Scroll down to select press, quotes, contact for artists: Jan Kopinski / Pinski Zoo / Reflektor2 / Zone K
Jan Kopinski’s identifiably expressive sound has earned him a reputation in the UK as a distinctively original tenor saxophonist. Composing and performing cross-genre music, ranging from leftfield improvisations to modern European jazz, his influences include archaic and contemporary music from Eastern Europe, and modal and harmolodic jazz.
He leads award winning jazz group PINSKI ZOO and travels regularly to Poland, for both research and touring projects –including international trio, ZONE K. With REFLEKTOR he composes and performs to silent films and to projected video mixes such as MIRRORS – a Polish dream journey, commissioned by Opera North.
As a guest soloist he brings these influences to bear upon his concerts, whether it is a program of original interpretations of Coltrane and Ornette Coleman tunes, improvising collaborations or solo extemporisations upon his own compositions.
“… Kopinski is one of Britain’s few authentic voices on saxophone.” – Hi- Fi NEWS & RECORD REVIEW
“… one of the UK’s instantly identifiable saxophonists.” – JAZZWISE
“…one of the UK’s most distinctive composing musicians”- LONDON JAZZ
“ It’s music of great pathos and beauty….. From the outset there’s a lovely convergence of materials and approaches, the Eastern European-flavored opening theme gradually giving way to Kopinski’s Trane-like flutters. At times it almost feels like litany on an unknown text.” – CODA
“…Kopinski’s saxes slowly unfurling over hypnotic backing…are intriguingly original and demand to be heard.” JAZZWISE
” Pinski Zoo are still out there and still on cracking form. Organic, no-surrender, spiritually uplifting music” – ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM
Jan Kopinski sax / Steve Iliffe keys / Karl Bingham bass / Stefan Kopinski bass / Pat Illingworth drums
PINSKI ZOO’s hybrid musical creature stomps with emotion and musical intensity, which is variously described as ‘Free-Funk Jazz’, ‘Avant Fusion’, ‘Warp Jazz’ . A unique sound on the dynamic UK jazz scene, with a cult-like following – leftfield and linked with the harmolodic music of Ornette Coleman, but equally inspired by textures of 20th century Polish composers – PINSKI ZOO are rare: true UK jazz originals, an unusual mixture of explosively dynamic jazz with a crafted, identifiable group sound, bristling with surprise and sonic tension.
The core of the band has played together for over 25 years, recording 9 albums. PINSKI ZOO ranged through Europe, from Warsaw’s Jazz clubs, to New York, (John Zorn invited them to seminal Jazz club, Knitting Factory) and London’s original Jazz Café, via The New Morning in Paris!!
Jan Kopinski’s sax sound originated in the inspiring late Coltrane era and he’s developed a unique way of incorporating not only Jazz passion, but also Eastern European influenced cries with intriguing forays into guitar-like use of effects. The raw emotion of the sax and Steve Iliffe’s brilliantly dense keyboards, together with the virtuoso rhythm section of two electric bassists, Stefan Kopinski and Karl Bingham and stunningly mobile grooves of drummer, Pat Illingworth, conjure the jazz passion of Coltrane and Ayler, together with whiplash grooves and anthemic melodies.
“PZ is still uncategorisable … still uniquely exciting, danceable and darkly atmospheric, still powers irresistible pulses without stooping to tediously inflexible beats, still conjures nebulous, magical, mysterious soundscapes” – BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
“Pinski Zoo deserves mega-stardom because it not only funked your socks off but foresaw future developments in jazz fusion” The GUARDIAN
“ Organic, no-surrender, spiritually uplifting music” –ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM
” Volatile mixture of freedom and funk.” NEW YORK TIMES
“Kopinski is one of Britain’s few authentic voices on saxophone” – Hi-Fi NEWS & RECORD REVIEW
“At full throttle, there’s no sound as full-blooded or viscerally powerful as Pinski Zoo’s” JAZZ UK
“ A huge influence on today’s current British jazz scene” TIME OUT
“Pinski Zoo are a mature musical unit, and should be given credit for spearheading what is becoming an increasingly important and popular jazz movement” VORTEX
Jan Kopinski sax / Steve Iliffe piano
REFLEKTOR2 perform their original compositions in either acoustic or electric form including live music to a wide repertoire of classic silent film, demonstrating an original repertoire of both improvised and formal compositions with a mixture of jazz and contemporary music.
REFLEKTOR2’s music and recordings are often inspired by the visual world and sensations of time. They place themselves fully at the emotional centre of the scenes and avoid mimicking obvious rhythmic and textural devices in favour of creating psychological tension and release…
“ you must accept the setting of the film and allow yourself to totally believe the psychological dynamics of the characters to find your own expression” JK
Jan Kopinski has a particular interest in history, place and image of early 20th century Central and Eastern Europe and performs regularly in Poland.
Working together with pianist Steve Iliffe for many years in various ensembles, (including award winning experimental jazz group PINSKI ZOO) they have crafted an improvising style that combines individuality of expression with an intuitive soundworld. Their composing skills and interaction bring real empathy to the evocative films of the silent world.
EARTH – “Kopinski has a sensitivity to visuals as reflected in other scores he’s performed for silent movies….he evokes Slav folk music, melancholic and lost to an irrecoverable past, but Iliffe’s broken chords also reflect the equally lost world of discordant modernism that this brave new era of revolutionary cinema was going to usher in .” – JAZZWISE
“It’s music of great pathos and beauty….. From the outset there’s a lovely convergence of materials and approaches, the Eastern European-flavored opening theme gradually giving way to Kopinski’s Trane-like flutters. At times it almost feels like litany on an unknown text.” – CODA
“Even without the film, this is music that swims in history, somber and richly allusive” – CODA
”.a deeply moving and intensely personal statement from one of the UK’s most instantly identifiable saxophonists” – JAZZ AT RONNIE SCOTTS
BERLIN -“Kopinski says that the duo’s intention was to ‘respond to the human curiosity and wonder of discovering ourselves in modern worlds’ and the effect was as mesmerizing as the spinning cogs in the factory sequence.” – THE PLAYGROUND
“Steve Iliffe on grand piano … manages to maintain the wonderful sense of slowly-unrolling time which is Kopinski’s forte: appropriate indeed for accompanying old film stock” – HI-FI NEWS.
“It’s a reflective music, tinged with melancholy, with the saxophone’s tender passion at the forefront. It’s also a compellingly inventive soundworld..” – AVANT MAGAZINE
A concert of cross genre-music and waking-dream images of Poland
JAN KOPINSKI’s REFLEKTOR: JAN KOPINSKI – saxophones / STEVE ILIFFE – piano/ JANINA KOPINSKA – viola /ANIKO TOTH – voice / STEFAN KOPINSKI – bass / PAT ILLINGWORTH – drums/ JOY OF BOX video
MIRRORS combines music and visual imagery in an exciting performance with Jan’s collective outfit, REFLEKTOR, specializing in works linked to projected visuals. Semi improvised scores and video projections mixed live – 6 musicians and 1 video artist in an evocative and widely dynamic program.
MIRRORS sees Jan’s new compositions shaped by visual elements, using jazz and improvisation to create a highly personal reflection upon a world of dislocation, memory and transition. Commissioned by Opera North to work with voice, the music also explores impressions of folk, religious and contemporary music that so beguiled modern Polish composers such as Szymanowski.
With REFLEKTOR Jan weaves an intriguing and original experience, prompted by ideas of identity and loss, MIRRORS is Jan’s musical reflections upon themes of displacement, belonging and diffused memory. The images are collected from his visits to Poland over 20 years and the music is developed from stories, folk music, jazz and 20th century Polish composers.
”It is immensely evocative” –ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM
“Highly recommended”. – BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
“a consistently affecting but powerful album from one of the UK’s most distinctive composing musicians”- LONDON JAZZ
“Thoughtful, varied and highly evocative” JAZZWISE
“Profound and sincere, the music wears its devotional/folk influences with style and grace.” JAZZ UK
JAN KOPINSKI saxophones (UK) WOJCIECH KONIKIEWICZ piano/keyboards (Poland) PAT ILLINGWORTH drums (UK)
ZONE K is an exciting international group delivering a mix of jazz propulsion, folk laments, contemporary musical poise and scatter grooves. The music has a special flavour featuring original compositions and improvisations drawing on Polish and English experiences. Zone K moves from atmospheric works for film, to Coltrane inspired jazz pieces performed with virtuosity and passion.
ZONE K is based upon Jan’s international core duo with Polish pianist Wojciech Konikiewicz from a collaboration over several years featuring, virtuoso keyboards, passionate saxophone and textural rhythms. Their duetting also finds larger settings in quartets, but currently it performs mostly as the above trio with Pat Illingworth on drums.
Jan first worked with Wojciech whilst touring Poland with PINSKI ZOO in the 80’s. Later their trio album, ‘ZONE K’ furthered their musical relationship with tours in the UK and Poland and they continue their collaboration with guest appearances in each others ensembles such as PINSKI ZOO andn
Warsaw pianist/composer, Wojciech Konikiewicz has a wide musical palette. He is a musician who has worked tirelessly in Warsaw leading numerous groups and writing and performing for film, TV, chamber and sacral work. He has toured extensively in Poland, Europe, Mexico, Japan, India, USA, South Korea and China.
“A high energy set from a vibrant trio of innovatory musicians”- JAZZ JOURNAL
“Kopinski is in spellbindingly authoritative form here” – JAZZ REVIEW
“One of the UK’s instantly identifiable saxophonists.” – JAZZWISE
“Konikiewicz creates consistently engaging and fluent music on the piano” – JAZZ REVIEW
“Music of character and bite”- The GUARDIAN
FOR ALL ARTISTS CONTACT:
22 Nelson Road
Nottingham NG5 6JE