On a lovely evening in the heart of Warsaw on June 26, Deputy Chief of Mission Bix Aliu kicked off the Memphis in Poland Festival. For the second segment of a nine day-long, three city-tour of Poland that began in Sopot on June 21 and concludes in Bielsko-Biala on June 30, the Memphis in Poland Festival arrived in Warsaw on June 26 for a day of music workshops with talented Polish youth that culminated in a sizzling evening concert of blues, jazz, and classic rock ‘n’ roll held on Hoover Square at the Akwarium Club. With over 200 spectators in the audience, DCM Aliu read a letter from Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher that thanked the festival for making its second appearance in Poland and connecting Memphis’ storied culture and history with Polish cities and lovers of American music. Quoting Ambassador Mosbacher, DCM Aliu said that “Today’s festivities bring our nations closer together. Just as Memphis embodies the fusion of different ways of life, jazz, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll celebrate what we have in common, not what makes us different.” Starring the Memphis Mix band and its Polish-American fiddler Marcin Arendt, the concert included superb performances by Warsaw music students who gave inspiring renditions of a Stevie Ray Vaughan blues classic on guitar as well as the singing of the classic 1940 song “Fools Rush In” by Johnny Mercer and Rube Bloom.
Debuting in 2015 as part of an international cultural festival that honored Polish culture in Memphis, Tennessee, the current iteration of the Memphis in Poland Festival debuted on Polish shores in 2017 when America’s southern culture and civil rights history visited the Tri-Cities of Sopot, Gdańsk, and Gdynia in 2017. Now the dynamic festival has returned to Poland, including Warsaw and adding the scenic southwestern city of Bielsko-Biała to its geographic footprint. For foodies and aficionados of the blues, jazz, and good old American rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis in Poland Festival is a can’t-miss event that features culinary shows, concerts, and educational sessions. The Memphis in Poland Festival will continue in beautiful Bielsko-Biała with southern food and music in the scenic city’s town square from June 28-30. For more info and application please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 600 335 887. For a detailed program go to: https://memphisinpoland.org/. The U.S. Embassy is a proud sponsor of this important, cross-cultural festival. Let the good times roll!