piano, arranger, composer
|"...I was in the seventh or eighth grade and listened to the radio a
lot. I loved to chase different jazz programs all over the radio waves. This time though I heard 'Be-Bop' played by Bird 'n
Diz, then 'Groovin' High', then 'Little Rootie Tootie' from Town Hall. I was
hooked. This music entered into my soul deeply and permanently. Soon, I was
certain, I would be a jazz musican playnin' bebop."
Wojtek Groborz, son of a
well-known Polish classical trombonist, was born April 8, 1956,
in Krakow, Poland.
His first piano lessons were from his mother at the age of six. Later he
He graduated in 1981 from
the Krakow Music Academy. At the age of 14 he started learning jazz music
with the help of trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and violinist Zbiggy Seifert.
Since then, jazz has become his life's passion. During his school years he was
leading various groups (ranging in size from quartet to big-band), arranging,
composing and playing the piano.
His first professional
job was with Krakow's band Extra Ball led by guitar player Jarek
Smietana. This gig started in 1978
and was successfully
capped off by a U.S.A. coast-to-coast tour in 1980.
In the '80s he worked with numerous top Polish muscians, Janusz Muniak,
Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski, Henryk Majewski, among others. After 2
years with Przemek Gwozdziowski's group Axis, Wojtek decided to
lead his own group, After Action Satisfaction.
His group included: tenor player Maciek Sikala, trombonist Grzegorz
Nagorski, trumpeter Piotr Wojtasik, bassist Wojtek Niedziela and
drummers Jurek Glod and Krzysztof Zawadzki. A line-up which would
be considered an all-star band today.
In 1986 he
formed his own trio with an old friend and schoolmate, bassist Antoni Debski,
and drummer Jacek Pelc. Within only a few months of existence this group
played at every Polish jazz festival possible. They also recorded an LP, 'After
PSJ-187), which became a 'cult' record for many young musicans of its
Whenever it was economically possible, Wojtek loved to form big bands
with a strong hands-on influence. He not only wrote all the arrangements, but
also, conceptualized the whole performance while doing so.
he started playing with
the Jazz Band Ball Orchestra, which has eventually become his home base
band. As the JBBO pianist he's been extensively touring Europe-and-U.S.A.,
including many U.S.A. West Coast sites as well as Canada. Since the mid-'90s.
Currently Wojtek Groborz is back on the scene with a trio, The
Wojtek Groborz Trio, the most appropriate format for a jazz pianist. After
exploring a wide variety of jazz styles, he now presents the music he loved in
his early jazz days - bebop,
with touch of salsa. This reminds him of the words of Jelly Roll Morton:
"all good jazz has to have a 'Latin Tinge' - a rhythmic twist that adds a
visceral edge to the straight ahead jazz groove."
His major musical
influences are consistently the same: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie,
Bud Powell, Detroit piano players; Hank Jones, Barry Harris,
Tommy Flanagan and Thelonious Monk.
Wojtek says: "Be-bop
is my greatest musical love. Sometimes, like in life, I've would get
side-tracked, but always I would come back, to the be-bop track. It's naturally
unreformable, and I don't feel any need to change it. At least one thing's
really true in my life. Of course, what I play now is influenced by what I've
heard, lived, seen, felt and played throughout the years with many others and
all those things that happen along the way. I think now, I have something in my
heart and head to say..."
Wojtek Groborz was
fortunate to receive piano lessons from some jazz greats; his Master - Hal
Galper, his living Guru - Barry Harris, Kenny Warner and Michael
Wojtek is also passing the torch of the jazz tradition as well known jazz
teacher. He was a steady member of the clinician's team at the Summer Jazz
Workshops in Chodzierz, Poland in the '80s, as well as many other jazz
clinics around Poland. He shares a special kinship as one of the inspirational
founders of the workshop in Brzozow. His disciples include, among others, Kuba
Stankiewicz, Joachim Mencel and Bohdan Holownia.
The nonet ensemble musicians Wojtek leads:
Tomek Nowak - trpt
Andrzej Czechowski - t-bone
Ryszard Krawczuk - alto
Tomek Grzegorski - tenor
Leszek Szczerba - baritone
Tomasz Kupiec - bass
Wieslaw Jamiol - drs
Wojtek Groborz - arrangements, piano, lead
© 2000 Not
Yet Another BeBop Day
another Bebop day (W. Groborz) 4:48
De Force (D. Gillespie) 5:29
(C. Pozo, D. Gillespie, G. Fuller) 6:39
(D. Gillespie, C. Parker) 4:59
Tin Deo (C. Pozo, G. Fuller) 8:23
Line (W. Groborz) 4:32
Peanuts (K. Clarke, D. Gillespie) 3:29
Street Theme (T. Monk) 6:04
Folks (E. Hill,W. Robinson) 7:14
(J. Tizol) 4:36
(D. Gillespie) 4:16
En La Distancia (C. Portillo de la Luz) 6:36
Dedicated for Anna & Lukas S.
Wojtek Groborz - piano
Tomasz Kupiec - bass
Łukasz Żyta (tracks 1,2,4,6-11),
Wiesław Jamioł (tracks 3,5,12) - drums
Wojtek is available for trio
performances, as individual pianist and private teacher.
Wojtek Groborz offers lecture/demonstrations on topics such as history and the developing of jazz
0-12/632 87 36
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Last Modified Date: 23/01/2004