In the spotlight: New Odyssey


WHO ARE THEY? Trio of full-time musicians playing 20th century music on 30 instruments. Featuring Michael Jay, Gary Todd and Gary Polkow.
HOMETOWN: Ringwood
BOOK ’EM: 815-344-4200, or
THE GIGS: Oct. 8, Autumn Fest, Saint Irene Church, Warrenville; Oct. 15-16, Menominee Casino, Keshena, Wis.

What is your band’s name? How did the band get that name?
New Odyssey is Greek mythology, a trip of many adventures, which descibe’s our musical variety.

Who are the members and what instruments does each play?
Gary Todd, the drummer, has been involved in show business since age 2 when he started performing as an acrobat with his family act, “The Tumbling Todds.” He also sings and plays more than 15 musical instruments.
Michael Jay began singing and playing guitar at age 12. By age 21, he was playing bass, composing music for his own bands and performing alongside national recording artists. As well as playing 10 instruments, Jay is the vocal leader of the band.
Gary Polkow, the musical director of New Odyssey, began his piano training at age 7. By age 8, he was rewriting and performing traditional classical children’s pieces. His has credits in film, synthesizer sound design, music and choir director, as well as playing 10 instruments.

How did the band get started?
We started the band 32 years ago in the “Show band era” and worked the circuit in Chicago and Midwest.

Describe the music you play.
New Odyssey has been together more than 30 years. The secret to our success is the ability to adapt to any and every audience.  
What makes your act different?
We are three guys on stage playing 30 instruments. While using the latest technology and equipment, we are constantly updating our material and creating timeless musical compositions. Classic rock, country, novelty and specialty arrangements are the calling cards of our group.

Who are your three biggest influences?
Between the three of us, there are too many to name, but all of them have made us who we are today.

Why should people come see you (in 50 words or less)?
We’re different than any other band. We’re fun and in my humble opinion, we’re pretty good.
New Odyssey will simply mesmerize you.

What is the best thing about being a musician?
 We are full-time musicians. It’s all we do, so never having a real job is best thing.

Pick one:
Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley?


The Beatles or The Stones?

Michael Jackson or Madonna?
Michael Jackson


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