Mansfield 5 celebrates 20 years of entertaining
The cool, swinging sounds of the Mansfield 5 burst onto the Pittsburgh music scene in 1998, and the band has been a favorite of the tri-state area and beyond ever since.
Founding members Dick Conley and Joe Tokar originally were together for many years with Carnegie's Frank Palombi Orchestra.
As the polka craze waned, the two still wanted to be part of a band, but the kind that played 1950s to 1980s music started to sound more appealing, thus the birth of the Mansfield 5 in late 1997.
Members have come and gone over the years, but the current group consists of Conley (saxophone), John Mazurowski (guitar), Bill Podbensek (keyboard), Cliff Ewing (bass), Steve Weidenhof (bass guitar) and Tokar. All of them sing, except Tokar, who is the drummer.
They have shared the stage with groups like Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, the Vogues, the Jaggerz, the Drifters, the Coasters and the Marcels.
They have performed throughout the tri-state area at venues such as the Benedum Center in Downtown Pittsburgh, Monroeville Convention Center, Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, Mountaineer Gaming Resort, Seven Springs and Heinz Field, as well as at community festivals such as the McSummer Fest in McDonald, the Fourth of July celebration of Scott and the Our Lady of Grace Festival.
They also performed four times at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Throughout the year, the band additionally performs at many corporate functions, private parties and dozens of events held at local country clubs and similar venues.
The band and their audiences enjoy a unique camaraderie of friendship, sharing a common bond of having a great time.
“We have been fortunate to be a part of so many family and community events,” Tokar said. “Being a part of so many memories for the last 20 years is what we cherish the most. We are overwhelmed and fortunate to have met and brought together so many people at our performances. These friendships will last a lifetime.”
The band will be celebrating where it all began 20 years ago — the Sygan SNPJ Club, 540 Third Ave., South Fayette — at 7:30 p.m. March 3. Music starts at 8 p.m. There is a $5 cover at the door.
Many guest musicians who have performed with the group over the years will be joining them onstage.
Upcoming performances include the Polish American Citizens Club in Carnegie on March 31 and the Night of Music and Dancing fundraiser for the Bridgeville Public Library on April 28 at the SNPJ Club.
To book the band, call 412-337-6421 or visit Mansfield5.com for more information and a calendar of future performances.
Charlotte Smith is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Reach her at 724-693-9441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.