Anawa (pron. 'Anava') is a Polish musical group founded in Krakow in 1966, active on and off again until the early 1990s. The group has changed members several times through the years. Best known as the backup band for vocalist Marek Grechuta, it was one of the most interesting examples of European progressive rock in the mid-1970s.
Founded in December 1966 by pianist Jan Kanty-Pawluśkiewicz and vocalist Marek Grechuta, Anawa was originally the house band at the student cabaret at the Technology Architecture Department of Kraków University of. Its early compositions received awards at the Student Song Festival in 1967, with a debut album that followed in 1970. The 1971 album Korowód (Eng. Procession), with its rich arrangements that meld influences from various musical genres, is still considered one of the most original and inspiring Polish pop music releases ever.
The band suspended its activities after parting ways with Grechuta in late 1971. The bass player from the first two albums, Jacek Ostaszewski, went on to head the avant-garde and world music group Ossjan, while the guitar player from the same two albums, Marek Jackowski, moved on to the equally important new wave group Maanam.
Jan Kanty-Pawluśkiewicz reactivated the group with an almost completely new lineup in mid-1973. In December 1973, the band recorded the LP Anawa with vocals by poets Leszek Aleksander Moczulski and Ryszard Krynicki sung by Andrzej Zaucha. The complex concept album, based primarily on acoustic instruments, was not appreciated at the time of its release. Years later, however, it is acclaimed as an outstanding record that was exceptional in the context of European progressive or experimental rock of the time.
In 1976, during work on the musical Szalona lokomotywa / The Crazy Locomotive, Anawa began to work with Marek Grechuta once again and continued through 1994.
The band's founder Jan Kanty-Pawluśkiewicz left the group in 1980.
Author: Maciej Sienkiewicz, July 2010.
Translated by: Jerzy Kamecki, July 2010.