David (Scrubby) Seweryniak
Hall of Fame – 2022
David (Scrubby) Seweryniak (1948-2016) began his musical journey by playing the accordion at the young age of six. Ten years later, inspired by the legendary Li’l Wally Jagiello, he began playing the chemnitzer concertina. He honed those concertina skills with expert instruction from the masterful World Concertina Congress Hall of Fame member, Frank Stanczewski.
In 1965, Scrubby formed his own band, the Dave Seweryniak Trio. A few years later, at 19 years old, he auditioned for the Dynatones band. At that time there was only one other Polka band in the Buffalo, New York area that featured a concertina. Band members recall that his talent was evident from the very first notes he played. His playing style included tasteful melody lines, innovative fills, and a button push that emulated the drive of a bellow-shaking accordion.
Scrubby went on to perform with the Dynatones for 30 years and was the bandleader for 20 years. During that time, he and the band received more than 50 awards and made many popular recordings. Their 1992 album “When The Band Plays A Polka” received a Grammy nomination.
Described as an “explosive entertainer,” Seweryniak was a dynamic performer whose unique antics always charmed the crowd at every show. Scrubby is considered to have been one of the very best concertina musicians for Polish-style Polka music. He was gifted with the ability to play both melodically and rhythmically. These skills were not only loved by his endearing fans, but also greatly admired by his peers. That resulted in him being inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in 1994.
Seweryniak was never reluctant to generously help aspiring musicians improve their skills and encourage them to learn to play the chemnitzer concertina. His musical performance helped Polka music fans to better respect the musical instrument and it inspired a whole new generation of concertina musicians who were mesmerized by his expert playing ability.