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Polish jazz musicians will perform in China and Korea as part of the celebration of the centenary of Poland regaining independence

In September, October and November, six Polish jazz bands will tour Asia as part of the Jazz Po Polsku project. Performances in China and Korea feature: Monika Borzym Quintet accompanied by Beethoven Academy Orchestra musicians, Tomasz Chyła Quintet, EABS, High Definition Quartet, Paweł Kaczmarczyk Quartet and Rafał Sarnecki Quintet. The concerts will enrich the world celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence.

The artists will present their own repertoire as well as compositions inspired by the works of Adam Mickiewicz, Krzysztof Komeda, Henryk Wars and Bronisław Kaper. Leading members of the young Polish jazz scene will perform, among other, in Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Harbin, Jarasum, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The grand finale of the tour is a special concert organized on the sail training ship „Dar Młodzieży” (Gift of the Youth), which will arrive in Shanghai during her cruise around the world. The concerts will take place as part of the Jazz Po Polsku project promoting independent Polish improvised music abroad. Tournée will last from 15th September to 4th November.

The Jazz Po Polsku tour will begin with Rafał Sarnecki Quintet’s concerts in two cities in Sichuan province: on 15th September in Chongqing and on 17th September in Chengdu. The repertoire Sarnecki will present this time to the Chinese audience are original compositions from his latest album „Climbing Trees” as well as Polish jazz standards, including pieces inspired by the works of Bronisław Kaper and Zbigniew Namysłowski. Then, the group consisting of Polish and Chinese musicians, will perform in Beijing, Jincheng, Taizhou and Xi’an. The last concert will take place on 30th September in Harbin, a city inhabited by a large Polish community whose ancestors helped build it.

Then, on 13th October, Tomasz Chyła Quintet will perform at Nine Gates Festival in Beijing, promoting his latest album „Circlesongs”. On the same day Paweł Kaczmarczyk Quartet will play at the Jarasum Jazz Festival in Korea, presenting „Vars & Kaper: DeconstructiON”.

The album „Vars & Kaper: DeconstructiON” is dedicated to the outstanding Polish composers of the Golden Age of Hollywood: Bronisław Kaper and Henryk Wars. Their compositions complement more than two hundred American films that were made in the 1930s to 1960s. Fans of Miles Davis and John Coltrane may find it surprising, but it is Bronisław Kaper who wrote the famous jazz standards „On Green Dolphin Street” and „Invitation” – this is how Paweł Kaczmarczyk describes his latest program.

High Definition Quartet will also perform at the Beijing festival. The award-winning Krakow group will present a special program „Dziady” (Forefathers’ Eve), dedicated to the outstanding work of one of the greatest Polish writers of the Romantic era, Adam Mickiewicz. The musicians interpret the Old Slavic rite of communing with the souls of the dead. The band will perform on 18th and 21st October in Beijing and 20th October in Changchun.

The Chinese audience already had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Adam Mickiewicz’s „Dziady” (Forefathers’ Eve) – it was the first (written) foreign work, the fragments of which were translated to Chinese after the end of the Cultural Revolution. In 2015, the Beijing audience watched for the first time the theatrical version of „Forefathers’ Eve”, performed by the artists of the Polski Theater in Wrocław. At the same time, the reprint of the Chinese translation of the entire Mickiewicz’s drama appeared in bookshops.

The Wrocław collective Electro-Acoustic Beat Sessions (EABS), will perform in China with a repertoire devoted to the works of Krzysztof Komeda. Their debut album „Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda)” contains an analysis of the artist’s works dated 1962-1967. The musicians took film music from „Niekochana”, „Bariera”, „Perły i Dukaty” and „Pingwin”, which are unanimously perceived as Polish cinema classics. The band will play on 12th October in Guangzhou, 13th October in Shenzhen and 16th October in Xiamen.

The tour will conclude with concerts of Monika Borzym’s quintet accompanied by the Fusion Strings Quartet (Beethoven Academy Orchestra musicians), with the moving lyrics of the Warsaw Uprising poet, Anna Świrszczyńska. „Jestem Przestrzeń” repertoire recorded with John Scofield, Chris Potter and Randy Brecker received Platinum Record status in Poland. The group will perform on 3rd November in Shanghai on „Dar Młodzieży” ship and a day later – at the Bloom Festival in Hangzhou.

Jazz Po Polsku first came to Asia in 2014, when the Warsaw-based Imagination Quartet band performed in three Chinese cities. The number of bands and concerts grew from year to year. Since then, as part of the project, Polish artists have presented their performances over two hundred times in seven Asian countries. In 2018, the bands of Grzegorz Karnas and Stanisław Słowiński appeared on the Asian continent, and Rafał Sarnecki led the workshops as part of the CEEC Summer Jazz Camp. The aim of Jazz Po Polsku is to promote Polish improvised music abroad, as a genre in itself of many years of tradition and history. The project also helps in establishing international cultural cooperation and integrates the environment of artists from many countries – says Jakub Krzeszowski, creator of Jazz Po Polsku.

The concerts are organized by the Plateaux Foundation as part of the “Jazz Po Polsku – Live in China 2018″. The project was financed from the funds of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, within the scope of the Multiannual Program INDEPENDENT 2017-2021, as part of the „Cultural bridges” subsidy program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The performances are organized in cooperation with the Chinese Association of Jazz Musicians (CJA) and supported by the Polish Institute – Culture Department of the Polish Embassy in Beijing, Consulates General of the Republic of Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai.


More information about bands


Concert schedule

Rafał Sarnecki Quintet 

Rafał Sarnecki – guitar; Gao Taihang – alto saxophone; Michał Ciesielski – piano; Zhang Ke / Wang Chen Huai – double bass; Anthony Vanacore / Xu Zitong – drums

14.09 Chengdu, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chengdu, creative industries saloon

15.09 Chongqing, Jiefangbei Guotai Arts Center

16.09 Xi’an, Meeting Jazz Festival

17.09 Chengdu, Fang Suo Commune

18.09 Chengdu, Sichuan Conservatory of Music * workshop

18.09 Chengdu, TG House

20.09 Beijing, Western Academy of Beijing

22.09 Jincheng, Cultural Palace

23.09 Taizhou, Culture Center

24.09 Taizhou, Culture Center

27.09 Beijing, DDC

28.09 Beijing, East Shore

30.09 Harbin, Grand Theatre


Tomasz Chyła Quintet

Tomasz Chyła – violin; Piotr Chęcki – saxophone; Szymon Burnos – piano; Konrad Żołnierek – bass guitar; Sławek Koryzno – drums

06.10 Harbin, Grand Theatre

07.10 tba

11.10 Zhengzhou, MJ Club

12.10 Zhengzhou, MJ Club

13.10 Beijing, Nine Gates Festival, 9-Theatre

16.10 Beijing, Midi School of Music

19.10 Changchun, Jilin University of Arts, workshop

20.10 Changchun, Jilin University of Arts


EABS(Electro-Acoustic Beat Sessions)
Marek Pędziwiatr – keyboards, synthesizers, vocals; Marcin Rak – drums;  Vojto Monteur – electric guitar; Paweł Stachowiak – bass guitar; Spisek Jednego – turntables; Olaf Węgier – saxophone; Jakub Kurek – trumpet

12.10 Guangzhou, JZ Club

13.10 Shenzhen, Lavo

16.10 Xiamen, Real Live Festival

17.10 Xiamen, Real Live Festival, workshop

Paweł Kaczmarczyk Quartet
Paweł Kaczmarczyk – piano; Mr Krime (Wojciech Długosz) – turntables; Michał Barański – double bass; Tomasz Torres – drums

13.10 Jarasum Jazz Festival (Korea)

14.10 GangNeung (Korea)

17.10 Guangzhou, JZ Club

18.10 Shenzhen, Lavo


High Definition Quartet 

Piotr Orzechowski – piano; Mateusz Śliwa – tenor saxophone; Alan Wykpisz – double bass; Grzegorz Pałka – drums

18.10 Beijing, Nine Gates Festival, DDC

19.10 Changchun, Jilin University of Arts, workshop

20.10 Changchun, Jilin University of Arts

21.10 Beijing, tba


Monika Borzym Quintet feat. Fusion Strings Quartet (OAB)

Monika Borzym – vocal; Joanna Duda – piano, electronics; Maksymilian Mucha – bass; Krzysztof Kawałko – guitar; Patryk Dobosz – drums; feat. Paweł Futyma – I violin; Anna Górecka – II violin; Paweł Rychlik – viola; Michał Świstak – cello

26.10 Beijing, Good Bait

28.10 Harbin, Grand Theatre

30.10 Nanjing, Academy of Arts, workshop

31.10 Nanjing, Academy of Arts

01.11 Shanghai, JZ Club

03.11 Shanghai, Dar Młodzieży

04.11 Hangzhou, Bloom Festival