KRAKOW JAZZ WEEK was created from the merger of two internationally known jazz events: Jazz Juniors Festival, Contest & Showcase and Seifert Jazz Days - a festival that is an expansion and capitalization of the Seifert Competition brand - the world's only competition for jazz violinists, held since 2014.


Honorary Patronage of Jarosław Sellin, Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage

It was for long (definitely too long) that the figure of Zbigniew Seifert remained eclipsed by those of other jazz masters. The output of that Cracow-born violin and saxophone genius remained nearly forgotten, and for several decades after the artist’s premature death his recordings were only known to a small circle of fans. To the younger generations of musicians and music-lovers, Seifert’s name frequently meant next to nothing. This situation only changed rather recently, thanks to the emergence (in 2014) of Seifert Competition, a biennial event organised by the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation, which has begun to revive interest in that artist’s life and oeuvre among young musicians worldwide. The competition, however, is addressed mainly to violinists (as well as violists and cellists). What, then, about other artists? In what context can they discover Seifert’s works as a source of inspiration and a major creative impulse, or as a pretext to interpret anew a repertoire that undoubtedly deserves to be listed among the classics of Polish and international jazz? Seifert Jazz Days, a festival first held in 2021, is a response to this need. Its formula takes Seifert’s legacy beyond the violin playing circles, though naturally without rejecting the violin. The organisers’ key objective has been to reach the widest possible audience interested in improvised music, jazz, and related genres, and familiarise it with Seifert’s music. At the same time, by inviting musicians from many countries (notably, all of this year’s concerts will be performed by international bands), Seifert Jazz Days make it possible to take the memory and the music of the Cracow violinist beyond the borders of Poland. The programme of the three festival nights features very different line-ups. What they have in common is an out-of-the-box approach to music-making.

9th October 2023

Maciej Obara is a leading European saxophonist, belonging to a generation and circle of Polish jazz musicians that seem to be at the peak of their creative powers. For the last decade he has led an international quartet that he has used as a platform for presenting his unlimited creative invention. Maciej Obara Quartet has thus mainly performed Obara’s own original music. Specially for our festival in Cracow, however, it has now taken up Zbigniew Seifert’s works. Though Seifert began his career in jazz as a sax player, this was not a key incentive for Obara. As he explains, ‘Seifert was a very good saxophonist, but he remained under the overwhelming influence of John Coltrane. In that period, hundreds of musicians played in a similar manner. What makes us see Seifert as absolutely unique is that he emerged from that post-Coltrane trend into wider musical waters. By combining Trane fascinations with his classical violin background, he proved his flexibility and versatility, which, in conjunction with an incredible technique, made him immensely original as an artist. The main idea of our programme, made up of Seifert’s music, has therefore been to present all those contexts in which he functioned as a composer and violinist. This is why, apart from pieces from Man of the Light, I chose Serenade, which he played with Oregon, and one of the finest works in his output, Song for Christopher. During the concert I will attempt to demonstrate both the diversity and cohesion of Zbigniew Seifert’s music.’

10 th October 2023

Mateusz Smoczyński / Markus Stockhausen International Group are the protagonists of the Seifert Jazz Days second evening concert. The group was founded by two outstanding musicians, Polish violinist Mateusz Smoczyński (1 st prize winner in the 2 nd Seifert Competition) and German trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, known for his love of spatially conceived, balanced improvisation suspended between jazz and contemporary chamber music. It is that space, so highly valued by Stockhausen, that proves crucial to the successful fusion of Smoczyński’s own music with that of Zbigniew Seifert. The brilliant Cracow violinist has been, in a way, the patron of this musical duo. Smoczyński and Stockhausen met and began to talk during their return flight from Belgrade Jazz Festival, where Mateusz appeared in the cycle of Seifert Night foreign concerts organised by Zbigniew Seifert Foundation. It was then that the idea was born of their joint project that will now be presented to the Cracow audience. The leaders will share the stage with musicians whose paths have already crossed many times but who have never appeared together in this particular configuration.

11 th October 2023

The last evening of the 2 nd Seifert Jazz Days belongs to Sonorismo trio, founded on the initiative of RGG trio’s drummer Krzysztof Gradziuk, who invited RGG pianist Łukasz Ojdana and the outstanding Finnish saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen to play in his new band. Gradziuk and Ojdana had already presented their astonishingly liberal but meticulously thought-out re-interpretations of Seifert’s music with RGG during the first edition of Seifert Jazz Days. With Sonorismo, the presence of the Finnish sax player and the combination of acoustic with electric instrumental sound puts this music in a completely new context. The trio will combine Seifert’s works with their own compositions, thus building a bridge between the past and present of improvised music, which ideally reflects the festival’s aim of not only cultivating its patron’s legacy but also using it as an impulse for new original works. The trio members are top-class musicians and we may expect their programme to be far from obvious, very likely surprising at many points, but at the same time sophisticated and interpreted with utmost care for artistic quality.


Place: CRICOTEKA, ul. Nadwiślańska 2-4, 30-527 Kraków

9 October 2023 | 19.30

Maciej Obara Quartet:

Maciej Obara - sax

Dominik Wania - p

Ole Morten - b

Gard Nilssen - dr

10 October 2023 | 19.30

Mateusz Smoczyński / Markus Stockhausen International Group:

Mateusz Smoczyński - vn

Markus Stockhausen - tr

Kristjan Randalu - p

Chris Jennings - b

Bodek Janke - dr

11 October 2023 | 19.30


Pauli Lyytinen - sax

Łukasz Ojdana - p

Krzysztof Gradziuk - dr

Jazz Juniors 2023

Adam Pierończyk - Artistic Director

12 October 2023 : Konkurs Jazz Juniors / Jazz Juniors Competition

13 October 2023 | 19.30


Oskar Tomala - g

Mateusz Żydek - tr

Jakub Wosik - b

Alan Kapołka - dr

_ _ _

Florian Arbenz Group:

Jorge Vistel - tr

Maikel Vistel - sax

Nelson Veras - g

Florian Arbenz - dr

14 October 2023 | 19.30

Franciszek Raczkowski Solo

_ _ _

Matthieu Bordenave Trio:

Matthieu Bordenave - sax

Florian Weber - p

Patrice Moret - b

15 October 2023 | 19.30

Robert Wypasek Quartet:

Robert Wypasek - sax

Mateusz Pałka - p

Piotr Południak - b

Grzegorz Pałka - dr

_ _ _

Lage Lund Quartet:

Lage Lund - g

Pablo Held - p

Orlando le Fleming - b

Karl-Henrik Ousbäck - dr


Organisers: Co-organisers:    
Subsidized by funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Fund for the Promotion of Culture
Culture - a state purpose fund under the program "Music" implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance

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