This year’s Jazz Juniors Festival (held on 1st-4th October in Cracow) is unique in that its program features exclusively Polish artists. What is more, rather than presenting familiar bands, we will show groups of musicians who have so far never performed in such lineups.

As an act of solidarity and support for our Polish artists, Jazz Juniors artistic director Adam Pierończyk and the Festival’s organizers have decided to dedicate this year’s edition to them. As in the previous years, our four-day-long jazz feast in Cracow will start with competition auditions (on 1st October), followed by evening concerts. This time, rather than meeting bands already known to us, we will hear musicians playing in quite new configurations.

“This year’s Festival is imbued with an exceptionally creative spirit,” says Adam Pierończyk and adds: “Since the pandemic, which has strongly affected events of this type, means that commercial plausibility is no longer an issue, we can approach the program rather differently. I have concluded it’s an ideal moment to experiment a bit. This year, rather than inviting existing bands, I chose a group of musicians and divided them between two festival days. I encouraged them to meet on the day of their concert, rehearse together for several hours, and come out on the stage in the evening directly afterwards. The aim is to create a spontaneous event based mainly on improvisation, which is the most important thing in jazz. It will be a session of creative work taking place right in front of our eyes. What is more, I am encouraging our guests to form, whenever possible, such lineup as have never existed before. There will be two sets of performances. First the musicians will play in various makeshift configurations, and at the end they will all come together to improvise as a 9-strong ensemble. This concept is bound to result in something new and fresh. As concerns the artists I have chosen, originally I focused on the gesture and the wish to open the main stage mainly to young musicians, but later I decided it would help to invite several older and more experienced persons as well, so that the generations may mix and mutually inspire each other. Since all our guests are open-minded and creative artists, we may expect interesting effects,” Pierończyk explains.

This, however, is not all. The Festival concerts will be opened by Adam Pierończyk himself, playing with the invited guests. “Since I am not only Jazz Juniors artistic director, but also the Festival’s artist-in-residence, it is my annual responsibility to prepare the program of the opening premiere,” he says. “All this is still in the phase of preparations, but my concert will follow a similar strategy as the other Festival performances, with plenty of improvisation. I’m planning to appear both solo and in a never-heard-before duo with Sławomir Kurkiewicz. Later we will be joined by Dominik Wania, Dawid Fortuna, and DJ Eprom.

Jazz Juniors 2020 Festival Program

1st October 2020 / Cricoteka
Competition auditions

2nd October 2020 / Cricoteka
Adam Pierończyk – tenor & soprano saxophones, electronics
Dominik Wania – piano, synthesizers
Sławomir Kurkiewicz – bass
Dawid Fortuna – drums
DJ Eprom – turntables, electronics

3rd October 2020 2020 / Cricoteka
Natalia Kordiak – vocals
Marta Wajdzik – sax
Andrzej Święs – bass
Jakub Paulski – guitar
Rafał Sarnecki – guitar
Alan Wykpisz – bass
Grzegorz Pałka – drums
Mateusz Kołakowski – piano
Grzegorz Nagórski – trombone

4 października 2020 / Cricoteka
Kamila Drabek – bass
Kasia Pietrzko – piano
Marek Napiórkowski – guitar
Jakub Mizeracki – guitar
Joaquin Sosa – sax
Mateusz Smoczyński – violin
Kacper Smoliński – harmonica
Max Olszewski – drums
Bartek Prucnal – sax