Ekran pays Tribute to Polish Music Icons Kora & Tomasz Stańko
Polish rock icon Kora & avant garde jazz trumpeter/composer Tomasz Stańko both passed away over the weekend.
First came the devastating news on Saturday July 28, 2018, when Kora (born Olga Ostrowska; formerly Jackowska) died after her 5 year fight with ovarian cancer. Born June 8, 1951 in Krakow, she was 67 years old.
Kora is best known as the lead singer of the iconic Polish rock band Maanam (1976-2008).
To an International audience her sound and style can be compared to Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Nina Hagen.
“The passing away of Kora for many people of my generation, including myself, means a symbolic end of an era, President Andrzej Duda wrote on Twitter following the death of the singer, composer and leader of the band ‘Maanam’.” (Source: The First News.)
Ekran’s Master or Ceremonies, singer Anna Cyzon, posted a photo of Kora on her Instagram with the caption:
“Rip Legend. To have had the chance to meet you and for you to have defended my art is more than I could ask for in this life. May your soul be at peace and your heaven full of song.” – Anna Cyzon
Cyzon was a contestant and Kora was a judge on the Polish singing competition show Must be the Music.
Tomasz Stańko passed away in Warsaw on Sunday, July 29, 2018. He too lost a battle with cancer. Born in July 11,1942 in Rzeszow. The world renowned trumpet player saw his first jazz concert in 1958, Communist Poland, when Dave Brubeck visited on a State Department-sponsored tour. Just as Stańko recalled in a 2006 profile for The New York Times, “The message was freedom.” And it proved irresistible. Stańko got his professional start in Krakow soon after. (Source: NPR).
Stańko became a well known name in Polish jazz when he joined forces with well known artists such as Pianist Adam Mackowicz and Krzysztof Komeda.
Stańko went on to compose for film and theatre as well. His notable sideman appearances include bassist Gary Peacock’s Voice from the Past: Paradigm (1982) and a fierce 1985 offering from Cecil Taylor‘s Orchestra of Two Continents, Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants). He even made some deeply intriguing synthesizer-heavy fusion (Chameleon, Freedom in August, C.o.c.x., and Freelectronic in Montreux). In 2010, he published his autobiography, Desperado (in Polish). (Source: NPR).
Derek Richardson, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Tomasz Stanko is not the first jazz musician to negotiate a rapprochement between gorgeous melodies and free improvisation. But he is one of the most eloquent proponents of extemporaneous lyricism working today.” (Source: SFgate.com)