Rafal Sarnecki is a jazz guitarist, composer and arranger born in 1982 in Warsaw, Poland. He started to gain recognition in Poland after his success at the “International Jazz Guitar Competition - Guitar City 2002” in Warsaw where he received the 1st award.
In 2005 he moved to New York where he received a high scholarship at the prestigious Jazz and Contemporary Music program at the New School University in Manhattan. In 2008 he finished his undergraduate degree from The New School with Academic Honors. In 2010 he received his MA degree in jazz performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music also in New York.
Rafal has performed in 8 European countries and toured the West and the East coast of the US. He has studied with some of the greatest musicians on the NY jazz scene such as: Paul Bollenback, Buster Williams, Reggie Workman and Peter Bernstein.
In January 2008, Rafal recorded his first CD, “Songs From a New Place”. The CD includes Rafal's original compositions, and was released in October 2008. In February 2009 it was nominated to the FRYDERYK 2009 music award, which is a Polish version of the American Grammy award. In January 2010 Rafal recorded his second album as a band leader entitled “The Madman Rambles Again”. The album was released in February 2011 by the Fresh Sound New Talent label.
Currently he is living in Brooklyn composing and performing music with a variety of groups including: Lucas Pino Nonet, Majid Khaliq Group, Danielle Freeman OperaJazz Quartet, Woogie Lee Quartet and his own group Rafal Sarnecki Sextet.
- FRYDERYK 2009 nomination (Polish version of the GRAMMY
- 1st Award on the International Jazz Guitar Competition
"Guitar City 2002" in Warsaw, Poland
"Sarnecki's original compositions merge the high-flown
lyricism of Polish culture with an idiosyncratic, thoroughly
disarming way of building long and winding musical phrases"
- Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
"The youthful energy which emanates from every note on the
CD perfectly corresponds with the surprising musical maturity
of the leader, both on a compositional level and in its narrative
drama and its individual phrases."
- Konrad Zywiecki, Jazz Forum
"It's amazing that this young artist already has so much to
say... when you hear him it takes your breath away."