Casey Homel

World Concertina Congress - WCC

Casey Homel
Hall of Fame – 2024

Casey Homel

Casimir (Casey) Homel Jr. (1942-2007) is known as one of the very best Polka musicians from the Chicago area. He began playing chemnitzer concertina at 15 years old. Casey was a self-taught musician — playing by ear — and was largely inspired to pursue his aspiring musical ambitions by his talented uncle, Mike Ryba of Pulaski, Wisconsin.

Casey also expertly played the trumpet and used his extraordinary musical skills to earn a key performing role with many popular bands in and around Chicago, Illinois. These bands include Li’l Wally Jagiello, Casey Siewierski, the Ampol Aires, Stas Golonka and His Chicago Masters, Richie Gomulka, Jerry Zahara and His Happy Stars, Mike Ryba, the Concertina All Stars, and his own group, Casey Homel & The World’s Honkiest Polka Band.

Casey enjoyed performing the classic and popular Eddie Zima and Casey Siewierski tunes, and idolized Eddie and the Zima music-style. Before Zima passed away, Casey was able to take the stage with him in a special double-concertina performance.

With more than 35 years of concertina performance and 25 years on trumpet, Casey was prominently featured on many recordings. This includes two recordings on the Bel-Aire Label and several more recordings on his own label, Casey Records. His most popular recordings are Model A Honky Style Polkas – Casey Homel & The World’s Honkiest Polka Band, Polka Saturday Nite – Hot and Heavy with Casey, and A Tribute to Eddie Zima and Casey Siewierski.

His live performances and recordings helped to sustain the popularity of the concertina in Polish American music, and they inspired many musicians to learn or improve their own skills; certainly elevating the status of the chemnitzer concertina. He was a mentor to young musicians and was always pleased to share his knowledge and experience. Casey has been previously recognized with awards for both his concertina and trumpet mastery by the United States Polka Association.

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