Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Krzysztof Dzikowski and Wiktora Tracz Present the Most Famous Polish Songs, 17 March 2019, 6 pm

The next meeting of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is a concert "There is someone like that" [Jest taki ktos] -  an interview with Krzysztof Dzikowski, song writer of the greatest Polish hits of the 1970s and a presentation of the hits with his texts by Wiktoria (Victoria) Tracz, a young vocalist who is working on the recording of her first CD. The event will take place in the South Pasadena Library Community Room on Sunday, 17 March 2019, at  6 pm. This program is partly supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, and the Consulate General of Poland in Los Angeles. 

After the conversation and the concert, we invite you to a glass of wine and desserts. Despite the funny name, the room is beautiful and stylish, in a building from the 1920s, surrounded by old trees of a small park. Address: 1115 El Centro St, South Pasadena, CA 91030, parking on the streets. The concert is an event open to the public and, according to the rules of the Community Room, the admission is free for all. RSVP to Maja Trochimczyk at prezes@modjeska.org.  Due to the historical status of the building, however, you cannot serve "dark" drinks like coffee, tea or red wine ...

Lyricist, poet, culture activist
Krzysztof Dzikowski - songwriter, screenwriter, writer (poet, prose writer, playwright). He studied at the Warsaw University of Technology, graduated in Polish philology, screenwriting at the Film, Television and Theater School in Łódź, and the Warsaw School of Photography. He continued his postgraduate studies at the Warsaw School of Humanities. He wrote lyrics for the greatest hits of 60s and 70s of Polish popular music. Awarded with the Silver Medal of Merit for Culture Gloria Artis, the Honorary Award of the President of the Board of Polish Television S.A. , as well as "Icons of the Festival" for participation in Opole festivals, the Honorary Medal of the ZAIKS Association and the Golden Cross of Merit awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

Krzysztof Dzikowski made his debut during his studies as the author of the Tragedia wydrwigroszów, in which he also appeared as an actor. He was passionate about theater, so when the Dramatic Theater of the Warsaw University of Technology (Politechnika Warszawska)  needed actors to present The Wedding of Mrs. Du Barry, he applied and was admitted to the group of young artists. After the closure of the Dramatic Theater, he became involved in the Stodoła Cabaret debuting on the stage with the monologue Eurydice's Hands. He also performed, among others as Achilles in the parody of Achilles and the Miss (1953), and this role was highly praised by Artur Maria Swinarski. In the years 1961-1963 he became the literary director of the Stodoła Cabaret.

Krzysztof Dzikowski holds a diploma from the State Film School (PWSTiF) in Łódź. During his studies, he wrote two film scripts for the Film Group X - Hanged and  Scream louder  (Krzycz glosniej). For the latter he won the the 1st prize in the Young in Film Competition in Koszalin in 1981. In the years 1963 - 1965 he joined the Student Club Hybrydy. For this cabaret, he wrote together with Wojciech Młynarski the scenarios for programs Joyful Mouth of Stabilization and People Buy It. He also created a libretto for musicals, including Mismatched, or Goliath the Whale (also together with Wojciech Młynarski).

As a lyricist, he made his debut in 1963. At that time, he established a collaboration with the music group of Tajfun, and later also with Czerwono-Czarni. He achieved the greatest successes as a songwriter for the rock band Czerwone Gitary. Songs with lyrics by Krzysztof Dzikowski can be heard by the best Polish artists, among others: Czesław Niemen, Maryla Rodowicz, Niebiesko - Czarni, Trubadurzy, Kasia Sobczyk, Anna German, Halina Frąckowiak, Irena Jarocka, Krzysztof Cugowski, Ewa Bem, Alibabki, Jerzy Polomski, Ludwik Sempoliński, Urszula Sipińska, Halina Kunicka, Karin Stanek, Tadeusz Chyła, Krystyna Janda, Wojciech Gąssowski, Anna Maria Jopek and Anna Wyszkoni. Krzysztof Dzikowski has worked for many years with the Polish Radio's First Program. He managed, among others, the broadcast program of the Songs of Facts (Piosenki Faktu). It featured songs that described real events. The programs also included interviews with well-known artists who wrote such songs (Wojciech Młynarski and others).

Dzikowski's songs enjoyed great popularity among listeners, as evidenced by the need to reprint the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry by the PAX Publishing shortly after the premiere of the song of the same title written for Kasia Sobczyk. In turn, the song The First Day  of the Year is often sung in Polish homes during Christmas, as one of new carols. His text Sunrise in the Horse Farm was published in the World Anthology of Poetry about Horses. Dzikowski is also the author of literary translations of plays by G. Moustaki and Tennessee Williams.

The Krzysztof Dzikowski Foundation  initiated a program for using lyrics by Krzysztof Dzikowski to teach Polish in Siberia and thus increased their popularity abroad. The Foundation announced 2016 as  the year of Dzikowski. 
announced 2016 as the year of the celebration of the 55th years of Krzysztof Dzikowski's creative life. Currently, Krzysztof Dzikowski cooperates with a young, talented vocalist Wiktoria Tracz.


Wiktoria Tracz born 26/11/2002 in Nowy Sącz is a young vocalist who feels good in pop, pop rock, R &B, Dance pop, Soul. She began her musical career in 2011 as a nine-year-old girl. She is a graduate of the State Music School of Fryderyk Chopin in Nowy Sącz and currently is studying music and performance at the famous BRIT School in London. Wictoria was invited to several Polish television programs, including: Pytanie na Śniadanie, Petersburski Music Show, etc. She has won many prestigious awards at festivals in Poland and abroad, including: UK, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Georgia, Belarus, Malta, Macedonia, Slovenia and Bulgaria. Since 2016 she has been working with Krzysztof Dzikowski and composer Marek Yan Kisieliński.

Her first singles are Winter Ball and Teenage Girl. Recently, she also began to compose songs, and wrote text for the song Czekaj. Wiktoria was a semi-finalist of the 1st Edition of The Voice Kids program in 2018, where she was on the Tomson and Baron team. The song Beat Is Off is the newest single produced by the Delphy Records label, for which she produced a music video herself. Recently, Wiktoria had the honor to perform with the legendary band of the first Czerwono Czarni on the occasion of Krzysztof Dzikowski's Jubilee.

Links to YouTube Videos:

Interview, Pytanie na Śniadanie TVP2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOuktDYA6jM&t=211s 
Polskie Radio - Radio dla Ciebie : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u0z1lMCKkY 

Song ,,Radość o poranku'' : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SCrx70Lb20 
Song ,,Nie wiem czy to warto'' : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiQkmFV6Jms 
Song ,,Co ja w tobie widziałam'' : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5_3vSJYRFM 


L to R: Ewa Barsam, Maria Pilatowicz, Maja Trochimczyk, 
Magdalena Grzebalkowska, Andrzej Maleski

L to R: Edward Pilatowicz, Magdalena Grzebalkowska, Maria Pilatowicz, Maja Trochimczyk

L to R: Edward Pilatowicz, Magdalena Grzebalkowska, Maria Pilatowicz, Chris Justin.

Photos from the camera of Chris Justin. Thank you! 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Magdalena Grzebalkowska In Conversation with Andrzej Maleski, February 17, 2019, at 6:30 pm

The Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is pleased to announce its next event, an interview with eminent Polish writer, Magdalena Grzebalkowska, reporter, winner of Nike Readers 2016 and the author of bestselling books: Father Paradoks. Biography of Jan Twardowski, Beksińscy. Double portrait, 1945. War and peace, Komeda, personal life of jazz. The interview will be conducted by Andrzej Maleski; rare photos will be shown, and books available for purchase. The meeting will take place on Sunday, February 17 at 18:30 in the welcoming residence of Marysia and Edward Pilatowicz in West Hills. RSVP to the President, prezes@modjeska.org, until February 12, 2019.

In Komeda, the Personal Life of Jazz, Magdalena Grzebałkowska reveals the personal life of Krzysztof Komeda and his surroundings. Komeda was a mystery man, he did not write letters, he did not keep diaries. To get to know the truth about one of the greatest Polish musicians, whose lullaby from Rosemary's Baby was heard around the whole world, Magdalena Grzebałkowska visited Scandinavian countries, Russia and the United States. She reached the last living witness of the tragic accident from fifty years ago and is the first to present her version of events. She discovered the personal life of Polish jazzman, Komeda, and the environment in which he functioned from the colorful life of Piwnica pod Baranami in Krakow and the birth of the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree to Los Angeles. This is a moving portrait of a generation for whom jazz was the most beautiful - and often the only - substitute for freedom.


The meeting will take place in the welcoming residence of Maria and Edward Pilatowicz, and the conversation with the writer will be led by Andrzej Maleski - all three individuals are a very important part of the history of the Modjeska Club, so we decided to share with our readers  information about them.


Andrzej Maleski (aka Andrzej Malecki) has been a member of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club since 1985. In 2008-2010 he served as the President of the club. Together with wife Joanna, they repeatedly hosted the Club's events in their residence. Before leaving Poland, Andrzej was the editor of the television magazine "Pegaz", where he dealt with film and theater topics. He was also the author of many television programs with the participation of Polish theater stars; he created many  documentary films. 

After emigrating to California, he continued his journalistic passion, conducting interviews with outstanding Polish artists in the Modjeska Club. Among others, he interviewed many outstanding filmmakers: Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Zanussi, Janusz Kaminski, Janusz Zaorski, Filip Bajon, Jan Kidawa-Blonski, Ryszard Bugajski. He hosted and interviewed theater directors Michael Hackett and Grzegorz Jarzyna, as well as famous Polish actors Barbara Krafftowna, Jerzy Trel, Andrzej Seweryn, Alina Janowska, Jan Englert, Danuta Stenka, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Krzysztof Majchrzak. Finally, he was given the difficult task to interview Polish politicians: Poland's ambassador in the USA, Janusz Reiter, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski, and the First Lady of the Republic of Poland Maria Kaczyńska who later died tragically in 2010. Andrzej Maleski was also the author of countless invitations and reviews from the Club's meetings, as well as the author of texts and songs for the Modjeska Club's cabarets and anniversary ceremonies. In 2012, he was awarded the medal "Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej" [Medal of merit for the promotion of Polish culture] by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.


Mr and Mrs Pilatowicz will host the interview with Magdalena Grzebalkowska in their residence, in which they have a great experience because they not only hosted many meetings, but also Club's guests - famous actors, film directors, who often received a wonderful holiday in California as a reward for their appearance in the Club.

Marysia and Edward Piłatowicz actively joined the Modjeska Club board in the early 1980s. They hosted many club meetings and events, including the historic meeting of the Polish Southern California community representatives with the staff of the newly-established Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles in 1991. The Christmas and New Year theatrical performances  prepared by Marysia, featured carols and poetic performances and were among the most popular Modjeska Club events. Two of these events recorded on tape can be viewed on YouTube: Pastoralka 2002 and Pastoralka 2004 (see the links below). A satirical compilation of songs and skits with the participation of many members of the Club, entitled "Piernikalia 2000" can also be viewed on YouTube, from the link below, Piernikalia 2000.

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in 1971 fell during the term of office of Edward as the President. On this occasion, the Club received the medal from the Minister of Culture and Art of the Republic of Poland "Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej" presented by the Consul General of the Republic of Poland at that time, Maciej Krych. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary, the Club also published a booklet "The First Twenty Five Years ..." documenting Modjeska Club events of that period. This booklet, edited by Maria Pilatowicz, was given to Polish artists, musicians, poets and writers who were guests of the Modjeska Club. For their activity, Marysia and Edward received medals "Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej" and "Knight's Crosses of the Order of Merit" from the Polish government.


The Modjeska Club is very grateful for the generous financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Polonia Funds, and of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland (Consul for Polonia and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Ignacy Zarski). The concert, Mickiewicz Unplugged by the Piramidy from Poland (Piotr Kajetan Matczuk, Tomasz Imienowski) was fantastic and we are looking forward to bringing the musicians back in a year or two. 

We are also very thankful to Dr. Irmina Targowski and Dr. Andrzej Targowski for arrainging the hall rental at the elegant CenterPointe Club and for inviting us to Playa Vista!  We appreciate your support and are grateful for the use of this beautiful space for our meeting.

Poster for the Piramidy performance

Centerpointe Club, Playa Vista

The audience, in the first row Elzbieta Romuzga, Malgorzata Miller, Zbyszek Orzol,
in the second row Ewa Nyczak

Tomasz Imienowski and Piotr Kajetan Matczuk

Piotr Kajetan Matczuk

Musicians with the Club Board. L to R, seated: T. Imienowski, P. Matczuk, Elzbieta Trybus. L to R, standing: Chris Justin, Maja Trochimczyk, Ewa Barsam, Elzbieta Przybyla, Witold Sokolowski.

Musicians with the Club Board. L to R, seated: T. Imienowski, P. Matczuk, Maja Trochimczyk. L to R, standing: Chris Justin, Elzbieta Przybyla, Elzbieta Trybus, Ewa Barsam, Witold Sokolowski