23rd Summer Jazz Festival Kraków

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  • Sunday, June 24, 2018 - Sunday, August 5, 2018

Kraków Faces Jazz

Myriad Polish stars, jazz legends from around the globe, almost 200 concerts and 500 performers – the Summer Jazz Festival Kraków is in full swing! Despite the new name, the great celebration of jazz is only making minor changes to the tried-and-tested formula, and that’s just including even more concerts and extending the festival from a month to a full six weeks (24 June – 5 August).

Events kick off with some stellar performances. On 27 June, Manggha Museum welcomes one of Kraków’s favourites: the Cuban pianist and composer Alfredo Rodriguez with his trio. The artist, acclaimed for telling stories through music, takes the audience on a journey to a world of dreams spun in his album The Little Dream. Kijów.Centrum hosts a performance by Charles Lloyd, The Marvels & Bill Frisell on 28 June. Saxophonist Charles Lloyd, leading the project and famous for his collaborations with Cream and Jimi Hendrix, skilfully intertwines jazz virtuosity with a rock soul. The following day, the acclaimed Polish saxophonist Zbigniew Namysłowski comes to Manggha Museum.

Independent jazz
The new name aims to make the festival more recognisable on the international stage, but the organisers are also making sure to mark this year’s celebrations of the centenary of Poland’s independence. You’d be hard pushed to find a better genre than jazz to symbolise the drive for freedom and liberty, and the Golden Hundred of Polish Jazz musicians represent its diversity and potential. And since the festival brings us only the crème de la crème, we will hear musicians who have been building the image of Polish jazz for many years. The cycle of concerts at the Manggha Museum features Urszula Dudziak, Michał Urbaniak, Zbigniew Namysłowski and Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, as well as musicians who have taken the scene by storm in more recent years: Leszek Możdżer and Włodek Pawlik. During the Solo Piano Weekend (6 and 7 July) at the Golden Hall at the Philharmonic, we will hear the flawless Vladislav Sendecki and Piotr Orzechowski AKA Pianohooligan.

Club panorama
The spiritual home of the Summer Jazz Festival is Piwnica Pod Baranami. Decades ago it was a regular venue for gigs by Witold Wnuk, founder and director of the festival, and the Jazz Lambs for lifetime achievements are awarded here, with this year’s statuette going to Andrzej Dąbrowski. During the festival, daily concerts resounding with music of all styles and genres are held here, from trad jazz via songs to fusion. Wojciech Karolak, Krzysztof Ścierański, Lora Szafran, Stanisław Soyka, Włodzimierz Nahorny and Grzech Piotrowski are just some of the hottest names we will hear. The venue also hosts an exhibition of Małgorzata Kornecka’ s paintings accompanying the festival.
Adam Kawończyk, Stanisław Słowiński, Marek Stryszowski and Funk the Night represent another major festival series of the latest projects by veterans and up-and-coming musicians on the Polish scene. The Harris Piano Jazz Bar resounds with canonical jazz trios and quartets as well as exploring sounds verging on folk, electronic and even classical music (the project Chopin on Strings by the Maciej Strzelczyk, Romuald Erenc and Piotr Rodowicz trio, for example). These events feature many musicians from abroad, some of whom – such as Karen Edwards and Keith Thompson – love returning to Poland time and again. We will have another opportunity to hear selected artists during concerts at the Piec Art club during the first half of July. The cult club Alchemia, home to rather more lively and innovative forms of jazz, welcomes audience favourites Mikołaj Trzaska with Rafał Mazur and the Oleś Brothers with Antoni Gralak. And there are gigs at U Muniaka, the Pracownia Pod Baranami promotes the young alternative scene, while on Saturday nights the Obscene Recitals feature the extraordinary Jerzy Bożek. It’s all go!

From Louisiana to New York
For many years, the official opening of the festival has been marked by parades and outdoor concerts celebrating traditional jazz and its long history in Kraków. Following decades-old traditions, we will hear the Boba Jazz Band, Old Metropolitan Band, Jazz Band Ball Orchestra and Beale Street Band. Even though this year’s events are starting a whole week earlier, the New Orleans Sunday (1 July) and daily concerts in the open air outside the Ratuszowa Café recalling the atmosphere of sunny Louisiana help us get into Kraków’s jazz groove.

The hot festival atmosphere is fuelled by even more performances by some of the greatest jazz stars. Hot in the footsteps of the Alfredo Rodríguez Trio and Charles Lloyd & The Marvels & Bill Frisell in June, it’s turn for the main July event at the Auditorium Maximum of the Jagiellonian University on 8 July. Take 6 – perhaps the most highly acclaimed vocal ensemble in history (ten Grammies!) skilfully combining jazz with gospel – performs a programme dedicated to the celebrated vocalist Al Jarreau who passed away last year. On 12 July, Kijów.Centrum takes us on a journey to New York with Pharoah Sanders – the inspired, veteran avant-garde saxophonist known for exploring brand new music territories and famous for his collaborations with musicians as diverse as Sun Ra and John Coltrane during his career spanning close to sixty years.
The extensive programme of this year’s Summer Jazz Festival still has plenty of surprises left in store. The perfect opportunity to reflect on the festival will be the finale concert held – where else? – at the courtyard of the Pod Baranami Palace on 4 August. Witold Wnuk pledges that the Summer Jazz Festival will work as hard as ever to bring together Poland’s jazz musicians and fans!

Igor Kuranda, Grzegorz Słącz, Karnet magazine

Concerts at Piwnica Pod Baranami:

24.06 Brad Terry & Joachim Mencel Trio
25.06 Laboratorium
26.06 Hanna Banaszak Recital
27.06 Andrzej Jagodziński Trio
28.06 Grażyna Auguścik & Jarosław Bester
29.06 Marek Bałata - Piotr Matusik
30.06 Andrzej Dąbrowski & Karolak Trio
1.07 Old Metropolitan Band
2.07 JBBO & Stanley Breckenridge
3.07 Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski Kwartet
4.07 High Definition & Igor Boxx - „Dziady”
5.07 Andrzej Olejniczak & Vladislav Sendecki
6.07 Jorgos Skolias & Dominik Wania
7.07 Krzysztof Ścierański International Trio
8.07 Marek Napiórkowski Trio feat. Andrzej Olejniczak
9.07 Dorota Miśkiewicz & Marek Napiórkowski
10.07 Maciej Obara & Dominik Wania
11.07 Friends - Karolak/Baron/Napiórkowski/Dębski/Czerwiński
12.07 Wojciech Karolak Trio
13.07 Pasquale Stafano & Gianni Iorio
14.07 ACM Trio & Peter Lipa
15.07 Trio RSJA & Piotr Baron
16.07 Lora Szafran & Bogdan Hołownia
17.07 Stanisław Sojka Recital
18.07 Jose Torres & Maciej Sikała - Q Ya Vy
19.07 Krzysztof Popek Fresh Air: Nagórski/Jonkisz/Niedziela/Zielak
20.07 Atom String Quartet
21.07 Kazimierz Jonkisz Energy
22.07 Danuta Błażejczyk Tribute to Danuta Rinn
23.07 Krzesimir Dębski & Adam Palma
24.07 Włodzimierz Nahorny Trio
25.07 Henryk Miśkiewicz Trio ‘’Lirycs’’
26.07 Boba Jazz Band
27.07 MaBaSo - Maseli/Barański/Soltis
28.07 Anthimos Apostolis/Piotr Schmidt Electric Project
29.07 Wojciech Myrczek & Paweł Tomaszewski
30.07 Aga Zaryan & Michał Tokaj
31.07 Józef Skrzek/Puma Piasecki/Michał Dziewiński – ‘’Stories’’
1.08 Adam Bałdych & Paweł Tomaszewski
2.08 Adam Bałdych Quartet
3.08 Grzech Piotrowski Project

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