The 18th Jewish Culture Festival Singer’s Warsaw reaching the legal age
“And what the brick has to say about it? How intriguing it is to announce the 18th “legal” edition of the Festival dedicated to the Jewish culture with the question asked by Isaac Bashevis Singer in his book “Certificate”. So many similarities that we, our wonderful guests, friends, and the great audience attending the Festivals events share with Dawid, the hero created by Singer. Disturbed by anxieties connected with entering into adult life, this young man says:
“I looked at bricks for a moment and wondered what thoughts might such a brick have. If we were to take Spinoza’s assertion that God’s attributes are the extent and thinking, even the material objects would have to have their “ideas” and spirit. The brick has no brick-like thoughts but the same thoughts as God. The thing is that bricks cannot tell stories straight from school textbooks.” (Quote from “Certificate”, Isaac Bashevis Singer, published by Muza, 2004).
Since we are not the Singer’s brick, since we have the strength and the power to speak, we want to tell you about the bountiful program of this year’s Festival, which will start on August 21st and last until August 29th, 2021.
So, what will be played in the very heart of the city? Dangling among the green trees, brimming in the fountains and mysterious alleys, the sounds from the stage of the Jewish Theater in the Saxon Garden will call us in on behalf of the artists and events that are so loved by our audience, such as “In Mama Sonia’s Kitchen” featured by an exceptional person, the Festival’s director, Gołda Tencer. The intimate Summer Stage will also feature other great events and we could talk about them endlessly. They will include concerts by Michał Hochman or Karolina Lizer. Our hearts and souls will be taken over by the Polish Hebrew tangos and oriental foxtrots performed by Olga Mieleszuk-Avigail with Tango Attack. There are also the hottest 2020/21 season premieres of the Jewish Theater, among which we will see the following performances: “Circus Kafka” written and directed by Michał Walczak, “Der Szturem. Cwiszyn / The Tempest. Between” prepared by Damian Josef Neć, or “The Mykveh” directed by Karolina Kirsz.
There are also many other musical events to see and listen to. The always welcoming Kwadrat Theater will show us the musical performance dedicated to the memory of the great writer, Bruno Schulz, “The Hourglass Sanatorium” directed by Miron Zajfert. Twenty years ago, the renowned American composer, John Zorn, composed the congenial musical themes for this show. Especially for the Festival, the arrangements were prepared by Jarosław Bester, and the vocals of Dorota Miśkiewicz and Grażyna Auguścik, accompanied by the Bester Quartet, with the guest appearance of the cellist, Krzysztof Lenczowski, are a true feast for the connoisseurs of the brilliant sound with a literary soul. And the cherry on top of the Festival’s musical birthday cake will be the concert performed by Shofar band. Raphael Rogiński, Mikołaj Trzaska, and Macio Moretti will take us on a journey to the world of musical mysticism with a hint of mystery.
And although we revealed, practically brick by brick, so much, there are still some things that have not been fully uncovered. This year’s edition, just like the previous ones, promises us a truly diverse jazz program with a variety of venues. Paul Brody, a world-famous American trumpeter, composer and arranger, has prepared three premiere concerts for our Festival with Polish jazz bands: Radek Wośko Chamber Trio, Piotr Lemańczyk Elecric Trio and Polski Piach, as well as the premiere concert of the RGG band featuring Łukasz Ojdana, Maciej Garbowski and Krzysztof Gradziuk.
Classical music has a permanent spot in the Festival’s program. Today we have the pleasure to announce an extraordinary concert of the masters of classical music, i.e. Berlin String Quartet, presenting, under the musical direction of Professor Tomasz Tomaszewski, the compositions of Mieczysław Wajnberg and Piotr Moss.
This year’s edition will also make sure to bring us the friend of the Festival, the amazing New York artist, Frank London, who will present together with Eleanor Reissa an online concert “Night Green Tsurik – No Turning Back”.
Also, the Festival’s opening night in the Nożyk Synagogue will be very joyful. This is where we will hear the young cantors from Israel, Chaim Stern, and Israel Nachman, who will come to Warsaw for the first time, especially for this occasion. Their concert, entitled “Next Generation”, is a wonderful icon of the Festival’s “birthday” and at the same time of the great power of youth and passion that have guided us from the very beginning.
This year, you can also count on real emotions during the Jewish Literary Salon. The host of the series, Remigiusz Grzela, has prepared a meeting devoted to the memory of Isaac Bashevis Singer, whose 30th death anniversary falls due this year. Shira Karmon, Monika Krajewska, Andrzej Krakowski, Bella Szwarcman-Czarnota and Andrzej Titkow, and many others have declared joining the exceptional meetings with authors as well as music and film events.
The 18th birthday is a magical time of completely new and lifting experiences. We hope that yet another Jewish Culture Festival will bring our audience many delights and artistic thrills among the magical bricks of multicultural Warsaw.
See you during the 18th Jewish Culture Festival!
Picture: Paul Brody, photo Dirk Hasskarl