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Hipnoza Jazz Club in Katowice

2023-11-27
Hipnoza Jazz Club in Katowice

We were hungry after Saturday's intense shoot. We were running around the Katowice, no lunch - finally "guys, we've got it!"; the whole team deserved a rest. However, it was too nice to just go home, we had to continue the conversations, we just needed a good place where we could sit down, enjoy the atmosphere and grab something to eat.

The decision was quick - "let’s go to Hipnoza, it's right next door" - we all agree. We set off; still accompanied by Radek, the photographer, keen to catch a few more spontaneous shots in a new setting. But wait, what can we eat in a jazz club?!

 


Well, Hipnoza is more than a club, it’s an institution; a cult place in Katowice that got its status not only thanks to what it is, but also thanks to what’s missing around the city. A little explanation could be helpful there, Tomek:

I should start with the broader context, the issue of Katowice being a "small big city". Around 300,000 people live there - and although that doesn’t seem a lot, you have to keep in mind that the city is located right in the middle of an urban area with a population of almost three million (one of the biggest in EU), where you could travel through three major cities in one tram, without even noticing that.

On the one hand, over 40% of the city is made up of green areas, on the other hand, there are vast concrete deserts all around, two intersecting highways and three airports located nearby. A large brain drain of qualified workers in last decades means that it is relatively easy to find a nice, well-paid job here, and life itself is much slower than in Warsaw. I can confirm that I feel perfectly good living here.

 
Apart from the pace of life, what does this feeling of living in a big-but-small town refer to? To a number of stores offering fancy clothes? Lack of third sector institutions? A scarcity of theaters and places with a good cultural offer? It's all true; however, it also applies to music clubs, of which there are only a few here. Of these, one of the best, and certainly the one that has endured the most, is Hipnoza.
 

I went there when I ditched off the school for the very first time, sitting down with a hand-written "I love the waitress!" note on the table. Hipnoza was my dining room of early youth, with its iconic "Lepper's revenge", a dish that could easily feed three young men for just 10 PLN.

Finally, the essence, the DNA of this place - it was and still is the biggest window on the world of music in Katowice. Nils Frahm supporting (!) Olafura Arnalds, the first polish concerts of Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin and Bonobo. Dancing on the bar with The Whitest Boy Alive, pogo with Jaga Jazzist, hypnotic trance with Electro Club.

 


Today, although less often, I still visit this place. Always eagerly, even when there are no concerts planned. There is food, there is beer, that's enough for me!
 
We ate together; conversations were sparse at the beginning. It's not easy to say anything when you're so hungry, you might also need a drink. Then - that's something else.
 

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