The Maciej Obara Quartet was established in 2012 by Polish saxophone player Maciej Obara, with Dominik Wania (piano), Ole Morten Vaagan (double bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums).
The quartet embodies the very best of today's leading European jazz scene and each member posesses an individual sound emerging from differing musical experiences. Obara has invited powerful and mature artists who create complete, mindful and, above all, beautiful music together.
The band has performed in prestigious venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center (NY), Jazz Standard (NY), Porgy & Bess (Vienna), Cotton Club (Tokyo) as well as at festivals like London Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz Festival, Jarasum Intl Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Warsaw Summer Jazz Days, Molde Jazz Festival, Festiwal Jazztopad, Akbank, Izmir Jazz Festival, or New Haven Jazz Festival.
After 5 years of intensive touring, the Maciej Obara Quartet received an invitation from Manfred Eicher to record an album for one of the world's most prestigious record labels – ECM. As a result, the new album “Unloved” will be released in September 2017. The album contains original compositions by Obara, as well as one track by the legendary Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda.
“Unloved” is the first studio recording of the quartet, vividly presenting the leader’s lyrical inspirations from the Polish jazz masters and Romantic-era composers alike. The whole is completed by the remarkable harmonic sensibility of Dominik Wania, the folk sound of Ole Morten Vaagan and the rock feeling of Gard Nilssen.
Freedom, intuition and great communication characterize the Maciej Obara Quartet and enable the members to follow risky musical paths, emphasising the dynamism and unpredictability of each concert.
The diversity of the band is reflected by vigorous intensity - contrastingly overcome by lyricism and completed by the leader’s compositions.
The Maciej Obara Quartet presents young and active musicians of the European jazz scene, jazz being one of the many vectors of the band. If musical genres are languages, we can easily say that Maciej Obara Quartet has mastered many of them, mainly deriving from classical and improvised music.
Double-winner of The Fryderyk Music Award in 2014, whose status in the Polish public can be compared to the American Grammy and the UK's BRIT Award.
Polish pianist best known from the cooperation with the leading Polish jazz musicians.
Recipient of the Presidential Scholarship awarded by Helena Foundation which provided him the opportunity to study at The New England Conservatory in Boston under the direction of Danilo Perez and Jerry Bergonzi.
In 2014 recognized by TVP Culture for “stylistic openness and broad jazz horizons, from mainstream to avant-garde, but mostly for his original recording ‘Ravel’, on which he presents his great talent and capability to translate the classical music into jazz language with his subtle and balanced virtuosity.”
Ole Morten Vaagan
Norwegian composer and bass player.
Artistic director of Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, 2007 – 2019.
Initiator of one of the most interesting bands of the new generation, MOTIF, with the legendary Mathias Eick, which received an award from NOPA Composer Prize during the Molde Jazz Festival in 2000 and the Young Nordic Jazzcomets award at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 2001.
Known for collaboration with a variety of bands representing different musical styles, from Balkan music to studio music. He has performed with some of the key players in Norway, like Tore Brunborg, Maria Kannegaard Trio, Håkon Kornstad, and international stars like Bobo Stenson, Joshua Redman and John Scofield. However, it is modern improvised music with which he feels most strongly connected and which is exemplified in his project Generator X with Audun Kleive and Christian Wallumrod.
Norwegian composer and drummer. Student of Audun Kleive and Jon Christensen.
Establisher of his own record label called GIGAFON.
Initiator of two exciting projects: rock Bushman's Revenge and free-jazz PUMA, recognised by Downbeat magazine and Molde Jazz Festival in 2010 as one of the most up-to-date bands in improvisational music .
Most in-demand drummer in Europe, whose music is described as energetic, creative, melodious, fearless, dynamic and technically great.