Maciej Obara

Maciej Obara, Polish saxophone player and improviser characterized by the discernible phrase and powerful sound. Double winner of prestigious Polish music award 2018 Fryderyk Award(Artist of the Year, Album of the year), Double winner of the 2019 Jazz Forum Jazz Top Annual Readers’ Poll (Alto Saxophonist of the Year, Album of the Year). 

Maciej Obara Quartet was established in 2012 by the Polish saxophone player Maciej Obara consisting also of Dominik Wania (piano), Ole Morten Vaagan (double bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums).

The quartet embodies what’s best in the leading European jazz scene and its each member possesses individual sound resulting from different musical experiences. Obara has invited powerful and mature artists who create complete, mindful and, above all, beautiful music together. 

Together they recorded two album for the prestigious ECM record label: “Unloved” in 2017 and “Three Crowns” in 2019. 

The Obara Quartet’s star has been steadily on the rise in recent seasons.  In May the group took First Prize in the BMW Jazz-Welt Competition in Munich.  The Award Jury’s citation spoke of the ”enormous amplitude of emotion, the dynamics and the possibility of expression with which Obara and his quartet were able to fascinate the audience…His lyrical saxophone playing, the strength of his compositions and the unchained power of this outstanding ensemble’s improvisations turned the quartet into this year’s winner.”

Individually, too, the players have been making headway, with Gard Nilssen featured as artist-in-residence at this year’s Molde Festival, Ole Morten Vågan continuing to direct the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (most recently in a collaboration with Cory Smythe), and Dominik Wania preparing material for a forthcoming ECM solo album.