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Greg Poltrock

Cosmic, Osprey, Yuwanna, Basic English, Jimmie Stagger, countless freelance gigs., and still counting. (Keyboards, vocals)

Bio

As a freelance musician,  my adventures in piano, percussion, and music technology have led to a wide variety of professional music opportunities, including performances with community theater, the Grand Rapids Symphony, and pianist with Fair Haven Ministries. My other musical pursuits include countless gigs in rock, blues, and jazz bands as well as dueling piano, piano bar, and cocktail piano events. I also freelance as a studio musician, creating music for commercial, motion picture, instructional, and entertainment industries. In addition, I’ve been adjunct faculty at GVSU and have travelled as far as Japan to study piano culture and manufacturing. I’ve been in music retail since 1984 and currently serve as sales manager for Keyboard World of Grand Rapids.

I am also a name dropper and include this small list of entertainers I have either shared a stage with of warmed up for: Bo Diddley, Huey Lewis and the News, Henry Mancini, The Kinsey Report, Sugar Blue, Albert Collins, and Steppenwolf. Shows incude Hark Up!, Jesus Christ Superstar, Little Shop Of Horrors, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Sunday In the Park With George, and Nine.

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Greg’s Blog Post:

There were two major players in the Grand Rapids rock and roll retail music store scene in the mid 1970s. The first was owned by John Kik and was appropriately called Kik’s Music Center. It was located on the northwest side and had a small studio in the back room. John was a chain smoking hipster who immediately reminded me of Burl Ives, goatee and all. The store would often host groups of local musicians, just hanging around, smoking cigarettes and telling tales. I would listen in from behind a guitar amp to stories about nightclubs called the Rathskeller, the Grotto, The Elbow Room and the Shamrock. I heard them talk about cats that were bad, and layin’ it down while playin’ in the pocket. This was fascinating conversation to a 14 year old kid from Grandville.

The keyboard selection was sparse and usually consisted of a used Fender Rhodes electric piano or a Hammond spinet organ with a wooden tone cabinet. John was a gigging Cordovox and accordion musician, so it was not unusual to see some of these around the store, too.

The Cordovox was played like an accordion, but was hooked up to electronics and an amplifier that made it sound like a kicking organ.  My guitar pals would try out the latest distortion or flanger pedals and I usually ended up drooling over the sparkle finish on the latest drum kit.

The other music store in town was owned by Bill Farrow and was, again, appropriately called Farrows Music. And wouldn’t you know, Bill was a cigarette smoking Cordovox player, too! Walking into his little store on the east side of Division, just north of 44th street was like walking into a mirrored universe of Kik’s music, except Bill kept his place a little cleaner. Farrows would usually have a little better keyboard selection and this is where I found my first keyboard axe, the Farfisa Professional Electric Piano.

I don’t remember how I paid for it, probably a loan from my parents, or what the cost was, but it was mine now. It was a used instrument and, at the time, I thought it was awesome. It was called a piano, but it only had 61 keys. I didn’t care. The keys were not touch sensitive. I didn’t care. It only had six sounds and I still didn’t care. It was mine. It also could be tilted so I could play standing up. Richie Dekker had a Heathkit amplifier and home made speaker for me to use and I was ready to rock.

Farrows Music was always a great place to meet other musicians because of Bill’s network of friends. A few years later he would move his store over to the other side of Division Avenue and set up shop on 44th street. Until Farrow’s closed in 2008, you could view 8 x 10 black and white promo pictures of local bands mounted around the top of the walls in the front room.

Home » Greg Poltrock » Yuwanna
Yuwanna Promo
Yuwanna Promo
Yuwanna
Yuwanna
Yuwanna Backstage
Yuwanna Backstage
Yuwanna Notes
Yuwanna Notes
Yuwanna Greg Poltrock
Yuwanna Greg Poltrock
Yuwanna Steve Owczarzak
Yuwanna Steve Owczarzak
Yuwanna Greg Poltrock
Yuwanna Greg Poltrock
Yuwanna Mitch Rapp
Yuwanna Mitch Rapp
Yuwanna Greg Poltrock
Yuwanna Greg Poltrock
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Greg Poltrock
Greg Poltrock
Yuwanna Brian Christman
Yuwanna Brian Christman
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Brian Chrisman 1982
Brian Chrisman 1982
Yuwanna Crew
Yuwanna Crew

 

Dueling Pianos Deck Party, Piano Party Dueling Pianos (1:45)

Charlie Bauman and Greg Poltrock doing an unplugged set on the deck at Clifford Lake Inn in Stanton, MI. First time they ever had anything on the deck, we have to break ’em in easy, we had a good crowd, Love It, Thank You Connie McKeuown. Piano Party Dueling Pianos is available for your deck party, outdoor event, bar, restaurant, wedding or corporate event! Please visit: http://www.piano-party.com for more information.

Friends and Contacts


Keyboard World

Western Michigan’s home for Yamaha and Roland pianos, digital pianos, stage pianos and keyboards. Keyboard World features old school professional service with answers for today’s cutting edge music technology, all at competitive prices. Serving western Michigan for more than 35 years.

The Piano Cottage

The Piano Cottage is a year-round Grand Rapids music studio for beginning through advanced students, children and adults.  They have grown exponentially and  serve nearly 100  students  ages 4-89 nearly every day of the year. Their methods are fun and the recitals are quicly Sold Out! The Piano Cottage makes piano fun.

Sound Post Professional Audio & Music

Creative audio production for global and local businesses, music, voice, and sound design for TV, radio, advertising, film, software, recording artists, filmmakers, audio books, educational software, and much, much, more. This is a high quality one stop audio shop.

Buzzy Martin – Music and Youth Advocate “Education Not Incarceration”

Buzzy’s passion for helping young people find a better life and voice through music is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met. His story of teaching music to hardcore felons at San Quentin is published as “Don’t Shoot, I’m the Guitar Man” and is about to become a major motion picture starring Eric Roberts.

Dueling Pianos – Greg Poltrock & Denny Middleton

Yellow Brick Road Dueling Pianos

Thousands of people have already enjoyed this dueling piano show. What are you waiting for? This genre of entertainment is all the rage, wildly popular with all audiences of all ages. How could that be? It’s because the musicians at Yellow Brick Road Dueling Pianos know a bazillion songs from all decades. It’s a show as eclectic and full of variety as the crowd that attends

Fulvew Productions creates professional, national quality film and video with a focus on entertaining, engaging and exciting people.  Their productions stand out, not only in a client’s market, but anywhere in the country. It is also the team that created the locally produced, scary, quirky, hilarious new film America’s Most Haunted. I am creating music for the film, with help from Sound Post Studios.

Studio 4 – 48 Track Studio
Studio 4 is a fully operational 48 track analog to digital recording studio, located in a comfortable country setting. Their idea was to create an atmosphere that helps promote creativity in a relaxed surrounding. It is also where I was able to contribute piano and B3 to the debut CD by Sisterstation.

Hansen Charts

Talk about prolific! Chris Hansen has amassed a treasure trove of custom music charts he has created for ensembles ranging from solo voice to full blown orchestral scores. From sacred, to patriotic and holiday music, his works have been performed worldwide. He created custom arrangements, too.

Glenn Bulthuis Music

In 2008 I had the privilege of contributing to Glenn’s Greatist Hits project. Check out the classic rock inspired Cruzin (Down the Beltline).

Hire Me!

Greg’s Piano Shindig Parties

I offer a fun, sing-a-long Piano Bar style atmosphere for private parties, receptions, corporate events and more, featuring a variety of music ranging from Elvis to Lady Ga Ga, from the 50s to today; standards, rock, country and pop. Available as a single or with one of my piano partner pals from Yellow Brick Road Dueling Pianos or Piano-Party.

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