WUJek Festival - Jazz Underground in Warsaw

Three innovative bands performing at this year's edition of the WUJek Festival, blasting stereotypes about jazz music and the right formula for songwriting

The WUJek Festival (Warszawski Underground Jazzowy - Warsaw Jazz Underground) aims to bring the most interesting independent improvisational bands from Warsaw to audiences looking for a fresher sound. All three bands at this year's one-day event experiment with the musical form across jazz, rock and avant garde, demonstrating an innovative approach to the song formula. Rather than limit themselves to the verse-chorus formula or to the typical instrumental setup - vocal-guitar-keyboard-bass-drums, the groups take an new spin on convention.

The Frozen Bird ensemble arranges fairylike compositions for the piano, violin, accordion and tuba. The Babadag project utilises such unconventional instruments as steel drum or glockenspiel, while Maciej Cieślak, together with his new group, takes a novel approach to the sounds of an acoustic guitar and stringed instruments. These musicians explore how to take the traditional and bring it into the present in creative ways - with the pursuit of harmony and intriguing lyricism remaining at the heart of their efforts.

  • The Frozen Bird Quartet, established in 2009, call their music "fairytale-tavern-chamber-music". Songs in English and French tell the story of the protagonist's journey through a city filled with peculiar characters, secret passages and magic objects. This specific music perfectly merges into the sleepy, smoky atmosphere of Warsaw clubs. The band is made up of musicians known from other improvising ensembles of Warsaw: Radek Duda (composer), Radek Polakowski, Piotr Janiec and the vocalist and author of texts - Julia Szproch.

  • Babadag is a solo project initiated Ola Bilińskia, a vocalist and song writer who decided to finally realise her ideas with a hand-picked line-up featuring Szymon Tarkowski, Hubert Zemler and Adam Byczkowski. Inspired by folklore, the band's music is created by instruments of multiple cultural circles: glockenspiel, steel drum and banjo coexist with an electric guitar, bass, drums and sounds sampled by a looper. The musical strata is complemented and emphasised by the visual installations of the painter/animation artist Kuba Turczyński.

  • The Cieślak i księżniczki (Cieślak and Princesses) was intended to be a one-time, acoustic project of the guitarist and vocalist Maciej Cieślak while his original band Ścianka took a break. The project, however, became a full-blooded collective whose creative activity will not be suspended after their first album's release. The princesses - cellists Karolina Rec and Edyta Czerniewicz and a violinist Julia Ziętek, play, sing and emit forest-like sounds.

    WUJek takes place on March 5, 2011 at the Fabryka Trzciny Art Centre.

    Fabryka Trzciny Art Centre
    ul. Otwocka 14, 03-759 Warsaw
    tel. (+48 22) 619 05 13

    Source: press release

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