National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Mention polka music in Northern California, and tthe response is "Gary Seibert."A
tansplanted Clevelander, Gary taught and directed more than 50 button accordion players
of the Nothern California Button Box Club, in the Sacramento area. He led his own
Gary Seibert Polka Power band for 30-vears.
Gary was born and raised in a Polish neighborhood of Cleveland. He is of Slovak and
Geman descent, but he loved Slovenian-Style music. At age 8. Gary started accordion
lessons with Bill Sneller. By the time he was age 12, he had his own two-piece band,
transporting his accordion and drum set on a wagon to a neighborhood tavern.
Upon graduation from high school, Gary enlisted in the Navy. He married his childhood
sweetheart, Phyllis. in 1957. Gary taught his children, Gina, Mark and Donna, to
play musical instruments. He resumed playing the accordion after moving to Califomia
permanenty, in 1961, following his military career. As a firefighter in the Carmichael
Fire Department, Gary recruited fellow firemen to play in his first band.
In 1974, Gary organized the Sacramento Polka Boosters Club to promote and bring attention
to Cleveland-Style polka music on the West Coast. He played at numerous festivals
across the country and with many of the polka greats. Gary recorded eight albums
featuring original songs he wrote, such as "Swing Street Polka," "Sugarbabies,''
and "The Velvet Waltz."
Gary was working on a new album when he passed away in January 2005. His family completed
the recording project, and released the album titled. "This Side of lHeaven".