Branford Marsalis Quartet (US)
Branford Marsalis – saxophone, Joey Calderazzo – piano, Eric Revis – double bass, Justin Faulkner – drums
Even after more than three decades in music Branford Marsalis remains on course. He burst on to the jazz scene bringing new energy and brought new fans to the art of jazz. Even with three Grammy awards in his collection he refuses to rest on his laurels and has continued perfecting his talent and expanding musical horizons for himself and his listeners. And not only as a musician but also as a composer, band leader and teacher. Even in the 21st century he embodies a perfect example of artistic excellence.
Branford was born in the culturally rich environment of New Orleans as the eldest son of the pianist Ellis Marsalis. The eldest of the Marsalis brothers did not miss out on his musical genes, just like his younger siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. The young Branford was enchanted by the sound of the saxophone. His fascination with jazz grew hand in hand with his playing skills. He won his jazz spurs alongside the legendary trumpeter Clark Terry and then with the cult Jazz Messengers of Art Blakey.
In the mid-80s Branford formed his own quartet. Despite his other countless jazz and classical projects this remains Branford’s primary platform for the realisation of his own original musical ideas. This exemplary “working band” excels in its unusually consistent line-up, with there being only three changes in the personnel in more than thirty years. The reward for this is an absolute connection and almost telepathic communication between the individual members. The concerts of the Branford Marsalis Quartet are full of expressive melodies in provocative forms, and their rhythmic pressure will take you like a tsunami. They are simply like a book full of fantastic musical tales. Whichever chapter they choose to leaf through in Brno it will be an unforgettable musical experience.
Kasia Pietrzko Trio (PL)
Kasia Pietrzko – piano, Andrzej Święs – double bass, Piotr Budniak – percussion
In 2018 the Polish pianist, arranger and composer Kasia Pietrzko was nominated for the Fryderyk Award in the Debut of the Year category, while also earning second place as Jazz Forum magazine’s New Hope. Experts appreciate her improvisational instinct, harmonic imagination, and tonal creativity.
The student of the Krakow Music Academy recorded her Polish Herbarium with Joanna Słowińska and Sinfonietta Cracovia. She co-authored the debut recording of the Stanisław Słowiński Quintet and took the same ensemble to victory in the 2015 Jazz Juniors, a Krakow contest for young jazz bands. Since 2017 she is a member of the Tony Williams Tribute, led by drummer Michał Miśkiewicz.
In 2014 she founded the Kasia Pietrzko Trio, with which she attended the International Festival of Jazz Pianists in Kalisz a year later. In 2017 the ensemble enthused critics and listeners alike with its debut album Forthright Stories, which Kasia sees as a musical imprint of three years of her life. Six compositions and three improvisations reflect her joys, sorrows, and inspirations that she gleaned from crucial encounters with Johnny O’Neal, Aaron Parks, Kenny Werner, and other jazz musicians in New York. She will share her musical experiences with visitors of JazzFestBrno in a trio premiere.