"I heard snatches of Ligeti (particularly his etudes) and Shostakovich (!) at first listen. And in this context, it worked well."
"Prismatic and lirically off center"
"In today's culture saturated with more verbiage than substance, finding artistic products of value is oftentimes a laborious quest that generally produces few satisfying results. The disc you are holding in your hand (Live from Steinway Hall) is one such rare find."
-Jazz Research Journal, Down Beat, Jazz Forum
Pianist, composer, and conductor Jakub Rojek's expertise spans twenty five years as classical, jazz, gospel, pop performer and session musician. He also specializes in a non-idiomatic and trans-idiomatic improvisation, its development, application and pedagogical aspect. He considers himself a performer-composer and an autodidact at things he does in his professional practice, and despite years of formal music education.
Rojek has appeared alongside jazz greats Dave Holland, Roscoe Mitchell, Dave Douglas, Cecil McBee, Danilo Perez, John Hollenbeck, Michael Cain, Grammy-nominated reedman Aaron Kruziki, and ECM artist Dominik Wania to name a few, and collaborated with chamber musicians around the world.
As a multifarious artist, Rojek blends composition, and improvisation with an uncanny ease, much in the same way that he makes non-idiomatic improvisation and classical worlds coexist organically in an unpretentious symbiosis. Classically infused as a pianist and composer, he constantly redefines the limits of genre and understanding of improvisation as an autonomous phenomenon. As a commercial composer, arranger, and session pianist, he comprises more than 25 years of experience fused with various styles and aesthetics.
He had been commissioned to write for Polish soprano Milena Lange, Self-Imposed Exile, Sentient Lacuna, Javelinas, Charles du Preez and Christine Lanza, and Post-Decadent Bourgeoisie Parlor among others. His recent collaborations include project with visual artist Leah Netsky, interdisciplinary Tucson-based project "Stories of Our Food", and creating a live sound design to the work by a visual artist Karine Laval entitled “Memorandum to the Victims of 9/11.” His works have been awarded prizes at International Composition Competition in Darmstadt, Germany and performed in venues such as Jordan Hall in Boston, Chopin Theatre in Chicago, and in his native Poland. Rojek’s music has been documented on five album releases, all four featuring him as a pianist and composer respectively, “Cudawianki”, 2011, “Impish Brevity”, 2013, “Live from Steinway Hall” released in 2015 on A-side Records, "Voluptuous Velocities", 2016, and "The Art of Non-idiomatic Self", 2019.
Rojek hails from Poland, where he spent his formative years studying and playing classical and cabaret music. In 2002, he relocated to the United States to further his musical education under tutelage of Frank Caruso and later Danilo Perez, Frank Carlberg and Michael Gandolfi at the prestigious New England Conservatory.
Among his most recent musical incarnations are Sentient Lacuna (duo project with composer/percussionist/sound artist Harry Ward), Post-Decadent Bourgeoisie Parlor (compositions for piano duo), Self-imposed Exile (electronic/improvising chamber trio project with grammy-nominated multi-reedman Aaron Kruziki and Harry Ward), and DownHearr (improvising trio w/rhythm section). Recent publications include Transient Tangents, Iconocerto for orchestra, Sounds From The Self-Exposed Exile for clarinet and piano, and Crimson for soprano and piano by Hsinja Publishing, 2015.