Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa is a festival organized since 1999 by artistic environment gathered around Sztuka Teatr Association – actors, musicians, photographers, journalists together with local authorities, sponsors and partners of the Festival. Among the organizers are also the great figures of Polish jazz scene – Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski (musician, composer, journalist) and Paweł Brodowski, editor of leading Polish jazz magazine “Jazz Forum”.
In 2002 Zadymka got the main sponsor of the event – refinery concern Grupa LOTOS S.A. This resulted in changing the name into LOTOS Jazz Festival – Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa.
The Festival, according to its name (Zadymka means “blizzard”) takes place in the Winter season, when tourists from the country and from abroad visit the Beskidy region. It is addressed to all Polish and foreign jazz fans. It’s an event “with a soul” embedded in the winter scenery of the Beskidy region. For five days our guests have an opportunity to take part in about a dozen of concerts held in various venues – from the stylish interiors of Polski Theatre, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra concert hall in Katowice, modern Klimat Club in Sfera Shopping gallery to mountain lodge on the Szyndzielnia mountain (1026 m above the sea level). The unique atmosphere, world jazz stars coming to Bielsko-Biała to give their only concerts in Poland or even in Europe are the magnet attracting jazz fans from all over the country and from abroad.
So far, during the 18 editions of Festival, over 1000 musicians from over 40 countries have performed. Among them such jazz legends as: Wayne Shorter, Hank Jones, Benny Golson, Ron Carter, McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Arturo Sandoval, All Foster, Kenny Garrett, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dianne Reeves, Yellowjackets, Joe Lovano, Billy Cobham, Dave Doulgas, Kevin Mahogany, Lizz Wright, Roy Hargrove, Maceo Parker, David Murray, James Carter, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, Henri Texier, Pat Martino, Arild Andersen, Terry Lyne Carrington, Till Broenner, Richard Galliano, Nils Petter Molvaer, Erik Truffaz, Roberta Gambarini, Esperanza Spalding, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Urszula Dudziak, Michał Urbaniak, Tomasz Stańko, Leszek Możdżer, Ewa Bem, Anna Maria Jopek and many others.
The Festival cooperates closely with the Jazz Department of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. It’s already our tradition that students of the Academy host the Festival’s jam sessions. Their jams with such giants like: Urszula Dudziak, Michał Urbaniak, David Murray, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Joe Lovano or James Carter have gone down in history. Another big attraction is “Open Concert” of the Academy’s Big Band conducted by Andrzej Zubek, that is free to all Bielsko-Biała citizens.
During Zadymka Festival many accompanying events take place – musical happenings, photography, art and multimedia exhibitions. The festival is a great meeting point for journalists, agency representatives, festivals’ directors from the country and from abroad.