Włodek Pawlik (born 1958) – pianist and composer, winner of a Grammy in 2014 for the album „Night In Calisia” in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble category, which is the very first Grammy in the history of Polish jazz.
Pawlik is a graduate of the F. Chopin Academy of Music in the piano class of B. Hesse-Bukowska. He also studied jazz at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg.
He is a laureate of Grand Prix of the International Jazz Contest in Dunkirk (France) and the second prize at the International Jazz Composition Contest in Monaco, among others.
He has cut 30 records as a leader to date, including film soundtracks, orchestral works, ballet music, opera and vocal forms. He is an author of soundtracks for a number of acclaimed films, such as “Wrony” (“Crows”) and “Pora Umierać” (“Time To Die”) by Dorota Kędzierzawska, “Rewers” (“Reverse”) by Borys Lankosz (awarded with the “Złote Lwy (“Golden Lions”) at the 34th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia and with the “Orły” (“Eagles”) by the Polish Film Academy in 2010, both for the Best Original Score of the Year), as well as international film productions by Peter Greenaway and Marleen Gorris.
He won “Fryderyk” in 2005 (the award of the Polish phonographic industry) for his „Misterium Stabat Mater” for piano and Gregorian choir Gregorian and the annual award of TVP Kultura (Polish National Television Culture Channel) for this trio album„Anhelli” in 2006.
In 2008 the artist composed and recorded jazz-suite “Tykocin” along with Randy Brecker that was re-released in the USA by Summit Records and was widely-praised by the American critics and gained him the title of a Jazz Composer of the Year 2009 from the Los Angeles-based “Jazz Station”. That same year “Grand Piano” – a double-CD album containing solo piano improvisations was released, followed by “Struny na Ziemi” (“Strings in the Earth”) in 2011 with the original music composed by Pawlik to poems by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, which received the distinction for the Jazz Album of the Year 2011 from the Polish daily “Rzeczpospolita”. In 2013 the album “Wieczorem” (“In the Evening”) with the music to poetry by Józef Czechowicz was released.
In 2014 the artist composed “Freedom” – musical work for choir, orchestra and jazz trio, commissioned by the President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski, which was performed on June 4th 2014 at the Royal Square in Warsaw as part of the celebrations of Polish Freedom and was attended by many heads of state, including the President of the USA Barack Obama.
In 2016 Pawlik released an album with his original works for orchestra under the title “4 Works 4 Orchestra”.
The most important honours and distinctions:
Order of Polonia Restituta, the Freedom of the City of Kalisz, “Coryphaeus of Polish Music” in the Personality of the Year 2014 category, Fryderyk 2014 for The Jazz Artist of the Year, the “Angel of Jazz” awarded at Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa Festival, the Jazz Artist of the Year 2014 by Jazz Forum, Grand Prix awards by the Jazz Association of Music Lovers.
In 2007 the artist attained a doctorate at F. Chopin University of Music where he has conducted lectures on improvisation ever since.
Włodek Pawlik was a jury member at the 5th American Jazz Piano Competition in Indianapolis in 2001. He has given clinics and master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Western Michigan University, Cincinnati College of Music, at the IAJE Jazz Conference in Los Angeles (1999) and at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels.
„Pawlik is a Vladimir Horowitz of jazz. He is a phenomenon in his own right. Everybody should listen to him play.”
Eric van't Groenewout's Who is Who, „North Sea Jazz Magazine”, 1998
(...)the players' considerable facility and complicated turns of thought are so readily translated into high-quality modern jazz."
From the review of "Turtles" album by Frank John Hadley, „Down Beat”, 1997
„The Jazz Hour starring Włodek Pawlik Trio (…) technical mastery, superb improvising skills.”
Klaus Berger, „Hamburger Abendblatt”
„Nostalgic Journey/Tykocin Jazz Suite is a magnificent CD that presents both a new side to Randy Brecker and a fine introduction to Włodek Pawlik.”
Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
„....well-acted and unpredictable story (…), all of it tied together with a terrific jazz-inflected score.”
„Rewers” - film review by Sheri Linden, „Hollywood Reporter”