Competition

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Competition history

Founded in 1976, the International Contest of Young Jazz Ensembles Jazz Juniors has always been strongly entwined with the history of Polish jazz, since it is at the Jazz Juniors where the most famous Polish artists – such as Leszek Możdżer, Krzysztof Ścierański, Zbigniew Wegehaupt, Marek Bałata, Niedziela and Pospieszalski brothers, and New Presentation, Walk Away and Miłość bands – made their first steps. This was years ago, yet Jazz Juniors still belongs to the spearhead of jazz events, whose winners make their presence ever more visible on international music stages. Enough tomention that this is the competition that recently allowed the discovery of such personalities and bands as High Definition, N.S.I., Levity, Bartosz Dworak, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Piotr Orzechowski “Pianohooligan” and Tomasz Chyła Quintet. 
Since 2012 Jazz Juniors has efficiently developed its operation focused around the idea of international exchange, focused on the promotion of competition winners. Thanks to the recommendations and involvement of members of the international jury, Jazz Juniors winners receive an opportunity to go on international tours, shine brightly on the dazzling stages of great festivals all around the world, and set up cooperation with prestigious labels and artistic agencies that offer a perfect start and international promotion to young musicians. 

Jury of the Competition 

Adam Pierończyk – chairman of the jury

Leading Polish jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader. One of the most interesting and creative European musicians as well as one of the greatest innovators in Polish jazz according to international press. He performs in all parts of the world and has won numerous awards. In 2015 he was named, for the 14th consecutive year, as Jazz Forum magazine’s Best Soprano Saxophonist. 

He has been nominated 18 times for Poland’s Fryderyk award (Polish Grammy) in a total of 14 categories, winning the 2 most important statuettes – Jazz Musician of The Year and Jazz Album of The Year. 

He served as Artistic Director for the Jazz aux Oudayas festival in Rabat, Morocco in 2005-2006, and as Artistic Director of the Sopot Jazz Festival in Poland – 2011-2015. Since 2019 he is an Artistic Director and Artist in Residence of Jazz Juniors Festival in Kraków. 

Dominik Wania

He graduated with an honors degree from Cracow’s Academy of Music. In 2006-2008 he studied with Danilo Pérez and Jerry Bergonzi at the Jazz Department of Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music.

Wania has collaborated with such Polish and foreign jazz celebrities as Tomasz Stańko, Piotr Baron, Anna Maria Jopek, Jacek Kochan, Leszek Możdżer, Maciej Sikała, Adam Pierończyk, Piotr Wojtasik, Darek ‘Oles’ Oleszkiewicz, Grzegorz Nagórski, Janusz Muniak, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Bronisław Suchanek, Zbigniew Wegehaupt, Marek Bałata, Dorota Miśkiewicz, Walk Away, Marcus Miller, Joey Baron, Jon Balke, Jon Fält, Lee Konitz, David Liebman, George Garzone, Eddie Henderson, Anders Jormin, Nguyen Le, Tony Malaby, Gary Thomas, Marilyn Mazur, and Eric Marienthal.

He has also taken part in young generation projects including the Maciej Obara International Quartet, Noise Trio (electronic music with jazz elements), New Bone, and Power of the Horns. He has recorded extensively for the radio, television, and record companies, as well as giving concerts throughout Europe, in Asia, the USA, South America, Africa, and Australia. Autumn 2020 will see the release of his solo album under the legendary ECM label.

Sławomir Kurkiewicz

Polish bassist best known from over two decade long collaboration with Tomasz Stanko and Marcin Wasilewski Trio – one of the leading European jazz bands of its generation.

Since 2001 Slawomir Kurkiewicz has been linked to a Munich based label ECM, for which he has been recording with Joe Lovano, Manu Katche and Jan Garbarek among others.

He also performed with Charles Lloyd, John Surman, Dino Saluzzi, David Virelles, Dayna Stephens, Joey Baron, Craig Taborn, Marilyn Mazur to name a few.

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Organized by: Film and Jazz Music Foundation

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