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Karol Szymanowski

Karol Szymanowski is Poland’s leading jazz vibraphonist, a composer and arranger, and an experienced teacher. He studied percussion at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz and jazz and popular music at the Academy of Music in Katowice, from which he graduated with distinction. He is the prize-winner of a number of Polish and European jazz competitions. He is busy giving concerts of mainly jazz music, but he also frequently performs with blues and ethnic music ensembles. His original six-mallet technique for the vibraphone has made it possible to exploit the potential of the instrument in music genres otherwise inaccessible to it. Karol appears mostly in duets and trios, which enables him to present the novel aspects of his six-mallet grip. He originated the idea of expanding the vibraphone range by adding the lowest octave of the marimba, which, owing to his collaboration with the French manufacturer Bergerault, resulted in creating a new instrument, the Bass Vibe. Apart from his regular teaching practice at the Bydgoszcz Academy of Music, Karol conducts masterclasses, vibraphone training sessions and workshops at home and abroad. In his artistic practice he uses Bergerault instruments and customized ‘Karol Szymanowski’ mallets made by Vibrawell. In 2014 he was awarded with the ministerial badge of merit for his service to polish culture, and in 2016 he received an award for his outstanding achievements in percussion music. His major published works on vibraphone playing include The Six-Mallet Technique for the Vibraphone by Karol Szymanowski (2007), Harmony in the Practice of a Jazz Vibraphonist: Voicing Four-Note Chords (2011), and The Vibraphone as a Harmonic Instrument in a Jazz Band (2012), Chord Studies for Vibraphone (2014), and Polish Christmas Carols and Pastorales for Vibraphone: Part I (2017) and Part II (2018).

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Bergerault S.A. has been recognized by the French government “Company of Living Heritage”

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