Even though nowadays it may seem unbelievable, the issue of female presence in the world of jazz hasn’t been always so obvious. “I am the show” Miles Davies once declared, and most probably a lot of time will pass until a woman utters a similar statement. The heroines of the concert “Ladies and jazz” stand quite firm on the shoulders of their great predecessors: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. The vocalist of the ensemble the Marita Alban Juarez Quartet takes quite a lot of from the rich tradition of female swing.
The Polish-Peruvian ensemble was established by Marita and percussionist Jose Manuel in 2011. The exquisite jazz of the ensemble, which is made up of Jose Manuel (percussion), Dominik Wania (piano) and Andrzej Święs (bass), constitutes a warm and natural surrounding for the vocalist’s velvety voice. The meeting of these musicians, anyway was… just like a revelation (Marita’s words). What was necessary was not only ideal harmony, but also a common understanding of Afro-Peruvian musical tradition. Delicate colours, so to speak, ethnic concord with the jazz sound determine the unique climate and atmosphere which Marita Alban Juarez Quartet creates.
Jazz Tuesday at the Philharmonic features as well the project Marilyn Mazur’s Shamania. Born in New York, but an artist living in Denmark since childhood, says she is of Polish-African origin. As a talented self-taught she developed quite dynamically, to finally without much effort get a degree at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Marilyn Mazur’s orchestra is a lively organism led by a frontwoman who is a percussionist. The unconsumed energy and magnitudes of interests (percussion, composition, singing and dancing) of the ensemble’s leader results in a long impressive list of projects. She has cooperated with such legends as Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, Jan Garbarek and Miles Davies. She has stolen a bit of the show from the last one...
A person who had no problems with women in jazz was Miles Davis, with whom Marilyn Mazur performed.
Mikołaj Rykowski PhD
Musicologist and clarinetist, doctorate, and associate at the Department Music Theory at the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań. Author of a book and numerous articles devoted to the phenomenon of Harmoniemusik - the 18th-century practice of brass bands. Co-author of the scripts "Speaking concerts" and author of the spoken introductions to philharmonic concerts in Szczecin, Poznań, Bydgoszcz and Łódź.