10 January 2022, 7:30 p.m.
The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
The Concert Hall

Piotr Baron | tenor saxophone
Łukasz Żyta | jazz drum kit
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Marek Wroniszewski | conductor

Krzysztof Herdzin – Tribute to Stan Getz (2021), suite for tenor saxophone, string quintet, harp and jazz drum set, written for Piotr Baron
Eddie Sauter – Focus (1961), suite for tenor saxophone, string quintet, harp and jazz drum kit, written for Stan Getz

Symphonic concert in the Young Stage series




Piotr Baron – photo Magdalena Adamczewska; Łukasz Żyta – photo Maria Jarzyna; Marek Wroniszewski – photo Piotr Banasik


This extraordinary concert will be held in memory of one of unquestionably the greatest saxophonists in the history of jazz – Stan Getz, whose 30th death anniversary was celebrated in 2021. Focused on bebop and cool jazz genres, he played mainly the tenor saxophone, delighting the audience with his virtuosity and particular beauty of sound. He brought Brazilian bossa nova to the attention of a worldwide audience and popularised works by artists such as João Gilberto through his excellent arrangements. Focus is the title of his outstanding album produced in 1961 in collaboration with the great composer and arranger of the swing era, Eddie Sauter. Sauter created the orchestral parts, yet did not write down the details of the saxophone parts – these were improvised by Getz himself during the recording sessions, while Piotr Baron will creatively refer to them in his own improvisations during the concert. The beginning of the first piece, I’m Late, I’m Late, is particularly interesting, as it contains a quotation from Béla Bartók’s famous Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta.

Although the term “the icon of Polish jazz” is sometimes overused, for Krzysztof Herdzin it is fully justified and deserved. This pianist, chamber musician, conductor, composer, arranger, band leader, producer and university lecturer – belongs to the finest musicians of his generation, and although he is usually associated with the jazz stage, he is equally active in the field of classical music (as a well-educated graduate of the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz, including the Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń’s piano class) and pop. His own discography includes 20 albums. He has also been involved in recording of over 200 CDs acting in various roles – to date, he has received eighteen Gold Records for arranger and five Platinum Records. He is the first Polish composer to have recorded a monographic album Suite On Polish Themes with one of the world’s most famous orchestras – the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for London DECCA label. Our Orchestra performed excerpts from this work and others by Herdzin at a concert in December 2019, and now we meet again on the occasion of the eagerly awaited premiere of his new composition “from the borderline between two superpowers”: the Tribute to Stan Getz suite dedicated to Piotr Baron. This piece also recalls the particularly important role that this great American played in the formation of the Polish jazz stage in its particularly creative era at the turn of the 1950s/60s, and the great event that Getz’s performance in 1960 was, when he played with Andrzej Dąbrowski, Roman Dyląg and Andrzej Trzaskowski and when “iconic” Stan Getz in Poland album was released.

The concert will be an opportunity for the two heads of the Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra to perform together. Its director, Piotr Baron, has been a leading figure on the Polish jazz stage for decades, and although he successfully uses different types of saxophones, in the “Jazz Top” survey conducted by “Jazz Forum” magazine he was considered a master especially in the category of tenor and soprano saxophone, while owing to the beauty of his tone he can be considered an heir to Stan Getz’s style. The conductor that night will be Piotr Baron’s deputy, Marek Wroniszewski, counted among the most interesting conducting personalities of his generation. The prominent percussion parts will be performed by one of the most renowned and titled Polish virtuosos of this instrument, Łukasz Żyta.

Organiser: The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Katowice