Enter Enea Festival – Sunday, June 4, 2023

Enter Enea Festival – Sunday, June 4, 2023

13th Enter Enea Festival, Nad Jeziorem Strzeszyńskim, Poznań, Sunday, June 4, 2023

This year’s four-day Enter Enea Festival, an outdoor encounter with music on the shores of Poznan’s Lake Strzeszyńskie, exceeded many of our expectations: an above-standard programme with a number of premieres, carefully selected by artistic director Leszek Możdżer, precise organisation led by Jerzy Gumny, a very friendly open-air atmosphere, top-notch sound and sunny summer weather.

Enter (i.e. entrance, introduction), as the name suggests, besides the possibility to introduce artists from different parts of the world to the audience, is also to be a portal for artists and musicians, to support their ideas and plans. The first night of the festival, unusually on a Sunday, opened with the Sonar combo and then the Big Band Solna made up of students, graduates and teachers of the M. Karłowicz High School of Music. The young musicians were supported by Leszek Możdżer as a guest in the repertoire of jazz standards.

Michal Kratochvíl: Right at the beginning I have to mention the beautiful environment of the festival by the lake, but at the same time I have to complain about the completely incomprehensible layout of the festival seating. The very uncomfortable benches themselves are so crowded in the area that an average tall person has no chance to fit in. So it’s a kind of a constant tetris and puzzle of how to actually fit in.

The festival appetizer was tastefully started by the Polish youth Sonar, with whom the festival’s program director Leszek Możdżer played two brisk songs. Then it was the turn of Big Band Solna, also composed of young talents and music school graduates, who swung nicely. Leszek played with them again and there were classics by Lester Young, Benny Goodman and others.

A pleasant surprise was the subsequent energetic performance of the band Andrés Coll Odyssey consisting of Andrés Coll – electric marimba, castanets, Mateusz Smoczyński – violin, baritone violin, Majid Bekkas – guembri, vocals, kalimba and Ramón López – drums, tabla. The international quartet combines the cultures of Ibiza, Eastern Europe and North African Gnawa in a modern sound that will move the audience to the rhythm of these vastly different places. Particularly impressive was the enthusiastic playing of Andrés in his first concert outside his native Ibiza, combined with a virtuoso Polish violinist and an impulsive drummer.

Michal Kratochvíl: Andrés Coll brought with him from Ibiza sunny summer weather for the whole festival. He also provided one of the unexpected highlights of the festival with his original quartet Odyssey, mixing musical influences from all the band members. With his sincere enthusiasm and boundless energy, he captivated not only his bandmates but also the audience, and the enthusiastic reception of his first concert abroad was guaranteed. The band’s music had an African feel to it and seemed to be a kind of preparation for Dhafer Youseff’s concert tomorrow. There was no end to the energetic ride with an interesting instrumentation and there was no shortage of nutritious moments when all members soloed. Majid even sings, Andrés takes castanets from Ibiza in his hands and the solo on them together with the drums was very interesting. The next song, which takes us to Africa, is again varied by Majid’s singing and the violin gives it a Slavic touch. It’s a wonderful all-round mix that I enjoy immensely. Andrés has a great party, jumps and is very likable. Definitely the most enjoyable concert of the whole festival!

The cultural highlight of the opening evening was the opening of the exhibition …siała Baba mak…, a new installation by Professor Izabella Gustowska in Poznań’s Visual Park, an open-air park of art objects on the shores of Lake Strzeszyńskie. The festival began with a dance procession of singing babas led by multi-instrumentalist and singer Malwina Paszek, accompanied by a choir to an eight-metre poppy head. As you approach the large poppy head, the poppy head is lit by additional sensors, dependent on a solar battery, and you hear a folk song about a strong baba who sows poppies. The Pogłosy Choir, a chorus of more than twenty singers in a semicircle around the large poppy head, directed by Joanna Sykulska, then performed a series of folk songs, almost mysterious in the orange sunset.

Michal Kratochvíl: After the unexpectedly great ride presented by Andrés Coll Odyssey, we move to Poznan’s Visual Park to see a new installation by Professor Izabella Gustowska. An eight-metre poppy growing out of a designed field of red poppies forms a sort of separate island of Lemnos in Strzeszyn Park. A lively rendition of folk songs performed by a mixed choir evoked an almost mystical atmosphere and was a very successful end to the pre-festival evening.

After sunset, the exhibition Memory of Professor Izabella Gustowska was opened in the ABC Gallery not far from the festival stage.

Enter Enea Festival – Day by day reports