Born: August 18, 1940 Primary Instrument: Piano
Adam Makowicz - jazz legend, master of improvisation, piano virtuoso.
European Jazz Forum magazine voted Adam a Number One Jazz Pianist six years successively. Decorated with the Officer's Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland and many other important and respected acknowledgments, he has recorded several dozens of albums and performed in the world's best concert venues, playing with the world's top musicians. Most recently Adam Makowicz joined the illustrious group of most influential polish emigrants in the 400 years history of the USA.
Makowicz was born in Czech Silesia to Polish parents. In 1946 his family returned to Poland. The first music teacher of the young Adam was his mother- herself a pianist and a singer.
Exceptionally talented Adam Makowicz was sent to a school for musically gifted children and subsequently to music schools in Rybnik, Katowice and Krakow. His parents' dream was for their son to become a classical pianist.
However, as a 15-year-old youngster Adam became fascinated with jazz.
In communist Poland jazz was a forbidden fruit, a product of the decadent West. That very music, which Makowicz himself calls the world of freedom and improvisation, fascinated him to such an extent that at the age of 18, he abandoned his school and family and chose his own way. The legendary jazz club Helicon in Krakow became his oasis.
Several years later Makowicz and Tomasz Stanko formed the Jazz Daring's - the first European jazz combo. Since the mid 70s Adam appeared regularly as a soloist, growing in recognition and respect in Europe.
In 1977, on the recommendation of Benny Goodman and jazz promoter Willis Conover, the legendary producer John Hammond invited Makowicz on a 10-week tour of the US. It was Conover's radio show Music USA-Jazz Hour that first exposed the young Makowicz to jazz as performed by the greatest stars from across the ocean. During this 10 weeks long tour Makowicz recorded his first American solo album, Adam (CBS Columbia).
Following year Adam returned to the US; this time on a six-month extended contract. Manhattan became Adam's new home.
All the legendary music venues opened their doors to him including New York's Carnegie Hall, Greenwich Village Cookery Club, Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island - just to mention a few.
Adam's first solo performance in Carnegie Hall took place in the course of the extraordinary concert honouring the memory of a great Errol Garner.
In 1981 the martial law was declared in Poland signalling the impending changes in the political system.
Adam, together with other Polish artists living in the US at the time, took part in the historically important TV show Let Poland be Poland; this event was initiated by the former President Ronald Reagan and was widely broadcasted all over the world.
Since the fall of the communism Makowicz visits and tours Poland and Europe frequently.
In the US he has played with the greatest musicians such as Benny Goodman, Herbie Hancock, Earl Hines, Freddie Hubbard, Sarah Vaughan, George Mraz, Al Foster, Jack DeJohnette, Teddy Wilson, Charlie Haden and George Shearing.
Adam performs solo recitals as well as concerts with orchestras; the National Symphony of Washington, the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Chester String Quartet, Amici String Quartet and many other chamber music groups.
His duet performance in September 2004 with Leszek Mozdzer at Carnegie Hall was very well received by the critics.This extraordinary duet between Adam, the piano Master veteran and rising Polish jazz star, Leszek Mozdzer, has been released as a live album.
In addition to his classical jazz repertoire, Makowicz often includes the classical music in his recital's repertoire. Especially the music of F. Chopin, whom, as Adam says, he absorbed in his youth and whose music he interprets in his own unique jazz fashion. Several CD's with jazz interpretations of Chopin's compositions are the only such releases in the United States.
1. Adam will make the history books.
Earl Fatha Hines
2. The most extraordinary piano talent in the last thirty years.
John Hammond, Columbia Records producer
3. Adam Makowicz is one of the three or four greatest living jazz pianists...
Alistair Cooke, PBS commentator
4. A rare artist who grips and holds attention, Makowicz handles the classics of the American songbook with an aplomb equal to the way he deals with the devastatingly complex structures of his own compositions. A gifted improviser with splendid technical prowess, the pianist can also offer warmth and affection in melodic lines, the balance of fine taste, pungent swing and a jubilant approach inevitably generating audience cheer.
Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star
5. Adam Makowicz is a magician of the keyboard.
W. Royal Stokes, Washington Post
Read more at: www.MakowiczJazz.com