Polka tradition lives on through Johnnie Zibert Band & Big Brutus’ Polka Fest
On a late summer evening each year, Johnnie Joe Zibert lugs his 30-pound accordion beneath the towering shadow of Big Brutus – and he puts on a show.
His fingers flying, Johnnie plays dozens of tunes on the accordion, watching as old folks and kids alike dance to the music across Big Brutus’ pavilion floor. Others can’t help but clap and sing along.
He plays a little bit of everything – country, rock ‘n roll, slow songs – but he’s best known for his polka, the same music his dad famously played across Southeast Kansas for 75 years. And for Big Brutus’ annual Polka Fest, this summer to celebrate its 29th anniversary, there’s no better group to run the show than the Johnnie Zibert Band.
“Polka Fest is a tradition in Southeast Kansas, and I’m really proud to be able to carry on that tradition,” Johnnie says. “I feel honored…”
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