Eddie Sienkowski

World Concertina Congress - WCC

Eddie Sienkowski
Hall of Fame – 2024

Eddie Sienkowski

Edward (Eddie) Sienkowski started playing chemnitzer concertina in 1963 at age 15 while living on his family’s farm in North Judson, Indiana. With his parents and extended family well-rooted with musical ability, Eddie was destined to be a talented musician.

By 1966, Eddie was being paid to perform at local events, and soon after he joined the Polka Masters in South Bend, Indiana. After playing concertina for a few other regional bands, including Chicago’s famous Pala Brothers, Eddie and his brothers formed the E-Z Tones in 1975.

Eddie soon gained the well-deserved reputation as a knowledgeable chemnitzer concertina musician. He formed a friendship with the owners of Star Concertina, were he helped them promote their musical instruments beyond the Chicago market. When Al Carbonari left Star and began importing the Gem and Gem Deluxe Concertinas from Italy, Eddie was asked to help by providing important advise on reed tuning and other technical adjustments. This was key to the Gem Concertina brand being known to have that special “Chicago-style” sound.

The E-Z Tones quickly became popular with live audiences as they performed at music festivals and private events across the country, including many live radio broadcasts. They went on to make several popular recordings prominently featuring the concertina. These efforts resulted in Eddie being recognized by the United States Polka Association as Concertina Player of the Year in 1997.

The E-Z Tones continue to please audiences today, with Eddie continuing to play concertina. In 2008, Eddie also began to perform with the Ampol Aires out of Chicago, Illinois. He was the band’s concertina player until the band ended decades of popularity in 2020.

Besides being a paid performer, Eddie has proudly supported the chemnitzer concertina through his early association with World Concertina Congress events in Union, Michigan, as a member of the Saint Joe Concertina Club in Michigan City, Indiana, and by participating in musical jam sessions and impromptu performances for the enjoyment of many.

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