© 1996-2021, Tom Brusky LLC
The Tom Brusky
Band is a versatile polka-variety band comprised of talented,
We are an authentic, third-generation
band from Milwaukee, carrying on the music and sounds of the city's
great bands from the
past, such as Louis Bashell, Tony Rademacher, and Al Roberts.
We can rile up crowds with all the beer hall favorites
Out the Barrel and Who Stole the Kishka, and strike sentimental chords with
classic waltzes such as Waltz Across Texas and The Blue Skirt Waltz, but we actually
boast a repertoire of over three-hunded polkas and waltzes. We
established in Wisconsin's polka music circuit, and are
for weddings, Oktoberfests, festivals, fairs, and more.
of variety outside the polka genre
consists of over two-hunded popular standards, foxtrots, two-steps,
rhumbas, cha-chas, swing, classic country, and
Our variety music features such
familiar classics as Sentimental
Journey, My Happiness,
the Mood. Even though
are a genuine polka band, we are often hired by dance clubs for
variety music alone, but it is our combined repertoire of polkas,
waltzes, and variety music that makes us the premier band in town for
birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and so much more.
throughout our home territory of Southern Wisconsin and
wherever our music is desired. We've entertained
crowds from twenty to two-thousand, including everyone from next-door
neighbors to United States presidents.
provide music for all occasions...
- Trade Shows
- Fish Frys
the size, volume, and repertoire of our band to suit all
occasions and budgets, from intimate gatherings to outdoor music
* Literally sounds like a three-piece band
* Perfect for when quality
music is needed for a smaller party, or when the entertainment
budget is tight
* Our standard band configuration for most occasions
when your event requires the very best musicianship to provide an
unsurpassable experience in polka-variety
* Ideal for festivals, corporate events, and larger private parties
authentic, Milwaukee polka
season is the busiest time of year for polka bands. It's not
uncommon for my band to receive up to a dozen inquiries for the same
If you're interested in hiring us for an Oktoberfest event, for your
convenience I've posted
our availability below:
3rd - Available
Sat. 4th - Available
Sun. 5th - Booked
Labor Day - Booked
Fri. 10th - Available
Sat. 11th - Reserved
Sun. 12th - Available
Thu. 16th - Booked
Fri. 17th - Booked
Sat. 18th - Reserved
Sun. 19th - Booked
Fri. 24th - Booked
Sat. 25th - Reserved
Sun. 26th - Available
1st - Available
Sat. 2nd - Reserved
Sun. 3rd - Available
Fri. 8th - Available
Sat. 9th - Available
Sun. 10th - Available
Thu. 14th - Daytime on soft
Fri. 15th - Unavailable
Sat. 16th - On soft hold
Sun. 17th - Available
"On soft hold" means that
we've promised first dibs to another venue, but have not been
hired, so we may be available.
Our Live Sound
present to you the breadth
of our band's sound, we went into the
recording studio and cut roughly thirty minutes of live
music tracks. What you
hear in these demos is a sample of the polka and variety repertoire we
bring to our live performances. We recorded these tracks using
the same instruments, equipment, and musical arrangements we use on
me for a quote...
If you are
interested in hiring my band for your event,
send me an email. I'll check my availability and
provide you with
quotes. Please include these three key details about your event in your
email: date, location, and time.
4055 S. 103rd
(414) 546-3650. As a result of the pandemic's effect on my profession,
I'm rarely in my office these days,
so it may take me up to a week or longer to retrieve and return a phone
call. I apologize for the convenience. Email is the fastest way to
If you are interested in
hiring us for an event in 2021, we have added a clause to our
contract to give you some peace of mind:
"In the event of a
government-mandated shut-down of public gatherings,
Purchaser reserves the right to postpone or cancel these contracted
services without obligation, in which case Purchaser will endeavor to
Tom Brusky of the cancellation as far in advance as possible."
you hire us, if federal, state, or local government restrictions are
imposed which prohibit you from holding your event, you
will not be liable for any compensation to my
band. Any deposits paid will be refunded in full.
of a band does our party
size of your event and entertainment budget are usually the two main
factors that will
determine how large our band should be. Our default band size for
most private events (anniversaries, birthdays, retirements, etc.) is
three pieces, however, we are regularly hired for smaller parties and
dances as a two-piece band. Larger parties and events may hire us at
four pieces. If you're not sure
large of a band your event needs,
I'll offer some suggestions and quote prices for all three band sizes.
in your band?
first two pieces in our band are always accordion and drums. My
accordion has digital electronics installed and provides the sound for
the bass and other instruments such as piano, vibes, strings, horns,
there we will add either guitar/banjo or a second
(fill) accordion. In some cases we may add a sax/flute player or a bass
guitarist. The instrumentation we add to our band will depend on the
nature of the event and musician availabilty.
● Is your
band Polish or German?
A very common
misconception about polka music is that it's either Polish or German,
but it's actually neither. Its roots are in 19th century Bohemia. Over
years, various styles of polka music
developed and flourished in the United States, which include Polish and
German styles among others. Our
style of polka music is the
Slovenian style, also known as the Cleveland style, which is the most
popular style of polka music in Southern Wisconsin and across the
Penn-Ohio "polka belt".
● Do you
this is not a service I provide. The difference in the entertainment
delivered by an amplified band versus a solo, acoustic
significant. It is impossible to fill the entertainment
a traditional band without
the accompanying bass, rhythm, and amplification that only a band
configuration can provide. If the cost of
two-piece band is more than what you wish to spend for your party's
entertainment, I will be glad to recommend musicians who can
provide less expensive entertainment options.
● For how
many hours should we hire you?
music for most private parties
typically runs anywhere from about 90 minutes up to four hours, with
majority of performances being either two or three hours in length. We
for as long or short of a
performance as you need and adjust our rate quotes accordingly whether
you need us to play for three
minutes, three hours, or three days.
● How far
should we hire you?
most bands, we book
on a "first come—first
serve" basis. Last-minute inquiries are
welcome, but booking as far in advance as possible is always
recommended, especially for events during the Oktoberfest season (early
September to mid-October).
● How do
your prices compare?
one of the Midwest's top
Cleveland-style polka/variety bands, we pride ourselves in providing
quality music at prices that are very competitive for a band of
our caliber. Our price quotes are gauranteed to be fair,
● Do you
play any contemporary, mainstream music?
that's simply not the kind of
band we are. When our guitarist is in the band, we can touch
on rock 'n' roll from the '50s and
'60s, but that
is admittedly not our specialty. The bulk of our variety music is
comprised of standards, light pop, classic country, and
ballroom favorites from the 1930s through the 1970s — songs that your
parents and grandparents remember fondly. This is what has made
us a popular band not just for polka dances and festivals,
but for events like 50th anniversaries and senior citizens' birthday
parties. If you
would like more up-to-date music played at your party, we'll be glad to
patch your MP3 player into our sound
system to play
during our breaks.
● Can we
hire your band to play prior to the DJ at our wedding?
Absolutely! This is
actually the norm
nowadays. We occasionally still play for weddings as the only
entertainment, especially for brides and grooms who grew up with polka
music, but for most weddings, we are hired as pre-DJ entertainment. If you'd like
to bring some traditional, live music into your wedding, consider
hiring us to play lighter cocktail music before or during dinner, and
then we can kick out an hour of polka music prior to the DJ taking over.
long does it take you to set up?
It usually takes us
anywhere from 20
to 75 minutes to set up (and roughly 15-45 minutes to tear down)
depending on the size of our sound system.
● Do you
trailer – will travel!
As both a
I've enjoyed playing all over the country from as far east as
Pennsylvania and Florida to as far west as Arizona and Colorado. The
Tom Brusky Band is available to perform anywhere within the
contiguous 48 states.
don't you advertise
my band members and I are grateful
to be recipients of
multiple music awards, award programs with large voting memberships
tend to recognize popularity
over talent [see
my News section's "Nominations" article
]. Any polka
their level of talent, can win music awards if they make
it their mission to win them. That's simply not our
goal. We do not ask for
votes nor vote for
ourselves. We prefer that you hire us
based on the quality of our music — not the quantity of bullets on
● How loud
is the band?
Volume is a
known problem with many bands, but not with us. At private
job is to provide music for dancing and listening enjoyment – not to
cause ear pain. We can literally play polka music as quietly as a small
is what we are often called upon to do for cocktail
receptions and dinners. We
several sets of amplifiers and speakers from which to choose, and will
bring a sound system that is volume-approriate for the event and
venue. For small parties, we have a
custom-built, ultra-compact PA
outdoor concerts, we have one of the best-sounding, bi-amplified,
multi-thousand-watt, full-range PA
systems of any polka band around. For everything else in between, we'll
perfect sound system. When you hire
us for your event, YOU have the
final say over our volume, not us. If our volume seems too high
please let us know and we'll make adjustments until you're satisfied.
● Do you
some private parties, especially
those on Saturday nights and on weekends during peak festival seasons,
may require a deposit. A
deposit is a portion of the band's fee paid in advance, which is a
standard practice in the entertainment industry. If you cancel your
party at the last minute, the band will not only lose the
income from your party, but the income they could have made by booking
another party that night. The purpose
of a deposit is to
that your last-minute cancellation does not leave the band you hired
without income. We may request a deposit for
some private parties. If you cancel our services, your deposit will be
partially refundable, or non-refundable depending on the terms in the
Facebook page? Twitter? Instagram?
social media is now woven into the fabric of society, most everyone who
uses it is blissfully ignorant of, or willingly indifferent to, just
how much information about them is being continually harvested,
aggregated, and stored.
Not being on social media is detrimental
to people like me who make a living in the music business, but my
privacy is, and will always be, more important to me than every benefit
social media has to offer. It's just my personal choice. All
information I need to dispense will be posted on my website. If it's
more convenient for you to have updates about my band delivered to you,
please sign up for my email list on the main page of this website.
I send out approximately three or four emails a year.