Rafał Sarnecki - jazz guitarist, composer, arranger born in 1982 in Warsaw, Poland. He started playing guitar at the age of 12. In 2002 he graduated with distinction from the Krzysztof Komeda School of Music and begun studying in the jazz program of the Fryderyk Chopin School of Music in Warsaw. At that time Rafal took part in numerous competitions for young jazz musicians and always won some kind of award:
. 1st Prize at the "International Jazz Guitar Competition - Guitar City 2002" in Warsaw
. Award for the best instrumentalist at the "Jazz Standard Festival 2004" in Siedlce
. Award for the outstanding individual performance and 2nd award with the band on the young jazz groups competition in Elblag in 2004
. Award for the outstanding individual performance in the "Nadzieje Warszawy 2005" competition organized by the Jazz Club Tygmont in Warsaw
Besides playing the guitar Rafal was always very passionate about physics. He was also succesful in that field since early high school. In 2000 he won the 1st prize in Poland at the XLIXth Physics Olympiad for high school students and he represented Poland at the XXXth International Physics Olympiad in Leicester, Great Britain. In the same year he began studying physics at Warsaw University. In 2005 Rafal graduated with distinction from Warsaw University and recived a MS degree in physics. In the same year he graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin School of Music.
In the mean time, Rafal received a scholarship at the prestigious Jazz and Contemporary Music Program in The New School University in New York. In September 2005 he went to USA to study at The New School. In December 2008 he graduated from the New School with distinction and he decided to continue his education at the graduate jazz program in the Aaron Copland School of Music. In New York Rafal studied with some of the best jazz musicians on the New York scene, such as: Paul Bollenback, Buster Williams, Peter Bernstein, Reggie Workman, John Hicks, Adam Nussbaum, Ari Hoenig, Ben Street.
Living in the Big Apple Rafal is involved in a variety of musical projects such as: Lucas Pino No Net Nonet, David Bertrand Quartet and Majid Khaliq Amalga Nation. He performed in some of the most renowned New York clubs including Dizzy's Club at Lincoln Center, Smalls, Kitano and Smoke. In 2008 he started his own sextet which features some of the top New York musicians of the younger generation: Lucas Pino (ts), Bogna Kicinska (voice), Glenn Zaleski (p), Rick Rosato (b) and Colin Stranahan (d). He has performed as a bandleader in jazz clubs and festivals in China, Israel, the East and West Coast of the US and many European countries.
In January 2007 Rafal started his European quartet with some of the most renowned Polish jazz musicians: Pawel Kaczmarczyk on piano, Wojciech Pulcyn on bass, and Lukasz Zyta on drums. In January 2008 the group recorded their first CD, called Songs From a New Place. In addition to his improvisational abilities, the album showcases Rafal's original compositions. The CD was released by the Arms Records label in October 2008. It received many good reviews. In February 2009 it was nominated to the FRYDERYK 2009 award which is a Polish version of the American Grammy award.
In January 2010 Rafal recorded his second CD as a band leader. It was released in February 2011 by Fresh Sound New Talent label. Dave Sumner from All About Jazz selected the album as among the 12 most interesting jazz releases of 2011 in the Editor’s Choice section.
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