It is my great pleasure to invite you to the 8th edition of the Jazztopad festival. This has been the fourth time that I have had the privilege of preparing the festival’s programme and this will be the next time we are about to experience the exceptional jazz events!
Three years ago, the nature of the festival was changed to include such fundamental objectives as: asking both young as well as renowned composers to prepare their compositions, supporting young musicians, inviting the biggest jazz stars (and convincing them to prepare special projects), establishing a strong and international reputation of the festival through participation in international platforms and projects, organising workshops with the most significant jazz musicians and creating unique projects that will be performed exclusively during our festival.
For both myself and the entire festival team, the Jazztopad festival is first of all a great celebration of music, that is perceptibly distinct from regular seasonal concerts. For this reason, the presentation of the tailor-made projects is particularly important to me. The entire pleasure and value is in the creation of exceptional projects that are challenging for both the musicians as well as the audience.
So far, we have had the pleasure to be the host to renowned artists such as Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, Kenny Wheeler or Gary Peacock. The great musicians who have prepared their compositions for us include: John Surman, Terje Rypdal and Kenny Wheeler, and also brilliant young Polish musicians: Piotr Damasiewicz and Nikola Kołodziejczyk.
The Jazztopad festival has become a part of the initiative involving five most important European festivals under the Take Five: Europe scheme (designed for the most talented young-generation musicians). In addition, we have been also providing support for the emerging jazz stars for three years as part of the international jazz platform JazzPlaysEurope.
This year’s edition of the festival is a natural continuation of the process that started three years ago.
Obviously, the legendary Sonny Rollins concert will be the greatest event. This autumn, the jazz giant will give his concerts in only four European cities! We are truly proud that Wrocław, together with the Jazztopad festival, is one of them.
This will also be the first Polish concert of Fred Hersch, the outstanding American pianist who has written new compositions for a jazz trio and a chamber orchestra exclusively for us.
This will be the third time that we will be presented with the result of the JazzPlaysEurope jazz laboratory which will be working in Amsterdam this year with Michał Bryndal representing Poland.
Two very intimate evenings are ahead of us: the duet of Dave Liebman — the long-standing companion of Miles Davis — with Richie Bairach and the duet of the Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson with Jon Fält. These will be the only such concerts in Europe.
The last weekend will see a peculiar marathon organised as a part of the 2011/2012 North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Culture Season in Poland. The project titled “24h Run: What’s in the fridge?!” is designed to fill various interiors in the Wrocław city centre with jazz music from Germany and Poland for 24 hours with as many as three culminating concerts at the Wrocław Philharmonic: Invisible Change, Maciej Obara Quartet and the final premiere of the Uri Caine’s composition for the Lutosławski Quartet.
I hope that you will find both the programme and the format of the festival interesting.
Piotr Turkiewicz, Artistic Director