Wierba & Schmidt was Piotr Schmidt’s first highly regarded and multi-award-winning project. Established in 2005, its way to recognition was paved with all the most prestigious jazz competitions and festivals in Poland and abroad.
· Grand Prix at the 30th International Contest of Young Jazz Groups Jazz Juniors, Kraków 2006
· Grand Prix at the Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa competition, Bielsko Biała, 2008
· Grand Prix at the 1st Tarnów Jazz Contest in 2008
· Grand Prix at the Krokus Jazz Festival, Jelenia Góra 2008
· Grand Prix at the 12th National Review of Young Jazz and Blues Groups, Gdynia 2009
· Second place at the 32nd Hoeilaart Jazz Festival, Belgium 2010 (behind New York’s World Trio, whose pianist played with Marcus Miller)
· Grand Prix and Audience Award at the XXXIV Getxo Jazz Festival, Spain 2010, where Piotr was also the Festiva’s Best Soloist.
In October 2009 Wierba & Schmidt Quintet’s first album was published by the Jazz Forum magazine. The album had been recorded in December 2008 at the Tokarnia studio with the participation of Piotr Schmidt, Michał Wierba, Marcin Kaletka, Andrzej Święs and Krzysztof Gradziuk.
In November 2009 to promote the album the band gave a concert at the Agnieszka Osiecka Studio in Warsaw, broadcast live by Polish Radio’s Program III and enthusiastically reviewed by the nestor of Polish jazz Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, who since frequently plugged the band in his seminal radio show Trzy Kwadranse Jazzu (Forty-Five Minutes of Jazz):
A sensation of the young jazz scene: Maya, the debut album from the two leaders, trumpeter Piotr Schmidt and pianist Michał Wierba. Expressive hard-bop. A classic quintet with trumpet, tenor, and rhythm section. A real treat for lovers of good jazz.
Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski
LIVE IN GETXO
Wierba & Schmidt Quintet’s second album is the result of their victory at Spain’s Getxo Jazz Festival in July 2010. The material comes from two concerts at the festival and as such is a record of the band’s live potential. The album was published by the Spanish publisher Errabal.
The album strikes you with all the power which the seasoned Getxo audience felt in concert, and you realise the band from Poland came to win. Bravo to a band with a bright, promising future.
Black Monolith, Wierba & Schmidt Quintet’s third album, was recorded in August 2010 with the renowned American jazz trombonist and trombone teacher at the Frost University of Miami, Dante Luciani. It was published in April 2011 by SJ Records, to positive reception by audiences, musicians, and critics. Jazz Forum magazine gave it five (out of five) stars.
As a whole the album is well composed. The pieces vary in tempo and character, but they are united by style and mood. I won’t go any more into analysing the solos; they are superlative, I can only compare them to the best American jazzmen like Branford Marsalis. I am pleased that the public appreciates this band – such art and professionalism, missing in so many faux-jazz productions, deserve top billing.
TVP Kultura’s Annual Gwarancje Kultury 2010 AwardsEach year TVP Kultura awards the most interesting and important artists of the year with their Gwarancje Kultury – Guarantees of Culture. Alongside literature, classical music, theatre, and visual arts, there is also “Jazz, rock, etc….”. In 2010 Wierba & Schmidt Quintet was nominated for the award in this category. Here’s the rationale:
„For their strength of purpose in winning national and international competitions and attaining recognition by means of masterful technique and tradition-inspired repertoire.”
THE MOLE PEOPLE
In March 2011 Wierba & Schmidt Quintet commenced a long-term collaboration with the master of Polish jazz saxophone, Piotr Baron. In that month they gave three concerts, including at the Jazz nad Odrą festival; in April they played in Warsaw for TVP Kultura, which was broadcast on 13 September 2011.
The Mole People, recorded in September 2011 at Republica Studios in Lubrza, was the culmination of collaboration with Baron. It was published on 14 January 2012 by SJ Records