Autumn with the Blues Festival
November 23-26 2023
Organizers of the first edition of the festival “Autumn with the Blues” in 1978 were Miejski Dom Kultury (City Community Center) and Przedsiębiorstwo Budowlane Przemysłu Lekkiego (Construction Company of Light Industry). But it would never have happened if not for the idea and strong determination in its implementation of the band Kasa Chorych, which had been playing in this city for three years, and its leader Rysiek Skibiński.
“Autumn with the Blues” became the first blues festival (and the second, after the Poznań “Folk-Blues Meeting”, festival presenting Polish blues musicians). Since there were only few of them at that time, beside Kasa Chorych and Irjan (Irek Dudek and Jan Janowski) there appeared such musicians as Martyna Jakubowicz and country musicians: Michał Łuszczyński and (who remembers them now?) Mr. Olek Country Band from Białystok.
The following year the blues could be heard in the most exclusive stages of the city: in the Concert Hall, the Theater and, of course, in clubs. The posters of subsequent “Autumns”, beside Tadeusz Nalepa and Kasa Chorych appeared the names of debutants and soon those of our best musicians: Paweł Ostafil, Elżbieta Mielczarek, Stanisław Sojka, Nocna Zmiana Bluesa, Easy Rider, Jan ‘Kyks’ Skrzek, Leszek Winder as well as those who today are just history, for example: Kapela Łąkowa, Joy Band, Bluestemper and Browar Łomża. After the tenth edition of the Festival, in 1990, with, among many others, the Chicago band The Kinsey Report, two less successful ones took place, after which the organization of the event was suspended.
When the Białostocki Ośrodek Kultury (Center of Culture in Białystok) reactivated ‘Autumn with the Blues’ in 1996, the events have kept happening one after another incessantly. More and more foreign performers have appeared. In the period 1998-2002 the festival was accompanied by a contest whose winners were Kidnaper, Rider, Max Bonard Band, Sexy Mama, Formacja Fru, J.J.Band.
It is possible to sum up the number of the musicians who have gone through the festival stage, and to count the hours of the music we have listened to. It is by no means possible, however, to express in any quantities the impressions resulting from such direct contacts of performers and fans of the blues, this always ‘niche’ type of music. The participants in those meetings have certainly kept them in their memories.