Jazz played a huge role in Poland’s fight with communism. It was actually a symbol of freedom and strongly linked with all genres of art that struggled for artistic independence. Jazz was banned from the radio, there were no jazz records in stores, no books, but Poles, as poles always do, didn’t give up. They learned all about jazz by listening to a shortwave radio broadcast of Willis Connover’s Voice of America “Jazz Hour”, many smuggled jazz records from abroad and that’s where they got the inspiration to create their own, quite famous Polish brand of jazz.
This is how in 1966 jazz inspired by Polish folk music sounded like. Mixing tradition folk motives with jazz was one of the ways to get around government censorship.
Jazz was not the only western music banned in communist Poland: for example rock’n’roll was replaced by “big beat”. The name rock’n’roll was censored.
Jazz is huge in Poland now – there are world-famous jazz players and composers, and about 30 jazz festivals in Poland highly regarded by the Who is Who in the world of jazz.
We will come back to these interesting music issues. For now here is a fragment of something special – Polish jazz composer, genius as they say, visionary Krzysztof Komeda composed this famous lullaby from Oscar winning Roman Polanski’s movie Rosemary’s Baby.
Our tagline “Poland all that jazz” has another Polish connection. “all that jazz” is the famous song from the musical Chicago and Chicago beautiful when the city is really important for poles it has one and a half million Polish inhabitants.
It’s the second largest Polish city in the world. After Warsaw.
In our next episode we’ll tell you about Polish winged cavalry inspiring our logo…