Dennis Nykoliation

Dennis has been playing the violin for well over 50 years and has finally decided to record his own album in a style that really makes its own unique musical statement. 

It's like he says in his very own words, " That's The Way I Hear It ".

He was raised in Fisher Branch, in Manitoba's Interlake Region, and began playing in a dance band in the surrounding area by the time he was 13 years old. He was greatly influenced by several great Canadian violinists ( fiddlers ) including Don Messer, Ward Allen, Tommy Buick, and especially Andy Dejarlis who's style Dennis greatly admires. In addition, his violin teacher, Mike Uhryniuk, was a gifted violinist who not only taught Dennis the fundamentals of playing the violin, but he taught him how to play polkas, waltzes, kolomaykas, foxtrots and all the rest of the various dances in a very unique upbeat manner.

The very first dance band that Dennis was a part of, was called " The Regent Ramblers " and was made up of some very talented musicians from the Interlake region. It was there that Dennis learned how to play a unique mix of music made up of old time fiddle tunes, western swing and country music, and of course Ukrainian music. ( Who could ever forget the two day Ukrainian wedding dances that required the band to play 60-90 minutes non-stop during the " presentation of gifts " to the bride and groom. ) It is that mix of musical stylings that makes this album so unique.

By the mid 1960's Dennis joined Bill Woloshyn and The Interlake Polka Kings where he was the "fiddler" in the band's first five albums and eight singles. The IPK's were one of the more popular groups in the Ukrainian music category at that time and began touring extensively throughout the prairie provinces. Dennis also served as MC at the bands concerts, as well as on their radio show over CKDM in Dauphin, Manitoba. In early 1967, Dennis became a co-founder of the Polka Drifters Band and went on to be a part of three more albums with that group. That group also became one of the better known groups of that era.

While he left the Manitoba music scene in 1970 to pursue a very successful business career, he never actually stopped playing and staying in touch with the violin and the type of music that he had always played. When Bill Woloshyn reunited the core of the original Interlake Polka Kings back together again in the Fall of 2002, Dennis picked up right where he left off and continued with the IPK's for 6 more years and two more albums.

In the fall of 2008, Dennis formed his own group known as The Dennis Nykoliation Band that includes some of the most talented musicians in Manitoba. This album therefore is the culmination of over 50 years of musical craftsmanship and artistry and uniquely captures 3 different types of musical categories by a fiddler who " plays 'em like he hears 'em. "

Buy Dennis's Music