Polish avant-garde jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko dies at 76


WARSAW (Reuters) – Tomasz Stanko, a Polish trumpeter, composer and prominent figure in avant-garde and free jazz for decades, died on Sunday at the age of 76, the Polish Jazz Association said.

Polish jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko performs during the concert commemorating the 70th anniversary of Warsaw Uprising in Warsaw, Poland, July 26, 2014. Picture taken July 26, 2014. Agencja Gazeta/Przemek Wierzchowski via REUTERS

Born in Rzeszow in southern Poland in 1942, Stanko made his debut in the late 1950s in Krakow. He later gained a global reputation playing alongside jazz luminaries such as drummer Jack deJohnette and bassist Dave Holland.

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Stanko’s early influences came from jazz trumpet icons such as Miles Davis and Chet Baker, but he was soon drawn primarily to the free-form jazz of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, and often recorded for the ECM label.

His first global bestseller was a 1997 album, Litania, a tribute to the music of Polish film music composer and jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda, the record company ECM Records said.

“I am in shock … (Stanko) was an absolute prophet, a great musician, and a consistent one,” said Michal Urbaniak, a Polish jazz violinist and saxophonist.

Reporting by Anna Koper and Justyna Pawlak; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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