Michał Kulenty (Poland)
The chronicle of former Festivals
About Christian Culture Festival
Christian Culture Festival was organized for the first time in 1997 on 10th Anniversary of the Logos Theatre. In a sense, it extends the idea of Christian Culture Weeks organized in Poland in 70s and 80s of the last century, which were to become counterpoise to lay media model promoted by the State. Lodz Christian Culture Days were organized in churches all around the city, so as to accommodate the artists, spectacles, exhibitions and projections.
One of such places was the John Paul lecture theatre in the vault of the Assumption of Holy Mother Church in Kościelna Street. This is where the Logos Theatre started, before it was moved to the church in Maria Skłodowska-Curie. It was this church that Archbishop Władysław Ziółek gave to the Lodz artists in 1993, and in which the Centre of Creative Communities’ of Lodz Archdiocese was appointed. It is here that the ‘logistic’ centre of the Festival is located, and where some of the Festival events take place.
Traditionally, the Festival takes place in November, on the first Sunday after All Soul’s Day. It usually lasts for two weeks, during which various event take place – spectacle premiers, other theatres come to Lodz, there are exhibitions of invited artists, performances of choirs and musicians, very often not to be seen anywhere else in Poland at any other time. The Festival programme is the result of the whole year’s work of rev. Waldemar Sondka, the Festival Director, who – using his contacts – invites artists who are interesting, out of the ordinary, noteworthy and creating art perhaps not always religious, but always searching and at the highest level. Care for the level of the Festival offers is a permanent rule, the Logos environment has always wished to provide the Lodz citizens with the possibility of contact with art deprived of parochialism, open to the man and as perfect formally as possible.
The Festival is not an activity that brings profit. Any entrance cards are issued as invitations that are free of charge, and the team of the Logos Theatre and all the people engaged in the Festival organization, act as volunteers. This does not mean that Christian Culture Festival costs nothing. On the contrary, to organize such a cultural event at appropriate level is always connected with costs. Rev. Waldemar Sondka deals with organizing means to secure the Festival events all year round. He manages to gain sponsors (without whom the Festival would not exist) and subsidies from institutions that deal with funding culture (without which the Festival could not develop). All that in order to realize the basic idea of the event that derived from the Lodz Christian Culture Days – to enable anyone who wishes and needs that, to live the Mystery through art. This idea assumes a free of charge participation in all the artistic events, which has been the case since the very beginning of the Festival until today, the only condition is that on the day of the Festival opening, one must queue as long as it takes to get invitations. The only limit to the number of invitations is the capacity of rooms in which the events are organized every day throughout the two weeks of the Festival.
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XX Christian Culture Festival in Lodz
6th — 20th November 2016
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Michał Kulenty programme is anticommercial, uncompromising and trully Polish. It appeals to basic for any Pole values, such as knights’ and evangelic virtues.
“Honor” is the title of one of many compositions of Kulenty. There are “Echa przeszłości”, “Latarnik na placówce”, “Z dalekiego kraju”, but also “Szarość codzienna”, “Wyrzeczenia”, “Prostota zdobi”, “Od zawsze i na wieki”, “3x Tak — w myśli, w mowie, w sercu”, that is — "Poważna sprawa — Nadzieja".
This programme is “Sprawa Polska”, “Tempora nostra”, it’s simply “Dusza w uszach"... “Przebudzenie” and not only that. In Assumption, everything should break the tradition of chanelling Poland into a Barrow statement of a poor, weak country somewhere far East of civilisation, where there are only Chopin’s Polonez As-dur and three poems by Mickiewicz. There are no complexes in this notion, nor is there any regret. There is self-belief and a spiritual power of a nation.
Polish culture could be our export good only when it is really Polish. Enough of that copying foreign patterns. The world culture seeks some fresh breeze. And us… Let’s grow some healthy looking, young forest here.
“Serious matter” — is a series of pieces composed by my for the sake of a very specific project.
It is an attempt to break free from our perpetual inability to do anything, our parochialism and poverty. The programme is to go out to the world with new and not trivial, but characteristic suggestion that contains a massive amount of emotion, but at the same time is light and easy for everyone who is sensitive. It is possible. Reactions of my faithful fans are the evidence of that.
I have many times observed situations in which Poland was represented by someone mediocre, or someone who tried to mock some star recognized worldwide. In this situation, success is absolutely out of the question, because the whole world goes in totally opposite direction, looking for some new sound, new medium.
(Saxophones, piano, flutes and recorders, clarinet, folk instruments)
Born in 1956, graduated from two universities: Warsaw University (Polish Philology) and Music Academy in Warsaw (classical saxophone). On the one hand, he cooperates with symphony orchestras (including the National Philharmonic) and plays solo concerts. On the other hand, he works for major big bands and jazz combos. He has extensive studio experience, has made lots (over 40 CD’s) of various recording sessions (not only jazz).
Mr. Kulenty is known as a film and theatre music composer. He performed at contemporary music festivals (such as Aspekte Salzburg) toured Japan with Yo Yo Ma and was involved in lots of jazz events. For a few years he has been a consultant on music programs of the Polish Radio as an active composer and advisor.
He has made a career as an outstanding music educationalist, teaching jazz and classical saxophone to many students all over Poland. In 1989, he formed a quartet with which he recorded two records of his music: Poland 1990 and Voice at The Crossroads 1996. He has now his own followers and faithful followers.
Mr. Kulenty`s multifaceted personality is well known, but there are also distinctive signs of his artistic personality. „Saxophone poet, Polish Garbarek” — critics write about him, pointing to the personal style of the artist. Kulenty is a composer really responsive to the beauty of Polish folk music. He is also a skillful saxophonist (from ocarina, through sets of various flutes, and almost the full number of saxes). Soprano, tenor and grand piano seem to be his basic instruments. Music that he creates comes from the borderland of jazz, folk and church music — simple sung themes and rich, contemporary harmony — an unusual combination of emotion and form.
His compositions have a well-contrived formal structure — of many parts, themes, polyphony and differentiating rhythmical structures — but at the same time, you can really feel in them — an evangelic simplicity. Lately he has started a series of concerts in churches with rich acoustic facilities. He cooperates with choirs and orchestras playing church music — this activity plays The composer cannot be pigeonholed in one stylistic category, but he has his own, well recognizable, style. He works with famous soloists and folk bands. One of his productions is the record Elevation that was recorded with a well-known mountaineers’ band Trebunie Tutki.
Michał Kulenty is open towards the world of all cultures. He used to play and record with musicians from a few continents. He performed in many countries of Europe and the world, taking part in lots of experimental music sessions. His music is tied to Chopin’s native soil and Polish folklore, both saturated with jazz stylistics. So is his latest work — a new record Message — duo with Marcin Masecki on the piano. His borderland music, however, structurally intricately constructed — finds easy perception and easily communicates with the world of national spirit.
Pianist, arranger, composer, conductor and record producer. He is one of very few in our country, with such possibilities and with such achievements. He is successful when dealing with jazz and pop, but is also one of the most appreciated and sought after orchestra and big-band arrangers. A graduate from Budgoszcz Music Academy (1993) in the piano class of Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń (teacher of Rafał Blechacz), co-worker of operating in Germany, Yehudi Menuhin Fund “Live Music Now”, laureate of International Jazz Improvisation Festival in Katowice in 1993, Jazz Juniors 1989, “Key to Career” in Pomorska Jesień Jazzowa 1990, Prize of Bydgoszcz Mayor 2005, Prize of Gazeta Wyborcza “Feliks 2006"; owner of five golden records for the arranger ( “Intymnie” by Ryszard Rynkowski, “Ladies”, “Sentiments” by Ewa Małas Godlewska, “ID” by Anna Maria Jopek, “Nic Nie Muszę” by Edyta Geppert ).
He recorded over 100CDs, including seven of his own: “Chopin”, “Being confused”, “Seriale, seriale”, “Almost after”, “Dancing flowers”, “Live in Tygmont”, “Belcanto semplice” (nominated to Fryderyk 2009), “Fantazja na tematy IV Kwartetu Grażyny Bacewicz". He has prepared over 1000 scores for chamber and symphonic orchestras , together with big-bands and jazz bands.
He gave concerts with the most exceptional chamber musicians: Jadwiga Kotnowska, Vadim Brodski, Wojtek Mrozek, Royal String Q., Prima Vista, Camerata quartets.
He was a pianist in quartets of sax players of J. Ptaszyn Wróblewski and Janusz Muniak. Between 1997-2001, he played in the band of Zbigniew Namysłowski. He worked almost in all major jazz start in Poland and abroad, gave concerts in Canada, the USA, Mexico, India and in most of European countries. He co-operated as the pianist and arranger at Song Festivals in Opole and Sopot, he was a music director of TV programmes: “Tata Show” in TVP I, 3rd editio of “Idol”, “Jak oni śpiewają” in TV Polsat, “MC2 Maszyna czasu Manna i Materny” and “MaMa” in TVP II; He was a music director of musicals “Pięciu Braci Moe” at the Roma Theatre inWarsaw and “Na końcu tęczy” in the Cracow Stu Theatre, he was an orchestra conductor and the artistic director of gala TV concerts and prestigious outdoor events (Fama, Teraz Polska, Polskie Orły, Papal Concerts in Plac Zamkowy, Gala at the 80th anniversary of Polish Radio at the Grand Opera House in Warsaw, Gala at the 10th anniversary of Polsat Fund at the Roma Theatre, Gala at the opening of Polina Olympic Games in Plac Zamkowy in Warsaw, Gala at the 90th anniversary of ZAIKS at the Roma Theatre in Warsaw, etc)
He composed music for “Kilka fotografii” — a film by Marcin Pieczonka, composed orchestral music of J. Stokłosa for musicals “Piotruś Pan” and “Romeo and Juliet”, also music of A.P. Kaczmarek for the film “Finding Neverland” (Oscar 2005 !!), music of Grzegorz Daroń for films such as “Pierwszy milion”, “6 dni strusia”, music of Henri Seroka for the film “U Pana Boga w ogródku” and a TV series “Halo Hans”, Robert Janson for the film “Świadectwo”, Adam Skorupa for the film “Kinematograf”, Tomasz Gąssowski for the film “Miasto z morza”. He is also the author of music for TV commercials: AIG, Hochland, Soki Kubuś, Fundacja TVN.
In March 2009, there was a premiere of a “Narracje” concert on saxophone and orchestra in Katowice, played by Jerzy Główczewski and NOSPR orchestra. At the turn of 2009 and 2010, Herdzin is planning to make a record with Siunfonia Varsovia and soloists Waldemar Malicki, Jadwiga Kotnowska in premiere, monographic and classic repertoire.
He is the composer of the first In Poland officially chosen Music Logo. Between the years 2006-2008 he led a broadcast “Kalambury z partytury” in Radio Jazz.
Cezary Konrad – a drummer, composer, arranger, a graduate of the Academy of Music by the name of Fr.Chopin in Warsaw, Poland in a Professor’s Stanisław Skoczyński drummer class.The best Polish drummer continuously since 1992 year — who held the first place in the Jazz Top rating “the best drummer category” according to the polish, leading monthly jazz magazine called “Jazz Forum”.
At the end of his “classical studies” — he devoted himself to Jazz music, and he started to gain his first meaningful successes as a co-founder of the “Central Heating Trio” (1989, with a pianist Filip Wojciechowski), with whom Cezary held First prize on the Jazz Juniors Festival 1990 year in Cracow / Poland and First prize on the “Jazz Seashore Autumn — the Key to the Career” in Gorzow / Poland in 1991 year. The above-mentioned Trio was also the finalist of the following international jazz competitions in 1990 year: “IX European Jazz Competition” in Leverkusen/Germany and “the Europe Jazz Contest” Hoeliard /Belgium.
In 1995 year Cezary Konrad recording his first co-author CD with guitarist woman from Germany: Susan Weinert — „Meeting in Krakow” — published in 1996 year. In 1995 year he established his first group : “Cezary Konrad Quartet”, with whom in 1999 year he is recording his first author CD — „One mirror… many reflections” — published in 2000 year. The music of this CD referring to the achievements of Allan Holdsworth style and the bands Tribal Tech as well as Yellow Jackets.Those CD was recorded with the band consists of: Darek Krupa (guitars), Piotr Żaczek: (electric bass, fretless bass), Marek Podkowa (tenor sax, EWI), Leszek Możdżer (acoustic and electric piano), Zbigniew Jakubek (keyboards).
After a long co-operation with the polish famous female vocalist — Anna Maria Jopek lasting up to 1998, in 2005 there becomes a new artist musical project : ‘Cezary Konrad ‘ the NEW BAND’, which the first band consists of : Krzysztof Herdzin (electric piano), Paweł Pańta (electric bass, contrabass), Marek Podkowa (saxophones). In last year Cezary Konrad (CK) was collaborated with the following bands: Włodek Pawlik Trio (in consist of: Włodek Pawlik, Paweł Pańta, CK), Krzysztof Herdzin Trio (in consist of: Krzysztof Herdzin, Zbigniew Wegehaupt, CK), and since March’2007 he was co-created: Andrzej Kurylewicz Trio (in consist of: A. Kurylewicz, Paweł Pańta, CK).
Besides the above-mentioned musicians — Cezary Konrad was performed and recorded with many excellent Persons of the polish jazz, among others Leszek Możdżer, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko and with foreign famous Musicians, i.e.: Karrin Allyson, Randy Brecker, Deborah Brown, Mino Cinelu, Joe de Franco, Volker Greve, Gary Guthman, Omar Hakim, Paul Imm, Didier Lockwood, Pat Metheny, Nippy Noya, Susan Weinert.
Since 2006 year Cezary Konrad performs also solo concerts, which during he presents his audiences “magic world” of drummer kits in different configuration sets — to manner spectacular unusually. The solo concerts project it is explained from many years experiences of Cezary as a staff member and lecturer at numerous music workshops in Poland and Europe as well.
Among many awards and honorable mentions of Cezary Konrad — they deserve note: “Mateusz” Award by the name of Mateusz Święcicki conceded by the Polish Radio, III Chanel and Grant a Scholarship by the name of Christopher Komeda conceded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art, and last time Honorable Mentions for the Best Drums Musician‘2006 and 2007 in the category “Drummer of Jazz / Latin / Funk” in the readers’ rating of the polish, leading drums magazine called “TopDrummer”.
Cezary Konrad has taken part in the recording of more then 80 albums. He collaborates with the Warsaw Percussion Group and the Polish Radio and TV Orchestra.
Graduate from singing class of Ewa Mentel, PhD, at the Department of Jazz and Entertainment Music of Music Academy in Katowice. Between 2000 and 2006 he co-operated with Roma Music Theatre in Warsaw. At the same time, he is also a successful vocalist, who takes part in interesting projects of famous artists: Ewa Bem, John Lord (Deep Purple), Krzysztof Herdzin, Katarzyna Groniec or Krzysztof Kiljański.
August 2006 sees the Project entitled Tribute to Andrzej Zaucha, the idea of Jacek Kotlarski himself. The project is successfully introduced at Pod Protestem in Poznań. Currently, he is preparing his first solo album, where music was written together with Tomek Szymuś, produced by Krzysztof Herdzin.
Michał Barański was born in 1984. He graduated from Jazz Department of Music Academy In Katowice. As a 14-year old he was noticed at music workshops by an American clarinet player, Brad Terry. Together with a pianist Mateusz Kołakowski and a drummer Tomasz Torres, they joined Terry’s quartet, giving numerous concerts in the USA and getting their experience at the very heart of jazz.
He is a Grand Prix laureate, which he received at the 40th Jazz nad Ordą Festival in the playing band category. He also received the main prize of Swinging Raven at the 3td Hot Jazz Spring in Częstochowa and the Jazz Angel at Jazz Blizzard in 2005. Together with Trilogy (M. Kołakowski piano, Tomasz Torres drums), he was 4th at the International Jazz Band Contest Jazz Hoeliaart in Belgium. A laureate of two Fryderyk rewards for “Assymetry” by Z. Namysłowski and “Umiera Piękno” by Aga Zaryan. A winner of a questionnaire in Jazz Forum for the bass double bass player of 2008.
He performer at the Knitting Factory in New York, at Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Vail Jazz Festival in Colorado, at Berklee Performance Center in Boston. He co-operates with the American and Polsih jazz players, Bennie Maupin, Nigel Kennedy, Roger Kellaway, William Galison, Zbigniew Namysłowski,Tomasz Stańko, Piotr Baron, Janusz Muniak, Grzegorz Nagórski, Joachim Mencel, Maciej Sikała, Jose Torres, Aga Zaryan, Kuba Badach, Mieczysław Szcześniak, and a rock formation Mate.o, Natalia Niemen and New Life M, and gospel choir Trzecia Godzina Dnia.