Mazur, Rafał

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is a musician and philosopher, a prominent representative of the free jazz and free improvised music scene in Poland and Central Europe. He plays an acoustic bass guitar built to his demand. He has developed an advanced and individual approach to his instrument, and to improvisation in general, in which sonority, extended technique, and gesture combine effortlessly in performance. 

His main area of interest and activity is collective and solo free improvisation. He is the founder of the Improvisers Ensemble, the first free improvised music band in Cracow; the ImproArt studio of improvisation; and cofounder of the Institute of Intuition, a studio dedicated to intuitive improvisations in Cracow. He has performed jazz and improvised music in clubs and festivals across Europe as well as in China, South Korea, and Japan. He has cooperated with artists such as Guillermo Gregorio, Joëlle Léandre, Ramón López, Satoko Fuji, Natsuki Tamura, Agustí Fernández, Martin Küchen, Peter Ole Jørgensen, Zlatko Kaucic, Lotte Anker, Frederic Blondy, Charlotta Hug, Raymond Strid, Keir Neuringer, Barry Guy, and many others. He has released CDs on the leading free jazz and free improvisation labels including Clean Feed, No Business Records, Relative Pitch, Fundacja Słuchaj, and FMR Records, with his main label being Not Two Records. 

He has authored series of improvised music concerts in Cracow, under the Laboratory of Intuition Project, Meeting of Improvisers Festival, and other labels. He was the curator of Improvisers’ Meeting – Musica Privata Festival 2018. He is also the programme curator of Polish Improart, presenting the work of Polish improvising musicians at the Jazz Autumn Festival in Cracow. He focuses particularly on the Wandering the Sound Project, in which he features philosophical and musical works. He created the Wandering the Sound Trio with Guillermo Gregorio and Ramón López, as well as the Wandering the Sound Quintet with Satoko Fuji, Natsuki Tamura, Guillermo Gregorio, and Ramón López. A key part of this project is the Way of Improvisation, a workshop of spontaneous improvisation based on Daoist strategy of action in unexpected situations. As part of an artistic grant from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the workshop will be presented online on a dedicated YouTube channel, Droga Improwizacji (Way of Improvisation). 

Selected projects: Comprovisations, compositions for improvisers; Wandering the Sound(scape), comprovisations for soundscape and improviser(s); theatre music: 1410 (dir. Piotr Bikont, Badów Theatre Association, 2011), Mars:The Odyssey (dir. Paweł Miśkiewicz, Powszechny Theatre in Łódź, 2014), The Pupils (dir. Paweł Miśkiewicz, National Stary Theatre in Cracow, 2016), Demons. A Show on Drinking Tea (dir. Paweł Miśkiewicz, National Stary Theatre, 2021). 

Selected discography: Tar&Feathers (Trzaska, Mazur, Pandi) – Gusta Records; Liquid Quintet (Fernandez, Cirera, Majewski, Mazur, Prats), Myriad duo (Strycharski, Mazur), X-Rayed – Nobject (Kuchen, Mazur, Trilla), Wandering the Sound (Gregorio, Mazur, López), The Great Tone has no Sound (Mazur, Gregorio, Majewski, Fujii, Tamura, López) – Fundacja Słuchaj; Spontaneous Soundscapes (Fernandez, Mazur, Majewski), Ziran (Fernandez, Mazur), Ran Trio (Cirera, Mazur, Field), Live at Divadlo 29 (Mockunas, Mazur, Strid),Tidal Heating (Dymny, Mazur, Trilla), Unknowable (Carrier, Mazur, Lambert), Ensemble 56 (Dora, Mazur, Górka), Unison Lines (Neuringer, Mazur), Threefold (Pursglove, Mazur, López), Five Spontaneous Ones (Cirera, Field, Mazur), Beauty Resistance (Léandre, Kaucic, Rybicki, Mazur, Kozera), “What is...?” (Fuji, Gregorio, Tamura, Mazur, López) – Not Two Records Joy of Being (Carrier, Mazur, Lambert), Baza (Kuchen, Mazur) – No Business Records, Diachronic Paths (Neuringer, Mazur) – Relative Pitch.