The concert at the Kosciuszko Foundation last Thusday is behind me. I confess I had the jitters, but everything went well and I’m happy. I have to admit that I am always extremely proud to play at the Kosciuszko Foundation, because it is a very important place for New York Polish community and a very beautiful space with great acoustic and atmosphere and architecture. It took me over two months to get ready for this concert. I was preparing several of my new pieces for their premiere. That is why I was so nervous. I’m happy to say I consider this concert a success. And I don’t mean just my own satisfaction, but also the reactions of the audience. People let me know that they liked the music with their enthusiastic applause every few minutes. One of the Polish young ladies, named Elwira even cried – this is how touched she felt. She told me later that she liked my music so much she just couldn’t stop the tears. Isn’t this the most beautiful comment the artist could hear?
One of the pieces that I arranged and we improvised on was an old Polish folk melody „Little Red Apple“. When I was explaining to those in the audience who are not familiar with Polish folk what the song was about the Polish members of the audience started to sing it! That was absolutely a fantastic moment.
We also played my arrangements of Polish folk music from the Polish mountains Podhale, mixed with Greek rythms and jazz improvisation and my newest compositions, infused with Greek rhythms, Arabic scales and New York beats .
The audience was very diverse. This is what I really value about Kosciuszko Foundation: that they welcome and invite everybody in their threshold. So there were Polish, Greek Latin and African American people all sitting next to each other and listening to the concert. There was one of my students among the guests – 12 years old Pedro who came with his mom. He told me later that he liked the pieces based on Greek themes and rhythms best.
At the little reception after the concert , we all got an opportunity to share a glass of wine and have a conversation with our guests. The atmosphere was so friendly, I would say it felt as if we were a family. Nobody wanted to go home. Even the musicians of Ensemble Elektra who usually rush after the concert to go about their own business, stayed and had a great time. I think this was one of the best evenings this year for the most important of all my projects. Now it is time to start working on new ones. In the next part of my blog I’ll tell you about how I worked on my pieces.
Elektra Kurtis and Ensemble Elektra are crossing cultural and stylistic borders of music, infusing American music: Jazz and Rock with Mediterranean, Arabic, Latin and European Classical styles. Check in for the latest shows and new sound clips on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ensemble-Elektra/337910196827