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fot. Michał Ramus

Muzykanci / Poland

The legends of the Polish folk scene are still in top shape! The band Muzykanci was founded in 1997. It quickly became a sensation on the Polish music scene. Its members were equally successful at playing at weddings, rural community centres and prestigious concert halls throughout Poland and Europe.

They were involved in organising folk dance workshops, as well as playing concerts and recording music. Their performance at the Polish Radio New Tradition Festival in 1999 brought them the Grand Prix. A few months later, they also won the competition for Folk Phonogram of the Year with their debut album Muzykanci – one of the most important discs in the history of Polish folklore. In the following years, they released recordings of arrangements of Polish folk music as well as Lemko, Slovakian, Jewish and Hungarian themes. One of these was the album A na onej górze, which continued the themed that began on their first record. The next release – Gore gwiazda – brought traditional Christmas carols and pastorals, while Muzykanci i Hradišťan was a studio and live album, recorded in the Czech Republic with Jiří Pavlica’s Moravian group.

Their new album, eagerly anticipated by many fans, will premiere during this year's Crossroads Festival. It will be a two-disc album: one with new studio material, the other with a concert recorded by the BBC as part of WOMEX in Budapest. 

The band is among the precursors of sound based on acoustic instruments and drawing directly on the folk model. This plus great stage expression, performance dynamism, excellent vocal parts – sung in harmonies – still emphasises to the originality and attractiveness of the group's works. Today, Muzykanci is one of the greatest concert attractions on the folk scene. Join us for a journey through time and space, following in the footsteps of countryside musicians, Roma caravans and klezmer bands.

In recent years, they have performed more often in countries other than Poland, twice as gusts of the prestigious WOMAD festival (UK and Chile), the WOMEX music fair, as well as the most important world music and ethno festivals, including in Chile, Korea and India. As part of the EtnoKrakow/Crossroads festival, Muzykanci will perform a special twentieth anniversary concert. Coming together on stage will be not just two married couples, but also the Hałas and Słowiński families, since the artists will be accompanied by their children.

Joanna Słowińska – vocals, violin
Jan Słowiński – viola, basolia, vocals
Stanisław Słowiński – violin
Zofia Słowińska – vocals
Alicja Hałas – drum, gordon
Jacek Hałas – vocals, accordion, hurdy-gurdy
Julia Hałas – xylophone
Antoni Hałas – cello
Jonasz Hałas – trumpet
Jakub Hałas – button accordion

The concert took place in 2018.