Artist Update: Kuba Cichocki

Pianist, improviser and composer, Kuba Cichocki was already a highly acclaimed musician in Poland and Europe before he came to New York in 2010. He had played and recorded with some of the greatest musicians of Polish and international music scene, including Michael Urbaniak, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Urszula Dudziak, Aga Zaryan, Zbigniew Wegehaupt, Jerzy Małek, Jaromir Honzak, Grzegorz Karnas, and Marek Napiórkowski. He had performed at important venues and jazz festivals in Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Iceland, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Hungary.

For the last couple of years, Cichocki has been active on the New York City music scene, playing solo concerts, leading his trios, quartets and quintets, and performing with various mainstream as well as avant-garde jazz groups. Among others, he has extensively collaborated with 5-time Grammy Award winner John Benitez, and shared a stage with such notable artists and groups as: Chris Potter, Billy Drewes, Westchester Jazz Orchestra,Eddie Allen Big Band, Clifton Anderson, Pat O’Leary and Colin Stranahan.

One of Kuba Cichocki’s recent projects was a tour in Asia in September and October 2014. He played 8 concerts in China and 9 concerts in South Korea with the Sarnecki/Cichocki Quintet. Cichocki and Rafał Sarnecki, who together composed all the music for the quintet, were backed up by the best Chinese and Korean rhythm sections and a Chinese saxophone star, Nathaniel Gao. The first part of the tour took place in Beijing, where they played at the most important jazz clubs, such as Jianghu, East Shore, and YUE FU. They also performed and gave master classes at WAB Jazz Festival of the Western Academy of Beijing and Contemporary Music Academy of Beijing. In Shanghai, the quintet played at the famous JZ Club, and in Chengdu—another Chinese metropolis—they appeared at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music to give workshops and more concerts.

The focus of the Korean part of the tour was the Jarasum International Jazz Festival, well established as one of the most significant international festivals.  The performance of Cichocki and the quintet took place on the first day of the event and met with a highly favorable reception. The band was also invited to play at several of Seoul’s jazz clubs, including All That Jazz, Jazz Alley, Club Palm, Evans, as well as BOM Gallery in Yangpyeong.

Another recent project of Kuba Cichocki was a live recording of his quartet at Spectrum, a famous New York City art-and-music space that hosts and produces concerts of contemporary classical music, avant-garde rock, and progressive jazz. For his late-October performance at Spectrum, Cichocki invited some of the best artist of the Brooklyn improvised scene: Patrick Breiner, Flin van Hemmen, and Sean Ali. The experimental set included leader’s compositions as well as free improvisation, spoken word, and interaction with the audience.

On November 14, the artist performed at the XVI International Chopin & Friends Festival with the Pawel Ignatowicz Quartet. The festival is organized by New York Dance & Arts Innovations and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and is held at the Polish Slavic Center in Greenpoint. It has become an important cultural event showcasing innovative and acclaimed artists.

[Source: press release]