The Tomasz Stanko Quartet with special guest Billy Harper: A Concert Tribute to Krzysztof Komeda

Monday, May 19, 2008, 7:30 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

Polish trumpeter and composer Tomasz Stanko and American saxophonist Billy Harper, praised by The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Down Beat as two of the best jazz improvisers in the world, will perform together for the first time in a celebration of Krzysztof Komeda's film music. Komeda, who helped to establish Eastern Europe's underground jazz scene in the late 1950s, wrote the unforgettable scores for some forty films, including Rosemary's Baby.

Stanko will also lead his quartet in performing his own award-winning music, inspired by the free jazz of Ornette Coleman and by his decade-long collaboration with Komeda. For Stanko, as for other artists who lived in Communist Poland, jazz represented "freedom, Western culture, a different way of life." It was performed clandestinely in cellars and at dance parties in cities like Lodz, where students like Roman Polanski and Jerzy Skolimowski turned the now-legendary film school into a hotbed of artistic experimentation and political dissent. As a prelude to this special concert, two of Komeda's best scores—for Polanski's Knife in the Water and Skolimowski's Le Départ—can be heard in the theaters as part of the film exhibition Jazz Score. Download the Jazz Score brochure in PDF format

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator, Department of Film.

Jazz Score is made possible by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art and by the Nicholas Martini Foundation. Additional support provided by the Polish Cultural Institute, New York, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

In conjunction with the exhibition Jazz Score

In the Film exhibition Jazz Score

Tickets ($15; members, students, and seniors $12) can be purchased online, at the lobby information desk, and at the Film desk.