Malek’s Fishermen Band is one of the finest polka bands in the Midwest; and continue the great tradition of dance music excellence started by Syl Malek in the 1930’s with Malek Bros. Accordion Band.
The modern Malek’s Fishermen Band plays a wide range of dance music that includes the traditional old tyme polkas, waltzes, two-steps, and schottisches as well as country, big band, dixieland, and other dance hall favorites. Malek’s Fishermen Band has it’s own distinctive sound that is a favorite of dancers and listeners throughout the Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin region. Over the years, they have recorded many albums, and can be found at dance halls, polkafests, and parties in this four state region.
Malek’s Fishermen Band has a rich family history. In 1932, Syl Malek and his brother, Ed, organized the 6-piece Malek Brother’s Accordion Band. They played songs that were brought over from Europe by Czech immigrants as well as American dance favorites at barn dances, house parties, ballrooms and dance halls. From the early 1940’s through the 1960’s, Malek Bros. Accordion Band averaged 200 dances per year. Due to health issues, Syl was forced to retire from the band, and Ed continued the band under the new name, L&M Band.
In 1968 Syl’s son, Bob, restarted the 6-piece band that became known as Malek’s Fishermen Band. With the return of his health, Syl was able to play in the band once again. The band traveled much of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska playing the good old tyme tunes of the Malek Bros. Accordion Band mixed in with a few of the newer favorites.
In the early 1990’s, with Syl and some of the other musicians retiring, Bob’s children, Eric and Crystal, joined the band. The current band features a unique mix of brass, reeds, concertina, rhythm, and vocal harmonies. Now in its third generation of Malek musicians, Malek’s Fishermen Band continues to play a mix of Czech/Bohemian and German styles of music for dances and festivals throughout the Midwest.