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The International Polka Association (IPA) is located in Chicago, Illinois and dedicated to the study and preservation of polka music and the cultural heritage of Polish Americans who have made this music tradition part of their heritage. The IPA hosts an annual festival and convention as well as its Annual Polka Music Awards banquet. During the banquet, important figures in polka music are inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame.
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
The polka is originally a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. The polka remains a popular folk music genre in many European countries, and is performed by folk artists in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Croatia and Finland, and to a lesser extent in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, Russia, and Slovakia. Local varieties of this dance are also found in the Nordic countries, Spain's Basque Country, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Latin America and the United States.
The concept of a national polka convention had been developed and pioneered in Chicago, and the first polka convention was held in 1963. This convention developed into the International Polka Convention which was presented each succeeding year in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo, New York. In 1968, a steering committee began preparations for the formation of the International Polka Association. The association was officially chartered by the State of Illinois as a "not for profit" corporation and was registered with the County of Cook (Chicago) in August 1968
Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.
Buffalo is the second largest city in the U.S. state of New York and the largest city in Western New York. As of July 2016, the population was 256,902. The city is the county seat of Erie County and a major gateway for commerce and travel across the Canada–United States border, forming part of the bi-national Buffalo Niagara Region.
. As stated in its charter, the International Polka Association was organized as: "An educational and charitable organization for the preservation, promulgation and advancement of polka music and; to promote, maintain and advance public interest in polka entertainment; to advance the mutual interests and encourage greater cooperation among its members who are engaged in polka entertainment; and to encourage and pursue the study of polka music, dancing and traditional folklore."
Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can typically gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called Folklore studies, and it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels.
The IPA is structured to serve as an educational resource. The IPA is also responsible for the continued operation and growth of the Polka Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It is through this branch that the association has been able to continue its historical, educational and research goals on behalf of polka music.
|Biskup, Michael "Mitch"|
|Blazonczyk, Eddie (Sr)||1970|
|Borek, William "Wesoly Bolek"|
|Dusseault, Happy Louie|
|Dziagwa, Andy "Day"|
|Grybosh, Frankie "Gee"|
|Jagiello, Walter "Li'l Wally"|
|Jarusinski, Raymond "Ray Jay"|
|Kryger, Brunon (Bruce)|
|Paterek, "Joe Pat"|
|Pietrzak, Wanda "Koziol"|
|Przasnyski, John "Jas"|
|Robel, Jolly Jack|
|Sajewski, Alvin C.|
|Saleski, Stan E.|
|Seweryniak, Dave "Scrubby"|
|Szczypula, Rev. Walter|
|Timmer, "Jolly" Joe|
|Towalski, Li'l Richard|
|Wilczynski, Henry "Will"|
|Wilfahrt, "Whoopie John"|
|Witkowski, Bernie Wyte|
|Wolan, Sylvester "Shep"|
|Zablocki, Chester "Chet"|
|Zielinski, Bruno "Jr."|
The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum in Euclid, Ohio, United States. It traces the history of the Cleveland-style polka, from its Slovenian roots from the 19th century, through American factory and mining towns where it absorbed jazz and country expressions, to the post-war years when top ten polka hits got the nation on the dance floor.
Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr. was a Grammy award-winning polka musician and founder of the band The Versatones. He was inducted into the International Polka Hall of Fame in 1970. He stopped performing in 2002. Blazonczyk died of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome on May 21, 2012.
Illinois, including Chicago, has a wide musical heritage. Chicago is most famously associated with the development of electric blues music. Chicago was also a center of development for early jazz and later for house music, and includes a vibrant hip hop scene and R&B. Chicago also has a thriving rock scene that spans the breadth of the rock genre, from huge stadium-filling arena-rock bands to small local indie bands. Chicago has had a significant historical impact on the development of many rock subgenres including power pop, punk rock, indie rock, emo rock, pop punk, and alternative rock.
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is a fraternal organization founded on July 26, 1922, in Atlanta, Georgia. AHEPA was founded in response to the evils of bigotry spearheaded by the Ku Klux Klan and to assist Greek immigrants' assimilation into American society. AHEPA joined with B'nai B'rith and the NAACP to combat discrimination.
The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a Colorado Springs, Colorado organization founded in 1891 by Dr. George F. Heath. It was formed to advance the knowledge of numismatics along educational, historical, and scientific lines, as well as to enhance interest in the hobby.
The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit institution honoring exceptional U.S. athletes of Italian descent. In 1977 George Randazzo created the Italian American Boxing Hall of Fame. This was as a means for raising money for local Catholic youth programs. After a successful year and dinner honoring 23 former Italian American boxing champions, Randazzo created the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. The original location was in Elmwood Park, Illinois. The first induction ceremony honored Lou Ambers, Eddie Arcaro, Charley Trippi, Gino Marchetti, Dom DiMaggio, Joe DiMaggio, and Vince Lombardi. Since its founding in 1978, more than 230 Italian Americans have been inducted into this hall of fame.
Douglas, on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, is one of 77 Chicago community areas. The neighborhood is named for Stephen A. Douglas, an Illinois politician, whose estate included a tract of land given to the federal government. This tract later was developed for use as the Civil War Union training and prison camp, Camp Douglas, located in what is now the eastern portion of the Douglas neighborhood. Douglas gave that part of his estate at Cottage Grove and 35th to the Old University of Chicago. The Chicago 2016 Olympic bid planned for the Olympic Village to be constructed on a 37-acre (150,000 m2) truck parking lot south of McCormick Place that is mostly in the Douglas community area and partly in the Near South Side.
WPNA is a time-brokered radio station licensed to Oak Park, Illinois, United States, the station serves the Chicago area. The station is currently owned by Alliance Communications.
The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is an organization recognizing musicians who have contributed to the musical heritage of Long Island, New York. The hall of fame has a business office is in Melville, New York. It was incorporated in July 2005, under the New York State Board of Regents, as a nonprofit organization and holds a provisional charter to operate as a museum in the state of New York. Expansion plans include a museum of Long Island music history, a multimedia resource center, an educational facility and outreach program, and will also serve as a venue for musical performances.
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution,the North Carolina Museum of History is located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Admission is free. Special programs include educational programs for children and families as well as craft demonstrations, music concerts, and other events for visitors and members. The Museum Shop features an assortment of North Carolina–made crafts and products. The museum is a part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame was founded in the Mission District in San Francisco, California on October 24, 1998, and Incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit organization on June 23, 1999 in Sacramento, California by Gabriel "Tito" Avila, Jr. a former Semi-pro, Sandlot, High School, College player and a Vietnam Era Veteran from New York City and San Francisco resident who wanted to honor the greatest Hispanic Baseball position players of all time. The HHBMHOF is International and dedicated to recognizing the contributions made to baseball by Hispanic players. Since its inception, the HHBMHOF has inducted (67) players, coaches, broadcasters, Negro Leagues Hispanic players, MLB Scorers, and Pioneer Executives. Founding members include Orlando Cepeda, Orlando Mercado and Tito 23 Fuentes.
Polka in the United States refers to polka—a music and dance style that originated in Czech Republic in the 1830s and came to American society when people immigrated from Central Europe. A fast style in 2/4 time, and often associated with the pre–World War II era, polka remains a dynamic "niche" music in America.
Mannie Jackson is the chairman and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, for whom he played from 1962 to 1964. He was the first African American with controlling ownership in an entertainment organization and international sports. Jackson has been heavily recognized throughout his career including an acknowledgment as one of the nation's 30 most powerful and influential black corporate executives, one of the nation's top 50 corporate strategists, and one of the 20 African-American high-net-worth entrepreneurs.
Walter Solek or Walt Solek was a Polish-American lyricist, musician, performer, and radio show host who introduced English-language lyrics into polka music in the United States. Solek was known as the "Clown Prince of Polka" and died on 1 April 2005 at the age of 94. Solek was honored by the International Polka Association, the Polka Hall of Fame in Chicago, he is a Meriden Hall of Fame member, and "the first sailor in 1940 who could sing Anchors Aweigh in Polish". He hosted the Polka Show on WMMW radio for 28 years starting in 1947, and had a 75-year music career.
Lenny Gomulka is an American musician, singer, bandleader, composer, and publisher. One of his bands Lenny Gomulka and Chicago Push, specializes primarily in Polish-style and Chicago-style polkas. Gomulka has also collaborated numerous times with Jimmy Sturr and others.
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) represents over 5,300 amusement-industry members in more than 100 countries worldwide and operates several global amusement-industry trade shows. Its annual IAAPA Attractions Exposition (IAE) in Orlando, Florida is recognized as the world's largest amusement trade show in the number of attendees and exhibitors and providing members insight into current amusement trends, laws, operations and industry methodology. IAAPA also helps to promote guest- and ride-safety guidelines in conjunction with ASTM International and assists its members to uphold the highest amusement-industry safety and professional standards.
The National Polka Festival is an annual parade and festival held in Ennis, Texas celebrating the Czech heritage in the city. The 3-day festival is held every Memorial Day weekend. The 3 fraternal halls offer a lunch or dinner with Czech foods such as klobase (sausage), sauerkraut, and kolache, as well as live entertainment with traditional polka music and dancing.
The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) is an organisation which aims to promote and encourage the development of agricultural, industrial, manufacturing and cultural resources of Queensland, Australia. The RNA owns and operates the Brisbane Exhibition Ground, situated 1.6 kilometres from the Brisbane central business district.
Larry Chesky, born Lawrence J. Ciszewski, was a Polka band leader and manager of the Polka record label Rex Records. Organizing and playing in his first Polka band at the age of 13, after graduating from Holyoke High School he attended the Hartt School of Music and spent much of his early career touring the Eastern Polka circuit from New York to Chicago. He was inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in 1985, having recorded over 100 record albums. He was a proponent of the "Big Band" or "Eastern" style of Polka, which features more band members, and a focus on horn and reed instruments, than the typical Polka band. Jimmy Sturr, the 18 time Grammy Award Winner for Best Polka Album, said of him: "He was one of my idols. I grew up on him...I modeled my band after his Eastern style." Lenny Gomulka, the twelve time Polka Grammy Nominee, said that Larry Chesky was a "pioneer who changed and enhanced the image of polka to the Big Band sound."