Krakow Music 8-9 July 2016: A visit from Zimbabwe, Finland, Austria, and Ireland (sort of…)


Grad Trio feat Anton

Klub Herbaciany
(Szlak 14 / 20:00 / Free admission)

Grad Trio is a kind of Celtic instrumental jam band with Jan Gałczewski (also of the excellent progressive folk rock band Beltaine) on the Irish bouzouki, Sonia Ropion on the Irish flute, and fiddler Alexander Dimitriev. This show is special as they will be joined by Kiev native Anton Korolev on Irish tenor banjo and bagpipes. He is also a member of the Balkan Folk band Mashala Doza, as well as the Polish medieval group Tryzna.

The ability that these musicians have to play music indigenous to the British Isles is proof that you don’t need to be a native to know how to interpret a culture. They play with a great affinity for the music they love, and it’s that musical empathy that separates this from mere academic recitals of traditional tunes. They may have been born thousands of miles from Dublin, but they’re the real deal. And it’s free!


Rynek Głowny
(Main Market Square / 19:00)

The genre called ‘World Music’ came to prominence in the late 1980s and is really just lazy shorthand for anything non-western in origin, and can include everything from Indian Ragas to Chinese Gamelan to Jewish Klezmer.
People have generally become more educated since, but African music, which is particularly multi-faceted, still tends to get shortchanged, with everything from Afropop to Cape Verde’s ballad-like Morna to the rhythmic Calypso given the same boring designation. It’s understandable, because it’s music that sounds foreign to the western ear, but there are enormous differences.

MAKOOMBA specialize in taking the traditional Tonga rhythms of Zimbabwe’s Zambezi River Valley and mix it with Highlife and some other African styles to create something that, for the sake of the western audience, they call “Afrofusion.” It’s a joyful exuberant sound, and one you don’t get much of a chance to experience in Kraków, let alone in the Rynek for free.

Chicago Jazz
(Sławkowska 11 / 23:00 / 20 zł)

As the world gets smaller, and exposure to any type of entertainment imaginable is only a click away, it’s no wonder that bands like the Finnish-Austrian performers and songwriters Satuo have flourished. Their sound is a virtual combination of all kinds of rock, folk, jazz, and blues from all over the world, with the fantastic vocals of Laura Korhonen. They’re not strictly jazz, but this should be a perfect venue for their smoky late night vibe.

Kwadrat Klub
(Stanisława Skarżyńskiego 1 / 19:00 / 100 zł)

One of Russia’s best known hip hop artists, OXXXYMIRON (born Miron Yadovich Fyodorov) spent much of his life in Britain before relocating back to his native St. Petersburg, hence the current Back To Europe Tour. His music mixes elements of grime, alternative, and classic hardcore rap with that appropriately oddly named hip hop sub-genre called ‘abstract’. He’s also an Oxford graduate who lists Burroughs, Lovecraft, Tolkien, and Aleister Crowley amongst his influences, so there’s more than just the influence of ‘the street’ in his work. But it helps to understand Russian…

Zakopane – Hej Fest
(Gubałówka/ 17:30 / 35-45 zł)

Some of the biggest names in the history of Polish music will be playing in Zakopane over the next few months, including Enej, Perfect, Zakopower, and Happysad, will be playing in the lovely mountain resort town of Zakopane, and if you need an excuse to get away, there are plenty of good excuses there.

KULT have been around since the 1980s, and endured communist censorship while expanding their sound through the years to include everything from punk to jazz, ska to prog. When the previous regime was replaced, singer/lyricist Kazik Staszewski continued to rage at the hypocrisies of the new era. And if 2013’s Prosto album is anything to go by, he isn’t ready to stop yet.

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