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10th Niemen Non Stop Young Talents Festival, Słupsk 25-27 November 2015

10th Niemen Non Stop Young Talents Festival, Słupsk 25-27 November 2015
T i m e  i s  l i k e  a  r i v e r . . .

  10 years passed last year since 'the Polish artist of all times', our patron, passed away. And this year
we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our own festivities of Czesław Niemen music, one of the
greatest festivals of this kind in Poland, that is under the Honourable Patronage of the Minister of
Culture and National Heritage with the Honorary Guest of the festival - Małgorzata Niemen.

  During the previous, autumnal editions of the festival we were celebrating the most important
anniversaries commemorating certain events from the artist's life and 40 years of his artistic
creations, among others the golden jubilee of his artistic début during the Young Talents Festival in
Szczecin (1962), his first original composition 'Wiem, że nie wrócisz' ('I Know You're Not Coming
Back') and his first performance of 'Papugi' ('The Parrots') as well as his performance in Olympia
music hall in Paris (1963) - that's where he started using his stage name 'Niemen'. Half a century
had also passed since his memorable show with Niebiesko-Czarni (Blue & Black) supporting
legendary Marlena Dietrich (and Burt Bacharach) during her concert in Sala Kongresowa in
Warsaw (1964) when the artist bought the right to Niemen's 'Czy mnie jeszcze pamiętasz' ('Do You
Still Remember Me').

  This year it will have been 50 years since Niemen's first success abroad during the International
Varietes Festival and Music Hall in Rennes (France, 1965), where he won three prestigious prizes,  
among them the Hermine d' Argent - the so-called Silver Oscar statuette and the Audience Award.
That year the artist also signed his first foreign contract with A-Z producer from France and he
appeared on French TV together with British stars G. Fame and The Kinks.

  All those jubilee events have found their deeper, intellectual dimensions in the festival's scientific
sessions and our Nota Anamnesis discussion panels, initiated by Roman Radoszewski, moderated
by Edyta and Piotr Chlebowscy, with participation of young Polish musicologists.

  Among the artists that honoured our festival with their concerts in memory of Czesław Niemen  
there were many of the most prominent personages of Polish music scene (Marek Bałata, Helmut
Nadolski, Ewa Bem, Stanisław Soyka, Kayah, Wojciech Korda, Marek Ałaszewski, Natalia
Niemen, Artur Dutkiewicz, Ania Rusowicz, Grażyna Łobaszewska) as well as 'living legends' - the
musicians of Niemen Akwarele soul orchestra (Paweł Brodowski, Tomasz Jaśkiewicz, Ryszard
Podgórski, Tadeusz Gogosz).

  The previous editions of the festival also featured distinguished special guests such as Franciszek
Walicki - 'the Godfather of Polish rock music', Marek Karewicz - 'the man with the golden
photographic lens', the author of about 5,000 photos of Niemen; another of our guests was the
artist's sister - Jadwiga Wydrzycka-Bortkiewicz - accompanied by her husband.

  The jubilee 10th edition of the International Singing Contest scen@niemena will constitute the
integral part of this year's festival. It is the first and only such a contest in the country, whose
essence is the interpretation of Niemen works. This elite competition has the highest standards of
interpretations and performances, comparative to some huge TV talent shows (such shows finals
often featured the laureates of our festival: Natalia Sikora, Kasia Sawczuk, Michał Grobelny, Marta
Markiewicz, Monika Urlik, Daria Zawiałow). Our jury lodge hosted such prominent figures of
Polish music scene as: Katarzyna Geartner - the legendary Polish composer, Urszula Dudziak - the
world-famous artist, as well as Zbigniew Hołdys, Eleonora Niemen, Paweł Sztompke, Sonia
Lachowolska together with excellent Polish singers: Grażyna Łobaszewska, Stanisław Soyka,  
Anna Serafińska, Janusz Szrom. Tomasz Jaśkiewicz - 'the court guitarist of Niemen' was present
during all the editions of the contest. It is worth noting that among a few hundred participants there
were a couple of young performers from abroad - notably Maria Lebiecka from Lida in Belarus
(located near Stare Waliszki) and Niki Azimdousta - an authentic Persian from Munich, who sang
his repertoire in Polish.

  There are more and more students of Jazz Departments of various Polish Universities of Music,
who are equipped with advanced skills and have great potential vocal and instrumental. They reach
more and more often for the most difficult pieces of Niemen, those beyond the recognizable canon
of the 60s  (for example from albums: 'czerwony', 'Mourner's Rhapsody' or 'spodchmurykapelusza').
This way the contest's ideals of bringing the less known compositions of Niemen before a larger
audience have come to life.

  Published professional albums of the festival's laureates and inspired by the festival such as
'Absurdustra - próba Norwida' by Natalia Sikora (Grand Prix 2006), 'Niemen nieznany' by  
Soundrise band from Wrocław (2012) or 'Idee super fixe' by Per Aspera Ad Astra duo (2014),
constitute another value of this event.

  It is worth mentioning that the idea for Stanisław Soyka mono-graphic album dedicated to Czesław
Niemen was conceived during the very first edition of our festival (2006) and later the content of
this album was presented during its 5th edition ('Wiem, że nie wrócisz', 2010). Finally the album
titled 'W hołdzie Mistrzowi'  was launched in 2012.

  There is also a book indirectly related to the festival which was published last year. 'Byłem
gitarzystą Niemena' ('I Used to Be Niemen's Guitarist') about Tomasz Jaśkiewicz written  by Witold
Górka who used to represent TVP Kultura and present their prizes between 2006 and 2009.
It should be noted that our festival hosted several film-making teams who were producing
documents here (Eugeniusz Szpakowski - 'Czesław Niemen', Krzysztof Magowski - 'Sen o Warszawie')

  All the editions were accompanied by artistic activities inspired by Czesław Niemen phenomenon:
- 'Pod papugami' bar (name referring to the title of Czesław Niemen song) features painting and
drawing exhibitions, e.g. pastels by A.Mozol, watercolours by T.Jaśkiewicz, images by Bielorussian
painters, paintings by H.Klaja, pictures painted with sounds by D.Borodziuk, as well as
photographic exhibitions (by M.Karewicz and M.Niemen) or computer graphics by Cz.Niemen

- in Polska Filharmonia Sinfonia Baltica foyer there are photos by M. Karewicz from Fundacja
Sopockie Korzenie, titled '50 lat polskiego rock'n'rolla' ('50 Years of Polish Rock'n'roll') and
installations showing archival music video clips of Czesław Niemen

- in REJS Cinema there are screenings titled 'Niemen Cinematic' where we present films featuring
Niemen. We also organize 'Co ty wiesz o Niemenie' ('What Do You Know About Niemen') - a
competition for young people from nearby schools

- vocal workshops for the soloists taking part in the Niemen Non Stop Singing Contest are held in
our recording studio (led by U.Dudziak, A.Serafińska).

  We are currently preparing the detailed programme of the jubilee 10th Niemen Non Stop Young
Talents Festival.