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National Library gets Zbigniew Seifert archive

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 14.07.2014 09:01
The family of Poland’s legendary jazzman Zbigniew Seifert, has donated his archive to the National Library in Warsaw, including a vast collection of manuscripts, scores, photographs, letters and memorabilia documenting his career.

Documents at National Library: photo - PAP/Rafał Guz

Born in Krakow in 1946, Seifert is universally hailed as one of the world’s top violinists in the history of jazz.

While still a student at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków, he founded his own quartet and worked closely with the trumpeter Tomasz Stańko.

He soon became one of the finest representatives of European improvised jazz, performing on the violin and saxophone with such musicians as Charlie Mariano, Cecil McBee, Jasper van 't Hof and Joachim Kuehn.

In 1976 he recorded his debut album ‘Man of the Light’. It was followed by ‘Zbigniew Seifert’ (1977), ‘Solo Violin’ (1979) and ‘Kilimanjaro’ (1979). In 1976 he was diagnosed with cancer.

Three months before his death he recorded the album ‘Passion’, with Jack DeJohnette (drums), John Scofield (guitar) and Eddie Gomez (bass). He died in the United States on 15 February 1979, aged 33.

The director of the National Library Tomasz Makowski, who signed the official document on the bequest of the collection alongside the musician’s sister, Małgorzata Seifert, has described the occasion as “a happy day for the National Library and for Polish culture”.

“Yet another fragment of the nation’s cultural heritage has found its permanent place in the treasure house of the Polish Republic, alongside the manuscripts of Szymanowski and Chopin, as well as of such great jazzmen as Krzysztof Komeda,” he said. (mk)

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