Polish Cultural Institute Presents Pianists...
Adam Makowicz vs. Leszek Mozdzer
Going Head to Head at Carnegie Hall - Saturday, September 25, 2004
New York City, July 28, 2004 - The Polish Cultural Institute presents two of the greatest keyboard talents on the Polish music scene today: Adam Makowicz and Leszek Mozdzer, going head to head for the first time at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, September 25, 2004 at 2:30pm and 8:00pm. These classically trained jazz pianists will perform their interpretations of Chopin and jazz standards, solo and as a duo. The concert will be recorded for future release on EMI Poland.
Adam Makowicz studied classical music at the Chopin Conservatory of Music in Krakow, and his parents and teachers expected him to become a classical pianist. However, his life was changed forever in the mid-1950's when he discovered jazz while listening to Voice of America Radio. At a time when jazz was barely tolerated by the Polish government (officially deemed decadent") Makowicz chose a new life of freedom and improvisation. And it came at high price. He was forced to leave his home and school and spent two years homeless in Krakow until he discovered a small jazz club hidden in a cellar where he could play and sleep in exchange for doing chores.
Ultimately the sacrifices made pursuing his love of jazz paid off when legendary record producer John Hammond invited Makowicz to New York in 1977 for a 10-week engagement and to record a solo album for CBS. By this time, Makowicz had over 25 records under his belt, was performing worldwide, and was voted #1 jazz pianist in Europe by Jazz Forum readers six years in a row. He settled in New York in 1978, and later became an American citizen.
In 1981, The Polish government imposed martial law in an attempt to crush the growing Solidarity movement. In response, President Reagan initiated the creation of a special television program, Let Poland Be Poland," which was beamed to 55 countries around the world, and included a performance by Makowicz along with many artists and public figures. As a result, Makowicz was banned from Poland until it gained its freedom in 1989. Since then, Makowicz has returned to his homeland every year, popularizing the music of American composers both in solo recitals and with symphony orchestras. The Wall Street Journal boasted, Adam Makowicz has been praised by Benny Goodman, compared with Art Tatum, Erroll Garner and Teddy Wilson, honored by jazz publications and toasted all over Europe as a genius. Mr. Makowicz's fiery style, firm chording and rapid Tatumesque right hand phrasing make him more than deserving of the accolades he has received."
Leszek Mozdzer is one of the greatest keyboard talents on the Polish music scene today. Born in 1971, he has been playing the piano since he was five, and his father gave him one of Makowicz
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