Tokyo Jazz Festival, one of the most prestigious events dedicated to jazz music in Asia, hosted acknowledged Polish musicians, including Maciej Obara and Marcin Masecki. The project was titled "Jazztopad Festival presents: POLAND [Powered by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute]".
Tokyo Jazz Festival, the most important jazz festival in Japan, was held for the twelfth time in September 2013. This year Polish artists participated in the event as part of an exchange program between TJF and Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. Three ensembles from Poland played on stage in Tokyo: Marcin Masecki (solo and with his new project "Polonezy"), Maciej Obara International Quartet as well as Piotr Damasiewicz and Gerard Lebik with their project "Venn circles Schanbenbeck". In November, as part of the second phase of the cooperation between the festivals, Jazztopad hosted Japanese musicians in Poland.
Marcin Masecki, pianist, composer, winner of many prizes, among them First Prize at the Moscow International Jazz Piano Competition 2005, participates in a wide variety of projects. Apart from performing solo and leading his own sextet Profesjonalizm, he is a is also Music Director of the first edition of WOR - Warsaw Orchestra of Recreation and a member of the international band ParisTetris. He has also composed music for theatre plays in Warsaw's Teatr Rozmaitosci (Solaris, 2010) and in Wroclaw's Teatr Wspolczesny (Pasazerka,2009). In Japan he presented his latest project "Polonezy" - a set of polonaises composed for a 10-piece brass orchestra.
Maciej Obara International Quartet is the latest project by Maciej Obara, composer and saxophonist, with the participation of eminent pianist Dominic Wania and two Norwegian musicians: bassist Ole Morton Vagan and drummer Gard Nilssen, leaders on the young Scandinavian jazz scene. Quartet's debut took place at the Jazzart Festival in Katowice, Poland in April 2012. Obara International Quartet presents a new approach to jazz, combining it with Nordic and Polish ethnic motifs.
Piotr Damasiewicz is one of the most important young Polish musicians - founder of the project "Power of the Horns", whose debut disc "Hadrons" gained enthusiastic reviews. In Tokyo he was accompanied by saxophonist Gerard Lebik, known as a member of Foton Quartet. Together they presented improvised jazz compositions inspired by the animated films of renowned filmmaker Stefan Schabenbeck. In his animations created in the 1960's, Schabenbeck predicted consequences and the impact of technological development in the context of sociological changes of our civilization. The versatility of his works and a desire to provide them with a new sound environment were the reasons for which the duo "veNN circle" created their new project "Polish Animation - Reinterpretation". During the concert the following animated films of Stefan Schabenbeck were shown: Wszystko jest liczba / Everything is a number (1966), Schody / Stairs (1968) Susza / Drought (1969), Wiatr / Wind (1969) and Inwazja / Invasion (1970).
Tokyo Jazz Festival is one of the most important music festivals in Asia, that brings together talented young musicians and world-class stars. The Festival enjoys a high reputation both among the artists and the audience. Concert held as part of the Festival took place simultaneously in three venues, with the famous Cotton Club among them. Participation in this oldest and most prestigious jazz festival in Japan offered a great opportunity for Polish musicians to mark their presence on the Japanese music scene.
The project was carried out by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in cooperation with Jazztopad Festival.
Date: 6th of September, 2013, Friday
Venue: The Club (Cotton Club), TOKIA 2F, TOKYO Bldg., 2-7-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6402
First concert at 6.00 pm - opening of the Festival (closed event)
Second concert at 9.00 pm (open to public)
Date: 7th of September, 2013, Saturday
Venue: The Plaza (Tokyo International Forum), Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 3-5-1
Organizer: Tokyo Jazz Executive Committee