Memories of Roger Bright

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For over five years I had the privilege to play, travel and record with the legendary Roger Bright of New Glarus, Wisconsin. Roger was one of the finest musicians and nicest bandleaders that I've ever worked for. Here are just some of the many memories and photographs that I would like to share with everybody.

In 1998 I accompanied Roger on a thirteen-day tour to Europe. We visited France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Here we are performing in an impromptu jam session with Geni Good & the Glarner Oberkainers in Glarus, Switzerland, the sister city of New Glarus, Wisconsin.

In 1995 we performed at the annual Thanksgiving Weekend Polka Party in downtown, Cleveland, Ohio. On stage left to right include Joey Miskulin, Denny Anderson, Scott Lorenz, Roger, and Craig Ebel. Afterwords we traveled to Peppermint Recording Studios in Youngstown, Ohio, and spent two days recording "Squeeze Your A-cor-deen!".

1996 performing at the historic New Glarus Hotel. Pictured left to right is Craig Ebel, Denny Anderson, Roger Bright and Joey "The Cow Polka King" Miskulin.

This is a snapshot of the band playing at the Ellsworth Polka Festival in Ellsworth, Wisconsin. Featured on the saxophone and cowbell is Dale Stelzer.

One of my hightlights playing with Roger was at a festival that took place at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is a still shot of the band at the New Glarus Hotel while we were filming for the television program Polka Polka Polka. This photo features Roger's son Kevin Bright on the drums along with female vocalist Jennifer Deprez Hendrickson. Yes... that's me serenading Jennifer like a Hummel figurine!

Since Roger's untimely passing in 2001, the city of New Glarus honors him with a yearly festival held in June. The David Austin Band pays tribute to Roger by performing on the streets of New Glarus. In 2018, Madison's NBC affiliate WMTV did two different live shots of their segment, "Road Trippin'". NBC15's Hanna Flood is interviewing me during the 5 o'clock news prior to the start of the festival. Click here for an archived segment of "Road Trippin'" that aired during the six o'clock news!

Road Trippin': Polkafest 2018 in New Glarus - nbc15.com


Spectrum News 1 recently did a story on Polka Fest. to vie it click here

New Glarus Polka Fest celebrates Wisconsinís state dance


For more information on the Roger Bright Memorial Polka Festival held in America's Little Switzerland, New Glarus, Wisconsin, visit

Swisstown.com