Question- What band has done all of the following…….
………Played at Woodstock ’99?
………Been inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame?
………Had two songs featured on the hit TV series Breaking Bad?
………Appeared on the Manchurian Candidate DVD released by Paramount Pictures?
………Played twice at the largest free-admission music festival (Musikfest) in the U.S.?
Answer- Only Fritz’s Polka Band!
Fritz’s Polka Band (FPB) was formed in 1978 by lead accordionist, the late Fred Scherz Sr., and his eight-year old son, Fritz, for whom the band was named. Sadly, Fred passed away on November 14, 2009, but FPB has vowed to carry on his legacy! Playing everything from modern-style polka to country to rock and even blues, FPB performs an eclectic mix of musical styles! FPB is NOT an oompa pa band or the stereotypical “polka” band. In fact, FPB is known for breaking the “polka” stereotype. FPB is the first polka band to perform at a Woodstock Festival (Woodstock ’99)! On October 7, 2010, FPB was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame! FPB was sponsored by Jagermeister for over 12 years and is now sponsored by Coldcock Whiskey, an American herbal whiskey.
Fritz’s Polka Band has made 18 recordings, which have achieved international airplay. Individuals of the band, and the band itself, have received some prestigious honors. As a group, FPB has performed on stage with “Canada’s Polka King,” Walter Ostanek (Grammy winner), “America’s Polka King,” the late Frank Yankovic (Grammy winner), LynnMarie Rink (Grammy nominee), and Glen Burtnik. Individually, Fritz has performed on-stage with Steve Augeri (former lead singer of Journey) and Charles Giordano (current accordionist/keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen). FPB has performed at B.B. King’s Club (2003), The China Club (2006), and The Metropolitan Club (2007) too! FPB even appears on “The Manchurian Candidate” DVD, released by Paramount Pictures in 2004! In 2011, FPB had two different songs appear in episodes of the hit cable TV show, ‘Breaking Bad’, which airs on AMC.
The band has even been given the nod for prestigious international awards! Fritz’s Polka Band has been nominated for the 2017 Just Plain Folks Music Awards by the Just Plain Folks Music Organization (JPFMO). After 18 months of screening 17,400 albums and 240,000 songs the JPFMO announced the nominations for both Albums and Songs in over 70 genres of music. Fritz’s Polka Band (FPB) has two songs in the Best Polka Song category, which contains only 19 other songs. In addition, their album “The WSKG Sessions” is nominated in the Best Polka Album category, which contains only eight other album nominations. Final voting will be done by music industry professionals, musicians, and songwriter peers from the JPFMO. The JPFMO Awards Show will take place April 29th in Los Angeles, CA.
Additionally, Fritz’s Polka Band has shared the stage with Skid Row, Sean Kingston, New Boyz, Jimmy Sturr (Grammy winner), and BeauSoleil (Grammy winner), to name a few. FPB has played at: Woodstock ’99, the New York State Fair, regional and county fairs, ethnic events, colleges, concerts, social occasions, corporate events, weddings, anniversaries, benefits, and multiple times at Musikfest (the largest free festival in the United States!).
Fritz Scherz: piano accordion, button-box accordion, vocals
Gabe Vaccaro: bass guitar, guitar, vocals
Frank Nelson: guitar, vocals
Mike Faraino: drums