Tęgie Chłopy band continues the traditions of live dance music of Kielce region, Central Poland. The aim of the band is to revive the music that used to be performed in the villages in the old days. Kielce region is known for its brass orchestras – that is why Tęgie Chłopy include a strong brass section, namely trumpet, clarinet and bass.

The members of the band are the disciples of village musicians. One of their most important masters was Stanisław Witkowski from Opatów, clarinet, trumpet and sax player (1933-2022). Together with his four brothers he created a legendary band that performed traditional music during hundreds of wedding parties. People say that Witkowski brothers were able to lift the ceilings with their music. And that is the goal of Tęgie Chłopy, too.

Stanislaw Witkowski at his courtyard. Photo by Michał Żak

The band’s members put effort and attention to recall the sound and characteristic groove of the village music and give it a second life, bringing back its erstwhile practical function.
Tęgie Chłopy is a word-play and stands for “tough chaps”. In the same time, “chłop” is a local name for the type of old traditional dance tune in the region of Kielce. “Chłop” represents a kind of mazurka – dance tune in triple meter, characteristic for Polish traditional music.

Tęgie Chłopy with their teacher Stanisław Witkowski and saxophonist Mateusz Pospieszalski,
Lublin 2016. Photo by Roman Krawczenko