The Joe Grkman Band
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Check out recent GRKMANIA performances on YouTube!
LATEST BAND NEWS...

We wish Dr. John Plesha all the best in his new home in South Carolina and welcome back Mike Clancy to the band.

Joe Grkman Jr. was voted 2011 Man of the Year by the United Musicians Polka Association of Pennsylvania (UMPAPA).  The Awards Dinner & Dance took place on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at the Sygan American Slovene Club in Bridgeville, PA.

The National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame voters have nominated the following members of the Joe Grkman Band for awards in 2010:
Button Box - Individual/Duo - Joe Grkman Jr.
Sideman - Steve Grkman
Support/Promotion - Jerry Zagar
Thanks to all who voted for these nominations!  Final results for their annual awards were announced at the Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show XXI on Saturday, November 27, 2010.  If you'd like to become a member & cast your vote for future awards, visit www.clevelandstyle.com, print & send in the membership application along with your dues payment.
2008 nominations (*winners):
Musician - Individual  - Joe Grkman Jr.
Button Box - Individual/Duo - Joe Grkman Jr.
*Sideman - Steve Grkman (winner)
Support/Promotion - Jerry Zagar
*Recording of the Year - John Plesha (winner - featured performer on A Tribute to Benzy Rathbone by Tony Grandovic)
2007 nominations (*winners):
Band of the Year - Joe Grkman "GRKMANIA" Band
Musician - Individual  - Joe Grkman Jr.
Button Box - Individual/Duo - Joe Grkman Jr.
Sideman - Mike Grkman, Steve Grkman
Support/Promotion - Jerry Zagar (*winner)
2006 winners:
Lifetime Achievement - Joe Grkman Sr. (view Joe Sr.'s bio) - the Hall of Fame's highest honor - congratulations to Pap!
Band of the Year - Joe Grkman "GRKMANIA" Band
Sideman - Mike Grkman
view article from the Euclid (OH) Sun Journal - "'Grkmania' invades polka hall of fame awards"

Congratulations to Mike & Allison Grkman on the birth of Luka Michael Grkman, born June 22, 2009.  Here he is practicing for his upcoming gigs with the band.  He joins Benjamin Grkman (5 years old) in the fourth generation.


Joe Grkman Sr. was voted as the United Musicians Polka Association of Pennsylvania (UMPAPA) "Man of the Year" for 2007.


Latest Release Available
Our latest CD featuring many old-time Slovenian tunes vocalized by Joe Grkman Sr. is available.  Visit our Recordings page, view the track listings & hear three mp3 preview selections.  You can also tune in the radio broadcast premiere of the recording through our website!  We joined Pam, Jerry & Don on Prime Time Polkas on their Saturday, March 12, 2005 broadcast.
Originating from Yukon, PA (a small, coal-mining town in Western Pennsylvania), this band has been pleasing audiences with their special blend of Slovenian/Cleveland style polkas and waltzes across the United States and abroad since their formation in 1967.

Joe Grkman Sr. has been playing his accordion and publicly performing Slovenian polka and waltz music for over half a century.  He is a 1997 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship recipient recognizing his lifetime achievements in cultural preservation through musical performance.  He is a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship nominee and has also been inducted into the American Slovenian Polka Foundation Hall of Fame on the Trustees' Honor Roll.

The Joe Grkman Band now includes three generations of the Grkman family.  Polka dancers voted them winners of the first Western Pennsylvania "Band of the Year" Award in 1998.  The group features traditional Slovenian polkas and waltzes along with their original "GRKMANIA" style Slovenian button box accordion music.  They have released several albums which have received international critical acclaim.  The Joe Grkman Band composed and recorded on Grammy nominated albums both in 1997 and 1998.

Joe Grkman Jr. is a 1998 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship recipient and was proclaimed the "Button Box King" by the United Federation of Polkas in California.  The International Polka Association in Illinois defined Joe's music as "the ultimate in button box music."  The Grkman Band was selected to represent Pennsylvania folk arts and honored in a featured "Grkmania" concert in 1997 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.


What the critics are claiming about Pennsylvania's most distinguished polka musicians:

"No festival would be complete without 'Grkmania.' I didn't like polka until I heard these guys. But, you should see them. They even get the 17- and 18- year-olds out there dancing. They're the only standing ovation at the festival. Every year, same thing. Joe Grkman. Standing O. For those who have yet to see Joe Grkman in person, prepare to be amazed. The first time I saw them, I thought people were going to start stage diving. If it was accordions instead of fiddles in the famed Charlie Daniel's song, Joe Grkman would have won the Golden Accordion after besting the devil. Joe Grkman and his band can move mountains and divert whole rivers with only the power of polka. Don't believe me? Check them out. You will never, in all of your travels, find better accordion players than the Grkman family. They play with ferocity and bravado and a bunch of other adverbs that don't fully describe their incendiary performance. (I have a bunch of other adjectives too, but they don't do the Grkmans justice, either.) Joe does polka the way polka's supposed to be done. If you don't know how that is, then you need to find out, by gum. If you have any lingering doubts about what exactly polka is, then you should see these guys. These guys ARE polka. No holds barred, baby; tons of polka, straight from the heart. These guys have done for polka what Hemingway did for literature." - Donnie A. Gutherie, Executive Director, Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival, Awarded "One of the Top 100 Events in North America" by The American Bus. Association

"Joe Grkman Sr. is not only a cultural treasure in the Pennsylvania Slovenian community but also is an ambassador for the Commonwealth.  His toe-tapping music brings a smile to everyone lucky enough to hear it..."  -  Philip Horn, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

"Living Treasures:  Master Traditional Artists..."  -  Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, Rivers of Steel National and State Heritage Area

"He's just an excellent musician.  He can't be topped."  -  Amy Skillman, Traditional Arts Program Director, Institute for Clutural Partnerships & Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation

"It was amazing how much music you squeezed out of those boxes.  We listened like you were the Boston Symphony, except twice as much fun!" - John Kochevar, Ph.D., President, Kochevar Research Associates, Boston, MA




The Grkmans have been the only polka artists selected by panels of experts in the arts for the following awards and recognition:
---  1997 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, Joe Grkman Sr.
---  1998 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, Joe Grkman Jr.
---  Pittsburgh Performing Arts on Tour (PittPAT), 1997-present
---  Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour (PennPAT), 1997-present
---  American Traditions National Touring Program, 1999-present


 Band Members:
Michael Grkman - Bass Guitar, Baritone Horn, Keyboards, Vocals
Joe Grkman, Sr. - Piano Accordion, Vocals
Joe Grkman, Jr. - Piano Accordion, Button Accordion
Mike Clancy - Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Ocarina
Steve Grkman - Button Accordions
Jerry Zagar - Drums, Vocals





See some members of the band performing live on the radio...
Prime Time Polkas with Pam, Jerry & Don on Friday, July 14, 2000 here.



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