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The 53rd Jazz on the Odra Festival is starting!

Today, on the 26th of April, the 53rd edition of the Jazz on the Odra Festival – the oldest jazz festival in Poland – starts in Wrocław. This year's edition of the event features some of the famous American musicians – Ravi Coltrane, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Kendrick Scott and Tia Fuller, as well as international projects by artists such as Marek Napiórkowski and Piotr Baron, album premieres, Jazz Personality Contest and the grand finale – the International Polish Jazz Day. We will also witness numerous accompanying events, including exhibitions, a traditional album exchange and a meeting with Filip Łobodziński devoted to the release of his book on John Coltrane. The festival will run until 30 April, and its finale will be marked by boats with live jazz music sailing down the Odra River.

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Coltrane on Coltrane for the opening
The Festival will be inaugurated by this year’s Fryderyk Award nominee, the Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet (26 April, 7:00 p.m., Impart). The Coltrane’s Sound – a tribute to the late John Coltrane, who died 50 years ago – will follow shortly after. Ravi Coltrane, artist’s son, will be accompanied by the jazz ambassador of Wrocław in Los Angeles – Darek Oleszkiewicz. The concerts will be preceded by a meeting with Filip Łobodziński (5:30 p.m., Impart), author of an outstanding translation of a book recently released by Kosmos Kosmos publishing house, titled Coltrane on Coltrane. Late in the evening, Tomasz Wendt will play with the Atom String Quartet in the reveal of the new project – Behind the Strings will fill the chamber hall at 11:00 p.m. On the same day, the Jazz World Photo exhibition, presenting 30 best photographs from an international contest organised under the same name, will be opened at Impart (opening: 5:00 p.m.)

Barbara (Świdnicka 8c) will also start hosting another exhibition connected with the Festival on 26 April, titled One Minute Jazz Portrait – a collection of fantastic photographs of the artists featured in the Jazz on the Odra Festival, taken by Sławek Przerwa. Additionally, starting on Tuesday, 25 April, the Polish Poster Gallery in Wrocław (Św. Mikołaja 54/55) will hold an exhibition titled Great People of Jazz – posters by Waldemar Świerzy, the first presentation of a collection of 25 portraits of the greatest jazz artists of the 20th century, including King Oliver, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Ray Charles.

Attractions of the main programme
The programme of the Festival will also feature women’s representation. We are going to hear an outstanding saxophonist and flautist Tia Fuller (27 April), known for her collaboration with the r'n’b star Beyoncé, in a jazz trio. On the very next day the Impart stage will be graced by the presence of an outstanding jazz improviser and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. The Saturday concerts will be a cherry on top of the festival cake. Leszek Możdżer is going to perform with the laureates of last year’s Grand Prix – Skicki-Skiuk, and the theatre stage will host a rising star – Kendrick Scott, an American drummer.

The main programme will also give us an opportunity to see the special projects of local jazzmen from Wrocław. Gary Smulyan is going to play together with Piotr Baron, and Marek Napiórkowski will present WAW-NYC – an international quartet. The chamber hall will be the stage of competition between nine bands striving to win the 2017 Grand Prix and the associated prize of 25 000 PLN, funded by the Mayor of Wrocław, Rafał Dutkiewicz. In the night, it will turn into a concert stage for the winners of the leading jazz contests in Poland: Mateusz Smoczyński (Seifert Competition, Tomasz Chyła Quintet (Jazz Juniors) and Paweł Kaczmarczyk as Paweł Kaczmarczyk Audiofeeling Trio.

The Sunday finale International Polish Jazz Day, jazz... on the Odra and a music exchange.

This year’s edition of the festival will be concluded with the International Polish Jazz Day. The motto of this year’s edition, POLISH JAZZ – YES, based on the title of the latest album by Zbigniew Namysłowski, will set the mood of the finale of the 53rd Jazz on the Odra Festival. “We are going to give all the festival stages to Polish jazz artists. We want the Jazz on the Odra Festival to become ambassador of Polish jazz music abroad”, said Krzysztof Maj, general director of the Festival. From early afternoon until late at night, the stages of Impart and the Creative Space on Społeczny Square will feature over a dozen of prominent Polish bands, including Zbigniew Namysłowski Quintet, Piotr Wojtasik with his Tribute to Akwarium, Eskaubei & Tomasz Nowak Quartet ft. Mr. Krime, Magda Zawartko and Grzegorz Piasecki, Jachna/Tarwid/Karch Trio, as well as Tęgie Chłopy. Together with Echoes of Heroes band, Kuba Stankiewicz will present his latest project – Music of Henry Mancini, while Zbigniew Lewandowski will present a special programme dedicated to Buddy Rich – an amazing and exceptional drummer.

Moreover, on the International Polish Jazz Day, music will also flow down the river. Between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., the audiences will be able to listen to live jazz music played from the boats sailing down the Odra River. The bands: Harmony Trejo, Jazzu and MRL Trio will accompany the audiences during 50-minute cruises, which will start and end at the Cardinals’ Marina. Tickets at 20 PLN (standard) and 15 PLN (discounted) will be available on board of the boats.

Sunday, 30 April will also be a great day for all music collectors in Wrocław. Thanks to the Music Exchange, organised at Mazowiecka 17, they will be able to purchase CDs, vinyl albums and tapes, learn about the newest album and book releases, exchange some albums and discuss music with other fellow aficionados. Impart will also host a festival boutique ran by De’Molika, selling festival gadgets and albums by the artists featured during the event. The exchange will be opened at noon. Admission will be free.

Additionally, jam sessions with the artists of this year’s Jazz on the Odra festival will be taking place every day after the concerts of the main programme at Autograf Club. Admission to the jam sessions will also be free.


Click to enlarge a photo

Tia Fuller


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