Jazz nad Odrą festival 2024

Six days of musical feast in three locations – this is how Wrocław will celebrate 60 years of the legendary festival in April.

The history of the Jazz nad Odrą festival began in 1964 and was built up for 60 years. The event has hosted crowds of outstanding jazz artists for six decades, and from the beginning it has also supported young musicians by organizing a competition for them, which now awards the title of “The Wojtek Siwek Jazz Individuality”. This year, the auditions of finalists open the festival program – on 23rd of April the jury will select the Grand Prix winner and other laureates, and just a few hours later at Impart Centrum we will learn the results. During the gala, we will hear the ensemble of the Bartosz Pernal Orchestra, which has prepared works especially for this occasion. Then the evening will turn into a concert of Wroclaw Jazz Night, you will see two quintets on stage – Zbigniew Lewandowski and Piotr Baron. The first festival day can also be celebrated at the festival club, the Vertigo Jazz Club & Restaurant, where Jerzy “Wilk” Kaczmarek and his quartet Wilcze Sidła will perform. For six days, the organisers also invite you to traditional jam sessions, which will take place after the concerts in Vertigo.

The following evening will begin with a performance by the winner of the Wojtek Siwek Jazz Individuality Contest Grand Prix, and the second concert set promises to be a real musical feast. Darek Oleszkiewicz, Jorge Rossy and Brad Mehldau, one of the most lyrical and intimate artists of contemporary jazz piano, will perform in front of the festival audience. In Vertigo, Tomasz Wendt will perform his latest album Daily Things. From 25th of April, the Culture Zone Wrocław will launch another festival location – the Firlej club at ul. Grabiszyńska 56. This is where the international band assembled by Cezariusz Gadzina will perform. His “River Dream” project is European jazz spiced with a touch of American flavour, and Rick Margitza, the tenor saxophone legend, will be one of his guests. Meanwhile, at Impart Centrum, the following evening will belong to the Pablo Held Buoyancy Band with the legendary Norma Winstone as vocalist and Ambrose Akinmusire, the American trumpeter who released his latest album Owl Song at the end of December 2023. In the festival club, Magda Zawartko will give a concert from her solo recording debut Satyagraha.

The fourth day of the festival will be opened by Michel Benita, an Algerian bassist who, together with his quartet, will present the artist’s album Looking At Sounds. The big stage at Impart Centrum will host the “Piotr Wojtasik Presents” project, including: Andrzej Jagodziński, responsible for arrangements, and soloists – trumpeter Philip Dizack and saxophonist Rick Margitza. In the second set, Jerry Bergonzi will be joined by Blue Note recording artist Tim Hagans in an international quintet.  Piotr Rachoń Quartet will invite you to the festival club for a musical meditation. On the following day Gabriel Coburger`s Urban Exchange Band will present the music of John Coltrane, while the big stage will belong to the McCraven family. First, Stephen McCraven will mesmerise you with his African-American Heritage Ensemble, followed by Makaya McCraven presenting how she transcends the boundaries of jazz, electronics, composition and rhythm. The evening will close with Roland Abreu & The Cuban Latin Jazz with their danceable fusion of Cuban and jazz music.

The final day will  begin with Firlej  and a showcase of the successful collaboration between Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and Danish bassist Thomas Fonnesbaeck, followed by two sets at Impart Centrum. First, Hungarian saxophonist Viktor Tóth will present his “Drum & Bassss” project, followed by the visionary vibraphonist leading the ensemble of Stefon Harris & Blackout. The festival will officially close with the Bartosz Pernal Orchestra, followed by a jam session for the last time.

The festival will also announce the winners of the 6th edition of MK Jazz Foto, Marek Karewicz’s photography competition. Out of 172 works, the competition jury composed of: Urszula Las, Łukasz Gawroński, Leszek Możdżer, Michał Pietrzak and Andrzej Tyszko, nominated 33 photographs for the final exhibition.

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