Founded by Damian Kurasz and Janusz Demkowicz in 2000, TOLHAJE was soon after joined by other musicians who come from the Subcarpathian region. They were Marysia Jurczyszyn, Tomasz Duda, Jakub Mietla, Robert Krok, Lukasz Moskal and Piotr Rychlec. The band is inspired by, inter alia, the customs of the Boykos and Lemkos – ethnic groups living in Bieszczady before 1947, musical culture of South-Eastern Poland (Lubelszczyzna – Polish historical region that encompasses Lublin) and the ethnic groups of modern Ukraine. TOLHAJE have performed on stages in the entire country endearing themselves to the audience as well as competition juries. They reached the final of the 4th edition of the Folk Music Festival of the Polish Radio (second place). They were the winners of the 19th International Youth Folk Song and Music Festival “Eurofolk Na Pograniczach” in Sanok in 2001. In June 2002, the band represented Poland at the 23rd European Broadcasting Union Festival in Mölln, Germany. Moreover, most of the members from TOŁHAJE collaborated with famous artists, like Gordon Haskle, John Lord (Deep Purple), Nigel Kennedy, Michael Bolton as well as with well-known Polish artists (Katarzyna Nosowska, Kayah, Hey, Maria Peszek, Smolik, Pink Freud, Kora, Ewa Bem, Stanisław Soyka, Gaba Kulka, Justyna Steczkowska, Zakopower, Piotr Rubik, Michał Bajor and many others). In the autumn of 2013 TOŁHAJE received a proposal to co-create music for a new TV series “Wataha”, HBO Poland. During this project the band created new songs and after that an idea arose to release an album. The new album “Czereda” contains inter alia songs used in the broadcasted TV series on HBO.
In April 2003, TOLHAJE won the Folk Phonogram of the Year Award 2002 for the album “A w Niedziela Rano” – founded by the Radio Centre for Folk Culture in the Polish Radio. The album was also nominated for the Fryderyk Music Award 2003 in the ETNO/FOLK category.
We wrześniu 2011 roku ukazała się druga płyta zespołu pt. „Stereokarpaty”. „Στέρεος” (czyt. stereos) oprócz określenia jakości dźwięku, oznacza po grecku „solidny”, „mocny”, „dobrze zbudowany, skonstruowany”. Taka jest właśnie propozycja Tołhajów – dojrzalsza, dopracowana i otoczona karpackimi, stereofonicznymi inspiracjami. Na materiał składają się głównie kompozycje inspirowane utworami ludowymi z pogranicza Polski i Ukrainy, zaśpiewane po ukraińsku oraz we wschodniokarpackich dialektach przez Marysię Jurczyszyn.
In September 2011, ‘Stereokarpaty’ – the long-awaited second studio album of the band, was released. This album includes songs inspired by folk music from the Polish and Ukrainian borderland that are sung by Marysia Jurczyszyn in Ukrainian and Eastcarpathian dialects. “Στέρεος” (read: stereos) in Greek, apart from its reference to sound quality, means ‘solid’, ‘powerful’, ‘well-built’ and ‘well-constructed’. These qualities are pertinent to TOLHAJE’s new release – more mature, perfected, and wrapped with Carpathian stereophonic inspirations.
In the autumn of 2013 TOŁHAJE received a proposal to co-create music for a new TV series “Wataha”, HBO Poland. During this project the band created new songs and after that an idea arose to release an album. The new album “Czereda” contains inter alia songs used in the broadcasted TV series on HBO.
- Marysia Jurczyszyn – vocal
- Damian Kurasz – guitar
- Tomasz Duda – saxophones, bass clarinet
- Janusz Demkowicz – bass guitar
- Łukasz Moskal – drums
- Piotr „Falko” Rychlec – accordion, didgeridoo, sound engineer
- Kuba Wolanin – percussion
- Maciek Cierliński – hurdy gurdy
During recordings and concerts also attended the session musicians:
- Grzegorz Czuchaj – saxophones
- Grzegorz Kańtoch – percussion
- Piotr Pociask – guitar
- Wojtek Fedkowicz – drums
- Rafał Inglot – drums
- Paweł Gielarek – theremin
- Jakub Mietła – accordion
- Robert Krok – drums
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