Jan Lewan Orchestra - Ole Ole

Jan Lewan Orchestra



This talented group of gentlemen together with Jan form the infamous Jan Lewan Orchestra. They may not be noted for the number of “Grammy Awards” they were nominated for; however they certainly will never be forgotten for all of the lives that they have touched with their musical talents.

They realize their climb to the top had a beginning, which was built on yard parties, small street carnivals and church picnics. These memorable events hold treasured friendships, continued supporters, and built the foundation for the success and many years.

The JLO Orchestra throughout the late 80s and 90's were famous for adding a "Big Show Band" type quality to traditional and original Polish Music. They were the band that lead the way performing at many prestigious showrooms throughout the United States and Europe. The springboard for the bands success was their sold out polka weekends at the Mount Airy Lodge Resort in the Poconos during the late 1980s. Much of the success of the Jan Lewan Orchestra is attributed to composer and arranger Stephen Kaminski www.stephenkaminskimusic.com who joined the band on the saxophone shortly after graduating from the Berkeley College of Music in 1987. Stephen has written and produced music for every major television network and continues to receive awards for his compositions. Just recently, Stephen’s orchestral composition, "Ten Emotions - A Tone Poem" was awarded 2nd place at the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic's Composition Competition. Stephen's talent for composing and arranging music, fused with his Polish heritage made for a winning combination.

The Jan Lewan Orchestra was catapulted into some of the best showrooms in the country. In 1988, the band took polka music to a new level when they performed a combined concert with the Wayne Newton Orchestra at the esteemed Hilton Hotel Showroom in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the years to follow highlights for the orchestra included; combining with the Princeton University Symphony Orchestra for a "Symphony with Polkas" concert at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York, A concert with the National Symphony Orchestra of Utica, New York., a concert with the "Radio Warsaw Orchestra" in Warsaw., Poland, performed as the main act in the showrooms of numerous cruise ships, Recorded a weekly television show on the Fox TV broadcast from Scranton,Pa. performed as back up musicians for Bobby Vinton, Al Albert's and the Four Aces, Myron Floren from the Lawrence Welk Show, and many more, entertained literally thousands of people throughout the years at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. where Jan and the orchestra hosted their Polish Festivals, and many other events too numerous to mention. Tremendously popular were Jan Lewan's European Tours. As a Polish native, Jan was able to introduce tour groups to Poland like no one else could. Most groups were afforded the opportunity to meet the former President of Poland, Lech Walesa. Jan’s tour groups to Italy were truly astonishing. Each tour member was treated to a private audience and photo session with Pope John Paul II.

The band made many recordings but their biggest accomplishment was being nominated for a Grammy Award in 1995. The band was moving ahead with many new adventures when tragedy struck. In the early morning of January 26, 2001, the Jan Lewan Orchestra bus was making its way through Dillon, South Carolina en route to Florida when it drifted off the road and struck a concrete bridge. Tommy Karas, Accordion player, and John Stabinsky, Trombonist were killed instantly. Daniel Lewandowski, (son of Jan) trumpet player was seriously injured, and many other musicians suffered broken bones etc. The accident was a horrific tragedy which - combined with financial troubles, led to the demise of the orchestra.

The band has entertained around the world for many famous people; Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, President Reagan and President George W. Bush just to name a few. They were honored to play center stage at the Las Vegas Hilton, the Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, NYC and Trump’s Casinos in Atlantic City. They can play for any special occasion!

     

Accomplishments

◦The Jan Lewan Orchestra performs at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and the Las Vegas Sands Convention Center,
Las Vegas, NV
◦The Jan Lewan Orchestra performs “Symphony with Polkas” with the Utica Symphony Orchestra in Utica, NY
◦For 15 years the Jan Lewan Orchestra performs at the Bethlehem Music Fest, PA.
◦Jan Lewan TV Show: For seven years the Jan Lewan Orchestra recorded TV Shows on FOX TV from Scranton, PA.
◦Jan Lewan and his Orchestra performs a special concert in Warsaw Poland
◦The Jan Lewan Orchestra performs “Symphony with Polkas” at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, NY with Special guest Rafal Lewandowski ,a Chopin Piano Player from Poland.
◦The Jan Lewan Orchestra performs on the “Caribe One,” Atlantic, Bermuda Star and the Mediterranean Cruise Ship, Costa Allegra as well as many others
◦For seven years Jan Lewan Orchestra hosted the polka party weekend at the Mt. Airy Lodge, in the Pocono’s
◦The Jan Lewan Orchestra host polka weekends at Atlantis Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ
◦The Jan Lewan Orchestra organized special polish weekend and shows at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel in
Atlantic City, NJ
◦The Jan Lewan Orchestra performed for the Pulaski Day Parade, New York City, NY at the Woldorf Astoria Hotel
◦1995 the Jan Lewan Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy award



The orchestra is not only noted for their polka talent, they also had an oldie rendition, Big Band Segment, a top 40 tribute, some easy listening favorites, and play most any song requested.

Jan Lewan arguably has one of the most interesting stories out there. It was first featured on Court TV and has become a complete movie. I have watched it and find it fascinating.



THE MAN WHO WOULD BE POLKA KING is an irreverent look at the rise and fall of Grammy-nominated polka music star Jan Lewan, whose defection from Poland to the West in the 1970’s led to fame, fortune and an international Polka Empire.

But when Lewan's empire collapsed under a cloud of scandal, the polka world was stunned to learn of the greatest polka-related financial crime in history.

Here is the movie's trailer:

Jan Lewan Products DVD's/CD's

Jan Lewan's ~ "The Custom Collection"

Jan Lewan's ~ "The Custom Collection"

DVD's
Last Performance
Live in Atlantic City
Live in Atlantic City II
Polka Jamboree
Polkas with Symphony
Czestochowa Mass with Ryan Ogrodny
Sister Faustina Mass with Jan Lewan
CD's
Remember Me My Love
Send Her Roses
A Polish Wedding
Jan Lewan's Greatest Hits
Our Lady Of Czestochowa
Alleluia
Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas II
Jan Lewan and His Orchestra (Grammy Nominee)
Once More From The Top
Live From Atlantic City
Live From Atlantic City Vol. 2
Las Vegas Polka

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DVD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra "Reunion Concert" 2010

DVD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra "Reunion Concert" 2010

Videotaped Live on October 24, 2010 at J.J. Ferrara Performing Arts Center, Hazleton, PA
Jan "Lewan" Lewandowski and his original 14-piece orchestra plus many more musicians, Special appearances from Ania Piwowarczyk , Stephen Kaminski – Music Director , Peter Danielczuk – MC and Amber Lewandowski.
This DVD has behind the scene footage and interviews with the Band Members, the total concert and more.

It is a 2 DVD set.

Shipping to US included
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Jan Lewan Reunion Concert CD

Jan Lewan Reunion Concert CD

Contains many of the songs from the Reunion Concert DVD Shipped by Lightning Videos - shipping included to the US  

DVD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra "History"

DVD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra "History"

Re-live the Jan Lewan & his Orchestra's past with many highlights of the Band Members.

Order Now Special Pre -Price $25.00
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DVD - The Jan Lewan - Lewandowski  - Highlights 1997- 2010

DVD - The Jan Lewan - Lewandowski - Highlights 1997- 2010

Through the last 13 years of highlights with Jan, the ups & down.
A 2 DVD set.

Order Now Special Pre -Price $25.00
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DVD - Jan Lewan's Last Performance at Trump's Taj Mahal

DVD - Jan Lewan's Last Performance at Trump's Taj Mahal

This 2 hr video/DVD includes Jan and his Orchestra featuring Ania Piwowwarczyk in their last appearance before officially retiring in 2003.
It consists of such memorable polka hits as the "Happy Louie Medley", "Cyganeczka", "Hej Goral Polka", along with a number by the Jan Lewan Orchestra collaborating all of their hits over the years entitled "The Lewan Collection", also The Orchestra performing big band hits such as "In the Mood", and As Time Goes By". Jan Lewan takes us on an emotional journey through such songs as "My Way", Goodbye My Love Goodbye", and "I Thank You Jesus".

Now is the time to buy this marvelous production that may one day become a collectible in the polka industry.

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DVD - Jan Lewan and his Orchestra Live at Trump's Taj Mahal

DVD - Jan Lewan and his Orchestra Live at Trump's Taj Mahal

Join Jan Lewan and his Orchestra with special guests and be prepared to polka the night away! Come and celebrate the harvest at a two-day festival, Polish Style! Plus, reap loads of fun with the Wesoly Lud Polish Folk Dance Ensemble and the Polish American String Band. Re-live this exciting weekend with over 20,000 Polka fans in 1995 at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City!

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DVD - Jan Lewan and his Orchestra Live II at Trump's Taj Mahal

DVD - Jan Lewan and his Orchestra Live II at Trump's Taj Mahal

See Jan Lewan and His Orchestra Live at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on June 21, 1998. Polka Celebration, Mrs. Pennsylvania, Holiday in Poland, 40’s Medley, Jumping Johnny, Hej Hej Cavalier Polka, Happy Tappy Polka and more!

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DVD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - Polka Jamboree 2001

DVD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - Polka Jamboree 2001

Polka Jamboree 2001 with Jan Lewan & His Orchestra, The Polka Family, Ania Piwowarczyk, Polish American Folk Dance Company, and The Polish American String Band. Filmed LIVE at Trump's Taj Mahal Casino-Resort, June 2nd & 3rd, 2001. 2 hours of Polka fun!

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Polkas with Symphony...Jan Lewan and his Orchestra

Polkas with Symphony...Jan Lewan and his Orchestra

Live from the Stanley Performing Arts Center...Polkas with Symphony...Jan Lewan and his Orchestra in concert with the Utica Symphony Orchestra.

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DVD - Poland Tour (1 1/2 Hours)

DVD - Poland Tour (1 1/2 Hours)

Format

Experience the excitement with Jan Lewan and his orchestra. You'll feel like you're there when you hear the guides' explanations of each city that they visited - Warsaw, Krakow, Zakopane, Czestochowa, Gdansk. Also featured on this video is our meeting with the Primate of Poland 1981-2009, Cardinal Glemp. This video is an Actual Tour and NOT a Documentary. 1 1/2 hour video. Also available as VHS at the same price.

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DVD - Poland Tour (4 Hours)

DVD - Poland Tour (4 Hours)

Format

Experience the excitement with Jan Lewan and Henny & The Versa J's. You'll feel like you're there when you hear the guides' explanations of each city that they visited - Warsaw, Krakow, Zakopane, Czestochowa, Gdansk, Poznan and Gniezno. You will also see the 5 different Folklore Groups that entertained them on this tour, along with the Polka Parties by Henny & the Versa J's. Also featured on this video are The Wieliczka Salt Mines, the Mass at Czestochowa, the visit to the Covent of Sister Falstina, and their meeting with the Primate of Poland 1981-2009, Cardinal Glemp. 4 hour video. Also available as VHS at the same price.

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DVD - Czestochowa Mass with Ryan Ogrodny

DVD - Czestochowa Mass with Ryan Ogrodny

Format

The entire Holy Mass at the Jasna Gora Monastery in Poland. You will see breathtaking close-up footage of the Holy Icon. See and hear Jan Lewan singing "Czarna Madonna" and "Boze Cos Polski." Featuring Ryan Ogrodny on his violin, and his moving rendition of "Ave Maria." This video also comes with 2 prayer cards from the Jasna Gora Monastery. Also available as VHS at the same price.

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DVD - Sister Faustina Video

DVD - Sister Faustina Video

Format

This tour and Holy Mass at the Convent of Sisters of Mercy in Lagiewniki where Saint Sister Faustina lived and died. See her grave and relic along with other beautiful decorations in the chapel. Hear about the history and life of Saint Faustina, and then we take you to Vilinus, Lithuania to see the original miraculous image of the Divine Mercy painting. *Each video comes with a beautiful Divine Mercy Prayer Card. Also available as VHS at the same price.

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Jan Lewan CD - "Remember Me My Love"

Jan Lewan CD - "Remember Me My Love"

Jan Lewan CD - "Remember Me My Love" ( With The National Radio Orchestra of Warsaw Poland)
Digitally Re-Mastered
11 Songs: To Find True Happiness, Nobody Knows Why You Chase That Dream, To Be In Love Is Beautiful, Looking Back, The World Keeps Spinning 'Round, Remember M e My Love, Never Ever Leave Me, Don't You Ever, So Much Sunshine In The City, The Hardest Step Is Always First, and Try To Write Again

BUY NOW $12.95 All CD's will include $2.05 for Shipping - Total $15.00ea. CD.  Shipped by Lightning Videos

Jan Lewan CD - "Send Her Roses"

Jan Lewan CD - "Send Her Roses"

Jan Lewan CD - "Send Her Roses"

10 Songs: Send Her Roses, Polka Bubbles, More Is My Love, Fire Bucket Oberck, Pierogi Baby Polka, Clarineter's Polka, Beverly's Polka, Polka Geist, 5th Avenue Medley, and One More Time

BUY NOW $12.95 All CD's will include $2.05 for Shipping - Total $15.00ea. CD. Shipped by Lightning Videos.

Jan Lewan CD - "A Polish Wedding"

Jan Lewan CD - "A Polish Wedding"

Jan Lewan CD - "A Polish Wedding"

15 Songs: Flower Girl Polka, I'll Marry You, You're My Polish Love, Polish Weddding March, Twelve Leaves, Tatusiu Waltz, Hosa Dyna, Pijany Szwagier, Twevle Angels, Spadla z Wisni, Bridal Dance/Dollar Dance, Polish Lullaby, Here Comes The Bride, Stripper, and Mendelssohn's Wedding March

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Jan Lewan CD - "Alleluia"

Jan Lewan CD - "Alleluia"

Jan Lewan CD - "Alleluia"

12 Songs: Wisi Na Krzyzu, Jezu Chryste, Rozmyslajmy, Tryptyk Oswiecimski, O Jak Sa Mile Twe Przybytki Panie, Kiedy Ranne Wstaja Zorze, Alleluja, Wesoly Nam Dzien, Otrzyjcie Juz Lzy Placzace, Wesel Sie Ludu Strapiony, Chrystus Zmartwychwstal, and Let There Be Peace On Earth

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Jan Lewan CD - "Jan Lewan-Lewandowski's Greatest Hits"

Jan Lewan CD - "Jan Lewan-Lewandowski's Greatest Hits"

Jan Lewan CD - "Jan Lewan-Lewandowski's Greatest Hits"

10 Songs: Rhonda My Girl, Kosil Ojciec Siano, Wiazanka Ludowa, Czemu Ty Dziewczyno, Goralu Czy Ci Nie Zal, I Thank You Jesus, Plynie Wisla, Jeszcze Jeden Mazur Dzisiaj, Kto Handluje Ten Zyje, and My Melody Of Love

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Jan Lewan CD - "Our Lady of Czestochowa"

Jan Lewan CD - "Our Lady of Czestochowa"

Jan Lewan CD - "Our Lady of Czestochowa"

13 Songs: Czarna Madonna, One Day At A Time, Matka, Boze Cos Polske, Pojdz Do Jezusa, Licze Na Ciebie Ojcze, How Great Thou Art, Szejset Lat, Serdeczna Matka, Jeszcze Polska, God Bless America, Czarna Madonna, and Barka (Peter's Song)

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Jan Lewan CD - "Merry Christmas, Wesolych Swiat" #1

Jan Lewan CD - "Merry Christmas, Wesolych Swiat" #1

Jan Lewan CD - "Merry Christmas, Wesolych Swiat" #1 (Your Favorite Polish "Koledy")

10 Songs: W Dzien Bozie Go Narodzenia, Bog Sie Rodzi, Gdy Dliczna Panienka, Do Szopy Hej Pasterze, Hymn Bozego Narodzenia, Lulaj Ze Jezuniu, Cicha Noc, Sliczna Panieka, Wsrod Nocej Ciszy, Gdy Sie Chrystus Rodza

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Jan Lewan CD - "Merry Christmas, Wesolych Swiat" #2 (

Jan Lewan CD - "Merry Christmas, Wesolych Swiat" #2 (

Jan Lewan CD - "Merry Christmas, Wesolych Swiat" #2 (1999)

15 Songs: 'Twas the Night, Bog Sie Rodzi/Lulaj Ze Jezuniu Medley, Przybiezeli Do Betlejem, Do Szopy Hej Pasterze, Silczna Panienka, Holiday Medley, Silent Night, Gdy Silczna Panna, No One Told Her, Pojdzmy Wszyscy Do Stajenki/Medrcy Swiata Medley, O Holy Night, Nasze Boze Narodzenie, Christmas Medley, Czarna Madonna, and Barka (Peter's Song)

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Jan Lewan CD - "Jan Lewan and His Orchestra" Grammy Award Nominee

Jan Lewan CD - "Jan Lewan and His Orchestra" Grammy Award Nominee

Jan Lewan CD - "Jan Lewan and His Orchestra" Grammy Award Nominee

11 Songs: The Lewan Collection Medley, Ole,Ole Polka, 'til We Meet In Chicago Waltz, Amber Polka, North Shore Polka, Maryska Polka, The Bridal Dance Polka, Tylko We Lwowie Oberek, Krakowiak, Luksusowa Polka, and Cry Baby Polka

BUY NOW $12.95 All CD's will include $2.05 for Shipping - Total $15.00ea. CD. Shipped by Lightning Videos.

Jan Lewan CD - "Once More From The Top"

Jan Lewan CD - "Once More From The Top"

Jan Lewan CD - "Once More From The Top"

13 Songs: Jescze Po Kropelce Polka, Bubliczki Polka, Miala Baba Koguta Polka, Jarzebina Czerwona Waltz, Our Gang Oberek, If I Knew Polka, Midnight Train Polka, Dla Ciebie Polka, Trumpeter's Waltz, 9 O'clock Tango, Babei's Polka, Watch over Them Polka, and Bugler's Holiday

BUY NOW $12.95 All CD's will include $2.05 for Shipping - Total $15.00ea. CD. Shipped by Lightning Videos.

Jan Lewan CD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - "Live From Atlantic City"

Jan Lewan CD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - "Live From Atlantic City"

Jan Lewan CD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - "Live From Atlantic City"

17 Songs: Fanfare Intro, If It's Love, Polsh Medley, Cyganeczka, Goralka Medley, Milwaukee Jam, In The Moonlight, Cala Sala, Spanish Rain, The Killer Bees, Your Wish Is My Command, What Do You Say, Tatus I Mamusia, Poinciana, 50's Medley, Going Down The River, and Hej, Tam Pod Lasem

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Jan Lewan CD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - "Live From Atlantic City" Vol 2

Jan Lewan CD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - "Live From Atlantic City" Vol 2

Jan Lewan CD - Jan Lewan and His Orchestra - "Live From Atlantic City" Vol 2

16 Songs: Polka Celebration, Goral Polka, My Favorite Dish Polka, Just Do It Polka, Mrs. Pennsylvannia, Herky's Polka, My Polka Boyfriend Polka, Hoilday In Poland Polka, Happy Tappy Polka, Under Paris Skies Waltz, 40's Medley, Red Apple Oberek, Pytala Sie Pani, Funfest, Jumpin' Johnny Polka, and Hej, Hej, Cavalier Polka

BUY NOW $12.95 All CD's will include $2.05 for Shipping - Total $15.00ea. CD. Shipped by Lightning Videos.

Contact Info

Website:
www.janlewandowski.com

Email:
jan@janlewandowski.com

Contact
Phone: 570 851-3329

Jan Lewandowski
P.O. BOX 2411
Hazleton, PA 18201

Coming Soon



Jan’s book – “Two suitcases of dreams”

My dreams of a better life first led me to Canada from Poland. I came here with “two suitcases full of dreams” in 1972. There I performed for Canadian Pacific Chain Hotels from Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Banff Spring to Vancouver, BC. During that time I began using the stage name Jan Lewan.

I believed that dreams of a better life would not be complete until I became a United States citizen. So in 1981 I went to the US. I became a US citizen on October 30, 1986.

In 1988 I formed JRD Production, Inc., Jan Lewan Show Gifts, Inc. and the Jan Lewan Orchestra. I attended many trade shows, from Chicago to Las Vegas with Amber jewelry and gifts from Poland during 1988 to 2001.

During the years 1983 to 2001 my orchestra filled large venues such as Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City to Las Vegas Hilton Hotel with our famous recording of Jan Lewan and His Orchestra OLE! OLE! and being nominated for a Grammy Award, a great honor.

I do have a great story to tell so look for my new book titled,
“Two Suitcases Full of Dreams: The Life Story of Jan Lewan/Lewandowski”

A Tragic Story Of The American Dream...................................Coming Soon

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Through the years Jan Lewan introduced more than 2500 tourists to his Holiness Pope John Paul II. The memories from these private meetings were priceless and were captured in the following video:

Jan Lewan Tours - Pope John Paul II

The Jan Lewan Reunion Concert 2010


On October 24th, 2010, the Jan Lewan Orchestra reunited for their first performance in nearly a decade. In the typical tradition of a family reunion, the orchestra members were excited to get together for this one time concert and homecoming. Many of the musicians had not seen each other for nearly ten years, and this one time only concert afforded them time to renew their acquaintances.



Reviews of the show were fantastic. Here were a few comments from the show:

Jan:
We just got back from Hazleton, and on the way home Nancy and I were discussing what a worthwhile trip it was. This morning, as we had our breakfast at the hotel, we saw you on the local TV station, as they featured snippets of the show. It was great seeing the guys as well. And your salute to our military was superb!
It's a great thing that you're on your way back!
Please stay in touch...
Steve

Dear Jan,
Wow! what a great show! Mary was talking about it all the way home and was telling her sisters about it this morning. I really enjoyed it too and meeting
again with some of the guys I played with. This should be a great ending to your book. Keep in touch.
Your friend always,
Bill

Hi Jan,
Alan asked me to be sure and email you soon...we both totally loved your concert Sunday night! He wants to bring his mom along (and me as well again ) to your next one, so be sure and let us know.
You are every bit as talented in person as on the DVD's I've watched. You have no idea how good it was to see you in person, doing what you do so well and enjoy so much. We loved the prison rap you did, and could hardly stop laughing with you as you did it! Thanks for just being you. You are truly an inspiration!
Cheryl is so sweet, and she blessed us by telling us how much we meant to you over the time...it was nice sitting near her and her husband also. Thanks for getting us such good seats!
I have some good photos that I'll email you as soon as I get them on my computer. The one of you and me came out especially good.
Are you still working on your book? I was hoping you would have it done so I could buy an autographed copy...don't forget about that, please.
Alan said to be sure and keep us both on your mailing list also...and he suggested you do a concert in Quakertown. I'd like that too!
God bless more and more.
Love and prayers,
Jean

The JLO Orchestra throughout the late 80s and 90's were famous for adding a "Big Show Band" type quality to traditional and original Polish Music. They were the band that lead the way performing at many prestigious showrooms throughout the United States and Europe. The springboard for the bands success was their sold out polka weekends at the Mount Airy Lodge Resort in the Poconos during the late 1980s. Much of the success of the Jan Lewan Orchestra is attributed to composer and arranger Stephen Kaminski www.stephenkaminskimusic.com who joined the band on the saxophone shortly after graduating from the Berkeley College of Music in 1987. Stephen has written and produced music for every major television network and continues to receive awards for his compositions. Just recently, Stephen’s orchestral composition, "Ten Emotions - A Tone Poem" was awarded 2nd place at the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic's Composition Competition. Stephen's talent for composing and arranging music, fused with his Polish heritage made for a winning combination.

The Jan Lewan Orchestra was catapulted into some of the best showrooms in the country. In 1988, the band took polka music to a new level when they performed a combined concert with the Wayne Newton Orchestra at the esteemed Hilton Hotel Showroom in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the years to follow highlights for the orchestra included; combining with the Princeton University Symphony Orchestra for a "Symphony with Polkas" concert at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York, A concert with the National Symphony Orchestra of Utica, New York., a concert with the "Radio Warsaw Orchestra" in Warsaw., Poland, performed as the main act in the showrooms of numerous cruise ships, Recorded a weekly television show on the Fox TV broadcast from Scranton,Pa. performed as back up musicians for Bobby Vinton, Al Albert's and the Four Aces, Myron Floren from the Lawrence Welk Show, and many more, entertained literally thousands of people throughout the years at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. where Jan and the orchestra hosted their Polish Festivals, and many other events too numerous to mention. Tremendously popular were Jan Lewan's European Tours. As a Polish native, Jan was able to introduce tour groups to Poland like no one else could. Most groups were afforded the opportunity to meet the former President of Poland, Lech Walesa. Jan’s tour groups to Italy were truly astonishing. Each tour member was treated to a private audience and photo session with Pope John Paul II. A Red Carpet Poland reunion tour is currently scheduled for May 9th – 19th, 2012.

The band made many recordings but their biggest accomplishment was being nominated for a Grammy Award in 1995. The band was moving ahead with many new adventures when tragedy struck. In the early morning of January 26, 2001, the Jan Lewan Orchestra bus was making its way through Dillon, South Carolina en route to Florida when it drifted off the road and struck a concrete bridge. Tommy Karas, Accordion player, and John Stabinsky, Trombonist were killed instantly. Daniel Lewandowski, (son of Jan) trumpet player was seriously injured, and many other musicians suffered broken bones etc. The accident was a horrific tragedy which - combined with financial troubles, led to the demise of the orchestra.

Steve Saive, www.Saivelivemusic.com lead trumpet player with the Lewan Orchestra since 1986 devoted countless hours to this reunion project and when asked about his thoughts he had this to say; The fourteen years I spent on the road with the Jan Lewan Orchestra were undoubtedly the best years of my life. I saw the world and met many people. I was proud to be a part of such an awesome orchestra. We were not only an excellent "Polka" band, but a group of musicians that could perform anything - we really were not much a part of the standard polka circuit. However, we were always the band of choice for the Donald Trump organization for private special event parties at the Taj Mahal Casino because we could play an entire evening of Big Band music. Although the band performed several engagements following the accident, I could not bring myself to be a part of it. The tragedy was too overwhelming for me. I never wanted to play again. It took me years of therapy to cope with the catastrophe we had all experienced. I never had any type of closure with my close friends and fellow musicians. The bond that we had shared throughout countless performances and endless hours on the road made us a family - one which ended abruptly. I am really excited and ready to once again perform with the band, in fact I really can't wait. It's exciting for me to see that there are people out there who feel the same way. Jan and I are having so much fun receiving the ticket orders and reading all of the comments from fans of ours who are just as excited as we are. Each ticket order is accompanied by comments such as "We were with you in Poland and can't wait to see you guys", "We'll never forget our private audience with Pope John Paul II, we are so delighted to have the opportunity to spend one more evening with you.", and the sentiments go on and on. We have mailed tickets to Michigan, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and of course many to our local Pennsylvania fans. According to Jan, each letter brings a "smile to my face and a tear to my eye."

This certainly was reunion to beat all reunions. The Atrium of the Philharmonic center was transformed into an exhibit of literally thousands of pictures and memorabilia from the Jan Lewan Orchestra. At 5:15 there was a special movie presentation of the highlights of the Jan Lewan Orchestra throughout the years. This movie is not the documentary which premiered at all of the film festivals this year and nationally on TruTV. It is a newly produced film of all of the highlights of the orchestra's travels and concerts. Jan's new book, "Suitcase Full of Dreams" is soon ready for publication and there are two Hollywood agencies already talking about a possible full feature movie.

Ania Piwowarczyk from Canada will be performed her classic hits made famous with the Jan Lewan Orchestra as well as several new songs from her newest recording (Life's Too Short) featuring Steve Saive and Stephen Kaminski from the Jan Lewan Orchestra.
Amber Lewandowski, (daughter of Jan) who we all remember as a little girl, is now 17 years old and has developed into a dazzling young lady with tremendous vocal qualities. She performed with her father's orchestra for the first time...a dream she always had but never thought would ever become a reality.
Bill Kuklewicz will be provided accordion accompaniment for dinner. He was the original accordion player for the Jan Lewan Orchestra.

Hank Guzevich of the Polka Family band, long time friend of the Jan Lewan Orchestra was over seeing the sound quality for the concert and recording. Hank performed with Jan during the finale of the concert, a brand new song written by Joe Zalenski entitled "Amigo Polka" This song tells the story of two long lost friends- Jan hired the Polka Family band to Atlantic City when they were living in California and the rest of the story is history. It was at that time when Gus, Hank's father, wanted to relocate his family to northeast Pa. They purchased a home and soon became the most popular polka band on the East Coast.

Daniel Lewandowski (son of Jan) who fought for his life following the accident and spent literally years of recovery made an appearance as well. We all remember him being on stage in the beginning with toy instruments and eventually as a trumpet player with the orchestra. Truth is, he has fully recovered from the accident and is an executive with a major hotel chain.

The entire reunion was captured on video and made available for purchase by John and Jo of Lightning videos. Many of you remember John Koterba who accompanied Jan on every tour and concert throughout a twenty year span making tremendous souvenir videos for everyone. John has continued his career as a videographer and recently won a prestigious award for his talent. Out of 14 nominees, John was voted the "Best Videographer of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast 2010." organized by Fox 29 TV of West Palm Beach. His video will make a terrific souvenir for reunion attendees. Don't miss this one and only reunion of the Jan Lewan Orchestra.
 
Jan Lewan-Dowski Did It Again!!!!

Jan Lewandowski did it again! … Did What, you ask?

He has once again proven himself as the best tour host and organizer of tours to Poland.
By Carol Matuszkiewicz

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In typical Jan Lewan style, the party began from the first day and continued for nine straight days. The group arrived in Gdansk, Poland on May 15, and as usual Jan had a huge surprise in store for his guests.

Who else but Jan could make arrangements for his group to be welcomed to Poland by the former President, Nobel Prize Winner, and Solidarity Leader “Lech Walesa!”

According to a member of the tour, “I couldn’t believe it…Jan was telling us all day that he had a big surprise for us in the evening when we arrived. The next thing we knew, Jan took us all to Lech Walesa Presidential Library, where Jan had arranged for our group to have a private meeting with President Lech Walsea, who welcomed us all to Poland. He made us feel very welcomed and was happy to take the time for each of us to take pictures with him. He even took a picture together with us on his own IPAD and posted the picture to his Presidential Office website viewed by thousands of people nationwide. It was the most remarkable opportunity I’ve ever had in my life. I still can’t believe it!!!”

The tour began at the Baltic Sea, then on to Warsaw, followed by breathtaking scenery in the mountains of Zakopane, and finally to Krakow. While in Gdansk the group was introduced to the Kaszuby Region with the tri-cities of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot. We were off to a beautiful Amber factory for our first souvenir shopping of the trip. We also had a beautiful meeting there with Jan's family, who are also extremely musically talented . We were treated to a beautiful Chopin music concert performed by Jan’s nephew Rafal on the piano, Rafal's daughter Zosia who performed on her grandfather's violin, and Rafal's 8 year old son who played piano with him. They received a standing ovation. Meeting this wonderful family along with the Polish wine and paczki made us all feel very welcome. Later that evening, the Kaszuby Folk Ensemble performed for us during dinner in a local restaurant . It was the perfect introduction to this beautiful fishing region of Poland. A highlight of our stay happened the next day as we boarded a Pirate Ship and sailed around the Baltic Sea. While on board the ship, we had dinner and nonstop entertainment by Jan Lewan and the ship musicians.

Next, we headed to Warsaw and spent the day singing, toasting, and laughing on the bus. We really loved playing Bingo and sang throughout our travels. It really made the time fly. While in route to Warsaw, we stopped and toured the Malbork Castle, the stronghold of the Teutonic Knights in the 15th century. We also enjoyed the casinos at night. The next morning, our tour guide Wlodek, (the best in the business), took us on a tour of Warsaw beginning with the Chopin park, the Warsaw Ghetto, and finalizing the day in the old city where we enjoyed dinner at a gourmet restaurant.

The next day we were all spiritually recharged as we ventured to Czestochowa, Jasna Gora. Father Simon greeted Jan and the entire group with open arms. Our group was brought to the front of the alter where Father Simon celebrated mass in front of the Holy Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland. During the mass, Jan was singing "Serdeczna Matko" and "Czarna Madonna" along with all the people who were visiting the Shrine. There wasn't a dry eye in the church. Jan received a medal of Our Lady of Czestochowa from father Simon who stated how happy he was to once again see Jan with tour groups visiting the shrine. Afterwards we visited the birthplace of Pope John Paul II and then finalized the day by our arrival in Zakopane.

Zakopane was another tremendous highlight of our trip, the rafting trip down the beautiful Dunajec River. Our group will never ever forget the breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and the rush of excitement as we sailed down the river on wooden rafts. It was truly breathtaking and inspiring. Everyone had a fantastic time. The excitement continued in the evening where we had a kielbasa roast dinner in a Goralska Hata with great entertainment by the Gorale.

In Krakow we had the honor of meeting the private secretary to Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Cardinal of Krakow in which, he blessed us for a safe journey home. What an honor!

We spent two days in Krakow where we shopped at the sukenica.

We took an excursion to Auschwitz, a very emotional place. As Jan knew how this would effect us with this historical place, he made sure to uplift us by concluded our tour with a farewell dinner with another Folk Group which lasted for several hours. No one wanted to end the night. They were laughing, singing, dancing and recounting all of the excitement we had on our the tour. We were yelling 2 more weeks!!!

I couldn’t help but to think back at the documentary movie that was made of Jan’s life. Particularly, where one of his musicians had made the comment, that life on the road with Jan was just “One Big Party!” All I can say from my own experience is that “The Party Continues” and I can see now how fortunate his musicians must have been to travel with him to all of these beautiful places.

There are three factors which make Jan’s tours so successful. In addition to Jan’s charm and personable approach to showing you his native country, Mary Gorecki of P.A.T. Tours along with the Great Agency in Poland spend countless hours organizing and preparing all of the travel details and tour itineraries. They are the best in the business and as a result, the tours are flawless. Combine all of this preparation with Wlodek Grefkowicz, the best tour guide in Poland. All of our tour members received great knowledge of every destination visited and came home with a great understanding of the history of Poland and the tragedy of World War II. The third factor which makes Jan’s tours rise above all others is his video man. Every tour highlight is recorded by professional videographer “John Koterba” of Lightning Videos and the tour members become the stars. Everyone is now anxiously awaiting our complimentary 4 hour tour DVD to watch and relive our tour of a lifetime thanks to John.

Join Jan for his upcoming tour “The Great Capitals of Central Europe”

September 17th – 28th, 2013.
For reservations call PAT Tours at 1-800-388-0988. It will certainly be “One Big Party!!! The Party Continues & We Hope to See You there!