Polka legend Jan Lewan returns to area

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]

WILKES-BARRE – Jan Lewan, a Polish immigrant and singer who swept Polka music fans off their feet and emptied their bank accounts in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme, is returning to the area Tuesday.

Lewan, 77, will be at Mohegan Sun Pocono casino at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday for a press briefing. Earlier Tuesday, Lewan will be at Mount Airy Casino Resort for a 10 a.m. news conference.

A news release received Tuesday afternoon, describes Lewan as “an ambitious father, husband and band leader of his namesake polka band “The Jan Lewan Orchestra.”

The release goes on to note that from the very beginning of its release on Netflix in January, “The Polka King Movie” starring Jack Black as Polish immigrant Jan Lewan has achieved tremendous success.

The “The Polka King” movie was inspired by a Jan Lewan documentary titled, “The Man Who Would Be Polka King,” which is available online.

Lewan’s story is further complicated by the suspicious first-place finish of his then-wife Rhonda in a beauty pageant, a fatal bus crash involving his band, criminal prosecutions, bankruptcy and prison time for Lewan, who was slashed with a razor by a cellmate.

According to a Times Leader story from 2016, Lewan, whose given name is Jan Lewandowski, now lives in West Palm Beach, Fla., and has a website advertising piano lessons from the Grammy Award nominee. He also has a Facebook page featuring photos of him and President Donald Trump. They first met decades ago in Atlantic City, N.J., while Lewan and his band were performing.

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]