Kris & The Riverbend Dutchmen
Kris and the Riverbend Dutchmen are an upbeat and energetic polka band headquartered near Mankato, Minnesota. Since 2009, the band has blended traditional German, Czech, and Bohemian Polka with a unique style and energy, uncommon in many old time polka bands. The band normally travels as a 5 or 6 piece band that utilizes traditional instrumentation including the concertina, tuba, trumpets, trombones, flugelhorns, drums, saxophones, and the piano. The band has a wide vocal repertoire and plays fox-trots and modern tunes in addition to traditional polkas and waltzes. The band regularly plays for private parties, festivals, fairs, Oktoberfests, corporate events, casinos, and ballrooms across the upper-Midwest. The band has its own high quality sound system and lighting for events and venues that do not employ a production company.
The Riverbend Dutchmen take pride in the professionalism of their performances and take the time to understand their client's needs. Performances are tailored to make event a success!
>> Career Highlights
Kris Keltgen has been performing old-time music since the age of four years old when he made regular appearances with his uncle’s band “Inside Straight” singing “Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie” at local service clubs. Encouraged by his family, Kris began playing the drums and later took up the piano. Once out of high school, Kris began playing with “Double Shot”, and later the “Plum Krazy” band. At the age of 29, Kris began playing the concertina, an instrument Kris always appreciated and enjoyed. Practicing several hours a day, Kris became proficient at the concertina and formed the Riverbend Dutchmen after playing the concertina for only 2 years. Kris now plays the concertina exclusively in addition to singing with his own band. The Riverbend Dutchmen typically perform as a 5 or 6 piece band, but often perform as a 7 or 8 piece band for larger venues. This at a time when many of the larger bands are disappearing in favor of three or four piece bands. “I’ve always appreciated the versatility of a robust horn section”, says Kris. Other band members include Crystal Malek on drums, Mike Budin on tuba, Rick Keane, Myron Muehlbauer, Jens Jensen, Jerry Kahle, and Steve Moran rounding out the horn section. The late Dick Ginn, former host of the KEYC-TV Bandwagon program also played with the band until succumbing to cancer in April of 2013. “I’ve always been fortunate to have been surrounded by such talented musicians and mentors”, said Kris in a recent newspaper interview. The band’s schedule continues to get busier every year as the band becomes more and more popular. “Old time music is certainly not dead. It is good music and people continue to enjoy themselves”, says Kris while explaining the bands success and growing popularity. The band has been busy in the last couple years with performances that included numerous festivals across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The band has made multiple appearances at the Minnesota State Fair and Clay County Iowa Fair in addition to many community celebrations and festivals. The band has had numerous nation-wide television appearances on the popular Mollie B Polka Party program on the RFD-TV network, appearances on KEYC-TV’s Bandwagon program, and numerous local broadcasts in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The band released its first album in 2012 entitled: “Smile”, and has just released their second album in 2014 entitled: “Partners, Brothers, and Friends”. In 2014, the band also released a DVD of the band’s performances. In addition to Kris on the concertina, the newest album also features Karl Hartwich and Mollie Busta, host of the popular Mollie B Polka Party on RFD-TV who performed with Kris on the album. Both albums are regularly featured on radio stations with old-time programming across the United States and Canada.
“They are a fabulous band, we are really excited to have them”
– Kato Ballroom
“The Entertainment Committee would like to extend its thanks and appreciation for your performance. This successful year resulted from great acts like yours, and we would love to have you return!”
-Entertainment Director, LaCrosse Oktoberfest
“I heard you guys playing at Oktoberfest in St. Peter this year and really liked your music. We would like to hire a band to play for our event!”
-Flying Dutchmen Motorcycle Club, New Ulm, MN
“Looks like you had an all star cast, wow, lots of talent!”
-WVRQ Radio, Viroqua, WI
>> Basic Set-Up Needs
>> Sample Introduction
The following is a sample introduction you might use when introducing Kris & The Riverbend Dutchmen to your audience:
"Formed in 2009, Kris and the Riverbend Dutchmen blend an up-tempo beat with traditional Dutchmen style polka music made famous by so many of the great Dutchmen bands from Minnesota and Wisconsin. You can regularly find them at ballrooms, fairs and festivals across the upper-Midwest, as well as on the radio throughout North America. From Mankato, Minnesota, please join me in welcoming Kris and the Riverbend Dutchmen!"
>> Pricing Information
Pricing for each act varies depending on a number of factors including: location of the event; popularity of the date; routing for each act; type of event; single or multiple day performances; length of show, etc. To get a specific and accurate quote for your event please contact our office by completing the form below or calling (612) 361-6002. We respond very quickly to answer all our clients' questions.