Garrett Tatano

Accordion, Keyboard, & Vocals

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Garrett’s love of polka music began at a very young age. In fact, he has been attending polka dances since before he could even walk. This is where his love for the accordion began. He took his first accordion lesson on his 7th birthday and hasn’t turned back since.

At age 12, Garrett joined the International Button Box Club of Strabane, PA. He performed with them for many years at numerous picnics, festivals, and polka dances. Later, at age 15, Garrett joined the well-known Pittsburgh-based polka band Jack Tady and the Jack Tady Bears of Pittsburgh, PA where he was Jack’s lead accordionist for nine years. Throughout this time, you could also find Garrett filling in with many other bands across the polka scene. 

Although Garrett was grateful for the opportunity to play with such established groups, his dream has always been to start his own band. Over the summer of 2020, his dreams started to come true as he and his friends Logan Watson and Phil Yan started to meet up to jam. 

Fast forward one summer, the Garrett Tatano Band made their first public appearance at the Battle of the Polka Stars of Tomorrow competition hosted by the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame. The band took first place at the competition, and as they say, the rest is history!

Garrett and the band are excited to see where their future will take them as they continue the tradition of playing the happiest music on earth!

Vince Filippelli

Sax, Clarinet, & Vocals

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Vince’s passion for music began when he was 10 years old and started playing clarinet in his school band. Soon after, he realized he truly wanted to play the tenor saxophone because of its rich, universal sound. When Vince was 11, he stumbled across his music teacher, Ms. Julie Tabaj, playing polka music on a button accordion. He was so intrigued that he decided that he wanted to learn to play polka music. Once Vince learned his first song, Jaz Pa Ti, polkas became his passion and continue to be to this day. 

 

Vince's first public polka appearance was with the Button Box Divas at the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Thanksgiving Polka Weekend in 2017. Since then, he performed with the Button Box Divas as well as other button box groups at many other popular polka venues, including Recher Hall in Euclid, Ohio; The Hofbrauhaus, Cleveland; as well as many others. In 2020, Vince began to expand his polka repertoire which caught the eye (and ear) of many polka musicians including Garrett Tatano and Eddie Rodick. 

In 2021, Vince made his first public appearance with the Garrett Tatano Band at the Battle of the Polka Stars of Tomorrow competition hosted by the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame. Since that point, Vince has been a proud member of the young new band that continues to grow in popularity. 

 

Vince’s main goal in playing the music he loves is to preserve the Cleveland style polka and introduce it to new generations. Doing this will continue to bring smiles to it's listeners and ensure the music will live on forever.

Anthony Popovski

Banjo, Guitar, & Vocals

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Anthony Popovski has been playing guitar since the third grade. In fourth grade, he played in his school’s talent show, which sparked his love of performing. 

 

While in high school, Anthony played guitar in several groups, including his school’s jazz ensembles as well as multiple bands he started with his friends. In 2016, the band he was in, NoInterruption, won the Washington’s Got Talent competition in Washington, PA.  Over the next year he performed with NoInterruption all around the county. Later that year, he entered the studio for the first time to record an album with NoInterruption. 

 

In the summer of 2021, longtime friend Garrett Tatano invited Anthony to play with his band in the Battle of the Polka Stars of Tomorrow competition. After a week of learning the set list and one rehearsal with the group, he took the stage.  After the group’s success at the competition, Anthony bought a banjo and three weeks later, he was gigging with it. 

 

Anthony is excited to be playing with the Garrett Tatano Band and cannot wait to bring his music to his audiences near and far.

Logan Watson

Bass Guitar

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Similar to the rest of the musicians in the Garrett Tatano Band, Logan began playing polka music at a very young age. Logan grew up in Greenville, PA which also happens to be the home of the well known button box player, Ron Pivovar. At the age of 9, Logan was introduced to Ron and quickly became his best student. Ron taught Logan multiple instruments including the button box, half-chromatic accordion, and the bass guitar. It wasn’t long before Logan was playing gigs with Ron’s band. 

 

Through Logan’s musical career, he also picked up many other instruments including the piano accordion, saxophone, guitar, and drums. Due to his ability to play every instrument in a polka band, Logan released two solo albums (Sweet and Polkas from the Woodshed) where he played every instrument on each track. Releasing these albums put Logan on the “polka map” because his music was heard on all the polka radio stations in Pittsburgh. 

 

In 2011, Logan met Garrett Tatano at the annual Button Box Bash in Strabane, PA. They became instant friends and got the opportunity to perform together on multiple occasions through the years. However, it wasn’t until 2020 that they discussed starting a band. After their first jam with Phil Yan, both Logan and Garrett knew the next step was finding a few more young musicians and starting a brand new polka band. 

 

Logan is eager to continue leaving his mark on polka music and can’t wait to see where the polka road takes him and the Garrett Tatano Band.

Phil Yan III

Drums

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Phil heard his first polka before he could walk and it was love at first listen. His parents as well as his grandparents constantly had polka music playing throughout his childhood. He decided he wanted to be a part of the music he was hearing all the time so he played along to the tunes on a phone-book, listening intently to the drums and teaching himself each song. 

Since his phone-book days, Phil graduated to a real set of drums and had his first official drumming gig at the age of 8 with the Hobo Polka Band - a popular button box group in which his father plays. Polka music certainly runs in the family. Soon after, Phil Yan III started to perform regularly with many polka musicians in the Cleveland area such as Frank Moravcik, Linda Hochevar, and Bob Kravos, to name a few.

 

In 2014, Phil met Garrett Tatano at the SNPJ Recreation Center in Enon Valley, PA.  Due to their mutual love of polka music, a great friendship began. Since they were both young musicians, they joked about eventually forming a polka band - 7 years later, that crazy idea turned into a first place finish at the Battle of the Polka Stars of Tomorrow competition!

 

Phil is beyond excited to help keep polkas alive and well with the Garrett Tatano Band for years to come!