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Jazz Frenzy


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United Kingdom




Poland, September 1956. Rioters had been shot dead in Poznan weeks before, the invasion of Hungary is just weeks away. The Cold War rages but for 8 young Londoner's, The Dave Burman Jazz Group, their unlikely journey behind the Iron Curtain is an overwhelming surprise. Jazz in Poland had been banned by first the Nazi's and then the Communists but had been played secretly 'in the catacombs' by a few. Now, at the seaside resort of Sopot, some 60,000 mainly young people journeyed from all over Poland to hear jazz and that rarest of attractions a British band. The Dave Burman Jazz group were largely amateurs, had been assembled in just a few weeks, and would never play together again but for those few short weeks the Cold War blew hot as they thumped out Tiger Rag, Basin Street Blues and other standards to crowds of thousands all over the country. Their contact with Polish people was minimal, ushered by Communist officials. But for those Polish musicians taking part in Sopot '56 and all that would follow, this was the beginning of their Jazz Frenzy, of freedom. Dave Burman gave away his cornet to an admiring Polish musician, returned to England and got on with his life. Now, more than 50 years later he returns with his son and producer of the programme to be reunited with his cornet and hear from some of Poland's jazz legends about the year when everything changed and jazz emerged from the 'catacombs' and into a time of frenzy.



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