Guillaume Perret, Chris Sharkey & Marcos Baggiani - Take Five Europe Edition II, image by Emile Holba

On the road with Take Five: Europe

Martel Ollerenshaw visits the inaugural JazzArt Festival in Katowice

The JazzArt Festival in Katowice across the weekend of 28 – 30 April was a showcase of emerging Polish jazz alongside some established and emerging bands from elsewhere in Europe.

Working in five venues in downtown Katowice (Kinotheatr Rialto, Jazz Club Hipnoza, Klub Katofonia, Klub Scena Gugalander and Kosciol Ewangelicko-Augsburgski), 13 bands, seven of which were led by emerging Polish artists, played to appreciative audiences of all ages. 

The festival was curated by Take Five: Europe participant Maciej Obara and his artistic advisors.  Definite highlights were the Polish bands, especially Maciej Obara’s new International Quartet which was convened for this festival and premiered a whole set of new work.  Maciej Obara was joined by Dominic Wania on piano, and two other Take Five: Europe participants, Ole Morten Vågan (double bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums) from Norway.

Maciej Obara also played in the spectacular finale with the Damas Ensemble, ‘Power of the Horns’  which consisted of 12 emerging Polish artists including a five piece horn section, two drummers and two basses led by trumpeter Piotr Damasiewicz, who also led a gentler  but no less effective jazz/classical collaboration ‘Aukso’ on Sunday in the lovely acoustic of Kosciol Ewangelicko-Augsburgski.

Other Polish work included a well-received collaboration by Polish born Danish resident Tomasz Dabrowski on trumpet and US drummer and polymath Tyshawn Sorey, and I cannot let go of the impression made by the local Polish thrash/jazz group Orange the Juice – who played in Klub Katofonia – a bar where you’d be wise to arrive early to get a seat and take earplugs for protection.

Of the visiting internationals, a highlight was the Lars Danielsson Quartet, featuring John Parricelli on guitar, Iiro Rantala on piano and Magnus Öström on drums, who played a beautifully engaging set in the Kosciol Ewangelicko-Augsburgski.  Other bands on offer were Polar Bear (great set to a very vocal audience), Courtney Pine’s Europa Project, Neil Cowley Trio and Portico Quartet.

For more information, see:

Take Five Europe, Serious, 51 Kingsway Place, Sans Walk, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0LU

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