"I was so lucky to get to play with Zbiggy, almost forty years ago," Scofield told the crowd between songs. "I'll never forget when I got the chance to play with him because it was really my first chance to play a kind of modern jazz that I was practising and working on, and he heard that in me." Scofield praised the competition organizers and the musicians themselves. "I think that the violin is actually the jazz instrument of the future, because it's maybe the most beautiful instrument. We need more jazz violinists." There was just time for a passionate version of "Turbulent Plover"so popular among the competition's contestants in the first three editionswith layered brass lines making for an a colorful arrangement. The encore, "Coral," a quite distinct version form the opening number, saw lively closing statements from Scofield, and Medeski on piano, but the final word went to the collective voice of the excellent Konglomerat Big Band.
Congratulations must go to Mario Forte. It was brave, having finished third two years ago, to enter the competition again, as the risk of greater disappointment was always a possibility. With perseverance and great self-belief, Forte triumphed, and most would say deservedly so; a highly talented musican of whom we are likely to hear much more in the future. Congratulations too, to Layth Sidiq and Gabriel Terracciano, for their outstanding performances. Equally, congratulations are also due to all the other contestants for making the 3rd Sbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition such a wonderful event. It's a rare privilege to hear so many world-class jazz/ improvising string players at such close quarters.
Judging by the record number of applicants for the competition, the increased number of contestants and the large audience for the final in Luslawice, the Zbigniew Seifert International Violin Competition is going from strength to strength. In an event of this magnitude, there are many people involved behind the scenes, including all those who work throughout the year for the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation. However, for the four days of this year's completion, the tireless efforts of organizers Aneta Norek-Skrycka, Magdalena Warejko and Tomasz Handzik, to ensure that everything ran as smoothly as possible, must be applauded. It is largely thanks to their efforts that the name of Zbigniew Seifert is gaining lasting international renown.
The 4th Zbigniew Seifert International Violin Competition will be held in 2020. For violinist, violists and cellists interested in applying, keep an eye open for updates on the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation website.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Janusz Stefański and Tomasz Stańko.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation.
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