Tomasz Stańko, born in Rzeszów on July 7, 1942, is a jazz trumpeter, composer and improviser. He graduated from the Music School in Kraków, where he studied violin, piano and trumpet. In 1962 Stańko formed the group Jazz Darings and in 1963 he joined the Krzysztof Komeda quintet, where he refined his ideas of harmony, musical structure and asymmetry. Stańko's playing exhibits a distinct tone and the mood of his music is said to display a kind of Slavic melancholy. Furthermore, his work demonstrates highly developed melodic patterns, usually immersed in lyricism and romantic reflection. Robert Buczek described his sound in the book, the Kraków Jazz Guide:
“His sound is 'dirty' but also paradoxically transparent, penetrating deep inside the soul, sometimes sounding like a cry and sometimes like a whimper. It is a rich sound, and, like all of his art, very personal and easy to distinguish. Combined with his favourite melodic turns, this sound produces a highly suggestive, emotional, at times even painful message. Stańko's music is, in a sense, the aural equivalent of existential philosophy – the pain of existence is, in a way, built into the sound, the phrasing and the mode of expression he chooses.”
Stańko has recorded nearly forty albums and composed music for several films as well as the theatre. His 1998 album From the Green Hill received the prestigious German Critics Prize, Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, for album of the year in 2000. He was the first winner of the European Jazz Award in 2003, and in February 2012 he received the Fryderyk award in two categories, best jazz artist and best jazz album, for Dark Eyes.
Krzysztof Herdzin, pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, and producer was born in Bydgoszcz in 1970. He graduated from the Bydgoszcz Academy of Music having completed his studies under the tutelage of J. Sulikowski and K. Popowa – Zydron and later became a faculty member of the Academy. Herdzin is one of the few artists in Poland who has successfully combined the fields of classical, jazz and popular music. As a composer, he has created jazz and fusion music, as well as pop songs, music for film and classical works and as a producer and arranger, he has achieved 17 Gold Selling Records and 5 Platinum Records. In 1993 he won third prize at the International Jazz Improvisation Competition in Katowice. He has twice received the“Key to Career” award at the Pomorze Jazz Autumn, in 1989 as a member of the band Ostatni Dzwonek and in 1993 as a member of KGB. Herdzin orchestrated and arranged music by Polish composer Jan A. P. Kaczmarek for the movie Finding Neverland, which won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, in 2005. His current projects include concerts with popular polish jazz and pop artists and leading his own Acoustic Trio and Big Band.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator