Dancing In Northern California
Polka Power California performed for the Polka Booster Club at the Eagle’s Hall in Sacramento on April 13. For no known reason the attendance was light, in contrast to the dance in March which was standing room only. The club likes to do theme dances. March was St. Paddy’s day, so folk were decked out in green. The theme for April was Western, so folk sported their best western wear. Maybe people pulled on their cowboy boots in the morning, mosied on down to the saloon, and plum forgot that there was a dance? Ah well, the crew at the dance were spirited and fun.
Michael Kramar, accordionist with the Gruber Family Band, joined Polka Power (Danny Fitterer, Donna Seibert Clay, Mark Seibert, Stefan Kochishan), and the place was hopping. Michael injured his back and the doctors told him to take it easy – no accordion for a while, they weigh too much. They might just as well have told Michael to stop breathing – he ignored their advice. Danny Fitterer continues to impress us with new tunes each time he plays – he and Joe Bajuk are devining tunes for a new CD.
We had a surprise visit from Freddie Pfeffer, who played banjo and did vocals with Gary Seibert and the Polka Power Band in days of yore. Freddie popped in with his little dog in tow, made the rounds, and then disappeared without playing a note, which made us wonder, who was that masked man?
The Internationals performed at Teske’s Germania Restaurant in San Jose the evening of April 19. The band sets up in the large patio behind the restaurant, which has a dance area capable of holding 10 couples, surrounded by dining tables and a service bar. The patio itself is laid with brick with a portion of it covered over with linoleum to give a smooth surface for dancing. On this evening, like any other evening, there were young couples with kids on the dance floor and old folks (that’s us) joining in as well. The band played German, Austrian, Italian, Mexican, and American music, throwing in a chicken dance for the wee ones. The atmosphere is casual and the food, authentic German, is consistently good.
Given that Easter was the next day, attendance was low. The patio area which holds 100 was filled, but the restaurant proper was almost empty. There were lots of birthdays and wedding anniversaries to celebrate. The Internationals have added a distinct Latin flavor to their repertoire with the addition of Tom Casazza on drums. Bobby Maggiore, the bandleader, holds his own on the Italian numbers, but, Tom vocalizes the Italian tunes on par with the best. I love the variety that the band pumps out with polkas, waltzes, swings, rumbas, and more.