Zbigniew Seifert in Memoriam in Berlin - the Polish Presidency 26th November 2011 at 8 pm.


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A concert dedicated to the great Polish violinist, saxophonist and composer will be held on 26th November 2011 at 8 pm

Venue: the French Institute, Kurfürstendamm 211, Berlin


Mateusz Smoczyński
Ack van Rooyen
Richie Beirach
Glen Moore
Janusz Stefański
Dawid Lubowicz
Mateusz Smoczyński
Michał Zaborski
Krzysztof Lenczowski

Artists about Zbigniew Seifert

Prof. Richie Beirach:

Zbiggy was an angel who happened to land in Poland and chose the violin as a way to inspire, elevate, enchant and deliver a powerful message of passion for life in all its magnificent and awesome diversity of forms, it was all in his SOUND, he would play just one note and everyone could instantly and completely hear and feel the immensity and power of his heart, the fundamental and undeniable humanity of his music and his pure joy in simply improvising with other musicians or playing solo violin I had the amazing good fortune to know him well and to play and record with him many times, he and Agnieszka would come to my house in NYC and hang and laugh and play and rehearse, he loved my tunes like al which I wrote for him and my leaving and elm and broken wing and the pearl, then he got sick, and he wanted to do one more recording before he died. It turned out to become his cd PASSION for string orchestra and jazz ensemble with Zbiggy, Eddie Gomez on bass Jack DeJohnette on drums John Scofield on guitar, Nana on percussion on myself on piano. Zbiggy somehow was able to integrate the strings with the jazz ensemble seamlessly, he was sick and sometimes feeling weak but he played like a that angel burning with a superhuman intensity that soared above and away from this earth yet was truly of it, its my favorite cd that I've ever heard or been part of, few people knew of him, but the ones that did and do know that HE is the source of the modern post-Coltrane violin.

With love, joy and remembrance

Dave Liebman:

My brother Richie Beirach knew Zbiggy personally making his comments all the more touching. All I can add from the musical standpoint is that the solo violin record Zbiggy made is one of the monumental works of our time. I make it mandatory that anyone professing to play “jazz" violin study the recording. Zbiggy went passed the instrument into the world of universal music, spirtual and deep with John Coltrane as his guide. This recording in particular will insure that Seifert's music will be with us for ever.

Ack van Rooyen:

Although many years have passed by since Zbiggy left us, the impression he left is still vivid.

The violin was rare then in this type of music, but the way he played was ahead of his time.

I understand his music now more than I did then.

He was a pioneer.

Prof. Janusz Stefański:

Who was he to me? He was a brilliant musician! A wonderful friend! We met in MusicHigh Schoolin Kraków in 1962. We were peers. I was born on the 14th, Zbyszek on the 7st of June 1946. At that time he was in the third grade and I was in the second grade (since I repeated one year at school). Having changed the school, I started looking for the people I could be friends with and then I found Zbyszek. He played the violin, I was taking the percussion lessons. We both dreamed of playing jazz. Zbyszek was devoted to playing the alto saxophone as at that time he was not convinced that he could play jazz violin.

When Alojzy Thomys and Janusz Mroczek established the jazz section, it turned out that some of the students were interested in joining it. Among others there were Zbyszek, Jan Jarczyk, Jan Gonciarczyk and me. As a result, Zbyszek Seifert Quartet came into being. We used to go to “Helikon" jazz club after school as we wanted to play jazz and get acquainted with Kraków's jazz musicians.

Our friendship had two dimensions: musical and private.

The fact that it was Zbyszek who founded the quartet was not accidental. He had a great potential and a musical intuition. From the very beginning he knew which style and aesthetic to choose. Coltrane was his God...

While practicing, he focused entirely on playing the saxophone. Even if a helicopter had flown into his house, he probably would not have stopped playing. I admired his approach to playing the alto saxophone. He played in a sharp, dense, avant-garde way, the musical phrases were very complex. His head was full of amazing sounds, he produced them very quickly as if he had known that his time was coming to an end...

His performances were very expressive. He kept playing until his improvisations reached perfection.

He inspired me and influenced the development of my own ideas about playing the drums.

After a couple of years spent on playing the saxophone, he decided to focus on playing the violin again (in Tomasz Stańko Quintet). It had a great influence on his career.

I have never known any violin player who would play the violin the way Zbyszek did. He used the saxophone phrases while playing the violin, which—as he said—was a great challenge. One sometimes had the impression that his fingers were about to break and his instrument was about to kindle. His dramatic and warm sound, beautiful melody and harmony made the listeners participate in his musical journey.

Zbyszek was a deeply spiritual, lyrical and dramatic author at the same time. He was a person of an outstanding intelligence and great sense of humour. His fascinating personality attracted me and for this reason we became good friends.

We enjoyed spending the spare time together—we walked in the mountains, slept in the hay, talked about women...drank and smoked...

During our tour in Europe he was a great companion. I drove the car and he was a guide.

We liked talking about life, family, fortune and misfortune, hopes and disappointments.

We used to compare our ideas about the future...and we played together as long as it was possible.

His sickness was unexpected and two years later he was gone for ever.

Zbyszek's music is still present and continuously inspires many musicians all over the world.

Mateusz Smoczyński:

For me Zbigniew Seifert was mainly a great artist who transferred John Coltrane's style and language into the world of violin. Thanks to him I began enjoying the violin in jazz music and it encouraged me to start improvising. Later on, having listened to his records, I noticed that he developed his own, individual style which derived from John Coltrane's achievements, as well as from Polish folk and classical music (for example Karol Szymanowski). I am working on developing my individual musical language as well. I want it to be rooted in the music of my idols, such as Zbigniew Seifert.

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