Central New York Polka legends Fritz’s Polka Band have two members nominated for national awards by the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame. Accordianist/vocalist Fritz Scherz has been nominated in the Musician of the Year and Vocalist of the Year categories, while bassist Gabe Vaccaro has also been nominated in the Musician of the Year category.
The Polka Hall of Fame ceremony is held annually at the Cleveland Downtown Marriot in Cleveland on Nov. 28 as part of Thanksgiving Polka Weekend. Fritz’s Polka Band is already scheduled to perform at the event on Nov. 27 and 28 and now have the awards ceremony to look forward to as well.
The band formed in 1978 with Fritz’s father Fred Scherz Sr. on accordion, Scherz on second accordion, Vaccaro on bass and Al ‘Rebe’ Reber on trumpet. The band now boasts four members, with Mike Faraino on drums and Frank Nelson on guitar. Founding member Fred Scherz Sr. passed away in 2009 and the band has dedicated each performance to his memory.
Fritz’s Polka Band has performed wedding receptions, world-renowned Polka festivals and the Woodstock ’99 stage in Rome. It prides itself as being the only Polka band ever to perform on a Woodstock Festival stage.
The band has released 18 recordings and has been featured in the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate as well as in two episodes of Breaking Bad.
In 2010, the band was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame and has been nominated for many Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS), most recently in 2009 for Best Recording.
For more information on the Thanksgiving Polka Weekend and the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, visit their website.