Joe Nowak born on January 17, 1937 in Mundare, AB., to John Nowak and Mary Dzwenka Nowak. They resided twelve miles south of Mundare called Beaver Hill Lake area. His dad was Ukrainian and his mom was of Polish origin.
Joe has one sister Emily and one brother Lawrence. At an early age of ten years, Joe was very fascinated by music, especially the fiddle; which he remembers being played by their neighbour Kozoway orchestra.
Life was tough in those days, his parents couldn't afford a fiddle for Joe. One day Joe was determined to have a fiddle and tried to build one from scrap lumber he found around the farm. When his dad saw this he went to their neighbour Fred Kozoway and borrowed a fiddle for Joe. Fred also taught Joe the basics of playing the fiddle.
Joe ecstatic of having a real fiddle now at last, spent every spare moment he had experimenting the different sounds he could make on the fiddle. This was only after his chores were done on the family farm. He was very devoted to music and spent many hours practicing on the porch of the farm even though his only fan he had sometimes was his dog encouraging him by howling along.
When Joe was sixteen years of age and his dad very satisfied with his progress with the fiddle, he went and bought a fiddle & case for Joe. He bought the fiddle in Edmonton, AB for $100.00, which was very expensive in those days.
Joe was ecstatic having his own fiddle. Shortly after owning his own fiddle and with alot of practice, Joe decided to enter himself in a search for talent show in Ryley, AB; sponsored by CFCW. Joe Nowak on fiddle, Orest Kuly on accordion and Mike Sadownyk on guitar had their first performance on stage. They were awarded first prize.
This was very encouraging for Joe so being a leader, he formed his first band "The Beaver Ranch Boys".
Joe Nowak Violin
Lawrence Nowak Drums
Mike Sadownyk Quitar
Orest Kuly Accordian
They played around Vegreville, Borschiw, Moscow, Mundare & surrounding areas. As the years go bands and members changed. Joe also picked up the saxophone by this time and formed another band "The Majestic Sounds". Band Members were:
Joe Nowak Violin & Saxaphone
Norman Waicheski - Guitar
Ed Stawnichy Accordian
Joe's music carrier came to a complete hault in 1975 when he was severely injured in a baler accident. His left arm was so badly hurt the doctors were discussing amputation. Joe still conscious at this point overheard the doctors and said now way and begged them to try to save it for him. So his journey to recovery began; after many surgeries, a lot of physio therapy, positive thinking and great
determination, Joe was back playing his fiddle with Norman Waicheski on guitar in 1978. Joe has played numerous other bands since, "The Rough Riders", "Stens Dynamic's", "Multi Cultural Melodiants", "Soul Spice" and many others.
in 2007 Joe founded the "Country Sunshine Band" consisting of:
Joe Nowak Fiddle & Saxaphone
Norman Walcheski Lead Guitar & Vocal
Pearl Kuhn Rhythm Guitar and Vocal including Ukrainian Vocal
Brian Esak Base Guitar
The Country Sunshine Band is presently very active around Vegreville & surrounding area. We have performed for such events as Opening ceremonies at Pysanka festival (3yrs), Ukrainian Village, Ukrainian Heritage Park Edmonton AB, Bashaw Future Festival of Stars, Smoky Lake, Vilna, Holden, Weddings, birthday parties, jamborees, lodges, New Years dances and many many more. This band specializes in Ukrainian music, Country, Gospil and almost any music that can be requested.
Joe Nowak is a perfectionist and takes pride in his music. He has played his fiddle for approximately fifty five years and has enjoyed every minute of it.
He still exercises his left arm every day. But not knowing you would never say know we almost lost this great talent. Joe is presently bringing out very sweet music with his fiddle, which is enjoyed by all ages. God is good to have given Joe a second chance to bring joy to one and all in his music career.