Western PA Polkas

Western PA Polkas is the brainchild of Chris Bogdon. After years of playing in polka bands in Western PA, Chris decided to run dances himself at Kinloch Firehall in New Kensington, PA. However, there was never a great website to aggregate all the dances that we are having in Western PA in one easy to look view. Therefore, Chris decided to start the site to give a single unified view of all polka dances.

About Chris Bogdon

Chris’ love for music goes back to him as a kid when he used to watch his father performing with Matt Wasielewski and the Polka Jets.  Always wanting to be in a polka band, Chris started a band when he was 13 years old call the Polka Bees.  He was joined by his brother and two cousins and played a few gigs in Western PA.  One of the highlights was playing at Oglebay Park and having Lil’ Wally sing a few numbers with the Polkas Bees.   From there, Chris was asked to play with Matt Wasielewski and the Polka Jets in the late 80s and was able to share the stage with his father Jim.

After a few years, a local band, the Martiques called and wanted to focus on more polka gigs.  This spawned the creation of Energy and Chris was hooked.   After traveling for a few years and performing songs like Sledzie and It’s A Great Day For Hockey, Chris graduated college and unfortunately had to leave Energy.  Even though he left his hometown of Pittsburgh to get a job in New Jersey, he wanted to continue playing Polkas.   He had several fun years of playing with John Stevens and Doubleshot and Rhythm and Sound.

After Chris married Sandy Koslosky and they had their first child, Emma; they decided to relocate back to Pittsburgh.   From there, Chris started playing with Li’l John Nalevanko and the ATM Band and Henny and the Versa J’s.   Chris and Sandy also had their 2nd child, Andrew.

Then in 2012, Chris received a phone call that would change his life forever.  Starting to play with Polka Country Musicians was an awesome opportunity and came at the right time in his life.   Chris loved jumping in a van and traveling across the country to so many fun places and meeting so many great fans.   Chris primarily plays the Concertina and Bass with PCM, but occasionally you will see him pick up an Accordion or even sing a song.

When Chris isn’t performing the music that he loves, Chris works as a Solutions Architect for Cisco and resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Sandy and two kids, Emma and Andrew.   In addition, to playing polkas, Chris is honored to be serving on the board of directors for the IPA helping to promote the music that we all love. Chris was also honored to be inducted into the World Concertina Congress Hall of Fame in 2020.