Forty bands from 18 countries will perform at jazzahead! in April 2018, including 8 jazz bands from Poland. In 2018, Poland will be the festival’s partner country.
The showcase programme of the 2018 jazzahead! in Bremen, Germany has been announced: of the 609 applicants from 49 countries, the jury chose 40 acts which will perform on stage at the international jazz trade fair from 19th – 22nd April 2018.
As the 2018 edition’s partner country, Poland will be at the centre of jazzahead! 2018’s festival and showcase programmes. The opening night of the showcase, called Polish Night, will include eight Polish acts representing Poland’s contemporary jazz scene will perform. Jury member Peter Schulze, from jazzahead!’s artistic directors team, said:
In the past 60 years a very independent jazz tradition has developed in Poland with strong improvisers right up to the youngest generation of promising new performers.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the main partner of the jazzahead! in the realisation of the partner country programme, assessed the choice of acts as follows:
We are delighted with the choices for the Polish Night. The jury chose a variety of musicians which reflects the richness of the Polish jazz scene very well.
The programme features internationally known jazz greats such as the Marcin Wasilewski Trio, the Atom String Quartet and the Power of Horns as well as representatives of the youngest generation whose names will be new to the international audience of professionals such as Kamil Piotrowicz, Kuba Więcek, the High Definition Quartet, Monika Borzym and Joanna Duda.
The trio is one of the brightest stars of the Polish jazz scene, recognised both in Poland and internationally for their unique talent in blending tradition with contemporary sound. The trio, comprised of Marcin Wasilewski on the piano, Sławomir Kurkiewicz on bass and Michał Miśkiewicz playing percussion, has played together for almost 25 years and it is their rapport that makes their music so exceptional.
For 15 years, the trio played with Polish jazz legend Tomasz Stańko. The Trio members have collaborated with artists such as Charles Lloyd, Al Foster, Branford Marsalis, Nils Petter Molvær, Jan Garbarek, Joe Lovano, Gianluigi Trovesi, John Surman, Louis Sclavis, Arthur Blythe, Bernt Rosengren, Dino Saluzzi, Bobo Stenson, Anders Jormin, Manu Katché and Jon Christensen.
Find out more: http://marcinwasilewskitrio.com/
Atom String Quartet was founded in 2010 by four musicians: Dawid Lubowicz, Mateusz Smoczyński (violins), Michał Zaborski (viola) and Krzysztof Lenczowski (cello). Surprisingly for a string quartet, instead of playing pieces from the repertoire of classical chamber music, the quartet chose to play jazz.
The group combines the capabilities of a string with improvisation. Playing the instruments of a chamber music ensemble enables the artists to search for new sound: besides jazz, they draw inspiration from Polish folk, music from various regions of the world, as well as contemporary and classical music.
Find out more: http://www.atomstringquartet.com
Power of the Horns was established in Katowice in 2007. Piotr ‘Damas’ Damasiewicz, trumpet player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, was the brains behind the operation. Damasiewicz invited an extended brass section to join him, along with two double bass players, a pianist and a drummer and together they created a free-jazz combo bringing to mind the legendary Polish Young Power jazz orchestra.
Their debut performance at the first edition of Katowice Jazzart Festival in 2012 enchanted both the audience and critics and ever since, their performances and albums have been met with great enthusiasm. The band has performed at numerous jazz festivals in Poland and abroad.
The Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet is the second band established by the young Polish jazz pianist and composer Kamil Piotrowicz. The band released their first album Popular Music in the autumn of 2016 and it quickly caught the attention of Polish jazz enthusiasts and the media. The album was nominated for the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry’s Fryderyk Award for the best jazz album of the year 2016.
The sextet has played important jazz events all over Poland, such as the Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw.
The 23-year-old saxophone player Kuba Więcek is considered to be the biggest rising star of the Polish jazz scene of 2017. His debut album Another Raindrop, featuring Michał Barański on bass and Łukasz Żyta on drums was released in the prestigious Polish Jazz series which presents the best Polish jazz albums of all time. The list of Polish jazz musicians who have been in the series include Krzysztof Komeda, Tomasz Stańko, Zbigniew Namysłowski and Andrzej Kurylewicz. Więcek is the youngest musician to have recorded an album for the series.
Więcek finds inspiration in the multi-faceted reality of the surrounding world. He draws on many genres and styles including classical music, European folk as well as electronic, alternative and hip-hop projects.
Find out more: http://kubawiecek.com/
The High Definition Quartet is Mateusz Śliwa (tenor sax), Piotr Orzechowski a.k.a. Pianohooligan (piano), Alan Wykpisz (double bass) and Grzegorz Pałka (drums). The band is currently one of the most interesting on the young Polish jazz scene. Their originality and musical freshness have been extremely well-received in Poland and abroad – they have won numerous awards including First Prize at Jazz Hoeilaart 2011 in Belgium.
The band’s newest album entitled The Forefather’s Eve, an unprecedented meeting of two musical worlds – acoustic improvised music with contemporary electronic music – is due to be released in 2018 by Universal.
Find out more: http://www.highdefinitionquartet.com/
Monika Borzym is an incredibly charismatic and talented young jazz singer. Aged just 24, she has already released four albums, two of which (Girl Talk and My Place) achieved platinum status in Poland. Borzym has collaborated with, among others, Randy Brecker, Chris Potter, John Scofield, Larry Campbell, Kenny Wollesen and Tony Scherr.
Being open to a different musical directions, the artist has collaborated on many other projects, such as featuring on last three albums of famous Polish rapper Ten Typ Mes, as well as composing various songs for other Polish singers.
Find out more: http://monikaborzym.pl/
Joanna Duda is the pianist and composer behind musical projects such as J=J,Bambuko, AuAuA, Miód & more. Duda is also a member of one of the hottest Polish jazz bands, the Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet, and performs contemporary classical music with the Lutosławski Piano Duo and Mischa Kozlovsky. Duda loves to play with sound: it is specific sounds recorded with a digital recorder and then mixed, which are at the core of her work. Further filtering of sounds using different media and tools lets her ahieve new qualities in her music.
Duda has performed at international music festivals all over the globe. She also often composes music for theatre and often performs her ‘soundtracks’ live.In 2017, Joanna Duda will be releasing her second album, which will be comprised of new solo piano/electronica pieces which will be entirely composed and performer be her alone.
The Partner Country Poland project is organised in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand within the international cultural programme POLSKA 100 accompanying Poland’s centenary of regaining independence. Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the Multi-annual Programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2021.