Obara International Quartet
MACIEJ OBARA – ALTO SAXOPHONE
DOMINIK WANIA – PIANO
OLE MORTEN VÅGAN – BASS
GARD NILSSEN – DRUMS
Polish composer and alto saxophonist Maciej Obara burst onto the scene in 2006 and immediately began a search for the ideal partners to express his musical ideas.
One such player is Dominik Wania, who he encountered while playing in the band of the legendary Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko. Their trio CD “Equilibrium”, premiered, to great acclaim, at the Jazztopad Festival in Wrocław in November 2011.
Always restrained with harmony, Obara was encouraged to enrich the raw sound of the classical jazz trio by creating an ambitious, mature project with international artists – and he found these artists when he was a participant in Take Five: Europe – a professional development scheme produced by Serious, the producers of the London Jazz Festival.
Take Five: Europe involved 10 of the most interesting emerging composer/performers from France, Holland, Norway, Poland and the UK (www.takefiveeurope.com). The Polish artists were Maciej Obara and Maciej Garbowski and the scheme encouraged them to develop, not only their music, but also their networks and knowledge of the music business in Europe.
The most important result of Obara's participation in Take Five: Europe was establishing an international project, into which he invited the two Norwegian musicians: bassist Ole Morton Vågan and drummer Gard Nilssen.
Obara International is now complete and is a project that explores Obara’s musical quest. He consistently follows his own artistic path and works on his individual language to create his personal sound.
DOMINIK WANIA (piano) is well known in Poland due to his collaborations with many famous musicians from the local jazz scene and his ability to use his classical education to inform his wide range of improvisational skills. He is also the recipient of the Młoda Polska scholarship which provided him the opportunity to study at The New England Conservatory in Boston under the direction of Danilo Perez.
OLE MORTEN VÅGAN (bassist, composer) leads MOTIF - one of the most interesting young bands in Scandinavia which also features Mathias Eick, the winner of DnB Nor Kongsberg Jazz Prize (selected by Rudi Mahall, Axel Dörner, Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jon Fält).
Vågan has collaborated with a variety of bands representing different musical styles, from Balkan music to studio music. He has performed with some of the key players in Norway, like Tore Brunborg, Maria Kannegaard Trio, Håkon Kornstad, and international stars like Bobo Stenson, Joshua Redman and John Scofield. However it is modern improvised music with which he feels most strongly connected and which is exemplified in his project Generator X with Audun Kleive and Christian Wallumrod.
GARD NILSSEN (drums) is the in-demand Norwegian drummer who is an initiator of two of the most exciting new free-jazz projects: Bushman's Revenge and PUMA – recognised in 2010 by Downbeat magazine and Molde Jazz Festival as one of the most up-to-date bands in improvisational music. Mentored by Audun Kleive and Jon Christensen, Nilssen also has his own record label called GIGAFON.