BIG DADDY and the Polka Family Band to Perform Together


TROY–  In North America, Polka music is part of the fabric of the Polonia music beat.  Polka music has evolved as part of culture especially for second generation Polish-Americans.  The American Polka sound is a Polish based country-jazz hybrid, especially the modern version with added electronic supplement.  The upbeat resonance of a snappy Polka brings smiles to most.  What would a Polish wedding be if you didn’t have Polka Music and/or an accordion player? 


Big Daddy Lackowski performing at Caesars Palace in Windsor, Ontario recently.       Photo by Rob Savickis

Rooted partly from Polish goral (highlanders) American and Canadian Polka music is still evolving and growing.  In fact, the Polish-American Polka music genre has spread.  Mexican Tijana music has influence from the American Polka.  The San Antonio style of Mariachi and Tijana brass and accordion influence was brought to Texas from Polish and German immigrants, many of who came from Detroit in the 1850’s.  Another Tex-Mex offshoot is Conjunto music highlighted by the button accordion.  The Conjunto fusion and hybrid sound has even migrated to Cuba and now big in Miami Global music historians know of Detroit’s vast pedigree of American Jazz, Motown and Techno sounds but who knew that Tijana and Conjunto had Detroit Polka heredity? 

This all leads to the “Polka Festival” on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at the American Polish Cultural Center on Maple Road in Troy, Michigan Starting at 1:00 P.M. and running through 8:00 P.M.  The center attraction will be Big Daddy Lackowski and the La Dee Das.  Also on stage will be the Polka Family Band with their popular brass additions. The longtime touring group features their hit single, the “Ooh La, Ooh La La Polka.”

Respected as a master accordionist, Big Daddy followed his older brothers into a Polka band.  He often talks about the power that accordion music has had on his life.  He had told me, “Growing up on the farm, music was our entertainment.  Other musicians may have a ‘feel’ for certain sounds of certain instruments but for me the accordion is king.  That led me to Polka music.  The three of us would play the thumb area of Michigan starting in the fifties,” he added.

Currently, Big Daddy has the great fortune to be entertaining Polish-American crowds alongside his three sons.  They always sprinkle their trademark hit, the “La-Dee-Da-Polka” throughout their performance.  The present day La Dee Das consist of Big Daddy (Marshall Lackowski), Jack Wolak, John Lackowski, Richard Kuciemba, Joshua Lackowski and Mark Lackowski.  At the APCC “Polka Festival” event ($15) there will also be dinner options available at the adjacent and renowned Wawel Polish Restaurant.

Another occasion that Big Daddy and the La Dee Das will be performing locally will be during pregame, outside the stadium at Polish-American Night at Comerica Park before the Tigers vs. Yankees on Friday, June 1.  

 National Polka Event Directory