Saturday, February 28, 2009

S.N.P.J. Days Weekend - Day 1

I didn't go golfing so I can't report about that part of Day 1 (yet) but I can say the jamming session went well with all the enthusiastic musicians performing so well that Maryann approached me saying,
"See, this is what Heaven sounds like..."

A little taste of jamming in the video below:

No wonder I saw so many people wearing t-shirts stating:
The Finest Polkas in Florida
SNPJ Lodge 778

As always, we saw some gorgeous couples...

... some beautiful dancers...

...and some celebrities...

Unfortunately, Spring Hill Slovenian Club's First Lady had an accident and broke her ankle.

On the bright side, she came to the dance for a little while, looking happy - and praising her husband for taking above-and-beyond good care of her.

(I hope all the husbands and future husbands read this!!)   ;)

Personally, I think Don Wojtila Band was the most fun band we've had entertaining us at our Club's Hall this season - and I like that they have a female singer, it really adds another quality to the performance.

Our special guest was young and pretty Miss SNPJ 2009 from up north:

A little taste of Don Wojtila Band's performance...

...and last but not least, I'd like to send a bunch of heartfelt greetings to my mom Ivana and my aunt Zvonka in Slovenia, from Nežka and I, with their favorite coffee on Nežka's shirt... :)

That would be all about the Day One of  S.N.P.J. Days Weekend or March Days at the SNPJ Lodge 778 in Spring Hill - for now. 

I have a lot more videos and photos to share with you in the coming days - make sure you come back to check on this blog as often as possible. Every view is very much appreciated and the comments underneath the posts are more than welcome!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

S.N.P.J. Days Weekend

 March Days   -   S.N.P.J. Days Weekend


dance event/jam sessions

will take place at the Lodge 778 hall 

  • on Friday, February 27, 2009:
    Jamming session - from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Don Wojtila Band -
    from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    All day admission: $10.00

  • on Saturday, February 28, 2009:
    Jamming session - from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Don Wojtila Band - from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    All day admission: $10.00

  • on Sunday, March 1, 2009:
    Jamming session - from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
    Steve Juricic and Tropical Squeeze -  from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    All day admission: $8.00

Admission for all three days - only $25.00
For more info, tickets and reservations call 
Mary Ann Hiltz at 727-376-8486

Food and cash bar available all three days

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


Monday, February 23, 2009

Don Wojtila Band - Kiss Me Darling

Don Wojtila Band will be playing at SNPJ 778 March Days 2009 - this Friday and Saturday.

This video was recorded LIVE at Thanksgiving Polka Party held at the Downtown Cleveland (OH) Marriott on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

March Days note

"Regrettably, Denis Novato will not be performing at our SNPJ Lodge 778 on March 27 and 28, 2009."

President of SNPJ Lodge 778 in Spring Hill,
Ben Drogonsky

SNPJ 778


Friday, February 20, 2009

Denis Novato live in Slovenia

Our Friday and Saturday guest performer - Denis Novato in the video below playing with another very popular Slovenian band "Štajerskih 7" - at their 20th Anniversary concert (koncert ob 20-letnici ansambla Štajerskih 7).


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don Wojtila Band

A famous band will be in charge of good and happy dancing music next weekend at SNPJ 778 Hall on County Line Road in Spring Hill: Don Wojtila Band, playing on February 27 and 28.

Video below came from Polkatime USA TV Show hosted by Joey Miskulin in the early 1980s. Don Wojtila - accordion & vocal, Dan Wojtila - sax & vocal, Mike Dworning - banjo, Al Bambic - drums, Denny Bucar - bass.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Virtuoso on button box

The absolute World Champion in playing on diatonic accordion, Denis Novato from Slovenia will be performing at SNPJ Lodge 778 Hall in a little more than a week. Find out more about him, his music and his performances at Who is DENIS NOVATO? webpage.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Polka Radio Melbourne

 Image below: Phill playing accordion (on the right) at 2008 St. Nicholas (sv. Miklavž) event at the Slovenian Club in Melbourne, Australia

Photo courtesy of Phillip Nadvesnik


Friday, February 13, 2009

This day is Valentine's

"We can do no great things; 
only small things with great love."
- Mother Teresa

In "LoVe" Germany..HappY ValenTine's Day..

Photo courtesy of Thai Jasmine

"Love is something eternal,
the aspect may change, 
but not the essence."
- Vincent van Gogh

"Love is a canvas
furnished by Nature
and embroidered by imagination."


Valentine's Day!!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jimmy album

This year's Grammy for Best Polka Album went to Jimmy Sturr and his Let the Whole World Sing album. Below are some excerpts from an article about this famous musician.

By Lisa Respers France

(CNN) -- With 17 Grammys, five gold records and -- by his count -- almost 130 albums, polka superstar Jimmy Sturr might just be the most successful musician you've never heard of.
Polka artist Jimmy Sturr is up for a possible 18th Grammy Award at the upcoming ceremony.

Polka artist Jimmy Sturr is up for a possible 18th Grammy Award at the upcoming ceremony.

Sturr and his orchestra, superstars in the polka world, are one of a multitude of musical acts nominated this year in some of the lesser-known Grammy categories. When there are 110 categories, "lesser-known" might be putting it lightly.

"I try not to get too worked up over it," said Sturr, who is once again nominated this year in the best polka album category. "But when the [awards] season comes along I am right there saying 'I hope I win. I hope I win.' It just never gets old."

While honored to have his first clarinet featured in the new Grammy Museum, Sturr said he'd relish a chance to perform on the show and give a wider audience a taste of what his fans know from albums like "Polkapalooza" and "Sturr-It-Up."

"I'd love to have just 30 seconds on that show," he said. "Just to play so people can see that this is not your grandmother's kind of music."


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oberkreiner Club

The OBERKREINER CLUB has been around for more than ten years. They call themselves "Friends of Slovenia"
in Slovenian: "Prijatelji od Slovenije"
in German: "Freunden von Slowenien"


The Oberkreiner Club organizes trips to popular polka events and the next one they are going to join is "23. Alpski večer" in Bled, Slovenia
- on May 9 of 2009.

I don't know what the official English title for the "Alpski večer" event is - or if the organizers even have one. All I can tell you is that "Alpski večer" translates to "An Evening in Alps." It means a lot of great live polka bands music, dancing and everything else Slovenia and Lake Bled has to offer, including Bled's unforgettable desert - the famous cream slice: "kremšnita" or cream cake.

More than nine million sweet moments: Bled Cream Cakes
The newly renovated Park Hotel has been widely reknown as the home of the only original Bled "kremšnita", "kremna rezina" or cream cake. During the summer of 2006, the nine millionth slice of "kremšnita" has been served to a lucky visitor.

The original Park cream cake can be enjoyed at the Park and Golf hotels, the Park Café and the Rikli Restaurant & Pizzeria.

Yummi "Park Cream Cake"

"The next 4 hours in afternoon, I spent my time in the cake shop in Hotel Park to wait for no raining. Thanks Tina for introducing me the shop, otherwise I won't have a chance to enjoy such a delicious cake."
Photo Yummi "Park Cream Cake" and comment above - courtesy of 29cm


Polka radio

Listen to Online RADIO OBERKRAIN any time, they play a lot of great polka music - hardly any talking!

Stream URL for slow connections/low quality:

Stream URL for fast connections/high quality:



Radio Oberkrain ist IHR neuer Internet-Radiosender für 


Monday, February 9, 2009

Pronounce Ljubljana

Ljubljana: Sunset at Dragon Bridge

Photo "Ljubljana: Sunset at Dragon Bridge" - courtesy of Lucio José Martínez González

A question awaiting for me this morning in the comment section of this blog made me realize that there must be a lot of people out there, wondering how to pronounce "Ljubljana."

Especially for a native English speaker, the name of the capital of Slovenia must represent quite a challenge. Some theories about the origin of the name are explained at How Ljubljana got its name.

However, the most popular belief among Slovenians seems to be that
"Ljubljana" originates from Slovenian word
"Ljubljena"  which means "beloved."

Let me let you in on a little secret. "Ljubljana" is even hard word to say correctly for Slovenians, so in everyday conversations it mostly comes out as "lublana" (with Js dismissed).

Spanish and Italians shortened "Ljubljana" into "Lubiana" and in the past, Germanic speaking people called "Ljubljana" - "Laibach". The settlement in the area of today's Slovenian capital, built by Romans was called "Emona" and burnt down by Huns in the 5th century A.D.


Photo "Ljubljanica river, Ljubljana" courtesy of majamarko
Oh, and I still owe you the final explanation about how to pronounce "Ljubljana":

Pronunciation Ljubljana:


Does it still seem hard?

Then choose the way of pronunciation that you find easier from examples above. You'll probably make the locals smile - but they will not resent you for mispronouncing the name of their beloved... :)


Friday, February 6, 2009

Snowflake dance webpage

Page about Snowflake Dance turned out to be quite a project with all the videos and photos I have to go through and edit them. Anyway, I am about half way done, so you can expect to see some familiar faces in photos in videos pretty soon.

Until then - enjoy the video below. It took me a few hours to put it together but I wouldn't be able to make it if Ed Klasa didn't use his video camera and burnt the recording on DVD for me. Thank you, Ed!! :)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

With guitar around the Old Ljubljana downtown

If you have ever visited Slovenia and its capital, Ljubljana, you will probably recognize some of the well known spots in the video below - like "Zmajski most" (Dragon Bridge), "Tromostovje" (Triple bridge), "Robov vodnjak" (Robba Fountain) and others - accompanied by a beautiful music of one of the most popular Slovenian musical groups, "Čuki" (Owls).

I had a hard time to translate the title of the tune for some reason but word-for-word translation would be: With Guitar Around the Old Ljubljana Downtown.

The video not only shows Ljubljana's most popular tourist destination, Ljubljana Castle, but also how people were dressed there - (I'm guessing) about a hundred years ago or so - and one of the dances they were dancing.

Enjoy! :)

Video: Čuki - S kitaro po stari Ljubljani


Monday, February 2, 2009

In the Meeting

February SNPJ Lodge 778 board meeting on Sunday, February 1 of 2009:

Photo: Re-installation of Officers for another year

Online photo album of this event will be live soon.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bob Kravos and Walter Ostanek

Everyone who attended last night's event had a unique opportunity to enjoy an outstanding performance of true masters.

Besides plenty of great photos, I have a nice video of this dance - to give you a flavor of the fun we were all having (if you were there, you might recognize yourself dancing waltz) - and if you weren't there, enjoy the kind of accordion playing that can only be given by musicians who pour their souls into their music-making.

On the photo (left to right): John Girl, Dan Peters, Bob Turcola, Ben Drongosky, Mr. Ferfolfa, Walt Harfmann, Walter Ostanek, Wackie Jackie Z, Tony Klepec and Bob Kravos

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