Event Performers
Chopin 200: Grazyna Auguscik’s World Sound featuring:

Grażyna Auguścik
Vocal, USA/Poland

Matt Ulery
Bass, USA

Chicago International Trombone Ensemble

with special guests:

Andrzej Jagodziński Trio

Jarek Bester
Accordion, Poland

Paulinho Garcia
Guitar & Vocal, Brazil/USA

Howard Levy
Harmonica & Piano, USA

Ian Maksin
Cello, Russia/USA

Ronnie Malley
Oud, USA/Palestine
Grazyna Auguscik
Singer, composer, arranger, and producer Grazyna Auguscik has won the praise and admiration of music critics, jazz enthusiasts and even non-jazz audiences with a singular voice that speaks a universal language. She is one of the most intriguing contemporary vocalists on today’s World jazz scene.

Her elusive style challenges traditional definitions of jazz and show vocalist and musician without boundaries. Her unorthodox approach to rewriting classic works is at once a tribute to its authors as well as an adventure into uncharted territory. Her originals give a fresh taste of uncanny flavor.

Her professional music career She began in Europe, completed her studies in 1992 at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has since become a prolific collaborator shearing the stage with such jazz notables as Jim Hall, Michael and Randy Brecker, Toots Thielemans, Bobby Enriquez, John Medeski, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Michal Urbaniak, Terry Callier and many others.

Since 1994, Grazyna has made Chicago her home where she performs at the legendary Green Mill, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Millennium Park, to named just few.

Amidst her active schedule of Worldwide performances, Grazyna has managed to record, produce and distribute fourteen albums, ten under her own record label, GMA Records, and appearing on as many projects as a guest.

The LA Times says "Grazyna Auguscik is doing important work in advancing the potential for imaginative jazz singing. She is a singer to be watched." "Auguscik has assembled a dream band. Taking charge of the band she has created, she could make a difference in jazz today. Auguscik may be on the brink of innovation as does her CD "The Light" says Howard Reich "Chicago Tribune" music critic.

All of her work is always getting enthusiastic reviews. Her next upcoming release as of 2010 is eagerly anticipated by jazz critics and her fans.

"She's a music machine" - Christopher Loudon "Jazz Times"
"a strikingly original vocal style, hauntingly beautiful" - Bill Milkowski "JAZZIZ"

Andrzej Jagodzinski
Pianist, composer and arranger Andrzej Jagodzinski was born in 1953. He received his degrees from the Frederick Chopin Conservatory where he studied French Horn while already engaged by the Polish Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra. In 1979 Jagodzinski participated in the Old Jazz Meeting Zlota Tarka and received first prize for "pianist of the year".

He has played with some of the best jazz groups in Poland including The Old Timers, Swing Session, String Connection, The Zbigniew Namyslowski Quartet, The Janusz Muniak Quartet, The Big Warsaw Band, Quintessence, The Tomasz Szukalski Quartet, The Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski Quartet and Jarek Smietana's Polish All Star.

Jagodzinski has toured in most European countries, Australia, and the United States, India, Kuwait, Cuba and the former Soviet Union and has been representing Polish jazz for the past 16 years at: Jazz Yatra-Bombay, Ost-West Nurnberg, Jazz in Europe-Paris, Skane Festivalen in Malmo, Edinburgh Art Festival, Ankara Music Festival, Leverkusener Jazz Tage, Istanbul International Festival and in all the major Polish jazz festivals.

Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio
Andrzej Jagodzinski - piano
Adam Cegielski - bass
Czeslaw "Maly" Bartkowski - drums

The leader and founder Andrzej Jagodzinski is of the best pianists in Poland. The jazz trio led by him is very unique. Their interpretation of Chopin's music is remarkable. Since 1994 - the first Chopin CD release they have toured Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada, USA, Russia, China, Japan and Middle East.

"The Andrzej Jagodzinski album of jazzed-up Chopin, recorded in December 1993, was an event. It was showered with awards" - J.P. Wroblewski

"What is most striking is the originality and perfection which meld into one, its fine taste and elegance - all signs of master art, the aristocracy of art in the most noble sense. Music lovers looking for a taste of something unusual will find this recording alluring. It invites the listener to discover and translate the secret of the "grease-lightening harmony" that exist between music of Chopin and the art of playing jazz." - Bohdan Pociej

"If Chopin really was a composer for the right hand only, as Wagner grouchily complained, then perhaps Andrzej Jagodzinski has provided a missing accompaniment. These are not jazzed-up interpretations of Chopin compositions but a set of jazz originals inspired by the great Pole's most evocative pieces."

"Jagodzinski and his colleague bassist Adam Cegielski and drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski have made a fascinating piece of music in its own right, but they have also suggested new - or rather old - ways of listening to Chopin. His work is, after all, the acme of piano music..." - Brian Morton

"One of Poland's leading jazz pianists interprets the music of the country's greatest composer. (...) One of the best examples of classical jazz since Art Tatum tackled Massenet."- Music and Media.

Jaroslaw Bester
Jaroslaw Bester – an accordion player and a composer, a graduate of the Krakow Academy of Music, a prizewinner of several international and Polish accordion contests. He has formed The Cracow Klezmer Band – the only Polish music ensemble that permanently cooperates with John Zorn’s prestigious Tzadik label in New York City.

In his performing style, he combines his wide experience in classical music with many other genres and makes use of some clear improvised forms to create an unusually powerful mix that presents some first-time ever colors and techniques to be achieved on the accordion.

Thanks to these skills, he is considered today one of the very original musicians of the young generation worldwide. His oeuvre, apart from some CDs on the NYC Tzadik label, as well as guest appearances on other CDs, includes some recordings for radio and television in Germany, Sweden, Finland and Poland.

He has co-performed with and arranged or composed for many great classical and vanguard musicians. Among them one can cite such outstanding artists as: John Zorn, John McLean, Don Byron, Grazyna Auguscik, Frank London, Ernie Adams, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Waldemar Malicki, Vadim Brodsky, Vitold Rek, Jorgos Skolias, Bronek Duzy and many others.

Matt Ulery
Matt Ulery is a Chicago based bassist and composer performing since the age of 14 years. Ulery has played many styles of music. These include the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock, pop, gospel, theatre, and folk - specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk styles.

He has performed not only on upright and electric bass, but has doubled on tuba and keyboards. Ulery earn his bachelors degree in music composition at The Chicago College of Performing at Roosevelt University and has played in bands with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jarek Bester, Fareed Haque, Howard Levy, Patricia Barber, Ron Perrillo, Jeff Parker, Rob Scheps, Zach Brock, and many others.

When not touring parts of the U.S. and Europe with his groups, Matt appears regularly in the Chicago area music venues. Ulery is the leader of his own group, Loom, and a member, among others, of Eastern Blok, and the Grazyna Auguscik Group.

Ulery has two releases under his name; "Music Box Ballerina"(2008) and "Themes and Scenes"(2009), and is releasing a new album with Loom in 2010.

The Chicago International Trombone Ensemble (CITE)
The group was formed in 2006 by its founder Arkadiusz Górecki and the four trombones are played by Arkadiusz Górecki, Zsolt Szabo, Thomas Stark and Chris Paul Davis. All of them are the world top trombone players of young generation graduating from Univerisyties such as AMFC in Warsaw – Poland, Conservatoire Superieur de Paris, Roosevelt University of Chicago, DePaul University and Northwestern University.

Together as well as each of them individually are in collaboration with: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Orchestra(Denver), Sinfonia da Camera, Glenview Symphony, Lincolnwood Orchestra, Attollo Brass Quintet, Lincoln Park Brass, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Boulder Philharmonic, Elgin Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Concertante di Chicago, Symphony II in Chicago, Rockford Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, National Philharmonic in Warsaw – Poland, Orchestra of Polish Radio and Television in Warsaw, Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, The John Burnett Swing Orchestra, and The Bill O’Connell Skyliners Big Band.

Each of them is recipient of many international awards: Nice International Trombone Competition (France), Leopold Ballan International Trombone Competition in Paris (France), Paris Conservatory Trombone Competition (France), III National Trombone Competition in Warsaw (Poland).

The CITE musicians are members of Chicago – International Chamber Artists. Since year 2006 the ensemble is collaborating in several projects with Ms. Grazyna Auguscik Jazz Vocalist Extraordinaire.
Paulinho Garcia
This Brazilian born guitar player based in Chicago was awarded Chicago’s best jazz entertainer for the year 2002 by the Chicago Music Awards and has received high praises by jazz critics in Chicago, USA and abroad.

With 15 CDs recorded in the USA he has travel the world taking his music to clubs, theaters and festivals such as North Sea Jazz Festival of Nederland, Singapore Jazz Festival, Elite and Concord Jazz Festivals in Japan, Wroclaw and Ostrów Wielkopolski Jazz w Muzeum in Poland, just to mention a few.

Paulinho has been a regular performer at the two largest jazz cruises: "The Jazz Cruise" and "Jazz Party at Sea" where he played and cruised with some of the most renowned jazz masters. He is also a clinician and has given workshops and concerts at many prestigious USA universities such as Northwestern, Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Cornell, Hope College, and most recently in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia. Paulinho presently teaches Brazilian guitar and vocals at Old Town School of folk music and coaches a Brazilian combo at Roosevelt University.

This year Mr. Garcia is nominated for the 2010 Brazilian International Press Award in two categories: Best Brazilian Musician working abroad and Best Brazilian record, "My very life", released in the USA in 2009.

Howard Levy
He is a musician without limits. His musical adventures include journeys into jazz, pop, rock, world music, Latin, classical, folk, blues, country, theater, and film.

He has appeared on hundred of cd’s, won a Grammy (1997), won a Joseph Jefferson Award (1986) for Best Original Music for a Play, and has performed many times on American and European television and radio.Universally acknowledged as the world’s most advanced diatonic harmonica player, Howard developed a fully chromatic style on the standard 10 - hole diatonic harmonica, revolutionizing harmonica playing and taking the instrument into totally new territory.

He is also an accomplished pianist and composer, and plays many other instruments as well, including flute, ocarina, mandolin, saxophone, and percussion. Howard was a founding member of the Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. He toured and recorded two albums with Kenny Loggins, and formed Trio Globo with Eugene Friesen and Glen Velez.

Howard has also performed and/or recorded with Dolly Parton, Styx, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon, John Prine, Paquito D’Rivera, Ken Nordine, and many others, as well as touring and recording extensively in Europe with artists such as Rabih Abou Khalil and Michael Riessler.

Ian Maksin
Cellist Ian Maksin gave his first recital in his native St. Petersburg, Russia at age six. Since then, he has performed as a concerto soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has also appeared in solo and chamber music recitals at such major festivals as Spoleto, Ravinia, Norfolk in the USA as well at the White Nights Music Festival in his home Russia.

He has served as the principal cellist of the New World Symphony, America's premier orchestra comprised of the most gifted young musicians from all over the world under direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.

Ian has appeared on several recordings including "Sculpting Clouds" with the piano quartet Ibis Camerata; and "the Clocks", a collaboration with the Cuarteto Lationamericano. His debut solo album just came out in 2009 and has been described by the "TimeOut Chicago" magazine as "thrilling, and beautifully executed. It's titled "Solo Flight" and features works by J.S. Bach, Chicago-based composer Ilya Levinson, and a suite by Spanish composer Gaspar Cassado exploring Flamenco style on the cello.

Ronnie Malley
A Chicago native, Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist that has been performing for audiences since the age of thirteen. Ronnie began guitar lessons at an early age later moving on to piano, and Middle Eastern percussion. He is also self-taught on the Oud (Mid- Eastern lute).

As a member of the family band with his father and brother, both percussionists, Ronnie’s stage experience began by performing at weddings, concerts, festivals and local Middle Eastern clubs with renowned artists such as Kazem Elsaher, Majdi Husseini, and Tony Hanna. Eventually touring throughout the US, the Middle East, and Europe, Ronnie expanded his ethno-musical palette to study, perform and record with Sufi and folk musicians from Senegal, Sudan, North Africa, India, Turkey as well as with Afro-Peruvian folk artists, Rodolfo Munoz and Miguel Ballermos.

His more recent credits include principal musician and actor in the Lookingglass Theatre production of "Arabian Nights", assistant music arranger and performer in the Goodman Theatre production of "Mirror of the Invisible World" and French FTS Production documentary,"Modou The Hang Player - One World Music". Ronnie expresses a message of cultural awareness that "although we have many differences, music and art remain universal elements that help illuminate our commonalities."

Aside from teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music, he conducts Arabic music workshops for Chicago Public Schools and the University of Chicago’s Startalk camp, composes and records for various film projects, as well as performing and touring with music groups Lamajamal, Mucca Pazza, Duzan Ensemble and the U of C Middle Eastern Music Ensemble.