Seifert Jazz Days - Day 2

Smoczynski and Stockhausen above the clouds 

At the Seifert Jazz Days

The second evening of Seifert Jazz Days and Krakow Jazz Week was highlighted by a concert by the Mateusz Smoczynski / Markus Stockhausen International Group. The group, created by two outstanding musicians: violinist Mateusz Smoczynski and German trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, presented a unique program created especially for the Krakow festival.
Markus Stockhausen is an artist known for his penchant for spacious, balanced improvisation, suspended between jazz and contemporary chamber music. This space that he values so much became the key for the combination of Smoczynski's original music with Zbigniew Seifert. For it is the Krakow violin genius who is the patron of this musical alliance. Smoczynski and Stockhausen met and began talking in 2021 during a flight back from the Belgrade Jazz Festival, where Mateusz performed as part of the "Seifert Night" series of concerts abroad, organized by the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation. It was then that the idea of a joint project was born, which they presented to the audience in Krakow.
- It all started on the way back from Seifert Night at the Belgrade Jazz Festival, where Markus and I played our separate concerts," says Matthew Smoczynski. - Admittedly, we didn't get to talk at the festival itself, but fortunately we had a joint flight to Munich the next day, and it was 10,000 meters above the ground that the idea of cooperation was born. Our idea was picked up by Aneta Norek, president of the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation, who proposed the premiere during the Seifert Jazz Days at Krakow Jazz Week. A few months ago I participated in the recording of Markus' latest album, and now I could finally invite him to Poland.
Mateusz Smoczynski is an internationally acclaimed Polish jazz violinist, winner of numerous awards at major competitions, including the Grand Prix of the Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition and the Best Jazz Violinist of 2020 award from Jazz Forum European Magazine. A sought-after soloist and bandleader, he has performed at major jazz venues and festivals around the world.
Markus Stockhausen, on the other hand, is one of the most versatile musicians of our time. He is equally comfortable with jazz and contemporary, classical music. For about 25 years he worked closely with his father, the famous composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who composed many beautiful pieces for him. With his brother Simon, he released several internationally acclaimed musical projects.
Alongside the leaders on the festival stage were musicians whose paths have crossed many times before, but in this particular personal configuration could be heard for the first time: Kristjan Randalu - piano, Chris Jennings - double bass, Bodek Janke - drums.
The evening began with Zbigniew Seifert's composition "McCoy's Nightmare," and the concert program also included Mateusz Smoczynski's four-part suite titled "Over the Clouds. "Over the Clouds," written to commemorate the joint project, and compositions by all the instrumentalists of the lineup, which Smoczynski stresses is a true musical dream team. We could clearly see this during the second day of the Seifert Jazz Days.
Photo: Michał Łepecki