Polish jazz

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Polish jazz has a history that spans periods of both acceptance and political repression.

Before communism (1930–39)[edit]

The beginning of jazz in Poland is difficult to determine. As early as the 1930s, clubs in Warsaw, Kraków, Rzeszów or Poznań would play some jazz. This tended to be swing and some of it was influenced by the traditional classical music. American popular music (particularly of George Gershwin 's) was in great demand.[1] Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Eddie Rosner might be one of the first jazz musicians of significance in Poland.

Stalinist repression (1945–58)[edit]

After the Communist takeover, (The Soviet Union was occupying Central and Eastern Europe)[2] jazz was initially repressed. Although groups like Melomani existed, jazz was officially condemned and forbidden from the radio.[3] Musicians learned about jazz by listening to a shortwave radio broadcast of Willis Conover's Voice of America Jazz Hour or smuggling jazz records from abroad.[4]

Liberalisation (Out of the Underground 1958–67)[edit]

After the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, jazz in Poland gained renewed freedom. In 1958 Dave Brubeck visited Poland and the nation's jazz scene became influenced by cool jazz. By the sixties three strands had emerged as dominant; trad jazz, "mainstream", and free jazz. Krzysztof Komeda became the leader of a modern jazz movement that did not copy the American way of playing but developed its own "European" style, especially with his 1966 album Astigmatic.[5]

Polish jazz musicians[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]