Kroke is the Yiddish expression for Krakow – the Polish city is currently rediscovering itself as a metropolis of eastern European-Jewish culture. The Band was founded 1992, by three graduates of Krakow Academy of Music – Jerry Bawol (Accordion), Tomasz Kukurba (Viola) and Tomasz Lato (Double Bass).
The trio’s musical identity is deeply rooted in Jewish traditional folklore. Yet, by adding jazz- and classical elements to the mix, the three excellent instrumentalists go far beyond the scope of traditional klezmer-music in a passionate way that immediately connects with the listeners.
Initially, Kroke performed only in clubs and galleries situated in Kazimierz, a former Jewish district of Kraków. While shooting “Schindler’s List” Steven Spielberg took notice of the band and invited them spontaneously to a concert in Israel. By now, Kroke played at music festivals all over Europe, alongside with artists such as Ravi Shankar, Bustan Abraham, The Klezmatics, Van Morrison or Giora Feidman. In 1996 they released their first album “Trio”. One year later “Eden” came out and was presented in front of an enthusiastic audience at WOMAD Festival.
To this day, Kroke have released 13 albums and performed at major festivals such as the renowned „North Sea Jazz Festival“. They gained enormous popularity especially in Germany and Poland due to collaborations with artists like Nigel Kennedy or Peter Gabriel, and awards like the “German Record Critics Award” (2000).
In 2009 KROKE fascinated audience and press alike with their successful Tour through Germany. Standing Ovations, inter alia, at the outsold Passionskirche in Berlin, the Schauspielhaus Dresden or the Polish Culture Days in Greifswald.
In 2010 again KROKE aroused enthusiasm at outsold festivals like „Weltmusik im Palmengarten” in Frankfurt, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festivals and at the Köstritzer Spiegelzelt: „The audience is ecstasized, beside themselves with enthusiasm and claimed an encore by applauding for several minutes…’’Lübecker Nachrichten.
"Traveler" is Krokes 13th album. It honours the 25 years musical journey of the group und the on the way gained experiences, the different influences and changes. Like always we can be thrilled about what kind of twist Kroke provides to the Klezmer this time.