2017’s second Jazz Po Polsku China tour kicked off at the turn of September and October. The lineup included bands such as Rafał Sarnecki Sextet, Marek Napiórkowski Sextet, Paweł Kaczmarczyk Audiofeeling Trio, Michał Milczarek Trio and Kuba Cichocki Quartet who gave concerts in 14 Chinese cities. The project was a part of the Season of Culture initiated by the Chinese Ministry of Culture.
The tour lasted from 13 th September to 30th October. It kicked off in Xi’an, the ancient capital of China, with two concerts by Marek Napiórkowski Sextet. First of them took place in the Xi’an Conservatory of Music Symphony Hall and the other one a day later in the Xi’an Concert Hall. Next to perform was Rafał Sarnecki accompanied by vocalist Bogna Kicińska and pianist Kuba Cichocki. They were joined by Chinese musicians: Wang Chenhuai on double bass and Xu Zhitong on drums, along with American artist Nathaniel Gao on saxophone. Te tour was Sarnecki’s sixth visit to China.
Rafał Sarnecki began the tour with lectures and concerts in China’s capital at the Western Academy of Beijing and DDC Club. The Sextet also played in the JZ Club in Shaghai, Blank Space in Changzhou and at the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music in Hangzhou. Early October saw the musicians setting out for Central China’s city of Jincheng in Shanxi Province and Binzhou situated in the Yellow River’s delta in Shandong Province. The band promoted their most recent fourth studio album. The tour also saw Kuba Cichocki presenting his own pieces to audiences in Beijing and Shanghai.
Next to arrive to China was Paweł Kaczmarczyk’s Audiofeeling Trio. On 13th October the band accompanied Rafał Sarnecki Sextet as a warm up at the Nine Gates International Jazz Festival, China’s oldest jazz festival held in Beijing. The Trio also played at the Hangzhou Vocational And Technical College, Meeting Jazz Club in Xi’an and the Jilin College of The Arts in Changchun.
The Jazz Po Polsku Live in China 2017 tour was closed by Michał Milczarek Trio (MM3). The group gave a concert on 19th October at the famous Oct-Loft Jazz Festival in Shenzhen, the very same event that had hosted other Polish bands: Pink Freud, Jazzpospolita and Imagination Quartet in the previous years. Then, Michał Milczarek Trio performed in clubs in Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Zhuhai. The tour ended in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, where the musicians gave concerts and lectures at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
The Jazz Po Polsku tour was a part of the 16+1 international project (China-CEEC – China and Central and Eastern European Countries), whose main idea is the bilateral collaboration between China and the countries from Central and Eastern Europe. The initiative also promotes The Belt and Road Initiative, which aims at creating a fast transport network connecting China with, among others, the EU countries. The year-round Season of Culture was arranged in China in order to host numerous events, such as concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions etc. Apart from Polish groups, it was participated by artists from 15 other European countries.
On 23rd September, the international Big Band CEEC, including Rafał Sarnecki, played in front of the ministers of culture from all the partaking countries. Meanwhile, between 14th and 17th September, Jazz Po Polsku was promoting Grzegorz Karnas’s latest CD/DVD entitled Power Kiss at the Chongqing Culture Industry Expo. The album was recorded during the artist’s China tour in 2016 and published in August 2017 by Hevhetia.
The tour was the 5th edition of Jazz Po Polsku in China. Since 2014 the project has already organised 70 events in 15 Chinese cities. Jazz Po Polsku presents a wide spectrum of young Polish jazz musicians, helps in establishing cultural collaboration and integrates artists from many countries. The previous edition of the project, held in July 2017, saw Stanisław Słowiński Quintet playing a series of concerts across China.
The Jazz Po Polsku Live in China 2017 tour was organised in collaboration with the Chinese Jazz Association (CJA), the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Polish Institute in Beijing, the Consulates of the Republic of Poland in Chengdu and Guangzhou, the Plateaux Foundation and Jazz Juniors.
Marek Napiórkowski (guitar), Adam Pierończyk (saxophone), Henryk Miśkiewicz (bass clarinet), Michał Tokaj (piano), Robert Kubiszyn (double bass), Paweł Dobrowolski (drums)
Bogna Kicińska (vocals), Rafał Sarnecki (guitar), Nathaniel Gao (saxophone), Kuba Cichocki (piano), Wang Chenhuai (double bass), Xu Zhitong (drums), *Daniel Zanker (bass) - in Shanghai & Changzhou
Kuba Cichocki (piano), Nathaniel Gao (saxophone), Wang Chenhuai (double bass), Xu Zhitong (drums)
Paweł Kaczmarczyk (piano), Jakub Dworak (double bass), Dawid Fortuna (drums)
Michał Milczarek (guitar), Bartosz Łuczkiewicz (bass), Mateusz Modrzejewski (drums)
Project's official website: jazzpopolsku.pl
See also: Exclusive Interview with Polish Jazz Musician Rafal Sarnecki / Weixin
Source: press release, 22 Aug 2017, edited by AW, 29 Aug 2017