On May 5th, I had the pleasure of attending a concert by Krakowska Orkiestra Staromiejska at Teatr Groteska titled, “Legends of Summer ’69.” I love classical music and having scanned the repertoire and noticed some favourite songs of mine, I was expecting an enjoyable evening. We were given an outstanding show full or energy and humor – with a few surprises thrown in.
The young musicians in matching black outfits were punctual and came on stage right on time. The father-like bandmaster began with an introduction to express gratitude to the sponsors who had bought a very pricey clarinet for the orchestra. To demonstrate its beautiful sound, one of the musicians played a tune for the audience to guess, and the winner got free entry to all future concerts of the band – lucky them!
When the music finally came, it took us straight to the summer of 1969 – soft, deep and dreamy but lively at the same time – the tunes of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington were all smoothly played. We relaxed in our seats with our eyes closed, imagining being in a garden party somewhere in the USA with a big band playing just for us.
Slowly the style changed a bit and we started to recognise some tunes – “With a little help from my friends”, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, “Somebody to Love” which were wonderfully adapted to suit all the instruments in the orchestra. For certain songs, a singer joined in which sounded fabulous.
The most enjoyable part was when they played a medley of Amy Winehouse’s most famous songs: “Back to Black,” “You know I’m no good” and “Rehab”. If only there had been a space for dancing – we couldn’t help tapping to the beat and singing along!
The highlight of the concert was definitely “Byłaś Dla Mnie Wszystkim” by Poparzeni Kawą Trzy. The orchestra danced while playing and interacted with the audience brilliantly. At one point, they came down from the stage and gave the microphones to members of the audience to join in, which was a real highlight.
You can catch their next performance on the Main Square on May 27th. In the meantime follow Krakowska Orkiestra Staromiejska on their fanpage.