Re:tradition – The Jagiellonian Fair Festival is just around the corner! From August 18th to 20th, traditional music enthusiasts, folk artists, and artisans who find inspiration in tradition will gather in Lublin. The festival’s programme will be filled with concerts and dance parties that never fail to attract large crowds. This year’s edition of the festival is an integral part of European Youth Capital Lublin 2023.
About the dance parties
The festival’s dance floor is a special place where bands perform traditional dance music live. On Friday evening, the band Hajda Banda / Гайда Банда will delight the audience with enchanting melodies from Podlasie and Polesie. Additionally, Janusz Prusinowski Trio will perform alongside distinguished guests invited especially for the Festival.
Hajda Banda / Гайда Банда is a Polish-Belarusian band that brings to life the diverse traditional dances and songs from western Belarus, as well as the Podlasie and Polesie regions of eastern Poland. Their vibrant repertoire includes polkas, obereks, tangos, waltzes, and more. They perform it with youthful energy and artistic finesse, inspired by recordings and meetings with old masters of rural music such as Wiera Grygoruk, Maria Kałużna, Edmund Brożek, S. V. Malenczyk, and “Żemerwa” Folklore Studio of Podlasie Belarusians. Their exceptional talent garnered great acclaim at the 24th Polish Radio Folk Festival “New Tradition” in May 2022, where they secured the Audience Award, 3rd jury’s prize, and Szczecin’s Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic Award. On February 24, 2023, their much-awaited debut album “Hajda!” was released by Karrot Komando label, made possible by the overwhelming support of over 120 fans through a special crowdfunding campaign. The group was founded in 2021 by fiddler, Daria Butskaya. The band’s line-up includes Daria Butskaya – fiddle, vocals; Kasia Dudziak – bass, vocals; Nika Jurczuk – fiddle, vocals; Mateusz Dobrowolski – frame drum; Paweł Iwan – cimbalom, vocals ; Kuba Zimończyk – three-row accordion.
Janusz Prusinowski Trio is a unique ensemble that not only pays homage to the music of their teachers – rural musicians such as Jan Lewandowski, Kazimierz Meto, Józef Zarasia, Piotr and Jan Gaca, but also pushes the boundaries of traditional music with their avant-garde approach and distinctive language of improvisation. They seamlessly blend music and dance, and their concert tours are accompanied by educational activities both in Poland and around the world. The group’s distinctive style aims to unravel the essence of Central Polish rural music, with a particular focus on mazurkas. These mazurkas, sung, played, and refined through countless dances, are constantly improvised and carry the spirit of the 21st century.
Dance brings music to life, making it tangible and understandable. Therefore, playing mazurkas in the context of dance situations feels natural to the Trio. In addition to their concerts, which often have a dance-friendly atmosphere, the group’s music can be enjoyed at both rural and urban Dance Clubs. They also conduct numerous music and dance workshops, proudly nurturing the talents of young Polish music enthusiasts who begin their journey with the violin, drum, or dance under the Trio’s guidance.
During the festival, the Trio will share the stage with guests they have invited especially for this event. Together, they will create a captivating experience for the audience, immersing them in a dance-filled trance with the traditional rhythms of mazurkas and obereks.
Saturday evening will kick off with a captivating performance by The Jagiellonian Fair Orchestra, followed by the bands Cmolaskie Chłopoki and Kapela Batareja. These talented ensembles will take us on a musical journey, starting from the Suwalki region, then moving to Lublin, and finally concluding in the Podkarpacie region.
The repertoire of The Jagiellonian Fair Orchestra includes polkas, oberkas, ride tunes (podróżniaki), waltzes, foxtrots, and other melodies sourced from archival recordings, family traditions, and passed down by musicians from the oldest generations and orchestras whose traditions date back to the early 20th century.
The Orchestra evolved from an educational and artistic project initiated during the Festival in 2014. It aims to promote the folk culture of the Lublin region and serves as a unifying force, bringing together musicians, listeners, and dancers. In 2021, the Orchestra recorded an album titled “Open Session,”
Cmolaskie Chłopoki is a band dedicated to performing the traditional music of the Lasovians, an ethnographic group residing in the Sandomierz Forest area. Playing instruments runs in their veins, as they grew up surrounded by the melodies of traditional music and sought out local masters to learn from. During their performances, you can expect to hear traditional tunes sourced from the repertoire of Jan Cebula from Kolbuszowa, Bronisław Płoch from Widełki, and Władysław Pogoda from Hucina. The band specialises in playing Lasovian obereks, równy (even) dances, Cracoviennes, and, for the delight of traditional dance enthusiasts, they deliver spirited renditions of “wild polkas”.
Kapela Batareja, formed in 2017 in Białystok and playfully named after “batarejka” (flashlight), is a musical group driven by a profound love for traditional music from different parts of Poland. They most often explore music from the eastern parts of Poland, including the Suwałki, Podlasie, and Lublin regions, as well as the eastern borderlands. Their repertoire consists of a diverse range of dances in duple and triple metres, including polkas, waltzes, obereks, and dances with intricate figures like chodzony (processional dance), the Ukrainian “hrečanyk,” the Belarusian “wasadula,” and lively Jewish dances.
When will they perform?
Hajda Banda / Гайда Банда, Janusz Prusinowski Trio + Guests
When:18 August 2023, 21.00
Where: Festival Stage, Błonia near the Castle
The Jagiellonian Fair Orchestra, Cmolaskie Chłopoki, Kapela Batareja
When: 19 August 2023, 22.30
Where: Festival Stage, Błonia near the Castle
Of course, this is just a fraction of the attractions we have prepared. During the Festival, we’ll present our special production: the “re:tradition” concert, where we’ll be treated to unique musical arrangements by Atanas Valkov, inspired by the traditional music of Polish Polesie, performed by Poleski Skład Smyczkowy and the ensemble Polesie_PL. The Festival will also feature performances by the Estonian group Puuluup, the French ensemble Lolomis, the Sanok-based trio Wernyhora, the band Odpoczno, and the Romanian group Balkan Taksim. Engaging exhibitions, gatherings, and cinema screenings also await. Furthermore, all enthusiasts of folk art and craftsmanship will have the chance to meet artisans and buy their work. Stay updated on the event’s programme through retradycja.eu. More announcements are coming soon.
Re:tradition – The Jagiellonian Fair Festival
18-20 August 2023
Lublin – Old Town, Błonia near the Castle
More information: retradycja.eu
Organisers: Workshops of Culture in Lublin, The Cultural Institution of the City of Lublin, Lublin – The City of Inspiration
Honorary Patronage: Mayor of Lublin – Krzysztof Żuk, National Institute of Cultural Heritage
Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
This year’s edition of Re:tradition – The Jagiellonian Fair Festival is one of the events of the European Youth Capital Lublin 2023 programme.
Sponsors: Tavex, Herbapol
Partners: Jula, Muzeum Narodowe w Lublinie, Ivan Honchar Museum, ÚĽUV, The Dominican Monastery in Lublin, Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices, Folk Artists’ Association (STL), Kultura Enter Foundation
Media patronage: Polskie Radio Dzieciom, Radiowe Centrum Kultury Ludowej, Radio Lublin, Presto, CzasDzieci.pl, muzykatradycyjna.pl, KulturaLudowa.pl, Kultura Enter, Onet