Lauren Talese and a Novel Idea Wow Audiences in Poland with Jazz and Soul

With their grand finale in the stunning Branicki Palace in Białystok, the American jazz and soul group Laurin Talese and a Novel Idea completed their five day tour of eastern Poland on October 7.  The tour was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s American Music Abroad program under the auspices of the Association of American Voices.  The magnificent artists — composed of the vocalist Laurin Talese, Eric Wortham II on piano, Jonathan Michel on bass, and Julius Rodriguez on drums – started their tour on October 3 in Krosno where they were sponsored by the Regionalne Centrum Kultur Pogranicza in Krosno, after which they appeared on October 4 at the Centrum Spotkania Kultur in Lublin.  The jazz ambassadors subsequently performed on October 6 at Agnieszka Osiecka Studio (Polish Radio 3) in Warsaw before their finale in Białystok that was sponsored by the Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej Polska-Izrael.  The Embassy would like to thank all of our partners for the support of the tour which helped celebrate the centennial of diplomatic relations between America and Poland and promoted mutual understanding and the richness of diversity through music.  Laurin Talese and a Novel Idea were performing in Poland 61 years after the very first visit of American jazz ambassadors to Poland, the Dave Brubeck band, which toured eight Polish cities in 1958 and inspired a young Polish teenager by the name of Tomasz Stańko to take up jazz.  Stańko was later reported to say that when he had heard the first jazz ambassadors in Poland, it was as if he had “heard the sound of freedom.”  In 2018, Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher hosted Dariusz Brubeck, the son of Dave Brubeck, for a special jazz concert at her residence in Warsaw, which also featured Poland’s own jazz great ambassador Sylwester Ostrowski of Szczecin.  That concert was held to promote “100 Lat Razem,” the U.S. diplomatic mission’s public affairs commemorations of America’s support for Poland’s rebirth in 1918.