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,, 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

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