Zoom photo

Kapela Ludowa Zastawnych


Category III. Folk bands

Field of activity:
Music. Singing

Brzostek, Dębicki Poviat, Podkarpackie Voivodeship

Kapela Zastawnych (Zastawny Ensemble) from Brzostek was founded in its current form in 2014 by Leszek (grandfather), Jakub (Leszek’s grandson) and Jan (Leszek’s brother) Zastawny. The Zastawny family has been making music for generations; the oldest material evidence confirming this fact dates back to Jakub’s great-great-grandparents. His great-great-grandfather played the second fiddle, his great-great-grandmother played the basy (a folk double bass) and their only son Franciszek (Jakub’s great-grandfather) played the first fiddle. All of Franciszek’s children (including the brothers Leszek and Jan from the present line-up) have also performed traditional music of the local area, i.e. the Strzyżowskie Foothills and the Ciężkowickie Foothills; they have wholeheartedly embraced their father’s love of folk music. In 1979, Franciszek successfully performed with his five children in a competition of family ensembles at a ‘tournament’ between the communes of Brzostek, Pilzno and Jodłowa. The generation of Leszek’s children are also passionate music lovers: all of his sons inherited his musical talent and have been engaged in music in a variety of roles. All in all, the traditional mode of playing and the archaic repertoire have existed in the collective memory of the Zastawny family for at least five generations. Jakub Zastawny (born in 1992) is a representative of the youngest generation; he is also the first member of the family to have been interested in archiving the melodies, wedding rituals and memories of Brzostek-based musicians. His considerable expertise, which he mostly owes to his grandfather Leszek, has enabled him to write two dissertations at the conclusion of his studies at the Institute of Music, University of Rzeszów: Folk Music in Brzostek Commune – Musical Rituals and Traditions (a BA thesis, 2014) and Formal Analysis of the Local Melodies from Brzostek and the Neighbouring Area (an MA thesis, 2016).

It may be safely assumed that Kapela Zastawnych has been the guardian of traditional, age-old modes of music-making in their local area, being responsible for the preservation of countless melodies and rituals traditionally performed in the communes of Brzostek, Dębica or Jasło. All these endeavours culminated in the release, in 2017, of a CD album featuring more than twenty local melodies. The repertoire they popularise centres around the melodies performed by Franciszek Zastawny, the father of the ensemble’s current members Leszek and Jan. It features a variety of polkas, tramlas, sztajers and obereks, as well as the so-called ‘wagon’ melodies (which accompanied wedding processions transported to the church on a wagon), okółki (characteristic regional melodies), as well as ritualistic melodies of the oczepiny and the archaic dobranocka (delivering invitations on the eve of the wedding). The ensemble organises and provides music for dance parties, normally attended by some 200 to 300 dancers and other guests. It also promotes the genuine performance of the local traditions amongst the inhabitants of the area and works with young people in an effort to change their perception of the local culture, including broadly-conceived folk music, by highlighting its uniqueness.Kapela Ludowa Zastawnych is affiliated to the Centrum Kultury i Czytelnictwa (Centre for Culture and Reading) in Brzostek. The current members of the ensemble are: Józef Śliwa playing the first fiddle, Leszek Zastawny on the clarinet, Jakub Zastawny on the dulcimer, Aneta Wójtowicz playing the second fiddle and Jan Zastawny on the basy (a folk version of the double bass)


Magdalena Tejchma