February 13 at 2 PM EST / 11 AM PST
Duration: 60-70 min
Live streaming and video recording 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, February 13, 2021 at 2 PM (EST), 11 AM (PST), Radek Nowicki Quartet. Free live streaming at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Polish Music Center USC Thornton School of Music. One of the most distinctive voices of Polish jazz saxophone brought together an all-star band to explore improvisation deeply rooted in and inspired by tradition of such jazz giants as Wayne Shorter or John Coltrane.
Radek Nowicki Quartet, founded in 2005 performed mainly in Warsaw’s jazz club Tygmont. In 2007, Jazz Forum released an album of the quartet entitled Live, which resulted in an invitation to the “Chopin and his Europe” festival for a performance with Makoto Ozone, Jazz Jamboree 2007, and the 10th Summer Jazz Academy 2017 with Kasia Pietrzko. RNQ’s music is often based on the idea of simultaneous, collective improvisation. Compositions by Nowicki lead to open structures and are a pretext for mutual interaction of musicians creating music open to new ideas and expressions. All members of the quartet are graduates of jazz faculties and departments at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. Two of them (Nowicki and Jaros) also graduated from the Jazz Department of the F. Chopin 1st and 2nd degree State Music School in Warsaw.
Radosław Nowicki is a tenor and soprano saxophonist, distinguished by his own characteristic tone. He is a prize-winner at solo competitions: Monte Carlo Jazz Soloist Competition, and the 3rd International Jazz Competition in Szczecin. As an accompanist and co-founder of various bands, Nowicki received the Jazz Juniors 1999 (III) award, the Siedlce Jazz Standards Festival (Grand Prix), and in 2004 the Kultursalon Hörbiger award in Vienna. Nowicki has collaborated with such great musicians as inter alia, Michał Tokaj, Artur Dutkiewicz, Aga Zaryan, Michał Miśkiewicz, Marita Alban Juarez, Jerzy Małek, Krzysztof Pacan, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Monika Borzym, Grzegorz Karnas and recently with Marcin Wasilewski Trio. The saxophonist has also performed with Tomasz Stańko in the concert project “PEYOTL”, realised together with Andrzej Smolik, and was also a member of Zbigniew Namysłowski’s Big Band. Apart from the quartet, the saxophonist’s most important endeavors include Nowicki / Święs / Frankiewicz trio. In 2013 Nowicki was nominated for a Fryderyk Award of the Phonographic Academy in the Jazz Album of the Year category (for Pathfinder released by Multikulti Records).
Michał Tokaj, pianist, composer and arranger, a leader of his own trio, nominated and awarded with numerous Fryderyk Music Awards by the Phonographic Academy. Michał Tokaj is the winner of the first prize at the International Jazz Improvisation Competition in Katowice and two-time winner of the Jazz Juniors. He is known for his collaboration with Eddie Henderson, Bennie Maupin, Victor Lewis, Monty Waters, Jan “Ptaszyn” Wróblewski, Janusz Muniak, Tomasz Szukalski, Ewa Bem, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Piotr Wojtasik, Piotr Baron, Darek Oles, Grzegorz Nagórski, Zbigniew Zaryan, Łukasz Żyta, Michał Barański, Grzegorz Karnas, Grażyna Auguścik, Ingrid Jensen, Andrzej Jagodziński, Adam Cegielski, Czesław Bartkowski, and Sławomir Kurkiewicz.
Double bass player Michał Jaros was recognized in 1996 at Jazz nad Odrą festival in Wrocław as the New Face of Polish Jazz, receiving the Grand Prix award. In the same year, together with The Newest Quartet, he received the 3rd prize and a distinction, and in 2002 the 1st prize in the Jazz Juniors competition in Kraków. In 2003, he won the Grand Prix in the Hot Jazz Spring traditional jazz competition in Częstochowa, receiving the Swinging Raven statuette. In 2009, he was a prize-winner of the Polish Radio Folk Festival. He is a winner of the Artistic Scholarship of the Minister of Arts and Culture for outstanding achievements. Jaros is known for his collaborations with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Ronnie Cuber, Judy Bady, David Linx, Patricia Barber, Dorużka, Jerome Sabbagh, Janusz Muniak, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Piotr Wojtasik, Maciej Sikała, Piotr Baron, Grażyna Auguścik, Aga Zaryan, Grzegorz Karnas, Bernard Maseli, Michał Tokaj, and Marek Dyjak.
Michał Miśkiewicz, drummer with an expressive, recognizable style. As a sixteen-year-old he made his debut in the band of Jan “Ptaszyn” Wróblewski. A year later, Tomasz Stańko invited him to collaborate. As a member of Stańko’s quartet, and later Marcin Wasilewski’s trio, he participated in recordings for the prestigious German label ECM, and for many years performed on major European and US stages. With Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Michał Miśkiewicz won many awards, including the award of Polish Radio 3 “Mateusz 2011”, and awards of the Phonographic Academy “Fryderyk” for the albums Trio (2005), January (2008), Faithful (2011), and Spark of Life (2014). Michał has collaborated with all the leading names in Polish jazz, as well as with the greatest names of world jazz, including: Buster Williams, Billy Harper, Dino Saluzzi, Arthur Blyth, Joe Lovano, John Surman, Mike Turner, Gregoir Maret, Anders Jormin, Palle Daniellson, Bobo Stenson, and Charles Lloyd.
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.