EDDIE RODICK ORCHESTRA
In the early 1970s, Eddie started “Eddie Rodick and the Goodtime Boys.” The group took the polka world by storm, recording the Goodtime Polkas album and appearing regularly on TV’s Polka Varieties Show, and was together for eight years.
Eddie formed a new band in the mid-1980s and into the 1990s. A still young Eddie Rodick III was included in the lineup on drums. The two Eddies were joined by Phil Syrnick on bass and Ron Sluga on banjo and guitar. They also provided vocals to add to the Rodick sound. Sax player. Frank Yasnowski, rounded out the sound of the band that would record and release three albums including a double set saluting the many Cleveland-style bands from the 40s through the early 90s. They were named Band of the Year and won Recording of the Year in 1990.
While Eddie went on to form several more bands, the 1980s-1990s group was reunited in 2018 – some 20-plus years after they stopped performing as a group. Hear the fantastic Rodick band with Eddie III, Phil, Ron and Frank once again at this year’s Illinois Polkafest.
STEVE MEISNER BAND
Steve Meisner is a multi-talented musician, entertainer, composer & arranger. He began playing the accordion at the age of 5 and has been earning a living in the music business since the age of 16. Steve’s family has a rich musical heritage and he is a second-generation full time working musician. His father, the late Verne Meisner, had a successful music career for over 50 years. Steve’s brand of music is extremely versatile and appealing to a wide audience. He has made a name for himself by taking the music he grew up with from his father and adding his own imagination and feeling. He has brought his brand of traditional American polka into the 21st century with a fresh spark & swing while retaining the roots of this music.
KLANCNIK AND FRIENDS
The Klancnik and Friends Band has become one of the most dynamic and energetic groups in all of polka music. Specializing in the “Cleveland-Style” of polkas, the band’s goal is not only to help preserve this genre, but to further evolve it’s distinctly American roots. The KNF Band also represents a much needed movement in the polka field, presenting a group comprised entirely of younger, talented musicians who are completely committed to playing and advancing this unique art form. The band’s sound can be very aggressive at times. It has been described as a “Polka Powerhouse” and as being a “Polka Inferno.” One critic wrote: “The band totally rocks, with a sound that I would call Neo-Slovenian.” In addition to their hard driving polkas, the group also performs several other styles of music that compliments their instrumentation and individual abilities.
GARRETT TOTANO BAND
The Future of Polka Music!
The Garrett Tatano Band is a young, high-energy group that specializes in Cleveland-style (Slovenian) polka music. Their drive and enthusiasm creates an environment that is sure to have the crowd on their feet and dancing all night long! Their style pays tribute to the legends that paved the way for polka music while adding their own spin, making them a must see group. If you’re looking for polka entertainment, look no further. The Garrett Tatano Band offers polka music for today and tomorrow – guaranteeing the future of polka music! While Garrett has appeared at the Illinois Polkafest multiple times with other bands, this is the very first chance for IPF fans to experience this exciting new band in person.
Alex Meixner is a nationally acclaimed musician, performer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of polka music. Formally trained in classical, jazz and ethnic music, Alex has cross-pollinated his versatile playing styles through pop music, funk, jazz and polka. He is an active ambassador for polka music, revitalizing interest coast to coast resulting in sold out shows, renewed cultural interest, and growing mainstream acceptance. For Alex, it’s more than playing energetic shows; it is a mission to provide a much needed positive experience that pulls communities together to celebrate history, culture and genuinely good times. We are very excited to bring Alex Meixner to the Illinois Polkafest for the very first time for some exciting performances you won’t soon forget!
Joey Miskulin is a producer, in-demand studio musician, and member of Grammy-award winning group Riders In The Sky. For over five decades, he has collaborated with a range of artists from U2 to Roy Rogers, from Paul McCartney to Frank Yankovic, and many more. He is also very well known from his many years in polka music. Joey returns to the Illinois Polkafest to be able to see and visit with all of his friends as well as perform with some of the bands. It’s a rare chance to see one of true polka greats!
BOB DOSZAK ORCHESTRA
Bob Doszak has been entertaining and supporting Polka music most of his life which is 60 plus years of playing the accordion! Born in 1946 in Joliet, Illinois to parents of Slovenian and Polish descent. His natural heritage helped instill his style of music. Bob grew up in Joliet where he had resided until relocating to Arizona recently. The neighborhood where he grew up consisted of mostly Slovenians, Croations and people of Polish descent. Across the street from his childhood home was a tavern that always echoed of polka music. That is where Bob was first introduced to polka music. At the age of 6, Bob started taking accordion lessons. At the age of 7, Bob had his first performance with none other than America’s Polka King, Frank Yankovic. With the support of his parents, by the age of 8, Bob was the featured accordionist at the Baby Doll Polka Club in Chicago and began playing private parties in Joliet and the surrounding areas. Around the age of 14, Bob started his own band, and within a few weeks the band found themselves playing seven nights a week. Bob and the band continued this all through Bob’s high school years.
Bob was the key organizer of the annual Illinois Polka Festival for 27 years. It’s been held in Oakbrook, Naperville, and Schaumburg Illinois. In 2016, Bob passed the festival down to his son, Chris, to continue the annual tradition. Bob plays a wide variety of polkas, waltzes, and old-time American standards, and is known to play a few sing-along medleys.
See the 2023 event flyer
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