The closing week of August this year will be yet again the time when the Jewish culture takes over Warsaw! The Jewish Culture Festival Singer’s Warsaw celebrates a common, Polish and Jewish heritage and brings an opportunity to make up for what the city lost as a result of WW2. With a rich and diverse program featuring outstanding artists from Poland and abroad, Warsaw will once again become a cultural melting pot.  Just as the year before, the Festival is scheduled to take place not only in Warsaw but also in the towns where Isaac Bashevis Singer lived and worked – in Leoncin, Radzymin, Biłgoraj and New York, where the writer emigrated in 1935 and lived for the most part of his life.

Continuing the tradition, this year’s festival will be inaugurated by a concert in the Nożyk Synagogue during which we will have the opportunity to listen to the most distinguished cantors and cantors choirs. Opening this several days of music feast, the show will feature performances of the greatest world cantors: Alberto Mizrahi, Ushi Blumenberg, David Weinbach and Cantors Choir from Jerusalem Binyamin Choir conducted by Yotama Segal.

The star of the finale concert of the festival will be Matisyahu – a world famous reggae musician, vocalist, rapper and beatboxer. A New Yorker, Matisyahu is one of the most recognized and popular artists on the reggae music scene. During the finale concert, the audience will have the opportunity to hear some phenomenal combinations of energetic and positive rhythms, and Jewish music.

The open air concert “Klezmer Night” will be an occasion to hear Konsonans Retro, a band from Ukraine. This family wind orchestra from Kodyma near Odessa performs a mixture of Moldavian, Ukrain and Jewish melodies. According to many people, it is the freshest East European discovery in the world music genre. Klezmer Night will also include a performance given by an energetic company of versatile musicians conducted by Fabian Pollack, Vienna Klezmore Orchestra from Austria.

A Polish klezmer accent will be guaranteed by the premiere of KROKE’s newest album „Ten,” undeniably one of the world’s best recognized klezmer groups. For several years, the Festival has been hosting outstanding Polish artists who draw their inspirations from the Jewish music. During this year’s edition, Grzegorz Turnau will give a recital featuring his interpretations of Mordechai Gebirtg’s songs.  

Following our audience special request, All Saints Church at Grzybowski Square will host the prince of gospel music, Joshua Nelson. This charismatic artist, familiar to the Warsaw audience, will present his new project, co-developed with New York musicians and Sienna Gospel Choir from Warsaw.

Organizers are also open to the new music projects, including the experimental ones, addressed at young and sophisticated audience. Hence, a particularly notable and interesting The Rose Ausländer Project, performed by the German band, Sadawi, formed and launched by an excellent artist, Paul Brody, who lives and works in Berlin, and a concert by Katy Carr, a British singer with Polish roots, musician and the lead singer of “Katy Carr and the Aviators.” Her compositions often refer to the Polish culture and history, a subject that the artist finds particularly interesting. She dedicated her latest album “Passport” to the heroes and events of WW2.

Further avant-garde interpretations and adaptations will be performed by the leading young musicians who represent the so called New Jewish Music stream, i.e. Karolina Cicha and Raphael Rogiński.

SINGER JAZZ FESTIVAL for the second time
The continuation of the Singer Jazz Festival confirms the importance of jazz music as part of the Festival. The artistic director of the event is Adam Baruch, a world famous music critic, organizer and activist behind the music scene for several decades. Jazz program will feature: Kuba Stankiewicz Trio discovering the works of Bronisław Kaper, Oleś brothers, Jazzpospolita, Jachna/Tarwid/Karch trio, Sławomir Pezda/Mateusz Gawęda duet, Elma. The star of the jazz part of the Festival Singer’s Warsaw will be the outstanding Israeli jazzman and saxophone player Albert Beger.

Singer’s Warsaw is not only about music. The Festival is also devoted to feature theatre shows and small stage performances. This year, we will be able to see “Head Full of Birds” directed by Motti Awerbuch (Israel), with the performances given by the distinguished Israeli actor Uri Kowalski and the dame of the Israeli stage Anabella, followed by “The Dybbuk” directed by Maja Kleczewska, to name just a few examples of theatrical undertakings which we will be able to experience at the end of the summer.

This year, the Festival will expand to add a new area dedicated to the festival’s activities – the surroundings of the Palace of Culture and Science, a space that was a vibrant Jewish corner before the war. On 22 August, together with Plac Defilad initiative, we will host an all-day-long encounter with Jewish culture, which will include theatre show directed by Anna Smolar “Jewish Actors,” a debate “We, the Polish Jews in the 21st century” and inspired by Jewish music, a concert by Marek Dyjak. We will take the visitors for a walk around the Parade Square attempting to reconstruct the place and the system of streets that crossed this area before the war, before the Palace of Culture and Science was built. In addition, we have scheduled to plant 7 plants symbolizing 7 fruits of Israel’s earth (grape, fig, date, barley, wheat, pomegranate, olive) on the Parade Square. Our meeting on the Parade Square will end with a grand Havdalah with the outstanding cantors.

On Sunday, 23 August, we will have the pleasure to invite you to the square nearby the Yiddish Culture Center (15 Andersa St.), which will host the family and children picnic. The youngest participants will be engaged to participate in the city games, music and art workshops, and generally a lot of fun. While grown-ups will have the opportunity to familiarize with the cultural offer of the Yiddish Cultural Center, take part in the demonstration lessons of Hebrew and Yiddish, slide shows, cooking and music workshops and a walk around Muranów.

The organizer of the Jewish Culture Festival Singer’s Warsaw is the Shalom Foundation. The author of the original idea and the artistic director of this unique event is Gołda Tencer, an actress, director, singer, who has been promoting Yiddish culture in Poland and around the world for many years.

Shalom Foundation
Grzybowski Squere 12/16
00 - 104 Warsaw