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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 3, 2008
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Urbaniak Mixing Genres
December 3, 2008 By M.H.    
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Artists have often attempted to combine classical music with jazz. Michał urbaniak's UrbSymphony project is the quintessence of the jazz musician's philosophy: "God created music but people subdivided it into genres."

The 65-year-old Polish jazz violinist, composer and arranger, now living in New York, has won numerous awards such as the Grand Prix for best solo artist at the Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as regularly coming top in polls for violinist, composer, musician of the year and best band leader in prestigious magazines such as Down Beat, Jazz Times and Billboard. He is the only Pole and the only violinist to have been invited to work with Miles Davis.

Urbaniak will play in Katowice Dec. 7 together with the Silesian philharmonic's Symphony Orchestra under Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk. Many diverse musical styles will come together in this performance: classical music, jazz, folk and hip-hop. Urbaniak has captured the sound and character of Polish folk music like the oberek and mazurek and mixed them with the groove and drive of modern jazz. The repertoire will consist of Urbaniak's compositions, in which New York jazz blends seamlessly with Polish folk music and classical elements influenced by composers such as Karol Szymanowski. The program will consist of Sketches of Poland ("Walcoberek," "Krakus," "Mazurek") and Sketches of Manhattan ("Urbtime," "Don't Do It to Me," "New York Baca").

Dec. 7, Silesian Philharmonic, Katowice, 5 p.m., www.urbaniak.com
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