Sunday, 4 March 2018

Polish Jazz in Hong Kong

Maciej Fortuna is a trumpeter, composer, music producer with an MA in Law!
The 46th HK Arts Festival is on and I've only got tickets to two shows! My friend YTSL has to remind me to look through the catalogue and then it's overwhelming...

One of the shows I picked on a whim was the theme of nouveau jazz and I'm glad I did.

What is it about the Polish and jazz? When I was in Beijing I heard Andrzej Jagodzinski and his group do jazzy riffs off of Chopin that was so cool and now this group, Maciej Fortuna Special Quartet in Hong Kong and they were fantastic.

Maciej Fortuna Special Quartet from Fortuna Music on Vimeo.

Held at Shouson Theatre in the Hong Kong Arts Centre, it was a nice intimate space for this kind of performance. There was free seating so I tried to arrive a bit earlier, but there was no problem getting a decent seat -- they were all good.

It turns out the group plays electronica jazz, something I haven't heard before and the sounds were pretty neat. There was a pianist (Andrzej Konieczny), a bassist (Roman Chraniuk), a drummer (Jakub Miarcznski) and the leader, Maciej Fortuna on trumpet.

The Maciej Fortuna Special Quartet
For example the trumpet was attached to a wire that was linked to some switchboard that Fortuna used to create new sounds coming from his instrument that didn't sound much like a trumpet but like an electric guitar.

When the bass was attached to an amp, it also made groovy sounds like a fuzzy plucked electric guitar. And then at times the pianist would go behind the piano and start playing on the second set of drums. One would think it would be too much, but they created so much energy, feeding off each other like a drum duel.

The dynamics between the members was great -- they riffed off of each other, kept the beat going and most importantly enjoyed themselves on stage. The freedom they have to express themselves is what makes jazz so interesting to watch and listen.

Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio plays Chopin with a jazz twist
Towards the end of the 90-minute show, Fortuna explained he had played here before, though some of his band members hadn't, and they enjoyed performing here immensely. He mistakenly said "Here in China" and then said, "I mean Hong Kong". He said the slight was similar to him performing in Iceland and then saying to the audience "In continental Europe..."

We forgave him and clapped loudly enough for them to do an encore. What a blast.

Maciej Fortuna Special Quartet
March 4, 2018
Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre

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