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Jazztopad 2014

Jazztopad 2014
Henning Bolte By

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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.

The next two groups of the evening, the Maciej Obara International Quartet and Adam Bałdych Imaginary Quartet, have already made their entrée at a lot of prestigious European festivals, with even a greater number of appearances planned for next year.

First Obara International, comprising altoist Maciej Obara, pianist Dominik Wanja, Norwegian wild bassist Ole Morten Vågan, and Swedish drum ace Jon Fält subbing the first time for well-known Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen. The original line-up came forth from the musicians' participation in the Take Five Europe program two years ago. It was the only stable group resulting from it. Its debut album is a special rendition of the music of Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969), the nestor of Polish jazz and musical collaborator of Polish American film director Roman Polanski (Komeda(ForTune, 2012)).

The group made a highly propelling, hyper-rubato start with lots of scattered open spaces. Fält's presence immediately changed the game. Firing his salvos heavily from below he and Vågan quickly connected, strongly reinforcing each other. There was no immediate unification under these circumstances, but rather two units jocundly circulating around each other, eager to hit a path and interlock. Along the way Fält and Vågan delivered stunning duo chases, whereas Wanja and Obara executed burning solo work. A vivacious, next-level start-up.

Owing to his virtuosity, the jubilant music he plays, and his pop appeal, violinist Adam Bałdych (1986) is presently maybe the most outstanding young jazz musician in Poland. He was picked up by German ACT-label and received a lot of exposure. In a short period the label released three albums with him, Imaginary Room with the the Baltic gang of Lars Danielsson, Jacob Karlzon, Verneri Pohjola, Morten Lund, and Marius Neset, and two duo-albums, one with pianist Iiro Rantala from Finland and one with pianist Yaron Herman from France. During the first showcase evening he presented his very own Polish group, the Imaginary Quartet, comprising pianist Paweł Tomaszewski, bassist Michal Baranski, and drummer Paweł Dobrowolski. Bałdych masterfully entrenches his audience in highly dramatic, jubilant climaxing (the Freddie Mercury way) and gets it to surrender. He showed his great ability to make use of and combine a well-balanced and very effective combination of simple melodic lines and highly virtuosic violin playing (the Paganini way), thereby consequently working towords the apotheosis with attitude, suspense, and fire. His tightly playing group formed an organism, serving not only by perfect accompaniment but by smart soloing as well. He succeeded in uplifting the audience again, and again.

Showcase 2 (Centrum Kultury Agora, Mleczarnia)

The second series of showcases presented guitarist Marek Kądziela's Danish Trio, the equalists' trio Stryjo, the High Definition Quartet of pianist Piotr Orzechowski, and the Polish-Danish Tom Trio of trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski.

Marek Kądziela, a guitarist of great clarity and light touch, graduated from the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense, Denmark. He is a versatile and sought-after musician involved in a myriad of groups within the Copenhagen scene. He also collaborates with some other showcase musicians, like altoist Maciej Obara and trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski. One of his other groups, Hunger Pangs, comprises trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski and drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen (Meet Meat, ForTune 2013). Kądziela played the showcase with Berlin-based Danish bassist Andreas Lang and Copenhagen drummer associated with the musicians' collective of Barefoot Records. In the demanding and sophisticated pieces Kądziela manifested himself as a solid and melodic player with a suffusing sound and gradually increasing urgency.

The equalists (piano) trio Stryjo of Nikola Kołodziejczyk, with bassist Maciej Szczyciński and drummer Michał Bryndal, announced itself as an à l'improviste constellation. Surprisingly, the three musicians played and elaborated rather conventional themes of different origin. However, it did not happen in the usual linear way, but rather bumpy-jumpy and swirling with rapid switches, quick jumps between different styles, spheres, and rhythms. A bit like with game pieces, they built up sequences with quick changes, rushes and slowdowns, thereby fitting heterogeneous elements into a puzzle. It provided lively, refreshing, and highly dynamic music, clearly driven by an Esbjörn Svensson spirit. It is quite amazing how these three musicians roam a great diversity of realms and connect them with utmost ease and naturalness.

Last year's showcases presented unique and outstanding Polish pianist Marcin Masecki (1982). This year it was Piotr Orzechowski's (1990) turn: Poland's youngest piano wonder. In 2011 Orzechowski won the piano competition of the Montreux Festival and in the same year he also won the young bands' competition at the Belgian festival Jazz Hoeilaart, with his High Definition Quartet. He approaches contemporary music from a jazz-oriented reconstructive point of view, as evidenced by his solo recording Experiment (Universal, 2012) inspired by early orchestral works of Polish most outstanding modern composer, Krzysztof Penderecki (1933). He also greatly influences the way he approaches the sound of the piano (the sonorism way), using a great variety of piano preparations and playing inside the piano: hence his nickname 'piano hooligan.' An example of this is his heavy, untamed 'piano hooligan' rendition of Penderecki's "Polymorphia" or his "Stabat Matter" which he even played in a recital at the Presidental Palace in 2013.

Masecki and Orzechowski collaborated in reworkings of pieces by Bach (concertos for harpsichord) together with Capella Cracoviensis. They performed the pieces on electric pianos—Orzechowski on Fender Rhodes, Masecki on an electric Wurlitzer. The music was recorded at the European Krysztof Penderecki Center of Music, which opened in May 2013 in Lusławice near Kraków.

For the showcase, Orzechowski and his High Definition Quartet comprising saxophonist Mateusz Śliwa, bassist Alan Wykpisz, and drummer Dawid Fortuna, presented a reworking of the music of another towering Polish composer, Witold Lutoslawski (1913- 1994), especially his "Bukoliki," originally a short piece (in five movements) for solo piano, written in 1952 and based on Polish folk melodies. Lutoslawski later developed and integrated elements of 'limited aleatorism' in his work as in "Jeux Venétiens," which allowed a certain freedom in the rendition of the written material. The transposition and expansion of the "Bukoliki" piece for the jazz quartet provided rhythmically complex, highly energetic, and dynamic music with sharp changes of mood and temperature. The quartet's version sounded rough and visceral and had a direct, in-your-face effect. Orzechowski without doubt has found his very own approach and strategies early and has produced some impressive results so far.

The finishing group was the trio of young Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski (1984), a Copenhagen resident. With his regular Danish trio of bass excellence Nils Bo Davidsen and the versatile, perplexing drummer Anders Mogensen from Odense, he released his first album, Tom Trio, last year as leader on the well-known ILK label from Copenhagen.

He collaborated earlier with New York drummers Tyshawn Sorey and Andrew Drury, as well as New York pianist Kris Davis, and in 2012 he recorded two albums with them: Vermilion Tree (For Tune 2014), a trio with Davis and Drury, and Steps (ForTune 2013), a duo with Tyshawn Sorey. He also recorded with The Ocean Fanfare of saxophonist Sven Dam Meinild, bassist Richard Andersson, and Tyshawn Sorey, and with the previously mentioned Polish-Danish group Hunger Pangs.

Dąbrowski is a first-class harmolodic raconteur, movably spinning his longer narrative lines with a strong earthy tone, a voice-like sound, and pointed articulation. No clarion calls here or glowing flashes, but rough texture, open space, and darker soul, fitting the fitting into the unfitting. For the showcase he teamed up with a Polish bassist from Denmark, Mariusz Praśniewski, who was less massive than Davidsen. He kept the tension by urging and holding back in dynamic ways instead. It was pure pleasure to watch Mogensen let his sticks roll, jump, and beat the most complex paths. The appearance made clear that Dąbrowski is establishing himself clearly as a distinctive and promising voice.

During the festival, Klubokawiarnia Mleczarnia, the club in the old dairy, formed the stage for the nightly sessions. Here two groups finished the showcase program. Wroclawian Trumpeter Piotr Damasiewicz is a well-known name internationally. He did commission work for Jazztopad earlier and participated in the showcase program of last year. This time he played material of his program "Mnemotaksja" which he recorded earlier in the Baptist Church in the center of Wroclaw and released last year on the Polish ForTune label. Damasiewicz performed with the "Mnemotaksja"group of saxophonist Gerard Lebik, drummer Wojciech Romanowski, and bassist Andrzej Święs who was subbing for Maciej Garbowski for the first time. The group started with a longer, solemn Mnemotaksjapiece called "The Temple," which breathed some of the lyricism and melancholy of the Polish founding fathers' of the 60s music. It was supplemented by an Ornette Coleman piece and a smoldering standard rendition.

Sophisticatedly serving drummer Wojciech Romanowski was also part of Flesh Machine, the last group, with clarinetist Mateusz Rybicki and bassist Zbigniew Kozera who are involved in numerous Wroclawian groups. Rybicki, mostly playing bass clarinet, turned out to be a local hero, not only attracting a young audience but even a cheering in- group. He is associated with the Wrocław theater scene too (author of the drama "Sounds of Gestures") and founder of the Impro Travel Nights series. Rybicki played passionately on a high musical level, with understated freaky appeal and special dry humor—announcing the second piece as "What is this thing called identity." For their last piece they requested a pen to prepare the bass in order to play the instrument as a gardon, the percussive cello of the Carpathian Highlands. They got what they needed and together Rybicki and Kozera created an 'endless' trance and ecstasy piece, goading the young crowd of the club, that reacted accordingly, exuberantly.

The Wroclaw knack: many 'c's

Enormous efforts in the cultural/arts area have been made in Wroclaw over the past 15 years, culminating in the designation as European Capital of Culture in 2016 (together with San Sebastian). It is not just a question of organizing a festival for a certain kind of music and related audience. The festival in Wroclaw is an integral part of a carefully built and developed artistic structure feeding and fed by festivals that are part of it.

Commissions

This artistic structure is developed and enriched by associated ensembles (NFM Symphony Orchestra, NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, NFM Choir, NFM Boys Choir, Lutoslawski Quartet), by commission work, and by challenging European and worldwide collaborations. The commission work is an important part of the Jazztopad Festival too. Its 2014 edition is described by Ian Patterson in part 1 of the All About Jazz report on Jazztopad

Collaborations

Part of the collaboration structure is the permanent involvement of the 25 Polish Cultural Institutes (Budapest, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels, Düsseldorf, London, New York, New Delhi, and Tokyo, to name just a few) that connect NFM and its festivals with experts and media in the respective countries. Jazztopad has organized two kinds of collaborations over the years. First, JazzPlaysEurope, Take Five Europe, Melting Pot Made In Wroclaw, a laboratory of improvisation within the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016, and the bilateral exchange of indigenous artists and ensembles with festivals in Europe (Akbank Istanbul/Turkey this year's edition) and abroad (Seoul/South Korea this year's edition).

This year it was the third time a weekend program focused on a foreign musical culture. In previous years Jazztopad traveled Far East, this year it focused on the Middle East, following the theme of 'Akbank Jazz Festival presents: Turkey' with KonstruKt, Erkan Oğur & Derya Türkan & Alp Ersönmez and percussionist Misirli Ahmet solo. As part of this international exchange, Jazztopad presented a Polish stage at the festival in Istanbul, Turkey, held in October. A Korean flavor came to Wroclaw this year with the nine piece ensemble MosaiKOREA, led by black cither virtuoso Yoon Jeong Heo. Yoon Jeong Heo has performed earlier at Jazztopad. In 2012 she did a project with the Polish Oles Brothers.

Concert hall/context

During the festival visitors got to explore the new building and new concert hall of the National Forum of Music (NFM), which is still under construction. The five-story building (2 stories underground and 3 stories on ground level) will be opened in 2015. NFM's general director Andrzej Kosendiak gave a thorough insight into the building process and future function. The complex has been designed by Artec, Design and Planning Service for Performing Art Facilities in New York, to ensure the highest standards of acoustics. APA Kurylowicz & Associates, an architectural firm with offices in Wroclaw and Warsaw, had been contracted for the building work. The building will host an 1,800-capacity concert hall, three chamber halls, rehearsal rooms, conference and office spaces, a recording studio, exhibition area, and an underground car park. It is the largest cultural investment in Poland at this time. The building and area will get a significant and impressive public function in town. According to Kosendiak, "the name refers to the 100 year old plans to set up the Arts Forum in the place where national and military celebrations were held. The location was called the Royal Forum (it housed the palace of the King of Prussia). Today we wish the Music Forum's name would stand for the space providing room for the performance of works of different epochs, a true dialogue, and artistic disputes on contemporary art."

When establishing places and buildings like this, design, construction, and functional specification are issues to deal with. Still more important is to ensure that the projected function(s) can actually be fulfilled successfully in terms of the necessary financial means and a dedicated audience. Kosendiak explained that the NFM will have the necessary financial means and above all has been engaged during the last few years to build up a rich, stimulating context, required for the growth of an interested and engaged visiting audience. Educational programs were organized as well as music performances in schools, hospitals, living rooms. Furthermore music schools were established and choirs were formed. Ten years ago there was no school choir in Wroclaw, now there are more than 40 thanks to NFM's work. NFM has set up the Singing Poland project to form choirs across the whole of Poland. More than 400 school choirs have been founded, three new music schools, and music teachers have been trained through a special in-service training program.

Akbank Jazz Festival presents: Turkey

Istanbul based group KonstruKt carried this night's program at the former Zbyszek Cybulski Film Studio that is now part of the new Audiovisual Technology Center. Renowned master of the fretless guitar, Erkan Ogur, cancelled his concert one day before, due to mental instability.

The Audiovisual Technology Center was created as a result of the transformation of the former Wroclaw Feature Film Studio. It started its activity in1953, first as the Wrocław branch of the Feature Film Studio Lodz. Renowned polish film directors have made their debut films in Wroclaw, among them Andrzej Wajda, Kazimierz Kutz, and Roman Polański (the Oscar-nominated "Knife in the Water," (1961)). Many exceptional filmmakers have created their most important films there as Wojciech Jerzy Has, Agnieszka Holland and Andrzej Wajda ("Ashes and Diamonds"), Sylwester Chęciński and Stanisław Lenartowicz. The place was historical ground evidently.

KonstruKt is a free playing collective of four musicians from Istanbul: Korhan Futaci (saxophone, flute, guitar), Umut Çaglar (keyb, flute, percussion), Özün Usta (double bass, djembe, cura), and Korhan Argüden (drums, cymbals). The collective was founded six years ago in 2008. It has established its name with collaborations with well-known jazz musicians from Europe and the United States (Evan Parker, Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Marshall Allen) and through frequent participations in festivals all over Europe. Prior to Jazztopad, KonstruKt musicians Umut Çağlar and Korhan Futacı shared the same stage with Polish musicians Rafal Mazur and Dominik Strycharski at the JEMP in Istanbul, a festival called "Jazz and Experimental Music from Poland," as part of the 2014 cultural program celebrating 600 years of Polish-Turkish diplomatic ties.

The four musicians of KonstruKt set off roaring, producing a big din. The drummer used the same tight, hyper-fast, and strained drum patterns over and again. So it went on for 20 minutes, although no layers were discernible from the collective's big noise, nor did any gestalt emerge. After those 20 minutes some nice strange space sounds surfaced up from Çaglar's keyboard, whereas Usta entered with gnawa-like bass figures which opened up space for some clear horn interjections by Futaci who seemed the most adaptive musician of the foursome. Argüden switched to coloring cymbal work during this phase, but very soon he returned to his hard, fast and strenuous drumming pattern for the showdown. It was obvious that the four musicians consequently followed the rules and strategies of a highly idiosyncratic system. From a listeners' perspective, however, there was an unsatisfying impression of too much forcing and too little inner thrust and interconnecting potential emerging. As a result, it did not really unfurl or burst into something on a higher level during one hour of heavy playing. It raises some questions about the claimed naturalness and organic nature of their playing and their music that obviously can be experienced differently.

Next day darbuka wizard Misirli Ahmet opened the evening with a solo performance. He is the one who is able to do that. He has not only developed an extended approach to this percussive instrument that serves an accompanying role in Middle Eastern music. For him polyrythmic, transcultural drumming is his essential joie de vivre which he conveys to his audience (and his disciples). Remarkably he found his way in the emptiness of the desert Sinaï. It is still the place he is doing his workshops with percussion students. In his playing elements of the Iranian tombak and Indian tabla are integrated into something own and unique which also expresses a philosophy of life and rhythm. He has collaborated with the great masters Trilok Gurtu, Zakir Hussain and Nana Vasconcelos. In Wroclaw he looped himself in stunning ways as a polyrhytmic orchestra. He extended it into a highly enjoyed three partite polyrhythmic piece together with his Wroclaw audience.

Yoon Jeong Heo and MosaiKOREA

MosaiKorea was announced as an ensemble with traditional Korean instruments such as the geomungo (black zither), haegeum (single string fiddle), janggu (double headed drum), and bamboo flute (daegeum) on one side and electric guitar, saxophone, double bass, and drum set on the other.

According to the author, most people in the audience were probably not very familiar with (classical) Korean music (of the 19th century) and did not have any notion of how that music could be fused with jazz elements (as announced) and how that would sound. Presumably, most of the people there had no idea what to expect—even after having heard some of the musicians participating in living room concerts a few hours before on that very same day. They probably expected it to sound strange—a bit strange, totally strange, awfully strange, beautifully strange, confusingly strange ...? So skepticism and a wait-and-see attitude were most probable. What would happen and would there be elements in the music you could relate to?

The music set off gently, slowly increasing in intensity, ruggedness, and loudness. Especially the hard sound of the hourglass-shaped janggu drum and the rhythm beaten had some disturbing effect. It took some time to get into it, but once it clicked the effect was magical and entrancing in the long run. The music proceeded in seemingly fixed order, almost ritualistically in cycles. The combination of ruggedness, immitigable drumming, and high sweet voicing of the bendable single string fiddle had a deep effect, which was enormously intensified by the sound of the black zither. It was fascinating to watch it being played by Yoon Jeong Heo . The geomungo looked like a koto or a guzheng, but very soon turned out to function and sound differently—comparable only to itself. It is plugged fiercely with a bamboo stick, the strings are bended heavily. It looks almost violent. The sounds of the western instruments—quite surprisingly— appeared times as shadows and times as masks in relation to the sounds of the traditional instruments. They added colorings transparently blending into the overall sound and also their gradually heavier soloing worked astonishingly well. Still more amazing and deeply moving where the moments of Kwon Soon Kang's extraordinary concentrated, intense, and beautiful vocalizing. No middle register, only high or low and going deeply into it throughout. Even the bamboo flute of Aram Lee increased enormously qua intensity. There was a big difference to the soft-toned Indian bansuri flute playing.

Scattered melodies, deep quakes: music of a different kind. The music increased enormously, not to attenuate in intensity. The musicians kept strictly to the cycle—undisturbable. Impressive how master musician Yoon Jeong Heo led the ensemble through the cycles. While progressing to an apotheosis of mighty power, spirit, and deep sound, the performing musicians were able to hold on to their 'quietness,' dedication, and deep concentration. The strict order of progression also entailed that there were always musicians 'doing nothing' more than waiting for a while. I never before experienced such a dignified way of 'doing nothing' during the performance and wait patiently for one's next turn. The contrast between the ferocity and wildness of the music and the ritualistic calmness of the musicians was enormous in the last phase of the concert. Finally it ended up in a loud sacred percussive thunderstorm that made the human soul sing out.

The program book, read (and understood a bit) after the performance, summarizes the music as follows: "The genre that is the basis of their artistic expression is sanjo (scattered melodies in Korean) which is rooted in the 19th century and presents melodies in various rhythms, playing a key role. Sanjo is most often played by soloists/virtuosos. Their parts begin in a quiet pace, and grow in speed and expression over time (...) Korean traditional music draws from the pillars of East-Asian philosophy— five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Therefore, each part of a MosaiKorea concert relates to the principles of their circulation, at the same time being part of a larger structure of 'scattered melodies.' The sounds born this way are the result of the elements' mutual relationships: appearance, clashes, and rotations. Progressing further, musicians obtain an endless chain of changeable rhythms, enriched with contemporary improvisation and jazz experience." The 'appearance—clashes—rotations' principle is of crucial significance here and enriching the strong basis patterns of the music seems a more general working principle of performance in the tradition of this music. So both elements provide a solid fundament to stretch musically. It is not surprising that Yoon Jeong Heo and vocalist Kwon Soon Kang have strong ties with Korea's shamanistic tradition which apparently enables them to play music on this deep/high level. It is a great merit of the festival to bring it to our ears and souls in such an endearing way.

Conclusion

During its first decade Wroclaw's Jazztopad has developed into a remarkably coherent, collaborative and challenging festival that took up important impulses from the field and gave impulses back to the field. It has created a rich context with great hospitality. As a consequence the festival, the place and the music-scene gained a good reputation sensible in other parts of Europe and the world. The festival has a series of interrelated elements that add up to a couple of highly productive effects combining an excellent artistic level and profile with solid commercial yield. Part of it is a non- superficial, competent, and careful presentation of background knowledge to the music that is also taken care of in workshops.

Jazztopad has challenged its audience on a profound basis and continues to do it—with beneficial consequences. Contrary to widespread belief it just seems to increase the attractiveness of the festival's activities. Jazztopad's modularity fosters attractiveness for younger generations. The series of living rooms concerts is a good example of it. These concerts are also a good example of getting young people from other art disciplines involved. It is clearly sensible that the efforts at Jazztopad are primarily directed to building and gaining a dedicated audience.

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