ABOUT MARIA KA
Maria Ka ( Maria Kawska ) is a vocalist, pianist, composer and lyricist that performs music material mainly in Yiddish. Her works were presented in The Times of Israel, פֿאָרווערטס | The Forward, Tablet, Lilith, Yiddishistke and other renown Jewish sources. Double People’s Choice award winner of Bubbe Awards for her original songs ( 2021: Krankheyt + 3rd Place from Jury; 2022: Ven es regnt ). Her songs were played by various Polish media, such as Radio Nowy Świat, newonce, TOK FM, Kapitał & more.
Main performances & co – operations include: Yiddish New York, Singer’s Warsaw, Open’er, Weimarer Filmsommer, Juedische Woche Leipzig, Shalom Polin, „Zbliżenia”, Polnisches Institut Berlin, POLIN Museum, The City of Gdańsk, Spaces of Memory Foundation.
She is also a researcher of Jewish culture, particularly of Yiddish cinematography, the role of women in Jewish world and multiple aspects of the Holocaust. Currently lecturing at University of Social Sciences and Humanities ( SWPS ) in Sopot.
ARTISTIC & SCHOLAR'S BIO
In 2015 she created dramatized concert „High heels”, presenting the poetry of Polish – Jewish poet Zuzanna Ginczanka. A year later she took part in American – Polish co-produced movie about Ringelblum’s Archieve, entitled „Who will write our history?” (world premiere: 2018).
In 2018 „The music to the lost Yiddish movie” CD was released, which she co-created as a vocalist and musician. The same year – on the occasion of 50th anniversary of March’68 Jewish emigration from Poland – she prepared and performed a premiere concert „Rhythm 19/68” that presented emigrant’s poetry of that period. In 2019 she composed the first original concert entirely in Yiddish, called „Akhsanyes אַכסניות – Hidings”.
In 2020 she released a solo Yiddish album „Di arumike velt די אַרומיקע וועלט – the New Reality”, positively reviewed by major worldwide Jewish sources.
In 2022 her solo multilingual audiovisual album was released – „Di shaykhesn די שײַכותן”, present in world Jewish & Polish media. It’s pieces were written in 3 languages: Polish, Yiddish and English interlaced within songs’ structures. The whole material is inspired by multiple identities.
In 2023 her newest album „Der Hemshekh דער המשך” premieres ( on April 20th ), recorded with the band and inspired by invisible women’s biographies. 5 songs are original Yiddish pieces written by Maria contemporarily, 5 other are already existing Jewish classics adapted to the woman’s perspective.
Her main artistic interest is focused on exploring the area of femininity, embodying it in the public space, retriving and broadening infinite female potiential. She is convinced that it all serves the balance and filling the gap in hitherto patriarchal narrative. Her music works usually consist of author’s Yiddish songs and already existing traditional Jewish pieces adapted to contemporary music means and female perspective.
In synagogue of Gdańsk she conducts lectures at open university „Beit – Meir” and Yiddish – singing workshops.
She is a scholarship holder honoured by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, the Town of Gdańsk and Pomeranian Voivodship Marshal.
She holds the double MA – in Jewish Studies and Psychology from Jagiellonian University, Kraków (2010, 2011).
Her master’s thesis „The women of <<golden era>> of Jewish cinematography in Poland. Characters and actresses” received a distinction in 5th Majer Bałaban contest for best doctoral and master’s theses, organized by Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
Currently lecturing on Jewish culture, Yiddish, women in Jewish world and many more at University of Social Sciences and Humanities ( SWPS ) in Sopot.