Megitza

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Megitza
Megitza at Copernicus Theater.jpg
Megitza at the Copernisus Theater
Background information
Birth name Malgorzata Babiarz[1]
Born (1984-11-27) November 27, 1984 (age 29)
Zakopane, Poland
Origin Poland
Genres Eastern European and Balkan folk, Romani music, Gypsy jazz, Latin music, World music, pop, Worldbeat, Americana
Occupations singer, bassist, composer, producer
Instruments Vocals, upright bass
Years active 2008–present
Website www.megitza.com

Małgorzata Babiarz, professionally known as Megitza, (born November 27, 1984 in Zakopane) is a Polish singer, double bass player, and composer. She combines Polish and Eastern European folk music, Romani music and gypsy jazz with world music, Latin music, pop, worldbeat and Americana.[2][3]

In 2001, Megitza emigrated to Chicago, where she appeared in charity concerts and events such as Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity and where she promoted Polish culture. She began her professional career in 2008, when she formed the Megitza Quartet and released her debut album, Boleritza. She has since performed at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the 13th All Souls Jazz festival at the Chopin Theatre, the Chicago World Music Festival, and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times has noted the "energetic" performances of the quartet, and the Chicago Tribune has cited that she and the group are primarily influenced by Eastern European folk, gypsy, Polish, and Greek music. Notable songs include "Boleritza", "Mamo te Mera", "Cisza", "17_14", and "What I Desire".

Biography[edit]

Megitza was born on November 27, 1984 in Zakopane, Poland. In 2001, Megitza migrated to Chicago,[3] where she has continued the cultivation of her Polish heritage, but also experimented with world music and gypsy music of Eastern Europe and Latin music. In 2003, Megitza was appointed the queen of the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America.[4] She organized a charity event, and proceeds were donated to orphanages in Poland. As a musician, Megitza has participated in charity concerts and events such as Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.[5] In 2004, Megitza received the highest score (126) at the Polish National intelligence quotient (IQ) contest in Chicago.[6] She promotes the culture of Poland and Podhale in Chicago and the United States.[7]

Megitza is a self-taught vocalist and bass player. She began her career in 2008, when she formed the Megitza Quartet. The band is currently composed of Megitza on vocals and upright bass, Andreas Kapsalis on acoustic guitar, Marek Lichota on bayan (accordion), and Jamie Gallagher on drums and percussion.[8] The Megitza Quartet is known for its high energy stage presence,[8] and the quartet has been compared to artists such as Gypsy Kings, Ewa Demarczyk, Goran Bregović, Kayah and Lura. In 2008, Megitza released her debut album, Boleritza.[9] The album includes traditional and original compositions. Roby Lakatos is a guest violinist on Boleritza, on two tracks: "Mamo Temera" and "17_14".[10]

Her original compositions are primarily influenced by folk music of Polish highlanders (gorals of Podhale),[11] Romani music, Balkan folk and World music.[1][10] The Chicago Tribune notes Eastern European folk and "gypsy, Greek, and Polish influences".[12][13] Notable songs include "Boleritza", "Mamo te Mera", "Cisza" and "17_14".[14] A second album is due to be released later in 2012, which will include the 2011 single "What I Desire".[2]

Performances and reception[edit]

" “Boleritza” (Kaprol Publishing), was one of the most impressive instrumental compilations to come out of Chicago. The secret weapon is Malgorzata Babiarz’s sensual voice that sounds as authentic as the Polish Highlander tradition of the village from which she originally hails. Acoustic guitar prodigy Andreas Kapsalis adds elements of flamenco, while violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos and Marke Lichota’s accordion evoke the pathos of klezmer. Wrapped around this highly sophisticated blend of genres is a devotion to passionate rhythm and heart-rendering vocals, even if you can’t understand them. “Boleritza” aptly evokes the music’s midway point between a wedding band and sophisticated jazz ensemble. One part mournful, the other joyous, yet infectious all around, this is the kind of music people can’t help but get up to dance to. Seeing them live is reminiscent of a gypsy performance—chaotic, soulful, and stirring."

—Marla Seidell of New City Music on her 2008 album Boleritza[10]

Megitza is regarded as an influential artist representing Poles abroad.[15][16] She has made hundreds of concerts and appearances at major festivals in America,[17] especially in Chicago, including the Old Town School of Folk Music in August 2009,[18] the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in September 2009, the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in March 2010, at the lakefront in Dawes Park in July 2010,[12][19] the Chicago World Music Festival (an event presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC) ), in September 2011,[13][20] the Chicago Folk and Roots Festival in July 2011,[21] the Chicago Summer Dance Festival, and Taste of Chicago, all in her adopted city. They also performed at the All Souls Jazz festival held at the Chopin Theatre of Chicago in November 2010, an event which Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune said "Chicago's All Souls fest looks, feels and sounds like no other jazz soiree in this city".[22] In July 2009 they performed the Slovak Roma wedding song "Mamko Moja" live on ABC7's "Chicagoing" with Bill Campbell. Time Out Chicago described her as a "fiery" singer and the band's music as "energetic Roma folk" when they performed at "Women's Global Voices" with the likes of Ugochi and The Afro Soul Ensemble in March 2012, a concert presented by Sound Culture honoring Women's History Month."[23] The Chicago Sun-Times has also noted the "energetic" performances of the quartet.[24]

The Sound Culture Center for Global Arts described Megitza as "a true concert revelation – an unusual voice, charisma and beauty", describing her music as "dynamic, vibrant, full of energy, uniting listeners of all ages."[2] Jazz Chicago said of the 2008 album, "Throughout, Babariaz's strong vocals engage the senses, while Lichota's romantic accordion is a treat as well. The blend of traditional folk music and originals are played and sung very well and make for an intriguing visit to the Old World."[9] Although Megitza mainly performs in the United States, in July 2012 she performed at the Jazz Fest Wien in Vienna, Austria,[17] and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, before performing extensively in Poland.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Illinois Entertainer on "Boleritza"". Illinois Entertainer. 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Women of the World! feat. Magitza Quartet & Ugochi and The Afro Soul Ensemble". Sound Culture:Center for Global Arts. 30 March 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Shefsky, Jay (2012). "Chicago Tonight, WTTW Chicago". WTTW Chicago. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ Baraniak, Andrzej (September 26, 2003). "Malgorzata Babiarz queen of ZPPA" (in Polish). Expatol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ Jankowska, Bożena (2012). "Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity at Copernicus Theater" (in Polish, English). Dziennik Zwiazokowy. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ Baraniak, Andrzej (2004). "National IQ contest in Chicago" (in Polish). Retrieved October 26, 2004. 
  7. ^ Sowa, Miłosz (2009). "Megitza at the Old Town School of Folk Music with Siumni" (in Polish). 24TP. Retrieved August 12, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Lucid Culture concert review, New York". Lucid Culture. 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Jazz Chicago Album Review". Jazz Chicago. 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Seidell, Maria (2009). "New City Music, "Boleritza"". New City Music. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Megitza on WBEZ, Radio M". WBEZ. 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Harrison, Lauren R (July 23, 2010). "Looking for entertainment? Go to the park Entertainment lurks close to home, at your local park". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Reich, Howard (September 15, 2011). "World Music Festival: A great soiree sweeps into Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Megitza Quartet". Last.fm. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  15. ^ Jankowska, Bożena (2009). "Dziennik Zwiazkowy, Megitza Rocks!" (in Polish, English). Dziennik Zwiazkowy Polish Daily News. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  16. ^ Jankowska, Bożena (2010). "Dziennik Zwiazkowy, Megitza's success" (in Polish, English). Dziennik Zwiazkowy Polish Daily News. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Megitza Quartet". Jazz Fest Wien 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  18. ^ Sowa, Miłosz (2009). "Megitza at the Old Town School of Folk Music with Siumni" (in Polish). 24TP. Retrieved August 12, 2009. 
  19. ^ "The Megitza Quartet brings European folk & gypsy music to the lakefront Tuesday". Triblocal.com. July 27, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  20. ^ Karamitsos, Maria A. (September 7, 2011). "Chicago’s World Music Festival to Feature Megitza Quartet". Greek USA Reporter. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  21. ^ Ceault, Joe De (2011). "WBEZ interview". WBEZ. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  22. ^ "13th Annual - All Souls Jazz". Chopin Theatre. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Women's Global Voices: Megitza Quartet + Ugochi". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  24. ^ "World Music Festival a global celebration". Chicago Sun-Times. September 14, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  25. ^ Megitza. "Concerts". Megitza. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 

External links[edit]