—Elzbieta Kulec

It dances and sobs, fascinates and stuns
enchanted saxophone,
uniquely one-of-a-kind,
at the bidding of the Slavic New Yorker,
Krzysztof Medyna

Krzysztof Medyna. Bronxvile Women's Club 2010.
Krzysztof Medyna. Bronxvile Women’s Club 2010.

Music has always been present in the family home of Medyna. It is not surprising, then,  that something played in the heart of Krzysztof from the early childhood. A grand piano and clarinet had to yield to true love; the love for the saxophone.
Following the achievements of Krzysztof  Medyna, as well as statements of subject-matter experts, concerning the emotions the performance of Medyna stirs up in his listeners you may only become deeply convinced that his affection for his instrument is completely returned. In principle, you can speak of Krzysztof and his saxophone in plural – THEM. In this duet, both of them rely on themselves completely. You can sense it. The saxophone, faithful and absolutely trustful as a dog, ready to execute every command of Krzysztof Medyna, even the most risky one. While improvising, Krzysztof guides his instincts in direction known only to himself. Engrossed only in whispers of his soul, he leads his infatuated and random listeners. If you do not know anything about jazz, you still may grow fond of it through goose bumps, rapture – emotions a sensuous performance can trigger. Krzysztof Medyna is able to do such tricks. He guides his listeners through mysterious, yet pleasing to the ear and soul paths. You might think that he and his saxophone try to surprise one another by the impulsiveness of experiencing the theme. However, it is only an illusion because it is obvious that Krzysztof is the real master of ceremonies, the real saxophone wizard of these performances. His inner, spiritual GPS, being under supervision of his deepest ‘I’, concealed beyond consciousness and subconsciousness, within his soul itself. It always brings listeners to various charming destinations, safely, via the enchanting tones of his saxophone.
He graduated from Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna w Szczecinie in the field of music pedagogy, he was a music teacher at primary school. He traveled to Warsaw Jazz Jamboree festivals, where he became enraptured with Krzysztof Komeda. For a couple of years (1975-78) he played in Sweden – as did many of Polish Jazzmen of that time. After his return, together with the pianist Andrzej Winnicki he formed a band named Breakwater. In 1979, during the festival Jazz nad Odrą they were awarded for the first time.  They made several records and performed on Jazz Jamboree festival. They have been playing together for decades, with the difference that now they live in the United States of America. At first, they formed a new band from the revived Breakwater, then there was Electric Breakwater, and now they perform in a quintet Komeda Project, which is a turn form Jazz fusion to acoustic Jazz. To comprise the band  they select expert American musicians because only American rhythm section is able to ensure that swing, so much essential in Jazz.
Krzysztof Medyna performed in many well-known New York clubs, such as Five Spot, Bar 55, Zanzibar and Cornelia Street Cafe. He accompanied Czesław Niemen during his great concert in Town Hall in 1993. He released several albums, the latest ones are: Crazy Girl (2007) and Requiem (2009). Both of the latest albums are a tribute to Krzysztof Komeda. The albums released in the United States stand out not only because of  magnificent performance, but also outstanding quality of the sound. Medyna performed, inter alia, in the Congress Hall in Warsaw, the Town Hall Theater in Manhattan and the Amphitheater in Szczecin. You can listen to his magnificent performances in various events run by the Polish community abroad – exhibits, book publication promotions, which are very often organized by his friends, whom he does not refuse.
In small, cozy places Krzysztof Medyna stands in the corner and plays the tenor or soprano saxophone, just few steps from us.
He plays for us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *