Tom Brusky Band is versatile
ensemble comprised of
In a sense, we are two bands in one...
We are a polka
band. We're not a variety band that plays a few polkas,
but literally an authentic, third-generation Milwaukee polka
band. We can rile up a crowd with all the beer hall favorites
Out the Barrel, She's Too Fat For Me, and Who Stole the Kishka, and strike
golden-ager's sentimental chords with classic waltzes such as Waltz Across Texas and The Blue Skirt Waltz, but we actually
boast a repertoire of over 300 polkas and waltzes. We are firmly
established in Wisconsin's polka music circuit, and are
for weddings, Octoberfests, fairs and festivals.
We are a variety
band. Our repertoire outside of the polka genre
consists of over 200 songs, including popular standards, classic
country, foxtrots, two-steps, swing, rhumbas, cha-chas, and
Chistmas/holiday music. Our variety music caters
more toward the older generations, and features such
familiar classics as Sentimental
Journey, My Happiness,
the Mood. Even though we
are an established 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
We play regularly
throughout our home territory of Southeastern Wisconsin, but also
wherever our music is desired. We've
crowds from ten to a thousand, from next
neighbors to United States presidents.
We will tailor
the size, volume, and repertoire of our band to suit any
occasion and budget, from intimate gatherings to outdoor music
Two-Piece Band *
Accordion (with electronic bass to sound like three-piece band),
vocals, and drums
* Suitable for smaller
private parties and venues
* Perfect for when solid, danceable music is needed, but the
entertainment budget is tight
* This is
our standard band configuration for the majority of private parties,
* Recommended for larger
parties, weddings, and festivals
* Ideal for corporate events desiring an
authentic, Milwaukee polka
* Perfect for ethnic/music festivals, traditional Milwaukee weddings,
any event that requires the very best musicianship to provide an
unsurpassable experience in polka-variety
* Booking 6-12 months in advance is
Sample Our Live Sound
music samples were recorded live with
instruments and vocals added or subtracted as needed to represent our
live sound, from a two-piece band to a five-piece band.
audio clip courtesy of Ron VanDenboom)
If you are interested in hiring the Tom Brusky Band,
me (Tom Brusky) with some information about your upcoming
event, especially the date and location.
I'll check our availability and provide you with some price
● We've never hired a band before. How
does that work?
Tell me a little bit about your
event, specifically the date, location, and approximate time you'd like us to perform.
I'll check our availability and provide you with some price quotes.
● How big of a band does our party
The size of your party and the limits
entertainment budget are usually the two main factors that will
determine how large our band should be. Our default band size for
most private parties (anniversaries, birthdays, retirements, etc.) is
three pieces, however, smaller parties often hire us at two pieces
while larger parties may hire us at four or five
pieces. If you're not sure how large of a band your party needs,
I'll offer some suggestions and provide you with several price options.
● What instrumentation is in your three-,
four-, and five-piece bands?
What you may find
our band is that we will not only tailor the size of our band to your
event, but also the instrumentation. Events can be more
polka-oriented, variety-oriented, or an even mix of both. Therefore our
three-piece band might add a guitar/banjo, sax/flute, second accordion,
or bass guitar, and our four or five piece band will add yet another
one or two of these instruments respectively.
● Do you offer a solo accordion performance
Sorry, I no longer offer that
option. There is a proper time and place for
a solo accordionist, but almost all of the events for which I was hired
for solo accordion entertainment were ones that truly called for band
entertainment, and it is impossible to fill the role of a band without
the accompanying bass, rhythm, and amplification. If the cost of
two-piece band is more than you can afford for your party's
entertainment, I will be glad to recommend musicians who offer
or "one-man-band" entertainment.
● For how
many hours should we hire you?
Live music for most private parties
runs about three hours, but we will perform
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 in advance should we hire you?
Like most bands, we book
on a "first come
serve" basis. Last-minute inquiries are
welcome, but advance booking of several months
your prices compare?
As one of the Midwest's top
Cleveland-style polka/variety bands, we pride ourselves in providing
quality entertainment at prices that are very competitive for a band of
our caliber. Our prices are gauranteed to be fair,
● Do you play any modern or mainstream music?
No, that's simply not the kind of
band we are. With our three,
four, or five-piece band, we can touch
on rock 'n' roll from the 50's and
60's, 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 1930's through the 1970's. Our variety music primarily caters to
which has made us the premier band in town not just for polka dances,
but for events like 50th anniversaries and 75th birthdays. If you would like more modern
of music played at your party, feel free to bring
your CD or MP3 player. We'll patch it into our sound
system to play
during our breaks.
● Do you travel?
Yes. As both a bandleader and
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 will perform anywhere within the
contiguous 48 states.
● Why don't you advertise your awards?
Although my band members and I are honored
to be recipients of
multiple awards, music awards for which large memberships vote
(Grammys, WAMIs, halls of fame, etc.) tend to recognize popularity
actual musical talent. Any polka band can win awards if they make
it their mission to win them, but that's not our goal.
Occasionally we are requested to mention our awards for promotional
purposes, but we prefer that you hire us
based on the quality of our music, not the quantity of bullets on our
● Are you loud?
The majority of people who attend
private parties spend much of their time socializing, so we prefer to
keep our volume down — no doubt lower than most other bands. Our
job is to provide music for dancing and listening enjoyment, not for
causing ear strain. In fact, we
are often commended for playing at the perfect volume. We have
several sets of amplifiers and speakers from which to choose, and will
bring a sound system that is volume-approriate for the event and
outdoor concerts, we have one of the best-sounding, bi-amplified,
systems of any polka band around, complete with dual 21"
subwoofers. For small parties, we have a compact PA
system. For everything else in between, we'll configure the
perfect sound system. If our volume seems too high or too low,
please let us know and we'll adjust it accordingly.
● Do you require a deposit?
For some private parties, especially
those on Friday or Saturday nights, a band 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. After you hire a
band to play for your party, the band will likely continue to receive
other offers to play for other events on that particular
day, but, of course, will turn them down since they are committed to
your party. If you cancel your
party, the band will not only lose the
income from your party, but also the income from any of the other
offers they've turned down. The purpose for a deposit is to
that a late cancellation does not leave working musicians entirely
without income. The Tom Brusky Band may request a deposit for
some private parties. The deposit will be fully refundable,
partially refundable, or non-refundable depending on how close to the
event date the event
● Why can't I find you on Facebook?
I used to be on Facebook, but after three
years of becoming increasingly frustrated with Facebook's incompetence,
and willful neglect of users' privacy, I quit.
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