ORANGE CITY — It’s polka time at Onstage Orange City.
The August 5 show in Windmill Park begins at 7:00pm. Be ready to polka, or at least tap those feet. The Craig Ebel & DyVersaCo Polka Band, from Minneapolis, is one of the Midwest’s finest polka bands and features one of the country’s youngest drummers.
Craig Ebel, the band’s leader, has been surrounded by music since childhood… singing and playing guitar in country-western bands with his mother, and building and operating Bel-Rae Ballroom with his father. He has played in rock, country, big band and polka bands and has performed with big names like Myron Floren and “America’s Polka King” Frank Yankovic.
Other members of the band are Lori Ebel, Dana Lindblad, Mike “Julio” Sariego, Jean Stang, Gary Jasicki, Mike Cielecki and Jens Jensen. Last but not least is Craig and Lori Ebel’s young son, Christopher, who was featured a few years ago on the Minneapolis/ St. Paul CBS affiliate as “the amazing six-year-old polka drummer.”
The band plays a wide variety of music from polkas, waltzes, and schottisches to country and Cajun… giving dancers a diverse song selection and a solid beat.
Sponsors for the evening are Orange City Communications and Quatro Composites™, in conjunction with Orange City Arts.
The concert is free and open to the public. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Concessions will be available for purchase.
Rain location is Unity Christian Knight Center. For more information or weather-related announcements, contact Orange City Arts: ocArts@orangecityiowa.com, 712.707.6514 or see orangecityarts.net.
Craig Ebel is featured on concertina with DyVersaCo and is the band’s leader. Craig has been involved in music all his life with his mother, LaVay, singing and playing guitar in country western bands and his father, Elhart, building and operating the Bel-Rae Ballroom from 1964 to 1971… Craig has played drums, concertina, and keyboard in all styles of music including rock, country, big band, and polka. He has performed with “America’s Polka King” Frank Yankovic, Grammy Award Winner Walter Ostanek, Myron Floren, Dick Contino, Karl & The Country Dutchmen, Roger Bright, Joey Miskulin, and countless others. Craig is also the host of “It’s Polka Time!” a syndicated radio show heard across the United States and over the Internet. His knowledge of the music makes him the perfect person to front the band.
Lori Ebel, Craig’s wife, distinguishes DyVersaCo from other bands with her fun fiddle playing and solid trumpet tones. Originally from New Ulm, Minnesota, a city famous for generating renowned Dutchmen-style polka bands, she grew up in the midst of legendary polka musicians such as Whoopee John, Harold Loeffelmacher, Elmer Scheid, and Fezz Fritsche. With over twenty years of playing polka music with her parents’ band (The Marv Nissel Band), Lori brings great enthusiasm and diversity to the band.
Keeping the beat for DyVersaCo is Dana Lindblad, who has been playing drums since age 10 and performed with the late, great Marion Lush at age 16. Growing up in western Pennsylvania, he was influenced by both Slovenian and Polish style polkas. He has performed with Polkatown Sound, AKA, Stix-N-Tones, Alvin Styczynski TV Recording Orchestra, Joe Fedorchak, Bob Turcola & Bill Bevec. Dana’s amusing personality and steady rhythm assures that the band provides excitement and solid entertainment at each performance.
Mike “Julio” Sariego plays bass with DyVersaCo. Julio is an astonishing and versatile musician playing numerous instruments including trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, percussion, and keyboards. His musical career spans over 35 years, and he has played with such bands as Rogers & Friends, Polkatown Sound, AKA, and a wealth of other local bands from Central and Northeastern Wisconsin. Julio’s ability to formulate song structure complements DyVersaCo’s unique sound.
Jean Stang also plays bass with DyVersaCo. Jean grew up in west central Minnesota, where people learned to polka before they learned to walk. She started playing clarinet at the age of 10, and quickly learned the concertina. After winning first place at a talent contest playing her concertina, she formed her own polka band at the age of 14. Wanting to add more variety, she learned the bass guitar. Jean has also performed with Renata & Girls, Girls, Girls and LaVerne & The Starlite Girls. After 20 years away from the scene, she is thrilled to be performing again. Her love and excitement for the music make her the ideal “alternate” bass player.
DyVersaCo is fortunate to have an array of second trumpet and sax/clarinet musicians performing with them. Included in this are Gary Jasicki, Mike Cielecki, and Jens Jensen. Gary is an original member of the Jolly Jokers and has also performed with The Polka Padre (Father Kapoun) & The Ambassadors, Billy Jasicki & Polka Joy, and John Filipczak & The Classics. Mike is a long time member of Ray Dorschner’s Rainbow Valley Dutchmen as well as Karl & The Country Dutchmen. He also had his own band for a number of years called the Polka Chips. Jens is also a long time member of the Rainbow Valley Dutchmen and has recorded with the Andy Justman Orchestra. He has been a band director/music teacher for over 20 years. These astounding musicians have countless years of experience in the polka field, which give them the ability to improvise and provide perfect harmonies for the band’s arrangements.
Last, but not least is Craig and Lori’s son, Christopher Ebel, who travels with the band to most gigs and plays accordion, fiddle, and drums. A few years ago, Chris was featured on Channel 4 WCCO TV, the Minneapolis/St. Paul CBS affiliate, where he was labeled the “Amazing 6-Year-Old Polka Drummer.”