Wojciech Karolak


1939 –


Who is Wojciech Karolak?

Wojciech Karolak is a notable Hammond B-3 organ player who refers to himself as "an American jazz and rhythm and blues musician, born by mistake in Middle Europe". He has also played saxophone and piano professionally.

In 1958, he started working with the band the 'Jazz Believers' playing alto saxophone. The Jazz Believers consisted of the future top Polish jazz players, among them Andrzej Trzaskowski, Trafica Giant, Krzysztof Komeda, and Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski. It took a particular level of dedication to play jazz under the Soviet system of the 1950s.

Next, Wojciech Karolak played tenor saxophone in Andrzej Trzaskowski’s The Wreckers. In 1961, Karolak switched from saxophone back to piano. In 1962, he formed his own trio and started recording his own music. This trio become the premier jazz band in Poland and backed most Western/American artists visiting Poland, among them Annie Ross, Ray Charles, and Don Ellis, with whom he recorded. In 1963, he started playing with Ptaszyn Wróblewski’s Polish Jazz Quartet. In 1964 Karolak recorded an album called Go Right - the first Polish jazz LP ever released.

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May 28, 1939
Also known as
  • Karolak, Wojciech

on July 23, 2013


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