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As part of our Palm Jazz Festival weekend we present the trumpet phenomenon of the young generation and the renowned, unquestioned master of jazz piano: Piotr Schmidt and Wojciech Niedziela. Together, their creativity explodes with remarkable compositions, extraordinary arrangements, virtuosic improvisations, and a unique atmosphere!
After two years of touring Poland their music and compositions have crystallised into a sublime synergy of art, the intimate immediacy which is radiant with unheard of depth and richness. The two artists have crowned their collaboration by meeting earlier this year in Gliwice’s Jazovia studio and have recorded a CD for SJ Records of 12 fantastic pieces, a selection of which they will be playing at tonight’s concert.
Dr Piotr Schmidt, b. 1985, jazz trumpeter, music producer, publisher, band leader, lecturer at the Katowice Academy of Music and the University of Applied Sciences in Nysa; alumnus of the Katowice Academy of Music where in June 2016 he gained his doctorate; 2006 University of Louisville, Kentucky scholar; winner of a host of prizes and awards:
Best soloist in the 2008 Jazz nad Odrą competition in Wrocław, Poland
Best soloist in the 2008 1st Tarnów Jazz Contest, Tarnów, Poland
Third prize in the 2008 Zmagania Jazzowe in Szczecin, Poland
Best soloist in the 2009 Jazz nad Odrą competition in Wrocław, Poland
Grand Prix in the 2010 Novum Jazz Festival in Łomża, Poland
Best soloist in the 2010 XXXIV Getxo Jazz Festival, Spain.
Award of the President of Gliwice for achievements in the field of artistic creation, dissemination and protection of culture (2012)
Occasional Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (2013)
Piotr’s bands received the following accolades:
Grand Prix in the 30th International Contest of Young Jazz Groups Jazz Juniors, Kraków 2006
Grand Prix in the 2008 1st Tarnów Jazz Contest, Tarnów, Poland
Grand Prix in the Krokus Jazz Festival, Jelenia Góra 2008
Grand Prix in the 12th National Review of Young Jazz and Blues Groups, Gdynia 2009
2nd place in 32nd Hoeilaart Jazz Festival, Belgium 2010
Grand Prix and Audience Award in XXXIV Getxo Jazz Festival, Spain 2010.
Piotr Schmidt has fronted nine studio albums, including three with Piotr Schmidt Electric Group (Schmidt Electric) and the latest collaboration with Wojciech Niedziela. For the past five years he has been in the top four of “the best jazz trumpeter of the year” in Jazz Forum’s Jazz Top poll; voted third in 2012 and 2015.
Piotr has worked with musicians such as Walter Smith III, Alex Hutchings, Ernesto Simpson, Benjamin Drazen, Frank Parker, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Grzegorz Nagórski, Maciej Sikała, Wojciech Karolak, Apostolis Anthimos, Marek Napiórkowski, Wiesław Pieregorólka, Dante Luciani, Grzech Piotrowski… Outside jazz Piotr’s collaborators have included Krystyna Prońko, Ewa Bem, Kuba Badach, Ten Typ Mes (Piotr Szmidt) and Miuosh.
Piotr Schmidt also runs SJRecords which in its six years has published 24 albums highly regarded by the cognoscenti; jazz critics and fans alike.
Professor Wojciech Niedziela, leading jazz pianist; a central figure in Polish jazz since early 1980s. As a young musician he won numerous prizes and awards, including Jazz Juniors, Jazz Improvisation Contest, Kalisz Jazz Pianists’ Contest, Leverkusener Jazztage Contest; in 1986 he received the Government’s Stanisław Wyspiański Youth Art Award.
For many years Wojciech led New Presentation, with Lora Szafran (vocals) and Piotr Wojtasik (trumpet) as soloists. He has recorded 35 albums, among others with Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Piotr Baron, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Michał Kulenty, Piotr Wojtasik, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Krzysztof Popek, Jacek Niedziela, Maciej Sikała, and others. He has authored four albums: New Presentation – Trio, Lonesome Dancer, To Kiss the Ivories, and Domingos Tunes. A member of Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski’s quartet and sextet since mid-nineties. Received nominations for the Fryderyk award for his To Kiss the Ivories, and for Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski’s Real Jazz. Wojciech has played across Europe (including some famous jazz clubs: New Morning in Paris, Montmartre in Copenhagen, A-Trane in Berlin), in Cuba, and in the US – including in New York’s Birdland.
Wojciech has accompanied many stars of American jazz: Bobby Watson, Mike Mainieri, Jack Walrath, Dave Friedman, Dave Liebman, Bill Mollenhof, Eddie Henderson. He has also accompanied many vocalists: Urszula Dudziak, Grażyna Auguścik, Dorota Miśkiewicz, and other jazz frontmen like Michał Urbaniak or Janusz Muniak.
Professor Niedziela is also a prolific educator, teaching at the Jazz Institute of Katowice Academy of Music and the University of Applied Sciences in Nysa; he has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and University of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States.