Last week Wrocław Culture Zone lifted the shroud of secrecy from the programme of the 55th edition of Jazz on the Odra Festival. In April 2019, we are going to see Jazzmeia Horn – an American singer dubbed “the jazz voice of her generation”, winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition – in Wrocław. Her debut album Social Call was nominated for 2017 Grammy Award in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. The second name revealed by Wrocław Culture Zone is Keyon Harrold – an American trumpeter, whom Wynton Marsalis himself proclaimed “the future and hope of the trumpet.” The list of his skills is just as outstanding as the list of artists with whom he worked thus far, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Gregory Porter, 50 Cent and Mac Miller.
The first announcement is related to the upcoming Christmas and the opportunity to purchase special tickets. “Some people suggested that we should make cultural Christmas tickets available for them to buy. And so, we decided that a pass for the anniversary edition of the festival will be a great idea for a Christmas present. Five concert-filled days featuring world-class jazz musicians make for a perfect gift for every music lover,” says Krzysztof Maj, General Director of the Wrocław Culture Zone.
What is more, this year, the details of other anniversary edition concerts will be revealed gradually. “On the one hand, fifty-five years suggests tradition and well-developed methods, but on the other, it inspires us to look for new ways to create the image of the event. Following the example of much younger festivals, we want to generate some hype with new announcements. We already have a lot of surprises in store for you: Leszek Możdżer, the artistic director of the festival, will appear on stage twice, including in a special project with a certain American female artist, a Polish musician is going to premiere his album during his concert, we are also going to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Krzysztof Komeda’s death,” he added.
Grammy Award nominated vocalist Jazzmeia Horn has a name that speaks for itself, capturing her very essence. Since winning the Thelonious Monk Competition in 2015, Jazzmeia’s star has continued to rise, along with her reputation as an artist with an assured maturity and a vocal confidence far beyond her years. JazzTimes exclaims that Jazzmeia’s “vivacity, imagination, gutsiness and sociopolitical savvy echo the likes of Carter and Abbey Lincoln. Simply put, she is as exciting a discovery as Cécile McLorin Salvant or Gregory Porter.” Her debut album, A Social Call, was released on Concord’s Prestige label to overwhelming acclaim from critics and fans alike, earning Jazzmeia her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Great story-telling, an inspired message, fluid vocals, scat-singing, and spirited group performances – A Social Call features all one would hope to hear from a veteran vocalist of longstanding reputation. As such, the album serves as a clarion call, proudly announcing the arrival of a young, confident musical talent with a bright future ahead of her, blessed with a name that carries its own destiny. Jazzmeia looks forward to her sophomore release in early summer 2019.
Grammy Award-winning artist, whom Wynton Marsalis himself proclaimed “the future and hope of the trumpet.” He is one of the most valued American trumpeters. Harrold grew up one of 16 children in a family that prioritized music and community across generations. His grandfather was a police officer who retired from the force to found a drum and bugle corps for local youth, both of his parents were pastors, and nearly all of his siblings sing and perform music today. Culture shock hit Harrold hard at 18, when he left Ferguson for New York City to enroll in The New School. In New York, he landed his first major gig with Common, an experience which he says broadened his musical horizons beyond jazz to include funk, Afrobeat, R&B, and hip hop. The list of artists he has worked with includes Rihanna, Beyoncé, Eminem, Gregory Porter and Mac Miller. The artist has already performed in Poland at Szczecin Jazz Festival and European Music Fair. He worked with Beyoncé on “Back Up”, which was featured on her second solo album, B’Day. He met with 50 Cent, the author of the famous hit song “Candy Shop” in 2007 to work on the rapper’s third album, Curtis. Together, they worked on “Touch The Sky”, featuring Tony Yayo. Harrold also collaborated with JAY- Z, one of the world’s most important figures of the hip-hop world, on his song “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…)” featured on American Gangster.