TV Premiere of POLKA ACROSS AMERICA to Air on PBS Western Reserve

Chardon Polka Band presents fun nationwide polka road trip

 KENT, OH — Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 — Members of a popular Ohio polka band have produced a new documentary that spotlights entertaining polka musicians, with each performance serving as a musical postcard from around the country. The production, POLKA ACROSS AMERICA, will premiere on television on PBS Western Reserve (WNEO 45.1 / WEAO 49.1) on Sunday, Jan. 10, at 8 PM. For additional air dates and free viewing on demand following the documentary premiere, visit

The Chardon Polka Band, known nationwide for its eclectic and modern take on an old genre, typically performs around 200 shows each year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic left the band members facing the same problem that musicians and artists across the county were dealing with: no gigs, no live audiences and limited ways to create and deliver their art. As a way to both celebrate their genre and bring fellow musicians together, the group launched POLKA ACROSS AMERICA by leveraging their experience with music video production. The result is an hour-long documentary that provides the viewer with a delightful quilt of unique songs by unique artists.

Working artists, unable to go out and play their normal shows, were given a new outlet with POLKA ACROSS AMERICA. The various musical groups and individual artists featured in the program all filmed their pieces independently, sharing the footage with the production team in Geauga County, Ohio. These performances were then woven together as a “polka-centric” musical tapestry that celebrates Americana, heritage, diversity and musicians everywhere. While the family-friendly program leans heavily on the polka genre, viewers are likely to find something for everyone as they are introduced to the musicians and their back stories.

Whether you’re a fellow musician or just someone who enjoys musical performance of all flavors, this program will provide a pleasant variety of great music performed by talented home-bound musicians that want nothing more than to bring smiles to the faces of viewers everywhere. A great respite from the seemingly unending news cycle, POLKA ACROSS AMERICA aims to lift spirits with fun songs performed by fun people.


Chardon Polka Band; left to right Mitch Lawrence, Jake Kouwe, Mike Franklin and Bob Young

About PBS Western Reserve 

PBS Western Reserve is the brand name of Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

A trusted community resource, PBS Western Reserve uses the power of commercial-free television and related services to enrich the lives of people through high-quality programming and educational services that teach, illuminate and inspire. It serves the largest population of Ohio¹s eight PBS member stations.

PBS Western Reserve (WNEO 45.1 / WEAO 49.1), a service of the organization, is the only broadcast television service that reaches all of Northeast Ohio. It is available to 4.9 million people in the Cleveland and Youngstown designated market areas. In an average month, more than 1 million people tune in. The organization also operates two standard definition channels: Fusion (WNEO 45.2 / WEAO 49.2) and FNX (WNEO 45.3 / WEAO 49.3).