January 16 at 2 PM EST / 11 AM PST
Duration: 60-70 min
Live streaming and video recording will be available at:
Jazztopad Festival, in partnership with Polish Cultural Institute New York presents The Great Improvisation series online live streamed from the National Forum of Music (NFM) in Wrocław, Poland. The series presents various faces of jazz – from bold avant-garde and daring improvisation through to the mainstream. The ideal acoustics of the NFM halls provide a perfect environment for both young Polish bands as well as established artists. The series has presented such musicians as Wynton Marsalis, Bobo Stenson, Gregory Porter, Tomasz Stańko, Kuba Więcek, Brad Mehldau, and Dianne Reeves.
Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 2 PM (EST), 11 AM (PST), outstanding Polish jazz pianist and composer Łukasz Ojdana will present his solo album Kurpian Songs & Meditations, an exploration and blending of jazz with traditional music of the ethnic region of Kurpie in Poland. Free live streaming at Lincoln Center and Polish Music Center USC Thornton School of Music.
Łukasz Ojdana is a pianist and a composer known to the wider audience mainly through the renowned trio RGG, with which he has been recording and touring since 2013, though that is only one of his artistic endeavours. For three years Ojdana was a member of Tomasz Stańko’s last quartet, he is also a member of the Zbigniew Namysłowski Quintet. His discography consists of ten award-winning and distinguished albums.
Kurpian Songs & Meditations is his first solo album in which he blends jazz with traditional melodies from the Kurpie region in Poland. As Ojdana explains: When considering my musical identity I came to the conclusion that the most inspirational and natural for me are the contents stemming from the cultural heritage of my country. Choosing such a seemingly obvious topic was not devoid of challenges. What I found interesting in Kurpian songs was that due to the limited temperament of my instrument I could not play them in the 1:1 ratio. The traditional performance of these melodies uses the scale consisting of quarter tones, which are impossible to get from a conventionally tuned piano… The aura of the music, resulting from the highly refined scale, along with its compliance with my harmonic language has multiplied my fascination with this subject – the pianist summed up.
The effect of these explorations is an album of an intimate and honest character, devoid of calculations and imitating trends, recorded almost in one take, without any sound tricks and multiple hours spent in the studio. I cannot play music in a calculated, cold way. I approach each album with the same excitement and discipline, at the same time trying to achieve the best possible end-result. In the case of a solo album I really wanted to catch the moment, while being fully aware of who I am. The energy and emotions that I was carrying that day gave birth to such an album – the musician concluded.
The Great Improvisation online series is presented by Jazztopad Festival and National Forum of Music, in partnership with Polish Cultural Institute New York. This concert is presented in collaboration with Lincoln Center and Polish Music Center USC Thornton School of Music.