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Feb 29, 2024

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Steve Balich Band At Swiss Park In Newark, CA

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Balich Band taking a break

Swiss Park in Newark, Ca. is a wonderful old wooden structure with the best dance floor in Northern California – raised wooden floors, free of shellac, worn smooth from decades of dancing without a hint of dance wax or any other foreign material. It’s by far our favorite dance hall. On Sunday, October 27, the Steve Balich band drew a very good dance crowd, who really enjoyed the musical journey.

Steve Balich, Sr. was joined by his effervescent son Steve, Jr., Art Wood on clarinet, and Scott Vonheim on drums. Everyone loved the Balich variety of waltzes, rhumbas, foxtrots, swings, and occasional polkas. Scott replaced the popular Tom Casazza, who now performs with the Internationals. Scott has a wonderfully melodious voice, provided vocals, drawing raves from the crowd.

Steve’s heritage is Croatian, yet he’s the most popular Italian dance band in Northern California. He grew up in San Francisco and studied accordion under an Italian instructor in the 1940s who also tutored Dick Contino, a world reknowned accordionist, best known for “Lady of Spain.” So Steve’s Italian repertoire was most welcome in late October after we’ve had two months of Oktoberfest music.   Swiss Park has a steady schedule of dances including Bill Bly & the Continentals on Nov. 24 and Joe Domitrowich with AlpinersUSA on December 8.