Polish jazz legend Muniak dies
PR dla Zagranicy
Saxophonist Janusz Muniak, a legend of Polish jazz, died on Sunday in a hospital in the southern city of Kraków, aged 74.
Janusz Muniak (archive picture). Photo: PAP/Stach Leszczyński
One of the most colourful personalities on the Polish jazz scene, Muniak started his career in the early 1960s.
He performed for many years in groups led by such household names as Tomasz Stańko, Andrzej Trzaskowski and Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski.
From the late 1970s onwards he led his own groups, alongside regular appearances with some top international stars, including drummers George Bruckner and Dirk A. Dhonau, sax players Hank Mobley and Charlie Ventura, and pianists Hank Jones, Gerd Schuller, Włodek Pawlik and Leszek Możdżer.
Highlights in his career include the 1980 Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw, in which the Janusz Muniak Quartet was joined by the great trumpeter Don Cherry.
In 1992, Muniak opened his own jazz club in a cellar in Kraków’s Old Town. His discography includes almost 30 LPs and CDs, the last of which, entitled ‘Contemplation’, was released in November 2015.
In 2011, Muniak was named Poland’s Number One sax player in an annual poll by Jazz Forum magazine. Last year, he received the Golden Fryderyk Award for lifetime achievement. (mk/pk)