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John Filipczak started playing polka music in 1957, at that time playing the trumpet.  He picked up the concertina in 1960 and has been performing both instruments ever since.  John was the original trumpet player with the Jolly Brothers Polka Band from 1960 to 1964.  During his four years with the "Brothers," John composed and arranged most of the music on the first two albums by the Jolly Brothers: Polka Special  and Come Dance With Me. During the summers of 1962 and 1963, the Jolly Brothers along with John, toured the upper midwest with the Golden Voice of Polkas, Marion Lush from the Windy City of Chicago.

In a musical career that spans over five decades, John has performed with Lil' Wally, Marion Lush, The Mrozinski Brothers, Lil' Richard, Joe Tomaszewski's Polish Show Band, Bill Czerniaks Polka Soul and countless others.

The CLASSICS play Polish-American music, specifically, polkas, waltzes, mazurkas and obereks.  Johns' form of polka music is called 'Honky Style' and can be compared to a 'Dixieland' style of Polka Music.  The trumpet is the main drive and lead instrument.  The clarinet wanders above and below the melody line.  Rhythm is held together by the string bass and drums playing a strict, solid beat.  The concertina plays the melody line, some solos, and keeps the band together.

John Filipczak's "Honky Style" music is basic, simple, and from the heart.  The listener must be able to 'feel the music.'  Solid, yet loose, disciplined yet fluid, the music offers a lesson in how something as abstract as a 'feeling' can be released each time the band starts to play.  The CLASSICS also play the best in variety music from the traditional two-step, fox-trot, rock & roll from the 50's & 60's, to old and new country.

The current members of John Filipczak and The CLASSICS are:  Robyn Mrozinski plays bass, concertina, violin and sings Polish and English vocals, Raymond Biernat on clarinet and saxophone, and Fred Axberg on drums and vocals.  Benet Welinski performs on trumpet .  Benet is the younger brother of Marvin Welinski, who performed with The CLASSICS over ten  years and penned the song, Mayslack’s Polka Lounge Polka.  Music is the Welinski’s family hobby. John Filipczak plays concertina, trumpet, vocals in Polish and English, composes and does the musical arrangements.

The CLASSICS have recorded sixteen, one hour television shows called  Polka Spotlight  that can be viewed almost daily on local cable access throughout the entire seven county metro area and western Wisconsin.  John & The CLASSICS have recorded ten TV shows for Bandwagon on the CBS affiliate KEYC- TV in Mankato, MN.  Bandwagon has been on the air every Saturday over 43 years. They have recorded three albums containing all original compositions, including Polish and English vocals. The first album released in 1990 was called Classic Honky Style Polkas. With the limited number of 'Honky Style' bands in America, the release of their second album in 1992 titled Encore, put them second to none in the polka music field. Back Again, released in 1999 with fourteen original melodies, again demonstrates their unique 'Minnesota Polish Style' honky music.  The original Polish and English compositions establish The CLASSICS  as an exceptional 'Honky Style' band.  In 2004, The CLASSICS released their fourth CD Simply Honky  featuring the ‘hits’ of yesteryear.  The Band has performed extensively throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey and Massachusetts.  The Band has performed on four live radio broadcasts from the Minnesota State Fair on the 50,000 watt CBS affiliate-WCCO 830AM with Dave Lee and The Morning Show.  The Band performed four days at the 2001 Minnesota State Fair on the Heritage  Square Stage and on Sept. 1 & 2, 2002, Labor Day Weekend,  at the Ramberg Center Stage.

In November of 1997, The CLASSICS performed on two radio broadcasts of A Prairie Home Companion starring Garrison Keillor.  A Prairie Home Companion show is currently carried on 425 U.S.Public radio stations and on the Armed Forces Network (Europe and Far East) America One via the Astra Satellite.  A Prairie Home Companion can be heard on FM radio in dozens of European cities.



World Concertina Congress:

John was inducted into the prestigious World Concertina Congress Hall of Fame on September 16, 2005.  The induction ceremony was held at the Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee, MN and attended by 450 guests.  Check  all the photos at:  (click -WCC photos 2005)  Surf to the Czech Area Concertina Club site at:  


Fred Axberg joined The CLASSICS in 1993.  With a variety of experience from jazz, rock and roll, country and now polkas, Fred says, “I love to play with this Band because I’ve learned so much about Polish Music and the Polish people.” As graduate of Columbia School of Broadcasting, Fred does voice work for “It’s Polka Time” hosted by Craig Ebel.  Fred also hosted his own Internet show –

The Axman Axberg Show on   The Axman Show was on the internet over six years.


Gary Jasicki is one of the original members of The CLASSICS.  Gary recorded all of theprevious albums by The CLASSICS. His solid technique on the clarinet and saxophone on these recordings compliment the ‘soul playing’ of John Kurowski on trumpet.


Robyn (Jurek) Mrozinski has been surrounded with polka music her entire life.  Her grandfather played violin and her father plays guitar. She started playing piano in church at the age of 9 and took violin lessons from the fifth through ninth grade.  As a self-taught guitarist, Robyn turned her sights on the concertina.  With a few lessons, the concertina became another challenge she conquered.  Learning to play bass guitar was a high school project. Since 1994, Robyn has played bass, concertina, fiddle and vocals with The CLASSICS. She has also been the pianist and music coordinator at St. Lucas Community Church in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, a Polka News writer. In 1997-1998, Robyn was crowned the United Polka Association Queen in Chicago, IL. Currently Robyn and her husband Peter have their own band – Twin Cites Soundz


John Kurowski plays trumpet and hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Following in the footsteps of his father who also plays trumpet, polkas have been a part of  Johns life. John has  performed  with CMA, Taste of Chicago, Tony Blazonczyk’s Southside Sounds, Jersey Polka Richie, Roger Majewski and The CLASSICS. In 1993, John traveled to Michigan, Minnesota and the East coast with The CLASSICS and has played with the Band when scheduling allows.   John enjoys spending his free time in his woodshop building things for friends.


Raymond Biernat has played accordion, piano, clarinet and saxophone for many years with the local Polish polka bands and other musical groups in the Twin City area. Raymond and John jobbed together forty plus years ago when John performed mostly on trumpet before starting his own band in 1983.  Raymond currently performs with The CLASSICS.