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Krzysztof Komeda- Outstanding Jazz Pianist

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Krzysztof Komeda (born Krzysztof Trzcinski) (1931 – 1969) was born in Poznan. He was an outstanding Polish jazz pianist and composer who is mostly renowned for his original style. He is also often referred to as the precursor of European jazz. A Doctor of Medicine by profession, he devoted his life to music, creating mainly jazz standards and film music. Komeda also performed at jazz festivals of which the I Sopot Jazz Festival (1956) is the best-known as it was then that his career as a jazz pianist began. The spectacular performance of ''Komeda Sextet'' during the Festival was of great importance. Firstly, it made them famous as the first Polish modern jazz group. Secondly, the success was an opening stage for jazz playing in Poland.

Krzysztof Komeda PoznanIn the years to follow, Komeda's jazz expression changed as he became interested in poetry. In his musical pieces he combined jazz with Slavic lyricism and Polish music traditions, creating unique sounding music conquering the audience. The result were his 'Jazz and Poetry' shows presented at Jazz Jamboree'60 and later at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. Around that time Komeda began working on movie scores: Polanski's ''Knife in the Water'', Wajda's ''Innocent Sorcerers'', Nasfeter's ''My Dad'' and Morgenstern's ''See You Tomorrow''. He was also successful in his jazz performances abroad (Paris, Moscow, Grenoble).

After Komeda's successes in the jazz clubs of Stockholm and Copenhagen famous for hosting America's most prominent jazz stars, Hennig Carlsen, renowned Danish film director, encouraged Komeda to record music for his three films. His promising music career was interrupted by his sudden tragic death. While staying in the USA to work on Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby' and Kulik's 'The Riot', Komeda had a tragic accident. Brought to Poland, he died in 1969. He was buried in Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw. Since 1995 there is Komeda Jazz Festival during which International Composer’s Competition takes place. The goal of the competition is to promote young artists.

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