From traditional to contemporary, the festival is pleased to welcome a variety of entertainers. See folk dancers performing in traditional costumes, hear a Polish folk music choir, or enjoy a concert pianist playing Chopin. End the day dancing to our Disco Polo DJ or at the Mural Amphitheatre with Polish cover band Yaazda!
Check the Schedule for performance times and location.
Andy Mirkovich joins us at the festival again this year with his entertaining accordion playing. Sharing his talent and music has always been a passion and joy for Andy. Whether piano or accordion, Andy has the ability to reach each person, touching their heart and soul with a special gift of music they carry away with them. Andy’s musical training began with the study of accordion at age five and on through graduation from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music & advanced degree in composition from the University of Washington Graduate School of Music. Andy was the featured performer at the Space Needle Restaurant for II years and has performing experience in radio, television, movies, commercials, recordings, and concerts. He has performed with icons of the entertainment industry. He has played for kings, queens & peoples worldwide, and has been called on to adjudicate and perform at music festivals all over the Pacific Northwest. As founder of Andy Mirkovich Productions, he developed and brought the best of talent to the public, corporate, and private event industry in the Northwest
DISCO POLO DANCE PARTY with DJ PHILIP
Disco polo was created in Poland in the late 1980s, a Polish variant of disco and popular music. Played often at Polish weddings and parties, it is experiencing a resurgence. DJ Philip will be bringing the music… Kick off your shoes and come dance with us!
Duo Draka is a Polish couple from Portland, Oregon. With Olimpia Trusty on violin and Pawel Sojka on accordion, the pair brings a lively sound to this year’s festival. Grounded from rigorous Polish music education, Duo’s interests are not limited to one music genre. In their program you may find classical, Balkan, gypsy pieces, music from movies, folk and instrumental contemporary compositions.
LAJKONIK POLISH FOLK ENSEMBLE
The Lajkonik Polish Folk Ensemble was founded in Tucson in 1998 by Joanna Schmit under the scorching heat of the Arizona sun. Lajkonik performs about 25 time per year, entertaining audiences with Polish folk dances and songs from various regions of Poland. Lajkonik is the first and the only Polish dance group from Arizona invited to the International Festival of Polish Folklore in Rzeszow in 2014 and in 2017; they plan to attend the next festival there in 2019. In 2012, Lajkonik was the first Polish folk group in the United States to perform at halftime during an NBA game, celebrating Polish Heritage Night with popular Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat in front of 13,000 fans. In Tucson, the group livens up the annual Tucson Meet Yourself festival, one of the largest cultural festivals in the Southwest, by selling delicious Polish food staples and with an extended dance performance. Its organizers have described Lajkonik as Tucson’s most beloved folk group. Lajkonik has been recognized through artistic fellowships from the Southwest Folk Alliance organization. Lajkonik also performs at the Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Serbian festivals in Phoenix and Tucson and at Polish events in Las Vegas and Seattle. We add with pride that the creative energy for the group has been passed to Joanna’s older son Matthew Schmit who with his fiancé Amy Robertson choreograph the dances and lead the group. Also of note, not all Lajkonik dancers are of Polish decent, but our performers showcase the rich cultural traditions of Polish folk life with such enthusiasm and energy that our babcias would be proud. Follow Lajkonik on Facebook.
NEW AGE FLAMENCO
New Age Flamenco specializes in live performances at festivals, corporate events, restaurants, bars, small concert halls, private houses, cocktail parties, wine tastings, dance rooms, shopping malls, and fundraising and charity events. The band was formed in 1998 by bass player Oleg Ruvinov. In 1999, the band adopted the name “New Age Flamenco” and practiced frequently playing popular tunes by Armik, Gipsy Kings, Carlos Santana, Ottmar Liebert and others. Their music reflects a strong Latin connection, Mediterranean folk, European roots, jazz, and a Gypsy soul blended with the infectious rhythms of modern music. New Age Flamenco personifies eclecticism by absorbing their influences and combining them to create a new, personal sound of their own. All musicians are professionally trained and have great stage experience.
Oleg Ruvinov (Band Leader/Bass)
Vidas Svagzdys (Rhythm Guitar/Principal)
Aram Mkrtchyan (Guitar/Violin)
Julian Catford (Lead Guitar)
Will Dowd (Drummer/Percussionist)
PORTLAND CHILDREN’S POLISH DANCE GROUP
Created in 1998, the Portland Children’s Polish Dance Group it has been the pride of Polonia in Portland Oregon over the years. The group includes children from 4 to 10 years of age. Performances include the Polish Festival in Portland, many venues in Portland and the surrounding area, and several appearances at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle.
LAURE STRUBER-MOSNIER playing the music of Fryderyk Chopin
French-born musician Laure Struber is a dynamic performer, compelling teacher and a music-activist and interpreter in her community. Laure has performed widely through Europe and in the United States as a soloist, chamber musician, keyboardist for the Strasbourg philharmonic and has been the recipient of numerous awards including a France-Fulbright Alumni distinction, a Marina Grin award for “Fine pianism and selfless contribution to the musical world” and a Soroptimist prize. In parallel, Laure has been very involved as a music educator for the past ten years, teaching piano to all ages. Determined to bring music to everyone, she also created musical workshops for children with learning difficulties and from disadvantaged social backgrounds. She recently joined the teaching staff of Kristina Lee Music LLC, where she fosters a powerful culture of creativity and independent spirits in her students.
The “Vivat Musica!” was established in March 2004 at the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle, and since then has performed in more than 150 concerts across the United States, Canada and Poland. Their repertoire includes patriotic and folk songs, sacral compositions , classical choir arrangements and Christmas concerts. Maria Grabowska serves as music consultant/ piano accompanist and Barbara Niesulowski as a choir manager. We have 20 members at the present time and always looking for new members to join our group. “Vivat Musica!” invites everyone who likes to sing to join their group at the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle every Wednesday at 7:30 (September to the first week of July.) Today’s concert is the last one before summer break.
Yaazda brings a modern, upbeat vibe to the Polish music that spans generations. Frontman Krzysztof Bujak, originally from Gdynia, Poland, on the Baltic Sea, brings heart and authenticity to the songs; alongside his band mates, that share decades of musical experience with you in their lively performances. “These are the songs I grew up with and love, ” explains Krzys, “and the purpose of Yaazda is to deliver them properly, so you can’t help but have fun and dance!”
For the true Polish experience, come out and see Yaazda!
MŁODZI POLANIE (YOUNG POLANIE)
Young Polanie is a Polish dance and theatre group founded and directed by Barbara Strutynska at the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle. For over 45 years she has trained several generations of young performers and managed the group from its inception. Young Polanie will perform two traditional Polish dances: Trojak, a Silesian dance and Krakowiak with a May pole and traditional Lajkonik (hobby horse).