Folk Art PA

Joe Grkman and GRKMANIA

Slovenian Polka Ensemble
(Shaping Communtiy)

Although Joe Grkman, Sr. followed his immigrant father into the coal mines, his real vocation was music.  In 1967 he formed The Grkman Band and has played everything from weddings and family parties to a concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  In 1995, Grkman was inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame Trustees Honor Roll, which is sponsored by the American-Slovenian Polka Foundation

“Through the years many things have changed, but the basic necessity for people to be proud of something and to have a cultural identity still remain.  My generation needs to do everything possible to preserve and perpetuate the culture of our immigrant parents.  We experienced it first hand, and when we are gone the culture will be gone if we do not pass it on.  I am proud of my heritage and utilize all of my efforts to perpetuate my culture to society and future generations.”  Joseph Grkman Sr.

“From birth I would always hear my father singing Slovenian folk songs and playing them on his accordion.  I grew up with it and it became an important and integral part of me.” Joseph Grkman Jr.

Four generations make up this Slovenian ensemble that has several Grammy nominated albums.  The patriarch, Joe Grkman, Sr., was born in a coal-mining community in western Pennsylvania.  He performs with his sons Joe Jr. and Steve, his grandson Michael, and Michael’s son Benjamin in the group, GRKMANIA.