On Wednesday, July 18, there will be a special concert at the Manggha Center on ul M. Konopnickiej to commemorate the life of the multi-instrumentalist, jazz pioneer and composer Andrzej Kurylewicz who passed away this April. Kurylewicz was born in Lviv in 1932 but moved to Krakow after the war, where he studied classical piano and composition. A gifted instrumentalist, in addition to the piano he mastered both the trumpet and trombone. But he was unceremoniously expelled from the music academy when his passion for jazz became apparent. In the early 1950?s jazz music was regarded by the Communist authorities as a product of capitalist imperialism and public performances of jazz were banned.
The authorities gradually loosened the reigns after the death of Stalin in 1953, and jazz emerged from the underground. Kurylewicz took control of a group that performed for the local radio in Krakow and directed them until 1962. During this period, Kurylewicz and his vocalist wife, Wanda Warska, regularly hung out in legendary Krakow artist haunts like Piwnica Pod Baranami and especially Helikon, where they held their wedding party. Towards the end of the 1960s, Kurylewicz?s fascination with the idea of combining elements of classical music and jazz into a unified whole led to the foundation of the internationally successful ?Formacja Muzyki Wspolczesnej? (?Modern Music Ensemble?), which he composed for and led from 1969 to 1978. From the 1980s onwards, he focused more on composing classical music and performing works by Polish composer, Frederic Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. He was posthumously awarded the Cross of the Polish Renaissance by President Lech Kaczynski, which is the greatest honor an artist can receive in Poland. The concert features Wlodzimierz Pawlik on piano and two members of Kurylewicz?s old Quartet, Cezary Konrad on percussion and Pawel Panta on bass. American trumpeter, Randy Brecker, best known for the jazz funk that he created in the 1970s with his brother Michael, will be appearing with them as guest artist.
Manggha Center, ul. M Konopnickiej 26 Admission: 70 zloty; 40 zloty (Students)
- Renowned world posters on display
- A history in photographs: “Nowa Huta – Krakow’s Youngest Sister”