Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Xth Ad Libitum Festival (Warsaw; 15-17.10)

Ad Libitum celebrates its Xth edition with a program that's both coincise and packed with excitement. The festival will present few insights into the polish improvisation scene, features few living legends of the genre and will show a broad spectrum of modern improvisation - from a piano solo recital to a big band.

The resident artist will be Alex Von Schlippenbach who will perform three times during the festival - solo, with his legendary trio (Evan Parker and Paul Lovens) and leading Globe Unity Orchestra (joined by an old camrade Tomasz Stanko). Peter Brotzmann will appear with his recently most active quartet featuring Jason Adasiewicz on vibes and the powerful combo John Edwards - Steve Noble. Barry Guy Blue Shroud Band will perform the magnificent piece "Guernica" which was premiered last year in Krakow - which is probably the performance I look forward the most.

See below the full program. Fans of of free jazz - Unite!

15.10  g. 19.30, Laboratorium CSW, Sala im. W. Krukowskiego  


Krzysztof Cybulski – bass guitar, electronics,
Mikołaj Pałosz – cello, electronics
Sławomir Wojciechowski – cello, electronics


Mikołaj Trzaska – saxophone,
Evan Parker - saxophone,
Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet
 Mike Majkowski - double bass


Peter Brötzmann – saxophone, clarinet, torogato,
Jason Adasiewicz – vibes
John Edwards – double bass
Steve Noble – drums

16.10 g. 19.30, Studio Koncertowe Polskiego Radia im. W. Lutosławskiego  


Jerzy Kornowicz – fortepian,
Tadeusz Wielecki – kontrabas,
Ryszard Latecki trąbka,
Mieczysław Litwiński – głos, instrumenty strunowe,
Tadeusz Sudnik – media elektroniczne,
Krzysztof Knittel – instrumenty elektroniczne
oraz gościnnie:
Wojciech Błażejczyk -gitara, elektronika


Alexander von Schlippenbach – piano
Evan Parker – saxophone
Paul Lovens – drums

g. 19.30, Studio Koncertowe Polskiego Radia im. W. Lutosławskiego  


Barry Guy – double bass, conducting,
Savina Yannatou – voice, Maya Homburger – violin, Fanny Paccoud -viola, Ben Dwyer – guitar, Per Texas Johansson – clarinet, saxophones, Michael Niesemann – oboe, saxophones, Percy Pursglove – trumpet, Julius Gabriel – saxophones,
Torben Sneakedstadt – trumpet, saxophones, Agustí Fernández – piano, Michel Godard – tuba, serpent, Ramon Lopez, Lucas Niggli – drums


Alexander von Schlippenbach – piano


Alexander von Schlippenbach – piano, leader,
Tomasz Stańko, Jean­Luc Capozzo, Axel Dörner – trumpets
Evan Parker, Gerd Dudek, Henrik Walsdorff – saxophones,
Rudi Mahall –  bass clarinet,
Gerhard Gschlößl, Christoph  Thewes – trombones,
Paul Lovens, Paul Lytton – drums

Monday, October 12, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 12-18.10 / Xth Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival

It may seem winter has arrived. But make no mistake, it's autumn. More importantly. It's jazz autumn. The season of jazz festivals. Xth Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival. Jazz Jantar in Gdansk. Autumn Jazz in Bielsko Biala. Jazztopad in Wroclaw etc. I'll try to cover closely two festivals both of which start this week. The condensed three-days Ad Libitum in Warsaw (more about which tomorrow) and extended for a few weeks Xth Krakow Autumn Jazz in Krakow. Here's where to be in Krakow this week.

Honestly, the week is full-packed so I'll try to as brief as possibly.

12.10 Aga Derlak Trio at Piec'ART
Aga Derlak's Trio is a young ensemble that nonetheless has quite a few successes under their belt, they're part of the polish jazz offensive in the slovachian label Hevhetia that has recently published their debut cd that presents their personal take on the modern jazz piano trio idiom.

14.10 Angles 9 at Alchemia (Xth Krakow Autumn Jazz)
The band led by Martin Kuchen is among the among the best in modern jazz. Brilliant arrangements, striking melodies and inspiring improvisations - it's definitely among the most well balanced acts of the kind and I can't imagine how one could miss the chance to see them live (incidentally roughly the half of their recorded output is live registered). If you don't know them yet, you should.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 28.09-05.10

The big news is that Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival program is ready! Before we get to enjoy that, we still have some other concerts we might wanna see. We have one experiment and three modern mainstream jazz nights to offer.

28.09 Martyna Poznańska at Środmiejski Osrodek Kultury in Mikolajska street
Martyna Poznanska is a sound artist, performer, who explores the subject of sound in space. She used to live in Krakow but she's travels between London and Berlin mostly, where she's continuing her studies at the Univeristy Of Arts.

30.09 Ori Dakari at Piec'ART
Ori Dakari is a guitarist and composer, whose debut cd was released by the esteemed Tzadik label which is a recommendation in itself. He will be joined by Krakow's young and talented crew: Mateusz Palka on piano, Alan Wykpisz on bass and Grzegorz Palka on drums.

01.10 Quantum Trio

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 22-27.09

So far there's still no concrete dates for Autumn Jazz Festivals although some leaks I got are really exciting. In the meantime you can celebrate John Coltrane's birthday this week, witness birds' conference or enjoy your weekend with a flash. More details below:

23.09. Tyto Alba - musical performance in Srodmiejski Dom Kultury (Mikolajska street)
A musical performance about melancholy and birds. The concept art is by Michal Libera. The opera will be performed by the author in the company of Martin Kuchen on saxophones (who I hope needs no introduction), sound engineer Ralf Meinz and singer Barbara Kinga Majewska.

23.09. John Coltrane's birthday party at Piec'ART
The one and only will be remembered by some of the Krakow's young cats: Slawek Pezda, Mateusz Gaweda, Mike Parker and Grzegorz Palka who will tackle Coltrane's own compositions during the night.
(the clip below is is not related directly to the band playing this week. It is however a great Coltrane tribute, a composition from the first cd by Milosc - a legendary polish formation that stormed polish jazz scene in 90's).

26.09. The Flash! at Alchemia
The Flash! is a young band with Slawek Pezda (tenor sax) Kuba Dworak (bass) and Max Olszewski (drums) that rocks hard on stage, combining punk attitude and avant jazz. The band is really a blast to here live.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 07-13.09 / Fire! at Pardon To Tu

Below the weekly line-up of concert recommendations with two events of particular interest. Firstly, Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival is near and we'll have finally a taste this week. Secondly, Fire! will play a double-night in Pardon To Tu in Warsaw which became an amazingly active stage for creative music in the last few years and hopefully many more to come.

08.09 Pat Thomas / Joel Grip / Antonin Gerbal at Alchemia (Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival Preview)
Pat Thomas is clearly one of the most important if under-appreciated figures of british improv scene. In all honesty I'm not a big fan of his keyboards, but I'm very curious about what he'll cook up with the young cats to tease the upcoming Krakow Atumn Jazz Festival!

08-09.09 Eyot at Piec'ART
Eyot is a quartet from Serbia led by Dejan Ijilic on piano. They fuse elements of jazz, classical, balkan and rock music. In fact they do cite Pink Floyd and Radiohead among their influences which sounds quite intriguing.

10.09 Jacek Kochan / Gavin Ahearn / Michal Kapczuk at Piec'ART
The band calls themselves "Third of the three", apart from which there's literally no additional info to be found on the club's webpage. Either way, with Jacek Kochan at the helm, you can expect some solid modern jazz to played there that night.

13-14.09 Fire! at Pardon To Tu
Fire! is a kraut-rock-psychodelia-trance-improv-jazz trio that plays some scary stuff, not really a surprise if you have the prince of saxophone noise Mats Gustafsson on board along with monster rhythm section Johan Berthling and Andreas Werlin. The concerts are even more special with the fact this is the only two-night residency of their tour.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 31.08-06.09

There's some sad news to put here: summer is over. At least it will be over today. But there's some good news as well, autumn is coming. And that means a plenty of jazz festivals to choose from. In the meantime, you can enjoy the evenings with some good music.

31.08 3Kings at Main Square - Summer Goodbye party.
Disco-punk-jazz street welfare unit with Slawek Pezda on tenor, Jakub Tybuszczuk on baritone and Max Olszewski on drums. These guys sound crazy lotta fun and they will entertain you tonight in the midst of the market square, street style jazz assault.

02.09 Opalinska & Whates at Piec'ART
Piano and bass. I've recommended this duo's music on the blog in the past and I stand by this recommendation. Intimate, melancholic, sublime and heartfelt music.

03.09 Surreal Players at Piec'ART
Another duo, cello and piano, and more of the intimate and intriguing chamber sound.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule -23.08 / Singer Jazz Festival

I didn't put up the post for the whole week earlier since there's only one jazz related concert this week that I'd like to recommend. Most of the music fans in Krakow are probably enjoying now the indie-pop-electronica Krakow Live Festival anyway.

For the next week I'd like to invite you to Warsaw for its 12th Jewish Culture Festival called Singer which has a very inviting jazz section of the program.

22.08 Aga Derlak Trio at Piec'ART
Aga Derlak's trio is a young band, but their talent has already been recognized, they have gathered quite a few festival recognitions (Krakow's Jazz Juniors among them) and have recently released a debut cd in slovacchian Hevhetia label that has become very active in promoting polish jazz. The trio is certainly an intriguing new voice and deserves more attention.

22-30.08 Singer Jazz Festival
Jazz part of Singer Festival in Warsaw is curated by an esteemed critic Adam Baruch. The main thread of this year's edition is the presence of Albert Beger who will perform a series of concerts with polish jazz musicians and bands (among them the acclaimed rhythm section Oles Brothers, the promising free jazz duo Pezda - Gaweda). There will also be other performances including Paul Brody's Sadawi band and kosher gospel (had no idea there even is such a thing).
Next week in Warsaw should give plenty of musical and cultural satisfaction.

More information can be found at:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 03-09.08

IT's going to be a very hot week, according the weather channels, which makes a great occasion to chill down with some excellent music on a couple of evenings:

03.08 Free The Dance - Duos at Sunset at BAL
Another installment of the Free The Dance series, this time a minimal setting with Malgorzata Haduch (dance) and Paulina Owczarek (baritone sax). The meeting of arts for the open-minded.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ola Bilinska - Berjozkele (Yiddish Lullabies) [Jewish Historical Institute]

Ola Bilińska - vocal, OP1 synth, electric guitar, vibes, Moogerfooger delay
Michał Moniuszko - double bass
Kacper Szroeder - trumpet, flugelhorn, bielarussian dulcimer
Mikołaj Trzaska - bass clarinet
Raphael Rogiński - electric guitar

The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute 2014

I have recently written shortly about Berjozkele's concert during the Jewish Culture Festival and I promised to write more about the group and their music, available on cd thanks to the support of Jewish Historical Institute. Bilinska's project is in fact of great etnographic, historical interest, in many ways a dive into the past. The album is a collection of yiddish songs of yonder times, before the tragic disappearance of jewish culture in Europe. Thankfully, it's not only a recollection of a lost culture but a modern interpretation of it, an example of its recent revitalization. The presence of Raphael Roginski and Mikołaj Trzaska on the record is somehow symbolic, given the two are greatly responsible for the phenomenon of polish new jewish music.

Berjozkele's music, however, is not only a journey into the past. All the songs are connected by the common theme of night and dream. It's a collection of lullabies, songs that dwell in-between the light of the day and the pitch dark of the night. On the border, following the fine line between real and surreal, tragic and comic, a dream and a nightmare.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 27.07-02.08

Apologies for the short delay in presenting the concert recommendations for the upcoming week. As the month of the festivals is nearing its end, there won't be this much live music to follow, but no worries, you won't be left without it either.

29.07. Owczarek / Kolodziejczyk / Ogorek at Galeria i!
A trio session by Cracow's improvisers that will include Paulina Owczarek on baritone, Malwina Kołodziejczyk on tenor saxophone and Ernest Ogorek on bass guitar.

30.07. D.R.A.G at Tak Było
Quartet led by Dominika Rusinowska playing the violin that includes other young and talented musicians as well: Mateusz Gaweda on piano, Jakub Mielcarek on double bass and Józef Rusinowski. The band cites Eric Dolphy, McCoy Tyner, Zbigniew Seifert and John Zorn among their most important inspirations.

02.08. The Blessed Beat at Piec'ART
The Blessed Beat are a trio with David Kollar on guitar, Paolo Raineri on trumpet and Simone Cavina on drums. The group uses plenty of electronics. Those who like the Miles Davis psychodely and surrealism should be satisfied.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 20-26.07

Summer break mode is on these days, whether it's sizzling sun or a tropical rain. Fortunately, some good music is still around to keep you company while you try to relax in the evening trying to chill.

20.07. Pawel Kaczmarczyk Audiofeeling Trio at Pod Baranami (Summer Jazz Festival)
Kaczmarczyk's Audiofeeling Trio is definitely one of the most respected jazz piano trio's on a polish stage and is deserves a wider recognition. Which will hopefully happen with their fresh of the press "Something Personal" cd which already has gathered some more than positive reviews.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2015 Summary

I have and undisputed pleasure to follow closely Warsaw Summer Jazz Days in the last few years and it is clear it is one of the main jazz events in the calendar. There are clear difficulties in creating a line-up that will hold a mainstream commercial appeal necessary for the event of the kind, while mantaining some artistic validity. There are only a few household names in jazz today that can guarantee both, and you can't bring Wayne Shorter Quartet every year (although I, personally, wouldn't mind that).

That being said this year's festival, while quite promising, was for me a bit of disappointment. There were not true "wow" and "yeaah" moments that I remember fondly from the previous years (Sun Ra Arkestra, Gregory Porter, Gary Peacock, Matana Roberts or the aforementioned Wayne Shorter to name just a few). I don't like and I don't feel like writing a negative review unless I feel it's necessary to give a true picture of the event. I'll try to focus on the positive in the brief, selective rundown below (chronological order).

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
His concert 3 years ago at the festival was, for me, a completely unexpected marvel. He came back to Warsaw with a quartet and confirmed the impression - a brilliant trumpet player with an original sound and forward-thinking composer and leader. He finds great support in the band with Harish Raghavan on bass and Justin Brown on drums. His ballad duo with Sam Harris on the piano was hearbreaking.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Shlomo Bar & Kutiman Orchestra at Krakow Jewish Culture Festival

I've written in the previous post about two concerts of the Festival that I loved for the sense of the intimacy that the concerts created, showing the different side of this big festival. But the big stage has its merits as well and this post is dedicated to the two bands I believe played the best, both in Tempel Synagogue and during the grande finale at Szeroka Street.

Shlomo Bar & Habrera Hativet come first, a concert that was part of "classical" side of the program, but that sounded nothing like the visit in a museum. Shlomo Bar is a charismatic vocalist with a voice strong as a bell. But also a true showman, a percussionist with a gift for stage gesture. The music by the band combines the musical traditions of sephardic Andalusian Jews' mysticism and middle-Easter flavours. The music was full of life, vivid, and managed to make the opposites meet. Majestic and fun. A meditation in the desert. A wedding party in oasis.

The kind of music that has the power to transcend the millenias, as proven by the thousands of people dancing to it this year at Szeroka Street.

Kutiman Orchestra was the last band on stage this year (before the festival's all-star orchestra closed the night) and the deserved this honor without any doubts. A ten man strong unit on stage with plenty of percussion, horns and the leader behind a set of synthesizers that would make any vintage electronica fan drool.
Even as the band hit the first notes, they captured the crowd immediately and filled the space (either Synagore and Szeroka Street) with non-stop grooves, horn sections' punch, funky basslines, psychodelic guitar (with occasional hard rock riff) and and spaced out synth. The Orchestra is an unstoppable dance machine ("What's going down? We're grooving this town"). I believe the Godfather of Soul himself mr. James Brown would say the are bad mothe*uckers.

Fantastic show, if you ever got a chance to see them, don't miss out. Otherwise hunt for the records.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ori and Berjozkele at Krakow Jewish Culture Festival

The time is running in a fast forward mode, but before I jump to Warsaw Summer Jazz Days festival I have to bring back some music from the last week and a half in Krakow.

Krakow Jewish Culture Festival is a beautiful, massive event, with a grande finale at Szeroka Street, with the daily, majestic concerts at Tempel Synagogue and the handfull of workshops, lectures ecc to go around. Which may be I found two concerts in particular of great value. Both took place in the small and cosy Cheder Cafe which allowed for more intimate musical experience.

And it's hard to be more musically intimate than during the festival's first live concert by an artist from Berlin - ORI. Alone on the small stage, barefoot, probably to get more real feel of the space, with just a mike a small sampler and a keyboard.

Ori's music is an atmospheric mixture of minimal electronica with trippy beats and charming voice. Delicate and intimate, soulfull and nostalgic. Taking inspiration in both folk pop ballad and neo soul music, Ori often loops his own voice in order to create intricately layered arrangements, sings with a lot of feedback to give even more otherworldly quality to his music which seems fit somewhere between the melancholic songs of Bon Iver and ethereal quality of songs by Sigur Ros.

Hypnotizing performance by the songwriter which you should most definitely check out.

Berjozkele  is a project led by Olga Bilinska (vocals, piano, loops), with Michał Moniuszko on double bass, Kacper Szroeder on trumpet and dulcimer and Raphael Roginski on guitar. They play and sing jidysz lullabies, surreal tales of dreams and mysteries. The music is esoteric, it had the me the feeling the Grimm's fables have - that of magical space full of wonder but where terror and sadness lingers in the shadow.

It was truly the music of the night, a mesmerizing performance by the band.

(I'll try to write more soon  about them and their debut cd released december last year)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 13-19.07

Just got back from Warsaw Summer Jazz Days which was rather disappointing and makes the memories of Krakow Jewish Culture festival even more precious. I'll get back to both festivals in the next few posts. The main musical events for the following days are related to Summer Jazz Festival with the daily concerts at Piwnica Pod Baranami and Harris Piano Jazz Bar.

Last but not least, Saturday Night is officially the Night of Jazz in Krakow, with plenty of venues participating in the event (also part of the Summer Jazz Festival).

15.07 Joachim Mencel Artisena at Harris Piano Jazz Bar (Summer Jazz Festival)
When Joachim Mencel played with this new project at Starzy i Mlodzi Festival I felt immensely happy - he's back. Artisena features Mencel on piano and hurdy-gurdy playing inspired music with the kind of spiritual energy that I've been waiting for from the pianist for ages.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2015 part 2

Admittedly it's the first half of the festival to feature the household names, but one can be sure there will be some great music in the latter half as well.

3rd day focuses on polish jazz and presents two young piano trios (winners of a national jazz debut competition), and the music of Krzysztof Kobylinski, a talented pianist and composer whose music is appreciated by the likes of Adam Makowicz, Mike Stern or Randy Brecker.
The final evening bring the most alternative lineup to the stage, starting with the improbable mix of reggae warm and northern chill. The temperature will rise with the percussion and passion filled performance with Master Musicians of Jajouka. Last but not least another piano trio, winner of Open Jazz competion for the spot at the festival's schedule, with Mateusz Kolakowski behind the piano, a talented pianist who emerged on polish jazz scene as barely a teenager, has kept under the radar since but seems to be coming back to great form.
It seems to me the last day could be very well the unexpected winner of the festival.

Franciszek Raczkowski Trio
Paweł Wszołek Trio
Joey Calderazzo Trio plays Kobyliński
Krzysztof Kobyliński EtnoJazz Orchestra

3rd day focuses on polish jazz and presents two young piano trios (winners of a national jazz debut competition), and the music of Krzysztof Kobylinski, a talented pianist and composer whose music is appreciated by the likes of Adam Makowicz, Mike Stern or Randy Brecker.

Sly & Robbie meet Nils Petter Molvaer
Bill Laswell Material and the Master Musicians of Jajouka
Kolakowski / Korelus / Wykpisz

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2015

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days remains one of the most important jazz events in Poland, quite successfully balancing the delicate line between commercial and artistic validity. This year's program seems to do that perfectly and I honestly can't wait to be there.

Here's what awaits you in Warsaw on the first two days of the festival at the Soho Factory.

Giovanni Guido Trio 

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

Vijay Iyer Trio

Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet

James Carter Organ Trio

Brad Mehldau Trio

A correspondence battle between three piano trios, an upcoming star Giovanni Guido, one of the most intriguing pianists around Vijay Iyer and one of the most established musicians of the genre Brad Mehldau. How will the informal competion turn out? We'll see.

Apart from that you'll have the explosive James Carter with his organ trio, the sophisticated Ambrose Akinmusire (!!! he's performance 3 years ago at the festival was truly fantastic) and, from Marsalis clan, Jason on vibes. Sounds like a recipe for amazing two days.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 06-12/07 / Warsaw Summer Jazz Days

25th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival is barely over, yet there's no time to rest (alhtough there will be time to reminiscence - I'll write about my four favourite performances of the festival in the next few days).
The Heat is on, Summer is here, which means plenty of festivals of all sorts. Krakow's Summer Jazz Festival continues with some strong moments this week, Rozstaje / Crossroads has joined Euroradio Folk Festival for a week-long run. Plus Warsaw Summer JAzz Days this year looks mightily fine (I'll cover this festival in a separate post tomorrow). Buckle up, summer is no time to be lazy.

05-12.07 Rozstaje / Crossroads Festival (and Euroradio Folk Festival)
Two mighty folk festivals has joined forces in Krakow this year. 200 musicians, 50 concerts, 4 coninents represented. Any world music afficionado will be satisfied.

Check the program closely at festival's webpage Rozstaje / Crossroads 2015
Any examples? Manou Gallo Groove Orchestra from Ivory Coast sound like a perfect plan for Saturday evening.

Monday, June 29, 2015

25th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival - 2nd week

And the 2nd week of the festival begins today. Lots and lots of great music awaits you.

Important notes - events at Dajwor are open-air and free admission
Midnite sessions start at midnight, last often till early morning hours, tickets are 10 PLN
All the concerts from Tempel Synagogue are transmitted live via streaming available on festival's website!

29.06. Frank London, Michael Winograd & Yaako Lemmer - Ahava Raba at Synagogue Tempel (8pm)
Gelada DJ Set - Bob Dylan & other jewish hippies  at Dajwor Quarter (8.30pm)
Frank London & La Mar Enfortuna - Midnite Session at Alchemia
We start with some classic sounds by the festival's omnipresent Frank Longon, Michael Winograd and kantor singer Yaako Lemmer. Alternatively you can listen to the dj set by Yaron Mandelovici. The night will end with more of Frank London and the exquisite La Mar Enfortuna.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 29.06-05.07 / Krakow Jewish Festival

The Summer has come (although it's a bit rainy at the moment), but the Summer Festivals has come. The main recommendation goes for the Krakow Jewish Festival and I'll outline some of the music schedule tomorrow. Below you can find some recommenations for musical events

01.03 Wójcinski / Szmanda Quartet at Piec'ART.
The Quartet boasts three Wojcinskis and one Szmanda - Szymon on piano, Maurycy on trumpet, Ksawery on bass and Pawel (the only Szmanda) on drums. A dark horse of the week - a concert that should not go unnoticed.

01.07 Elysian Fields at Alchemia
Straight from New York, melancholic rock from the band that started in the legendary Knitting Factory.

02.07 Rotem Sivan Trio at Piec'ART
For jazz guitar fans, Rotem Sivan sounds and his cohorts sound like a treat.

Starting 1st of July - 20th Summer Jazz Festival, with daily concerts in Pod Baranami and Harris Piano Jazz Bar. Of notice this week:

01.07 High Definition Quartet at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
03.07 NSI Quartet at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
04.07 Kuba Płuzet Trio at Harris Piano Jazz Bar

also, there's more for jazz guitar fans, a competition will be held between 01-04.07 (a tribute to late Jarek Smietana) with its grand finale Guitar Summit (featuring Mike Stern, John Abercrombie among others).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

25th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival - 1st week

This is the 25th edition of the Festival which has grown to be one of the most important cultural events in Krakow's yearly calendar, one of the biggest events dedicated to jewish culture (battling Jerusalem and New York for the title), is one of the most complex and complete experience, a total immersion into judaic world (concerts, lectures, films, museum tours, food, guests from all over the world) whose rich program fills up 10 days of activities and leads up to the grand finale, the Shalom concert, an multi-hour marathon of joy and music nicknamed Jewish Woodstock.

Ladies and Gentleman, below is a summary of the OFF part of the festival's program (first 4 days only!) which is focused on jewish traditional music in the prism of modern pop/indie/rock/jazz/electronica culture. I wholeheartedly invite the entire program - you'll bound to find something to your particular liking.

Apart from from the traditional main concerts in Tempel Synagogue and the Midnight Jam Sessions at Alchemia there are plenty of open air events (free admission) at new space called Kwartal - Quarter (Dajwor street, on the back fo the Old Synagogue).

25.06. MLDVA at Dajwor Kwartal (8.30 PM)
           Congo Beat The Drum (movie projection) (9.30 PM)
MLDVA is a live dj act the grooves freely mixing ethnic rhythms (klezmer, turkish, chasidic) with modern aesthetics of dub and trip-hop.
Congo Beat the Drum is a move that tells a story of two jewish musicians travelling to Jamaica to record their songs with local musicians. Klezmer meets reggae - sounds like a lot of fun.

26.06. Ori at Cheder Cafe (8 PM)
           OFF Radio Krakow - Only Vinyl Set with Daniel Drumz and Good Paul at Dajwor Quarter (8.30 PM)
           Teder Presents a night in Tel Aviv at Barka (10 PM)
Ori is an original songwriter, born in Jerusalem, living and working in Berlin. Eclectic and unorthodox, his music shows influences of folk, neo-soul, trip-hop and minimalism. Music for a peaceful dream.
For something slightly different and more upbeat you have two DJ events. Firstly a double set curated by OFF Radio Krakow, secondly a whole night party with some of Tel Aviv's greatest.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 22-28.06 / 25th Krakow Jewish Festival

The 25th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival starts this thurdsay, to which I'll dedicate a separate post tomorrow. Accordingly to one of the Murphy's laws, if there are two good parties this week they'll definitely be on the same day. Which is why you'll have to make some hard choices. Below the concert proposals for the upcoming days which are not festival-related.

23.06. King Ayisoba & Band at Klub RE
Straight from Ghana, King Ayisoba and his crew, with traditional rhythms and some modern twists. A must-see to anyone interested in world / roots music.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mike Parker Unified Theory - Embrace The Wild

Mike Parker's Unified Theory
Mike Parker - double bass
Dawid Fortuna - drums
Bartek Prucnal - alto saxophone
Slawek Pezda - tenor saxophone
Cyprian Baszczynski - trumpet

self-release 2014

New York is (supposedly) the jazz capital of the world. Krakow is (allegedly) the jazz capital of Poland. I won't discuss that now, just wanted to establish some connection :)
Mike Parker is a New Yorker who has been living in Krakow city for quite a while now and became a well-known and regular presence on jam sessions and variety of projects happening on the stages of city's few but active jazz clubs. 

"Embrace The Wild" is the second release under "Unified Theory" name, but the first one recorded in Krakow and it finds Mike teaming up with some of the young talents of Krakow/Poland jazz scene, to play a set of compositions that balance diversity of styles with the harmony of beautifully crafted melodic layers. 

Double Bass player usually hides somewhere in the back of the sound mix and stage. It takes discipline to be a bass player and lead the group. Now, this is a bass player's album, and bass stays often in the front, thankfully much in the way of Dave Holland or Charles Mingus, none of the flashy MM or SC stuff (you know who I mean). Mike Parker can keep the time in check with funky riffs and fill the bottom with the big sound or play the most melodic base in the 4 voice harmony, with trumpet and two saxes above. Parker's clearly well skilled on the instrument. But for me this is an album of Mike Parker - the composer.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 15-21.06

Brace yourself. Summer is coming. Which means there will be a plenty of open air concerts, festivals and other stuff around. We countdown till the next Krakow Jewish Culture Festival begins and right after that Warsaw Summer Jazz Days start with an very intriguing line-up. In the meantime...

18.06 Hot Tamales at Tak Było
For something completely/slightly different. A bluesy acoustic trio with soothing vocals, guitar and harp that has found much appreciation on a variety of blues festivals (including recent Bluesroads in Krakow) will meet you this thursday in Tak Bylo.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 08-14.06

Summer is coming. In the meantime...:)

09.06. Buka & Gase / Kubaterra at Betel Klub (GREEN ZOO Festival)
Green Zoo is possible one of the most intriguing musical events taking place in Krakow. Festival dedicated to the often unconventional, unnamed, underground, impossible to classify musical projects from the realms of indie electronica, rock, folk and more. BTW if you haven't done it yet - dig through Tiny Desk Concerts, there's some amazing crazy stuff there.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 1-7.06 Krakow Film Festival

In Poland 1st June is Child's Day so you better celebrate your inner child today or else... For example you can treat yourself to some live music this week. Or go see a movie during the Krakow Film Festival (which as usual has also the DocMusic section along with open-air cinema musical screenings and more!) (some updates added)

03.06. Mitch & Mitch with their Incredible Combo at Rotunda Plac Nowy (Krakow Film Festival).
A crazy cartoon band with Mitchy nicknames invented covers repertoire that plays some of the funniest concerts around. A mix of great musicianship with a abstract humour.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 26-31.05 + Film Music Festival (Update)

I skipped Monday, but without further delay I'd like to recommend you two events below for your musical reflection and entertainment this week. Enjoy.

(an important music event skipped my mind as I posted this first. Check out Film Music Festival's programme - you might find something to your liking).

27.05 Rishin Singh, Mateusz Węgrzyn and Konrad Gęca - Muzykoterapia series
Another installment of the Muzykoterapia concert series with three distinguished performers who operate in the field of impro, noise, electronica, audio performance, field recordings and all sorts of audio-video experiments. The performance will take place in Culture House at Mikolajska 2. Important Note - free entrance.

27-31.05 Krakow Film Music Festival
A treat for those who love movies and music and orchestras (mostly). The Festival will present among others, themes from Andrzej Wajda's movies (featuring Audiofeeling Trio), TV series and Video Games soundtracks and more. Check the details here: http://fmf.fm/

29.05 MLDVA at Cheder Cafe
MLDVA is a live act that will get you partying to the funkified far east rhythms. The evening is and introduction to the upcoming Krakow Jewish Festival and seems also like a great introduction to your weekend. Free entrance as well.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 16-24.05

I've skipped a week due to various circumstances, I hope you still caught some live music during the week. Either way, the following days will bring some extremely interesting concerts and I hope you won't miss them. The special recommendation goes to the two events in Alchemia.

16.05 Białoszewski with Mikrokolektyw and Patryk Zakrocki at Klub Re (Milosz Festival)
17.05 Andruchowycz and Karbido at Klub Re (Milosz Festival)
Poetry and music are always a strange yet endearing couple. Two nights in a row, we'll see the two beautiful arts meet on the stage for what is bound to be an emotional evening (given how powerfull Bialoszewski's poetry is and how intense Andruchowycz's recitation can be). Both concerts are part of the Festival dedicated to the late Czeslaw Milosz.

18.05 Charles Gayle / Ksawery Wojcinski / Klaus Kugel at Alchemia
Whether he wants it or not, Charles Gayle is now among the living legends of free jazz. Charles Gayle speaks the Truth. His trio with Ksawery and Klaus is an absolute must-see. Also, the trio will promote their new cd fresh out on ForTune Records.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 04-10.05

Long weekend was particularly short this year. Moreover there's no time to relax and this week schedule is basically overfilled with the great movie program of the Off Camera festival. Still there's always some worthy music to see.

06.05 D.R.A.G at Piec'ART
This is a quartet led by the violinist Dominika Rusinowska, featuring the talents of Matuesz Gaweda on piano, Jakub Mielcarek on bass, and Kuba Rusinowski on drums - a group that should bring some solid modern jazz to the stage.No videos available as for now but I've been told there'll soon be.

09.05. Nat Osborn Band in Alchemia
Soulful and funky style Straight from Brooklyn New York,. This concert seems like a great way to start Saturday night. Nat's tour band will feature Mike Parker, Damian Niewinski keeping the groove tight.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kraków Concert Schedule 27.04-03.05

The marathon continues as we have still two more concerts in the Starzy i Mlodzi Jazz Festival, a must-see concert in Alchemia, little something for something completely different and Unesco's international jazz day

27.04 PeGaPoFo at Sztuka (Starzy i Mlodzi Festival)
28.04  N.S.I Quartet at Szutka (Starzy i Mlodzi Festival)
The presentation of young jazz scene, both bands already

28.04 Atomic at Alchemia
Amazing quintet from Scandinavia that combines the free spirit and respect for tradition, infinitely classy free jazz combo that has gone a long way since their early years.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kraków Concert Schedule 21.04 - 28.04

I'll cross the week line with this one but it's impossible to cut the list short of Monday and Tuesday concerts. Thanks to Starzy i Mlodzi czy Jazz w Krakowie and rugular activity be venues like Alchemia and Piec'ART we have a very busy days ahead of us.

21/22.04 Gorilla Mask at Piec'ART
Under this intriguing name hides a trio made by Peter Van Huffel on sax, Roland Fidezius on bass and Rudi Fischerlerner. The trio promises a free jazz, punk and metal mix.

7th Lublin Jazz Festival invitation

There's plenty of happening in Krakow this week due to the Starzy i Mlodzi Jazz Festival which will be covered on the blog in a more detailed way.

Before I pass to that I'd like to invite you as well to Lublin Jazz Festival, I have some very fond memories of it's edition few years back (documented on the blog as well). The festival has a very intriguing line-up including the dynamic scandinavian unit Atomic, the funkiest band I've ever seen live The Apples or Jazzpospolita playing the material from the masterpiece of polish jazz "Winobranie" by Zbigniew Namysłowski (who will appear himself as well).

more on the festival's website.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kraków Concert Schedule 13-19.04

Clear your schedules this week for those couple of events. A lot of good music is coming your way.

14.04 Daisy / Dickaty / Wojcinski Trio at Alchemia
I'm having very high hopes for this one. Tim Daisy has been one of the top drummers of the busy Chicago free jazz scene and has visited Alchemia plenty of times. Ray Dickaty is one of the strongholders of Warsaw improvising scene,a true activist of free music. Ksawery Wojcinski's lays the bass foundation like few others, Charles Gayle's bass player of choice.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 07-12.04

Welcome back after Ester break, hope you're all ready for the spring to come (hopefully soon). The main event of the week is the Harris Piano Jazz Bar birthday nights but some other suggestions are present below

9/10/11.04 Pawel Kaczmarczyk Directions In Music - 18th Birthday celebration for Harris Piano Jazz Bar.

Harris Piano Jazz Bar has come of age. Kaczmarczyk's Directions In Music is a conceptual series of concerts in which the pianist pays tribute to some of the major figures in music history, each tribute features a different band usually with an acclaimed guest starring for the tributed hero.

9.04 Tribute to Thelonious Monk (with Radek Nowicki, Andrzej Swies and Jacek Kochan)
10.04 Tribute to Frank Sinatra (with Marcin Jajkiewicz on vocal, Tomasz Grzegorski, Andrzej Swies and Arek Skolik)
11.04 Tribute to Zbigniew Seifert (with Matusz Smoczynski, Vitold Rek and Krzysztof Dziedzic)

10.04 Stardust Memories at Alchemia
For Something Completely Different. The band that calls their music "space folk" or "dark country" which seems to capture their melancholic spirit quite well.

12/13.04 Jacques Kuba Seguin "Litania Project" at Piec'ART
Canadian trumpet player with a lyrical sound will led a quartet for two nights. The band merges modern jazz with european traditions.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 30.03-05.04

Well, a week before Easter is usually not the busiest one concert-wise but something can be found for your ears.

01.04 Mike Parker's Trio Theory at Tak Było
Mike Parker, Frank Parker and Sławek Pezda are a hard swinging modern jazz trio. The well-established groove along with some free bit of madness by Sławek Pezda should provide for a great concert. If you only want to see one gig this week, I believe this should be the one.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 23-29.03

A Murphy's law applied - if there are two parties this week, they will both take place on the same day in possibly distant locations. 26.03 is a bit of a conundrum.

26.03 Jachna / Buhl at Piekny Pies
Trumpet - drums duo with a handful of electronics courtesy of Wojtek Jachna and Jacek Buhl. Cinematic and minimal, jazzy and experimental, psychodelic, surreal. Upon its 4th release the duo's music still holds many surprises.

26.03 The Fuse at Alchemia
The Fuse is a Krakow - based group that is soulful and groovy and, by my standards, should have become already crazy popular, mostly thanks to the brilliant vocal by Agnieszka Sienkowska. This is music that cheers you up and sends a positive vibe.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 16-22.03

Relax, go for a walk, ride a bike, see a movie - spring is coming! Also, not too many concerts happening this week.

20.03 Check The Groove vol. 11 - Wake Up & Superficial at Alchemia
Check The Groove is a party cycle with a lot of funk beats and vinyl scratches. A great way indeed to start your weekend with some dance moves.

22.03 Tara Minton & Tristan McCoppin at Alchemia (part of II Harp Days Festival)
There are few sounds as that of harp's strings. A special harp-duo from Australia seem to be good way to end your weekend with some chillout smooth tunes.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 09-15.03

It's almost spring time, so  stay strong, drink juice, eat fruits and listen to some live music (I don't know how but it makes sense right?).

09.03 Marcin Banaszek "Stations of the Cross" at Akademia Muzyczna
A classic piano trio led by young Marcin Banaszek with Patryk Wszołek on bass and Patryk Dobosz on drums with a composition dedicated to the biblical theme. Starts at 7pm, free entrance.

11.03 Jacek Kochan & Co at Piec'ART
Jacek Kochan is an internationally recognised drummer, a great band-leader, a composer interested in the marriage of acoustic and electronic. This edition of Company will feature the promising talents of Mateusz Gaweda on piano, Bartek Prucnal on alto sax and Michał Kapczuk on bass.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 02-08.03

You may take the first days of the week to gather stretgth, the weekend is going to be lege -wait for it -ndary. Also becasue there's a BeerWeek festival coming, but that's another point :)

05.03 Surreal Players at Piec'ART 
Magda Pluta on cello and Krystian Jaworz on piano. Cinematic, chamber, passionate music. Especially recommended to those in love with majestic sound of cello.

06.03 The Flash! at Alchemia
The Flash! is getting some steady public in Krakow reaffirming it's position as one of the most dynamic, energetic stage trios. Madness, jazz, punk, funk will start your weekend with a blast.

07.03 Kaczmarczyk / Skolias - Directions in Music: Ray Charles at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
Directions in Music is a project led by Pawel Kaczmarczyk designed to honor some of the greatest in music history, each edition featueres a different line-up and a special guest, the one dedicated to Ray Charles is clearly, and rightfully, the audience favourite and will make another appearance in Harris coming Saturday.

08.03 Ladies Jazz Night at Piec'ART
Ladies will rule the stage. Special concert on the occasion of Ladies Day at Piec with Dominika Rusinowska on violin, Paulina Atmanska on piano, Monika Muc on alto saxophone, Kamila Drabek - bass, Wiktoria Jakubowska - drums.

08.03 Gorzycki & Dobie at Alchemia
Rafal Gorzycki, a versatile drummer, memeber of such groups like Sing Sing Penelope, Maestro Trytony or Ecstasy Project has finished his duo triptych with a "Nothing" cd recorded with idiosyncratic guitarist Jan Dobie, a frequent visitor in Poland since the birth of famous yass movement. The duo embarks on a tour to promote the cd and fortunately Krakow has made the cut.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 23.02-01.03

Take the monday off, starting tomorrow the week is pretty busy.

24.02 Peter Brotzmann, Steve Swell and Paal Nilssen-Love at Alchemia
Three giants of free jazz scene. Three generations (33 years of difference between them). Three masters of their instruments. Not for the faint of heart - this should be a fiery adventure.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 16-22.02

What a weekend has it been - Mardi Grass (actually, in Poland it's done on Thursday), Friday the 13th, Valentine's Day - a three-peat of sorts. Anyway, below the concert suggestions for the following week. Stay tuned.

17.02 Surreal Players in Alchemia
For a change of pace and to sooth your soul. Piano - cello duo that merges classical and folk traditions, just a hint of jazz. The cello sound is truly majestic.

18.02 The Flash! in Piec'ART
One of my favourite concert bands of recent - punk, free jazz, funky anarchy - if you haven't seem them yet, here's your chance.

19.02 D R A G in Piec'ART
A very intriguin line-up with Dominika Rusinowska on violin, Matuesz Gaweda on piano, Jakub Mielcarek on bass and Jacek Rusinowski on drums. They cite McCoy Tyner, Zbigniew Seifert, Eric Dolphy or Matthew Shipp as their main inspirations for the band - sounds good to me.

21.02 HiQ at Galeria i!
HiQ (read: haiku) is a an audio-video experimental unit with some of the Cracow's finest improvisers. In this edition of the project will perform: Rafal Mazur, Michal Dymny, Alek Janicki, Tomek Choloniewski, Marianna Janicka, Michal Gorzyca. The concert will introduce a picture exhibition by Alek Janicki.

21.02 Red Bull Thre3style - first semi-finals of international DJs competition.
Party night at Forum Przestrzenie. Six DJs will compete to get to the national finals that will take place in Poznan on 14.03 (international final will take in Tokyo). The Jury for the evening, as well as in-house DJs for the after-competition party will be Mr Krime, Falcon1 and DJ Twister.

21.02 Albert Vila Quartet in Harris Piano Jazz Bar
22.02 Albert Vila Quartet in Piec'ART
Two concerts with Albert Vila who I am not familiar with but the samples I've checked (like the one below) sound quite promising as far as contemporary guitar jazz goes (especially given the fact I rarely like it). Plus a very intriguing line-up surrounding the leader - Dominik Wania on piano, Alan Wykpisz on bass and Dawid Fortuna on drums - all three among the most active young musicians on polish scene.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 9-15.02

The first half of the next week you get to stay lazy but for the latter half, if you stay home, you'll miss some great live music.

12.02 Parker / Parker / Pezda Trio at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
Mike Parker on bass, Frank Parker on drums and Slawek Pezda on sax - that's high energy trio.

12.02 Plug Trio at Piec'ART
Plug Trio are Kuba Pluzek, Kuba Dworak and Patryk Dobosz - all three among the most active and talented musicians of young generation in Krakow.

14.02 Ennio Morricone at Krakow Arena
Ennio Morricone is celebrating 50 years of work. I admit the ticket's prices (350 zl and up) are rather discouraging but I have no doubt those who will be in Krakow Arena on the night will find the evening most memorable.

15.02 Pawel Kaczmarczyk Audiofeeling Trio - Bday concert at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
Best Birthday wishes to Pawel Kaczmarczyk - Sunday night you'll be able to pass the wishes yourself while listening to some good music.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 02-08.02

I haven't posted this sooner mainly because I was hoping something else would come along. You can be lazy this week or go to see movies (Birdman - very recommended). I see only one musical event that caught my eye:

07.02 Skalpel (support Kfjatek and Mr Krime) at Fabryka
Skalpel is an electronic ensemble that made huge impact on the scene few years back (a decade actually) and put Poland and Polish Jazz series on the map. Their concert at Fabryka with the strong support by Kfjatek and Mr Krime should be a party to remember.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 26.02-01.02

A very good weekend is over, there's not much going on during the next few days, but you should look forward for the next weekend in Krakow.Not only it's weekend and it's in Krakow so it's good by definition but it offers some good live music for the creative jazz hungry ears.

30.01 The Flash! at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
The energetic and crazy trio is back for another rocking night.

01.02 HRH Trio at Piec'ART
I remember Mateusz Rybicki on clarinet from jam sessions in Wroclaw during the Jazztopad festival and he made a very strong impression - adventurous and energetic player. HRH Trio is an international ensemble with Rybicki, Lennard Heynelds on bass (Belgium) and Samuel Hall on drums (Australia).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 19-25.01

I've skipped the duty of the annual "top of 2014" polls since I don't believe I've covered the past year closely enough. Polish readers can find a short essay and random thoughts I launched on www.jazzarium.pl  and I invite everyone to have a quick view at El Intruso's poll which will definitely hold some great "to listen" suggestions.
Let's get now to the next concert schedule, not much to start the week but the weekend will be beautiful :)

22.01 Mikrokolektyw & Noel Akchote at Klub RE
Mikrokolektyw has long been one of the most original and most internationally appreciated polish improvising groups. Melodic compositions, original mixture of acoustic and electronic (old school) sounds, boundless immagination. The duo will be joined by exquisite improviser Noel Akchote once again.

23.01 Healatone Trio plays "A Trip to Mars" at Piekny Pies
Helatone are Bartek Kapsa on drums, Kamil Pater on guitar (both from, among other projects, Contemporary Noise Sextet) and Thomas Kolarczyk on double bass (Tone Raw). They will play music along a 1918 danish movie "A Trip To Mars". A sci-fi movie about alien race from 1918 and free jazz music along it? If that doesn't sound cool, I don't know what does.

24.01 Wovoka at Piekny Pies
Wovoka's debut album was in my definite top of 2013 thanks to its hypnotizing mix of root blues and native american music, psychodelic rock - Wovoka's music is devilishly sensual and religiously passionate. The band is back (finally!) with a new cd and they are rocking the stages on the tour.

25.01 Swingin' Dance Nights at Tak Było
A time travel back into the years of good style and joyful smile. With Kuba Pluzek (piano), Szymon Mika (guitar) and Kuba Dworak (bass).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Krakow Concert Schedule 11-18.01

Christmas and New Year's Eve time is over and we go back to out weekly concert schedule, starting from tonight. We'll start slowly but the next week we'll increase the pace.

11.01 Tomasz Dabrowski solo at Piec'ART
Dabrowski is one of the most recognizable voices of the young polish jazz scene, he'll be celebrating his 30th birthday with 30 solo concerts in 30 cities, I'm glad Krakow made the cut.

13.01 The Flash at Piec'ART
The Flash trio, awarded recently on the Jazz Juniors Competition, is a dynamic trio that will punk, jazz and rock'n'roll the house.

and some electronica early kick-off for your weekend:

15.01 Koeju with Swingin' Blue at Tak Było
Electro duo with swinging ensemble - sounds like a party.

16.01 Koeju & guests at Alchemia
Once again the eclectic club duo and some other guests.

16.01 Rococo Rot at Klub RE
A farewell tour by a band that mixes indie, post, ambient, minimal rock and electronica.

17.01 Kinior at Simple Free at Dali's Club
Wlodzimierz Kiniors is a powerfull tone sax player that represents the polish avant jazz from the time when there was virtually none to talk about. With Rafal Mazur and Kuba Rutkowski they will definitely have some fun on the stage.