Lombard at Taste of Polonia in Chicago
Roads to Freedom
Gdansk Agreement signed in 1980, marked a milestone in Poland’s history. It gave workers the right to strike and to form unions independent of the Communist Party. On its foundation, in 1980, the ten-million strong trade union “Solidarność” (Solidarity) was founded. Nine years later, in 1989, communism collapsed in Poland, and within six months – the Berlin Wall fell, too.
“Solidarity” movement changed the face of Poland and all of Europe. Not long after the collapse of communism, Poland became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. To mark the 40th anniversary of the birth of the “Solidarity” trade union, the iconic “Solidarność” logo has been placed at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. On October 6, 2021, the Polish Institute in Brussels and the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Poland to NATO organized a multimedia event “Roads to Freedom.” The afore mentioned event featured a live concert by, Lombard, a Polish pop-rock band founded in 1981 and known throughout the 1980s for their protest songs. It also incorporated video contributions from musicians from the neighbouring countries: Vladimir Merta (Czech Republic), Stephan Krawczyk (Germany), Taras Kompanichenko (Ukraine), Andrei Khadanovich (Belarus). The wonderful video contributions were recorded and created in collaboration with the Polish Institutes in Prague and Minsk.
Show’s introductory remarks were delivered by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the North Atlantic Council Ambassador Tomasz Szatkowski, and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Ambassador Baiba Braže.
“Roads to freedom” portrays the history of the Polish “Solidarity” movement and Poland’s road back to democracy. Show also refers to the domino effect in the former “Eastern bloc” of Europe, the Euromaidan (Maidan Uprising) revolution in Ukraine, it draws attention to the democratic aspirations of Belarusians, and emphasizes the ongoing war in Ukraine. The historical narrative of the project was created in consultation with the Institute of National Remembrance and the Center for Eastern Studies. The all-time hits of the Lombard band are intertwined with unique documentary materials from the archives of Polish Television and the legendary Studio Video Gdansk. The show contains English subtitles.
Immerse yourself in the power of history, images, memories, music… Experience it yourself!
LOMBARD is a legendary, Polish, pop-rock music band. Lombard was founded in 1981 in Poznan, Poland. The band has recorded over a dozen albums and has countless hits on the record. Some of their biggest hits are the legendary “Experience it yourself,” “Glass weather,” “Kristal girl,” “Our last dance,” “Adriatic-ocean hot,” “Two words, two worlds,” “Death to the disco,” “Who paid me for tears,” “Deja’vu – it’s already been,” “Musical” or the latest “Prayer for happy islands.”
LOMBARDs music attracts fans of all generations. Band played several thousand of concerts in Poland and for the Poles around the world, always gathering large audiences and filling up concert halls. The American Polonia occupies a special place in the hearts of Lombard musicians. For decades, the band has been a guest at the largest festivals in the United States of America. One of them is TASTE OF POLONIA organized in Chicago by the famous Copernicus Foundation since 1980.
THE LEADER OF THE LOMBARD TEAM IS GRZEGORZ STRÓŻNIAK – a composer, arranger, vocalist and a keyboard player. Grzegorz has been leading the band in the pop-rock direction and spirit for 40 years. He’s been combining expressive guitar sounds with the full array of possibilities of keyboard instruments and electronics. Since 1999, Grzegorz has been carrying out his musical projects with the vocalist of the Lombard, Marta Cugier. They have been a unique duo on stage and in life for almost 25 years. Over the years, LOMBARD collaborated with many instrumentalists and musicians. Current line-up of the band consists of Łukasz Luki Kulczak – guitar, Paweł Kosa Kosicki – bass, Maksymilian Mińczykowski – drums. In the 1980s, the band collaborated with external lyricists: Jacek Skubikowski, Marek Dutkiewicz, Andrzej Sobczak. Today, Marta Cugier writes lyrics for Lombard.
In 2023, LOMBARD will celebrate its 40th birthday with the extraordinary LOMBARD 40/40 project. A project that combines different ways of artistic expression. The band re-recorded 40 of their greatest hits. Musical part of the project will be combined with the artbook illustrated with magical realism paintings by Arkadiusz Dzielawski and black and white photographs by Anna Pawelczak. The author of the biography is Jakub Kozłowski. This one-of-a-kind jubilee release of the band – Artbook LOMBARD 40/40 – will premiere in 2023.
LOMBARDs has been a recipient of many awards and recognitions for their ‘Road to Freedom’ project. In 2020, the band received the Gloria Artis state decoration for the promotion of Polish values, traditions, history, and patriotism.
About Taste of Polonia
The Taste of Polonia Festival is a celebration of Polish culture, heritage, music and Old World cuisine attracting large crowds every Labor Day weekend. The first festival was held in 1980 and has now become one of the largest Polish festivals in the United States.