The jury, consisting of Adam Pierończyk, Trilok Gurtu, and Reinier Baas, has awarded the Grand Prix of Jazz Juniors 2022 jointly to Cuban musicians from Trio Ílú and Ziemia quartet (Poland). The 2nd prize goes to the Jopek/ Klemensiewicz duo from the Baltic coast, while the 3rd prize has been presented to the Wrocław-based band Tantfreaky.

The six finalists of this year’s Jazz Juniors Competition performed on 28th September at Cracow’s Cricoteka. Apart from the jury, they were also assessed by our Council of International Partners.

‘The names of the jurors that have accepted my invitations give me much satisfaction every year, and this year in particular, since we have with us the legendary Trilok Gurtu, whose presence could be the envy of every festival,’ says the jury’s chair and Jazz Juniors Festival director Adam Pierończyk. ‘To the young musicians taking part in this year’s Jazz Juniors, a performance in front of such an artist has certainly been a major experience. We have awarded four prizes instead of three, since the Grand Prix was won jointly by two bands. One of them consists of Cuban musicians who have only recently settled in Poland. I am glad that they have earned prizes and recognition and can now consider themselves part of our Polish musical family. In the present-day divided world, such coming together has a much greater value than even half a year ago, before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine…’

Here are the details of the jury’s decisions:

The 1st prize – Grand Prix of the 46th Jazz Juniors Competition (PLN 5,000 each) goes jointly to: 

Trio Ílú, drawing on the musical culture of Cuba, whose members are Cubans residing in Poland


ZIEMIA jazz quartet, who were also finalists of Jazz Juniors 2021.

The 2nd prize (PLN 4,000) has been presented to

the Jopek/ Klemensiewicz duo from the Polish Baltic coast, whose improvisations are based on impressionist and Polish folk music,

The 3rd prize (PLN 3,000) has been awarded to

Tantfreaky – a collective of six Wrocław-based musicians who combine modern electroacoustic sound with the vibrating voice of their frontwoman.

Apart from these three main prizes, special awards have also been presented as in the previous years. The Jazz Juniors Council of International Partners, which followed all the performances, has again invited selected bands to take part in festivals and concerts: 

Ivan Blagojević of Nisville Jazz Festival (Serbia) extended an invitation to Tantfreaky. 

Trio Ílú has been invited by Tamás Bognár of Opus Jazz Club (Hungary), Ratko Zjaca of More & Jazz Festival (Croatia), and Tomasso Caggiani of NiCa Jazz Festival (Spain). 

Enrico Moccia of Fara Music Festival (Italy) and Michał Hajduk of NOSPR (Katowice, Poland) issued invitations to the Jopek/ Klemensiewicz duo, whereas Jakub Krzeszowski of ‘Jazz po polsku’ selected two quartets: ZIEMIA and Filip Żółtowski Quartet.

The Janusz Muniak Award (PLN 5,000), funded by Trzech Kumpli Brewery, has been presented as in previous years. It went to Ílú’s saxophonist Joaquin Sosa.

The first day of Jazz Juniors 2022 is now behind us. On Thursday, the stage will be taken over by the Festival’s stars: the percussion master Trilok Gurtu from India, the Dutch virtuosi Ben van Gelder (sax) and Reinier Baas (guitar).

Photos: Michał Łepecki