Basia Trzetrzelewska, the Polish pop-jazz singer who topped the music charts in the 80s and 90s with songs like “Cruising For A Bruising,” was honored with the Pioneer Award on Saturday night at the Kosciuszko Foundation’s annual gala dinner in Washington, D.C. The singer performed a medley of her recent songs with her musical partner Danny White for the audience of patrons of the Kosciuszko Foundation, which seeks to foster closer ties between the U.S. and Poland.

Basia performs at Kosciuszko Foundation Gala

Basia performs at Kosciuszko Foundation Gala

“It was totally shocking to receive this award,” Basia told uInterview exclusively at the event. “I’ve known this foundation for many years. The fact that they chose me to receive the Pioneer Award was a bit breathtaking. I feel honored and I am very proud to be Polish. I emphasize that in every album and concert. So I feel I have a connection with Kosciuszko.”

The singer is hard at work touring and crafting new music. “Last year, I released an album and did a tour in the U.S., Japan and Poland,” Basia said. “And we are finishing a new album. Danny wants me to do another record. I have to let the stories out from my brain and my mind, so it takes a while. Musically, I’m very finicky. I try to polish everything to death, so that’s why the records take a while to do. Danny and I…  we are a strange combination.”

Where is Basia finding her musical inspiration these days? “There’s girl from Norway called Sigrid, Coldplay, Keane, and I like dance music – I love Rihanna! I actually buy her records!”

The foundation dinner also honored recent U.S. Ambassadors to Poland including Paul Jones, Stephen Mull, Lee Feinstein, Victor Ashe, Christopher Hill, Dan Fried, Thomas Simon, John Davis and current ambassador Georgette Mosbacher.

Learn more about the Kosciuszko Foundation here.

Program from Kosciuszko Foundation Gala dinner (Photo: Marek Siek/uInterview.com)

Program from Kosciuszko Foundation Gala dinner (Photo: Marek Siek/uInterview.com)