GRKMANIAAugust 20, 2014
Have you ever met someone with Grkmania? They can go Grkmanic in an instant! There’s no cure, but treatment is possible. The treatment? Polka Music!
Who: GRKMANIA (Click to listen)
What: Outdoor Concert
When: July 29th, 7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Where: Prickett’s Fort Amphitheater
Why: FREE (concessions available)
How: 3 miles from I-79 at Exit 139 (follow signs)
The Joe Grkman Band includes three generations of the Grkman family. That’s right, three generations— young and old— all playing polka music!
While it might seem random here in the epicenter of Italian tradition, Pennsylvania has a large community of Slovenians and next-generation Slovenians. And thus, an abundance of polka lovers! It’s safe to say living in the Polka Belt really had its advantages for the Grkmans.
The group features traditional Slovenian polkas and waltzes. Why not pop music? Grandfather Joe Sr. was inspired to preserve his heritage from his mother and her traditional songs from the old country. Likewise, his father, an immigrant working in the mines, had working songs and tunes that made their way into Joe’s creativity.
Brothers Joe Jr. and Steve, and grandson Mike are preserving the ethnic heritage of Slovenian Americans with their patriarch Joe Sr. Along with the tradition of the family, the band brings its original Grkman-style button-box accordion music.
An accordion fit for a king? Joe Sr. is the master of the button box accordion. There are no keys to play, just buttons along panels. Listen to the king of Button Box. And a king he is! In 1995, Joe Grkman was inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame Trustees Honor Roll which is sponsored by the American-Slovenian Polka Foundation based in Cleveland. The foundation is dedicated to the preservation and the promotion of polka music— “The happiest sound around.”
It’s time to roll out the barrel and head to Prickett’s Fort for a front-row seat to hear the traditions of another world, the world of the polkas! Grk it up!