30.04.2021 Events, Music, News

The International Jazz Day

Friday, April 30, 2021 at 5pm ET

Free live streaming at Blues Alley



presents Polish artists during 

streamed online

DOMINIK WANIA: Lonely Shadows

On April 30, 2021 Blues Alley joins the 10th Anniversary International Jazz Day celebration in collaboration with UNESCO, and Herbie Hancock Institute with the “Embassy Jazz Series”. The series concept was conceived over two decades ago when the United States discontinued their Jazz Ambassadors diplomacy program and began importing overseas jazz artists to America. Over the past two decades these jazz artists have flourished under their own nation’s banners. Blues Alley will take you on a kaleidoscopic journey around the world with eighteen concerts from all over the world in one night. The theme will be hope, unity and democracy, and the purpose will be to promote the “International Jazz Day” through the world’s love of this musical art form.

The International Jazz Day Celebration will include performances by Dominik Wania, Joanna Duda Trio, Mateusz Smoczyński & Stephan Braun, and Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet.

Dominik Wania joined the elite group of artists recording for ECM Records, and his ‘Lonely Shadows’ is the first solo album of Polish music in history released by this prestigious jazz label. The ECM release concert premiere was recorded during the 17thJazztopad Festival at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław on November 18, 2020. 

Joanna Duda Trio  pianist, composer, producer; Joanna Duda composes music with analogue and contemporary techniques. She plays acoustic (mostly piano) and electronic instruments (computer, workstations, beat machines), planting and growing them into multiplied layers consisting of one texture. The trio features Maksymilian Mucha (double bass) and Michał Bryndal (drums). The concert was recorded during the 17th Jazztopad Festival at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław on November 17, 2020. 

Mateusz Smoczyński & Stephan Braun 
are world-famous virtuosos using unconventional techniques of playing string instruments. Their unique, individual approach to violin and cello playing translates into distinctive sound, rhythm, and groove of the duo. The concert was recorded at Piekarnia Cichej Kobiety in Zielona Góra on October 16, 2020 and presented by Zbigniew Seifert Foundation, Seifert Concerts, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Poland.

Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet was established by a charismatic Polish pianist and composer of the young jazz generation and features Kuba Więcek (alto saxophone), Piotr Chęcki (tenor, baritone saxophone), Emil Miszk (trumpet), Kamil Piotrowicz (piano, make noise 0-coast synthesizer, compositions), Andrzej Święs (double bass), and Krzysztof Szmańda (drums). The concert was recorded at NOSPR in Katowice on February 16, 2021. 

The concerts will be also streamed by Voice of America and the National Press Club       

In November 2011, the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 30 April as “International Jazz Day”. This day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about the art of jazz, its roots, its future and its impact. This important international art form is celebrated for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

The “Embassy Jazz Series” as part of the International Jazz Day is presented by Blues Alley in collaboration with UNESCO, Herbie Hancock Institute, Polish Cultural Institute New York, Polish Embassy in Washington, Instituto Italiano di Cultura, Embassy of Sweden in Washington, Embassy of Greece, Embassy of Japan, and Embassy of Portugal. 

Concerts of Polish artists are presented in partnership with Jazztopad Festival, National Forum of Music, NOSPR, Zbigniew Seifert Foundation, Seifert Concerts, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

Contact for press:
Polish Cultural Institute New York | klaudia.draber@instytutpolski.pl


Dominik Wania. Photo by Maria Jarzyna.

Dominik Wania
 joined the elite group of artists recording for ECM Records, and his ‘Lonely Shadows’ is the first solo album of Polish music in history released by this most prestigious jazz label in the world.

During a two-day recording session in Lugano, the pianist opted for full improvisation. He came to the concert hall of the Swiss radio without previously prepared pieces or even sketches of composition. Thanks to this, while listening to the album ‘Lonely Shadows’, we are witnessing a completely unique creation process. It will be no different during the concert.

Dominik Wania began to gain recognition on the music market by playing with Tomasz Stańko, shortly after graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Shortly afterwards, Wania met his next music partner – the saxophonist Maciej Obara, whose quartet he co-creates to this day. With this ensemble, he has visited the best jazz halls and festivals in the world, and also recorded six albums, of which the last two were also included in the ECM Records catalogue. Wania also devotes himself to didactic work within the walls of the Academies in Krakow and Katowice and also records film music in cooperation with Zbigniew Preisner.

The fans had to wait seven years for the pianist’s second album. So much time had passed since the loud debut – the album “Ravel” recorded in a trio, showered with awards, including two Fryderyk statuettes (in the categories Jazz Album of the Year and Jazz Debut of the Year) and the TVP Kultura award ‘Guarantees of Culture’. And this time Dominik Wania does not resign from the clear influence of classical composers such as Ravel, Prokofiev, Skriabin and Satie.

Wania’s music is a bridge between the sheer freedom of improvisation derived from jazz music and pianism imbued with European classical music. Like the new album, the artist’s solo concerts are an invitation to discover the world of sounds, built following the ‘here and now’ principle.

Joanna Duda Trio. Photo by Slawek Przerwa.

Joanna Duda Trio

Joanna Duda – piano
Maksymilian Mucha – double bass
Michał Bryndal – drums

Using acoustic piano as well as a variety of electronic instruments and processing, Polish composer Joanna Duda’s singular sound is a multilayered and consistently surprising synthesis of forward-thinking modern jazz, pointillist contemporary classical, textural soundscapes, and electronica-augmented pulsing grooves. 

Pianist, composer, producer; Joanna Duda composes music with analogue and contemporary techniques. She plays acoustic (mostly piano) and electronic instruments (computer, workstations, beat machines), planting and growing them into multiplied layers consisting of one texture. As a follower of all-embracing art form and synthesis of arts and sciences, she also creates installations. In her projects she seeks absolute music communication and melting of personalities involved in musical narration.

The trio features Maxymilian Mucha (double bass) and Michał Bryndal (drums) producing a mixture in which the acoustic sounds of the traditional jazz band and the leader’s electronics are present. The music of the group is based on collective consciousness formed by improvisation.

Mateusz Smoczyński & Stephan Braun. Photo by Zuzanna Specjał.

Mateusz Smoczyński & Stephan Braun

Mateusz Smoczyński – violin, baritone violin
Stephan Braun – 5 string cello, percussion

Mateusz Smoczyński and Stephan Braun are world- famous virtuosos using unconventional techniques of playing string instruments. Their unique, individual approach to violin and cello playing translates into distinctive sound, rhythm and groove of the duo. Both artists are world-renowned, successful improvisers taking part in a wide variety of cross-genre projects. Long-time collaborators, Smoczyński & Braun have just recorded the material for their first joint album, inspired by the music of the 90s.

Mateusz Smoczyński is an internationally acclaimed Polish jazz violinist and winner of numerous prizes at major competitions, including the Grand Prix of the Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Competition. A sought-after soloist and ensemble-leader, he has performed at the most important jazz venues and festivals around the world. An active educator, since 2017 he has been an Adjunct Professor at the Jazz and World Music Department of the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw. Mateusz Smoczyński is also considered one of the most multi-faceted Polish contemporary music composers. An author of numerous chamber and symphonic works, his „Adam’s Apple” violin concerto had its premiere at the iconic hall of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) in Katowice, Poland. www.smoczynski.pl

Considered one of the most interesting cellists in the European jazz scene, Stephan Braun has played concerts with well-known musicians and ensembles, including Melody Gardot, Nils Landgren, Gil Goldstein, Chris Hinze, Don Thomson, Till Broenner, Giora Feidman and Kristjan Randalu. Trained as a classical and jazz cellist at the conservatories in Hamburg and Berlin, he and his trio won the 2010 International Jazz Competition in Bucharest. Concert performances have taken him to Asia, North America, Africa and Europe. Braun has participated in more than 20 CD productions and has produced two of his own albums- With his trio’s debut album (2008) he clarifies that the cello has a place in jazz, bringing the Groove! In spring 2012 his duo “Deep Strings” released their CD “Façon” on nrw-Record. www.stefanbraun.com

Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet. Photo by Sisi Cecylia.

Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet 

Kuba Więcek – alto saxophone
Piotr Chęcki – tenor, baritone saxophone
Emil Miszk – trumpet
Kamil Piotrowicz – piano, make noise 0-coast synthesizer, compositions
Andrzej Święs – double bass
Krzysztof Szmańda – drums

The second band formed by Kamil Piotrowicz, a young generation Polish pianist and composer. The band released two albums – ‘Product Placement’ (2018) and ‘Popular Music’ (2016), both nominated for the Polish Phonographic Academy’s Fryderyk award – the Polish equivalent of a Grammy. The band has performed at the most prominent of Polish festivals, such as Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw, Jazz Jantar in Gdańsk, Jazz nad Odrą in Wrocław, Festiwal Pianistów Jazzowych in Kalisz, Letnia Akademia Jazzu in Łódź, and Komeda Jazz Festiwal in Słupsk. They have also toured South Africa. Their latest album, Product Placement, is an immersion, an attempt at self-definition and discursive self-discovery. The band, enriched with Kuba Więcek’s alto saxophone and an experienced rhythm section (Andrzej Święs and Krzysztof Szmańda), plays Piotrowicz’s own compositions, blending elements of jazz, contemporary music, Polish folklore and minimalism.

Kamil Piotrowicz after finishing his bachelor’s degree at the Academy of Music in Gdansk, he moved to Copenhagen where he completed a master’s degree at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory. He was awarded with several prizes including the ‘Young Creator of Culture’ of the city of Gdansk or the West-Pomeranian‚ Pro Arte’ Cultural Award. He is the founder of international ‘Idealistic Festival’ and independent label ‘Howard Records’. Kamil performed all over Europe and his approach to the piano is characterized by meticulous technique, virtuosity, and immersive sensibility.

Founded in 1965, Blues Alley is the nation’s oldest continuing jazz supper club, having showcased internationally renowned concert hall artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington Jr., Ramsey Lewis, Charlie Byrd, Maynard Ferguson and Eva Cassidy in a small intimate setting. Located in the heart of historic Georgetown in an 18th century red brick carriage house, Blues Alley offers its patrons a unique ambiance, reminiscent of the jazz clubs of the 1920’s and 30’s.

Polish Cultural Institute New York was founded in 2000. It is a diplomatic mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, operating in the area of public diplomacy. The PCI NY is one of 25 such institutes around the world. It is also an active member of the network of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in its New York cluster. The Institute’s mission is to share Polish heritage and contemporary art with American audiences, and to promote Poland’s contributions to the success of world culture. The Institute does so through initiating, supporting and promoting collaboration between Poland and the United States in the areas of visual art, design, film, theater, dance, literature, music, and in many other aspects of intellectual and social life. The Institute’s main task is to ensure Polish participation in the programming of America’s most important cultural institutions as well as in large international initiatives.

Contact for press:
Polish Cultural Institute New York | klaudia.draber@instytutpolski.pl


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