May 28, 2024

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Anna Maria Jopek is original, unique, different … Video

14.12. – Happy Birthday !!! ”I couldn’t think of anything more inspiring, motivating and ear opening than working with Pat. He’s been my first and most important mentor for years, but to actually make music with him was the most thrilling experience in my life…” – Anna Maria Jopek commented on their project.

“Anna Maria Jopek and Friends with Pat Metheny: Upojenie” – the unique, one of the kind tribute to the master composer, guitarist, 15 time Grammy Award Winner became an instant classic, selling over 80,000 copies in thirty days.

The Universal recording artist is a classically trained pianist and graduated from Chopin’s Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. After briefly studying in Manhattan School of Music’s Jazz Department Anna decided not to play Mozart concertos anymore and trade her beloved Ravel for Keith Jarrett. Philharmonic Hall for a small, smoky clubs and theatres.

“Please do not file my music under jazz” – Anna Maria Jopek says, though. “Nor under pop, folk…whatever. I embrace a lot of influences. Jazz is by far the most important in its freedom, its harmony and its sense of time, but I was brought up with the old Polish folk songs. So I’m kind of rooted here in all these Slavic landscapes and sounds”.

With 10 albums of her own Anna Maria Jopek performed and recorded with all the important artists in Poland including numerous concerts and recordings with an ECM-based trumpeter Tomasz Stańko. During the Jazz Jamboree International Festival 40th Anniversary Gala in 1998 she performed with the one of the greatest jazz musicians of our time: Joe Lovano. In 2003 at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, invited by the First Family Anna gave a small recital broadcasted live and dueted with the pop icon, former King Crimson frontman, Gordon Haskell.

Although she plays open air gigs for 5,000 fans, as happened in Warsaw in June 2001 and 8,000 in Augustów in July 2003, Anna prefers an intimate setting to a huge concert hall and performs about 100 concerts each year, from Toronto to Vienna, London to Berlin. Yet her Carnegie Hall appearance on January 4, 2004, remains one of the most cherished and memorable thrills of her professional life.

Yes, she has been given awards, including Michel Legrand’s Personal Award in Witebsk in 1994, not to mention literally all of the Polish prestigious awards and Gold and Platinum records. Nevertheless Anna Maria Jopek is known for saying: “Music itself is the highest award for me. And the greatest challenge. With so many questions remaining to be answered”.

Let’s leave the last word to Pat Metheny: “Anna is original, unique, different. She?s brave, she’s modest, she’s open. She’s a great musician. What she’s been doing all her life is just trying to play the best notes. Trying to sound good. In that particular sense she’s a lot like me and that’s why I decided to work with her. Because she just cares for the music”.

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