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Polish jazz legend dies at 76

Tomasz Stańko, trumpeter, composer and arranger, one of the most important musicians on the Polish and European jazz scene, died Sunday morning at the age of 76 after a long period of illness.

“Tomasz Stańko has passed away,” the President’s Office tweeted on Sunday. “A trumpeter, composer, one of the most recognisable Polish musicians, an icon of world jazz. Knight of the Commander Cross with the Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta,” the message noted. “Let the memory of him survive in his music!”

Stańko’s quintet from 1968-1973 was considered one of the best formations in the history of Polish jazz. The musician recorded about 40 original albums, composed film music and was awarded many times, including the European Jazz Award in 2003.

Paweł Brodowski, the editor-in-chief of the “Jazz Forum” magazine called him “one of the most outstanding, most original Polish jazz musicians in the whole history of the genre.” According to Brodowski, the tone of Stańko’s trumpet was recognisable after a few sounds. “Stańko played outside the box, he took his own path from the very beginning.”

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