Three-time Grammy-winner performed with Fritz’s Polka Band in Cleveland, Ohio

Pictured from left are Rocko Dorsey (guitar), Fritz Scherz (accordion), Walter Ostanek (button-box accordion), Mike Faraino (drums) and Gabe Vaccaro (bass guitar) during their performance in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 24, 2017.

Fritz’s Polka Band from Verona, along with special guest, Rocko Dorsey performed on Nov. 24, 2017, in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Downtown at Key Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

As a surprise, Fritz’s Polka Band was joined on stage for three songs by three-time Grammy winner, Walter Ostanek (Canada’s Polka King).

The next night, FPB played in the Lake Superior Room of the Marriott Downtown at Key Center and were joined on some tunes by Frank Buda and Bob Yankovic.

Both gigs were part of Thanksgiving Polka Weekend hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.

“Although my band didn’t 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 over 35 years, Walter Ostanek sit in on three tunes with my band.

“The second night, my band was joined on all button-box accordion tunes by a friend of the Scherz family for well over 40 years, Frank Buda. In addition, Bob Yankovic played on a few of the button-box accordion tunes as well. Although the second night is intended to be more of a mellower gig, we couldn’t resist making it quite lively by including an almost 15-minute button-box accordion medley.

“Meanwhile, the last two tunes of the second night were a rousing rendition of Johnny B. Goode that featured Rocko playing a guitar solo while standing on a chair in the audience. The final tune was an epic 10-minute cover of Pay Me My Money Down that included solos by each band member! Thanks to Mark Habat for booking us.

“Many thanks to our friends that went on the bus with us! Of course, big thanks to Rocko Dorsey for helping us out at these gigs!”

See some of the performance, click here.

Fritz’s Polka Band has been performing for more than 39 years and made history in 1999 by becoming the first polka band to play at a Woodstock Festival. FPB has made 18 recordings and 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 2013, FPB released their 18th recording, a double live CD entitled, “The WSKG Sessions.” In 2016, Fritz was nominated for a national award by the CSPHOF. Earlier this year, FPB was nominated for three JPFM Awards. A few months ago, FPB and each member were nominated for national awards by the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.

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