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Wojtek Groborz
piano, arranger, composer

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"...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 studied
cello, piano and trombone

H
e 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 Action' (Poljazz PSJ-187), which became a 'cult' record for many young musicans of its time. 

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.

In 1987 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 Weiss

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:

Bogdan Wysocki - trpt
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


March 2000 
© 2000 Not Two Records

Wojtek Groborz Trio
Yet Another BeBop Day

1.  Yet another Bebop day (W. Groborz) 4:48
2.  Tour De Force (D. Gillespie) 5:29
3.  Manteca (C. Pozo, D. Gillespie, G. Fuller) 6:39
4.  Anthropology (D. Gillespie, C. Parker) 4:59
5.  Tin Tin Deo (C. Pozo, G. Fuller) 8:23
6.  Decoy's Line (W. Groborz) 4:32
7.  Salt Peanuts (K. Clarke, D. Gillespie) 3:29
8.  52nd Street Theme (T. Monk) 6:04
9.  Old Folks (E. Hill,W. Robinson) 7:14
10. Perdido (J. Tizol) 4:36
11. Be-Bop (D. Gillespie) 4:16
12. Contigo 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 improvisation.

Contacts and information:
Wojtek Groborz
Cracow,Poland
0-12/632 87 36
email: groborz@kompit.com.pl
web: http://www.kompit.com.pl/groborz



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