In July 2022, the South Korean singer Minjin Seo will give a concert tour in Poland. The band, which also includes Polish musicians, will perform at festivals in 3 cities: Chodzież, Krakow and Warsaw.
The band members include Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Kacper Smoliński, Rafał Sarnecki, Wojciech Pulcyn and Piotr Pawlak. The group will perform: on July 7th, during the EtnoKraków Rozstaje Festival in Cracov at the Strefa club; then will play twice in Warsaw, on July 17th at the Centrum Zarządzania Światem Cafe, and July 18th, at the 22nd Music Gardens Festival at the Sinfonia Varsovia Centrum concert hall; and on July 24th, the inauguration concert at the 52nd Cho-Jazz International Jazz Workshop in Chodzież, where our musicians will also host one day music workshops. Minjin Seo Sextet will present the repertoire from the „KOsmoPOLityczny” project, which aims to show a creative form of music cooperation between musicians from Korea and Poland. The Minjin Seo „Live in Poland 2022” concert tour is organized by the Korean Cultural Center and the JAZZ PO POLSKU Foundation.
“I am glad that the concerts in Poland will finally take place. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were forced to change our plans several times. As a result, instead of a live cooperation, we carried out an on-line project, which gave birth to compositions and arrangements of traditional Korean and Polish songs. Finally, together, we will present them live to the Polish audience” – Minjin Seo.
Minjin Seo, guitarist Rafał Sarnecki and drummer Piotr Pawlak are the backbone of the band. They have met in New York, where they performed together in jazz clubs in and around Manhattan. With time, they returned to their countries, but they did not stop making music together. In October 2019, Together with bassist Wojciech Pulcyn and piainst Kuba Cichocki, they toured Korea, performing in clubs and concert halls all across the country.
The natural continuation of the band’s Korea Tour supposed to take place in November 2020, in Poland, however it was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the artists decided to collaborate at a distance, which ended up with four music videos and behind-the-scenes documetary, and as a resault creating the KOsmoPOLityczny project.
MINJIN SEO SEXTET (South Korea / Poland) KOsmoPOLityczny Jazz
Minjin Seo – Voice , Kacper Smoliński – jazz harmonica, Paweł Kaczmarczyk – piano, Rafał Sarnecki – guitar, Wojciech Pulcyn – double bass, Piotr Pawlak – drums
July 8th, 7 pm, Cracow, Festival EtnoKraków Rozstaje, Strefa club, Św, Tomasza 26
July 17th, 7 pm, Warsaw, Centrum Zarządzania Światem Cafe, Stefana Okrzei 26
July 18th, 6.30pm, Warsaw, Music Gardens Festival, Sinfonia Varsovia concert hall (masterclass)
July 18th, 7 pm Warsaw, Music Gardens Festival, Sinfonia Varsovia concert hall, ul. Grochowska 272
July 24th, 7 pm Chodzież, 52nd Cho-Jazz International Jazz Workshop, Chodzieski Dom Kultury, ul. Warsztatów jazzowych 2
July 25th, 5 pm Chodzież, 52nd Cho-Jazz International Jazz Workshop, Chodzieski Dom Kultury, ul. Warsztatów jazzowych 2 (masterclass)
Interview with Minjin Seo in the Jazz Forum magazine (Polish)
Musicians in their own words:
„The KOsmoPOLityczny project ilustrates creative connection that prevail between musicians of both countries, but also higlits positive relations between Korea and Poland in general. I believe that such on-line projects like KosmoPOLityczny, are needed, especially in these difficult times for all of us. The whole process of creating, recording and producing was very different from how we used to do before the pandemic. We had to develop new skills needed for an on-line project like this. However, it was a very good and informative time for all of us: musicians, producers and organizers. Due to the fact that the recordings took place on both sides of the world, we focused on communication and coordination of tasks, which was not as easy as one may think. Despite the many restrictions caused by Covid-19, we have been able to create and grow together.” – Minjin Seo
„The Global isolation has inspired us to create a completely new, simultaneous form of cooperation on both sides of the globe. Our concert tour, which was supposed to take place in November last year in Poland, has been suspended indefinitely. Therefore, in order to not to lose our momentum and inspiration, we decided on an on-line studio project, organized in cooperation with the Korean Cultural Center. We recorded a total of four songs, two original compositions and two traditional songs in new jazz arrangements – „Prząśniczka” by Stanisław Moniuszko and the most famous Korean folk song „Arirang”. The recordings took place in studios in Jinju and Warsaw. We were also accompanied by a film crew who recorded the whole process. And a result of this cooperation are videos showing not only music and behind-the-scenes studio work, but also our thoughts and contemplations during the pandemic. And there were a lot of them, because it was the first time we had all worked in this way – I mean at a distance like that.” – Rafal Sarnecki.
Minjin Seo is a South Korean vocalist. She graduated from applied music at the Baekseok University in Cheonan and in Fall 2013 enrolled to Master Studies at CUNY Queens College in New York. Her professors were: Dee Daniels, Alison Wedding and Charenee Wade. After graduation MINJIN stayed in New York performing with her own project, recording a single with a renowned singer from China – Annie Chen. At the same time she was studying jazz singing privately with the vocal legend Nancy Morano. In July 2016, MINJIN recorded her debut album entitled „Filled with Song”. Currently MINJIN lives in her hometown Busan in South Korea. She performs with her own band and with other groups as featured guest artist. She teaches vocals at Universities in Busan and Daegu. In year 2019, among others, MINJIN toured Korea together with Polish guitarist Rafał Sarnecki and his quintet. Her repertoire already consists of more than 150 songs, which is still far from her dream goal: to repeat the legendary Ella Fitzgerald’s achievement and sing all songs included in The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books. In July 2019 she opened her own private music school in Yangsan.
Rafał Sarnecki, originally from Warsaw, Poland, Rafał Sarnecki is a jazz guitarist and composer currently living in New York. In the thirteen years that Rafal spent living in the Big Apple he has become one of the most sought after jazz composers of his generation. As a leader of his own projects Rafał has toured China, South Korea, Malaysia, Chile, Israel, the East and West Coast of the US and many European countries. He has shared the stage with many top names from the US jazz scene including: Ben Wendel, Ingrid Jensen, Alex Sipiagin, Joel Frahm and Gary Thomas, to list a few. Rafał has so far recorded four albums as a leader. Two of them: Song From a New Place (2008, ARMS Records) and Cat’s Dream (2014, BJURecords) were nominated for the Fryderyk award, the Polish equivalent of Grammy. The Madman Rambles Again (2011, Fresh Sound) was selected as among the best jazz albums of 2011 by Hi – Fi magazine and All About Jazz (Dave Sumner’s Best Releases of 2011). Rafał’s latest album Climbing Trees was released on Outside in Music on July 27, 2018. Besides being active as a bandleader Rafał is also involved in a variety of New York based groups such as: Lucas Pino No-Net Nonet, Annie Chen Group and David Bertrand Quartet. Living in NYC Rafał received his BFA degree from the prestigious Jazz & Contemporary Music Program at the New School and his MA in music performance from the graduate jazz program at the CUNY Queens College. While staying in the US in 2015 he received a Ph.D. in composition from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
Kacper Smoliński – a musician who expresses his work through an instrument rarely found in the jazz world: the harmonica. He creates his own intriguing sound with passion and consistency, exceeding the limits of expectations of this instrument. His stage personality harmonizes with both the improvised and classical world, boldly entering unconventional areas of music. The musician and composer, born in Sztum, Poland, is a laureate of numerous awards, including: the award for the best soloist at Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen 2019, a special award for the greatest individuality in the Jazz Nad Odrą Festival 2018 competition and 2nd place at the 8th International Jazz Improvisation Competition in Katowice 2017. Smoliński is also the Winner of the Jazz Top 2019 and 2020 survey of the Jazz Forum magazine in the category of various instruments. He is also coauthor of the Weezdob Collective band, which was appreciated at many festivals and competitions. He also co-creates the Jazz Forum Talents group, which brings together the greatest new talents of Polish jazz. Smoliński collaborated with Włodek Pawlik, Dagadana and Mo ‘Blow, and is also a member of the Poznan Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed with such artists as Leszek Możdżer, Billy Cobham, Agnieszka Duczmal, Tingvall Trio, Vinx, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Jordan, E.J. Strickland. He performs in Poland and around the world (including the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine).
Pawel Kaczmarczyk is for long time now known as one of the elite European pianist. He has been recording his music for number of prestigious record companies such as ACT Music, Fresh Sound Records or Hevhetia and as an author of album named „Complexity In Simplicity” (ACT Music 2009), he became third at the certain time (after Stanko and Wasilewski) polish jazz artist who had chance to record his compositions for such known and respected company. What more, he did it as leader of the band. For the last two decades, Kaczmarczyk has recorded enormous albums in the number of six, all of them highly rated, that gave him precious musical awards like: the Mateusz statue awarded by Polish Radio Three, six wins in the Jazz Forum magazine’s Jazz Top contest, five “Jazz Oscars” at the ‚Grand Prix Jazz Melomani’ gala, a nomination to the ‚Fryderyk’ award (Poland’s most prestigious music prize), ‚Kulturalne Odloty Gazety Wyborczej’ award given by one of Poland’s top daily paper in the ‚Artist of The Year’ category. The audience had chance to experience his music not only in Europe, where he comes from, but also USA, Arabic countries or India and together with his band he performed on the stages of greatest Russian philharmonics as well as Chinese and South Korean musical festivals. If someone had never seen him perform life, can be called a lucky person, for the lifetime adventure of exploring Kaczmarczyk’s magical music is just ahead.
Piotr Pawlak – a drummer, after a couple of years living in Austra and the United States Piotr Pawlak, a Polish born musician, settled down in a young city called Yangsan, in South Korea. He leads his own band Piotr Pawlak Jazztet, that started way back in 2010 in Europe, for whom he composes and arranges music. With this group, Piotr self-produced a debut album entitled “Wist-Werk” (2011), supported by the Land of Styria Department of Culture (Kulture Steiermark). The group toured in 9 European countries and performed at festivals, universities and clubs, and received couple of awards among others: The Best Band Award at the 48th Jazz Nad Odra Festival, Wroclaw, Poland; 2nd Prize Award at the 36th Getxo International Jazz Competition, Getxo, Spain; and The Finalists of 5th European Jazz Contest, Rome, Italy. Between 2008-2012 he has been studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz where he received undergraduate degree in jazz performance, and a minor degree in composition. In 2013, Piotr moved to New York City. He completed a jazz performance masters program at the CUNY Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music and received a Master of Arts degree. In 2014 he was awarded two scholarships for his hard work and commitment to achieving academic success. During his 3.5 years of stay in New York City Piotr had a chance to perform more than 400 times and participated in 2 studio recordings. He was a sideman in various ensembles: from small jazz trios, quartets, quintets, sextets and big-bands. His artistic resume also includes musicals and symphonic performances. Nowadays, Piotr together with his wife, singer MinJin Seo, teaches at their private music institute PM Music Hub in Yangsan. Piotr is a professor at Pai Chai Univeristy – department of applied music – where he is in charge of drum students and is leading the PaiChai Jazz Ensemle.