Photo © Magdalena Adamczewska
Born on Jan. 5, 1961, Piotr Baron had his musical debut in 1977. The next year he was distinguished as an artist and in 1980 was awarded the 2nd Prize at the Jazz nad Odrą Festival. In 1984, he won the Grand Prix at the Jazz Aldia Festival in San Sebastian, Spain. He received his MA degree at the Karol Lipiński Musical Academy in Wrocław, Poland. Throughout his over a 40-year-long musical career, he played with the most outstanding jazz artists of Poland, Europe, and the US, such as Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko, Henryk Majewski, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Jarosław Śmietana, Wojciech Karolak, Zbigniew Lewandowski, Kazimierz Jonkisz, Krzesimir Dębski, Janusz Muniak, Tomasz Szukalski, Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz, Piotr Wojtasik, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Bo Stief, Jasper Van’t Hof, Ray Charles, Art Farmer, Al Porcino, Billy Harper, David Murray, Kevin Mahogany, Victor Lewis, Roy McCurdy, John Hicks, Jon Mayer, Eddie Henderson, Gary Smulyan, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Carter Jefferson, Bobby Watson, Kei Akagi, Larry Koonse, Joe LaBarbera, Charlie Shoemake, Mark Soskin, Kevin Hays, Billy Hart, Harvie Swartz, David Friesen, Clarence Seay, Ed Schuller, John Betsch, Wadada Leo Smith, Ronnie Burrage, Greg Bandy, Malcolm Pinson, Skip Hadden, Steve McCraven, Wayne Bartlett, Carlos Johnson and Karen Edwards. In 1998 in Stockholm, he played the first alto saxophone in the EBU Big Band. He also partook in a number of cross-over jazz and symphonic musical events, among others the Cezary Duchnowski Monady Series, the Scenes from Macondo Symphonic Poem by Jacek Niedziela-Meira, the Looking for Balance Suite by Krzysztof Herdzin, also performed Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Consort 415 ensemble.
He was a sideman on over a hundred records. Piotr Baron has eleven CDs of his own under his belt: Take One (1995), Tango (1996), Blue Rain (1997), Bogurodzica (2000), Reference (2004), Salve Regina (2007), Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus (2008), Kaddish (2011), Jazz na Hrade (2012), Wodecki Jazz (2019) and Moniuszko Jazz (2021). For a quarter century he has been short-listed for the winner of the Jazz Top Poll of the “Jazz Forum Magazine”, which he won in 2015 in the baritone sax category. As the musician of the year 2000, 2004, and 2009, he was nominated for the prestigious Fryderyk Award. Likewise his Bogurodzica and Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus CDs were nominated as the CDs of their respective years.
Piotr Baron is the endorser of Cannonbal Musical Instruments, Drake Mouthpieces, and D’Addario Woodwinds. He was awarded the Gloria Artis Bronze and Silver Medals, the Merito de Wratislavia Medal, and the Golden Badge of the Polish Jazz Society. He has musical scores to his credit for the theaters, such as the Wrocław Puppet Theater, the National Stary Theater of Kraków, the Dramatic Theater of Słupsk, the Współczesny Theater of Wrocław and the National Reading 2020. As a pedagogue, he has lectured and taught saxophone, jazz harmony and improvisation at the Jazz Faculty of University of Applied Sciences in Nysa (until now), at the Wrocław School of Jazz and Popular Music, as well as in the Jazz Stream of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Zielona Góra. He has held open jazz lectures at the US University of California Irvine, the California Institute of The Arts in Valencia, at the Ankara Bilkent University, at the Kunst Universitaet of Graz in Austria, conducted master classes at summer jazz workshops in the Prague (CZ), Lvov (UA), and many Polish cities.
From 1994 to 2011, Piotr Baron ran his auteur program on the Polish Radio in Wrocław, and from 2012 to 2020 in the radioJAZZ.fm. He has written music reviews and articles (in the “Jazz Forum Magazine” among others) and is the writer of a dozen scientific publications.
From December 2015 to August 2018, he worked at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as an advisor to the Undersecretary of State and Deputy Head of the Department. In September 2018, he was appointed chief-director of the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra.