Ken and Mary have worked as an accordion duo for many years, playing a large variety of music for events mostly around the Midwest, combining piano accordion with the latest state of the art button accordion with MIDI enhancement to produce multiple music styles and sounds.
Very well rehearsed and excellent polka repertoire. Thoroughly enjoyed their performance
Ken and Mary gave us a splendid evening, with all kinds of music (as requested). They showed up on time and set up with little trouble. I would definitely hire them again.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 60 - 240 minutes
Languages: English, German
What to Expect
Fantastic stage performance! We have gold-plated hand-crafted Italian accordions with midi. We can sound like a 4-5 piece band for your black tie events or we can costume ourselves in authentic German attire for your ethnic events. Have own sound system to accomodate most needs or can stroll accoustic. Styles of music performed include jazz,swing,show,waltz,polkas etc. WILL TRAVEL. No job too big or too small.
Ken Nicol and Mary Drake are "Ken & Mary Turbo Accordions," an accordion duo out of central Ohio. They strive to dispel the stereotype that accordions are just for playing oompa or polka music. Quite the contrary, they perform a wide variety of music in their concerts, with one of our most popular concerts being "Milestones & Memories," a Welk style format show that includes many songs that one would see on the Lawrence Welk shows - including big band, dixieland, ragtime, waltzes, old standard song favorites, sing-along favorites, some ethnic tunes, and polkas - to name a few. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, they throw in some songs totally unexpected from them or their accordions! What makes their concerts so appealing includes their instrument combination and the high energy level of their performances. Ken performs on a 5-row,custom-built button accordion with the latest electronic sound enhancements. This allows his instrument to not only sound like an accordion, but also a myriad of other instruments as well, such as violins, harp, piano, organ, tuba, trumpets, trombones, and even steel drums for their island cruise numbers (which begin with the blast of a cruise ship horn) and Alp horns, a yodeler, and cow bells for their “trip to the Alps” songs. When paired with Mary's custom built piano accordion, they create an awesome sound and a very entertaining show. For even more spice and variety, they also include an Italian mandola and tenor banjo in their concerts and climax that portion of the concert with a breathtaking performance on the banjo. They believe concerts are much more entertaining when the audience is engaged in the programs – they’ll never just stand on stage and play at them. In addition to performing as a duo, Ken and Mary also perform as a 3 & 4 piece band by adding a trumpeter/vocalist and/or percussionist.
Ken’s music background has spanned over 50 years. He has played a number of instruments including the guitar, mandolin, Italian mandola, and the 3, 4, and 5-row button accordions. Through the years and up until several years ago, his main instrument was the Tenor Banjo. In fact, he was bestowed the title “Baron of the Banjo” by the International Polka King, Frankie Yankovic. Ken founded and directed the Restoration Rag/Jazz Band, which performed all over the Midwest for 35 years. Ken has also performed at the German Pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Center over 30 times and has performed for special celebrations for the country of Estonia in Boca Raton, Florida, arranged through Disney’s Department of Foreign Productions. Mary’s background has spanned nearly 40 years and includes performing at festivals, banquets, and parties.
Ken and Mary have performed from Quebec to south Florida and even recently performed for the 4-day Miller Brewing Company/Pilsener Oktoberfest in El Salvador, Central America in October 2013. They performed 247 events in six states in 2012, including numerous dances, banquets, parties, weddings, and corporate events, and they also have performed many concerts. Additionally, they have been featured on both radio and television programs. Ken and Mary have performed at numerous Oktoberfests/multicultural events and have authentic colorful German costuming for such occasions.
Past Booked Events
|January 12, 2019 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm||Nonprofit Event|
|October 23, 2016 • 3:00pm - 8:00pm||El Salvador - Miller Beer Pilsener Oktoberfest|
|October 22, 2016 • 3:00pm - 8:00pm||El Salvador - Miller Beer Pilsener Oktoberfest|
|October 21, 2016 • 3:00pm - 8:00pm||El Salvador - Miller Beer Pilsener Oktoberfest|
|October 20, 2016 • 12:00pm - 8:00pm||El Salvador - Miller Beer Pilsener Oktoberfest|
|September 24, 2016 • 12:00pm - 3:00pm||Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest|
|September 16, 2016 • 7:00pm - 10:00pm||Columbus Germania Sommerfest|
|September 10, 2016 • 2:30pm - 4:30pm||Springboro Ohio Oktoberfest|
|August 31, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:15pm||Lakeside Chautauqua Concert|
|August 26, 2016 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||Wurst Und Bier Restaurant|
|August 20, 2016 • 12:00pm - 3:00pm||Bucyrus Ohio Bratwurst Festival|
|August 19, 2016 • 1:00pm - 6:00pm||Bucyrus Ohio Bratwurst Festival|
|August 18, 2016 • 2:00pm - 6:00pm||Bucyrus Ohio Bratwurst Festival|
|August 07, 2016 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm||St. James Lutheran Church Brats & Crafts Festival|
|August 06, 2016 • 12:00pm - 9:00pm||St. James Lutheran Church Brats & Crafts Festival|
|August 05, 2016 • 4:00pm - 9:00pm||St. James Lutheran Church Brats & Crafts Festival|
|July 29, 2016 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||Wurst Und Bier Restaurant|
|July 28, 2016 • 8:00pm - 10:00pm||Swiss Days Festival - Berne, IN|
|July 28, 2016 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm||Swiss Village Auditorium Concert|
|July 22, 2016 • 7:00pm - 10:00pm||Columbus Ohio Germania - Summerfest|
|July 16, 2016 • 11:00am - 7:00pm||Freudenfest Festival - Oldenburg, IN|
|July 15, 2016 • 4:30pm - 7:30pm||Freudenfest Festival - Oldenburg, IN|
|June 24, 2016 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||Wurst Und Bier Restaurant|
|June 10, 2016 • 7:00pm - 10:00pm||Columbus Ohio Germania Summerfest|
|May 13, 2016 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||Wurst Und Bier Restaurant|
|May 03, 2016 • 10:30am - 12:00pm||Upper Arlington Sandwich Stroll|
|May 10, 2013||Anniversary Party|
|Ken Nicol||5-row Button Accordion, Banjo, Italian Mandola/Band Manager|
|Mary Drake||Piano Accordion/vocalist|
Influences & Inspiration
There are so many great musicians/performers who have been a positive influence on our music. It's hard to list them all, but some of them include Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, Frankie Yankovic, Eddie Peabody, the Humphrey Brothers, and Roy Clark. Our audiences are also a big influence on us. They challenge us to become better musicians and to find even betters ways to entertain.
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