WVIA Channel 44, Pittston, Pa., 1998; WYLN Channel 35 Hazleton, Pa., 1998; Rhythmz Channel 14, Syracuse, 2001; WVIA Channel 44, Pittston, Pa., 2001; WVIA Channel 4, Pittston, Pa., 2003; Big Joe Polka Show, Buffalo, 2009; WSYR Channel 9, Syracuse, 2010; WSYR Channel 9, Syracuse, 2011; WSKG Channel 46, Vestal, 2012; and WSTM Channel 3, Syracuse, 2012