Jazz Band Ball Orchestra & Harriet Lewis (USA)

gospel concert

09. 11. 2008 – Sunday
Creative Communities’ Church, ul. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie 22

About Christian Culture Festival

Christian Culture Festival was organized for the first time in 1997 on 10th Anniversary of the Logos Theatre. In a sense, it extends the idea of Christian Culture Weeks organized in Poland in 70s and 80s of the last century, which were to become counterpoise to lay media model promoted by the State. Lodz Christian Culture Days were organized in churches all around the city, so as to accommodate the artists, spectacles, exhibitions and projections.

One of such places was the John Paul lecture theatre in the vault of the Assumption of Holy Mother Church in Kościelna Street. This is where the Logos Theatre started, before it was moved to the church in Maria Skłodowska-Curie. It was this church that Archbishop Władysław Ziółek gave to the Lodz artists in 1993, and in which the Centre of Creative Communities’ of Lodz Archdiocese was appointed. It is here that the ‘logistic’ centre of the Festival is located, and where some of the Festival events take place.

Traditionally, the Festival takes place in November, on the first Sunday after All Soul’s Day. It usually lasts for two weeks, during which various event take place – spectacle premiers, other theatres come to Lodz, there are exhibitions of invited artists, performances of choirs and musicians, very often not to be seen anywhere else in Poland at any other time. The Festival programme is the result of the whole year’s work of rev. Waldemar Sondka, the Festival Director, who – using his contacts – invites artists who are interesting, out of the ordinary, noteworthy and creating art perhaps not always religious, but always searching and at the highest level. Care for the level of the Festival offers is a permanent rule, the Logos environment has always wished to provide the Lodz citizens with the possibility of contact with art deprived of parochialism, open to the man and as perfect formally as possible.

The Festival is not an activity that brings profit. Any entrance cards are issued as invitations that are free of charge, and the team of the Logos Theatre and all the people engaged in the Festival organization, act as volunteers. This does not mean that Christian Culture Festival costs nothing. On the contrary, to organize such a cultural event at appropriate level is always connected with costs. Rev. Waldemar Sondka deals with organizing means to secure the Festival events all year round. He manages to gain sponsors (without whom the Festival would not exist) and subsidies from institutions that deal with funding culture (without which the Festival could not develop). All that in order to realize the basic idea of the event that derived from the Lodz Christian Culture Days – to enable anyone who wishes and needs that, to live the Mystery through art. This idea assumes a free of charge participation in all the artistic events, which has been the case since the very beginning of the Festival until today, the only condition is that on the day of the Festival opening, one must queue as long as it takes to get invitations. The only limit to the number of invitations is the capacity of rooms in which the events are organized every day throughout the two weeks of the Festival.



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Harriet Lewis

Harriet Lewis started to sing at the age of 12 in the Baptist Church choir. Apart from singing, she studied classical ballet, African dance and pantomime. In 1967 she was a co-founder of a vocal group the Forget MeKnots, which you can hear on records of such famous artists as : Patti LaBelle, Billy Paul, Donald Byrd, Harold Melvin, Melba Moore, Teddy Penedergrass, Bobby Humprey and bands: O’Jays, Three Degrees and Four Tops. She recorded for Blue Note and Sal Soul Orchestra. After graduation, the vocalist started her own group Posh and almost immediately was considered a jazz star in Philadelphia. Harriet Lewis sang on many stages worldwide (Japan, Africa, France), she was a guest of George Benson, Earl Klugh, Charlie Byrd and many others.
After she settled down in Stuttgard, Harriet Lewis started singing in German jazz clubs and in hotel lounges. During one of such shows, she performed with an orchestra conducted by Pops Wilson. The result of this co-operation was a record ‘A Touch of Elegance’. The vocalist has recorded 13 albums. She was a special guest in Europe on Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Lisa Stansfield, Michael Bolton, Luther Vandross or Crash Test Dummies’ tours. Harriet Lewis is renowned in Europe and considered on of the best jazz and soul-blues vocalists. As she says herself, among the musicians who inspire her artistically, there are Eric Clapton, Ray Charles or George Benson. Her constant mastering of the voice and music skills make possible for Harriet Lewis to create the atmosphere in which her voice seems to be the light coming out of the star.

Jazz Band Ball Orchestra

The Band is:
Jan Kudyk — trumpet,
Marek Michalak — trombone,
Jacek Mazur — sax, clarinet,
Wojtek Groborz — piano,
Teofil Lisiecki — double bass,
Wiesław Jamioł — drums

How to make a band last forever? How is it possible that JBBO is still going strong? How to combine sixth totally different personalities? Jan Kudyk, the founder and the leader of the band has his own idea: compliance, compromise and tolerance. Thanks to such leader, JBBO has been constantly touring Europe and America from one concert to another. The band created by the group of students of Higher Music School in Krakow, after its first successes in Poland (1st prize in the Jazz nad Odrą competition), started touring neighbouring countries. Since the end of the 1960s their exported activities have been heard in Germany and other Western European countries, where the band is more popular than in their own country. By the end of the 1970s, JBBO started another stage in their history. The starting point was the biggest traditional jazz festival in the world “Sacramento Jazz Jubilee” (about 100 performers in each festival). The band quickly became the favourite of the audience, and the most fervent fans even established Fan Club JBBO. A group of 80 American fans celebrated their 25th anniversary, by flying to Poland especially for this event.

It is difficult to place JBBO in one category. For a long time it has been to call them simply the “banjo and the tubes” band and still it is accepted by the traditional jazz purists. On the other hand, the jokers try to decipher the abbreviation JBBO as Jazz Be Bop Orchestra, which does not make the final cheering any less enthusiastic. “Armstrong”s tradition is the basis on which the music machine of JBBO is built. Jazz Band Ball Orchestra is Satchman’s traditionalism, Goodmen — Elington’s swing, a pinch of Boogie, Latino fury and the echo of rhythm&blues. All of that mixed together, complemented with the show and creative parody. This is the definition of JBBO music, so much appreciated by the fans from the West and the East for the last four decades.