The Warsaw Voice » Hit of the month » Monthly - November 3, 2014
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Jazz Jamboree Take 56
The 56th international Jazz Jamboree, one of the largest and oldest jazz festivals in Europe, will be held in Warsaw Nov. 8-Dec. 12.

The festival dates back to 1958 when it started as an idea by several jazz fans from the Hybrydy student club in Warsaw. Saddened to hear that a hugely popular jazz festival in Sopot, northern Poland, would be canceled, in September 1958 they organized Jazz ’58, a festival that later turned into the Jazz Jamboree. The main venue was the Stodoła student club in Warsaw, but some festival concerts also took place in Cracow.

The festival soon evolved into one of the most important jazz festivals in Europe. World-famous musicians who have performed at the Jazz Jamboree over the years include Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Wynton Marsalis, The Manhattan Transfer, Ray Charles, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock.

The headliners of this year’s International Jazz Jamboree Festival are Australian guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, young jazz pianist Encrico Zanisi from Italy, and American trumpeter Terence Blanchard, who is coming with a new project called Magnetic (fusion, electric, hip-hop, R&B).

Special concerts this year will include the premiere performance of Great Spinning, a piece for a jazz orchestra and soloists written by composer Jerzy Kornowicz. Janusz Szprot will team up with Turkish performers for Na latającym dywanie (On the Flying Carpet), a project celebrating 600 years of diplomatic relations between Poland and Turkey. Festival audiences will also hear Milo Kurtis and his NAXOS Orchestra in a project called Podróż dookoła mózgu (A Journey Around the Brain), featuring musicians from Israel, Yemen, Syria and Greece.

Maria Sadowska and the band Jazzowi Terroryści will perform tracks from the album Jazz na ulicach (Jazz on the Streets), which has gone gold in Poland in three months. Jazz singer Urszula Dudziak will give a guest performance during this concert.

The special guest of this year’s festival will be Matthew Tyrmand from the United States, the son of Leopold Tyrmand, a legendary Polish jazz expert and promoter.

The festival will mark the launch of a new publication entitled Był jazz—krzyk jazzbandu w międzywojennej Polsce (Once Upon a Jazz Band: Jazz in Poland Between the World Wars) published by Wydawnictwo Literackie. Written by Krzysztof Karpiński, the book contains previously unknown facts about the early years of Polish jazz.

Throughout this year’s Jazz Jamboree festival, audiences will be able to see a photographic exhibition by Marek Karewicz entitled 60 Years of Polish Jazz Festivals. The 60th anniversary will be also marked with Jazzowe dzieje Polski (The Jazz History of Poland), a series of films by Andrzej Wasylewski that will be screened for the first time during Jazz Jamboree concerts.

Every Saturday during the festival, the Muranów movie theater in Warsaw will host “Jazz Matinees for Kids” and, as each year, local versions of the International Jazz Jamboree Festival will also be held in other cities.

Tickets available from, and festival venues before concerts. For further information go to