Adam Aston (Adam Wiński, born Adolf Loewinsohn, aka Adam Stanisław Lewinson, recorded also under names J. Kierski, Adam Winski and Ben-Levi, born 1902 in Warsaw, Poland, died 1993 in London. Polish Jewish singer, actor and pianist, worked often with Henryk Wars.
He debuted at the revi-teater (music hall, cabaret) Morskie Oko in Warsaw. He made his first record in 1927; in 1930 he began to work with Henryk Wars at the Morskie Oko cabaret and adopted his stage name of Adam Aston.
He recorded for Syrena-Electro, Odeon, Parlophon, Columbia, and Lonora, singing as many as 900 sides between 1930-39. He also appeared in a few musical film comedies including Dwie Joasie and Manewry miłosne in 1935; he sang the Polish version of Dancing Cheek to Cheek (Polish title W siódmym niebie (In Seventh Heaven).
After the outbreak of the war he was evacuated to the East and performed in Lvov. Later he joined the 2nd corps of General Ander's Army. He spent the rest of his life in Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Polish folk music was collected in the 19th century by Oskar Kolberg, as part of a wave of Polish national revival. With the coming of the world wars and then the Communist state, folk traditions were oppressed or subsumed into state-approved folk ensembles. The most famous of the state ensembles are Mazowsze and Śląsk, both of which still perform. Though these bands had a regional touch to their output, the overall sound was a homogenized mixture of Polish styles. There were more authentic state-supported groups, such as Słowianki, but the Communist sanitized image of folk music made the whole field seem unhip to young audiences, and many traditions dwindled rapidly.
Polish dance music, especially the mazurka and polonaise, were popularized by Frederick Chopin, and they soon spread across Europe and elsewhere. These are triple time dances, while five-beat forms are more common in the northeast and duple-time dances like the krakowiak come from the south. The polonaise comes from the French word for Polish to identify its origin among the Polish aristocracy, who had adapted the dance from a slower walking dance called chodzony. The polonaise then re-entered the scene and became an integral part of Polish music.