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Mikołaj Trzaska

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(born in 1966)

Icon of jazz avant-garde in Poland. Associated with Gdańsk, although he makes close and distant musical journeys in search of a common denominator between jazz and contemporary improvised music. Saxophonist, bass clarinettist and composer, who was raised on yass music, an artistic and social movement that rebelled against the stagnation in the Polish jazz community at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. Together with a group of friends–musicians, he changed the face of Polish jazz music. Trzaska was a co-founder of the most important yass formation – the legendary Miłość –and the equally creative Łoskot. Although the impetus of yass is long gone, the artist, thanks to his unique musical language, has become a significant figure on the international improvised music scene. Today he is the leader of the clarinet quartet Ircha, an international quartet Inner Ear, a member of the Details In The Air trio, which he co-creates with Ken Vandermark and Michał Górczyński, as well as the Jewish music trio Shofar with Raphael Rogiński and Macio Moretti; he has also collaborated with Joe McPhee on the Magic project. He fulfils his musical calling by playing radical contemporary free jazz. He travels around the world, collaborating with the world’s most eminent improvisers, such as Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Steve Swell, Tim Daisy, Peter Friis Nielsen, Per-Åke Holmlander, Clementine Gasser, Peter Ole Jorgensen, Michael Zerang, Franz Houtzinger, Jay Rosen, Domik Duval and Mark Sanders. He also composes film music, collaborating regularly with director Wojciech Smarzowski. Winner of Eagles – Polish Film Awards for his soundtracks to Volhynia and Clergy directed by Smarzowski.