All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

16

Jazztopad 2014

Jazztopad 2014
Henning Bolte By

Sign in to view read count
Jazztopad 2014
Wroclaw
November 19-22, 2014

The city of Wroclaw by the Odra river in the southwest of Poland has occupied a pre-eminent position throughout its long turbulent history, and it still does.

The Wroclaw way

Wroclaw's Jazztopad festival is a relatively young one. This applies to the number of editions up to now, which is 11. It applies to its artistic director, Piotr Turkiewicz, and it applies to the age of participating musicians. It is not the average age that is of importance here, but the number of musicians of the young(est) generation and their structural weight on the festival program. It is the Wroclaw way of jazz to jazz.

Actually there is more to mention. First of all the Wroclaw C's: commissions, collaborations/cultural institutes, concert hall/context and Capital of Culture. The nature of the festival is contained in the premieres of works commissioned each year, of world- renowned musicians, that are performed by the ensembles of the National Form of Music, the organizer of the festival. This part of the festival is reported on All About Jazz by Ian Patterson, under the header "Three World Premieres." The Wroclaw way of jazz to jazz.

The collaborations are another important constituent of the festival. Over the years Jazztopad organized two kinds of collaborations. First, collaborations as JazzPlaysEurope, Take Five Europe, and the laboratory Melting Pot Made In Wroclaw—all with young, up-and-coming musicians from different (European) countries. Second, bilateral collaborations with festivals in Europe (Akbank Istanbul/Turkey in this year's edition) and abroad (Seoul/South Korea in this year's edition). The two festivals exchange indigenous artists and ensembles from their countries and present them to their audiences. The Wroclaw way of jazz to jazz. There are still more 'C's that will be dealt with later on. The dense bundling of these components, the interrelatedness of these constituents, may be considered innovative, adventurous and quite unique in the landscape of European jazz festivals. In the next two years Jazztopad will be embedded in two more big 'C's: in a brand-new concert hall in town and in the European Capital of Culture 2016. The Wroclaw way of jazz to jazz.

Polish Jazz Showcase

Due to arrival on the day of the showcase the concerts "in the middle," Mulato Astatke (November 16), Cortex (November 17), Five 38, Hang Em High (November 18) unfortunately could not be covered.

Seven showcases of Polish or Polish-Scandinavian groups were presented at two venues, Wrocław Philharmonic Hall, the main venue, and Centrum Kultury Agora. Two groups, Piotr Damasiewicz Quartet Mnemotaksja and Flesh Machine, played the club Mleczarnia jam sessions and Living Room concerts. All participating musicians are established, experienced musicians of the younger generation having worked in longer existing working units, some with a changing line-up. A couple of them had already played the 2013 edition of Jazztopad—with other groups or partly other line-ups. There is some continuity in the showcases, so the showcases are not one time 'showy' events, but also serve a documentary purpose.

Two groups were headed by a trumpeter (Tomasz Dabrowski, Piotr Damasiewicz), two by a clarinetist (Waclaw Zimpel, Mateusz Rybicki), and the rest of the groups were headed by a violinist (Adam Bałdych), a saxophonist (Maciej Obara), a guitarist (Marek Kądziela) or a pianist (Piotr Orzechowski). One group, Stryjo, a piano trio, acted as (leaderless) equalists.

Showcase 1 (Wrocław Philharmonic Hall)

Clarinetist Wacław Zimpel (1983) can be considered as one of the most profiled Polish musicians of the youngest generation. Classically trained, he draws his main inspiration from sacred and ritual music from various cultures and from the pioneers of Western minimal music. It is unified in the music of his latest album of his nine piece Wacław Zimpel To Tu Orchestra (Nature Moves, ForTune, 2014). Zimpel is a musician with a beautiful tone, great virtuosity, and versatility. He has created a clear profile of a broad musical range (gnawa, Indian and medieval music) and collaborations (amongst others with koto player Michiyo Yagi). He was supposed to perform with his Polish-German quartet (debut album Stone Fog, ForTune (2013)) which by circumstance was reduced to a duo performance with pianist Krzysztof Dys. The duo mostly played contra-alto clarinet and occasionally some exotic flutes, thus rendering a beautiful, captivating, and challenging performance. It was another convincing manifestation of his ability to render good and attractive music in each format-averse to bragging.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018 Live Reviews
The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Live Reviews
Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad" Live Reviews Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad
by Doug Hall
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen" Live Reviews Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen
by Patrick Burnette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "European Jazz Conference 2017" Live Reviews European Jazz Conference 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club" Live Reviews Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club
by Gareth Thomas
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Bob DeVos Quartet At Trumpets Jazz Club" Live Reviews Bob DeVos Quartet At Trumpets Jazz Club
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 8, 2018