ESCAPOLOGIST TOUR PRESS RELEASE
‘Kommander’s Car’ a song written by British songwriter Katy Carr brings Kazimierz ‘Kazik’ Piechowski , Auschwitz escapee to Britain for the first time for two special events.
It is said that music is a universal language and that it can transport listeners to places in the imaginary as well as places in memory.
Kazimierz ‘Kazik’ Piechowski was transported to Auschwitz concentration camp on the 20th June 1940, his crime was for being a Polish boy scout. Two years later through links with the Polish home army and Polish resistance movement in Auschwitz, he and three other political prisoners made a daring escape for freedom. They stole SS uniforms, Rudolf Höss’s car (the then commander of the death camp) and drove away. Possessing no documents or passes, they were determined to shoot themselves if they were stopped. It is Kazik’s final action that saves this intense escape attempt. In his adopted role as the ‘Kommander,’ he sees that the final barrier is still down. Upon receiving a thump from one of the prisoners on his shoulder to, ‘do something!’ Kazik opens the car door, shows his SS uniform insignia and shouts aggressively in German at the guards who startled, immediately lift the barrier. Kazik is now the only one left alive to tell this story.
Discovering Kazik’s escape story, British songwriter Katy Carr wrote a dramatic and intense tribute song, ‘Kommander’s Car. ’ The song tells the final do-or-die moments of the escape when Kazik and his fellow prisoners, are 80m from the final barrier which is still down. Upon the revelation that Kazik was in fact still alive, Katy felt compelled to share this song with him in person, “I wanted to honour Kazik with this offering.” Katy organised a meeting with Kazik at his home in Gdansk, Poland and recorded the meeting in the form of a short documentary directed by Hannah Lovell entitled ‘Kazik and the Kommander’s Car.’ Frequently addressing young students about his story, Kazik believes that Katy’s song will help him with the education work he does “from the first beat of Kommander’s Car you can feel the drama, the melody and the music speak to us.”
It is through the creation of the song ‘Kommander’s Car,’ that a Brit, Katy Carr and a Pole, Kazik Piechowski have been united. Kazik upon official invite from the Embassy in Poland is coming to Britain at the end of March 2011 for two special events to mark 70 years since the escape.
The first event takes place at the Polish Embassy, 29th March, and is Kazik’s official address and welcome to Britain, from the Ambassador of the Polish Embassy. It will also include a screening of ‘Kazik and the Kommander’s Car,’ and a concert by Katy Carr. A press conference with Kazik will be held at 5pm.
The second event will take place on 31st March, at Baden-Powell House, the centre to commemorate the founding of the Scout movement by General Baden-Powell. Katy Carr will ‘Kommander’s Car,’ alongside British scouts [of both British and Polish origin]. Kazik will be presented with a special letter of honour from chief scout Bear Grylls,“We are hugely honoured to have you visiting us, and your story is among the most inspiring tales of heroism, sacrifice and camaraderie I have ever known.”
In addition to these dates Katy Carr will embark on an Arts Council of England funded ‘Escapologist Tour’ with her band ‘The Aviators.’ Due to Kazik’s advanced age he won’t be present at these dates, but a screening of the film will take place. [dates below]. Inspired by Kazik’s story Katy will also doing outreach work alongside her tour with the young and elderly, focusing on intergenerational participation and sharing of stories from both WW2 Poland and Britain. A book of her findings will be published in September 2011.
KATY CARR AND THE AVIATORS ‘ESCAPOLOGIST’ TOUR DATES 2011
29th Mar 2011, 6.30pm, EMBASSY OF THE REPOBLIC OF POLAND, PORTLAND PLACE [private function]
Official address and welcome by the Ambassador of the Polish Embassy
Screening of ‘Kazik and the Kommander’s Car’
Concert by Katy Carr
Press invited to 29th Polish Embassy event press conference with Kazik at 5pm
31st Mar 2011, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, BADEN-POWELL HOUSE, KENSINGTON
(Public event, donations to the Museum of Auschwitz)
(In association with Kinoteka film festival and the Polish Cultural Institute)
Film screening of ‘Kazik and the Kommander’s Car’
First ever screening of ‘Kommander’s Car’ music video
Concert by Katy Carr with British scouts of both Polish and British origin
A letter from Chief Scout Bear Grylls being presented to Kazik by the Scout Association
Exhibition by Galen Wainwright of drawings in charcoal featured in ‘Kazik and the Kommander’s Car’
KATY CARR AND THE AVIATOR’S ‘ESCAPOLOGIST’ TOUR 2011
29th March – Embassy Of The Republic of Poland,
31st March – Baden Powell House, London
2nd April – North Bradley Peace Memoral Hall, Trowbridge, Wilts
8th April – Holloway Festival, London
8th May – Hannington Hall, Northamptonshire
13th May – Rich Mix, Bethnal Green, London
3rd June Dugdale Centre
Katy Carr and the Aviators are four musicians in total, Katy Carr [lead vocal, keyboard and ukulele], Francesca Ter-Berg [cello], Hannah Lovell [backing vocal] and Camilo Tirado [percussion].
PREVIOUS REVIEWS AND PRESS FOR KATY CARR’S PREVIOUS ALBUM ‘COQUETTE’
‘Exquisite, original and lovely.’ 4/5 PSYCHOLOGIES
‘This album ‘Coquette,’ is a scrapbook of characters, places and stories from deep inside Katy Carr’s imagination and it has been a mesmerising experience to glimpse into her world.’ 5/5 Music Critic
‘Katy Carr celebrates the “beautiful feminine energy” of wartime icons Gracie Fields, Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers, evoking their resilience, beauty and eroticism in the most haunting and uncanny ways.’ 4/5 Daily Express
Link to, ‘Kazik and the Kommanders Car’ documentary
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