JazzTimes calls his music “as clean and airy and sophisticated and disciplined as post-modern progressive jazz gets”. Ralph Alessi, son of trumpeter Joe Alessie and opera singer Maria Leone, was born in San Francisco, California. His older brother, Joseph Alessi, is a classic trombonist and his wife, Liz Alessi, plays the bassoon. So it’s fair to say that Ralph Alessi is and always has been surrounded by music, which is hard not to notice in his work – he plays with lightness and flair, as if it were an effortless task. This apparent ease is the hallmark of only the most outstanding musicians.
Renowned pianist Fred Hersch sings his praises. “Sometimes what he plays is not warm and cozy. But it is excellent. He is a great musician in every situation he finds himself in. He’s a guy who’s just a terribly good musician”. Alessi doesn’t push himself into the spotlight, but he’s the first choice for such great artists as Jason Moran, Don Byron, Uri Caine or Steve Coleman. His latest release is Imaginary Friends (ECM Records, 2019). JazzTimes praises this collaboration: “The musical bond between trumpeter Ralph Alessi and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is arguably developing into a rapport on par with the highest echelon of trumpet/tenor combinations. Not merely a strong frontline, they’re a unit that creates something greater than the sum of its parts”.
Alessi is also the founder and director of the School for Improvisational Music and a lecturer at the University of Nevada in Reno. He has collaborated with artists such as Scott Colley, Steve Coleman, Don Byron, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, Fred Hersch, Drew Gress, Luk Checju, Dafnis Prieto and Jason Moran. In Krakow, Alessi will play with German drummer Moritz Baumgärtner and three promising young Polish musicians: Kuba Więck, Mateusz Gawęda and Max Mucha.
Saxophonist Kuba Więcek is a laureate of prestigious Polish awards Fryderyk and Mateusz Trójki for his phonographic debut Another Raindrop, which is the first debut in the cult Polish Jazz series in 28 years. He graduated from the Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium in Copenhagen. Więcek met Alessie during his stay in New York, and the musicians immediately found a common musical language.
Mateusz Gawęda is a pianist and composer, co-founder of the bands Mateusz Gawęda Trio, Cracow Jazz Collective, Pezda/Gawęda Duo and Silberman. The album Overnight Tales by Mateusz Gawęda Trio has been nominated for the Fryderyk Award in 2017. He has collaborated with artists such as John Scofield, John Medeski, Billy Hart, Jacek Kochan, Maciej Obara, Albert Beger, Gianni Gebbia and Janusz Muniak. The musicians invited one of the most popular and esteemed rhythm sections in Europe to join them – double bass player Max Mucha and drummer Moritz Baumgärtner.
TICKETS : 30 PLN in presale, 40 PLN on the day of the show
Pupils and students of music schools and colleges, as well as musicology students can buy tickets for each concert at the price of PLN 10 (admission upon showing ID).
Ralph Alessi (US) – trumpet
Kuba Więcek (PL) – sax
Mateusz Gawęda (PL) – piano
Max Mucha (PL) – bass
Moritz Baumgärtner (DE) – drums
WHEN: Oct, 22
WHERE: ALCHEMIA, Estery 5
START: 8 pm