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Jazz – bridge between generations of immigrants

Polish Jazz Caffe in London, the club where foreigners and indigenous people come together

Last year in March the first Polish jazz cafe in London was created in the POSK cultural centre. An interview with Marek Greliak , the creator.

It is more than one year when Jazz Cafe was created. How the idea was born?
The idea of Jazz Cafe appeared 3 years ago in strange circumstances. During a terrible rain storm the rooms in POSK caller were flooded. The damage was terrible and the costs of repairs high. As a leader of Commission in POSK I have proposed to create the Jazz Club.
The idea appeared because in Poland I was running the students’ jazz club at the Nikolas Copernicus University.

I thought the caller is the best place for this kind of activities because of bohemian atmosphere.

I got the approval from POSK and Arts Council London, which gave founds for refurbishing. We thought about Polish listeners but also about the residence from nearby, who can attend our performances. It gave us a possibility to get money from the council to prepare all projects. Thanks to council found and insurance we could prepare the modern well-furnished and equipped Jazz cafe.

22nd of March 2007 we inaugurated first polish Jazz Cafe with performance of sax, Janusz Muniak and band Alchemik from Krakow. On the stage played also English duet – Potter and Donato.

Why on your website the Jazz Caffe is named a bridge between different generations of listeners? Sometimes there is a gap between old emigrations and newcomers.
I think that jazz is for all. The best example is our inauguration concert, where veteran of music Janusz Muniak played with young band – Alchemik. Even the people sometimes think that POSk is more for old wave of emigrations. Jazz Club proves the misconception, and it brings more and more new emigrants.

What kind of artists come to play at the Jazz Caffe? Polish, who are living and playing in Poland?
Jazz Cafe is a platform to change the experiences, to listen different sides and sources of jazz. It is the idea of making music together and share the joy from it and learn from each other.

You can see British, Polish, American, from all the Europe artists. It is for all musicians and for all listeners.

Who is your audience? Can you unify Polish and English nations thanks to music?
Jazz Cafe is visited by Polish and English and also people from other countries. To be honest half of the audience is non-Polish. Jazz Cafe is ambassador of Polish culture and gives us the cultural strength.

Jazz Club means only music? Are there any other cultural activities?
No, Jazz Club doesn’t mean only music. It is a cafe with nice interiors, very good menu and a place for young poets, where they can presents their verses. It is also a place for vocal workshops, dancing, and opera concerts.

How you can describe the first year of Jazz Club. Have you reached a success?
For us it was a time of getting the experience. We have learnt how to prepare a performance schedule, to have for everyone something interesting. We have learnt how to promote our projects, our music, and our achievements.
Now we have every week in Time Out a short information about what is going on every week at the Jazz Club.

What are you future expectations about running the Jazz Cafe?
We would like to make our cultural position more strong. We have to attract more listeners from different age and cultural groups.
We would like to invite some very well know jazz artist not only from Poland. For sure we will take part in London Jazz Festival, and also we are thinking about organising an East European Jazz Festival.

by Anna Malczewska 

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