Nigel Kennedy’s Polish Weekend – Polish Culture Comes to London

Polish Weekend with Nigel Kennedy

Bank Holiday Weekend

29-30 May

Southbank Centre

Belvedere Road

London SE1

Throughout the late May Bank Holiday weekend violinist Nigel Kennedy, as Artistic Director, brings Poland to Southbank Centre. The weekend will include a musical spectacle, from jazz and klezmer to classical, performed by Kennedy himself and a number of Polish musicians.

Festival highlights include the Nigel Kennedy Quintet, Nigel Kennedy’s Chopin Super Group, the Orchestra of Life;  which will be their UK debut performance,  and Nigel Kennedy’s World Cup Project and performances from Polish bands Zakopower, Kroke, and Polish jazz artists singer songwriter Anna Maria Jopek, trumpeter Robert Majewski, Piotr Wylezol Quintet and the Jarek Śmietana band.

Saturday – 29 May 2010

Majewski & Friends

Robert Majewski’s sound is one of the greatest trumpet sounds I’ve ever heard. It’s not the brash and aggressive sound you often hear in many trumpet players, but it’s very open and warm. It’s possible to hear just two notes of music and know that it’s Majewski playing. (Nigel Kennedy)

Purcell Room

3:00 pm


Zakopower are to highlander music what the Pogues are to Irish music. Even if you can’t understand a word of it, the music is so appealing everyone will love it. This is for people who like dancing and bopping around. (Nigel Kennedy)

Queen Elizabeth Hall

5:00 pm

Nigel Kennedy Orchestra of Life

The UK debut of Nigel Kennedy’s new orchestra.

Royal Festival Hall

7:30 pm

Sunday – 30 May 2010

Piotr Wylezol Quintet

Piotr’s Quintet has a very cultivated, warm sound. They’re all great musicians. It’s very melodious music, not over complicated in the way of showing off technique. It’s just very sophisticated stuff. I love listening to his music. (Nigel Kennedy).

Purcell Room

2:00 pm

Kroke and Nigel Kennedy

Kroke play beautifully. They have a very natural way of playing, with great invention and great heart. There is an unbelievable pathos and truthfulness in the music. They’re mad people, but it’s brilliant music. (Nigel Kennedy)

Queen Elizabeth Hall

4:00 pm

Nigel Kennedy’s FA Project

England versus Poland, 1973

I am really excited about this concert – this is a different type of night, but it perfectly represents what the whole festival is about, which is bringing Polish culture into England. There’s a similarity between music and football in that football brings a lot of people together and music is obviously designed expressly for that purpose. They are also both shared pursuits across all nations. (Nigel Kennedy)

Royal Festival Hall

7:30 pm

Monday – 31 May 2010

Anna Maria Jopek

The Polish, jazz superstar Anna Maria Jopek and her band makes a rare appearance in London as part of Nigel Kennedy’s Polish Weekend.Anna Maria’s music blends elements taken from jazz, folk and classical traditions to create something truly unique. She regularly collaborates with musicians ranging from Pat Metheny and Branford Marsalis to Dhafer Youssef.

Queen Elizabeth Hall

1:00 pm

Nigel Kennedy’s Chopin Super Group

Chopin is probably the first and foremost great composer of this wonderful country, and Janusz Olejniczak is, for me, just the greatest Chopin interpreter in the world. There’s a lot of Chopin going on this year because it’s 200 years since he was born and we’re presenting a slightly different view of Chopin’s music in our festival. (Nigel Kennedy)

Royal Festival Hall

3:00 pm

Jarek Smietana Quartet: Autumn Suite

I love playing with Jarek as he’s got this real joie de vivre about his music and his life. He’s not one of those old cynical bastards, but has a real enjoyment of playing, which I really respect. (Nigel Kennedy)

Purcell Room

6:00 pm

Nigel Kennedy Quintet

For the finale of his Polish Weekend, Kennedy steps into the limelight as the Nigel Kennedy Quintet, made up of a new generation of leading Polish jazz musicians. The Quintet made a tremendous impression at the 2008 Proms.

Queen Elizabeth Hall

8:00 pm


Missionaries of Rhythm

The team of eleven dancers have performed together for several years, winning national and international acclaim. The crew give regular workshops and dance classes in Cracow.

Violin making workshop

Watch, learn and discover how to make and repair violins, with Poland’s leading luthier Grzegorz Bobak. Born in 1977 Bobak learnt his trade from his father, the distinguished Polish luthier Jan Bobak and also studied at The Chicago School for Violin Making and the William Harris Lee Workshop in Chicago.

Young Classical Artists

Two young artists per day perform in Southbank Centre’s foyers across the three days of the festival. These musicians have been hand-picked by Nigel and some are taken form his newly formed Orchestra, the Orchestra of Life.

For more info

Tickets: 0844 847 9910,232,nigel_kennedys_polish_weekend.html


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