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CCPS Lecture. Free Improvisation and Jazz Avant-Garde in Poland: From Tomasz Stańko to Mikołaj Trzaska

Maciej Lewenstein, professor of physics, Institut de Ciències Fotòniques
Thursday, February 18, 2021
12:00-1:20 PM
Off Campus Location
Maciej Lewenstein will present a historical review of free improvisation and jazz avant-garde, starting from the 1960s, as well as the early attempts to play free jazz by Tomasz Stańko or Leszek Żᶕdło. He will comment on the fusion-dominated 1970s and 1980s, then focus on the yass movement of the 1990s. The important role of the late Andrzej “Major” Przybielski will be stressed. He will sketch the present free improvisation scene in Poland, and describe a few of the leading figures of this scene: Mikołaj Trzaska, Rafał Mazur, Jerzy Mazzoll, Wacław Zimpel, Piotr Mełech, Paulina Owczarek, and more. The lecture will be illustrated with numerous musical examples. Maciej Lewenstein will also spend some time discussing the general condition of the Polish avant-garde: jazz clubs, concerts and festivals, as well as record labels.

Maciej Lewenstein graduated at Warsaw University in 1978 and joined the Centre for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He finished his PhD in Essen in 1983 and habilitated in 1986 in Warsaw. He was postdoc at Universitaet Essen, at Harvard University, at Commisariat a l'Énergie Atomique in Saclay, and at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics in Boulder. He was on faculty in Saclay (1995-98) and Leibniz University Hannover (1998-2005). In 2005, he moved to Catalonia as ICREA Professor to lead the quantum optics theory program at the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques in Castelldefels. His interests include quantum optics, quantum physics, quantum information, many body theory, and more. His other passion is jazz, and he is the author of Polish Jazz Recordings and Beyond.

Registration for this Zoom webinar is required at Register at

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Art, European, International, Jazz, Music, Poland
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Copernicus Center for Polish Studies, International Institute, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia