Saturday, January 31, 2009

Slovenian folk music band and my big surprise discovery

I have something different for you today.

On YouTube I'm subscribed to polkasdu07 who brings many beautiful Slovenian folk melodies to my attention. Thank you polkasdu07!! :)

The video I chose to share with you today - by a group whose members mostly came from the part of Slovenia where I was born, Koroška (Karniola) - has a beautiful melody and the lyrics carry nostalgic memories of the two sweethearts, walking together for the last time in the woods - in fall, when the leaves were falling - just before their quiet paths vanished under the blanket of snow.

The name of the group "Fantje treh dolin" could be translated as "Three Valleys' Boys." They have not been together for many years but I remember them well from my teenage years. They were my favorite folk music group at the time and me and my friends (all members of the performing folklore group "Pastirci") would go to every dance where "Fantje treh dolin" were playing.

Fantje treh dolin - Ko je listje padalo (When the Leaves were Falling)

I've been searching quite some time to find one perfect photo to go with this beautiful waltz. And I finally found it - the kind of path in Slovenian woods that the tune in this video pictures in my eyes. Enjoy! :)


Photo Pathways courtesy of poldezgaga

Funny thing - only a couple of minutes after I completed writing this post, I found another video where some my friends (the very same ones I mentioned in the fourth paragraph) from the folklore group "Pastirci" were dancing to polka, performed by the local, quite popular band Štirje kovači (Four Blacksmiths) in Gostilna Bučinek.

Since I remember them all well , by their names and last names. I'm listing them here: Anton Rogina & Erika Verčkovnik, Matjaž Kontrec & Marida Strmčnik, Roman Hojnik & Cvetka Krenker, Jani Korošec & my oldest best friend - Erika Smolnikar, married Erika Piko. Sending you greetings, Erika - to your home in that small and beautiful tourist village, called Šentanel,  Koroška. Have a wonderful weekend!! :)

Our teacher/dance instructor was Anica Meh, whose life-time devotion was to collect as many traditional songs and dances from that part of Slovenia - as possible. Her name became a synonim for "folklora Podgorje."


Friday, January 30, 2009

Walter Ostanek in Slovenia

Walter Ostanek & Lojze Slak - Polka Village (Live 1994)

One more day and we'll see him live in Spring Hill! :)


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bob Kravos and the Boys in the Band

And one more video to lure you into coming to the dance on Saturday... :)


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Walter Ostanek Band - Beer Barrel Polka

A small taste of what kind of music we'll be dancing on this Saturday... :)


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Canada's Polka King WALTER OSTANEK and BOB KRAVOS at SNPJ 778

Canada's Polka King WALTER OSTANEK

dance event

will take place at the Lodge hall 
on Saturday, January 31, 2009 
  from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission is $8.00

For more info, tickets and reservations call 
Mary Ann Hiltz at 727-376-8486

Food and cash bar available both days

For more scheduled future events at SNPJ Lodge (Suncoast Dance and Party Center) visit  

About Walter Ostanek

'Ladislav Walter Ostanek, C.M.[1] (born April 20, 1935), is a well known accordionist from St. Catharines, Ontario where his family settled as a boy.
Young Walter received his first accordion as a gift in 1944. After several years, Ostanek became a popular entertainer in Southern Ontario, performing Cleveland-Style Polkas and Waltzes. He could be heard frequently on the radio in St. Catharines and Welland.
In 1963, Ostanek and his band, Walter Ostanek Band, would record their first of many albums. Over his career, Ostanek would become known as Canada's Polka King. He has received three Grammy Awards and he has been nominated thirteen times. His style has been compared to America's Polka King, Frankie Yankovic of Cleveland. As was the late Yankovic, Walter Ostanek is of Slovenian descent.' (from Wikipedia)

About Bobby Kravos

'Bob was born in Cleveland, Ohio into a full-blooded Slovenian family where the heritage of Slovenian-American style polka's flourished.  Bob is the great nephew of the legendary Polka King Frank Yankovic, who popularized the Cleveland-style of polka music and made polkas attainable for all ethnic peoples of all ages.  At the age of six, Bob saw his great-uncle playing the accordion on stage and decided he would like to do the same.
Bob's greatest musical mentors were Frank Yankovic and another legend, Joey Miskulin, who was a member of The Yankovic Band playing second accordion for many years. Bob was honored with a grant from The State of Ohio to take lessons with Joey while Bob's great-uncle Frank would also periodically stop by the house and give him a few pointers. Frank Yankovic taught him how to be an entertainer and Joey Miskulin showed how to do excellent finger work on the accordion keyboard.  Bob is known for his accordion runs and fill finger work repertoire
Right out of high school, Bob traveled with Frank Yankovic for a period of seven years. Bob played all across the country with Frank, from California to Maine & Alaska. With Frank, he had the opportunity and the pleasure of opening for some famous artists, such as Marie Osmond, Bob Hope, Florence Henderson, Slappy White and Rich Little, and many more.  Being with the Yankovic Band, Bob also did television appearances on "The Polka Variety Show".
In 1987, Bob formed his own band, The Boys In The Band which plays a wide variety of music.  Though focused on Slovenian-Style polkas they also enjoy performing country, pop, swing, rock, and more.  Bob's Kravos-Style music is a twist between Yankovic, Rodick, Vadnal and his own Kravos flavor.  He has recorded on over 69 recordings and counting, including 16 CDs of his very own!
Bob is a prominent entertainer in the Cleveland area. Bob's name is mentioned at the  top of the list for "good music". Bob has been featured on a number of local television stations here in Cleveland.  Ohio's largest newspaper "The Plain Dealer" did a small bio feature on Bob playing his accordion at the Severance Hall grand re-opening and McDonalds had Bob's sound track on one of their new sandwich ad commercials.
Bob is keeping the heritage and tradition of polka music alive and fresh and he puts his heart and soul into his music. He plans to play as long as there are places to play and there are people who want to hear his music. Bob remains and will remain one of the best.' (from )


Monday, January 26, 2009

Snowflake dance with Frank Moravcik - day 2

Sunday Snowflake Dance was even more crowded than Saturday one. To me it looked like everyone had loads of fun - dancing their feet away... :)

I'm working on page about this great event and will announce it here the moment I publish it. Thank you for your patience, I have some great photos you'll be able to see very soon!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snowflake dance with Frank Moravcik - day 1

From left to right: Frank Moravcik, Walt Harfmann, Wackie Jackie Z and Mrs. Wackie

There will be a photo album of entire two-day event posted online before next weekend at:
(not live just yet!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Frank Moravcik at SNPJ Lodge 778

This weekend we have a Snow Flake Dance with Frank Moravcik from Cleveland at the SNPJ hall in Spring Hill (even in this part of Florida seems cold enough for some snow right now... ;)

Snow Flake Dance 
will take place at the Lodge hall 
on Saturday, January 24, 2009 
  from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, January 25, 2009 
  from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission is $8.00/event or $15.00 FOR BOTH DANCES!!!

For more info, tickets and reservations call 
Doris at 352-686-9874 or
Jo at 352-683-1739
Food and cash bar available both days

For more scheduled future events at SNPJ Lodge (Suncoast Dance and Party Center) visit  

About Frank Moravcik
Frank Moravcik has been playing professionally since the age of 16 with popular groups like Joe Beno Orchestra, and America's Polka King, Frank Yankovic.
While growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, he was influenced by the music of Jerry Bukac, Johnny Vadnal, and Johnny Pecon. Frank Yankovic, however, was his strongest source of inspiration and Slovenian-style polka became the trademark of Moravcik Band.
The Frank Moravcik Band has been around since 1995, popular for its own brand of Cleveland-Style polka music. Their repertoire includes Polish, Czech, and Slovak polka tunes, along with standards, country and rock. They appear to be one of the best active dance bands - for their tempo and variety.

Awards and recognitions:

  • Musician of the Year from the Collinwood Slovenian Home in Cleveland, Ohio

  • In 1997, the band was voted Best New/Young Band form the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame

  • In 2002, the band was nominated for Band of the Year

  • In 2003, they received four nominations: Band of the Year; Album of the Year; Frank for Musician of the Year; and Dan Peters (second accordionist) for Sideman of the Year
The group has already released four albums, currently working on their fifth.  Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the Frank Moravcik Band travels nationally while hosting a number of trips and cruises.

Frank also hosts a popular polka-radio show, The Czech-American Polka Show, which can be heard every Saturday on WERE 1300 AM from Cleveland, Ohio.

You can contact Frank Moravcik from


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wackie Jackie Z. at SNPJ hall

These are the photos and video from yesterday's fund-raising event to help Keep Polkas Alive on 88.5 FM and help keep WMNF Community Radio on air. According to DJ Wackie Jackie, the goal to raise $1,000 was reached.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Making potica

Slovenian potica making day at the SNPJ Lodge 778 - we baked 23 loaves of "orehova potica" or "walnut roll" or "walnut potica" as this traditional holiday dish from the old country (Slovenia) is also called in North America.

potica recipe



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another line dance step

We did learn a new dance today, called Stomping It Out. Seems like a lot of fun and everyone got more exercise than ever before. But what's even better than that is the fact that the new students are coming in every week and the number of those who are regularly attending line dancing class with Christine Feil, is still growing! :)

Tomorrow, on Thursday, January 8, 2009 is a potica making and baking day. Preparations start around seven o'clock in the morning and those who know (or want to learn) how to roll the dough with rolling pin are expected to show up by nine a.m.

Photo of Potica, traditional Slovenian holiday cake - courtesy of petrasteyer


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thank you all...

I can only think of two words to express myself today:


Thank you to all of you who commented on my blogs or Squidoo pages,
thank you to Ed and Walt and Nick who cared to look at my un-edited text,
thank you to everyone who stopped by, read some text or just looked at the images!

And finally, an extra large thank you goes to Rev. Travnikar who gave me a call and complimented me on my work like noone has ever complimented me before... :)

Thank you God for Flowers and Friends!

Photo Thank you God for Flowers and Friends! - courtesy of fantartsy

"I would maintain 
that thanks are the highest form of thought, 
and that gratitude is happiness 
doubled by wonder." 

~G.K. Chesterton


Monday, January 5, 2009

Polka Party Express

January is a national Polka Month and SNPJ Lodge 778 in Spring Hill wouldn't want to miss out on that. To spice things up and do something different than usually, Slovene-American Club is hosting a fund raiser to help Keep Polkas Alive on 88.5 FM and help keep WMNF Community Radio on air with your support.

will take place at the Lodge hall 
on Saturday, January 10, 2009 
at 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission is FREE!

The Polka Party Express
88.5fm WMNF, Tampa
Live every Sunday from 2-4pm

See more scheduled future events at SNPJ Lodge (Suncoast Dance and Party Center) at SNPJ Lodge 778 in Spring Hill, Florida - Season 2008/2009 Schedule of Events


Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Board Meeting

The first regular board meeting in 2009 happened this afternoon at the SNPJ hall on County Road.If you haven't been there, you missed out on a lot of good things (including food).

Attendance was good and everyone looked happy. The complete report with photos about today's event is available at: January Monthly Board Meeting of SNPJ Lodge 778 in Spring Hill, Florida. Click on the link, it opens a new window.

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