Merry Christmas Polka - the Sounds of the Steppes


                                                                                 Mandolin: Allen Mazurski

                                                                            Lead Guitar: Tom Stratton

                                                                               Accordion: Jeannette Denby

                                                                             Bass Guitar: Ken Denby

                                                                                      Drums: Humberto Pacheco




                                             Jeannette Denby

                                             Jeannette's love of music takes her back to the young age of seven, when she got her

                                             first accordion from the Eaton's Catalogue. From 1959 she performed in and around

                                             Thunder Bay, Ontario until moving to Dryden, Ontario, in 1973. She and her husband

                                             formed The Borden Family Band, beginning as a duo, and then evolving into a trio, and

                                             finally a quartet. They recorded the album "The Good Times". Jeannette has worked with

                                            many other musicians in Northwestern Ontario, and Manitoba and has entertained at

                                            every imaginable event. She has also had the pleasure of playing and recording with the

                                            country gospel group Outreach 


                                            Ken Denby

                                            In 1955, Ken started his musical career with the country band Curley and the Playboys

                                            playing guitar and singing live on CKDM Radio on Saturday afternoons in Dauphin

                                            Manitoba. He has since performed in a variety of musical venues with numerous bands

                                            and musicians in Manitoba, Ontario and northern United States. Ken also formed

                                            The Denby Family Band. He taught music for the Yamaha and the Suzuki Schools

                                            of Music and owned his own music store called Kenby's Music. He's been teaching

                                            instrumental music privately for thirty-three years and has recorded on ten albums and

                                            numerous singles.

                                           Allen Mazurski

                                           When Allen asked, at an early age, for a violin for Christmas, there was none to be

                                           had, so his mother bought him a mandolin; he fell in love with it's sound. Allen took

                                           mandolin lessons while attending evening classes at the Ukrainian Prosvita Society

                                          School in Thunder Bay. Later in high school, he played guitar, saxophone and clarinet

                                          in the school band, after a lengthy time away from public performing due to education

                                          and career; he brought together the talented musicians to form The Sounds of the Steppes.

                                          Allen enjoys researching Ukrainian music, sharing and preserving the Ukrainian heritage.

                                          He especially enjoys performing and his enthusiasm is infectious. In recent years, he has

                                          fulfilled his childhood wish and now plays the violin as well.

                                          Tom Stratton

                                          Tom started his musical career at the early age of twelve. His father played many

                                          different  instruments and encouraged Tom to play the guitar. At one time, Tom

                                          also played the bass guitar. He played his first dance in 1960, and he played for the

                                           princely sum of $5.00 and a case of beer. Gone are those days!! Tom has played

                                           with many musicians, and several bands in Dryden and Northwestern Ontario. He

                                           has performed on telethons, festivals, talent shows, and has entertained at weddings,

                                           anniversaries, socials, old time dances, fall fairs, and the lounge scene. Tom has also

                                           recorded with a country band and a bluegrass gospel group.

                                           Humberto Pacheco

                                          Humberto graduated from McGill University in Montreal as a percussionist, with

                                         a Bachelor of Music Degree focusing on Music Education. As an elementary and

                                         secondary music teacher, he has taught classes in band, strings, guitar, and piano.

                                         As a percussionist, he has performed with the McGill Symphony Orchestra and

                                         the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra.  He has performed across Canada and Europe

                                         as a vocalist in various community choirs, as well as an instrumentalist and conductor

                                         in a wide range of music from folk groups to classical ensembles, to rock groups. 

                                         He is found on various recordings, and for the last decade has used Midi technology

                                         to compose jingles for radio and television, as well as composing/arranging scores

                                         for jazz and concert bands. In addition to playing drums for “ the Sounds of the Steppes”

                                         he also performs with the band “Streamline”and other musical events.