Terry Palasz isn’t your average polka singer. Classically trained with a powerful soprano, she puts a unique twist on traditional polka music with her album, The Polish Diva’s Polka Party. The album grew out of her one-woman show, The Polish Diva from Milwaukee, and she brings Broadway style to polka classics like “Who Stole the Keeshka?” and “Blue Skirt Waltz.” But she always respects her source material, putting the focus on the melodies and lyrics, and singing in English, Polish, German, and Slovenian.
While the singing is certainly the focus, there’s some quality musicianship here, too. Accordionist/arranger Toby Hanson of Seattle’s Smilin’ Scandinavians does an excellent job making the classics sound fresh, regardless of style. For me, the key to any polka recording is whether it’s fun — for both the performers and the listeners. From the soaring of Palasz’s voice to the rambunctious xylophone and trombone solos, it’s clear there’s plenty of fun going on at this polka party.
Listen to this clip, which features Palasz singing in Slovenian and some great accordion work from Toby Hanson: