July 2017 saw the Stanisław Słowiński Quintet back on tour in China. The Kraków-based band gave seven concerts in Lanzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an. The shows were a part of the Jazz Po Polsku project and the Season of Culture – a programme of the Chinese Ministry of Culture promoting the 16+1 initiative aimed at enhancing collaboration between China and Central and Eastern European countries, as well as the idea of the new Silk Road.
Stanisław Słowiński Quintet arrived in China on 5th July. The tour kicked off in Lanzhou, a city by the Yellow River, the capital of Gansu Province situated in the north-western part of China. On 8th July, the Quintet performed in the province’s largest venue: the Lanzhou Music Hall. The musicians played a total of four shows at the China-CEEC Art Festival in Lanzhou. Next, the band gave concerts on 12th July in Xi’an (Meeting Jazz Club), on 13th July in Shanghai (JZ Club) and a day later in Beijing (DDC Club). The SSQ members participating in the tour were: Stanisław Słowiński – violin, Zbyszek Szwajdych – trumpet, Joachim Mencel – piano, Justyn Małodobry – double bass and Piotr Budniak – drums.
The tour was the band’s second visit to China. After the success at the Nine Gates festival in 2016, this time they performed in China at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Culture. The SSQ’s concerts were part of the 16+1 international project (China-CEEC – China and Central and Eastern European Countries), whose main idea is the bilateral collaboration between China and the countries from Central and Eastern Europe. The initiative also promotes the new Silk Road (The Belt and Road Initiative), which aims at creating a fast transport network connecting China with, among others, the EU countries. The year-round Season of Culture has been arranged in China in order to host numerous events, such as concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions etc. Apart from Polish groups, it is participated by artists from 15 other European countries.
The SSQ shows were held as part of the 4th Jazz Po Polsku tour in China. Since 2014 the project has already organised sixty events in fifteen Chinese cities. In 2017 yet another four tours are planned. Jazz Po Polsku presents a wide spectrum of young Polish jazz musicians, helps in establishing cultural collaboration and integrates artists from many countries.
Stanisław Słowiński is one of the most active musicians on the Polish scene. As a frontman in his own projects, a sideman and a session musician, he gives over a hundred concerts a year, visiting club and festival scenes around the world, including Chile, China, South Korea, Iceland, Spain, Serbia and Hungary. He has won many awards, including the 39. Jazz Juniors Grand Prix and the Audience Prize at the 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition. He debuted with Landscapes Too Easy To Explain, his own material recorded with the Quintet, which was granted international distribution through Hevhetia label. The album met an incredibly warm response from fans and critics alike. The Chinese tour saw the band performing for the first time the tracks from their upcoming album Visions | Between Love And Death.
The concerts were organised in collaboration with the Chinese Jazz Association (CJA), the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Polish Institute in Beijing.
Sources: press materials, jazzpopolsku.pl, 29 Jun 2017