An intimate, but also a unique, artistic ceremony took place on Thursday, March 9, at the Polish and Slavic Center at Java St. in Greenpoint. No one is surprised that in the beautifully renovated halls of the Centre, representatives of the board welcome their members and supporters during regular events, almost 7 days a week.
Fundamental changes in the management of the Polish-Slavic Center, which is so rich in the possibility of promoting international culture, also showed the intellectual strength of the Polish community in promoting Poland in the USA. It is the young Polish generation that lives in the USA and achieves success, proudly admits to its roots, as well as young compatriots coming from the country, wanting to improve their education or get an interesting job, which they often achieve by winning international competitions.
On that day, the Center hosted the birthday celebration of Jakub Polaczyk, an outstanding Polish-American musician and composer of the young generation. The young artist combined this with the promotion of his first (complete) album in cooperation with musicians from Poland, Italy and the USA (album for Albany Records: Jakub Polaczyk “Union Square”).
During the evening, the guests could also watch an interesting film about the young composer’s life entitled “Conversations with Jakub Polaczyk” made by Dennis Woytek, a world-renowned documentary film director, professor at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. The film, created over the course of 10 years, has brought Jakub closer from childhood to today. The musician remembered with great fondness Nowy Sącz, where he comes from, where, under the loving care of his grandmother and parents, he learned about classical music, and also revealed his hidden secrets of composing (“music is my language”) and dreams about the piano.
Jakub Polaczyk graduated from the State Music School of the 1st degree and the State Music School of the 2nd degree in Krakow with honors in the piano class. In 2010, he graduated from the composition class at the Academy of Music in Kraków, where he also studied, among others, computer and instrumental music with Krzysztof Penderecki. In 2009, he graduated from musicology at the Jagiellonian University, as well as postgraduate studies in Łódź in the field of computer, audiovisual and film music. In 2011-2013, he received a full scholarship at the Carnegie Mellon School of Music, thanks to which he came to the USA, where he improved his composition skills, obtaining the title of Artist Diploma in Composition.
The ceremony at CP-S was hosted by the beautiful Weronika Woźniak, an American actress from Wrocław. Weronika graduated from The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute and since 2016 has performed on the stages of many theaters in New York, including off-Broadway. From March 24 to 26, she will be seen at the First Run Film Festival, organized by NYU, in the lead role in the film entitled “New Lives”.
The meeting with Jakub Polaczyk was enriched with a guest performance by artists from Poland (currently on a Fulbright scholarship in the USA): Dr. Karolina Mikołajczyk – violinist, and Dr. Iwo Jednocki – accordionist. As we can read in the reviews: “Duo Karolina Mikołajczyk and Iwo Jednocki are one of the most interesting and innovative chamber ensembles of the young generation, breaking all stereotypes regarding the instruments and escaping the usual repertoire schemes. Winners of first prizes and Grand Prix at international music competitions.
Marian Żak, president of CP-S, congratulated the artists and wished many more dreams come true. The 40-year-old birthday boy and his wife cut the birthday cake and invited for a traditional glass of wine, thanked the president and the board of CP-S for sponsoring young artists.