Tickets price: 120 PLN
6:00 p.m. Jazz Individuality Contest Award Gala
7:00 p.m. Bernard Maseli – MaBaSo
Bernard Maseli – Mallet Kat, kalimba
Michał Barański – el. bass
Daniel Šoltis – drums
photo credit: Waldemar Burcek
He began his career in 1985 with his band Walk Away at the Jazz on the Odra Festival in Wrocław, winning the soloist Grand Prix and the first place in the respective category with his band. Together with Walk Away, he recorded eleven LPs and took part in all the major jazz festivals in Poland and abroad – including four Jazz Jamboree Festivals in Warsaw, Jak-Jazz in Indonesia, grand tours with Urszula Dudziak, as well as a joint tour with the legendary trumpeter Miles Davis as supporting artist.
In 1985-87 he worked with Young Power, recording two albums. In 1992, he formed a duo under the name Back In together with pianist Zbigniew Jakubek, releasing two albums in total. In 1995, he started collaboration with an outstanding bassist Krzysztof Ścierański, which continues to this day (initially as the Music Painters trio together with drummer Jose Torres, recently as the Big 2 duo). He has also been involved with music production for several years. As a producer, he has made a name for himself with Lora Szafran’s Tylko Chopin, Anna Serafińska’s Melodies, Colors by Colors and all the releases by The Globetrotters . For 26 consecutive years he has been ranked first in the vibraphone category of the Jazz Top survey by the Jazz Forum monthly, scoring well as a composer and arranger. For 28 years he has been working as a professor at the Department of Jazz and Popular Music of the Academy of Music in Katowice, teaching the first jazz vibraphone class in Poland, which he created. In 2017 he was awarded the full Professor academic title.
In 1999, together with saxophonist Jerzy Główczewski and singer Kuba Badach, he founded his first original project – The Globetrotters. In a short time, the band has won the hearts of fans, releasing four albums and playing nearly 500 concerts, combined with a collaboration with Nippy Noya – Indonesian percussion instrument virtuoso. Since 2006, he has been a member of Colors alongside Krzysztof Ścierański, Marek Raduli and Paul Vertico. In 2004, he had launched a collaboration with excellent composer Zbigniew Preisner who in 2007 invited him to record Silence, Night And Dreams, featuring Teresa Salgueiro as a singer, Lars Danielsson on bass, and John Parricelli on the guitar. The tour promoting the album included numerous prestigious venues, including the Herodes Atticus Amphitheatre on the Acropolis in Athens, which hosted the world première of the album in 2007, bringing together more than 4,000 listeners. In 2009 he also launched his innovative solo project under the name DIARY in which he explores the possibilities of modern electronics to the maximum. In 2011, as one of the few Polish jazz musicians, he received an invitation to work with an American quartet led by guitarist Dean Brown (Dean Brown, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Hadrien Feraud, Bernard Maseli) including an enthusiastically received tour of Europe and Japan, as well as recording Brown’s album Unfinished Business and Rolajafufu. This collaboration continues to this day. Since 2013, he has been leading his own project – MaBaSo – together with bassist Michał Barański and drummer Daniel Soltis, with whom he has recorded two concert albums. In 2021, he released his original album Drifter as part of the exclusive series Polish Jazz Masters by Warner Brothers. The album was recorded with an all-star international cast and received excellent reviews, garnering great interest of jazz audiences and beyond.
Bernard Maseli has collaborated with numerous prominent musicians, including: Urszula Dudziak, Michał Urbaniak, Mino Cinelu, Nippy Noya, Bill Bruford, Dean Brown, Mike Stern, Frank Gambale, David Fiuczyński, Eric Marienthal, Bob Malac, Bill Evans, Matthew Garrison, Manou Gallo, Paco Sery, Dave Samuels, Victor Mendoza, Marvin „Smitty” Smith, Hadrien Feraud, Linley Marthe, Gary Husband, Ewa Bem, Lora Szafran, Anna Maria Jopek, Grzegorz Skawinski, Mieczysław Szcześniak and many more. Author of numerous compositions and arrangements (including radio productions) with more than 100 albums to his name.
Dano Šoltis is a contemporary Slovak drummer from Prague, who has a broad and comprehensive outlook on music. An extremely flexible, sensitive musician with a set of stunning performance techniques, who feels at home on enormous stages with pop and rock bands, as well as in smaller clubs. He also performs solo with his Drum Song project. His main current projects include Vertigo, an award-winning ensemble representing the contemporary Prague jazz scene, 123 – a legendary Czech trio, as well as MaBaSo, a band led by vibraphonist Bernard Maseli. He is also a professor at the Jarosalv Ježek Jazz Conservatory in Prague, where he teaches individual drum set classes and group lectures on the history of percussion. He occasionally holds percussion master classes in Poland, Czechia and Slovakia. He has collaborated with numerous prominent artists, including Arturo Sandoval (US/Cuba), Lizz Wright (US), Kurt Elling (US), Erik Truffaz (FRA), Brian Charette (US) and Vince Mendoza (US) among others.
At 13 years old, he was spotted at a jazz workshop by American clarinettist Brad Terry. Together with pianist Mateusz Kołakowski and drummer Tomasz Torres, he became part of Terry’s quartet, touring the United States numerous times. He continued his musical education at the Jazz Department of the Academy of Music in Katowice, under Professor Jacek Niedziela. Very soon, still as a student, he began working as a sideman with many prominent artists of the Polish and world stage, including Bennie Maupin, Nigel Kennedy, Dan Tepfer, David Doruzka, Vladislav Sendecki, Derrick McKenzie, Atma Anur, Tomasz Stańko, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Marcin Wasilewski, Michał Urbaniak, Aga Zaryan, Kayah, Piotr Wojtasik, Bernard Maseli, Jarosław Śmietana, Piotr Wylezol, Michał Tokaj, Artur Dutkiewicz, Urszula Dudziak, Kuba Badach, Ania Szarmach, Ewa Bem, Mieczysław Szcześniak, Dorota Miśkiewicz, Marek Napiórkowski, Adam Bałdych, Andrzej Olejniczak, Anna Serafińska, Jose Torres, Grzech Piotrowski, Piotr Baron, Mate.O, Afromental, Walk Away, New Life M , TGD and many more. In 2014, he was nominated for the Phonographic Academy’s Fryderyk Award in the Jazz Artist of the Year category. In 2008, 2013 and 2014 he was voted the best double bass player of the year by Jazz Forum magazine readers. Since October 2012, he has been working as an assistant professor at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice at the Institute of Jazz, teaching the double bass and bass guitar classes.
9:00 p.m. Peter Erskine Quartet feat. George Garzone
Peter Erskine – drums
George Garzone – tenor sax
Alan Pasqua – piano
Darek Oleszkiewicz – bass
photo: press materials
There is nothing like the sound of four jazz masters communicating in a highly evolved common language, drawing on years of shared experience and an inexhaustible love for the music. That’s the sound you hear on 3 Nights in L.A., the latest release from drummer Peter Erskine’s Fuzzy Music imprint.
In January 2019, Erskine took to the bandstand at the beautiful new Los Angeles jazz club Sam First with pianist Alan Pasqua and bassist Darek Oles, his fellow faculty members at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Joining them was tenor saxophone giant George Garzone, who was in town to lead a master class and only too happy to do some playing at night — three whole nights in fact, two sets per night. The results were bracing, as George Harris wrote at the time for JazzWeekly.com: “Garzone and company adroitly mixed modern with tradition with an extra spice of inquisitiveness, sounding as fresh as the air outside after the rains.”
Relentlessly swinging and open in expression, the quartet grapples with a range of material, stretching out on blowing favorites like Invitation, I’ll Remember April, Like Someone in Love, I Hear a Rhapsody and, in three different takes, Have You Met Miss Jones — each version subtly different as the band peels back the song’s harmonic layers. The album also features John Coltrane’s classic Equinox plus five originals by Garzone; a gorgeous and darkly hued ballad, Sky Shines on an August Sunday, by Garzone’s friend, reedist Liana Catalano; and one tune apiece by Erskine, Pasqua and Oles (the bassist’s entry, a Benny Golson-esque midtempo swinger The Honeymoon, appears in two versions).
“From the first note,” Erskine recalls, “I knew that our three nights together would be one for the books. I first played with George in 1998 and I couldn’t believe my ears … but I also couldn’t believe my hands. His playing made me a better player, instantly. I’ve experienced this time and again, whether with Mike Mainieri’s American Diary group, or during one of our Steps Ahead reunion gigs, or even with the Yellowjackets when we were both subbing in that band for a gig. Garzone is magical, and he swings harder than anybody I know.”
Oles on the bass, Erskine continues, “is also a swinger of the highest degree. We met years ago when he was studying with Charlie Haden at Cal Arts. He is now the contemporary bass player in Los Angeles: pitch-perfect and rock steady, he always makes playing the drums a joy.” As for Pasqua, Erskine met him way back in 1971 “and we’ve been musical brothers-in-arms ever since,” the drummer says. “We’ve been playing with the notion of less-is-more for quite a few years now — he’s one of the only two-handed pianists who willingly solos with just one hand in order to keep the music open. He plays by not playing. Some real Yoda stuff going on with him.”
Erskine, Pasqua and Oles previously pursued their inspired chemistry on The Interlochen Concert, My New Old Friend and (with Bob Mintzer) Standards 2: Movie Music — a sequel to Standards from 2007, also featuring Pasqua with the late bassist Dave Carpenter. With Carpenter as well, Erskine and Pasqua made Badlands and Live at Rocco. Oles, in addition, played with Pasqua on the pianist’s 2017 release Northern Lights.
All these varied experiences filter into the combustible energy and spontaneity of 3 Nights in L.A. The standards, stamped in the DNA of each player, came together effortlessly of course. The originals too have an ideal balance of looseness and polish, receiving all the attention to compositional detail that they deserve. Erskine’s Twelve is a piece from his 1999 album Juni, the last of four unforgettable trio discs he made for ECM with pianist John Taylor and bassist Palle Danielsson. It’s a contrafact on the changes of Cole Porter’s Easy to Love, deepening the quartet’s practice of stretching standard harmony while swinging with abandon. Pasqua’s Agrodolce is a flowing minor-key theme in 3/4 first heard on Northern Lights as a trio piece. Here the composer sets it up rubato before Garzone enters to voice the cascading melody line in unison.
Peter Erskine, one of the most accomplished and respected drummers in modern jazz, joined the legendary fusion group Weather Report in 1978 at the recommendation of Jaco Pastorius. He’s been recording as a bandleader since 1982 and has appeared on historic albums with Steps Ahead, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, Marc Johnson, Don Grolnick and many more. Alan Pasqua, in addition to acoustic jazz, has demonstrated his keyboard mastery working with Allan Holdsworth in the New Tony Williams Lifetime in the mid-’70s, and reuniting with the guitar legend on the live double album Blues for Tony in 2010. Alan has numerous fine albums to his credit, including several magnificent solo piano outings. George Garzone is one of jazz’s greatest tenors and also one of its most revered educators, with noted students including Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Donny McCaslin and countless others. He is longtime co-leader of the celebrated trio The Fringe and a Boston jazz institution unto himself. Darek Oles was born in Wroclaw, Poland and came in 1988 to Los Angeles, where he studied at Cal Arts and soon after taught there as well. He has become one of the most sought-after bassists on the West Coast, working with Pat Metheny, Charles Lloyd, Bennie Maupin, Brad Mehldau and a host of others.