The O.N.E. Quintet is a fresh breeze of female energy in the Polish jazz scene. Five talented artists create modern jazz, inspired by folk and hip-hop music. In May 2020, the band presented their debut album entitled ‘ONE’.
The history of the quintet dates back to 2015. The band consists of five instrumentalists, all relatively young. Saxophonist Monika Muc has received the following awards: winner of the Breath of Young Jazz Competition Individual Award at the Krokus Jazz Festival 2017, runner-up at the Novum Jazz Festival 2018 and recipient of a distinction at the Blue Note Competition in Poznań in 2019. Violinist Dominika Rusinowska is a semi-finalist of the international Conad Jazz Contest in Bologna (together with the D.R.A.G. Quartet) and placed third at the Novum Jazz Festival. In 2016, she was the first female Polish musician to advance to the finals of the Zbigniew Seifert International Competition, where she also received the audience award.
Pianist and composer Paulina Atmańska is the winner of, amongst others, the third prize in the International B-Jazz Competition in Belgium (2016), the first prize at the Getxo Jazz Festival (2015), the second prize in the International Jazz Composition Competition (2016) and the Special Prize of the Polish Jazz Association (2019). Double bassist and composer Kamila Drabek is the winner of the Jazz Phonographic Debut Competition 2019. Her artistic output includes the album Muzyka Naiwna (Naïve Music, trans. MG), recorded with her own band Tercet Kamili Drabek (Kamila Drabek’s Trio), nominated for the Fryderyk 2020 Award in the Best Debut category. Drummer Patrycja Wybrańczyk is in her final year of studies at the Jazz Faculty of the Fryderyk Chopin State Music School Complex in the class of Krzysztof Gradziuk. In addition to her activities within the O.N.E. Quintet, she is also a member of the Petersson’s Lightroom Project – a trio inspired by Scandinavian jazz.
Muc and Drabek are graduates of the Academy of Music in Kraków, whilst Rusinowska and Atmańska received their musical education at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. All five artists, apart from their activities within the O.N.E. Quintet, actively participate in various musical and interdisciplinary projects associated with jazz, avant-garde and pop scenes. The main sources of inspiration for the members of the quintet are musicians such as Soweto Kinch, Krzysztof Komeda, Brad Mehldau, Zbigniew Seifert, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Adam Pierończyk, Charlie Haden czy Chris Dave.
The O.N.E. Quintet has joint stage experience as well. In 2018, the band performed during the finale of the Industriada Festival, taking part in the giant multimedia spectacle Kobiety Grają Industrię (Women Play Industria) set in a historic mine in Rybnik. The same year, the quintet performed during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Polish women gaining suffrage. In 2019, the quintet won a distinction at the Ladies Jazz Festival in Gdynia and a special award at the Krokus Jazz Festival in Jelenia Góra. Another of O.N.E. Quintet’s successes was reaching the final of the B-Jazz International Contest 2020, held annually as part of the Leuven Jazz Festival in Belgium. Unfortunately, the contest had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the artists had the opportunity to present themselves at the Jazz Jantar Festival. Czesław Romanowski commented:
[...] O.N.E. is jazz, jazz served in a modern way, with elements of hip hop and folk music, played with rock gusto, whilst these powerful, overlapping parts of the saxophone and the violin constitute a kind of new intriguing sound, a new quality.
In November 2019, O.N.E. Quintet recorded their debut album entitled ONE. It was recorded at Cavatina Non-Profit Studio in Bielsko-Biała. The album was released by label Audio Cave in May 2020. The band took its first steps on the scene back in 2015, so the artists had to wait some time before their first joint album saw the light of the day. On the other hand, the passing years undoubtedly allowed the young artists to mature musically, gain shared experience and inspiration. Pianist Pola Atmańska states:
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The fact that the album is being released only now is a result of a number of logistical difficulties – we studied at different universities, live in different cities, and each of us has our own music career... Then again, we knew from the very beginning that sooner or later our collaboration would culminate in a studio album. [...] We've been playing together for some years now – that time allowed us to get to know each other well and develop our own style. Our sound is difficult to pigeonhole, but it’s surely distinctive. I think that there is a lot of lyricism in it, but there’s also fire and strong, free sounds.
Amongst the seven tracks on the album, five are Atmańska's and Muc's own compositions. The listener will also find a folk-inspired piece (Drożyna) and a Polish jazz classic (Niekochana by Krzysztof Komeda). The album was enthusiastically received. In his review in Jazz Forum magazine, Bogdan Chmura wrote:
An excellent album – mature, uncompromising, refuting myths, breaking conventions. And, in a way, groundbreaking – I believe that this release will shake the Polish jazz scene.
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- 2020 – ONE (CD, Audio Cave)
Band’s website: https://facebook.com/O.N.E.Quintet/
Management & Booking:
Tel.: 0048 536 266 316
Source: press materials. Edited and translated by MG, August 2020.