JAZZtrzębie The festival dates back to 2014, when for the first time musicians, on the initiative of guitarist Przemysław Strączek, decided to celebrate the International Jazz Day organized around the world on April 30 in the local Motto pub as a jam session with the participation of many musicians from the region. The concert was held outdoors and was very well received by the residents.
The first festival edition of Jazztrzębia took place a year later. At that time, thanks to the support of the Jastrzębie-Zdrój City Hall, jazz concerts were organized in the Spa House, in the city space and jam sessions.
The 2016 edition brought a true festival formula. Musicians from many countries and as many as three continents came to Jastrzębie. We hosted musicians from Poland, Spain, Singapore, China and Mexico, workshops, an exhibition of jazz photography, concerts in the city space and in Cultural Centers were organized.
The festival organized in 2017 brought us new experiences. We started cooperation with the Pawłowice Cultural Center, which also hosted a concert and exhibition as part of our festival. We hosted an outstanding world-class star Gilad Hekselman with his trio. Until 2017, the festival was organized by the Harmonic Chaos Foundation.
In 2018, the festival was organized for the first time by the Silesian Jazz Club Music Association. Outstanding musicians from Poland appeared on our stage, including Piotr Wojtasik with his quintet and the instrumentalist and performer from China Xu Fengxia.
In 2019, our special guest was an exceptional saxophonist and jazz composer associated with the ECM label – Andy Sheppard, who performed in the final concert and conducted workshops for our musical audience. As organizers, we want to promote jazz music as an element of artistic integration, freedom and creativity. That is why we want to present various artistic achievements, both Polish and international projects. The final of the festival always takes place on the day of the World Celebration of the International Jazz Day, the April 30.
In the pandemic year, we faced many adversities without giving up. The festival was moved from April to July and two weeks before the planned start we were not sure that it would take place. However, everything went according to plan, although due to many restrictions not everyone could perform on our stages. We hosted artists from Poland: the great singer Dorota Miśkiewicz from the Atom String Quartet, the world-famous violinist Adam Bałdych. David Doruzka with Piotr Budniak’s band, Peter Somos in the Jakub Paulski trio and Yumi Ito in a duet with Szymon Mika played with us. For the first time with a concert, we appeared in a beautiful palace in Borynia, where a concert by the Przemysław Strączek quartet took place, promoting the album Fig Tree. This edition will go down in history as a pandemic edition.
In 2021, with the implementation of our events, we hit the peak of the 3rd wave of the pandemic, as a result of which we had to divide the festival into two parts: the streaming part and the part with the audience. The streaming part on our stages featured: Wolfgang Muthspiel, Irek Głyk, Przemysław Strączek CULTURAL CONCEPT and Kandara Diebate from Senegal. Part II with the audience had to be moved to June due to the easing of restrictions. In this part we had the opportunity to listen to the live quartet of Anna Maria Jopek and the quartet of the Brazilian musician Adriano Trindade. It was an edition that required quite a challenge in terms of organization. Organizing a trip for foreign musicians with the borders closed was a demanding task. Fortunately, thanks to the involvement of many people, the festival was managed as planned.
When we all thought that no pandemic could stop us and we can calmly focus on preparations for the festival. Just before the festival program was announced, everyone’s eyes were focused on Ukraine, which had to deal effectively with the Russian invasion. It was impossible to pass by indifferently. Each PLN 5 from the ticket sold was donated to help for Ukrainian families staying in Jastrzębie-Zdrój. While we were waiting for the official opening of the jazz festival, there were tragic mining accidents in two mines in the city, which in turn influenced the announcement of mourning in the city. The most important festival events had to be canceled on the planned date and postponed to another time. Thus, the concerts and events that were to take place between April 26 and 30 were held between April 29 and July 20. It was true that there was no festival atmosphere, but there were great concerts. First, the main concerts were held in the beautiful concert hall of the prof. J. Świder which was a bull’s eye. This edition featured for us: Aga Zaryan, Kristjan Randalu “Absence” w/ Nelson Veras & Markku Ounaskari, Przemysław Chmiel Quartet, Jorgos & Antonis Skolias “Kolos” Chiao-Hua Chang & Przemyslaw Strączek. Additionally, there were workshops and, for the first time, a panel discussion with music journalists and organizers of jazz events.