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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » May 28, 2013
On the town
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Jazz in the Old Town, Take 19
May 28, 2013   
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A concert by the Sqeezeband all-stars ensemble will kick off the 19th annual Jazz in the Old Town International Open-Air Festival in Warsaw’s Old Town market square June 22.

Over the nearly two decades since it was held for the first time, the festival has attracted more than 500,000 viewers and evolved into one of the most popular jazz festivals in Poland. Now a major Warsaw landmark, the festival shows the city and jazz music at their best. The festival has introduced Polish audiences to swing-era giants Scott Hamilton, Duffy Jackson and Dr. Lonnie Smith along with up-and-coming American jazz stars Alfredo Rodriguez, Grace “Princess of Jazz” Kelly, Avishai Cohen and Kyle Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s son).

Festival concerts have also included premiere and jubilee projects by some of Poland’s best jazz acts, such as Tomasz Stańko, Michał Urbaniak, Leszek Możdżer, Włodzimierz Pawlik and Laboratorium.

International stars who have performed at the Jazz in the Old Town festival in recent years include Archie Sheep, David Murray, Richard Galliano, Dino Saluzzi and Chico Freeman.

Festival organizers Krzysztof Wojciechowski and Iwona Strzelczyk-Wojciechowska from the Jazz Art Foundation say they make sure the festival offers something new each year. This year’s Jazz in the Old Town aims to “show the many colors of contemporary jazz,” the organizers say. They promise premiere concerts and “magnificent musicians giving their very first performances in Warsaw and Poland.” A myriad of international stars will play along with Polish musicians, the organizers say, and “like each year, the festival will combine different jazz genres, from mainstream and world jazz to modern jazz to fusion and flamenco jazz.”

Upcoming concerts:

June 22
A one-night-only concert by an international all-stars band made up of jazz musicians from the United States, the Netherlands, Martinique, Italy and Switzerland. Chico Freeman, Jasper van Hof, Michel Alibo and Nino G. Reto Weber play an inventive blend of jazz, rock, world music and black music. This will be their first performance in Poland.

June 29
Pascal Schumacher Quartet
Hailing from Luxembourg, Pascal Schumacher is a vibraphonist, composer and performance artist. Regarded as one of the best musicians in the three Benelux countries, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Schumacher has many prestigious awards under his belt, including the Export Artist 2012 Award from the Luxembourg music export office. Specializing in impromptu performances, Schumacher blends different music genres into his own distinctive, visionary style.

See future issues of The Warsaw Voice for information on further Jazz in the Old Town performances.

Jazz in the Old Town concerts will be held every Saturday from June 22 to Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. in Warsaw’s Old Town market square. Admission is free.

Organizer: Jazz Art Foundation
Festival director: Krzysztof Wojciechowski
Further information: www.jazznastarowce.pl
Partners: Embassy of Spain, Embassy of Luxembourg, Italian Institute, Austrian Culture Forum
Held under the auspices of Culture and National Heritage Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski and Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz

Co-financed by Warsaw City Hall and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
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