The main aims of the Association are:
- gathering professional musicians, music critics, organisers and music promoters in one organisation, connected with jazz music;
- developing high quality jazz music and related genres;
- taking care of professional development of young musicians, journalists, organisers and the whole amateur jazz society in the region;
- representing artistic and business matters of members of the Association.
Silesian Jazz Club Music Association was established in 1956 and is the oldest jazz association in Poland. The history of SJC dates back to 1955, when a group of students of the Silesian University of Technology and graduates of the secondary music school decided to play jazz. At that time practicing jazz was not viewed in a positive light by the authorities. There were no independent student movements and clubs yet. By coincidence, at that time that the manager of the Culture House of Ironworks "Zabrze" was Mr. Jan Piotrowski: one of the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising. Finally, the young students came to him. And that’s how it started. The founding meeting of Silesian Jazz Club Music Association took place on 19th October 1956, and among the founders (in addition to the above-mentioned Jan Piotrowski) were:
Henryk Choliński - nicknamed Jazzscelency in the community - was the originator and co-producer of many music publishing houses and the author of radio programmes. At the beginning of the 70s, Choliński developed eighty-one broadcasts from the series "All recordings of Charlie Parker", broadcasted by Polish Radio III. For this series he received an award (the best publication about jazz in the category of radio and television programmes) in 1978.
Tadeusz Kosiński - he was taught to play piano by his mother (who was a pianist graduate from Lviv Conservatoire). He later received a thorough musical education as a student of music professors: Jerzy Żurawlew (creator of the Chopin Competition) and Jan Bielecki. In 1957 he participated in the 2nd International Jazz Festival in Sopot.
He took part in movies, for example: "Nobody calls", "Tarpana" by Kazimierz Kutz, "How to be loved" by Wojciech Jerzy Has. Since the 70s. he lived in Jelenia Góra, where he created the largest jazz music project in this city, i.e. the Krokus Jazz Festival.
Jan Kwaśnicki – in the years 1959-62 his ensemble, Polish Modern Jazz Quartet, was counted among the top jazz bands in Poland, while Kwaśnicki himself joined the exclusive Friends of Music USA created by Willis Conover. This quartet was one of the first Polish jazz bands in the times of communistic Polish People’s Republic that went on tour behind the iron curtain (in 1960).
The organization was a concert agency for the High Society Band (the best Polish traditional jazz band in the 60s and 70s), the Kwadrat group, the Bednarek - Zgraja duo, and for some time even the Dżem band. Many radio and television programmes in the 70s were broadcasted in cooperation with SJC or created independently by the Association. For many years SJC cooperated with Katowice Television, often producing programmes ordered by Polish TV.
During its existence SJC it has created an enormous amount of events, concerts, festivals and other projects, like publishing records, organising international tours, etc.
Silesian Jazz Club's recent projects:
The JAZZtrzębie Festival is a series of meetings, lectures, exhibitions, workshops and concerts promoting jazz music as a symbol of artistic integration, freedom and creativity. The project is organized under the auspices of UNESCO, as part of the International Jazz Day celebrated around the world. The project takes place in the city of Jastrzębie Zdrój.
www.jazztrzebie.eu / facebook.com/jazztrzebie / instagram.com/jazztrzebiefestiwal
Jazz Thursday with a Star It’s a concert series in Silesia organised continuously since April 2002 (i.e. for nearly 18 years). The idea of the cycle is a presentation of the greatest artists of the world jazz scene in intimate chamber hall and clubs and therefore allowing a very close contact between the artist and the recipient. The series aims to present great names and the diversity of the genre as well, referring both to traditional forms and also those seeking new tracks, new influences and inspirations, not avoiding experiment.
www.czwartekjazzowy.pl / facebook.com/czwartekjazzowy / instagram.com/czwartekjazzowy/
Jazz in Ruins
It’s a festival of young rising stars of jazz and improvised music and of a young wave of graphic and poster creators from around the world. The festival is a platform for understanding between music and graphics, as young rising stars appear among both musicians and graphic designers. The future belongs to them, so we might say that… Jazz in Ruins is the future. And an original and ambitious cultural product, the only such project on a national scale.
Why young jazz in ruins?
First of all, we are delighted with the renovation of historical and post-industrial facilities in Silesia. We deeply believe in the sense of their revitalization and bringing them back to life. Hence, we want to appear in such proverbial "ruins" to fill them with youthful energy.
Secondly, often in the history of jazz new phenomena were considered ... the end of jazz. This was the case with be-bop, free jazz, etc. And yet the history has shown that this end was the beginning of something new, but still rooted in jazz. Hence the so-called “ruins” seem to be the perfect place for a festival with an idea of showing how young artists understand jazz today.
www.jazzwruinach.pl / facebook.com/jazzwruinach / instagram.com/jazzinruins twitter.com/jazzwruinach /
In 2012, the Silesian Jazz Club Music Association began to return to its publishing traditions. And immediately it has become the publisher or co-publisher of several positions (CDs and book publications). SJC is also a partner or patron of several record releases.
PROJECTS ESTABLISED BY SJC
Some of the mentioned-below projects still exist, but are no longer organised by SJC.
Boom Jazz - one of the oldest jazz festivals in Silesian region, organized by Silesian Jazz Club in cooperation with the student club Gwarek. Its first edition took place on 12-17 November 1973. The Jazz magazine wrote about Boom Jazz in 1976: "The climate of Boom Jazz is unique, as it is probably the only jazz event in the country with such atmosphere - extremely rare at festivals and concerts organized for the mass audience - the atmosphere of full contact between the spectator and the musician. This amazing atmosphere is what makes Boom Jazz festival so significant. It is the reason why Polish jazzmen know this name very well, and quickly head out to Gliwice as soon as they hear about the next edition... "
Rawa Blues – in 1981 Silesian Jazz Club became a co-organizer of the 1st Rawa Blues Festival
in Katowice – an event which was created as a joint initiative of Ireneusz Dudek and Zbigniew Gocek, members of the Association. SJC was also the organizer of the 3rd and 4th edition of Rawa Blues.
The House of Creative Work of Silesian Jazz Club “Leśniczówka" – in 1983 SJC reached out to the blues and rock society. It was in this year that the House named “Leśniczówka” (meaning “forester's house”) was founded, in consultation with the Park of Culture and Recreation in Chorzów. It was the first “creative work house” established with blues/rock society in mind.
Metalmania - on the initiative of Tomasz Dziubiński, a member of the Association, the Metalmania festival was founded in 1986. Silesian Jazz Club was a co-organizer (together with "SPODEK" Sports Hall in Katowice) of the 1st Metalmania Festival and its several subsequent editions.
It can be added that Silesian Jazz Club co-organized the festival in Jarocin in 1988 and (together with TVP Katowice) the National Jazz Improvisation Competition in 1981, which took place at the Silesian Philharmonic.
International Jazz Integrations, Big-Band Workshops Krzeszowice - several editions in cooperation with the State Primary Music School in Krzeszowice and the City of Krzeszowice (near Kraków).
The "Autumn triad SILESIAN VOICES - Jastrzębie-Zdrój 2012" – a festival for singers and about singers. The project was co-financed by the City Council of Jastrzębie Zdrój and its events were organised in various places of the Silesian agglomeration.