Vitold Rek - an incredible bassist with a magic bow

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Hessischer Jazzpreis 2013
für Vitold Rek

Hesse Jazz Award 2013
goes to Vitold Rek

Vitold Rek otrzymuje
prestiżową nagrodę
Hessischer Jazzpreis 2013

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Vitold Rek – double bassist, composer and educator – was born in 1955 in Rzeszów, south-east Poland. He studied classical double bass at the Cracow Academy of Music when Krzysztof Penderecki was rector there. His playing unites jazz influences with classical and East European folk elements, with a focus on live performance and composition.

Festival appearances include Montreux Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz / Den Haag, Willisau Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, ISB Double Bass Convention USA, Mexico Jazz Festival, Banlieus Bleues Festival in Paris and the Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw among many others.

In 2008 Vitold Rek was honoured twice: with Tomasz Stanko's 5 CD album "1970–1975–1984–1986–1988" Platinum Prize in Poland and with Emil Mangelsdorff's CD "Blues Forever" with the Jazzplattenkritik Prize in Germany. A highlight in Vitold's career was a recital given by him in June 2011 at the invitation of the President of Germany, Christian Wulff, in Schloss Bellevue in Berlin, in honour of the Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Concerts have also taken him to Mozambique, Cuba and Mexico. He has performed in the Purcell Room in London and in Olympia Paris. In October 2013 Vitold Rek performed the premiere of Ellington/Mingus Suite (comp. Pavel Klimashevsky) for double bass, flute (soloist Jadwiga Kotnowska) and chamber orchestra ( Capella Bydgostiensis ) at the Festival Classic & Jazz in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Charlie Mariano, Tomasz Stanko, John Tchicai, Albert Mangelsdorff, Karl Berger, Emil Mangelsdorff, Günter Baby Sommer, Dom Um Romao, Peter Giger, Gerd Dudek, Ralf Hübner, Christof Lauer, Heinz Sauer, Bob Degen, Makaya Ntshoko, Michael Wollny and Shlomo Carlebach have featured among his key musical partners. Vitold collaborates with the Frankfurt Radio HR Jazz Ensemble.

Vitold also works closely with notable German writers, combining the spoken word with his own solo music. He performs with the esteemed author Dieter Schenk whose writings focus on Nazi war crimes. Other partners have included the poets Johann P. Tammen, Volker Braun, Oskar Ansull, Sarah Kirsch and Kito Lorenc.

Vitold teaches jazz double bass and coaches ensembles at the Hochschule für Musik, Mainz, Germany.

Book appearances:

  • "Das Jazz Buch" – Joachim Ernst Berendt/Günter Heusmann (Fischer Verlag 1953–2005, Germany)
  • "Jazz Lexikon" – Martin Künzler (Rowohlt Verlag 2002, Germany)
  • "New Grove Dictionary of Jazz" – Barry Kernfeld/Wolfram Knauer (Grove, England 2001)
  • "Der Frankfurt Sound" – Jürgen Schwab (SocietätsVerlag 2004, Germany)
  • "Desperado" – Tomasz Stanko – autobiography (Wydawnictwo Literackie, Poland 2010)
  • "Polish Jazz" (LLC Books, England, 2010)
  • "Jazz Jews" – Mike Gerber (Five Leaves Publications, England 2009)
  • "Encyklopedia Muzyki Popularnej, Jazz" – D. Piatkowski (Atena 2000, Poland)
  • "Leksykon Polskiej Muzyki Rozrywkowej" – R. Wolanski (Morex 1995, Poland)
  • "Encyklopedia Rzeszowa" (RS Druk, 2004, Poland)


   Vitold Rek plays Corelli strings.

* (Elliott Simon, All About Jazz, New York)