Kicking off today, the latest edition of Warsaw Summer Jazz Days is ready to thrill!
Held at the legendary Klub Stodoła, four concert evenings await fans of the genre. Promising jazz in all of its varieties, you’ll see and hear three acts a day. Among the performers are: sensational funk from the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, trumpeter Theo Crocker, saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, British band ILL Considered, bassist Stanley Clarke with his band, vocalist Cécile McLorin along with her band and Steve Coleman and Five Elements.
First founded in 1992 by jazz affecionado, Mariusz Adamiak, the festival has attracted some of the biggest names in jazz over the course of its 30-year-long history. Some notable performers of the past include, John Zorn, Marcus Miller, Al Jarreau, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and Bobby McFerrin.
The event takes place annually around June or July and boasts a line-up of some of the best jazz performers to date. Entertaining 90,000 people throughout its long run, this year promises to be no exception when it comes to breaking boundaries and setting benchmarks.
Post 1989 the jazz scene regained its autonomy. In a move unexpected by the previously unrivalled public institutions, independent jazz venues began to set their own standards of performance quality. Jan Błaszczak writes about this conflict between The Polish Jazz Association and its former employee, Mariusz Adamiak, who would go on to set up the iconic jazz club, Akwarium, and subsequently launch Warsaw Summer Jazz Days festival — which you can attend to this day!
Jazz had been around in Poland since before the Second World War. The genre gained popularity in the 1930s. Frequently enjoyed by cafe-goers and especially popular among the young crowd. In fact, many jazz venues in large Polish cities, such as the YMCA, did not close down despite the outbreak of war in 1939. Jazz was kept alive by passionate musicians such as Wojciech Brzozowski and Leopold Tyrmand and, ironically, experienced push-back once the war was over.
The Stalinist period marked the end of private business initiatives and the banning of the YMCA. Around 1949, jazz became prohibited as well.
The first half of the 1950s is known as the ‘catacomb period’ of Polish jazz. In order to avoid repercussions, artists would play their music in their friends’ flats.– Jan Błaszczak, Between Business & Asylum: The Polish Jazz Club Scene, 16 November 2021
Read the full article, HERE.
The Polish Jazz Association or local cultural institutions suddenly faced competition from private initiatives. The media’s most notable example of such a clash was Akwarium – which was privatised by one of its employees, Mariusz Adamiak, behind the association’s back. That said, the young promoter understood the new realities better than his superiors. He was not afraid of acquiring sponsors and setting high ticket prices to attract world stars to the club. Eventually, Adamiak focussed on organising jazz festivals, and Akwarium didn’t make it to the 21st century.– Jan Błaszczak, Between Business & Asylum: The Polish Jazz Club Scene, 16 November 2021