Tonight (16th March) at 19.00, GRZEGORZ TURNAU will be celebrating his name day in grand fashion at Forty Kleparz (Kamienna 2.) The reputation of these unique annual Krakow concerts have taken on something of a legendary status, as they give Turnau and his always stellar band a chance to cut loose with a wide open setlist drawn from his extensive catalogue, as well as any cover versions that cross his mind. Not to mention, of course, the ubiquitous songs that he’s famous for, from 1991’s “Naprawdę nie dzieje się nic”, the mid-90’s “Między cizsa a cizsa”, and “Bracka”, all the way up to “Na plazach Zanzibaru” (2010) – along with hopefully at least a few selections from his most recent album (and in my opinion, his masterpiece), 7 widoków w drodze do Krakowa.
But the thing that will make this show unique among his many area concerts through the years is the presentation of the complete 1997 album Tutaj jestem, in celebration of its 20th anniversary. True to Turnau’s long history of supporting and encouraging new talent, the album’s duets, “Niebezpieczne zwiazki” and “Kto chce, bym go kochała”, which famously originally featured vocalist/actresses Justyna Steczkowska and Beata Rybotycka (respectively), will be performed with some new hitherto undiscovered Cracovian music students.
This marks the beginning of a flurry of activity to mark the milestone of Turnau’s 50th birthday this year. In May, he’ll be recording For No One, his first English language album, comprised completely of songs of his favorite composers, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he tries a few out on the crowd Thursday night.
If you’re a fan, this is a great opportunity to see him with a fantastic band in a relaxed atmosphere, but if you can’t manage to get tickets in time, you’ll have at least two more chances in town this year – in June as part of the Wianki Festival, and his official Jubilee concert at the ICE Center in the autumn, which will coincide with the release of a deluxe CD/DVD package encompassing his entire career, featuring a wealth of previously unreleased material. So it looks to be quite an eventful and productive year for this favorite local son, who shows no sign of slowing down, 50 be damned!
If you’d like some further inkling of just how much fun these shows are, here’s a link to my review of last year’s Imieniny show.