The 2022 Earshot Jazz Festival presents one of the titans of Polish jazz, Joachim Mencel with his New York-based quartet. Mencel is a celebrated composer, pianist, lyricist and a foremost proponent of jazz using the modern hurdy-gurdy, an instrument of medieval origin. He is also called a romantic of Polish piano jazz. He will be presenting music from his recent album “Brooklyn Eye,” released on Seattle’s Origin Records, that earned him the Best Recording of 2020 award by High Fidelity Magazine (Poland).
The quartet at the Earshot features the following musicians: Jochim Mencel – piano, hurdy-gurdy, Peter McCann – guitar, Ugonna Okegwo – double bass, Allan Mednard – drums.
Opening for Mencel is the M.O.M trio featuring bassist and drummer/identical twins François and Louis Moutin as well as Haitian Canadian multi-genre, multi-horn player Jowee Omicil.
Joachim Mencel graduated from the Jazz and Popular Music Department of the Music Academy in Katowice. He played, among others in the bands of Janusz Muniak (CD “Contemplation”), Andrzej Cudzich (CD “Simple Way”) and Nigel Kennedy. He regularly cooperates with the American clarinetist Brad Terrym (albums “All about spring”, “Colorado”, “Live in Fort Andross”). A respected arranger of vocal music, he wrote and arranged songs for Ewa Bem (all songs on the album “Kakadu”), Mieczysław Szcześniak, Anna Maria Jopek and the bands New Life and El Greco. Mencel is the author of a jazz cantata for choir, orchestra and soloists “Love explained everything to me”, as well as music for films, ballet spectacles and pantomime.
Joachim Mencel has performed in many countries of Europe, America, Africa and Asia, including with the author’s project jmTrio (CD “Interludium”). In addition, he collaborated with many respected musicians, including Lee Konitz, Dino Saluzzi, Richard Galliano, Dave Liebman, David Friedman, Eddie Henderson, Ronnie Burrage, Charlie Mariano, Rufus Reid, Terry Clarke, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Vitold Rek, Jarosław Śmietana.