As far back as Matt can remember, he had a love of polka music. When he was just a small boy, there were polkas playing in the home from morning to night. Matt had a love for the accordion and was able to get his first accordion when in his teens. Through his life, he has covered just about every aspect of polka music.
Matt Wasielewski, musician, band leader, vocalist, song writer, composer, master of ceremonies, radio disc jockey, internet jockey, promoter and record distributor, started his polka career in 1957 when he formed his Polka Jets band. Seven years with the same musicians, his group was playing three to four jobs a week. Through the next few years, Matt added more musicians to the group which eventually developed into a six-piece band. Much in demand, the bookings of some jobs were one to two years in advance. In 1968, they cut their first album.
The Polka Jets Orchestra won many awards through the years including four trophies for first place at the Battle of Bands, along with two second place trophies over six years at Idora Park Ballroom, a very popular polka spot in Youngstown, Ohio. They also played 11 consecutive festivals at this same ballroom. The band traveled to many states; entertained on a cruise to the Virgin Islands; a trip to Disneyland in Florida and also a trip to Hawaii.
In 1982, Matt teamed up with the Bud Hundenski Orchestra as vocalist and traveled with the band for seven years. He then regrouped the Polka Jets and performed for several more years before disbanding the group. Between the two bands, Matt has performed in about 10 states and also in Canada. Matt recorded six albums with his Polka Jets and did the vocals on three albums with Bud. His band has made several TV appearances over the years. He was a guest vocalist on two recordings with the New Tradition.
Matt has been Master of Ceremonies many times including the polka festivals at Seven Springs in Champion, PA and the Jimmy Sturr Christmas Show in Pittsburgh, PA. He, along with his band, volunteered on many occasions to contribute their time to worthy causes such as Children's Hospital, cancer benefits, and personal benefits for fellow musicians.
Matt is a member of the International Polka Association and the United States Polka Association. Matt had a very popular radio program from Sept. 1992 until Dec. 29, 2012 when he gave up the program due to health issues. Matt has a 2-hour "Matt's Polka Party" on the internet, Polka Jammer Network, www.polkajammernetwork.org, every Wednesday from 6 to 8 pm EST. He also holds many polka dances throughout the year.
Matt was inducted into the International Polka Association (I.P.A.) Polka Music Hall of Fame in 1998 and in 2004 was honored as Man of the Year by the Western Pennsylvania Division of the Polish American Congress. A Testimonial was held for Matt celebrating 50 years in the polka field in September 2007 with over 300 people attending.
Matt lives in Evans City, PA, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh where he operated his own custom woodworking shop for almost thirty years. He is now retired but stays active with his polka shows and polka promoting.