home | contact | about | engagements | photos | music | links | references

The Squires Band — The History

The Squires performs as a 4-piece dance band from the St. Paul area that has been playing for wedding dances, community events and various parties for over 30 years!

The band originally started out as a 3 piece band in the 70's. Bill Ash (Guitar), Greg Caza (Accordion) and Tom Colosimo (Drums) were the original members. All three met at Eastview Music School on the east side of St. Paul where they took respective instrument lessons from Dan and Geri Turner. The Squires started out with humble beginnings; playing at parties for friends and relatives and a few community events. Little did these guys know that the band would be a mainstay for more than 30 years and still going strong! Thru the 80's and into the 90's the band added several guitarists to switch off with Bill as he became busier with his full time National Guard gig. The band continued to play for wedding dances and various parties even as DJ's started taking over the scene. Playing at Fairs and other events continued to be the theme for this diversified band. We prided ourselves as being a low cost/high value band that would match our music to the crowds we played for.

1987 marked the major addition of Dennis Grove on Saxophone. Dennis had been in a band of his own years earlier called "The Boys Three" with his brother Dale and others. Dennis was a friend of Greg's and the cool addition of the Alto and Tenor Sax was a welcome addition to the band's sound. His showmanship, singing and high energy style of playing his horn added a whole new dimension to the band that people loved. He never stands still on the stage and always interacts with the crowd!The Squires continued to play around the metro area and other parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin as a three OR four piece band now. An ensemble of Accordion, Drums AND/OR Guitar/Sax combination could be booked depending on the venue.

In 1993, the band played it's first gig at the popular German restaurant and bar; Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit in N.E. Minneapolis. This would be a new venue for the band and one that worked out well for over 15 years on a nearly monthly basis as a public outlet for people to hear and see the band. The German theme of this location fit well with the Polkas, Waltzes and other music of that type. The bands unique blend of Rock & Roll mixed with the Old Time music allowed them to play well to the very diverse and large crowds at this popular location.

In 1996, Bill Ash announced that he wanted to back out of the band totally due to a more demanding job situation. Dave Pawlik, a friend of Tom's stepped in and became the full time guitarist/bass player to replace Bill. Dave's strong bass guitar and added vocals were a nice addition to the Polkas and other music the band played. Dave had played in Blue Grass bands years before and was active at St. Luke's (Cottage Grove, MN.) in their Contemporary Worship Band where he met Tom. He had never played a Polka before in his life, but he took the challenge and learned quickly. The band's volume of gigs was on the rise again after a sluggish period in the early 90's. Expansion into more weddings and community events took place. Then, at the end of 2000, Dave announced that he wanted to take an extended leave. The band immediately put out the call to Steve Napp who is the son of a good sailing buddy of Tom's. Steve had never played a polka in his life either and never thought about ever playing one. He was a 'Rocker' at heart. But he took on the challenge and did his best. His aggressive 'six string' guitar work (we nicknamed him 'Screamer' for his screaming guitar work) expanded the bands variety into more driving Rock & Roll to add to the Old Time music. Songs by BTO and Leonard Skinnerd were an unusual blend and cool addition to the song base of the band. People loved this extended variety of music. Steve's first gig was in 2001 at Gasthof.

From 2001 – 2009 the band enjoyed a steady flow of band gigs from the Gasthof to more wedding dances and community events including local Oktoberfest celebrations. Word got out that The Squires did neighborhood Oktoberfests/street dances and this market niche took off. Regular appearances at Tom Kelly's (Former Twins Manager) Neighborhood Night Out party in Maplewood was/is a fun late summer gig. The addition of performing regularly at "Car Show/Fairs" with the added Rock & Roll charts was also a new and exciting venue for the band. In 2002, the band did its first Cable TV tapings for "Ask The Manager" and "Polka Spotlight Around The World" with Bev Rambough. This really expanded our coverage to a more regional base and activity picked up accordingly. In December of 2008, the band taped it's 12th show for 'Polka Spotlight' with another taping scheduled for late 2010! The Squires has become the most requested band for this popular show!

As of 2009 the band consisted of: Greg and Tom (original members), Dennis, Steve and Dave (who alternates with Steve). During 2009, Steve Napp announced that he was going to be leaving the band at the end of the year after nearly 10 years. He was going to move out of state so the band had to find a new G-Man. As 2009 progressed, continuing to have Dave as back-up, the band continued to win new friends all over Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We often say that our best advertising are the clients we have and the repeat business we got proved that!

2010 marked the beginning of a new era for The Squires Band with the departure of “Screamer” Steve Napp who had left Minnesota for greener pastures in Florida. In his place Bob Knight came on board as the latest guitar/bass player and brought a wealth of experience and ability to his role with the band. Bob came highly regarded by local musicians and fans and added a great new flair to the band that has evolved over various transitions during its long history. His talent for playing a strong lead guitar, rhythm guitar, driving bass and strong vocals was a welcome and seamless addition to the band. 2010 also saw a dramatic event take place when Greg (Squeezer) had a surprise double by-pass surgery in June. Needless to say, this sent the band into a tailspin with the need to find another keyboard type of musician on short notice and many gigs to be played. Our thoughts and prayers were with Greg as he rode his way back to recovery by October. But the road for the band between June and October was a bit bumpy with new backups coming forward to help the band thru this time period. We were lucky that we had such talented keyboardist come thru like Jim B. and John H.. 2010 finished off strong with the return of Greg and his new ‘horizontal’ Accordion keyboard and many new fans to round the year out. They say it’s a sign of a good team or band if they can pull thru adversity and be stronger in the end. We certainly proved that in 2010!

2011 kept rolling on the momentum of 2010 with the band taking on new venues and many continued venues as well. Playing at the Minnesota State Fair was a highlight along with playing at the Twin Cities Oktoberfest which was also held on the Fairgrounds in October. We also played at Crickets Bar and Entertainment Center in Amery, WI. and the ‘hot’ new venues of senior care homes (now playing at 5 different locations) to our already strong fan base. We added two more shows to our Polka Spotlight show history as well.

2012 was another fun year for the band. We played at the 3rd annual Twin Cities Oktoberfest held at the MN State Fairgrounds to a large crowd of nearly 1000 people! It was an exciting event. We also played at the Roseville and Prior Lake Summer Concert Series along with the Little Log House summer Antique Power Show. We taped two more shows for the Polka Spotlight TV series along with playing at Ready Randy’s Oktoberfest at their location in New Richmond, WI. We also added Ross Kamerud as our latest guitarist and he did an outstanding job of coming on board.

2013 was a very active year for the band as we continued to expand our activities to more senior homes. They always seem to love us and are so much fun to play for! We now play in over 12 seniors homes around the Twin Cities and into Wisconsin too! We played at community events such at Concerts in the Park at both Savage and Prior Lake as well as back in Hastings at the Little Log House Anique Power Show in July. We made our first appearance at the Renaissance Festive in Shakopee in September and will be back there again in 2014. Oktoberfests are a big thing in the Twin Cities and our venue of parties in this niche was definitely expanded with both private and public engagements within this theme.

2014 has been busy within the senior home circuit as well as within the Oktoberfest theme in the fall. There were 13 Oktoberfest themed events played within a 6 week period! Major events were The Renaissance Festival, Twin Cities Oktoberfest at the MN State Fairgrounds, corporate and community events. The band was back in Hastings, MN for the Little Log House Antique Power Show weekend in July once again as well as the Hastings Summer Concert Series in August. We hope to keep expanding our activities within the community event venues and possibly getting back to some wedding dances once again as well. Live bands are not as popular at wedding dances as they once were but our variety of music from the classic rock covers we play to the polkas and waltzes enables the band to plug into so many different musical venues.

2015 was another extremely busy year for the band. Highlights of the past year were: the Little Log House Antique Power Show weekend in Hastings, the Minnesota State Fair – Ramberg Center, the 6th annual Twin Cities Oktoberfest, Annual Afton House Oktoberfest Cruise on the St. Croix River, Mississippi Pub's 2nd annual Oktoberfest in Inver Grove Heights, a long distance trip to Hankinson, North Dakota for their Oktoberfest and many other corporate, community and private party events. We continue to be playing on cable TV's Polka Spotlight Show and have done over 20 tapings for this great media event. Wherever we play, people love The Squires Band's variety and entertainment energy on state and keep having us back again and again!

2016 is already shaping up to be another busy year with many dates already booked at this time including the Twin Cities Oktoberfest, 2 events in Hankanson, ND. and many other community events senior home events. We also will be back at Gausthofs for another year of fun as well. Don't forget that The Squires Band is a great option for wedding dances, other corporate and community events all the year through! Keep checking in for updates!

The Squires Band! Over 30 Years and Still Going Strong!

Interested? Contact these friendly guys:
Tom Colosimo 612-386-3715 or Greg Caza 651-587-7822