2021 is the second year of life in the shadow of the pandemic, which literally paralysed the whole world and did much damage to the music market. The previous edition of the Jazz Juniors Festival, though threatened with cancellation, was nevertheless eventually held (albeit with much stress and tension). This year we all seem to have developed much more resistance and grown reconciled to the situation, but also hopeful, since we can see light at the end of the tunnel, and we are slowly moving towards a more optimistic time.
At this point, let me express my gratitude and admiration for the Jazz Juniors team and all the supporters of this Festival. It is your work that has made this year’s meeting in Cracow possible!
As in the previous years, I have been encouraged by the organisers to prepare a premiere. I will have the pleasure to appear on the stage with a rather exotic line-up to which I have invited the Moroccan Gnaoua master Majid Bekkas and the phenomenal US guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly. On the same day we will present the sensational international quartet Root 70, led by one of Europe’s best trombonists, Nils Wogram.
I have decided to dedicate the whole of day two to US virtuoso trumpeter Peter Evans, distinguished by his breath-taking mastery of the instrument, innovative attitude to music performance and composition. He will play solo in part one, and in the second part his compositions will be performed by gifted young Polish jazz musicians, Wojciech Lichtański, Kajetan Borowski, Piotr Narajowski, and Piotr Budniak.
The last day of the festival will likewise be inaugurated by talented and promising young Polish improvisers, the Maciej Kitajewski Trio, meeting the leading Slovenian sax player Jure Pukl, who has spent the last dozen or so years in New York, playing with the city’s leading jazz personalities – and will surely now bring this energy to Cracow.
The final concert will, rather untypically, be a solo one, by one of the world’s most widely recognised tenor saxophonists, the US musician Seamus Blake, who, I am convinced, will provide our festival with an exciting and original finale.
I invite you wholeheartedly to our event and look forward to meeting you in Cracow!
Artistic Director of Jazz Juniors Festival