We've been known for a long time that we are a small band with a big sound! We are so lucky to be able to travel around the area and play great polka music for our fans! We have many fine musicians who join the band from time to time, so let's meet the members that are part of the band.....
Our band varies between 4 or 5 pieces and sometimes just Jon playing solo. When we play out as a 4 piece band, many times we call on one of the premier Polka musicians in the state, Laurie Krueger. Her musical talent and experience are unmatched. She has played for many of the best bands in the Midwest on several instruments, including keyboard, saxophone, clarinet and trumpet, and with her great vocals. If we’re lucky, her husband Gus will tag along and join in on banjo and guitar.
We wouldn’t be able to keep doing what we love if it wasn’t for the fantastic members we’ve had along the way. In addition to Laurie, we have also had some help from other great musicians. Playing drums for us in the past we have had Polka legends Ralph and Denis Thull, Merlin Schwartz and Bill Schmidt. Also in the back, on tuba we’ve had Greg Laabs, Andy Hacker, and Dave Heuer. In the front row we’ve had Danny Jerabek Jr, Gary Beal and Mark Wenzlaff. All of these fine musicians have played at least one engagement with the band in the past, they still play with us from time to time, and all have said it’s great fun being a part of us!
Jon Dietz - concertina
Jon began his musical journey at the age of 8, when he began taking concertina lessons from his father Russ at home in the small town of Montgomery, Minnesota. Over the years, Jon’s dad took him along to see many of the greatest Polka bands, where their musical stylings left their impression on him.
The 6 Fat Dutchmen, Karl and the Country Dutchmen, Ray Dorschner’s Rainbow Valley Dutchmen, just to name a few. The concertina playing in these bands was second to none, and Jon strove to model his playing after theirs. In his 5th grade at school Jon took up the trumpet, and in the summer before his 6th grade year, he had transitioned to the tuba. He continued with the tuba all throughout high school, performing many solo and ensemble pieces and earning top scores with each one.
He auditioned into the MMEA All-State band both his Junior and Senior years, chairing in the top 3 each year. At age 14, Jon was able to save up enough money to put a down payment on his very own concertina, purchased from Cliff Hermel who owned a Radio Shack music store in St. Peter MN.
In 2004, Jon moved to Southeastern Wisconsin with his wife Jenny and their son Zack. There, he began playing tuba with The Goodtime Dutchmen, and played full-time with them for several years. Jon continues to play tuba whenever his schedule allows, playing for great bands such as Barefoot Becky and The Ivanhoe Dutchmen, and Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen.
He now resides in Slinger Wisconsin with his wife Jenny, who is the glue that keeps everything going together smoothly, and their 2 sons Zack and Xaver. Their younger son Xaver has also been learning the clarinet and hopes to join the band very soon!
Zack Dietz - drums/tuba
Zack fell in love with the drums at the young age of about 3 years old. Like most kids, he started out with pots and pans, and whatever else he could hit that would make noise. A year or so later, Zack was given his first real drum set, purchased at a yard sale.
During this time, Zack's father was playing tuba full time with the Goodtime Dutchmen from Kewaskum WI, and Zack spent many gigs sitting between his dad and the drummer, learning all that he could.
On his 7th birthday he got his first real drum lesson from bandleader Ralph Thull, who pushed him to put down the steadiest beat possible and inspired him to be the best that he could. At age 11, after having sat in several times with several bands, including The Goodtime Dutchmen, Zack was hired for his first full gig with his dad's band and has played nearly every gig since then.
Now at age 15, he has picked up the tuba, learning only by ear and from pointers from his father. Zack has grown into one of the best Polka drummers and tuba players around, garnering compliments from Polka greats such as Gary Brueggen, Danny Jerabek Jr., Rick Vienecki and Hank Guzevich of Polka Family. Zack never fails to impress with his musicianship and excitement he brings to the band at every performance.
Mitch Dietz - keyboard/trumpet
Mitch’s life has been steeped in music for as long as he can remember.
As a young boy he was gifted a toy piano on which he would plunk out
tunes by ear. In 5th grade he was introduced to the trumpet and began
playing in the middle school band. He often accompanied his father
Russ or his brother Jon to polka jobs, where he would sit on the edge
of the stage and listen to the music and watch the crowd dance.
After playing trumpet and piano all through high school, Mitch went on
to major in music at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he was
principal trumpet of the Concert Band and Chamber Orchestra. While in
college he also began taking composition lessons, and gave a recital
of his original works during his senior year.
After college, Mitch began focusing on composition and recording, and
has since written original works for solo instruments, chamber
ensembles, concert band, orchestra, and film. In addition to his usual
trumpet and piano duties, he recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered
the band’s 2018 release “Back to Boxin’ Around” in his home studio.
He currently resides in Shakopee, Minnesota with his wife and their dog, Poppy.
Jason Anschutz - bass guitar/vocals
Jason grew up in Seymour, WI but now resides in Grafton WI, and has always loved Polka music, especially Polish style. He picked up the bass guitar around age 17, and since then has had the opportunity to play with several of Wisconsin and Minnesota's best Polish bands, including Polkatown Sound, Chad Przybylski and His Polka Rhythms, Craig Ebel and Dyversaco, The New Generation and even with Gary's Ridgeland Dutchmen.
Jason brings a great energy and style to the band, along with great creative ideas.