“He is in great form, he plays magnificently, captivatingly” – that’s what the fiddler’s pupils said during the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the musician’s birthday.
Tadeusz Jedynak’s birthday was celebrated in Przystałowice Małe – a small village located in the Radom region in the vicinity of Przysuchy (where Oskar Kolberg was born). The musician’s jubilee was attended by the local community including noted folk musicians, who are still strong in number in the Radom region, and by guest from farther places, mostly from Warsaw and Kraków.
Tadeusz Jedynak was born in 1924. He learned from the legendary musician Jan Bogusz (“When my brother played at the house of a neighbour who had bad legs, the neighbour jumped up and stood” - this anecdote about Bogusz was told by Bogusz’s sister). Presently, Jedynak performs alongside drummer Władysław Kowalski. Jedynak’s repertoire is very archaic. “He learned almost all of these compositions before the war. They are complicated, especially rhythmically” – said Krystian Pisowicz. “There was a workshop with him during which he played the fiddle on his own. There was no drum and everybody were nearly driven to despair because nobody could figure out what the rhythm was. We went to him with a drum and then the music and its structure started to appear”.
Dancing to Jedynak’s music wasn’t as easy as dancing to the music of Jan Gaca or Jan Kmita. Because of this, Jedynak wasn’t as popular as the other great fiddlers from Przystałowice. He is, however, as highly regarded as they are. At the Festival of Folk Groups and Singers in Kazimierz Dolny in 2009, he received the most important award – the Golden Tower.
The idea for the commemorative event was thought up by Krystian Pisowicz - an admirer of folk culture, a traditional fiddler, a documentalist and a collector of country tunes who lives in Kraków. The idea was realized in collaboration with Jedynak’s family, members of the ladies’ country club, the vocal group “Przystalanki” and representatives of the Warsaw community involved with traditional music – Piotr Baczewski, Mateusz Niwiński and ethnographer and reporter Andrzej Bieńkowski.
Jedynak is one of the symbols of rural culture, he is one of those countryside artists of whom we are proud. What’s most important is that in the past years many people have been learning how to play from Tadeusz Jedynak – said Bieńkowski.
During the celebration in Przystałowice, Bieńkowski’s documentary “Tadeusz Jedynak –muzykant” (“Tadeusz Jedynak – the Musician”) had its premiere. After the screening ended Mr. Jedynak, Władysław Kowalski and some of the guests played for dancing. Performances were also given by singers from Przystałowice Małe and from Gałki Rusinowskie, by the bands of Jan Kmita, the Pańczak brothers and the Lipiec brothers, by the Niwińskis’ band and by others.
Agnieszka Grzybowska, Filip Lech
Translated by: Marek Kępa