At the turn of May and June 2018, Stanisław Słowiński Quintet returned to tour China. The Kraków-based band gave 15 concerts in several cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xi’an. The shows were part of the Jazz Po Polsku project promoting improvised Polish jazz music abroad.
The tour kicked off in the south of China, where Stanisław Słowiński Quintet performed in Guangzhou and Shenzhen (26th-31st May). Next, the band headed out to Xi’an (1st-3rd June) and Hangzhou (4th-7th June). Musicians completed their tour playing in Beijing, Ningbo, Shanghai and Taizhou (8th-13th June). For the first time, SSQ performed a special programme dedicated to one of the most important Polish composers of all time, Karol Szymanowski.
We will treat selected Szymanowski's compositions with creative deconstruction, aiming to find the optimal way to combine the work of one of the greatest Polish composers with the contemporary language of improvised jazz music and modern techniques of electronic sound processing. Re-harmonisation and free improvisation, sampling and processing – these are just a couple of techniques that will allow us to find a new, broader context of Szymanowski's music – said Stanisław Słowiński, the quintet’s leader, describing the project.
Stanisław Słowiński Quintet’s lineup included Stanisław Słowiński (violin), Zbyszek Szwajdych (trumpet), Kuba Płużek (piano), Justyn Małodobry (double bass) and Adam Stępiowski (drums). They were accompanied by Chinese musicians: Jun Xiao in Beijing, and Hang An in Hangzhou.
Stanisław Słowiński is one of the most prolific musicians on the Polish jazz scene. As a frontman of his own projects, a sideman and a session musician, he performs more than 100 concerts a year, visiting club and festival scenes around the world, including Chile, China, South Korea, Iceland, Spain, Serbia and Hungary. He is the winner of many awards, including the 39th Jazz Juniors Grand Prix and the Audience Prize at the 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition. He debuted with Landscapes Too Easy To Explain album, his own material recorded with the Quintet, distributed worldwide by Hevhetia label. The album was praised by fans and critics alike. In 2017 Chinese audience saw the band performing tracks from their second album Visions | Between Love And Death.
According to Jakub Krzeszowski, the project’s founder, Jazz Po Polsku is a music platform presenting a wide spectrum of young Polish musicians from the impro scene. It helps in establishing cultural cooperation and integrates artists from many countries.
The tour of Stanisław Słowiński Quintet was their third in China. Previous one was a part of the Season of Culture – a program of the Chinese Ministry of Culture promoting the 16+1 initiative aimed at enhancing collaboration between China and Central and Eastern European countries, as well as the idea of the new Silk Road.
The 2018 tour was organized by Plateaux Foundation as a part of the project Jazz Po Polsku Live in China 2018.
Financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the framework of the 2017-2022 Multiannual Programme NIEPODLEGŁA, as part of the Cultural Bridges subsidy programme of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
The concerts were organised in collaboration with the Chinese Jazz Association (CJA) and supported by the Polish Institute in Beijing – Culture Service of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Beijing, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Guangzhou and Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Shanghai.
Source: promotional materials, Jazz Po Polsku