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central and eastern europe matters

The Warszawa Kyiv Express – a new phenomenon on the European jazz scene.

It combines jazz with emotions to be discovered in the music of regions of Poland and Ukraine. The band offers an escape from a stereotypical approach to the folk music and prepares a definite jazz feast for those who search for originality and freshness.


After one of the concerts Adam Ferch, the music critic, said:

This concert was an unexpected high-class experience for me. Thinking over my 50-year experience in jazz promotion and taking into consideration the almost revolutionary novelty of the Warszawa Kyiv Express, I could compare their performances to the revolutionary novelty of the first (over 50 years ago!) concerts of the Komeda Sextet.

The WKE band is highly acclaimed not only in their own countries, but also abroad. After their performance at the annual Eddie Lang Jazz Festival in Monteroduni 2010, the Italian press wrote:

Pignatelli’s castle was twice as vivid in colours that evening. It offered us the performance of the Warszawa Kyiv Express band. The band is inspired by the Polish and Ukrainian folk music offering a nice touch of ethno-jazz sounds which are rich in the old folk traditions. The band turned out to be a revelation of the 20th edition of the festival.

- Il Tempo

Five musicians, who offered to the audience of the festival a repertoire rooted in ethno-jazz by spinning the folk ballads borne out of the Central European tradition. This band moves forward and seeks independent jazz path, a path that relates to their folk roots.

– Caffe Molise

Although young, the band is made up by creative and harmonious instrumentalists, who have been active on the jazz scene for many years:

  • Cat Donskoj (Ukraine) – trumpet/trombone – cooperated among others with: Vladimir Mo?otkow, W?odzimierz Nahorny, Jean Louis Rassinfosse,
  • Mariusz Koz?owski – saxophones – played among others with: Golec Brothers, Ewa Bem, Lora Szafran,
  • Pawe? Pa?ta – double bass/bass guitar – collaborated among others with: W?odek Pawlik, Randy Brecker, Filip Wojciechowski,
  • Adam Lewandowski – percusion instruments – played among others with: Zbigniew Namys?owski, Krystyna Pro?ko, Lora Szafran,
  • Witek Wilk – percussion – player on stage among others with: Jaros?aw ?mietana, Ewa Bem, Bohdan Ho?ownia.

The leader of the WKE is Piotr Karol Sawicki – on the grand piano. He has collaborated, among others, with: Big Band Akwarium, the student cabaret STS 96, the group Kaliber 44.

He composed music for the animated film "Gravity and Grand Piano" by James Neal from the Academy of Fine Arts. The film won the first prize at the Author’s Festival of Animated Films in Cracow, in the Student Film category.

The Warszawa Kyiv Express is a completely new phenomenon which cannot and should not be missed. Original, full of expression, with combinations of rhythms, harmonies, scales and themes and irregular measures and precise arrangement make the music sound both fresh and surprising. It will certainly change the approach of jazz connoisseurs to folk music and fans of traditional ethno music to jazz.



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