Dick Kamont

World Concertina Congress - WCC

Dick Kamont
Hall of Fame – 2024

Dick Kamont

Richard (Dick) Kamont (1933-2015) was a talented chemnitzer concertina musician from Michigan City, Indiana. He was featured on concertina in local bands as a young man in the 1950s and 1960s, performing in social clubs, music festivals, and for private events.

While Dick was certainly a very good concertina musician, he was probably better known as the long-time host of the popular weekly radio show, Polka Party. The Chicago area had many radio programs that featured the Polka music genre, but few of the programs were as long-lived as Dick Kamont’s Polka Party. For over forty years, every Sunday afternoon on WIMS AM, and in later years on WE FM, Dick played a wide variety of Polka music featuring everyone’s favorite bands from across the country.

In addition to playing both long-time classics and newly released recordings, Dick also used his radio program to prominently feature the chemnitzer concertina. He enjoyed broadcasting many live music events over the years, and he always made certain to include an interview with the musicians. This included opportunities to discuss the concertina and to give the musicians their deserving recognition. This effort inspired many young and aspiring concertina musicians, and provided enjoyment for many of the program’s listeners.

Recognizing an emerging interest in the concertina in the early 1970s, Dick approached several fellow chemnitzer musicians to arrange an open concertina jam session at the Saint Joesph’s Young Men’s Society Summer Picnic. The event was broadcast live on the radio and proved so popular with the listening audience and participating musicians that it led to the organization of several more similar concertina jam sessions and eventually the creation of the Saint Joe Concertina Club. Dick was an active member of this performing group, helping to entertain appreciative audiences and promote the chemnitzer concertina throughout the Chicago and Northern Indiana Region for many years.

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