11. MFFA Animator



Komeda (Trzciński), Krzysztof


On animator festival in years:

Krzysztof Trzciński nick name Komeda was born in Poznan in 1931. Composer and jazz pianist. He took piano lessons, he dreamt to be a famous virtuoso. At the age of eight he started at the Poznan conservatory. But the war changed his plans. His fascination with jazz and friendship with leading musicians strengthened Christopher Komeda's connections with music in spite of his medical profession. He was a member of Polish post-war jazz pioneer combo, Krakow- Lodz 'Melomani' . Later he played with various entertainment bands. One of them was the Jerzy Grzewinski band which he performed with at the I Sopot Festival. But a real success at the festival brought him collaboration with 'Ptaszyn' Wroblewski and Milian.

He was fascinated by modern music. He founded the 'Komeda Sextet’. He first used his pseudonym Komeda to hide his passion for jazz from his colleagues at an Ear, Nose and Throat clinic, where he worked at the time. Jazz only started to spread in Poland. It was regarded as cheap, suspect, seedy night-club music. 'Komeda Sextet' became the first Polish jazz group playing exclusively modern music and its spectacular performance cleared the triumphant way for jazz in Poland. Together with a baritone saxophonist Jan 'Ptaszyn' Wroblewski and Jerzy Milian on vibes the sextet played cool jazz which referred to European jazz traditions and was a synthesis of the two most popular combos of that time: The Modern Jazz Quartet and the Gerry Mulligan Quartet.

Komeda found his own jazz style, inspired by a Slavic lyricism and in the traditional Polish music. He was a master of a lyrical atmosphere. He knew how to conquer the audience. His music is easy distinguished and recognizable: it has a unique sound. From 1956 to 1962 Komeda performed with his band at several domestic festivals, always playing an ambitious music. He started touring in Europe; his concerts in Moscow, Grenoble and Paris were greatly successful. Komeda was an author of an interesting ‘Jazz and Poetry' show presented at Jazz Jamboree'60 and later at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall.

He began his adventure with film: composed music to Polanski's 'Knife in the Water', Wajda's 'Innocent Sorcerers', Nasfeter's 'My Dad' and Morgenstern's 'See You Tomorrow'.

At the Jazz Jamboree'62 Komeda performed 'Ballet Etudes' which met less than enthusiastic response in Poland but it opened for him the gates of Europe. In spring 1960 for a first time he visited Scandinavia. He performed at the Stockholm 'Gyllene Cirkeln' and the Copenhagen 'Jazzhus Montmartre' clubs which hosted America's most prominent jazz stars. The 'Metronome' recording company issued an LP with his compositions played by an international quintet. Famous Danish film director Hennig Carlsen commissioned him to write and record music for three of his pictures. Scandinavian successes were followed by other ones: at jazz festivals in Prague, Bled and Koenigsberg. In May 1967 'Komeda Quartet' recorded 'Lirik und Jazz' for the West German 'Electrola' record company.

In 1968 Komeda went to the USA to work on music to Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby' and Kulik's 'The Riot'. He got injured in an accident in Hollywood. His wife brought him to Poland where he passed away on 23 April 1969. He was buried in Warsaw.