It’s your 9th birthday and for your birthday gift, you get…an accordion! What would you do with it? Some of you would try to play it and eventually give up. Others would exhaust their energy trying to find an accordion teacher or use it as a fine piece of home decor. Some of you might even trade it in for a guitar or take the money and run.
Danny received his first 3-row button accordion from his grandfather when he was 9 years of age, while his cousins received the latest trend of toys at the time. Despite his hurt feelings, Danny taught himself how to play a few of his family’s favorite traditional Czech and German songs, which made his grandparents and parents extremely proud. As time passed, he was inspired by many accordion greats such as Don Cialkoszewski and Steve “Esteban” Jordan to take his accordion playing to the next level and to keep expanding his ability. Today, Danny is the front man of Copper Box, which is one of the most diverse and entertaining quartets around. Danny is one of the few that can tastefully put the accordion into a wide range of music from jazz to polka to rock and pop. Many people have said, “I don’t care for the accordion, but I like how he plays it.”
Drawing inspiration from many types of Americana, roots music like Zydeco, blues, jazz, rock, polka and Tejano, their sound is a distinctive musical melting pot that is easy on the ears and good for the soul. ‘Copper‘-definitely a great conductor of electricity and ‘box‘ refers to the button box/accordion. Together, Copper Box explains their music in relation to the audience. With Danny Jerabek on button box, cornet, keys, penny whistles, vocals, etc. and his wife, Michelle Jerabek on tenor and bari saxophones, guitar, flute, washboard, vocals, along with Kevin Junemann on bass and ukulele, and Jason Van Ryzin on drums and percussion, Copper Box has been gaining momentum performing over 140 shows a year for music festivals, performing art centers, and community concerts throughout the US. They have shared the main stage at festivals across the nation with artists like, The Little River Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, Little Feat, Little Big Town, Little Texas, Peter Frampton, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lou Gramm, Marcia Ball, C.J. Chenier, Terrance Simien, Brave Combo, and W.C. Clark.
Copper Box’s sound connects the gutsy party sounds of the upper Midwest, the music of the legendary Esteban Jordan (the Jimi Hendrix of the Tejano accordion), the Zydeco soul power of Clifton Chenier, the groovy raw sounds of Doug Sahm and CCR. They have an ability to electrify an audience with their chemistry on stage. Think outside the box when you hear Copper Box. It’s a genre-bending celebration that channels the rowdy communal feel of a small-town party with a demanding presence.
As one music journalist commented, “(Copper Box)…as refreshing as a cool spring breeze blowing new life into a stuffy room…worth checking out!”
Copper Box received several WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) awards–“Americana Artist of the Year,” “People’s Choice Award,” “Specialty Instrumentalist of the Year (Danny Jerabek)” and other nominations to date. Copper Box’s music video was viewed at the NAB (National Association for Broadcasting) worldwide. In 2007, a video clip of Copper Box was selected for an American Band commercial from the producers of American Idol. Copper Box was also selected to represent American Traditions at The Southern Arts Conference in Atlanta, GA and the following year in Louisville, KY. They have received several awards–“Horizon Artist of the Year”, “Artist of the Year”, and Michelle was the first female to receive the award for “Side Person of the Year” from the WPHF (WI Polka Hall of Fame). Danny Jerabek was featured on national television on “The Early Show” and was a featured performer at the National Accordion Convention in Dallas, TX in 2008 and also performed with Grammy-winning artists, such as Terrance Simien and Brave Combo.
Wisconsin Blues Society describes Copper Box as “…one of the favorites of the Fox Valley Blues Festival 2004. This hot Zydeco Swamp/Blues Rock outfit with a great baritone and tenor sax gal and a hot accordion man. This group cooks and swings with some of the best Zydeco-influenced groups I’ve seen anywhere in the country.”
From Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI to Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA to Cotati Accordion Festival in Cotati, CA to the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, TX and Soulard Oktoberfest in St. Louis, MO, Copper Box keeps the crowd hopping and the tent rocking with their unique blend of “accordion-fueled, roots rock!”
Copper Box CDs that are available on www.copperboxsite.com
–Sunny Days (2005);
–Backyard Party (2007);
–Need a Little Squeezin’ (2008);
–In the Summertime (2010);
–Copper Box LIVE from Waterfest 2010 (DVD);
–People Change (2011)
Copper Box Band Members:
Kevin Junemann: bass, ukulele
Jason Van Ryzin: drums
Michelle Jerabek: saxophones, guitar, flute, washboard, vocals
Danny Jerabek: button box (accordion), keys, cornet, vocals, etc.
CBox is an accordion-fueled, roots rock party! It is a power quartet that brings the best of what an accordion has to offer! Not to mention, a tenor and bari saxophone, a keyboard, a guitar, a cornet, a washboard, along with a bass and drum backbone, and an entertaining guy-gal front that can sing you something sweet or ruckus and do it with passion!