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'Jazz in the Ballroom' festival to raise money for Paderewski program 

‘Jazz in the Ballroom’ fundraising concert coming to the Park Ballroom May 9

On May 9, the Paderewski Festival will bring two Polish jazz virtuosos—pianist Kuba Stankiewicz and bassist Darek ‘Oles’ Oleszkiewicz—to the stage of the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles.

They will be joined by Kristina Raymond, a percussionist and drummer who tours and records widely and serves on the faculty of the Los Angeles City College and South Pasadena Music Center. This concert is a fundraiser for the Paderewski Festival’s Youth Cultural Exchange, which is sending two U.S. students to Poland in July.

Kuba Stankiewicz.

Kuba Stankiewicz.

Wines of Epoch Estate Wines and Cass Winery will be featured at a reception beginning at 7 p.m., with music to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets at $30 per person can be ordered online at the Paderewski Festival website,

La Cosecha Restaurant will offer a special Paderewski cocktail before the concert, and the public is encouraged to join the jazz performers for dinner after the show at Il Cortile Restaurant.

Further details can be obtained by contacting the Paderewski Festival at (805) 235-5409 or e-mailing For dinner reservations please call the Il Cortile Restaurant directly at (805) 226-0300.

Darek Oleszkiewicz.

Darek Oleszkiewicz.

The “Jazz in the Ballroom” fundraising concert will feature music by two great Polish composers: Victor Young and Bronisław Kaper. Although their names are not widely recognized among the public today, their compositions have been cherished by scores of musicians for many decades.

Victor Young’s all-time hits include: When I Fall in Love, Moonlight Serenade, Street of Dreams, Love Letters, My Foolish Heart, and Stella by Starlight, while Kaper is known for his works: On Green Dolphin Street, Invitation, Lili, and San Francisco.

About Paderwski, the festival and the student exchange program

Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) was a virtuoso pianist, composer, statesman, humanitarian and orator.

Paderewski visited Paso Robles on many occasions for 25 years between 1914 and 1939. He stayed in the El Paso Hotel (now the Paso Robles Inn) and took cures in Paso Robles’ hot springs. He eventually bought nearly 3,000 acres of farmland in Paso Robles, Rancho San Ignacio and Rancho Santa Helena, where he planted wine grapes, almonds and a variety of fruit trees. In addition to his musical and political accomplishments, he also is remembered as a pioneer of vine cultivation and credited with bringing Zinfandel wine grapes to California.

To commemorate Paderewski’s association with Paso Robles, the Paderewski Festival was launched in 1991. The festival was suspended temporarily from 2001 to 2006, when it was re-launched under the leadership of the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and Paso Roblans led by Steve Cass of Cass Winery and Joel Peterson, grandson of the Paderewski Festival’s founder, Virginia Peterson.

A sister city agreement between Tarnów, Poland and Paso Robles, California, was signed in 2008 with the goal of establishing cultural, educational, personal and commercial exchanges between the two cities that share historical ties to Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The first such exchange program was held in June 2009, when three young pianists from California’s Central Coast—finalists from the 2007 and 2008 Paderewski Youth Piano Competitions in Paso Robles—participated in a series of piano workshops and master classes alongside three Polish students. The program was held at the manor house of Paderewski’s former estate, Kąśna Dolna, in the province of Tarnów. American and Polish students performed jointly in concerts in Kąśna Dolna and at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. The first group of young Polish pianists came to perform in Paso Robles in 2010 and again in 2012 and 2014. In 2011, 2013 and now in 2015 U.S. students will go to Poland.

For more information on the 2015 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, please visit the Festival’s website:

About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at

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