Kroke (which is Cracow in Yiddish)
The group was formed in 1992 by three friends: Tomasz Kukurba, Jerzy Bawoł and Tomasz Lato. From the very beginning, the idea of the band was a continuous search for something new, also within ourselves. The musicians admit: “We would like our music to be called simply KROKE MUSIC”. The band, initially associated with Klezmer music, currently oscillates around various genres. The artists take inspiration from ethnic music from around the world, they do, however, always enrich their works with their own improvisations. This way KROKE creates its own unique style which floates across borders, forms and time.
GENRE: World Music, Folk, Klezmer, Jazz
KROKE is one of the first bands to go out with their music to the public. The musicians used to perform on the streets and in the clubs of Cracow’s Kazimierz district, once the Jewish part of the city. One day in 1993, Kate Capshaw, wife of Steven Spielberg, who was then making his picture Schindler’s List in Cracow, arrived to the ‘Ariel’ restaurant, at which the band often performed. One night she took her husband to a concert. The director quickly recognized KROKE’s talent and invited the band to Jerusalem to perform at Survivors Reunion ceremony organized for the survivors of the Oskar Schindler’s list. “Since this remarkable moment everything became more profound… That’s when the band was really began to exist. We were given some kind of a musical blessing from these people, some of which were klezmorim – mention the musicians.”
But it was just the beginning of a great adventure. Spielberg sent KROKE’s casette to Peter Gabriel, who invited the band in 1997 to the United Kingdom to take part in WOMAD Festival. The audience gave a rousing welcome both to the performance and the band’s debut album Trio. This meeting also resulted in joint recording sessions in Real World Studios. Parts of the recordings were later used by Peter Gabriel on Long Walk Home album, which was a soundtrack for the movie Rabbit-Proof Fence. In the following years The Secrets of The Life Tree piece, performed by KROKE, featured on the soundtrack of David Lynch movie Inland Empire. The meeting of KROKE and Nigel Kennedy resulted in a joint work – the East Meets East album. In recent years the band also collaborated with Anna Maria Jopek, Edyta Geppert, Maja Sikorowska, Krzysztof Herdzin, Norwegian band Tindra, Spanish violinist Diego Galaz, Mongolian singer Urna Chahar-Tugchi and Sinfonietta Cracovia orchestra. They also appeared on the most prestigious music festivals around the world.