Saksofonista sopranowy i tenorowy, jedna z najważniejszych postaci w polskim jazzie.
Pierończyk was born on 24th January 1970. He started playing saxophone when he was 18. Four years later, he became a student of the Academy of Music in Essen. His music career started in Germany, where his first band Temathe was established. He returned to Poland in 1994 and quickly found himself in the midst of a group of the most active and innovative musicians of the younger generation. In 1996, he was invited by Leszek Możdżer to record his album "Talk to Jesus". The duo made their mark in the history of Polish jazz thanks to an enthusiastically received series of concerts and critically acclaimed concert albums – "19-9-1999" and "Live in Sofia". The latter was recognised as the best jazz album of the year by Jazz Forum magazine.
Adam Pierończyk is not only an exquisite saxophonist but also a music personality strong enough to take up the challenge of leading his own bands. He made his debut in this role in 1997, recording "Few Minutes in Space". Two generations of Polish jazzmen met on that album, including Zbigniew Namysłowski – the idol of Pierończyk’s youth. The saxophonist came to be called the biggest hope of Polish jazz scene, which was confirmed by his first nomination for a Fryderyk Award.
Pierończyk’s position was strengthened by his next albums, recorded for renowned German label PAO Records. "Digivooco", published in 2001 and recorded with special guest saxophonist Gary Thomas, was a tribute to electronic music. His subsequent album, "Amusos", featured Mina Agassi, a singer from Benin. His next two albums, "Busem Po São Paulo" (Bus Ride Through São Paulo, trans. MG) and its concert version "Live in Berlin", were released by another German label – Meta Records. Both of them were well received in Poland and abroad, consolidating Pierończyk’s position as one of the most innovative artists in Europe.
In 2010, Pierończyk signed a contract with prestigious Berlin-based label Jazzwerkstatt. "El Buscador", his first album for the label, was recorded together with famed double bassist Anthony Cox. It was nominated for a 2011 Fryderyk Award. Another album recorded for Jazzwerkstatt was "The Planet Of Eternal Life", a solo recital for soprano saxophone, performed by the artist in June 2013 in Peitz on the occasion of the label’s 50th anniversary.
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His next album, "KOMEDA – The Innocent Sorcerer", attracted especially widespread interest. It was unique in several regards. Pierończyk performed pieces composed by someone else for the first time, and more importantly, the interpretation included no piano. The experiment, however risky, turned out to be a success. The album was hailed as the best interpretation of Krzysztof Komeda’s music since Tomasz Stańko’s "Litania" (Litany, trans. MG), and Pierończyk was acclaimed as a visionary, by, among others, critics from the American PopMatters magazine and the world-famous All About Jazz portal. It received five Fryderyk Awards nominations and was recognised as the best jazz album of the year, while Pierończyk won in the Jazz Musician of the Year category.
Pierończyk’s collaboration with Miroslav Vitous, a world-renowned double bassist who has recorded with, among others, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul, turned out to be especially fruitful. Their first album, "Wings", was nominated for the 2016 Fryderyk Awards in the Jazz Album of the Year category, and Pierończyk also received a nomination for Artist of the Year. The second album by the duo, "Ad-lib Orbitis", was released by Austrian label PAO Records and contains 16 improvised pieces composed by the two musicians, recorded in a studio owned by Vitous.
Over the more than two decades of his musical activity, Adam Pierończyk – once perceived as the biggest hope of the Polish jazz scene – has become one of its greatest representatives. He performs all over the world, and has regularly won Jazz Forum’s annual poll in the Best Soprano Saxophonist of the Year category since 2003. His solo albums are as impressive as those releases on which he performs as a sideman. He has played and recorded with an array of brilliant jazz musicians, including Gary Thomas, Anthony Cox, Michel Donato, Andrzej Cudzich, the Oleś brothers, Vitold Rek, Wolfgang Pushnig, Herb Robertson, Mircea Tiberian, Maurice de Martin, Jacek Kochan, Ed Schuller, Anna Serafińska, Nelson Veras, Sam Rivers, Greg Osby, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Trilok Gurtu, Ted Curson, Lage Lund, Orlando le Fleming, Joe Martin, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Avishai Cohen, Tomasz Stańko, Archie Shepp, Bobby McFerrin, and Joey Calderazzo. He has performed in clubs and at festivals in Europe (Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Ukraine) and on other continents (in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Israel, the United States). In August 2019, Pierończyk performed at the Show of Hands Festival in Tehran.
Pierończyk also composes music for theatre performances, such as "Śmierdź W Górach" (Death in the Mountains, trans. MG) directed by Konrad Imiela and Cezary Studniak (2006), "Stalker" directed by Jakub Roszkowski (2012), "Szwejk: Na Tyłach" (Švejk. Behind the Lines, trans. MG) directed by Adam Walny (2013). In 2004-2005 he was the artistic director of Jazz aux Oudayas and Jazz Au Chellah festivals in Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. From 2011 to 2015 he worked as the artistic director of the Sopot Jazz Festival. From 2019 he took up the positions of artistic director and resident artist of the Jazz Juniors Festival in Kraków.
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• Adam Pierończyk / Miroslav Vitous – Ad-lib Orbitis (PAO, 2017)
• Adam Pierończyk – Monte Albán (Jazzsound, 2016) – nominated for a 2017 Fryderyk Award (Best Jazz Album of the Year)
• Adam Pierończyk / Miroslav Vitous – Wings (For Tune, 2015) – nominated for a 2017 Fryderyk Award (Best Jazz Album of the Year)
• Adam Pierończyk – Migratory Poets feat. Anthony Joseph (For Tune, 2015)
• Adam Pierończyk Quartet – A-Trane Nights (For Tune, 2014)
• Adam Pierończyk – The Planet of Eternal Life (Jazzwerkstatt, 2013)
• Adam Pierończyk Quintet – Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011) – 2011 Fryderyk Award (Best Jazz Album of the Year)
• Borys Szyc / Adam Pierończyk – Gajcy (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego, 2010)
• Adam Pierończyk Quartet – El Buscador (Jazzwerkstatt, 2010) – nominated for a 2011 Fryderyk Award (Best Jazz Album of the Year)
• Adam Pierończyk Trio – Live at A38 (SPV Records, 2008)
• Adam Pierończyk Trio – Live in Berlin (Meta Records, 2007)
• Adam Pierończyk Trio – Busem Po Sao Paulo (PAO, 2006)
• Adam Pierończyk – Amusos (PAO, 2003)
• Adam Pierończyk – Digivooco feat. Gary Thomas (PAO, 2001)
• Adam Pierończyk Trio – Few Minutes In The Space (GOWI Records, 1997) – nominated for a 1997 Fryderyk Award (Best Jazz Album of the Year)
With Leszek Możdżer:
• Leszek Możdżer Sextet – Talk To Jesus (GOWI Records, 1996)
• Anniversary Concert In Hestia (DUX, 1996)
• Live In Sofia (Not Two, 1998) – nominated for a 1998 Fryderyk Award (Best Jazz Album of the Year)
• 19-9-99 (Not Two, 2003)
As band co-leader:
• Pierończyk / Fink / deMartin – Plastinated Black Sheep (Meta Records 2001)
• Pierończyk / Kochan / Schuller – Plastinated Black Sheep (Not Two/Hi-Fi I Muzyka, 1999)
• Temathe – Water Conversations (Temathe, 1996)
• INTERZONE plays with Adam Pierończyk (Not Two, 2000)
• Transylvanian Grace (Not Two, 2002)
• Shinning Of The Abbys (Jam Records, 2004)
• Tadeusz Sudnik – Tadeusz Sudnik & His Friends In Art (Audio Cave, 2017)
• Andy Manndorff – Up To Scratch (Emarcy, 2005)
• Chromosomos – Ultra Project (AMM, 2000)
• East/West Wind – Live (Taso Music, 1998)
• Andrzej Cudzich – Simple Way (CD Sound 1998)
Artist’s websites: adampieronczyk.com, facebook.com/AdamPieronczyk
Originally written in Polish by jazzarium.pl, December 2013; translated and updated by MG, September 2019.