Tonight at the Polish Theatre in Wrocław, we have met the new artistic director of the Jazz on the Odra Festival – Piotr Wojtasik. The trumpet virtuoso, an exquisite improviser and composer, who has been speaking his own unique musical language for more than 30 years now.
photo credit: Elżbieta Sołdrzyńska
He has recorded and performed in most European countries, Morocco, Israel, Canada, the United States, Japan and India. In the 1980s and 1990s, he represented the modern bop trend, which has now taken a more individual form, based partly on modal jazz with small elements of free and ethnic music. He regularly collaborates with such musicians as John Betsch, Joris Teepe, Viktor Tóth, Steven McCraven, Nicolas Simion, Michał Barański, Michał Miśkiewicz, and Michał Tokaj. For years, he has been invited to collaborate with the legendary saxophonist Billy Harper. He has taken part in numerous special projects with world jazz giants such as Kenny Garrett, Joe Lovano or Archie Shepp. At the same time, he performed as a sideman in other bands, which included musicians such as Victor Lewis, George Cables, Kirk Lightsey or Joe LaBarbera. He is one of the few Polish musicians who are periodically invited to international projects such as: Michel Donato Quintet or European Jazz Ensemble. He has participated as a guest musician in the recording of over a dozen albums. He has recorded 12 original albums, which have gained high recognition among critics and music lovers. The albums Circle and Hope received the prestigious Fryderyk award of the Polish music industry. Others, in majority, were nominated for it. Wojtasik himself received two Fryderyks in 2008 in the Jazz Musician of the Year category and as the author of the Best Jazz Album of the Year, for the album Circle. He has repeatedly won the Jazz Top ranking of Jazz Forum magazine. The latest album To Whom it May Concern shows Wojtasik’s sensitivity both in the sphere of performance, composition and the carefully selected cast of musicians.