2020 is proving to be a very challenging year. All of us have been affected in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic, with human losses being the most tragic consequence. Many cultural events have been put on hold as a result, turning what, at first, we thought would be a brief halt, into a crisis as severe, if not more so, than the financial fallout of 2008.
However, through readily available technology, as well as the determination and altruism of performers and organizers, music has still had the power to reach audiences. This was certainly the case with this year’s Żywieckie Suwakowanie trombone festival, which normally takes place during the summer, in Żywiec, Poland.
I had the honor of taking part in this year’s event as a soloist, a member of the Trombosphere trombone octet, and as an educator, offering private instruction over the web.
The festival also included daily lectures from renowned trombone players from within Poland. Recordings, of which, are available at the festival’s YouTube channel.
Trombosphere performed the inaugurational concert with selections by Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Biebl, Gordon Jacob, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and John Williams.
On Friday, September 25th, I performed Sonatine for Trombone and Piano by Jacques Castérède alongside, wonderful pianist, Monika Hanus, as part of a special showcase for soloists.
Trombosphere closed the festival with a concert of popular upbeat selections. Listening to them, I cannot help but feel optimistic that we will navigate our current situation and we’ll be able to see each other in person at next years’ festival, in Żywiec.
Special thanks to Tomasz Hajda for his tireless efforts to make this project a reality!