POLISH STUDIES ENDOWMENT COMMITTEE

Adam Makowicz

Adam Makowicz

Adam Makowicz

May 19, 2006

Recital

As a youngster learning classical piano in mid-fifties Poland, when
jazz was barely tolerated by the regime, Adam Makowicz discovered jazz
on Willis Conover’s Voice of America broadcasts. It did not take long
for jazz to discover Adam Makowicz: by 1977 he could be heard on 26
albums, had performed on three continents, and been voted Number One
Jazz Pianist of Europe by readers of the international periodical, Jazz
Forum. In that year the legendary talent scout and producer John Hammond
brought Makowicz to the mecca of jazz musicians, New York City. He
arranged a ten-week engagement at the famous jazz club, The Cookery, in
Greenwich Village, a solo album called Adam on the CBS – Columbia label,
and a solo performance at Carnegie Hall on the same bill with jazz icons
Earl “Fatha” Hines, George Shearing, and Teddy Wilson. Appearing in such
august company, says Adam, “I was scared to death!”

Since then he
has been a major attraction at jazz festivals all over the world; was
guest solist with such orchestras as the National Symphony of
Washington, the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony
Orchestra, and the Warsaw Philharmonic; and has expanded his discography
to 50 albums, with 34 of them under his own name. These include CD’s
individually dedicated to such beloved American composers as Irving
Berlin, George Gershwin, and, in recent release, Duke Ellington. Now in
addition to his brilliant improvisations on the popular classics,
Makowicz occasionally performs his own compositions.

On one of his recent albums, Reflections on Chopin, Makowicz brings
his extraordinary technical virtuosity to bear upon his own musical
roots, presenting Chopin in a jazz idiom, as he did on the 150th
anniversary of Chopin’s death when invited to perform at the French
Embassy in Washington, DC. It is the only disc of its kind in America,
and underscores his interest in building bridges between classical music
and jazz.

Since 1989, Adam Makowicz has returned to his homeland every year,
popularizing the music of American composers both in solo recitals and
with the country’s finest symphony orchestras. His performances in
packed halls have included Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, as well as a
Rhapsody in Blue that features his own extended cadenza. Makowicz’s many
honors and awards have included the Officer’s Cross of Merit of the
republic of Poland.

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