Kapela ze wsi Warszawa (English: Warsaw Village Band) is a band from Warsaw, Poland which plays traditional Polish folk music tunes combined with modern elements.

According to the band’s creative manifesto, it was formed as a response to mass culture and narrow-mindedness, “which in fact leads to [the] destruction of human dignity.” Indeed, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the expansion of the European Union to most of the former Warsaw Pact countries, Poland’s economy has grown dramatically, while at the same time ushering in investment by a number of multinational corporations, leading to concerns of globalism and loss of Poland’s cultural identity.

Warsaw Village Band was intended to be a response to this trend by exploring Poland’s musical traditions and making them relevant to its new capitalist economy. Member Wojciech Krzak has stated that “after the nightmare of Communism, we still have to fight for our identity, and we know that beauty and identity are still in our roots.” Krzak has further stated that the band are “trying to create a new cultural proposition for the youth in an alternative way to contemporary show-biz.” The band’s very name appears to evoke what troubles Krzak about Poland’s new capitalism: many large Polish cities do not have suburbs in the traditional sense, leading to unsettling transitions directly from city to field. To this end, in their most recent release, Wykorzenienie (Uprooting), the band traveled throughout Poland to find and record older musicians who still played almost-forgotten styles of music, thereafter incorporating those melodies into new songs and expounding upon them.

The band also incorporate socially-conscious folk lyrics in their songs. The song “Kto Się Zani” (“Who is Getting Married”) on their second album, Wiosna Ludu (People’s Spring), discusses a young country girl who refuses to be married off, opting instead to “sing, dance, and be free rather than being dependent on someone.”

Warsaw Village Band have appeared at several international music festivals, including the 2005 Roskilde Festival in Denmark, the 2004 Masala Festival in Hanover, Germany, and the 2000 International Ethnic Music Fest in Germany.

Edited by marekarel on 2 Nov 2007, 09:11

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