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Kashubian music in Renfrew County is older then the county itself. Kashubian music came over from Poland to Canada in the year 1858. The fiddle was the main instrument that was brought over here by our Polish ancestors and it was the fiddle that entertained at  Kashub weddings with a guitar as back up.

Joseph Dudzienski had perhaps the most avid influence on the Kashub fiddle music before and after its arrival in Canada. He passed on his knowledge and love of this music to other great fiddlers like Bronas Recoskie and Frank and John Mask. They in turn passed it on to the next generation of fiddlers - the most well known being Fiddlin' Joe Peplinskie, Martin Szulist and Joe Etmanskie.

Today we have 4th and 5th generation Kashubs playing the fiddle -  the famous Yakabuskie sisters (Tammy and Pamela), and  Lyndon Coulas who started winning fiddling championships at the age of 8.   Tammy, Pamela, and Lyndon are perfect examples of fifth generation Kashubs who enjoy  playing the old time Kashub tunes.

Young Kashub fiddlers

With the passing of fiddlin' Joe Peplinskie in 2004, the oldest living Kashub fiddler today is Martin Szulist. Martin was taught by Bronis Recoskie with whom he played at many old time Polish/Kashub weddings (that would often go for three days). [Note Martin passed away 2005]

Martin Shulist

Joe Etmanskie, another fiddler, is very unique.  Not only does he build Kashub fiddles, but he plays the old time tunes and has passed this talent onto his son Arnold, his grandson Nicky, and  his grandaughter Ericka.  Joe has ensured, through his love of his craft, and by training two more generations of fiddlers,  that the Etmanskie's as well as the Kashub community will enjoy his music long into the future.  [Joe passed away in the fall of 2004]. They will be sorely missed, but their music will live on.

Joe Etmanski and Family

There is strong commitment on the part of Renfrew County Kashub fiddlers to preserve the heritage of Kashub music.  In the fall of 2000, thirty of these dedicated musicians got together and produced a CD of "Old Time Kashub Fiddle Tunes".  The rights to the the distribution and profits from this project were donated to the Wilno Heritage Society. Truly a project by the Kashubs,for their Polish/Kashub Culture, that the whole world can enjoy. With their efforts, this music will live on for many generations.

We are excited to announce that a new music project is in the works by John Glofcheskie. Now a music teacher in Burnaby, British Columbia, John grew up in a very musical family living in the village of Barry's Bay. John is producing a compilation of Polish and Kashub recordings based on his 1973 field recordings for the Canadian Museum of Civilization [Mercury Series]. He will be releasing these songs on CDs in the near future and these will be available from the Wilno Heritage Society. John previously released one CD on Polish Hymns from Saint Hedwig's Church (circa 1973).

[Note: John completed his project in 2006 and the CDs were released under the titles:
Songs and Dances from Canada's Oldest Polish Community -2 CD set with 2 1/2 hours of music and a 16 page booklet; The production of this 2 CD set was funded by the St. Stanislaus -St. Casimir's Polish Parishes Credit Union,  Toronto, along with the Wilno Heritage Society
Folk Music from Canada's Oldest Polish Community, produced in conjunction with the Museum of Civilization Archive Series-
A new improved edition of the Polish Hymns from St. Hedwig's Choir was also released in 2006 along with a 16 page booklet with stained glass designs.]

These CDs are a great way to learn about our Polish Kashub musical heritage in Canada.

Please check our store for  CDs and tapes on our Polish Kashub Music

For more information on the Wilno Heritage Society e-mail: