Kacper Smoliński – a musician who expresses his work through an instrument rarely found in the jazz world: the harmonica. He creates his own intriguing sound with passion and consistency, exceeding the limits of expectations of this instrument. His stage personality harmonizes with both the improvised and classical world, boldly entering unconventional areas of music.
The musician and composer, born in Sztum, Poland, is a laureate of numerous awards, including: the award for the best soloist at Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen 2019, a special award for the greatest individuality in the Jazz Nad Odrą Festival 2018 competition and 2nd place at the 8th International Jazz Improvisation Competition in Katowice 2017. Smoliński is also the Winner of the Jazz Top 2019 and 2020 survey of the Jazz Forum magazine in the category of various instruments. He is also coauthor of the Weezdob Collective band, which was appreciated at many festivals and competitions. He also co-creates the Jazz Forum Talents group, which brings together the greatest new talents of Polish jazz. Smoliński collaborated with Włodek Pawlik, Dagadana and Mo ‘Blow, and is also a member of the Poznan Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed with such artists as Leszek Możdżer, Billy Cobham, Agnieszka Duczmal, Tingvall Trio, Vinx, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Jordan, E.J. Strickland. He performs in Poland and around the world (including the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine).
Smoliński is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Poznań and the Jazz-Institut Berlin in the jazz harmonica class. He learned from such respected figures as Peter Weniger, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Krzesimir Dębski, Maciej Kociński, Greg Cohen, Geoffroy de Masure, Gerard Presencer and Hendrik Meurkens. He also graduated from sound engineering at the University of A. Mickiewicz. In 2018, he received the Young Poland scholarship as well as the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship scholarship. He was a lecturer in the harmonica class during the Cho-Jazz 2020 jazz workshops.
“In Poland we haven’t really had someone like Kacper Smolinski before. He is a very talented, versatile musician and his harmonica has two rows of sounds, based on two whole tone scales, which provides immense opportunities.”
Professor, PhD of Musical Arts, conductor, composer, jazz pianist
“Kacper Smolinski is a phenomenon in today’s jazz. It is significant that the most important jazz musicians who have decided to create and expose their art through playing the harmonica have turned out to be European musicians and not, as it would seem, racial American jazzmen. It sounds paradoxical, but the genius of this instrument was the Belgian jazzman Toots Thielemans, while now the favorite is Swiss instrumentalist Grégoire Maret. I am sure that Kacper Smolinski has found his place among this distinguished, narrow group of virtuosos of this wonderful instrument.”
Era Jazzu Prize 2018