Friday, May 28, 2010

Polka Film

Polka rhythm Blatter, Alfred (2007). Revisitin...Image via Wikipedia
National Slovenian TV made a great documentary  movie in two parts - about things that are very familiar to most of us. It's title is: "Polka film: O glasbi, klobasah in Slovencih v Ameriki" (Polka Film: About Music, Klobase and Slovenians in America."

Part 1 is mostly in Slovenian but there are some popular polka musicians and other well known people of Slovenian heritage interviewed in it like Bob Kravos, Walter Ostanek, Tony Petkovsek, Jan Paulich Jones, Robert Dolgan, Richie Vadnal, Tom Klein, Joey Tomsick, Cecilia Dolgan, Joey Miskulin, Frank Yankovic Jr. and and others.

Joe Valencic is a guide around downtown Cleveland, Ohio, where used to be a real Slovenian neighborhood and some Slovenians living there never learned English because they simply didn't need it.

Part 2 is mostly in English and both parts have lots of polkas and waltzes. For some 40 + minutes of fun and memories about Frankie Yankovic and more, click on the links below, they open a new window.

Polka Film - Part 1

Polka Film - Part 2


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Slovenia's Got Talent

You might be interested to watch the video below. 15 year old Slovenian girl Tina Drole from Cerkno became a finalist of "Slovenija ima talent" (Slovenia's Got Talent). She sure is and excellent jodeler... :)


Monday, May 24, 2010

Season 2010/2011 temporary schedule

Some of the dances for the upcoming season 2010/2011 are scheduled. You can see the dates at:

SNPJ Lodge 778 in Spring Hill, Florida - Schedule of Events

(click on the link above, it opens a new window)

More events will be added as soon as all the arrangements are made.

Photo above: Nezka and Jim


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Timeless Slovenian Waltz

"Jadraj z menoj" (Sail with me) is one of the most famous Avsenik's waltzes of all times and has been around for many years.

Still, this is also one of those evergreen, timelessly young and fresh melodies that are always new-like - when performed by another talented ensemble.

I instantly fell in love with one of the latest versions of  "Jadraj z menoj" (Sail with me), performed for the first time at 2010 "16. festival SLOVENSKA POLKA IN VALČEK" (16th Festival Slovenian Polka and Waltz) by "Zlati muzikanti" (Golden Musicians) and popular vocalist Irena Verčkovnik. Hope you like it, too...

Here it is, some summer romance in a form of Slovenian waltz and video of sailing on Adriatic Sea, especially for you. :)

40 Jahre Slavko Avsenik U.S.Oo


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ansambel Osminka

For all of you who are planning to be at the biggest annual celebration of ethnic culture - Slovenefest 2010, held every second weekend of July at the SNPJ Recreation Center in the Borough of SNPJ (Enon Valley), PA - it's no news that there will be lots of popular polka bands entertaining visitors for three days:

Bob Turcola Orchestra, Mikey Dee Band, Dick Tady Orchestra, Fred Ziwich & the ISM, Frank Stanger Orchestra, Karl Lukitsch Band, Don Wojtila Orchestra, The Polka Quads, Jack Tady & the JTB, Eddie Rodick Orchestra, Joe Grkman Orchestra, Bob Kravos Band, Ansambel Osminka (from Slovenia), Ansambel Dvojčki, Jim Rhoades Band, Fairport Jammers, Western Pa. BBC, Button Box Buddies, Joe Novak & Friends, Magic Buttons, Happy Timers, Mahoning Valley BBC, Frank Moravcik Band and likely some others.

The only Slovenian group at this year's Slovenefest is "Ansambel Osminka" which is not one of the best known polka music groups around so I did some research on them and found a few videos - to give you a taste of what to expect at the SNPJ's International Pavilion on Saturday and Sunday.

Video above: Ansambel Osminka - Po nevesto (live)

Video above: Ansambel Osminka - Dixie (live)

Video above: Ansambel Osminka - Pastirček (live)

Video above: Ansambel Osminka - S pesmijo našo (live)

I personally find their playing quite outstanding and hope many will agree with me after watching the videos above.

Members of "Ansambel Osminka": Anija Janežič, Toni Novak, Gregor Budal, Grega Logar, Nevio Prosen, David Dovgan, Miha Ziccardi

Photo above: Ansambel Osminka from Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia

For more information about
Slovenefest XXIX: July 9-11, 2010
click on the link above, it opens a new window.
There you will find a complete schedule of events for this three-day event where you can enjoy the ethnic food, music, culture and fun of Slovenia. See you there!! :)


Monday, May 10, 2010

Folk Rock - Narodnozabavni Rock

Slovenian Eurovision Song Contest (EMA) took place on February 21st of 2010. An overwhelming winner was the song "Narodnozabavni rock" (Folk Rock or Polka Rock), performed by two groups:

  • popular folk band "Ansambel Roka Žlindre" (Rok Žlindra Ensemble) and
  • popular rock band "Kalamari" (Calamari)
The tune is an interesting mix of button box - pop - polka music and rock rhythm which obviously took hearts of Slovenian tele-voters (audience voting via phones). 

Photo above: Jože Jež - Pepi, "Kalamari" vocal and Barbara Ogrinc, "Ansambel Roka Žlindre" vocal after winning Slovenian Eurovision Song Contest (EMA) at "Gospodarsko razstavišče" in Ljubljana

On May 29, the selected Slovenian contestant will compete at the finals  of the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, Norway - if they make it through the semi-finals.

Video above: "Narodnozabavni rock" tune performed live in Ljubljana on February 21, 2010

According to Rok Žlindra, the members of his folk ensemble will stay authentic and in Oslo perform in Slovenian ethnic clothing, like they always do.

After winning EMA contest in Ljubljana, the winners stated that it's time for the European pop audience to experience the sound of button box music - which they will deliver.

In the recent years button accordion once again became so widely popular with all generations of musicians all across Slovenia that some people are saying they wish for some more piano accordions at the folk festivals.

Good luck to "Ansambel Roka Žlindre" and "Kalamari."


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day Bouquet
Photo Mother's Day Bouquet - courtesy of Ko&Ka

Mothers hold their children's hands 
for a short while, 
but their hearts forever. 
 ~Author Unknown

Happy Mother's day
to all the moms out there!! :)

And especially for all the mommies today, a very heartfelt song by Majda Sepe - "Poj, kitara mojega srca" (Sing, My Heart's Guitar).

Lyrics in Slovenian (partial):

Prelep je dan,
sonce se smehlja kot mati.
Obljublja nam,
da poletje je pred vrati.
In kdor je sam
našel bo morda ljubezen...

Lyrics in English (partial):

It's a beautiful day,
the sun is smiling like mother
with promises of
summer just around the corner.
And those who are alone
might find love...


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oto Pestner

Oto Pestner is my all times favorite Slovenian singer with beautiful voice, no matter what kind of music he is singing. I haven't heard this melody (in the video below) in the past ten years and today someone posted it on Facebook. It made me quite happy and here I'm sharing it with You: Oto Pestner and "Ljubim te, Slovenia" (I Love You, Slovenia).

And if you're not a fan of Slovenian pop music, here's the waltz version of the same tune, this time performed by vocals Oto Pestner and Ivanka Kraševec, both members of "Alpski Kvintet" or "Alpen Oberkreiner."

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