Musician Don Lipovac, internationally recognized for his prowess on the accordion, will be buried Thursday in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Kan.
The 79-year-old died on April 26.
Lipovac was born in the Eastern European immigrant neighborhood of Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, Kan. As a small child, he was always attracted to the Slovenian and Croatian folk songs of his ancestors, and learned to play them on the button accordion.
Lipovac went on to study at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. In 1958, he won a national accordion competition at Carnegie Hall, and later performed on the Lawrence Welk Show.
Though Lipovac was admired by accordion enthusiasts throughout the United States and Europe, he remained a staple of his own community, performing polkas and folk songs at dances, weddings and festivals for more than five decades.
KCUR’s Elana Gordon profiled Don Lipovac in 2010:
Here’s an out-take from that profile of Don Lipovac, in which he explains (and demonstrates on the accordion) the influences and differences between the folk music of Slovenia – where his family is from - and Croatia, its neighbor to the south.
Don Lipovac will also be remembered at a special polka mass on Polski Day at 4 p.m., May 3 in Kansas City. Kan.