Live Stage Performances 2022

 Program Schedule here

Live Stage Performances Overview

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.  

This year we also welcome Ukrainian Dance Ensemble as well as the Ukrainian Band.


THE LAJKONIK
Tucson, AZ

 Polish Folk Ensemble was founded in Tucson in 1998 by Joanna Schmit under the scorching heat of the Arizona sun. Lajkonik performs about 25 times per year, entertaining audiences with Polish folk dances and songs from various regions of Poland. Their mission is to share the sounds, costumes, and dances of Polish folk culture with their audiences, and have a great time doing it. They bring to the stage carefully researched folk dances, wrapped up in energy, personality, and a bit of magic to bridge the gap between authenticity and stage performance. Watching them perform you’ll see traditional folk costumes, dances, songs, and customs from many parts of Poland, giving you a taste of each town and village’s unique culture. Lajkonik performs locally in Tucson at festivals, including 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 also performs at the Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Serbian festivals in Phoenix and Tucson as well as in cities across the US including Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas Lajkonik is the first and only Polish dance group from Arizona invited to the International Festival of Polish Folk Dance Groups in Rzeszow, Poland, performing in 2014, 2017, and 2019; they plan to attend the next festival there in 2023. We add with pride that the creative energy for the group has been passed to Joanna’s older son Matthew Schmit who with his wife Amy Robertson Schmit choreograph the dances and lead the group. Finally, it is a point of pride in Lajkonik that not all of or dances are of Polish descent (but all are adopted Poles). Their love of dance and passion for culture drives the group. Our dedicated performers showcase the rich traditions of Polish folk life with such enthusiasm and energy that I’m sure would make our babcias proud
 

ZABAVVA
Portland, OR

Band was formed in Portland, Oregon in 2020 with the specific goal to support and entertain the Polish Community in the Northwest.

Ania (lead vocals), who grew up in Poland, and Mike (guitar), along with some of the community’s young, talented musicians play the most popular, memorable, and lively Polish music from the 20th and 21st Centuries.
 
Let’s have some fun!!!
 


VIVAT MUSICA!
Seattle, WA

The Polish choir “Vivat Musica!” was established in March of 2004 at the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle. Since then, they have performed in more than 150 concerts across the United States, Canada and Poland. They have been performing at Polish Festival Seattle since 2012! This year, they will present a medley of traditional Polish songs. Typically, their repertoire includes patriotic and folk songs, sacral church compositions, classical choir arrangements and Christmas concerts. Justin Birchell is Vivat Musica music director, Maria Grabowska serves as music consultant/ piano accompanist, and Mira Pawluskiewicz serves as the choir manager. Currently, they have 20 members and are always looking for new members to join their 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.)


LAURE STRUBER-MOSNIER playing the music of Fryderyk Chopin
Seattle, WA

French-born pianist Laure Struber has been playing the piano since the age of 3 years old. She came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar in 2010 to study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She moved to Seattle in 2014, and was the lead Teaching Assistant for the University of Washington School of Music Secondary Piano Program for three years. Most recently, she earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from UW. Her thesis focused on a modern examination of the works of Marie Jaëll, a 19th Century scientist-musician who spent decades studying neurology, hand physiology, and how these studies interacted with musical and artistic development. Since the age of 15, Dr. Laure Struber has performed widely throughout Europe and in the United States as a soloist and chamber musician, and performed for prestigious ensembles such as the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Inverted Space Ensemble, the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and String Orchestra, and the Harry Partch Ensemble. She has received numerous awards, including a France-Fulbright Alumni Distinction, a Marina Grin Award, and a Soroptimist Prize. She also won the UW Concerto Competition in 2015, performing the Chopin e minor Concerto. Dr. Laure Struber is also very involved as a music educator, and has taught students of all skill levels for more than a decade in France and in the United States. Determined to bring music to everyone, she created workshops for children with learning difficulties and disadvantaged social backgrounds. She currently teaches a studio of 20 students in the Seattle area.

Dr. Laure Struber is delighted to perform Chopin at the Polish Festival for the second year in a row, as Chopin’s music perfectly captures the soul of Poland. 


BARVINOK
Seattle, WA

Barvinok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was founded in 2004 under the auspices of the Ukrainian Association of Washington State. Currently Barvinok is the only dance school that offers Ukrainian Folk Dance classes in Washington State. Over the past decade students have performed for various audiences, at cultural festivals and private events, and participated in many competitions. Barvinok’s dedicated instructors are experienced and aim to give each student personalized attention while keeping an encouraging attitude. 
 
Dancing is a sport that offers countless benefits, too many to list in fact! However, some of the greatest include personal expression, mental relaxation, a fun form of exercise, and encouragement of creative thinking. Dancing also teaches students the value of discipline, dedication, and the importance of teamwork – fundamental qualities that are highly valued in life and in the workforce. For these reasons Barvinok aspires to spread the joy of dance to others! Barvinoks main goal is to turn dancing into a passion and spread knowledge about Ukraine’s vibrant culture to local and not so local communities. 
 


SINGING IN THE RAIN
Seattle, WA

Our band is especially passionate about Ukrainian music. While we are a small band and come from different backgrounds, music and the language brings us together. We feel very fortunate to be able to participate in various events and share at least a little bit of Ukrainian culture with all of you.