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June 25, 2021

JLCO Septet with Wynton Marsalis 

"The Democracy! Suite " 


Wynton Marsalishe will perform the function of Artist-in-residence of Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa 2021. He is one of the most important figures in contemporary jazz. This world-famous trumpeter and composer is also a highly respected teacher and activist for music education. He is called the ambassador of American culture and has been awarded honorary doctorates by several dozen universities. He is known for his interpretations of both jazz and classical music and is the only instrumentalist to receive Grammy Awards in one year for recordings in these two categories. He is also the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center - a cultural center, which carries out his mission of promoting jazz, among others, by leading his own orchestra, with which he gives concerts all over the world.

The wheel of history has spun. On November 17, 1994, Wynton Marsalis Septet performed in Bielsko-Biała. It was the first great concert of a world jazz star in Bielsko-Biała. The Polish audience met this outstanding musician during the Jazz Jamboree in 1983, and when   after eleven years his next three concerts in our country were announced, it was obvious that he performed in such prestigious venues as the National Philharmonic in Warsaw and the University Hall in Poznań, but the place of inauguration of this route was a complete surprise: the Church of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Bielsko-Biała. This is a historic moment that marked the beginning of the golden era of jazz in the city, which until then was known from the film heroes of Bolek and Lolek and Mały Fiat, and is now considered one of the most thriving jazz centers in Poland and Central Europe.
The wheel of history has spun. After 27 years, Wynton Marsalis will come to Bielsko-Biała again. As a Resident Artist, LOTOS Jazz Festival of the 23rd Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa   will perform on June 25, as in the memorable 1994 with his septet, and a day later he will present his famous Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. During his stay, additional meetings with musicians, journalists and the audience are planned.

"Jazz music is the perfect metaphor for democracy," says Wynton Marsalis. At a time when America - or the world as a whole - is at a crossroads, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer was inspired to write the poignant work “Democracy! Suite ”, which proves that the joy and beauty of jazz can bring us all closer. The song was recorded live on September 27, 2020 during the first concert that after the lockdown in New York took place at the Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room.   It was also an artistic voice in the ongoing US presidential campaign. Songs such as "Out Amongst the People (For J Bat)" and "Be Present" reflect a turbulent time in which musicians form a harmonious community, inviting us to reflect on the past and rethink the future. "The question facing our nation now is: Do we want to find a better way?" Marsalis said after the premiere. The Democracy! Suite ”is an instrumental piece, but it has a clear message - it calls us to action - to actively fight for the world we believe in.

The album "The Democracy! Suite ”Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis was released on January 15, 2021 by Blue Engine Records. The concert at this year's Zadymka will be its European premiere.

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