63 competition entries from 17 countries, including applications from young musicians from Australia, the USA, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Finland and Poland – the 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition promises to be an extraordinary event.
“Seifert is our national treasure!” says the jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, who once played with Zbigniew Seifert in an excellent band that conquered European music stages. And there is no exaggeration in this statement. Zbigniew Seifert was a unique phenomenon in the world of jazz: a jazz violin genius, or even a visionary. Though his meteoric global career was cut short by an untimely death, his music has played an enormous role in the development of many generations of jazz artists.
Seifert’s output is still held in very high regard. It acts as a magnet and an inspiration, a fountainhead of powerful emotions. This is corroborated by jazz giants who had the opportunity to collaborate with Seifert, such as Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield and Richie Beirach, and by the enormous interest generated among young musicians from nearly all the regions of the world by the 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition. The response of young jazz players is also a proof that the Competition fills a major gap on the international music stage. It remains an unprecedented event on a global scale, as the world’s first prestigious competition specially dedicated to jazz violinists.
The 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition is being held in the year of the eminent artist’s 35th death anniversary, and many of Seifert’s musical partners and friends will honor this event with their presence. The already mentioned Tomasz Stańko has accepted the honorary function of President of the Competition Board, and he has been joined by artists, journalists and jazz activists supporting the competition: Urszula Dudziak, Dave Liebman, Chris Hinze, Paweł Brodowski, and Bert Noglik. Seifert’s one-time musical companions also serve on the Competition jury: Glen Moore (an outstanding double bassist and co-founder of the legendary band Oregon), Janusz Stefański (a percussionist and member of Seifert’s ensembles) as well as Mark Feldman (one of the greatest contemporary jazz violinists, fascinated with the work and figure of Zbigniew Seifert).
The preliminary round of the Competition finished a few days ago. From among the 63 submitted applications, the jury has selected the recordings of 10 violinists: eight male and two female (!). The semi-finalists are: Jason Anick, Klemens Bittmann, Carod Requesens Apel-les, Bartosz Dworak, Łukasz Górewicz, Roman Janoska, Dawid Lubowicz, Tomoko Omura, Eva Slongo, and Stanisław Słowiński.
The ten young jazz violinists will compete during open auditions held in the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice (on 16th-18th July 2014). We are bound to see some exciting artistic competition: after all, the prizes total 17.000 Euro.
The gala concert and award ceremony have been scheduled for 19th July. The performers of the gala concert in the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology in Cracow will include not only the Competition winners, but also the jurors, who, having accepted the invitation to this concert, have formed a special band which will pay homage to their late friend – Zbigniew Seifert.
The 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition has been organized in cooperation with the Summer Jazz Festival at Piwnica pod Baranami.
The City of Cracow, The Marshal’ s Office of Małopolska Voivodeship, STOART Union of Performing Artists, ZAiKS Polish Society of Authors and Composers, the Summer Jazz Festival at Piwnica pod Baranami, Krakow Festival Office, and the European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music in Lusławice.
Tygodnik Powszechny, Gazeta Wyborcza, Jazz Forum, RadioJazz.fm, JazzPress.