Stories From The Eastern West

Marek Pędziwaitr

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Episode notes

In Marek Pędziwiatr there is a connection between the past and the present. The history of jazz and the African American musicians, who created it, and Polish innovators from Chopin through Krzysztof Komeda and Niemen. Marek is a hub, a central force pulling his golden threads of jazz, hip-hop, classical music, avant-garde, and Slavic folk. But his interest in weaving these genres together is driven by the human experience. 

Marek is an award-winning musician and composer now based in Wrocław. His background in the 90s scene of sampling, rapping, and beat music has blossomed into a sophisticated and authentic jazz that crosses boundaries. He is co-founder of the trio Night Marks, the avant-garde improvised music collective Błoto, and EABS (Electro-Acoustic Beat Sessions). He has played with an incredible array of international musicians and his production work includes producing with Michał Urbaniak, a major figure in jazz fusion, on albums such as “Beats and Pieces” by Urbanator Days. 

Like Michał, emotion is a vital aspect in every piece that Marek composes. The identification of this almost mystical quality of melancholy in Slavic culture, explored by generations of Polish artists, also fascinates Marek. And in the interview, he speaks about the importance of feeling in the music he is drawn to. And how he developed the opening of the composition he discusses from his album Slavic Spirits from 2019. 

Stories of his own ancestry, poetic symbols, philosophies, and the expression of the complex emotion of being human run parallel to other incentives in his music. There is a deep learning he has gained through the tributes EABS has made such as the “Memorial to Miles” at the Jazz Festival in Kielce in 2015 and the unique Sun Ra with EABS’ album “Discipline of Sun Ra” in 2020. There is a clear celebration of these influences and their ability to simply communicate the human spirit in Marek’s music and in his eloquent way of speaking about it. 

Music from the episode

Przywitanie Słońca from the EABS album ‘Slavic Spirits’’

Further reading Further watching Credits

This episode of Rebel Spirits was hosted by Debra Richards. The show is brought to you by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Written and produced by Magdalena Stępień & Wojciech Oleksiak

Executive production by Move Me Media

Edited by Wojciech Oleksiak

Design by Dawid Ryski

Scoring & sound design by Wojciech Oleksiak


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