Pre-Concert Art Exhibit -
“Jazz Behind the Iron Curtain” featuring the art of Rafal Olbinski
Gary Bartz - saxophone
George Colligan - piano
Phil Sparks - bass
Matt Jorgensen - drums
Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist Gary Bartz first came to New York in 1958 to attend the Julliard Conservatory of Music. Just 17 years old, Gary couldn't wait to come to the city to play and learn - "Miles' group was in its heyday, Monk was down at the Five Spot, and Ornette Coleman was just coming to town. Things were fresh." In his early 20s, he began performing with the Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln Group and with Charles Mingus' Workshop, quickly establishing himself as the most promising alto voice since Cannonball Adderley. Bartz soon joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, making his recording debut on Blakey's 1965 SOULFINGER album.
In 1968, Bartz began a deep and lifelong musical association with McCoy Tyner - including performing on the classic EXPANSIONS and EXTENSIONS albums - which continues to this day. Bartz also formed his own bands at this time and recorded a trio of albums for Milestone. Miles Davis hired Bartz in 1970 and featured him on "Live-Evil." Bartz formed the Ntu Troop that year as well, an ensemble that fused soul and funk, African folk music, hard bop, and vanguard jazz into a vibrant whole. His group's recordings from the early '70s have proved influential with soul jazzers, and in hip-hop and DJ circles as well. With over 30 recordings as a leader, as well as more than 100 recordings as a guest artist with others, Gary Bartz long ago took his rightful place in the pantheon of jazz greats.
Lew Soloff - Trumpet
Milo Petersen - Guitar
Essiet Essiet - Bass
Sylvia Cuenca - drums
A consummate fixture on the New York jazz scene since the mid-'60s, Lew Soloff's career is filled with a rich history of renowned sessions and world-class collaborations. Born in Brooklyn in 1944, Soloff was raised in New Jersey and started studying piano at an early age, taking up the trumpet at 10. Already a professional musician by his teens, he followed his music degree at Eastman with graduate school at Julliard. By 1966, he was performing with Maynard Ferguson and became a regular in the Joe Henderson / Kenny Dorham Big Band. That year he also joined the Gil Evans Group, an affiliation he considers his most influential, a creative relationship that lasted until Evans' death in 1988. In the large bands of the 1960s, Soloff received his continuing education, joining groups led by Clark Terry, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band. But it was in the popular groundbreaking group Blood, Sweat And Tears that Soloff's trumpet solos became an indelible part of American culture. He was an integral part of the band from 1968 to 1973, racking up 9 Gold records, a Grammy for 'Record of The Year' (1969) and creating those searing horn lines in "Spinning Wheel."
Following his time with Blood, Sweat And Tears, Soloff established himself as a consummate studio musician, performing on hundreds of significant recordings including projects by George Benson, Benny Carter, Stanley Clarke, Paquito D'Rivera, Miles Davis/Quincy Jones (Live At Montreux), Mercer Ellington, Gil Evans, Grant Green, Lionel Hampton, Bob James, Herbie Mann, Carmen McRae, Jaco Pastorius, Mongo Santamaria, Wayne Shorter, and Stanley Turrentine. He has also participated in sessions and concerts for some of pop's most respected figures namely: Tony Bennett, James Brown, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithful, Aretha Franklin, Lou Reed, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand.
presented with the support of:
Rafal Olbinski has received over 150 awards, including gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles. In 1994, he was awarded the International Oscar for the World's Most Memorable Poster, the "Prix Savignac" in Paris. In 1995 the jury led by Mayor Rudolf Giuliani chose his poster as a winner of the "New York - Capital of the World" competition. Before his international career in New York began, Rafal Olbinski spent 10 years in Warsaw working as an art director for the Polish jazz magazine "Jazz Forum," creating distinctive cover illustrations using a wide-array of techniques.
Note: Unfortunately, due to travel conflicts, Pawel Brodowski will be unable to attend the Ballard Jazz Festival. Please join us at 6:30pm for the art reception, beverages and pre-show mingling.
Special thanks to Izabela Gabrielson for coordinating the Jazz Forum event. Her PhD research - dedicated to Rafal Olbinski's work as a part of documentation of Polish contemporary émigré art - led to this presentation and multiple other events around the U.S. Izabela recently received her PhD from the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. She lives in Seattle and works for Red Dot Art Fair, an international art fair in New York and Miami.