Warsaw. Jazz in the Old Town 2024 – program

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American pianists Christian Sands and Emmet Cohen are the two biggest names in this year's Jazz Na Starówce program. There will also be a broad presentation of Polish jazz mainstream. Traditionally, there will be guests from Austria and Italy. The festival starts next week.

The festival, organized by Krzysztof Wojciechowski and Iwona Strzelczyk-Wojciechowska, will be held for the 30th time. The formula is proven and unchanged – concerts take place every Saturday in July and August at the Old Town Square. However, on the occasion of the anniversary, there is a bonus – a solo performance by pianist Adam Makowicz in the studio. Witold Lutosławski (July 6). Makowicz is a unique figure in Polish music, not only jazz, because he was also a soloist in symphony orchestras. The beginnings of his career date back to the 1960s, when he founded Jazz Darings with Tomasz Stańko. He's still not slowing down – two of his albums were released last year alone.

Polish replacement

According to the original plan, the first concert in the Old Town (July 7) was to be a performance by American guitarist Mark Whitfield. However, when the organizers learned about his concerts in Russia, they decided to throw him out of the festival program. “In the face of the war in Ukraine, our decision is also dictated by respect for freedom and democracy,” they wrote. And they found a worthy replacement – Whitfield will be replaced by leading Polish jazz guitarist Marek Napiórkowski with his star sextet (including pianist Dominika Wania and saxophonists Henryk Miśkiewicz and Adam Pierończyk).

Continuing along the Polish path, this year's Jazz Na Starówce programme includes: Aga Zaryan, probably the best Polish jazz vocalist at the moment (July 20); Adam Wendt Quartet The Choice, a band led by an experienced saxophonist known for Walk Away (July 27); the trio of pianist Włodzimierz Nahorny supported by Piotr Schmidt's trumpet (July 27); Adzik Sendecki Quartet & Ken Norris (August 31) in a project dedicated to the memory of vocalist Al Jarreau, who died a few years ago.

American stars

However, the biggest stars of the festival are two American pianists: Christian Sands (July 13) and Emmet Cohen (August 10). They will both play in a classic jazz trio: piano, double bass, drums. Sands became known to jazz in Warsaw with a brilliant performance at the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days three years ago. In addition to his band's performance, he also appeared as a guest in Branford Marsalis' quartet, where he replaced Joey Calderazzo on the keyboard. In his biography you can read that he released his first album at the age of 12. As a teenager, he played with stars such as Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock. He spent six years as a pianist in Christian McBride's trio. He has five Grammy nominations.

The organizers of Jazz Na Starówce fell in love with Emmet Cohen after his 2022 performance and decided to invite him again. Cohen is an interesting case, his career was greatly helped by the covid 19 pandemic. When clubs and concert halls were closed, festivals were canceled, the pianist decided to open a stage in his own apartment in New York's Harlem. All concerts were broadcast online, or rather they are, because the trio did not interrupt the series after the world took control of the coronavirus. Excellent guests and guests are invited to the recordings, suffice to mention: Jazzmeia Horn, Miguel Zenon, Randy Brecker, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Joel Ross and Joe Lovano. As part of the “Live From Emmets Place” series, 120 concerts have already taken place. The largest number of views – over seven million – was “recorded” by the recording with the French singer Cyrille Aimée.

European sounds

The festival's tradition is also the presentation of jazz musicians from Italy and Austria. Thanks to the support of the Italian Cultural Institute, the Fabrizio Bosso Quartet will perform (August 17). The Italian trumpeter comes to Warsaw with material in which he interprets the work of Steve Wonder. The partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum will result in a concert by the John Arman Organ Trio (August 24). “The band leader is one of the most famous and respected Austrian jazz guitarists of the young generation,” we read on the festival's website.

Admission to all concerts is free. They start at 7 p.m. (only the opening one an hour later).

Jazz in the Old Town 2024 – program

The W. Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, July 5 – Adam Makowicz

Old Town Square July 6 – Marek Napiórkowski Sextet July 13 – Christian Sands Trio July 20 – Aga Zaryan Quintet July 27 – Adam Wendt Quartet The Choice August 3 – Nahorny/Schmidt/Bogdanowicz/Biskupski August 10 – Emmet Cohen Trio August 17 – Fabrizio Bosso Quartet August 24 – Johann Arman Organ Trio August 31 – Adzik Sendecki Quartet & Ken Norris

Author:Piotr Bakalarski

Main image source: mat. organizer



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