People and Things We Love: Chardon Polka Band

Chardon Polka Band logo  Even though I just learned about this band about a month ago, I already can’t get enough! I came across the Chardon Polka Band on Instagram and from there I fully immersed myself in their social media including their YouTube videos and bits and pieces of their Reality TV Show, Polka Kings, on Reelz. The group is funny, creative, and entertaining but still humble and super talented. They take traditional polka sound and mix and match it with modern songs like Lady Gaga’s Band Romance but still have a soft spot in their heart for classics like the Liechtensteiner Polka. Polka Kings Here is a little bit more about the band from their webiste: http://www.chardonpolkaband.com/who-is-the-chardon-polka-band-and-where-did-they-come-from/

In 2003, 16-year old Jake Kouwe was told there was no place for an accordion in his local high school’s marching band. In response, Jake recruited a group of five mismatched teenagers to form a genuine oom-pah style polka band. This group, known as “The Chardon High School Polka Band”, was a rather motley group of teenage musicians that included in the line-up an accordion, tuba, clarinet, saxophone, electric guitar, and trumpet. The group quickly found a following in the most unlikely of places- local nursing homes. Despite their ripped jeans, high school lingo, long (and even pink) hair, piercings and tattoos, senior citizens and nursing home residents turned a blind eye to their looks and fell in love with the polka-playing teens. However, the phenomena weren’t lost on their own generation. Soon, “Support Your Local Polka Band” t-shirts were being worn in the halls of Chardon High by fellow classmates and fans. Now, over ten years later, the band continues and its fan base grows. In the small town of Chardon, Ohio, long haired Jake Kouwe and his oom-pah gang are celebrities. The band no longer calls itself “The Chardon High School Polka Band”, since the original group has all graduated from high school (barely), and is now simply “The Chardon Polka Band”. Though the band’s membership of sometimes eccentric and always unique individuals has changed over the years, their eclectic style and uniqueness has never wavered.

Chardon Polka Band1 Despite the band’s sometimes gruff appearance, this delightfully eccentric gang is both friendly and outgoing. They are among the greater Cleveland area’s most recognizable performers at local parks, festivals, parades, parties and fund-raisers, and still perform regularly at local nursing homes. The polka band has a faithful fan base, ranging from senior citizens to small children, teens, and twenty-somethings.

One of my favorite videos is this 90s medley! Yes… it’s quite long, but the songs that they covered take me back and hearing them in polka form simply makes me smile! So great!

Another great video is from one of the band member’s mini series, Emily’s Polka Clubhouse! You can probably guess why i love this one 😉 Because is features Meagan from SCHNITZels and GIGGLES in the Weltmeister Dirndl! I was like a giddy little girl when I came across this video and saw a Rare Dirndl on the screen!
I hope you check them out on social media and watch their reality show on Reelz! I know I’ll be listening to some more great polka music this afternoon!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

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One thought on “People and Things We Love: Chardon Polka Band

  1. I LOVE THE CHARDON POLKA BAND! I’ve seen them play on many occasions, always awesome, always fun, always interactive, and always entertaining. Even if you’ve never been a fan of polka you WILL be!!!

    Like

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