Introduced by Simon Broughton of Songlines, the world music magazine, these profiles are his selection of six bands showing different aspects of the Polish folk tradition. Each profile features interviews with band members plus music videos and reveals special insights into the work of some of Poland’s most distinctive musicians.
Kapela Maliszów: The Family Band with a Difference
The Malisz family comes from a small village in the Beskid Niski region of the Western Carpathians. The Kapela includes father Jan (cello), son Kacper (violin) and daughter Zuzanna (percussion and vocals) . This family band have music in their blood with a magic ingredient that’s taken them to festivals around the world.
Maria Pomianowska: Back to the Future
Intrigued by Poland’s old string instruments, the Plock Fiddle and Bilgoray Suka, both of which had gone extinct, Maria Pomianowska developed contemporary versions and an ensemble to play them. She was inspired by many Asian instruments, like the Indian sarangi, which she also plays.
Janusz Prusinowski Kompania: Mazurka Mania
The Janusz Prusinowski Kompania is the group that have led the revival of traditional dance music in Poland. Learning from some of the last-surviving veterans, they’ve built a young and enthusiastic crowd of musicians and dancers through the Dom Tancy (Dance House) movement and their Mazurkas of the World Festival in Warsaw.
Sutari: Sisters in Song
The three female singers of Sutari share a rich musical imagination giving a contemporary take on Polish tradition. They create polyphonic textures and foster a concern for the environment, which has never been more urgent.
VOLOSI: Where Classical Meets Folk
To form VOLOSI, two brothers who trained at the Katowice Conservatoire teamed up three village musicians from the nearby Silesian Beskid mountains. The energy of this classical meets folk ensemble creating new and original repertoire is breathtaking.
The Warsaw Village Band: The Folk Pioneers
This group formed over 20 years ago to become the first and still the best-known world music group from Poland. They have reinvigorated the Polish tradition with radical music twists, political attitude and exciting collaborations with musicians from around the world.