KEVIN SOLECKI

 

GRAMMY

Nominated

Accordionist

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KEVIN SOLECKI: PROFESSIONAL ACCORDIONIST

Kevin was born in Warren, Michigan, in October 1978. Kevin started taking classical accordion lessons at the age of 6, studying at Eligio’s Music Studio of Warren, Michigan (currently EDB Studios), under the instruction of store owner Eligio DiBerardo. 

At the early age of 10, Kevin started playing solo accordion performances. He could be found playing at nursing and senior homes, weddings, anniversaries, church functions, restaurants, and private parties. Some of Solecki’s earlier highlights included a performance on Detroit’s WCAR Radio in July 1989, a television appearance on Detroit’s WXYZ TV in March 1991, and an interview with his hometown newspaper, The Warren Weekly, in February 1992.

In 1996, while still maintaining a demanding solo schedule, he joined a nationally known polka band from Pennsylvania, the "Polka Family Band."  After several extensive months of traveling the country with the Polka Family, he decided to relocate to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in early 1997.  Kevin and the band have performed all over the United States, including trips to Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, and Las Vegas. He has toured internationally in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Europe. He has also been a part of numerous radio and television shows, and had the opportunity to perform at some of the country’s top polka festivals, state fairs, county fairs, hotels, and cruise ships.
  
In 2005, after recording on nearly a dozen albums with a variety of bands, Kevin decided to branch out and do his own project.  He chose a few friends from a popular Pittsburgh based country band, the PovertyNeck Hillbillies, to help him achieve a full band sound by accompanying him on drums, bass, and guitar.  They recorded and released "Solecktions" in June 2005...a polka album consisting of different styles of polka/waltz music.  It was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Polka Album" during the 2005-2006 season.  By popular request, Kevin followed up with another polka variety CD, a recording project called “Solecktive Sounds” which was released in September 2007.  It once again featured various styles of polkas/waltzes.  It also features 14 talented guest musicians performing on drums, bass, guitar, banjo, violin, vocals, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, flute, accordion, concertina and piano.  "Solecktive Sounds" was voted the "Best Polka Variety CD" in 2007 by 24/7 PolkaHeaven (an internet polka show consisting of internet jockeys from around the country).  Nearly 4,500 polka fans from around the world cast their votes, and Kevin is honored for the recognition.  His latest recording is a departure from his first two, it's a solo accordion project featuring 14 instrumental love songs.  The name of this CD is "Romantic Melodies", and it was released in early February 2010. 
  
Some of Solecki’s career highlights include a PBS Television documentary on the “polka,” recorded with the Polka Family in October 2001. This documentary, called "Polka Passion," aired nationwide in the spring of 2002, during PBS’s pledge drive season. He was then asked by Pittsburgh’s local PBS affiliate, WQED TV, to compliment the documentary with a solo interview and a performance on his accordion. Another career highlight includes a GRAMMY nomination for his debut album "Solecktions." His visit to the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards Ceremony held in Los Angeles, California in February 2006 was a memorable experience. Kevin was also invited to perform at the 7th Annual International Accordion Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada in June 2006, the Root River Center as part of the Milwaukee Accordion Club's 15th Anniversary Concert Series in July 2006, Mario Tacca's International Accordion Spectacular Show in October 2006, along with sold out concerts for the Michigan Accordion Society's yearly Polkafest Celebrations. In 2009, Kevin secured a position as full time accordionist at Wholey's (Pittsburgh's most popular fish market located in the city's Strip District). He can still be seen there on weekends, squeezing out lively tunes for the store's customers.  Another highlight for Kevin included a personal invitation from Harry Connick Jr. to help him at a performance at Pittsburgh's historic Heinz Hall. Solecki performed a few solo songs per Harry's request for the sold out June 2013 performance, then accompanied Connick's band for a tune during a memorable night of music and fun!
 
Currently Kevin continues to perform solo at nursing and senior homes, church festivals and functions, corporate events, family reunions, picnics, restaurants, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, class reunions, campaign parties, casinos, riverboat cruises, and accordion functions around the country.  He is also versatile with his repertoire, playing not only Polish melodies to represent his heritage, but also Oktoberfest music, Italian songs, French tunes, Irish music, and much more.  Kevin also keeps busy giving accordion lessons, instructing a handful of students each week.