Twins Lukasz and Pawel Golec were born on 19.02.1975 in Zywiec. They reside in Milowka. From the youngest years they have been in touch with music, which was constantly present in their home. Their mother is a folk narrator and father was playing clarinet in a brass band. But the real “infection” with music came from their older brother – Rafal – who started the first rock and roll band in Milowka.
From the third grade of primary school Lukasz has started to learn to play the trumpet in the Roman Pekala’s class and Pawel has started to learn to play the percussion in the Czeslaw Konior’s class in the Music School of the first level in Zywiec. From that moment they have started to participate yearly in the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree festival. After three years of studying in Zywiec they have got into the Music School of the second level named after Stanislaw Moniuszko in Bielsko-Biala, where Lukasz has continued learning trumpet in Antoni Adamus’ class (who at the time was the first trumpeter at Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice) and Pawel started to play trombone in Zdzislaw Stolarczyk class (who was the bass tromboner at Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice).
While studying brothers participated in jazz workshops in Chodzierz and Pulawy, where Lukasz has received the scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston (USA) in 1990/91. During this period brothers often participated in competitions of brass instruments in Jastrzebie Zdroj, Wroclaw, Bytom etc. where they have always been winning top awards. When they were 15 years old, while learning at music school, brothers have started their own jazz band “Straight Ahead” which played often on class shows and school parties. It was a septet playing mainly acid jazz. Members of band were Krzysztof Dziedzic (dr), Krzysztof Maciejowski (viol), Marek Olma (vibes), Eugeniusz Kubat (b), Marcin Zupanski (fl). Twins have finished Music School in Bielsko Biala receiving an “A” grade at Polish school-leaving exam. The practical part of the exam consisted of two parts: classical (performing repertoire of classical music) and jazz.
Studies at The Department of Jazz Music of Music Academy in Katowice were the next period of musical development of Golec brothers; Lukasz was studying at Piotr Wojtasik’s class, and Pawel – at Bronek Duzy’s class. While studying brothers played at funk-acid-jazz band “Head Up” (Robert Luty (dr), Wieslaw Salata (b), Tomasz Szymus (p, kbd), Bartlomiej Jakubiec (guit), Grzegorz Piotrowski (saxes)) , afterwards along with other schoolmates brothers have founded “Acoustic Jazz Sextet - Alchemik”.
“Golec uOrkiestra” is a following step in music development of Golec brothers. The idea of combination of highland music (from Karpaty) with jazz, pop and rock and roll emerged during meetings and playing with friends. “Golec uOrkiestra – the Beskidy highlanders of 21st century” – as was described by Janusz Stoklosa – “they operate violin, dulcimer, accordion, as well as flugelhorn, trombone or percussion with an equal mastery: gaily, colorfully, “with balls” and in their own way”. Argentina has its’ Piazzola, Serbria has its’ Goran. Beskidy finally have Golec ”
The other members of band are: Jaroslaw Zawada (first violin I), Zbigniew Michalek “Baja” (first violin II), Edyda Medrzak (alto), Grzegorz Juroszek (alto), Andrzej Malyjurek “Juri” (double-bass), Maciej Rosenberg (second violin, horn of Beskidy region), Krzysztof Puszynski (accordion), Jaroslaw Grzybowski “Grzyb” (percussion). All members of band are “full blooded” highlanders and of course they sing perfect. Brothers are also sought-after session musicians – they’ve recorded over 50 albums with top ranked artists of polish pop, jazz and light music.
Our band was created in May of 1998. Although the idea of creating a band arose much earlier, while playing at various occasional stunts. The “common musical denominator” was found very quickly as highland music has many common elements with jazz or blues. Here one can always find the basic theme (main tune) which is then played in various manners. Each succeeding performances differ by articulation, interpretation, way of leading of melodic line.
Possibility of mixing highland music with other kinds of music was an inspiration to create our own music. Putting together sounds of instruments typical for highland music with trumpet, trombone, cornet, tuba and percussion allowed us to find new sounds and interesting solutions. What we do is combination of modern thinking and tradition.
We’re all highlanders, and what’s more to it – we live close together – so we could meet often and play. The highland section consist of gentlemen playing together for over 6 years in ‘Baciary’ group. It became crucial for Golec uOrkiestra reinforced with musicians from ‘Baciary’ to create new, fresh pieces (new lyrics, arrangements, music) – with the taste and style of modern highlanders, highlanders of the 21st century.
Pierwsze koncerty zespołu miały miejsce na przeróżnych imprezach: od świąt kościelnych, państwowych po granie w klubach, galeriach, etc. (np. 'Bal Góralski' w Koniakowie, 'Dni Milówki' w Milówce, koncerty w: Węgierskiej Górce, ]Bielsku-Białej, Wiśle, Brennej). Zespół grał również za granicą: w Solnok (Węgry) - na International Ethno-Jazz Festival oraz w Czechach (Jablonkov).
The public was always receiving Golec uOrkiestra spontaneously and enthusiastic, which was an additional inspiration to band for further creative work. Fans were constantly asking for a new album. In the first ‘demo’ version there were pieces like: “Na holi”, “Chalpa sie polila”, “UFO”. These three pieces already had the spirit of new, full of energy creative music of Golec uOrkiestra in them. “Gentlemen – we’re recording an album with no preservatives and with all-natural ingredients! With positive energy load.” – these are words which became driving force to the whole enterprise.
In February of 1999 two more musicians joined the crew: Jarek Grzybowski (percussion) and Zbigniew “Baja” Michalek (first violin II). Golec uOrkiestra was then comprising of 10 members which are playing together up to now.
In March of 1999 in studio in Bielsko Biala Golec uOrkiestra started working on material which later appeared on the first album (13 pieces) published in September. We recollect the five months period of album recording with a great pleasure! With musicians with such great music temperaments many ideas were coming to life on the spot, in studio, “out of the box” – without the foregoing notes recordings. From the very beginning we knew what we wanted to record and how it supposed to sound (everything you can find on this album is intentional and deliberate). The album was published at our own cost for the money earned on concerts.
Our friends were invited for recordings: Marek Podkowa (saxophone – 3), Ula Niedoba (vocal – 4,8), Jan Kaczmarzyk (bagpipes of Beskidy region – 8), Czeslaw Weglarz (hornpipes of Zywiec region – 3), Gienek Kubat (bass guitar – 1,3), Marek “Maja” Labunowicz (dulcimer – 5), Grzegorz Kapolka (acoustic guitar – 1), Darek Sprawka (bass trombone – 10,13). Each of invited musicians brought element of freshness, characteristic personality and a whole lot of ‘beautiful sounds’. We thank them a lot for it!
In that period as well as now Rafal Golec and his wife Olga had invaluable influence on band’s character. They were originators of the cover as well as the album’s graphic layout. Next to Pawel and Lukasz they were the authors of most of the lyrics.
While material for album was coming into existence Golec uOrkiestra was playing many concerts (in Podbeskidzie, Upper and Lower Silesia, Zabkowice Slaskie, “Folk-Fiesta Festival”, Cieszyn “Bracki Jazz Festival”).
The promotional concert of the new album took place in Teatr Polski in Bielsko-Biala on September 15th 1999. Tickets were sold out two weeks before. On request of viewers broad coverage from the show recorded by TV Polonia was broadcasted many times.
In November 1999 Michal Urbaniak has contacted the band with proposition of recording a song for the new year eave of 2000. At the beginning of December the "New York Baca Millenium Song" was recorded in studio in Lodz; the song was performed in Warsaw on Plac Zamkowy during New Year’s concert which was transmitted worldwide through the BBC channel. Golec uOrkiestra and Michal Urbaniak were accompanied with Urszula Dudziak, Mika Urbaniak, Marcin Pospieszalski and Michal Sęk .
Further cooperation of Michal Urbaniak and Golec uOrkiestra brought the new music project, which had a premiere in February 2000 on “Beskidzka Zadymka Jazzowa” festival in Bielsko-Biala. Artists were performing together also on Jazz Fair in Poznań (May 2000).
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