Post-war Poland at the beginning of the communist era. The country is rebuilding itself from the rubble. The new government introduces a reality imposed from outside. Leopold Tyrmand states: "Stalin's smile reached Poland." But at the same time, the music coming from across the ocean, dominated by improvisation, is loud and not fully understood. In a very short time, the fascination with American jazz turns into a cultural movement for which new music is synonymous with freedom, democracy and independence.
In Poland, the music of freedom finds fertile ground. It connects and attracts strong individuals. One of its greatest promoters is the outstanding writer Leopold Tyrmand. He described jazz in essays in newspapers and during the lectures preceding the concerts. Thanks to him, this music survived the constant attempts to remove it from public space. He quoted the words of Louis Armstrong: "Brother, you'll never get to what it actually is ..."
The concert program, which consists of jazz standards performed by Aga Zaryan and the European Jazz Quartet, will allow us to delve again into the mind of Leopold Tyrmand. "There must be something in this blues that does not pass away, which makes it the basis for a half-century-long, still-lasting artistic activity, which makes it some epoch's motto equally valid for a New Orleans streetwalker from the 1910s and a Parisian medical student from the 1950s. (…) The circle closes ruthlessly: the whole half-century of joy and cares are tightly contained in classic tunes, in those old melodies with the magical power of eternal usefulness. They do not cease to be contemporary, just as Picasso's pre-World War I painting still does not break away from the present" (L. Tyrmand" On the border of jazz").
I've been singing jazz standards since my debut. They still occupy a special place in my repertoire. I have the same feelings about the wonderful Polish evergreens. Leopold Tyrmand used to be a bridge between what is Polish and American... The evening in Szczecin will also be a musical bridge between these worlds. With me on stage, you will hear wonderful musicians, each of whom I admire. I cordially invite you.