Zakopower (PL)

The band was founded in 2005 by Sebastian Karpiel Bułecka, a mountaineer from the Polish side of the Tatra Mountains (the name is based on the name of the town of Zakopane). The music of Zakopower stems from the mountaineer folklore music which the band mixes up with modern trends, especially rock, elements of jazz and African rhythms. The debut album Music Hall (2005) got plenty of attention both at home and abroad. The phenomenal Irish crossover violinist Nigel Kennedy, a great fan of the band, appeared on the second album, Na Siedem (2008). Kennedy has often said that Zakopower was one of his most favorite bands, likening it to Ireland’s The Pogues, for instance. The latest album Boso (2011) has qualified three-times platinum and has won as many as three Fryderyk Awards, Poland’s variant to the Grammy.

The band consists of nine musicians; the founder and great showman Sebastian Karpiel Bułecka sings, plays the violin, bagpipe and flute. The ensemble has performed at leading European festivals such as Rudolstadt, Sziget in Budapest, Colours of Ostrava; they have also held several tours of the UK, Germany, Belgium, and played in the USA, Canada as well as in India, China, and Morocco.