In Yiddish, ‘cukunft’ means ‘future’. Cukunft is also a the name of a band created by Raphael Rogiński, one of the most important musicians of the new Jewish music scene.
Cukunft's leader, guitarist Raphael Rogiński, is one of the most creative musicians on the Polish jazz scene: he performs on his own, improvises with other musician, is a member of several bands, and researches Jewish music as well as the sounds of Middle East, Africa and Northern America. In the band Wovoka he explores the history of blues; in Shofar he searches for mystical elements of Jewish culture, while Cukunft is a band that continues the ancient road of the klezmers. For hundreds of years Jewish musicians mixed Central and Eastern-European melodies from villages and towns with their own musical traditions. That's how klezmer music was born. Later on, when it met jazz in the United States a new genre, sometimes called, 'klez jazz' was created. Cukunft can be considered one of the architects of this movement, creating modern Jewish music.
The band's repertoire is created spontaneously, but at the same time it is based on historical and musicological research. It consists of new versions of the works by Jewish composers (Mordechaj Gebirtig, Mosze Szneur, Dawid Bajgelman) and compositions by Raphael Roginski, often inspired by the work of pre-war Jewish musicians.
Rogiński's arrangements are based on a previously recorded rhythmical guitar note and the harmonical and timbre backup of the clarinet and baritone saxophone. The guitarist usually leaves the original number of stanzas and the inner construction of particular songs, although leaving place for solo parts.
– wrote Ireneusz Socha about the creation of Cukunft's repertoire.
In 2005 the band independently released their first record: Lider fun Mordechaj Gebirtig. The following albums: Itstikeyt / Fargangenheit (2010) and Wilde Blumen (2013) were released by the Lado ABC company from Warsaw. Apart from Raphael Rogiński on Cukunft's records we hear Paweł Szamburski (clarinet, bass clarinet), Michał Górczyński (clarinet, tenor saxophone), Paweł Szpura (drums), Kuba Kossak (bassoon), Adam Różański (drums), Piotr Kaliński (drums), Tomasz Duda (saxophone, flute, bass clarinet), Olga Mysłowska (voice) and Ewa Żurakowska (voice).
Cukunft – a future not yet defined by the musicians – is born out of the collision between the present and the future. What Rogiński's band has been able to achieve is to at least sketch a vision of a musical scene where no 'hole' after the Jews exists. An alternative world in which Próżna Street is still full of life, and artists living around Grzybowski Square compose new music, using modern techniques, such as electric guitars. They deserve applause for this feat alone.
– wrote Dominika Węcławek in Życie Warszawy.
- Lider fun Mordechaj Gebirtig (2005, independent)
- Itstikeyt / Fargangenheit (2010, Lado ABC)
- Wilde Blumen (2013, Lado ABC)