Jarek Śmietana

Jarosław "Jarek" Śmietana (29 March 1951 – 2 September 2013]) was a Polish jazz guitarist, composer, and band leader.[1][2][3]

Jarek Śmietana
Background information
Birth nameJarosław Śmietana
Born(1951-03-29)March 29, 1951
Kraków, Poland
DiedSeptember 2, 2013(2013-09-02) (aged 62)

Early life and educationEdit

Śmietana was born in Kraków.[4] He studied at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice.[5]


Śmietana lead the band Extra Ball in 1974.[5] He continued to lead this band until 1981. He was the leader of the Sounds Big Band Symphonic Sound Orchestra,[1] the Polish Jazz Stars Band.[6] He was also a co-leader of the Namysłowski-Śmietana Quartet.[5] He performed at festivals,[3] concert tours, and workshops in the U.S., India, Asia and South America.

During his musical career he played and recorded with Art Farmer,[7] Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Henderson, Vladislav Sendecki, Joe Zawinul, Janusz Muniak, Gary Bartz, Carter Jefferson, Vince Mendoza, John Abercrombie, Hamiet Bluiett, Idris Muhammad, Ronnie Burrage, Harvie Swartz, Mike Stern, Jack Wilkins, Zbigniew Seifert, Cameron Brown, Andy McKee, David Gilmore, Nigel Kennedy,[8][9] He recorded more than 25 album as a band leader.[10]

He was the father of violinist Alicja Smietana. He died in 2013.[4] In 2015, a contest, the International Jarek Śmietana Jazz Guitar Competition was initiated in his memory. It was held in Kraków.[11]

Awards and honorsEdit

In 1972, with the blues band Hall, he won an award at the Jazz nad Odrą festival. In 1998 he was the winner of the Fryderyk[12] 1998 award for Songs and Other Ballads. He was presented with the President of Cracow Prize for cultural achievement.[13]


As leaderEdit

  • Talking Guitar (Polskie Nagrania, 1984)
  • From One to Four (PolJazz, 1986)
  • Sounds with Colours (Polskie Nagrania, 1987)
  • Touch of Touch (Polskie Nagrania, 1989)
  • Sounds/Colors (Wipe, 1990)
  • Ballads and Other Songs (Starling, 1993)
  • Quartet (Koch, 1994)
  • Phone Consultations with Wojtek Karolak (GOWI, 1996)
  • Songs and Other Ballads (Starling, 1997)
  • Kind of Life (SelleS, 1998)
  • Meeting Point with Cezariusz Gadzina (SelleS, 1998)
  • Speak Easy with John Abercrombie (PAO, 1999)
  • African Lake with Gary Bartz (Starling, 2000)
  • Vis-a-vis with Zbigniew Paleta (JSR, 2002)
  • Parallel Worlds (JSR, 2004)
  • A Story of Polish Jazz (JSR, 2004 )
  • My Love and Inspiration (EMI, 2005)
  • Autumn Suite (JSR, 2006)
  • What's Going On? with Wojtek Karolak (JSR, 2006)
  • Polish Standards with Karolak/Czerwinski (JSR, 2007)
  • Grube Ryby with Karolak/Bzyk (Metal Mind 2007)
  • Revolution with Wojtek Karolak (JSR, 2008)
  • The Good Life with Yaron Stavi, Adam Czerwinsk, Hamiet Bluiett (JSR, 2009)
  • Projekt Elblag with Jerry Goodman (Allegro, 2011)
  • I Love the Blues with Wojtek Karolak (JSR, 2011)
  • Live! At Impart with Bill Neal (JSR, 2012)


  1. ^ a b Czech Music. Music Information Center of the Czech Music Foundation. 1995.
  2. ^ Jazz Times. Jazztimes. 1996. p. 81.
  3. ^ a b "Agnieszka Iwanska Quartet All That I Am CD Release All Souls Day Jazz Festival '09". Jazz Chicago, Nov. 9, 2009
  4. ^ a b "RIP Jarosław (Jarek) Śmietana - 1951-2013". LondonJazzNews.
  5. ^ a b c "Smeitana, Jarek ZdZislaw". The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002. Psychology Press. 2002. pp. 473–. ISBN 978-1-85743-161-2.
  6. ^ "Polish jazz blossoms at the Chopin Theatre". Chicago Tribune, November 13, 2012
  7. ^ "Polnischer Gitarrist Jarek Smietana an Gehirntumor gestorben". Jazz Pages, 03.09.2013.
  8. ^ "Review of Nigel Kennedy in the National Concert Hall". Entertainment Music Reviews. Pat O'Kelly, 16/07/2014
  9. ^ "Nigel Kennedy: Still pulling the strings". The Independent Christina Patterson, 31 August 2012
  10. ^ International Association of Jazz Record Collectors (1996). IAJRC Journal. International Association of Jazz Record Collectors. p. 141.
  11. ^ "REPORT: Int. Jarek Śmietana Jazz Guitar Competition in Kraków". LondonJazzNews
  12. ^ Fryderyki prize 1998
  13. ^ "Gitarzysta Jarek Śmietana jest ciężko chory. Guz mózgu - Muzyka". polskieradio.pl September 3, 2013

External linksEdit