23.06.2023 - 30.06.2023 Events, Music

Jazztopad Festival New York 2023

Jazztopad, Poland’s Premier Jazz Festival, Announces Stellar Program of Satellite Events in NYC, Philly, Vancouver

The Jazztopad Festival, a leading event of its kind in Poland…”–NATE CHINEN, THE NEW YORK TIMES

…Jazztopad stands as an internationally renowned festival with a clearly defined ethos, one that combines a strong respect for the traditions and roots of the music with a progressive vision that provides a platform for the contemporary and innovative.”–IAN PATTERSON, ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM

June 23-30, 2023
Full Program Below

Shift, National Sawdust, Barbès (Brooklyn)
Living Room Concert (TBA)
Solar Myth (Philadelphia)
Dizzy’s Club & Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center (Manhattan)
+ Revue Stage at Vancouver International Jazz Festival (Canada)

Commissioned works for the Lutosławski Quartet in collaboration with Craig Taborn, Don Davis, Uri Caine & Michael Bates. Performances by Craig Taborn, Amir ElSaffar, Ole Mathiesen, Tomas Fujiwara, Ksawery Wójciński, Maniucha Bikont, Joanna Duda, Max Mucha, Michał Bryndal, Kirk Knuffke.

The 2023 US edition of Jazztopad, from June 23-30, will proudly feature a series of commissions from the acclaimed Lutosławski Quartet in collaboration with jazz piano luminaries Craig Taborn and Uri Caine, EMMY-winning composer Don Davis and sought-after bassist and composer Michael Bates. Iraqi-American trumpeter and composer Amir ElSaffar will also perform on opening night in a return Jazztopad engagement. Pianist Joanna Duda will present her trio; singer/multi-instrumentalist Maniucha Bikont and bassist Ksawery Wójciński will perform as well. The US edition of Jazztopad has been organised by the National Forum of Music in Wrocław in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

The Jazztopad satellite events will kick off in three of Brooklyn’s most cherished creative music venues: Shift, National Sawdust and Barbès. On June 26, the festival takes a more intimate form as well with a series of Concerts in Living Rooms (details soon TBA). In nearby Philadelphia at Solar Myth, one of that historic jazz city’s newest and most exciting venues booked by Mark Christman of Ars Nova Workshop, Philly’s native son Uri Caine will perform. And continuing Jazztopad’s successful and sustained partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, now in its ninth year, the festival will hold events at Dizzy’s Club and Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium as well.

Finally, Jazztopad heads to Vancouver, British Columbia for a Canadian finale featuring Joanna Duda with Ksawery Wójciński and trumpeter JP Carter and drummer Dylan van der Schyff as part of an ongoing collaboration and exchange of artists between Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Jazztopad.


Friday, June 23, 2023 at 8pm
FourOneOne (411 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY)
Amir ElSaffar Trio with Ole Mathisen & Tomas Fujiwara, Ksawery Wójciński
Kamil Piotrowicz

Saturday, June 24, 2023 at 7:30pm
National Sawdust (80 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY)
Craig Taborn with Lutosławski Quartet – “Luminous Grid” Premiere
Don Davis – “Screaming Into The Void” Premiere
Composed for the Lutosławski Quartet
Craig Taborn Solo & Duo with Ksawery Wójciński

Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 8pm
Barbès (376 9th St, Brooklyn, NY)
Joanna Duda, Kirk Knuffke, Ksawery Wójciński, Lesley Mok
Max Mucha, Michał Bryndal, Kamil Piotrowicz, Maniucha Bikont

Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 1pm
Living Room Concert (TBA)
Festival Artists, Local Artists

Monday, June 26, 2023, 8pm
Solar Myth (1131 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA)
Uri Caine Solo & with the Lutosławski Quartet

Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center (10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY)
Joanna Duda Trio

Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at 7:30pm
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (61 W 62nd St, New York, NY)
Ksawery Wójciński & Maniucha Bikont
Michael Bates’ Acrobat + Lutosławski Quartet—Metamorphosis Album Premiere

Friday, June 30, 2023, 9:00pm
Coastal Jazz & Blues Society (Revue Stage, 295 W 7th Ave 2nd floor VANCOUVER, BC)
Joanna Duda + Ksawery Wójciński + JP Carter + Dylan Van Der Schyff


© Rue Sakamoto

Craig Taborn’s “Luminous Grid” is the first part of a concert-length work in progress for string quartet and improvising pianist. The piece is inspired in part by the work of Agnes Martin, whose abstract work strikes a balance between what at first seems meditative, static and balanced lines and grids but upon closer examination reveals a secret dynamism and beautiful instability. The piece involves the interaction between the string quartet and piano in an unfolding sound tapestry that seeks to both cleave to and escape from the condition of balance.

© Maria Jarzyna

Joanna Duda, pianist, composer and improviser, creates experimental music with elements of jazz and contemporary classical. Her main projects are solo (KEEN, 2019) and the Joanna Duda Trio (FUMITSUKE, 2020), both of which involve the combining of electronic and acoustic sounds in an osmotic and organic way. The trio, with Max Mucha (double bass, fx) and Michał Bryndal (drums, electronics), has performed in such prestigious venues as Ronnie Scott’s in London, Le Periscope in Lyon, Opus Jazz Club in Budapest and jazz festivals in Vancouver, Edmonton, Bremen and Helsinki. Duda also composed the music for the Erotica 2022 Netflix series, and took part in the album UNCHAINED with compositions by Julius Eastman, which was nominated for the International Classical Music Awards.

© Wojtek Rudzki

Maniucha Bikont is a singer and anthropologist with field research experience in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. She is a member of musical and theatrical ensembles dealing with traditional music, rituals, improvisation and unconventional vocal techniques. Her duo with Ksawery Wójciński combines jazz improvisation with the dying songs of Ukrainian Polesia in an original way. In their compositions they evoke spring, harvest, weddings, love, grandfatherly songs, carols and lullabies, combining them into stories mapping the cycles of nature and human life. Together they weave tales that transcend the boundaries of time and musical genre, drawing on archival recordings from Polish villages in the area.

Photo: Private Archive

Michael Bates, joining the Lutosławski Quartet with his group Acrobat (Marty Ehrlich, Fung Chern Hwei, Sara Schoenbeck and Michael Sarin), will premiere music from his new album Metamorphosis, a radically different interpretation of the revered Polish icon Witold Lutosławski. With literal themes or pieces composed in his spirit, Bates has created a powerful set of music that reveals a new way to think about pairing classical music and jazz. It features masterful re-orchestrations fueled by grooves found in both modern jazz and chamber ensembles. While Lutosławski is clearly being channelled, these nine fantastic voices will be on full display: beautiful, vicious, elegant and dissonant.

© Karol Sokolowsk

Ksawery Wójciński is a versatile double bassist and composer with great sensitivity to sound. His interests range from early music to the most sophisticated improvised contemporary music. He has collaborated with Charles Gayle, Mikołaj Trzaska, Satoko Fuji, Nicole Mitchell, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson and many more, and is the cofounder of such formations as the legendary Emergency and Hera. He is also known for his vocal experiments, which recall the spirit of such artists as Tom Waits and Frank Zappa.

© Bill Douthart

Uri Caine, a Philadelphia native and GRAMMY nominee, recorded Space Kiss (2017) with the Lutosławski Quartet (816 Music), and has led his own ensembles performing arrangements of Mahler, Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, Schumann and Bach. Recent compositions include Agent Orange written for the Brussels Philharmonic and 4 Wunderhorn Songs written for the SWF Orchestra. Caine also composed The Passion of Octavius Catto for the Philadelphia Orchestra with a gospel choir celebrating the life of murdered Philadelphia civil rights leader Octavius Catto. Caine has also worked in groups led by Don Byron, Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Sam Rivers and Barry Altschul, among many others.

© Leftéris Padavos

Don Davis, in addition to his prolific work in film scoring including The Matrix, has always maintained a busy concert career. His body of work includes the recently recorded Critical Mass for Orchestra, four string quartets, four trios for flute/harp/viola, works for one and two pianos, an oratorio, choral works, various chamber works, and a full-length three-act opera Río de Sangre. His work has been featured on recordings by the Arditti Quartet, the Debussy Trio, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Davis looks forward to the premiere of his “Screaming into the Void” with the Lutosławski Quartet.

© Michael Crommett

Amir ElSaffar is a composer, trumpeter, santur player, and vocalist, a recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and a 2018 US Artist Fellow. His is conversant in the language of contemporary jazz but has also created techniques to play microtones and ornaments idiomatic to Arabic music that are not typically heard on the trumpet. Additionally, he is a purveyor of the centuries-old, now endangered Iraqi maqam tradition, in which he performs actively as a vocalist and santur player. He has received commissions to compose for large and small jazz ensembles, traditional Middle Eastern ensembles, chamber orchestras, string quartets, and contemporary music ensembles, as well as dance troupes.

© Łukasz Rajchert

The Lutosławski Quartet performs contemporary music as well as recently commissioned pieces, and focuses on popularising Polish music, including works by Lutosławski, Bacewicz, Szymanowski, and also compositions by one of the group members – Marcin Markowicz. An ensemble made up of versatile and open-minded artists, they blend the contemporary repertoire with the gems of classical, Romantic and jazz music. They have worked with Charles Lloyd, Vijay Iyer, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Sylvie Courvousier, Mark Feldman, James Brandon Lewis and other jazz greats, and recorded the world’s first album of Witold Lutosławski’s chamber works for the Accord label.

The American edition of Jazztopad is an opportunity to discover the most important artists from the Polish contemporary jazz scene, a strongly recognizable brand in the world both in terms of quality of festivals and the craft of the artists.

About the Festival

Jazztopad Festival, the leading event of its kind in Poland, has organised its satellite editions all over the world (Japan, Turkey, South Korea) in collaboration with such partners as Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz Festival, Akbank Jazz Festival, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. For 20 years, the festival has been commissioning music from some of the most important American artists including Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, Jason Moran, William Parker, Vijay Iyer and Terence Blanchard. The international creative partnerships of Jazztopad include such prestigious organizations as the Monterey Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center, London Jazz Festival and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Live recordings from the festival have been released on ECM and Blue Note Records.

I am extremely happy that for the 7th time we are able to present some of the most exciting and creative artists from Poland and the US. The program features several world premieres of pieces commissioned by or written for Jazztopad Festival. Triggering new collaborations, presenting new music and building a community have been the main features of our festival which started in Poland 20 years ago.”  Piotr Turkiewicz, Jazztopad Festival Artistic Director

Since Piotr Turkiewicz took the reins in 2008, the event has become one of Europe’s premier jazz festivals, a dynamic endeavor that showcases the finest homegrown talent and engages some of the most storied figures in the music’s history with ambitious commissions. From the beginning, Turkiewicz has sought to elevate jazz from his homeland, programming local musicians in Wrocław, but also organizing performances for them around the world, in collaboration with renowned jazz artists in the US and other countries.

This project is organized by the National Forum of Music in Wrocław in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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