Stowarzyszenie Muzyków Ludowych w Zbąszyniu


Category VII. Honorable mention to institutions and nongovernmental organizations deserved in the field of safeguarding and popularization of folk culture

Region Kozła

Stowarzyszenie Muzyków Ludowych w Zbąszyniu / The Association of Folk Musicians in Zbąszyń

Zbąszyń, Wielkopolskie Voivodeship, Ziemia Lubuska (Lubusz Land)

The association was set up in 1959. Since its inception, it has taken care of folk musicians from the region of Zbąszyń and the local bagpipe (kozioł, literally ‘goat’) traditions, and has promoted folk music of the Lubusz-Wielkopolska borderland called Region Kozła (Kozioł Land), renowned for its colourful folk costumes and characteristic folk musical instruments: the wedding kozioł, the marriage kozioł, sierszenki (bladder-pipe bagpipes) and mazanki (a type of fiddle). The inhabitants of several neighbouring communes still share the rich tradition of playing the kozioł-type bagpipes.

The most important principle that the association has upheld ever since its inception is the dissemination of the skills of playing folk musical instruments. The institution also organises important regional events, such as the Biesiady Koźlarskie (Kozioł Banquets) that draw on the local cymper traditions – colourful carnival parades, or the Festiwal Dud Polskich (Polish Bagpipe Festival), which features not only concerts and musical presentations, but also workshops of playing and making the kozioł, gajdy and regular varieties of bagpipes.

                Thanks to their appearances at festivals in Poland and abroad, the musicians from Zbąszyń become ambassadors of the kozioł legacy; by showcasing traditional costumes and instruments, they attract the attention of not only the public but also the journalists working for the radio, press and television.

March 2023 saw the creation of the Koźlarska Akademia (Kozioł Academy), which is to be a cyclic event featuring activities that develop the skills of playing the kozioł, sierszenki, fiddle and clarinet, in addition to preparing for public concert performances.

An important part of the association’s activities is the construction of folk musical instruments. The ones built by Tomasz Śliwa enjoyed the widest acclaim. At the moment, the most renowned workshop is owned by Stanisław Mai, Jarosław Mai and Dominik Brudło. Each year, their instruments garner awards at the Ogólnopolskie Konfrontacje Kapel Dudziarskich (National Pipe Band Confrontations) and the Konkursy na Budowę Ludowych Instrumentów Muzycznych (Folk Musical Instrument Making Contests) in Szydłowiec.