The Ken Paulsen Orchestra started in 1966 but had been handed down through the family since 1917. Ken's grandfather, Emil, and three of his children traveled by horse and wagon playing dance jobs until 1934 when son Arnold (Ken's father) moved to Waterloo, Iowa to play with a polka band called Moellers Accordian Band. Ken was born in 1939 to Arnold & Vi Paulsen and a short time later they moved to Davenport, Iowa.
Arnold served in World War II, and after the war started back in the music business with a six piece band. In 1966 Arnold and Ken, along with Von Crawford (who arranged the music for Ken Paulsen) started a polka band called Paulsen's Dutchmen.
In 1970 the band was changed to what it is today, a nine piece orchestra called the Ken Paulsen Orchestra.

In 1975 Darlene Breuwet joined the orchestra as a vocalist and since 1989 has been doing both the vocals and playing the piano.
In 1977 the Ken Paulsen Orchestra was voted into the Ballroom Dancers Big Band Hall of Fame, along with Lawrence Welk, Jan Garber, Guy Lombardo, Al Pierson, Wayne King, Glenn Miller, Eddy Howard, Jack Morgan, and Norman Lee.
In 1989 a new addition to the Ken Paulsen Orchestra took place. It was Darlene and the quartet she had been performing with from the Sweet Adelines.

Since 1988 the orchestra has been traveling almost nation-wide, north to Minneapolis, south to Biloxi, east and south to Miami, and west to Denver. The orchestra plays mostly ballrooms, but also some weddings, anniversaries, and big band shows, doing your favorite big band hits, fox trots, waltzes, polkas, and Latin, such as the cha-chas, rumbas, and sambas.


Ken Paulsen
2714 N. Gayman
Davenport, IA 52804