Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Poland -- Jazz Suite Based on Jewish Heritage

Tykocin synagogue. Photo (c) R. E. Gruber

Damn! It is so difficult to keep up with all the developments related to Jewish culture and heritage... I just learned, well after the fact, of something I missed at the time -- a jazz suite called "Jazz Suite Tykocin" composed by Polish jazz musician Wlodek Pawlik as part of a Jazz Inspirations from Jewish Cultural Heritage project. It had its premiere last summer in Tykocin, in eastern Poland near Bialystok, where a massive 17th century synagogue was restored in the 1970s and serves as a Jewish museum -- Pawlik and his group performed the suite in the synagogue.

The suite has been released on CD -- here's what the newsletter of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews says about it:

Jazz Suite Tykocin which was recorded within the ‘Jazz Inspirations of Jewish Cultural Heritage’ project is on sale. The album was produced by the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic and the Radio Phonographic Agency. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is one of the partners of the project.

Jazz Suite Tykocin is the latest musical project from Włodek Pawlik. The album, widely acclaimed by music critics for its originality, is a six-piece composition inspired by the Psalms of David. The music is a combination of jazz with classical music and orchestral jazz. Włodek Pawlik wrote the Suite with the thought in mind of Randy Brecker, the American jazz trumpet player, whose family comes from Tykocin. The first performance of the suite took place on 4th of July in the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Concert Hall in Białystok. The recording was made between July 5-7 with the participation of Randy Brecker, the Włodek Pawlik Trio with Włodek Pawlik – piano, Paweł Pańta – double bass and Cezary Konrad – percussion and the Symphony Orchestra of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic under Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski.

You can here a YouTube clip of the synagogue concert by clicking HERE.

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