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The StarrCatt Holiday World Orchestra: Johnny Polansky's Creative Journey

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Johnny Polansky had an idea percolating in his head for decades about spearheading a winter-holiday-themed music project. Amidst the isolating shadow of the pandemic’s 2020 lockdowns, musicians everywhere created a staggering amount of art as gigs and touring came to a sudden halt. Projects that had been on the back burner for years suddenly seemed possible. Remote recording technology allowed musicians from across the globe to collaborate. Polansky made use of his connections from over 35 years in the music business to initiate The StarrCatt Holiday World Orchestra, resulting in the release of 19 holiday-themed songs on Christmas Eve 2020.


Cover art for The StarrCatt Holiday World Orchestra

As a seasoned Columbus-based percussionist and occasional kit player, Polansky has a rich musical background, contributing to a wide array of national, regional and local acts ranging from CJ Chenier to Ekoostik Hookah to Gathering Stars, to his current efforts with Mingo and New Basics Brass Band. Born near Pittsburgh in Washington, PA, Polanski became familiar with Ohio after following his high school band director, Guy Remonko, to Ohio University’s School of Music in Athens. After finishing his education back at the University of Pittsburgh he moved to Arkansas for work. It was a short, unhappy stint in Arkansas until, after hearing positive things about the music scene, he moved to Columbus in August 1994. He’s been in Columbus ever since and, although he stays true to his roots by following Pittsburgh sports teams and drinking Iron City by choice, I’m not gonna let that disqualify him from a Columbus music blog.

Photo of C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band - Natalie's Grandview, Feb 6, 2020. The last show I saw prior to the COVID shutdown.
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band - Natalie's Grandview, Feb 6, 2020. The last show I saw prior to the COVID shutdown.

Polansky began the StarrCatt project in November 2020, roughly a month and a half before the Christmas Eve release. The project allowed Polansky to steer the creative ship and orchestrate a holiday-themed collection. Born out of a desire to explore his rhythmic prowess beyond traditional roles, Polansky brought together a stellar cast of musicians, an impressive and diverse blend of talent from his extensive network.

Full disclosure: Johnny and I played together in Mary Adam 12 in the 2010s, and Elisa Nicolas, one of the performers and the mix engineer on most of the tracks, is my wife. I had the opportunity recently to chat with Johnny in a candid Zoom conversation about the project. The interview covers various aspects of the project, including the inspiration behind it, the diverse lineup of talented musicians involved, and the challenges and joys of the collaborative process.

The interview also delves into the details of individual tracks, highlighting the musicians who contributed to each song and the unique aspects of their collaborations. From unexpected connections to lifelong friends, Polansky reflects on the moments that shaped the project. I’ve edited the dialog for concision and clarity. I think you’ll be able to see that I’m the Quiet One and Johnny… isn’t.

Quiet One: So, first things first, how did the “StarrCatt'' nickname come about?

Johnny Polansky: Early on, when I was playing with Ekoostik Hookah, Cliff (Starbuck) and I had stayed on at some random festival. Cliff and I are hanging out around a campfire after the show late night. We were joking around and we gave each other ridiculous superhero names. And I gave him Aquabee. He had the ability to sting underwater. And, he gave me StarrCatt. And that's in the spring of ‘99.

Photo of Ekoostik Hookah
Ekoostik Hookah

The reason that I did this (project) was that I wanted to, as a percussionist, especially one that doesn't necessarily do any tonal stuff, I don't play guitar or piano I mean, I focused on just rhythm and my hands for my whole career. I've never really had any control over what the music (is) or how it's gonna be because I always deferred to the people who were writing a song. Do you know what I mean?

QO: Right.

JP: Get out of the way here. Let me put my sugar on the magic. You know what I'm saying? And let me just add that little glaze. Cello (guitarist Mike Iannicello) would always call me the Parmesan. He's like, you know, the pasta and the sauce are all good, and he's going to sprinkle a little Parmesan on it.

QO: Yeah.

JP: And when COVID came along, at that time, I thought I had two things on my creative bucket list that I needed to get done, and it was a good time to get those two done. And one of them was to do a holiday recording concept of some sort, just to do just what it became, I did exactly what I wanted to do. I had a tremendous amount of musicians contribute, an unbelievably awesome amount of cool things just to do this thing.

And it was all remote. Every single thing was remote. Talk about the Parmesan and, you know, your wife (Elisa Nicolas) just did the best things that you can imagine to make it just exactly what it needed to be. And so to check something like that off on your life bucket list at the time, you're forever indebted and grateful to every single person that contributed to that in any way at all because it was a huge relief of, “Wow, that was accomplished.” That came together, you know?

Photo of Tim Meyer and Johnny Polansky
Tim Meyer and Johnny Polansky

QO: Yeah, you know, I love the project.

JP: I mean, it was amazing.

QO: It's amazing when you consider it’s 19 tracks. That's impressive. And then, the number of people, you know, over 20, at least, I would say. I think it's interesting, all the connections with musicians and, you know, all that stuff.

JP: It was a matter of, all these people are people that have been in my life, except for there's a couple interesting stories.

QO: Yeah.

JP: I've always been worried, maybe if anybody's gonna show up at my funeral, so, this was kind of a slight reassurance that maybe at least a few people will send flowers, maybe to whoever's at my casket or whatever. I'm 55 and a half. I'll be 56 next July. And this goes back to people that I know from at least when I was around 13, musicians that I've known from that long ago that contributed to this, that I've known that long, so…

QO: That's awesome.

JP: Literally a lifetime, so… And then some that are relatively new for me, so, Tim Meyer ("War Is Over​-​Happy Christmas"), middle school teacher at Dominion Middle School. One of the singers for the Deeptones. I don't know if you know that band or not, but they're fantastic. I asked Tim to lay down the original track to this.

Curt Duer, who is a percussionist, and I go back to 1986. He and I were freshman percussion students at Ohio University. He had been studying with Guy Remonko for a few years because he was from the area. Then, in his sophomore year transferred to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and went on to a career in Navy bands and orchestras, he still plays orchestrally. A fantastic human being.

And, of course, we all know Elisa Nicolas Layman. Uh, Willy Franklin. He's a guy that goes back to about 1982, bass player, went to high school with him. Some of these cats are Trinity High School original cats. Trinity High School and then we studied music together at Ohio University. He was a low brass major, and he's a fantastic bass player, so he did the bass parts on that one. Oh, and then Tim Meyer; his kids did those kid vocals.

QO: Okay. Yeah. And I think Willy's on a couple of tracks. All right. "The Bleak Midwinter?"

JP: Yes. Jeremy Mills did this one. I met Jeremy in 2017 and I play drum set with our band, Mingo. That's the lead singer of Mingo here in Columbus.

QO: Okay, that's something you're doing currently?

JP: Yeah. Yeah. I need to get you an LP of Mingo. It's been out for a couple of years, but it originated with the bass player, Mitch Pinkston, and Jeremy sitting around, you know, 15 years ago, 17 years ago, I don't know how long ago, coming up with more and more of this story of this fictional western called Fulton. And it has characters, you know? And so this is basically a fictitious soundtrack, and it's a Western.

QO: I think you told me about that because that's ringing bells.

JP: Yeah. And it's so cool how the whole story ties together in the record, and I've been threatening to make a movie, a short movie about the whole thing. So that's how I know Jeremy. And Ty Landrum, another drummer here in Columbus, Ohio. Mark Sims is a multi-instrumentalist and he does a lotta stuff.

Mark Finrock ("'Twas The Night Before Christmas") is my brother-in-law. He does a lot of voice stuff, reads a lot of audiobooks, different things like that. I've known him since the early 90s, that's when him and my sister got together.

Uh, let's see here. And then, "Crooked Halo". That's Rob Maccabee. This is an original, "Crooked Halo" is. Its got its heart-string-pulling moments in this one, you know?

QO: Yeah.

JP: I think that's the one thing about Rob's music. And I play with him in a band called Lone Rover. Me and Chris Cromley. We play both in SupaFun Band, we play in New Basics together, but this (Lone Rover) is more songwriter orchestration, really thought out. Rob plays harmonica, acoustic guitar, trumpet, and flugelhorn, and I'm doing a bunch of different percussion stuff. So it's a really fun project to play with. But, I've known Rob since I got here in ‘94, roughly, right around then.

QO: Are you still playing with New Basics?

JP: Yeah. It's funny because I started playing drum set with them. I was playing percussion stuff, and then I played drum set. And I just never felt that comfortable with it. I don't have the time to practice. Plus I'm always stressed. Am I doing the right thing, am I playing okay, blah blah blah, just like drum set isn't in my nature, but I'd play okay. You know what I'm saying? And so I was like, I'm not doing this anymore. I'm giving it to this other guy, and so Antoine Fatout. Do you know him?

QO: No.

JP: Uh, so he's a drummer, jazz cat, went to Berklee. He's in town here. Antoine does a lot of playing with the jazz heavies.

QO: Yeah, I know the name.

JP: Yeah, he started playing. And he'd always say in his real heavy French accent, “You're the only motherfucker that would ever give up a drum set gig. All drummers just want the drum set gig.” So when I gave up that drum set gig, and he started playing, we had this monthly gig at Ramblin' House, and one month I wasn't playing drums, and the next month, I showed up with percussion. (laughs)

QO: (laughs)

JP: Rob goes, “You're the only guy that's quit and hired yourself.” (laughs) So, now I'm back to drum set because Antoine went on to do some other things, and he's really playing a lot and, you know, I was like, alright. Fine. I'll get back in the seat and drive dirty. So I feel a lot more comfortable now, and I just kinda feel stronger independence on my hands and feet. I was doing fine playing drum set the first time around. I simply was in my own way, in my own head. I just couldn't get out of my own way necessarily, so when somebody else was playing drums I'm like, oh, it's supposed to go this way, you know? Then I was like, oh, shit. Maybe I didn't know what I was doing a little bit. I just did get out of my own way, you know?

QO: That's kinda the beauty of music, the limitations that you have, whether it's technique or theory, it’s how a lot of people define their style, right? I mean, I think about Keith Moon. He didn't even know how to hold the sticks, you know? He was like 100% just confidence, and going for it. And he developed into a legend, even though technically, you know…

JP: Totally, totally. And that's the thing, nobody in that band has ever been like, “You need to come in and play like the last drummer,” Rob has always been like, "You play like you. Play like you,” you know?

QO: Yeah.

JP: So anyway, known Rob for a long time, Nat Reeb, a fantastic human being. I love Nat. He played bass in One Under, in the last incarnation of that band in, I don't know, 2010, somewhere around there, 'nine, 'ten.

QO: Well, he plays with that (late former Ekoostik Hookah singer/songwriter) (John) Mullins tribute, MB1.

JP: Yeah. Yeah. Yep. He sounds a lot like Mullins, man. He does a hell of a job.

QO: Yeah.

JP: With just enough gravel on the voice. You know?

QO: Yep.

JP: He does a good job. I've known him since like around, probably 2008, 9, somewhere around there. And then, Yaper Burik. That's the interesting story. I was in need of a banjo part on this cut, and I did some sort of search, like maybe in, I don't even remember what it was, but this cat from LA said, “Sure, I'll take a crack at this.” So anyway, Nick Reeb is Nat Reeb's cousin who plays the violin part on there. So I met Nick, probably, uh, 2015, 17, so I thought that was fun to have him on there.

QO: One thing that I did learn while I was researching is that it looks like Nick is a very active musician. He's in New York City.

JP: Yeah. Alright, so "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer." That is Dave Weissman, who is a realtor here in Columbus. Actually, his side hustle is he runs festivals. Anyway, Dave Weissman goes back to the 2003, 2004, 2005 Hookah days. He was doing promotion work for us, and, like I said, now he's a realtor in Columbus, and still doing some stuff in music, but, he did that one, which was kind of a funny one.

QO: Yeah.

JP: And then, let's see what this one was ("Have Yourself A Merry Lil Christmas"). Oh, okay, so Sam Collis goes back to, as you know, Sam from our friends in Toast, right?

Photo of Sam Collis, 2nd from right, with Toast
Sam Collis, 2nd from right, with Toast

QO: Yep. And Mullins Band too.

JP: Sam goes back to middle school, I saw Sam play in, I was in 7th grade, and I believe he was in 6th grade, him and some other people from the middle school band. So anyway, Sam, we go back to, roughly probably about 'seventy-nine, 'eighty, right in there. High school together, then he moved out here (to Columbus). Anyway, that's where Sam comes from. He comes from back home in Trinity High School days and middle school days, and Gina Collis is his older sister who's also a musician, so she does the vocals on that one. Uh, of course, you know Fred Gablick?

QO: Oh yeah.

JP: So you know Fred. So anyway, he's a Pittsburgh cat. He's originally from Pittsburgh.

QO: Yeah?

JP: And then Drew Wade, I met Drew for the first time, he had a party at his house, he's a dentist, I believe, here in Columbus, and Drew has a Christmas party every year. And a bunch of bands play, and one year, I can't remember, it might have been Ma Rainy that played, I know Matt Aurigema was, I think it was Ma Rainey, maybe. Anyway, I think his band now is Yachtopia.

Photo of Fred Gablick (L), Jesse Henry (2nd from R)
Fred Gablick (L), Jesse Henry (2nd from R)

QO: Max (Sebastian Kilcup) was in that band. He plays bass and guitar with Elisa.

JP: So anyway, that's where I met Drew, and I believe that's maybe what he's poking around at now.

QO: Right.

JP: And, okay, so where were we?

JP: Oh, yeah. I met Matt and Kimi (Wasylyk) back in the early 2000s, through the Hookah situation, Hookah band that I was in, and Matt and Kimi, they're married, and they're up from the Cleveland area, and they were Hookah fans, and then we've become friends over the years. And they picked up musical instruments in their spare time, and they play some bluegrass up and around the Cleveland area for fun. And then Fred's back on this one.

Okay, so, "Light One Candle." This is Ruvane. So, Ruvane did the acoustic guitar, I've known him for a while. Played some music with him. Los (Giles) plays drums in Gathering Stars.

QO: Yep.

JP: And Eric Rupert. That must have been somebody (Ruvane) had on this already.

QO: Yeah, because that was one of the few ones where… Elisa didn't mix that one. (Joey Gurwin mixed and mastered "Light One Candle.")

JP: But anyway, we did the song, it was great. A lot of fun.

Photo of Polansky, Michelle Ishida, Los Giles with Gathering Stars
Polansky, Michelle Ishida, Los Giles with Gathering Stars

QO: Yeah.

JP: And I met Joey over at Oranjudio. I'm talking about Joey Gurwin, percussionist. He has that studio in Grandview, Oranjudio. Really nice studio. Uh, okay, so "Little Drummer Boys." That one was a lot of fun. There were a lot of tracks. Curt Duer goes back to the college days, Nat Reeb, we talked about him. Sarah Lally.

QO: The one I was interested in was Lavondo Thomas because he's out on Discogs. Says he's based in Brooklyn.

JP: I have known him since first moving to Columbus. He played in this band that we used to have for a while, born out of a jam session Tuesday nights at Oldfields called Shakerman. He went to, I think, OSU, he's a bass player, then he moved out there, and he's been pretty successful doing a lot of stuff. Went on a cruise ship. Yeah. Cat plays, you know, old old friend, and he does play, but Curt put in a lot of orchestral stuff, like timpani, bells, chimes, like that ending. Pat Kenney is on this one as well. All puns intended, he was instrumental on that, because all those vocals at the end are his, layered up like a low, high, and, you know, the ones that he was doing.

QO: Next is "MeleColumbuslikimaka."

JP: I don't remember who played saxophone on this one. I'm sure it had to be Fred. This is Chris Kuborn, he plays steelpan on this.

QO: Oh, okay.

JP: Fred Gablick plays horn, and then I play percussion on this one.

QO: Yeah. That's great.

JP: You like that? Yeah. Okay, let me see. Let's see over here. Okay.

QO: Uh, "Miracle Enough," by Carlton Summers.

JP: This is (former Hookah member) Ed (McGee). Yeah. Ed did a lot of this one. I played percussion on this one, but this is one that Ed pretty much put together.

QO: Okay. So that's the one that was recorded in Vermont, right?

JP: Yeah. Kind of a sidebar on this one. This one and Ruvane's, they gave me a song, and I put percussion in. They were no less awesome, just a little different in the process.

QO: Yeah.

JP: Uh, "O Come Emmanuel." Oh, this is Joey Gardina of the Mighty Troubadours, Skott Brown, Mighty Troubadours, and Last Waltz Band. Patricia Imbrogo is a bass player from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that I don't necessarily know as well as I know her former partner, Todd Brunozzi, who is a photographer. Did a lot of Hookah, did a lot of concert photography, and was at a lot of Hookah shows. He and I connected for a lotta years and were friendly, and he since has passed away. Through social media, I’ve gotten to know his former partner, and she's a bass player in Pittsburgh, an upright Bluegrass player. And I had her play on this one, so this one's kind of a cooker.

Photo of Pat Kenney, Polansky, Mike Iannicello - Shinebox, December 12, 2014
Pat Kenney, Polansky, Mike Iannicello - Shinebox, December 12, 2014

Alright. "Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy." I love this cut. We used to play this one in Shinebox. Me and Mike Iannicello and Pat Kenney. Mike Cello was the first musician and the first person I met when I moved to Columbus in August 1994, and we just played golf with each other last week in Florida for three days, so we're still very, very good friends. Played in a lot of bands together.

Pat Kenney was the bass player in Shinebox, and before that, One Under a few times. He plays bass in Mingo now, and he plays independently with a lot of people. Fantastic singer, fantastic bass player, and also high up in the University of San Francisco gaming design department. You know, very, very accomplished in that. A funny story is that Pat and I were playing together in One Under. I don't remember exactly how long beforehand, but I started taking classes at Columbus State, and the first class that I took was his drawing class, his storyboarding class. That was the very first class I ever took at Columbus State when I went back to school, and he was teaching this storyboarding class. So it'd be funny, we'd be gigging together, but I did like that class. Anyway, Ed Forman played pedal steel on this one. David Sentendrey.

QO: Oh, I figured this one out through a Facebook search.

JP: David, the newsman.

QO: Yeah.

JP: Yeah! My boy David Sentendrey, the newsman bass player. So he was a Hookah fan for a long time and then One Under went down and played in Boone, North Carolina a few times, and they're packing the bar, having a lot of fun, and he knew us from the Hookah days and we became friends. And anyway, now he's the news guy in Dallas, and it's kinda funny.

QO: Yeah.

JP: His buddy threw up all over the monitors at a show in Boone, we still laugh about that.

QO: I was just thinking, he's probably the only Hookah head who's a news guy. (laughs)

JP: Yeah. Yeah. And he still goes to tons of Phish shows, and all kinds of stuff like that. He's a really cool dude, man. Uh, anyway, Tim Perdue is a trumpet player in New Basics, Mary Adam 12, great guy, I love him, you know. Uh, and Chris Shaw, you know Andy Shaw's brother, plays violin on this one, nice to have him on that.

QO: Yep.

JP: Uh, "Silent Night," um, oh, I forgot about this. So, Antoine, the drummer, Will Franklin, bass player, and my daughter, Emmaline, played the flute on this one. It was really fun. I had her just play the lead, and then we just kinda built everything around that.

QO: And then, uh, "Suzie Snowflake."

JP: Oh, of course, Brett Burleson, Michelle (Ishida), Curt, Nat. Some familiar names here. I love this one. It's just fantastic. When I asked Michelle to do this, and she came through with this one, it was super cool. I just thought that was super cool.

QO: Did she write that one, or is that…

JP: I don't think she did. No, I don't think so. But I don't know. I'm not 100% sure. Let me look and see. No, wait, that's Rosemary Clooney, Rosemary Clooney song.

QO: Okay, yeah.

JP: Yeah. Okay. So this ("The Grinch Poem") is an interesting one. During the pandemic, somehow I connected and became friends with Johnny DiLoretto. Do you remember the name Johnny DiLoretto?

QO: Yeah.

JP: The guy who was on TV. He was on the news for a while, and he was like the out-and-about town guy, and…

QO: Okay, yeah.

JP: Now he has a show on NPR or on 90.5, a regular show about movies, let me see what his show is. WCBE, let's see here.

QO: Not to be confused with John Diliberto.

JP: No. Definitely. Because "you are hearing Echoes." Uh, he's on CBE.

QO: Community Relations Director.

JP: Cinema Classics, it's called, I think, or something like that. I can't remember exactly, but anyway, he's on a CBE show. He was on maybe News 6 or one of those shows. Uh, anyway, I asked him to do that one, and Mark Phillips was the electronics music professor when I was in school at Ohio University. He played some electronic music, some of his stuff, which is kinda the odd, the kinda crazy stuff you hear on that one.

QO: Yeah.

JP: And then "We Three Kings." Sean Jenkins, who plays in Mingo as well, but Pat and Sean both did these before they played in Mingo. It's kinda funny because I played with Pat in other projects, I played with Sean and Nat Reeb in a little trio.

So, Mark Sims and Curt Duer added some stuff to this. And then Nat Reeb, I think, killed it on this one ("You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch"). Uh, this is SupaFun Band.

QO: Yeah. That's definitely a highlight, I'd say.

JP: I think the highlight of the whole thing, even within this one is where he says something like, “Polansky, you're not getting shit,” or you know, “you're a scumbag, Polansky.”

QO: Yeah. Yeah. (laughs)

Photo of SupaFun Band

JP: Or whatever he says. It's just highly hilarious. So, and then, of course, those are my guys in SupaFun Band playing a lot on this one. So we do this one during this season now when we play with our toy soldier giddy-ups that we do. Got a bunch of gigs coming up here.

And then, uh, "Zat You Santa Claws," of course. That was Jesse Henry, Fred, Curt and Lavondo. Jesse, I thought, knocked it out of the park. I didn't really have a connection to Jesse, and Fred goes, “Well, let me ask Jesse if he'll…,” I was like, that'd be great.

He did, and then he knocked it out of the park too, I think. Yeah. Actually, they all knocked it out of the park, they came through with their parts on time, got them through to me. I mean, I felt that I gave an enthusiasm about this project that was returned.

QO: Yeah.

JP: And, you know, I was really excited about this, and I haven't listened to this in a couple of years probably, and I'm gonna be driving to Kentucky on business, and I'm gonna listen to this a couple of times. Because looking back upon this, I've forgotten about how many cool freaking things happened on this project, in such a short amount of time, it's only like about a month and a half.

QO: That's amazing!

JP: Yeah. That's the thing. I really pushed the gas on it, and I really loved what I was doing then, and you know…

QO: Fun stuff.

JP: I think we got it posted and everything done like Christmas Eve, it was an effort, though, it just felt good to finish it. Like I said, without Elisa, none of it would've come true, you know? She was the glue, and kind of the sewing up so the stuffing didn't come flying out.

QO: Yeah.

JP: It just made it beautiful, and like I said, you know how when you're in a project, or right after a project, you've heard it so many times, you’re kind of like, "I can't hear that again. I'm not hearing anything that I don't already know." It's gonna be fun to go back here and remember some of the things that I've forgotten about this project.

QO: Well, it was interesting for me because, you know, I kind of heard it through the rafters and whatnot as Elisa was mixing it. But when I finally sat down and listened to it, I was blown away just by the level of quality throughout, especially knowing what a condensed time frame there was and how sort of chaotic in some respects it was.

JP: Yeah.

QO: But, like you, I hadn't listened to it probably since then. Well, before I started researching it, I heard it again.

JP: Yeah, totally. I'm really appreciative that you're poking some pen at this and tapping away because, coming through the times that I've come through in the past couple of years, you know. So, when we started out of the pandemic, was it like 2020, March of 2020?

QO: Yep.

JP: Okay, so my life from March of 2020 has been pandemic until January of 2022. And then from January 2022 until almost two years later, just a month ago, I was divorced. So that's been my last four fucking years.

QO: Yeah.

JP: It's been a long row to hoe at times. And I'm surprised that I don't have more gray hair, but I feel like that I've been able to somewhat trust the process, and I think that maybe to some degree, this project, I look back upon now, and see some of the strengths that I kinda maybe forgot that I even had because I've gone through so many transformations between this and the pandemic and the divorce process. So I feel like I can listen to this with maybe a different set of ears than I could have in the past, you know, three or four years.

QO: Awesome, well, yeah, I appreciate you taking the time.

JP: I appreciate you doing this, brother.

Photo of Mary Adam 12, ComFest 2011; L-R Polansky, Nicolas, Layman, Ishida, Jeff Plavcan, Gablick, Perdue; Photo: Nicole Erin Reed
Mary Adam 12, ComFest 2011; L-R Polansky, Nicolas, Layman, Ishida, Jeff Plavcan, Gablick, Perdue; Photo: Nicole Erin Reed

Wrapping it Up: A Musical Keepsake

The StarrCatt Holiday World Orchestra is a testament to resilience, creativity, and the unifying power of art. Johnny Polansky's project became a reminder that the magic of the holidays is not bound by physical distance or unforeseen challenges. In its songs, we feel the warmth of connection, the joy of collaboration, the spirit of unity, and the boundless creativity that emerges when artists come together. The result is not just a musical endeavor, but a reflection of the enduring spirit of the season.


Bass – Willy Franklin Bells – Johnny Polansky Drums – Los Giles Guitar, Vocals – Tim Meyer Keyboards, Strings, Bells, Piano – Elisa Nichols Layman Percussion – Curt Duer

7 Here Comes Santa

Bass – Eric Rupert Drums – Los Giles Mixed By, Mastered By – Joey Gurwin Percussion – Johnny Polansky Trumpet – Lyric Kurland Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Ukulele – Ruvane

9 Little Drummer Boys

Bass – Krissy Higgins Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar – Ed McGee Percussion – Johnny Polansky Recorded By – Vincent Freeman Vocals – Hillary Leicher Written-By – Carlton Summers

Percussion – Johnny Polansky Saxophone – Joe Brennaman Trumpet – John Bachman Tuba – Rob Maccabee Vocals – Nathaniel Reeb

Arranged By, Recorded By, Saxophone – Fred Gablick Percussion – Johnny Polansky Performer – Curt Duer, Lavondo Thomas Vocals – Jesse Henry

Companies, etc.


Mixed By – Elisa Nicolas (tracks: 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 to 13, 15, 18, 19)


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