Though their appearance at WOMAD 2017 marks their first visit to New Zealand, Polish Warsaw Village Band have been in existence for 20 years. As founder member Wojciech Krzak explained, “It was created by a bunch of students from Warsaw University, inspired by the traditional Slavic culture but open for different cultures, in search of new ideas.”
“It was just for fun and to learn something from the old musicians we had met on our road. And they inspired us, teach us, and also asked, ‘Hey guys, let’s play something, because our sons and grandsons don’t care about our music and our culture’. So it was a great impulse for us.”
But though the Warsaw Village Band draws on the music and traditions of their teachers, Wojciech stresses that the old musicians encouraged the young band to develop its own style.
“’Don’t be copyists’”, he was told. “’Don’t make your music exactly how we used to play it. Add something which is your invention. Your heart, your soul, your imagination.’”